Jesus Christ Our High Priest

by Herbert W Armstrong
given 4 July 1981


Now next Sabbath, let me see, we’re going back to Charlotte, North Carolina, where a group of churches will, in that area, will all meet together. And on the following Sabbath, I hope to go up to Vancouver, British Columbia, for a number of churches in Western Canada and perhaps some from Northern Washington will be up there. Then during the following week, I will be again to this next session of the children up in Orr, Minnesota, on the way to Europe.

And then on the Sabbath of that week, which will be, I see, it will be three weeks from today, a combined service again for the churches in England; somewhere in London. And I think the Sabbath after that in Germany with a service of people from Germany, and Holland, and perhaps Belgium, and the countries - at least German speaking countries. And I think there might have to be some German translators there. And then to at least one of the churches in France, and perhaps down to Switzerland.

Then back home and speaking to a group of young people in Orr, Minnesota, on the way back for the final group at Orr for the summer. We are having three groups up there this summer by the way. And the second group is just starting this week. And I will speak to them, God willing, on the way back over to England and Germany and France. And then to Orr, the next group, on the way back. After that I hope I will be back here with you again. And so it will go.

Unscrambling the Jigsaw Puzzle (PLAY FROM 02:17)

Now I’ve been speaking the last several times I’ve been here and in other churches also, going right back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden. And God has been revealing new truth to us. It’s not new truth; it’s truth that’s been new for a long, long time. But God’s truth is always new, by the way, it never gets old. It’s not old truth, it’s perpetually new. But a lot of it is new to us, because we haven’t seen it before. Now it’s all been in the Bible.

But you know the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle. I’m sure you all have worked out a jigsaw puzzle at one time or another. It’s a large picture. Sometimes it’s oh, about so big, sometimes they’re smaller. But it’s cut up with a jigsaw with little curlicues all here and there. And about anywhere from a hundred up to quite a little more than a thousand different pieces - all curlicues around in different ways. And you have to put them together. And they’re cut in such a way it’s very difficult to know what piece goes next to what other piece. Now when they’re unscrambled, you don’t see any picture at all. You don’t realize that there is any picture there. And yet there is a picture there when you get it all together. And when you get them into place one next to the other where it belongs.

Now the Bible is like that. I've often thought of starting to explain that in Genesis 1:1. And in Genesis 1:1 to explain and go to other parts of the Bible that talk about the same thing, and throw additional light on what is there. Well, I would go next to John 1:1. In fact from John 1:1 to John 1, verse 4. And to make it even still more clear, I think I would go on to verse 14 in John 1. And then I think I would go to the third chapter of Ephesians in verse nine where the Word who became Jesus Christ was really the maker of all things; how God made all things by Jesus Christ.

Now the Word of John 1:1 was with Christ, and He was also God. I mean He was with God. He became Christ. But originally, when He was just called the 'Logos' in Greek, or in the English language it’s translated into the word 'Word': which means spokesman, revelatory, thought. "...He was God, and he was with God" (John 1:1 paraphrased). It’s just like John can be with Smith, but John is also Smith, because he’s the son of Smith.

Now at the time of John 1:1, the Word was not yet the Son of God. I wonder if you realize that. He did not become the Son of God until He was born of the virgin Mary. And that’s only a little over 1900 and oh, about 1980 some years ago. And then He became Christ. But originally He was the Word, but He also was God.

Now back in Genesis 1:1, you find in the beginning 'Elohim.' And that was written in the Hebrew Language. And the word for God translated in the English word into God, is there 'Elohim' which is a uniplural noun like the word 'family' or 'church' or 'team' or 'group.' More than one person forming one 'group' or more than one person forming one 'church' or one 'family.'

God is only one God, but there is more than one person in God. And you find that if you go to John 1:1, that explains a lot about Revelation 1:1. "In the beginning God [Elohim, the uniplural]..." (Genesis 1:1) That’s why when you come to verse 26 God said, not, "Let me make man in my image."

"...God said [Elohim, the uniplural, more than one person said], "Let us make man in our image..." (Genesis 1:26)

Now as you go on through, you can explain a great many other things from other parts in the Bible.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

And it should be plural 'heavens,' not 'heaven' as it is in the King James. You will find that other translations, as far as I know about all of them, give it 'heavens' plural. In the Hebrew Moses wrote it plural 'heavens,' not one just heaven. There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible: the heaven where the birds fly, where we find airplanes today. Then the heaven which is above that, which we call outer space today, where our astronauts have gone, and where the other planets exist. And then the heaven of God’s throne, and I think that is sometimes called the 'third heaven.' That's not necessarily still farther away. It is a third heaven, and we don’t know where that is. And there’s only one place in the Bible that gives us an idea, and that’s in the, let me see, in the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, where it speaks of it as being in the far north. And I think it is referring to the throne of God and God’s heaven, at that place. [Isaiah 14:13]

Now as you go a little further you find that that throws a great deal of light on what is in Genesis 1:1. The very next verse begins to lead to a lot of other things.

"And the earth was without form, and void..." (Genesis 1:1)

Now you go back to the Hebrew words: and the word, the 'world was', or the 'earth was.' And in this case it means 'became,' because, the same Hebrew word is used 'became' in other places in Genesis. 'It came to be' would be a better translation. Now 'without form and void' is the English words translated from the Hebrew words, 'tohu and bohu.' And that means chaotic and confusion, waste and empty, a condition of 'decay.'

Now that is not a newly conditioned - a newly created condition at all. A thing doesn’t become decayed when it is first made, or first created, or first brought into being. It comes to be decayed later. And then you have to go to the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, the twenty-eighth of Ezekiel and you have to go into II Peter 2:4. And you have to go into many other scriptures in the Bible, to begin to learn why it had become that way, and what had happened. Many of the scriptures fit in there before you even get to the next verse.

Scripture Must be Interpreted by Scripture (PLAY FROM 09:56)

Now that’s the way the Bible is. And if you are going to understand the Bible you have to read it like that. And you will have to find a part here, a part there, and a part somewhere else that fits into the Bible: clear into the beginning in Genesis or in any other part of the Bible. Now again you must put the Bible together, every verse that modifies it, or describes it, or goes along with it, and fits in with it like a jigsaw puzzle; one piece fitting next to another. You must get every other scripture in its context, and not put a different meaning on it. Because you can take a certain part of a scripture, a whole sentence, or a part of a sentence and make it mean something else.

Now that is like the old preacher, I almost called him a Methodist preacher, but I am not sure he was a Methodist. He might have been Presbyterian, Baptist, or something else; back in the time of our great-great-grandmothers about. In other words it’s probably was back in the latter part of the 19th century. And we’re living in the twentieth century.

