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.
Now, we go back to Adam, and there were two trees in the Garden of Eden, and they were symbolic trees of course, symbolic, the one the symbol of the Holy Spirit. To take that would be to take God's Holy Spirit and receive God's Holy Spirit. Man's Education System Paul's Letters to the Romans Review of Chapter 8 Spirit in Man Man's Ultimate Destiny Humanity Had Become Evil Righteous Noah What About Today Isaac's Seed Spiritual Israel Trust in God Plagues Sent in Mercy Man Critical of God Europe to Unite Romans 10 Believe What Christ Says
The other one was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now, I guess some think that all Adam had to do was just reach out and take the Tree of Life and he would have received the Holy Spirit and eternal life without any repentance, he had never done anything wrong yet, he had never sinned, and because Satan hadn't gotten to him yet. But that is not quite true.
Actually, he had to decide between the two trees. And while God kept Satan away from him until after God had spoken to Adam and Eve, as He did, and I don't know, I'm sure that He spoke to them a great deal. And it's not altogether understandable to me as to why he could have done that in the course of one day. And yet it does seem that Adam was created in the late afternoon of the day we would today call Friday, and at sundown that evening God began to rest from the work which He had done, but He did begin to preach to Adam and Eve.
Now, some of them say, "When did He create Eve? Was it after that?"
No, it was all before that time, and He had created them both, there's no question about it. The account in Genesis one, is very much abbreviated. It just hits the high spots, and a great deal that could be put in the same chapter you will find in other parts of the Bible, but it's not filled in at that particular point.
And the very fact that God said..."in the day that thou eatest thereof" (of the forbidden tree, in other words, commit sin)…"thou shalt surely die."
Now, death is the penalty of transgression of God's law, because sin is the transgression of God's law.
It is absolutely evident to me that God explained about His law, and the penalty of God's law is death. But He did explain to Adam that he was a mortal being who could die. So a lot was explained that is not just said in so many words in the second chapter of Genesis. But God could not have pronounced that sentence in advance on him without explaining the law and all about the law.
Again, he could not take of the Tree of Life until after he had faced Satan, and he had to first reject the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now, God was Revealer of truth. God was God in the religious sense, and the Savior who had eternal life to give. God also was the Ruler over the Kingdom of God and over the rule of all the universe.
And so that primarily the only thing expressed in Genesis three, is that what Adam and Eve took was they took to themselves the knowledge of good and evil. That is the knowledge of good and evil is something that must come from God. That is a God prerogative to decide what is righteous and what is evil or sin.
Adam rejected God's definition and took to himself the knowledge of good and evil. Well, first Eve took it, but Adam was not deceived, Eve was. Satan had tricked Eve. But Adam wasn't tricked in any way and he knew what he was doing.
Therefore God said to Adam and Eve, when He drove them out of the Garden of Eden, "You have rejected me as the Revealer of truth, of basic knowledge. You have rejected me as Lord and as God. You have rejected me as Ruler over the government. Therefore go and form your own governments."
And that's what we have, the governments of man all over the earth, but all of them really influenced by Satan. We have the educational system of man which is simply loaded with fable, and with distortion, and with untruths until you can't tell how much of it is truth and how much of it is fiction, and fable, and fact. And when the Kingdom of God is finally set up, the ones that are going to have to go to school the most, are the highly educated, and they're going to have to undergo a process of unlearning.
Many of the things that have been stuffed in their heads, the system of education in this world, I explained fifty-three years ago. I had an artist draw a picture for me of kids about the third or fourth grade in a schoolroom sitting at their desks. And every child had a funnel stuck in the top of his head, and the teacher was going by with a pitcher with ready-made knowledge or propaganda. She was pouring it, ready-made, into the head of each child.
I have explained it this way, the method of teaching is a method of memorizing. You are supposed to memorize what they tell you, what the book says, what the lecturer or the teacher says in class. You must never question.
Example. A grandson of mine somewhere along, I don't know whether it was fourth, sixth, seventh grade, was asked in class one day, "Who discovered America?"
And he said promptly, "The Indians."
The teacher said, "Why Larry, don't you know that Columbus discovered America!"
"No ma'am, I don't know that. The Indians were here to greet him, and they had been here long before Columbus arrived."
He was flunked for saying that. He was expected to believe Columbus discovered America. That's an example of the way they teach.
