Sermon (October 8, 1981)

by Herbert W Armstrong


Brethren, the day before yesterday, in the matter of a moment, world history suddenly changed. The assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt followed somewhat closely on the heels of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan of the United States and Pope John Paul ll. How many more assassinations are going to follow? For the first time in world history, the weapons of mass destruction now exists that can annihilate every one of us. Can erase all humanity, all human life from off the face of this planet earth. I don’t think we realize that, I don’t think we take that seriously. We hear it, ‘yeah, just something to talk about.’ It isn’t real. Well, I will tell you, the assassination of President Sadat was real.

Less than a year ago, I sat next to him and talked to him for quite a little while. I told him about the Kingdom of God. I told him about the Law of God and the way of life. He sat there smoking his pipe and nodding, agreeing with what I said. President Sadat had a different name for the same God. He used the name Allah and when I said that the God that you recognize, Allah is the same that we recognize as God he nodded, ‘Yes’. Now this thing was real so far as he is concerned and it happened within about a month of the time I expected to sit there in the Giza Palace in Cairo speaking to him again. Already had the trip planned, already had talked to his chief minister, that is the chief advisor, who is the chairman of the national council. And is the closest man to the President, but not in the political sense, he will not succeed him in office, Dr Hatem.

But these things ought to wake us up and ought to cause us to realize what kind of a situation we are in now. Now watching world events as we have been doing, I have been right on top of it all of the time watching it very, very closely. It would seem for the last fifteen years that God has been holding up the progress of events in the world, that they had not continued to gain momentum quite as fast as they had prior to that time although they had continued.

War In Heaven

But now all of a sudden it seems that we have hit the time that you read of here in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation and beginning with verse seven. John was writing here the things that were revealed to him on the Isle of Patmos. He was seeing things that are now in our time shortly to come to pass. His vision was focused in the time. Most of the events speaking in the present tense are events that were occurring along about the time of 1934 and 1935 and six along in those years. Shortly after the start of this era of the Church of God which started in 1933. Here is one of the things shortly to come to pass. It speaks of it as if it already had happened in the past tense.

And there was war in heaven, Michael the arch angel and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world…

Brethren I wonder if you realize, that means you and it means me. We have been deceived. Can you realize that? He deceived you. He deceived me. God has opened our eyes to that deception. I hope he’s opened all of our eyes. I hope we’re not still blinded. But the god of this world has blinded the eyes of the world lest they see the true gospel of Christ. Anyway.

Which deceiveth the whole world he was cast out into the earth and his angels, who are now demons, were cast out with him. And the demons are in the earth and have been now for some time. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation. People think that salvation comes when they say, ‘I receive Christ. I get Christ. I appropriate Christ.’ They are not getting salvation at that time. Jesus Christ said He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

You’re not saved now. You’re only begotten. Salvation comes with the second coming of Christ to those who have been begotten. No one is born again until the time of the resurrection. And oh how deceived this world is about things of that sort. How deceived they are.

I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, Now is come salvation and strength and the Kingdom of our God. (Government) The Kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ. They don’t talk about the power of Christ in the religions of this world. They picture him as a weakling, a sissy, just a weak kind of a man who was perhaps a sort of a hippy of some kind. But this speaks of the power of his Christ.

For the accuser of our brethren has been cast down which accused them before God day and night.

And they overcame him with the blood of the Lamb and with the word of their testimony; That’s the word of our own testimony, that we testify. And they loved not their lives unto death. That doesn’t mean they were all killed.

Anwar Sadat loved not his life to death that is he was willing to risk it for what he saw to be peace. He didn’t have the understanding and the truth that you and I have. He had only what he had gained through the Koran and the Muslim religion. But as far as he saw, he wanted peace and he did risk his life and he made that trip in 1977 to declare peace instead of declaring war in visiting the Knesset in Jerusalem and speaking with and giving forth the hand of peace before the Israelis in Jerusalem. He not only risked his life, he gave it the day before yesterday. I sent a telegram to that effect also to his widow, the first lady, Mrs Sadat.

And when the Dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which had brought forth the man child. And to the woman… now, he has already started that and that has happened to us, the Church, the true Church of God. And he usually persecutes through government, the governments of this world. I’m going to say more about that in just a moment. To the woman… now we are getting into what is just ahead of us now, were given the two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness unto her place were she shall be nourished for a time, times and half a time. That is a period of three and a half years. from the face of the serpent. This church will be protected. Now there is a remnant church to follow. We are the Philadelphia era and the last remnant church is to follow us, the Church of Laodicea.

Why Are We Here Today?

Now brethren why are we here today? This time of crisis in the world. We’re here because God has commanded us here. It’s like He has a refresher course going every year. Now we have a refresher course going here on campus for the ministers of this Church. And I think it is one of the finest things that have ever happened to the ministry of the Church of God. Before that we had had Ministerial Conferences calling all of the men here and was more of a social gathering or something, and it did not bear fruit. But now we are calling a smaller number at a time, 35, 45 or 50 ministers and their wives. And they are here for a refresher course and they are absolutely enthusiastic about it. Now, we are going to have that refresher course about every year and a half or so. It will start all over again the first of the year and that’s almost a year and a half before it started the first time. So the ones that will be coming here, probably in January, will be those who did come about a year and a half or so ago. Not the ones who most recently came. But God gives us a refresher course every year beginning with the Passover in the spring and on through all of these Holy Days to remind us once again of the same thing over and over and over, lest we ever forget it.

