Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.
Well greetings friends. It isn't going to be too long now until we're going to have real world peace, believe it or not. But do you realize, my friends, what is the real significance behind present world conditions and where it's leading? Because before we come to world peace we're going to have some frightful lessons to learn. Only God's Government Will Work A Covenant Christ Now Serving and Giving Christ's More Excellent Ministry A Better Covenant
You know, about 6,000 years ago God Almighty began a plan on this earth. He put us here for a purpose. God is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, He created this Universe, He created all force and energy and all laws. But God has a program. He has a purpose and that purpose is to develop out of you and me what God is; not what we are or what we have made of ourselves. He made man in His image, and yet man is not in the spiritual image of God, only in the image as to form and shape. Because you read in I Corinthians the fifteenth chapter that:
"...we have borne the image of the earthy [made of the earth of the dust of the ground, made out of matter], we shall...bear the image of the heavenly." (I Corinthians 15:49)
Now, God is the supreme character, and we could never be what God is unless that character is developed in us. Do you know there's one thing that even God Himself cannot do? God cannot just automatically create perfect character. I mean just by creating something, and making it automatically perfect character. A perfect character is a separate entity that has the right to free choice, and which has of its own volition come first to the knowledge of the truth as opposed to error, of the right way as opposed to the wrong. And one who has used the wisdom and the judgment, to make the right choice and has chosen the right. And who has had the will to even restrain self and to resist self. And to will, that the self must go the right instead of the wrong, and to do the right. That's character.
Now for that purpose God made us free moral agents, God made us as the clay models. And God ruled that men must decide for himself which way he will go. Whether he will voluntarily submit to the laws of God and the Government of God, or whether he will reject the Government of God and lean to the ways of his own passions, his own impulses and desires.
And every one of us has good thoughts and good impulses and good desires. Most of us would like to do something that is good and do the right thing. But on the other hand there's that something that makes us want to do the wrong thing. There is that something that makes us want to look out for number one, there's that something that makes every man want to be important and exalt himself above other men; and makes the women and the girls want to be pretty, and some of the younger girls to be whistled at. There is that something that makes us want to get and to have, to keep up with the Jones's, to have as good a home, or an automobile, or a better one than our neighbors'. That we want to get the best of the other fellow in a bargain. That's in our natures, my friends, and now, what have we done, what have we chosen?
Human beings are all mixed up. We have minds that are like the mind of God, in a way, only limited. But how are we using them? In the wrong manner; one goes one way, another, another. One believes one way, another, another. And we're all mixed up, and here we are in confusion. Trying to slit one another's throats. As individuals, springing at one another like so many wild animals, trying to get the best of the other fellow. And nations creating great vast armaments and armies to be able to spring at another. I don't think that we in the United States necessarily want to spring at any other nation and invade them, but we have to have an army because they do, to protect ourselves. So there you are.
Now God Almighty is soon going to intervene and set up a world government. And scientists, the leading scientists of the world, will tell you today that the only hope of peace in this world, the only hope of arresting the trend that is going to annihilate human life from off this planet, unless something stops it, they'll tell you the only hope is world government. Well, there's been some talk of world government. I'm not interested in world government from a human or a political point of view in any manner shape or form. It's totally impossible.
But world government as an act of God, world government which is a supernatural government when God Himself intervenes and sets up that rule as the rule of God. That, my friends, is the kind of government we're going to have, and it's the only kind of government that can save us from ourselves. It's the only kind of government that can bring us peace.
Now they tried to get something like a world government back here after World War I. We'd had a terrible war, we thought it was the most terrible thing, it was the most terrible thing the world had ever known, I guess, in the way of war, up to that time. Well, we went into the war, if some of you remember that far back, to make the world safe for democracy. Of course, in World War II didn't we go into that to fight the war to end all wars? Yes, nice joke isn't it? We just smile today when we think of that.
We know World War III is coming. Yes, it's prophesied to, and its coming don't worry. You're having a little peace now. You're living in a fool's paradise, don't kid yourselves, my friends, another war is on the way. It looks like we're in a sort of a little era of quietude for the present, the immediate present, it may not last too long. There isn't any such war prophesied with Russia. But that's our very danger, we're going to get to thinking there isn't any danger, and then we're going to be lulled into a false sense of security. And there's going to be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth, I can tell you that.
Now in Bible language we're coming here in the eighth chapter of Hebrews, the book that tells us what Jesus Christ is doing now, the book that tells us what He's been doing for 1900 years. Now we come to the eighth chapter and we find something about a covenant in it. Now a covenant is usually some dry, dead, dull, Bible language. Most people don't know what it is, so I've been trying to explain to you.
