Now God's great motive now was to restore the government of God to the Earth and then to create character, and I have explained before, the one thing God cannot create instantaneously by fiat is character, holy righteous perfect character.
The World Tomorrow — the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong. Character is the right of a separate entity, separate from God, of its own free will, to come to see the right way, which is God's way, from the wrong, and to choose the right and then to go the right way instead of the wrong. Even though within ourselves, there is a pull and desire to go the wrong way, character is to control the self and to decide that we will go the right way, the way of God, regardless.
Now once we have done that, that develops character within us, and that is the purpose for which humans were put Earth. Then we have the great job of going throughout all this universe. You read that in the second chapter of Hebrews, you read of it in the 8th of Psalms, and you read of it in the 8th chapter of Romans, of how the ultimate destiny of mankind is to go through all the universe and to finish the creation.
What a wonderful job that is! And to bring peace, to bring happiness, to bring joy, to bring salvation, until there will be no more pain, no sorrow nor suffering, nothing of that kind, only joy and continual happiness, and to be creators, and to be thinking of new things that need to be done, right things to be done, and consequently of working at those things under the creator God.
Now God, as I said, is a family, and he made man so that man could be born into that family. But the first man, Adam, rejected it. And so, God said to him, and let me put it in my own words as a paraphrase, put it in modern language.
God said to him, 'Okay, you have decided to reject me. You've rebelled against my government. You don't want me to be your Lord, your savior, your God. You don't want my knowledge. I sentence you and your descendants, which will be the whole world that'll come from you, I sentence you to 6,000 years of being cut off from me, until you cannot have access to me, and you cannot gain my knowledge. You'll have to create your own knowledge, whatever way you can.'
Two Ways of Life There are the two ways of life, only the two ways of living, when you get down to it from a philosophical point of view. One is the way of giving, and the other is the way of getting. Now the whole thing that is wrong in this world, that man is going the way of getting. That's the way that Adam chose.
God said, 'All right, you and your followers can go that way.' It is the way of, as I say, getting, of taking, of exalting yourself, but of having jealousy and envy and hatred toward others. And that is the thing that has gripped this world. Now God didn't make us that way, but Satan begins to pump that sort of thing into us very early.
I want to tell you about Jesus Christ now, who became flesh and dwelt among us. Mankind had been cut off. God didn't reserve this, though. He says, "I will call a few that I need to do what I want done. I will communicate with them. I will tell them what I want done. I will give them some of my knowledge, and to some of them I will put my spirit, and they will be begotten of me, later to be born of me, and enter into my family just as I am and just as the Word is, who became Jesus Christ, and by resurrection of the dead, Christ now is very God. And he's the pioneer of many brethren.
We're the many brethren that can follow him, and can be the sons of God just as Jesus Christ is now. Now then, I want to show you what is prophesied back in Isaiah, for example, one of the ancient prophets, about Christ. And this is one of the things that are not ordinarily realized and not taught.
This was given to Israel. God had called Noah, God had called Abraham. God had later called Moses to lead the descendants of Abraham out of Egyptian slavery and to become his nation, but he didn't offer them salvation, or spiritual grace. But to ancient Israel, the descendants of Abraham, God said to the prophet Isaiah: "For unto us," that is, the Israelites, "a child is born. Unto us, a son is given." (Isa.9:6)
Well, that was to be Jesus Christ. "And the government shall be upon his shoulder." I want you to get that word "government." You don't hear that preached. The gospel that Jesus brought is the gospel of the kingdom of God, which is the government of God in the hands of the family of God. And there is every effort to try to do away with the government of God still in this world.
"The government shall be upon his shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." That is Jesus Christ who was to come. "The increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end." And that is the good news, and it's coming, and it's coming in our generation and in our time.
Upon the Throne of David "Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth and forever, the zeal of the Eternal of Hosts will perform it." That is going to be done. Now then, we turn over into the New Testament, and we turn over to Luke, in the first chapter, and I'd like to read you what the angel said to Mary, the mother of Jesus, before Jesus was born.
