Well, greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
And now once again, what about this world today? It's not a very happy world and there is a reason. The world tomorrow is going to be a world of peace. It's going to be a happy world. And only because this world is going to be forced to learn the way of peace. Now that way of peace was proclaimed to this world by the Creator Himself who sent His son into this world with a message of the way to peace over 1900 years ago.
The world rejected that way. That way has not been proclaimed from that day until now. That is after it had been proclaimed by the apostles at that time and in that general age and time.
And now in the meantime from that time on, they have proclaimed the name of Christ. They have proclaimed His name and the message about His person, but they have not proclaimed His message.
Why is it my friends, I ask you once again that people today believe that the gospel is exactly opposite from that which Jesus Christ proclaimed? Well, to see the difference we're going through the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to see what Jesus taught; and then we're going through the book of Acts and see what the early church did believe and what the apostle Paul taught. And here we are in the very teaching of Jesus.
Get your Bible. Open it up. See some surprises. See exactly, my friends, what He did teach. And so that you can know exactly what Jesus taught and how different it is from the gospel that's being taught today: A different gospel. They believe in a different Christ and a different spirit seems to imbue the people.
Following the Light of Life Here we are in John the eighth chapter and beginning with the twelfth verse: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:"(John 8:12) Now light means truth. Darkness represents error, of course, and is used in that manner all the way through the Bible. Then Jesus is light and He came bringing truth. And He came preaching the way. People rejected the way. They merely want to talk about His person while they go on with their own ways, their pagan superstitions, and traditions, and ideas.
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Now that's the way to eternal life and salvation. I want you to notice there is an awful lot said in that one little verse there. "He that followeth me..." (John 8:12)
Now to follow Him we have to do as He did. To follow Him we have to believe what He preached, we have to do as He did, follow His example, practice the customs He did, not the customs that are being practiced and called 'Christianity' today.
Now otherwise we're walking in darkness. And that's exactly what the world is doing. They are not following Him. They are proclaiming a message about Him. They want to accept Him. They want to worship Him. "But [as He said] in vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments [or the traditions] of men." (Matthew 15:9)
"And making God's law of no effect by your traditions [your own precepts] of men." (Matthew 15:6 paraphrased)
Now that not only following Him is not only the way out of darkness and into light, but it is the way to have the 'light of life,' eternal life and salvation.
Now, "The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. And, Jesus...said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I [came], and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law [He continued], that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." (John 8:13-18)
Do you know nearly everybody thinks of God as one person, actually? You may believe in the 'trinity doctrine.' But in spite of that you get to thinking of God as being one person, one being. Now here Jesus very plainly shows two persons. And I want you to notice.
He said, "It is written in your law that the testimony of two men [or two persons, two individuals. Men stands for two separate entities, two separate persons, two separate beings] is true. I am one [and now He is one of those persons] I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father [now there the Father is represented as another one, another person altogether] that sent me beareth witness of me." (John 8:17-18)
There He shows there are two witnesses, and He shows that He is one and His Father is one. And He is speaking of two individuals. So that Christ is a separate individual from the Father. And Christ is God and He was made God.
He also who was God was made flesh and dwelt among us. And He was man. But He the man died. And if the Father had not been alive in heaven there would have been no one to raise Him from the dead. And He could not be alive today: But while He was dead, and Jesus Christ was dead and while He was dead, the Father rose Him from the dead. God did not resurrect Jesus Christ from the living.
Is Mankind Spirit? Most people think, well, He wasn't dead. You know so many people think and believe that instead of being dead He was alive. And then that's when He went to the so called 'spirits in prison' and preached to them. And they think that means people. Now actually, if you will read that passage about His preaching to the 'spirits in prison,' you will read that He did that back in the time when Noah was preparing the ark before the flood. Back while the ark was being prepared before the flood. That is the time. Most people just stop before they get to it. And they only read a verse or two, and they don't read the rest of it. But if you will read it all, just read on another verse or two, you will see that, that is the time. (I Peter 3:19-20)
Now another thing, He was preaching to 'spirits in prison.' And human beings are not spirits and are nowhere called spirits in the Bible. It is said that there is a 'spirit in man.' (Job 32:8) But nowhere does it say that man is a spirit. There may be a door in the house. But that door isn't the house and the house is not a door. The door is only part of the house and something that is in the house and inside of it. And is something altogether different. Now man is not a spirit. The Bible says, "Man is flesh." Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). We shall be spirit when we are born of God.
Now in the fourth chapter of John, we went over that some time back. We are in the eighth chapter here now. But back in the fourth chapter of John, we read how Jesus said, that "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24). But no place in the Bible does it say that man is a spirit. Now it was the spirits or angels that Jesus preached too. And that was before He was born of the Virgin Mary, altogether.
