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. | Remove Highlight
Greetings everybody! Hello there, everybody, over in Pasadena. I'm not over here in Tucson, I'm in Pasadena right with you and I've been listening to Mr. Curtis May telling us how to make up for lost time. And I hope that you have all gotten that lesson, because we certainly all need it, including myself. A Voice Cries Out Purpose of the Holy Days God's Master Plan Annual Sabbaths Festivals picture Spiritual Harvest Feast of Unleavened Bread Pentecost Feast of Trumpets What is the Church? The Church began on Pentecost Jesus, the second Adam Lucifer becomes Satan The Two Trees God called Certain Ones Four "Untils" The New Testament Church Why the Church? Concerning Spiritual Gifts Church is One Body Preaching of the Gospel We are the Family of God False Churches The Bride Made Herself Ready Next Holy Day
Well, this is a first and I'm certainly happy to be able to talk to you in this way. I'm talking to you from my own new studio. It's a combination recording studio and office. I do all my work, my writing, the typing here, and also we do the recording. And we're going to be recording new television programmes and I hope we can expand onto many, many new stations.
While I have an opportunity I just want to tell you one thing God has opened the most wonderful door for us just recently and that is in one certain newspaper. Now we already had had the door opened to the Los Angeles Times, and then the New York Times, and then we have been running full page ads, full page newspaper ads up in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee in San Francisco, in the San Francisco Chronicle, and also I think the other Hurst newspaper there in Los Angeles, and now the New York Times. But now God has opened a paper, as a matter of fact, that men in the advertising profession and the newspaper profession are simply marvelling at. They said we would never be able to buy space in the Wall Street Journal.
Now the Wall Street Journal has a circulation bigger than any daily newspaper in the United States. I think the Los Angeles Times has the largest daily circulation of the regular newspaper. The Wall Street Times...the Wall Street Journal, rather is a national paper. They have a western edition printed simultaneously with the New York edition.
They have a mid-west edition, I presume printed in Chicago, I am not sure where they print it. But it is circulated nationally, all over the United States. It reaches all of the chief executives of all of the great corporations, the great banks, the great insurance companies, all large corporations of every kind in the United States.
It reaches all of the top people under them in their various corporations and organisations. It reaches the people who have money to invest and are interested in the Stock Market. It reaches people who simply want to see the news reduced right down into capsule, condensed form. And for example,they have quite a circulation right over here in Tucson because, we have a number of people here in Tucson that have investments and are interested in knowing how things are going on.
In other words, in the Wall Street Journal, my brethren, for the first time we are reaching the very top echelon of the people of the whole United States.
It's a national audience. Now the Wall Street Journal doesn't have anywhere near as many pages as the Los Angeles Times. You pick up a Los Angeles Times and it seems to me it's about two or three inches thick with, I don't know...what do they have? It's either ten, twelve, fifteen different sections! And each section is a newspaper in itself.
And the Wall Street Journal has at the most two sections. Either one or two smaller sections, and in other words, there aren't as many pages in the Wall Street Journal and our full-page ad stands out Oh boy, it simply stands out and they all are reading it.
Now the fact that the Wall Street Journal have examined all of these ads as a matter of fact they want to see them about six weeks ahead, and about six weeks before they run because their lawyers examine them, they go over them with a fine tooth comb. If they think that they're going to get sued because of anything I say in these ads, they won't accept them.
Now the ad that I just finished last evening, as a matter of fact, is all on this give and get. It's almost exactly the same message that I gave before an audience of four hundred people over in Peking, China last December. And it is going to be read by a very large audience of the so-called great and the near great of the United States. We've never had an opportunity to reach those people before. They would never have listened on radio. They would not look at a religious telecast on the air they just simply don't look at those things and we don't reach them, but I know how to talk to them in their language.
I wonder if you realise that before God called me to the ministry that I represented the banking journals read by bankers all over the United States. And I represented the seven main and largest banking journals of the United States. I attended the national Bankers' Conventions. I knew the bankers of Wall Street and New York. I knew the chief that is the presidents and board chairmen and vice presidents of the banks in Chicago. Mostly down on South; the South Street and that area and I know how to speak to them in their own language.
I dealt for seven years with the presidents of the largest corporations in the United States. That included corporations like Goodyear Tyre and Rubber and like J.I. Case, the great farm machine corporation, Moline Plow, John Deere and company and others like that. I was trained in the early years in writing to that type of people. I know just how to talk to them. You know that the average man who is a minister that God has called would not know how to write to them, would not know how to talk to them. It is a wonderful opportunity. Now as soon as we can we'll get these same ads to you and before I begin the sermon I want to bring to you today, because this is a day when we are supposed to bring you meat in due season, and this is a season for a certain seasonable message.
I've got something here on my desk that some listener sent in or some member rather, that is something I want to share with you I think you might enjoy it. You know our enemies are making up all kinds of lies and they circulate them as if they were true. And one of them is that I've got a lot of money stashed away in a Swiss bank somewhere. So someone sent me a Swiss bank...I wonder if you can see it? It's just like a piece, a slice, if you can see it, of Swiss cheese, and can you hear that [makes a rattling noise] - - it has one penny in it, so I've really got a lot of money invested in a Swiss bank, and I wanted you to see that, and I have it right here, it's just sort of a little toy [chuckles] but it shows you just how much people really believe these rumours. Someone didn't believe it and they sent me a Swiss bank.
Well, the only money that I know of that we have in any Swiss Bank we have an office in Geneva and there is a banking account there and I could write a cheque on it but I never have in my life, and I suppose the account is still there, I opened that account about ten years or more ago, and I presume it's still there, I hope so. And our German brethren did open an account in a Swiss bank but I didn't know anything about it, and that's just our local church one of the churches in Germany and if the local brethren want to do something like that, that's their business. It's not the church as a whole from Pasadena in any way.
