Herbert W Armstrong Library
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   Well, brethren, what a wonderful and rare thing it is to be able to have the modern facilities we do. I wonder what the early apostles and the early church of the first century would think if they could see the type of facilities, the technology that has been developed, and the things that we have today to get the gospel around the world, to speak to the brethren all over the world at one and the same time.
   All over the United States and Canada here, we were all singing the same hymn at the same time. Now it was twelve noon in Alaska and in Hawaii, and yet they were singing with us. It was four o'clock in the afternoon on the east coast, and all of our brethren there at four o'clock in the afternoon were singing that same hymn right along with us at the same time. Unfortunately, it's nine o'clock tonight in Britain and in Europe. It was recorded over there, but they will be hearing it next Sabbath. That will just be day after tomorrow in this particular case.
   For eight days we've been enjoying the Feast of Tabernacles. That festival is over, but today is the Last Day, the last festival. This is the last sermon of the last festival of this year, the year 1983. We've been going through the festivals all this year (the Passover in the spring), and these festivals picture God's Master Plan of carrying out His purpose here on earth. God Himself is tremendously interested in what is going on here.
   He is with us here right now. His eyes are here—not on what the nations are doing; because the nations are the nations of a certain government, with one sitting on the throne as the "king of kings and lord of lords," believe it or not. But it is not God. It is the god of this world, Satan the devil. He would do anything he could to disrupt this service. He would do anything he could to spoil everything we do. He HATES this Church; and his people, under his government, hate this Church. But, you know, pretty soon he isn't going to be around.


   Well, last spring we celebrated the beginning of God's spiritual harvest. Now God's whole Master Plan is set out in two, you might say, two segments or divisions. One was the physical division. That started with the human, Adam, about 6,000 years ago. But Adam sold out to Satan the devil.
   Satan has a law. I'm going to explain that as we go along. He has a government; and, you know, no government can function without a law. Every government is based on a law of some type. For example, the United States government is based on a law that we call the Constitution of the United States. In Japan, it is the Diet. In Israel, it is the Knesset. In Britain, it is the Parliament. But in every case it is a basic law-making body or a basic constitution of some kind (because I just mentioned the law-making bodies). Yet they are all based on a basic constitution of some sort. Otherwise, there would be no government.
   Then the Days of Unleavened Bread: The crucified Christ was pictured by the Passover. That was the very beginning of {1} God's spiritual plan. (I'm going to cover it all just a little later.) Then in the spring came the Day of Pentecost—the coming of the Holy Spirit, because we try to put sin out of our lives; and, brethren, we are just not able. Every one of you listening to me now has committed sin, and not only before but even after you have been converted and received the Holy Spirit of God—believe it or not.
   In I John, we read that if anyone says (and that's speaking to those that are converted, in the Church); and if anyone says that he has not sinned, he just is mistaken and doesn't know what he's saying. But:
   I John 1:11 IF we confess our sins [and if we repent of them], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.
   We can come out of it. We don't need to continue on in that type of life any longer. You know, the majority of people in the world are blinded to that; and the god of this world has blinded them, as you will read in II Corinthians 4:3-4. The world is blinded, and they just can't see.
   I wish that all could have heard a sermon that we heard here yesterday, on eyesight. I was especially concerned because my eyesight is growing dimmer, and it is a very great handicap. But there are two kinds of eyesight—physical eyesight and spiritual eyesight. I am so grateful to God that my spiritual eyesight is still very good, although my physical eyesight is becoming very dim indeed.


   Now we just celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, which pictures the Millennium. About fifteen days ago… Well, it's a little more than that now—21 days ago, we celebrated the Feast of Trumpets that pictures the second coming of Christ. He's coming to rule and take over the throne of the earth as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
   Then on the tenth day of this seventh month of God's calendar; and just now (Let's see, there are {2}seven days in a week.) twelve days ago, we celebrated the Day of Atonement—where Satan will be put away. We will be made at-one with God. At-one-ment, or Atonement.
   Then came the Feast of Tabernacles—the thousand years reign with Christ after He comes. Satan will be put away, and we'll begin to have peace in the world. Now peace isn't going to come immediately at the beginning of the Millennium. I wonder if you all realize that? It is going to take time. It will take two or three generations, because the world will have to be re-educated. And there's one thing, as an educator—having started three colleges (or been used of God in starting them)—I have learned that it is about ten times harder to unlearn error and false beliefs than it is to learn something new you never knew before. This world is going to have to go through a period of unlearning, of getting rid of false conceptions, of false ideas, of false philosophies, of false concepts of life and what it means and what life is all about.
   But gradually—with Christ ruling, and those of this congregation listening to me now, and those who've gone before and have died… Yet, when He comes, they will be resurrected and will rise first; and we, which remain, will be changed in an instant (quicker than you can bat an eye). This mortal will put on immortality. We'll be changed from human to divine; and we will rule with Him.
   We'll be caught up in the air to meet Christ. Why will we be caught up in the air? We're not going to heaven. He's not coming to meet us as we're on the way to heaven. Rather, He's coming back to the earth, and we are going to rise to meet Him as He's coming down. We are going to come on back down with Him, and be forever with Him; and we'll all come down on the Mount of Olives.
   Now, we are scattered all over this earth, and my voice now…some will hear it tomorrow or on the Sabbath day, a day later or two days later in your part of the country. Incidentally, in Australia and New Zealand and that part of the world it is already 'tomorrow,' believe it or not. It's already tomorrow morning over there; because we're living on a round earth, and we keep time as time comes to us.
   You know, we don't keep the Sabbath day at exactly the same time that they do in Australia or New Zealand. It comes to them first. We live on a round earth, and time is measured by the earth turning on its axis and by the sun as it reflects on the earth. We keep the day when the day comes to us.
   But even though we have now celebrated the Millennium and the Feast of Tabernacles picturing 1,000 years with Satan gone and Jesus Christ here sitting on the throne of the earth and ruling all people, that is not going to be the end. Satan will have been imprisoned. That's true. But Satan will then be loosed for a little season; and he's going to go out to deceive the nations, and he will deceive them (as you read beginning the 7th verse of Revelation the 20th chapter).
   Now the Millennium didn't picture either the beginning or the ending of God's purpose and His Master Plan for accomplishing that. The Passover began it, and today we picture that event that will end it. So today I want to cover both the beginning and the ending briefly so that we get the background and that we understand.