Beginning with the 26th verse (Luke 1:26): "In the sixth month" of her pregnancy, "the angel Gabriel" who was an archangel of the same status and power as Lucifer, but one who has remained holy in the way of God, "was sent from God into a city of Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph. And her name was Mary."
Now then, verse 30 (Luke 1:30): "The angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou has found favor with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shall his name Jesus." Now listen to this: "He," Jesus, "shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give unto him the throne of his father David," to rule, and to restore the government, the kingdom of God on this Earth."
Now that was announced to Mary back before the birth of Jesus Christ. Now I'd like to go to another prophecy, and that is back here in the third chapter of Malachi. Here is another prophecy in the days before Christ came, and after Israel and Judah had both been driven out of the Holy Land. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to his throne, even the messenger of the covenant." That was speaking of Christ as the messenger of the covenant. But there was to be someone to prepare the way before him.
"The messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in, behold, he shall come, says the Eternal of Hosts." (Mal.3:1) Now if you read on, it tells of things that when he comes, Christ did not do when he came here 1900 and some years ago. They are things that he will do when he comes a second time.
The Bible shows that Jesus was to be appearing on this Earth twice — first to be born of a virgin, to grow up, the government will be on his shoulder, but again he's coming later to rule, and to take over that government, and to put away Satan, who has been sitting on that throne all of this time, and to bring us peace. And that is the great hope I'm bringing you now.
[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?] Today, the gospel usually means, to people, they think it means about, the gospel of men about Jesus Christ, the message of men. "Gospel" means "good news." "Gospel" is a message, it's a news message. And most people seem to think that it is a message of men, or preachers, about Jesus, and it's just believing on Christ.
Now if you read in John the 8th chapter, and beginning with the 30th verse, you will find that there were many at the time Jesus was on Earth, who had begun to believe on him. but to those Jews who believed on him, he said, "You seek to kill me, and why? Because you don't believe what I say." (John 8:37)
Adam and Eve Believe Satan God talked to Adam and Eve. They did not believe what he said. Satan talked to him and they did accept what he said. My friends, that gospel was taken away and was changed to a different gospel, even by 60 A.D. You'll read in the book of Galatians, which Paul wrote to Galatia about 59 A.D., that already they had turned away from the true gospel that Paul had given them, to another gospel.
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ." He is the messenger, and the gospel is the message he brought. That message has not been preached to the world. They've only talked about the messenger. Now I bring you the message as it is written in the prophets. "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me," then it goes on to explain about John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord.
John the Baptist prepared the way for the first coming of Christ. But as I say, the prophecy I just read to you from Malachi talks about the second coming of Christ and the things he'll do then. Who is the messenger to prepare the way before the second coming from Christ? We're in the generation when he's coming! The time is now, and you'd better open your ears, and you'd better begin to believe it.
There's a saying today: "You'd better believe it!" And let me tell you, you'd better believe this, because you have not been hearing it, and this is the truth straight from God and on the authority of Jesus Christ. I don't speak on my own authority; I speak on the authority of Jesus Christ, and the word is true. It shows in verse 9 how Jesus came to be baptized of him, then how Jesus had been tempted by Satan. (Mark 1:9) The details are not given in Mark's gospel here, but I will show it to you and from Matthew.
He was there "in the wilderness forty days" and 40 nights, "tempted of Satan." Matthew gives us a whole detail of that in the 4th chapter of Matthew. "And was with the wild beasts or animals, and angels ministered unto him." (Mark 1:13) Now in that time, that was the greatest battle ever fought in all the universe, in all history, and Christ overcame that Satan, the former Lucifer.
Satan Has Caused All Troubles And Jesus Christ qualified now to take the government, to sit on that throne, to do away with this Satan. And Satan has caused all of the troubles that we have in this world today, because he has gotten them in through the human spirit that is in us, and he has gotten into us the ways of vanity and lust and greed and jealousy and envy, and competition and strife and warfare, and violence and destruction. And that's what the world has been filled with.