They had a covenant for the League of Nations. We don't have a covenant as a foundation of the United States because it's our own people. But when you have more than one party, then you have to have an agreement by which they agree on that constitution, or that foundation on which the nation can be based. Do I make it plain, do you understand it?
Now when we come, my friends, to the constitution, the foundation of the kingdom that is going to rule this entire world, that God Almighty is going to set up, you have to have an agreement by and between those who constitute the citizens in this kingdom, or this government, that is to do the ruling over the world, and God Almighty. Because it has to be the way of God and the Government of God. And God has to enter into a contract and an agreement with the people, by which they can set up a foundation for the nation, or for the kingdom that is going to be a world-ruling kingdom, that is going to bring us peace, and put down this war, this cold war between America and Russia, and the fear of something rising up in Europe once again, or the fear of Japan rising up once again.
Now I think maybe we begin to see that this thing that is usually looked on as a dry, dead, dull theological term about a covenant may begin to be a little plainer to our thinking. There's going to be a covenant.
And we've been seeing how Jesus Christ is so powerful now. He's been given all power in heaven and in earth, and is so powerful that He upholds the whole universe. Now that includes the sun and the moon; that includes Mars and Jupiter and Saturn and all of the planets in our little system here. That includes the great Milky Way and the galaxies, the stars, that are some of them are many, many times larger than our sun. Everything that our astronomers can see and know. That includes everything on this earth. That includes every force and energy and every power that sustains, and that keeps things moving and going, that energizes, and keeps the universe in motion. Jesus Christ sustains it by the Word of His power.
I wonder if you can get a little bit of an idea of how great He is? I wonder if you can get a little bit of an idea what a miracle-working Christ He is? And He is not dead, because He rose from the dead. And He has been busy for 1900 years as your High Priest and mine if we will yield to Him and if we'll come and get it. In other words, if we are willing to come as He says in the fourth chapter of Hebrews here, to: "...come boldly unto the throne of grace..." (Hebrews 4:16) and ask for what we need. He is there to help us, He is there as our servant, as well as our Master and Ruler.
Now He will only help those that come under His rule. But He's the kind of a ruler who is the servant of those He rules. Who is there to help us, who is there, who knows better than we do what is good for us. And who has all that divine supernatural power that keeps the cogs and wheels of the universe running, and has that power, and is there to exercise that power in our behalf. To give us, as we might say, the breaks, to make everything turn out right for us. To guide us and direct us in the right way. To give us the wisdom that we know to make the right decisions. To pull us out of troubles when we get into them. An unseen divine supernatural power that you don't see, and yet that is ever-present, as an ever-present help to help you.
Why don't we know about that power? Why is it we very seldom read this Book of Hebrews that tells us about Christ and what He's doing now? He's not dead, He's on the job.
Now we come to the eighth chapter and it had been speaking here — let me just read it in the more modern translation, the last verse or two. Let's begin with the twenty-sixth verse of the seventh chapter. It's been telling us how, well let's go back to the twenty-third. The former priests were many in number, that's back into the Old Testament time between Moses and Christ. And Israel, speaking of Israel there of course, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office. So as fast as one died another had to take his place, so there had to be a number of them.
But He, meaning Christ, holds His Priesthood permanently because He continues forever. Now back here, in the third verse, speaking of Melchizedek, it had said the same precise same thing about Him where it said He: "...resembles the Son of God, He continues a priest forever" (Hebrews 7:3 Moffatt paraphrased). Melchizedek, who was the Priest prior to the Levitical Priesthood, before the time of Moses. And now after the time of Moses and after the Levitical Priesthood is gone, Christ is the High Priest in the same way. He holds His priesthood permanently, and yet Melchizedek continues, does continue now His priesthood. Why, they're one and the same of course.
Now, because Christ has eternal life, consequently He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives — always lives. And He has always lived these nineteen hundred years from the time of His death and resurrection back to life and ascension up to heaven to the very Throne of God.
"...to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens [because He sustains even the heavens and everything that is in them]. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people [that's the way they did in the Levitical priesthood between Moses and Christ, that was merely an earthly human nation, that was merely a material nation. Christ is immortal]; he did this once for all when He offered up himself [1900 years ago when He died]. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son [the very son of God, and therefore He is God because God is a family of persons and He is the Son of the Father, and He's in the family of God, which is the Kingdom of God although He is a different person than the Father. He is God and the Father is God — appoints a Son] who has been made perfect for ever." (Hebrews 7:25-28 RSV)
Now I want you to notice He was made perfect. He was born a human being. He never committed a sin and yet He was not perfect. He didn't do wrong, but He hadn't been perfected. But He was made perfect as we've read to you in the earlier chapters of this book of Hebrews by sufferings. Jesus Christ suffered; and sometimes you and I need to suffer a little bit to learn, and He was made perfect.
