The World Tomorrow--Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong--June 26, 1979--Requirements for God's Kingdom
THE WORLD TOMORROW
Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the Plain Truth about today's world news and the prophecies of The World Tomorrow
Requirements for God's Kingdom
Well, greetings friends, this is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
My friends, why is it that today we not only have bad news, but we hear a kind of preaching that is certainly different from that which the people were hearing when Jesus Christ was on earth or during the ministry of the true Church of God under the apostles in the first century after Christ had ascended to Heaven? Now, we've been going through the New Testament to see what Jesus did teach, and what He taught His disciples, what they preached. And we have been here in the ninth and tenth chapters of Matthew where Jesus had sent His disciples out on a practice mission.
Now, I want you to notice certain things. I want you to notice a number of things that He taught and that He instructed them to teach that were absolutely different from what you hear today. Why this change? Let's see just what He taught.
Now, in Matthew nine and verses thirty-five and thirty-six, "Jesus went about the cities and the villages teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."
He preached the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God is the Government of God and also the fact that God is not a Person but God is a Kingdom, a Family grown great into a great Government -- the supreme ruling power of the entire universe -- the ruling Family of all the universe -- The Creating Family. God is a Family of Persons that is the Governor, the Ruler of the entire world.
Back in the first chapter of Genesis we read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth..."
Now, the word for God is in the Hebrew language back there, as Moses wrote it and the word is Elohim. And Elohim is a uniplural word that means more than one person. It is a Kingdom of Persons.
You read in the New Testament, in John the first chapter and the first verse, and there you read, "In the beginning was the Word." Now, we read later that all things were made by Him. But also we read in John the first chapter and the first few verses that "the Word was with God and the Word was God." Now, how could the Word be with God and also be God? There are two different persons altogether.
When Jesus was on earth, He prayed to the Father in Heaven. There was a Family relationship. He called Him the Father. He said He had not come of Himself. He spoke nothing of Himself. Of Himself, He could do nothing. He said the Father that sent Him gave Him a Commandment what He should say and what He should preach. And He spoke as the Father had commanded and told Him.
He said, "I have kept my Father's commandments."
Now, can a person, be his own father? Some people think there is only the one person and that Jesus was God and there was no Father in Heaven. Can a man be his own father? Can a man speak of himself as his father? Be rather ridiculous, wouldn't it? And He prayed to the Father?
But listen. Let me tell you something my friends. Jesus Christ was made human. He was made mortal. He became flesh and the Word dwelt among us and men beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father.
Now, He was begotten of the Father and the only begotten Son. He didn't begat Himself. You wouldn't be begotten of your own self but you are begotten of your father. And every one of us have been begotten of our human fathers.
And Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." That's what we are.
But when we are begotten of God as we may be, we shall be Spirit.
Now, Jesus was begotten of God, but He was made flesh and He also was begotten of God in the Spirit and then He was made Spirit by a resurrection and is God and is the Firstborn of many Brethren and we are to be like Him. We shall see Him as He is.
Now, in the beginning, was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God. And Jesus was made flesh and He was made flesh for the purpose of death and God the Spirit can't die, but Jesus was made flesh so He could die and did die and when He died He was dead. And when He was dead, there was no life in Him. And if there was not another Person in Heaven, who was His Father, to resurrect Him and to impart life to Him and bring Him back to life, Jesus Christ would not be alive today and you'd have no Savior. Because I want to tell you my friends, you cannot be saved and receive Eternal Life from the blood of Jesus Christ, because that was mortal and human.
The blood is the life of human animals or human beings and of all animals. That is the soul life or the human life which is in all animals and all birds and all fishes. And so you will find it back in the very first chapter of Genesis in your Bible, the very beginning.
And so, unless Jesus rose from the dead, you could never be finally saved.
You know, we are only reconciled to God by the death of His Son. We are forgiven our past sins. Yes, we are justified. But justification has only to do with past guilt, not with the future life, but only with past guilt. But we are made righteous and given Eternal Life by the Life of Jesus Christ and not by His death.
And so you read in the fifth chapter of Romans, Romans 5. If you'll turn to it and read it, I believe it's about the eleventh and twelfth verses. I'll turn to it and see if I can give you the exact verse here in just a second and you'll read it that as we have been reconciled to God -- justified by His blood -- reconciled to God by the death of His Son, even so, we shall be, not yet are, but shall be saved by His life and that's the tenth verse, Romans the fifth chapter. The ninth verse says, "Much more then, being now justified by His blood..." -- not by His resurrection, but by His blood, which He poured out in death, paying the penalty for you and for me.