Now, he was there forty days and forty nights, and he conquered Satan. And now the next verse, 14th (Mark 1:14): "Now after that John was put in prison," and that Jesus had already qualified now, "Jesus came into Galilee," not to Jerusalem, but into Galilee, "preaching" what? "The gospel of the kingdom of God," not a message about himself. He was the messenger, and the message he brought was from God, and it was about the government, the family, the kingdom of God.
"And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." How was the time fulfilled? Someone had just qualified to set up that kingdom, to replace this Satan that was still on the throne in rebellion against God, and to bring people to God, and to the way that will bring peace and happiness and even eternal salvation and eternal life to the human family.
"And the kingdom of God is at hand, and he said, Repent ye and believe the gospel." As I said, there were two appearances of Christ that were prophesied, and the first was when he came over 1900 years ago as a human being, and just as mortal as we are in that sense, that he could die, and he did die. He took on himself our sins. He was God as well as man. His only father was God. He was able, therefore, to live perfectly. He overcame Satan. Satan got to him just like he does to us all the time, through the human spirit, but he rejected every bit of it.
Never once, he was tempted in all points like we are, but not once did Jesus Christ ever sin. Never did he try to glorify himself. He was a humble man, and yet to him was given all the power in all of the vast universe. Jesus was the messenger of the covenant. John the Baptist was the first messenger before him, and there is to be someone to prepare the way for his second coming, and the second coming is to be in this generation.
[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine] Now this Lucifer has become Satan. He has deceived the entire world. For just a moment, I'd like to have you turn with me, if you have a Bible, and if not, just listen, to Ephesians the 2nd chapter, and in verse 2. Well, I'd better begin in verse 1 (Ephesians 2:1), because it'll make more sense. "And you hath he quickened," or that is, made spiritually alive, "who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air." Now Satan is there called the prince of the power of the air.
In this room are the sounds of many voices, some singing, some talking, and you're not hearing them. You're only hearing my voice. But you bring a number of radio sets in here, and tune them to different radio stations, and they will tune in on the right wavelength, and they will show you that those other voices are right here, only your ear isn't tuned to that wavelength.
Now the spirit that imparts the power of intellect to every human brain also is something that Satan can use to get something into the human brain. He's the prince of the power of the air. He does not broadcast, and I know something about broadcasting, I've been doing it since 1933. He does not do it in pictures like television. He does not do it in words, or sounds. You don't hear a thing. But he does it by just putting, through this spirit in man, a certain type of impulse, a certain type of attitude — the attitude of self-love, of wanting to get instead of to give.
God's Way Is Love God's way is love. It's an outgoing concern toward others. It is the way of wanting to share with others, of wanting to help others, of wanting to do good to everybody. If you see someone drop something, and there's a lot of money in it, you'd try to give that back to that man instead of trying to say "Finders, keepers!" and run off with it. That is the way of the spirit of God, but not very many have that today.
So, Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit, seeing as he is a spirit being, that now works, that now does work, is now working — presently, not did work a thousand years ago, but he's now working — in the children of disobedience. Now you read more of that in a number of other scriptures. For example, let me see.
I'd like to turn to, just turn back here a little ways into II Corinthians the 11th chapter, where the apostle Paul to the church, over 1900 years ago, that was at Corinth. And this became part of the Bible. It was a letter that he wrote to the church at Corinth, when he said, "I am jealous over you," that's the church at Corinth, "with a godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband." The church is to be married to Christ.
Then we will have the Father, who became the father of Christ when he was born as a human being. We will have the son, Christ, who was the bridegroom. We will have the wife, which will be all of us collected who are converted and who do have the spirit of God. Now I want you to get this.
But Paul continued, "I fear..." He really feared this — "lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety..." He deceived Eve. She was sincere. She thought she was doing all right, but she was deceived. Adam was not deceived, he knew better, but he went along with it. And so, in the same way, "so your minds should be corrupted..." You see, it is not your body otherwise, it's your mind that Satan corrupts.
