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.
Thank you brethren. A number of things here today just warm my heart. All of these ministers; and they're just a small fraction of the ministers now of this church; and this wonderful choir. And you know it makes me think of the days up in Oregon when I was just fellowshipping with the Sardis era of God's church, and they were God's church. But they had lost the true gospel, they had lost so much of the truth, of the teaching of Christ, they had the name, they had God's law, they were keeping his Sabbath, they had the right day but there's so much they didn't have that they had lost. Sardis Era Impotent Philadelphia era started Work Started with one man Learning to walk There had to be leadership Spirit in man The spirit of God Wrong sense of values There has to be organisation What has Christ been doing since True Church Continued All things the Universe Don't let it slip Don't neglect so great salvation The World Tomorrow Why should God be concerned about You? The entire universe What great salvation The power of God Earth solid, liquid, gas Man polluted Let's not let down
For a long time I couldn't understand it, then I found these simple people, who were not an educated people. They were not entirely ignorant, I don't mean that, but they were certainly not highly educated type of people at all, otherwise I don't believe they would have believed as much of the truth as they did.
But I could see that they had more bible truth than any church on earth, and still they had so little, and so little according to what God has revealed since, because he hadn't revealed all of it to me at that time, God has been revealing a lot of truth just in the last year, in the last six months, we haven't got it all yet brethren.
And I would be on the air up in Seattle on Sunday morning, then I would have to drive down to Portland, and that took almost the whole of the day. I would arrive about an hour ahead of broadcast time; we were on the air at four o'clock in Portland. Then a broadcast off the air at four thirty, then I had to drive another hundred and twenty three miles back down to Eugene where I'd have our little church full of people, a little over at hundred people waiting for a Sunday night message.
Now many of those were not members, from the outside. Then through the week I didn't have anything to do but answer letters, write the Plain Truth, go out and pray for the sick, officiate at funerals; oh my how many funerals in those days I had to officiate at. It seemed like there were plenty of radio listeners who listened on radio, but people I never heard of would want me to handle a funeral for them.
And always the funeral directors would come and say "Well these people have asked me specially if you would make it very, very brief" because they knew that I talked about twenty or twenty five minutes, and the funeral directors wanted to shut me up and get out, and get it over with so they could get on with the next funeral. They were only interested in how much money they could make. Of course I knew that the family had never told them anything of the kind, family didn't know anything about it.
Nevertheless I went ahead and preached God's message. And sometimes I even reached atheists with those messages. But, I ordained a young man as a local elder, he was really not a minister, he didn't even stay with the church he went Pentecostal after awhile, had that kind of background anyway from his parents.
Started out with the Plain Truth, just my wife and myself, and I was the only minister. And then a lot of the time I would be preaching every night in the week somewhere outside of Eugene. And we didn't have other ministers, and I think back on those days and I realize how God has blessed this work, how much we have grown, you only saw a small fraction of our ministers that were introduced here this afternoon. There are over four hundred altogether.
And now we are all around the world, in all of the islands of the sea, and all of the continents of the earth. Here we have, as a headquarters, the finest auditorium on the face of the earth. Dedicated to God with His name out in the grand logia in gold. This is God's house. And we want to keep it that way.
So I couldn't help but think of some of those things. I would see how the great churches, they had big memberships. We had very few, it was quite awhile before we had a hundred members and that was the only church at first.
That would just take a little, small portion of this auditorium down in front, back just a few rows. And I thought we would never have anything like that and a big choir and all that sort of thing. But all those fine big choirs don't produce any better music than you just heard. And many of them have just been trained here at Ambassador College. I can't realize how the years have gone along.
Told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. And then Adam had to undergo a test. God had put within him; Well as Mr. McNair said in the sermon this morning; a certain nature, I don't like to call that a nature. He put within him, certain functions that were natural. It was natural that he had to eat; it was natural that there had to be elimination. It was natural that he had two feet to walk on and he had to learn how to walk.
Every kind of walk, people haven't learnt how to walk, people need to learn how to sit on a chair, but they haven't been taught we haven't been trained how to do things like that. Certain things were natural, but it required a mind to guide the legs, the hands, the body IN HOW TO DO THOSE THINGS.
And two things were needed; one was knowledge, now there were two kinds of knowledge needed. One was knowledge to work with things and produce things out of the ground, work with matter. God made man with a capacity to acquire that kind of knowledge. He wasn't born with that kind of knowledge, but he was born with a capacity to acquire it by himself. But also he needed above all knowledge, for a relationship with his maker first of all.
Because only his maker could reveal the real spiritual knowledge and know how that he needed. And he was going to reproduce himself and so he was going to have a lot of neighbors, a lot of other people to deal with and work with, and he needed knowledge. To know how to work with them.
Now, I've been telling you so much lately, we've been going into that a great deal in the last six, eight, or nine months. How in the beginning there was God and the Word. The Word was the spokesman, was a personage, God was another personage, and those two personages had always existed. But in them was life, that is they lived, and if they lived that meant action, and motion and movement and they have to live a certain way. And they were two of them and they had to live in the way to get along with one another, because two cannot walk together except they be agreed.
