From Sardis to Laodicea

By Herbert W Armstrong

24 June 1983


I want to give you some of the truth tonight; and I hope it will open your eyes because I think, brethren, that so much Protestantism has rubbed off on us. We just have come to take it for granted, and just assumed that their concept (of God, of Christ, of salvation, of the purpose of everything) is right and true. And it seems to me that they couldn’t be much farther wrong than they are.

In the eighteenth chapter of Revelation and the fourth verse, God tells us COME OUT OF ALL OF THAT! What He tells us to come out of is “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” [Revelation 17:5] And that Babylon the Great IS the Roman Catholic Church, and the harlots that are her daughters are the Protestants that came out of her in protest. And yet we have had so much of that rub off on us. I hope I can make some parts of that a little more clear and plain tonight, so that you can understand.

I am going to give you tonight something that I have already put before the television cameras (It will be on film.), and that you will be seeing some night during the Feast of Tabernacles. But I want to give you a little preview of it tonight.

Now we are having refresher courses constantly of ministers called in from all parts of the world here. There is on in session right now. And you know we all need a refresher once in a while to refresh our memories. And maybe there are several things that we have never quite fully understood; and we need to get it straight, and to be brought up to date on it. So I thought you wouldn’t mind having a preview of it tonight.

I’m probably not going to say everything just the same way anyway as you will be it on… And I hope that you will attend during the Feast of Tabernacles the night that this same message is given. It will take the place of the “Behind the Work” film that we’ve had the last two years. I hope that there will be time to work some of those two films in with it, because I took just an hour and fifteen minutes to give this part of it before the television cameras; and I think that it can go a full two hours with an intermission at the Festival. So I hope that they’ll have about 45 minutes to put in other parts that you saw last year and the year before, on the “Behind the Work” film that gives more of the work itself and what has happened since this Philadelphia Era of the Church came finally into being.


Now what I want to give you is a history of the transition of the Church between the Sardis era and the Philadelphia era. What I’m going to give you tonight is something I have never given you before. It’s something that most of you have never heard. How did it happen? When did the Sardis era end? When did the Philadelphia era begin?

Brethren, I want you to know there was no just sudden ending of the one and beginning of the other. There was a transition where one gradually, over a period of some few years, merged from the one into the other. Let me tell you, Jesus said in Matthew 16 verse 18:

Matthew 16:18 I will build my church, and the gates of [the grave] will not prevail against it.

Did you ever stop to think what that meant? One Church wasn’t going to die, and another begin. There has been no time—never a day, never a week, a month, or a year—since the Church started in 31 AD that there hasn’t been some people in the Church. And there were people in the Church when part of them were already beginning in the Philadelphia era. Those people were still in the Sardis era, and they were meeting together. And I’m going to show you that I pastored both for some time. Some of this part of it, and the details that I’m going to give later tonight, I think have never been fully published. I’ve published parts of it, but never fully, and completely.


You know the greatest subject in all the universe, the greatest thing, the most important thing that should come to your mind is the purpose of God. God’s purpose! That is the most important thing in your life, the most important thing in the world, the most important thing that exists. What is God’s purpose? The scriptures say His purpose shall stand. Nothing can interfere with it or interrupt it. It will stand.

Satan has tried to stop it. Satan has tried to prevent it. He hasn’t been able, and he never will. Let me read you something first, in Romans the eighth chapter, and beginning with verse 28, verses 28 and 29. It’s starting, you might say, right in the middle of a sentence, verse 28.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.

Now some people, one minister was preaching continually “All things work together for good,” and he stopped right there. He forgot it’s “to them that love God.” Otherwise, all things don’t work together for good.

Romans 8:28 All things work together for good TO them that love God, to them who are called [the called]…

How many times have I been saying recently that we are not a volunteer Church. We are a conscripted, drafted Church. God has drafted us. God has called us. It isn’t a matter of ‘whosoever will’ may come. The only place in the Bible that applies is after the Second Coming of Christ. And you find it in the last book of the Bible, the last book, the book of Revelation. The last chapter, I mean, of the book of Revelation [Revelation 22:17.] It is not a ‘whosoever will’ may come now. Jesus said:

John 6:44 No man CAN come to me except [God] the Father…draw him.

You have to be called, and drawn by God. So notice it:

Romans 8:28 All things work together for good to them that love God, [Now this explains who “them that love God” are.] to them who are the called [according to THE PURPOSE] according to His purpose.

You were called according to God’s purpose. What is that purpose? Next notice the next verse, the twenty-ninth.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow [Do you know that He foreknew us? It says He did.], he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he [the Son]might be the firstborn of many brethren.

He was born very God by a resurrection, as you’ll read in the fourth verse of the first chapter of Romans. Jesus Christ became a Son of God by a resurrection from the dead. And we become sons of God and born of God at the time of the resurrection when we either are immediately changed from mortal to immortal or resurrected if we have died in the mean time. Otherwise, we are not yet born.

Christ is THE ONLY ONE who has been born of God. He was the firstborn! Jerry Falwell talks about being ‘born again.’ He doesn’t know what the word means. He is no more ‘born again’ than a mosquito. [Laughter.] Not a bit! Now, if he is deceived, he is not judged. But you and I are being judged. And if he is not being judged that means that God hasn’t called him YET, but will latter. So we mustn’t sit in judgment of him either. A deceived man doesn’t know he’s deceived. So we can’t blame him really.

Now, I’d like to begin back in the eighteenth verse. I want to give you a little something about God’s purpose. Again, he’s been saying that if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, He that raised up Christ from the dead will also make immortal our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us. (That’s verse eleven.) And if we are led by the Spirit of God, then we’re already now the sons of God [Romans 8:14]; but only begotten sons, not yet born. Not born sons. Now verse eighteen:

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [while we’re just begotten] are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY that shall be revealed in us.

Oh, now we see something of God’s purpose: “the GLORY that shall be revealed in us.” Brethren, do you ever stop to think that such… Do you know what that glory is? And it’s that kind of glory, if you understand what it is, will be revealed in you—IF you have repented, and believed, and have the Spirit of God (which you should have); and IF you grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; IF you continue to overcome, IF you endure to the end.

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the [creation]…

Now the word there should be “creation” and it is in all other translations. It was just a misprint, a mistranslation here. But the earnest expectation that the creation—the whole universe! That means all the other planets, the sun, the moon, the stars, everything in the universe.