Now we are here today to realise something that I want to bring to you. Ten days ago we observed the Feast of Trumpets. I observed them to a large gathering, actually a larger gathering than I see before me here, but I’m not sure that it’s larger than we have here today because we’re gathering in about three of four auditoriums here today. And others are hearing and I hope they’re also seeing a televised screen or a larger motion picture screen, precisely what you’re seeing here. But we observed the Feast of Trumpets celebrating the second coming of Christ and today we are here to celebrate an event following that. Christ is coming as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. But there has been something wrong with this world. Now I want to go back to the beginning and show you what it is. Why it is and what today really means in the lives of all of us

Well, once again we have to begin at the beginning in Genesis one and verse one. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And it should be plural. It is in all translations but the King James and was in the original writing. Elihim is a uni-plural, meaning more that one person, but only one God. God is a Family. God is the Family that is the Creator of the universe. And as Creator, God is the Ruler over the universe He has created. Now God created angels, after he had created man.

And so we turn to Job the thirty-eighth chapter and you’ll notice at the beginning of the first verse. God was speaking to Job. Job was perhaps the most righteous man on earth at the time. Also he was the wealthiest man, at least in that part of the world. A very successful man. Apparently he had just completed the building of the Great Pyramid, the greatest building on earth, and in some respects, still the greatest building on the face of the earth. Probably contains more actual material that will weigh more than any other building on the face of the earth today. It was the tallest building in the world until the Woolworth Tower in New York was built. And that was somewhat new when I first visited New York in 1920 and went up to the top of the Woolworth Tower. That was before the.taller building, the Empire State building. It had not been yet built yet at that time. But God was speaking to Job who was self-righteous. He was pretty good and he knew it and he was proud of himself. He was very righteous.

Then the Eternal answered Job out of a whirlwind, and He said…Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? He’d laid the foundations of the Great Pyramid. God showed him that He had laid the foundations of the whole earth! So much greater than just the Great Pyramid. Whereupon were the foundations thereof.that is of the whole earth .fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof, when the morning stars (that is angels) shouted together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.

Now the morning stars may include only the three cherub who are light bringers. One of them is named Lucifer, which means, ‘Shining star of the dawn’ or a morning star and all of the holy angels. The reason they were shouting for joy is that the earth was to become the abode and the home of angels. That was long before man. That might have been millions or billions of years before man. The Bible gives us no hint and no idea at all of when it was, how long ago it really was.

But God lives. God is the source of life. Now life can come only from life and God is the source of life. But in living, you have to live a certain way. And there are certain rules and laws that govern your life. Some ways, some laws you can observe will make you happy and prosperous and full of joy and contentment. Other ways you can live will make you unhappy and those around you unhappy and will do harm and cause suffering and heartache. Physical suffering and spiritual suffering.

So God is the author of government and over the angels that he put on the earth at that time, he set a government based on his law. Now I’d said again and again and again, you cannot have a government without a foundational law or constitution. And the constitution or the law of the Government of God is simply love. But it is a certain kind of love. It is a love out flowing. It is love to God first of all. Because God first loved us, it is a return of his love towards us that we return to him. Then it is love toward your fellow man, loving your neighbour as yourself. Now that general law applied to the angels the same as it does to us. The Ten Commandments literally apply to man. For example: the law about adultery and things of that sort would not have applied to angels because they had no sex. They had no reproduction. They would not have committed adultery in the sense that humans may, physically. But they could have committed spiritual adultery which humans have done too. But the general principle of that law obtained to them. Now over that government and God put a government on this earth. I want you to remember that and our Festival today has something to do with the government of God on this earth.

Lucifer – behind Babylon

Now turning over to the once again to the Fourteenth chapter of Isaiah beginning with verse twelve. We read here of the, one of which the king of Babylon was only an earthly type. He was the first emperor over a world empire. The first world empire on earth. He was the head of that government sitting on the throne in Babylon. But now it listed to the greater type of which he was only a type. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. This is the same statement that I read a moment ago, that he was cast down from heaven. But his name was Lucifer. Lucifer is a Hebrew word which means ‘Shining star of the dawn’ or ‘bringer of light’. So it gives it in the next little part of the phrase here, Son of the morning! (or morning star) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Or thou who didst weaken the nations, cut down to the ground. Of course this was written by Isaiah the prophet only about, let me see, twenty-five hundred years or so ago.

For thou hast said in thine heart; I will ascend unto heaven; I will exalt my throne. Now he was under heaven, he had a throne. He sat on a throne. There was a throne on the earth. God had set that throne here and had set this archangel, Lucifer, on that throne to rule the Government of God with the Law of God which is out-flowing love to God and to fellow beings. …above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascent above the heights of the clouds.

