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.
Feast of Tabernacles
Well greetings everybody! This is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and let me ask as I used to ask year after year in times past, why are we here? Satan Corrupts the Job Given to Angels God's Decision to Reproduce Himself Matter Changes, Spirit Does Not God's Marvellous Re-creation Adam's Opportunity to Qualify The Consequences of Adam's Choice Christ's Example of Qualifying God's Master Plan
Well let me say once again, as I have said so many times through the years, we are here to look forward into, and to as it were, enjoy a part of the wonderful world tomorrow. Of a time when there will be world peace when all of this present time of trouble, of hardship, of frustration, of pain and sorrow, and suffering will be over. A time when there will be universal salvation and there certainly is not now.
As I said last night, this is the largest annual conclave or meeting, of this kind by any church or religious body in the world. I wonder if we realize that? That no other church, no other religious body has an annual conclave or convention as large as this one. Because this one is attended by thousands of people in many, many, Feast sites all over the world. I think just about every continent on the earth.
Now all other such conventions, when they are held, and they often are, are human planned. Just of men's devising, whatever men thought might be good. But, this is God's Festival, and it is made obligatory that we attend by God Himself, and that, my brethren is the total difference.
We have been called out of this world, to live in it, but not to be of it. We are the called-out ones. This world does not know the ways of God. It doesn't know very much about God as a matter of fact. There are millions upon millions of people that will say they believe in God. That is, they believe there is a God that exists, but they don't know Him. They don't believe what He says. They don't believe Him. I want you to note the message, what Christ said, that we are to do, and one of the reasons why we are here now. It is in Matthew 24, and verse 45, when Jesus said:
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord [shall make] ruler over his household, to give them meat [or food and in this case He is talking about spiritual food] in due season?" (Matthew 24:45)
God has given us these seven annual festivals and seven annual Holy Days for a purpose; to picture to us His plan that He is working out here below, the master plan of the Eternal God. And God's Church has been slack in this requirement. We have been slack in attending. Some of our ministers have been slack in proclaiming the message that is due at this time. In other words, the food in due season.
I want to start setting the example before all of you at this time. God continues revealing truth and new truth if our eyes and ears and our minds are open to receive it, and I want to open to you understanding at this time, a very vital new truth, at least a new way of seeing it and looking at it in regard to these Festivals of God. So I want you to listen intently.
Angels were put here to finish the creation of the earth. I wonder if you ever realized that God and the original creation did not complete the creation of the earth. So far as the plain round earth is concerned, and other planets the same way, they were complete. And everything that God did was beautiful and it was perfect as far as it went.
But, I like to compare it to these unfinished furniture stores. Now the furniture is perfect as far as it goes. Much of it is made of the best of hardwoods. Some of it, Louis XIV or XV in design, fine beautiful designs. But, the final polish or finish or paint or whatever has not been put on. You do that finishing yourself, and if you have the knack, and the ability and the training to do it, you can save a little bit of money.
The angels were put here to improve this earth, to work on the earth, to produce out of it, and to improve the beauty of it, and to add certain things. God is the Creator, He intended them to be creators. And God has made us to enter into the divine family of God that God has created. Therefore if we add to the family of God, we become God, and we must become Creators. I wonder if we realize that?
We were put on this earth after the angels to beautify and to improve it. And instead of that we have polluted and we have besmirched everything that God has allowed human hands to touch in this world. We have polluted the air. We have polluted the water. We have polluted the land and the soil.
Well, for the purpose that God had for the angels, it was necessary that they work together. If they work in harmony and peace, and what we might call teamwork. And so God placed over them the government of God. The government of God to regulate them, to keep them together and working together in harmony and peace.
That government of God was based on the Law of God. You can't have a government unless it is based on a basic constitution, or a law. Or in the case of the city, sometimes it's just ordinances and rules of that sort. And God's law is the way of love, and love is an outgoing thing, not an incoming lust. It is outgoing love, it is the way of giving, it is the way of serving, of helping and of sharing. It is the way of concern one for the other, and as much for the other as for the self.
Now, this earth then was the proving ground for those angels. That was way back before the time of Adam. It was before any man had ever been created. It was the proving ground to qualify them to do the same thing to the planets all over the whole vast universe, and that now, becomes the potential of man. And we're here to celebrate the time when Christ will have come to rule, and when we will have peace, and when we will begin to qualify, and millions more are going to be saved to qualify for that absolutely fantastic human element potential.
