Now, I would like you to consider how could anyone come to know these truths? Which are the truth about who and what is God? What and why is mankind? Why will we ever put on the earth? What is the purpose? What is a man? What was the gospel? What is salvation? All of these things.
The World Tomorrow, the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.
Now, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They didn't believe what he said. God said, if they took to that wrong tree, that they would surely die. What was that tree? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And mankind was cut off from God. All except those that God himself would choose and call. That is the greatest thing that is misunderstood by more professing religionists and churches of anything. I don't say it's the worst thing. I say it is the most prevalent. They all believe that now this is God's world. God is trying to get everyone saved. This is not God's word. The Bible said world. God says this is Satan's world, and God right there cut humanity off from him. And the nations have not known about God.
But now look what God did do. God talked to Noah because Noah had been a righteous man. I don't know that he was especially seeking God or that he really knew God, but he was a pure generation as to his birth. He also was a righteous man in a world that was entirely corrupt. And God told him to build the Ark to save him and his family alive, to protect, to preserve humanity on the earth. And all but eight souls, eight people were drowned in that great flood.
Now, God came to a Abraham. His name first was in Abraham, and Abraham just responded immediately. He is one man who didn't make the excuse. Oh, God, get someone else. That's why he's the father of the faithful. That's why all of the promises of the eternity of you and me are the promises that were made to Abraham. And in the one sense, spiritually, we become the human children of Abraham through Christ if we have God's salvation.
And then it came after that, Moses, but Moses did not seek God. He wasn't trying to find God. Moses wasn't seeking for these truths that I've been telling you about. Moses didn't know any of these things I've been mentioning, and he wasn't just hungry to know and seeking to know, not anything of the kind. But he was coming back from his father-in-law's place at Jethro, and there was that burning bush. And of course, all of you know very well that incident of the burning bush. He saw it before he came to it and he walked up to it and then on past it, then he turned back and looked, and for some reason that there didn't seem to be much of, I don't know whether little firewood or what was burning, but there was very little there, and he wondered why doesn't it burn up?
Well, now the Bible says God was in that bush and spoke to him, at least the voice of God. He said, Moses, take your shoes from off your feet for the ground where you're standing is holy ground. What made it holy? God's person there, made it holy.
Now, God told Moses he was chosen him and was calling him to lead his fellow countrymen, the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, but Moses wasn't seeking anything like that. He said, oh, and I wait. If in modern language, he said, hold on there a minute, God, just count me out. You see. Oh, I couldn't do it God, I've got an impediment of speech. I say, say, say, I stutter, God said I know you stutter, and I have taken care of that. I have chosen your brother Aaron to be your spokesman and speak for you. You will do what I say, and Moses did. And so, this knowledge was revealed to Moses. How did Moses know what's in these first five books of the Bible? Moses didn't dream it up, it was revealed to him by God. And God talked directly to Moses. That's the only way; otherwise, he never would have found out.
Now, take the Apostle Paul who wrote the next largest portion of the Bible. A great many books in the New Testament. Paul wasn't seeking God necessarily, and he certainly wasn't seeking Christ or Christianity. He was out seeking Christians to haul them in to be persecuted and even put to death. But God caused him to fall down, temporarily blinded, and God spoke in a voice that he heard, and the people with him didn't even hear it.
Paul said, well, well, who, who, who are you? And he said, I am Jesus that you are persecuting. Why do you persecute me? Well, he said, well, Lord, what do you want me to do? God had arranged for a man by the name of Ananias to show him what he was to do, and Paul did.
Now, then Paul had three years that are unaccounted for down in Arabia. But later, Paul said, have I not seen Christ? Have I not been with Christ? How did the Apostle Paul get the knowledge that he wrote in the New Testament? He got it direct from Christ.
How did the original apostles get what they did? And well, some of them Matthew and James and John and Peter all wrote part of the Bible in the New Testament. They got it directly from Christ.
Now, then if you will turn to John six and verse 44 (John 6:44), Jesus said, "No man can come to me". He just can't do it. "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw Him." If God doesn't draw you, if God, God doesn't call you, you can't come. And if God had not called you, none of you could have come to Him. God is not trying to save the world now.
Let me go just a little bit further. One more scripture, Romans 3:11, where it says, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." People are not seeking after God really. And they had had not been seeking after God. Abraham did not seek for God. God just called Abraham. Now, Abraham is a little bit different from most other men when God called Him again. Oh I, oh no, God just count me out. When God was calling me, I didn't want to come either. I would just like these other fellows. I wanted to be in the advertising business. That's what I chose. Peter wanted to be a fisherman. And Jesus said to all of his apostles, you did not choose me, I chose you. It's those that God has called and everyone God has called.