So he was on the earth. He was going above the clouds of the earth. His throne was on the earth. I will be like the most high or he was going to make himself the most high. Yet (it says) thou shall be brought down to hell or to the grave is what it’s talking about to the sides of the pit. The word ‘hell’ in that case in the Hebrew language meant ‘grave’ and not what people think of a burning hell at all.

Now he was perfect in all of his ways from the day that God created him. God did not create him a Devil. He created him a perfect angel. Higher than other angels in the status of a cherub. So far as we know, only three of them are mentioned in the Bible of which he was one. Now coming to Ezekiel twenty-eight and beginning with verse fifteen. Speaking of the same Lucifer, it says thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created. He was not a born person like we are. We’ve been born. This archangel had been created specially by God. He was perfect in his ways from the day he was created. …till iniquity was found in thee. So he had been perfect. He was sat on a throne but he rebelled and he let vanity come into his mind. He wanted to exalt himself and not God. He began to covet everything. He coveted more than just the earth. God had set him over the earth, but he coveted more. He wanted to ascend up to heaven. He organised his angels into an army to ascend to heaven and to fight God, to knock God off the throne and to take over the government of the universe. But he was put back down, he was put back down to the throne of this earth and he still sits there today.

And he has deceived you and me in our life time. He is still there as Satan the Devil. He came to have hate in his heart for other fellow beings. Jealousy and envy, competition and strife were in his heart and he has put that in the hearts of all human beings and he begins working on little children. I might say babies, in the first weeks and months of their lives. And by the time babies are, say about nine months old, they already are selfish. Put one toy down and a couple of nine-month old babies and watch them fight for that toy. O yes, Satan doesn’t neglect them! Now parents neglect little babies. They just feed them and take care of them. Yeah they’ll work to wash their diapers and things like that, but they do not wash their minds or instruct their minds. They do not teach. They think, ‘O we don’t need to teach them. They can’t know anything yet.’ But, so then parents neglect their children. Satan does not neglect your little infants. He does not! He did’t neglect you when you were an infant and he began to get selfishness in your mind. He began to get vanity in your mind, to thinking of your own self and how good you are and wanting to be above other people and wanting to take from other people and wanting to get for yourself as much as you could. That is what he has put in the minds of all people and that is just the opposite of the law or the way of life of God. It is a way of life. I simplify it by calling it the way of get. That’s what I was expressing less than a year ago to President Anwar Sadat in his palace in Cairo, Egypt. And I don’t think he had ever heard it put just that way before. And I was explaining of the fact, that he was working for peace but was not able to achieve it and I explained that the God, which he calls Allah and that we call God, is going to intervene in world affairs and going to bring us the peace that I told him he was not able to give us. Now a week from this Sunday you will see some of that conversation on the telecast if you will watch our programme on television.

Kingdom of God – Is the Family of God

The Government of God was no longer being executed here on the earth. Because the Government of God had been placed here, but this Lucifer was the chief executive and was put here as the ruler and he is still there as the ruler, but he turned against the Government of God and the Government of God was no longer operating. And yet, when Jesus came his gospel was the gospel of the Kingdom which means Government of God. Now the Kingdom of God is actually the Family of God which will be ruling with the Government of God. And that’s what we are going to celebrate just ten days from now.no five days from now, this is ten days from the last feast and the next festival, the Feast of Tabernacles begins now in five days. We’ve already celebrated the second coming of Christ, we begin to celebrate the administration of Christ as the new King sitting on that throne in which Satan the Devil is sitting even yet today. Jesus’ gospel was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is the restoration of the Government of God in the hands of the Family of God or the Kingdom of God! The Kingdom of God is the Family of God and God is a Family. Originally consisting of only the Word and God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and became Jesus Christ. And he came as a human being and took on himself the nature of man so that he could pay for our sins and so that our past could be forgiven and oh how the world does misunderstand that. I want to say a little more about that a little later. However, Jesus came with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Now as a result of what this Lucifer led his angels into or Satan led the demons into actually. We turn back to Genesis 1 once again and verse 2 And the earth was (or had become, it became) without form and void. Those words in the Hebrew that Moses wrote were ‘tohu’ and ‘bohu’ and they mean, ‘waste’ and ‘empty’ and ‘desolate’ and ‘decayed’ a state of decay, a complete state of decay.

Now, I’ve spent quite a little time recently in talking about how God now is going to reproduce himself in man. God, which is more than one person, said in verse 26 here and God (or Elihim) said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness. God was now going to create man in the same form and shape, the same image, the same likeness as God but of different material. God is spirit and composed of spirit. And he is life and the source of life. He has life inherent. But man, as he said in the seventh verse of the second chapter, he made out.of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living (nephesh or) soul. Not an immortal soul. He made man with a temporary existence.

