Passover Examination (UK)

By Herbert W Armstrong

27 March 1982


I have just returned to the airport, I have come from having a luncheon, Mr Aaron Dean and myself with King Leopold and his family over in Belgium. And they promised to visit us again in Pasadena – I don’t know just when – but sometime soon this year, and we arrived a little bit late because we had lunch over there.

I am glad to see this many of you once again, and I hope to be with you again in two weeks. I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Amman, Jordan. I have a number of things I want to take up with King Hussein over there. For one thing, I want to see about getting on radio and television and whether they reach into the land of Israel, which should be called Judah because they are Judah rather than Israel.

It is a peculiar thing that because the vanguard of Israel lost their identity and became known as the ‘lost ten tribes’. Even Judah lost their identity and Judah thinks they’re Israel. And Israel thinks they’re Gentiles. But you people here in England are Israel and the people in Israel are really Jews, and we’re not Jews and never were Jews. As a matter of fact they were never called Jews until after Rehoboam or after King Solomon really died and his son Rehoboam came to the throne and then there was the split. The people had suffered under the high taxation of Solomon, who reigned in such gorgeous splendour, but he reigned on the taxes of the people – and he did overtax them. And they said to Rehoboam that if he would reduce the taxes to a sensible level they would still serve under him and otherwise they would not.

He consulted the older and wiser people, and they told him he had better listen to the people. Then he consulted the youngsters, his own age, and I don’t know what his age was, but I assumed he was not over about 18 or 19. They told him, tell the people where to go – he told them where to go – so they did!

Reign of Jeroboam (PLAY FROM 3:06)

They elected Jeroboam, who had been King Solomon’s – well you might say Prime Minister – the government under King Solomon – his right hand man and his virtual prime minister; and so he became king over Israel

Well then immediately the tribe of Judah split off into another nation and they became known as the Jews. Now the people of Israel had never been known as Jews before that. And Jews is merely a nickname for the tribal name Judah – of just that one tribe. However the tribe of Benjamin had always been close to the people of Judah, and in the original brothers, the sons of Israel or Jacob, - you know whose name was changed to Israel - it was Judah who took care of Benjamin and always kept close to him.

Well then one of the first things that King Jeroboam did when he was elected - and they turned to democracy now instead of just having a king descended from a Davidic dynasty – and one of the first things he did was to kick out all of the tribe of Levi from being the priests. They had what we call the Levitical priesthood of the sons of Levi. Now all of the tribe of Levi were the priests. They were born to be priests. They weren’t elected, they were just born that way. In those days the priests were not serving spiritually and preaching sermons - like preachers do today - they were serving physical duties, at the altar as they said. They were killing lambs and other animals, and sacrificing things for the people. And it was physical work really that they were doing, more like a deacon would do today, except they had certain things to do that were only temporary for that time – until the time of Christ. And things that have been entirely done away with – not being done anymore anyway, never have been from the time of Christ on.

Another thing he did was to change the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday. Now the Sabbath was a covenant by which they would know who God is, and by which people would know who God’s people are and identify them as the people of God.

The people of Judah kept the Sabbath, so everyone thinks that they are God’s people and they are known as Israel because they keep the Sabbath. But Israel rejected the Sabbath and turned to Sunday and they lost their identity. Now they had been taken captive, or were later taken captive by Shalmanesar, king of Assyria later and in that captivity they completely lost their language, and they had already lost the Sabbath – they lost their identity altogether. They did move from where they had been taken captive as slaves, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. They moved with the Assyrians north and west.

Now the Assyrians settled down in Germany and became the Germans of today. And the ancestors of today’s Germans were the ancient Assyrians. However, the people of the ten tribes of Israel kept moving on farther west and they are the people of not only Britain, here, but also of France, and Belgium and of Holland, and Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and they are all among the ten tribes – and even Ireland.

But they lost their identity, and our people got to thinking that we are Gentiles. We are all mixed up and the whole world is mixed up and doesn’t realise how mixed up it really is. Well all people have been mixed up. Jesus Christ came into a mixed up world, somewhat over 1950 years ago. The whole world is mixed up and some of us are still mixed up. We are trying to come out of it and get to the truth. This church has gone farther, or at least come farther in getting back into the truth than any. I think we still have more truth to discover. And God has revealed more truth to us within the past year.

The trouble is most people will not admit they’re wrong. The hardest thing for a human being to do is to admit he is wrong. ‘No – I’m not wrong, - I have never done wrong – I’ve never been wrong.’ One person believes this, another person thinks that’s wrong and believes something else. Neither one will admit he is wrong. Well they can’t both be right when they believe opposite things. But they are stubborn, they won’t admit their wrong. I want to talk to you about that very thing today.

Visiting Israel (PLAY FROM 9:15)

So I am going to visit Israel once again on this trip, but someone has to get a message into the cities of Judah. Did you ever read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah? Let me just pass that on to you before I start the real message I want to bring you today.

The fortieth chapter of Isaiah, you will find that Zion is to take a message to the cities of Judah about this time announcing that the time is coming that we are in a generation when Judah's and Israel’s Messiah is coming to rule with a strong arm and to set up a world government that will rule over all the nations of the earth. Actually it is Jesus Christ coming back to the earth, and He is coming as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is going to rule over England, He is going to rule over Germany and France. He is going to rule over Russia and China and over Japan and over the United States, and over all of the nations of South America and of Africa.

Now I have perhaps seen and talked with more kings - just had lunch with one a few hours ago – more prime ministers, presidents, or emperors of nations than any man living, at least in their own offices, where they rule. And not one of them is going to be ruling very much longer. Jesus Christ is coming to rule over all nations and the people that are called saints in the Bible - the people of the true church of God - are going to rule under Him. He is going to set up a new world. That is something I’d like to talk to you about – two weeks from now. And I’m going to save that for that time.

Why the church? What did Jesus Christ come to start the church for? When Jesus came He said "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). Well why? Why did He build a church? What is the church? Why is it? Why should there be a church? Do we need one? Do we need a lot of them? Does it make any difference which church we belong to? Should there be a lot of different churches? What is the purpose of the church - why is there one? Nobody ever stops to think about things like that. As a matter of fact, no one wants to stop and think about why is humanity here? How did we get here anyway? Are we here for any reason? Are we here for any purpose?