Now these annual Festivals have very, very great meaning. And, you know for a long time I found that many of our ministers were not preaching about the meaning of these days they'd preach on any old subject at the Feast of Tabernacles or at any other Holy Day. Well, I don't think this is happening anymore because the ministers are now preaching on the Meaning of the Day, the day that we're observing. There is very great meaning, even of this day, the Feast of Trumpets that we are celebrating today. And it is something that should bring us anticipations of great joy.
In fact all of these days should just bring us a joyful feeling. Now Winston Churchill had mentioned to the United States Congress he spoke during World War 2 to the United States Congress, and he mentioned that there is a purpose being worked out here below. Well, God Almighty above is working out that purpose and God's purpose is simply... well it's sort of dual really. All of God ...everything God does is dual, I wonder if you realise that. For example there was a first Adam who was physical, a second Adam who was spiritual. And everything is done in a one-two manner, or a dual manner.
Now God is reproducing Himself. That is His spiritual purpose, but also He has another...both purposes, both phases of the dual purpose are spiritual, the other is He is restoring the government of God.
Now very few people know I think very few ministers of what they call Christianity in this world would know that God had a government on this earth. The government of God once ruled on this earth, but it is not being executed, it is not being run now and God is in process of restoring it through us in the Church.
But when we were building the campus in Pasadena I employed the largest firm of architects and engineers in the world. And the main thing that they worked for they not only designed some of our fine buildings including the auditorium that I'm looking into right now but they designed a master plan for the campus. I don't know whether you ever noticed it or not but there is a definite master plan the way the whole campus at Pasadena is worked out. And you'll notice that there is an area up above on the hill for the academic area and there is an area for student residences, where the students live.
Then there is an area for the auditorium, for the Hall of Administration, for the Student Center where the students all eat and where we have many meetings, faculty dining room and the Ambassador Clubs and things like that. And then there's an area for the athletics and gymnasium and track and field area, and it's all well master planned and designed.
But nevertheless, God revealed it to me, back in 1927, in the spring. And Mrs. Armstrong, the original Mrs. Armstrong, who was my wife for fifty years, until death did part us, observed these days with me for seven years. We had to observe these annual Sabbath days alone, by ourselves. To the church brethren up in the Willamette valley of the Sardis era of the church, I revealed the truth to them and they laughed me to scorn exactly as you read back in the Old Testament when these days were discovered in ancient Judah. They sent men up to Israel to tell them that they should observe these days and they only laughed them to scorn. Well, human beings are the same even yet today. We haven't changed very much.
Now the Festival season that God has given us which other churches just don't know anything about, but they have departed from the word of God, the Bible. But the season starts in the spring with the Passover, and we have really festivals three times in a year, you might say the first two in the spring with the Passover which celebrates the death of Christ. Christ's death to pay the penalty of your sins and mine. You dirty sinners you, and I can point a finger at me, I'm a dirty sinner too. But Jesus Christ came and took your sins and my sins and took the penalty that we've incurred on Himself and paid it in our place.
Now that is quite a solemn festival but yet the very fact that it pictures the fact that Christ has paid our penalty in our stead should bring us very great joy. It really should.
Repentance means you don't do it again. It means you stop doing it any longer. So when we repent of sin that means we stop sinning. You won't stop all sinning but whatever sin your repent of you stop that sin certainly and you'd better stop as many as you know about.
So the second festival is that seven days and how joyful that ought to be that we can now stop sinning, and that we have the Holy Spirit although the second festival doesn't picture that yet. But we do have the Holy Spirit to help us and so that we don't have to bring that penalty on us again.
The church in other words is the first group or the first body as a group that God had called to a begettal, to receive God's Holy Spirit and be begotten as the children of God. Not yet born...we're in the same position as the unborn child in the mother's womb. During the time of pregnancy a child is the child is there, and the child is the child, the son or daughter of the parents and an abortion is a murder because there is a human life there, but it isn't yet born.
So we use the terms in physical reproduction of begettal or conception and then all the period from then until what they call parturition or delivery of the child into the world when the child comes out to live its own life in the world.
Well, we haven't come to that place spiritually yet. We are in the begettal stage and the church above is the mother of us all, and we're all children to be fed spiritually by the church, to be protected by the church from false doctrine and false ways and to be developed by the church by the spiritual food from the word of God, in the church.
Now the church is called to be prepared, in order to reap the first spiritual harvest. That harvest won't really be reaped until the second coming of Christ, and that's what we're observing today, is the second coming of Christ.
The church is the first body to receive the Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit came on that Day of Pentecost. There were 120. Jesus preached to thousands and thousands of people, but of all the thousands that He preached to, do you know how many really believed, and continued to believe and were loyal? Of all of the thousands, only 120.
You read in the 8th chapter of John, beginning with verse 30, and you'll have to read several verses from there, a great many verses. You'll find there is an account there of Jews who believed on Christ. Only believed on Him. You know today everybody says "if you just accept Christ, just believe on the Lord and you'll be saved" and that's all there is to it. Now there's one scripture that says believe on Christ and you'll be saved but there's other scriptures say other things that you have to add to it. And they forget that. So it's a lot more than just believing.
First you have to repent, then you have to believe, then we're to receive the Holy Spirit of God then we must grow in grace and in knowledge and we must overcome. We must develop character and that is the work of the church. Now the church then is the first body to receive the Holy Spirit, and it came on the day of Pentecost, which was in a June and that was a begettal.
And it begins when it ought to begin, but we come to this fourth festival which is the first day of the seventh month. Now it's the first of the Fall season, of the Holy days in the Fall. It pictures the second coming of Christ, but Christ is coming to the church. Now when He comes, He is coming to the church and He will receive the church in the air. We will rise to meet Him. Those of us who are still alive ... sometimes I wonder... God can prolong my life until that time, and I think He will prolong my life as long as He needs me. But I can't tell whether that's tomorrow or a year from tomorrow, or ten years from tomorrow.