Romans 8:19 …waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Now do you understand that? In first John three, you read:

I John 3:2 Behold, [even] now [already] we are the sons of God: and it does not yet APPEAR what we shall be.

In other words, what we shall be doesn’t appear. You can’t see it yet. Not until we are born again. You can see us, flesh and blood. You can’t see spirit. And we’re not spirit yet, anyway. And so “what we shall be” is something you can’t see YET. But we know that, when He comes, we will then be like He is; and we will be seen like He is. We will appear as He appears, so we can be beheld by the eye.

And then {1} in verse 9 of I John 3, I believe it is: When we are born of God, we will not even be able to sin, for “he that is born of God CANNOT sin.” He just can’t do it, because God’s seed remains in him. Now, we haven’t come to that place yet. We still can sin. We just better be careful that we don’t.

Romans 8:20-21 For the creation [Now, that’s the whole creation.] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him which hath subjected the same in hope [In other words, there’s hope for all this whole universe, and the whole creation.], (21) because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.[It is in a corrupt condition of corruption now.]

Now I knew long before cameras landed on the surface of Mars and sent back photographs on the surface of Mars, I knew what that surface was going to look like. It’s going to look like something all burned out and decayed. And the Bible says that’s the way the universe is. I knew that’s the way they’d find the moon, when they got up there. They finally got up there, in just some very few years ago. So the whole universe is going to be delivered from the… I think one translation says “thralldom.” And here it says, “bondage of corruption.”

Romans 8:21 …into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that THE WHOLE CREATION groans and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit.

There again, we’re the first to be judged, the first to have salvation. Others will have it later. God hasn’t rejected the others. He just hasn’t called them yet. He’s calling us now, so we are “the firstfruits of the Spirit.”

Romans 8: 23 Even we ourselves groan within [It’s not an easy life, this Christian life.] …waiting for the {2} adoption, [that is, or] to wit, the redemption of our body [when our bodies will be made like His glorious body].

Now that is the purpose of God. And if you compare that with the second chapter of Hebrews, you find out that ULTIMATELY—after this Earth is made God’s headquarters for the whole universe—we are going to restore, from corruption, the whole universe.

Now, that’ll take a long time. That won’t be a year, or 100 years, or 1000 years. How long are we going to live? Oh, we’re going to live more than 1000 years. We’re going to live FOREVER! It’ll never end. We just keep on going, and going. Now, it may be a few million years from now before a lot of this gets done. But we’re sure going to enjoy the doing.

We’re going to be just THRILLED with the anticipation of the plans ahead when God begins to reveal them, and we see what we’re going to be able to do. Then, as we look back on the accomplishment, we’ll be even more thrilled at the accomplishment. You know, there’s a saying: “The anticipation exceeds the realization.” Well, it won’t. The anticipation will be thrilling enough. But the realization, once it’s accomplished, will be even a greater thrill, a greater joy. That is what is coming.

All right, now. That’s only an introduction. God’s purpose then is to reproduce Himself through human beings that are made out of clay, from the dust of the ground. He’s going to make that of us. We are going to be born as His children—born of Him—till we become God, even as He is God. But we have to have HIS CHARACTER, received from Him and begotten into us, before we can be like God We can’t be God without having God’s character! And now is the time for receiving that character, for building that character.


Now, this all involves the question of sin and of government. Everything revolves around the question of SIN and of GOVERNMENT. I want to show you that. Last time I spoke here, I had to speak about women wearing cosmetics. That’s just a minor thing, in a sense. But sin is sin! And people don’t know, and don’t understand, what is sin. And so many don’t want to know. They want to sin. So they don’t want to realize that what they’re doing is sin and, therefore, is wrong. And sin brings a penalty on you. The penalty is eternal death. In other words, instead of becoming God, you just will become extinct. But you will suffer (a suffering that you can’t imagine now) before that happens.

Now, it ALL began before the world was, before this Earth even had been created. I want to begin at the beginning, and I want to trace the whole thing—the purpose—from the beginning. I want to show you the Church from the beginning, and then show you its history. Now, let’s get going.

God is first shown in John in the New Testament, chapters one to four.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now you also read in the beginning of the Bible:

Genesis 1:1In the beginning… [Again, just the same as in John.]

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning Elohim [as Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language] created the heavens and the earth.

“Elohim” means more than one. Well now, if God is more than one, who was God? Because in verse 26:

Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in our image.

He didn’t say, “Let Me.” There was more than one person, and it was God speaking to the one who was called the Word. Now John the first chapter, in the New Testament, explains who God is. God is the Word, which is one person.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

He was the Word before He was born. He had always existed. He was then the Word. But the Word divested Himself of the supreme glory that is God. He gave that all up to come here, into this miserable world, and live the life that the first Adam should have lived. To set us an example; and then die to pay the penalty of our sin, to be resurrected to make possible a resurrection for us, that He might be “the firstborn of many brethren.” We can be born as He is now—God once again, as He was before.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word [That is the one that became Jesus Christ.], and the Word was with God [Another person. And then it says…], and the Word was God.

And the Word is God, again. Jesus is born “God” by a resurrection from the dead (Romans 1 verse 4). Now, it says:

John 1:4 In him was life.

If there was life in Him, He lived; didn’t He? And if He lived, He had to do something. He had to be doing something if He lived. He had to. “Lived” means motion. He didn’t breathe breath, because He didn’t need to. But He lived, and the Father lived. God lived. HOW did He live, and how did God live? They both had to live. And if they lived, what did they do? Now, there’s two things: how they lived, and what did they do.

All right, the way they lived was the way of love; and that way is a lifestyle. That’s the way they lived in relation one to the other. God loved the Word. The Word loved God. And when the Word became flesh, God said (at the time He was baptized):

Matthew 3:17 This is My BELOVED Son, in whom I am well pleased.

God LOVED His Son. Well, He had always. God doesn’t change. He was the same yesterday, today, and forever. So He did love the Son eternally. And Jesus loved the Father, and obeyed the Father. So the way They lived was love! That meant affection and love, each so interested in the good and the welfare of the other; and it meant cooperation, and not competition. It meant each was serving and helping the other. It was that kind of life. And that kind of life becomes A WAY OF LIFE, or a lifestyle. And so that Way becomes a law.

