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.
You need to know what's going on in the world now, and that in turn leads to the biggest thing you do need to know. What is the purpose that is being worked out here below? What is it all about? What is the Bible all about? What is religion all about? What is salvation all about? Does it have any meaning? What's the connection between all of that and the world conditions that we see about us today? Let me tell you there is a tremendous connection. There is every connection. Wise and Wicked in Bible Language Prophecy All Through The Bible Bible Needs No Interpretation Key In Book Of Revelation Christ Is The Interpreter
The events that you see unfolding in this chaotic world today, and we are in a time of supposed temporary peace in the midst of chaos. And it is only lulling us to sleep. It's only the quiet before the great storm, and it is time to wake up. And it is a part of the working out of that purpose here below.
What is that purpose? Why don't you hear it preached? Why don't we wake up and look into it and see what it is? It's about time we knew and understood. And you can't understand prophecy unless you know what it is unfolding, and what is the purpose. You can't understand world happenings, world news, this very pulsating living dynamic world in which you live today, unless you know the purpose that the Almighty Creator Ruler of the universe is working out here below.
Well, is World War III just about to descend on us, starting over in China? Listen, let me say first, that no war at this time - either with Red China or with Russia - is mentioned specifically in the prophecies. But then, neither was the war in Korea, and it happened. The Bible prophecies do not mention every little war. They don't mention everything that is going to happen. Bible prophecy merely mentions those events that have a direct part in fulfilling that purpose being worked out here below and you need to know what it is. But they mention all of the major things.
Now for that matter, even World War I and World War II were not mentioned individually and specifically. Though they most certainly were foretold in general: the series of world wars at the close of this age. And that series of world wars is not over yet. We are at the very end of the world. Biblical prophecy, however does, definitely and specifically reveal the next real major war in which the United States, the British Isles, Western Europe are to be invaded. And it is coming - and believe it or not — by a new world power now rising up and least suspected by our people. It is right there in your own home and your own Bible: if we only knew about it. But the time is not yet.
Something else is going to happen first. You know, don't you think it is about time we learn what these things are. It is a terrible thing. My friends, you are going to live in terrifying times. Jesus Christ said except God Almighty by supernatural power — by an act of God — intervenes and moves to interfere and to shorten these days, that no flesh should be saved alive. (Matthew 24:22 Mark 13:20)
Leading world scientists today are telling us that it is now possible to annihilate human life from off this planet. It is now possible to blast, to destroy, to lay waste an entire continent in one night without warning. Our continent is in that kind of danger without warning over night. And here we "sleeeeep" on, like the silly ostrich with his head stuck down in the sand, not knowing what's coming. I say, my friends, WAKE UP.
A good understanding, your Bible says, back in the one hundred and eleventh Psalm, have all they that do God's commandments. The very thing that so many in this day and age hate and will not do and refuse to do. Even some of them that seem to think they are an authority on such matters as prophecy. My friends, you can't understand prophecy, unless you realize:
"The fear of the [Eternal] is the beginning of wisdom: A good understanding have all they that do his commandments." (Psalm 111:10)
Who is it the devil is so wroth with and angry with? You turn over to the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation and in the last verse, it's those that keep the commandments of God and have the faith, the testimony of Jesus Christ. That's the Word of God and faith in it. And who believe His gospel: the gospel of the kingdom, which is the GOVERNMENT OF GOD rather than the government, either of Satan or of man, or our own ideas.
Who are the wicked? What is sin? "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4), of God's law. And I want to tell you my friends, that no one that hasn't surrendered one hundred percent to God Almighty can have a understanding in these times. And prophecies have been sealed and closed until now; now they're open. We can understand them, if we are willing. Are you willing? You'll have to yield and surrender to God Almighty, or I'm telling you right now, no matter how plain I can make it myself, you'll never understand it.
"A good understanding have [all] they that do his commandments..." (Psalms 111:10)
And if that makes you angry, my friends, well you just are going to be deprived of real understanding, that's all. And you are going to be deprived of a lot more than that.
Now the test is this. If a man uses prophecy to reveal in advance what is going to happen in world conditions, then God says if it comes to pass, that man was speaking God's word faithfully, and he was God's called minister. But, if he uses prophecy to tell you what is going to happen and it doesn't happen, you know he spoke right out of his own mind. And a human mind doesn't know what is going to happen. No one but God Almighty knows the future.
But, God Almighty does know the end from the beginning. He knows what's going to happen. Now all I can say is that, if you happen to be one who has been listening, you know that you have been hearing on this program what was going to happen in prophecy in world conditions and world conditions have been going PRECISELY as the listeners to the World Tomorrow program have been knowing in advance.
