Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
QR Code

   We came here from different parts of Europe and from the United States. You know you can come to a place like this or any part of the world where we see a congregation of God's people and you find the same spirit. You find unity and harmony. The world and the nations of the world have been trying to find unity. Right now they are trying to find unification of the nations of Europe, back to the days of the Holy Roman Empire, which had been ruled from Austria there in years gone by since the twelfth century.
   The world has never been able to find harmony or unity, only competition, strife, war, destruction and sorrow, unhappiness and death. We have life, we have immortal and eternal life begotten within us. We have happiness, we have unity and wherever we go, any part of the world, over in the Philippines, in Malaysia, in Singapore, down in Africa, any place in the world where you find the congregations of the Worldwide Church of God, you find the same spirit, the same happiness. We all have love one to another. You know it was Jesus who said:
   "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples [that is the disciples of Jesus Christ], if you have love one to another." (John 13:35)
   You don't find that kind of love in the world but you do find it in the Church of God.

God's Master Plan Through the Annual Sabbaths

   We've just come from one of the annual Sabbath days last Sunday, The Feast of Firstfruits, it was originally called. It came to be called the Day of Pentecost since the beginning of the New Testament time, after the time of Jesus Christ. Originally it was given to ancient Israel {1} and it was called the Feast of Firstfruits. Now it's very significant. God gave to His Church of the Old Testament, seven annual Holy Days, seven annual Festivals. And they were given to show the Church God's plan for working out His purpose here below.
   Now the Sabbath Day was made for man. It was made when man was made back at creation. God rested on the seventh day after the six days of creation, or re-creation, and the creation of man, from the work which He had done. And the Sabbath was made for man, but the annual Sabbaths were made for the Church and not for mankind. And they were made to show the Church God's master plan of working out His purpose here below.
   The world doesn't know of any purpose being worked out here below, but during World War II the Prime Minister of England, in a speech before the Congress of the United States in Washington DC, said, "There is a purpose being worked out here below." I don't think he understood that purpose and knew what it was, but he did seem to know that there is a purpose being worked out here below.
   These annual days picture the working out of that plan; the master plan for working it out. The world doesn't seem to know anything about it. But the world does not observe these Festivals of God; they were given to the Church. First to the Old Testament and continued right on, because they were instituted to be observe forever, never to end; and carried right on in the New Testament Church.
   Now as I said originally, it was called Feast of Firstfruits. It was called Pentecost in the New Testament because you count fifty days beginning with a; "...morrow after [a] Sabbath..." (Leviticus 23:15). Or beginning on a Sunday; and it comes out on a Sunday every year. And Pentecost is merely the Greek language for 'count fifty' or 'fifty count'. However originally it was called the Feast of Firstfruits, and it pictures the firstfruits of God's salvation.
   But now why should there be a firstfruit of God's salvation? One would ask, and the Protestants, and in these days traditional Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, all seem to believe that God has been trying to save the whole world ever since humanity has been here. And you couldn't make a bigger mistake than that. That is not true! God has not been trying to save the whole world. But those that are being called in this Church are the firstfruits.
   Now does that mean that God is unfair that He calls us first and is not calling the rest of the world yet? We need to understand this and I'm afraid that most of the members in the Worldwide Church of God do not understand this fully. I am convinced we do not understand it fully as yet.

New Testament Church Founded for a Special Purpose

   Now this day of Pentecost, or Feast of Firstfruits, is the day on which the Holy Spirit came and the New Testament Church was founded. The New Testament Church began on that particular day, a day in the month of June, back in 31 AD. That was the day the Holy Spirit came. It was the anniversary of the day - centuries before - when to ancient Israel in the Old Testament times, God gave the law, the Ten Commandments. And God spoke those Ten Commandments to the entire congregation of a few million of people in the ancient nation of Israel. And it was on that same day in the month we now call June. So it's a very significant day.
   Now we find that not only are we the firstfruits but the Church is founded on the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Now that does not include any New Testament prophets. There are only four prophets mentioned in the New Testament and not one of them contributed anything to the foundation of the Church. Not one of them gave any teaching to the Church. Not one of them had any office of administration in the Church or had anything to do with the founding of the Church. So the Church was founded on the apostles and the Old Testament prophets, and that begins with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and then, four hundred years later, Moses. And then other prophets were following him.
   Now why did God give them the Holy Spirit but did not give anybody else the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost? Was God unfair? Was God having favor to just giving certain ones the Holy Spirit? He gave the Holy Spirit to the prophets because they were called to a definite job, a definite calling. And that was to receive messages from God; and God would communicate to them through the Holy Spirit. And without the Holy Spirit they could not receive the communication from God. They had the Holy Spirit so they could receive knowledge and communication from God, and they wrote it in a book. And the different books that they wrote; Moses wrote the first five books, then we find many others wrote other books - books giving history, the Kings, the Chronicles, then the poetic books. Later on the prophecy books beginning with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and so on, Amos, many others, on down to Malachi.
   And the New Testament Church is based on their teachings and on the teachings which Jesus Christ Himself gave to the apostles. The New Testament Church did not receive its teachings, its doctrines directly from Jesus; they received it from the apostles. But they did have the writings of the prophets, and that was the foundation of the New Testament Church. Now the New Testament Church is called the Firstfruits. It is not just a single individual here and there to write a book. But He called a Church which is a congregation, or a gathering, a group of many people.
   And yet we are called the Firstfruits of God's salvation. So now, when you stop to think; nearly all of what is called the Christian religion believes God has been trying to save mankind ever since man lived on the earth. I say that is not true. God has not been trying to save mankind, to get mankind converted, to give mankind salvation. And I want to make that very clear and very plain this afternoon.
   We are the Firstfruits and I want to make it plain this afternoon. We are called now for a special job, a special calling. We are called now to learn the truth of God, to learn the gospel message that Jesus Christ brought from God the Father, and which is recorded now in the writings of the New Testament, and of the Old Testament. And to know that when the real time of God's salvation does begin, with the second coming of Christ, we will be there as teachers and rulers with Him and under Him.
   Because Jesus Himself said, after His resurrection and ascension to heaven, and you'll find it in the second and third chapters of Revelation, that if we in the Church overcome He will give us power over the nations to; "...rule them with a rod of iron..." (Revelation 2:27). And we have to learn how. And we have to learn how now, and we have to learn about God's government, and how God governs, and how God teaches. And how God teaches us to live, and God's way of life, so we can teach the world the way to live God's way of life.
   We are the first to be saved and God has not been trying to save the world at all, except those that were called out beginning from the time of Christ until now, in the Church. He didn't even try to save ancient Israel and I'll cover that now as we go along.

Why Do We Need Salvation?