Now, what is the word “law”? “Sin is the transgression of the law.” [I John 3:4] But it’s the transgression of God’s law, of course; and the law is spiritual. God is a Spirit, and it is a spiritual relationship. It’s a spiritual relationship! Now, it is a way of life; and a law is merely the way of life.


What does government have to do with that? Government is only an organized system of administering and enforcing that WAY of Life on those that are under the subjection of the government. Here in the United States, what man has built under Satan, and perhaps (I believe) this is the best country, but this whole world is the world of Satan. But there is good in the world, as well as evil. I’ll say more about that a little later. It’s not God’s kind of “good,” unfortunately.

There is a Constitution of the United States. It’s a basic law, and ALL LAW has to be in conformity with that. And it’s only something that defines the way laws are to be made to regulate the way we live—one in relationship to the other, or one group with another group, and so on. Human relationships.

Now, that Way is defined by God’s law. Government is merely a system of organizing those under the government to regulate the way they live according to that law. Now, what did God and the Word do? I told you how They lived. Now They had to do something. Another thing, two cannot walk together except they be agreed. They were perfectly agreed! You can’t find one place where Jesus ever disagreed with the Father, or where the Father ever disagreed with Jesus. They were in PERFECT agreement—just like one mind. Of the same mind, They believed the same way; They agreed 100%. What did they do? They were Creators. And to create, you have to think first, and to design what you are going to make.

Before this auditorium was built, we spent about 10 years with the plans, designing. And every little cubic inch of this auditorium was put down on paper. Oh, all the plans were papers about an inch and a half to two inches thick. There were so many blueprints and papers; and they were good-sized papers too, big papers. And every bit of it was all planned and designed.


And God had to plan and design before He created. What did God create? First of all, God and the Word created angels. Now, how did They create? Well, in Ephesians 3 verse 9, you read God “created all things by Jesus Christ.” You read in the Psalms that Christ spoke, and it was done. [Psalm 33:9] The POWER that did it was the Spirit that emanated from Them, because they are both composed of Spirit; and Their Spirit emanates from Them and has power to create matter, to create this or that, or form and shape matter in whatever way They wanted to. So God gave the order, and Christ only obeyed and followed it.

The first thing they created was angels. And after the angels were created, we find that then they created the WHOLE UNIVERSE, and this Earth. They created matter. There had never been such a thing as matter, and then God created it. In the thirty-eighth chapter of Job, I’m going to go right through this pretty quick now. I won’t turn to these scriptures. You should know them. I’ve gone over it before anyway. We find that when God created the Earth, the angels were there. And “the morning stars” (or the archangels) were singing together, and all the other angels were shouting for joy [Job 38:7] because the Earth was to be their home. They were going to have a solid Earth of matter to live on, and they were put on this Earth first. God hadn’t created any human being yet at all.


Now, on this Earth, God set a throne; and there He put the supreme archangel that He put here over them. There are two other archangels mentioned in the Bible, or cherubs: one is Michael, and the other is Gabriel. And we don’t find that they were, at that time, put on the earth; but this Lucifer was. He was the archangel, and he was put on the Earth over the others.

Now, God’s only way of life is LOVE, and that becomes a basic law. And government—to regulate the lives of people—has to be based on law. And that was the basic constitution of the basic law of the government on this Earth. And to enforce it, or administer it, God put a throne; and He put this Lucifer on that throne. So that means GOVERNMENT was put onto this Earth. Now that law, what is it?

But, first, let’s just turn to something about that Lucifer. We read of him now back here in… First I want to turn to Isaiah fourteen; and beginning with verse twelve, we read this. First, it talked about the king of Babylon; and now it rises up to the one who is over the king of Babylon—because Satan is the god of this world. He’s on that throne! And this is talking about a man that is under that throne. And now, the type rises up, lifts all of a sudden to the antitype, or to Satan. And it says:

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

Lucifer is a name that means “shinning star of the dawn.” And the “stars” are angels. He was the cherub, the super-archangel. Now verse thirteen:

Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ASCEND into heaven [He was on the Earth.], I will exalt MY THRONE

So there was a throne on the Earth, and he was the only one who sat on that throne. Now, here’s a super-archangel on a throne on the Earth to administer the government of God. That’s the government of love.

Isaiah 14:13 I will exalt my throne above the stars [or angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the [far]north [And that is the location from the Earth here as to where the throne of God exists.]: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds [He was below clouds. He was on Earth. I don’t think we find any clouds on the moon, or on Mars. There are on Earth.]: I will be [it says here] like the most High.

And I privately think that’s a mistranslation. It should have been, what he meant was “I will become the most High. I’ll knock God off the throne, and take His place. I will rule everything!”

Now we read a little more about him in the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel, and we need to know that at the beginning. It’s speaking of the same one of whom the prince of Tyre was a type. He’s called here “the king of Tyre.” So I’ll just drop down to the fourteenth verse, where it talks about this super-archangel, this cherub. And it says that:

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth.

You find that in the twenty fourth chapter of Exodus. One of the angels (the archangels, or the cherub) whose wings spread over the very throne of God in heaven. He had been there. Now God had put him on a throne down here. He had learned about God’s government on God’s Throne. Now he’s placed on a throne of his own, here on the Earth, to administer God’s government—which is a way of life, which is the law of God—the law of love.


Ezekiel 28:14 …I have set thee [So God says. Then verse fifteen.] (15) Thou wast PERFECT in thy ways [his lifestyle] from the day that thou wast CREATED [He was not born; he was created separately, a separate created being], till iniquity was found in thee.

Why did he turn to iniquity, when he was put here to administer God’s Law of LOVE? And now he wants to go up and fight God. What happened? Iniquity is lawlessness. Why was he—instead of “law enforcing”—now “law breaking”? The seventeenth verse:

Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy BEAUTY, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy BRIGHTNESS.

He was so brilliant, so bright. His beauty, it went to his head.

I don’t know why it is: We call women “beautiful.” We don’t call men “beautiful” at all. But women want to be more beautiful. It goes to their head. So they want to put a lot of dirty paint on their faces, which God didn’t design. God is the Creator. He had to design a woman’s face. You know I believe that, if you could have seen mother Eve before the Devil got to her, you’d have seen the most beautiful woman that has ever lived. I don’t think she needed any paint on her face. I think after the Devil met her though, if she had had a looking glass, she’d have put some on. But I don’t think she had a looking glass, or a mirror.

