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. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow. God's World Government Constitution Or Covenant a Foundation A New Covenant Ten Commandments Not Done Away Something Wrong With First Covenant Christ's Will and Testament
Today my friends, we're living in a time when world scientists are telling us they're frankly frightened; they're telling us that it's now possible to annihilate human life from off the face of this earth. That's the world you and I are living in.
Scientists tell us that the only hope of world peace; the only hope of averting the complete annihilation of human life from off the face of this earth is world government and many of them are advocating that we try to form a world government. But my friends, it's totally impossible for human beings to get together on this earth and form a world government. And yet there is no other way to have world peace.
You know, I tell you it's about time that we wake up; it's about time that we learn that one third of the Bible is devoted to the prophecies of this time, of this time in which we live. For one thing my friends, the prophecies, many of them, were closed and many of the key prophecies that serve as a key to open up the other prophecies were closed and sealed until our time now. Now a lot of people will say, "Well, of course nobody can understand the prophecies." Well, it's true they haven't been understood. But listen, do you think that God Almighty wasted one third of His book, His revelation to mankind and made it so we could never understand? Do you think it should be that something we can't understand? Of course not; it's something that we can understand.
The time has come when God is stripping back the curtain. When God Himself is unveiling the mysteries of these prophecies, and they can be understood if we're not afraid of them. Because, even as Daniel's prophecy explained, the time is now come when the mysteries of God are no longer mysteries; they're being revealed (Daniel 12:4 KJV). And the Bible itself interprets the Bible. And one passage is a key that unlocks another passage and explains it. We don't need any man's interpretations. It isn't a case of my interpretation, your interpretation, this denomination's interpretation or that denomination's interpretation. It's a matter my friends, of getting God's interpretation as one passage of scripture opens up and interprets another.
So that now we can understand. Here a whole third of your Bible my friends, is devoted to telling of the conditions now in the world and those things that are going to happen in the very next few years. I think it's about time we begin to understand. Now one of the things that are opened up is the fact that we are going to have world peace because Christ Himself said that such a terrible time is just ahead of us now. I can't set the date, I can't set the date with any kind of reliability at all. But we know from many prophecies that it is near, it's even at the door, and there are some ways of figuring up dates, that at least indicate a time, even though we can't be sure of them, and it may be even sooner than that. When if God Almighty did not step in and intervene as Christ Himself said in His great Olivet prophecy that no flesh should be saved alive on this earth, there would not be a human life left alive. But for the elect's sake He said, God will step in and intervene (Matthew 24: 21-22).
But God Himself is going to set up a world government and it's called the 'kingdom of God.' Do you know what gospel Jesus Christ preached? My friends, you hear a great deal today about a gospel about Christ. It's a gospel of man about Christ. And that's why we have so many different gospels being preached, because there's so many different kinds of men doing the preaching. Gospels exalting Christ, extoling Christ, telling how great He is, but Christ Jesus came to this earth, sent from God in heaven, bearing a message to man.
And that was His gospel, and that is the gospel that He commissioned His Church to go out and preach to the world. Wherever you find the true Church of God you find the church that is proclaiming that gospel; the very gospel Jesus brought, the very things He preached; and what did He preach? His gospel was called the gospel of the kingdom of God. And the kingdom of God is the government of God, and it's the world-ruling kingdom, the world-ruling government that God is going to set up in just a few years, in our lifetime in this twentieth century on this earth. The government that is going to rule the world; the government that is going to bring us peace; the government that is going to bring us the millennium; going to give us all happiness and prosperity and human joy. It's going to rid us of sickness and disease, of heartaches and headaches. Oh, what a wonderful time that's going to be.
And yet man doesn't want it, well, he wants it but he doesn't want it God's way. He doesn't want to submit to the way that will bring that kind of peace, that's why we don't have it. Alright, we're going to have world government, it's going to be God's government. That was the message that Christ came to preach, the ingdom of God that's going to rule the world.
And so the foundation for that was not a constitution because it was a type of league that was being entered into by more than one government. It was a number of governments and so they had to have an agreement by and between the parties that were entering into this agreement or this new government. Consequently they didn't call it a constitution; they called it a covenant. And maybe you remember about the covenant of the League of Nations. The covenant that the Congress of the United States rejected. Senator Lodge played a big part in that, that was the original Senator Lodge, his son has been quite famous since. Of course the Senator Lodge who was fighting Woodrow Wilson's idea of the League of Nations, I think has been dead for some time now. Now that was an agreement by and between two or more parties, that would have been the foundation to set up a League of Nations.