And there was a new fad in women’s hairdo. I think you have heard me tell this before, but I know it has been some time. The younger girls had a new hairdo. They were doing their hair up and doing it around in a topknot just slightly forward in the middle on top of their head. Now frankly, I’ve seen women’s hair done that way, and I don’t like it very well. I don’t think it is very beautiful. And so you don’t see very many women doing it like that today; because, I don’t think they think it is very beautiful either.

And you know a woman’s hair is really her glory physically. And a woman does change her whole appearance by changing the way she does her hair. As I say, usually you don’t see any two women do their hair up the same way. Well, I think every woman should do it the way that is more becoming for her and fits her face better. And I guess that’s the way that most of them do. And that’s alright.

But anyway, this preacher was preaching a scorching sermon. He was preaching a corrective sermon that Sunday morning. Of course it was Sunday morning. And he was scorching these young women with that new modern fad. He told them to take that topknot down. He said, "My sermon this morning, my text, is found in Matthew chapter 24:17." You can turn to it and read if you want. Matthew 24:17:

" not come down" (Matthew 24:17)

Now he says, "Young woman, God says for that topknot to come down!" And he preached the whole sermon on that one scripture. It does say 'top not' to come down there; because, Christ is talking about a time of trouble coming when He said that he who; " on the housetop [should] not come down to take any thing out of his house:" (Matthew 24:17).

So the 'top knot come down' is there alright. But that isn’t what it means in that context. So you see what I mean? In understanding the Bible you take a little here, and a little there, and a little somewhere else, and you put them together. But you got to know that you get the meaning as it is in its own context. And see that it makes sense put together with the other scripture in its context until you have a complete picture. And that’s the way the Bible is.

Searching for understanding (PLAY FROM 13:39)

Now if you start to read the Bible, and you just start in Genesis 1:1 and you start to read the Bible through, and I have heard people say, "Well, I know about the Bible. Now I have read the Bible all the way through from beginning to end."

Well, you know, I was brought up in church until I was 18 years old and Sunday school. Now I didn’t know what the church believed. I did know some things. I know that they believed and I believed. Now I just took it for granted that I was an immortal soul, that I would live forever. If I died, I’d pass on or pass away out of this body. And if I’d been good, I would go to heaven, if I’d been bad, I would go to hell. But I was going to live forever, because, I was an immortal soul, or else I had one or something; I didn’t know which.

Well, I had to come to find that I was all wrong. And I know that after I was married, when I was age 25. A marriage that lasted, well, 50 years from the time we fell in love and were engaged. And it just lacked three months and fifteen days exactly from being 50 years from the marriage date. But, I’m sure that we had been in love with each other for that long, because, we were engaged some little time before we were married, as most young people are, or used to be, or should be.

And anyway, my mother sent us a Bible right after we were married. Now, I didn’t read it so much because I was a slow reader. But my wife was a more rapid reader, and I thought we’d get through it quicker if she read it. The main thing was just to get through it; because, I didn’t understand it anyway. She’d read it, and to me it was just like saying ‘da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da.’ I didn’t get anything out of it. And if you start to read and read through the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book you will not get the meaning. You just won’t get it that way. Because what you read in one place must be put together with some of the things that you will read in other places. And I didn’t know that then.

Now it wasn’t until I was, let me see it was in 1926, and I was 34 years of age, that I was challenged. And for the first time, began to look into the Bible, because, I thought it said something it didn’t. And I wanted to make it say something that I wanted it to say. And of course I was quite disappointed because, I said it didn’t say what I wanted it to say at all. Then I began to learn something about the Bible, but I've learned all of that since I was 34 years of age. I was really a biblical ignoramus before that: a biblical illiterate, whichever way you want to say it, the first 34 years of my life.

I did know that we’d gone through the book of Proverbs in Sunday school. Instead of the usual quarterly, as they called it, or the Sunday school lesson that the church used, in all the other Sunday school classes. Our boys’ class, and we all grew up together from little kids up until I was 18; all together to the boy's class. I don’t know where the girls were. They must have had a class of their own or something. For I remember, we were only boys. And we had a young man teacher. To me we thought he was quite an old man. But as I look back and think on it now, I think he must have been in his young or not over his middle twenties. But we all liked him. And so we just went through the book of Proverbs. And when we finished the book of Proverbs, we went back and started going through the book of Proverbs again. And after that we went through the book of Proverbs again. That’s about all I knew. But that did put one thing into my mind; that I wanted to have understanding.

And I know when I was five years old, my father said I was going to be a Philadelphia lawyer when I grew up because, I always wanted to know why. I wanted to know how, and whether, and everything else about anything. I wanted to understand it. I asked so many questions. Well, you know I didn’t know then I would be a Philadelphia lawyer someday when I grew up, because, here I preach the law of God and the government of God in the Philadelphia era of the Church. So I am a Philadelphia lawyer, am I not? So my Dad was right.

Oh, yes, I’ll tell you. Years 18 to 20, I felt sorry for my father. I knew more than he did. And then he moved out. We were living in Des Moines, Iowa, and my father had moved out to the west coast: first to Idaho and later out to Salem, Oregon. And so I didn’t see my father anymore from 1920 until 1934. I mean from 19.. - now let me see, 19.., it was when I was twenty, that is what I am trying - 1912 until 1924. In other words it was from 12 to, was it 24? Yes. So, twelve years later when I saw my father, I had a lot of respect for him because I found that he learned so much in that twelve years, that he now knew more than I did. But I didn’t know that when I was eighteen or twenty. Now of course a lot of boys eighteen or twenty are like that, they, by that age, they know more than their parents do.

Taking a Chapter into a Sermon (PLAY FROM 19:41)

But nevertheless now, that’s all just a prelude to what I was going to get into for a sermon today. I wanted to tell you a little something about the Bible. And I was wondering, I have been going back to those two trees in Genesis. And that’s the foundation of everything in the world. You want to know why anything is like it is today? Why is the world like it is? Why do we have the kind of world to live in that we do have today? You have to go back to that time. And I have been developing a lot of time to that recently.

Now I wanted to get to something else today. Well I thought about whether I should bring you a message on prophecy. Now I would like to get back to the prophecies once again. And I think it is about time that we do. And I think I shall very soon. But it just seems that the way things have been breaking, I have not been able to speak here just regularly every Sabbath. And I don’t get any of it, but about once every three, four, or five Sabbaths. But perhaps I will sometime soon.

But there is another type of subject I found years ago up in Eugene, Oregon, before we even started Ambassador College, and before I ever moved down to Southern California, Pasadena. That just taking one chapter in the Bible and going through that chapter verse by verse could form a very good sermon; material for a good sermon.