Now, beginning with chapter two, he talks of the Jewish converts. The Jews had at that time prided themselves on the fact they have the law. They felt they were superior to the Gentiles because they had the Law of Moses. Now, the Gentiles felt they were superior to the Jews because they had all of this paganized knowledge.
And it reminds me of the movie of a great many years ago, you might have seen it, it was Okey...what was his name...Charles Chaplain and it was Okey. They were playing the parts of Hitler and Mussolini. And Mussolini was visiting Hitler in Berlin and they went into Hitler's private barbershop, and there were two barber chairs there. And while they were waiting for the barber, Mussolini finally reached down at the crank and jacked it up one notch so that he would be about an inch or so higher than Hitler. Well, Hitler wouldn't have that, so he reached down and jacked himself up a couple of notches till he was above Mussolini. Well then Mussolini saw that, and he jacked himself on up an inch higher than Hitler. And then Hitler jacked himself up till he was higher than Mussolini, until they both hit the ceiling. In other words, I'm better than you are.
And that was the idea of the first two chapters of Romans. The Gentiles felt they were better because of the education they had had, and that was before conversion. And they were both of them looking to what they had before they were converted. The Jews were better because they had the law of God.
So Paul went in then to...he said, "Why do you who teach the law and yet you don't even keep the law yourselves."
Now, he goes into, from that time on, he continues on about the law a great deal in the book of Romans.
And in the seventh chapter he talks about himself, but he does mention that the law is holy, and just, and good, and that the law is Spiritual. And yet, with himself in his mind he served the law and wanted to, but he found he didn't always do it, that there was something within him that made him go the wrong way, and he wound up by saying...
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?...then he said...he was thankful Jesus Christ would.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
And then he begins to make it plain that the natural mind of man, which has come to be a nature and it, has come, all of it from Satan. That Satan begins to plant within a human being from the time we're little children, I don't know whether it's the first six months of life or not, but as soon as the human mind begins to absorb knowledge and think.
And he said...
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded islife and peace. (7)
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: [or hostile against God]...for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be [not until you receive the Holy Spirit.]
And then he went on...
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
There's the definition of a Christian. But it's not only to HAVE the Holy Spirit, as he says over here in verse fourteen...
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God...
Now, the Holy Spirit will not get behind you and push you, it will not shove you. It won't get in front of you and get hold of you and pull you and drag you along. The Holy Spirit though, I say that, not first in importance but first in the process of time, the Holy Spirit opens the mind to understand the Spiritual knowledge of God. You'll find that in First Corinthians 2, how the natural mind cannot understand the things of God.
It's not a physical being or anything of the kind, but it does impart the power of intellect. Yet it doesn't know anything, and all that you know is what you see through your eye, or hear through your ear, or smell through your nose, or through the sense of touch, and hearing, feeling, and tasting. And you can only see, or hear, or touch, or feel, or taste physical matter. You cannot see or hear spirit.
And no knowledge can come into the human mind that is Spiritual knowledge. Your mind cannot receive it. All the knowledge you have comes through...well, I'd say ninety-five, ninety-eight percent of it comes through the eye and the ear, but the sense of smell, and taste, and feel brings a certain amount of knowledge too, but again, it's all physical.
And now, a man could not understand what a man knows without that spirit. Animals have the same kind of brain and just as good, but they don't have the knowledge that a man does, and they can't think and undertake processes of thinking and reasoning, and come to conclusions and decisions like a human being because of the lack of that spirit.
Now, God created man with the one spirit, but He did not finish His creation. Everything God creates, now remember this is basic; God's creation is always in a dual pattern. Never does He create anything a finished product all at once. Man was not finished. Man's creation was an unfinished piece of God's workmanship.
The one spirit in man needs another spirit to go with it, the Holy Spirit of God. And you can't understand the things that are Spiritual, the things God has prepared for them that love Him until you receive the Holy Spirit.
Now, the Holy Spirit then begins to develop holy, and righteous, and perfect character within you. In other words, the character of God and it has to come from God but with our consent and with our desire even. So Paul has explained a lot of that through this eighth chapter of Romans. But if the Holy Spirit is in us, and it's only those of us that are following.
Now, I started to say that first in time order at least of the attributes of the Holy Spirit, would be to open our minds to Spiritual understanding, Spiritual comprehension. But, now we begin to understand the Spiritual things in the Bible.