You read here in Hebrews that God has made the angels spirits (Hebrews 1:7). In the very first chapter of Hebrews beginning with verse five: "For unto which of the angels has he said at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" (Hebrews 1:5)
Angels are called sons of God in the sense that they are creations of God. But here He's talking about a son that is begotten: the son that comes right out from the Father and has the Father's nature, the Father's characteristics; because, he's born from the Father. He has come out from the Father, as a human being has from his father. And no angel is born of God in that way. None has been begotten of God; they are merely created of God.
So, "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? [in other words the answer is none. He didn't say that to any angel] And again I will be to him a Father, [He's speaking of Christ here] and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world..." (Hebrews 1:5-6)
Jesus Christ was only the first begotten of many sons of God. You and I can become begotten sons of God: if we will surrender to God; if we will repent of sin; if we will turn to God and to God's way.
You know God is a Father. It's a family relationship. And if you're going to enter into that blessed family, my friends, you will have to realize that, that is a family that obeys its Father. The Father is the head of that household, and the whole family obeys God.
Now when Jesus was here He said, "I have kept my Father's commandments..." (John 15:10)
And here we're reading that He said, "He that followeth me..." (John 8:12)
He set us an example that we should follow His steps as Peter said. Jesus, Himself, said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done..." (John 13:15). And He said that to His disciples. And we are supposed to follow Him.
Today people don't want to follow Jesus. They say, well, He did it for us. We're not supposed to do it. And they, they get very offended at me because I tell you that you will have to have the 'good works' if you're going to ever be converted and saved.
You know we are saved by grace. "By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But go on and read that next verse. Why do they never read that next verse? "For we are his workmanship [that's in Ephesians incidentally. I am jumping from one place to another a little bit here for a moment. That's in the second chapter of Ephesians, if I can turn to it. I have been just quoting it here] We are his workmanship [here it is] created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before hath ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)
Notice, we're created in Christ Jesus. It's a new creation: the Christian life. We're new creatures, a new creation in Christ, if we're converted. And "...unto good works, which God before hath ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)
Born Again: When? Now Jesus Christ is the first begotten, and He is the first born of many brethren born by a resurrection. People talk about being born as if they're already been born of God. Jesus during His human life was a begotten son and at that times the only begotten son of God. But my friends, we can be begotten sons of God.
Now here in this passage of Hebrews the first chapter and the sixth verse, we read, "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world,..." (Hebrews 1:6).
He was the 'first begotten' and at that time 'the only begotten son of God.' But you and I now can be begotten of God. And Jesus was born by a resurrection and made a son of God, a born son of God, by a resurrection from the dead. And He was the firstborn of many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
Now if He could not become 'born again' until His resurrection until after He had died, and been resurrected, and changed from human to divine: changed from mortal to immortal, how can you and I? And yet, people go around; they join churches; and they claim, "Well, I have already been born again."
Now when you're born again, my friends, you read in First John that you cannot sin. It's absolutely impossible to sin when you've been born again.
And I don't know any human being on this earth that has gotten to the place he's so righteous and so holy that he can't sin. If there is anyone that brags around about being so righteous and so good that they can't commit sin, I will show you someone that along with it has the worse sin of all which is spiritual pride. They'll think they're so righteous; and they really aren't. It's all a big lie. They just really aren't.
But you read here in I John 3 and verse nine; that "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him..." (I John 3:9) That is God's seed which is the Holy Spirit. He is begotten by the very seed of God.
Just like God said to Abraham that his seed was to become a great nation and another company of nations. It was a plural seed And God said, "I will be their God" (Genesis 17:8), the God of the seed. And He said it was a seed that would come. In plain language, God said right in the Bible, "Thou shalt come out of thy loins" (Hebrews 7:5 paraphrased). And his children came out from him.
Now then the seed that comes out from God is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit of God comes into us and begets us for eternal life. And we are to be born. Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren.
And when we are born of God, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin..." (I John 3:9). It's impossible.
It isn't possible for Christ to sin now. It was possible for Him to have sinned while He was on earth as a human being. Because we read that "He was tempted in all points like as we." (Hebrews 4:15 paraphrased)
Now if it isn't possible to commit sin, it is not possible to be tempted. God cannot be tempted and God does not tempt any man (James 1:13). But Jesus could be tempted while He was here on earth because He was then human. "He took not on himself the nature of angels [nor the nature of God]; but he took on himself the seed [or the nature] of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:16). And Abraham was a mortal human.
And He was tempted then and could have sinned. He just didn't because He prayed so incessantly to the Father. He prayed so earnestly and when He prayed He put His heart into His prayers.