Well people say, "Oh don’t bother me with anything like that, I’m just interested in, you know, the sports of today, I’m just interested in whatever my pleasures are. I’m sorry I have to work but I’m interested in getting the job over and getting home where I can rest and look at sports or something; look at the 'telly’ as we call it over here in England. We call it television in the United States. But they don’t want to be bothered about why we’re here and where're we going and what is the purpose of life. People aren’t interested - don’t bother me about anything like that.

Well the day is coming, brethren, when the people are going wish they had been bothered. However, all is working out according to God’s purpose and according to His master plan for working out that purpose.

Annual Festivals Picture God's Plan (PLAY FROM 13:20)

Now among other things God ordained among His people and continues on in His church seven annual festivals to picture that master plan He is working out here below in humanity. The churches of this world don’t know anything about it, they don’t observe. The Jews do observe them, and don’t know why they do, and don’t observe them properly – and some of them at the wrong time.

But they begin with the Passover in the spring of the year. Now God’s year begins in the spring. The first day of God’s year begins when, about – right along within the last week or so. I don’t think I noticed when the first day was - it is not a day we specially remember, anyway, but we do remember the fourteenth day when the Passover comes along. And the Passover is going to come along just one week and three days from now. And since I am leaving to go over to Amman, Jordan, from there I want to get on radio and reach the Israelis or really Judah and also see about Petra or Peetra, whichever you want to call it and incidentally and I am not sure or ever have been that we are going to go to Petra some of these days. But if the Bible gives any hint at all about where we shall go that is where it is.

I’m just not sure it does, but I say it is likely but King Hussein of Jordan controls it. And I think it is good that I have a working relationship with King Hussein of Jordan and I started to set up a relation with him back in 1974 and Mr Stanley Radar somehow managed to stop it, and I want to revive it again, and I hope that I can. And I want to get into some educational project with him also, if I have to reach the cities of Judah, someone has to in the church. And incidentally, I might tell you, that Television Jerusalem - Jerusalem television - has asked us for audition tapes of our program, and they are willing to view them and consider our program on Jerusalem television.

Now most of the programs that I am using and that you will see on Luxembourg would not be suitable in Jerusalem. We cannot offend the rabbis over there of Judaism, because if we do they will bring such pressure on the government, the government will just shut us off, and the government doesn’t want to offend the rabbis. Well I have a lot of friends in Israel, but my friends are all in government and in education and not among the rabbis. I don’t know any rabbis. And so far, somehow, I haven’t cared to. If God wants me to I will. But, anyway, if I do not get on Jerusalem radio to announce what has to be announced, and I will probably have to – I am planning on doing as soon as I get back to Pasadena – to record for broadcasting, special programs just to be aired in Israel. And if we get on in Jerusalem, we will also be on in Tel Aviv and in Haifa, and we will reach the whole country.

Well after that I am going on to Nicosia, Cyprus. I want to see about radio time there and as another way of reaching the people of Judah, because this message must get into the cities of Judah. And from there we go back to Jerusalem. I can’t go direct you know, the way conditions are, because we have too much conflict. Everything is conflict in the world today. I can’t go direct from Amman, Jordan into Jerusalem, Israel. So we have to skirt all around Israel and go down to Nicosia and then we can come back to Israel from there. So I expect to see Prime Minister Begin once again and my other friends. The Mayor Teddy Kollek, the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Kol who has been very prominent within the government and heads the ICCY – International Cultural Centre for Youth – which our foundation is largely financing and so on. Then I hope to be back here, just two weeks from today.

At least that is the schedule, and I say ‘God willing.’ If God allows and God wills, why that is the plan.

We Must Examine Ourselves (PLAY FROM 19:32)

But now the Passover is just as I said, a week and three days from today and I want to speak to you about that, because it is a very serious time. It’s the first of the beginning of the Festivals of God. Now the Passover itself is not a Holyday. It’s on the eve of the day, it comes on, let’s see, what is it? – Is it a Tuesday or Wednesday night or something like that. Anyhow, the next day then, is the preparation day and the day after that is the first annual Sabbath, which is an annual Sabbath day. It might be on a Monday, it might be on a Friday. It can be on any day of the week. And so, once again this year I will be it seems, the schedule just worked out that way, that I will be in Jerusalem for the Passover. I would much rather be here with you, or to be at home base in Pasadena, but I have been in Jerusalem before on the Passover, and I will be once again.

But it is time that we begin to examine ourselves before the Passover. I want to read to you I Corinthians 11, where the apostle Paul speaks a great deal about the Passover service. A lot of people call it the ‘Lord’s Supper’ today – a lot of Protestants, and I believe the Catholics call it ‘Eucharist’, and a lot of people have it once a week, other people have it every time they have a service. Some people have it once a month, while God has said to have it once a year, on the anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ. I just want to read a few little scriptures here, not give you the whole thing about the Passover at all, I’ll leave that for others. But in I Corinthians 11 and verses 27 and 28

"Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread [at this, what some call it ‘communion service’ and some ‘Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, or whatever you call it], whosoever shall eat this bread and drink of this cup of the Lord, UNWORTHILY, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord." (I Corinthians 11:27)

I want to call you attention first to the fact it is not speaking of how worthy you are. Whether you are worthy enough to take it or not. But we are told to examine ourselves. And we should be worthy, but it says here in the next verse: "But let a man examine himself [and that is what we ought to be doing now], and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." (I Corinthians 11:28)

So we are commanded to do it. It isn’t a case of whether you are worthy or not. It’s a case of doing it worthily – in other words, the manner in which you do it. You have to understand what it means and what it represents and what it means to you. If it doesn’t mean something to you, you’re doing it unworthily. There is a great purpose in it.