Now once I remember up in Eugene, Oregon, I had not had time to prepare a sermon, and I was caught short, and didn’t have time, and so I simply told the congregation that Sabbath, that I would take a chapter in the Bible and go through it. Now I said now, "Why don’t I let one of you select a chapter and I will go through it and expound it?" Well, there was a Sardis minister there, and he did not like me. I have told you that the Sardis ministers persecuted me. The Sardis brethren all loved me, but their ministers did not. They felt competitive, and they did not like me, and they persecuted.

This man was sitting in the front row. He said, "Mr. Armstrong, may I suggest that you preach on the first chapter of Isaiah?" I said, "Fine, alright." You know for the minute I didn’t know why he wanted me to preach on that. I just remembered one thing. "...though your sins be as scarlet, {1} they shall be white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) I knew that was in that chapter. And the rest of it for a minute, I just did not remember. But I knew he had some motive. I didn’t know what it was, and wanted me to preach on that.

Now I had been taking the truth about God’s annual Holy Days to the Sardis people, and they had rejected it. And he wanted to lay a trap for me just like the Pharisees did for Jesus. He wanted to trip me up and trap me. And he thought he had me there.

So it came to where God says in the first chapter of Isaiah, as I was going through it, that God hated, or whatever it is, let’s turn to it for a minute. That isn’t what I intended to preach on today at all. Now I'll get to something else in a minute, but let’s go back to that, just a second. I want to show you, it’s rather interesting. And I think that if we just get to something interesting like that for a change, it will be a little bit of a change of sermon material here. And I think it will be good for all of you. Isaiah the first chapter, I didn’t have it marked because I hadn’t intended to use it. But he says;

"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices [and by the time I got to that point, I believe that’s the place, I was emphasizing the word ‘your’. It was their sacrifices that God was against] unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of...beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats [now let me see, yeah, then in verse 13]. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of...them." (Isaiah 1:11,13-14)

Your appointed feasts, and I put the your, that they were not God’s appointed feasts. And did I wallop that minister in the front row! I said, "That’s just it!" I said, "You want to have your camp meetings; you want to have your ways. BUT GOD’S HOLY FEASTS, GOD’S HOLY DAYS, YOU DON’T WANT TO OBSERVE." And so, his trap came right back on him. But God has always helped me in a case like that.

Christ, Living Head of the Church (PLAY FROM 25:27)

Well, I just wanted to explain a little about that sort of thing and today, I thought I would do that. I would not only take a chapter, perhaps, I’ll continue on later, but I would start in the book of Hebrews. Now I find it has been almost twenty years ago, nineteen or twenty years ago, in England, I started a series of sermons on the book of Hebrews. And I believe I continued it even here in Pasadena at that time. Well, that’s almost a generation ago.

And then I had a long series of programs on radio. And that series of programs on the book of Hebrews was repeated on radio about a year or so ago. I haven’t been following it in the last year. I don’t know just what they’ve been running just recently. But if I may say so, I thought that was a fairly good series: and interesting series of television or radio programs rather. And I think it may be repeated again; because, it was not dated and it is not timed. It is just as good now as it was twenty years ago.

But I think we need some of that again. In other words, the book of Hebrews is the book about Jesus as our High Priest. Now one might ask this question: What has Jesus been doing this past 1900 years? Is Jesus dead? Well, He died, but your Bible and mine says, He rose again, and He’s not dead any longer. Now, the last we saw of Him, He ascended up to heaven "...and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). And that was about ten days before the day of Pentecost, and forty days after His resurrection. But where has He been since? What has He been doing? He has been very much alive. And He’s been doing something for us. And He is the Head of the Church. But He’s not a dead Head of the Church.

You know that reminds me; I was having a luncheon one time and holding a series of meetings up in Umapine, Oregon. And there were some Seventh Day Adventist people up there, and one of them had come to one of my meetings. Of course they didn’t come to more than one of them. But they came to one and to invite me to their home, for I think it was the Sabbath or Sunday dinner. And so I accepted, I went.

Well, of course they got into an argument with me. And they talked about their having a prophet in their church. And they said, "Well, Mr. Armstrong does the Church of God have a prophet?" And I said, "Oh, yes." "Well, you don’t have a..." I said, "Jesus Christ is our prophet." "Oh well, well," they said. "We mean a living prophet. Do you have any living prophet?" "No, I said, do you?" Because, Mrs Ellen G White is their prophet, and she died quite a while ago. And they looked at one another rather astonished.

They had forgotten their prophet is dead. I said, "Your prophet is dead, but our prophet is still living. Our prophet is Jesus Christ. He is the Head of the Church. He is the greatest of all prophets. And He still today is living, and He’s the Head of the Church." But where is He today? He has ascended to the right hand of God in heaven. And there He has been the High Priest of the Church ever since.

Now, He’s not the High Priest of the world, the world rejects Him, and even individual Christians are not members of His Church. And they reject Him as the head of whatever church they belong to. Because, He is not the head of any other church, but His own church. If they are not members of it, He’s not the head of their church. That’s all there is to it.

And His church is "...fitly joined together [it is] compacted in every joint..." (Ephesians 4:16 paraphrased). Just as if it is welded together, solidly bound together and organized. And the organization is explained in the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians and the fourth chapter of Ephesians. And how God has organized His church, and it is an organized body. But it is not a human organization. It is a spiritual organism. And yet it is well organized.

Now I might just say, by way of a little news that I might put in right here, that in the past week, the board, I have surrounding me now in the human level of the church, at the headship of the church, the leadership, is an Advisory Council of Elders. And in this past week, we have been going over a constitution, and forming, and carefully going over every line, and sentence, and paragraph of the constitution, and by-laws of the Worldwide Church of God, an unincorporated spiritual organism. But it is organized and well organized.

Now the unincorporated Worldwide Church of God does have a number of corporate entities under it. One of which is the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, a California Corporation. We are incorporated, actually, in a number of states, but the only members of the corporation are merely the officers of the corporation. But the general laity of the church are only members of the church of God. In other words, we’re all children of God, and the Church, the congregation, it is an assembly, group, family. We’re the begotten family of God, not yet born.

Now there are plenty of born again people all around. They don’t know what born again means. They don’t know what Jesus meant by that word. But in God’s own church we do know. But we are begotten of God, and we do have the promise of being born of God. And it’s too bad that others cannot understand that. And that we’re in the process of spiritual growth of overcoming Satan and this world, coming out of this world, and of growing " grace, and [in]the knowledge of our Lord and Savior of Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). And also of enduring until the end of this life, or the end of this time, whichever comes first.

And so God has given us that understanding, because this is the Church of God, and it is based on the Word of God. And the foundation of the Church, we find in Ephesians, the second chapter {2} that the foundation: the apostles and prophets, it is founded "...on the apostles and the prophets. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). But it is fitly joined together.

And Christ pictured it in the fifteenth chapter of John, when He spoke about Himself being the vine and we’re the branches. But did you ever notice that the branches are all joined to the vine? And the branches are joined to one another through the vine? Through Christ we’re joined to one another, they‘re fitly joined together. You break one of them off, and let it go alone, and it’s also broken off from Christ. A lot of people that want to be lone Christians say, "Well, I don’t have to belong to any set church." Well, God has one church. He didn’t say I will create several different groups of churches.

"...I will build my church; and the gates of hell [will not, or the gates of the grave, which it should be translated] shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

Now He did build His Church, and the gates of the grave have not prevailed against it. It’s still here. We have a number of congregations, but we are all organized. We’re all together. And we do all speak the same thing. And that one thing has to be what Christ speaks, and Christ is the Word of God. He is the Spokesmen.

Destructive Times Ahead (PLAY FROM 34:39)

Well now, finally I'll get around to what I was going to speak on for a sermon today. But come back to the book of Hebrews. But speaking about prophecy, I do want to get to it, because before I start this I want to say another word. I would like to just sort of talk to you a little bit today. I don’t get to do that very often. Lately I have been coming with a plan, a set sermon. I try to stay right on, right on the beam, and not sidetracked with something else. And I think I have been doing that fairly well lately. All my life I have had to try to avoid getting sidetracked and jumping off on some other thought that will flash in my mind as I go along, but to stay right on the subject. Well, I have been doing that lately. But today, I just wanted to say what comes to my mind. That’s what I am doing. And I just want to talk to you, as one of you. And, we need a time to talk like that and be together; because, we are all one in Christ.

But speaking about prophecy, how many of the four billion {3} people that exist on earth today do you think is still going to be alive when Christ comes? Now, I think Christ is coming very, very soon; because, all of the prophecies and everything in the Bible that has to do with the time of His coming, and the conditions of the world at the time of His coming, show that we’re in the very last days, just before the actual coming of Christ.

Now by that, I don’t mean He can come tonight or tomorrow, because a number of things have to happen before that. At least there has to be a three and a half year period, there has to be a Great Tribulation that is coming, there has to be the fourth part of what we call the Day of the Lord. And the Day of the Lord is when God intervenes, and begins to supernaturally intervene in the world’s affairs and take over, prior to the coming of Christ. And then He will take over completely when He comes.

But even prior to His coming there’s going to be frightful signs up in the sky. There are going to be plagues. And you know you will find that a tribulation is coming on this nation. And one third of our nation is going to die of disease epidemics resulting from famine. In other words famine, and the disease epidemics that will follow, pestilence as it is in Matthew 24. And again back in Ezekiel, in the, let’s see, the fifth chapter I believe it is of Ezekiel. And our cities are to be destroyed.

Then another third of our people are to die by military warfare, which in our day now means nuclear warfare. Our cities are to be destroyed. Isn’t it significant that the cities are to be destroyed? Most of the people are living in cities today. They’ve moved off of the farms. And it is cities that can be destroyed now by hydrogen, or yes, hydrogen bombs, atomic warfare. And that was never possible until our time, and just since World War II has that become possible.

The United States did not have another atomic bomb when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. Now the Japanese didn’t know that. They wouldn’t have surrendered if they had known that. They didn’t. They thought there were going to be more, and so they surrendered before any more of their cities were bombed. But we couldn’t bomb any more of them; because, we did not have another atomic bomb. The only two we had were used. But you might say it was a bluff, but the bluff worked. And they surrendered.

But soon after that, they began to announce the hydrogen bomb - so great that an atomic bomb only triggers it and sets it off! I don’t know what it is? A hundred times, a thousand times, more powerful and more devastating, something like that. I haven’t kept up on the technicalities of those things as I used to even.

But then if you read in the plagues that God is going to send at the end of the Great Tribulation, and in that time. How many people are going to die in other countries and all over the world? I want to go into that again myself. Because I think we need to go in to what is going to happen between now and then. All anew and all afresh, because somewhere between a third and ninety percent of all living people on earth today are going to be dead before the Second Coming of Christ. Did you know that? That’s the kind of time we’re living in, and very few people know it.

Now, I want to go back into prophecy once again. I was going into prophecy on radio thirty, forty years ago. I was about thirty to forty years ahead of my time. Well, I tell you, the apostle Paul and the original apostles were way ahead of their time by 1900 years! They thought the coming of Christ was going to happen right then in their time, and their lifetime, their generation. They didn’t know it was more than 1950 years later, but it was. Well, I sort of misunderstood the time a little bit too, but not as much as they did. But we are in the last days. Now we can’t set dates, and certainly it weren’t that. I did not ever set a date. Believe me, I never did. And I kept emphasizing, I did not set dates. And yet many people took it that dates were set and acted accordingly.

Well, I was talking a great deal in those days about a place of safety. Now again I was several years ahead of my time. No question about it, but we are just that much closer to it now. And I want to go back into the study of those things. Now a lot of people decided that everyone is going to go to Petra as they call it over in the land where it exists, which is in the land of Jordan, the Kingdom of Jordan. And I think in Europe they call it 'Peetra' - but whichever way you pronounce it - which means 'stone.' And it is quite a stony place, a mountainous place and very rocky and very stony.

I spent a couple or three nights over there about 1956, I believe it was, in a cave inside of the rocks. And if you have to get up in the middle of the night, that’s quite a provoking place to be, as I found out. Because rather, even in the summer, it is rather cold nights over there. No, it is not a pleasant place to be either. It’s a sight-seeing place in a way, because the mountainous arrangement, and all of those caves, and some of the things, the carvings. They have actually carved a facade of buildings, out in the front of one building. It is right in the mountainside in the rocks. But it is not a pleasant place, believe me. Now if that’s where we are to go, you’re not going to like it. And yet a lot of our people want to get to Petra. "Oh, can we go to Peetra?" or to Petra whichever you call it. Well, now, get that right out of your minds; because, it is not a pleasant place.

I will just say this if the Bible tells us where we’re to go on the two wings of a great eagle, and the Bible does say that we will do that, that is where we would go. But I’m not sure the Bible tells us where we’re going to go. So you still can’t be sure of it. But if that is not it, then the Bible does not tell us. But God will show us in His due time. But we’re getting near that time, and I do want to go back into those things again.

God Speaks Through His Prophets (PLAY FROM 43:49)

And so now I just had a little talk with you for quite a while now. And it’s alright because I started this Book of Hebrews. I can stop at any verse I want to. So let’s begin now in the first chapter of Hebrews, chapter one:

"God [now that’s speaking of the Father], who at sundry times, and in divers [different] manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things..." (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Now I want to stop right there and comment on that a while. And we have to go to a few other scriptures. You can’t understand the Bible if you just go right along without knowing what is in other scriptures that have something to do with it, and say the same thing. Now, a while ago I had it - when you drop, you lose something and you can’t find it, look on the floor - that’s where it probably will be.

Anyway, the prophet that spoke unto the fathers. Now the fathers go back prior to the time of Christ, don’t they? Well now in the days of Israel and of Judah, and prior to the time when Judah was taken captive, and became a slave people, and no longer a nation, the prophets who wrote were Moses, and Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah. I’m not putting them in order, I just jotted some of these down. Hosea, Amos, Micah, and David in the Psalms, and Solomon in the Proverbs, and Hosea. I mentioned Amos, and Micah, and Hosea, and Joel, and Zephaniah. Now that is all before the fall of Judah. Some of those wrote in the days after Israel had been taken captive and taken away. But Judah was still there with its capital in Jerusalem.

Now second, there are two very important prophecies that were written in the captivity when they were slaves. And their message did not go to the fathers back then, but they were only retained for the Church today; Ezekiel and Daniel. They wrote during - they were slaves and in the captivity. Ezekiel was among the captives in the River Chebar, and Daniel was in Babylon.

Now seventy years after the captivity of Judah, a number of Judah, not any of Israel, but a number of Judah - and it’s only a few of Judah even - and Judah consisted only of the tribes of Judah, and Benjamin, and Levi. And it’s only a part of them, were sent back to Jerusalem to build the second temple. Now the temple that Solomon had built had been destroyed finally by 580 BC. Beginning with 604 and on down on to 585, and I think it finally was finished by 580 BC.

But seventy years later a colony was sent back to build another temple under Zerubbabel. Now Zerubbabel was the Governor. He was not a prophet, incidentally. But the prophets of that time were Ezra and Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Now they did write for that portion of Judah gone back. But the great Ten Tribes, had long since - over a hundred years before Judah’s captivity - had gone north and west, {4} or northwest to western Europe and northwestern Europe and the British Isles. Now many people don’t know that, they don’t know where they went, they‘re called the 'Lost Ten Tribes.' But it is interesting to know that, and to know the order of these prophecies. Now the prophecies, for example, of all of Israel, they - many of these prophets prophesied after Israel had been taken captive. And were only prophets to the Kingdom of Judah, after Israel had gone into its captivity.

Now there are some other prophets that didn’t write books of the Bible. Like, for example, like - why can’t I think of the names I’ve wanted? I always get stumbled on names, I try to remember. I can remember scriptures in the Bible, even names in the Bible, I often can't remember. But, Elijah, I was thinking of, was a prophet and Elisha, but they didn’t write books. You don’t find II Elijah 6:7. You don’t find that in the Bible, and it is interesting to notice that.

God's Church Built on the Apostles and Prophets (PLAY FROM 49:39)

And yet we find that the Church is founded on the apostles and the prophets. Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Now I want you to get this. Now I have to go back to Ephesians the second chapter to pick up that scripture that fits in right here. And to understand this we need to know all of that. And yet you only find, let’s see, about four prophets mentioned in the New Testament. One was an elderly woman past eighty years of age who picked up the infant child, Jesus, took Him in her arms, and blessed Him as just a little infant. And then went on and apparently died soon and nothing more is heard of her at all.

There was a prophet by the name of Agabus. And God spoke to him and used him to carry a message to one of the apostles, to Paul. And telling Paul, that God sent a message to him, that if he went on to Jerusalem where he proposed to go, that he would get into trouble in Jerusalem. Well, Agabus told Paul. Now Paul didn’t doubt that, but Paul went on anyway. And he did get in trouble, a great deal of trouble. That’s where he appealed finally on to Caesar, and later went on his very perilous trip to Rome.

He had a shipwreck on the way, in one of those places where we’re going to have the Feast of Tabernacles this year. The island of Malta, just south of Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. And we’ll have a Feast site there this year. So that’s rather a historic place.

And anyway there were two other prophets at least to whom God revealed that they should lay hands on Barnabas and Saul. And anoint them as apostles, and send them as apostles to the Gentiles. Now they did that, but they didn’t contribute any doctrine or any belief to the church. They didn’t have an administrative position in running the church, or administering the affairs of the church in any way. Not any of those four apostles did - I mean the four prophets, excuse me. So there were no New Testament prophets that had anything to do with being founders of the foundation of the church. So it refers to Old Testament prophets.

Now, every one of these Old Testament prophets are quoted in the New Testament. And they are a part of the foundation of the doctrine and the belief of the church. The whole of Ezekiel and the whole of Daniel were written for the church, and were never given to the people of Israel while they were a nation. They were written after Israel and Judah were both slaves in captivity, and were not a nation. And were not ever proclaimed to Israel and Judah under the Old Testament.

And how important is Daniel to the book of Revelation? How important is Ezekiel to understanding many of these other prophecies and of knowing the things we need to know in our time? And yet those books never were given to Israel or Judah while they were a nation. And there was no way for one of them as a slave to get his writings to the rest of them who were scattered here and there as slaves. So it’s good that we know that.

But every bit of the Bible that is written is the Word of God, even the words of these prophets. And even though "God...spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets," (Hebrews 1:1) what He spoke and what is recorded in writing in the Bible is part of the Word of God. And who is the Word of God? “The Word of God, [John 1:1 and verse 14], became flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1:1,14 paraphrased) and became Jesus Christ. So it is the word of Christ. Regardless if it was that God was speaking to them beginning with Moses, it also is for us and for the church today. So just notice that as you go along.

Christ Appointed Heir of All Things (PLAY FROM 54:18)

Now the second verse, God:

"Hath in these latter days spoken unto us by his Son..." (Hebrews 1:2)

Now 'his', you will notice is in italic in the King James, and some of the other translations 'by a son', or 'his Son'. And that’s alright, I think "...his Son..." is very good there. At least the translators of the King James put it there.

"...whom he hath appointed [now God the Father then appointed Christ, what?] heir of all things...” (Hebrews 1:2)

Now, the Moffatt translation translates 'all things' to mean 'the entire universe', the entire universe. So Christ is the heir of the whole universe. Alright, Ephesians 3:9: God created everything, God created the world by Jesus Christ. He is the one by which - now Christ is the Word of God.

"...he spake [as you read in one of the Psalms], and it was done.." (Psalms 33:9)

Well the power that did it, when Christ spoke, was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit that comes from Christ and from God. Not a separate person, but a power that emanates from them. So now notice this, that Christ then is the heir to inherit the whole universe. Well, God used Him in creating it all;

" whom also he made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:2)

That is by Christ: He, God, made the world. There again, God made everything by, and through Christ. Now verse three;

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person..." (Hebrews 1:3)

Now some of the other translators have that a little different. "stamped with the very character of God..." (Hebrews 1:3) in the Moffatt translation. Stamped with the very character of God.

"...the express image of his person..." (Hebrews 1:3)

But 'image' sometimes means character. God made man in the form and shape of God. "...God said; Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26). We are made like God in form and shape. And we’re made to become in His very image, in the sense of His character. But we were not - God did not create Adam in God’s character. But God gave him a chance to come into God’s character through the tree of life. And Adam rejected that and took the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And said he would go along without any help from God.

"...the express image of [God’s] person [or in His very character, stamped with the character of God the Father], and upholding all things ." (Hebrews 1:3)

Now then I would like to read that. I have the - let’s see, I have here the Revised Standard translation. And I have to use two or three different magnifying glasses. I have to use a little stronger one for this Bible.

"He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature..." (Hebrews 1:3 RSV)

Now Moffatt says, "...of his nature..." I mean the Revised Standard says, "...his nature..." And Moffatt says; of His 'character'. Uholding the universe. Now 'all things' mean the 'universe', and here the Revised Standard tells us the universe;

"...upholding the universe by his word of power..." (Hebrews 1:3 RSV)

In other words the power that is in His Word. He speaks; the Holy Spirit performs whatever He speaks, the entire universe. Now I want you to notice that 'all things' here means the universe, by the word of His power.

"...when he had by himself purged our sins..." (Hebrews 1:3)

In other words by His death on the cross. Jesus had purged our sins to reconcile us to God. Now our sins have cut us off from God. And we could not get back to God; because, He had shut up the tree of life, in other words the Holy Spirit, until Christ came. But when Christ died, His shed blood reconciles us to the Father. Now to understand that, you have to go back to the fifth chapter of Romans. And you will find there that the blood of Christ does not save you.

A lot of people don’t understand that. A lot of preachers will preach the blood of Christ saves you. It doesn’t. The blood of Christ forgives your sins up to the minute of your repentance, and the minute of your belief and acceptance. But it does not forgive any future sins you commit tomorrow, or next year, in advance before you commit them. It simply does not. And the blood of Christ doesn’t save you. The death of Christ can’t give you life. Life can’t come from death, life comes from life. And so you read in the fifth chapter of Romans that;

"...we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son..." (Romans 5:10)

Not saved by the death of His son, reconciled to God by the death of His Son. But, we shall be saved by His life, by His resurrection, and we’ll be saved by a resurrection. Now go back and read the fifth chapter of Romans, and you will understand that. So you see you have to fit in other parts of the Bible with this as you go along to really comprehend it and understand it. So He purged our sins reconciling us to God the Father.

God Chooses Who Will Come to Him (PLAY FROM 1:00:44)

Now on the other hand does that mean that just anybody can say, "All right, I will go and ask Christ to reconcile me to God the Father?" Oh, no, because Jesus said;

"No man can come to me, except the Father [that] sent me draw him..." (John 6:44)

And in the first chapter of Ephesians, you learn that we in the Church were predestinated before the world was, predestinated to be called now by God. And it is only those that God the Father calls and draws through the power of the Holy Spirit who can come to Christ.

Now the Pharisees came to Jesus with trick questions. And some one might come to me with a trick question. "Mr. Armstrong," they would say. "Here is a man that really sincerely in his heart wants to come to Christ and to come to God, and wants to obey Him, and wants salvation, and wants to come out of the world, and wants to have God’s spirit, and live God’s way. Do you say that he can’t come to Christ unless the Father draws Him?" "Yes, I do." "Well, is he then shut off?" "No." "Well, what then?" "Well," I say, "If he does want to do that, the Father did draw him, didn’t He? Or he wouldn’t want to."

Do you get the answer? But, what about the world? They don’t want to, and any man who does want to, wants to only because the Father did draw him. But you take most people, they don’t want to.

Now go back to the time when I first gave myself to God. I gave up trying to disagree with Him. I saw I disagreed, I saw He was right, and I was wrong. But instead of saying, "I get Christ. I appropriate. I accept Christ; I am going to get, and take." I said, "I will give myself to Him. He bought and paid for me, and I belong to Him." So I did, but I gave myself to Him. For I know now that He had drawn me and called me. Otherwise I wouldn’t have wanted to do that.

But what do you think is the first thing that I did? Oh, I was so thrilled with the happiness about it all. And, the truth that God had revealed to me was so wonderful, that I just wanted to share that right away with those closest to me, in the family, and my relatives. So I went to them, I was just all an eager beaver, I was all enthusiastic. I was all lit up with it. Now you see my wife when she first learned about the Sabbath came and said, "I must go tell Herbert; he will be glad to hear this." That was a wonderful truth to her, when she saw in the Bible we must keep the Sabbath on Saturday, instead of observing Sunday. Which is not the Sabbath. Well, I didn’t want to hear it, I didn’t like it a bit.

God used that to start drawing me, but He hadn’t drawn me very much yet. But after six months intensive study, and I saw how wrong I was. And I proved that God exists, and I proved that the Bible is His Word. And I saw that I disagreed with it. And I saw that He was right, and everything He said made sense, and everything I believed did not. Then I, well, I received His word with joy, and happiness, and enthusiasm. And I wanted all of my relatives to believe it, and they thought I was insane. They thought that I had gone crazy. "What’s happened to you? Well, I don’t want any of that." They didn’t want any of this truth at all. No, you see God had not drawn them. And some of them are still living, and He still hasn’t drawn them, even to this day.

How many of you have had that experience? When you were first converted, you wanted to get members of your family and others, that were close to you, and you wanted to get the truth to them. And they wouldn’t have any of it. They just thought you were crazy, and that’s the way it is. The natural mind of man,

"...the carnal mind [which is the mind we are born with] is enmity [which means hostile] against God: is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)

That mind has to be changed and receive another spirit. There is a spirit in with your brain that imparts the power of intellect to your brain. But you are only half there mentally. You only have half of a mind, you need the spirit of God to complete your mind. That’s the other half and the more important half. And without that you find that the things of God are foolishness to you. And your mind is not - it is just hostile against them. You are not "...subject to the law of God [which is God’s way of living], neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). And that’s the way it is. Now as we go on through this we see all of these things.

"...when he had...purged our sins [and as I say, that only reconciles us to God the Father], sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3)

"...sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3) Now why did He do that? Why did He go up there? Why didn’t - He had just qualified, He had overcome Satan. He had qualified to restore the government of God. He had qualified to sit on the throne of the world, and to establish the Kingdom of God, and to be the ruler over the whole earth. Why did He not take it then? Why had God waited 4,000 years before the second Adam came?

And God had shut up the tree of life. And shut up the Holy Spirit from man. And man has a mind, and God created that mind. And as God created it, [under Satan's influence]{5} it’s hostile to Him. But the first man, Adam, had a right to make a choice. And he had an opportunity, and a right, and a command from God to take of the tree of life. And he would have had a whole complete mind, but he didn’t. And when he sinned, he brought death on himself.