And we have had to stand alone, most of the time, in what we told you was going to happen. And others would laugh and scoff and say that's a false prophet, don't listen to that. It's been happening, my friends, and it's going to continue to happen. There's the proof of the pudding.
But listen, it is only in the Book of Revelation that you will find the events of all these other prophecies put together, co-related in a time order. So that you can put them together properly.
You know I've heard the Bible compared to a jig-saw puzzle and in some respects that's a good comparison. Course I think jig-saw puzzles have sort of gone out of fashion right now, haven't they? I haven't seen one for quite a while anyhow. And anyhow the idea is good. You have a lot of parts and if you put them all together properly, each one in it's exact proper place, well, you have a beautiful harmonious picture when you get through. And all is harmony, but if you don't get them together correctly, you've got a very unharmonious picture that isn't very pretty.
Now you find the Bible here a little and there a little, as Isaiah said we would study it (Isaiah 28:10). Of course, there's another way to study the Bible and that is to take every chapter, every book straight through. And in most of the books of your Bible you will find a time order, a time sequence. Actually there is a time order and a time sequence through the ENTIRE BIBLE; from Genesis to Revelation. But that time order has been mixed up a little bit by men. And the Bibles most of us read are not in the order of books as God originally inspired them and as He had had them put originally. We've gotten them mixed up a little bit in order in the books. And when you get it straightened out and when you get the books in the order in which they should be, there is a direct story flow. There is a time order, there is a pattern. And it is all in order. There is no confusion. "...God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), but the devil is.
And the devil will try to change and mutilate everything that comes from God, if he can. And he will try to influence men to mar God's handiwork. And to introduce CHAOS AND CONFUSION where God has beauty and harmony and order.
Well in the book of Revelation you find the various prophecies co-related in time sequence. But when you turn to the book of Revelation, what do you find: a lot of symbols. And there it is, a book that is suppose to be open, not closed and yet it has actually been closed to men, because men have not understood it. And that is just a plain fact of history. They have not understood it. And the reason is that it's couched so much in symbols.
Now Jesus spoke a great deal in parables. And He said that He spoke in parables so that hearing they would hear, but not understand a thing He was saying. That they might see, but they wouldn't really get it, that they wouldn't understand (Matthew 13:13). That's what He said. That isn't what you have believed, but that is what Jesus said. And so that is the truth.
But to His disciples He explained the parables in plain language. How are you going to understand the parables of the Bible? Through your own imaginations, through your own mind? You'll never get it that way. There is only one way. In another place somewhere in the Bible you find that parable explained. Jesus explained it in plain language to His disciples.
I'm reminded of one thing years ago. About the time this broadcast was first going on the air. Now it just comes to my mind, quick as a flash. I am going to take just a second to turn to it. It is in the seventeenth chapter of Ezekiel. And here is a symbol that was used in a prophecy in Ezekiel:
"...the word of the [Eternal] had come to Ezekiel saying [and verse two, this is chapter seventeen of Ezekiel's prophecy] Son of man put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;" (Ezekiel 17:2 paraphrased)
Now this is a parable and a riddle.
"And say, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had diverse [or different] colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and he carried it into a land of traffick; and he set in the city of merchants. (Ezekiel 17:3-4)
Now that doesn't make much sense, does it? Just using a lot of figures of speech there to represent something else. Now that's not literal. Let's say that has to be interpreted, but my friends, no man should interpret it.
"He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and [he] set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and [it] brought forth branches, and [it] shot forth sprigs. [Then] There was [also] another great eagle with great wings and many feathers;" (Ezekiel 17:5-7)
Now what are those eagles? And what are these trees and these top branches and all that sort of thing? What does it mean? Well, about that time, a young minister who thought he was really, he thought he had arrived and he was a really a brilliant young minister, so he thought. And right out of his own mind, he was telling us what it meant. That was back in the depression, you know.
As a matter of fact, this goes back into 1933 and 1934. And he said, "That first eagle, that is the blue eagle," that President Roosevelt had brought out about that time. Trying... You remember the blue eagle, some of you? Well he said, "That's the blue eagle, now this second eagle, that's a; well that hasn't come yet. But, the blue eagle," he says, "I think this means that the blue eagle is going to fail. But, Mr. Roosevelt said that if it doesn't succeed and get us out of the depression, that he'll invent something else that will." So he said, "That's the next thing he'll invent, is this other eagle coming up."
You know some people just believed that. They were so gullible they'd believe anything anyone would say. Now if you read on just a little further, verse twelve. Let God interpret it. Now here's the interpretation and it comes from God and it is divine and it isn't human. Now:
"Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;" (Ezekiel 17:12)
Now go back with that, there's the key to it. Now go back and read it. "A great eagle [that's the king of Babylon] with GREAT wings [yes he was powerful], longwinged, full of feathers [still describing the king of Babylon], came unto Lebanon [now the king of Babylon has come to Jerusalem; then Lebanon here means Jerusalem], and took the highest branch of the cedar [he came to Jerusalem and has taken the king thereof. The cedar tree, then means the Jewish race, the Jewish nation. And the highest branch of that tree is the king, and he took the king of Judah]: he cropped off the top of his young twigs" (Ezekiel 17:3-4).