   But why do we need salvation at all? You know the Protestants claim - now that would be the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Presbyterians and all the so-called Protestant Churches - they say, "Now is the day of salvation, now is the ONLY day of salvation", they say. They are wrong. The New Testament does say; "...now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2). But it is quoted from the Old Testament that says; "... [now is] a day of salvation..." (Isaiah 49:8). And it is for the firstfruits, and only for the firstfruits.
   They will quote and say; "Whosoever will may come." Now that is in the Bible, but they need to look and see where it is contained in the Bible. It's in the very last chapter of the Bible in the end of the New Testament, the last book, of the Book of Revelation; or, as the Roman Catholics call it, the Apocalypse. And the time, when it says; "...whosoever will [may come]." (Revelation 22:17), {2} is long after the second coming of Christ in the future when everybody is going to be called, when it will be the day of salvation for everybody. But that time has not come yet.
   Now why does anyone need salvation at all? People in the world don't think they need any salvation, and they're not having any either. What's more, they don't think they need any. To most people in the world, they know nothing about God, they don't think about God. You ask them if they believe in God and in many countries of the world it says, "Well God, who is that?" They don't know anything about God. Many people in India, in China and countries like that, don't know. Many of them know nothing about God whatsoever. And even in Europe and in the United States, most people don't care anything about God.
   And while many of them will say; "Oh yes, I believe in God" but they never think about God and God is not in their lives. They don't think about God in relation to what they're going to do when they get up in the morning, what will they do today? What would God have me do? They don't think of anything like that. God never enters their minds. They're thinking of the things they see. They're thinking of the people they know. They are thinking of people and things their eyes can see, their ears can hear in talking and sound.
   They don't think about God and you don't see God, you don't hear God. Now you can't smell God or taste God or feel God. And it's only those five ways that any knowledge can come into your mind is by sight, by hearing, by tasting and smelling and by feeling. That's the only way that any kind of knowledge ever enters your mind. Then how are people going to know about God? And the answer is they don't. Many people say; "Oh yes, I believe in God" in Europe and in the United States, but if you question, they don't know who God is, or what God is, and they don't know anything about God. If you ask them to describe God, what is God like? No, they don't know, they don't know. They don't know anything about God.
   Now let me say right here, there is no religion, no organized religion on this earth, except that of this particular Worldwide Church of God. There is no religion on earth that knows who God is, what God is, what God is like. They don't know. The Jewish people think God is one person. Those who follow what they call Christianity think God is a Trinity, three persons. Three persons in one; the Father, Son, and they call it the 'Holy Ghost'. But your Bible doesn't teach that God is three persons in one or one of the three persons at all. And the Bible doesn't teach that God is nothing but one person.
   Now why then does anyone need salvation? Let me ask you, is there anything wrong in this world? Now we just came from London and there was the economic conference there; a conference of the leaders of about, let's see, five or six, seven nations. There was the United States and Canada, and there was the United Kingdom, England. There was France, there was Germany, and there was Italy, and so on, and the leaders of those countries were there.
   I had a personal meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan and the Foreign Minister of Japan. And quite a significant meeting incidentally; because they wanted me to do certain things they would back us up in, for the Ambassador Foundation. And, as a matter of fact, if we can start certain projects in certain nations, the Japanese Government has promised they will back us up with many millions, or the equivalent of many millions of United States dollars to go into those countries, or into the projects in countries as soon as we start. Already they have done that - in one country in Africa which we have started and which they supplied the funds to cause it to be built, up to fifty million dollars.
   Now these men were heads of the governments of those nations, and it was an economic conference. The world is in economic trouble. One of the great banks in the United States was very close to having to shut its doors and go out of business. It was such a great Bank - if it went out the other great banks in New York would also have to go out of business. If the banks in the United States come to such a path, that will affect the banks in Britain, in Paris, in Tokyo and in the capitals of the world. And the heads of the governments in those countries know it. The banking system is so interlocked between nations that if one goes under, they will all go under. And that is going to mean chaos and economic chaos all over the world for many, many nations and millions and billions of people. And these leaders are trying to fend that off. But they're bewildered; they don't know how to deal with the troubles.
   Now in the world we have nothing but trouble. Right now there is a war between Iraq and Iran and that may result in absolute oil, not only shortage, but cutting off oil supplies to the world. There is a war going on in Central America that is bothering the United States very much. There is still a smoldering war going on in the Middle East, on the West Bank of the Jordan River, between Israel and the Arab countries. And as a matter of fact, prophecy shows that all of the world's troubles are going to center in that area from now on.
   The whole world is in trouble! No-one is happy any longer. It seems that people can't get along together. Husband and wife are having troubles, and so divorces are increasing. Families are breaking down. In the United States children no longer eat at the table with their parents, that is in most cases. People can't get along with their next door neighbor. Capital and Labor have nothing but trouble and fight one another. Group is hostile and antagonistic against group, nation against nation, and we're having war and trouble all over the world. We're not having peace. We're not having happiness. The world needs salvation. But God is a God who has said, and you read it in III John:
   "...I wish above all things that [you, in the world, it means the people in the world, may] prosper and be in health..." (III John 1:2) {3}
   That is have economic prosperity and be in health, but the world doesn't have it. Half of the world is almost starving to death they are so poor, in abject poverty living in filth and squalor. Half of the world is illiterate and uneducated, can't read or write.