Husband Head of the Wife (PLAY FROM 1:07:21)

And Satan was there, and Satan had got to Adam through his wife, Eve. And his wife, Eve, was the first woman of the ERA movement. Ever think of that? That started back with mother Eve, and women still want to wear the pants.

I was just trying to think why I mentioned that the other day. I know I was speaking to all of the visiting ministers the other day, just a few days ago. And I was mentioning how the wife of one of our evangelist rank ministers, one of our oldest ministers in the Church. I mean not in physical age, but in years of service, and in being in the Church. And of course both of them graduated from Ambassador College, he and his wife, years and years ago. And I think their children are age to be in college now, maybe are. I forget how many of our former students now have children in Ambassador College.

But I remember I asked her one time. I said, "Did you ever try to be the boss in your home, and wear the pants?" And she looked at it funny, and she began to grin a little bit. And she said, "Well, yes, once." I said, "Oh, once. And did you find who the boss was?" (Mr. Armstrong chuckles) And she said, "Are you telling me? I sure did!"

Well, I‘ve had two wives. And the first one was my wife until death, and she should have been. Either one of whom were perfectly capable of being the boss, but neither one has been. And I think that’s the way it should be. But a husband not only should rule his wife, he should rule her in love, and in patience, and in kindness, and absolute consideration for her in every possible way.

It’s like just while we were in conference this week my wife called me on the telephone. And they told me later that she called, so I called her back. And she said, "Well I called you, but I didn’t want to interrupt you. You were in conference." "Well, I said, my wife always gets to me no matter where I am." And she said, "I knew that, but I didn’t want to interrupt just the same."

Well, my wife has always had a privilege that other women don’t have, some way. I wanted to treat a wife with love, with kindness, with consideration, and with honor, and to give them every honor like that. And I think every husband should do that. But the husband still is the head of the wife, and if he can’t be the head of the wife there’s something wrong with him somewhere. And he should be able to be the head of the wife. But he should be in all love, and patience, and kindness, and goodness in every way.

Why 6,000 Years? (PLAY FROM 1:10:53)

Now, He "...sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3) Oh, yes, so I was saying, why did God then wait 4,000 years for the second Adam? And even after the second Adam came and purged our sins. Now the first Adam, as I say, he had sinned. And Satan was still there, and the world sort of overlooked Satan.

And so, their children began to sin. None of the sins of Abel are recorded. But we know he did sin because, they are specifically not recorded, but in general they are, because another scripture says; "...all have sinned..." (Romans 3:23) and that includes Abel. Cain sinned. He was a murderer and killed his brother, and then he lied to God about it. And he got punished too, didn’t he? But His punishment, God’s punishment, is corrective and is intended to correct us and to help us. And His punishment is in love, and not in hatred, or vengeance, or wanting to see us suffer. God doesn’t want us to suffer. God doesn’t have hate, He has love. He hates evil, He hates wrong things, wrong doing, but He doesn’t hate people.

But then Christ even after He had qualified, after He had conquered Satan, He went up to heaven at the right hand of God, as our High Priest. Why? Why is God waiting for 6,000 years before He gets rid of Satan, and before He establishes everything on the earth? Why? Because man had to learn, and man has not learned yet, by 6,000 years of man's going the wrong way, that his way of life is wrong.

I was just saying to another minister this morning, "Well look, what’s wrong with the way the world’s living? Why isn't trying to get the best of everything right? Well, it's good for you, look how much more you get. You try to get everything, take it away from the other. And if the other man suffers, you don’t feel it. It doesn’t hurt you. So why isn’t it all right for you to let him suffer? What do you got to worry about whether he suffers or not? How do we know that God’s law is better?"

Satan argues that competition is better than cooperation. I have been in conferences of businessmen, and in not just conferences, but in meetings of businessmen, conventions, where the speaker would say, "Competition not cooperation is the life of business today!" That is what business men believe, competition. In sports everything is competition, "Let’s get the competition going." We want competition. Satan wants competition. Satan is the number one competitor. The world still thinks competition is a better way than cooperation.

Now God’s law is based on cooperation. Satan’s law is based on competition, and yet some of you right here still think you like competition. How about it? God knew that if humans did not have time for generation after generation, to learn the lessons, to learn to go the way they want to, and let them suffer, and let them find out the result of their way; they would never believe it.

I tell you, that if God had yet corrected things in Adam’s time, and before other children were born, and fixed it all up for Adam. And let Christ come and pay his debt for him. And say, "Now Adam it’s alright, you go right on." They would always have believed Satan’s way is better. But let me tell you, after 6,000 years, and even then, they’re going to have to see in 1,000 years of millennium of living, to prove that God’s way is better, people would never believe it.

Now God has known what He’s doing. God is building us - He is reproducing Himself in us that we can be stamped with His character, even as Jesus was. And His character is knowing that His law is the way of life. And that is the right way. And that no other way is right.

And how many of us have been living in the way of this world, and going the way of this world, and doing the things of this world? The practices of this world, the games, the sports, the social life, the amusements of this world. How many of us like the amusements that you see on television or in movies? You like the entertainment of this world?

Do you think Bob Hope for a minute thinks that his telling jokes is bad? He says, "Look I make people laugh, and that is good for people to laugh. I’m helping people, I’m doing a lot of good." Now, he really believes that. I am sure he believes it.

Bob Hope has been on this stage more than once. I think he was here the day that Bing Crosby was here. And let’s see, yes, I am really not on the stage, I’m on the orchestra pit. They could let me down right out of your sight real quickly, if someone wanted to turn the right button. I didn’t realize that. I’m out here on the orchestra pit that lifts up and becomes part of the stage. Well, it was down and Bing Crosby was back on the stage, and didn’t realize it. He stepped over too far, and he fell down, all the way down. And he landed on this platform that I am sitting on, that was way down below then. And Bob Hope had to get a joke off. And he quickly said, "Well, I tell you Bing, if you got to take a fall like that it’s at least nice to do it in a place of class like this."

So, I know those great entertainers realize, and they are considered great by the world, they realize this is a place of class. It’s really a very fine place, a very beautiful place.

Time to Learn (PLAY FROM 1:17:21)

No, God had to know that it did take time, and that’s why Christ has gone to heaven to be our High Priest. And this other two thousand years, it’s more than 1950 now, has gone by since the death of Christ. And it’s getting to be almost 2,000 since the birth of Christ. I don’t know; we’re going to have to go up until 1994? It will be the exact 2,000 years before Christ comes. I don’t know. You might think about that, but don’t go about believing it because I just happened to say it.

