When Christ comes, the whole world is going to be called! They won't be cut off from God any longer. It won't be that God just calls those he wants for a special mission. But they're not going to qualify to sit with Christ on that throne, and we are. They won't have to overcome Satan, and we do! I want you to get that distinction. Today is not God's time of trying to save the world!
Why did Jesus Christ raise up the church? What do we need a church for? And why didn't he just save individuals, alone by themselves? Why do we need the church, with an organization? What is the church for? What is its purpose? The real purpose and function of the church simply has not been understood. And very few of our own people in that church even understand it.
God Almighty is the creator, but he creates in a duality of stages. I wonder how many people know that. When he created this Earth, he didn't finish it. At the creation of the Earth, he intended it to be completed by angels that were put here, and angels inhabited this Earth before the first man was ever created. And God intended for them, this was their testing, proving ground.
God intended for them to work the Earth, to utilize the materials in the Earth, and to produce out of the Earth and to beautify the Earth, and to complete its creation. They were to have a part in the creation. Instead of that, they turned against God, led by the man that God, or the person (it wasn't a man at all, it was an archangel and the greatest being that God could create, so far as straight creation of God is concerned, the archangel Lucifer), and he was put here to administer the government of God.
Satan Turns Sour And Bitter But he turned sour and bitter, and turned against it. He thought, "Well, I was up there on the very throne of God, and now he's stuck me down here in this little place on this Earth, and I want to rule the whole thing." So he started a rebellion, and the result is he went in for destruction instead of building up and construction.
And we've come to the first chapter of Genesis and the 2nd verse — the Earth had become in a state of chaos and confusion, and the same state that we find the moon, the same state that I knew from the word of God, I knew that once we got cameras down on Mars, or any of these other planets, what we would find. We would find chaos and we would find decay (Genesis 1:2).
Now decay is not a created condition. Decay is something that has happened as a result of deterioration. Decay is something that takes a long time, in going the adverse direction. Now God did not create it that way. Then God came to realize that the only being, and really God had been with the Word, two actual beings, but they both were God. And that God was the only kind of being that had perfect character and would not go the wrong way.
The angels were put here to build character — that's something that God could not create in them. That's something he could not create in human beings. We were put on this Earth to build holy and righteous character. Now the creation of man is a duality, in two stages in the same way. God completed the first creation all at once. In the first week, when as you read in the 104th Psalm, in verse 30 (Psalm 104:30), that God renewed the face of the Earth — that was after the angels had ruined it and destroyed it. He renewed it for man, and once again, it was a beautiful garden spot. And the most beautiful spot of all was that Garden of Eden where he put Adam.
Now that was the beginning of God's human creation, of human beings, when God was reproducing himself. And it comes in two stages. First was Adam, and Adam was a perfect specimen, but Adam was not all there. Now I'm speaking literally. The difference between the human mind and an animal brain is there's a spirit in man that imparts the power of intellect to the physical brain. And the human brain is just like the animal brain, but it has that spirit in connection, and that spirit is something that gives us the power of contact with God which an animal doesn't have, and we were put here for a connection with God.
Physical Creation Completed So the physical creation was completed on the sixth day of that first week. That is, the physical creation of man. But the spiritual creation was just ready to start and begin, and that takes a long time. That's a long process. Now the physical creation began with Adam, a perfect physical man, but there was no character built within him, and there was no evil or bad character, neither one, just like we are born.
When we are born, a little baby born does not have an evil attitude or a hostile attitude. Neither does he have God's attitude, or neither does he have, really, the nature of God. He doesn't have the divine nature, but just as soon as he begins to absorb knowledge and to use his brain and think a little bit, Satan begins to fill him with a spirit, or an attitude, of vanity.
[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Conversion?] I have a booklet here that I hope can be shown on the television screen — Just What Do You Mean... Conversion? I would like to have everyone listening to this program get this booklet. There's no charge whatever, it's absolutely free. But very pro understand what conversion is. There's so much false conversion. You see, Satan is the deceiver, and the whole world, the Bible says, is deceived by him, until they don't even understand conversion.
Now it is a two-fold, dual process too. There is a time when you receive the Holy Spirit, if you really repented, if you have really surrendered to God, if you have been conquered by God. But that will of yours has to be conquered by God, and then you have to come to not only believe that there is God, and that God exists... As they say, "Well, I believe in God" — you know that means you believe there is such a personage. But you do believe God? There's a great difference.
Believe Him, Not On Him Believing God is believing what he says. I believe what's in this book her, because this is what he says. And that's what I believe, but I want to tell you, I don't have a lot of company. Most people in this world don't believe it at all. Even those who heard Jesus speak began to believe on him, but they didn't believe him. And he said to those Jews that believed on him, "Why do you seek to kill me? Because my word has no place in you, because you don't believe what I say." They didn't believe him, they just believed on him.
There is a great difference. You ever think of that difference? Now then, if you do really believe him, and you have really repented, and with your own faith you believe in him, you will then receive God's Holy Spirit, on baptism. And when you receive God's Holy Spirit, that is the impregnation of immortal life from God. Also, that is another spirit added to the spirit in your mind, that now will open your mind to comprehend and understand the things of God, to understand spiritual truth and spiritual knowledge.