Now, we have broken the law of God. Sin is the transgression of the law. We have transgressed the Government of God. God is the Supreme Ruler. We have transgressed that rule. We have brought on us the penalty of the Law which is death and the law claims our life and we're under that law. And the law is over us and has a claim on our life. But Jesus put Himself under the law in your stead and in mine. And the Law took His life, He did not take the life of the Law and end it, it ended Him and He was dead. And He paid the penalty in your stead and mine, so that we can be justified of our past guilt because he's paid the penalty that we have incurred.
Now, the tenth verse says, "For if, when we were enemies, and enemies of God..." -- as we all have been and as you listening to me this moment are this moment an enemy of God unless you have repented of your sin and have been justified of your past guilt through the blood of Christ and through the death of Christ have been reconciled to God, you are this minute an enemy of God whether you believe it or like to believe it or not, it is the Truth.
"...If, when we were enemies, we were [and "we" always means Christians in the New Testament] we...we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall [that's in the future] be saved [how?] BY HIS LIFE [not by His death]". I want you to notice that -- that is Romans 5:10. Read it with your eyes in your own Bible. "We were (that's in the past if you have already had your sins forgiven) were reconciled to God." We're now reconciled, have been reconciled. And "we" there is referring to Christians.
I said a moment ago that it always means Christians where the word "we" is used. There are a few exceptions in the New Testament. That it means either speaking spiritually, it means Christians or speaking racially it will mean where Paul is speaking of his own House of the children of Israel, which was Judah or the Jews or it will mean Israelites or Jews or speaking spiritually it will always mean Brethren in Christ begotten of God who are Christians as we call them today. They were first called Christians at Antioch.
Now, "we shall be" -- that is in the future. And yet people go around today... Now there's another thing that is not the way you hear it today. Why you'll say I am, I was saved on such and such a date. People say I have been saved. Paul didn't say that. He said you have been reconciled to God. We have been justified. We have been reconciled to God, that's all. You're still a flesh and blood mortal and Eternal Life is the gift of God. And he said much more being reconciled, which has already taken place, we shall [that hasn't taken place yet -- that is yet in the future] shall be [what?] saved [how?] by His life [not by His death]. Oh, my friends, if we can only wake up and get the truth -- we have certainly been deceived.
Now, God is a Kingdom, God is more than one person. And there was the Word -- the Greek word of that is "Logos" and it means the Spokesman and Jesus Christ has been with God from the beginning -- forever -- ever, well ever since... You can't ever say ever since because there was never a time when He didn't exist. If I would complete that sentence -- ever since -- that would be since some...else. And He has always existed. In the beginning from ever was the Word and the Word was with God. So there is another Person that He was with. And yet He was God and so is the other Person God. Now, they're both in the Kingdom God, there are two Persons there and the one is the Father and the other was the Son begotten of the Virgin Mary by God and He became flesh and dwelt among us. And when He was dead, He was dead but the Father raised Him from the dead.
Now He was the Firstborn of many Brethren and we too can be begotten of God and Jesus preached the Kingdom of God and He said that if you have been born of the flesh, you are flesh -- that's what He preached, you are mortal, you are human. But He said, you must be born again and unless you are born again you can't even see the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. And He said that which is born of the Kingdom or of the Spirit is Spirit. And then He used the expression about wind. You can't see wind but you can tell what it does and so it is with the Kingdom of God and those that are born of the Spirit -- they're invisible to human eyes. Well, they are of a type that you cannot feel them, you cannot smell them or taste them or hear them or see them. In other words, no knowledge of Spirit Beings or of spiritual things or spiritual principles can come into the mortal mind of man by any natural, normal process by which you were born. It can only come by the gift of God through His Holy Spirit and by revelation from God. Our minds were not made to receive Spiritual knowledge otherwise.
You know what we do today? We confuse emotion and sentiment and things of that sort with spirit and think that's being spiritual. A person who is sentimental and emotional is said to be spiritual. Oh my poppy-cock, that is not being spiritual, because, my friends, spirituality is yielding to God, receiving the spiritual knowledge because you're reconciled to God and have a contact with Him through prayer, through surrender to Him, through repentance, through Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and through study of the Bible and God then through His Holy Spirit will open your mind by the Spirit of God to comprehend and understand. So the carnal mind cannot see or comprehend these things. Yes, but God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit as you read in I Corinthians, let me see, that is, I believe the second chapter of I Corinthians.
Now, Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God is the rule, the Government of God but it also the Family of God and He preached how we can enter into that Family. But you have to be born again. You have to repent of your sins. You have to be reconciled to God. You have to be justified of your guilty past. You have to receive Eternal Life through the Spirit of God, be begotten and then you have to overcome. You have to overcome and master your own self. And that's going to be a struggle, that isn't going to be easy. There are works, good works that have to be done. And you're doing works either good or evil. Well, you're going to be judged by your works. Read your Bible, blow the dust off of it and see what it says, my friends. Let's not be deceived any more because many false prophets are gone out into this world and the nations are deceived and drunken on this false doctrine -- the wine of the fornication of this great deceiving power that has risen up to deceive, especially this western occidental world.