Now notice the next two verses 29 and 30: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body." (I Corinthians 11:29)

Now the broken bread represents the Lord’s body. The wine that we take at the Passover service represents His shed blood. But the bread must be unleavened, and it is broken, - we just break off little pieces. Actually they used to use a type of bread – it’s like bread made in France today, where they just break it off instead of slicing it. And the expression ‘break bread’ means – to meet together to break bread that you find in Bible in the New Testament and certain places. It is not referring to a ‘Lord’s Supper’ or Passover service or something of that kind. It is just a regular meal three times a day. That was a common expression in that day. But nevertheless it says if a man does it unworthily, he "...drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." (I Corinthians 11:30)

Sickness And Physical Sin (PLAY FROM 25:05)

Now what does he means by that? What is the instruction when you are sick - to the church? Not to the world but to God’s church. It is in James, the fourth chapter; I believe it is in James and verse 14 – the fifth chapter of James. James 5:14:

Is any sick among you? Let him call for the doctor and take the doctor's medicines and drugs or go and have an operation and have someone cut him up with a knife. Is that what your Bible says? The Bible is the word of God – what does God say? Read it – James 5:14:

"Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick [not maybe, not if God wills, not if he takes a lot of medicines along with it, it says it shall save him] and the Lord [will] raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." (James 5:14-15)

Now do you know that even divine healing is the forgiveness of sin? If you are sick, sin has taken place. There are two kinds of sin, did you know that? One sin is spiritual – the transgression of God’s spiritual law. That law is the way of love - it's love toward God and love toward your fellow man. Now that is a spiritual law, not a physical law. But God set physical laws to work in your body, to set your heart to pumping. He set a digestive system in you to work a certain way. An eliminative system and nervous system, a reproductive system and if some of these systems that keep you going get sort of, as we say, out of kelter, or something causes it to not work as it should - a law of health, a law that God set in the body, a law that God designed and set to be in the body has been broken.

And it is a transgressed law. That doesn’t mean you have committed a sin in the sense of sin. Maybe you didn’t do it at all. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe you got a contagious disease from someone and you didn’t even know it. Maybe you drank a germ in some water – something you drank. I’ve done that. Nevertheless some law in the physical body has been broken and if God heals it, it is the forgiveness of the sin.

Jesus Christ was beaten with stripes – lashed on His back till it was broken open before they took Him out and crucified Him to die.

And His body was broken for our healing, to pay the price – He paid the price in our stead. When you are sick, a law of the body has been broken, and what is the result – suffering. Christ suffered in His body. He didn’t do any wrong. Nevertheless He was beaten that we could be healed, and the reason we are not healed is because we DON’T BELIEVE.

Got to Believe God (PLAY FROM 29:26)

God talked to Adam and Eve and they didn’t believe Him. He said, “If you take of that forbidden fruit you’re surely going to die.” They didn’t believe that. Satan came along and said, “Oh, you won’t die, God lied to you.” They did believe Satan but they didn’t believe God.

Jesus Christ came 4,000 years later and Jesus Christ preached to multiple thousands of people. Two different times He preached to 5,000 men, but there were women and children there but they are not even counted, so there must have been twelve to fifteen, twenty thousand people there. Of all those thousands of people Jesus talked to, only 120 people believed what He said.

People don’t believe God. GOD SAYS YOU SHALL BE HEALED. You don’t believe that. Now Jesus was walking along and a woman came and touched His garments. She’d been going to doctors for, what was it, 12 years, I believe it was. She had spent all the money she had, and they hadn’t helped her a bit, she’d gotten worse. She was healed instantly like that. He turned around and He said, "Sister, or woman, your faith healed you, because you believed" (Matthew 9:20-22). We wonder why we never get healed. The doctor does more good to most of us – and medicine. Medicine does more good than God does. You know why? Because we believe in it, and we don’t believe God. Oh no, God says the prayer of faith SHALL SAVE THE SICK. Oh, I don’t believe that – God said that – well God I don’t believe what you said. How about you? Do you believe what God said? No most of you don’t I am afraid. But we do believe the doctors. We need to think that over a little bit. We certainly ought to.

Jesus died by bleeding to death, He didn’t die of a broken heart. He was stabbed by a spear, and the blood spurted out and He screamed, with a loud scream, and then He died. His death paid the death penalty that we have inherited from transgressing the spiritual law - that’s what we usually think of as sin.

Now when a physical law has been broken in our body, even though we didn’t do it, it is broken law, and we never think of that as being sin, but it is. It is a form of sin.

You know there was a woman evangelist, I never believed in her very much, but she had one or two things that were just about right. Aimee Semple McPherson – did you ever hear of her over here in England? She was famous about 50 years ago in the United States. But she spoke of this as one of the benefits that go along with the Christian life and most people don’t care for that extra benefit. But God doesn't charge you any extra for it. It’s just an extra benefit He throws in, but most people don’t pay much attention to it and they don’t really believe it.

Well, anyway, we are told to examine ourselves and we are still commanded to go ahead and take the Passover just the same, but let’s do it worthily. Let’s believe God when we do.

Does Christ's Blood Save You? (PLAY FROM 33:48)

Now there is something else I would like to get straight right here at this point. Does the blood of Christ save people? Now, what do we mean by saved – get saved? What do we mean by salvation? It doesn’t mean go to heaven. It means you are made immortal and given immortal life, that’s what it means. Most people don’t even know what it means because they don’t understand what God says. Another thing, most people don’t care about it anyway. They don’t want to understand. Does accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, save you? In other words, does that give you eternal life? No!

Does His shed blood save you and give you eternal life? No, it does not. Well, I’ll tell you 99.99% of so-called Christians believe it does and they’re wrong, it doesn’t. Does baptism get you into the Kingdom? Let me tell you, in this church, the True Church of God - I hear a lot of people say, "Oh, I’m a member of the Church, I’ve been baptized." BEING BAPTIZED DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH – I WANT YOU TO GET THAT! Just being baptized did not make you a member of this church. We don’t baptize you into the church. Our ministers are supposed to baptize you into Jesus Christ, and in another sense, into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or at least into the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Being baptized, soused in water and brought back up isn’t going to save anybody. Now that is a funny thing, and yet you are commanded to be baptized. And there is no promise that you will receive the Holy Spirit of God unless or until you are baptized.

I want you to get straight this afternoon what makes you a Christian. And I am afraid a lot of us have NEVER UNDERSTOOD THAT, have never realized whether we are a Christian or not and many people in this church are not Christians, are not Christ's and think they are. They think they are a member of the church and they are not really members of the church. They ARE NOT on the way into the Kingdom of God, they are deceived. I’m putting power into that brethren, I want you to get it. 'Cos even our people, this is the True Church of God and we have been deceived, and it’s time we wake up. And I want to wake you up this afternoon.