The top of his young twigs would be his own sons. And you read the history of it and they had all been killed. And all of the nobles of Judah besides. "...hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon." (Ezekiel 17:12)
Well, they were killed in Babylon but he took them and he took the young princes, that was the top branches, along with the top twigs, along with the top branch; the king and his sons or the princes. And he led them to Babylon, see, and he carried it to a land of traffic. A land of commercial traffic, of great business. Yes it dominated the whole world at the time. He set it in the city of merchants; that's Babylon.
Now, "He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful place [field]." (Ezekiel 17:5)
Well, "And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: and hath also taken the mighty of the land [that's the mighty people of the land]: That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but by the keeping of his covenant it might stand." (Ezekiel 17:13-14)
That was up here: "...it grew, and it became a spreading vine of low stature [slave people as the Jews were up there], whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs." (Ezekiel 17:6)
And the Jews continued to grow, and they had more and more children up there, but they were a slave people.
Now there it's all described. Now if you read on, you'll find it plainly says here a little further, that well: "He rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape..." (Ezekiel 17:15)
Anyway this other eagle is the king of Egypt. As it is explained here in very plain language.
Now when the disciples didn't understand the parables, they came to Jesus and He explained those parables in plain language.
Here is "...one like...the Son of man [He is], clothed with a garment down to the foot...girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and hairs were white as...wool..." (Revelation 1:13-14)
Is that the way they picture Christ? With white hair, white as wool? And you'll find that the apostle Paul said:
"It's a shame that nature alone, ought to teach you, it's a shame for a man to have long hair." (I Corinthians 11:14 paraphrased)
So, He didn't have long hair.
"...white like wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as flames of fire;" (Revelation 1:14 paraphrased)
Is that the way your picture shows Christ? His eyes as flames of fire; that's the way He looks. No He isn't dead hanging on a cross, He is risen, He has gone to heaven. He's been glorified and this is the way the glorified Christ looks now, since He has arrived in heaven and been glorified.
"...his feet like unto [fine] brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters." (Revelation 1:15)
Or like the voice of thunder, as a similar expression used other places.
"And he had in his right hand seven stars:..." (Revelation 1:16)
Now what are those stars? They are symbols. Are you going to try to interpret and say you know what they mean? Well I'll show you here in a minute that the Bible tells you what they mean.
"...and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword:..." (Revelation 1:16)
Now the Bible interprets that and tells you that sword is merely the Word of God. You have it in your Bible in writing.
"...and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." (Revelation 1:16)
Does your picture shine out like the brightness of the sun till it almost blinds your eyes when you look at it? Your picture that you think is Christ, or have you got an idol? And have you got some kind of a false saviour and false god that you look at, my friends? I think it is about time some of us begin to wake up. I think it is about time we look at that thing and take it seriously, and see whether we should throw idols out of our homes or not, what do you think?
"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead..." (Revelation 1:17)
I'd think he would, and if you have a picture that looks like that, my friends, when you'd see it, or some guest would come into your home and see it - why they'd fall down like they are dead. It would terrify them. You don't have a real picture of Christ in your home. There is the real picture of Christ.
"...And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and he last: I am he that liveth [does live now], and was dead..." (Revelation 1:17-18)
He died for us. But God the Father was still alive while He was dead and God the Father raised Him from the dead. God the Father has life to impart. He is the life giver and He gave eternal immortal life to Christ. As the first born of many brethren. You can be one of those brethren. Oh, what glorious good news that is. You can be one of those brethren and you can be just like Him. You shall see Him as He is and this is the way He is.
Now look, did it ever dawn on you that you could look like that someday? I tell you, you're going to have to get a lot of rebellion out of your heart against God. You're going to have to get a lot of your ways out of your mind and out of your actions. And you're going to have to find God's thoughts and God's ways. You're going to have to let God make you over, or you'll never look like that. You will have to find and become holy. Find holiness, and you can only get it from God. Because He is the only one that has it.
You will have to be perfect. Your Bible says: " Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48 paraphrased)
We are going to look like that. We are going to be His brother. We are going to be like Him; "...for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). Made, "...like unto his glorious person [body]," (Philippians 3:21)
Yes, yes: "...we have borne the image of the earthy [made of the earth, just like the image of Adam], we shall (also) bare the image of the heavenly" (I Corinthians 15:49). This is the heavenly image.