Back to the Very Beginning

   This world is in trouble! You can't understand it if you don't go back to the beginning, the very foundation of the world. You can't understand life today.
   It's just like entering a motion picture, a cinema. You come in when the picture is almost over, it may have another five or ten minutes to run, been going on for about two hours. But you can't understand it because you don't know what went before and what led up to what you see now. And it doesn't make any sense to you, you're bewildered. If you don't go back to the beginning and see how, and what happened, how it began, and what led up to it, you don't understand what you are seeing now.
   Now you and I came into this world. We weren't born until just recently and this world has been here for 6,000 years. We're in a room here that's quite old. You heard this afternoon that this building was started in; what was it? Eight hundred and some, eight hundred and fifty years ago. But humanity started six thousand years ago.
   How did it start? What has happened? How did we get into the time when conditions are like they are now when the whole world is in trouble? When the world - now all wealth comes out of the ground; but we don't know how to get wealth out of the ground. And nations are in poverty today. People are illiterate, half of the people on earth. Many people are starving to death. There's something wrong in the way people are living.
   Now you have to go back to the beginning and see how it started and what brought us up to the place where we are. It has to begin with the Creator God who created the heavens and the earth. And that you read in the very first verse in all the Bible in the book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible. And it's the oldest history that we have in the history of the life of mankind. And in the twenty-sixth verse of that first chapter it says that God said:
   "...Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
   Now why does it say "Let us?" Why doesn't it quote there and say; "God said, Let me make man in my image, after my likeness"? It doesn't say that, it says; "...Let us..." (Genesis 1:26). Well the reason is, if you go back to the first verse where it says:
   "In the beginning God created the heaven[s] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
   Now that is in the English language. If you read it in the German language it won't say 'God' it'll say 'Gott'. I can't give you the rest of it because I don't speak German. But in the original that Moses wrote it was in the Hebrew language is translated into German 'Gott', into the English 'God'. And in the German the word was 'Elohim' - I mean in the Hebrew, which Moses wrote. Originally it was "Elohim" and Elohim is a plural, not a singular. It means more than one. God; more than one, more than one person, forming God. That's why:
   "...God said, Let us [not me] make man in our image..." (Genesis 1:26).
   There was more than one person there. I said a while ago nobody knows who and what God is. You'll find God described in the New Testament in the first chapter of the book of John. John 1 verses 1-5:
   "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." (John 1:1)
   Now who and what is the Word? That in the English - I'm speaking English now. In the Greek language, that was originally written in Greek, and the word in the Greek language was 'Logos'. In the beginning was the Logos. Now Logos means 'Word' it means 'Spokesman'. The one who speaks. In the fourteenth verse it tells you who the Word is, or was: "...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14) And became Jesus Christ.
   The Word then was Jesus Christ before He was born as a human being, before He became Jesus Christ. Before He became Jesus Christ He was the Logos. And it says: "...the Word [or the Logos] was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1)
   The Logos is also God. There's more than one person there, there is the Logos and there is God, and after Jesus Christ was born, it was God who said; "...[You] are my beloved Son..." (Mark 1:11). So there's a Father and Son relationship, and God is simply the family name. And Jesus became the Son, and God was the Father.

God's Plan to Reproduce Himself

   And they are not limited because God has a great purpose; and the reason God created man is because God is reproducing Himself! God took some dust - dirt, right out of the ground - and He formed and shaped that dirt into a human man and so you read in the second chapter of Genesis that: "...God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a...soul." (Genesis 2:7)
   That is the dust of the ground became a soul, and what became a soul was matter; and the soul then is not spirit, the soul is matter. The soul is merely the human body and mind breathing air. Now animals are souls, they're called; the Hebrew word is 'nephesh' and animals are called nephesh just the same. Only in our English translation of the Bible they've translated animals as being 'creatures' and they translated nephesh when it refers to man, as meaning soul. That's because they didn't understand God's truth when they did the translating. I hope those that are translating what I am saying in the German will get it straight. But some of the translators didn't get the Bible straight when they translated.
   Now, who and what is God? Well God is a spirit, but He made man of the dust of the ground. Now He's going to change man from matter, or the dust of the ground, into spirit because God is Spirit. In John 4:24 it tells you that; "God is a Spirit..." (John 4:24). God is composed of Spirit. God is not composed of the dust of the ground. We humans are composed of the dust of the ground, but God is composed of Spirit.
   Now God is taking dust of the ground and He proposes to change that through conversion , through salvation, into spirit beings until we will become God just like He is God. Just like Jesus Christ became God. And Jesus died, and all humans die, but God raised Him from the dead by a resurrection and He came back to life. And when He was resurrected it said He was born of God, until He became very God. But He was the firstborn of many brethren, and we are that brethren and we are to be born again by a resurrection and made immortal just like Jesus was.
   Now what else is God? He not only is Spirit but God is perfect, righteous character. Now character refers to your attitude of mind. Character refers to what your intention is; to what you do, to how you live and what is your attitude toward others. Toward other people, towards God, who is your Maker, and your Creator. Character has to do with your attitude and how you live, how you perform in connection with others. Now look at God, how did God live? He and the Word lived together from eternity. There was no time when they began to live, they were never born. They were: "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life..." (Hebrews 7:3).
   You read of that in the Book of Hebrews. They are immortal, they will always live, they will never die. But they lived together. How did God and the Word live together? Now: "...two [cannot live] together, except they be agreed." (Amos 3:3)
   Two can't get along and live together if they disagree, and if they are contentious and arguing, and fighting against one another, and trying to destroy one another all the time. That is the way people are in this world. How did God live with the Word? Well, when the Word became Jesus Christ, God says: "...[You are] my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11)
   He loved His Son, Jesus loved the Father. And Jesus, when He was on earth, said He had kept His Father's commandments. He was the Word and He spoke, but He said; "I have spoken only what the Father told Me to speak." (John 12:49 paraphrased). Perfect harmony, they were perfectly in agreement. Two can't walk together except they agree. Well they agreed completely.
   Now let me tell you another principle. Two people can't get along together except one is the boss. One is the leader. God made the man to be the leader over his wife; and people today don't want to live like that. The average woman today, when she's getting married as a young woman she says; "I don't want any promise that I will obey my husband, we're going to live 50/50." Oh yeah? Any young girl who says we're going to live 50/50 means she's going to try to run the family and be the boss, and in most cases she is.
   Now we have women heading governments. There are four women who have been Prime Ministers over great governments and I have come to be personally acquainted with every one of them. That's Mrs. Thatcher in England, it was Golda Meir, she's now dead, in Israel, Indira Gandhi in India, Mrs. Bandaranaike who was the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Now they are even talking about having a woman Vice President, who might become President of the United States.
   Women want to run and rule over men, and God did not intend it that way. But women don't want to do what God intended, they want to do what they want to do, and what they intend. They say, "God I don't agree with you," and most people don't agree with God, they just don't. But God and the Word agree.

The Creation of Family

   Now, how did they live? They lived in love, one toward the other; and love was out flowing - love for, and concern for the good of the other. God, who was the Father, was so concerned for the good and the welfare of His Son Jesus, and Jesus for the Father. The basis of the way of life is out flowing love. Now that out flowing love then becomes a way of life.
   And now we get to the word 'law'. What is a law? What does the word 'law' mean? The word 'law' merely means a rule to guide human performance, or human conduct, especially conduct in relation to other people. But in a broader sense, it is in relation to other people and to God. Now God's Law is love, but it's out flowing love - never incoming love, which is not love but lust. God's Law is love. And that is having a concern, a loving concern for the good of others. And toward God it means reverence and worship of God. It means obedience toward God. It means recognizing how good, and how almighty God is, and yielding to Him and to obey Him. That's what it means.
   Now God finally, God intended to reproduce Himself. He took a piece of dirt and made a man out of it and He intended that man to reproduce and have children. And He was going to make all of those children, well maybe not all of them, but as many as could come to have His character, to make them God beings and children of God, born of God just like Jesus was born of God by a resurrection from the dead.
   Now the man that He formed could not reproduce and have children. Do you know any man that can reproduce and have children all by himself? You see this Adam was all by himself, just the one man, that's all there was and he couldn't have children. You see, physically he was not complete yet. God does not create anything at one move complete; sometimes He does it in two stages. So Adam was made physically as a male, one person; but God made him to have a female with him, to enact with him, so he could reproduce and have children.
   So God put him into a deep sleep, they call it anesthetizing in the hospitals today, and God operated on him and took out one of his ribs and made a woman out of it. And the woman was not made from the dust of the ground; she was made from the man, Adam. And now the woman joined with Adam and the two were now complete. They made one family. There were two people but there was one family. And now they could have children, so they had a son and they called his name Cain, and now there were three, and all three of them were one family. And then they had another son and his name was Abel, now there were four, but there was only one family. Later they had another son and his name was Seth, now there were five, but the five persons made only one family. And so they began to reproduce and have children and all the rest are some of the children that have come later on from them.