Now on the throne of the government of God on this earth, way back in prehistoric times, when the angels were here, God had placed a super archangel whose name was Lucifer. The name Lucifer means shining star of the dawn. It means a bringer of light. One who disseminates truth and light and beauty, and everything in God's way and God's law. But, instead, this Lucifer led his angels that were under him into rebellion, into a case of competition and strife. Into hostility against God's way, and against everybody for himself instead of going together to accomplish what should be, and into sin and corruption.
Haven't you ever wondered, I have, and I just wonder if you have ever wondered why Satan is still here? We find in the Bible a great deal about it. For example, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, in II Corinthians the eleventh chapter. He said that he feared lest those people at Corinth in that day would have their minds corrupted by the devil in the same way the mother Eve's mind had been some four thousand years before." (II Corinthians 11:3)
So, Satan is still here. Satan was here when Jesus Christ came to try and kill Him when He was an infant, before He could grow up to proclaim the message that was His gospel. Satan tried to disqualify Christ again when He was about thirty years old, before He could preach a word.
Now God saw that He was the only one left. And God — I think that I've mentioned it in other sermons, and we all should know, that originally there were the two, as you find in John the first chapter and the first three or four verses. There was the Word, which comes from the Greek word Logos that means Spokesman, revelatory thought. The One who did the speaking, but He was equal with God in every way except in authority. And He was with God, and they were the two great personages. They were equal, except that the One was in authority.
Now at that time, the Word was not the Son of God. He had always existed from eternity, and will exist into eternity. And so God later on, when He beget Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was born as the Son of God and yet a human as well as divine, He became then the Son of God. But, that was four thousand years after Adam.
But, going back to the time when the angels sinned, God knew that it was only God — which was to become later the God Family ... one God that is a family, not a person — could be relied on never to depart from God's way and God's government and God's law. So God decided to reproduce Himself.
Now for the Great God to reproduce Himself, what could be a greater feat? Well if there is anything greater, it is what He has in store for us — this absolutely incredible human potential. That goes clear beyond everything that is shown us, and to remind us every year in these Festivals. God had decided to reproduce Himself through human beings.
Now to do this, it was absolutely necessary that God formed man out of matter and not out of spirit. Angels had been created out of spirit. They were composed of spirit. But man was to be composed of matter, because matter can change and spirit does not change. God knew that since the angels had gone the wrong way that there was certainly the great probability that man would. And if man went the wrong way, being made of matter, he could change. God could bring him to a place of repentance, and he could change from what he is to develop the character of God. Now God's great overall purpose after all is the development of character. The angels had that opportunity, but they developed the wrong character.
"Thou [God] sendest forth thy spirit, [and] they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." (Psalm 104:30)
God renewed the face of the earth. What you read of, back in the first chapter of Genesis is NOT the original creation. It was the renewing of the face of the earth after the angels had perverted it and had brought it into desolation and ruin and chaos. You go back to Genesis the first chapter and the first two verses, and:
"In the beginning [this is the beginning when] God created the heaven[s] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
And this is after God had created the angels. The real beginning in the Bible if you want to begin in time sequence is in John 1 and verses one to three and four, where there was the Word and God. Now they created angels out of spirit, they were spirit beings, there was no matter. There was no material, or physical universe of any kind. God had not yet created matter, and the laws of — I was going to say, of physics and chemistry, but rather I mean of radioactivity prove that there has been no past eternity of matter. There was a time then when matter did not exist. They were just out in vacant space, they were not on a planet, they were not on anything like we are with gravity pulling them down to it.
But later then, God came to create the physical universe. First He created it for angels as I have said, but they did not qualify. They were put on this earth as their proving ground and they could have gone throughout the whole universe on the creative mission, but they flunked, to use the modern term, they failed. Now, here in Genesis:
"In the beginning God created the heaven[s, and it should be plural 'heavens', that's the way Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
There is every evidence in the Bible that God created the whole universe at the same time that He created this earth. And everything God created was perfect.
Now we find other planets, like our moon, like Mars, and we have seen, and I am speaking to you at this time, as this is being recorded to be shown in every Feast site all over the world. I am speaking in the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. And on this very stage where I am sitting now, was the screen when the first pictures came from Mars, that had been sent on the unmanned space craft, and those photographs began coming. The first time they were seen by human eyes, was on this very stage where I am sitting now. I was here, it was about 5:07 or 5:08 in the morning. Just after five o'clock in the morning.