You are not a Christian unless the Spirit of God is in you and you are actually being led by that spirit. Now most people don’t even know what that means. Let’s turn next to Romans. No before I get to Romans, well let’s just take that right now and then I’ll come back to what I wanted to take. Romans 8 and verse 9:

"But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:9)

That is he is not a Christian. I don’t care how many times he's been baptized – he's not a Christian unless the Spirit of Christ is in him or the Spirit of God – it is all the same spirit. Not two different spirits.

Now in verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

The Spirit of God opens your mind to comprehend God’s way of life, the law of God. The world does not comprehend the law of God. That is the way of life. It is God’s way of life. It’s the way God lives. And the Spirit of God will open your mind to understand that way when God reveals it, and God reveals it through the Bible. But you know, a lot of people can read the Bible and I don’t care how many PhD’s they have after their name. They still don’t understand God’s way of life, because that’s a spiritual way. And they don’t understand spiritual things; they only understand physical and material things. Unless the Spirit of God is in you.

Traditions of Men (PLAY FROM 39:23)

Now I’d like to have you turn to Mark, the seventh chapter, verses 6 and 7. Where Jesus said:

"This people honoureth me with their lips [many people do that, I know many Pentecostal people say, ’Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord – Glory Alleluia - well that’s easy – they praise God with their lips, but as Jesus said] their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me [Jesus said], teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 7:6-7)

Doing what men say and not the law of God. Many of the churches say the law of God is done away. They don’t keep the law of God. They say "we don’t teach it – it’s done away!" And the law of God is the way God lives. That’s the way the Holy Spirit in you will live. Will lead you into that way of life and most Protestants say the law is all done away – we don’t have to live by that law anymore. That old, harsh, stern law.

What is sin? The Bible definition of sin is found in I John 3:4: "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). That’s what sin is. And they say it is done away – then there isn’t any such thing as sin if it is done away. Sin is the transgression of the law.

Now what do they have, traditional Christianity? They have the traditions of men. They don’t believe this word of God. This is God speaking. They don’t believe it. They don’t believe it.

"For laying aside the commandment of God [they say that’s all done away], you hold to the tradition of men [the tradition of men], And he said unto them, Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your [own] tradition." (Mark 7:8-9)

They worship Christ but all in vain, that isn’t going to save them, it is all in vain – no use, no purpose whatsoever. Just worshipping Christ is not enough. You must receive the Holy Spirit of God and you must be LED by the Holy Spirit and if you are not, you are not even a Christian and you are not a member of the Church of God. Unless that is true in your life and you have received the Spirit of God and unless you are now being led by it.

Now the Holy Spirit will lead you, but it won’t get hold of you and pull you along, it won’t drag you. And it won’t get behind you and push you and shove you and it won’t compel you. It will only open your mind to see what God says. And it is up to you whether you want to obey or not. If you don’t, you pay the penalty. God isn’t going to force you to do anything, it’s up to you. But however, there are rewards and punishments. And there is going to be a hell fire and it isn’t the same kind of hell fire those Catholics and Protestants believe in. But it’s one that burns you up altogether until you be as though you’d never been. You’ll be ashes under the soles of the feet of other souls. That’s what God says in the Bible. Only they don’t believe what God says.

What Gospel Did Jesus Preach? (PLAY FROM 43:51)

Now what Gospel did Jesus preach? Look at the first chapter of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" (Mark 1:1). Now I want you to notice that - the very beginning of Christ’s gospel. Then it talks about John the Baptist preparing the way before Him, beginning with the second verse. Then it continues on down - John’s ministry and Jesus being baptized until the fourteenth verse, then it says;

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel..." (Mark 1:14)

Now this is the beginning of His gospel, He came preaching the gospel. What gospel did Jesus preach? Roman Catholics don’t preach that gospel. Protestants don’t preach that gospel. Jews don’t preach that gospel. No religion I know of preaches that gospel – except this church. I don’t mean to say that everybody is out of step but us – but if that be so, I didn’t make it that way.

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14). They don’t preach that gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Now then, "and saying" the next verse: "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand [and then He gave one command]: REPENT YE, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)

Two things – repent and belief. But here He says what you have to believe is the gospel and you have to believe the gospel that has not been preached to this world in 1950 years, until I began preaching it right over here in Europe on Radio Luxembourg, the first week in 1953. It was not preached anywhere around the world for 100 times cycles of 19 years each or a thousand nine hundred years. You tell me anyone who preaches it - anyone of those years. You can’t do it, because no one did preach it. It was not preached, believe it or not. God raised me up to proclaim it. The people don’t believe God or what God does.

Now next turn to Luke the thirteenth chapter where Jesus said in verse 3. Luke 13:3 "I tell you, Nay: but, except you REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)

I don’t care how many times you have been baptized in water. I don’t care how many churches you have joined - that does not save you. I don’t care how much you worship Christ. You worship Him in vain, if you follow the traditions of men instead of the law of God, you are still a sinner because sin is the transgression of the law. The traditions of men say it's done away. They say, you don’t have to keep that law. And that law is only the way of love – and it’s love to God and love toward neighbor - cooperation and help, and ordinary courtesies and kindnesses – that’s all wrong, isn’t it? I don’t see it; I don’t see how it can be wrong.

You Must Repent (PLAY FROM 48:09)

Now, in verse five Jesus repeated Himself for emphasis, He said all over again, "I tell you NAY: but, except you REPENT, you shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)

No matter how many times you’ve been baptized, no matter how much you say, "Oh I accept Christ as my personal Savior." That won’t save you, unless you have repented also. Now it is necessary to accept Christ, don’t misunderstand me but I say that alone is not enough at all and that does not save you. And the blood of Christ doesn't save you, read the fifth chapter of the book of Romans, I won’t take time this afternoon - jot it down, study it at home, the fifth chapter of the book of Romans where it plainly says that we are not saved by the blood of Christ – the blood of Christ – the death – we are reconciled to God the Father by the death of Christ. But we will be saved by His resurrection. And salvation comes by a resurrection. Nobody will ever be completely saved in this life - did you know that? The only people saved will be those who have been either resurrected or changed instantaneously from mortal to immortal at the time of Christ’s coming. Those who are living at that time who were in Christ – who have and are being led by the Holy Spirit.

"Now IF the Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Jesus from the dead will also make immortal your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11 paraphrased)

I didn’t read that – that’s the eleventh verse of Romans 8 - I read the ninth verse. But that is verse eleven if you go back and read it.

