The World Tomorrow -- Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong -- May 23, 1979 -- Christ's Authority over Disease
THE WORLD TOMORROW
Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the Plain Truth about today's world news and the prophecies of The World Tomorrow
Christ's Authority over Disease
And greetings friends, this is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
Well, my friends, let's get back into this series, going through the New Testament to see exactly what Jesus Christ did preach and why you haven't heard it, because you've been hearing a message about the person of Christ, but not the message that He preached.
God Almighty sent Jesus Christ to this earth, and He said, "I have spoken nothing of myself; the Father that sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak." And He spoke as His Father sent Him to speak bearing a message from God to man. And He was a messenger sent from God. What was that message and why, I ask you, have you not heard it today?
And why is it that men not only have rejected His Gospel which was His message and is His message but they also are practicing customs diametrically contrary to the example which Jesus set, exactly opposite to those which the true Church of God at Jerusalem and all of the Gentile churches, so-called, raised up by the Apostle Paul did observe.
Now, let me see, here we are in this place here in the eighth chapter of Matthew where this Gentile Roman captain had come to Jesus to have Him heal his son because he'd felt he was not worthy and he said that he was a man under authority but he also was in authority over one hundred men who were under him -- he was a captain in the Roman army. He was a Gentile. He was not a Jew. He was not a Christian. And he was stationed, undoubtedly, as part of the army down there, the army of occupation in Judea because the Jews had the Roman army of occupation over them and they were under the Roman government.
Now, this man said that he wasn't worthy to have Jesus come to his house but he said, "Just say the word, and he'll be healed." because he said, "I also am man under authority or set under authority, I have others under me and if I say one -- to one of those under me, Go, he goes; to another come, he comes." In other words, "I am in authority: he obeys; and to my servant, do this and he does it."
Now, he was talking here about authority and I want you to know, my friends, that from beginning to end that is the theme of the Bible -- authority -- the fact that God is the supreme authority in this universe. God has not gone way off and left the creation that He created. He operates it, he sustains it and the creation that God created here on this earth, at least, it operates according to fixed laws. There are forces, there are powers, there are laws, there are energies and there are laws that operate those forces and those energies.
Now, God Almighty sits at the controls. God is operating.
Of course, it may seem strange to say that God is the Supreme Ruler, when people know very well that men are doing what they please on this earth and it doesn't seem that God is ruling them at all and actually He isn't because God has given man a chance to submit to His rule and obey what God says and come under the rule -- the Government of God -- and enjoy the great blessings and all of the benefits of it or to reject it because God made us free moral agents; otherwise, we could never be the kind of the characters that God put us here to develop.
God is reproducing Himself. God is the Supreme character and we can never enter into the Family -- the Kingdom of God -- unless we as separate entities have the character of God and that can't be something that God makes necessary that He puts in us with His mind. We each have a mind of our own and we are able to defy God, to obey God, we make the decision and otherwise there could be no such thing as character.
And character means we are separate persons and we have the possibility of developing and I should say the responsibility for developing personality; because we should develop personality in, however, in humility, not in arrogance or in vanity or egotism, which we usually do. But actually we should, in perfect humility and recognizing the great superiority of God and own insignificant nothingness, develop personality as God gives us to do, that's what we should do.
Now, Jesus was standing here before Pilate, you remember, and Pilate was trying to convince Jesus that he had great power and telling him what all he could do. If I can just find the place here, I would like to turn to it because I think it explains how it comes that God is the Supreme Ruler and yet we don't see Him actually ruling because God has permitted man to do what he does. Now, let's see, it should be here in about the eighteenth or the nineteenth chapter of John where Jesus was before Pilate and Pilate was trying to convince Jesus how much power he had. He said, "Don't you know what I can do to you? That I have authority to have you killed or to release you. And Jesus said, "You have no authority except what my Father gives you. You could have no authority whatsoever over me except that which is given to you from above." In other words, from His Father. So actually Pilate was doing the ruling and yet God is Supreme Ruler and God as the Supreme Ruler allowed it, permitted it and Pilate could not have done it otherwise. The actual rulership, the actual office was of God. All office is of God.
My friends, that's why we're told to pray for rulers, that's why you and I are commanded to pray for the President of the United States. How many of us ever obey that command? I'm afraid we're negligent and I don't know that God tells us to, I mean, that God intends that we should do it every day or two or three times a day, I'm sure I don't myself, perhaps I should. I don't, I will admit, but we should remember to pray for the President of the United States because God tells us to do so. He tells us to pray for those set in authority.
