The World Tomorrow Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong May 4, 1979 Sermon on the Mount, continued
THE WORLD TOMORROW
Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the Plain Truth about today’s world news and the prophecies of The World Tomorrow
Sermon on the Mount, continued
And greetings friends! This is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow!
You have heard my friends that Jesus Christ came to do away with His Father's Commandments. That God's Law, the laws of God, are not good. And that the laws of God are contrary to our best interest, that they are bad for us and Jesus made us free to break the laws of God and to do what we please and what seems good in the sight of man. Isn't that what you've heard?
Well, now as we are going through this sermon that has been considered the greatest sermon ever preached (actually it wasn't a sermon but it was Christ Jesus teaching His own disciples) we're going to come that very thing and we're going to see what He said about it. It's about time that we let Him answer this question for Himself. Men have been bandying it around and some of them say that He saw that His Father's laws were not good, and so Jesus knowing, apparently, more than His Father, nailed up His Father's Law to the cross. Let's see what Jesus said.
Now, you remember as we approached this we saw in the 6th chapter of Luke how Jesus had gone up to a mountain to pray. We read here in Matthew 5 at the very beginning of the Sermon on the Mount as it has been called, where Jesus seeing the multitudes went up into a mountain.
Now, Luke adds something about that in the 6th chapter of Luke and the 12th verse that He went up into the mountain to pray and He continued all night in prayer to God. Before He did the teaching that has been called the Sermon on the Mount, He prayed all night. And when it was day, He called His disciples and He chose from them 12, whom He also named apostles and then of course they are named. And as Luke continues, He then lifted up His eyes and spake the words that we call the Sermon on the Mount.
And as Matthew has it, after going up to the mountain, "when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth and taught them (His disciples), saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven...."1 and so on. Or as it is in Luke's account, in the 6th chapter of Luke and the 20th verse: "...he lifted up his eyes on his disciples..." not on the crowd or multitude because at this time there was no crowd, there was no multitude there. He had gone up in the mountain to get away from the multitude. "...he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: Blessed are ye poor in spirit, for yours is the kingdom of God...." Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God, He said that His Kingdom was not of this world but of the world to come -- the World Tomorrow. This is not His world. Jesus did not try to straighten out this world or make it a better world. Jesus did not enter into politics and He did not try to overthrow the government of Caesar though He was accused of it. He didn't enter into the government of Caesar. He merely submitted to it and taught we should we pay taxes. That Caesar had a right to levy the taxes if he wished and we should submit. But not try to enter into the government or to take part one way or the other. How contrary that is from the way the churches are doing today. They certainly are not following His steps when they get into politics and do that sort of thing.
Well after these beatitudes as they have been called by men, these blessings under certain conditions I might just mention He had shown first those that mourn and next the meek and then those that hunger and thirst after righteousness they shall be filled. And I want you notice the things that come to those that are performing properly or doing these things. First, they shall inherit the earth. For theirs is the kingdom of God. They shall inherit the earth, they shall be filled, they shall be see God, they shall be called the sons of God. Theirs is the kingdom of Heaven or the kingdom of God. And great is your reward in Heaven. And we went through that yesterday. And I showed you that our reward is on reserve in Heaven but we don't go up there now to get. But when Jesus Christ comes at His Second Coming then He brings that reward with Him to give to every man here on this earth as his work may be.
