The World Tomorrow -- Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong -- May 9, 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!
Yes, there is good news, if only we can understand it, and heed it. As I mentioned, however, yesterday, there are serious troubles -- financial troubles, family troubles, every other kind of trouble, sickness and disease, some kind of trouble, some kind of tremendous problem bearing down on the family of practically every one of you now listening. If it isn't hitting you personally, it's hitting somebody in your family.
And most of you think that you have troubles such as no one else has. You don't realize that in almost every other family, they may not have the same trouble, the same problem you do but they have theirs. And I tell you this world is far from the happiest place. At least it isn't a happy place. It isn't a happy place it ought to be.
How many times do you see cases of appeals for money of people who have spent all they had on doctor bills and hospital bills? They've been left destitute and broke and they have nothing and it's a pitiful case, and tears come to the eyes of people and they want to help, but, my friends, how needless all of this is. Why are we suffering like this? God Almighty didn't intend it. It was never intended for people to be sick. It was never intended for people to be in all of the troubles that they are.
Now, it's true, God permits certain things to come on us to try us and test us and to strengthen us but practically all of the suffering and all of the heartaches and all of the things that come upon us individually and collectively, the wars that are coming on this world and among nations and the individual trials and troubles and discouragements and things that are bearing down on people, are totally needless.
Do you know, my friends, that God at Creation set laws in motion to keep us healthy? Physical laws in our bodies which if we understood and observed would keep us healthy and we wouldn't have sickness or disease. We seem to think God made us so we had to get sick. Oh no He didn't. God made us so we would stay well if we obeyed His laws, which we don't want to do. God help us. What's wrong with us?
Why do we hear all the preachers trying to condemn the laws of God and tell you to disobey God's laws? And the very disobedience of those laws is bringing on you all these troubles and all the suffering and all this sickness and disease.
Now, sickness comes from the violation of the physical laws of our body. But other troubles, the ones that are even harder to bear come from violating the Spiritual Law of God that regulates our relationships with God and with our human neighbors.
This world doesn't need to go on suffering. It suffers only because it has lost the true Gospel. And I say to you once again, why have you not heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ? The message God sent by Him, the Gospel that He proclaimed, the Gospel He taught His disciples and which they went out and preached to the entire world. That was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
I mentioned it yesterday, how the word Gospel means good news and the Kingdom of God is the divine Family which is also the divine Government that shall rule the world tomorrow. But Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this time, this age. It is of the world tomorrow. This is the time when to bring about His purpose. God made man free moral agent and made man so he could reject the Government of God and go his own way and man has been doing it, and bringing on himself all these troubles.
The Law of God was set in motion to make us happy, to give us peace, to give us prosperity and joy until life is just bubbling over with interest and with happiness, every moment full, no emptiness. But what do we have? Empty lives, we have to find every kind of a pastime to while away our lives and get our minds off of how dull and how boresome life really is. And then we're so full of aches and pains and sufferings and heartaches and discouragements and frustrations. How many people often wish they could die and how many do go jump out of a window and fall down to the pavement below or pull a trigger of a gun and shoot a bullet through their head or something of the kind and others want to do it and then lack the courage. Oh, my friends, it's all so needless. God set laws in motion that would make things go right.
But it's because He made us so that we could defy His Laws and we're all doing it. Maybe not all of us, but the world as a whole certainly is. And that's all that's wrong with this world. And we're going to have peace on this earth but only after God sends Jesus Christ to rule with a rod of iron and to enforce the Government of God over mankind on this earth until the laws of God are ruling people and so that all organized government is the Government of God. And even then, in human lives, individually they'll still violate the laws of God every bit they can -- because the carnal mind is enmity against God and thinks God's Law is all wrong.
Why have you been deceived and sort of thought that the Law of God is a hard thing? Oh, we must get rid of that. And you think that Jesus Christ was a smart aleck that knew more than His Heavenly Father and came and did away with His Father's Law. Do you believe a nonsensical thing like that? Oh, I know they can take scriptures and twist them around here and there, some of them, and put a meaning on that isn't there and some of the scriptures are a little vague especially in the translations we have because they were written originally in the Hebrew language or the Greek language and especially some of the writings of the Apostle Paul. They can twist them around to make them say exactly the opposite of what Paul was saying and what he intended.
Well, the true Gospel that God sent by Jesus Christ and that He taught His disciples and that they taught to the world, that Gospel has not been preached for about a thousand eight hundred and fifty years on this world. That Gospel is the way to peace and prosperity and abundant joyful living and to health and to happiness, the way to eternal life. And eternal life living it in the most happy, useful possible condition -- abundant living. Oh, how well we could live if we only knew the way.