Now, this is just as important as the corollary that I said to begin with that. That God calls no one just as a favorite to get salvation. He calls only those he has something to do. Now, I know how I was called as God struck the apostle Paul down and blinded temporarily, although it was restored after he woke up and decided he would serve Jesus Christ. God struck me down in a different way altogether. And I think you all know about it now to make a long story short, my mind was swept clean and I said, here is the word of God. I will believe what it says. And little by little God began to reveal to me what he said.
Well, this work knows and understands God's truth, Old Testament prophecies had it revealed from God. The New Testament apostles were taught it by Christ, and Jesus is the personal word of God. And as I said a while ago, the Bible is the word of God in print or in writing. And they didn't have it in Print, you know, about some 400 years ago, or 500 years ago.
Now, how did you come to know the truth? You were raised up too in all this Babylon of confusion. How did the truth get to you? God got it there? But what means did God use in getting that truth to you? I wonder how many of you realize you got it from me, directly or indirectly? If you didn't get it directly from me, you got it from someone else who had gotten it from me, and you haven't had to go through it a little at a time, like I did 50, beginning, 52 years ago. You've had it all laid out all ready for you. You know, if I think if I had found something like that, I would really appreciate it, brethren. I really think I would.
Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.
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Now, there are two prophecies for our time that I would like to call your attention to. Back in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, you will read here (Isaiah 40:3), "The voice of him that crieth n the wilderness." Now, this was speaking of John, the Baptist in the wilderness of the Jordan River, preparing the way for the first coming of Christ. New Testament passages make that absolutely certain, saying, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Now in verse 6 (Isaiah 40:6), it says again, "The voice said, cry," and he said, "What shall I cry?"
Now, the scene begins to change, and coming to verse 9, it is an entirely different thing. I want you to notice verse 9 (Isaiah 40:9-10), "O Zion." Now, Zion either means the ancient city of David or it means the church. Now, the church is often called Zion in the Bible. "O Zion that brings good tidings. Get thee up into the high mountain." Now, good tidings is good news. And what is the definition of the word gospel? It means good news. So, this is talking about Zion that brings the gospel. That cannot mean the physical ground south of Jerusalem. Therefore, it has to mean the church. It doesn't mean the Zionist movement because they have never come to know the gospel. So, it means the church. "O Jerusalem that brings good tidings" or the gospel.
I was in Jerusalem only about a month ago, and I was very highly honored by about everybody who is anybody in Jerusalem, from the President, and from Mr. Begin who's the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister, and the members of the Cabinet, and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, who was a very close friend of mine, and I had helped them in building some things over there. And I have been a participant in the ICCY, the International Cultural Center for Youth, where they are teaching the youth of Arabs and Jews to come into a peaceful relation with each other. So, I have my name twice in the city of Jerusalem.
"Now that brings us good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain, O Jerusalem that brings us, say the gospel, good tidings. Get thee up. Lift up thy voice with strength." Now, "lift up your voice with strength", it didn't say that for John the Baptist back in the coming first coming of Christ. But today we have things they didn't have in those days. I have a microphone right here. We have amplification of sound, and this says to lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid, and I'm not going to be afraid. "Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God."
God is preparing the way for me to say that very thing before the cities of Judah or the towns and villages of Judah. There, some of the translations given in the English language, "Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his reward is with him and his work before him." And another place, "his arm will rule for him". And I happen to be strong arm or Armstrong, whichever way you want to record. If there's any significance to that, I don't know. "Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule with him. Behold, his reward is with him and his work before him", brethren, we're doing that work. What do we call it? We call it the work, and it's before his coming. Now, that voice is going to cry out. And John the Baptist was only a forerunner. Now, I don't mean in any way to belittle John the Baptist because Jesus Christ said of all of the men ever born, none was greater than John the Baptist. It isn't, it isn't, how great is the man, I'm talking about how great is the mission itself. And I think so far as the greatness of man is concerned, I think we've been degenerating all the time. I don't think we're as great today as they were in that day.
But next, now I'd like to have you notice in Malachi, the third chapter, last book in the Old Testament (Malachi 3:1-5), "Behold, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek", which is Christ, "shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom he delights, and he shall come." Now, then that has a dual application and in Matthew, Mark, and John in the New Testament, you will find that it is identified that John the Baptist was the man there identified, but read on a little bit. The next verse says, "But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord" or the eternal "an offering of righteousness." Did that ever happen at the first coming of Jesus Christ? Not at all, "Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord" or the Eternal "as in the days of old, as in the former years. And I will come near to you to judgment." He did not do that when Jesus came the first time. "And I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against the swearers and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, the fatherless, and turn aside the stranger from the right and fear not me, says the Lord of hosts."