Now, continuing with verse 13 in the 5th chapter of Matthew. And let's see if we can get on through this this time. Although this is, well it is absolutely I think recognized by everybody and is perhaps the greatest teaching that you can find any place. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ came and was born to be a king and He came to qualify for and later to sit on the throne of His father David. And before Jesus Christ ever preached a word, He submitted to the temptation of the Devil2, or rather entered into a great contest, a battle, if you please, the greatest war, the greatest battle ever fought in all the universe. Far greater than World War I or World War II or any wars that we humans know anything about. That was the battle for the rulership of the entire earth for eternity. We have had world wars where certain mortal kingdoms were trying to fight to conquer and to govern and to rule the whole earth, that's true. But this was the war that was to determine who was going to rule the earth. Because whether we see it or believe it or understand it or not, the invisible Devil, Satan the Devil, is the ruler of this dark world today and tonight.3 He rules it by his sway of influence and of deception, of hypocrisy of pretense and deceiving the people.4 And my, how the people of this world are deceived.5
And so Jesus came. First, He qualified by obeying God and refusing to obey the Devil and finally by giving the Devil a command and the Devil obeyed it and so Christ was in the driver seat.6 He commanded the Devil, the Devil obeyed Him. He only obeyed God and showed that He would carry out God's Government on the earth, the Government of God. That was the very purpose of His coming, not to annul the Government of God, not to do away with the laws of God, but to show that He would obey them and execute them and carry them out if and when He is made the ruler over this entire earth. Well, He qualified, He showed that He would. From that very second, Satan the Devil was disqualified. But Jesus didn't take over the throne. He wasn't inducted into office. He was not coronated as we might say as the King at that time. And so the Devil is still there and will be until Christ comes again and the Heavens have received Him until the times of restitution of all things.7 But Jesus said if I go, I will come again.8 Yes, He has gone to Heaven. He came my friends to proclaim the Good News of His Government, His coming Kingdom that will rule all the nations of the earth which is the World Tomorrow. But He didn't come to set it up at that time. And because some were believing that He was then and there setting up the Kingdom of God, He gave the parable that you find in the 19th chapter of Luke, of Himself as the young nobleman who was going to the far country, Heaven, to get for Himself a Kingdom and return showing that He would not set up the Kingdom or have it until He returned and He hasn't returned yet.
Now, the Kingdom of God is merely the Government of God. And God governs by His laws. Also, the Kingdom of God is the Family of God which we can be born into and become a part of. But flesh and blood cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. And no mortal human eye can ever even see the Kingdom of God. We can now be begotten as the children, the sons of God, through the Spirit of God, and then we can, if we grow in grace and in knowledge, if we overcome ourselves, if we continue in spiritual growth, we can finally be born of God until we'll be in His Family. And the Kingdom of God is that Family, it also is a government. It is a reigning Family, a ruling Family, it is the God Family, and God is ruler over His creation.
God is the Creator, yes. But by the very fact that He created not only static dead matter, but also forces and energies and powers and God directs them and sustains them and He rules the very Creation that He created. He didn't leave it and go off and leave it alone. He created a Creation that is in action, that has its laws that are moving. And it is God who directs all these laws.
Now, God set Spiritual laws in effect. They're invisible, you don't see them, they're spiritual and spiritual things are not seen, they're not heard, they're not felt, they're not even apparent to the human mind through any natural channel, because Spiritual things cannot be perceived by a human mind, naturally or normally. And I'll tell you why. Knowledge can come into the human mind only through the five channels of the five senses -- things that you can touch and feel or things that you can taste and smell and hear and see. And you can't discern anything about Spiritual things through any of those channels. And so very few people seem to understand spiritual truths for that reason.
Now, Jesus was talking about His Kingdom here in this sermon. He talked about this Kingdom of God. "He lifted up his eyes on His disciples, said, Blessed are ye poor. Yours is the kingdom of God." Now those that are meek will inherit, not Heaven, He said you'll inherit the earth. What are we going to inherit if we are saved? What is then the inheritance of the Christian? Not Heaven, He said it was the earth.
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, they shall be filled." And the merciful will obtain mercy. The pure in heart shall see God. And flesh and blood can't see God. You'll be changed into God. In other words, my friends, as Jesus said: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." And that's what we are. We we're born of the flesh. We are flesh. But "that which is born of the Spirit..." and God is the great Spirit, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit..." and God is Spirit, but man is not spirit. There's a spirit in man, but man is not spirit. The Bible says man is flesh, not spirit. And spirit and flesh are two different things. And if man is spirit, then the Bible is telling us a great lie when it says man is flesh. Because, flesh is not spirit.9
Yes, and He's talking here about the Kingdom of God. Again, He said in verse 10, "They that are persecuted for righteousness, theirs is the kingdom of Heaven....", but not in Heaven. The Kingdom that is owned by Heaven, governed from Heaven.