Now, Jesus called His twelve together, He gave them power and authority over demons and to cure diseases. He sent them forth to preach (the same thing He did) the Kingdom of God. That's the Family of God and how to get into it but that also is the rule, the Government of God and unless the Father of that Family rules you and you submit to His Government, my friends, you will never get into that Kingdom.
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Now, the way into the Kingdom is through Jesus Christ. First, through His blood for the remission of sins and to be reconciled to God and then through the Holy Spirit which comes from His Life. But you cannot do that unless you surrender to obey because God gives His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him, so says your Bible.
Now, the thing that Jesus taught and sent His disciples out to preach was certainly different from what they preach today. They don't know what the Kingdom of God is today. The first place they don't tell you or teach you what the Kingdom is. They don't teach obedience to God. They don't teach that you should keep His Commandments but they try to tell you that the Commandments of God, the Law of God is done away -- do as you please. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man..." Alright, they tell you do what you think is right. But the Bible says that that's going to end up in death and death is the wages of sin -- so that way must be the way of sin and so I tell you, my friends, it follows inevitably they're trying to lead you into sin. You better study your Bible and see whom to believe because many false prophets are gone out today.
Now, he said, here's the second thing. Look how different this is the way from the people believe it today. He said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and enter you not into the city of the Samaritans." And the Samaritans were Gentiles. You know Samaria had been the capital or the House or the Kingdom of Israel. There were two nations among the Israelites. They had divided into two kingdoms and the great kingdom of the ten tribes was the kingdom of the north and they were up in the land of Samaria and the city of Samaria was their capital. Of course there was the land of Samaria and then the city of Samaria as its capital. Well they had been taken captive. They had been invaded and conquered by the armies of Shalmaneser -- the king of or emperor or whatever he was called in those days of Assyria. And they were invaded and they were conquered and driven out and removed from their land, from their farms, their cities, their homes and Gentiles (and the worst of the Gentiles) were moved in by this foreign Gentile king.
Now, for six hundred years prior to the time of Christ, they, the Gentiles had lived there so that there were Gentiles in Samaria. Now, customarily today you think that the Gospel was sent to the Gentiles and that Christianity is a Gentile religion. It is for Israel. Why how many times today, they read you about the Ten Commandments and they say, "Oh that was just for Israel. That was only for the Jew. But you see Christianity is a Gentile religion and we don't want anything that's Jewish. We just want a Gentile religion." Well, if you want a Gentile religion, my friends, God is going to let you have it. If you want it, you can have it but it's going to end up in death because you will read right here as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, who were Gentiles born and he wrote to them that at that time while they were Gentiles, he said, "that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, [That's what most of you seem to want to be today. Now, listen, look where it's going to put you.] and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope." And you have absolutely no hope. And if you think you have any it's a vain hope and you have no foundation for it if you think you're a Gentile unless you become a begotten Israelite. It's about time we wake up and realize that.
"At that time you were Gentiles, you were without Christ being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel...having no hope and without God in the world." But later he says, "But now in Christ...you are no more strangers and foreigners [from Israel] but [you're] fellow citizens with the saints..." And the saints are those Israelites that have been begotten of God, that have repented of their sins and through Jesus Christ as Savior, have been reconciled to God and have received His Spirit, have been begotten as His children, they are now the fellow citizens of the saints and these Gentiles through Christ could come in too.
And so he said in Galatians, the third chapter and the twenty-ninth verse, "If you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's children..." He said this to those Gentile-born up in Galatia. "Then are you Abraham's children, and heirs according to the promise." The promise made to Abraham, all the promises and the covenants pertain to Israel and not to Jew. Now, you don't hear that preached very much today.
Well, Jesus sent His men out to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and they actually, literally were the lost ten tribes. Not the Jews but the lost ten tribes as they had been called and they were not Jews; they had never been called Jews.
He said, "But go you rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." They were doubly lost, my friends. They were lost in identity. Nobody knew that they were Jews. They thought they were Gentiles. And they were lost spiritually and they needed salvation. And So He was sending His disciples up to them to show them the way that... Well, you know, Paul explains it in the eleventh chapter of Romans how these natural Israelites had been broken off of their tree. In other words, the tree there, the natural olive tree is Israel, begotten of God and filled with the Spirit of God. Now, Israelites naturally born were born on the tree but the minute they committed their first sin they were broken off and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God so every Israelite had been broken off of that tree.
Now, Gentiles are pictured as the branches of a wild olive tree and the wild olive trees are the Gentile nations and each Gentile citizen is a little branch of one of those nations or a wild olive tree and he has been cut off of that tree and grafted into the natural olive tree if he is in Christ, if he has, well, what we say -- salvation -- if he has received the Spirit of God, and been begotten as one of the children of God.
