The World Tomorrow -- Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong -- May 24, 1979 -- The Bible's and Christ's Authority
THE WORLD TOMORROW
Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the Plain Truth about today's world news and the prophecies of The World Tomorrow
The Bible's and Christ's Authority
And greetings friends, this is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
Well, now let's get on with this series to see just why it is that you have not been hearing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've been hearing a gospel about the person of Christ. We've heard a lot about what a wonderful man He was. We've heard Him deified. We have heard that He's worthy of worship. We've heard a lot about Him. But we have not heard very much about the message He preached. And He was sent with the message which is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is the New Testament message and the only Truth of God.
Now, we're up in Matthew, the eleventh chapter and beginning here with the twenty-fifth verse: "At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and the prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight." The real truths, my friends, are not revealed to the wise and the prudent.
Why is it that in this world men of the greatest education are groping in the dark, groping for the unknown and they will say, "Well, who can know? Who can know? We can't even know whether there is a God." Why is it that the wisest men, apparently, and the ones with the most education when it comes to the real depth of knowledge, know the least? I'll tell you why, my friends. Knowledge can come into your mind only through five channels or five avenues naturally. So far, as any natural processes are concerned, you know nothing in your mind except that which has come through your eyes or knowledge that has been transmitted through your ears or through the sense of smell or taste or feeling. Can you tell me any other way that knowledge by any natural, normal process can ever enter the human mind? There is none.
Now, the real truths are hidden from a natural mind. The real truths, the real essential basic knowledge that we need, the principles of life, the real way of life and how to live, the way to peace, the knowledge of why we were born, the knowledge of the purpose of our being here and how we can fulfill that purpose, the knowledge of the way to the peaceful, the happy life will not come by any process know naturally to man.
Take the wisest man on earth today, take the most educated people that we have, men of great learning, who have done a great deal of graduate work in our greatest universities, men with doctors' degrees and many other degrees and many letters after their names. Every one of those men when they are born knew absolutely nothing. When you're born, your head's rather small and there is no knowledge that you're conscious of whatsoever and everything that has come into the minds of our so-called most learned men on the face of the earth has entered those minds since they were born and every particle of knowledge that has entered those minds has come through the eyes, things seen, through the ears, things heard or through the sense of taste or smell or feeling. Now, how are you going to see or hear or smell or taste or feel the knowledge of the purpose for which humanity was put here on this earth? How are you going to know those invisible spiritual laws that regulate your real happiness? How are you going to find the way?
Do you know why we don't have any world peace? Do you know why the greatest men of this earth, the great statesmen of the great nations get together and they try to get together and they try to bring about world peace. Oh, how long they've been trying it. Some of you may be old enough to remember back to the time of the Hague Conference and then many of you can remember the Pact of Paris or the Kellogg Pact that was signed outlawing war (let me see, that must of have been back about 1927) and we had the League of Nations. (Let's see that was prior even to the Pact of Paris, wasn't it?) The League of Nations and now we have the United Nations and we've had every plan in the world.
Now, General Marshall the former Secretary of State was given a great prize for his contribution in the Marshall Plan -- that was considered a great thing. Well, it may have helped some but it is not a way to world peace and it is no guarantee of world peace because we have no such guarantee now.
We're still living in sort of a fright and a fear of Russia and well may we because as I have said many times the Russians would spring at our throats and they would attack us and conquer us and blast us to oblivion any day they thought they could get away with it. And the only reason that Russia has not attacked the United States and started World War III is because the Russians have been convinced they could not win. If they thought, if they were convinced they could win, and didn't think they were taking too big a risk, they would find an excuse to start the war. You don't need to worry about provoking a war. You can't provoke the Russians into a war unless or until the Russians are convinced they can win and then they'll find a way to provoke it instantly because they want to conquer the world and that's all they're planning to do -- to conquer and rule the world their way. And their way happens to be as I think we all should know in this country the wrong way and we don't want to see it happen.
On the other hand, are we sure that we have the right way. We talk about our American way of life. Well, has that brought us peace? Is our American way, after way, are there any flaws in that? Is it perfect? Well, I'll say it's immeasurably better than the Communist way. I don't want any of that way. I don't think any of us do. But maybe our way would stand a little improvement.
There is more crime in the United States than any nation on the face of the earth today. Why? There's something wrong. We have a very wonderful and altruistic attitude toward other nations. Nationally, we have a wonderful and I might say a more or less truly Christian attitude toward other nations, as a nation, but as individuals what do we do? You know what we do, we go around lying to each other, cheating each other, trying to take advantage of each other, trying to overcharge or short weight others, trying to get the best of a bargain and we don't care what happens to the other fellow, most of us. I hope that doesn't apply to you or me but it does apply to a lot of people, you know that. We have not found the way.