I was just noticing on television last night a picture of a woman way up above about 113 or 114 years old, and she didn't look any older than I do and I may look a little older than I did two or three years ago.... I tell you why I've lost 40 lbs, and my cheeks are more hollow than they were and not filled out. It's a funny thing; I don't have the big front. I used to talk about "it's what up front that counts" you know. I didn't have the height so I had to have it up front. But you have to have the weight somewhere to carry weight and well I can't see that any more I'm back to almost my normal weight that I was before I began to take on more weight now. But it seems like the first place that weight goes is right out of your face and right out of the cheeks. I want to tell you though, things are still clicking right up in here and that's what counts. Really it's not up front that counts after all. That's what a cigarette manufacturer used to say.
Now, why the church? In that regard we need right now to know. Christ is coming to the church and we need again to know what is the church, why is the church and what is its purpose.
Do you know the average person doesn't know? Sometimes I wonder does anyone understand why there is a church. People know there are lots of churches around. You ask the average person "what is a church?" "well, the church is a building. It has a sharply steeping roof. It has a steeple on top pointing way up to heaven ... (where we are not going to go anyway but they think we are).... and it will have a cross on the faηade on the front. A church is a building where people go. People go to church."
Well, that's not what I found in the Bible. I find that the church went to a building. And that building to begin with do you know where they met? In a home, or the house of one of the members. They didn't have a building at all as the church started out.
When they built these big cathedrals that was later when a false church sprang up. The original church didn't have anything of the kind at all. And they met wherever they could, just like we do. We are following the pattern of that original church and no other church on the face of the earth is. But we are.
Now if you look for the word "church" in the Bible, the first place the church is mentioned in time order, that is the time order of the existence of the church, is in the seventh chapter of Acts. Not the first place it's mentioned, but the first place in time order in the New Testament.
In Acts 7:38 where it says "this is he" referring to Moses "that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in Mount Sinai".
In other words, the church in the wilderness back in Mount Sinai with Moses.
That was a church, but usually it is called the Congregation of Israel not the church of Israel. But church means the same thing as congregation. Church comes from the Greek word in the New Testament "ecclesia". And ecclesia simply means ecclesia is a group of people. It's a called-out group of people. That's what ecclesia means.
Now they were a called out group of people in the Old Testament. They were the church or congregation of Israel, a human man. We today are the church of a divine personage God. They didn't have the Holy Spirit. We do have the Holy Spirit. We are begotten of God and children of God. They were only the physical children of Israel, but we are the spiritual children of God. Now there's that very great difference.
Now, what is the church? When we get to that you know one of the things that the people in the world and the churches of the world simply do not know. They don't know that Jesus was born to be a king. You don't hear the great evangelists preach Jesus was born to be a king. They don't preach Jesus as a king, they just simply say Jesus is a saviour, "give your heart to the Lord and you'll be saved".
You see the way they picture it, this life they picture as being on a railroad trip. Now that's the whole life that you're living. And you go down this life. Now at the end of the trip on the track of the railroad, the track is set. There's a switch and one switch shoots the track or the train that you're on straight down to hell. But it's already set. Now if sometime along on the trip, which is your lifetime, you say "all right, I accept Christ", that changes the switch on the track at the end of the line and then when you get there now the switch is going to shoot you right up to heaven.
Well of course that's a lot of falderal and it isn't true at all. But a lot of people believe that, they've simply been deceived. Satan is the great deceiver who deceives the whole world. But what they don't know is that Jesus was born to be a king. That He came to announce a kingdom. A government. The gospel and the church are concerned with government.
I'm just talking to our own local group and I'll say it Does Billy Graham understand that. Do you ever hear him preach about the church and government? And that Jesus is a king and that we're going to rule with Christ in a government? Oh no, they don't believe that at all. They don't say anything about it. You just live your life the way you want but you must accept Christ and then you'll just go to heaven.
I have heard Billy Graham say "The Bible says ...when we all get to heaven". I will give him a cheque for $10,000 if he will show me where the Bible says that. You know, I've never seen that in the Bible, neither have you. And neither will you. Because the Bible doesn't say any such thing. The Bible says that no man has ascended up to heaven and with Jesus Christ saying that too, and the Bible quotes Him.
So Jesus is the second Adam. Now Jesus came for a dual purpose primarily. Jesus came - why did He come to earth? Primarily for a dual purpose. First, He came to be a king. You'll find it back in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. You'll find it back in the 7th chapter of Isaiah, isn't it? No, it's the 9th chapter and the sixth verse. And so on.
So, He also came to be a saviour. His name was Emmanuel, which is "God with us", and He came as a saviour. He is the one seed in whom all the families and nations of the earth are going to be blessed, as their saviour. So, He came to save us and give us eternal life, but He also came to establish and restore the government of God.
And the government of God had once been on the earth but Lucifer took it away. The former arch angel and he has been changed now to become Satan. And his name now is Satan.
Now God's purpose begins with the first Adam who was a physical man. That's the physical phase of God's great master plan and of God's whole great purpose. And the spiritual phase of God's work you see, it's a physical phase and a spiritual phase now the spiritual phase begins with the second Adam who is Jesus Christ.
But Satan, who is the former Lucifer, was once established on a throne, over angels. Now God set that throne and God set His government there and He set this super arch angel there to govern it. Now Lucifer was the most powerful angel that God could possibly create. There are two other angels as great as that, that are cherubs...Michael and Gabriel. But there is none greater except God Himself, and He has such great power. But the government became inoperative because Lucifer rebelled. Lucifer, instead of the way of love, began to live the way of get. Which is the way of self. "I love me and I don't care anything about God. I covet more power. I am filled with lust ". And he was filled with envy and with hostility and he changed just the opposite of God's way of life.