I have whole volumes over there of Bible commentaries, and Bible encyclopedias, and a Bible dictionary, but they don't help me very much. The men who wrote those were very learned and scholarly men, but THEY DID NOT HAVE GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT, AND THEY DID NOT COMPREHEND WHAT'S IN THIS BOOK! They just didn't. God has given me more understanding than all of them put together, although they had a lot of technical knowledge that I don't have, but that technical knowledge if virtually useless.
They don't know why we're here. Not one of them can tell you what and why is man. Not one of them can tell you really what is God, and it's all revealed in this Book. They can't tell you who and what is God! And no religion on the earth can tell you. Billy Graham can't tell you. They just don't know. They don't know what was the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They don't know, and I'm writing on right now, 'Why Did God Call the Ancient Nation of Israel?'
Were they teacher's pet? Did He call them for special favors?
And why did He call them as His CHOSEN people and still withhold from them His Holy Spirit, and even salvation and eternal life, which He gave only to the prophets as a few individuals, but not to the people of Israel. Why?
You've never read anything on that have you? But you'll read it in my forthcoming book. Because the world knows so little, and there's so little of the Spiritual knowledge that they have, and they just don't understand it.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself [meaning the Holy Spirit of God] beareth witness with our spirit, [that is, if and when the Holy Spirit comes to us] beareth witness with our spirit, [that's the spirit that is in man] that we are the children of God:
When it combines with our spirit it brings us that knowledge. But the man's spirit alone won't bring that knowledge.
So we had completed in the last time here the eighth chapter of Romans. I just gave you that much synopsis, and now we will go on.
And I hadn't read for some little time this ninth chapter, so this is almost like new to me. I have probably read it at least twenty-five or fifty times, but now maybe it's been two or three years since I've read this same chapter.
Chapter nine of Romans.
Romans 9:1-3 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
(2) That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.(3) For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
In other words, Paul loved them enough, he would do what Jesus did do for us, that he would even die for them if that would save all of them. But you see, one man cannot die and save a great many. Only Christ could do that because the life of Christ was greater than all human lives put together because He created and made all of us. So He was greater than all of us put together, and He's the only one that could die for us.
Who...he says... (3)...my kinsmen according to the flesh: (4) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the ...
Now, the word "adoption" here is a wrong translation. The King James translators, in the year of 1611, could not bring themselves to believe we could ever become God, that we could become the real sons of God, although they translated in First John the third chapter, and let's see whether it's the first or second verse...
I John 3:2 Beloved, now we are already the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:..(what we will be doesn't appear, you can't see it yet.)
But the word should be "sonship."
Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the (sonship)...
We can be begotten and then born of God.
So you see, creation of man is still going on. God created an unfinished piece of His workmanship in Adam. Adam was made wholly mortal and with one spirit, but now in this life, through Christ, we can receive the Holy Spirit, although here is something that you can puzzle over if you wish until you read my book. Well, actually this chapter I'm going to put in the next issue of The Good News, which is March, 'Why Did God Call Ancient Israel and Deny to Them the Holy Spirit?'
Incidentally, something I'm bringing into that, that I had never of anyone getting and seeing it before, Why did God blot out all human life in the flood?
Well, I explain it in this chapter, that human life had become so vile, so evil, so destructive, and so bent on violence and everything wrong. Now, they were eating, and drinking, and marrying, and giving in marriage. What's wrong with that? Well, they were doing it in a wrong manner somewhere.
Well, you'll read in the New Testament how some of them go around carousing and reveling in drunken debouches, and how that is condemned, and that a real Christian won't do those things. That's what they were doing. They were getting drunk, they were eating the wrong kind of food, and they were going into violence completely.
Now, marrying and giving in marriage, what's wrong with that?
God instituted the marriage relationship, and we call it holy matrimony. Marriage is the thing God started and has God's blessing, but that's one of the things that were wrong. It has to be a wrong kind of marriage, and I'm bringing out something that has never been brought out before, how the lineage of one man had remained unchanged from creation.
Adam and Eve were created white, but by that time there were all three races, and I think they started right after Adam and Eve. The only way I understand, and it isn't explained in the Bible, so this is conjecture, that God created Eve, within her ovaries, three different types of genes, one that would reproduce white children, one that would reproduce blacks, and another that would reproduce yellow.