And the reason that we have no peace in the world is that the world does not know the way of peace. I don't care how many great scholars or great politicians or great statesmen you have, they do not know the way of peace and they haven't been able to produce it and they cannot concoct any way to do it because the way to peace is a spiritual principle that is not evident to the human eye, that can't be heard through the human ear, that can't be tasted or felt or smelled and the knowledge of that way does not come into the minds of our great world leaders, they don't know the way. "The way of peace," as God Almighty says in His Word, "they know not..."
Now, in such a state you would think that the churches should give us the solution. The churches should be able to point the way. And my friends, if they were the Church that Jesus Christ said He would build, if they were the true churches of God, of which Jesus Christ is the living Head, they would be able to show the nations and the statesmen the way. They would be that wonderful sustaining and stabilizing influence and give the influence of leadership and of advice that would point the way. But the leaders and the churches don't know the way either, because unfortunately, whether they like to acknowledge it or not, they still are normal mortal men that are restrained to the knowledge that can come into their minds by the five senses.
Now, my friends, there's only one way you can come to the real essential knowledge. What are we? Why are we? How did we come to be here? What are the laws that affect our living? What would make us happy and just what is happiness? How can you achieve it? What is the way of peace? What is the way of world peace? God Almighty knows and God Almighty reveals it in His Word the Bible but somehow men don't comprehend it. God Almighty has hidden these things from the so-called wise and prudent of this world and He will reveal them only to those that spiritually and from the point of view of humility become babes. I wonder if you ever realized that. And I am talking now about knowledge that so far transcends the knowledge as result of which a doctor's degree is conferred in the great institutions of learning. I'm talking now about knowledge that far supersedes that kind of knowledge, I'm talking now about the knowledge that really is worth something, the knowledge of how to be happy, the knowledge of how to be successful, the knowledge of how to have peace and peace of mind, the knowledge for instance of how to get yourself healed if you're sick, the knowledge of how to always have the guidance that will give you good wisdom to make the right decisions in all the problems of life. You know you could have all of that? You know that our great men could have it? And they would pay millions of dollars to get it if they could get it from any material source but you can't get it from a material source. It comes only from the great spiritual source, God Almighty, and if they knew God, if they really knew the Savior Jesus Christ. And you can't know Him unless you accept His message.
He came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and He said, "The time is at hand. Repent ye and believe what? He said believe the Gospel." My friends, how can they believe a Gospel they never even heard in this day and age. I ask you, how can they believe a Gospel when they have not heard it and when it isn't being preached and when even the religious leaders don't know that Gospel or if they do they reject it and they don't want anything to do with it. The Gospel that Jesus Christ preached was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of God is the Government of God, the Rule of God.
And God rules by His Law. And He has a great Spiritual Law that would rule us. But that is a Law that you can't see and you can't hear, feel or smell or taste. That is a law that can't be revealed to the human mind or the efficacy of it or the practical sense of it or anything else to a natural mind, until we come to the place that we see just what we are and come to abhor ourselves and to really repent and to realize our nothingness and that we're not so great as we in our vanity have thought we were and to realize the Great One who is God and to humble ourselves before Him and to repent even as Job did when he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes.
And when we can descend down in the gutter that have we brought ourselves down into and then repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, following a real repentance and ask Him to lift us up and to give us His Way and to show us His way and His Law and to reveal it, God will send His Holy Spirit.
And the Holy Spirit of God is like another sense. I won't say a sixth sense because it is more important than the other five all put together. It's like five more senses all wrapped up into one and then some. And the Spirit of God, my friends, will open your mind to understand what is written in the Bible.
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HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG:
Men have not understood the Bible. If they understood the Bible it would have shown them the way to God, it would have shown the way so that our great men our multi-millionaires could have the advice and the counsel and the guidance of God in all their great decisions which they lack. They're making a lot of mistakes they wouldn't need to make. It would show them the way to be healed when they're sick instead of spending fortunes on doctor bills and hospitals. It would show them the way to have every need supplied, to deliver them out of every trouble. Of course, we're going to get into these troubles. We're going to have our problems, that's life, God intended that. God ordained it, because we're here for a purpose and that's necessary to fulfill our purpose.
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Eternal, the God of Heaven, delivereth the righteous out of them all" -- if we only knew it. We could be delivered out of everything. There is a way out of it. My friends, have you found that way? And it costs you nothing except your own surrender to God and your obedience.