Well what we saw on Mars was decay. Now decay is not a created condition. Decay is a result of deterioration. It is not the way anything is originally created. God did not create these things that way, and there is no way to explain how they came to decay except for the sin of those angels. The world doesn't know these things my brethren. These are things that God has revealed that we can know, and how wonderful it is to know these things of God. Peter said that we shall:
"...grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ..." (II Peter 3:18)
And this is His knowledge, this is wonderful knowledge. Now then it says:
"And the earth was [that word 'was' is translated from the Hebrew word that otherwise is translated became, or the earth became] without form, and void [the Hebrew words there are 'tohu' and 'bohu' and they mean waste and empty, they mean in a decayed and confused condition, that was the result of the sins of the angels. Now, notice the last part of that same verse]; and darkness was upon the face of the deep..." (Genesis 1:2)
In other words, it was just covered with water or ocean and it was dark. Satan or this Lucifer who was put over the angels after he sinned, his name was changed to Satan, and he is still around. I want to show you why he is. If you have wondered why has God left Satan there? Why is he there to cause all of the troubles? He is the root cause of all of the troubles that have come into this world. Every bit of it. Human beings have been deceived. Humans might have even been sincere, but they have been thrown off the track. They have been misled. They have been deceived. Satan is the great arch-deceiver, the most subtle of any being perhaps that God ever created.
Now then darkness was upon the face of the watery surface of the earth.
Now I just read to you how God sends forth His Spirit first, then He renewed the face of the earth. Here was the Spirit that God sent forth to do the job. God Almighty — finally became the Father of Jesus Christ — is the One who is the head of the family. He is greatest in power. He delegates to the Word as He used to be, and Christ as He came to be, what is to be done. Christ is the Spokesman. He speaks and it is done. But when He speaks, the Holy Spirit is the power that produces it. Notice the next verse:
"And God said [the word for God there is Elohim which was a uni-plural, and it includes at that time, the One who is God and the One who was the Logos, that's the Greek word, or the Word, the Spokesman who became Christ. Now, the Spokesman spoke, He said], Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3)
The first thing that He did was to turn the darkness that Satan and his angels had brought into light. Now the angels had now become demons, and this Lucifer, a bright shining star and the greatest being that God could create instantaneously, had befouled their mind, befouled the earth. They had become corrupt and perverted. But God said: "...Let there be light..." (Genesis 1:3) Satan and his angels who became demons had turned it into darkness, and what He spoke was light. The Holy Spirit was there to bring it about. Now as you go on through the first chapter of Genesis it is speaking of the renewing of the face of the earth.
Now then we will drop down here in the first chapter of Genesis to verse 25:
"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind [each beast after his own kind], ...cattle after their kind..." (Genesis 1:25)
Even insects after the insect kind, everyone was after its own kind and it reproduced. Now brethren, if you stop to think, and if your mind is on the things of God, and the way God's mind works, you will find that there is no evidence in the Bible that there ever was such a thing as reproduction, one kind reproducing itself, until we come to the time of this renewing of the face of the earth in the first chapter of Genesis.
I am trying to give you something that you probably haven't thought of before. I want to give you something new. I want to give you the truth of the Holy God that is not known over this world. No man speaks these things today, except some of those of us in the very Church of the Living God today. Here God made the beasts of the earth:
"... and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us [not me, let us. Notice it's in the plural and this indicated the One who is called God, the One who is called the Logos, or the Word. Let us] make man in our image, [in] our likeness..." (Genesis 1:25-26)
That is the same form and shape. You want to know what God looks like? Well, just look at any man. They asked Jesus when He was on earth, "...show us the Father and that will suffice us. He said, Have you been so long with me and you don't know what I look like. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father..." (John 14:8-9 paraphrased) He didn't mean that He was the Father, but that the Father looked like Him. In other words, He was a man with a head, two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears. He was a man that had arms and legs. We are in the form and shape of God. And there is a spirit in us that is not a soul or an immortal soul. Man is a soul.
And I am just finishing a book now that is going to be in bookstores all over the United States, and many other parts of the world. It will be actually, the most important and the most sensational thing that has ever been printed and that has ever been written in 1900 years. I hope that all of you will get a copy. I hope it will be on the book shelves by the Feast of Tabernacles. I don't know. We are working on it and trying to get it out.
Anyway, God was now reproducing Himself. He was forming man after His own kind, and He had to bridge the gap. That's the thing that will be explained in this book. How is He going to bridge the gap between a human being made of matter? And we are to be turned into a glorious body formed of spirit, completely composed of spirit then.