So there is no question in my mind that Seth was white because the strain comes on down from Seth, and I think it's very possible that the firstborn child, Cain, might have been black. His brother, Abel, Jesus called Righteous Abel, but Cain killed him and then lied about it to God.
Anyway, the reason that they were marrying and giving in marriage, and every man was marrying the wife which he chose. Something had to be wrong in the way...the kind of wife that he chose, and the only thing it could be would interracial marriage.
Now, supposing that you are a stock raiser, and you're entering a lot of your prize animals in the State Fair or some great competition of livestock. You are not going to put in any mongrel stock. You are going to put in only thoroughbred, or pedigreed, or pureblood, or whatever you call it, because nothing else is going to win the championship.
In other words, when you break the line, there are different varieties within a species. There are different varieties in the species that we call dog, there are different varieties of roses, different forms and shapes even, and still they're all of the rose family. And there are red roses, and white roses, and pink roses, and different colors of roses. Why did God give us different color? For the sake of variety and beauty. Now, God ordained that, but He intended it to be kept in its natural strain.
Now, God wanted to preserve the three main strains, and He brought it out all the rest of humanity. Why? I said that they were bringing on such suffering on themselves because sin brings nothing but suffering, and evil, and wretchedness, and frustration, mental suffering, physical suffering, every kind of evil. Yet it brings on its perpetrators, and they bring it on others beside themselves.
So why did God bring the plagues on Egypt? Have you ever heard that explained? He did it to show them that the gods that they were worshiping, He turned those very gods against them to show them that their false Gods were false, and He did it out of love for the Egyptians. EVERYTHING GOD DOES IS DONE IN LOVE. And the Devil wants people to think that God is a harsh stern monster.
An aunt of mine in Des Moines, Iowa said one time, she says, "Well, I tell you one thing, I can accept Jesus alright, He was good, but that God of the Old Testament I can't stand. He was a cruel monster."
She didn't realize the God of the Old Testament was the one who became Jesus, and that everything that God did in the Old Testament time, or ever has done, was done in love. Go into some of these things, why God put the plagues on Egypt, why God killed all humanity but eight souls in a flood. And He did it all in love and mercy, because that is the nature of God, and God couldn't do things any other way.
But God picked a man of one strain, white, and his wife. But He wanted to save the black and the yellow, and so through Ham and Japheth He preserved those too. But He set the bounds of the nations where they should live, but they didn't want to do that, so at the Tower of Babel they wanted to build a tower. Why? So that they could intermarry and be one race, and they all had one language, and they wanted to be one, and they didn't want to be separated. So God came down and divided the languages and made them separate.
Today they want geographical integration and now they want individual integration as well. Everything opposite to what God wanted. Man will never go along with God, and man is not going along with God even today.
So I think maybe you'll find something good, and that will be in my personal column in the March issue of the Good News about ancient Israel. And it shows this, that Abraham was of the pure white strain. Shem was of the white strain, and you get his genealogy, and that same white strain carried right on down to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.
Abraham was living among the blacks, the Canaanites. That's where God sent him. But he sent his top man to pick a wife for Isaac and to go back to his own people among his own race who brought him Rebekah who was a very beautiful woman but of the same white race.
And then Jacob, he was over to Laban who was the nephew, I guess it was, of Abraham, and living in a community of another brother of Abraham who died early, but the whole community was named after him. And that is where Jacob found, he fell in love with Rachel. But Rachel's father tricked him, and Rachel's father was really the brother of Rebekah who was his mother, and was really his uncle, and actually they were cousins. He was marrying within the family. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, all a pure strain all the way from Adam.
Now, I've never known that until yesterday and today. I've just worked that out. But God is revealing new things all the time, and the wonderful things that glorify God and show how great God is and how perfect are His ways and how wrong man is.
Now, Paul said he had great heaviness of heart because of his people, the Israelites.
Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption (sonship), They were the adopted.
Now, "pertains the sonship," and yet God in Old Covenant Israel did not give them any sonship or any eternal salvation.
Romans 9:4 and the glory, and the covenants,...
They made the Old Covenant and the New Covenant will be made primarily with them. Although it's also opened now to Gentiles.
And incidentally, of course we think we're Gentiles and we're not. We are the tribe of Manasseh of the sons of Joseph. And it all comes back, although there's been a lot of intermarriage since because men have violated God's way. But there's some of that same white strain still in our people.