Now, why is it that they don't know? Why is it they don't have this understanding? And how could they have it? It cannot come to a natural mind because real understanding is a spiritual understanding -- real comprehension that goes so much deeper than this superficial knowledge that we acquire in the colleges and universities and from the books written by men on which as I say doctors' degrees and lesser ones and occasionally even greater ones. I think there are some that are greater. I know of one conferred over in Europe that a man that I know had received that is higher than his doctor's degree.
Well, we read here in the hundred and eleventh Psalm the way, here it is, listen.
"The works of God's hands are verity and judgment." Now, what did He do with His hands? One thing, He wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger, with His own hand, on tables of stone. Is that what it means? Well, let's read the next words. "The works of God's hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure." That's the same sentence. That's the last half of that same sentence. In the same breath, the same sentence, that it speaks of what He did with His hands, it says all His commandments are sure. That's all of them and not nine of them and not two or three of them but all of them. "They [all of them] stand fast forever and ever and are done in truth and uprightness."
Well, now, what are you going to do in a land where practically every minister and every church denomination and every church man will tell you that those commandments do not stand forever and ever; when he tells you that God's a liar when He wrote that in the Bible, God didn't know what He's talking about.
Well, you know God calls him a liar too, incidentally. I'm not calling anybody a liar. I don't want you to misunderstand me. I'm just telling what the Bible says. But over here in I John 2:4 you will read this in the New Testament and near the very end of your New Testament. "...hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." You know, a lot of men will say they know God.
A minister stopped me on the street one day and he tried to pick an argument and he was in a very angry mood. And he said I was all wrong about teaching that we should obey God and keep His Commandments. He said, "Don't you know that those Commandments are nailed to the cross?"
I said, "No, I don't know it and neither do you."
"Well," he said, "I do know it." And he waxed hot.
I said, "Look, do you know the Lord?"
He says, "Oh yes. Praise His name, I know the Lord."
I said, "Do you keep His Commandments? Do you keep the Commandments of God?"
"No, sir," he says, "I certainly don't."
"Well, now, look. It says right here: 'hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.'"
How did that man know he knew the Lord when he didn't keep His Commandments?
"He that saith, I know him [that man said it] and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." He doesn't even know the Truth. He hasn't got it in him. There you are.
Now, we get back here to the hundred and eleventh Psalm and the tenth verse says, "The fear of the [ETERNAL] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments..." -- those that surrender to obey God.
You know how you get the Holy Spirit of God? God says that He gives His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. And He will not give His Holy Spirit to any who do not obey God and who do not repent of their disobedience, otherwise you just can't get the Holy Spirit. Acts 5 verse 32, fifth chapter, thirty-second verse of the book of Acts, "...we are witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.", and only them; otherwise, my friends, you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and you can worship Him even, but you can worship Jesus Christ in vain. Did you know that?
Turn to the seventh chapter of Mark and notice it. "Jesus answered and said to [the Pharisees He was talking to there], Well hath Elias [or Elijah] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." They honored Christ. People honor Christ today but their hearts are far from Him. "Howbeit", He said, "in vain do they worship me..." Now, here were people that honored Him with their lips. Here were people that worshipped Christ. And you say today, why you couldn't worship Christ and not be saved, could you? Oh yes, you could. Can you do it all for nothing, all in vain? Yes. He said, "This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me..." How? "...teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." And a little later He said, "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do." That's in verse thirteen in the seventh chapter of Mark.
Now, I tell you, my friends, there's only one way you can ever come to really understand the Bible. Why is it so many people say, "I just can't understand the Bible"? Why did Bruce Barton call it the book that nobody knows? We can understand it. But you can only understand it if you have the Spirit of God.
This much I know, I never understood the Bible as a young man. I had to thirst for understanding. I wanted understanding in general. I didn't mean understanding of the Bible, I just wanted to understand. I used to read Socrates and I used to read Plato and I used to read Epictetus and Aristotle between the ages of sixteen and twenty, I delved into a lot of those things -- the old ancient Greek philosophers. I craved understanding, but some how I didn't get very much from them.
And I remember that after we were married, my wife and I decided that when we were newly married that we should read the Bible clear through. So we started to read it clear through. I didn't have a Bible but I remember that my mother sent us one very shortly after we were married. And so we began to read the Bible through. But you know I didn't understand it.
