By Herbert W Armstrong

26 May 1984


Last Sabbath, I was able to visit Mount Pocono once again, for the first time since, I believe, 1976. We had 4,600 brethren there from New York State, Northern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I suppose they were all from those states. Many churches and many ministers were there. We had been in Washington and we just flew up for this service and back to Washington again in the evening.

The Little Ambassadors from Tokyo – the Chinese children – beginning at about age 7 up to age 13, performed in The White House on the preceding, I believe, about Thursday, and we were there, and then again in the Kennedy Centre in New York on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. And in both performances, the young Imperials, were flown back there from Pasadena. The Little Ambassadors sang their final song, an ensemble of all of them, the first time I think that all of them had appeared at any one time on the stage. And then they moved apart so that there would be room for one of the little Imperial Choraliers to come and stand right in between each of them, and then they had one; they had two; final songs with the combined choruses of children.

It was quite a spectacle and it brought tears to many eyes, showing how little children from different nations, from different languages, different cultures, can get together and love one another, and have the kind of friendship that they did.

I was photographed with them on the stage again afterward, also in The White House with Mrs Reagan, and a number of...well I think I was photographed both nights with them after the performance.

But after I left, they told me that before the children separated -- the Pasadena children to come back here and the Chinese to go on to Seattle for one final performance and then back to Shanghai in China -- all the children hugged one another and cried and tears came to their eyes in separating. They had formed such a friendship together, and it just shows, well it made me think of what Jesus said, He said except you become as a little child you won’t enter into the Kingdom of God.

And it was quite a spectacle.

Wanting to be a teacher (PLAY FROM 3:49)

Well it is nice to be back in Pasadena. I’d like to mention that when I was 5 years old, my father told me that I was going to be a Philadelphia lawyer when I grew up. Now that wasn’t my idea. My idea was, I wanted to be a streetcar motorman. I had enjoyed watching old Bill on our streetcar line, run the streetcar up front, and it was quite exciting to a 5 year old and I thought that was what I would like to do when I grew up.

My father said I would be a Philadelphia lawyer and then, when I was 17 years of age, I tried to slip away from home, with a suitcase. I had, without the knowledge of my parents, taken a County school exam, that is a teacher exam. And I had passed. And I had been hired by a country school in a county south of Po County [Pocohontas] in which Des Moines is located, in Iowa.

I had gone down there without the knowledge of my parents and had met the Farmer Board of the school and they had questioned me and how was I going to handle large, strapping kids that were a lot taller than I was. And I convinced them that it would be successful, so I had been hired to be a school teacher. And I thought I wanted to be a teacher.

Well the peculiar thing is, I have finally become both a Philadelphia lawyer and also a teacher. And I have been teaching you now for more than 50 years, some of you, some of you, I don’t know I have been teaching any of you that long down here, but I began teaching up in Oregon.

Maybe you call it preaching. But there is more than one kind of preaching. Now the word preaching means a certain kind of teaching. Preaching usually includes urging, a trying to move people to action, with a little more vigour back of it than just ordinary teaching.

We hear lots of preaching today, but with nothing but emotion, but no teaching. And teaching is sadly lacking in the world today.

teachers lacking today (PLAY FROM 6:43)

Teaching should begin in the cradle. You, who are parents, should begin teaching your children in the first months of their lives. And I said teaching, not just correcting. Too often parents say, don’t and mustn’t, daddy and mummy spank, and we threaten and that's all negative.

But we don’t positively teach them to do anything. They should be taught to be generous, they should be taught the principle of give instead of get. And very few parents start to teach children in the first month or two, or the first six months of their lives to give, to be generous, to live God’s way instead of Satan’s way.

Now Satan begins working on your children as soon as they are born. And by about nine months old your children are already self-centred and selfish. As I have said so many times, just put one of them on the floor, tell him he can play with any one of four or five toys, except one he mustn’t touch that, go out the room where he can’t see you, peep through the keyhole and watch, and he’ll go for the one that was forbidden. Or, put one toy down and put two children who are about 9 months old, and watch them fight for it to see which one gets it. Satan manages to get self-centeredness in children by the time they are nine months old, and we should begin teaching at that time.