And now, the natural branches that have all been broken off because of unbelief or because of sin, they can be grafted in again just the same way that the Gentiles. So, it gets down to this -- that everyone has sinned and everyone is in need of rectification and everyone is in need of redemption through Jesus Christ whether Gentile or Jew but if you Gentiles are Christ's, then are you Abraham's children or now, spiritually begotten Israelites.
Well, now the second thing that He said was don't go to the Gentiles -- "Go not into the way of any of the Gentiles...but go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." That's who He sent them to.
Now, here is the third thing. He said to His ministers as He was sending them out now on this practice mission. They were students learning to be His ministers. They were going to be apostles and given authority to represent His Government -- the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of this world." His Government is not a worldly government of this world. The governments, the kingdoms of this world are human kingdoms ruled by men according to the will of man and also according to all of the vanity and the greed, the selfishness of man and governments on this earth are run that way. But Jesus' Kingdom is not of this world. And His men later became apostles which means ambassadors with the authority of an ambassador representing His government as strangers in this world as in a foreign land representing the Kingdom which has not yet been established or set up on this earth, it is of the World Tomorrow. Not of this age, this time, this world, or this system, but of the world tomorrow when God will set up the Kingdom of God that shall rule over every nation and every government and all of the governments on earth will be destroyed and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.
Now, then, Jesus said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves." In other words, you're going out to teach people that are just like wolves. They're going to tear you apart. Do you know what would happen to a sheep, if it would go out among a whole pack of wolves? Supposing you would send twelve sheep out and here are hundreds of thousands of wolves. How long do you think those sheep are going to last? Now, I want you to really get the picture there.
Now, when Jesus sent His young ministers out in a practice mission, they were like sheep going among wolves. You know why it isn't like that today? It's because they preach what the people want to hear. And the people like Isaiah had prophesied, let me just turn to it back here in Isaiah 30, I think I can turn to it really quickly and in Isaiah the thirtieth chapter and the eighth to the eleventh verses. (There's so many of these chapters that have things from verses eight to eleven. I wonder if you ever noticed how many?)
"Now go, [here's a prophecy] write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever [In other words, a prophecy for out time now, for the end time, for the very far future.]: that this a rebellious people, lying children [in our day now--it is a prophecy, not in Isaiah's day but it's a prophecy for our day] lying children, children that will not hear the law of the [Eternal]."
How many of you are in that boat, my friends? The Law of God is love and it's the greatest most loving bestowal of God's blessing and God's mercy and compassion on us that He has ever given. His Law which is the way of love, which is the way to peace and happiness and prosperity and everything that you want, it's the way to Eternal Life because whenever you can keep God's Law you can have Eternal Life but you can't keep it without the Spirit of God and you can't get the Spirit of God without Jesus Christ as your Savior and the forgiveness of sins and all of that. So you see, you have to come by way of Jesus Christ in receiving the Holy Spirit. But when you do the Spirit of God is the Love of God shed abroad in your heart that will keep the Law of God. And when you keep the Law of God by the Holy Spirit the Love of God in your heart you will receive Eternal Life. You don't hear that kind of preaching very much today, do you?
God says here in our day is a rebellious people. They're rebellious against God. They don't want God to rule them. They want to rule themselves or be ruled by other men. "...Lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: which say to the seers, See not, to the prophets [or the preachers], [preach] not unto us right things, but speak unto us smooth things, [preach] deceits. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." Now, "...in works they deny him...", Titus 1:16. I gave that to you at the end of a broadcast the other day. So, my friends, that's what they're doing. And the preachers have been preaching the soft and smooth things so much that the people like to hear it and the people have itching ears and they've turned away from the truth and turned unto fables, so that when they send the preachers out today, they're not lambs or sheep in the presence of wolves but they go out as the masters and the people love them and meet them and they're glad to receive them. Yes.
Now, you see in Jesus' day when He sent His disciples out they were like sheep going out to preach to wolves.
Now, the next thing which we've been covering is Jesus said, "Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in [Gehenna fire]." You don't hear that kind of preaching today, do you? Just the opposite. You say, "Why, today they preach that nobody could destroy the soul. The soul couldn't burn up. The soul is immaterial and immortal and flits off to Heaven somewhere when you die." Oh yeah? My friends, can any scientist prove it? Your Bible doesn't give you anything on it. Where do you get it? You get it out of paganism. You believe it because you've always heard it. Why don't you put it to the truth. How do you know? Let's get the truth on this thing.
Jesus said to fear the man that can destroy the soul as well as the body. Oh, my time is up and I've got to quit right there. I want to go on with this. There're so many things. Everything here is different than you hear it today. Listen, you want to get in on "The Plain Truth". And there's no subscription price.
So, until tomorrow then, good-bye friends.