Now God isn't going to turn our fleshly body into a spirit body. He just isn't going to do it that way. But God has a way of bridging that gap between a flesh being and a flesh brain that develops whatever character we have. Although the spirit in man imparts the power of intellect to the brain, gives it instant recall of all memory and makes it possible for the brain to do the things it does. But God is going to preserve those who die and those who died a thousand years, and five thousand and almost six thousand years ago. God has preserved them through the Spirit that was in them, but the body decayed.
And with what body do we come in the resurrection? In the 15th chapter of I Corinthians, it says that the body that we plant in the grave or that we cremate or whatever we do with it, is not the same body that comes in the resurrection. But God will give it a body that pleases Him. In other words, that spirit becomes a mold . And God, if we are converted and we come in a spirit body, God will supply the spirit — but that spirit that has been in us, added to, that is, with the Holy Spirit of God added to it, will be what will preserve even our finger prints, all of our knowledge, all of whatever character, either good or bad, that has been developed in us, and that way we will become a spirit being.
It is the most marvelous thing in the world. Most people don't care about things like that. Most people would rather just go on with whatever the little material physical interests of the day. They would rather just be comfortable and enjoying whatever they are and not worrying about the way things are, how we came to be, what happened before, or of the future, or what is going to happen. You know these things that God reveals are marvelous things and how we should glory God, and magnify God, and praise God for the great knowledge and that He has revealed these things and that we can know them.
"...the [Eternal] God formed man [not out of spirit as He had angels but] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
Not an immortal soul. God said to Adam plainly that he was dust and unto dust he would return. And if he sinned as the angels had done before him, he would surely die. Man was made so he could die. Angels are immortal and cannot die.
Now Adam — I want you to get this — Adam had the opportunity now to qualify to do what this Satan when he was Lucifer had chance to do. He was the king over the angels and the angels had that marvelous potential of finishing the creation of planets all over the vast universe.
Now we have our own little solar system and that is so vast and so big that even going at the speed of light it takes you a long time to get from here to say Mars, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter. But that is all part of our solar system and that is part of our own galaxy. But the astronomers tell us that there are many, many, many galaxies and it goes on, and on, and on. Space has no end to it. Endless space, just think of it. These things are so marvelous we ought to want to know about them.
Well Adam had a chance now to qualify for what the angels had, had a chance to do. He was on the proving ground on this earth now. But to do so, he must not only accept the government of God and God's way, but now he had to do something else. He must reject Satan's way that he had turned to and he must overcome Satan. To qualify, he must overcome that Satan who is disqualified, to go on and do the things that originally he might have done.
How wonderful is that kind of knowledge? You won't hear it in any church in this world, except the Church of God. It is in the Bible. I didn't make it up in my own mind. I got it right out of the Word of God. God revealed it, and how wonderful it is.
But he had to overcome Satan, and that is one of the reasons that God left Satan here. He now is reproducing Himself. And man has to overcome, and turn from that way of Satan, and turn to the way of the Law of God and the Government of God, in order to qualify and to become very God, as we shall.
Well, Adam had to do more than just take the tree of life. Adam had to overcome Satan and resist him and turn from that way. Because that is the way the inhabitants of the earth had turned to and now to qualify, they had to turn away from that way. But God did not let Satan get to Adam and Eve until after God had talked to them first, and God had explained everything to them that they needed to know.
Now the first eleven chapters in the Bible in the Book of Genesis are exceedingly brief. They are just the briefest, overall summary. They don't go into details. But, God did explain to Adam and Eve His law, His government. He explained about Satan and He explained what the consequences would be for sin. I'm not sure whether He explained how far they could go through the whole universe. That is not revealed there. Part of it started to be revealed to David in the eighth chapter of the Book of Psalms. Much more of it is revealed to the apostle Paul, as recorded in the second chapter of Hebrews. Nevertheless, Adam and Eve knew the consequences, and I think you will notice here in the seventeenth verse of Genesis two:
"But [God said] of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [that was the other tree, which meant taking to themselves the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, the knowledge of good and evil, instead of believing God, when God told them what is right and what is wrong, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil], thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17)
There is not an immortal soul. You are subject to death. Twice later, the Bible says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die..." (Ezekiel 18:4,20) And yet, people believe Satan's lie about the immortality of the soul.