But now, in one place the apostle Paul says we're just a babe in Christ at first. And a baby, a human baby, has to creep before he can walk, and he has to crawl and creep, and then finally begins to walk holding on to something. My friends and brethren, we don't grow up all at once spiritually either. Most people think if you have converted, if you just say you accept Christ, and all they do is believe on him, they don't really believe him, and they think they're saved. And they are in a false conversion, and not the truth.
No, God gives you the Holy Spirit, and there again, he expects you to use it, just as he expected the angels to utilize the Earth and to work it, just as he expected man to work the Earth and to improve on it, and man has not done it. So, when we receive God's Holy Spirit, we have to work spiritually and utilize God's Spirit. God's Spirit opens our mind to understand the things of God in the Bible, and we have to grow by it and be led by the Spirit.
And this will show us the way, and we... The Holy Spirit of God won't drive you, it won't force you. But it will open your mind to see what to do, and you have to go that way and follow. You'll have to be led. You won't be driven, you won't be pulled. But God's Spirit will give you the power if you want it. Then you gradually develop, and you develop more and more spiritual power as you grow. And the purpose is that we do develop that holy, righteous character of God.
Now we have to make the decision, and yet it must come from God. We can't supply it ourselves. It's a wonderful thing when you understand it. But very few do understand it. Now the spiritual creation begins in the second Adam, Jesus Christ, and that has something to do with the church. Why didn't Jesus Christ then perform the portion of making us, spiritually? And God intended us to work the Earth and improve it, and make it more beautiful, and it has not been done.
Man Cut Off From God What man has done... Man, cut off from God, he has polluted everything in this Earth that his hands have been able to touch. He has polluted the waters, the oceans, the streams, the lakes and the rivers. He has polluted the soil. But there is a spiritual creation, and it began in Jesus Christ. And with Jesus Christ comes a different mind.
Now with Adam came what we call a carnal mind. That is the physical brain with the one spirit. That spirit gives you the power of intellect, but it's only what knowledge can come into your mind, and the only knowledge that can enter your mind comes through the eye into the brain, through the ear into the brain, or through the senses of smell, touch, or feel. And I suppose 95-98% of all the knowledge that any of us have ever accumulated has come through the eye and the ear.
However, the only thing that you can see or hear, the only thing that you can smell or taste or touch, is physical matter. I can hit this desk here because it's made of physical matter, but spirit — I can't see, I can't touch, I can't feel, I can't hear it, I can't see it. And spiritual knowledge cannot come to the natural, carnal mind. It just can't. Adam was born with a carnal mind.
God made the Holy Spirit available to him in the Tree of Life, which was freely offered to him, but Adam had to make a decision. Now Adam was given this one spirit, which is in the form of essence — it's not a person or a being in any way. It's just spiritual essence that adds something to the physical brain, so that it will function and work. But as I say, Adam was incomplete because he needed the Holy Spirit of God. And God had offered it to him.
Now then, here's what happened. Adam said, in effect, to God, after he had met Satan, and he'd heard God out too, he said, "Well God, I've made my decision. Now, I want you to keep..." I'm going to use twentieth-century language now. I think you can understand it better. He said, "I want you to keep your nose out of my affairs. I don't you meddling in my life. I'll decide for myself what is right and wrong, I'm not going to let you tell me. I don't want you to be my God or my savior. I don't want you to be my king or rule over me. I reject you, I reject your government. I'm going to rule myself my own way. I'm going to do my own thing."
And God said, "Well, Adam, the choice has been yours. I have explained to you, and I have given you all the truth. You have made your decision with your mind open, wide open. So you have made the decision. Now I'll keep hands-off. Not only that, I'll do it in a way that I sentence you, and your posterity which will be the whole world, to 6,000 years of being cut off from me! Cut clear off, except that I reserve as a prerogative of calling such individuals, or such few, as I need to call into my service for some special service during that 6,000 years. Otherwise, all humanity is going to be cut from me, God, for 6,000 years."
6,000 Years Just About Up And my friends, the 6,000 years are just about up, and mankind has been cut off from God. And mankind has been totally deceived, because Satan is still here, and man is still following the way of Satan. Now, the twentieth-century intellectual says, and we have a lot of these scholarly people, he says, "Well, I'll tell you, just give us sufficient knowledge and we will solve all of our problems."
You know, in the decade of the 1960's, knowledge doubled, and it's doubling or more than doubling now in the decade of the '70's. But so did man's troubles double. The knowledge has not solved the troubles. You see, it takes more than just the knowledge. You have to have the right attitude, you have to put that knowledge to the right use.
[Commercial break: Why Were You Born?] Now you go over into India, into China, into ancient Japan, to countries like Indonesia in the southeast, most countries in Africa, and they have never heard of God. And God said to Adam, in effect, "All right, I not only sentence you to 6,000 years of being cut off from me, you go form your own governments." Man did form his own governments. Look at them, just fighting, fighting, fighting.