Romans 9:4. ..the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; [which were made to Abraham]
Romans 9:5-6 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (6) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect, For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
What does he mean there?
Abraham made a few mistakes. Abraham had Sarah tell a lie, and he told it himself, saying, "She's my sister." And while she was Abraham's half-sister, that still was a lie because it was intended to deceive.
You see, she was getting up towards ninety, and she was still so beautiful that the king where Abraham had gone wanted to take her to be one of his wives. She was just that beautiful. You don't find women up around eighty and ninety years of age that beautiful anymore, but there were then, and Sarah was. And Abraham had done a few things that were wrong. He wasn't a hundred percent perfect. No man has ever been completely perfect but Jesus Christ.
But when Sarah was barren, Sarah brought her handmaid in and tempted Abraham and says, "Have a child for me by her."
But as soon as Hagar the maid became pregnant, then the same thing happened that would happen to two women under the same conditions anywhere. Hagar despised Sarah her master, and Sarah despised Hagar her maid.
And that was Abraham's first child. He was a wild man because he was half Egyptian. But Abraham wanted him to be the heir, and God said...
"No, he shall not be my heir. But I have tried to tell you, Abraham, but you haven't trusted me in this yet."
Now, he did believe...Abraham did believe God and was willing to sacrifice his only son.
I faced the same thing when my son, Dick, was killed. Would I be willing to give him up? He had one week to live, and I had to pray about it, and I knew I was facing...he was my firstborn son, the son that meant everything to me. The happiest day of my life had been the day he was born. I had to wait ten years to have a male son.
I had two daughters, and then we'd been told my wife could never have another child, and I thought I would never have a son, and then God healed my wife supernaturally. And now I knew I could have a son, and I did, and when that son was born I always said that was the happiest day of my life.
But I was called on to give him up. But I believed with all my heart, God wouldn't...He didn't make Abraham give up his son, I didn't think He'd make me, but He did. I had to give up my son. I had to go farther than Abraham had gone. I had to really give him up, and he died.
Then God left me another son, and I just had this one thing in mind, he's still alive and God may save him yet, and I pray for him every single day, because...well, I think that God is able to do things that will bring him to repentance even yet.
Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children:...
The children, you see, of Hagar, are not counted, and God said, "He shall not have the promises, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called." ...but, In Isaac... [well, there it is here]
Romans 9:7-8 In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:...
You see, Israel today is a Spiritual name of those who are converted, and some of them were born Gentile. That's what he's trying to say here. And that even though they were born Gentile, through Christ they become the sons of God. And that gets them back into a pure strain spiritually.
Romans 9:8 ...They which are the children of the flesh, [that is natural born] these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
In other words, Isaac and those. But it is only those who are converted and have the Holy Spirit that become the children of God. And we're already children of God though not yet actually born; only begotten.
Romans 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. [as God said to Abraham.]
And finally Abraham had to believe God. And Abraham was ninety-nine and Sarah was ninety when Sarah had the son, Isaac. And then did you notice, do you remember that Abraham sent his head man that was of his whole great staff, and he was a very wealthy man, he sent his head man back to his own people, among his own racial strain of people to find a wife for Isaac, and he brought Rebekah.
And that's…Abraham is a type of God the Father, and Isaac a type of Christ the Son, and Rebekah is a type of the Church. And we in the Church have to fall in love with Christ before we have seen Him. You have never really seen Christ, and don't think the pictures you've seen are Christ, because He didn't look like those pictures at all. And Rebekah had to fall in love with Isaac before she ever saw him. But God was superintending the whole thing and so it worked out beautifully.
Romans 9:10-11 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac (11) For [in parenthesis] the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, [that was of course Jacob and Esau who were twins, weren't they] that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Now, "him that calls" there's a lot that ought to be written about God calling. Jesus Christ said very plainly...
John 6:44 "NO MAN CAN come to me,"...[no matter how much he wants to, no matter if he really would like to become a Christian] "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
God takes the initiative. God is the one who decides who's going to be saved. God has to draw them through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He works on them, and you might say, draws or pulls them like the power of gravity will pull you to the earth.
And the funny thing, now, if I had let go I would have waked up in there, I would never hit the bottom. They say that you never...a thing like that never happens in a dream. But what happened in that dream was peculiar, it was different.