Now the throne was there. And his beauty, that led to… He got to thinking of himself, and self began to have vanity. “I’m going to be greater than God. I’ll go up and knock God off the throne.” So you see how VANITY is, you might say, the father of sin and of rebellion against the law of God.

That’s another reason that vanity ought to be kicked out of this Church! Vanity is self-glory. It’s not glorifying God. It’s glorifying the self. It’s thinking, “How beautiful am I. How lovely am I. Well now, I get to thinking about myself, and I want everything.” And that leads to wanting to get, and take away from the other; and that leads to antagonism against others. That leads to jealousy and envy. It leads to competition and strife. It leads to hatred and murder. It leads to sin! And THAT’S THE WAY SIN BEGAN! From vanity and thinking, “How beautiful I am.” It’s the very principal of sin.

Now we need to see (That’s how sin entered the universe.) how did it enter mankind? How did it enter the world? Well, destruction came to the Earth as a result of the sin of the angels. In the one hundred and fourth Psalm and verse thirty, you’ll find how God in six days renewed the surface of the Earth (or, the face of the Earth) for man. And what you’ll find in Genesis 1 is not an original creation, but the renewing of the face of the Earth in six days for mankind.

Satan was already here. I’ve shown you how he got here. Now, he was already here; and he was sitting on a throne, and there was government here. But Satan had thrown away God’s government of love and substituted instead the government of self—self-righteousness, self-beauty, self-glory, self-desire, selfishness. And that became “the law,” instead of love.


So now we go back into Genesis, and in six days God reformed the Earth for man.

Genesis 1:26 And [then] God said [And this was God the Father saying to the Word.], Let US make man in OUR image.

So God formed man in His image. He had formed cattle after the cattle kind, dogs after the dog kind, and elephants after the elephant kind. But He said, “Let’s form man after Our kind—the God kind!” WE WERE MADE TO BECOME GOD. Now, you find that all the way through the Bible, and that begins here in the very first chapter of all the Bible.

Now, in the second chapter of Genesis, in verse seven. {3}Let’s see.

Genesis 2:7 The [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground [He took the dust of the ground, and made a man of it.], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man [from the dust of the ground] became a…soul.

A soul, then, is matter—made from the dust of the ground.


Now there were the two trees. God did not give [Adam] immortal life, but God OFFERED it to him. God made him, as I’ve said so many times, incomplete at first. Just like a woman bakes a cake that is incomplete until she finally puts the icing on, when she finally finishes it. And God hadn’t finished His Creation. In fact, He hasn’t finished it even yet in our time. He’s trying to finish it in the lives of all of you people here tonight, and those in God’s Church. He’s called us now to begin to finish that Creation IN US. He’s no trying to finish that Creation in the Churches of this world. He’s not trying to finish that Creation in the outside world. Only in those He’s calling NOW.

We have to fight against Satan, and fight against Satan’s world and all of the people in this world. And when He does call the others, they won’t have to fight anything like that (except their own selves). They’ll have us to help them. We’ll be God. We’ll be there to teach them. We’ll be there to help them. And then they’re going to have their chance, and they’ll have a far better chance than we do. But we’re being judged now. The world is not yet judged.

Adam chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is, to take to himself good and evil. Now, he was made with a spirit in his brain, and that formed the human mind. The human spirit, one human spirit inside of a human brain, made him a mind. A cow has a brain, but he can’t think. He can’t love music, and art, and literature. He doesn’t know anything about arithmetic and mathematics. He doesn’t know anything about astronomy, or physics and chemistry. A cow can’t think; but he has a brain just like we do.

It’s THE SPIRIT IN US that adds the psychic part and imparts that power of intellect to the brain and makes it possible. Psychologists don’t know these things, brethren. They’re not taught in the universities and the colleges. Scientists don’t know these things. GOD REVEALS THESE THINGS! And the revelation of God reveals knowledge that the human mind just doesn’t know, or understand, with all of their vaunted knowledge in the colleges and universities.


Now, what happened? They hadn’t made a choice yet. God has a choice there. If they had taken the Tree of Life, which is open to us now finally… We get eternal life by first receiving the Holy Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit of God imparts eternal life to us temporarily. Or, that is, in a sense of begetting us; but we’re not yet born. It’s just the impregnating germ. That’s all. But the first thing that it does do is open our minds to comprehend God’s law, and God’s truth, and the things God has prepared for those that love him.

The natural mind of man CANNOT understand the things that God has PREPARED for us. The normal mind born in us can go, but that mind needs something else. Just like the cake that isn’t finished till it has the icing put on, the mind isn’t finished and complete UNTIL the Holy Spirit of God joins with our spirit.

I’ve said time and again, Adam was not physically complete. God wanted him to reproduce, and he couldn’t do it. So God created then a woman for him, made a woman out of his rib. Now He had two persons. And the two, male and female, became one family; and now they could reproduce and have children.

The mind was alone with one spirit. It needed another Spirit to go with it, and then we become ONE WITH GOD. And that’s what the Atonement means, at-one-ment; and it means that, through the Spirit of God, we become “at one” with God.

I’m telling you things tonight you won’t hear in any church on this Earth, except one of our own Churches. And, unfortunately, you aren’t hearing this in too many of our own Churches because too many of our ministers haven’t quite learned it yet themselves.


How did sin then enter into humanity? The third chapter of Genesis:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which God had made.

And the woman sort of strayed away. She was supposed to be submissive to her husband. She wasn’t. She stealed away from him. Or, stole away from him, I guess I should say. And she encountered Satan in the form of a serpent, and he said: “Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye shall not have every tree.’ Didn’t God keep something back from you?” “Well, we can have every tree except that one; but God said we’ll surely die if we take of it.” He said, “Oh, now look, God knows better than that. You won’t surely die.”

[**At 47:19 this highlighted part is missing from the audio file we have.]

"God lied to you. He knows better than that. You’ll become God, if you take of that tree; and God doesn’t want you to compete with him and become God. And look how beautiful it is! Go ahead and take it. God was deceiving you.” And it was really Satan who was deceiving her.

And so they had obeyed Satan instead of God. God’s Word, the Bible, says:

Romans 6:16 His…ye are to whom ye obey.