So, the government became inoperative, and there was no government on earth when God created Adam. The government of God was not being executed at all. Yet God's universe government now get this the universe government of God over the whole universe required that once Lucifer was set on that throne he must remain on that throne until a successor has qualified and been inducted into office and put on that throne.
So, Lucifer was changed to Satan and Satan is still there now, and Satan was there when Adam was created, and Satan has remained there ever since and is still there up to this time now. Now Adam remember this the first Adam is the father or the progenitor physically of the whole world. He is the physical progenitor of the whole world. And the whole world started in and through him.
He had to make a choice. He had to decide between God's way and God's government and Satan's way of get, and God's way is the way of give, or love. But Adam was making that choice not only for himself but for the whole world, for all humanity that would follow him.
Now Adam listened to his wife Eve. As a matter of fact, you know there is a great deal of political interest right now going on about the ERA. The women all want this ERA. You know who started this woman's movement of the ERA? Well, it was old Mother Eve. She said "I don't want to be ruled by my husband. I want 50-50". But 50-50 means I'm going to wear the pants always. It doesn't mean 50-50 at all. Someone is going to be the leader in every case. You can't have a 50-50. Try it, it won't work. It never did, it never will.
Now Adam Eve just grabbed him by the nose and led him along and Adam the poor simp he just went along with her. So Adam was not deceived, but Eve was. But Adam made the choice for the whole world for his family. He was the father of that family.
God made that binding on the whole world until the government of God is restored once again to the earth! Now that meant it was binding for 6,000 years. But God did make an exception. It was binding except that God was going to call a few just one here, one there a very, very few, once in a while, that God would call to come to Him. Otherwise people are cut off from God! You read in the very last verses of the third chapter of Genesis how God drove the man and the woman out of the Garden of Eden and He put angels with flaming swords, pointing every direction lest they go back they or their children would go back and take of the Tree of Life. And gain immortal life and live forever in sin.
Now God did not intend for people to have eternal life and live forever in sin. Because sin makes you unhappy. Sin brings pain and sorrow and suffering. And God loves us too much to let us live forever in that kind of misery.
You know, back in the time of the Flood, do you know that it was in great mercy and love for the people, that God drowned the whole world except for Noah and his family? He saved them from more suffering. They were just bringing suffering. Violence filled the earth! And everything evil was filling the earth in that day and we are back to a time just like that again now. That's why we know we're right at the end of this age. We're at the end of this world. Just exactly as the Bible says, time and time again.
Now they were just one of the nations of this world. He gave them His law. They had His spiritual law, the Ten Commandments. But they also had God's civil law for the regulation of man with his neighbour. Then they had some other religious laws that were only temporary until Christ. But they were a national government. But He did not give them the Holy Spirit. They were cut off from the Holy Spirit but He did give them the knowledge of right and wrong. He did give them the Ten Commandments and His spiritual law.
But they were just one of the governments in this world. But their prophets were given the Holy Spirit and their prophets were sort of co-founders of the New Testament church. I wonder if you ever thought of them as that.
The church is founded on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. Now that's in the (what is it?) the second chapter, I believe it is, of Ephesians. So, it's not speaking of New Testament prophets there at all, because there were no New Testament prophets at all that had anything to do with putting doctrine into the church, with what the church is to believe or do, or with administration of the work of the church. Not a one.
As a matter of fact, there are only four prophets mentioned in the New Testament, starting with an elderly woman who picked up the Christ child when he was a little tiny infant and blessed Him. She was past eighty years of age at that time.
But, remember now, Satan is still on that throne and still has power. And Adam sold out to Satan, and when we have to redeem the time, as you heard in the sermonette today. We have to redeem it from what Satan has been leading us into. That's the thing we need to realise.
That there are four important I call them "Until", where it speaks about a certain thing won't happen until a certain time.
Now first, except for the very few, specially and individually called by God, all humankind was cut off from access to God or His Holy Spirit until the second Adam, who is Christ had qualified to restore the government of God, and actually had been restored on the government of God, ruling the whole world by the Kingdom of God. And the whole world is cut off until that time. Jesus Himself said plainly "no man CAN come to me except the Father which sent me draw him."
Now they're cut off from the Father unless the Father draws them. And Jesus said NO MAN CAN! I tell you, these evangelists that go out and preach to the world and say "whosoever will may come". There is even a hymn they sing "Whosoever will". You know where that is in the Bible? Back in the very last chapter of the Bible, after the thousand years, after the Great White Throne Judgement. But not during this time in the church. Not during the time of ancient Israel. Whosoever will could not come. No sir...not until then. Let's get the Bible straight.
Now, the second Until. The Holy Spirit was not yet given, even for the church when Christ was on earth until Jesus, having conquered Satan, and having overcome and qualified now to rule in the Kingdom of God, had been glorified in heaven. You read that in John 7: 37-39. And that was on one of the Feast days, it was the very last day, the very Great day after the Feast of Tabernacles, which we'll come to that in about two weeks now.
Therefore the Old Testament Israel could not receive God's Holy Spirit, only their specially-called prophets could. And they were specially called, and I tell, you I think it's still a question that is not made absolutely clear in the Bible as to whether the Holy Spirit of God was in them or with them. However, it is made clear they will be in the Kingdom, and how could they be begotten and come into the Kingdom unless the Holy Spirit had been in them, so I assume that some way the Holy Spirit was in them.
Now third, there's a third Until. Even the gospel, that is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news about a government, but those that go out preaching the gospel, they call the gospel, only preach about a person, about Christ. Christ is only the messenger who brought the gospel, and that they don't preach at all. The Kingdom of God. Well, even the gospel could not be proclaimed until Jesus, the second Adam had qualified by overcoming Satan while Jesus was yet a human being.
Now, you'll read of that in Mark 1, verses 14 and 15 when He said the time was now at hand and He began to preach the Kingdom of God. So, during Old Testament Israel we read in Luke 16:16 "the law and the prophets were until John".Not the gospel...just the law and the prophets were until John and since that time the Kingdom of God is preached.