Well then God allowed Satan, after God had explained everything to Adam and Eve, God allowed Satan to get to them. Now I won't go through the details because you should know all of that, in the third chapter of Genesis, but come down to the sixth verse. Let's just read that one verse:
"And when the woman [which was Eve, and Satan got to her, when she] saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired [representing lust and greed] to make one wise [now she was turning to the way of vanity, of lust and greed, and of rebellion against God], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)
Adam knew better! Adam was not deceived. Adam had been given a choice. Adam had listened to God, then Adam had listened to Satan, and he had to make a choice. He disbelieved what God said. He said: "I know you're God, I know you're my Creator," oh yes, he believed in God, but he didn't believe God. There's a big difference, he didn't believe what God was saying. Instead, he believed what Satan said. And so, coming down now to the twenty-second verse in the third chapter of Genesis:
"And the [Eternal] God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever [lest he get of the Holy Spirit, the tree of life]: Therefore the [Eternal] God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was [coming]. ...he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3:22-24)
So mankind could not get back. Now in other words, let me put that in modern language because I say, it is such a summary. There is so little given there, and you have to put together other things in other parts of the Bible to get the whole, complete story. So, Adam said that, in effect, "Well God, I have listened to you, and I have listened to Satan, and I am going to go the way of Satan. I am not going to reject him. I believe that competition is better, because it will stimulate the desire to accomplish more. I believe in vanity, because then I exalt myself and I want to make something out of myself. I believe in lust and greed, because that is a stimulus to effort and to gain."
Oh, Satan has an argument for his way. Jealousy and envy, well that's part of competition isn't it? Adam said, "I reject you God. I don't want you to rule over me. I reject you as the source of revealed knowledge. I reject you as my God and Saviour and the giver of eternal life. I reject you as my Ruler."
Look at the governments in the world, what have they done? Fighting one another, war, war, war. "You go form your own religion." Look at the many religions in this world, and even Christianity is a fake and a false one. I mean that, it is. They have taken the name of Christ, and put it on the old Babylonian Mystery Religion. This world is filled with religions invented by men.
They have created their own fund of knowledge. And we have our whole system disseminating that knowledge. We have the colleges and the universities and the institutions of higher learning. All based on vanity. All based on carnality. All rejecting God. All cut off from God and leaving the knowledge of God out of it. That's what you get in the colleges and universities.
Let me tell you why I am turning Ambassador College again right side up. I had to suffer, bleed, and die, to found this college and to keep it from being made a rubber stamp like the colleges in this world, after the deceptions of Satan. But in the last ten years, outside professors have been employed. They have brought the outside world in. We have brought into this a worldliness, getting away from the ways of God, wanting to be just like the world around us.
Ancient Israel, you know, when God had put Samuel as a prophet, when God was ruling them through Samuel. But they wanted to have a king just like the other nations. They wanted to be like the other nations around them. Young people today want to be like their peers, like other young people their age. If they are wearing long hair, even though God says, even nature itself ought to teach you it's a shame for a man to wear long hair! (I Corinthians 11:14) But what do kids care, they're going to do what the other kids do. And that's the way people are today. They do just whatever other people are doing. They want to follow the way of other people in the world and not the ways of God. That's what Adam decided.
Now I am going to show you again why God has left Satan here all these years. I'm coming to that. Well, God did call certain ones, and He revealed knowledge to them.
First, He called Noah because He wanted to save eight people. The world had become so corrupt and just like it had under the angels, and it was going to come to absolute ruination anyway, and so God called Noah. Then later, He called Abraham, and Abraham listened, and when God called him Abraham went. He didn't argue about it. Then of course there was Isaac and Jacob.
Then four hundred and thirty years after Abraham, God called Moses. Well of course Moses now didn't want to do it. He said, "Well God, you see, I have an impediment of speech, I can't speak, I stutter and I can't do the thing you want me to do." God said, "Oh I know you stutter, but I have already taken care of that. I have appointed your brother Aaron to speak for you." And so Moses finally went.
You notice that whenever God has called someone, nearly every time they try to go the other way. I did. People up in Oregon persuaded me and pleaded with me for almost three years before I would even start to give the first talk, which was hardly a sermon. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was preach.
God called Jonah. He had a great message for him. He wanted Jonah to go and warn the great city of Nineveh, because a great destruction was coming if Nineveh didn't repent. Jonah tried to run away.