They disobeyed God. They obeyed Satan. They believed Satan. They didn’t believe God. And the way you have to, that we have to, come into eternal life now is first of all to believe God. And then repent, and be baptized in token of that belief. But it means not only believing in God; but BELIEVING GOD!

Now, when that happened:

Genesis 3:23-24 Therefore the [Eternal] God sent [the man] forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (24) So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Lest he go back and gain eternal life in sin! And sin brings unhappiness, and sorrow, and punishment, and pain, and suffering on people. God did not want that to happen. So He wasn’t going to let him live forever in that kind of unhappiness, and misery. So HE CLOSED UP THE HOLY SPIRIT. And now the Holy Spirit was closed up from all mankind until Christ, the second Adam, should come. Now all through the Old Testament times, and for four thousand years, the Holy Spirit was CLOSED UP. (God only made one exception.)

Now, Christ came as the second Adam to start the kind of world that Adam should have started. But God actually started that world way back before. He started it with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and later with the other prophets: Samuel, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, all the prophets, and so on. And so the Church is based on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. [Ephesians 2:20]

Earth’s throne and government continued right there with Satan. But Satan on that throne now had gained dominance over human beings. He’s “the prince of the power of the air.” [Ephesians 2:2] He was able, through the air, to communicate an attitude—an attitude of self, of self-glory. And that’s what’s in women that want to paint their face, and they DON’T KNOW IT. And I want women to wake up in the Church, and realize the truth. They’re going to find out God’s truth some day. God doesn’t share His glory with anybody. He will glorify us, if we obey Him. In time, He will.

Earth’s throne continued and developed a world, and a CIVILIAZATION. Now this civilization, it consists of governments. They’re all man-made governments, and not one of them works! Democracy is against Communism; and that’s against Fascism; and one kind of government is against every other kind of government. So people go to war, and they fight; and they try to kill one another.

It developed a world with such a great paradox—a world that is right now in the throes of AWESOME PROGRESS and development, all physical and mechanical. We are doing wonderful things physically and mechanically; but it’s a world of APPALLING EVILS, of sorrows, of trouble. People starving to death; people killing one another; people inflicting torture on one another. Unhappiness, no contentment, discontent, unhappiness, selfishness—and yet progress. Such things ought not to be, brethren. So that’s the civilization that we have.


Into such a world came Jesus Christ, the second Adam. He was BORN with the Holy Spirit. From the time of His birth, He had already made His decision. Before He was even born, He divested Himself of all the supreme glory that He had and shared with God. He gave that up for you and for me. He came down, just like we are, as a human being that could die. He became a human MAN, but He was also God in the human flesh. His name was called Emanuel, which means “God with us.” His name was also Jesus Christ. He has many names, for that matter.

Now, He came to start GOD’S WORLD. This world was developed by Satan through the human, Adam. Jesus came to develop God’s world by Christ, started by God; and God gave Him the order to come down here and do it. So Jesus said, “I will build My Church, and the grave will never prevail against it. [Matthew 16:18] It was going to exist through every generation, and it has existed through every generation. Now I want to begin to come to the history of it.

He came also that we might have LIFE and have it more abundantly. God offered Adam life, and he took the other tree instead. God offers us life, and that life comes through the Holy Spirit. And it will be much more abundant than the temporary existence that people have in this world. But God now decided to start it from the beginning. This world was started with the one man, Adam. God’s world is going to be started with one Man—the second Adam, Jesus Christ. All right. He came to start it. Already some start had been made by the prophets. But they didn’t… Well, they couldn’t start the Church, or anything. Christ came to start that. We just have the writing of the prophets.

Jesus then called Twelve. HE CHOSE THEM. He said to them, “You didn’t choose me.” [John 15:16] No. Peter and Andrew wanted to be fisherman. Let’s see, wasn’t it Matthew wanted to be a tax collector. They all wanted to be something else. Jesus said, “Drop what you’re doing, and come follow Me. I’ve called you.” You have to be CALLED to come into God’s Kingdom. So He came to give the life to those He called—the life that had been SHUT OFF from the sons of Adam.

Now when Adam died, it was appointed at that time for men “once to die, but after this the judgment.” [Hebrews 9:27] And so everybody who ever lived is going to be resurrected and brought to judgment. And that means a chance at salvation. They’re not lost, as the world thinks they are; but neither were they saved. They died in their sins. In the resurrection, they’ll realize it. They’ll be sentenced to death. Then they’ll be pardoned, because Christ paid the penalty in their stead so they won’t have to pay it. That is, all who repent and all who begin to live God’s way. And others will just be completely destroyed, burned up in the Lake of Fire.


So Jesus CALLED first the Twelve. Now He gave the parable of the grain of mustard seed as a sample that the Church would start the smallest. The Kingdom of God, He was talking about God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is God’s civilization—The World Tomorrow, a new world. It started with the one Man, Christ. Then, He called the Twelve apostles. But He said in John 6:44: “NO MAN CAN COME to me…” now, and get into the Church at this time, and come under judgment now, except those that God calls. “No man can come unto me except the Father that sent me draw him,” John six verse forty-four.

Jesus also, as you read in II Corinthians 6:17, said to those He did call: “COME OUT from among them [of this world] and be ye separate.” We are to BE SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD. But, some of the women in God’s Church will say, “Mr. Armstrong, I don’t want to be separate. Look, I want to tell you a woman’s point of view. The women of the world all wear paint on their faces, and lift up their eyebrows. They pluck them out, and paint new ones in a little higher up. And I want to be like them! Now unless God says, ‘Don’t!’ isn’t it all right? Isn’t it okay to go Satan’s way? I HUNGER AND THIRST to go Satan’s way with the world, Mr. Armstrong. That’s what I want to do. Now, I want to get into the Kingdom though. How much do I HAVE TO DO to get into the Kingdom?”

I’ll tell you what you have to do. You have to get rid of sin! And maybe you have to wash up your face a little bit. No, the women don’t hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. They hunger and thirst, some of them… I don’t mean all of you at all. In fact, I don’t mean most of you. But some few have been hungering and thirsting for this world, and they’re afraid of what the world will think of them.

You know the first thing when I saw the truth of God, and was facing conversion, and baptism—I thought, “Well, what are my business associates going to think? Between them and the world, what will they think of me?” Oh, I thought, “Oh, boy. They’ll look down on me if I just go to Saturday instead of Sunday, and try to get converted and give myself over to Jesus Christ.” Well, I had to come out from among them, my former associates, and be separate; and all you men have to do the same thing. I learned I had to quit smoking. I had to do a lot of things I had to give up. And you women have to do the same.