   It has been my custom recently to stick pretty closely to the trunk of the tree and the roots that bear the trunk. You know, God's whole purpose (and His whole Master Plan of working it out) might very well be pictured as a large tree. It is supported by the root structure, and all of the branches are supported by the trunk. Then many branches, and then there are smaller branches off of those branches, and finally little twigs off of the small branches. But they are all part of the one and same trunk, and they all come from the root structure. The tree gains its life through the root structure, out of the ground.
   But I am so happy to notice that the ministers now are speaking of the many little branches, the smaller branches, and sometimes the twigs; but they bring in the details. I just give you the general outline, the general overall purpose—so that we understand where all of these smaller branches of God's plan fit in, and how they do. But God's Church is now getting back on the track. Thank God for that! And we have peace among ourselves such as we have never had since this Church was started.
   Now today I want to cover both the beginning and the ending in brief outline form. To begin, we begin way back where there were just two personages—two individual personages. One was God; and the other was called the Word, or the Logos {3} in the language in which the New Testament was written (the Greek language). It means Spokesman. It means Word or Spokesman.
   John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us [and became Jesus Christ.]
   So in the beginning was God and this Word; and the Word is the one who later (after perhaps billions and trillions times millions of years) became Jesus Christ. Now God and the Word had ALWAYS EXISTED. Your mind can't conceive that. I can't. You can't conceive the one who had always existed, never was a beginning.
   Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" [as we read in the book of Hebrews].


   But They began, just the Two. There was no earth. There was no sun and moon. There were no stars. There was no universe. Just those Two! Now They LIVED. In Them was Life, and so They lived. Now let me go through this very rapidly. How did They live? Why did They live? What did They do? If They lived, They had to be doing something. What did They do, and how did They live?
   Well, what They did: They were Creators. They created angels first and angels are composed of spirit. They are spirit beings, not of matter at all. And there was not yet an earth. There was not yet a sun. There were no planets, no Milky Way, no galaxies. Nothing! Just spirit beings. So first They created just the angels.
   But They lived together. Now how did They live? (I want to go to that first, before I go on to what They created.) They lived the way of love. God loved the Word. The Word, who became Jesus Christ, loved God. They cared about one another. They were concerned about one another.
   When Jesus was on earth and being baptized (about age 30), God spoke from heaven and said, "You are My BELOVED Son." He loved the Son, in whom He was well pleased. Jesus loved the Father, and They loved one another. Their way of life, then—Their life style, if you please (People are interested in life style today.)—God's life style was that of love. Love meant cooperation. It meant serving. It meant helping. It meant being concerned about one another and the welfare of the other. It meant caring, and that is the way They lived.
   Now, in the Bible—which is the Word of God and the foundation of all truth—it says two cannot walk together except they be agreed; and that is true. You can't. You can't get along with someone that is just hostile and disagrees with you in everything. But there is another thing too about two getting along together. Two cannot go along together except one is the leader. One has to be the boss.
   The young woman, I've said many times, who says "I don't want any promise to obey in my marriage ceremony" means "I'm going to be the boss." She will say, "I want to live 50-50. We're going to have a 50-50 marriage." Oh, no, they're not! There is no such thing.
   If the man does not have the authority that God gave him…and it should be (as one of our ministers said here, in a sermon at the opening of the college year: it should be) loving authority—the kind of authority that cares about his wife. It is concern for her good, and her welfare, and her happiness just as much (and sometimes perhaps even a little more than) his own. That's the kind of authority he should have—that that is kind, considerate, patient, and all of those things.
   That is the way it was between God and the Word. But now, one of Them was the boss; and that was God. He was the leader. Jesus said, when He was on earth, "I have kept My Father's commandments." He was the Word. He said, "I have not spoken except what the Father told Me to speak (what He commanded Me to speak)."
   Now, Their work was creation; and yet They were both in creation. How? In Ephesians 3:9, you will read that God created EVERYTHING. But how did God create everything? He created everything BY Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Word; and He spake (as one of the Psalms tells us), and it was done. When He spoke, the POWER that emanated from God the Father and from Christ—the power of the Holy Spirit—leaped forward and DID what He said; and He only said what God the Father told Him.


   Look at the co-operation. Look at the order and the system. That Way of Life became a law. I spoke before the law school of the University of Southern California recently. I gave them my concept of law. A member of the Supreme Court of California, who was in the audience, came up to me later and said, "You gave us something to think about. We never thought of it that way before."
   Law is simply the rules of the game. It is the rules of living—of conduct, of performance, of behavior. For example: the rules of a football game (or a basketball game} you might call THE LAW of the game, because the law is merely the order or direction of life, or life style, or performance.
   Sin (we hear so much about in the Bible, and in Christian circles)… Sin (although most professed Christians don't even know what sin is)… "Sin is the transgression of the law." But it's the law of God.
   The law of God is His Way of Life, and that's the way I just mentioned to you. It's the way of LOVE. God loved the Son (That is, He became God's Son when He was born.), and Jesus loved God; and the Word previously had loved God. They loved one another. Now that is how they lived, and that is A LAW; and that is the law of God. That is the law by which God RULES the entire universe!
   Now law is the foundation of government. How do you define government? Government is simply the administration of law. I don't like the word just enforcement of law. It is more than that. It is the administration of law. That includes enforcement, when necessary.
   Of course, all government requires a leader. There has to be leadership. And like a tree and its branches, it comes from the leader (which is the trunk of the tree). In this case, Christ is the trunk and God is the root structure. God is the head of Christ, and Christ is the head of the Church. But God is the head over ALL. Over everything that exists is God Himself—God Almighty. Now God sits on the throne of the universe, and God has a government. That government is over all creation!