You know God wants us to enjoy all the good things of life. He want us to have beauty. God wants us to be prosperous. God wants us to find life a happy thing and not a burden and an empty thing and the way most people are living.
And yet, you know a lot of people say, "Well, that's a false prophet talking now." Would you rather go on suffering in your miseries, my friends, in your prejudices and go along like a dumb sheep and the oxen to the slaughter like all humanity is doing than to open your minds and search your own Bible and see who is preaching the truth of the Bible? Don't believe me, my friends! Don't believe your preacher! Don't believe any preacher! But listen to them. Listen to them, listen to me, open your Bible and open it on your knees and open up your heart along with it and ask God to reveal to you where the real truth is and what His Word does say. God will reveal it if your heart and your mind is willing. The trouble is we harden our hearts and we stiffen up our minds in rebellion because our minds are carnal until we surrender to God. They're enmity against God, not subject to His Law neither indeed can be.
I tell you my friends, when the religious leaders way, way, way back there, centuries and centuries ago took the Law of God out of the gospel that they were preaching, they took away the way of life, the way of everything that man desires. And people have been trying to get these things they desire some other way ever since. And what are they getting? All of this poverty, all of this hardship, all of this suffering, all of this sickness and disease and all of this emptiness that you see about you in the world today.
Just go down the streets in any city, any town, look at the people as they go by. Look at the tired, worn out expressions on the faces of the people. Look how unhappy they look. Look at the white anemic faces. The only thing that you'll find red on them is the paint that women put on their faces. It's about time maybe that some of we men began to paint up a little bit too, is it? Or is it good? What about it? You know why? It's because we have robbed, or the food industry has robbed our foods of that which would produce red cheeks and rosy lips. And the women try to paint it on and the men just look anemic. And the women are anemic if they don't paint. And they look tired and worn out, cross and they snarl around at each other because of some of the wrong things they eat and some of the stimulates that they take, and one thing and another.
Well, I want to tell you, when the religious leaders took the Law of God out of their message that they preached and turned to a different gospel, they took out everything that would have made the world happy. And I said yesterday and I say again, the churches ought to have the answer to the world's problems but they don't. They ought to have the influence that would solve all of these conditions but they seem to have lost their power. They have no solution because they have taken out of the very Word of God the one thing that offers the solution to it all.
Now, to learn what Gospel Jesus did preach, we're summarizing the first four Gospel books of the New Testament and we've come to the Sermon on the Mount, which Jesus was preaching to His own disciples. Seeing the multitudes, He went up into the mountain and He had prayed all night. And then of His disciples He chose twelve. And when He was set, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and taught them saying. And as Luke's Gospel has it, "He lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said, Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." He was speaking to His disciples.
As I explained yesterday, a multitude and a crowd came while He talking and by the end of His speech, they were there. But they were not at the beginning and this message called the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount, was not addressed to a multitude but to His disciples. "He looked on his disciples and said blessed are ye..." And, "He opened his mouth and taught his disciples saying..." It was to the disciples that He addressed this so-called great Sermon on the Mount.
Now, here we are and I want you to notice it. I want to go back to verse 17 once again. We had really gotten down to about verse 21, but I want to go back to verse 17 to pick it up or we're going to lose part of the story thread, where Jesus said, "Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets..." They all seem to think that He came to destroy it today. Did He come to destroy? He said I came not to destroy but to fulfill. And I've shown you the last two broadcasts that James says that we must follow His example and also fulfill the Law.
And Paul writes to us in Romans 13:10 that "love is the fulfilling of the law..." And it's the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God is God's Law in action in our lives, that's what it is. And unless you with the Spirit of God in you are actually fulfilling the Law of God and living according to all ten of God's Commandments, I want to tell you, you do not have the Holy Spirit of God. I don't care with what tongues you have spoken. I don't care with what charity you give to people. I don't care what else you have, you are not speaking according, you do not have the Law of God and whatever tongues you've spoken with are not those of the Holy Spirit of God but of different spirit altogether or some deception or something, unless the Spirit of God in you is fulfilling the Law of God. Because that is what the Spirit of God will do, to open your mind to understanding so you'll understand the Law of God and that you should obey it. And that it is God's will, not ours, that must be done. That God is only one with a mind great enough to know the right way for human beings to follow. God gave us minds. Animals don't have minds. They can't think like we can. They can't plan and carry out their plans to execution. We have part of the creative powers. God has given us a little of His own power of mind and thinking and making decisions and acting and doing, but only a little. Our minds are not capable of getting a right understanding. God's mind is the only one that is perfect and can think out the right way for us to live. Man for 6,000 years has been trying to think out the way that seemed right and reasonable and best to him and it's only been causing all this trouble that we have all over the earth.VOICEOVER:
Herbert W. Armstrong will return in a moment. But first, this offer concerning literature of related interest.