"That your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, for if he that comes..." And there were others preaching false doctrines in those days. "If he that comes preaches another Jesus," and they did, and today they believe in a Jesus that came to do away with his father's commandments and that rebelled against his father. And that's not the Jesus of the Bible. That's not the Jesus that did live here over 1900 years ago.
"Or if you receive another spirit..." And they do have a spirit — of rebellion, a spirit of vanity, of egotism, and of jealousy and envy, and of hatred and destruction today. "Or that you receive another gospel," which the whole world has received. I was born under this world, and I saw what a world it was. I had to learn that what I had been taught in Sunday school was not what the Bible says, and my mind was so clean of all the former teachings and ideas, like the immortality of the soul, and going to heaven or hell, and those things which you can't find in the Bible.
Now some of the listeners of this program are going to wonder about that. Or does the Bible say, "The soul that sins, it shall die," as it does say twice. (Ezek.18:20) And God was talking to a soul when he talked to Adam, and another soul when he talked to Eve. But they were not immortal souls, they were souls that were just flesh, breathing animals, or like animals (we're not animals). But he was merely talking to them, and explaining this truth.
Satan Deceiveth The Whole World I would like you to notice in Revelation the 12th chapter and verse 9 (Revelation 12:9). Here is a great dragon that is "that old serpent called the Devil and Satan." So it tells you right here who the dragon is. "Which deceiveth the whole world." Satan has deceived the whole world. People say, "Well, that can't be. The whole world couldn't be deceived."
You know, a cigarette manufacturer came out many years ago and said, "Millions can't be wrong," smoking this cigarette. Well, those millions were wrong. Now even the government says they were wrong. Millions not only can be, but are wrong. Back in the days of the flood, back in the days of Noah, how many people? There were perhaps 1-3 billion people on Earth at that time. There had been a population explosion.
How many people do you think were close to God and going God's way? And how many people were going the way of Satan? There was only one that was going anywhere near the way of God, and that God could speak to, and that was Noah. There was no one else. If there had been, God would have been required to be fair, to save them as well as Noah, in the Ark. And God didn't. He let all humanity be destroyed.
Of course, that was only the first death, and they're all going to be resurrected and their eyes opened to the truth, and have salvation yet, so far as that's concerned. This, Satan has deceived the whole world. It's pretty hard to believe that the nations could be deceived. You know, the heads of nations, they don't understand why they're having the wars and the troubles they are. They don't understand why it's all fighting, and everyone for selfish advantage. They just do not understand it.
I was going to read you of how Jesus overcame Satan, but then he came, as I have read to you, in Mark 1, bringing the gospel of the kingdom of God. And he went about all cities and villages, if you read back in the 4th chapter of Matthew, and preaching the kingdom of God. That was the message that Jesus preached. That is the message that I bring. The kingdom of God is coming in our time. The kingdom of God is going to do away with this Satan. The kingdom of God is going to do away with all of the troubles. And we're going to have peace, and we're going to have it in our time, and that is the hope that I am bringing you.
I have been accused of preaching a hellfire doctrine, which I certainly don't preach. I believe just the opposite, and of talking about how the Earth is going to be destroyed. I'm talking about a new world, the World Tomorrow. That's the name of our telecast, the World Tomorrow. I'm talking about a time of peace that Christ is going to bring, and put away Satan, and bring us peace that is going to last, well, for the first thousand years.
Then Satan will be loosed for a little time, and some, millions will follow him, and then he'll be put away permanently, and then will come a resurrection of everybody that has never been so much as called, and never understood the truth, have never understood about God. They were not lost, neither were they saved.
But then they're going to be resurrected, and then their eyes are going to be opened, and they are going to be saved. What a wonderful God we have! What a wonderful plan he has! And that, my brethren, is the thing that he's going to bring to all of us. So I leave you with that now, until next time.