Christ is talking, Himself. Which you saw in my right hand. Here's Jesus revealing the meaning. Here's the interpreter Jesus Christ. What does He say. And the seven golden candlesticks. What are they?
"...The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches..." (Revelation 1:20)
Well what are you going to do now, twist that around and say angels don't mean angels - they mean something else. I can show you books, I've got some nice books nicely bound that tell you all about what the book of Revelation means according to some human author that didn't know what he was writing about. And he'll tell you that those angels are something else, they are not angels.
Well if you want to know what angels are, turn back to the first couple of chapters of the book of Hebrews. You'll find something about angels; they're spirits, they are not mortal flesh.
Now, "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." (Revelation 1:20)
Well then that ought to settle it. That's what they are. Now that's what I believe. When I tell you that I don't interpret the Bible, my friends, that's what I mean. I take Jesus own interpretation. I don't bring you any Herbert W Armstrong interpretation, I bring you God's own interpretation.
Now a great deal of the Bible is in plain language. It means just what it says. When it says the wages of sin is death. The wages, that's what you are earning by your sin. And you're going to get paid off some day. Yes you're going to be paid in full.
"...the wages of sin is death;" (Romans 6:23)
Doesn't say the wages of sin is eternal life in hell fire, does it? But that is what you have always believed. Well now how do we get around it? So we have to twist the Bible, we have to interpret it, we have interpret and say well death doesn't mean death. Death means separation from God. And of course, separation from God means just the opposite of death. Eternal life, so we finally, we twist it once and say it means separation from God, and then we twist that around and of course, you'd be alive when your are separated from God, and so we get back to the exact opposite. Now it's speaking of life and death, as two opposites.
"...the wages of sin is death; the gift of God is eternal life..." (Romans 6:23)
There is eternal life on the one hand and eternal death on the other, because it is eternal punishment. And the PUNISHMENT IS DEATH. Someone wrote in and said the other day, they didn't hear me speak about PUNISHMENT of the wicked very much.
I feel like saying, is that so? I speak a lot about punishment. It's a terrible punishment. And as in Adam, all do die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; even the wicked. And there is going to be a resurrection of he just and the unjust. And the doomed; those who have completely rejected Christ.
I tell you my friends, they are going to see that lake of fire they are going into. And it will be the SECOND DEATH FROM WHICH THERE WILL NEVER BE A RESURRECTION. It is PUNISHMENT, and it is going to be a terrible punishment, when they see those that have a obtained salvation. What they look like and the GLORY THAT SHALL BE REVEALED IN THEM. As the sons divinely born of God and see what they have lost out on and see the lake of fire that is going to devour them.
And they're coming to - what God said: "...God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should... [NOT WHAT] SHOULD NOT PERISH" (John 3:16)
Well that is what they are going to do. And it's a terrible punishment and it is for all eternity.
Well God help you to find eternal life and time is about up.
Wise and Wicked in Bible LanguageNow almost no one has understood Biblical prophecy. Why? There is a reason. Many of these prophecies have been sealed and closed until this time of the end. And then knowledge was to be increased. And as the prophet Daniel wrote the wise would understand, but none of the wicked would understand (Daniel 12:10). Now who are the wise and who are the wicked in Bible language?
Prophecy All Through The BibleNow when you look into Bible prophecy, you find prophecy scattered all through the Bible. Why, the first of the prophets was Moses and there is a great deal of prophecy in the writings of Moses; way back in the first five books of your Bible. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, on through to Malachi in the Old Testament. There is a great deal of prophecy in the New Testament. Jesus gave us many very, very vivid and important prophecies. The Book of Revelation is wholly prophecy.
Bible Needs No InterpretationNow, I have said so often, the Bible does not need to be interpreted. By that I mean, it doesn't need to have any man put his ideas, his interpretation, his reasoning into it to say it means this, when it doesn't mean anything of the kind. A great deal of the Bible is couched in symbolic or parabolic language, or something of the kind. And it is rather mystic in that particular place in its setting. But, somewhere, my friends, you'll find that symbol explained in plain language in your Bible. It'll be explained just as plain as anything.
Key In Book Of RevelationNow you turn back to the book of Revelation. Here we find the beginning of the key, right in the very first chapter. Here you find some symbols, the very first chapter of the book of Revelation. You find the picture of Christ as He is here. Is this like you see in your pictures of Christ? Now have you got a picture of Christ around your home, or in your Bible, or some place? Let's see if you have a false Christ, an idol, or whether you have the true Christ. Because, if you are going to follow false Christ, or anyone except God and worship that, you are guilty of breaking the first commandment and you're guilty of idolatry.
Christ Is The InterpreterWell now: "Write these things which thou has seen, and these [the] things which are, and [the things] which shall be here after. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand..." (Revelation 1:19-20)