Now whether they always knew how to get along together and be agreed or whether they learnt it. I don't know, but the earliest thing we know is they did know. And that was the way of love, mutual love one for the other, of cooperation and that one had to guide the other, there had to be a head. There had to be a guide. Now God made the human being with a body that is the head over the body.
And the head has to direct what the hands and arms do. The head has to direct what the legs and the feet do and where they take you. And people need a head to direct them and God is that head, and He is the head of the Word. And the Word spoke, is the spokesman, but spoke only what God told him to do. And there is organization to begin with, only two and it started that way. And I was telling you a moment ago how this era of the church started, so very, very small.
So in the last, especially the last year and in a sense the last three or four years I've picked up the reins. This church has to have a human head here but the head over the church is Jesus Christ and God is the head of Christ and there has to be direction. There has to be direction now the point I want to make is, there has to be direction over the human body and God made the human being with a mind and a body.
And certain things are natural as Mr. McNair mentioned this morning, it's natural that we become hungry and it's natural to want food. It's natural that we need sleep, it's natural that we get tired, but there needs to be a mind to direct how we eat, what we eat, when we eat, we need direction of a mind. To know when to sleep, how to sleep. He said be fruitful and multiply, He equipped both the man and the woman with sex. And it was natural but they NEEDED DIRECTION AS HOW TO USE IT. And they needed direction as to how to cooperate one with another. Now if man had the knowledge, or could acquire the knowledge and that's what Adam took to himself. He took to himself the knowledge of good and evil, he already had the knowledge to deal with things, but even in dealing with things one man alone can't just deal with things by himself.
Most things we have, we produced automobiles, we produced airplanes, we produce all kinds of things today, but it takes a lot of men to do that producing. And there has to be direction, and there has to be some type of cooperation, and there needs certain organization. And so that got into the areas that man was guided with a mind unlike animals.
Also in working with other people, he had to have knowledge and it required spiritual knowledge to deal with other people who also have a spirit working with their physical brain. Now God made animals in the same way and they have brains the same as men I've said time and again. That a cow's brain is just as good as yours, a horse, a dog, an elephant. An elephant is bigger, a dog or a cows brain even is smaller than a human brain. But it's just as good in quality and made exactly in the same manner, made of the same matter, of form and shape. Everything just the same.
But they can't think, they can't have the knowledge that a man can have that comes by the spirit in man. But man needed another spirit from God and he not only needed DIRECTION FROM GOD to DIRECT HIM HOW TO USE the things that were natural for him to do. He needed a spirit to put him in a right attitude. And open his mind to comprehend that knowledge that God would give him. And the human mind was not made by creation and is not born by birth to comprehend spiritual knowledge even if God does reveal it.
If you call it a nature in man it was natural for man to do certain things I have never call that nature. The fact that it's natural to do it. But you have to know HOW to do it and there has to be direction and it has to come from a head and the head of the body is the mind. But there has to be a head over the human mind and that head has to be God, and we were made for that purpose and God is in the process of reproducing Himself through human beings.
And if we don't have the spirit of God in the first place, the spirit of God is the impregnation of the inherent life of God that is self containing life, inherent life, immortal life, God did not make man with that kind of life. But the spirit of God is so much more, the spirit of God gives the mind ability of comprehension to understand spiritual knowledge, now it doesn't give you spiritual knowledge. Spiritual knowledge has to be revealed from God but by his Holy Spirit. And without His Holy Spirit you never comprehend it, it's just like I said this before, let me say once again.
Maybe you're a Professor of physics and chemistry both; very often a man's a Professor of one not the other but you might be a Professor of both. So he walks up to a stupid old cow, and he tries to teach that cow a lesson in physics and chemistry. He tries to explain that H2O are the two elements of hydrogen and oxygen, two points of hydrogen to one of oxygen, and that is water, I have some water right here, in case I need it. The cow wouldn't get it, the cow wouldn't understand a thing he was talking about, because the cow doesn't have a human spirit with its brain, its brain is just as good as ours, but it wouldn't get it even if you tell it.
Now if it had the human spirit, that the human spirit wouldn't give it that knowledge, someone would have to teach it but the spirit in man would because the man to comprehend and understand it. You see what I'm getting at, or is this over our heads, I hope it isn't.
At least, he is threatening such things; I don't think he's going to do it. And I hope God won't allow it, but however that is, God is going to wind it up one way or the other anyway. And he says I'm an uneducated man. Well, you know Peter and the Apostles were called ignorant and uneducated men. And someone who has the MATERIALISTIC knowledge of this world DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE, has no relationship with God whatsoever, looks on any spiritual knowledge and anything coming by or through the Holy Spirit of God as so much foolishness. And he ridicules in his ignorance.
You know someday we are going to learn what real true knowledge really is. It's pitiful that some who have come to God's own college and received some of the pure real knowledge will go to one of the universities. And get some materialistic knowledge that is professional and makes them, and inoculates them with vanity, makes them feel superior, makes them look down on everything else.