Well, here was this man in authority. The whole message of Jesus was the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of God is the Government of God and that implies the authority of God. I tell you, my friends, that's the message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. When you take that out of the Bible you haven't anything left. You take that out of your life and you haven't anything left in your life. You take that out of your life there's nothing to live for. No wonder you hear so much empty preaching today. You're left empty and you know it. You strip the Bible of its authority, you fail to tremble before the sacred Word of God and to regard it as authority in all things -- in every phase of life, you have nothing left. You take out the Law of God, obedience to God, the Government of God, and you have nothing because that's the heart, the soul, the core, the center of it all.
And the whole purpose of life and the whole duty of man is that we keep God's Commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And the things that please God are the things that make you happy. The things that please God are not the things that will make you unhappy or miserable or take away all the joy and the fun out of life, not at all. The things that will please God the most are the things that will bring you the greatest happiness, the greatest peace, the greatest joy and also, incidentally, and I should say last but maybe it is least, I don't know, the greatest prosperity, because that too is important but not as important as other things. But God's will is that you have it all.
Oh, yes, and another thing that's last but not least, the way I'm listing it now -- good health. God wants you to have that too. And that's very important. And if you ever knew the price that Jesus Christ paid that you could have good health that you could be healed when you're sick what an effect it would have on you. Very few of you even know that He did any such thing and those of you who know that He did it, I'm quite sure have no conception whatsoever of the enormity of the price that He paid. Sometime, I hope I can bring that out, but let's hurry along now. He paid a price that this Centurion's son might be healed.
Anyway, I want you to get this idea that all the way through it is the message of authority, the message of obedience, the message of Government and here was a man in a position of government in an army -- the Roman army. And he said, "I say to this man, Go, and he goes; this one, Come, and he comes; to this one Do that, and he does it. And when Jesus heard that, he marveled..." -- because He knew that what the man meant was -- "You're in authority over sickness and disease, I'm not." What the man meant was, what this Centurion, this army officer meant was, "I have no authority over sickness and disease. I have authority over my hundred men but you, Christ the Messiah, have authority over sickness and disease and you command the sickness and the disease to go. It will obey you, it must obey you, it has to obey you, just like these men must obey me or I'm going to put 'em in prison. They know they have to obey or else."
Now, I don't know that a sickness and disease has any mind to think with and knows that there's any or else but it just does obey, absolutely. And Christ Jesus is in authority over sickness and disease and Jesus Christ gave His ministers power and authority over sickness and disease. Everyone who is a true minister of Jesus Christ does have and does exercise that authority. Now, where ever the shoe fits put it on and wear it.
Jesus said, he saw what this man meant, why, He said, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom..." Now, He's talking about the Kingdom of God.
Matthew here in writing uses the expression "kingdom of heaven", he certainly does not say anything about any "kingdom in heaven" because this Kingdom is not in Heaven and never will be. This is a Kingdom on earth, but it's a Kingdom that is possessed by, ruled by, owned by God who is in Heaven and Heaven is God's Throne. It's a heavenly Kingdom that is to be set up here on this earth. I hope you can get that.
Now, here again there's Government. The Kingdom of God is the Government of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Government of Heaven. And that means that we on earth are to be governed from Heaven because that's God's headquarters.
But we live here on earth. That isn't saying we're going to go to Heaven and if you can find any place in the Bible where it says, "We are going to go to Heaven.", have you ever found that in plain language any place in the Bible?
You know, almost every time you hear a sermon or any preaching the preacher talks about going to Heaven. Now, where did he get it? Did he get that out of the Bible? Can you write and tell me where he got it and I'll preach it. Just show it to me in the scripture and give me God's authority for it. Show me where God promises it. Show me where God shows that that is what we shall inherit. I can show you where God says we're going to inherit the earth but I can't show you where He says we'll inherit the earth and Heaven or where we will ever inherit Heaven, incidentally. Now, I'm just asking you for proof from the Bible. Don't get angry at me because I tell you that. Just see if you can find it in the Bible.
Well, let's get along with this.
"Many shall come from the east and from the west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom [not in Heaven but] of Heaven."