The firstfruits (PLAY FROM 8:26)

I want to say something about teaching this afternoon. The Feast of Firstfruits is coming -- just approximately two weeks, two weeks from tomorrow, and why the Firstfruits? Why the Feast of Firstfruits?

We find and we realise that in the Bible the Church today is the Firstfruits of God’s salvation. Only the Firstfruits. Why are we the Firstfruits? We also find that none can come to Christ. Jesus said ...”no man can come to me except the Father which sent me draws him.”

Only those that are now called can come to God through Christ. You know Protestants and Catholics think that the only thing that is necessary is to come to Christ. Well Catholics, I guess, think you come to Mary. But they don’t think much about God the Father. They put all the focus on Jesus, and on Christ. They think they are teaching the Gospel of Christ, but they are only teaching their gospel about Christ. They merely talk about His person, but His message, they know nothing about themselves; so how could they preach it.

But they are not of the true church. The true Church was persecuted, remained very small in number, as gone through nothing but trial and tribulation for over 1950 years now. But has endured and is now growing in these last days, still small in number, but very, very powerful.

Slightly less than a 100,00 members in the whole world, and still we are getting the gospel into EVERY nation on the face of the earth so far, except just two and we will have to see that it gets into those two, that is Laos and Cambodia under Russian domination.

But the gospel by way of the Plain Truth is going into every other nation on the face of the earth, and by the way, the Plain Truth this month, for the first time, hit seven million in circulation. It is now second to Reader’s Digest and National Geographic. I think there are three or four other magazines of a larger circulation of {1} 7 million, but I have never heard of them, I don’t think you have. Of the magazines that are really well known, I think we rank about third now, in the world, and the Plain Truth is undoubtedly the finest magazine published, and as far as I know, the only one that is getting God’s truth to the world.

This church is small in number, but is very, very powerful. Through the television programmes, radio, through the Plain Truth and by other means, the gospel is going to the entire world and it is going in great power.

but why are we The firstfruits (PLAY FROM 12:05)

But now, why are we the Firstfruits, and why is it that only those that God has called, can come to God now through Christ? Christ is the only door. He came to reconcile us back to God. Not just to get us saved. Jesus came to reconcile people to God, but He did not come to save the world.

And we are the Firstfruits and only those that God the Father has drawn can come into the Church. Only they are called. Now what about others, and why can’t others come? You will find the answer in the eighth chapter of Romans and verse seven. They are of the world and their minds, they’re born carnal. That is the natural mind which people are born. And there it says that the natural mind of man is hostile. I think you’ll see the King James it says ‘enmity’ – but it means hostile against God.

They are hostile against God and they cannot just come to God. Many profess Christ but they have haven’t come to God and they have no understanding. They don’t understand the gospel, they don’t know what the gospel is. Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying ..”the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

How can they believe a gospel when they have never heard anything about it and they know nothing of it?

They do not know what it is. But we find in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation in verse 9, that the entire world including all of these religions and including even Protestant Christians, well not only Protestant but what is generally called traditional Christianity, has been deceived. And all nations have been led astray and deceived by the false line of teachings or doctrines of modern Babylon. And Babylon is there in the feminine gender which means religion. And it’s many, many religions, all calling themselves Christianity. Traditional Christianity.

But now why are we the Firstfruits? Is God calling us just to get us into the Kingdom? I think that many members of this church yet do not quite get the picture. I think that they think that the reason we are called is that God is trying to get us into His Kingdom. Now the Protestants and the Catholics look at it, that you are called to get into heaven. You can’t find that in the Bible.