Now, there's a fourth one. Even now today, the heavens have received Jesus until the times of restitution of all things. You read that in the third chapter of Acts in verse 21. Acts 3 and verse 21. That is, the time of restoration of the government of God over the earth at Christ's soon coming, which will be very soon now, in our time.
Now Old Testament Israel had a function preparatory to the ultimate establishment of the Kingdom of God. But the gospel could not be proclaimed to the world, nor could God's called congregation of people, that is the church, have the Holy Spirit until first Jesus had qualified by overcoming Satan, and second, had been glorified after He ascended up to heaven. He had to ascend up to heaven.
And second, the congregation or the church could receive the Holy Spirit and that's when the church really began. So that's what you find on the Day of Pentecost.
And now, in due time... I've been tracing things from the time of Adam on... but in due time, Jesus was born and He qualified by overcoming Satan. He was put to the very supreme test, as you read in the fourth chapter of Matthew. He qualified; He proclaimed the good news of the coming government, the Kingdom of God, the Family of God, ruling in the government. He taught His disciples and then He died for us and paid the penalty of our sin in our stead.
Now only then could God call a body, the church, to receive His Holy Spirit. It couldn't happen until that time, and receive the Holy Spirit on repentance and faith. And even now we have to repent and have the faith in Christ to receive the Holy Spirit. So, that was the Day of Pentecost, the third festival.
But now, a little further before we come again to this. What is the church? What is the church? The church is the firstfruits, the first group or body to have the Holy Spirit of God, to be begotten by God that can be born of God at the coming of Christ.
When Jesus comes, brethren...just stop and think a minute. He is not going to rule all alone by Himself with on one. He is going to have a very great organisation! You know old father Abraham is going to be there. He's going to be resurrected and he's going to have a very important position. And I think he'll be right next to Christ. I may be wrong about that but that is what I believe. And I don't say very often what I believe. Usually I speak with authority because it's in the Bible.
But we're to rule with Christ. Now you read back here in Revelation the third chapter and verse 21 and this applies only to the church, by the way. It does not apply to people in the Kingdom of God later, after Christ comes. This did not apply to ancient Israel. It only applies to us. Here it says, "to him" that's the words of Jesus Christ Himself, "to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne as I also overcame and am sat down with my father in his throne" He that has an ear, he'd better pay attention and hear, He said.
Now also in the second chapter of Revelation and the 26th and 27th verses Jesus said "to him that overcometh and keepeth my works until the end"...now it's keeping His works...in other words, your performance, the way you live, God's way of living right to the end of your life. "To him will I givepower over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron."
We're going to rule the nations we're going to sit with Christ on His throne.
WHY THE CHURCH? WE'RE BEING TRAINED TO RULE WITH CHRIST WHEN HE COMES! GOD IS GOING TO HAVE A GOVERNMENT WHEN HE COMES! TODAY WE'RE CELEBRATING THE DAY OF CHRIST'S COMING, but I'm telling you what's being prepared for that time when Christ comes, and He's going to have a whole organisation.
Now for that He needed a church, and He needed a church that itself would be well organised, and well prepared. How was He going to train the church for that kind of thing. Well, that's very important to understand. I wonder if our brethren understand it. Can any individual Christian just say "well, I'd like to be a lone Christian, I'll go off ...? I'll just simply get into heaven, or I'll get into the Kingdom all by myself." Oh no, you won't. You can't do it that way. If you ever do, you won't have a very important position when you get there, I can tell you that, because we'll be rewarded according to our works.
But, the church is a special organism that is well organised. Now, for that we need to turn over. I wonder how time's going here, I'd like to talk to you about three or four hours today, this is a very important subject, and I'd like to have time to talk....let me see....Oh, I've got a little time yet, I can talk more than an hour today. I don't get to talk to you very often so I'm going to take advantage of it and I'm going to talk a little longer.
Now the twelfth chapter of first Corinthians is something I went through in a Bible study here just last Sabbath, right here in this same room which is my study in my home in Tucson and we went through this and it really is a whole chapter about the church.
Now notice the first verse. "Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren," that's to the people in the church "I would not have you ignorant". Now, I'm just going to hit the high spots, the parts we need to get. You can read it all at home.
"Now", he says, "there are diversities of gifts "but only one spirit, the same Spirit of God. "And there are differences of administrations but the same Lord. There are diversities of operations but the same God which works all in all."
Now you notice there, that there are different administrations and different operations. For these different operations we have to have different administrations. In other words, a different group of people administering those operations. In other words, different departments, and each department is an administration.
You know in the United States government we talk about the administration, the President? Well, he administers, he does what congress tells him to do. In other words congress makes the laws and he's supposed to enforce them or to run them.
So, you will notice now, beginning with verse 8 again. Let's see..."for to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit, and to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit."
We don't all have ability to do the same thing. God is showing us that He gives special abilities to special people for difference performances, different operations, in the functions of the church. Now then, "To another, the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits, and to another different kinds of tongues," and so on.
All these different things are the different operations to be administered in the Work of the church. Now, verse 11: "But all of these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit ". It's the same spirit working in each one of us working in me, working in you, working in everybody else. So that we all get the complete work done and there are many things to be done. God does it with the same spirit dividing to everyone severally as He will. Now God is the one who decides what you're going to do. God prepared me to do one thing. He prepared someone else to do something else. He prepared another man to do something else.
Now He's prepared Mr. McNair to run the college as the deputy chancellor, and it's been run very well, thank you. And I'm very happy to say. It's back on the track, once again. And the whole church is. He prepared different ones for different administrations in the church, and God is the one who decides.
But the Church of God is only one. One body. Now let me see, if I get this place here....."the body is one but it has many members and all the members of that one body, being many," ...many members... "are one body." And we're all together. I'm going to show you how well we're all joined together.