And in that Garden of Eden were the two trees that I have mentioned so many times recently. The Tree of Life, now man didn’t have life. He only had a temporary existence. But God offered him life freely. Also the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which if he took would result in death! So one was the Tree of Life, and the other was the Tree of Death. The Tree of Death was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Well the Tree of Life was the Tree of the Knowledge of Spiritual Knowledge, revealed knowledge from God and the revealed knowledge of God’s Law and of the basic Government of God and the way of life of God.

Now God set a government over the angels that he placed on the earth to regulate their living, one with another. And to regulate their relationship with him so that he could bless them. So that they could do something on the earth. He put them here for a purpose, to build up the earth, to complete it, to finish it. God had not quite completed it. It was perfect as far as he went, but he hadn’t quite finished it. He wanted them, he created them and intended them to finish it, but it took the development of character.

The Development of Character

Now God was developing character. And character is something that God cannot create by fiat, instantaneously. Character is the ability of a separate entity, having a separate mind, a mind like God, but separate from God, that can think, can reason, and can make decisions. Can come to conclusions, can receive facts and information and God had given him all of the facts and all of the knowledge. But this Lucifer and his angels, instead of believing God, believed the opposite way. And instead of believing in the Law of God and the Way of God, the way of giving, they believed in the way of getting and taking. Instead of humility, they believed in vanity and exalting the self. Instead of exalting God, they exalted themselves. Now God, great as he is, does not exalt himself. God is a great giver and he gives everything to us. Jesus Christ did not exalt himself. He came here to give his life for you and for me, that what Satan has deceived us into doing could be paid for by him instead of by us.

But Adam had to choose in that Garden of Eden and he made the wrong choice. When Satan got to Eve. Satan told Eve, ‘You will not surely die.’ God had said you will die. You do not have eternal life, you only have a temporary existence that will run out, and you will die! Satan said, No, you are an immortal soul. And, do you know, that the people that preach about Christ today, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches they believe Satan. They believe we’re immortal souls. They think we have eternal life. They don’t understand that we have to yet receive life. They don’t, they also are taking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I’ve gone over so many things before and how man was created incomplete, just as the earth had been. Now God had renewed the face of the earth for man and he wanted man now to finish the physical earth but man polluted it and destroyed it instead of finishing it and completing it.

But man was not even complete. He first created a man, but he was not complete. He needed a wife, because God was using man to reproduce himself. And so he had to have man reproduce so that God could reproduce himself in man. And man could not reproduce by himself, so he made a wife for man. And said that they two would be one. And told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Now God gave man a mind that still was not completed. It had one spirit and it needed another spirit, the Spirit of God, to give it revealed knowledge and spiritual knowledge to understand the way of life of God. The way we could get along with one another. Man never did receive that and when man made the wrong choice God shut up the Garden of Eden, as you read in the third chapter of Genesis and verses 22 to 24. God shut it up from mankind.

God did not open up the Tree of Life to Cain or Abel or to Seth or to the others who followed because Satan got to them when they were a month or two old. Satan had them before they grew up, able to be converted, able to make the right choice. They already had committed sin and had the penalty of death on themselves. And so God was not going to let man get eternal life when he was living the way of death. And God shut up the Holy Spirit when he shut up the Tree of Life. He closed up the Holy Spirit from man and from mankind.

Lamb Slain From Foundation of World

Now we come over to Revelation thirteen and verse eight, Revelation thirteen and verse eight. Where it speaks of, I won’t read it all just this part of the verse, the latter part of the verse it speaks of a: Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Christ is the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. Now, God and the Word who became Christ already had agreed when Adam sinned, and before the world became this world, and the world is merely the society that man has developed on the world, that Christ would come in due time. That he would be born of a woman and yet born of God and he would be God and he would be born with the Spirit of God whereas God was rejecting the Holy Spirit from mankind. But Jesus would come born with the Spirit of God. And as his mind developed and he grew up, the Spirit of God would give him the knowledge that he had had as his brain matured with God. And he would have the Spirit of God, the knowledge of the way of God and the power of God, the faith of God to resist Satan and to live above and without sin to set us an example so that we should live that way but we have none of us done it. And yet he was made human so that he could die and pay the penalty of our sins and so the Holy Spirit was closed up until the penalty of sin for man had been paid.

That’s why we read then in Hebrews nine and verse twenty-seven: And as it is appointed unto man once to die. Because man has sinned and all have come short of the glory of God, …and after this the judgement. God arranged for a resurrection and before the world was founded, it was arranged that Christ would come and pay the penalty of our sins so we could be resurrected and we would stand in the judgement seat of Christ and he will pronounce us guilty! And he will say, ‘Now I am going to sentence you, and the sentence is death!’ And then they are going to, well what are they going to do when they found they’re sentenced to eternal death? And that’ll be the second death in the judgement. They’re going to throw themselves on the mercy of the court and they are going to find that the court, who is Jesus Christ, will then be. His mercy, I mean, as great towards us as the heavens are high above the earth. And he will say, ‘Well, now if you had a chance to do it again would you live a different way? I realise you were influenced by Satan the Devil. It wasn’t wholly your fault, but you did sin. And you did have a mind to decide, and you decided the wrong way and you went the wrong way.’ And if they do repent, he’s going to say, ‘Alright, I have paid the penalty of death in your stead. I’ve sentenced you to death but I paid it for you. I paid that penalty for you. Now, I’ll tell you what, I will give you the Spirit of Life, temporarily. I will give you revealed knowledge. I will open up to your mind the knowledge of my way of life and my law so you can live as you should have lived in the first place. Will you live that way if you come to know it?’ And if they say, Yes, they will receive the Holy Spirit of God in the judgement. That judgement is more than a thousand years off yet.