It seemed like the whole building started going down into the ground, and it came down till I was...my feet were within not over two feet of the ground, and then I just let loose and leaped on the ground and there was no trouble, and the dog was saved and I was saved.
But I don't know why you dream such things, but my dreams...well, that was a little scary, but ordinarily I don't even have scary dreams, they're always just some pleasant nothing that has nothing to do with anything, and I wake up and think, well, it isn't worth telling anybody because there's nothing to it, but they're usually pleasant and happy dreams.
Well, I don't worry about things. People...the doctors thought after my heart failure that I was worrying about things and all that.
And I said, "No, I've learned to throw those things off my mind and trust God."
And I don't worry anymore. And you know, I always did up until that heart failure. But I just don't worry. And when this thing happened a year ago with the State of California, I didn't have any old qualms about it.
They told me, and they telephoned out here and all that, but I knew God would take care of things, that the Work of God would go on, and it has. It's going on now. The cloud is still over us, but it's just like we're having to work without the sunshine and work in the shade, but the Work's going on just as if nothing had ever happened actually. And I'm appealing to the Higher Court myself. While Stan Rader tries to appeal to higher courts of men I am appealing to the court of God. He's the one that's going to finally remove the whole thing.
Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, [that is Jacob and Esau] neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Now, the calling of God and predestination both have something in common. God calls those that were predestinated to be called. Now, that brings up the question, did God know before the world was who would be born in this Twentieth Century, and what their name would be, and that they were called way back then, or does God look down and see all the people and decide now to call, and did He just say before the world was that He would call the right ones then? I think the latter is the case of what happened.
And God chose Abraham because He knew that Abraham had the qualities that would develop the character of righteousness, and faith, and steadfastness, and He called him and gave him the chance. Now, frankly, I don't think God knew whether Abraham would respond or not, because you see, when God calls one of us, we make the decision. But Abraham did. Abraham did. And he became the "father of the faithful." And all the promises were made to him. Now...
Romans 9:12-13 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. [Esau was the elder] (13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
That is a mistranslation in a way. God is not a God of hate, and it means that he loved Jacob more. He had… In other words, the calling, it talked about the calling up in the verse before, and God had called Jacob. God knew that Jacob had the qualities that if he were called he would make good. Now, that's just what it amounts to.
And maybe He knows in some cases before you're born, because there are some like Jeremiah, for example, and Christ, both were sanctified or set apart by God, which means called, before they were even born. But God sometimes knows even before they're born, through the heredity, of just what type of person they're going to turn out to be.
Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?...
Now, that's the thing. Everyone wants to accuse God of being wrong and unfair. No, he says...
Romans 9:14 ...God forbid. [it doesn't mean that God really was wrong in choosing Jacob above Esau]
Romans 9:15 For... [and you see the descendants of Esau are the Turks today, and the descendants of Jacob are the Israelites today, and we're one of the tribes.]
Romans 9:15-17 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,....[as man runs, or according to how he performs] but of God that sheweth mercy. (17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Did I mentioned a while ago, that even in the plagues against the Egyptians, God was merciful to them because He was taking the very things they worshiped, and turning them in plagues against the Egyptians, and showing that their gods were not gods but enemies, and that they shouldn't have been worshiping them.
Romans 9:17-20 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (18) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? (20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?
Who are you to criticize God? Or who are you to condemn God and blame God?
Romans 9:20 ...Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
That's what women say when they use paint on their faces. Why did you make my eyebrows the way they did? I'm going to pluck them out around at least over on this side and have them arch up over my forehead. Why did you make me...I don't like the way you made me. And human beings are a lot like that.
Someday I think I'll start a custom among the men, and have the men of the Church start using makeup and painting their faces a lot, and see what the women say. I think that will cause a great commotion in the Church if I ever do that.
Romans 9:21-24 Hath not the potter power over the clay, [you see, and God is the potter and we are the clay; and we're really made out of clay of the earth] of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering [or patience] (22) the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23) And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore, prepared unto glory. (24) Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
People are always wanting to sit in judgment of God. They want to blame God. Now, it goes a little further than that. You take in the Church, God has had to call some to raise up His Church and organize and to...it has to be an organization, and some have to operate it, and if God does the choosing you'll find that people are always going to say, "God made the wrong choice." They're plenty of them that think God made the wrong choice in choosing me to be His apostle.