All of those verses show that this messenger to prepare the way as a messenger before the second coming of Christ. So just as it was in the prophecy in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, here is a duality. First, there were John the Baptist in the wilderness of the Jordan River, preparing the way for a physical Jesus to come to a physical building and the physical people with a prophecy that he would build his kingdom. Secondly, there's a messenger coming, announcing out of the spiritual wilderness of all of these religions and a mixed up world in confusion today, announcing the soon coming of Christ to rule all nations with a rod of iron and to bring us peace. At last, I talked to men that don't know the way to peace, heads of government. One of the last things that Emperor Haile Selassie did before they took him and he died in the captivity of the overthrow of his government was to send me congratulations on my 82nd birthday.
Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.
Men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore. When, when will the dreams of man become reality?
The whole message of Jesus Christ is about a soon coming world government that will bring peace to our troubled world. For a full understanding of this message of hope about the Kingdom of God, request "Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?" Call this toll-free number: 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.
Now, not one knows the way to world peace. I go around the world, and I probably know more heads of government, Kings, Presidents, Emperors, of which there's only one left now, there were two of whom I've known them both, and Prime Ministers than almost anybody else. Or shall I say Henry Kissinger. But I go as an ambassador without portfolio, an ambassador for world peace. And I go proclaiming the only sure hope of that world peace. I talked to these Kings not to try to get them converted. I talked to them about their own problems because that's what Jesus Christ would talk to them about if he were here—problems that are too great for them to handle.
One King of one very well-known great nation, said to me "Mr. Armstrong, I need your help, and you're the only one that can help me." Mr. Rader was with me. He said, "Mr. Rader, you can't help me, no one else can help me." He had a problem. His mountain people were illiterate, and they had gone from raising foodstuffs, vegetation, and so on, vegetables, they had gone into raising poppies for the narcotic trade, and he wanted to stamp it out. I sent a team of about seven of our men over there to investigate for 10 days what was needed and what help we could do. They came back and told me, and as a result, we started with seven portable schools, and I sent our agricultural expert from Big Sandy, Texas. If we were going to help transfer and educate those illiterate farmers back to raising foodstuffs again, we had to also supply a market for their produce. And we have accomplished that. That's one of the things we've done.
If anyone except someone representing Jesus Christ, they know that the world would laud them to the skies. The reason is because I represent Jesus Christ, and this world doesn't love Jesus Christ. It doesn't believe him. Adam and Eve didn't believe what God said when they saw him in person. Jesus Christ preached to thousands when he was here, and only 120 believed what he said, as you will find in the very 15th verse of the second chapter, the first chapter of the book of Acts (Acts 2:15). They just did not believe what he said.
Later, we were able to double that into 12 portable schools. And actually, it had to be the military men who made it because it was so close to the communist border. And the last time I saw the King of Thailand, King Bhumibol, I said, "By the way, how have we come with this program that we're cooperating with?" He said, "95% of the opium trade has been stamped out, and 95% have been turned back to raising vegetables and foodstuffs."
Well, today in the latter part of the 20th century, here is what Jesus Christ himself said in Matthew 24 and verse 14 (Matthew 24:14), when they had asked Jesus for a sign, how would they know when we're near the end of this world, and just before Christ comes for the wonderful world tomorrow, the world's only and it's only sure hope because we're in really terrible times now, and everybody knows it. It's a world full of evils of almost every kind. But He said, "This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." Now that is the gospel of the Kingdom. That is the gospel that we preach. That is what we've been called for. That is the purpose of this church.
Now today, from this Church of God, a voice cries out with amplified power, the power of radio and television and with the printing press and multiple millions of copies, a magazine that now has passed some of the great weekly magazines. As John the Baptist cried out from the physical wilderness 1900 years ago of the Jordan River about the coming of the human physical Jesus to the material temple built of stone and other materials, woods, and other materials, and to the physical people of Judah, announcing the future, more than 1900 years future of the establishment of the Kingdom of God. So today, the living Christ is sending forth this church to cry out from the spiritual wilderness of religious confusion, announcing the soon coming of the glorified all-powerful Christ to his spiritual temple. And that temple he's coming to is a spiritual temple, which is this church that will be then born again. It's a pity that so many don't understand what God means, and the Bible means by born again. We will be resurrected, we won't be human, we won't be flesh and blood anymore. We will be composed of spirit as God is, born sons of God, and he is coming to that spiritual temple resurrected and for the purpose now, not of announcing but setting up that kingdom of God to rule all the earth and to bring peace and happiness to this terrible, terribly sick world as it is today.
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