Right here is where so many are misled and where they are deceived and they are unaware of it. You know if you are deceived you don’t know you are deceived. If you know you are deceived, you are not deceived even – then that wouldn’t be deceived. A deceived person doesn’t know he’s deceived. Well someone says, "I can’t be deceived," Oh yes you can. Maybe you are and don’t know it.

I meant to read verse eleven back there a while ago, so I just now quoted it - I didn’t read it before.

Being converted – having the Holy Spirit – being led by the Spirit of God means a totally changed life. It means you are not the same person you used to be. It means you are not living the same kind of life you used to live. It means you have turned around to go the other way. A lot of people don’t understand what it means to repent. Jesus said, "Except you repent you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). I think a lot of people in our own church do not know what we mean by repentance.

You know there is a story of a Methodist bishop – now he was looked on as a pretty big man, you see, and he came to a local church somewhere, he’d come from a large city farther away. And everybody turned out to hear him because he was regarded as a big man and he was preaching on repentance. But, somehow the people couldn’t understand him. And there was a simple black man that didn’t have a lot of education, clear back in the rear of the auditorium where he was talking, and he raised up his hand and said, "Please sir, if I may, if you will allow me sir, I believe I can explain to the people what you are trying to make them understand." Well the bishop said, "Well yes, alright, go ahead."

He knew he hadn't been able to make them understand. So the man started from the rear and he started coming down the aisle and he said,"I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell", and he got right down to the front. Then he turned around and he started back. He said, "I’m going to heaven, I’m going to heaven, I’m going to heaven, I’m going to heaven". He says, "I think that is what y’all meant". And indeed it was. Turn around and go the other way it means a change in your life. It means you have been living the wrong way. It means you are going to change your lifestyle. Have you repented?

It means you admit you are wrong, that you've been wrong, not you did wrong sometime or other! Most people say, "Ok I repent, I know I have done wrong, in my life. Well, I won’t suffer...mention what, I don’t remember just exactly, but yes I know I’ve done wrong." That’s not repentance. Repentance is to really admit that you have been wrong, you have done wrong, you are wrong.

Even Some Evangelists Didn't Get It (PLAY FROM 53:44)

Look brethren, I have noticed men that have reached up to the top rank of evangelist in this church and I’ve had to find out that they have never once admitted they had been wrong. They have never repented. They have received Christ, they have memorized the doctrines – they didn’t understand them, but they could recite them and preach them. They were loyal to the church as an organization and had been for years and suddenly I come to find out they have never been really converted. Men that I had learned to love and I knew very well. How many of you are like that and have never been converted and you thought you were?

I want to tell you, if you are really converted, something - something spiritual has taken place within you. Something dynamic has happen to you. Did it ever happen? Do you know how most people get into the church? They hear the truth, they hear it on radio, or television, they read it in the ‘Plain Truth’, they get the magazine, they write in for literature, - "Yeah, now that makes sense, it’s a little different from the Methodist and the Baptist preach. Yeah, that makes more sense than the Roman Catholics even," and they get more and they kind of believe that. And you know, they are so good, they see this is true and that is true and they’re so good, they say, "Well, I want to be right so I am going to accept that." They accept Christ; they accept this doctrine, that doctrine, and the other doctrine. And so they talk to one of our ministers, so they think they are ready for baptism and our minister mistakenly has thought they were ready for baptism. They weren’t any more ready for baptism than a puppy dog.

I need to shake you people up a little bit. I need to give you something to think about. A lot of you are not on as good ground as you think you are. You have been deceived. It isn’t that easy. How many of you have just come in – you’ve heard the truth, and in your own goodness you have said, "Yeah, I’m so good, I want that truth – I accept it." I didn’t come in that way – I went through a great struggle.

I was conquered! I had to give up my own self and my own way. I didn’t get in that easy. Some of you have got in a lot easier, but you’re not in – you just thought you were. You don’t get in that easy – you just don’t.

Look, in the first inspired sermon ever preached - was on the Day of Pentecost - on the day the church was really founded and first began. Acts the second chapter. Peter preached a sermon and people were pricked in their hearts when they heard it. How they were really guilty of Christ having to be crucified – so were all of us. Christ would not have had to be crucified if every one of us hadn’t sinned. He had to pay and give His life because we have sinned. I caused Jesus Christ to die – you caused Christ to die to pay your penalty in your stead so you won’t have to pay it. But it still isn't going to apply to you, unless you turn around and go the other way, unless you surrender – unless you are conquered by God.

You know it makes me think of a spirited colt. He’s getting to be a pretty good sized horse now – he’s a spirited colt. You try to get on and ride him, and he’ll buck and he’ll throw you. You can’t do anything with him. You have to break it. Now he’ll still be spirited once you break him, but it will be his spirit under control – but he is of no account at all until you break him. And you are of no account until God breaks you. He’s got to conquer you. And I think most of you never went through any experience whatever. You just accepted some truth, and it is about time, that if I am God’s Apostle that I speak out and tell you about it. And I don’t mince words.

They asked Peter, when they heard this; "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized." (Acts 2:37,38)

But repent first - being baptized is only an outward ceremony going through some motions to show that you really do believe – just an outward showing of your faith in Christ and what He did for you, but you have to repent first. You repent to live a different kind of life. And Christ paid the penalty for the old life, so you could live a new life.

Yes I have to wonder, after all of these years I have been preaching now – for over 50 years – sometimes I wonder if those I preach to really got the message.

And I know that many did not. Maybe it is my fault. I haven’t made it plainly enough. I’m trying to make it a little plainer this afternoon.

The two conditions to receiving God’s Spirit are repentance and faith. Now very few believe God. The hardest thing for anyone to do is admit he’s wrong, that is the hardest thing to do. And the average human being won’t do it. Has never done it! How many of you have ever done it. Have you ever admitted you were really wrong? Have you ever broken down and been broken. Well, I am sure that some of you have not. I’m sure that you have not.