When people try to correct me they're sitting in Christ's place, and they say, "Well Christ, I don't think you're on the job. You're not straightening out the man you corrected. And that's your job, and you're not attending to your job. I'm going to do it for you."
Now, I'm responsible for the men under me. If they don't perform right I remove them, and I will of course be criticized for it. People are so willing to criticize, and they even want to criticize God Himself. That's what this whole chapter is about.
Romans 9 24-26 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (25) As he saith also in Osee [Hosea], I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. (26) And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
But there will be a lot of repentance in the meantime, and people can't understand that.
Romans 9:27-28 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (28) For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
An angel says, "Wait, hold up the Day of the Lord until we seal the one hundred and forty-four thousand and another great innumerable multitude of all nations."
So that shows that, when it is necessary, God can slow up world events for His own purpose until time for something God wants done can be done. Now, I think that's what's happened in the seventies. I think we had come to the place in the seventies when world events were to move so fast that our Work would have been finished by 1972, I still believe that. But I think that God held things up for awhile.
Now, as we leave the decade of the seventies, and we're entering the decade of the eighties, all of a sudden things are starting to happen in the world. Now, Russia is starting, and I tell you what has been going on in the last ten days to two weeks, just smacks absolutely at what went on before World War I and what led into World War II and the events that led right into it.
And in leaving the decade of the seventies and entering the eighties, the world is in a whole new ball game. All of a sudden we're in a different world, and things are going to go and...now, I just read...
Romans 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
I think things are going to happen lightening fast from now on.
Now, I do not think that Russia is going to conquer the world. Russia's plan is to go on through...I'm sure that their plan, unless they're deterred, unless God deters them and holds up time again which I doubt if He will do this time. But I'm sure that their plan is to go on through Pakistan and into the Indian Ocean, and we have three major battleships, or airplane carriers which are larger than battleships, but the Russian submarines can sink them. And Russia is going to threaten now to turn east and south out of Russia, but east out of Afghanistan and take advantage of all the troubles to, as they will say, to go in and straighten out that mess in Iran, and take over Iran. And right now they have troops marshaled, and they're gathering right on the borders of Yugoslavia and of even West Germany, ready to march into Germany and Europe.
Europe will be united into one great nation of several nations. And I think that it may not go up into, for example, Holland and the Scandinavian nations, but I think that it may include Germany, and France, and Spain, and Portugal, and Italy. But I think the ten nations will be completed with two or three nations in Eastern Europe that will be carved right out.
Tito is just about to die and the Russians are poised, they're ready to go in and take advantage of it. They're just like a vulture that can see an animal's about to die and they're just flying around and around and just waiting to pounce down and eat all that's left there.
Romans 9:29-30 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. (30) What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, [salvation and conversion through the Holy Spirit.]
Romans 9:30-32 ...have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. (31) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore?...
Now, what's all that mean?
Romans 9:32 ...Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Now, works of the law, there it's referring to the rituals of the law. The word "works" in the English language is translated from the Greek word ergon and it means a physical law, not the Spiritual law of the Ten Commandments, but something that requires physical labor.
Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 10:1-2 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Let's see, I've written something in here. "Also Pentecostals have a great zeal for God but not according to knowledge." That does apply to them. They have a good time at church.
And they say, "Praise the Lord! Praise you Jesus! Glory Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"
Oh they have a good time, but if you want to bring them any knowledge about God, or His law, or the right way of living, they don't want to hear any more about it. I have had a lot of dealing with that kind of people.
Romans 10:3-4 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Now, just to show you how some people misunderstand the Bible...
Romans 10:4...Christ is the end of the law...
That means that He did away with the law and it ended with Christ. That is not what it means, and I think you'll find some other translations say that He's the objective, or that the law leads to Christ, it was aluding to Him.
Romans 10:5-9 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, (Christ) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
You have to do that, but that doesn't mean that there isn't something more you have to do beside. As I said a while ago, Adam and Eve, they couldn't have just reached out and taken of the Tree of Life. They had to actually reject the other Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and reject Satan's way, and accept Christ's way, and that's what Adam and Eve didn't do.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; [and the heart really means attitude of mind, I think the way it's expressed in the Bible] ...and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith,...