Now he is referring now to the sanctuary back there. You just have to read of that in the Old Testament. At the time they left Egypt under Moses they were given a type of the throne of God. And they just pitched tents because they were journeying through the wilderness, and the children of Israel had been slaves. They didn't have a lot of money, although they got a lot of gold and earrings and a few things from the Egyptians. But you know they were travelling through the wilderness, and the desert, and one thing and another, and money wouldn't have availed them anything. There was no place to go and buy anything with it anyway. And consequently they pitched tents, and there were really two tents; the one joined on to the other, and the smaller tent was never entered into but the High Priest once a year, and that was the Holy of Holies and represented the very throne of God. Then the larger outer tent was the Holy Place. And it was a type of the throne of God. Later these same rooms were built into the temple when Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.
Now I'm going to get back to the authorized or the King James Version again, beginning with that second verse; in the eighth chapter of the book of Hebrews now:
"A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle [or originally it was, I think a better modern English translation that would be tent, but it doesn't make any difference — tabernacle], which the [Eternal] pitched, [or the Lord pitched], and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices..." (Hebrews 8:2-3)
The high priests under Moses did in the Levitical priesthood, every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices. Did you notice in the second verse it said a 'minister' of the sanctuary? He is a minister, and a minister ministers or serves, that's what it means; he serves, he helps others. He's not there to be served, he's not there to be waited on, he's there to do the waiting, he's there to do the serving. To offer, he's a giver not a getter, not a taker. I wonder if you notice the difference.
Now my friends, the very principle of the Law of God, which is the Way of God, and the way of God's whole character, and the way that we should live is the principle of serving and of giving, and of helping; rather than of getting and of taking and acquiring. Human nature — filled with greed and vanity — the vanity makes the self want to have more than the other fellow, so he wants to accumulate until he has more than the other fellow. In this type of world with vanity we judge success by what a man has accumulated, or what he has, what he gets, what he takes, what he makes. How much does he possess? Yes, that's the whole thing.
You know, I remember something in this world just to show you; Stalin, he was one of the mad men in seats of power. And someone was telling him about the Pope at Rome, and the power that the Pope had. Well he just smiled, he says, "How many legions does he have?" In other words Stalin referred to the legions of soldiers he has, and to what he had, what he possessed, that made him important. Well that's the way with the men in this world. The things that they have, or they possess is the thing that makes them important. If you have several million dollars you feel like you're a pretty important man in the world today.
Now here's a man who has and owns several million dollars. Here's another man who has given and served millions of people, and helped millions of people and changed the lives of millions for good. And made them happier, and brought happiness to millions of people. Brought sunshine into millions of human hearts. Has made millions of people better off financially and helped them in every way. Which is the more important man?
I'll tell you right now. The world will call the man who has the millions of dollars the important man; and he'll feel very important too. But the man who has helped others isn't going to feel so important. He must have had a little bit of humility, or he wouldn't have devoted his life to just giving, and serving, and helping all the time would he?
But I'll tell you this; that in God's sight, the one who is giving and serving is the great man. That's where you're laying up treasure in heaven and that's the only treasure that lasts, that's the only treasure that's for eternity. And that is the one that is acquiring the true wealth; the one who is giving, not the one who is getting. It's just the reverse of this world's philosophy.
Now what did have Christ have to offer? He was made human; He was made human for the very purpose of death. And yet there was the very life that had created heaven and earth. There was the very life by which God had created heaven and earth! That life had been changed and made mortal — is of the human flesh — born of the virgin Mary. But it was nevertheless the life of the One by whom God had created the worlds; and He had that life to give; and that's what He gave my friends.
I wonder if you can realize how much He gave. How much would you give if you gave your life? That's your all, that's the most you have to give. That's more than any millions you might possess — your life, because you can't take the millions with you. Well Christ's life my friends was greater in value than all of the human lives of every one of us — of we miserable creatures — that have ever lived. I wonder if you realize that?
Because He was our Maker; and He had never done any evil or any harm. He'd only helped people when He was here on earth. He'd never sinned, He'd never done any wrong. And He had devoted His life to learning righteousness, and to being perfected, and to giving and to helping and to serving. But not only that, before He was even made human His was the life that was the Maker and the Creator of us all. What a great life that was.