   Well, now the time came (after He had created angels) that then He created the physical universe and the earth. In both Genesis 1 and the 2nd chapter of Genesis, you will find that God created THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE at the same time, at the same day He created this earth. Most people don't seem to know that. It's right there in your Bible. He created the universe, and that was after angels; because, when He created the earth, you read in the 38th chapter of Job that the angels were already there. The morning stars were singing. That meant the archangels, the cherubs.
   All the angels of God were shouting for joy because this earth was made to be their abode, their home. They were put on the earth. That was before any man had ever come into existence. Man didn't come by a gradual process of evolution, by resident forces, and out of nothing, and without planning or design. But man was created by God and through Jesus Christ. So finally man was created.
   But first He put angels on this earth. On the throne of the earth, He put a super archangel, a cherub, called Lucifer. His name was Lucifer. Now God names things, or people, what they are. What was he? Shining star of the dawn. The name Lucifer means "shining star of the dawn" or "light bringer." Bringing light. And he had been given the light, because he was one of the two archangels whose wings had overspread the very throne of God in God's heaven at the throne of the entire universe (after He had created the universe).
   He was already well schooled in God's law and God's government; and he was set on a throne on this earth to ADMINISTER the government of God on the earth. Now that meant to administer the way of love. He could have been the leader; and he would have still had to look at the Supreme Leader, of God. But he was sent here to administer God's law of love.
   He lifted himself some way and realized he was supremely beautiful. His brightness was like the brightness of the sun in beauty, and he began to glorify himself. He began to be jealous of God. He must have thought: "Well, here I am on this one little earth. It's only a tiny speck in all of the great universe, and God has all the rest of the universe. He only gave me this earth." So he said, "I'm going to ascend. I'm going to arm my angels that are under me, and we'll go up and pull a coup. We'll knock God off the throne. I'm going to take over. I want to be God. I want to be something bigger!" And so they ascended up to heaven.
   Now this Lucifer was perfect in all his ways from the day he was created, as you read in the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel. (Ezekiel, the 28th chapter) But sin entered. He was perfect in his ways till iniquity was found in him, as you read in Ezekiel 28. Iniquity is lawlessness. Instead of observing law, he turned against the law of God—or against love, against cooperation, against giving and caring and concern for others. He was concerned about self. He loved himself.
   As I said a week ago over the microwave to all of you, it was like the song that was so popular, when we came out to Oregon from Iowa, back in 1924. The song typified the way of this world. It was I LOVE ME. "Oh, I love me. I'm wild about myself. I put my arms around myself and give myself a squeeze. Oh, I just love me! I'm wild about myself! I'll marry me some day. I love me." But I don't love you. Now that became the way of this Satan {4}, and here he was on the throne of the earth.


   Now God created mankind next, starting with one man whose name was Adam. So He created Adam. You read in II Peter, the second chapter and fourth verse, that the angels (at least, one-third of them) sinned. We think of angels as being holy. Well, perhaps two-thirds of them still are; but one-third of them sinned. One-third were on the earth, and they sinned. So the government of God was no longer operated on the earth, and it was replaced by Satan's government.
   Now what is Satan's government? It is just the opposite. That's the thing that the world does not understand, and I think we did not understand it until recently. I've come to see it. So now listen, because perhaps you didn't understand this before. Satan has a law that is the basis of his government, and he rules the earth. He rules over the nations of this earth, of this whole world; and his law is VANITY.
   Vanity seized him when he saw how beautiful he was, just like it seizes women when they want to paint their faces. Vanity! You see, if mother Eve had had a looking glass or a mirror to look into, she might have painted her face. The only reason she didn't, was that she didn't have a mirror—because she took the way of vanity. She chose that which looked good and was going to make her wise, and that appealed to intellectual vanity. But men have vanity too. All people do. That means self, and it means self-love. "I love me," as I just said. That is the way of humanity. Now Satan's way is love yourself. That is, do your own thing. Have your own idea.
   So God created man on the earth, and man wasn't complete physically. God wanted man to reproduce and have children, but the poor man couldn't do it; and so God gave him a wife. One man with one woman together became one family. They were joined as one, and they did have children. Now they could reproduce.
   But they were not completed mentally or spiritually either. God made them with one human spirit in the human brain, and that gave them human intelligence. (The one spirit in the brain of man.) And man is a soul. God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man, made of the dust of the ground, became a soul. The dust of the ground is a soul; and God put a spirit in that soul, (made of the dust of the ground). That spirit empowers the human brain with intellect.
   Animals have brains just like men, like humans; and just as good. The physical brain is just as good, but they can't think. They can't know what men can know. They can't reason. They can't make decisions. They can't plan and design. They have no concern for beauty, for art and literature, and for things of that sort. The spirit in man gives man the capacity for things like that, and the spirit in man was necessary because God had A PURPOSE in creating man. He created man TO BECOME GOD! God was REPRODUCING HIMSELFIN MAN! He wanted man to reproduce so there would be a lot of them, to become a lot of Him ultimately and eventually.
   He said, (the same principle) two can't walk together except they be agreed; but one must be the leader. Adam was told to be the leader, and he should have ruled over Eve with loving authority. But he wasn't on the job; and, when he wasn't looking, Eve just sort of stole away. She wasn't obedient.


