QR Code

   The World Tomorrow, Herbert W. Armstrong, brings you the plain truth about today's world news and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow.

   My friends, take a quick look at all the confusion in religion today, hundreds of different sects, denominations, and religions organized according to various human ideas and standards and patterns. Where is the church that Jesus Christ built? Now, Jesus said plainly, "I will build my church," then he built it. But where did it go? What happened to it?

   Now, some seem to believe that that church that Christ built apostatized; it fell away from the faith once delivered, and then it was later reformed and divided into hundreds of divisions. All of them disagreeing among themselves, that is disagreeing one from the other. My friends, did that church fall away from the original faith once delivered? Does that church exist today? What happened? Where is it now?

   Now, here we are ready to look into history and see exactly what did happen in the first place. My friends, if you're going to look into the history of the church, you have to know what to look for. You have to know what is the church, and as I've been explaining in the past several broadcasts, that church that Jesus said he would build is not a visible political organization of men delving into politics. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not out of this world," and he called his people out of this world that you find, if you read your Bible, and if you read the teaching of Jesus himself, if you read the teaching of the Apostle Paul, that the church that Jesus Christ built is not a visible organization. It is an invisible and spiritual organism, and I say invisible because you have to read men's minds and hearts that you're going to see.

   And those in the true church are those who have been actually begotten of God and who are being led by the Spirit of God, who have forsaken their own way, who are ruled and governed by God Almighty. They are those who are permitting God to rule and regulate their lives. They are those that are filled with the Spirit of God and then impregnated by the Spirit of God and are begotten children of God and who are used in doing the work of God. It is the church that has been given a grave commission. And the commission of the church is the collective body of Christ is to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations as a witness. That's first, that's the number one commission. And secondly, to feed the flock, that is to nourish and to feed and protect those that are in the church.

   And Jesus said, "None can come for the son except the spirit of the Father draw him." You know, there are a lot of things about that church that a lot of people don't seem to know or understand at all. Now, the church is the body of Christ in the sense that Jesus was the body of Christ. He was a human body. He was one individual and the power of God was in him doing the work. Jesus said to myself, "I can do nothing." He said it is the Father that dwelleth in me that doeth the work. It was the power of God. He was an instrument that himself, he could do nothing.

   Now, the power that actuated him and that moved in him actually came in his disciples on that day of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended to heaven in 31 AD and they became now the collective body of Christ. Their individual bodies collectively filled with the power of God, the Holy Spirit of God, their minds enlightened by the Spirit of God and the word of God. Now they were the agency God was using the instrumentality on this earth for doing the work of God so that every individual is a part of that collective body and has his part in the works of God of getting the gospel to the world. And in the church of feeding those that are in it.

   Now, anyone that is not having his part actively in that program of God and is not being actively used in that very manner is not a child of God in the church of God because that's what the church is. It's the body of Christ, is doing the work of Christ. Christ merely started that work. And when he was here, he didn't come to actually take the gospel to the world himself because he was divine. And yet in the human flesh, he was God converted or chained into man, that he was God and man. And he came to deliver this message from God to man. He didn't come to preach it personally to the whole world. Instead, he called his disciples. He taught it to them, and they are the body, the human instrumentality that He, that God the Father is using and carrying this message from God to man to the whole world.

   And it is God's revelation of basic essential knowledge without which man cannot find happiness or peace or anything he wants and certainly cannot find eternal life. It's the way to everything good, the way to salvation and eternal life. Now, the true church, my friends, then is not some politically organized denomination. It isn't something that you join and become a member of like a social club or lodge or something of that sort. It's something that God, inducts, puts you into, baptizes you into, and by one spirit, are we all baptized into that one body. You don't join. It's the body of Christ. It's a spiritual organism, and it's composed of those who not only have their individual part in the collective activity of the works of God, as that collective body of Christ, a collective group of people, and yet in total unity, empowered by the same spirit.

   There are many members in the church, but the one spirit is the read in I Corinthians 12. And yet every individual has something else to do. And that is, he must become more Godly and daily. He must continue to overcome, to root out from his own nature all that is wrong and evil because it's good and evil in human nature. And then you must also grow in grace and knowledge. So he must be corrected by God, and God corrects us through his word, and the word of God is profitable for doctrine and for correction and for reproof and instruction and righteousness that we grow in grace and in knowledge.

   So in your private life, if you're a Christian, you will be overcoming yourself. You have to resist the self; you have to crucify the self. You have to forsake your way and turn to God's way. And then collectively, you have your part in the very work of God. You go in grace and knowledge, and you root out the evil. You will increase the good as it comes from God as He reveals it. You'll live by every word of God until the Bible just becomes your very personality and your very character, and you live by it, every word of it. You look on it as supreme authority; it rules your life. Then you have your part in the collective work of God.