God called Jeremiah and said, "I have got a big job for you to do, and I want you to go to the kings of Judah and the king of Babylon." Jeremiah said, "Oh no Lord I can't do it. Oh no, I'm just a young man. I'm not old enough yet." He probably was only about seventeen years old at the time, nobody knows exactly. Anyway he protested. God said, "YOU WILL DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO!"
It's a funny thing, there have been men that have wanted to get to the top and run this Church; and if they want to, it is the best reason in the world that God has never called them. The ones that God calls try to run the other way nearly always. That seems to be human nature.
Well anyway, after Moses, God called the descendants of Abraham, the children of Israel, and formed of them of His own nation. Now He did reveal Himself to them, while He was not revealing Himself to other nations like the Chinese, the Japanese, the people of India. Well, Israel rejected God's way. They stoned the prophets that God sent to try to show them God's way. Now those prophets will be in the kingdom of God, and so will Noah, and so will Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and so will the prophets. But, ancient Israel turned the other way. God never did offer them spiritual salvation anyway.
Christ had to qualify, and in order to qualify, He had to do what the first Adam had to do, only Christ did it, and the first Adam didn't. He had to meet [meet Satan — implied]- and He knew God's way. He had spent time in growing up with God. He was in constant communication with God through prayer. But when He was about thirty years old, He was ready now to start what is called His earthly ministry, and before He could speak a word, Satan got to Him. Now He had to overcome Satan. He had to reject Satan. He had to conquer Satan to qualify to take over the rulership that Satan had been given when his name was Lucifer. I want you to notice the fourth chapter of Matthew:
"Then [beginning verse one, Then] was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights [you ever fast forty days and forty nights, no water, no food? But anyway, He was very, very hungry at that time, and very, very weak physically]. And when the tempter [or Satan] came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." (Matthew 4:1-3)
He put that big 'if', he appealed to His vanity. Anyone of vanity would have said; "I'll show you whether I'm the Son of God or not." But Jesus wasn't filled with that kind of vanity. He was filled with humility and obedience to God — humility and obedience to God.
"...he answered [that], Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
"And I'm going to believe God, and I'm going to live by His Law, and I'm going to die and come to be a Ruler. And I am going to take the rule away from you, Satan. And I am going to rule where you failed. I am going to obey God, I am going to do what God wants done." Well:
"Then the devil took him next into the holy city, and sat him on a pinnacle of the temple, and he said, Now if you are the Son of God [again, he gave the same thing, he gave Him every temptation that could come to a man that had almost starved. Jesus had the power to perform the miracle and turn the stones into bread, but He would not do it that way until it was to God's time. Now he said, if thou be the Son of God], cast thyself down: because it is certain, the angels will take care of you if you do. Jesus said again, It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God [that would have been tempting God if He had done that]. And again the devil showed Him all the nations of the world and said, Fall down and worship me, and I'll turn this all over to you. You came to be a King, I'll give it to you right now. You don't have to wait nineteen hundred more years." (Matthew 4:5-9 paraphrased)
That might have been a temptation. But Jesus said:
"...You get behind me Satan..." (Matthew 4:10 paraphrased)
He gave a command, and He said; "Now I'm going to rule. I'm giving the orders. Get out of here," and Satan got, and Christ had conquered Satan. And Christ had qualified to come as THE KING AND RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD TO THIS EARTH.
Now then, I want to read you something else. He qualified, He had to qualify the conquering Satan, to sit on the throne of David and rule this earth. Will you turn for a moment real quickly over into Revelation the third chapter and verse 21:
"To him that overcometh [He means overcoming Satan, Satan is still there today, we now, have to overcome Satan. To him that overcometh] will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down [now] with my Father in his throne [in heaven]." (Revelation 3:21)
Jesus overcame Satan and He could sit on the Father's throne. He is also qualified to sit on David's throne on this earth. Brethren, if we're going to sit with Him on that throne, we have to do the same thing. We have to do more than just say, "Yes, I accept Christ." We have to do more than that, we have to meet, and overcome, and conquer Satan. And get that way out of our lives and our minds. We have got to overcome the things of Satan, which is vanity, lust and greed, jealousy and envy, competition, strife, resentment, bitterness and all of those things.
That's why Satan is still here. This is a testing ground, this is the proving ground. God is calling a few people, and it is only those He calls. The rest of the world is not being called now. They couldn't get salvation now if they wanted it. Jesus Christ said:
"No man can come to me, except [the Spirit of] the Father which...sent me draw him..." (John 6:44)
Do you believe that? You can't — there is nothing in the Bible that can countermand that, or can disprove that, absolutely nothing. If God has not called, they can't come. But, if God has called us, we have got to overcome Satan.