   So the devil came along, and the devil began to tempt her. Now the devil didn't say to her, "Look, don't worship God. You worship me. Look, I'm on the throne of the earth. I want you to worship me. I'm the god of this earth." He didn't say that. Did you ever think of that? Go back and read it again, and see. No, he said, "Look at that Tree." Now, of course, he said: "God wasn't fair. God didn't give you everything." You see, He hadn't given Satan everything. He kept everything back except the earth. But God gave man EVERYTHING in the garden, except one Tree.
   You take a little child about nine months old, put him on the floor, and put about eight or ten toys around; and point to one and say "You mustn't touch that one. Can't touch that. Just play with the others. Don't touch this." Then you go off, and close the door, and look through the keyhole, and see what he'll do. He'll go for the one you told him not to touch every time. That is because he is influenced by Satan and doesn't realize it.
   Satan is the prince of the power of the air, he broadcasts in attitudes, and he begins….You know, most parents today neglect their children until they are six-years-old; and then they cart them off to school, and let the teacher take care of them. But Satan doesn't neglect your children! Satan is on the job; and he gets to them, and puts within their little minds his attitudes of self, of vanity, of selfishness. They have it before they are a year old.
   So Eve took of that Tree, and gave to her husband. Instead of having watched over her and preventing her from sinning, he went along with her and let her be the leader. And look at the fruits of it today. Today women are trying to rule everything. Women are trying to rule everything today.
   You know, when I had a very nice half-hour with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of England last autumn, I said to her "Now I can say I've met all four of the women who are ruling great nations in this world." She started to try to name the other three. Well, she named Indira Gandhi first, because Mrs. Gandhi had visited her just about two or three weeks before I did. Then she said Golda Meir. Then she hesitated on the other one until I reminded her it was Mrs. Bandaranaike of Sir Lanka. "Oh, yes."
   Well, now, President Nixon thought she was a pretty tough woman. He didn't like to talk with her, because she was tough. I found her very charming indeed, very gracious and very charming. She took me into her living room, and not her office; and we had a nice half-hour together. The only other person present was her secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong. He was an Armstrong also, so she had two Armstrongs in the room with her. I got a little kick out of that, of course.
   Well, women are gradually beginning to take over. Do you know, it was mother Eve who started the E.R.A Movement? E.R.A. means "Eve Rules Adam." That's what it means. That's the way it started.


   God's purpose was to reproduce Himself. But to reproduce Himself, man had a spirit; but he had to have more. He had to develop character. Character is the main thing. If you want to know what God is, first of all God is holy, perfect, righteous, spiritual character. That is: knowing the right way, and making the decision; and the will to go that way and no other way. That is character.
   Now man had to develop that character. God did not give him immortality. God is a Spirit, but He made man out of the dust of the ground. Man had a mind, and that mind was capable of knowing good and evil. There was one Tree—the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man had the ability created within him to come to a knowledge of good and evil. That is, his own concept of good. In the world, the people that don't know God and don't know Jesus Christ, there are many that are good in this world's standards. They have high ideals, and a code of ethics, good morality, upstanding; but there's a lot of selfishness in it.
   Perhaps the highest kind of love we know, just naturally among people that are not converted, is mother love. A mother loves her child, and that's a very beautiful thing. But, you know, even that is selfish. She loves her child because it is hers. It came out of her. She doesn't love other children the same manner that she loves her own. The love that fulfills God's law is a higher love than that. It is the love that God has.


   Satan, in a sense, KIDNAPPED the first man and woman. Satan KIDNAPPED them! It was then decreed, as you read in Revelation (Let me see. It's Revelation 13… I forget the exact passage.) but Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. In other words, the foundation of the world is when Adam started this world by making the wrong decision and selling himself out to Satan.
   Now Satan kidnapped him. At that time, God decided He would pay the ransom price. A ransom was demanded to regain the one that was kidnapped. Perhaps you never thought of it quite in that way before. So let me give you something you didn't think of before. When God paid the ransom…
   You know, they kidnap a child of a multimillionaire. They demand one million dollars ransom. Well, maybe the man is worth a hundred million. He winces when he does it, but he gives them one of those millions to pay the ransom to get his son (or daughter) back from the kidnapper. Do you know what God did? He gave HIS ALL! All He had was in His Son, Jesus Christ; and "He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever [would believe] in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (The golden text of the Bible)
   Now Jesus right there had to offer to come down and be a human being, and Satan wanted to kidnap Him too. He said, "GIVE ME YOUR OWN SON, and I'll get Him just like I got Adam. You intended Adam to become Your son. I kidnapped him. Send me Your own Son, Jesus Christ. I'll kidnap Him too." So God GAVE His only begotten Son. Satan tried to kidnap Him when He was a little baby, an infant just born. But God had Him taken down to Egypt where Satan's cohorts on earth couldn't find Him.
   [**Part of the sermon is missing at 42:54, where the cassette tape was turned over here. During the missing section, it appears Mr. Armstrong was talking about Satan's temptation of Jesus Christ as found in Matthew 4.]
   Also, I think, the fourth chapter of Luke. But Jesus refused. He refused to be kidnapped. And do you know that He gave His life in order to ransom us? Instead of being kidnapped, He paid the ransom price for you, and for me, and for EVERY human being on the face of the earth—because He was our Maker, and His life was more valuable than all of our lives combined; and He gave that. He gave that for us no matter what we've done.
   For those who'd thumbed their nose at Him, who cursed His name, for those who put a crown of thorns on His head, who spit in His face, who mocked Him, who beat Him until He was almost ready to drop and unable even to carry His own cross very far (He was so weak)—yet He prayed, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing;" and He gave His life for them. He GAVE HIS ALL!
   You know, I was thinking of it this morning during the talk just before the annual holy day offering: How much do we give? We give a little bit. Well, God only demands 10% of what have as a tithe, plus whatever offering we are able to give; and He lets us decide that—according to the generosity of our own heart and according to ability. But just think what God gave! How much have you given? And how much did He give?
   You know, I had to think while I was hearing Mr. Tkach on that (Well, I think I could say 'sermonette' he had this morning before the offering.) that God gave everything He had to redeem me, because I have sinned. Some people would hate me and think I ought to be killed. But (because I repented, and I confess it, and I don't want to do it any more, and I want to let Him come in and live my life for me from here on) He paid everything He had to redeem me.
   BUT THE WORLD DOESN'T WANT TO BE REDEEMED. THE WORLD WANTS TO STAY KIDNAPPED. You see, {4} Satan was the shining star of the dawn; but he turned into darkness, and he turned the world into darkness. Jesus came as a LIGHT to the world. He said: "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world; but men love darkness rather than the light." They want to stay kidnapped.
   Most of the people in the world say: "Get away. I don't want to hear about God and about how He ransomed me and paid the price to get me back. I don't want God. I like the kidnapper better. I want his darkness. I don't want God's light." How the world is like that! Where are they going to end up? Where is it going to get them?
   You know, I know how it's going to all come out. I know how my life is going to come out. I looked in the end of the Book—the Bible—(way over here in the end, the last chapter) to see how it comes out. I know how it comes out. I win, and you can win too; and we can all win! God paid the price so we could. Let's never forget that.