Debates everything else has a WRONG sense of values there ALL MIXED UP IN THEIR OWN MIND and what they don't know, they don't know that they don't know it. And in their blissful ignorance they look on someone like Jesus Christ and say He's ignorant and doesn't know anything. Well none of us knows much yet as Jesus Christ. But we can be on the way to learning and I hope we are and that we keep learning all the time because we're all ... disciples that is students and learning that what if we're saints and the Bible calls us saints. I don't think we use that expression on ourselves.
Because a saint has come to mean someone that is almost supernatural as so we wouldn't use that expression. Actually the Bible doesn't indicate a saint as being anything supernatural at all it's just one that has repented of going the wrong way of wanting to turn around and go the right way and accept Jesus Christ as a savior, been forgiven his sins. And looks on God as the head and the leader and one to reveal truth and who has received the Holy Spirit of God and being led by the spirit of God that is a saint. But I don't think he's what the world would look on as saintly.
And we have to do what He directs.
Now the world was started on this missed knowledge and a lack of spiritual knowledge. And so civilization was built. It was swayed by a supernatural being called Satan and you read of that in Ephesians, let me see I hadn't intended to use that, but I'll find it real quickly. Ephesians the second chapter,
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened [or made alive and made spiritually alive it means here] who were dead in trespasses and sins;
We were SPIRITUALLY dead that doesn't mean physically dead. We were spiritually dead but now we are spiritually alive through the Holy Spirit and understanding God's knowledge.
(2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world [the world that started with Adam] according to the prince of the power of the air, the SPIRIT [a spirit being] that now worketh IN [inside of, in and through] the children of disobedience:
And that means all of the world so to speak. And that is the world that was built, that is the world that was built. And Christ came into that world and He called people out of that world and began His Church. He lived a perfect life of obedience to God. He was born with the Holy Spirit. He was the only begotten son of God, the only one ever begotten by God before his human birth. Now we can be begotten sons of God but that's only begotten for a spiritual birth not for a physical human birth, it's a different birth altogether.
And Christ was, as you read in the first chapter of Hebrews, the first begotten. And He was the first begotten of many brethren and the first begotten of God and the only begotten of God so far as being begotten before a human birth is concerned. Jesus built His church. The church was not built though, until He had trained his disciples. He had given his life after having lived a perfect life never having sinned but being tempted in all points like as we are. But never once having, He always was led by the spirit of God and He was very close to God the Father. He had that relationship with God that Adam could have had and we all should have had and none did.
Ancient Israel did not. Now some of the prophets did, Abraham did, David did and certain ones did. And all humanity should have but never did I mean all humanity didn't. And, so Jesus then after He was crucified and paid the penalty of our sins because He had not come under the penalty of death himself. The wages of sin is death, death is the penalty for sin, He never sinned so that penalty never passed on him. But He paid the penalty just the same for you and me and after that He was resurrected. And He ascended to heaven.
And it came from God, it's the message that God sent by Jesus Christ as God's messenger to bring that message. Now He ascended to heaven but what's He been doing ever since He's been up there as our high priest at the right hand of God. Now when man has sinned and Adam sinned, Cain sinned, Abel sinned, everybody has sinned who ever lived, even though Abel was called righteous even by Jesus Christ. Nevertheless he had sinned. Because ALL have sinned except Christ. And when you have sinned you've cut yourself off from God. Because God is the lawmaker, and sin is the transgression of law and that put you in a well a cut off relationship from God and Christ is up there with God, interceding for those that through Him, through His sacrifice are reconciled to God.
Now we're only reconciled to God by the death of Christ. The death of Christ does not save anybody. Read that in the fifth chapter of Romans, Romans five. We're saved by Christ but through his resurrection not through his death. But by the death of Christ we are reconciled to God and God is the one who has eternal life to give. And so Christ who paid the penalty in our stead who is our savior, has ascended up to the right hand of God in Heaven and there He is as OUR HIGH PRIEST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, and right there at the very throne of God the Father in a close relationship. Adam should have had a relationship with God he didn't. We all should have a relationship with God. And we may in the church and through God's Holy Spirit and through Christ.
And Christ is up there to keep a relationship open between us and God and through him. And it is through him and He's right there at the right-hand of God. Now you know a lot of people, if you'd ask them, what has Christ been doing ever since He was crucified? A lot of people would say, "Well He died, I don't know" well but what about, "Easter's supposed to celebrate the resurrection the world ought to know that". At least the world thinks that what's Easter's for, it doesn't, because He didn't rise from the dead on a Sunday anyway, but people think He did. And ask them what has Jesus been doing. "Well I don't know I guess He, He, resurrected but He just ascended to heaven, I don't know, I guess He just disappeared."
Most people have no conception of what Christ did and what He's been doing for nineteen hundred and fifty some years, but the book of Hebrews tells us that, and I started last Sabbath in the book of Hebrews. I'd like to go over a little bit of the first chapter all over again and some things I want to put the special emphasis on there, if I may. So it starts out in the book of Hebrews and let me say before I do this, He started the church, they soon lost the truth.