Now then, He continues here with verse 13, "Ye", speaking to His disciples. This does not pertain to the world, This does not pertain to the multitudes or the crowds. This does not pertain to the unconverted or the carnal-minded. This pertains to those that are the begotten children of God. Only those that are, as we say, converted, but what we call converted. And sometimes I think we pretty careless about the way we use that word. Because converted means changed and a lot of people that say, "Well, I was converted." think they're Christians, have never been really changed at all. We're not converted unless we have received the Spirit of God and the very nature of God has been implanted, impregnated within us by the Power of the Spirit of God. Otherwise, we just are not converted or changed. And when that happens, my friends, we are really changed. Then truly old things are gone and we don't care for them anymore and all things are become new. And the things that we once set value to and regarded as being important are now of no importance whatsoever. They seem rather silly and ridiculous. And the things that once seem foolishness to us are now very important. And we come to a sense of the true values. We come into true understanding and knowledge and wisdom. And the Holy Spirit, my friends, is the spirit of a sound mind -- an understanding mind.10
Now, He is speaking to those who are begotten when He says, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor", or its flavor, "wherewith shall it be salted?" Well, this earth then has no personality, it has no character, it has no flavor without the Christians and those that are real Christians. They are the ones that are following God and following Christ and following His example. And to have understanding, that have been begotten of Him, they are the flavor and the personality, you might say, of this whole earth.
Now, next He says, "You are the light of the world." And the only light in this dark world is what little light of the true Christianity there is today.
And you know what we find? You know human nature is merely a mixture of good and evil and the thing that Eve took in the Garden of Eden and that Adam also took with her was a tree, not of evil. Did you think it was just evil and sin that they took, that is that which is wrong and evil exclusively and altogether? Well, that is not true. What they took was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil -- good and evil. Now, good is wonderful but good mixed with evil is a very bad mixture. And that's what human nature is. It's a mixture of good and evil. Oh, yes, there is a lot of good in the worst and most hardened criminal. There is good in him if you can ever find it. But let me tell you something, the most sanctimonious person I have ever found has a lot of bad and a lot of evil in him or in her, too. Whether you have seen it or recognized it or not. I want to tell you it's there because there is human nature there. And there is evil, as well as good, in human nature. It's a mixture.
But this world is certainly in darkness. There's not much light in it. It has very little understanding. This world is all confused, it's mixed up. It is going the way that seems right to human eyes, but God says the way that seemth right to a man, the end thereof are the ways of death.11 And that's all we're finding is death and unhappiness, emptiness and poverty and suffering and fears and worries all over this world. That seems to be the curse of this whole earth. And my friends, it's only coming from ignorance, from warped thinking and from a lack of understanding and from a lack of the knowledge of the true values. And in other words, the world is groping in darkness.
Now, there's a little bit of light in this world. But it's such a little bit and such a small proportion, I tell you of those that have the light that the majority of the people on this earth don't even know it, they don't see any of that light. The only light there is is those who have the truth of God and who know the truth ... with those who think they're converted that have been deceived, many have. I'd say the overwhelming majority certainly have, if you really know the Truth. I know a lot of people not knowing are not going to see that and understand it, but God knows that's true and some day we shall all understand. But to those that were His disciples, He said "Ye". And He means you and me today if we have His Truth, if we have His Light. Because the Truth of God is Light and those that have His Truth are the only ones that have any light. It's the only light there is on earth.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under a bushel, but on a stand; and it shineth even unto all that are in the house. Even so", He said, "let your light shine before men..." Now what did He mean? Did He mean by that since you have the Truth and you have the knowledge of that which is true and it's the light of the world and Jesus said let it shine. Does that mean go out and open your Bible and stop people right down on the street and say, "Now look, I'm going to give you some light here. I'm going to give you some Truth." And try to argue them into the Truth? Is that what Jesus meant? Did He say go and argue, go and talk, go and explain? That isn't what He said. "...let your light shine before men; that they may", He didn't say hear your arguments but, "that they may see your good works..." But you know today, you're being told and you're hearing sermons and much preaching telling you there are no works to a Christian life. It's merely a faith, yes, an empty faith, but that's not the real Christian life, my friends.
Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men", how? "...that they may see your good works..." The way you live, the things you do and not the arguments or the way you talk. Don't try to argue anyone into the Truth, my friends. God gave each one a mind that is free and imbued with a principle of free moral agency. And God has given everyone the privilege, if they think it's a privilege, it really isn't, but shall we say, the right, but it isn't really very right, but the right, if you could use that word, to be wrong if anyone wishes to be wrong. God will not cram His religion down anybody's throat. You can believe what you please. You can disagree with me. And you know, I wouldn't cross the street to try to talk you out of it or argue in to believing my way. Because, I know that I just couldn't do that. You know you can't argue a mind into seeing the Truth of God, because the Truth is after all spiritual and the natural mind doesn't understand it anyway. It comes by actual revelation of God. And until God opens a mind to see it, a natural mind can't. You're wasting your time, you're wasting your breath and effort trying to argue anyone into the Truth or just talk them into it. You can't do it. That's one place where salesmanship in the usual sense does no good. The only kind of salesmanship that will win anyone over to God and to Jesus Christ is just what He says here, "that they may see your good works..." Men can really see that, if you will live the way God says, "...and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Now, He says, "Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets..." Well, a great many today that think He did. They say, "Why Jesus came to do away that Law." He says, "Think not I come to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill." Well, now a lot of them say that's true. He didn't destroy it, He merely fulfilled it.
And I heard an argument one time and this happen to be a preacher that had come to a person that had been converted under my preaching and he said, "Now look. I want to show you what that means." He said, "I owe you a dollar, or perhaps you owe me a dollar." And he said, "You come and pay me the dollar. You have fulfilled your obligation. You haven't destroyed it. You didn't annul it. You didn't do away with it. You merely fulfilled it. You paid me the dollar."
Now, if I come and ask you again for a dollar, why, you see, I think you would say, if I'd asked you for it a second time, you would say, "Why, no." I fulfilled my obligation, I don't have to do it anymore, it's already done. So he says you see that since Jesus fulfilled the Law we don't have to do, it's already done. Isn't that a wonderful argument?
Now, do you see through that my friends? That's a trick argument and it's a very deceptive one. He owed one dollar to be paid once. And when that one payment was performed according to the terms of the obligation, that's all there was to it.
But the Law of God, as we read back here in the 19th chapter of Psalms, the 19th Psalm. And also we can turn over here to the 111th Psalm. Let's turn over to that, the 111th Psalm. "The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." The works of His hands, Jesus, which was God, wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger on the tables of stone. The works of His hands. "All his Commandments", all 10 of them, that's what it's talking about, "are sure. They stand fast forever and ever..." "They stand fast forever and ever..."
Now, what's wrong with the Commandments of God? Are they so imperfect that Jesus had to do away with them? In the 19th Psalm and the 7th verse it says, "The law of the Eternal is perfect, converting the soul..." Oh, does that have anything to do with converting a person? It says so: "...converting the soul: the testimony of the Eternal is sure, making wise the simple."
You know, David said, "Oh how love I thy law."12 It was his meditation all the day and all of his waking hours. Well, today people seem to hate it and they like to think and to get the impression over that God is all wrong, and that man's ways are right, and that God's Law is harsh and stern and contrary to our best interests and against us and that Jesus did away with it.
Now, that makes Jesus merely the smart aleck that knew more than His Father. And just like a young man about 17 or 18 today, some of them. Some of them know more than their dads by age 14 or 15 and some by age 21. I think nearly everyone of us that is a man passed through the age when we knew more than our fathers. I did, I frankly confess. I found though, that after I was 32 years old and hadn't seen my father in 12 years since I had been 20 and I saw him at age 32, I was dumbfounded and amazed at how much my father had learned in those 12 years because by that time he knew more than I did but 12 years before when I was 20, I surely knew more than my dad. And that's the way it is. Well, a lot of people think Jesus was like that. But Jesus Christ said, "I have spoken nothing of myself; the Father that sent me gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." And Jesus said, "I have kept my Father's commandments." And He also said He'd set us an example that we should do as He did.