Even Simon Magus Was Baptized (PLAY FROM 1:00:55)

I’d like to give you an example or two. For example, let’s turn to the eighth chapter of the book of Acts. Let me first give you an example here. Here’s a man who believed and was baptized. I think you’d think he’s in the church alright. Here’s a man – his name was Simon. He was the Peter or Pater of the Babylonian Mystery religion, up in ...when Philip went up to, oh you know, the former capital of Israel - Acts 8 – Philip went down to Samaria

And when they believed him preaching the kingdom of God, which he preached - the gospel that Jesus preached – the same gospel;

"There was a man there, a certain man - verse nine - called Simon, a sorcerer, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one. He was great - he admitted it, he told the people he was. To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest of them in the land of Samaria there. This man, they said is the great power of God." (Acts 8:9-10 paraphrased)

Well they were the people that have been brought from Babylon years before and put there after Israel had been moved out of that land. This was the Babylonian Mystery and he was the leader of the Babylonian Mystery religion – all of them from the least to the greatest looked up to him as their leader – their religious leader.

Their ‘papa’ - their ‘pope.’ Peter simply means ‘pope’ or ‘pater’. Sometimes the ‘e’ is pronounced like ‘a’ instead of like ‘e’. You don’t say Peter you say Pater. For example, my mother’s name was E-V-A. Now most people whose name is E-V-A pronounce their name E-va. My mother called her name EV-a – she wasn’t called E-va, she called it EV-a. She pronounced it EV-a to rhyme with her twin sister, because she was a twin and her twin sister was named EM-a, so it had to be EM-a and EV-a. They were twins.

Now one of the Gabor sisters in Hollywood, and you’ve heard of these Hollywood girls – is called Ava – Ava Gabor. Well, its E-V-A but they pronounce it A - Ava. You can pronounce it ‘ay’, you can pronounce it ‘e’ or you can pronounce it ‘ee’ – ee or e or ay – either way. The letter ‘i’ is sometimes pronounced ‘i’, sometimes ‘eye’ and sometimes ‘ee’. The French usually pronounce the letter ‘i’ as an ‘ee’. It depends on how you pronounce it.

Now this man was a ‘Peter’ or ‘Pater’. Do you know that the apostle Peter – the ‘Peter’ was a surname? And a surname is a title designating your occupation or your rank. He was the head apostle, yes, he was. You know most Protestants won’t accept that because they say that, "Well, that makes a Pope out of him." I can’t help if it makes a Pope out of him or it doesn’t. Peter was the chief apostle. Christ surnamed him Peter. Now look in the dictionary under surname and see what a surname is. It designates rank or occupation. And it is a title and not a name.

Now over in Italy they call the Pope ‘Papa’. A lot of people call their parent – their male parent – father, some call him Papa and some of them call him Father. When I was a little boy I called my Dad ‘Popa.’ When I got a little bit older, I was ashamed to say that, because of all the other boys of my age were calling their fathers – Dad, so I began to call him Dad. And my sons always called me Dad; they never called me anything else. But I know that my father called his father, Father and not Popa but he taught me to say Popa and I taught my kids to say Dad. Well you get all types of titles and kids coming up have a language of their own anyway. I had mine when I was young.

No Part or Lot (PLAY FROM 1:06:38)

Now this Simon, he was the ‘Pater’ of the Babylonian Mystery religion. A pagan religion.

"Then Simon himself believed [now notice, here was Philip going down there preaching the Kingdom of God and the things concerning Christ – and Simon believed – Now I want you to notice it] and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and the signs which he did." (Acts 8:13 paraphrased)

Now he believed and he was baptized. Was he converted? Was he? I want you to look at that in your own Bible. Now look over here a little farther. This man Simon then, - drop down to verse 18:

"And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money [he tried to buy it – and he said]... Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands they may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in the matter." (Acts 8:18-20 paraphrased)

‘Part nor lot,’ means he was trying to be an apostle. Do you know one of the disciples, who had been with Christ turned traitor – Judas Iscariot. He had one - he was called a devil in a place in the Bible – among His own disciples? He turned against Him, and he was the treasurer, who carried the money. Sometimes the treasurer is the one who goes wrong. I think we’ve got a treasurer in the church today, who is not like that.

But nevertheless in the first chapter of Acts you will read that before the Day of Pentecost, there were two others who had been with the twelve all the time, but were not called apostles,{1} but they had been with them, with Christ, all the time, as alternates and heard all of Christ’s instruction and teaching. And one of them was to be nominated to take the place of Judas Iscariot, so there would still be the twelve apostles. And so they cast their lots so that God would show them, which one of the two God was choosing. And Matthias was chosen.

Now they cast ‘lots,’ so he could have ‘part’ in the apostleship – ‘part and lot’ – get it?

And they said, Peter said to this Simon, "Thou hast neither part nor lot..." (Acts 8:21) He was trying to be an apostle – and he made himself an apostle and he started the Roman Catholic Church and he was the first Pope.

Not Simon the son of Jonah, who was called Peter, whom Christ named Peter – but that man was the one who started it and it is the Babylonian Mystery religion that changed its name to Christianity. That is the truth, so help me God.

"Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. REPENT THEREFORE..." (Act 8:21,22)

He had not repented - Now HE BELIEVED. He was BAPTIZED! How many of us have believed and been baptized, but have not repented, and are no better off than this Simon the sorcerer, who bewitched the people with his sorcery.

Now even he was a deceived man, even this Simon. He only believed what he had been taught from a child, grew up believing. That’s the way the world is. God knows that. Even that Simon is going to come up in the judgement, and he is going to find how wrong he was, he’s going to find that Christ died to pay for his sins, and maybe he’ll be given a chance in the judgement. But he wasn’t converted - not then, and he wasn’t called at that time. And everybody is not called at this time, that’s the thing. They just are not.

So repentance and faith are the two conditions. And just faith and baptism alone is not enough – just being baptized alone is not enough. So the founder of the false church that is called the false church in the Bible, believed and was baptized.

Example of Paul (PLAY FROM 1:12:35)

Now, let’s take one case history. And I want to turn now, just a page or two here in the Bible. Acts 9: and beginning with verse 1:

Let’s get a case history or two and I want to show you, by way of illustration, what it takes for a real conversion. Now judge your own self, because we are told examine yourself now before the Passover comes along.

Now this is - his name was Saul of Tarsus, his name was later changed to Paul and he was made an apostle. But the apostle Paul originally was Saul, and he was against the Christians. He was trying to have them murdered, he wanted to kill them, wanted to murder them, he even... well let me read it.