Now God is going to set up a world-ruling government. God did set up as His nation on the earth, among the different nations of this world, one of the world's nations, and it was called the kingdom of Israel. He took the slaves that were descended from Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, down in the land of Egypt, as they had been taken down there and they had gone down there and become slaves and had grown there from the time of Jacob and the time of Joseph until the time of Moses. And God released them by a series of miracles; brought them out of Egypt, brought them over to Palestine. And on the way, in the desert or in the mountainous region, God spoke to them from Mount Sinai. And there He revealed Himself, He revealed the foundation of His Government, He revealed His way. The law that Adam and Eve had rejected, the law that they had lost sight of because they had been a slave people, they had no ministry, they had no church services, they had no Bible. They had nothing to give them the commandments or the law of God and now God revealed His great law of spiritual principles and spoke those laws with His own voice before all the people.
Then He said if they would agree to let Him rule them and to become His people, so that He would be their king, to accept His government over them, that then He would give them the prosperity and the blessings that would come to any nation being so governed. Now they agreed; there was a covenant entered into and that covenant was the foundation and the basis of that nation. It was the same thing to that nation, that the constitution of the United States is to our nation here. It was a covenant; it was a covenant agreement.
Now actually there's another little phase of that I want you to understand right here. That covenant also was a marriage contract. And Israel entered into a marriage with her God. God was in the person of the husband and Israel was in the category of being the wife, and the kind of wife that was not going to wear the pants, but the kind of wife that was going to be obedient to her husband. So it was both a marriage contract which set them up as husband and wife relationship in a family relationship with God and also it was the covenant that amounted to the constitution of that nation.
Now that covenant was not entered into at the time you read of in the twentieth chapter of Exodus where you find the Ten Commandments. That covenant was entered into later; you find it in the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus not in the twentieth chapter. Well, that was the basis or the agreement of one of the nations of this earth. Now then, in the same manner my friends, when God sets up a different kind of a kingdom on this earth, this time not one of the kingdoms of this world but the kingdom of the world tomorrow; a divine kingdom that is to furnish a world-ruling government to rule over all of the nations of this earth. There will have to be an agreement between God and the people who set up that kingdom as a foundation. There will have to be another or a new covenant made.
We come to the eighth chapter and we are finding He's going to make a new covenant. Not like the one that He made with Israel back there, that set them up as one the earth's nations but a new and a different kind of a covenant. This is the covenant that is going to set up the kind of a world government that our scientists today are telling us we must have if you're going to stay alive very much longer on this earth. Well, now we come up to this part of what Christ is going to do. He's our High Priest now, but He's coming as the King of kings. And He is the mediator now between God and us who are being called into His future government to rule the world. He is now our active High Priest — acting as mediator in those who are now candidates to enter into that covenant with Him that will set up the nation that's going to rule the world and bring us world peace at last.
So here we find it in the eighth chapter of Hebrews and beginning now with the sixth verse. It's been showing that He is the Divine High Priest on the same rank and the order as Melchisedek. And in the sixth verse:
"But now hath he [that's Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry [that's much more excellent that is, than the Levitical ministry of the Levitical Priesthood of the Mosaic dispensation between Moses and Christ], a more excellent ministry [now this is His ministry in heaven now], by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant..." (Hebrews 8:6)
He is there now as the mediator of this covenant. Now, actually my friends, it's going to come as a surprise to you to find out as we go through this a little further that that covenant has not actually been made; and yet He's the mediator of it right now, He's on the job working on it now. Now I want you to get this. Listen!
You're going to have to throw away some of your prejudices and pre-conceived ideas and things you believed and taken for granted if you've ever studied the Bible at all and had anything about the Old and New covenant. You know, you talk about the Old and the New covenant, that's just a lot of old dry Bible language and most people don't understand it, it seems dry and dull. Well, I'm trying to make this thing plain. I'm trying to make this thing so you see what it has to do with you and your life right here and now, with the life of your children and what's going to happen to your future. This is vital my friends to your own future. So listen.
He is also the mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises. That's better promises than the one that set up the nation Israel as one of this world's nations way back there in the time of Moses. "For if that first covenant had been faultless [that's the one made between God and the children of Israel when Moses was the mediator of that one], if the first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for the second." (Hebrews 8:7)
Now there was then a fault with the first one wasn't there? You know nearly everybody thinks that the fault was the Ten Commandments. God made a great mistake in giving them the Ten Commandments and Christ was a smart-aleck young man, so they seemed to think, who came down here and saw the great mistake His Father had made. Now actually Christ is the One who made that covenant with them back there. I haven't the time to go into the evidence and the proof of that right now. But if you'll just open your mind and study it real diligently in your Bible you'll find that that's true, and I could prove it to you if your mind is open to receive it. But the common conception is, it was made with God the Father, and God the Father made a great mistake. The Ten Commandments were all wrong and Christ came and saw it, so Christ did away with the commandments. And He is giving us a new covenant that is better because it has some beautiful promises that takes away all the obligations.