Did you ever hear yourself talk backward? You come over to our radio studio sometime and I'll record what you say and then we'll run it backward and you can hear yourself talking backwards and really you'll have a good laugh -- it's a funny thing. Well, what I'm getting at is this, you can't understand a word. It sounds like I'm talking Russian but I'm really not. I doubt very much if any Russian would understand it. But when I talk backwards that is, when the tape's running backward. But I didn't understand any more of the Bible than you can understand that kind of...some kind of a scratchy noise that doesn't make any sense. It was just like reading a lot of bla, bla, bla or blah, blah, blah or something that made no sense to me, I couldn't understand a bit and I just said, "Well, I just can't understand the Bible." How many of you have said that?
And so I did feel, however, that there would be a blessing if we read it through. Now, that was more a less a superstition. If I got nothing out of it, if I got no understanding or comprehension out of it, if I didn't learn anything by it, it didn't open my understanding to do anything I ought to do or guide me or anything of the kind, I question the value; there may have been some, but here was the thing, to me it was a superstition and I confess that now. To me I thought God was some kind of monster that was out to get me and He might harm me if I didn't please Him, but it might please His vanity and if I read the Bible at least that was pleasing to Him and then maybe He wouldn't punish me quite so hard and He might even bless me and help me to get more business and make more money. That's the way I looked at it then as a young man.
And so, I had my wife do the reading because she's a rapid reader and I'm a slow reader. And she could read just about twice as fast as I could. And I figured we'd read more in the same amount of time and I'd get bigger blessing because the more I read the better God would like it. I didn't get anything out of it but maybe God did and it was purely a superstition. I don't know whether we ever finished reading it clear through, I believe we did because my wife was a rapid reader and we kept it up for a few years I think and I guess we got through with it alright. But it didn't mean anything. I could not understand it.
Now, it was after we'd been married a few years and I had past thirty, just past thirty a little ways and my wife took up with something that to me was the most fanatical thing I'd ever heard of and I thought that she really had gone into a fanaticism of religion. Now, my wife had been converted and she did understand the Bible, but I didn't. Well, this upset me and I tried to argue her out of it because I began to think what are my business associates going to say? What are my friends going to say? I was so concerned of what they would say if any of that what I thought was religious fanaticism came into my home. This had something to do about keeping the Commandments of God and none of the churches did it and I was ashamed of it. Well, I couldn't talk my wife out of it and it was causing trouble between us.
And finally, I challenged her. I said, "Now, look, you can't tell me all these churches are wrong. I know there's some reason why they believe what they do and I'll tell you what. I'll make you a proposition. I will study the Bible. I will analyze this subject and I'll look it up in the Bible and I'll go into it and study it as I have never studied anything in my life. And I'll show you why this is fanaticism and why all the churches are right and why you're wrong, I said, provided that when I prove it to you that you'll give it up."
And she said, "Why, yes, if you'll prove it to me out of the Bible, I'll give it up."
So, I began to study. And I found I was in for a bigger study than I thought. And it took me with my carnal, unconverted mind six long months of study and I spent sometimes as much as fifteen or eighteen hours a day in constant study. I went to histories. I went to encyclopedias. I went to the public libraries. I went to the original Greek and Hebrew languages. I read in the commentaries. I went to the Bible dictionaries. I began to learn about the lexicons and getting the definition of Greek and Hebrew words into English. I went to the grammar of the Greek New Testament. I studied backwards and forwards. I got the literature of the churches trying to knock this thing in the head that my wife had taken up. I did everything I could, but you know after six long months -- it took me a long time to find what had been revealed to my wife in her converted mind in about perhaps ten or fifteen minutes of seeing some scriptures -- it took me six months to get it through my thick carnal mind.
And finally the question came to me -- was I going to fear God and keep His Commandments, would I surrender to obey God and to do what He had shown me was right or did I think more of what people thought of me and would I rebel against God as nearly all humanity has done since Adam? Well, it was the hardest struggle that I had ever had, it was the biggest thing I'd ever faced in my life and in the end I gave in and I surrendered to God.
And I want to tell you that when I did that and when I was baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of sins from that minute I studied the Bible and it made sense and I could begin to understand it and before that I never could. I have experienced it, I know what I'm talking about. From that time I could begin to understand a little at a time, but I had to grow in knowledge -- that's been a long time ago. You can understand but you'll have to pay the same price I did. Nobody can get it any other way and God will reveal it.
So, God has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent. He reveals them to us who surrender to Him and become like babes. How about you? Oh, you don't know the blessings that you could get if you would and the only price you pay is to give yourself to God that you'll have to do.
Listen, my friends, write for our booklet The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy and the nations of northwestern Europe included in that. Now, there's no charge whatsoever.
And so, now, this is Herbert W. Armstrong saying goodbye friends.