Now, does that mean in Heaven? Is Abraham up in Heaven now? Is he going to inherit Heaven? I've gone through that and shown you that Abraham is not in Heaven and that he has not gone to Heaven. Jesus Christ said while He was yet on earth and that was long after Abraham died that "no man has ascended up to heaven but he who had come down from heaven..." -- He Himself. Because He was not a man in Heaven, He was God. And He came down to the earth and was changed from God to man and as man He dwelt on the earth, but as God He dwelt in Heaven and He was changed into God in a resurrection and went back to Heaven, not as a mortal man but as immortal God as glorified God worthy of the worship of the angels.
Now, here in Galatians in the third chapter of Galatians and the twenty-ninth verse you will read that there's no difference between us of nationality or of sex or anything else so far as the Kingdom of God is concerned or the inheritance of the Christian. But it says, "If you be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed [and that's very old English, means Abraham's children]... Abraham's [children] and heirs according to the promise."
Now, we're only heirs at the present time. If you are Christ's, you are one of Abraham's children and heirs according to the promise made to Abraham. You know the promise made to Abraham; why, God said, Now, you look Abraham, look north, look south, look east and look west -- all the land that you can see [he was in the land of Palestine], will I give to you and to your seed." And that promise was made to Jesus Christ the one seed and we inherit that promise through him. He is the inheritor of the earth and He has made us by His last will and testament the heirs and the co-heirs with Him of the promise God made to Abraham of this earth for an everlasting possession.
Now, Abraham is dead and buried and Stephen was stoned to death for saying (and he was the first Christian martyr), and he was stoned to death for saying among other things that Abraham had not received the promise. The promise, whatever it was, earth or Heaven, he had not received it. He died and had never received it.
Now, the faith book, the faith chapter, I should say, of the Bible that is the chapter that is generally regarded by nearly everyone as the faith chapter speaks more on faith, I guess, than any chapter in the Bible, is the eleventh chapter of Hebrews and here, we find something about Abraham. By faith, Abraham when he was called to go out to a place that he should after receive for an inheritance obeyed. There is obedience. And that, my friends, is the reason that the promise that the Christian can inherit was promised to Abraham and you have to become one of his children to inherit that promise of the Christian -- salvation.
Now, where is that salvation going to take you? Where are you going to be? Look. "By faith, he [Abraham] sojourned in the land of promise [the Promised Land]..." That's what God promised -- the land. The land of promise as in a strange country dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs, now they were not inheritors, but heirs with him of the same promise. "For he looked for a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God" -- the Government of God. But it was the land that was promised to him on this earth and that's where that Kingdom is to be.
Now, through faith, Sarah herself received strength and so on and then here, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Sarah now, verse thirteen, "these all died in faith." Oh, yes, they had faith and Abraham is the father of the faithful and it's by grace through faith that you are saved. Yes, but what do you get when you're saved? "These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them afar off." Now, Abraham died without receiving them. Abraham hasn't received them yet.
But Abraham is going to be resurrected and when Jesus Christ comes, He says His reward is with Him at the time He comes at His second coming and Christ Jesus is coming back to this earth again. That's when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are going to be resurrected and they're going to be in the Kingdom of God and others are going to come at that time and that's when the Kingdom of God will be set up.
Because a good many thought the Kingdom of God would immediately appear, Jesus gave them a parable in the nineteenth chapter of Luke you'll read of it, in Luke the nineteenth chapter and Jesus said there that He compared Himself really to -- He was the great nobleman -- a great nobleman that went to a far country to get for himself a kingdom and to return. And having returned, then He called those to accounting that He had entrusted with His goods while He had been gone. But He didn't have the Kingdom until He came again. And it was because they thought the Kingdom of God would be immediately setup that He told them that parable, showing that the Kingdom of God would not be actually set up, that we would not inherit the Kingdom, until His Second Coming.
Now, if you turn back here real quickly to the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, you'll see something about inheriting the Kingdom and when.
Matthew twenty-five and beginning with verse thirty-one. "When the son of man shall...[in the future]...shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." He's going to be ruling this world then and he'll sit upon the throne of His glory, a throne ... is a place of ruling and it will be after He comes to this earth. "And before Him shall be gathered all nations." Nations are on earth and here are nations that are not converted.
Now, listen my friends, once they're converted they get into the Kingdom of God and in the Kingdom of God you're only in one nation, not in a different nations or many nations, but one nation in the Kingdom of God. But here are different nations. And these then are Gentile nations, many of them.