The Spirit in Man

   Now to become God they had to have God's character. They had to have God's kind of mind; because it was direction of mind, it was attitude of mind, it was the attitude of love toward others. And it had to be now - to become the sons of God - they had to have love toward God, then they had to have love toward human neighbors.
   And so the next thing was, Adam was not made complete mentally and spiritually. Adam was given a mind. Now God made animals also, He made monkeys and apes, He made dogs, cats, He made horses, and cows, and elephants, and other animals. And animals have brains; and animals have eyes to see with, and ears to hear with, and noses to smell with, and they have mouths, and tongues to taste with, and they have feelings so they can feel - a nervous system.
   So they have all of those things, but animals cannot understand things like a human being. Animals cannot have knowledge that a human has. Animals cannot have knowledge of chemistry and physics, of geology. They don't know anything about the earth they live on. They don't know that water can be turned into a solid, or ice, at a low temperature. It can be turned into a gas, or steam, at a high temperature. Men can know those things.
   Animals cannot make decisions, do not exercise will, do not have judgment. They can't know the things a human mind can know, and yet scientists can find no difference between an animal brain and a human brain. Why then is the human brain different? Because there is a spirit in the human brain and there is no spirit with the animal brain! Animals can't think, yet they have brains as big as a human does, but their brains can't think. Because the spirit in man, the human spirit that God put in man, empowers the human brain to think, to reason, to come to conclusions, to make decisions, to have wisdom and judgment. But an animal can't have those things; his brain won't work that way because he does not have a spirit.
   Now that spirit in man is a human spirit. God is a Spirit, but there are different levels of spirit. God is the Supreme Spirit, but God created other spirit beings called angels. Now there are three ranks of angels, three kinds of angels. Ordinary angels do not have wings. A lot of people never stop to think about that. Then there is a higher grade of angels on a little higher level with better minds, better knowledge, and they're called Seraphs, and they do have wings. Then there is another level of angel, still higher, with still greater minds, and still more power, and they're called Cherubs. And a Cherub is the highest of angels. Now that is a seniority of spirits.
   But God took a still more kind of spirit called human spirit, and put that in with a physical, human brain. And that spirit, the human spirit, empowers the brain to think, to come to have knowledge and to use the knowledge. Now it is the brain that sees, the spirit can't see anything, the spirit can't hear anything. The brain hears through the ears, the brain sees through the eyes, but it programs, as they call it in computer language today, that programs it into the spirit. And the spirit is the source of memory, the depository of memory, but it's just like a computer, it will give you instant recall.
   There are things that were recorded by your spirit, and into the spirit. Years and years ago I remember things that happened when I was five years old. You know when I was five years old I decided what I wanted to be, when I grew up to be a man; I wanted to be a streetcar motor man. I never got to be a motor man because streetcars were out of date by the time I came to be a man. Or maybe not when I first became a man; but later on. They're out of date now.
   My father said; when I grew up I'd be a Philadelphia lawyer, because I just wanted to know why and how and asked so many questions. He said they were just crazy fool questions, and he said I'd be sure to be a Philadelphia lawyer. Well I am. You see our Church is the Philadelphia era of God's Church, and I have to teach God's law, so I am a Philadelphia lawyer! So my father was right. I didn't always think he was right, but he knew more than I did then.

Government Must be Ruled by Godly Character

   Well, however that may be, getting back to our story now. This Adam had to make a choice because character is the ability of a separate mind created by God, to come of its own volition, to see what is right from what is wrong. To come to have the right attitude for doing good instead of evil. And to learn what is good and what is evil, and the will to do what is good, when maybe you want to do what is evil.
   I used to try to teach my sons when they were little fellows, about two or three years old, that they must learn to do what they ought to do, and not what they want to do. Because often you will want to do what you ought not to do. And they didn't always follow my advice. They would have been better off if they had.
   But this Adam had to come to have the same attitude that God does. He had to come to have the knowledge that God has of what is good; and to have the will to force himself to go that way, to live that way, to think that way, in order to have the character of God. Now he couldn't be born of God till he had the character of God! I want you to understand that.
   Now God's Law is the foundation of God's government. All governments are based on law. Here we are in the kingdom of Austria, the government of the nation of Austria. Well you have a foundation of law, or constitution of some sort that is the basic law of this whole nation. And everybody in it has to obey that law, or he's going to be in trouble. That's why they have police, and why they have a military force to enforce the law.
   But God has a law and His Law is outflowing love and that is the foundation of God's government. Now God's government had been on the earth in the hands of the Super Archangel Lucifer. And Lucifer ruled over other angels before God ever created a man on the earth. But this Lucifer, who was on the throne administering the government of God, didn't agree with the Law of God. And God's Law is giving, it is love, but he wanted get, he wanted lust. And he said:
   "...I will ascend, I will exalt my throne above God's. I am going to go up and knock God off the throne. I am going to have an army of my angels and I am going to fly on up to heaven and have a coup and start a war. And I'm going to defeat God and I am going to rule the whole Universe and not just this one little earth." (Isaiah 14:13-14 and Ezekiel 28 paraphrased).
   But he found God was stronger than he, and God is mighty, God was his Creator. And he was cast back down to earth, and became Satan the devil. No longer a Super Archangel; no longer a Cherub. But he has a mind that is greater than a human mind. He has a kind of spirit that is greater than the spirit in a human brain and he is more powerful than any human man. And he is more powerful than all of the human beings on earth and he is swaying all the humans on earth and deceiving them. And that's why we're having trouble on the earth today.