Now then, after Christ does come, and the Millennium, that is the time we are celebrating in the Feast of Tabernacles for the thousand year reign with Christ, and there won't be any Satan here to overcome. They aren't going to have to do anything except accept Christ. But they won't qualify for the positions of rule that we will. We've got a greater job to do. We've got a greater bit of overcoming to do, and we have a greater potential. Now we are not saved by our works, but we are to be rewarded according to our works. And we have a chance at so much greater reward than those that will be saved later.
"These are the feasts [or festivals] of the [Eternal], even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons [I told you, we are to give food, spiritual food, in due season. This is The Feast of Tabernacles, is the season for showing what that is to picture, and what is going to happen]. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even [or between the evenings] is the [Eternal's] passover." (Leviticus 23:4-5)
The children of Israel had to stay all that night in their homes after they killed the lamb at dusk. The Jewish translation gives the word dusk for evening. It is between sunset and dark, or you might call it the twilight time. And if they go out of their homes that night at any time in that night, the firstborn would have been killed by the death angel. Then on the fifteenth day, they went out by night. So it was the next night of necessity.
Now we come to the New Testament, and there is an argument. Christ could not be killed at the same time of day the lamb always was, and still take the Passover, and set us the example of the New Testament Passover at the same time of day. So what did Christ do? He took the Passover at the same time of day. He would not have set us an example at any other time. I know the mind of Christ that well, and I wish some of our more intellectual people, that are carnally intellectual, would begin to understand that a little bit. The people killed Christ, and they didn't kill Him at the same time of day the lamb had always been killed, but it was still on the same day.
"And on the fifteenth day of the [first] month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the [Eternal]: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread." (Leviticus 26:6)
Now, the Passover is now the memorial of Christ, who shed His blood for us. That's why we take the bread and the wine. It begins with our repentance, and if we repent and believe, then from there on, it is shown what will happen through the Holy Days. We accept Christ, and He paid the penalty in our stead and God forgives us and forgets. What a wonderful thing that is. In the first of the seven days of Unleavened Bread, in the spring, there is a Holy Day, and then the last of those seven days, six days later, is also a Holy Day, there are two Holy Days there.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you [that was the promised land that we sometimes have called Palestine, it's Israel today], ...[then] ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest [to] the priest:" (Leviticus 23:9-10)
This is called the Feast of the Firstfruits, or today we call it Pentecost, which is a Greek name from the Greek New Testament. It means count fifty. And it is fifty days counting from the Sabbath, the weekly Sabbath, in the midst of the Days of Unleavened Bread. That is the day we call Pentecost. Pentecost is the Feast of Firstfruits. It's given the proof to us, to show us that God is not calling everybody, only the firstfruits. This is just the first little harvest, you might say, of souls or of people to be begotten and born into immortality. Just the very beginning.
Now then, God is not trying to call everybody. And what happens to those that are not called? Are they lost? The great trouble in this world is, and I say it's the most universal error of people that think they know something about the Bible; of thinking that everybody, if he doesn't accept Christ and get saved, he is lost. Oh no, they're not. they're not being judged. God has not given them any chance. they are not lost.
Now then, we are going to see these Holy Days show us why. If we would only keep them. Yet I hear from some of the Feast sites that last year there was not ONE SERMON ON WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THESE FESTIVAL DAYS and what they mean, WHAT WE CAME THERE FOR. I am going to call a few ministers to accounting about that. I want this thing preached. I want meat in due season preached. That is what Christ commanded. And if ministers don't want to do it, they can't be the ministers of Jesus Christ.
Now we come down to the seventh month. You will find now, that the first day of the seventh month is the Feast of Trumpets. That pictures the Second Coming of Christ. Now He is coming. He is qualified, now He is coming to sit on that throne and to cast Satan out.
The Day of Atonement, the fast day, follows on the tenth day of the seventh month. That pictures, among other things, the putting of Satan away. And Satan will be put out, and Christ will have overcome him, Christ will have replaced him, Christ will have succeeded him. The government of God will be restored on this earth, but more than that, the kingdom of God, which is the born family of God ruling as a ruling kingdom.
Then we come to the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days. That is the great fall harvest for one thousand years.