   That, my friends, is the church of God. Where is it? You can't join it. And Jesus Christ is the active living head of it. Now, before Jesus ascended to heaven, he prayed that his church would be kept one and in the Father's name, and the name that is given in your Bible twelve times in your New Testament is the Church of God. And he prayed that they would be kept one in the Father's name. The name of the Father, keep through thine own name Holy Father, those whom thou hast given me, Jesus prayed that they may be one as we are. Jesus and the Father are one, one in purpose, one in mind, one in activity. They are united. They're two separate persons. They are duality in unity.

   Now, the true church, the Church of God, not many divided quarreling denominations. Oh, no, one pulling one way and another, another. God is not the author of confusion. The true church of God is not all mixed up, my friends; the true church of God has God's truth, and it is proclaiming that truth to the world as a witness. No denomination or segment or division divided and on a competitive basis could be the true church because, well, in history, my friends, none has been willing to admit where it has been wrong that I know of. None has received God's correction as a complete organized body.

   I'm talking now about organized political groups, and I don't know of any that has ever allowed God's Holy Spirit to guide it into continually more and more truth that is willing at any time to accept what, to it, will be new light out of the Bible, growing in grace and knowledge. The individual must do that. If you're an individual in God's church, you've got to constantly overcome; you've got to continually admit your errors and your faults in your nature and your false beliefs and your false ways. And you must overcome them so much the church collectively because the church is merely, my friends, the collection of those individuals that are in the church.

   Now, those that are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God, and they form God's church. And then again, you must grow in grace and knowledge, and I don't know anybody that completely knows and fully understands every bit of all the Bible. Now, I gladly acknowledge that I don't, and I don't know about anybody else that does.

   I tell you, my friends when you come to the place that there's nothing more you can learn in the Bible and that you know every bit of it and every sentence in it perfectly and completely comprehend and understand every sentence in that Bible and there's nothing more for you to learn from it. Well, I'll just say if you can do that, that the Bible isn't the word of God. You know, the Bible is the word of God, and it's just a little bit beyond you and me. In other words, we can drink out of it the ways of life, and in it, we find a guide to life and where to live by every word of it, my friends.

   But what I mean is, I don't think any human being but Jesus Christ, and he is the living word, and the Bible is merely the written word. No other human being has ever mastered and solved and completely comprehended and been able to live up to every word in that Bible yet, that is the goal. Now, you have to have a goal. You aren't going to get anywhere. That, my friends, is your destination. That's your aim. Are you aiming at it? Are you striving every day to do it? Are you studying your Bible every day to that end?

   Now, how much do you study your Bible? Well, if you're willing to study a half hour every day, you better write in and enroll in the Ambassador College Correspondence Course in Bible study. It will only point the way and help you, though. But you're studying in your own Bible right there in your own home. And if you devote a half hour a day, you'd better enroll in it. There are many thousands, and they're just going up by the thousands. It seems every two or three weeks, and several more thousands have enrolled in that correspondence course. It's the finest correspondence course that has ever come out. But it isn't going to do you any good if you don't spend enough time to get something out of it, you know; it isn't going to just automatically change, here's all the truth in your mind; it isn't that easy and that simple; you'll have to work at it. You have to study.

   Now, I want you to notice Jesus promised in John 16:13, he said that the spirit of truth would guide his disciples that he was teaching him into all truth. Well, that's for us too. And it will guide us into all truth. And that truth is the word of God. What is truth? Jesus said, Thy word is truth, and it's committed to writing. It's in your Bible. Now, here is the key which proves who are in God's church. The church is composed only, now get this, only of those individuals, those persons who are growing into truth as God reveals that truth. And if that truth shows the error in them and their thinking and their ways, they are rooting out the wrong beliefs and the wrong habits and customs in their lives.

   Now, the church is composed of that collective body of those people that are doing that empowered and led by the spirit of God. People that have been changed, they've been converted, their lives have been changed. They've forsaken their way. They come to God as a father, and the father rules the household. Now, the very moment that anyone ceases to grow spiritually but wants to retain only what he has already and what he did have five or 10 years ago, from that very moment, my friends, the Holy Spirit ceases to live in that person.

   Now, in the same way, any group of persons organized together in a visual organization, whether it's spiritual or physical or political or what. But if it calls itself an organization of God's people or a church, I want to tell you that just the moment that as a body, it ceases to grow in spiritual knowledge and in accumulating more knowledge and more of the way it ought to live and in overcoming and rooting out errors and confessing it. Just that moment, the Holy Spirit has ceases to live in and to isolate that body of persons. And it is not the real church of God.