Now, He says here, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets..." Oh yeah, He came not to destroy but to fulfill. Now, let's get back to that. The Law was forever. Alright, I would like to do business with that preacher that talked about how fulfilled does away with a thing and yet doesn't do away with it. He's talking in double talk and riddles.
I would like to buy his automobile of him for, well, we'll say that his car is at least worth four or five hundred dollars. And I would pay him a hundred dollars, now, and a hundred dollars every week, forever, and as long as we live. So, I'd pay him the hundred dollars and take the car. And next week, he'd come back and he'd say now, I want another hundred dollars. "This is a Saturday. This is the day my hundred dollars is due again." And I'd say, "Oh no, uh-uh, no, I fulfilled my obligation. I paid you the hundred dollars last week. You see, according to your own argument, I have fulfilled the obligation. I don't have to perform it any further." And I'd get his car for one hundred dollars. Of course, he'd figured a hundred dollars a week and 52 weeks, he'd have 5,200 dollars on a car, might be worth five or six hundred dollars if it's an old car. And he would probably think he was going to cheat me but about the time he came around to collect his second hundred dollars, I think he would find that I am not going to pay it, according to his own argument, I fulfilled my obligation when I paid it once.
Now, the point I want to make is this. The original contract tells you how many performances it takes to fulfill the contract. And God's Law is something that is eternally in effect. It's continuous, day in and day out. Well, one commandment is every week, yes, every week. And a lot of people think that was done away too. A lot of people think, "Well, Jesus fulfilled it." Now, if God had said, "My Sabbaths, you shall keep for a number of Sabbaths up until the very time Christ is crucified." Why, then of course, it would have expired and would have ended at the time that He died on the cross. But it was ordained forever. I wonder if you ever noticed in Exodus 31, back here where it said that the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people forever. "...for in six days the Eternal made the heaven and the earth, and the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." And that it is a sign forever between God and His people.13 Well, that's every week forever. And that means forever, simply means eternally without ending as long as the factors concerned exist. The factors concerned there are the people and having day and night in their season or days and a day once a week every seven days that comes around.
By the way, I might mention once again if you want the truth on that matter write in for our booklet on the Sabbath. Which is the New Testament Sabbath?14 If you want to get that straightened out in your mind and not be troubled about it any longer. And then again, what about this thing of time being mixed up and what about the day on which God rested ... creation. Is there any way to know which day of the week that would be today? Write in for the booklet -- Has Time Been Lost? Has Time Been Lost?15 Ask for it by name.
Well, now I want you to notice, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you..." He didn't come to destroy but to fulfill and the Law was forever. And His fulfilling it merely set us an example that we should fulfill it. And do you know that in Romans 13:8, Love is the fulfilling of the Law and it is the Love of God shed abroad in our hearts and James says, "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture you do well." And if you don't you commit sin.16 So we must fulfill the Law or we commit sin and he goes on to mention two of the Ten Commandments as two of the parts or the points of the Law and says if you break one point you are guilty of all.17Now, here Jesus said, "For verily I say unto you, Until heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, until all be fulfilled" (or accomplished). In other words, until the whole world is fulfilling that Law. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments..." Which do you think is the least you don't want to keep? "Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" -- the Kingdom of God that'll be here on this earth. "For I say unto you, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into" it. Now, anyone that will try to break the least of them. But anyone that will keep the Commandments and teach them so will be great in the Kingdom of God. Now, my friends get your name and address in for the mailing list of the Plain Truth.18 You've never read a magazine like it. No subscription price if you tell me the name of the station to which you're listening. If you want to know what is prophesied for the future, you'll want this next number.
- Matthew 5:1-3. (back to text)
- Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13. (back to text)
- II Corinthians 4:4. (back to text)
- Ephesians 2:2. (back to text)
- Revelation 12:9. (back to text)
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- Proverbs 14:12, 16:25. (back to text)
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