Hitler tried to counterfeit that, and make the German Aryan folk, the world's top people for a thousand years. Well that was only a counterfeit of God's plan. He must have been listening to Satan. Anyway, that did not succeed, but Christ's way will. And then there will be no devil around. They won't have to qualify by overcoming Satan like we do brethren. There is a great difference.
Everybody who is still living, and of course many people now living are going to be killed and will be dead by that time. That will only be a few years, it could only be four or five years, it may be longer. No man knows how long it will be, but it can't be any nearer than some four or five years, and then there won't be any Satan here. They won't have to overcome. All they will have to do is turn to God's way. All who are living for a thousand years. Then they will be converted and given immortal life.
Now then, after the Feast of Tabernacles, is a VERY IMPORTANT Feast, and we miss the meaning of that altogether. That is the seventh Festival. That is on the eighth day. The day following the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. That symbolizes the Great White Throne Judgment. In other words, all these people that God has just cut off from Him, that had no chance of salvation, but they have not been lost, neither have they been saved, neither one.
Now they are going to be brought back by a resurrection into mortal life, just as they were, not spirit life, no salvation, mortal life. They are going to then see what happened during this six thousand years of man being cut off from God; of man being influenced and deceived by Satan. They are going to see that way and they are going to decide which way they would rather go. They are going to see what a calamity it brought on the whole earth, and I want that preached on the eighth day of this Festival. But I expect to see more sermons like that, explaining that, that is when the GREAT, OVERWHELMING, BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF PEOPLE are going to finally find salvation.
Now that will finish it so far as this world is concerned. After that is the eternity beyond that is revealed in the second chapter of Hebrews, and the eighth chapter of the Psalms, and also in Romans the eighth chapter. But, we are going to finish the creation and renew, just as God renewed the face of the earth. We will renew the face of planets that have become filled with decay and wasteness and emptiness, all over the universe. And that work will go on through eternity.
And we will become God. We will be Creators. We will be looking forward to the most wonderful things we're going to be doing. We will be looking back on wonderful successes and what a wonderful thing it is.
So for now, goodbye and God bless all of you.
Satan Corrupts the Job Given to AngelsThe earth first was populated by angels. I think most of us know that, but we often forget it. We don't think about it very often. But it is very important, because that was the start, and has a great deal to do with our lives today, and with what we are doing here today. There was, before the angels, an incredible potential. It is the same incredible potential that now is the heritage of man. The angels, in other words, failed to qualify for that wonderful potential and man was put here for the purpose of qualifying where they failed.
God's Decision to Reproduce HimselfI wonder if you could think of these things as God saw it, from His point of view? What is your approach? What is your point of view? What is your concept? Only God could be relied on to never to depart from God's way. In other words, it is impossible for God to sin. And why is it impossible? Well, it is because there is no power greater that could force Him to do anything else, and because He has firmly purposed within His own mind, and set Himself that He WILL NOT. And there is no power that can change that.
Matter Changes, Spirit Does NotBut now you will notice here in the hundred and fourth Psalm, verse thirty:
God's Marvellous Re-creation"...And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)
Adam's Opportunity to QualifyNow then in the second chapter of Genesis, in verse seven:
The Consequences of Adam's ChoiceThen God said, in effect to him: "Alright Adam, I have given you your choice. I have told you, and you have done what you have done with your eyes wide open, and you have believed Satan instead of me. You have made your own choice. And therefore I sentence you, and I sentence you and those that will come from you, which will be the entire world, to six thousand years of being totally cut off from me. Except, to fulfill my purpose, I will call certain ones, whom I will choose, for certain missions that I will have for them to do. And outside of those I call, everyone will be cut off from me. Now, Adam, you and your successors that'll become the whole world after you, because they will all be born from you, you go form your own kind of government. You don't believe in my government."
Christ's Example of QualifyingNow finally we come down to the second Adam, Jesus Christ. He was born of the tribe of Judah, of the nation of Israel. He came to His own, Judah, who had become known as the Jews. They rejected Him, they said; "We won't have this man reigning over us." And He was born to be a King, He was born to restore the Government of God on this earth, that Lucifer and the angels had taken away.
God's Master PlanNow we're coming down to these Festivals of God. They remind us year by year of God's master plan for those of us He has called, now in this time. It has nothing to do with the rest of the world, only those that God is calling. And that is what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about, and that's what all of these Festivals are. So we come to these Feasts. We come back now to the chapter in the Bible about God's Festivals, the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus, and beginning with verse four: