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Christ’s Message Rejected
Christ’s Message Rejected

The World Tomorrow (June 22, 1979)

by Herbert W Armstrong

And, greetings friends, this is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.

But, my friends, why do we have wars today? Why do we have all of this unhappiness? You know, I could begin, I believe, every sermon, every broadcast that I might preach, the remainder of my lifetime, by asking and answering that question–why does God permit wars, why does He permit poverty and unhappiness, suffering and all this anguish that we see on this earth? Because, my friends, the answer involves such a wealth of truth that I could use a lifetime in explaining it. And yet that’s the question so many people ask and almost no one seems able to answer. I wonder if you realize that the answer is simply as I’ve said before, phrasing in the term that we so often use that God has not crammed His religion down our throats.

God is working out a purpose here below. That purpose could not be accomplished if God forced us to live as we ought to live. If we were forced to live as God said, if we were not separate entities from God, if we did not have minds of our own separate from God, God’s purpose never could be worked out.

I’ve mentioned this to you before in preceding broadcasts how you see a little baby and you think how sweet it is and the parents think, well, that baby is really part of them and all of that but pretty soon they begin to realize that that baby has a mind of its own, its mind is not that of its parents. And by the time that baby grows up to be a young man or young lady around eighteen or nineteen, he’s going to think he knows more than dad or mom, I can tell you that. And his mind will be quite different and usually rather contrary to theirs.

Now, God made our minds independent of His; otherwise, His purpose never could have been worked out.

And so, God has set aside a six thousand year period for mankind to work out his purpose, his own way on this earth in human experience because it requires experience to work out the purpose of God. And God has kept hands off for six thousand years. Now, He’s about through keeping hands off, that’s true. The time is approaching now, very rapidly when God is going to intervene in world affairs. But for six thousand years God has not intervened. For six thousand years men have thought that God had gone way off someplace because God has not intervened.

God has not forced us to do His way. He has not in effect crammed His religion down our throat and yet His religion is the only thing that would have prevented all this mountain of human woe and all this misery and unhappiness, this poverty, this war, this strife that we see upon the earth today. I wonder if we can realize that. And yet man would certainly resent it if God tried force him to do the way that man doesn’t want to do but the way that would bring him peace.

You see “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man” and mankind goes along doing what he thinks is right or even if he doesn’t think so, he soon persuades himself that he does. In other words, if you’ll permit me to use a little plain language that we all understand, he just kids himself into believing it. Because he isn’t going to admit he’s wrong even though he does find it brings a wrong result.

Now, God made His Truth known to our first parents. God revealed His Law to them. God revealed to them that He is the supreme Ruler but He said you can accept my rule and all the blessings and benefits of it or you can reject it. I give you power to reject it or to accept it. They rejected it.

And so have all their children including you and me ever since unless we have come to the place where we have now repented and voluntarily come to accept the rule and the Government of God. The rule of God over us, my friends, is something that must be voluntarily accepted or we can’t have it. And that rule of God in our lives is the one and the only thing that can bring peace within and can bring us everything we really want. Now, we want the benefits of God’s Law but we seem to feel that going in the opposite direction is the way to get them.

You know, Stalin had made this statement that the real road, the way to Paris was by way of China and India. In other words, going just the opposite way and finally coming around. Well, you might get there going the opposite direction on a round earth but, my friends, you’ll never get to happiness and to peace and to prosperity going directly away from it. You just can’t do it and that’s what humanity has been trying to do all these years.

Now, down through time, God has sent His prophets. God has sent His prophets. What did the people do? They stoned and killed and rejected the prophets and the message that God sent by them. God sent His prophets with God’s Message to mankind to reveal to mankind the way that would bring about peace and would end all of our miseries and troubles and unhappinesses. But men stoned and killed the prophets and rejected the message.

Finally, God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, with a Message from Him! And what do think happened–one of the strangest things. A few men accepted Him, but men crucified Christ. Just a very, very small proportion accepted Him as their Messiah! But then what happened? The western world as a whole within the next three hundred years began to accept the Man and His name and profess the Man and to advertise His name abroad and to take His name and appropriate it but His message they rejected.

Now, my friends, that happened long before you were born and unless you have really looked into history that has been so clouded that very few people can find it you just would not know what happened but that is a fact. It really happened.

And men began to profess Jesus Christ while they rejected His message. And so they evolved a gospel of their own, a gospel of men about Jesus Christ, professing Him, exalting Him, deifying Him, a message about His person, but His Message that God sent by Him which He brought and taught His disciples in which He sent them to proclaim to the world, they rejected.

Now, the apostles did carry that Message to the world during that first century. But by one hundred years after the time of Christ, I tell you, my friends, when the curtain begins to lift and you can see a little bit of the history of the Church because there was a sort of an iron curtain down over it so to speak after the book of Acts was completed and the epistles of Paul and what information we get out of them as to the history of the Church there is virtually no history of what happened to the early Church for about one hundred years.

And when the curtain lifts and we begin to see a few rays of truth of what happened in the Church of actual history, we find a church had evolved that didn’t even remotely compare to the Church that Jesus Christ had said He would build and did build under His apostles–it had changed so much. And they had worked in so many of the pagan doctrines and the pagan heathen beliefs and the practices and customs of the pagans even by that time that it was hardly recognizable as the same religion that had been practiced in all of its purity as the Church started out under the apostles who had had the direct teaching of Jesus Christ who had come as a messenger sent from God.

And now, it continued down to our day. And, my friends, you were born in a world believing something that the Bible says has deceived all nations. Now, either that’s true or the Bible isn’t true because the Bible has said that all nations would be deceived. The Bible has said that the time would come when the people, not a few here or there but the people in general and as a whole would turn their ears away from the truth and would be turned unto fables.

And the apostle Paul said that deception of iniquity was working already even in his day–it began then. And it worked until within a hundred years even from then; as I say, you couldn’t have recognized the Church as the same one that started out.

And you’ve been born into a world that has been totally deceived. Oh, you hear a lot about the name of Christ. But I want to tell you, my friends, you’ve been taught and you have accepted blindly and without looking into your Bible to prove it a religion that is diametrically opposite and opposed to that of Jesus Christ and that of the early apostles! And I tell you it’s time we began to blow the dust off our Bibles and look into them and see what they do say!

Now, I don’t ask you to take my word for it! I ask you to read your Bible! And I ask you to open your eyes and to open your mind and to open your heart to the Truth of God! Will you do that, my friends?

I tell you, we’re living in a time when God said that this world would be deceived and He said the world would be deceived and not just a few people. Now, either that’s so or else it’s a lie and if the Bible is telling a lie then why believe it anyhow then you haven’t got anything to rely on or to believe. And I tell you that that has happened.

Now, here we’re going back through the New Testament to see what Jesus Christ did teach.

What was that Message that God sent by Him? It was because of His Message, my friends, that they killed Him. If He had gone around keeping His mouth shut, they never would have killed Him. They killed Him because of what He taught. They were astonished at His doctrine. And I want to tell you that He didn’t do what you have come to believe He did and He didn’t preach what you probably have been brought up to believe He preached.

Now, we had come to the place here where Jesus was sending His twelve disciples.

And remember that the word disciple means a student or a learner. And so they were going to school, so to speak, to Him and they traveled around with Him for three and a half years. He taught them, they traveled and education comes by travel, education comes by teaching or it doesn’t make any difference whether you get it verbally or whether you get it from a book just so you get it. And Jesus gave it to them apparently verbally but they also had it in writing because they did study the scriptures. And you get education from travel and you get education from experience.

Now, they had traveled with Him and here He’s sending them on a trip for travel and also to gain experience. He is sending them out on a sort of practice preaching mission to proclaim His Truth.

And so as I read to you in yesterday’s program that He had called the twelve together and He gave them power and authority.

Now, Jesus had authority. He came from Heaven as God’s Ambassador, as the very Son of God and He came with Power and yet He said of myself I can do nothing, the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. He had that Power; He had that authority (how?) through the Spirit of God.

Now, He conferred Power and authority on these students of His, these learners, these disciples, and He called them and He gave them Power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and He sent them forth to preach (what?) the Kingdom of God!

And the Kingdom of God is the Rule of God, the Government of God, and the fact that the only way that we can ever come to peace and to happiness and that you can have peace of mind within yourself or happiness is to let God rule you. And how does God rule? Well, Jesus said that “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.”

Now, the very foundation and the basis of all of the Bible is the Spiritual Law of God–that’s summed up in the one word–Love. Then it’s divided into the two great commandments–Love toward God and love toward neighbor. And that in turn is divided–the first four of the Ten Commandments–tell you how to love God.