"So also is Christ for by ONE spirit are we all baptised into"....how many different churches? How many different bodies? HOW MANY DIFFERENT CHURCHES DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISE YOU INTO? The one body. I want you to notice it there.
Now then, drop down to verse 18: "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." Do you know that we get down even to you lay members! GOD set you in the church. We don't go out and talk you into being converted. I have never done that. Our ministers don't do that. We preach the gospel, the good news. We just announce that good news, but you have to come to us and every one of you did come to us, we didn't go and talk you into it. God adds to the church such as are to be saved. So says your Bible. In the second chapter of the book of Acts, incidentally if you want to find it.
Now verse 20: "...now are they many members YET BUT ONE BODY." Not several churches. Only one church. Verse 22: "Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary." We don't all do the same thing. Some say, "Well, I want a more important position". Maybe the position you're in now is more important and you just don't realise it. That could be.
Now drop down to verse 25: "That there should be no division"...schism...or division in the body, "but that the members should have the same care, one for another."
The church is not to be divided. There are not two churches, three churches, a hundred churches. And yet there are about 250 different Protestant denominations that call themselves churches of God. Oh, they don't call themselves churches of God; they just say they're a church.
Well, now verse 26: "and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." If one suffers, we all suffer together, because we love one another and we have that bond of sympathy one to the other.
Now, verse 28: "and GOD hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers," and after that miracles and so on, with different helps, governments, and different languages and so on. Now that is explained a little more explicitly in Ephesians 4, where it says in verse 11, that God gave some, or Christ "gave some apostles and some, prophets;" Now there are no prophets in the New Testament church now. The prophets were, as I say, Old Testament prophets... "and some, evangelists and some, pastors and some teachers."
But anyway, we're all put in the church now (12) "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry," that's getting the gospel out to the world, "for the edifying of the body of Christ." The teachers, the edifiers, so that we grow in grace and knowledge in order to help Christ to govern the whole world when He comes.
Ephesians 4:12 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith [and] to the knowledge of the Son of God unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
That we be henceforth no more children tossed back and forth with different doctrine. But all with the same doctrine. Because in first Corinthians the first chapter and the tenth verse, the apostle Paul says we MUST ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING!
Now you can't do that if you're not organised. How does God put the truth in the church? It came through Christ but Christ put it in the church through the apostles, and through the Old Testament prophets, but it was the apostles who took what the Old Testament prophets had and who put it in the church. And every doctrine we have in the church today God has put in the church through His apostle. That's the way in the Bible! That's the way God has made it. Now if you want to go the way of men or go the way of Satan you go some other way, but if you want to go the way of God, that's the way we will have to go.
"Therefore"...in the church now..."you are no more"...this is verse 19 of the second chapter, verse 19: "Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God;"
The household, brethren, is a family. We are the family of God, as you read in first John, the 3rd chapter. "Behold now...even now already...are we the children of God. We're not yet born, we're only begotten. But we're already the children of God. And His spirit witnesses with our spirit, in the 8th chapter of Romans that we are the children of God.
Ephesians 2:19 "Now therefore, we are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints of the household of God"...a family... (20) "and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets"...that's the foundation, "Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone".
Of course, in a sense, Christ Himself is the whole foundation, because the prophets and apostles are only built on Christ. Now... (21)"in whom the whole building is fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord."
What is the temple that Christ is going to come to? A lot of discussion about that. Are the Jews going to build a temple in Jerusalem? No. No. Christ came as a physical person the first time to a material temple built of stone and wood and gold and other materials.
Christ is coming as the SPIRITUAL Christ this time to rule and reign He's coming to His spiritual temple, the church. Christ has called us to build that temple. He has called me to be the apostle, to lead you to be ready for His coming, to be trained and to grow up until we come to that place where we're ready. To rule with Him, and to take over the reins of government. You see how great it is and how important it is.
I'd like to turn over just a page here in Ephesians, over to verse 16 of the fourth chapter. Speaking of the church it says; "From whom the whole body", well, Christ," from whom the whole body.... is fitly joined together". The whole body, now not several churches. Not broken up, not divided. But "fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies according to the effectual working in the measure of every part making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Now notice, we're compacted together. That means like glued together, as if we are....what is the word I want...welded together, and when you weld some metal together it's stronger than if it's all one piece to start with. The church is that much together.
That is the purpose and we're here to celebrate the day when He will come.
All right, now then, I won't hold you a great deal longer. I've held you for a while, I don't get to talk to you very often. You know our television men here they keep pointing at me ...I keep looking over at the screen, I want to see you but all the time and they keep telling me that if you want to see me I've got to look into the camera. And so I do. I'll just tell you, we're all one family, and I don't mind telling you about these little things, but you might as well know that's the way it's going to go. I see some of you down in the front row smiling right now, and that's fine. (chuckles)
Jesus is coming. That's what we're here today for to celebrate, but we're here to celebrate the time when the church shall HAVE MADE HERSELF READY.
Notice the next verse; "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife" that's the church "HATH MADE HERSELF READY".
Brethren, are we ready? What we've been trying to do the past two years, and has been my whole function. I've not been going around the world speaking to kings and prime ministers and presidents of nations for past two years. Well, a little bit but not very much. I've been devoting nearly all of the time trying to get you, brethren, who are my children in the Lord ...all of you directly or indirectly, you're all my children in the Lord.
Now I see the whole auditorium, even the balcony....I see you up there in the balcony. Of course, I can't make you out, you're so small on the television screen, but Oh, I'd just like to say Hi to all of you out there in Pasadena and wish I could be there in the flesh with you but I'm just the same....and you're hearing my voice, you're seeing me. I think you are seeing me bigger up on that screen than if I was on the platform, because I'm sure they've got my face made up bigger up there than it would be on the platform.
But notice that His wife has made herself ready. We're here to celebrate the time, and it's very soon now.