But He sat down on the throne of God with the majesty of the whole universe on High, to become our High Priest. Because God needed to let them know those things. Now God raised up prophets. He began to give His truth to ancient Israel. He raised up a nation. He made them actually in a sense His wife, but He did not give them the Holy Spirit. In other words, the tree of life was still closed up and not opened to them. But God did begin to open it just a little bit to a few prophets. God opened it to Abraham. And God then opened it to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to Joseph. And then we find that God opened the tree of life to Moses, one man at a time. Later He opened the tree of life to others to lead God’s people; Samuel, and after Samuel to David, and to others, and to those that He could use in writing His word.

And then finally after 4,000 years, He sent the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Christ came and paid for the sins of the world. He paid for Adam’s sin. He paid for Seth’s sin. He paid for Cain’s sin and Abel’s sin. He paid for your sin and mine. And for those yet to be born so far as that’s concerned, and for those who will be born in the millennium even. He came to qualify for the Kingdom of God. Now God had used a few prophets. He showed the people that if they had God’s truth without His spirit, and a complete mind - that was a carnal mind - they still would be hostile against God, and they were, in ancient Israel.

Then Christ came and He started now the Church. And it started out with 120 on the day of Pentecost. But that same day 3,000 more were added. And then God had added right along every day, for a little while, those who were to be saved, that He added to the Church.

Then persecution set in, and a false gospel set in. And the true gospel then was simply - what’s the word? I never can think of it. But it never went to the world any longer. They sent a counterfeit gospel out instead of it. They began to preach about the messenger, Christ, instead of the message He brought from God. And His message was the gospel. And then there were not so many more added to the Church. Not as many as there were in that first flush of those first days, or first two or three years. And persecution set in.

And now God is raising up more in His Church in this latter time, to have a people ready for His Name. And there will be several thousand having the Spirit of God, that when Christ comes they will; " changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye... [to] immortality" (I Corinthians 15:52-53). Or, the dead in Christ will be raised first, and rise and meet Him in the air, and come down with Him on the Mount of Olives that same day.

We will be the ones that will sit with Christ on His throne. That doesn’t mean we will all be sitting on some kind of a throne over in Jerusalem, either. But we will be ruling under Christ as He rules the world, and rules over all nations. Present rulers will be put down. Then Satan will be taken out of the way, and Christ will be ruling. And we will have to get the Word of God out to all the world. And those who remain, as I say, there may be so many that will die between now and that time or will be killed or destroyed between now and Christ’s actual coming that maybe only ten percent of the people now living will still be alive when Christ comes.

And He may come within six or seven years. Maybe He will come within four or five years. I can’t set dates. But I know He is coming comparatively soon. And I don’t think He is going to wait until 1996 either, but He could. I don’t know, and you don’t know.

But there will be enough to be the rulers, and to teach the rest of the world the Way of God. And there won’t be any Satan to overule them. And God has let Satan be here. And God has let the world live that way to prove, by heirs of God, and people that can be begotten and then born into the very family of God, that the wrong way has not paid. That it has only brought human suffering, and agony, and despondency, frustration, unhappiness, suffering, and misery. And the whole world will have learned that lesson ultimately.

Looking to the Future (PLAY FROM 1:24:04)

Now in the mean time, Christ is up there at the right hand of God, as our High Priest. Now it goes on to tell how great Christ is. Let me see how the time is getting along. It is getting along about time that I stopped. And I have only gotten a few verses here in Hebrews. If I go through this whole book of Hebrews, how long is it going to take me at this rate? You see, if you put in the things from other parts of the Bible and expound these scriptures as you go along, there is so much more to any one scripture than just that one verse itself. And some of us just read right through; they don’t get the meaning. I hope that the next time you read these first, how many verses have I had here ? About four verses, that’s all. Yes, the first four verses "Being made so much better..." (Hebrews 1:4) No, the first three verses. "...sat down on the...Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3) And I think I’ll stop right there.

Because Christ has been sitting there ever since to help you and me, to be the head of this Church, to guide this Church. You know it is a funny thing, so often I wake up in the morning and it just seems like, Christ, well, He is the Word of God, He does the speaking, like He is speaking to me and getting the message through to me. And the fruits of it later, afterward, have proved, that it was Christ speaking so many times. He still works with us in the church. He still protects this church, and He is still feeding this church. And He’s preparing you and me to grow spiritually, and in spiritual character - to be stamped with His very own character - that we can rule with Him when we begin, not only to rule the world, but to save the world.

And that’s when He will begin to pour out His spirit on all flesh. Now He started pouring out His spirit on all of the flesh that were there present on the Day of Pentecost, but that’s only the firstfruits. But all flesh is going to be a lot more, and it’s going to take a lot more time, and a lot more people. And finally of course there comes the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the thousand years. God’s work won’t be completed for quite a while yet, a lot more to go. And you and I are going to have to go on living quite a while. And we’re going to have to work through that whole 1,000 years and that whole millennium.

Are you coming out of this world like you should? Are you praying like you should? Is your whole heart in your prayers? Now, it isn’t just praying; it’s how you pray. I tell you there was one man who prayed a great deal. He’s the man who prayed to God and said:

"God, I want you to know how good I am. Look how much better I am than this publican and sinner right here beside me. Poor guy! He’s just a humble guy, but he’s nothing. But look I tithe. I do this. Look how good I am God, I want you to know." (Luke 18:11-13 paraphrased)

He prayed a lot that man did, but you know I don’t think God heard his prayers. It isn’t how much you pray. On the other hand if you only pray for about two minutes a day, that isn’t going to do you very much good either. But I would rather see you pray for two minutes with your whole heart in it, than to pray two hours like that rich man with the publican and sinner next to him. Now if you pray a long time and a long prayer and your heart is in it, that’s the best of all.

Now when you read the Bible, read it, and study it, and study other things that go with it, and other places in the Bible. And let your mind call to your mind, as you read it, things in other parts of the Bible that come to you. That is what I have been doing this morning. I did practically no preparation for this message this morning. But I have to already know all these other scriptures, and you should know them. And study the Bible in that manner as well as just reading through it, and go a little slower on any one verse.

Well maybe I will get to finishing this first chapter. But wait, Oh boy! Wait to I get to that second chapter of Hebrews. How much there is there, I have written a whole book on that, a whole big book, there's an awful lot in it. And we will continue on with that later.

Now I thank you very much for your prayers. I know you are praying for me, and I do need it, I seriously need it. I need it from a physical point of view. I am handicapped, but I am going on just the same. I have to use the magnifying glass even at the typewriter now.


{1} Mr Armstrong stated crimson instead of scarlet.

{2} Mr Armstrong stated Ephesians 3 instead of Ephesians 2.

{3} Mr Armstrong mentioned 4 million instead of 4 billion.

{4} A beep sounds on the audio at 48:08.

{5} Implied.