Adam's Decision

   Now, God put two trees in a Garden of Eden, and He took the man that He created and the woman, and He put them in the Garden of Eden. And in the center of that garden was two special trees, different from the other trees, and one was called the Tree of Life. Now that tree simply was a symbolic tree, and it meant - if he took of that tree - he would receive life from God through the Spirit of God.
   Now he had a human spirit in with his brain, but now he would receive the Spirit of God with his brain. And the Spirit of God contains the attitude of God, the attitude of love, the attitude of submission to God, of surrender to God, obedience to God, worship of God; and the attitude of love toward other people.
   Now he had a human spirit and his human spirit was of, by itself, capable of good on the human level. That is, human good is always innately selfish. It will be good as long as it is to the advantage of the self to be good. Mother love is an example of human good; it is good. A mother loves her child and that's good, she should love her child. That's not wrong, it's very good. But it's still selfish; she doesn't love other children as much as she loves that child. She loves her own child because it's hers, it came out of her, she takes care of it and so she loves it. But it's a selfish good.
   Now God loves even those that hate Him. Jesus Christ is God, He loved even those that cursed Him, those that whipped and beat Him, those that mocked at Him, that crucified Him and put Him to death. And He loved them enough to die for them. God's is a greater kind of good than mother love. That's a greater love. That is a love that would give everything. That kind of love is giving. Human good is always wanting to get; wanting to take from others, because "I love me above everybody else." That's what everybody thinks.
   And that was the test Adam had to come to. Now if he chose the Tree of Life, that would have given him the mind of God and with it he would have received the knowledge of God with God's mind. Now he had one spirit, a human spirit, but it wasn't complete; and he was not mentally and spiritually complete until he had another spirit to join with his spirit. Just like he was not physically complete until God had made a woman for him; so he could have children. That was a physical matter. But now a mental and spiritual matter, he could not be complete until he had God's divine spirit with his human spirit; and those two would unite and become one, and make him then a begotten son of God. And that spirit would show him God's way of love and the way of giving instead of getting.
   Now there was another tree in the garden and that was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now he already had the capacity with his human spirit for human good; not evil, good. And it is good, it is not evil, but it's selfish good. Mother love is not evil, it's good, but it's still selfish.
   Now, he had to make a choice. God forbade him to take of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God said:
   "I forbid you to take that. I want you to take the Tree of Life and receive My life in you and exactly like Me so you can be born of Me, and be My child, and be a God being like I am." (Genesis 2:16-17 paraphrased).
   I said; be a God being like God is. Did you get that? Did you understand what I said? To do that he had to have the mind of God, to think like God, and live like God. And he had to live the way of giving instead of the way of getting. The way of serving and cooperating and loving, and not the way of hating, and the way of competition and strife; and the way of envy and jealousy, the way of revenge, getting even, and hurting someone else. The way of taking away from others; the way of competition and strife.
   And Adam had to make a decision. Now, while Adam wasn't looking - you see God had made Adam boss over his wife Eve, and he should have been watching over her in love and to protect herm but he wasn't - and when he wasn't looking she slipped away. And then she encountered a snake, a serpent, and Satan was in that serpent. And Satan began to tempt Eve and he said:
   "Why don't you take of that Tree of Good and Evil? {4} And she said; Well God said if you take of that you will surely die. And he said; Well God's a liar. God knows better than that, you won't die, you're an immortal SOUL." (Genesis 3:1-5 paraphrased)
   Now it was Satan who was lying, she was not an immortal soul. God said; "You are not an immortal soul, you will surely die if you take that tree." Satan said; "You won't die you will live if you take that tree." And she believed Satan, she was deceived. So she took of the fruit of that tree and she gave to her husband and he took it and DISOBEYED GOD.

The Tree of Life Opened By the Second Adam

   Now when he did that, God immediately closed up the Tree of Life so no man could get it. That's Genesis the third chapter verses, let's see - 24, I believe, 25 and 26. Or else verse 23 and 24 - the last three or four verses of the third chapter of Genesis. I didn't bring a Bible because I can't read it; and I have to have big type and big things to read, and so I have larger type here and a magnifying glass. I'm going to read some scriptures after this, and I'm going to quote others to you; and I have been doing this so far, just quoting some scriptures.
   Now when Adam made that decision he rejected the character of God! Now he could not be born of God. He couldn't be begotten and then born of God. And why he needed salvation, why he still needed salvation, is so they could get back and take of the Tree of Life and begin to live God's way. But now that he had lived the wrong way, he had broken God's Law; and the law has a penalty to it. And the penalty of law:
   "...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23){5}
   Wages is the penalty. Wages is what you get for what you do, the wages you collect for what you do. And what you do is sin, and sin is the transgression of God's Law of Love and the penalty then is death. And death passed upon all men because; "...all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12) ever since. And God shut up the Tree of Life.
   Now brethren, I want you to get this, that's the last three verses in the third chapter of Genesis; God shut up the Tree of Life. When God shut up the Tree of Life GOD SHUT OFF SALVATION FROM HUMANITY! Now get that; christianity believes God's been trying to save humanity. Instead God shut up salvation away from humanity, so humanity could not have salvation until God opened up the Tree of Life again. GOD SHUT UP SALVATION AWAY FROM HUMAN BEINGS. I think most of you never quite understood that before. Please understand that; God shut off salvation from humanity. Now later on through the prophet Joel God prophesied that the day would come when God would: "...pour out [His] Spirit upon ALL flesh..." (Joel 2:28)
   That day hasn't come yet. The day will come when God is going to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. But until that time God has shut off salvation; because salvation comes through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit comes through the Tree of Life.
   Now, God shut it off until Jesus Christ, the second Adam, could come. But that began the foundation of this world. Satan had deceived Eve, and Adam followed and did what Satan said, instead of what God said. And Satan began to influence Adam, and he began to influence Adam's children. So Adam's first son Cain became a murderer and killed his brother; even though God warned him in advance, he did it anyway, and then he lied to God about it, and he became a great sinner. And all have sinned ever since, and all have come under the penalty of death, and that means extinction; death means perishing.
   But now wait a minute: "...God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
   Now God is still going to make everlasting life possible. You see, God is not going to let Satan defeat His great purpose. And His purpose is to turn human beings into God beings, but they have to receive God's character first. Now, for the time being, man is shut off from God's Spirit, or having God's character or having salvation, until Jesus Christ could come as the second Adam. But now, at the same time that God shut off the Tree of Life, it was also decreed, as you will read in Revelation 13:8 that Christ would come as the Lamb of God to be slain to pay the penalty of human sin in our stead.
   So humans could be ransomed back to God. Now I say ransomed, because Satan had kidnapped Adam. And Satan has kidnapped all of Adam's family that have come ever since. The whole world are the kidnapped people that belong to Satan the devil. And this is Satan's WORLD; it is not God's world. This world is in trouble whose nations fight one another. The heads of whose nations meet in London to try to solve their financial and economic problems, and who are in such big trouble.
   Now at the same time it was designed that Christ was to come as a Lamb to be slain to pay the penalty of our sin in our stead. At the same time it was decreed that: "...as in Adam all were going to die...in Christ everyone who died was going to be made back alive." (I Corinthians 15:22 paraphrased) In mortal, human life and come to a judgment after death.
   Then in Hebrews 9:27: "...it was appointed to all men once to die but after death, a resurrection to judgment." (Hebrews 9:27 paraphrased)
   Now I Corinthians 15 verses 22, 23, 24 and on:
   "...as in Adam everyone was going to die, but also in Christ, all would be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22 paraphrased)
   Now, when Christ came, He came as the second Adam. Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit. Adam could have taken the Tree of Life and have received the Holy Spirit of God. He never did. But Jesus Christ was born with the Holy Spirit. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit; and when He was born, He not only had the human spirit, which He received from His mother Mary, but Jesus Christ also had the Spirit of God, because He was impregnated by that Spirit instead of having a human father. God was His Father, so He was God and He was also man.
   He was both God and man in the one person. He had the Holy Spirit from the day He was born as a little baby. When Jesus was only twelve years old He was able to teach older men, mature men. He had such knowledge and such wisdom because He had the Holy Spirit of God to give Him knowledge way beyond other people. And brethren, when we receive the Holy Spirit it opens up our mind to have knowledge that only God can reveal. Only God can reveal such knowledge.