So they'd lost so much of the important knowledge and essential knowledge. So that happened through the years. Now God has been restoring that knowledge to this church. Brethren I tell you we must realize how important it is, and what God is doing through us and through this church in this day and age. It is so vital, and it's just so overwhelming. It's awesome actually when you stop to think about it.
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in [different] manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Now God spoke by them and they were a part of the foundation of the church along with the Apostles.
(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [A] Son, [it should be, you notice the word his there is in italic which means they, it was not in the original and they just filled it in] whom he hath appointed heir of all things...
Now you notice in John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
They existed from the beginning. Now here we come back to the Father and Son again and here is a father and son relationship. God, who spoke by the prophets in olden times is now, you'll notice, has now spoken unto us by a son. By the one that was the Word and the word has become a flesh and dwelt among us and become the Son of God.
Now Jesus has become the son of God. And I want you to notice that here's the Father and Son together and the relationship together and man must have a relationship with God that what's Adam needed, that's what he rejected when he rejected the tree of life and took the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that is took to himself the knowledge that only God can reveal and God can only reveal it through the Holy Spirit. Now God has appointed His son, Christ, heir of all things. And that means the whole universe.
Hebrews 1:2...by whom also he made the worlds;
Now that takes you directly to Ephesians three, verse nine, where created all things by Christ. He is the Word, He just spoke and it was done but He has spoke only as God told Him so, God really did the creating because He told Christ what to do. Christ spoke and it the spirit that was flowing out from the very person of God and only from the person of the Father which did it. And produced the creation.
Heb 1:3 Who [that is Christ] being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, [or as many have it stamped with God's own character, actually stamped with God's own character] and upholding ALL things.
The Moffatt and others translations have that upholding the ENTIRE UNIVERSE all things means the whole universe, upholding the whole universe or sustaining it as another word that often used in some of the translations, sustaining the whole universe by the word of His power, He is the Word, the spokesman and by the word of His power.
Heb 1:3... when he had by himself purged our sins [by dying for us], sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
And there to intercede for us and there to help us, to help us overcome, to help us grow in grace and knowledge, to help us become God. To help us be stamped with that same character. We need to realize what a help Christ can be.
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels...
Now I went into that and how God has never called an angel, a begotten son, but finally it ends the verse by saying that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them that should be heirs of salvation, that's to us. But there are many things in here that I wanted you to notice and I wanted to go over some of that again. And the relationship of God the Father and how Adam should have had a relationship did not but Christ does have. And He is at the Fathers right hand of God and on the throne of God interceding there for us. So let's now come to the second chapter. Now I went through the first chapter a week ago and I won't take the rest of it just now.
Brethren, how important is that, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE WE HAD IN THE CHURCH that are no longer there. They didn't give that kind of earnest heed, they did let it slip. Now there are two kinds of sin, one sin of omission and one sin of commission. We have had ministers that have sinned, some by, even ministers, who have sinned by commission and others by omission, by neglect. Now you can sin by neglect just as well as you can by doing the wrong thing, you can sin by neglecting to DO the right thing.
You see, righteousness is not just doing nothing, righteousness is right doing, so there has to be doing. Now sin is WRONG doing. But there is doing and don't ever forget that. So we need to be very careful lest we let these things slip. It grieves me when a minister has to leave and a number of them have. And a number of lay members have. But Satan seems to tempt a minister more than the lay member, and I think you can understand why he would. The Minister is one who is serving and ministering to the flock.
The Minister is the one that Satan is attacking first. And I'm reminded, of how, Rona Martin told me how my wife had said, oh within a year or so before she died. She said, "you know Rona, Satan would rather destroy my husband than any other man on earth, and I believe he'd rather destroy me second". Well, Satan didn't destroy her; she died in Lord not out of the Lord, now fifteen years ago and over. But Satan is also attacking the ministers.
And he'll attack a minister through the minister's wife if possible. That's one reason why a minister's wife is so, so very, very important. And some have been destroyed through their wives.
Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;
And I have a note to turn back to Isaiah forty five, seventeen there, let me see that just a minute, Isaiah forty five, seventeen,
Isa 45:17 But Israel [let me see forty five, Isaiah forty-five seventeen, ]shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
Well it's showing that it'll go on world without end and all Israel is finally to be saved. That doesn't mean every individual in Israel but it means Israel as a whole.
Now that ties in with what I read just a while ago, that we should give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard lest we let them slip. Now how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation. Brethren some are neglecting, some are neglecting prayers, some are neglecting Bible study, some are letting the interests of this world, the cares of the world. Or things of that kind get on their mind and dominate their minds.
And some are neglecting. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, do we realize how great it is. Do you realize how great it is or does it get to be just common to you well I don't think, you know if you cast your pearls before swine. You take pearls, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds; you give them to an old sow, she'll trample them into the mud down under foot. She'll waddle over for the slop that's all she's interested in. She's not interested in that kind of thing and a lot of people are not interested in the true values only the faults.