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Now, isn't about time that we began to realize that our minds have their limitations and that we have not seen this picture clearly. We have not known the way of life. And that God alone knows it and that God in His great love for us, His created beings has revealed His truth and His way to us, if we would only open up our minds and put down our stubborn rebellion against the God that loves and created us and quit turning around the very thing that our Saviour came and said in the message He brought us and accept it as it is. Then we could begin to find some happiness and some peace and prosperity because God's will for us is every enjoyment and happiness and rightful pleasure in the world. God would never take away anything that is good or any pleasure that is right and good and yet most people today think that the only things worth living for are the pleasures that God denies and that God's Law is hard and harsh and stern and contrary to our interests.
Oh, I want to tell you those that have been leading the blind in that direction and perhaps they're blind themselves, they're going to fall in the ditch. Their blindness won't save them. If the blind lead the blind they're both going to fall in the ditch. And if they're blind, they don't know any better, that's true. And maybe they're sincere and maybe they're honest. They're blinded. Yes, they're deceived. A deceived man is usually honest. The man who is not honest isn't deceived. He knows he's wrong and deliberately does that way.
Now, we are suppose to fulfill the Law of God and it is the love of God in our hearts that does it. And James said that if we break the great law, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself", you're committing sin. And if we break one point of it we're guilty. And he went on to mention that the Law has points. He mentioned two of them and they were two of the Ten Commandments. And if you don't break one of those points or one of those commandments, but you do break the other one you've committed sin. It doesn't make any difference which one you break, it doesn't make any difference which one you think is the least, if you break it, you have committed sin and the penalty of sin is death -- eternal death -- eternal punishment -- the punishment is death.
Now then, we come to this. "Verily, I say unto you," Jesus said, "Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law..." That is not the crossing of a "t" or the dotting of an "i" shall "pass from the law until all be fulfilled." That is we are to fulfill the Law and everybody will be fulfilling it. And the whole earth will at last lie in peace, the very cypresses will exalt and the flowers and the trees will rejoice when finally all people are living according to the Law of God. Why, it's only when the nations come up to the Kingdom of God and say, "Let's find His ways and walk in His paths" and "the law is going forth from Zion" that they'll begin to "beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruninghooks, and nations shall not lift up sword against nation and they'll learn no more" as you read in the very fourth chapter of Micah. Yes, and you'll find it's when the nations are keeping the Commandments of God and not until then that we'll have world peace.
"Whosoever therefore," continued Jesus, "shall break one of these least commandments." Which do you think is the least? Which is the one you don't want to keep? Are there nine of them that you're willing to do and some of them say that Jesus knocked them all in the head and killed them all and then the Apostles, I guess contrary to Jesus, brought nine of them back or something. There is one of them they don't like. Well, maybe that's the least.
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and tell men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven." Doesn't say he'll be in the Kingdom though but those who are there will call him the least. Now, that shows He's talking about keeping the Law of God -- the Ten Commandments -- the spiritual Law.
"Whosoever shall do and teach them," which I do my friends, and you call be a false prophet? What did Jesus say? "Whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Now, I'd rather do and teach them and teach you and be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven and let you call be a false prophet, if that's what you would like to do because I'm not serving you, I'm preaching to you. I'm serving God and I'm serving Him as faithfully as I know how and as He gives me to serve Him.
And I don't beg for your money on the air, if you've ever noticed. I look to God in prayer and in faith and He supplies it. And yet we started in poverty with absolutely nothing. We were getting three dollars a week salary believe it or not and had to give that up in order to serve God. My wife had to climb cherry trees to pick cherries up in Oregon to keep our children alive while I went out and preached the Gospel. And we trusted God and we have never asked men.
Jesus said, "Many false prophets are gone out into the world today." And you need to discern who they are and which ones. You need to open up your mind and surrender your heart to God and get down on your knees and find out what is the truth of God and you'll find it in your Bible. And if they don't speak according to this Word, there's no light in them.
Listen, my friends, God gives you one little test. If a man uses the prophecies of God to foretell events before they happen and then it happens, you know that that man is a minister sent from God. But if they can't do it and thing they prophecy never comes to pass, then you know that God didn't send them. You know that for fifty years I have been saying that Russia is not going to attack the United States. They would if they could. Don't misunderstand me. Communism is an enemy of God, it's an enemy of the United States and they would attack us tomorrow if they thought they could get away with it. And I have no more use for Communism than the most rabid anti-Communist. And I am very thankful I'm free to say that over the air now which I was not free to say during World War II. But now we can say it. Now, we're beginning to find out why some of us couldn't say what we knew about Russia during World War II. We're beginning to find out the influences that were high in the government of the United States by the investigations going on now. However, I'm not interested in politics. I'm interested in the Kingdom of God and the Government of God that is going to bring peace and happiness and joy to this human family and that's the only kind of government that I'm interested in. And I'm just looking on the sidelines on all the rest of it.