Of course now, Billy Graham, people like that, will quote that kind of Scripture right along, but they leave out the other parts of the Scripture.
Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him [on Christ] ...shall not be ashamed.
But to believe you have to believe what He says, not just believe on Him...
So it isn't all so easy, there's more to it than, if you just take that alone, than it might appear.
Romans 10:15-16 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! [or glad tidings, good news, or the Gospel]. (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Who believed our message of the Gospel.
Romans 10:17-21 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (18) But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (19) But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. (20) But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. (21) But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
So it isn't so easy as some of this might appear, and even though he stretched His hand and He called them, they wouldn't respond.
Oh now, chapter eleven is a long chapter, and that is a very important chapter. I'm going to leave that for next Sabbath because it's quite a long chapter and very, very important, and a lot of meat in that.
Some chapters have more, well, I say more preaching value, more things you can comment on and make than some of the others. But I think that will do for today.
Man's Education SystemWhat Adam did was to obey Satan and to decide that he would decide for himself what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is evil. In so doing he rejected God as the ruler of government, and he rejected the government of God! He also rejected God as Savior and Lord religiously.
Paul's Letters to the RomansWell now, the Gentiles, by the time that Paul was writing the book of Romans, had created their own knowledge, and they thought they knew it all. They were very knowledgeable. So Paul's letters are corrective in most cases, and the letter of Romans is no exception. So he was correcting, first the Gentile Christians who still had a whole lot of their Roman ideas that they'd had before they were converted. So he goes into their knowledge, and they had not retained God in their knowledge, and showing that they were ignorant after all, and did not have real knowledge.
Review of Chapter 8Then we come on into the eight chapter, and...
Spirit in ManA human being could not understand the knowledge that a man understands, he would understand no more than a dumb animal. Now, an elephant, or a dolphin, or a whale has a larger brain and it's just as good as ours and bigger, but they can't understand the knowledge of a man. And no man could understand it except that there is a spirit in man that imparts intellect to the physical brain. Animals don't have that spirit within them. That spirit is something like water or air.
Man's Ultimate DestinyNow, the eighth chapter goes on to show the ultimate destiny of man and a lot of wonderful things, one of the most wonderful chapters in all of the Bible. And it shows here that there is a spirit in man in verse sixteen...
Humanity Had Become EvilYou'll read in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel how the whole house of Israel are going to come up in the valley of dry bones, which is over a thousand years from now, after the Millennium, and they'll come back to a natural resurrection as they did.
Righteous NoahNow, you go back and read about Noah, and you'll read that he was the one man, and the only man on earth, that was still pure in his generations. That's plural. That means in his ancestry. Also, he was righteous before God, but it doesn't mean that he was perfect, morally and spiritually. In the case where it says he was perfect it's speaking of his generations or his pedigree by birth. He was of the same pure white line. Now, I'm sure that his wife also was of the same.
What About TodayNow today, what are they doing? They're trying to intermarry, and very rapidly the English language is becoming a worldwide language, and in all nations in education they're teaching the languages of other nations. Men are gradually getting back, and if God lets time go on, in two or three generations there will be only one language on earth, and it wouldn't be much more than that till there would be only one race, because they want interracial marriage. Whereas God ordained that there should be racial segregation, it was geographical segregation.
Isaac's SeedNow, what does he mean by that? Let's go on and get it...
Spiritual IsraelBut anyway...
Trust in GodI woke up in a dream the other night, and I was up about eight or ten stories, and it seemed that there was a dog hanging on a windowsill out there. And if he fell it would probably kill him. And I got out there and was hanging on with my hands on that same windowsill. And I looked down and I was frightened to death, and I knew if I let...and I knew I couldn't hold on, and I couldn't get myself back up there, and if I let go I would die.
Plagues Sent in MercyNow, that was to Pharaoh, and that was the Pharaoh on whom the plagues fell.
Man Critical of GodSo...
Europe to UniteNow, what this is going to do, it isn't that Russia's going to do some great terrible thing, what Russia's going to do is they are going to frighten the nations of Europe, and they're going to bring about the consolidation of Europe and things will move fast! And the Vatican will get together with the nations of Europe and they will then resurrect and declare the re-emergence of the Holy Roman Empire, a union of church and state.
Romans 10Now, he continues in the tenth chapter...
Believe What Christ SaysRomans 10:12-14 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?