The Founding of the Nations

   Now, there the whole world began a civilization. Adam's children began to devise a system of living. They were cut off from God, but Satan was leading them. God was not leading them, Satan was. Now God did talk to them. God talked to Cain and warned him against killing his brother Abel, but Cain went ahead and killed his brother anyway. Well later on God talked to some people, and there was one man called Enoch, later on, who walked with God. But most people did not walk with God.
   And we come to the time of Noah, about fifteen hundred years, and humanity was so evil, and all humanity seemed to be so evil, but just one man, Noah. And Noah was perfect in his generations, he had not intermarried with other races, but some of his sons had, but Noah had not. But God did save Noah and his sons and all of their wives, eight people, and drowned everybody else on earth.
   Now after the flood they began to have children and human population began to grow again. But pretty soon they came to a place where there were a lot of different people of different races coming from the daughters which the sons of Noah had married. There was Ham and Shem and Japheth. Ham had married a black woman. And Japheth had married a yellow woman, and so they had the yellow nations. And Ham was the father of black nations, and Shem was the father of white nations.
   And they were all trying to get together and they had one language and they just wanted to unite. Now I said people have always been trying to unite. Europe's trying to unite right now. There is only one way to unite and that's to unite in the truth of God and that's why this Church is united - in the truth of God. And that's the only way you can really be united - in God - not in the ways of man and in the ways of Satan as this world is.
   Now let me see, where are we here? God broke up their language at the Tower of Babel and scattered them. So that the black people went to Africa, the yellow people to the East in what we call Asia, and the white people, more or less, to Europe and to the Western world.

The Promises to Abraham

   And we come on down now to a time when a man was born by the name of, at first his name was Abram, or Ab-rum, and God later changed his name to Abraham. But there was a man that God saw had character and God saw he'd surrendered to God, a man of ability, and a man who would yield to God. And God said; "Abram, or Ab-rum, I want you to get out of your country..." (Genesis 12:1 paraphrased). He called him out of the place where he was and He called him to go to another place among people who didn't speak his language. They were a black people, Canaanites. But he had to go out of the civilization where he was, and he was in the world's best civilization that the world had built. But now that was Satan's world you know. And He said,
   "If you will obey my voice and if you would be obedient to me, I will bless you." (Genesis 12:2 paraphrased).
   Now let me go back again to the Tree of Life and at the time that God closed off the Tree of Life. One little point I forgot to say - let me go back and say it. God looked at Adam at that time and He said:
   "...Because you have done this thing Adam, I am going to curse the ground for your sake. Thorns and thistles it'll bring forth. In the sweat of your brow you have to work to get a living out of the ground." (Genesis 3:17-19 paraphrased).
   Because everything we have has to come out of the ground, even we come out of the ground, the food that we eat. And so there was a curse. Now the people on this earth have been trying to find prosperity; and prosperity and physical wealth has to come out of the ground, and the nations of the world have not found it. Now comes a man Abraham and God says:
   "I will bless you and give your people and your sons after you a blessing, if you obey me" (Genesis 12:2 paraphrased).
   Now remember, the earth was under a curse, but God was going to bless Abraham and bless his children. Now remember I said a while ago at the beginning of this sermon that God says; "...I wish above all things that [you, the people on earth, may] prosper and be in health..." (III John 1:2). God willed that we should prosper, but because man disobeyed God, God put a curse on the earth and he couldn't prosper because all wealth had to come out of the ground. And so the nations have not prospered. The nations did not prosper.
   Now get that; and you people who have heard me preach in the United States have not heard this before. I want to add something now; I want you to get this point. He pronounced blessings on the children of Abraham if they would obey Him. You see He put a curse on all nations because of Adam's disobedience, and other nations have continued to disobey. And as long as they disobeyed, they have a curse on the ground, and so half of the earth is living in abject poverty and many people are starving to death. That's why. But to Abraham He said, "If you obey Me and your children after you obey, I will give you blessings." And He said then; He passed on a birthright blessing if Abraham would obey. Now later on Abraham did obey Him and God said: "Because you have obeyed Me." (Genesis 22:18 paraphrased) - now He made that promise absolutely unbreakable, and He made it permanent and binding, that's through Abraham's descendants.
   Now that came on down to Isaac, to Jacob and through the sons of Jacob and this birthright of being blessed in the earth with the things of the earth, which is otherwise under a curse, went to the sons of Joseph. And Joseph was the next to the youngest son of Israel, whose name originally was Jacob and God changed it to Israel when he became an overcomer (Genesis 32:24-29). Now Joseph had a birthright and that birthright finally had come, and was passed on to the nations of Western Europe, and to Britain, and to later, the United States.
   And so, ancient Israel did not obey God, they should have had the blessings if they had obeyed God. But they did not obey God and so God withheld His blessings. The material, physical blessings God withheld for 2,520 years, and that was from the time ancient Israel was taken captive. And that was 721 to 718 BC, for 2,520 years and that brings you down to 1800 and 1803. And up to 1800 Britain had been a little league nation, and the United States, just a little thirteen colonies and just a few territories. We had no greatness. We had no real material blessings.
   By 1800 Britain became the financial capital of the world. By 1803 the United States acquired the Louisiana Purchase from France. And now we had most of the land all the way to the Rocky Mountains, and that's where the wealth was, and there was no curse there. And now God, because He promised Abraham, because Abraham obeyed Him, our people came into great wealth. And before the beginning of World War II and after World War I, the United States and the British nations owned and possessed more than two thirds and almost three fourths of all the cultivated wealth of this whole round earth! And all the other nations, China and India and Russia and all the other nations of the earth combined, didn't have even a third of the wealth of the earth combined between them. God kept His promise and we seem to have a kind of a land that was not under a curse. That's why we became wealthy.
   And right now, in the United Nations now, through the Ambassador Foundation, I have been asked to cooperate with UNESCO in the United Nations. And I had conferences in Paris just a few days ago with the - oh, he's the Managing Director, I forget his exact title. Let's see, his name is - oh, I guess I can't remember, something Bow. What is it? Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow, and he is the Managing Director over UNESCO. {6} He is a black man from Africa and he believes in this third world of the poor and they don't have the blessings. They're still in the land that's under the curse because God cursed it in the days of Adam and they are against the Western European Nations and the United States. And now the United Nations is going strong towards the Third World and against Britain and the United States because God is giving us the blessings of Abraham.
   BUT that blessing is not continuing because we have not obeyed God since we got it. God has given it to the United States and the British people because of Abraham's obedience and not because of our obedience. And now because of our disobedience all the blessings are being taken away from us. The British Empire before World War II said; 'The sun never sets on the British Empire'. They had a slogan; 'Britannia Rules the Waves'. And all trade between nations took place on the ocean. It doesn't any longer, it's all air freight now and Britain is no longer dominant. The British Empire is gone and the United States is going down, down, down because we don't obey. We got the blessings because of Abraham and because of Abraham's obedience. In the United States we print on our money 'In God We Trust', but we don't trust in God. I just wanted to add those things in this message this afternoon.
   You can't disobey God and thumb your nose at God and prosper. God wants us to prosper. God wants us to have good health and have lots of material goods. Now here this was once a very fine room and building, but people didn't get to enjoy it long. God wants us to have beautiful things but when we come to the place where we all obey God; we'll have things like that forever.
   Now after the flood, came Babel, and after Babel came Abraham and he was called out. Then his descendants, four hundred years later, the children of Israel were called out of Egyptian slavery. God called them out and they could have had the promises now of Abraham if they would have obeyed Him. And if they didn't, God said that He would delay it 2520 years and they didn't obey Him. And the promise finally came to Britain and the United States.