That’s when both Cain and Abel and Seth and all of them are going to be resurrected and all who have lived and died up to now and all of those who shall die between now and the coming of Christ, except those whose names are written in the book of life. The world doesn’t understand these things. Now again we read in first Corinthians, the fifteenth chapter, and verse twenty-two as in Adam all die (because of Adam’s sin, we have not had the Holy Spirit and all die!) so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order and so there are orders. Christ was the first-fruits. Christ was the first born of many brethren in a resurrection nineteen hundred and fifty and more years ago that’s just over nineteen hundred and fifty years ago. Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. And that includes the living who will have an instantaneous death and resurrection, just in the snap of a finger. You will die and then be made immortal just so fast you won’t know what hit or what happened. All of a sudden you’ll find you are immortal but it will be a death and a change in the resurrection. You will be a changed from mortal to immortal, instantaneously.

Old Testament Prophets Wrote For Us Today

Now, meanwhile, something happened before Jesus came and before he was born as we read back here in Isaiah, Isaiah the ninth chapter, beginning with verse six was a prophecy: For unto us that is ancient Israel the ancient nation of Israel. Now remember, they were given God’s Law. They were told God’s Way. They learned this law but they did not have the Spirit of God, the only love of God in their hearts that could fulfil it and they never did fulfil it. They did not have the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God was locked up and shut off from mankind. Only their prophets did but their prophets were like part of the Church born ahead of time. That was only just a very few men. But God could reveal things for them to write that would be part of the Church and the writings of the prophets are for the Church and not for the Old Testament and very few know that today. They’re for us today. Now here’s a prophecy that came to ancient Israel unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be on his shoulder. The government was given to this Lucifer. Lucifer failed, now from the foundation of the world. And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever, The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform it.

Now again in Joel, the second chapter. I guess I didn’t get some of these markers in my bible and I have to turn to it now. Joel the second chapter, well let me just quote that from memory. Anyway it is in verse twenty eight that the days will come when God said, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh Joel two, twenty eight. Joel two and verse twenty eight when God said the time would come when He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh. Now the Holy Spirit had been locked up from the time of Adam.

“I Will Build My Church”

Christ came and said, ‘I will build my Church.’ He trained his apostles. He came and died for us and paid the penalty of sin. So that now the Holy Spirit could come, but only on a few because Jesus had also said, as you read in John six and verse forty four Jesus said No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him. Now there is no way to come back to God and receive eternal life, since you have the penalty death and God the Father has eternal life to give, but you are shut off from him and the Holy Spirit except through Christ. Christ is the only door back to God the Father to gain eternal life. And he said no man can come to me! No one could come through His Son unless the Father drew him. And the Father was only drawing a few for the Church. Because the Church was the first-fruits and not completed. God was calling a few, one here, and then way over here in another city, another, and in some other town way over there, one, and the rest of the people in that town or city were not called. How many others around you, how many neighbours of all of you have never been called, Brethren? But God reached down and called you. I just preach this truth on the air. I didn’t practice any salesmanship on you. If I may say so, I was a pretty good salesman in my younger years. But I’ve never tried to sell the gospel. I just simply preach the truth. God must do the calling. Jesus said to his apostles, ‘You didn’t come to me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. You see, Peter and his brother Andrew wanted to be fishermen, they didn’t want to follow Christ. But Jesus said, ‘You drop those nets. You come ashore here from that ship and you follow me. I’ll make you fishers of men.’ There was something about his voice. God the Father was calling them and the Holy Spirit was calling them, and they came. But God called them. God has called you. He probably has not called your next-door neighbours. He probably has not called hundreds of others that live near you and they can’t understand the things you understand.

Without the Spirit of God their minds can’t conceive and can’t understand.

God is calling a few! We are the first-fruits! And God says to us, well I’m going to read that a little later, how we will rule with him on his throne, if we overcome, if we endure unto the end. Now, the Church is only the first-fruits and the day of Pentecost that comes in the summer is to teach us every year that we are only the first-fruits, that God is not calling the overwhelming majority of people even yet. The Holy Spirit is shut off from them! You can’t go to your next-door neighbours and witness for them and think you can get them converted.