Now again, WHAT IS SIN?

I John 3:4 Sin is the transgression of the law.

The law is love, and it is a lifestyle. It’s the way you live. It’s one of the things you do. The law is love. Now love is a principle. It’s a principle that can be magnified. Now, it is love. All right, let’s go a little further. It’s love to God, and it’s also love to neighbor. It’s not love to yourself, though, in lust or vanity. That glorifies the self, and that’s love of self. It’s love OF GOD. It’s humbling yourself. It’s a spiritual principle, and the spiritual principle can be applied to anything that comes up.

It’s love to God, and love to neighbor. The first four of the commandments tell you how to love God; the last six, how to love neighbor. When Christ was on Earth, He magnified it further. He said that you haven’t committed… They use to say you didn’t commit adultery until the act had been performed. “I say unto you, a man who just lusts after a woman has committed adultery already in his heart with her” [Matthew 5:28] although the woman may not even known anything about it. Maybe the woman didn’t know he was looking at her. Under the Old Testament, you hadn’t committed murder until the other guy was dead, or you’d killed someone. Jesus said, “I say to you, you have broken that principle of that law; and you are a murderer if you just hate a brother in your heart.” [Matthew 5:22] Hate means you want harm to come to him—instead of wanting to cooperate and help him, and concern for his welfare and good.

Now, what is the fulfilling of God’s law? How do you perform it? LOVE is the FULFILLING of the law! And love is an action. Love is in motion. Now, what kind of love? Is it the love of man? Oh, no! Any love you’re born with is so much filthy rags to God. That’s self-righteousness, and that will not fulfill God’s law. The ONLY love that can fulfill God’s law is THE LOVE OF GOD shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. That’s Romans five, verse five. Mark that down. Look in your Bible

Romans 5:5 The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

God has to give you that love; and, if you hunger and thirst for it, He will. But that’s the love that loves God more than you love your cigarettes, or more than you love paint on your face, or more than you love the ways of the world.

Now, God’s righteousness is compared to the world’s righteousness; and the world’s righteousness is just self-righteousness and so much filthy rags. Oh, there’s good in the world as well as bad. In this world, a lot of people have a high sense of morals, a sense of integrity, or a great sense of honor. The Orientals have a great sense of honor. They lose honor if they do certain things. But that is all carnal! That falls far short. It’s on a lower level than the love of God and God’s righteousness. God’s righteousness can only come by the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit God gives only to them that obey him. That’s another scripture [Acts 5:32]: the Holy Spirit that God gives to them that OBEY him.

Now Adam took good as well as evil. Human “good” is carnal, and it’s just like self-righteousness. It’s so much filthy rags to God. It does not fulfill God’s law. The purpose of God, and of the Church, is that God’s righteousness comes into us so we can be made God. But you can’t become God unless you have His righteousness and you’re righteous like He is righteous. I hope I make that plain. So we finally become God.


Now, the history of the Church. All right. Jesus… (Let’s see, how am I coming? I got by this on the telecast. Well, if I hurry up maybe I can get through now.) It started with Jesus alone, like a grain of mustard seed—one person. He chose Twelve. Others began to follow Him; and, by the end of His ministry, there were 120. So on the day of Pentecost, when the Church started, there were 120 there who received the Holy Spirit.

That same day 3000 more were converted by Peter’s first inspired sermon on that day. Now we find that the number of the people, just a day or so later, 2000 more were converted in the temple when Peter preached a sermon. And then you find that the number of the disciples was multiplied. But you will notice carefully in the book of Acts that it takes two or three pages for one event; and you get clear over the first seven chapters, and it’s only a few days. It’s not several years. It’s only a few days time.

So now we come in the book of Acts, to chapter eight, which is only a few days (not several years) later. You read here:

Acts 8:1 And at that time…

It’s when Saul was consenting to Stephen’s death. Stephen was martyred, and that was the first martyrdom; and Saul was consenting to his death. At that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria—except the apostles. Now, persecution set in. They began to turn away from THE GOSPEL, from the true gospel.

Next we turn to just a little later. This now is about 22 years later now. In Galatians one, the Apostle Paul writes to a Church that had been established up there. Turkey is there today. It’s what we now call Turkey. But they were Galatia in those days. Paul says here:

Galatians 1:6-7 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that CALLED you [You see, they’d been called. God had chosen them. They’d been called, and they’d turned from Him.] into the grace of Christ, UNTO ANOTHER GOSPEL [And the Gospel of Christ was being taken away]: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ..

Now I would like to turn next to II Corinthians, the eleventh chapter. And at that time, in II Corinthians, Paul wrote to the church over in Corinth:

II Corinthians 11:4 If he that cometh preacheth another Jesus [Which they were doing. A Jesus that was a smart aleck young man, that knew more than His Father, and did away with His Father’s law. And they were trying to do away with the law of God in the Gentile countries.], whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [it].

And Paul had said that “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve [II Corinthians 11:3], they would also deceive you, and beguile you.” He’s been beguiling many IN THIS CHURCH TODAY! We have to be alert, brethren. We have to realize that the world has been deceived! Now we see more about these ministers who were preaching other gospels and deceiving the people (verse thirteen, same chapter):

II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [They weren’t Christ’s apostles at all. Notice what they were.] (14) And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if HIS ministers [SATAN’S MINISTERS] also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness [which they were not]; whose end shall be according to their works.

And that’s what was going on at that time.


Then we entered a time that I call “The Lost Century.” And they… Well, let me read you something in history. Now from the history of THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE by Gibbon, chapter fifteen—a recognized history: “The scanty and suspicious materials of ecclesiastical history seldom enable us to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first Age of the Church.”

Many say now that it seems like a curtain was rung down on the history of what happened to the Church for 100 years. And when the curtain is lifted up and you look up and see what was going on, you find the Church as different as night is from day, as black is from white; but CALLING ITSELF “Christianity,” still USING THE NAME OF CHRIST.

Now let me read you something else. There is a German theological school that has this. They call that century an obscure century, from 50 AD to 150 AD. And this much I’m quoting, “…violent contest was going on between two gospels. Some wanted the gospel of Christ,” which means the same gospel Christ preached, the gospel of the Kingdom, “and others wanted a gospel about Christ”.