Now, did He have something to give? He had the greatest price; the greatest value to give that could have ever come to anyone except God the Father; and God the Father had Him and that was the greatest possession that the Father had and the Father gave Him. Because "...God the Father so loved this world, that he gave his only begotten Son, for you and for me; that we do not need to perish but may have ever lasting life." (John 3:16 paraphrased) And Christ so loved us that He gave Himself. Now, verse four:
"For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve [yes they serve], but who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things [their service is very puny and small by comparison], as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he [that is God said to Moses, See], that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (Hebrews 8:4-5)
And that pattern was a type, or a pattern of the very Throne of God in heaven. But of course it was made out of matter here on earth and was only a type. Now verse six:
"But now hath he [Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry [Oh, and a more exalted ministry, a higher ministry, a greater, more important ministry, but it's a ministry, and a ministry is a giving and a serving, ministering to. Now notice that, He's still a minister but it is a more excellent ministry], by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." (Hebrews 8:4-6)
Now, Christ is the Mediator of a better one. Moses was the mediator of that covenant, but Jesus Christ is the Mediator of a far better covenant founded upon better promises. Not upon better laws, not upon better conditions, but upon better promises. In other words we're the ones that are going to get the promises, we're going to be on the getting end. I almost feel like saying shame on us, because it is better to give than to receive, it's far more blessed. Christ didn't say it's wrong to receive, my friends, it's just more blessed to give, that's all. And you have to have, in order to give. Christ had more than any human being or any personage, except the Father, that has ever lived and He gave Himself and His life. But it was more blessed to give than to receive, and it is for us.
Now He has this wonderful ministry, so much greater than Moses, and Moses was a type of Christ, as the Old Testament or Old Covenant was of the New. But here the New is going to be founded on better promises, and as the Old Testament, or Old Covenant set up Israel as a nation on this earth — and it was an agreement between God and Israel by which they would have God's blessings — so the New is going to set up the Kingdom of God between us and God if we yield ourselves, and it is going to be a kingdom that will rule the world. Now it's going to be different than that Old Covenant. It's going to be made with a different kind of people, it's going to have different terms and conditions, it'll have different promises, far better promises.
And we'll continue that tomorrow. I hope I set a little foundation for what this Covenant is, and we're going to look into it. And it's going to be made in your lifetime and mine, in a few years now you're going to live into this time, it's mighty important.
Only God's Government Will WorkThe first man Adam chose the wrong way. God made him a free moral agent, God allowed him to go the wrong way and he did. We're never going to have peace on this earth until God Himself intervenes. God set apart 6,000 years to allow mankind to reject the rule of God and to set up human rule on this earth. Look where it's led us, look at the confusion, look at the chaos we have in the world today! Look at all the different kinds of governments and the different ideas of government as to how we ought to be organized and to how we should be ruled. Look at the different religions and the different ideas in religion all over the world.
A CovenantNow a covenant is the thing then that is practically the same as a constitution, and yet it's different. In the United States we have a constitution that is the foundation of the nation. But in the League of Nations it was something by and between a number of different nations. And they had to have an agreement between the different nations, the contracting parties, that would prove the foundation on which to build that world union. Which compared to the world union, the same as the constitution compares to the foundation of the United States. It's the basic legal document on which the whole government is built.
Christ NowNow Jesus Christ has not gone way off. He may have gone way off, but not in the sense that He's not interested anymore. Jesus Christ is now, what? He is the High Priest of those that have been willing, of their own free volition to become His. To repent, to be thoroughly conquered of God, and to come to God Almighty, through and by Him as our Lord and Savior, and as our High Priest, and as the One who is coming as our future King, to rule this world and all the nations on this world.
Serving and Giving"Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord." (Hebrews 8:1-2 RSV)
Christ's More Excellent MinistrySo here is Christ, a Minister who is ministering, serving, giving: "For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices [a giver, not a getter]: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer." (Hebrews 8:3)
A Better CovenantNow he's speaking of a better covenant than the one that was made through Moses with the children of Israel between them and God. Now a covenant is an agreement, it is a legal document, it is an agreement by and between two or more people. The old covenant was made between the children of Israel and God Almighty. And it set them up, it was the agreement by which they became one of the nations of the world, but they were God's nation. They were a nation of mortals not immortals, they were not promised any salvation. There was no promise that they could be saved, and be born again, and have eternal life, or anything of that sort; you can't find it back there in the promises made to ancient Israel. They were promised they would become the greatest nation on earth. They'd be "...the head, and not the tail..." (Deuteronomy 18:13) if they obeyed God's laws. But that was the whole thing. God gave them their laws, and that was the covenant that was their constitution.