How many heads of state have I met in the last decade, in the last ten years? Probably more than Henry Kissinger has. Kings, presidents, prime ministers, and the only two emperors (and one of them is now dead, but I knew him quite well — Haile Selassie). These nations have never had the knowledge of God, and you won't find any real church there.
It was in such a world that Christ came, — a world cut off from God, a world where there were the Israelites that had had the knowledge of God, but still they wouldn't obey him, and they never did. And Jesus said, as you'll read in Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church." Now why? Why did he need to build a church? Why didn't he just go out on a soul-saving crusade, and say, "I want you to give your heart to me."
You can't find where Christ ever did anything like that. He didn't come on any soul-saving crusade. He never did. Here was the woman at Jacob's well, a Gentile woman. He spoke of living water, meaning the Holy Spirit, and she said, "Give me that water." What a wonderful opportunity if Jesus had tried to convert her! Oh no, he started telling her what her own sins were instead.
God Only Calling A Few Now God is not calling most people to salvation. He's only calling those he has some special job for, now. I've been trying to preach that now for the last 50 years. And how many people will believe me? Oh no, we're so filled with the idea that we've got to get the whole world saved, this Protestant idea that most of us can't get it out of our minds. It's ten times harder to unlearn what has been indelibly put in your mind, than it is to begin to believe something new.
But you have to get the old idea out of your mind, to believe that truth. Now in the 2nd chapter, verses 26-27, almost the same thing, Jesus said, "He that overcometh..." Overcometh what? He means overcoming Satan, overcoming Satan's way of vanity, lust, and greed, jealousy, envy, competition. "He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end," you can't just do it a little while, you have to stay with it, "will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." (Rev.2:26)
If we're going to qualify to rule with Christ, we have to overcome Satan. Now let me explain something. When Christ comes, the whole world is going to be called. They won't be cut off from God any longer. It won't be that God just calls those he wants for a special mission. But they're not going to qualify to sit with Christ on that throne, and we are! They won't have to overcome Satan, and we do. I want you to get that distinction. Today is not God's time of trying to save the world!
He just is not. I tell you the truth, and I speak by the authority of Jesus Christ, and if you don't believe it, you don't believe Christ, you don't believe your Bible. You don't believe the word of God if you don't believe it.
Now Jesus Christ himself said in John 6:44, "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." And God is only drawing those that have been predestinated to be called now, and they're called for some special job. Then the church has been called for a special job — what is it?
Most people in that church don't know it. They don't know what they're called for, they think they're called to get — get, get salvation. Satan is the great getter. You were called to give. Give — that's God's way, that's the way of God's law. Love is giving, outgoing, and love away from self. Now there's no scripture that can nullify that, when Jesus said, "No man can come to me unless the Father calls him."
Gospel of the Kingdom of God Well now, let's get our bearings, and understand the purpose and the function of the church. The time had been fulfilled. "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time..." This is Mark 1, verses 14 and 15 (Mark 1:14-15). "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye, and believe the gospel," the good news of the kingdom of God.
Christ had qualified, and now he had, for 3½ years, announced the coming kingdom of God, but there was no soul-saving crusade. Jesus Christ — let me say this with emphasis... Jesus Christ did not come on a soul-saving crusade! He never tried to talk anyone into being converted. He never tried to talk anyone into giving their heart to him.
Christ had been crucified, he had been resurrected, he had ascended to heaven, and when the Holy Spirit came, receiving the Holy Spirit meant that they now were partakers of the very divine nature. II Peter chapter 1, verse 4 (II Peter 1:4): "We become partakers of the divine nature." We're not born with human nature. Satan gets that into us, beginning pretty early in childhood, and believe you me, by the time we're 16 years old, we've all had it.
And it's something we've got to try to root out of us, this vanity, this selfishness, this greed, this hostility, envy, jealousy, all those things. My... You know, women have it too. One woman can be very jealous of another woman, did you ever know that? Well, men have it too, and it's no respecter of persons, one way or the other. And, but the spiritual-minded people now have God's Holy Spirit.
In Old Testament Israel, they were carnal-minded, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed could be, but now they had the Holy Spirit. Now they could know and understand the things of God. Now they were subject to the law of God, those in the church. They could obey God, and they could now overcome Satan. And the Holy Spirit is also the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. It also is the power of God to overcome, when we don't have that much power ourselves.
Now, in closing, I just want to say again, this book, booklet, I want to mention again, Just What Do You Mean... Conversion? There is no booklet like this. Very few people understand what conversion is, and I'll tell you. It's about 99 and 44/100 percent impure, and misleading today, of the teaching in the world. If you want the truth, you don't have to pay for it. This booklet is free. What do you mean, conversion?
And the other one is: What Do You Mean... Born Again? What is it to be born again? You know, even heads of government sometimes don't know what it means to be born again. And you need to know what it really means. This booklet will make it plain, and there is no, absolutely no refutation of it one way or another, it's the plain word of God, very plain, very simple. So now, I will say, I've about talked myself out, and I've about worn you out, I'm afraid, so I'll say goodbye for now. Until the next time, this is Herbert W. Armstrong, saying goodbye, friends.