   You know, it's about time we began to think on some of these things. I think that's all quite logical, and I think you can see it's true. Why haven't we thought about it before? Now? I want you to notice what is prophesied about the church. We've been going into it a lot, but just quickly notice a little of it again. Jesus warned that there would be a great falling away, but he didn't say the church would fall away. He said there would be a falling away from the church and from the truth in the world but the church itself is composed of those that have the truth.

   Now, the church isn't going to fall away. Why, the church cannot fall down because the minute the individuals fall down, they are not in the church. And if every individual fell down, the church itself ceased to exist, and the Holy Spirit wasn't in it any longer.

   Now, Jesus did warn of apostasy in the world, but not in the church. Many false ministers deceiving many, Matthew 24, verses four and five (Matthew 24:4-5), have read it to you many times. Then Paul earnestly warned the elders that from their own number, some would depart from the faith. But the minute they depart from the faith, they're no longer really in God's church. They're in the political organization but not in actually the church because the church is a spiritual, a divine organism of human beings, but with the spirit of God, the divine organism working in the hearts and the minds of those individuals.

   Now, false apostles and false brethren did arise in those local churches. You read of it in II Corinthians 11, verses 13 to 15 and verse 26 (II Corinthians 11:13-15, 26). I read it to you, and I won't go into it again at this time. Now, very soon, the false ones that were not really in the church, but they were in the visible organization. They came to the meeting place; they assembled in the meeting place with the others, and they outnumbered the faithful. But the faithful only, and the faithful number who now are in the minority, made up the true church of God. The majority was not the church but a worldly organization and a political organization at that. And pretty soon, they got into politics.

   Now, several years before the Apostle John died, he had to write his third letter about the fact that the few faithful brethren that were left were being put out of the local assembly. That's III John 9 and 10. Let's just turn to that real quickly for a moment. Way over here near the end of your New Testament, III John and the ninth and 10th verses. I didn't tell you what chapter did I do? You know your Bible well enough to know what chapter it would be. Well, it's only the one chapter in III John; you should know that. All right, the ninth and the 10th verses where John writes (III John 1:9-10), "I wrote unto the church. But Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, there was a man that had a lot of vanity. He wanted to be the big shot, the big wheel, and so on, as we say today, in common language, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words, and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."

   And yet that was not the real church of God because the real church, that is the body of Christ, my friends, are those that are empowered by the Holy Spirit. And yet the ones that he was casting out are the only ones that compose the real organism of the real church of God. Now, they were a church. All right. Oh, yes, I might explain something right here. The word church, my friends, in itself doesn't mean anything righteous or holy. You know that the word church is an English word. Well, now the New Testament was written in the Greek language, and the word church is the English word that is translated from the Greek word ecclesia. Now, in the New Testament, the writers that were inspired of God didn't write the word church. They used the Greek word ecclesia, and ecclesia is a group or a crowd and assembly. It is a group of people together and an assembly as such a group or a crowd in one place in the New Testament. And Ecclesia was seeking Paul, trying to kill him and stone him to death. Now they were vicious and they were angry. So I think, let's see, I don't remember they're called a crowd or mob or something in that place. They didn't use the word church in English there at all. But now, listen, there is nothing about the word church that has any sanctity in itself. Church merely means a group or a collection or an assembly of people. That's all, a congregation of people. Now, they might be congregated for political reasons or for vicious reasons or raw reasons or hating reasons or for holy purposes.

   Now, for instance, the church of Jones or Jones Church, what I mean, a church named after a man. But when the church is God's church, the church is God's church. That's God's group, that's God's crowd, that's God's assembly, that is God's group of people. What makes it holy? The word God there and the fact that God owns it and possesses it. God bought it and paid for it by the very blood of Jesus Christ. Christ purchased it with his own blood and it belongs to him. It's his, he owns it. That's what makes it sacred and holy. And without the word God, it is not holy.

   You know something else. The word Bible in itself is not a holy, sacred word. I remember years ago I had visited Albert Hubbard in East Aurora, New York and we didn't know that a good many years ago because he lost his life in the Lusitania before World War I. So this was prior to that time. And I had visited Albert Harbor in East Aurora, New York. And he had presented me personally with a copy of his American Bible that he produced and printed. I had visited Albert Harbor in East Aurora, New York. And he had presented me personally with a copy of his American Bible that he produced and printed an American Bible. And a lot of it was about a third of it was his own writing and he autographed his name in it and presented it to me. So my mother, when she heard of that with her fine old Quaker upbringing, she was horrified to think that a man would be the fact religious is to read a Bible. Well, I read to it, I think it was in the preface or the introduction or something of it that the word Bible doesn't mean anything holy. It merely means book or collection of books. And the Holy Bible is the collection of the writing of men. And if they are sacred, but what makes them sacred? The fact it's called the Holy Bible. Now, Albert Hubert's Bible is not holy. You see, it was just a book and unless you put the word holy there, there's nothing to it. Actually, the book we call the Bible, we call it Bible for short. But I turned my Bible over here and on the outside, it says Holy Bible, Holy Bible. That's what makes the Gods my friends, it's holy and God is holy and only God is holy. Well, I hope we get that.