Now, I don’t think you know how to love God. People today want to reject the Commandments of God. They don’t love God the way God said. They want to say, “Well, now, I’ll love God my own way.” But you know “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death.” And the way that men are trying think they love God is not God’s way at all. And you’ll have to love God, God’s way if you are going to ever have the righteousness of God and have the gifts of God of Eternal Life.

And so, the last six of the Ten Commandments then tell us how to love our neighbors. And that is principle, the great spiritual principle of righteousness–that is the right way.

Now, we only need a Savior, my friends, because we have violated that way; because we have sinned; because sin is the transgression of the Law.

And Jesus came to rectify it and make it possible for us to be forgiven for our transgressions of the Law and to get back where through the Power of the Holy Spirit we can keep the Law. You can’t keep it but God in you can. The Spirit of God in you can because as Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” The whole Law is summed up in one word–Love. And Love is the fulfilling of the Law but that isn’t any love you were born with. No natural love, no human love can fulfill a Spiritual Law because Paul said, “The law is spiritual but I am carnal.” You’re carnal and a carnal love can’t fulfill a spiritual Law. No, it takes the love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit which God will give you and then you have the Love that you’ve received from God for fulfilling it. Now, that is the way, my friends, that we obey God.

And the Kingdom of God is the Rule of God, the reign of God over your life. And He reigns by His Law and all the Bible is a magnification of the Law of God. The whole Bible is written around that very fact.

And all of salvation is merely, well, the rectification that is made possible through Jesus Christ and His having paid the penalty for us on the cross because we have broken the Law. Jesus took the penalty of the Law. And the Law came over Him and claimed His life. He didn’t do away with the Law, my friends. The Law did away with His life when He took your sins and mine upon Him in order that we might have the righteousness of the Law worked out in us through the Love of God–the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And that’s why Jesus died for us to make that possible.

And so, Jesus kept His Father’s Commandments and Christ in us is the hope of Glory and Christ in us will live the same life in us today that He did live in His only fleshly human body here on this earth when He was here because He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Now, Jesus sent His disciples forth to preach the Kingdom of God–that’s the Government of God. And also the Kingdom of God is the Family of God into which we may be born and God is that Kingdom. That’s a spiritual Kingdom and you have to be born of the Spirit to get into it. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

Oh, I want to tell you, they profess being born again, today, and they know nothing whatsoever about it. They make an empty nothing out of it by saying that you’re already born again. The most that you can do now is to be begotten of God by receiving His Holy Spirit which is the impregnation of the very Life of God within you. Wake up, my friends, and let’s get the Truth of God! We’ve been deceived by these fables long enough!

Now, He sent His disciples out then to preach the Kingdom of God which I say to you when you understand what it is, is not being preached today! It is on this program, but not generally.

And then He sent them to heal the sick. And He said to them, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles…” He didn’t send them to Gentiles nor into any of the cities of the Samaritans. “But go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven [or the Kingdom of God] is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out [demons]: freely ye have received, freely give.”

And then, He said He was sending them “forth as sheep in the midst of wolves”–that others would tear them apart, would persecute them, all that sort of thing.

And now, we’re going through His instruction to them as He sends them out on this journey to give them experience and also for the good that they would do.

My friends, there is a mission for the Church today. There is a mission for every Christian who is in the Church. And in that God gives us a job to do. That is a job that will do a lot of good on the one hand but it also a job of training us for the great job that we shall do in the Kingdom of God.

Now, the Kingdom of God is a kingdom that will be literally set up on this earth. It is the Government of God but also is the Family of God.

And the Family of God as it shall be when they are born again into that Family, grown great into many, many people is the governing Family or the governing Kingdom. It is a Government and it is Government and it is a Government which will govern every other nation on the face of this earth when Christ comes again. Oh, God help us to understand.

Now, He said that they would even be delivered up and tried their very lives in danger. But He said not to even contemplate what they would say when they were because their Father in Heaven through the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say and what to speak when these things happened.

Then He said you will not have gone through the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come. They did not go through the cities of Israel.