"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way [that is, this way of life, it is a change to a new and different way of life – repent means you repent of the way of life you have been living – and you are changing to a new way of life – that's what repent means – turn around and go the other way. Admit you have been wrong], whether they were men or women, that he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem." (Acts 9:1-2)

He was breathing slaughter! "And as he journeyed, he came near to Damascus: [the city of Damascus - now that is the oldest city in the world today, I’ve been there – Damascus is a very, very old city. It is the oldest city that still remains as a city today], and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting: It is hard for you to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:3-6 paraphrased)

All of a sudden he realized he had been wrong, everything he had been doing. He was trying to persecute and even deliver up to be killed the Christians –and have them killed. He had murder in his heart. Now he knew God struck him down. And all of a sudden he realized how wrong he was. Here is a change of heart and a change in course. He said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" I am willing to change my course, what do you want me to do?"

"And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do [now let me see, I wonder if I need to read all of that]. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” (Acts 9:6-9)

He was fasting, he was really – he was struck down. This was an experience he went through. Suddenly he realized how WRONG HE WAS.

In the spring of 1927, after about six months of very in-depth research, I began to realize how wrong I had been. And that everything I aspired to and everything I had done up to that time was going in the wrong direction and I had to change the entire course of my life. I had to give up everything I aspired to. The first thing I thought - "what are my former business associates going to think?". Because they would have no respect for religion. They were business men, they didn’t believe in religion, and to give them up, oh, I thought for a while, I couldn’t do it. I had to give them up, I had to give them up, I had to give up everything I hoped for, and dreamed for. And I was brought down to poverty. And after I had been making a quarter of a million dollars a year too, and I was only 28 years of age.

"And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he is praying, And has seen in a vision a man named Ananias [now it is Ananias who is hearing this, it was him God was speaking to] coming, and putting his and on him, that he might receive his sight. And Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, [notice God does the choosing, you don’t volunteer. God chooses those that He's calling ] he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings [and God has called me to go to kings – I just came from lunch with one just now today and Paul went before kings. And God sends His people before kings, do you realize that], For I will shew him what great things he must suffer for my name's sake." (Acts 9:10-16 paraphrased)

Mr Armstrong's Conversion (PLAY FROM 1:20:38)

And God showed me in the spring of 1927, what things I was going to suffer and I have suffered them, believe me. I have had to suffer for Christ and for the truth more than any one of you brethren. Not one of you has ever had to suffer as I have. And I am having to suffer right now, in ways you don’t know anything about. Satan is striking at me from several different directions all at once. I knew when I was giving myself over to Christ and a changed life, admitting how wrong I was and how wrong I had been, that I was going the wrong direction. I knew that Jesus said, if they persecuted Him they would persecute us who follow Him.

I had never been persecuted before. Oh I had my financial concerns, and sometimes worries, but I’d been successful financially too. And by the time I was 28 I was making what today’s dollar would be – a quarter of a million dollars. What’s that about one-eighth of a million pounds, I suppose. That’s quite a lot of money for a young man of that age. And it had all been taken away from me. And God challenged me, and I had to prove whether or not there is a God. I said, well I’ve been brought up to believe there is a God, then I began to say, well how do I know. I never proved it. And I was challenged about evolution. And so I began to study evolution. And I soon learned that if you believe evolution, you can’t believe that and believe in God too at the same time. You just can’t. If you say you do, you don’t understand evolution. The promoters of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Huxley and Haeckel didn’t believe in God. Not at all.

I had to prove that evolution is false. I proved it to myself. And I had to prove the truth. But to me it meant turning around to live a different way of life, for the rest of this life and then for all eternity. If I was going to live for eternity at all. And you can’t live for all eternity unless you live God’s way, otherwise you are going to burn up in that hell fire I talked about. That means burnt up too. That will be the end. But before that time, there is going to be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth and plenty of realizing what has happened and what you have missed, what you have given up. That isn’t going to be easy either.

Paul was not tortured physically, yet he was struck down. And in such a way that he realised that this was God speaking and that he had been fighting against God and he surrendered and said, "what will you have me do and I’ll do it." At that time he surrendered – he repented. He did. He was struck down spiritually in his mind. Suddenly he realized he was wrong in his attitude, wrong in his intent, wrong in the way he was living, wrong in what he was doing. He was persecuting Christians but he was doing it with great zeal. Great energy and great drive. And God wanted to use that energy and that zeal and that drive. So God turned him around the other way and started him going the other way and going God’s way.

And he became a very great apostle. There had to be a surrender and he did surrender. Now he didn’t just come in his own goodness and see God’s way, and say, "Oh I accept that way – I am so good, that I will accept it and I’ll go along with that doctrine and that way." Oh, no - he had to see that he was wrong and going in the wrong direction and he was doing the very opposite of what he should be doing. And those he had been persecuting, now he had to love and go out and help, and do the same thing.

Now I was struck down in a different way altogether. But I had to give up what I had looked forward to. I had to change my life and it wasn’t easy, and I knew there was going to be persecution, and there has been plenty – and there still is, there still is. I was whipped, I was defeated, I was conquered. I had a lot of self confidence. I was a cocky young man. I was really good and I knew it. I’d been successful. I’d done business with the presidents and chairmen of the board of the biggest corporations in the United States. And the heads of the biggest banks in Wall Street, New York and in South LaSalle Street in Chicago – the financial street in Chicago.

I thought I was going to be like one of them. I was able to hobnob around with that kind of people. I had to give that all up and go the other way. I never expect anything like that again. My life had to be turned into a different direction. Has your life been turned altogether in a different direction? Have you admitted, you were wrong? Have you come to a changed way of life?

That is what you need to examine before you take the Passover, and if you haven’t you need to do it between now and then. It means a new life, a new mind, a new goal. You have a new goal you’re reaching forward to. Like the Apostle Paul said, "...forgetting those things that are behind," (Philippians 3:13). Christ has paid the penalty for all of your sins and everything, so you can forget it. And now you go for a new goal and you press on toward the mark, the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. And that is what we are told to do.

I wonder so often, in my ministry, how many have really been conquered. How many have had to go through anything and been really whipped down and give up before they surrender to God, and before they were really converted. And really changed their lives and admitted that they had been wrong. Can you admit it when you are wrong?