Well, let's see: "If that first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for the second [are you going to find fault with God? Are you going to say the fault with that came from God? Let's just look on and see]. For finding fault with them, he [God] saith [well God found fault with them, the people then, not with Himself. God said], Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant when I regarded them not, saith the Lord [or the Eternal]." (Hebrews 8:8-9)
Now do you see my friends, it isn't just one nation among the other nations of the world but this will be the nation on top of all the other nations that will rule all nations, the kingdom of God, the divine government that will rule all the world and bring us world peace. There's the first great difference.
Now the common theory of most people today, and you get into a lot of theological ideas about the Old and the New Covenant and they get so mixed up and so close to this tree, they don't see the forest and they don't realize what it means. They don't see that it has any connection with our life today, and they don't see any connection, it's just a dry dull something and they're all mixed up and they have this kind of an idea, so many people, that the Old Covenant was the Ten Commandments and they see that it's done away so that's a pretty argument — the Ten Commandments are done away.
Well, the Ten Commandments say you shall have no other gods before the true God. So if they are right that means then you're free to go out and have all the gods before the...that you want, worship idol gods or anything else. It's alright to cuss and swear then, take God's name in vain; then it must be alright to steal and to commit adultery, to dishonor your parents, to lie and to covet whatever is your neighbor's, and take it away from him. The Ten Commandments, so many people seem to believe, were done away. Is that so? Well, apparently, we're acting that way in the United States because there's more of that kind of crime in the United States than you'll find anywhere else in the world today and that's a fact, believe it or not.
Yes, maybe in some respects we're the most Christian nation. But I wonder? Are we in actual fact or only in the fact we profess a lot about Christ but we don't do very much because we believe in a kind of a Christ that did away with His Father's commandments. The kind that was a smart-aleck young man that thought He knew more than His Father and did away with His Father's law, that thought His Father was the One that made the mistake instead of the people back there. And so they believe that the Old Covenant was the Ten Commandments and therefore they're done away. Also they seem to believe that the Old Covenant was made with Israel and since they say we're Gentiles the New Covenant is going to be made with Gentiles. Now that is not true and we're going to look into that in just a moment. The Old had commandments but the New has no commandments, no obligations, just promises. Nothing you have to do; you just accept Christ, just take, just get, just believe — that's all! Just receive Christ, get Christ, accept Christ, appropriate. You know my friends, you have something to give too if you can only understand it.
Now first of all, what is a covenant? The Greek word here for covenant is — and I don't know how to pronounce it, I'm not a Greek scholar in that sense. But it's 'd-i-a-t-h-e-k-e.' Diokathe would that be, or Diatheeke? I don't know how you would pronounce it. That's Greek to me and I think it's Greek to you too because it is Greek, it really is Greek to me. Nevertheless, I can tell you what it means because I can look up a word in the lexicons and get the meaning and I can see what every, uh really, prominent biblical Greek scholar that has been prominent enough to have written what he had in the past four or five hundred years, what all of them have written on it and what they think about it. So I know the advice and the judgment of the best Greek scholars of the last several hundred years on these things, which I, of course, can get and so can you.
It means primarily, a testament, or a witnessed will; a testament or a witnessed will by which a person bequeaths to or regulates rights of others over his property after his death. You should know what a will is. It is an instrument, a legal instrument by which a person bequeaths to one or more others the possessions that they have and own which are to pass on to the other after their death and it regulates sometimes the rights of others over that property.
Now in Hebrews 9, verses 15 and 18 in the ninth chapter of Hebrews, I want you to notice something here. "And for this cause Christ is the mediator of a new testament [now here it says testament, and yet the Greek word is that same 'diatheke' or whatever it is, the same word but it is not called a covenant here it is called a testament], for this cause Christ is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament [oh, you see something was wrong with that first one, transgressions], they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15)
There the better promises of the new, eternal inheritance, means eternal life. You couldn't have eternal inheritance and possession of what is being bequeathed to you by the death of Christ unless you have eternal life. And so it means that you get eternal life and you have possession of something.
Well, here this word 'diatheke,' or whatever this Greek word is, is translated testament and not covenant. Now testament and covenant are two different things, they don't mean the same at all and yet they are translated interchangeably by the translators and the translators didn't make any mistake in this case either. So the New Covenant then, is the New Testament: it's Christ's last will and Testament. Christ is the heir of all things my friends, and He wills to us this great inheritance. But most of all He is the heir of this whole earth, this entire world and this whole earth and He is bequeathing it to us and we are joint heirs.