Now we'll come to that later. And I expect to speak to all of you and to all of our churches and all of our Feast sites on the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, right here from Pasadena, from our large public auditorium, let me see, we call it the Community Center, in downtown Tucson, and we will probably have about 5,000 people here. But I will be speaking by satellite to the Feast sites in England, Canada and the United States. All of the Feast sites in the United States, Canada and England. And I don't know whether we'll get some others.....some others may get the sound at least.
Now then, I don't know, we haven't made plans but I have some of our ministers right here with me, they sneaked over here today instead of staying there with you, and even when they got here I didn't let them come into this same room with me because the acoustics aren't too good here yet. So they're in the family room in my home, but they're looking on television sets in there, so they're seeing it the same as you are.
Another group of several people that came down here today, and I don't know about the next Holy day, the Day of Atonement, just ten days from now, but I imagine that probably you'll be meeting there in Pasadena and I'll be speaking to you from this same room again then. We'll work that out just a little later, as I close the service now, as I've said the things I wanted to say to you, and I know I thank God and I hope all of you will for opening this wonderful new door of reaching the top people in the United States.
Now don't misunderstand me....we're not going to get many members from the Wall Street Journal. Don't misunderstand me, brethren. But God wants this gospel to go. I've talked to kings and emperors and presidents and people high in government all over the world. I didn't expect to convert any of them! I didn't try to....didn't go for that purpose. But I did talk to them of the difference between Get and Give. I did talk to them about God's way, I did talk to them about the problems and troubles in the world and how they're going to be solved for us. In some cases I don't even mention the name of God. I just mention something they know what I'm talking about that Unseen Hand from Someplace. That great, almighty Unseen Hand from Someplace that is going to intervene and help us. That message must go out. And it has gone out, and it will. But God is not trying to convert the world now but He is trying to train you and me, brethren, to be kings and priests with Him in the Kingdom of God and we shall reign on the earth. That's in the 5th chapter and the tenth verse of the book of Revelation [not Acts].
So with that I will say goodbye, God bless you all, and I hope I see you ten days from now once again. Bye bye for now.
A Voice Cries OutBut I just finished another one yesterday as a matter of fact the second one written exclusively for the Wall Street Journal. Now these two have not appeared as yet in any paper you haven't seen them but you will, and I'm starting a series headed with a heading "A Voice Cries Out". A voice is crying out today in the spiritual wilderness of mixed up religion, spiritual mix ups, with everybody going the way of Satan, which is get, and almost no one living the way of God, which is give. In other words, out flowing love. God is love and His way is love, going out from self toward others, with concern for the good and welfare of others equal to your own self concern. And that is the way of God.
Purpose of the Holy DaysWell, now I am going to get to the subject that I have prepared because God tells us to bring on these Holy days the purpose of them is to remind us year by year of the meaning these days are supposed to picture to us. Now today we're beginning the Fall Holy days or festivals. This is the first one of the Holy days of the Fall season of 1980.
God's Master PlanNow in order to bring about His purpose God is working on a great Master Plan. You know when we built the campus there in Pasadena I see all of you sitting right there in the auditorium by the way, I forgot to mention that at the beginning, I had so many things I wanted to mention I didn't have time to get them all in. But I am looking in a large size television screen. On our anniversary, our third anniversary, my wife bought me a large television set. I've never seen one of this size screen before. It's a very large screen, almost like a movie screen, and it really works and on that screen I am looking right now at many of you sitting there in the auditorium. Well I'm right there with you and we've never had a set-up like this before it's a sort of a first and I'm enjoying it I hope you are.
Annual SabbathsNow God Himself, before He started to bring about this great purpose of His, designed a great, superb Master Plan. And these festivals that we have picture that Master Plan. I was talking to a young lady this morning that had never heard of these annual Sabbaths and I was explaining a little bit. I said the churches haven't been keeping them. As a matter of fact, in the churches of Christianity these days have not been kept since around the second or third century after Christ. They were kept in the time of Christ. But ancient Israel only kept them part of the time, but they were ordained forever. And Christ knew they were forever, so as He was training the New Testament Church, He observed them. And He taught the apostles and all of His disciples to observe them, and the early church observed them until the false church had grown so big that the real Church had to go underground, and how they kept them from that time on we sort of lost track and we don't know, we've lost the history of it.
Festivals picture Spiritual HarvestBut these festivals are built around the material harvest, the physical harvest in Palestine. Of course that is the center of the world and God's headquarters were always there -ancient Israel's headquarters were there, and Christ was there at the time He started the church and the church started in Jerusalem. And now in other words, the physical harvests are used to picture the spiritual harvest. Now there again you have the duality the physical and the spiritual, and the one is the type of the other and pictures the other.
Feast of Unleavened BreadNow the second festival follows immediately beginning the very next day. That is the Feast of Unleavened Bread that lasts seven days. And that pictures seven is God's number of completeness and it pictures putting sin completely out of our lives. We have to quit sinning. Now repentance doesn't mean just being sorry, that you have remorse, cry a lot of tears and you really are sorry, but tomorrow's a new day and you've forgotten all about it. That's not repentance. Godly sorrow works repentance and repentance is a change of mind so that you turn around and go the other way.
PentecostNow the third festival comes more in the summer, and the third festival usually will come in June and it's the Feast of Firstfruits. Now we call it Pentecost because in the New Testament you counted fifty days to get to it and Pentecost means "count fifty" in the Greek language. Now the New Testament is written in the Greek language, and Pentecost or the Feast of Firstfruits as it's called back in the Old Testament means that the church had been called and prepared to reap the first spiritual harvest.