   Well, so a world developed. Adam's family had been kidnapped, and they grew into this world. They followed Satan's law and Satan's government; and he's still on that throne ruling, and his government is every man do your own thing. Don't agree. Now, his rule says: Well, organize. Unionize—get together in a group for selfish advantage against another group. That's all right. But fall out even with your own group when it serves your own personal vanity, and your own personal greed, and your lusts. Whatever you want, go after it. Get it for yourself. That is Satan's way.
   Well, when Adam made that choice, God closed the Tree of Life, which was freely offered. God offered Adam IMMORTAL Life, self-sustaining Life, INHERENT Life within himself; and Adam rejected it. But (It was Revelation 13:8 I was trying to think of the scripture a while ago, I have it here in my notes.) Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world; and that was the foundation of the world. So what God decreed right then was that it was appointed to man once to die, but after that the JUDGMENT. That's what we are coming to today. That's Hebrews 9:27 in the New Testament. It's appointed unto all men once to die, and after that the judgment.
   Now how can there be a judgment after you die? Well, I Corinthians 15 beginning with verse 22 explains that:
   I Corinthians 15:22 As in Adam ALL DIE...
   God pronounced the sentence of death if Adam disobeyed and took of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. That is, he took to himself the knowledge of what's right and what's wrong. To do his own thing, in other words! That's what Satan wanted him to do. That was Satan's law!
   Now the Tree of Life was God's law. Adam had to make a choice between God's law, which would have given him immortal Life; and that was the law of love. Love is the fulfilling of the law, but it takes the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit; and Adam never had the Holy Spirit—which he could have had, and which God offered him freely. Instead he took to himself the knowledge of good and evil, to go his own way and do his own thing; and his children have been doing it ever since.
   But God also decreed that: "As in Adam ALL DIE…" And all have been dying in Adam. Everyone except those alive today; and no one is 150 years on earth yet. Everyone else who ever lived is already dead. But they have all died in Adam.
   I Corinthians 15:22 As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shallALLbe made alive.
   ALL shall be made alive, and in a judgment that is to come. Now more about that just a little later.


   Alright, Jesus came for a purpose. He came as the Second Adam. It is prophesied of Him in the 9th chapter of Isaiah (verses 6 and 7) that He would be born as a baby, that He would grow up, and the government of God would be on His shoulders. He would rule. His name would be called Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace, and so on. That was a prophecy of Jesus.
   So, in due time, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. He grew up; and Satan tried to kidnap Him, and didn't succeed. Jesus then said, "I will build My Church." Then He began teaching His gospel. He called twelve disciples and began to teach them. Twelve. Now, He was the start of God's world!
   Satan's world started with Adam. Satan sits on the throne; and this is his world, and all in it are his people. You look beginning with verse 30 in the 8th chapter of John in the New Testament, and you will find (several verses on past the 30th verse there, you will find) that all on this earth—even those who "believe" in Jesus Christ—are children of Satan the devil unless or until they receive the Spirit of God and are begotten as children of God. You are the children of Satan the devil UNTIL you are begotten of God by His Holy Spirit.
   Then Jesus began preaching His gospel. It was the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Now "gospel" means "good news." He was a newscaster, and His news was really news. It hadn't happened yet. It was news of the future. It was a prophecy: the Kingdom of God, which means the government of God over the earth. A kingdom, a government; and He is going to rule it. He is going to restore the government of God to this earth. Satan had it, and Satan turned away from his agency to administer God's law. Jesus is going to rebuild it.