I’ve had to admit it. Brethren, I’ve had to admit before you that I’d misled you for 40 years. I misled the whole church for 40 years on the Day of Pentecost. Now God says count from a certain day in the Bible. I do not understand Hebrew. I have to read the Bible in the English language. I went to every translation of the Bible in the English language and everyone said, you count from a certain day. And I counted correctly. I didn’t make a mistake in that and yet I was wrong. I finally found out that it wasn’t really I who was wrong, but the translators were wrong. And all the translations were wrong, you don’t count from that day, you count beginning on that day. That’s all the difference – one day different. So it makes Pentecost come out one day sooner than I thought. I counted correctly.

But I had to confess before you, and change all of you people over here in England. All of the people all over the United States, all over Canada, Australia, South Africa. I had to tell you I had been wrong - I’m sorry, we’re going to change. You show me now any place I’m wrong and I will change – will you? Now you shouldn’t admit it if you’re not wrong, but when you are you should be willing to admit it.

King David's Experience (PLAY FROM 1:29:54)

I’d like to read a little from one of the Psalms. You’ve heard that King David of Israel, was a man after God’s own heart. You know most people think, if you ever did anything wrong – that you can’t be right – you’re just wrong. They don’t realize that Christ died to pay the penalty of your sins in your place. That if you are willing to change – go God’s way, that the whole past can be buried and you can forget it. But you do have to make that change and turn around to a new life. You don’t have to worry about the past – your sins of the past – if you really change to start a different way of life.

Now take David. David had seen a beautiful woman taking a bath, he saw her without any clothes on and she had a very beautiful body. So, he was the king; so he told some of his men, “Bring her over here, fetch her over here, I want her,” – beautiful lady, beautiful woman. She was another man’s wife, but that didn’t seem to bother him at the minute - so he committed adultery with her. She became pregnant – was going to have a baby, and her husband was away in the army, fighting. (II Samuel 11:2-5)

David realized he was in trouble, he had done something, he tried to cover it up. He didn’t repent, he just wanted to cover it up. So he sent and told the General of the Army to send that woman’s husband home on a little bit of a furlough for two or three days. He hoped that he would go in and sleep with his wife, and then he would think it was his baby. But the man didn’t buy that. He said, "No" he said "my buddies are out there sleeping out in the open," he says, "I’m not going to get in bed with a nice warm wife and enjoy that when they can’t sleep with their wives." And he slept all night on the doorstep outside of the house. (II Samuel 11:11)

And now David was really frightened. He said, "Now what am I going to do!" He says, "I'm going to be blamed." So now he sent a note by the hand of that very man – it was Uriah wasn’t it? And he sent a note back with him to the General of the Army and said, "Put this man in the forefront of the battle where he’ll be sure to be killed." And he was. And left that woman a widow. And then David married her. And God sent Nathan, the prophet, around to tell David what he had done. (II Samuel 12)

And you know, David hadn’t realized how wrong he was until Nathan talked to him. And when Nathan talked to him David finally woke up and realized how wrong he was. David had to be willing to admit he was wrong. Do you admit it when you are wrong? Notice the 51st Psalm. This is what David was praying: oh, let me see, I don’t know whether I need to read all of the verses. The first three verses and then verse ten is all I need. He cried out to God and this was his prayer:

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies [I can’t read it even with a magnifying glass, oh] blot out my transgressions [now he is confessing that they were transgressions] – blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity – cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me." (Psalm 51:1-3)

And now the tenth verse:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew [again] a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

That’s the way we need to pray to God, and David put his whole heart in it.

Now another time, God told David. David was going to take a census of Israel and God said, don’t do it, I don’t want you to take a census. Well he told the Head of his Army – go ahead and have a census taken. Have all your men do it. And his Army General said to David, "You know God told you not, commanded you not to do it. How are you going to dare to disobey God?" And David said, “You go ahead and do it and obey my order.” Now God really punished David for that one, and then David once again repented. (I Chronicles 21)

Even Christians Sin (PLAY FROM 1:35:37)

If we who are Christians in the church commit a sin, even after we have repented and then we slip and we fall and we do something wrong, but we confess our sins, you read in I John, the first chapter, that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And not only us - if you will read right on, it continues into the second chapter, but those of the rest of the world, as well as those of us in the church. So even we in the church can commit sin, but when we do we have to confess it and repent and still change, get back and get our – we’ve got to have our hearts right with God. Two can’t walk together except they be agreed. And we've got to be agreeing with Christ and with God at all times.

Now if you take in Ephesians the second chapter: "And you hath he quickened [or made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins.." (Ephesians 2:1)

You know that you were dead? And if you have repented – if you have admitted how wrong you were - if you’ve changed your whole life to go a different way of life and to live God’s way of life, then you are not dead any longer in that sense. But spiritually you were dead, not physically – just spiritually.

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [which is Satan], the spirit that [now] worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2): Satan is working in the children of disobedience – those who are sinning.

And now finally I’ll just leave you with one verse in II Corinthians 13 and verse five:

"Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith;" (II Corinthians 13:5)

As I read to you in the eleventh chapter of {2}I Corinthians – it says to examine yourselves there – but it says "and so let him take of this bread and drink of this wine," (I Corinthians 11:28) So we are commanded to take of the Passover just the same.

So I wish I could be here to take it with you as I said before, but I’ll be in Jerusalem.

"Know ye not your own selves, how Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobate" (II Corinthians 13:6)? And we need to examine ourselves to be sure that we are not.

Well I wanted to bring that message and I wanted to stir up a little bit to think and to examine yourselves. Are you willing to admit it when you are wrong? Have you admitted it? Have you made a change to a different way of life? It’s a different way of life, that’s what it is all about.

Now next time, I want to talk to you on whether there should be a church, and what is the meaning of the church, and the purpose and does it make any difference if there is a church or whether we are in it or not? That’s another subject that I want to come to next time. I’m a little tired now today and so I won’t take any more of your time. I imagine you’re tired – you were waiting a long time for us to come. So, I hope to see you again and I believe the meeting two weeks from today is to be up at Manchester. I haven’t been to Manchester now for some years. I’ll be glad to be up there again. I hope I’ll see most of you up there in two weeks from today.

{1}Footnote: Mr Armstrong inadvertently said "disciples" when he meant "apostles".

{2}Footnote: Mr Armstrong inadvertently said second Corinthians when he meant first.