If we neglect so great salvation, now as we go on, this chapter shows you, how great that salvation is just a little later. And I think some of us forget and don't remember, we've heard it before, it's been proclaimed here before. But sometimes we forget and then we neglect so great salvation,
Hebrews 2:3-5....which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with [different] miracles, and gifts of the Holy [Spirit], according to his own will? (5) For unto the angels...
Now angels are greater than we are and yet though they're greater than we are, they are ministers to us because we are HEIRS. Now when we become INHERITORS and no longer heirs we will then be much greater than the angels. We're going to judge angels we're going to be catapulted way up above angels, but we're not up there yet.
Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof [which] will we speak.
Hebrews 2:5-6 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, [of which we are speaking here] (6) But one in a certain place [hath] testified, saying, What is man [what is an ordinary man, we're lower than the angels. What about this so great salvation, what's great about it. Well we're nothing; we're just a hunk of dirt out of the ground that's all. What is man], that thou [our God] art mindful of him?
Hebrews 2:6...in a certain place [one said this] What is man ... that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Well that certain place was the eighth psalm, let's turn back to that, the eighth psalm and beginning with verse four. Where David said this;
Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?
David wondered, what is a man? He's a nothing. Why would God be concerned about us? What's our life worth?
Psa 8:5-6 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
And David didn't go on with the rest of it, he said as "sheep and oxen, yea," and other things he sort of digressed. He didn't go on from that point because it hadn't fully been revealed. You see the gospel had not really come, that Jesus brought the Kingdom of God. David didn't fully understand that as you and I may understand it now. So let's get back now to Hebrews, where this is quoted and it goes on a little further than David did.
I want you to notice this, now he quotes here the same thing as David said;
Heb 2: 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, [that means God is going to crown YOU and me and each one of us, if we overcome, if we endure to the end. If we grow in grace and knowledge, if we are led by the Holy Spirit of God] thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (8) Thou hast put ALL THINGS in subjection under his feet. [What is he talking about? For one thing that word subjection was used just a few verses above, (5) For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, but he is going to put the world to come under subjection under OUR feet. But not angels, now we' re made a little lower than the angels now but we're going to be higher then.
You see space doesn't end; there isn't some place where it ends out there. There's no great ten mile thick steel wall out there that ends space. It just goes on and on forever.
Heb 2: 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (8) Thou hast put [THE WHOLE UNIVERSE] in subjection under [man's] feet. [Under yours and mine, now why should God be concerned about you and me, because he's going to put the entire universe under our feet. And we're going to do something for the entire universe. And we're going to rule over it] For in that he put ALL in subjection under him, HE LEFT NOTHING that is not put under him.
Now he didn't leave some other galaxy out there that was not put under him he didn't leave ANYTHING. It means everything, the entire universe. Does the Methodist Church understand that, do the Baptists know that, it's a pitiful thing that they don't. Do the Roman Catholics know that? How many people do know this wonderful truth? Brethren, God has only revealed truth to us, its right here in plain language.
Hebrews 2:8-10...But now we see not yet all things put under him. [We don't see yet do we? Oh no, not yet. We're still lower than the angels.] (9) But we see Jesus [now]who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, [and even Jesus was made lower than the angels, it says so here] crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. To pay the penalty you've brought on yourself and the penalty I've brought on myself.
(10) For it became him, for whom are all things, [that is ... all things, it means the whole universe and everything in it] and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, [WE'RE those sons of God and to be born as sons, so we are REAL sons, born of God, with His nature in us,] to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (11) For both he that sanctifieth and they [that]are sanctified [and that means set apart for this purpose. That God has called and designated and chosen. Set apart that's all that means, sanctified. It doesn't mean made perfect or holy but set apart to become that]are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Even Jesus Christ who sustains the entire universe, keeps this earth turning on its axis, keeps the moon just the same distance from the earth and circling around the earth every, approximately twenty nine and a half days. And the earth around the sun every year, even Jesus calls us brethren.
And I don't think we can imagine how great He is.
Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again [quoted again], Behold I and the children which God hath given me. [As Christ said. Christ said that God the Father had given those that He'd called to Christ.] (14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; [and destroy means really remove here, because Satan is not subject to actual destruction, he is immortal and that's a King James translation]
Heb 2:15-17 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature angels; [the word nature is an added word there, but the nature of angels, that which is natural for angels] but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, [like you and I are] that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Now let's just drop that right here and turn for a while back to the eighth chapter of Romans where we see this same thing. Romans the eighth chapter, let's begin with verse sixteen,
Rom 8:16 The Spirit [that's God's Holy Spirit] itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [now there is a spirit in us, that the human spirit and the Holy Spirit of God] ...beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) And if children, then heirs; [not inheritors yet, not born again yet but begotten to be born again at the coming of Christ. When we're born again we won't be flesh. That which is born of the flesh IS flesh said Jesus to Nicodemus. The third chapter and verse six of John. That which is born of the spirit IS spirit. When we're born of God the spirit WE WILL BE spirit. We're not spirit now we're still flesh and blood and bone. Matter. We're not born yet]
(17) And if children, then heirs; Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. [Now Christ is in glory, has been glorified.] (18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [is] not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the... [now it should be creation this is a mistranslation in the King James translation. I think all modern translations have it creation] For the earnest expectation of the [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Manifestation is where we become visible and manifest, can be seen. Now let me give you another scripture. Just pause right there I'm coming back to that. But turnover here for a moment to Philippians. Philippians the third chapter and in verse twenty one,
Phil 3:21 Who [speaking of God or Christ here, who] shall change our vile body, [this is when we're born again, he will change our vile body] that it may be fashioned [I guess that's the word, yes fashion] like unto his glorious body.... what is Christ's glorious body like now. You read in the first chapter of Revelation. His eyes are like flames of fire; His whose face is like the sun shining in full strength, so bright it would put your eyes out. And we're going to share that kind of glory with him, but it's more than that. Let's read on here in Romans now. In Romans eight again
Rom 8:20 For the [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (21) Because the [creation that means the universe all the planets, everything in space. The whole universe and everything God has ever created. The creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage [or thralldom] of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
It is in a state of corruption. I knew what they would find on the moon when they got up there because I've read it here in the word of God. And that's what they found, decay. Absolute decay. We finally got an unmanned spacecraft to land on Mars and it sent photographs back from the very surface of Mars. Right close up on the surface. All you find there is absolute decay. And that is the way the whole universe is.
Now God is not going to entrust us with such great power until we have the knowledge to handle it correctly. It's like a man who owns an automobile and he has a son just coming on fifteen and a half years of age, and the son wants to drive that car. And dad says "no you can't drive it for six more months, till your sixteen and even then I'm not going to let you drive it until we teach you. And watch very carefully and see that you are going to be able to handle it. And so I can entrust it, the power when you get back to this throttle and a hold of that steering wheel. And of the throttle and the brake."
And you can't have that POWER if you're going to misuse it. Power can be misused and it can be very destructive and very damaging. Or it can be very good if it's used properly. Now God is not going to entrust us with the great POWER of all his glory until we have the CHARACTER to use it like God would use it.
So, back again to verse twenty-two,
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation [and here they got it creation] groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. You see God did not complete the creation even of the earth. I know now that he intended the angels to work on the earth. In the earth is living matter, in the earth is energy. Even electricity, because part of the Earth is gaseous in the air and electricity is in the air as all that power. The Earth consists of the solid earth, the waters that cover the ground or the ocean and the air above.
When I fly in the G2, we fly anywhere from thirty nine and even more often at forty one thousand feet and occasionally we've gone up forty five thousand feet and I believe once or twice we may have gone to forty seven I'm not sure, I just don't watch, I have a altimeter right by my seat where I can know just what's going up front but I don't watch it all the time. And ... So I'm not sure just how high we have gone but I, I know we've gone forty five a great deal of the time. Well that's almost eight miles high above sea level, but you get up very much higher than that and you're clear away from the gaseous part of the earth or the atmosphere of the earth. But the atmosphere above is part of the Earth; it's only the gaseous part of the earth.
It's not ... we think of the earth as solid, oh no part of the earth is liquid, part is solid, part is gas but it's all the earth. God intended the angels to work with the earth and improve it, in other words put the icing on the cake. God had not finished it. Now everything God did was perfect as far as it went, but He intended to finish it through them and He wanted them to finish it, they didn't. Instead of improving it they let it go to wrack and ruin and decay. And then you read in the hundred and fourth psalm and verse thirty, how God sent forth His spirit and then He renewed the face of the earth for man and that's what happened in the first chapter of Genesis beginning with verse two.
In six days He renewed it for man and now it was renewed and beautiful for man, and God wanted man to improve the earth. But he needed guidance from God and Adam rejected that. Adam said I'll, I'll deal with the matter my own way, he took to himself the knowledge. Of good and evil even. Well he not only needed knowledge to deal with matter, he needed knowledge to deal with people to cooperate with him and in dealing with matter. And so instead of improving the earth man has destroyed it.
And he said to me, I was talking to him one day, he said "Mr. Armstrong" he said "You know everything that God Almighty has ever let man get his hands on, man has ruined or polluted or besmirched or marred in some way" Oh I said doctor you can't mean that. He says "Yes I do mean that" Ah, I, I, I said no, I, I think we've improved a lot of things. You know I hadn't learned yet, and the more I thought, the more I could see EVERYTHING man's hand has touched he has tended to pollute or ruin or destroy. And that's what the angels did, and as a result of the sins of angels and of man the whole universe is in a state of decay.
Brethren, this is important, now go on here in the eighth chapter of Romans.
Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, [when we] have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for [and the word adoption is not correct it should be sonship meaning the resurrection so we become sons of God and they're not adopted children we're begotten, born children or are to be, that is or] to wit, the redemption of our body. [This vile body will be made to SPIRIT body like His glorified body.] (24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
(25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (26) Likewise the Spirit [that's the Holy Spirit of God] also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. [And Christ is our high priest making intercession for us] (29) For whom he didforeknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We are to restore the whole universe which is corrupt now and is to be restored; it's much more than just this earth. So now back to Hebrews again. Now let's go back and begin again with verse ten.
Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, [that's for Christ] in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [That's Christ, the captain of our salvation and he's the first born of many brethren] (11) For both he that sanctifieth [or set's apart, and those that] are sanctified [or set apart] are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (12) Saying, I will declare thy name unto [thy children], in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might [should be remove] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Now we've seen that even the universe is subject to bondage, and it's all, we have to become God in order to this wonderful thing. There is no end of the universe, and there's no end of what we'll be doing. See in verse fifteen it just continues on, this is all one long sentence you might say the whole chapter.
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, [as he was in all points, just like we are] he is able to succour them that are tempted.
So that we have there the high priest who has been through it all and sometimes we think, well God can't understand look how perfect He is, how can he understand what we go through. Oh yes He knows our weaknesses and Jesus has suffered the same temptations and He had to STRIVE against them because He was human and He had the same human tendencies, and Satan was after Him. And He had to overcome Satan too. Not just as an infant and then again when He was thirty years old but in a sense He had to overcome Satan day by day continually and so do we.
Now God is moving us onwards, God is blessing this church and that is evidence that we have been beginning to please Him, I say beginning because I think that's about as far as we've gone so far. We can't let down we have to keep, going on and going on. We get tired we have to push ourselves on. I tell you frankly and honestly, here I'm just close to ninety but I find it much harder to drive myself on now when I get tired and I want to just let down, I find it much harder than I did ten years ago or fifteen or twenty years ago but I still have to do it.
And so many of you say to me, "oh but Mr. Armstrong, God just have to keep you alive". A lot of people tell me I'm going to live to be well over a hundred. I will have to keep all the responsibility of leadership and keep driving on, it's not an easy life brethren. It's a very hard life, and there are any number of people wish me dead they want to bring all the harm on me, all the disgrace on me that they can. They can't think up enough lies to tell about me and start rumors, well that's just part of the price that I knew I would have to pay fifty five years ago. I weighed the matter and I made the decision.
Yeah, I asked for it, I've been getting it and I'm still getting it and you will get it, but we have to go on together and remember that we've got that high priest up there in heaven at the right hand of God who suffered all these things that we do, you know He was tired too. He was only thirty, thirty years old and up to thirty three and a half when He was, when He died. And yet He had suffered things more than I had, more than any of us have. None of us has ever suffered as Jesus did. But He kept on for us and we're not only keeping on for ourselves but for millions of others that through us are going to come into as equally great salvation, just think how great it is.
Its way beyond anything you could imagine. So think about that and keep thinking about that and praying about it and keep praying for me, I know you are and I do need it and thank you for it.
Sardis Era ImpotentThey were impotent and it seemed like they were powerless, but they did have love in their hearts and they were sincere people, and I fellowshipped with them. I was the tail end of the ministers and I certainly felt like the tail end too. And then finally we started a service in a little one room schoolhouse out eight miles west of Eugene, Oregon. And I'd been looking for the true church, I found, that everything I've been brought up to believe in the regular churches of established Christianity were preaching just the opposite of the truth of the Bible.
Philadelphia era startedBut the churches of an established Christianity were so far off the track and then, finally we got the beginning of the church of this Philadelphia era started with nineteen members. And it grew and pretty soon we were up to around a hundred members. But I would preach in Eugene, Oregon in the morning, I would drive fifty five miles and preach to some of the Sardis people up in Jefferson, Oregon or near there in the afternoon. Then on these little old almost horse and buggy roads; we didn't have any freeways yet at all at that time, I had to drive on to Seattle.
Work Started with one manWell, now we look back I realize, as I mentioned to you a week ago. God started this whole world with one man. But he wasn't complete so he needed a wife, God wanted him to reproduce. God was going to make sons of his own out of human beings made out of the ground. And he wanted more than one. And he wanted Adam to reproduce, but he wasn't complete so God made a wife for him. So he could be physically complete.
Learning to walkI don't think you realize that we still need to learn how to walk. And practically none of us has ever learned how. If you would stand on the street corner and watch people walk by and see the different way they walk some day, you would get a great laugh out of it if you just concentrate your mind on it a little bit. Some of them kind of go up, they gallop up and down others they go back from side to side others just walk along on a steady gait.
There had to be leadershipBut there had to be leadership. I found that in the Sardis church there was no real leadership anywhere. But there has had to be leadership in this church and for awhile there really wasn't the kind of leadership there should have been and that's all my fault. But I have been awakened and I know the responsibility that God has given me and that He is going to hold me accountable for.
Spirit in manAnd that means the presence of a spirit in man and we get into a spiritual realm and other people that he deals with have a spirit in them. And a spirit is capable of having an attitude. Either a hostile attitude or an attitude of love and cooperation and peace. Now the man needed to have an attitude of love and of complete obedience to God and of worship to God to the extent that he recognizes God as the leader to DIRECT, his actions to give him knowledge of what to do and how to do it.