Now I want to continue, I'll have to break off there; I'm sorry, this time has gone so rapidly — I don't how that happened. But I'll continue that tomorrow, and I'm going to explain what this New Covenant is, when it'll take place, how Christ is now the mediator of it and has been for 1900 years up there in heaven.
Now listen, I want you to sit down right now and to write in for two very special booklets. Now listen carefully — you must ask for these booklets by name. First: 'Why Were You Born?.' I think of all of the booklets that we have written, that we've published, that we've been announcing on this program for years and years; that there has never been one more important than this. This lays down before you the whole purpose of life. It lays down the whole of the — the whys and the wherefores of this thing that we call Salvation. Why do we need it? And just what is it and what do you get and how. Why does God permit wars and so much human suffering, heartache, fears and worries and all this type of thing; empty lives; why does God allow such suffering in this world? And what is the purpose being worked out here below? You know that mankind seems to have failed utterly to understand; he has lost his way, he has lost sight of the very purpose of life. And yet there is a reason why you as a person, as an individual were put here on this world and most of you don't know what it is. The name of this booklet: 'Why Were You Born?.' Now jot that down immediately, I hope you have pen or pencil and paper right there before you, if not, get it immediately and jot it down right now.
Now the other booklet: 'All About Water Baptism. Just write in for the booklet on 'Water Baptism.' Now this booklet completely answers the question — is water baptism essential to salvation? It explains the way of Salvation. I wonder if you understand all of that. Well these booklets my friends will make it very plain. Now, first here's this booklet: 'Why Were You Born?,' and the other booklet on 'Water Baptism.'
And so now — this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."
God's World GovernmentNow what the prophecies of your Bible teach and certainly what we ought to begin to hear preached now my friends, is the fact that what God is going to do is to set up world government. And He's going to set up a world government, not by getting human beings together, not by letting human beings on human initiative get together and work out some kind of government. For instance, there's only one way you can work out a world government with Russia and that is if we would all knuckle under and surrender to them and let them lord it over us and have their kind of government. But you know, we rather like some of the freedoms we have here and we'd have them all taken away from us so we don't want that kind of government. And they aren't going to accept our kind of government unless we want to go to war with them and wipe them out. And the question is — could we wipe them out? That's a question and we aren't going to do it anyway.
Constitution Or Covenant a FoundationNow then, the United States government has a constitution. You have to have something as a foundation on which to base any government or any nation, my friends. The constitution of the United States is the basis and the foundation of this nation. And we have to be loyal to that constitution or else we're traitors to this country. Now, when a number of nations started to get together back in the days of Woodrow Wilson, right after World War I, and to form an international kind of an order, it wasn't necessarily an international government and yet they envisioned a kind of government that Congress of the United States blocked that.
A New CovenantNow in going through this book that is the most neglected book, perhaps outside of prophecy, in your Bible. The book that tells what Jesus Christ is doing now; the book that tells what's He's been doing for the last 1900 years as our High Priest, now serving us, as a high priest, the Head of His Church, the living, dynamic Head of His Church here and now, and has been throughout all these centuries from the time He ascended to heaven 1900 years ago until now.
Ten Commandments Not Done AwayNow let's just drop off there for a minute before we finish it; there's some more points I want you to get about this. The Old Covenant was the foundation and the basis for the kingdom of Israel, one of the nations of this world. That was the constitution you might say for a human nation of this world. The New Covenant will set up the kingdom of God. Not the kingdom of Israel, a kingdom of mortals, but the kingdom of God, a divine nation of those who have been made immortal and the children, the sons of God as much sons of God as Christ, and Christ as the Son of God is God and very God and has all the supernatural powers of God, has inherited all things and we're co-heirs with Him and to share His inheritance with Him when we are changed and this mortal puts on immortality at the time of His Second Coming. So, the New Covenant will be made to set up the kingdom of God — a divine nation that will rule the entire world tomorrow.
Something Wrong With First CovenantNow then, I want you to notice five points here. This said God will make a New Covenant. God will make a New Covenant with the children of Israel founded on better promises. The first was not faultless; something was wrong with that first covenant. If it had been faultless, if it was perfect, if nothing was wrong with it there wouldn't have been any New Covenant. But something was wrong with it. So the New is not only going to be different and better it's going to be different and better in those particulars that are going to correct the fault of the Old. Now where was the Old Covenant at fault?
Christ's Will and TestamentNow, is it eternal possession of heaven? Has God bequeathed to us the eternal ownership and possession of His heaven? Or is it of this earth? You'll have to go back and see what God promised Abraham to know. Everybody assumes that what God has promised us is Heaven. You know, my friends, I think a lot of you ought to start to study your Bible a little more and quit assuming and quit taking so many things for granted.