But then again, I have said, my friends, and been saying all along that there will be a United States of Europe -- that Europe is going to unite. And that there will be a union of church and state in Europe and there'll be one great super government there and it will be fascist in its system. And it will be that thing coming up that will prevent Communism from attacking us. And it will move much faster than the Communists move. And because it moves so much faster, they will attack us before the Communists do. Alright, you just look in your Bible and see for yourself.
Now, Jesus said, "I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away one jot or title shall in no wise pass from the law till all things be accomplished," or all be fulfilled, and "whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Now, he continued. Now, let's notice how He put a magnifying glass on the Ten Commandments and magnified them. You know that Isaiah said that when He came He wouldn't do away with the Law of God, He would magnify it and make it honorable. And that's exactly what He did and yet today you're hearing that He did exactly the opposite. Well, read your own Bible my friends and see what the Bible says instead of what enemies of God's Word or those who are deceived are saying.
Now, verse twenty-one, Matthew five, "You have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill..." Now, that's one of the Ten Commandments. Now, watch Jesus magnify it and bring it out. In those old days according to the strict letter, a man wasn't killed, you hadn't committed murder until his last breath stopped, his heart stopped beating, I mean, and the man was completely pronounced dead. Alright, but Jesus said, "And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment...", and so on. But Jesus said, "I say unto you," watch Him magnify that Law, "that everyone of you who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Racca..." Now, that has been interpreted as thou fool. It's a Hebrew expression actually, moreh, a Hebrew expression of condemnation, condemning another. "...shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be danger of hell fire" or "shall say unto him Thou fool, shall be in danger of Gehenna fire." Now, there the Hebrew word, or the Greek word rather...
I went into that the other day about the word "hell" and how, the word we were on the other day was "hades", which means merely "the grave". Now, here the word is not hades but is "Gehenna" which does refer to a fire that burned up everything that was put into it. The things put in there didn't keep burning and burning but the fires were kept burning by putting more and more fuel onto the fire all the time. But the things put in there were consumed, they were totally destroyed, annihilated and that was the very thing that Jesus used as an example.
Now, continuing here in verse twenty-seven, Jesus took another Commandment. He said, "You have heard it said, Thou shalt not commit adultery:" Now, until someone had committed the actual act of adultery it wouldn't have been adultery in the strictness, technical sense in the letter of the Law. But Jesus said, "I say unto you, That everyone that looketh after a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Oh, He carried it clear to the very spirit and principle of the Law, way beyond the technical letter.
Now, even hatred against another is murder in the heart. And even lust in the heart, that is sex lust, becomes adultery according to the way Jesus magnified the Law.
Well, I see my time is about up.
And so finally, listen. If you are to attain to the glory that is your potential destiny, to really fulfill the tremendous purpose for which you were put here on this earth, you must not only surrender unconditionally to God in real repentance and receive Jesus Christ as personal Savior, you must be changed, converted by continual overcoming and by growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You must, as Jesus Christ said, actually live by every word of God -- that is by every word of the Bible. The very first business of your life, ahead of everything else ought to be the study of your Bible. You need to enroll for the Ambassador College Bible Course by correspondence and study it in your own home.
So, listen carefully. If you want to really understand the Bible, if you are willing to set yourself to devote a half hour or more every day to the study of your Bible with this wonderful Bible study course, then we will start sending you the lessons by mail. We're not charging any tuition. We mail it to you without charge, trusting God by faith to supply the need. Many thousands are taking this correspondence course. On request, you will be enrolled to receive a new lesson every month. I am quite sure that you have never seen a Bible study course that will even compare with the Ambassador College correspondence course. First of all, it will take you through those vital prophecies revealing our tremendous world upheaval present and what now lies on immediately ahead in this world. It will make plain to you the purpose that God is working out here below. You will see it in your own Bible. It will make clear such subjects as: salvation, the original creation, all doctrinal questions. But the one textbook is your Bible and you'll have to be willing to devote sufficient time to really study it if you hope to fully comprehend and clearly understand it. And remember, this is non-denominational. So now, request your first lesson of the Bible Correspondence Course.
And so now, this is Herbert W. Armstrong saying goodbye friends.