The Called Out Ones

   Now, in ancient Israel God gave them His Law, but they did not have salvation, and they did not have the Holy Spirit. And with their carnal spirit they couldn't obey, they didn't have the spiritual level of the Spirit of God. They only had the human spirit to a level which was, as I say, innately selfish with the selfish good. Now during the time of ancient Israel God did pick out prophets who obeyed Him in order to write the Bible for us.
   Then came Jesus Christ finally and Jesus came as the second Adam and now to start something ALL OVER THAT ADAM SHOULD HAVE STARTED. Jesus was the second Adam. He was born with the Tree of Life. He had the Holy Spirit and He said:
   "...I will build my church..." (Matthew 16:18).
   Now Church comes from the word 'Ecclesia', and Ecclesia means 'called out ones'. 'Eccle' is out, 'sia' is called. Those are Greek words and originally it was written in the Greek language, and that's what the Church is, and the Church was called out from the world. And Jesus started it by calling out twelve men, just twelve. Well there were two others that went along with Him in case one of them didn't obey, and one didn't, that was Judas Iscariot, so one of the others took his place. So really He had fourteen at least, but that was all.
   Now He taught them. And He taught them so they could be taught that when He does come to the place where He starts to save the world, they could teach the world the way of God's Law, and the way to live as God lives, to become children of God, to be born of God. That is salvation, being born of God, being given eternal life God's way. But it also means having God's character. Now He taught twelve apostles, and after He taught them, He sent them into the world and said:
   "Go into all nations and preach the message [the gospel] I have preached to you. Teach them, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever things I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20 paraphrased)
   Now He said go into all the world and teach all nations in Matthew 28. That was the great commission. Jesus had taught them, but Jesus also said, John 6:44, mark that down, John 6:44. Jesus said:
   "No man can come to me [for salvation], except the Father which ...sent me draw him:" (John 6:44)
   "No man can". I could read that from the Bible but you'll find it there. No man, Jesus said, could come to Him except God the Father draws him, and calls him out of the world.
   Now Jesus called His disciples out of this world. This world is doomed. This world is going to end; we're getting close to the end of this world right now. This generation is going to see the end of this world. Jesus called His disciples out and they are the first to receive salvation. Salvation was closed when God closed the Tree of Life. He shut salvation off from the world and God has not been trying to save the world since.
   But Christ came to save the world but in a different way, not all at once. First He started with twelve disciples; and disciple is a student and they went to school, and Jesus was the teacher and He taught them. And then He said; "You go and teach others what I taught you." And then they go out and teach, and they taught others, so that the others they taught would go and teach still others; until it would spread and finally the whole world would come to a time of salvation. But not all at once.

Teachers to Teach God's Way

   Now when we are called to salvation in the Church, we are only called to become teachers. Let me give you a little explanation. We're going from here to Jordan. That is we'll probably go back tonight to Vienna, but in a day or two we're going to fly from Vienna to Jordan. Now in Jordan, through the Ambassador Foundation, we're interested in two projects. One is a school for the mentally handicapped and we are helping in that. And we have some students who have graduated from Ambassador College and we're helping them. And also now in organizing a vocational school, for those that have been taught in the school for the mentally handicapped. Then also we are in another project over there for the physically handicapped, youth that are - that can't walk. I saw sixty or seventy different young teenage kids over there all in wheelchairs that couldn't walk. Well we're helping in a school that is helping them. But if they can't ever get back to walk they're being taught how to do things and earn a living just the same.
   Now when I first saw the school for the mentally handicapped, I said; "Well now this is a fine school" and they had a nice new building. I said; "Well is this all of the - do you have here, the pupils that you have here in school, are they all of the physically handicapped, or the mentally handicapped in the country?" "Oh no," she said; "there are many, many times this many, we can't take but just a few." "Well," I said; "why can't we expand it, and maybe we can help you build more buildings and take more students." She said; "Mr Armstrong, if we built more buildings we still couldn't take more students till we teach more teachers. We have to have teachers to teach them."
   Do you get the point? So we sent some people over there to help teach other adults to be teachers, to teach more of them. God sent Jesus to teach a few, and those few were called into the Church to become teachers to teach others; so that finally we can save the world. YOU ARE NOT CALLED JUST TO GET YOU INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I'm afraid most of our people think; 'Well, why are we the firstfruits? We're just called to be saved now. Well we're just being saved first.' Well then God is a respecter of persons if that's true. Oh no, God is no respecter of persons, He's calling us for a job! He's calling you to teach others, but you have to learn what to teach others, and you have to teach others the Law of God. You have to teach others the message of the Bible, not just about Christ. That's what people call the gospel of Christ, the gospel about Christ. The gospel of Christ is the message He brought and it's much more than just telling people about a Savior.
   It's telling them how to live! It's teaching them the way of the Law of God. It's teaching them all of the things about the purpose of God. It's teaching them what I am teaching you here this afternoon. Now, each one of you, I ask you, when it comes into the Kingdom of God, how many people can you teach? How much do you know? How much have you learned and how much and how well can you teach others? And most of you will have to answer, "Well I couldn't teach anything, I just want to get into the Kingdom." AND IF THAT IS YOUR IDEA YOU WON'T GET INTO THE KINGDOM. Did you hear me? YOU WON'T GET INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. You're called for something far greater than that. You're called to learn! You're called to become a student! You're called so you can become a teacher and teach others when the time comes.
   And I'm afraid most of you are not doing it because we have thought, just like the Protestants do, that God is trying to save us and you just want to GET salvation. He didn't call you just to GET salvation. He called you to GIVE the knowledge that you're learning to others when the time comes. And now that's the message I wanted to bring to you this afternoon. And I still say that the people in the Worldwide Church of God have never gotten the message! You have never gotten the real gospel yet! That is the gospel and until you come to see that you have not understood the gospel at all.