   In Joel 2 and verse 28, you will read the time is going to come when God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Now, at the time of Adam—the foundation of the world—God closed off the Holy Spirit. But the time is coming, said the prophet Joel, when He will pour out His Spirit ON ALL FLESH. Well, that time hasn't come yet.
   That time hasn't come yet; but Jesus intended that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on those that God called, and He began to preach His gospel. He taught it to the Twelve. He told them go out and teach others. But He also said, in John 6:44:
   John 6:44 NO MAN can come to me, except the Father which hath sent medraws him.
   So God isn't calling the world to salvation yet; and that word "yet" is very, very important because the time is coming when God will call EVERY human being that's ever been born. God isn't playing favorites. He isn't playing favorites at all. But He calls some out, first to learn the way so they can help teach others the way; and that's for the good of the others that are not yet called—that there be some that can help them and teach them.
   That's why you're here, brethren: every one of you that has the Holy Spirit of God. You have been called and chosen by God for a very definite purpose. So many times all through the New Testament (time after time, after time, after time) it says we have to be called. We have to be chosen. We are a chosen generation even.
   The Church is only the firstfruits of God's harvest. His harvest, ultimately, will be the entire earth—the entire world, every one ever born. Now the first-born son's name was Cain (the son of Adam and Eve). He had a brother whose name was Abel. But they had the spirit of competition and strife—Satan's idea of your own way, do your own thing. Cain didn't like his brother, Abel; so he killed him. Then God said, "Where is your brother?" He LIED.
   People today think they can lie. One said to one of our ministers: "You do so-and-so, and I'll lie about you; and I'll get you. See, I'm not a member of the Church; and I can lie. I'm able to lie. I'm not a member of the Church. You don't dare lie because you're in the Church." Well, you know, the penalty of lying is just as much on someone that is not in the Church as it is on someone that is in the Church. But this poor girl didn't know that. That was just too bad because no liar is going to get into the Kingdom of God; but many liars are going to get in there by repenting, and confessing it, and being forgiven because God had to pay by giving His all—giving His only begotten Son; and Jesus had to pay by giving His life in order that we can be reconciled after all of that.
   But Jesus put the government of God in His Church, and the government of God… But it didn't last in the Church. They began to lose a whole lot of what was started in the Church. The gospel of the Kingdom of God was suppressed. You read in Galatians 1:6-7, also in II Corinthians the 11th chapter, you read of how the apostle Paul feared that Satan might beguile and deceive the people in the Church at Corinth (just as he had mother Eve); and how he had his ministers—Satan's ministers—POSING as the ministers of Jesus Christ.
   They're not ministers of Christ at all. They are really ministers of Satan and Satan's law. They have their own sense of good, and they preach only good. That's the whole idea. They preach good, but it's not good enough. It's not the good of God. It's not the good of God's love and God's Holy Spirit. It's only human good and human love.


   But in Malachi the 3rd chapter, the first five verses, God made another prophecy. The Church now had turned to a false gospel. Down through time (And you saw it on the film, 'Behind The Work'. I hope you have all seen that film. It was shown twice here. It was shown in most all Feast sites twice.), there were the various eras of time, and we are in the sixth era now (and the seventh is yet to come) in the Philadelphia Era of time of the Church. At this time, God was going to raise up someone who would prepare the way for the second coming of Christ. If you read verses 2 through 4 and 5 in Malachi 3, you will find it is not speaking of the first coming but the second.
   John the Baptist was merely A TYPE. He came as a voice crying out in the physical wilderness of the Jordan River, to a physical world and announcing the coming of the human, physical Jesus coming to a temple built of stone, and wood, and other metals (the temple in Jerusalem) and to His own human physical people. He came to His own, but they didn't receive Him. They rejected Him, all but the few.
   So he was a type, and one was to come in these last days crying out in the SPIRITUAL wilderness of religious confusion, and all the confusion of the world, and all of its competition, and its organizations (one against another). Husband and wife against one another, parents and children against each other, family against next-door neighbor, group against group, black against white or white against black (or whichever); but contentions—nation against nation, organization against organization; everyone for himself. Everything get! Everything is get, not give.
   Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive; and God's law is based on the way of love, and give, and share, and serve. Satan's law is GET all you can get, take them for all you can get out of them. That is Satan's law; and many they are. They only look at what little temporary "good" they can get in this life. If they can get money, they'll do anything they can to get it.
   Well, Jesus came; and during His ministry He said, in Matthew 17:10-11… Now, let me see. Matthew 17 and verses 10 and 11; He said:
   Matthew 17:10 His disciples asked [Jesus], saying, Why then say the scribes that [Elijah] must first come?
   Now {5} John the Baptist had already come; and, at the time they said this, {5}John the Baptist had already been beheaded. He had finished his ministry. He had been taken a prisoner, and had been put to death. And they said, "Why does it say that Elijah must first come?" Jesus had just been showing them, in the Transfiguration, the Kingdom of God—Himself, and Elijah, and Moses in the Kingdom of God. So they asked Him, well, that's before He would come and in the Kingdom.
   Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, [Elijah] truly SHALL first come…
   John the Baptist already had come and was now dead! But He said, "Elijah SHALL [yet in the future, "shall"] come, and RESTORE all things.
   Tell me, please, what did John the Baptist restore? Read your Bibles. See if you can find it. John the Baptist didn't restore anything. What was to be restored just before Jesus Christ comes? Government, THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD IN THE CHURCH! It had gone out of the Church. The true gospel, which had not been preached! Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
   There was a blank of history, the first century of the Church. This much we know: there was a violent controversy on whether the gospel should be a gospel of Christ or a gospel about Christ. All we know is that, when the curtain lifts on the history of the Church 100 years later (about 150 A.D.), the gospel being preached was merely a gospel about Christ; and the gospel of Christ was the gospel that Christ preached, and that was the Kingdom of God. That's the gospel of Christ—the Kingdom of God.
   For 1900 years, the GOSPEL OF CHRIST was NOT PROCLAIMED! Yet, in Matthew 24 and verse 3 {6}, the disciples asked Jesus "What will be the sign of Your second coming?" He said, "This gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end of this world, (Satan's world) come." Brethren, that gospel has been proclaimed around the world by this Church! It has been proclaimed, and the government of God has been restored to the Church. The true gospel has been restored and proclaimed around the world—and before kings, and before men in high places in government all around this world. I think you saw it on some of the films that were shown you during the Feast.