Feast of TrumpetsNow today we come to the fourth festival which is the Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Trumpets announces the second coming of Christ. Now you can read back in...matter of fact you can read back in Leviticus 23 and it will be verse 24. Maybe I'll read that at the end of the sermon, but you'll read about the Feast of Trumpets and they blew the trumpet on that day with unusual solemnity and more as a matter of fact up until that time they'd blown a trumpet on the first day of every month, and I'm talking now about the Sacred Calendar that God gave ancient Israel. A Sacred Calendar begins in the spring, not just January 1st, it begins along in March/April and it's a different calendar altogether. It begins when life is budding out in nature. It is the beginning of new life.
What is the Church?Now that gets us back to the church and the church is preparing people for the second coming of Christ when we will rule and reign with Christ.
The Church began on PentecostBut the New Testament church received the Holy Spirit on that Day of Pentecost. That's when the church began. Christ had prepared the church for three and a half years. He had taught and trained the apostles to be apostles. And trained them in the gospel of the Kingdom in order to take that gospel of the kingdom to the world.
Jesus, the second AdamNow, Jesus was the second Adam. I said a while ago; God in creating people has a programme in mind and He made us first physical. So, first He started with the first Adam. The first man was called Adam, but then the spiritual phase of God's whole programme begins with Jesus Christ and Christ is the second Adam. And that is the spiritual phase. Not the physical.
Lucifer becomes SatanNow it's necessary to understand what happened to the first Adam, if we're going to understand this. You know, I've never heard the great evangelists go back to that, they just preach "just come up to the altar and I'll pray with you and I'll give you a little piece of literature" a little kind of a tract, just a cheap tract of some kind, " and I'll pray for you". And that's about all Well there is so much more than that. I don't mean to ridicule them at all, they're doing the best they know they just don't know any better, they're deceived. Doesn't mean they're condemned and God's not judging them one way or the other and neither am I.
The Two TreesThere were two symbolic trees in the Garden of Eden. One was the Holy Spirit that is it represented the Holy Spirit, the Tree of Life. It was only a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The other tree was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now that simply symbolised what it says the taking to oneself of the knowledge of good and evil, or to decide for oneself what is right and what is wrong, what is sin and what is not.
God called Certain OnesNow, God called certain ones. For example He called Abraham. God must've called Abel because he is called righteous Abel, and then there was Enoch who walked with God, and Noah, but that's all we find at all until we come to Abraham, and God made all of the promises that we all have to rely on to Abraham. And Abraham's children were slaves in Egypt, four hundred and thirty years later, and God called them out and made Old Testament Israel His chosen nation.
Four "Untils"Now, to reproduce Himself, which is the purpose of God, God must save humanity from Satan. And He must save humanity from rebellion that Satan has led us into, and He must save us from death. So it required a saviour to pay our penalty for us so we don't die. So we don't have the penalty of death. And He can't save the whole world until Satan is put away. So, in God's plan there are 4 different words I call "until". And I don't think you've ever seen that in print before. I have here two pages taken out of the manuscript of the forthcoming book "A Voice Cries Out", it'll be published pretty soon and this has already gone in for the ministers in the Refresher Course at Pasadena, and I'd just like to read about a....oh, it's about a page I want to read to you, or a little over a page here.
The New Testament ChurchBut now we come to the church of the New Testament. The time had come when first the gospel announcement could go to the world after Christ had overcome Satan.
Why the Church?Now why the church? What is its purpose? To be spiritually trained in God's government. And it's a matter of government and most of the evangelists of the world, and most of the so-called Christian churches don't realise anything about the government of God. To be trained in God's government and to be growing in spiritual character in order that we can rule with Christ. We're being trained as people to rule with Christ.
Concerning Spiritual GiftsI would like to have you turn with me to the twelfth chapter of first Corinthians.
Church is One Body"For as the body is one"...now we're all just one body, not several bodies, not several churches. Of course some people think " "well, you see, there is the Baptist church and there is the Methodist church and there's the Congregational church, the Presbyterian church and there's the Lutheran church," and maybe there's a Jones' church and a Smith church and some other church, I don't know, there's so many.
Preaching of the GospelNow the preaching of the gospel is primarily to apostles and evangelists. An apostle is "one sent forth" with the gospel. One sent forth. Well, an evangelist is one who also carries the gospel out and they're called evangelists in the New Testament, who went out, preaching the gospel to the world. But pastors are pastors over a local church and preach to those that are already in the church. But a pastor even can carry the gospel to the world in his own....he usually is a settled man in a certain location, but he can go out and preach the gospel in his own community or in neighbouring communities.
We are the Family of GodNow I want to go back here to the second chapter of Ephesians just a minute.
False ChurchesNow what about other churches? In the 17th chapter of Revelation you find a great false church and she has many daughters. In the 12th chapter of Revelation, just like this 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians I've been going through, you find the true church of God persecuted by the false church and by others. What about the false churches? God has BLINDED THE WORLD. GOD HAS CUT THE WORLD OFF. Are they lost? No, they're not lost. Are they saved? No, they're deceived. They have not yet been judged. Get that brethren, and remember that. GOD IS NOT TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD TODAY! GOD IS ONLY CALLING A FEW AND THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH IS THAT WE BE SKILLED IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WAYS, and that we grow up in character and we grow up in ability and be taught and trained that we can reign and rule with Jesus when He comes.
The Bride Made Herself ReadyAll right now, I'd like you to turn over to the book of Revelation, and I may close with this scripture. In Revelation the 19th chapter, and let me see, I want to begin with verse 6, "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude [and as] the voice of many waters and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying ALLELUIA; for the Lord God omnipotent REIGNETH".
Next Holy DayNow the next Holy day will come in just ten days. And that is a very important day. When Christ comes certain other things have to be done before He actually begins to reign. Now He doesn't actually just take over...the church isn't, I mean the world isn't going to be fully organised in a government and operating just the minute Christ comes. That's why we have a festival ten days later picturing another operation and then, five days later than that we come to the time of the Feast of Tabernacles that shows the Kingdom of God ruling in the Millennium for a thousand years.