The Urgency of Learning Now

   Now I was going to read a lot of scriptures of how Jesus taught, of how the apostles went out teaching, of how - let me just read you one scripture and that's all I'll take time for, and it's Hebrews 5 verses 11 and 12. It just breaks right in the middle of a thought here:
   "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be [understood, or hard to be] uttered, seeing [you] are dull of hearing." (Hebrews 5:11)
   And he's talking to the people just like he's talking to you now through me. You're dull of hearing; I don't think you heard what I just said. I don't think you understand what I just said, brethren. I don't. And I want you to understand it!
   "For when the time you ought to be teachers [you have to become teachers, every one of you!] when you ought to be teachers you have need that one teach you again which [are] the first principles of the oracles of God [the first principles about salvation, I've been giving you all of that this afternoon]; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Hebrews 5:12)
   In other words, you can't take the strong meat of the gospel about Christ because you haven't progressed that far and you haven't learned that much about the Bible. How much do you study the Bible? You've got to know the Bible frontward, backwards and forwards. You've got to be able to teach the Bible! You sitting down there, can you go out and teach people the Bible? I don't think you can. I hope you can prove I'm wrong. I want to be wrong about that, but I don't think I am, I'm sorry to say. And I think it is largely my fault. I haven't come to see it, and I haven't hammered down that to get it into your minds enough as I should have. And I pray God will forgive me for that. I want to make it plain to you this afternoon. You need someone to teach you again, which be the first principles of the oracles of God. You've become people that need to just to have the strong milk of the beginning of the gospel and can't understand the further teachings of the scriptures.
   Well now in Revelation 2:26-27, if we learn and we can teach, and we are overcomers and continually overcoming, God says that when Christ comes, and that may be in just a few years now. That could be as much as six or seven years from now. I don't say it will but it could be, because I don't know when it'll be. But I know it's coming in our time, and our generation, that much I do know. But I can't tell you what year. And you're going to be called and God says if you are an overcomer, He is going to: "...give [you] power over the nations: and [you] will rule them with a rod of iron..." (Revelation 2:27)
   But you have to learn how to rule by God's Law and by God's truth and God's way and with Christ's gospel. And Christ's gospel is not a message about Christ, it's the message Christ preached!
   It's the message of the Bible, and Jesus is the living Word of God, and the Bible is the written Word of God, and it means the whole Bible. You have to understand the whole Bible. Are you studying the Bible every day? If you're not studying the Bible every day you're not going to get into the Kingdom of God. You study the parable of the pounds in the nineteenth chapter of Luke. You study the parable of the talents in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. Let's see, it's just before verse thirty-one, maybe about verse eighteen to twenty and on.
   In Revelation 3:21 Jesus said if you are an overcomer and you are learning and studying, that you will be granted to sit with Him on His throne when He comes to rule the whole earth and put Satan off that throne. Just as He did overcome and is now sat down with His Father on the Father's throne up in heaven. But He's going to leave that throne, come down to His own throne here on earth. Then in Revelation 5:10 it says that we in the Church are going to be; "...kings and priests..." (Revelation 5:10). And we're going to reign, and teach people, on the earth, not up in heaven. Are we learning so that we can teach?
   Well I leave that with you; that is the message. And if we're called now only for salvation then God is a respecter of persons and He is playing favorites for us. If God is trying to save all the world, then Satan is winning and God is losing. God is not trying to save all the world. If so He's making a mess of it. If now is the only day of salvation, then why does the Bible teach us that we are the firstfruits? When is the day of salvation? When did it begin? Was it before the time of Christ? What about the Old Testament? God has never tried to save the world until Christ came and now He's teaching us. And ultimately, in the Millennium, which we will celebrate in the Feast of Tabernacles, we find that God then will open up salvation to everybody. But we're going to have to teach them and rule them then. Are you learning now so you can do it then?
   Then on the last day after that Feast we learn there will be a Great White Throne Judgment at the end of that thousand years and everyone who ever died, Adam and Cain and Abel and Seth. And all of those who died and drowned in the flood, they're ALL going to be resurrected back into mortal life just like they were, flesh and blood. And they're going to be judged in a great judgment and they're going to be found guilty and condemned to death. Then they're going to find that Jesus Christ came and paid the penalty in their stead; and if they want to accept it, they can be forgiven and they can start all over again by having the Tree of Life opened to them, if they want to take it.
   And then they'll be given one hundred years of trial and test in a judgment - which is a trial and test - to see if they obey God. And if they do, then they will receive eternal salvation. And if they don't, they go into the Lake of Fire. And everyone will finally make his own decision. And that's the way salvation will come, or it will not come, whichever, to the people of the earth.
   Well brethren, it's gotten a little hot up here, and I felt pretty hot too because I am in earnest about it. God is going to require your blood at my hand if I don't tell you these things and I haven't spoke softly this afternoon, I haven't pussy-footed, I've been pretty strong about it. I want you to think it over and pray about what I told you. And I want you to start studying the Bible, and praying harder, and spending more time on your knees in prayer, and spending more time in studying the Bible than you ever did before. That's every one of you, and God bless you in doing it.
{1} Mr. Armstrong said; 'ancient Egypt' instead of 'ancient Israel'.
{2} Parts of the audio are not clear at this point.
{3} Quote is from III John 1:2.
{4} Not the Tree of Life...a slip of the tongue.
{5} Romans 6:23 is the correct scripture.
{6} Amadou Mahtar M'Bow was Director General of UNESCO from 1974-1987.

Sermon Date: June 10, 1984
Back To Top
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services  |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - YouTube HWALibrary - Mobile Site
   | Copyright © 2018 Herbert W Armstrong Library | Terms of Use |
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church changed their name and beliefs after Mr. Armstrong's death.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.