I noticed what they call the electronic evangelism preaching on radio. There is on channel, I forget the channel number, it’s UHF. I see two names on it, one is, let me see it’s a CB Christian Broadcast network and another is Trinity network. And it’s just one religious programme after another all day long. Just one religious programme after another. Now they just preach ‘Christ’ They don’t realise it, they are preaching a false, human, man, a human man named ‘Jesus’ and they’ve got the wrong Jesus. They’ve got a ‘Jesus’ who was a smart-alec young man and did away with his Father’s Law and said, ‘You don’t have to keep the Law of God.’ Once in a while I listened to one of those for a while this morning. Just for a while. They were talking about ‘repentance’. If you repent, and they didn’t have any idea what ‘repent’ means. You repent of what think was wrong. Now if you do it again, well, then you have to repent again. They never say if you do what God says is wrong. They don’t believe in the Law of God. They think you can decide for yourself, the way of life. God is the one who has decided how we should live. The Law of God tells us how to live! That’s what it’s all about! They don’t even know what life is all about. They don’t know what man is. They don’t know why he is or how he came to be here. They don’t know what salvation is. They don’t know about the Holy Spirit! They talk about it and they don’t know anything about it! They have experienced something emotional. They have not experienced the spirit of a sound mind. They are Biblical illiterates!

They don’t understand the Word of God! They are not like the men of God, like Abraham, for example. You couldn’t imagine Abraham doing like they do, cutting up the antics that they do. All a lot of physical emotion. And they just have no understanding at all. Now does that mean they’re lost? No, no, they’ve just been deceived and they think they’re right. They’re to be pitied. Maybe they’re more sincere than you and I, Brethren. Let’s not misjudge them. But they are deceived and God has undeceived you and me and we are being judged now! They are not being judged now! Can you understand that? They are not yet being judged. They are deceived! You and I have been undeceived. Satan is not deceiving you and me, though you can let him, but he doesn’t need to. And we can be undeceived. But we are being judged now! And judgement is yet to come on them.

Now I want you to notice in second Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid from them that are lost. Are they lost yet? Yes they are lost. Does that mean they are going to go into hell? No. Does that mean they are going to die the second death? Not necessarily at all. Jesus came to save those that were already lost! Did you know that? They’re lost, but that doesn’t mean, they think if you’re lost that means you’re sentenced and there’s no way of ever getting out of it. And that isn’t what ‘lost’ means in the Bible. Jesus came, what about the lost sheep of the House of Israel? He said, ‘Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, go to the lost.’ Jesus came to save those that were lost. The Protestants don’t know those things. They’re just Biblical illiterates.

We are Held Accountable

But, Brethren, God has opened our minds. And we’re being held accountable. We’re being judged right here and now and those people are not. Oh we can laugh. How they jump up and down and say, ‘Praise the Lord’, and a lot.some of them, I think they have an IQ of maybe 90 or 91. I know it’s way below 100. And some others have a good IQ, they’re intelligent people, have good minds. But they still are deceived, and totally mislead. It’s too bad that God has given us knowledge and understanding they simply don’t have and we’re being held accountable and they are not yet.

Oh they’ll give account for what they’re doing now, but the time will come when God will open their eyes when they can repent, and when they can really know what repentance means. It means change your whole way of life. Change your whole mind in regard to yourself and who you think you are. It means turn around and go the other way, it means begin to live according to the way of God’s Law from this time on. Now you aren’t going to do it perfectly. You are going to slip down and fall once in a while but if your attitude is right and if you do repent, God says if we, we in the Church, confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s speaking to the Church that’s in first John the first chapter, but they just don’t understand these things.

So, to the Church, God says, Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh. We that are called that’s to the Church. That’s a message to one of the Churches. They are those that have been called. They are those who have received the Spirit of God. That is to us, not the world. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame and am sat down with my Father in his throne and it’s all a matter of government.

I say Anwar Sadat was sitting on a throne in Egypt. I’ve known people sitting on so many other thrones. There was Emperor Haile Selassie on the throne over Ethiopia. He was knocked off and they finally killed him, I think, at least he died. And I think he was killed by his captors when the nation suffered a coup. I’ve met every Prime Minister in the last ten of twelve years of Japan and His Imperial Highness Emperor. The emporer of Japan won’t come to me. I don’t know why names won’t come to me. Bible scriptures will come to me and things like that will come to me, but the name of a person. It’ll come to me in a second, Hirohito. Many kings, presidents, prime ministers over nations. Brethren, they all have been deceived by Satan the Devil. They all are trying to rule without having the knowledge and the revealed knowledge of God and some of them are honest men. I think Anwar Sadat was a real honest man. I’ve talked to him. I know what he did.

As far as he saw he risked his life and he finally had to give his life for peace, but he didn’t know the way to peace. I think that that man will be saved in the judgement. I hope I may have the chance to see him again and help him when that time comes. And many others that I have known are now dead. Many of those that were at the helm of governments over nations that I have talked to and sat with them on their throne, and their throne today is merely the office were they work. Just like any office, and I sit with them, either besides them or across the desk from them or however and we talk. They’re just human like you and I, that’s all. Most of them are no better than you and I are. Some of them have better minds than some of us, and some of them don’t. But all have been misled; all have been deceived by Satan.