The spirit of GodGod revealed knowledge to ancient Israel, they didn't have God's spirit and they never comprehended what he said. Neither did they obey. I'd like to make this thing real plain, now this morning Mr. McNair went into a little more detail than I have in the past about human nature. And I'd like to refine it now since he went that far just a little further.
Wrong sense of valuesI've been called ignorant by someone that even graduated from this college who has turned sour and embittered against the college and may bring a lawsuit against the college.
There has to be organisationAnyway there has to be a head. There has to be a head of each local church. There has to be organization, there has to be a head over the churches as a whole. And the head really is God Almighty the Father, and Christ is the Word but Christ says that He does only does what the Father told him to do, He is obedient. He speaks only what the Father told him to speak and He's the spokesman, and He's the real head of the church.
What has Christ been doing sinceNow a lot of people wonder what He has been doing ever since. And the church was started after He ascended up to heaven ten days after. And the church grew for a little while and it was so claiming that gospel of the Kingdom of God. But inside of about twenty one or twenty two years they were preaching a different gospel. And the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God was suppressed, they preached man's gospel about Christ, but they didn't teach Christ's Gospel which was his message.
True Church ContinuedThe True Church continued all right but they lost a great deal of the truth. Now I came among the Sardis era, they were the church, they were trying to obey God, they had the right name, they had the law, they didn't have the gospel. There was a lot they didn't know; they didn't know that we could even become God. They just knew we'd be saved and they knew we didn't go to heaven. And they knew there was going to be a reign with Christ on earth that they had no idea at all what would happen, what it would be like. They didn't know anything about the Kingdom of God.
All things the UniverseNow in the book of Hebrews,
Don't let it slipHeb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed [because Christ and these angels are ministering to us we ought to give the more, the more, I'm all tied up here with a tongue twister,] earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Don't neglect so great salvationHeb 2:3 How shall we escape [that is we in the church, how shall we escape], if we NEGLECT so great salvation;
The World TomorrowNow what is he speaking about, the subject here that he's talking about here is the WORLD TO COME, the World Tomorrow. What was Christ's Gospel, the Kingdom of God? That is the family of God that'll be ruling for the thousand years and then on for all eternity after that and after the Great White Throne Judgment.
Why should God be concerned about You?Why should God be concerned about you, little you? You don't amount to anything; you're just a hunk of dirt with a spirit that gives you consciousness and to think. But there's nothing great about you or about me? And yet God is concerned about you and about me. WHY, why should He be?
The entire universeBut all things, now the Moffatt translation says that, that means the entire universe. The entire universe, that only means that not only means this earth that means our solar system. That means all the other planets, not little things like the moon, but even bigger planets like Jupiter and Saturn. And that's only a little part. Our solar system is only a part of our galaxy that is called the Milky Way. And our galaxy which is so great we can't imagine it is only one of many, many galaxies and it seemed like there is no end
What great salvationBrethren do we REALIZE what great salvation is offered us and why it must not be neglected. And why we have to persevere in it.
The power of GodBrethren, I am sure that there is enough indicated in the Bible to show that God did not complete His creation. He didn't finish the creation of man. First he didn't make man complete physically, he needed a mate so he could reproduce, so he had to make another... woman for him. He didn't make him complete spiritually, he made him with one spirit but he needed another spirit. And that other spirit, he is still not complete until he acquires, receives the knowledge of God and through the Holy Spirit comprehends that knowledge. And it is instilled into him; till he's stamped with the very CHARACTER of God and we have the KNOWLEDGE of God, the CHARACTER of God. And we think like God and we know like God and we have the power of God.
Earth solid, liquid, gasAnd all that for example you take H2O or water under a certain temperature it becomes water it's liquid. A lower temperature thirty two degrees Fahrenheit and lower as it becomes solid, its ice. Two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit it becomes gas and it goes up in steam. Now matter can be present in three forms, solid, liquid or gas, and the gas as far as it goes, of the earth, is part of the EARTH that astronauts get clear about that. They're out of the Earth altogether.
Man pollutedI will never forget, at the time I was raising up the church up in Eugene, Oregon before we ever came down to start Pasadena. I went out to an osteopath about twelve, oh about thirteen, fifteen miles west of Eugene. He was in the country, a country doctor and yet always you would find eight or ten people ahead of you out there, because he was quite well known up there in that part of the world, and so many people came to him and he was quite, well, sort of a wise old philosopher.
Let's not let downBrethren the salvation that God offers us is so great that our minds can't begin to conceive it and yet some are neglecting it. Some are forgetting about it, some are getting their minds on other things. Let's not let down, now for the last three, three and a half years or so God has been getting us back on the track. Well being on a track means you have to, have to keep on the move. A track, a railroad track is something to run the train on and trains standing still just on the track isn't going anywhere. If we're back on the track we got to start going and growing.