You know we pray, but we pray empty prayers. We don't put our hearts in our prayers. Jesus did. We don't spend as much time in prayer as Jesus did. He kept close to the Father. He kept so close to God that He was much closer to God than He was the, well, the mechanical, and the artificial, and the material things of this world.
But we get so close to this world that we are so far away from God that God seems like a myth. He doesn't seem even real to us. If God doesn't seem real to you, the reason is that you're so close to material things and so far from God, that only the matter that you see and the material things you can see, and handle, and feel and all of that sort of thing, they seem real to you.
Actually there is nothing permanent but change in this material world. And, everything that you see is going to change its form, or its shape, its composition. And, it is subject to chemical action: chemical change. It will rot; or it will rust; or it will decay; it will change one way or another. But the spiritual things are enduring. They're permanent. They never change.
You belong to the Ruler You Obey Now "He that committeth sin is of the devil [says verse eight here in I John 3]; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (I John 3:8)
Now I tell you my friends, every human being has committed sin. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And when we commit sin we are of the devil. And so every one of us have been of the devil.
And there are seven passages in the New Testament that affirm that everyone who has not been actually changed, begotten of God, and received the Spirit of God, and therefore become begotten sons of God every last human being is spiritually a son of the devil and not a son of God at all.
The human family are sons of God only in the sense that angels are just by creation only. But by actual sons you are the son of the one that you obey. Now, I don't think that most of you will recognize that or understand what I mean.
Listen, God is the Supreme Ruler. And God is a family. God is not one person. God is more than one person. The father is the head of that family. He is the ruler. And you can't be in that family except you obey that rule and you belong to the one whom you obey. And the one that you obey becomes your God. Because the word 'Lord' in the sense does mean God. Lord means master. Lord means the one you obey. And if someone else is your Lord and master that person actually or that being, that whatever it may be becomes your God. God is the one who is obeyed. And the devil is the "god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4) because this world obeys the devil. And the people of this world therefore are the children of the devil! They're in the devil's family. And he's the father of that family. And you are born in that family and of this world. And the devil is the father of it: the god of it!
You see God the Father is a person who is the head of a great family. And it is a God family. It is a God kingdom.
Now let us get this straight again. We have the mineral kingdom; we have the plant kingdom; we have the animal kingdom; and I say there's a human kingdom that is different from all the rest of the animal kingdom altogether.
Man has more likeness of God and has more opportunity of being connected with God and becoming God than any lower animal. He can't become a lower animal. Man can in character sink down lower than any animal that ever breathed. I can tell you that, and most of us have done so.
Because animals just have a nature or an instinct, whichever you want to call it. And they live according to that nature or that instinct. Now man has a nature or you can call it instinct if you wish. But man also has a mind like God. And man can think. And man can use his mind to think and to rise above his nature, and to make decisions, and to enforce those decisions. And to exercise volition and will which an animal can't do. An animal does just what God thought out and planned and put in him in form of a nature or an instinct.
Now a man does what man thinks out and decides to do; because, man is a prospective inheritor of the Kingdom of God. Man was made to be changed into and to become a member of the Kingdom of God: which is higher even than the angel kingdom.
My friends, we don't grasp the real purpose of our lives. We don't understand God. We don't understand what we are. We don't even know what human beings are. We don't seem to know why they were put here on this earth. Oh, what lack of understanding we have!
Now Jesus was at first the "only begotten son of God." And He was then, we read, He was the first begotten. And finally, He was born by a resurrection and made God and the son of God by a resurrection from the dead. And He was the first born of many brethren.
And we can become begotten sons of God now in this life. And then at the time of the resurrection, at the time of the second coming of Christ when He comes, His reward is with Him. And at that time the reward is immortality: eternal life. And that immortality is put on at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And eternal life is the gift of God. You were not born with it. It is the gift of God.
Man's Righteousness Leads To Death What are you hearing today? Why you're hearing that we're sort of a separate species that God created. And we already have eternal life. And you're on a one way track: this lifetime. And you get to the end of the track, the end of the journey, the end of this life the track is already set to shoot you down to hell.
But if you accept Christ or go through what they call salvation
There are various formulas and combinations of these things that you're supposed to do. Very few of them though believe in any repenting. Some do; thank God.
But, nevertheless, the common assumption is that it's all settled and that switch is the track at the end of your life. And so you go on living your life. You do as you please. Now of course you mustn't do anything that will hurt your conscience. But you know nothing is going to hurt your conscience unless you do something that you think is wrong.
Now the real way to God is to give up your thinking. Isaiah had that long ago, and the church is based on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles. And those prophets, and Isaiah is one of them, is one of the foundations of the church. Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone, but the prophets as well as the apostles are the foundation stones of the church (Ephesians 2:20).