Christ Born to Be King

And it is a matter of government and Jesus Christ was born to be a king. Before Pilate, Pilate said, ‘Are you then a king?’ He said, Thou sayest that I am a king, to this end was I born, for this cause came I into the world.’ But he said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ This is Satan’s world. Jesus’ Kingdom is not of Satan’s world. Now I’ve begun to preach a lot on the air now about the Day of the Lord. That’s the day when Christ and when God will begin to intervene in the governmental affairs of this world and the government. Christ was born to be a ruler, a saviour, and a ruler. Now they only know him as a saviour and they don’t understand the sin question. They don’t know that sin’s the transgression of God’s Law. They don’t know God’s Government. They don’t know the basis of it is a way of life and it’s the law of God and that’s what you. The violation of that is what we have to repent of and we have to begin to live that way.

Now that includes a very great deal of prayer and Bible study, constant Bible study where God speaks to you and shows you how to live and shows you His way of life. Read of the lives of others who did live God’s way. Read the instruction in the Bible. Read the prophecies in the Bible. And pray as the men in the Bible prayed and not like some of these Pentecostal people do today. Pray with the whole heart when you do. Most of us aren’t doing enough of that.

Now Christ will be coming soon and we read of that in Revelation 19:6-7. Where in this vision that John had and is writing about here, he tells us what he saw in the vision. I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters. Were you ever at Niagara Falls? Way out over the falls did you hear the water rushing down and the roar of those waters? I’ve not only been at the site of it. I’ve been down below it and even under part of it and you hear the roar of many waters or the voice of many people saying something in unison, all at once. And, you know, there’s a similarity and that’s the kind of a voice that he heard. And as the voice of a mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife that’s you and me has made herself ready.

Now, as I’ve said time and again, the wife is going to be ready, it says so! I’d like to say, my executive assistant says he’s looked at the end of the book to see how the story finally comes out. He says, ‘We win!’ We will, but will we all? The wife will have made herself ready, now that’s the end of it. The Church is going to be ready but that doesn’t mean every individual now in the Church. It’s every individual that will still then be in the Church that overcomes, that continues to overcome! Every individual that endures!

O Brethren, I tell you, when I look back and I see how many were with us and are gone and are not with us any longer. They have not endured and I try to analyse why and what happened. And even some of our ministers and some who reached, well you might say the top of the ministry and that’s one of the things that was wrong. There was one man, when he was ordained an evangelist here at the head of the ministry, next to the office of apostle. He said, ‘Well, I made it right on target. When I was first ordained, I said, By a certain date, I am going to rise up and I’m going to gain the office of apostle and I got it and I made it right on time.’ And he’s not with us anymore. That was a wrong attitude. He was thinking what he could get for himself. Yes he rose to the top. He fell aside. Many others have fallen aside. I look back at old Envoys and see the pictures of students. And I look and here’s one and oh he’s still with us and look. He’s made good and here’s a woman and she’s a wife, and been a very good wife of one of our men and these have succeeded and then here’s another that didn’t and here’s one that fell aside and here’s one and then my heart aches because some of them are no longer with us. They’ve turned sour. They’ve been embittered. They have not endured. And several have gone out because they didn’t like the government of the Church. They resented it. The only place on the face of the earth where Christ is governing now is in this Church. He’s not governing over any nation. But some people just despise the office of government. They despise it. They don’t want to be ruled over. They resent it. You’ll never get into the Kingdom of God with that kind of attitude, my Brethren. Now I’m getting more and more concerned as time goes on.

I don’t know how much longer I will be with you. Don’t let anyone tell you that I’ve said ‘I’m going to live until Christ comes.’ I have never said that! But I have been quoted as saying that and people have misunderstood . I did not say that, I never have. I may have thought fifteen years ago that that was possible. But I expected the end would come a lot sooner than this, then. I no longer say that. Even though I think it is possible, and I’ve never said that I really believe it. My life is in the hands of Jesus Christ and of God the Father. I’ll do what I can to keep me alive. That’s all I can do. I’m just a poor, weak, human mortal. That’s all I am. I just do the best I can. As far as God will empower me, and in his power, and by his Spirit. Not by any power of my own whatsoever. But if those of us that endure unto the end are the only ones, then we will reign with Christ.

Now we come to the very meaning of this day. When Christ comes, and we celebrated that, as I say, just ten days ago. We come now to the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation. After the coming of Christ, now here is one of the first things that happens after Christ comes, and we are here today really to celebrate this event. I’m not going into all the details about the ancient services that were held and the two goats and all of that sort of thing, but really what it means. And this is a prophesy of how it comes out. Revelation twenty, twentieth chapter beginning with verse one. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years be fulfilled. Because, as it says back here in the eleventh chapter of Revelation, I didn’t read this one. The kingdoms of this world will then have become the kingdom’s of our Lord and his Christ. And Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of the earth and Satan will be put away.

What Are We Doing With the Knowledge We Have?