   Now, in Revelation 11:15, we read of the second coming of Christ. (I see I'm not going to have time to finish. I'm going to keep you a little over time. I hope the lines of the satellite are open, because I'm going to finish this sermon.) The reason for Christ's return you'll find in {7} Acts the 3rd chapter, verses 19-21. The heavens have received Him until the time of restoration of all things. That is, the restoring. Restitution is the word used, and it means restoring to a former state or condition, restoring something that had been taken away.
   What was taken away was the government of God, and Jesus is coming to restore the government of God. It's already been restored just in the Church, but that's all. He's coming to restore it to the whole world and over all nations. In the 20th chapter of Revelation you read, in the first five verses (or the first three verses) you read of Satan being taken out of the way, who is ruling on that throne now, after the second coming of Christ.
   On the Feast of Trumpets, we celebrated the second coming of Christ to restore what had been taken away. That is, the government of God. Then on the Day of Atonement, we read of Satan being put away. You read of that in the 20th chapter of Revelation, verses 4-6. Satan will then be put away. Then will be a thousand years reign with Christ. But after that thousand years, he is going to be released for a little time.
   Now remember that the whole world was deceived, and deceived people didn't know about God. They didn't have any chance for salvation or eternal Life. It was SHUT OFF from them. But God is not unfair. He isn't going to do it. Rather, He raised up the Church, and we are to know so we can teach them and help them; and the time is coming for them. As I quoted to you from Hebrews 9:27, it was appointed unto all men once to die, and after that the judgment; and as in Adam they've all been dying, so in Christ they will all be made alive.
   Then we come to Revelation 20; and, let me see. Revelation 20, and beginning with verse 11. After Satan has been loosed and deceived a lot of the people on the earth once again, then Satan is put away PERMANENTLY and forever. Now, this is after the Millennium that we've been celebrating the last seven days. John telling what he saw in a vision that was to happen in the future, and he said he:
   Revelation 20:11-12 …saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it [will be Jesus Christ], from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away [The heavens meaning the sky above us, the earth's atmosphere.]; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [Those in that book are going to be given immortal Life through the Holy Spirit of God.]; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books.
   Now then, what about the millions and billions of people that have never heard the true gospel of God? They've never heard the gospel of the Kingdom of God. For 1,900 years after about 53 A.D. that gospel was never proclaimed to the world. What about all those people? Jesus said, "Repent, and believe the gospel." Without the knowledge of the gospel, they couldn't believe it; and they didn't hear it. They couldn't have believed it. So now is the time they are going to come up for judgment.


   Now judgment is a process. We go into a court. There's a judge sitting on the bench. It's a matter of a trial—whether you are innocent or guilty, and which way it goes and what decision the judge is going to make; and he's going to be some time making this judgment. But they're going to give account for everything they did in this life. Now those that are not converted and have not received Christ as their Savior, have not received His Holy Spirit but say "I can lie. I am not in the Church. I can lie."
   There was a man up in Oregon that said "Well, I don't have to tithe. I'm not a member of the Church. Just you have to tithe." So I preached a sermon that the law applies to everybody, and he'll have to give account in the judgment if he didn't. You know, after he heard that sermon (he was there, present), he came and brought his tithe in. Right away things began to happen for him, and he collected money he thought he'd never see again. It was during the Depression, he didn't have anything. Now everything began to go well with him financially, as soon as he paid that tithe; and he tithed all he had.
   Well, there is going to be a judgment. Those that are judged according to how they lived; and they are going to be pronounced guilty, because the wages of sin is DEATH. That's a sentence, and they sinned. But then they're going to hear… Many of them were born long before Christ, and they don't know that He came and died for them. They died not knowing that. Others don't understand it. They've never really consciences. God hasn't opened their minds. They are going to learn for the first time that God paid the penalty in their stead.
   Jesus Christ on the throne is going to say, "YOU'RE GUILTY." And the Lake of Fire… you may think fire only lasts a few seconds, as one woman said. Oh, it's going to be a lot worse than that! Don't kid yourself, but take advantage of God's mercy while there's time. They are going to find that Jesus paid the penalty for them. It's already been paid, if they would just accept it. They don't have to pay it.
   Sure, the penalty is DEATH! The penalty is BURNING UP IN FIRE, until you are BURNED UP. But they're not going to have to pay that penalty if they accept Christ's penalty—the blood of Christ—instead. That applies to all, even though they sin willingly, as long as it's not willful to the extent that they say "Anyhow, I'm just going to go on. I'd rather go into a lake of fire." As long as they want to turn around, and go the other way, and do the right thing—the door is open.
   Now back in Matthew 12, verses 41 and 42. Jesus said:
   Matthew 12:41-42 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment [Now this is in the judgment, the Great White Throne Judgment.] with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah: and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here. (42) [Then He said:] The queen of the south [from Egypt] shall rise up in the judgment with this generation…
   You know, that makes me think, I had lunch just a few weeks ago with (you might say) the queen of the south. In other words, the former first lady of Egypt—Madame Jehan (or Madame Sadat). I had lunch with her in San Francisco. She is the queen of the south, or was for a while. She would like to be again, I think.
   Matthew 12:42 …and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
   It's speaking of a judgment that is coming. Now Jesus spoke of that judgment in other places. Sodom and Gomorrah are going to fare better in the judgment than those Pharisees that denied Christ even though they heard Him in person and were there when He was there.