By 150, the people that were in favor of the gospel about Christ had won, and the other was being stamped out and persecuted. And anyone—that wanted the gospel of Christ, and would keep the Sabbath, would keep God’s law, and those things—was martyred, were put to death, were tortured. You read Foxe’s BOOK OF MARTYRS, and you get a history of what happened to millions of real Christians back in those days.

The Babylonian Mystery Religion, as a Hellenistic tradition, became the Roman Catholic Church by 150 AD. And the Roman Catholic Church claims that they started in 33 AD; and that was the year of Simon the magician, or the sorcerer, you read of in the eighth chapter of Acts, at the same time that the great persecution had entered in. It’s in the same eighth chapter of Acts that I just read to you a while ago, the persecution setting in. You read about this Simon that started the Roman Catholic Church in that same chapter.


The Gospel was suppressed from the world from about 53 AD; and THE TRUE GOSPEL OF CHRIST WAS NOT PREACHED TO THE WORLD UNTIL GOD HAD IT PREACED BY MY VOICE in 1953—one hundred time cycles of 19 years each—on the most powerful radio station on the face of the Earth (Radio Luxembourg, over in Europe). I had already proclaimed it coast to coast in the United States for 19 years. And then, one hundred time cycles after it was suppressed, God had it going out BY MY VOICE with many of you backing me. Most of you, however, have come into the Church since that time.

The false church you read of in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. Let’s turn to that just a moment, in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. Here we find, and you trace it from the second chapter of Daniel, the seventh chapter of Daniel, the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, and this seventeenth chapter of Revelation. They’re all speaking about the same thing. Daniel seven and the Revelation chapters speak about beasts, or wild animals. And the wild animals began with the Babylonian Empire, or the Chaldean Empire of Babylon 600 hundred years before Christ; followed by the Persian Empire; then the Greco Macedonian Empire; then THE ROMAN EMPIRE. And then it had a deadly wound that was healed in 554, and then they called it THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. And the Pope was sitting on top of it, and it was 100% Roman Catholic.

Now in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, you read of that. At the same time:

Revelation 17:1-2 There came [out] one of the seven angels which had the seven vails [That’s the seven last plagues, at the Second Coming of Christ. That’s just a few years ahead of us right now.], and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: (2) with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

They’re drunk on it—so bleary eyed, they can’t see the truth—on her doctrines. They PROFESS CHRIST. They talk ABOUT Christ. The Protestants talk ABOUT Christ. They don’t talk about the Kingdom of God. They don’t tell you what that’s going to be like. They don’t talk about THE LAW OF GOD. They don’t talk about SIN, what sin is. They take it for granted that sin is just something that maybe you think you know already. They don’t talk about the things you hear talked about in this Church!

It’s just like someone was saying the other day. You go into those churches, and you listen to their telecasts on the air, or their broadcasts on radio; and it’s just so much FROTH. “Oh, it’s lovely about Christ.” And “God loves you.” And then “He’s going to perform a miracle for you today.” All that kind of poppycock! It’s talking about Christ and about your life now. They don’t get down to the solid meat of what Christ came to teach and talk about; and of God’s purpose; and what God is doing; and what He’s doing in our lives; and what of the future; and what has God prepared for us in the future.


Now notice:

Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away…into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast.

And that scarlet colored beast was the Holy Roman Empire. The woman was the Roman Catholic Church. And in verse five, he said:

Revelation 17:5 Upon her forehead [the church’s forehead] was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT [In other words, the Babylonian Mystery Religion having become great, and ruling over the nations of Europe as they did in the Middle Ages, up until 1814.], THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS…

She’s a Momma Church. Her daughters are the other churches that came out of her in protest; and they call themselves Protestant, who protested.

Revelation 17:5 …OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (6) And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints.

God couldn’t speak more harshly about any system on Earth than that. Now then, in the eighteenth chapter and verse four, God says here about that Babylon and her harlot daughters:

Revelation 18:4 COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

And some OF OUR PEOPLE want to still be in it. God says, “Come out of her!”


All ready (Now I’m ready to get down…) the Church began to lose. Even the true Church existed at all times. In the twelfth chapter, you read of the true Church. Let’s turn back to that just a minute, the twelfth chapter; and here is another Church pictured. That was the great Roman Catholic Church. Here’s the true Church:

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.

This was the true Church; but this was ancient Israel, before she had the Holy Spirit and before Christ came. And there it shows Satan, the devil, as:

Revelation 12:3-5 Another wonder in heaven…a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns [Just like the beast did that he gave power and strength to in the government.] … (4) His tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven [A third of the angels were with the devil.], and did cast them to the earth [And the dragon was ready to devour her Child as soon as it should be delivered. Now Christ was born of Judah.] … (5) And she brought forth a man child [That was the birth of Christ.], who was to rule all nations…

Now we’re getting back to GOVERNMENT again. Satan has been ruling all this time. Now, Christ is to rule all nations, and sit on that throne of the whole Earth, taking it away from Satan.

Revelation 12:5 …to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child [which was Christ]was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

That goes over His lifetime, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and His ascension up to heaven, caught up to God. That one little sentence there covers the whole lifetime of Christ.


Now it’s after Christ:

Revelation 12:6 And the woman [Now this is the Church that had the Holy Spirit, the New Testament Church.] flew into the wilderness [In the Middle Ages, when she was persecuted by the woman. The martyrs of Jesus fled into the wilderness. Now, she fled on her own feet.], where she hath a place prepared of God [And she had to go into a place of protection. And now finally…] (7) There was war in heaven.

That’s about this time. I think that may have happened just recently—before the government of the State, the largest State in the United States, tried to attack this very Church, and tried to take it over; and they did not succeed.

Revelation 12:7-9 There was war in heaven: Michael [That is one of the other two archangels.]and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels [The dragon is Satan.], (8) and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. (9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.

Now, there’s another battle in heaven; and this time Michael is fighting against Satan. And he’s cast down to Earth, where he’s really angry and begins to persecute the Church. Now we’re coming down to the time of salvation and the Kingdom of our God [Revelation 12:10], which is just ahead of us now.

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

How does he know he has but a short time? Jesus said you know by when this gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed once again to all the world. THEN will the end come. [Matthew 24:14] And Satan knows that, brethren. Do you? Do we? I hope we do.

Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is [to be] nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [That’s 3 ½ years.], from the face of the serpent.

And then he goes after the remnant—that’ll be the Laodicean Church—and persecutes them. And then Christ comes. And half of that Church, you read in Matthew twenty-five, the door is shut, and they’re kicked out or kept out; and half go in. That’s the Laodicean Church that hasn’t risen up yet. That’ll come up out of the Great Tribulation, just ahead of us now.


All right, now let’s get down to the history right up to now in the Church. God’s true Church has ALWAYS kept the Law of God, which is God’s way of life. (And is not to keep us out of sin.) It has ALWAYS been a Sabbath keeping Church. And another thing, it has ALWAYS been kept in the name of GOD. Jesus prayed three times, in the seventeenth chapter of John, that the Church would be kept in God’s name. He said to God:

John 17:12 I kept them in Thy name.

While He was on Earth, He kept them in God’s name. He prayed that we would be kept in God’s name. Twelve times in the New Testament the only name of the Church is “the Church of God.” They kept the name. They kept God’s law. They made a difference between the holy and the profane. Now, that’s about all. You find the Churches that have done that, and you find the true Church. The Protestants have not. The Catholics have not. Even the Seventh Day Adventists have not. They changed their name.


Now let me give you some history. In 1860 the Church of God was at Battle Creek, Michigan. Now there may have been other bodies of them in Europe and other places. I don’t know about that. I just know that we have a history of the Church in Battle Creek, Michigan. A number of the members of the Church wanted to split off and take another name. They had a hymnal, The Hymnal of the Church of God. They were known as the Church of God. The majority took the name “Seventh Day Adventist,” and split off. They adopted at least three great doctrines of their Mrs. White that are false: the investigative judgment, the 2300-day doctrine, and (The, oh, what was the other?) the spirit of prophecy. And so the majority left, and the smallest amount carried on.

They moved to Marion, Iowa. There they published a paper every week for Church members, called “The Bible Advocate.” Then, about the turn of the century, they moved to Stanberry, Missouri; and The Bible Advocate was continued to be published.

Meanwhile, God began dealing with a man that He had been raised up for a purpose. In the years 1911 and 1933, God raised up a man that I think looks a great deal like I do. [Laughter.] And he had been very successful in business. By the time he was 28, he’d been making what today would be about a third of a million dollars a year. And that’s a pretty good income for a young man only 28. He had been successful.

He was married at age 25, and before I was 28 I was making a lot of money. But while I was still 25 (Only a mater of, oh, let me see. It was less than a month or two after I was married.), my wife had a dream that was the most real thing that had ever happened to her. It appeared to be more of a vision than a dream, and it excited her.

Now, I didn’t know about God. I had never studied the Bible. I had been brought up in the Quaker Church, but I didn’t know what they believed. I was never interested in religion; and, at age 18, I dropped out of church because I was never interested.

But my wife had a vision. In it she saw birds coming with something like angels coming in the sky. It was out at a great crossroads where two roads, well, crisscrossed. There was about a five corner there out on Sheridan Road in Chicago. She was standing right out in the middle of the street; and everybody began to see it, and a crowd came along. They were coming on down, and it wasn’t birds; and she saw it was angels. And finally, it seemed like it was one Angel. And she thought, “Well, this must be the Second Coming of Christ.” He came down; and, to her surprise, He came down and put His arm on her and me.

I was going to movies…

[**Missing content at 1:28:49.]

Then we got on all the major United States stations every day—all the big 50,000-watt stations. The Work was then growing 30% a year for 35 years, up until 1968. And it finally became WORLD WIDE, as it is now. And so I will close in one scripture, Matthew 24. The disciples had asked Jesus for a sign of His Second Coming and the end of the world. (I have slipped a few minutes overtime. I’m sorry, but I wanted to get this complete.) The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him privately, saying:

Matthew 24:3 When shall these things be? [The destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem.] And…the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world? (4) [Now] Jesus…said…Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: [but deceiving the world].

That is what they have done! That was the whole controversy in that first 100 years—a gospel about Christ, rather than the gospel of Christ. The gospel of Christ is the gospel of the Kingdom. And it was not preached—for 1900 years the gospel of the Kingdom was NOT preached.

Now in verse 14, and now Jesus came to tell them when would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom SHALL be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and THEN shall the end come.

Now, immediately after that, the Great Tribulation is to come; and it is going to come. This thing of the Pope in Poland this last week has brought it much nearer. I’m going to be saying many things about that. And there is something about it in the coworker letter that should have been mailed out today.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the Day of the Lord will come. The sun and the moon will be darkened, and so on—the Day of the Lord. And then they will see Christ coming in the clouds of heaven, with POWER and great GLORY, to set up GOD’S KINGDOM—the new civilization, The World Tomorrow—which the first Adam should have set up, but which he didn’t.

Well, brethren, I tried to hurry through. I went into a little more I think with you here tonight than I did which you’ll hear on the tape during the Feast. But I think that you’ll agree that many of these little details you have never heard before. And I thought you’d be interested in knowing. I think you should know our roots. Where did this Church come from? How did we come down to here? God has RESTORED the true gospel; God has RESTORED an annual holy day; He has RESTORED His law, and many things, into the Church. And He’s used me in most of it, in doing it; and here we are.

I don’t know how long I can continue. But, it’s all in God’s hands. I know my work is far from finished. I hope that God will just keep me going. I don’t know. Next month, just a matter of a few weeks now, I will enter my ninety-second year. Now wait a minute, is it ninety-second? Yes. I’m 90 now. And, as soon as I am 91, that will be entering the ninety-second year.

Well, I don’t know. We’ve got people that retire at age 55. I think I should have a lot of back pay. I should have retired, and have retirement pay for all those years. [Laughter.] But I’m not going to ask for it. I won’t say anything about that. Don’t you mention that I did. [More laughter.]

Good night, brethren.

Transcribed by KK January, 2006

{1} Editorial note: Wrong chapter given. The original said: “And then in verse 9 of I John 2, I believe it is.”

{2} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong said “waiting for the redemption;” but at the place where he was reading the Bible says, “waiting for the adoption.”

{3} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently read the wrong verse. The original said: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

{4} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong fumbled and then corrected himself. The original said, “It was; there is a German theologian, theological school that has this.”