And I tell you then, my friends, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Message that God sent by Him, this Gospel of the Kingdom of God was simply buried under a rubbish heap of pagan superstition and idolatrous practices that were injected into a so-called Christianity. They put the Christian brand on the outside of the package. They gave it a new name, they dressed it up now as Christianity but it was the same old paganism, it was same old Chaldean or Babylonian Mysteries now just called Christianity and this world has been so deceived it has never known what had been foisted upon it.

And now, Jesus Christ said that in these last days, just before His Second Coming, this same Gospel, that He sent them to preach which had been submerged which had been hidden under this great rubbish heap, He said, “This Gospel of the Kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.”

Listen, my friends, is it significant that when Jesus sent His apostles out to preach this Gospel that they proclaimed it for just nineteen years around Palestine and that territory of Israel or Palestine? And then exactly nineteen years after it had started and after the Crucifixion of Jesus, and His Resurrection, God opened the door that the apostle Paul might carry the Gospel to Europe. And Paul went first up into Thessalonia and then he went on to other places in Europe and on finally to Rome. And, my friends, for nineteen more years… And nineteen years is a time cycle as God has set time.

In other words, God set the Sun and the Moon in the sky to determine time and in God’s months; the Moon goes around the Earth once in a month–the kind of months that God gave us.

Man has changed all that. Man is never satisfied with anything God gave Him. Man always tries to improve on God. Man always thinks God is wrong and wants to evolve his own way that he thinks is better. And so, we have a calendar that’s a heathen, pagan calendar that we use today. It is not God’s Calendar.

But as God divides time a month is one cycle of the Moon going around the Earth about twenty-nine and a half days. And a year is one cycle of the Earth going around the Sun. Well, we still observe year but we don’t begin it when God did. Man has had to change that.

And then a day is one revolution of the Earth on its axis or in other words, measured from sunset to sunset as God determined time. But man, of course, has had to change that to the middle of a dead, dark night by a man made watch and sets off time according to man-made devices instead of the ones that God set in the sky.

Well, now, the Sun and the Moon and the Earth all come into exact conjunction only once in nineteen years.

Now, God set time by those motions and they come into exact conjunction, in other words, time comes out exactly even only once in nineteen years. So that nineteen years becomes an automatic time cycle as God set time.

Now, there was one more nineteen year cycle after Paul was sent to open the Gospel to Europe until it was stopped. And it was in sixty-nine A.D. that Cestius’ army began to attack Jerusalem. And Jesus had said, if you know your Bible, in Matthew twenty-four, He had said to His disciples when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies then let him which is on the housetop not come down or take anything out of his house and He told them to flee to the mountains and that’s exactly what the real believers and disciples of Jesus who believed what He had said did do. They fled to the mountains at that time in sixty-nine.

Now, for some reason Cestius did not come down with his army and invade Palestine that year in sixty-nine A.D.; but, he sort of withdrew. But nevertheless, the purpose of that was give warning to the disciples to get out of there and that completed the second nineteen years of the preaching of the Gospel.

Now, it was in the next year, seventy A.D. that the Roman armies came again and did invade Palestine and those who had not fled and Jewish people who were there went under the most terrible persecution perhaps that any people ever suffered. They even became so hungry during the siege of Jerusalem that some of those poor Jewish people became so hungry and so stark raving mad with hunger and with fright and with fear that they didn’t know what they were doing and they actually killed some of their own children and ate them because they were so hungry. I don’t believe that any of them did that in their right mind but they were just driven mad by the terrible persecution and the siege. That was in seventy A.D.

But it was in sixty-nine that the disciples fled and from that time on, my friends, they were never allowed to preach the true Message of Jesus Christ and a false message began from that time on.

My friends, Jesus Christ opened the door that this Gospel might go out on the air and it started like a grain of mustard seed, the proverbial grain of mustard seed, the smallest of all broadcasts and of all religious efforts that I know of on the face of this earth; but it grew and it grew and it grew. And after nineteen years it had gone coast to coast and was covering the entire North American continent and then God opened the doors for this program to go to Europe just as He did in the early years.

Now, I’m not trying to set the day or the hour or even the year of the Coming of Christ, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t know when He’s coming; you don’t know when He’s coming–no man knows. But we do know that we’re in the time when it is very near that much we know. And we do know that we can figure a few things. We can figure a few dates in prophecy but not the time of the Second Coming of Christ.

Now, Jesus sent His men out to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and to heal the sick. Now, that same message is going once again. My friends, you better get your eyes open.