   Now, not only did Jesus prophesy that folk ministers would deceive the many, but he also said that his church would be scattered and persecuted, that was prophesied, not organized, not a great big political organization, powerful in the world, but scattered and persecuted and despised by the world. The church first became scattered in the days of the apostles I've read it to you out of Acts the eighth chapter in the first verse (Acts 8:1). But that did not mean that the scattered individuals were not a part of the church, they were the church, they composed the church. They comprised the church because they were joined to Christ through the Holy Spirit.

   Now those who drove them out became a false church. Oh, yes, they were a church all right. But they were not God's church. I want you to get that. The word church of itself doesn't mean it's God's church. It merely means a group or a crowd of people. And so there became then a false church, perhaps many false churches that drove them out. The church of the God of this world is the synagogue of Satan. And you read about the synagogue of Satan in your Bible and a lot of people don't know what it is. Well, that's what it is. It's those that are departed from God. It isn't a certain nationality at all my friends. It is those that have departed from God.

   Now, I want you to notice what Daniel says about the church and this is in Daniel 11 verses 33 to 35. Daniel 11 verses 33 to 35 (Daniel 11:33-35). And they, that understand among the people shall instruct many yet they shall fall by the sword. Now, these are the true people of God. Here's the individuals of the true church. They shall fall by the sword and by flame and by captivity and by spoil many days. Now when they shall fall, that's the physical fall by persecution and by the organized civil governments, they shall be hoping with a little help, but many shall plead to them with flattery and some of them with understanding shall fall to try them and to purge them and to make them white even to the time of the end, right down to the time in which we're living now.

   You see how plain that is? The true church was forced out of the local organized congregations and those individuals that comprise the true church became scattered that actually happened in history. I've already read you some of it. We're going to read a lot more from authentic history, false churches that are not necessarily the church of God because they call themselves churches at all. But false churches would arise professing to be the churches of God and those of Christ, false brethren would betray God's people. But Jesus promised to be with the faithful remnant even to the end of the age and to guide his people came to his truth, no matter how much they're persecuted, no matter how many enemies try to call them names and everything of the kind.

   Now, where has this church been these 1900 years? And the Book of Revelation is an amazing prophecy, my friends and almost no one understands it. And yet it is so very plain. It is the seven churches of the Book of Revelation, Revelations chapter two and three, very few understand it. Now in Revelation one verses 12 and 13 (Revelation 1:12-13), notice it, John sees a vision of seven candlesticks and he sees Jesus standing in the midst of those candlesticks. Now, the Bible interprets the Bible and the Bible tells you what those candlesticks are. Of course, they're symbols. But the Bible interprets the symbols and it says that the seven candlesticks are the seven particular church congregations that are mentioned there in Asia Minor and they stand for and are typical of the whole church successively through the whole time of this whole age. From the time of Christ up to now, Jesus Christ has pictured them as dwelling among the seven churches. He was in the midst of those seven candlesticks which are the seven churches. So he's in the midst of his church just as though they were the type of the entire church there. Well, now there's the answer, Jesus dwells in the entire church. And since this vision pictures him as dwelling only in seven churches, those seven churches in the Book of Revelation represents the entire church and my friends.

   If you're going to find what happened to the true church that Jesus built in history, the key to it is to understand the second and the third chapters of the Book of Revelation. Because there you find God's prophecy of what would happen, then you look into history and see where you find what is their picture. You know, the reason you have not understood what happened to the church is you haven't known what to look for. You haven't known what the true church was. Historians trying to create church history have looked for a visible organized body, a political group of people that were a church, but they were not the divine organism that was the true church of God. No wonder then they have not known where to find the church in history.

   Christ's true gospel. If humanity had heeded it, would have kept this world from the staggering troubles it faces today. Christ's true gospel when fully understood, reveals that human potential so stupendous, it seems at first to be beyond belief. What is that message Jesus Christ brought to mankind? This startling new booklet, Your Awesome Future How Religion has Deceived You offers the amazing truth about this urgently needed. But long missing dimension in knowledge. It's positively astounding. No religion has proclaimed it. Yet, it was revealed for all mankind to know. How was this knowledge suppressed and why? Request the free booklet, Your Awesome Future How Religion has Deceived You and discover the truth about your awesome future.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.