Satan has this whole world deceived, and God has allowed it. And God is the responsible party, but being responsible he gave his only begotten son, who came and paid the price. Now, most of them are still blinded and God has not removed that blindness as yet. He has not removed it as yet. During the Millennium all who still are alive are then going to be called, all will be called! But let me tell you, I think that at least two thirds or maybe nine tenths of all the people alive on the face of the earth today will be dead before the beginning of the Millennium, the Kingdom of God reigning on this earth. All that are still living then, will be called. Everybody will be called. What about others that die in the meantime? Well they’ll be called in the Great White Throne Judgement. They’re a part of those that was appointed should die, but after that the judgement and then they will hear about and all of these deceived people that understand about the blood of Christ, but not what it means and they don’t understand about the Law of God. They don’t know about sin and what it is. They don’t know that Jesus came as a ruler. They don’t know about the Kingdom of God. They don’t know the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That’s the only true gospel. The world is deceived, but Brethren you and I are not deceived. And once again, I plead with you as I have been doing a great deal lately, what are you doing with the knowledge you have? How much are you praying? Now, I tell you, as I see more and more of these people that have been ruling in this world, and have been high in this world, dying and are no longer with us, it just makes me realise and I as see more and more of our people falling apart. I haven’t seen too many falling apart, just recently, but in past years I have. I don’t mean that a great many are falling apart now and have in the last two or three months, or six months, I don’t mean that at all. I’m looking back over the past twenty years when we talk of these things.

But I know how it will be when the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew twenty-five shows that half of the final Church are going to have let the oil run out of their lamp. In other words, the spirit ran out. And they will be those who have been converted and had the Holy Spirit, but they’re going to fall away. That’s the main thing. You have to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Have you gained more Bible knowledge than you had a year ago? I’ve been giving you more knowledge than you had a year ago. Have you really understood it? Have you grasped it? Does it mean anything to you? Or is it, ‘Ah I wish that Armstrong’d just quit hammering back, going back to Genesis again. There he is back to those two trees again.’ You betcha! I’ll go back to it again and again and again! I want to get you into the Kingdom of God with me! I didn’t call you in the first place, but I’m somewhat responsible for feeding you now that you’re here. You know that? God is going to hold me responsible. I want you all to go along with me and it isn’t going to be easy. Now you’ve been fasting today and I hope you’ve been praying through this day. Many of us are going to be leaving for the Feast. We’re going to celebrate a joyous occasion, the Millennium. Well I hope we’ll be there. But how many of us are going to be there in the Feast of Tabernacles? In other words, which pictures the coming Millennium.

Now something has just been handed to me. Total attendance today, 2665; and the total offering today, $64837 or per person $24.33 for every man, woman and child here. Well, Brethren, on behalf of Jesus Christ, and his apostle, I thank you for him. I know he thanks you and wants me to thank you for Him. But, if we do just what we’re supposed to do, we’re unfaithful servants though. Let’s not brag. Let’s go on and continue to do all we can. And remember there are going to be other offerings and many of the things that we said to you today, just before the offertory may apply to just five days from now on the opening day of the Feast of Tabernacles. So we have two more offerings coming, one on the first day, and one on the Great and Last Great day of the fall Festival. So let’s remember our liberality at that time. And remember how liberal God has been. He gave his only begotten Son and he has given us everything. Let’s let it not be in vain.

Well, I’m going to see some of you at Big Sandy. I’m going to see some of you, I don’t know if any of you will be going down to St. Petersburg, Florida. I hope to go down there, for they’ll have the biggest attendance of any one site there. I hope to go down there for one sermon during the Festival and then back here, and on the opening day and the closing day here. And to those of you that have come in from other places to spend the Feast here. I think there are some of you already here today. I welcome you on behalf of the Headquarters Church here and of the work and hope that you will enjoy it. And those of you that are leaving after the Feast keep your eye on the ball when you are driving the car. And remember, the ball is the road in front of you and all the side roads turning in on you at each side. Don’t turn round to the back seat and talk to someone on the back seat while your hands are on the steering wheel. Pray and ask God to send an angel with you and protect you while you go. I was driving a car in a storm up in Oregon one night and all of a sudden I came around a curve, I was probably, I wasn’t going too fast because I was going around a curve. I was probably going around 25 to 30 miles per hour. There was a car right in front of me and over here there had been a wreck and a car over here and something took my steering wheel and turned it right in my hands and turned me out of.away from the first car and then turned me back again and I didn’t have that much space between those cars. I know that God sent an angel and actually turned the steering wheel. God is able to do that, Brethren. He will protect you if you ask him. But do you own part and, as I say, keep your eye on the ball and be careful and drive carefully. Don’t try to see if you can beat the speed limits and things of that sort. Because you may not get away with it and it isn’t good to do it.

So God be with you now, through the Festival and let’s all have a wonderful Festival and enjoy ourselves. And it will be, we’re going to celebrate a time that’ll come when there is no Satan to deceive anyone. Satan is still going to try to persecute this Church, but he knows that he has but a short time and it isn’t going to last very long and we’re going to now enjoy the time when, looking forward to the time, that is, when there won’t be any Satan around to destroy or to hurt or to tempt anybody.

And remember, that in God is safety. Rely on him and have faith.

Goodbye until next time.