   Then, finally, I'd like to turn to the Old Testament—Ezekiel 37. I hope that was mentioned in many places this morning. It was here, I know, in the auditorium here in Pasadena. Ezekiel 37 and beginning with verse 1. This was spoken to ancient Israel, who was God's only people at that time (prior to Christ).
   Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the [Eternal] was upon me [said Ezekiel], and carried me in the spirit [that is, in vision] of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.
   Now a lot of people are puzzled about that valley of dry bones. I remember hearing a sermon by, oh, this woman evangelist from Los Angeles of about 30-40 years ago—Aimee Semple McPherson. She had an illustrated sermon in her church in Los Angeles, and she had a lot of paper things that looked like dry bones up there on the stage; and she said, "Now who and what are these dry bones?" She said that represented all the other churches in the world. "They are all dry and dead. But we are alive here in this church; and we are not the dry bones, we are the resurrection." Well, that was her interpretation!
   Now let's see what God's interpretation is:
   Ezekiel 37:2-9 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. [In other words, they'd been dead quite a long time. Skeletons.] (3) And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. [He didn't know.](4) Again he said unto me, Prophecy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. (5) Thus said the Lord [ETERNAL] unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live [Speaking of those that are dead that are going to be resurrected. As in Adam all die, all will be made alive through Christ.]: (6) And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you [This is all material now, you'll notice. Not spiritual.], and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD [the ETERNAL]. (7) So [Ezekiel said] I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking [In other words, an earthquake.], and the bones came together, bone to his bone. (8) And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. (9) Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind [or the air], … Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
   Now this is just physical life, because there's nothing said about spirit here.
   Ezekiel 37:10-11 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. [There are going to be billions, because they're not only going to be those of the nation Israel but all nations; and they were only a type of all the other nations.] (11) Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are [Not just the other dead churches, as Aimee Semple McPherson said. These bones are…]the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our HOPE is lost [They had no hope.]: we are cut off for our parts.
   If they could be alive and could know, that's what they would be thinking.
   Ezekiel 37:12-13 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus said the Lord [ETERNAL]: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (13) And you shall KNOW that I am the LORD.
   They didn't know that in their lifetime. They didn't really know Him. Now they were going to come to know Him, in the resurrection to judgment!
   Ezekiel 37:13 You shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, (14) And [Now, once they come to KNOW HIM, and once they find that He has paid the penalty of their sins in their stead, they are going to accept Him, and He is going to] … put my spirit in you. [Now they were resurrected mortal, no spirit. After they had come to KNOW HIM, He would put His Spirit into them in that Great White Throne Judgment after the resurrection.], and ye shall live [That is, they will have eternal Life, Life eternal, self-existing Life.], and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD [your God].


   Now there's a prophecy in Isaiah 65. I am overtime, and I'm not going to take time to go to it now; but there will be a period of 100 years. They'll have 100 years to learn the way of God, to have His Holy Spirit. Satan will be gone. The Kingdom of God will have been on earth for 1,000 years. They will have all of us (then immortal) helping them, loving them, wanting to help them have life and develop THE CHARACTER OF GOD; and they can become God.
   Finally, EVERYONE is going to have their opportunity of salvation. I don't mean… That's not a universal salvation. Some are going to go into a lake of fire. But I can't help but believe that, once they're eyes are opened and they come to really understand, that most of them are going to come to God. Most of them are going to want to live. They are going to find that that way is better.
   You know, I'm reminded of our summer camps: up at Orr, Minnesota; in Big Sandy, Texas; over in Loch Lomond in Scotland; and I'm going to the camps very soon, in January, down in Australia and New Zealand (because that will be their summer down there). But I am just reminded of how children come and learn there is a better way of life than they knew back home. They were with the kids; many of them had been using marijuana and some other drugs perhaps. They'd been doing the way of other kids. And they learn there's another way of life, and it's more fun.
   You know, kids just think of one thing until they are about sixteen. I don't think they think of much anything else until sixteen. Then they begin to think a little bit seriously, perhaps, between sixteen and eighteen years of age. But they only think of fun. Isn't that what you thought of until you were sixteen? You know it is. But then we begin to think a little more seriously about life, and its meaning, and what it does mean.
   God has made it possible for all of us to live forever in happiness and joy! In a way that's just thrilling! It's so satisfying. It's so fulfilling. It's so wonderful. BEYOND what anyone can possibly know! You know, I wish everybody could know; but, in due time, they will.
   We have enemies that have gone out of the Church, brethren. Somehow they were blinded. They didn't see the truth. You know, they are the ones that I pray for every day. I don't think I pray for all of you every day. I finally get around to you, but you don't need it as badly as my enemies do; and I pray for them every day because I love them. They don't know it. They don't think I do, but I do; and I pray for them.
   I know God is hearing my prayers; and, sooner or later, something good is going to happen to them. That's the love of God: that you can pray for your enemies. I don't think I learned that until somewhat recently. You can pray for your friends; but it's pretty heard to pray for those that despitefully use you, those that want to harm you, those that would just like to see you DEAD. There's been a lot of people waiting for me to die, and I just haven't died soon enough to please them. But I do pray for them; and, for their sakes, I hope God will let me live a little longer so I can continue praying more for them; and I think He will.
   Well, look, I want to read one scripture in closing. There's a lot more. I haven't had time to finish all of it. It is a wonderful thing, a wonderful story; but in Romans... Let's see. In Romans the 11th chapter, and I'll just read verse 33.
   Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments [We've been talking about His judgments, and the Great White Throne Judgment. How unsearchable are His judgments…], and his ways past finding out!
   How wonderful are God's ways, more than we can possibly realize!

{1} Editor's note: At first Mr. Armstrong said — the first of God's spiritual harvest. But then he corrected himself and said — the first of God's spiritual plan.

{2} Editor's note: While thinking out loud, Mr. Armstrong mistakenly said there are ten days in a week and then miscalculated, drawing the conclusion that the Day of Atonement had been seventeen days ago. However, falling on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement is actually twelve days before the Last Great Day (the day on which he was speaking for this sermon, and the twenty-second day of the seventh month on God's sacred calendar).

{3} Editor's note: At first Mr. Armstrong said the French language, but then he corrected himself.

{4} Editor's note: Although Mr. Armstrong hasn't explained it in this sermon, he always understood and taught that the super archangel Lucifer became Satan.

{5} Editor's note: Although Mr. Armstrong said — Elijah here, he undoubtedly meant John the Baptist (who was a type of Elijah, to come before Christ first coming), because it was John the Baptist — not Elijah of the Old Testament — who was put in prison and beheaded.

{6} Editor's note: Mr. Armstrong said verse 13, but it is actually Matthew 24:3 where the disciples asked the question of Christ.

{7} Editor's note: Mr. Armstrong said the book of Matthew, but he was speaking of Acts 3:19-21.

Last Great Day 1983

Sermon Date: September 29, 1983
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