"...before Him shall be gathered all nations...." He's going to rule the nations with a rod of iron as you'll find in, well, the end of the second and end of the third chapters of Revelation. "And he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats and he'll set the sheep on his right hand the goats on the left." And people, some of them, will be like sheep and some like goats. He's using sheep and goats as symbols to describe the characteristics of the two different general kinds of people in their attitude of heart and mind.
"Then shall the King..." Notice, He's King now. He's sitting on a throne, He is ruling -- this is government, this is obedience, this is Law, this is Rule, here is One in authority. And He shall "say to them on his right hand [that's the sheep], Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
My friends, we don't inherit the Kingdom till Christ comes again. Now, we are heirs of the Kingdom, not inheritors. We have not come into our inheritance and the Kingdom will be inherited here on the earth and Jesus Christ will be on the throne of His father, David, sitting on that throne in Jerusalem, Palestine, right here on the earth.
Now, when that happens, and he's sitting on that throne, "many shall come from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob [they'll be in the kingdom then, by a resurrection] in the kingdom [It's called kingdom of heaven, not in heaven -- of denotes ownership not geographical location. I'm sure that you understand the meaning of the word.]"
"But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into outer darkness..." Now, what does He mean by that? The sons of the kingdom, why, that would be real natural born fleshly born Israelites, wouldn't it -- Jews of the House of Judah, Israelites of the House of Israel. "The sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." I want to tell you, my friends, a lot of people that are taking advantage of the possibility to do exactly what they want to do today are going to have a lot of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" then. Now. to understand that, you'll have to turn over to the eleventh chapter of Romans.
The Bible interprets the Bible. The Bible should never be interpreted. Men have no right to interpret the Bible and no ability to do so. But God interprets His own Word. Now, in the eleventh chapter of Romans, you'll find that explained.
Paul said, "Has God cast away his people [Israel]? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, and of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away his people that he foreknew."
Now, He compares it to Elijah, who thought that he was the only one left that hadn't bowed the knee to Baal, but there was anybody actually converted or saved, as you call it, in those days. But unless it was Elijah, just prophets called of God, but I mean it was not offered generally to the people at all. But God told Elijah that there were seven thousand in Israel that had not bowed their knee to Baal, had not worshipped this false sun God, Baal. "Even so then at the present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace [that have grace]." There is a remnant, just a few, there were seven thousand in Israel, at that time, that had not worshipped this idol out of -- there probably were at least seven million Israelites -- I don't know the population of Israel at that time. I think no census was taken. But there must have been in the neighborhood, we'll say, of around seven million. At least it went up into the millions and seven thousand is a very, very tiny little fraction out of, say, seven million people and there might have been more than that by that time.
Well. "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest [that's the great overwhelming majority] were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) to this day." So that they were spiritually blinded at the time that Paul wrote this letter called the Book of Romans to those who were dwelling in Rome.
"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy." Now then, if a Gentile is Christ's, he's one of Abraham's children, and heirs according to the promise. Now, let's go on and see.
"If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world [that's the casting away of the natural born, blood born Israelites and they're cast away and it's the reconciling of the world because Gentiles come in and are grafted in as Israelites], what shall the receiving of them [these Israelites] be, but life from the dead?
"Now, if some of the branches..." Here, he speaks of Israel as a natural olive tree, Gentile nations as wild olive trees. "Some of the branches..." -- now, these are the sons of the kingdom, these are the natural born Israelites, sons of the kingdom. They are sons of the Kingdom because the Kingdom is promised to Israel. All of the promises, my friends, all of the covenants pertain to Israel and to no Gentile nation. A Gentile must be broken off from his Gentile citizenship and must become an Israelite to inherit the promises that God made to Abraham for His nation Israel.
Now, the natural branches are broken off. "But thou, being a wild olive tree [a Gentile], wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee."
Now, then, "they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, can be grafted in [to their own olive tree by faith in Jesus Christ]..." -- and there it is.
Now, then, there are going to be many sons of the Kingdom, flesh born Israelites that will find their natural birth wouldn't save them and there'll be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. So, that's what Jesus said.
This man was a Gentile. He's going to get in because of his faith. And Jesus is telling those Jews standing around there that many of you Jews, you're sons of the Kingdom by flesh birth, but you haven't any faith. You're not sons by grace not by the Spirit and you'll have to be grafted in by your faith through the same Christ and the same Savior and the same God as a Gentile and that's the meaning of that.
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