And one of them is Isaiah and in the fifty-fifth chapter he says if you will find God, "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts" (Isaiah 55:7). You have to give up those thoughts of what would hurt your conscience and what wouldn't.
Now if your thoughts are that divorce and remarriage is perfectly alright, and men have made laws that allow it. And if in your thought that's alright, and you divorce your wife and get rid of her or your husband, and you marry another. That isn't going to hurt your conscience, not a bit. But if another person has read in the Bible where Jesus said that if a man ever does that he is living in adultery or a woman is living in adultery who has been married before and is divorced and remarries, then that will hurt the conscience of that person.
Now one person can smoke cigarettes and chain smoke all day long and they say, "I don't see any harm in it. I think it's alright." That's the thinking. And as long as you think that it isn't going to hurt your conscience. But another person thinks it's terrible and it would hurt their conscience.
Now one person thinks that the most evil thing in magazines you pick up are all these whisky ads, and wines, and beers, and things like that. Oh, that's terrible! And to take a drink of beer or wine would hurt the conscience of that person something awful. But there are a lot of other people who just laugh at that. And say, "Well, that doesn't hurt my conscience a bit."
Now you see there is a great difference in human thinking. God knew that. And some of the prophets of old were called to tell us all about it.
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man [now whatever is right, the wrong way is likely to seem right to a man...there is a way that seemeth right unto a man], the end thereof are the ways of death," (Proverbs 16:25) Thus saith the Eternal God.
But here's the way to be converted. "Seek ye the [Eternal] while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near [how?]. Let the wicked forsake [what? The thing that his thoughts said was wrong? The thing that troubled his conscience? No!] Let the wicked forsake his way [that's his own way that he thought was right], and the unrighteous man his thoughts: [his thoughts about whether it's right or whether it's wrong] And let him return unto the [Eternal] and he will have mercy on him." (Isaiah 55:6-7)
You know there is another place that says, "To the law and to the testimony [which means the Old and the New Testament] if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is [no truth and] no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). And there's the real truth.
Now, you know if I want to know what is right or wrong: If I want to know whether it's all right to drink a little wine, or a little whisky, or beer I'm not going to go to a lot of prohibitionists and a lot of people and ask them what they think. And then go to a lot of liquor store proprietors and ask them what they think. You know: one the liquor store proprietor is going to tell me it's perfectly alright, and the prohibitionist is going to tell me it's all wrong. I know that in advance. I am not going to those men. I'm going to go to the word of God and find out!
If I want to know whether it is wrong to smoke or do something of that kind, I'm going to go to the word of God. Of course, there is nothing in it directly about smoking. But you know when I faced that question I found there was something in the Bible about smoking. I found that the law of God is the way of righteousness. And, "...all thy commandments are righteousness." (Psalm 119:172)
And I found we have to live according to that law: according to its spirit. And I found that the spirit of the law: the general principal is love. And it is love to God and love to neighbor and that's not lust towards self.
Obeying The Principle of God's Law of Love Now I asked myself, "Why do I smoke?" I used to smoke like everybody else before I was converted. And I asked myself, I said, "Now, I find that what I was taught in Sunday school is just the opposite of what I find in the Bible." So I said, "I am not going to believe what I was taught." Now my church, I was brought up in, believes in prohibition and they think: smoking is wrong; and drinking is wrong; and theater going was wrong, and playing cards is wrong; and anything like that is wrong dancing and all that sort of thing. That's the way that I was brought up.
Now, I said I am going to search this out in the Bible. Well, I found the principle of the law. I said to myself, "Why do I smoke? Is it manifestation of my love to others or to God? Is it worship and obedience to God? Am I doing it to please others or just to please self? Am I doing it because of lust or gratification of the flesh? Of the sense..." Actually its smell but people think its taste. Never mind which it is. It's one of the senses.
And I had to answer I am smoking because it pleases the sense and in a way that is slightly detrimental to health, and maybe a lot more than that. And, we're beginning to see now that it is one of the causes of cancer, very possibly. And a lot of cigarette smokers are beginning to think about it.
Well, when I saw that it violated the principle of God's law even though there was nothing specific saying, "Thou shalt not smoke." I saw I had to quit smoking. And so I quit. And that was the end of it. Well, you have to turn to the word of God.
I just gotten started in what I wanted to say and time's up, but I tell you my friends you can be begotten and then born of God.
Now if you want to know about these things. If you want to know the truth of the message of God, it makes sense the message that Jesus brought. If you want to really know the way of salvation, you will want to get in on 'The Plain Truth.' And you will want to know what is prophesied for us.