Rather Jesus said that no man has ascended into heaven except He Himself who has come down from there. The Bible says that the heaven, even the heavens, are the Eternal's, that the earth has He given to the sons of men. And the righteous, or rather the wicked, shall not inhabit, but the righteous shall inherit the earth. And dwell therein, in the earth, forever, not heaven. So even Protestantism, what we call traditional Christianity, preaches almost precisely the opposite of the true teaching of the Bible. Yet the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is God’s instruction book to us. It’s God’s message to us today.

called to do a job (PLAY FROM 16:19)

Now let me ask you. Why did God give His Holy Spirit in Old Testament times to the prophets, but not to the rest of Israel, and not to any Gentiles? Why did He give the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirit, why did He communicate directly to the prophets?

Well it was for a certain job He had for them to do, and that was; they were called to do something. They were called to write down the messages that God gave them. And those messages comprised the Old Testament, in other words part of the Bible. They were the ones through which God communicates to the whole world ultimately, but the world doesn’t understand much of it yet. The Church does, but the world does not.

They were called to perform a certain mission or job. But why are we called? Why are we the Firstfruits? And why does not God call everybody now? Why has He called only us, those of us that are IN THE CHURCH? Is God unfair? IS GOD A RESPECTER OF PERSONS? You know so many people in the church think that ALL we have to do it just make it into the Kingdom. They say, "Well, if I can just make it into the Kingdom." We are not called just to get into the Kingdom.

Now incidentally, if we didn’t qualify to come into the Kingdom we couldn’t do the job we are called for. So we are called for salvation, but not just for salvation. And if it were only for salvation we wouldn’t be called at all. The only reason that ANYBODY is called now is we are drafted for a mission. And that mission is that we become teachers.

I said something about teaching at the beginning. Jesus was a teacher. He taught His apostles, His disciples, who became apostles. And His great commission was “ go ye into all the world and teach, teach, all nations. Baptizing them into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things I have commanded, or that He had taught them. He taught them so that they could go and teach the same thing to others.

So we are called to perform a JOB, not just to get into the Kingdom. In order to perform the job, we have to qualify to get into the Kingdom, and we have to receive the Holy Spirit. And in order to do it, we have to come to have the very character of God Almighty.

the character of god (PLAY FROM 19:30)

The character of God and the character of Christ. We couldn’t be teachers without that character. The Apostle Paul said, “be ye followers of me, as I follow Christ.” Jesus said, “go and teach them all things that I have taught you.” Jesus said; do as I have done unto you. He set us an example. And if we are going to teach others we have to set the example. And we have to teach people to come to have the character of God.

Why did God create humans beings in the first place? Why did he put humanity on the earth?

You go back into Genesis, the first chapter.

Genesis 1:1; And God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth. And God there is in the plural, it should be Gods.

And in verse 26 God or Gods said: “Let us (not me, but us) make man in our image, after our likeness:”

Image usually, in many places in the Bible does refer to spiritual character. Likeness refers to form and shape. Man was made in the form and shape of God. But God creates in a system of duality. He created Adam first, material, out of material dirt or dust, from the dust of the ground.

Genesis 2:7; And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man (coming from the dust of the ground) became a soul.

But not an immortal, a mortal soul. And to that soul God said if you take the forbidden fruit, you shall surely die. He took it, he did die. The first man disobeyed God. And he did die, and thereupon God closed up the tree of life. He only made man with a temporary physio-chemical existence. We are like the clock, wound up and running down. And it's one that cannot be rewound, it finally runs down and unless we receive something more from God that's going to be the end.

Now I said that God creates in a system of duality. He created the first man out of the dust of the ground. He wanted the man to reproduce, but the man couldn’t do it, as I have said so many times. So He performed an operation, put the man into a deep sleep, anesthetized him, and then out of one of his ribs he made a woman.And now the two became one family.

Now man was complete and he could obey God when He said to fill the earth again: be fruitful and multiply and replenish, not just plenish but replenish the earth. Sow it again.

the spirit in man (PLAY FROM 23:07)

Now in the same way God put one spirit in man. But man is not complete in his mind or spiritually is not complete. And he does not have immortal life, he only has mortal life. He received this life, not even from that spirit, but from breath of life and from the circulation of blood. But unless he receives the Spirit of God to join with his spirit, become one with his spirit, as Eve became one physically with Adam, he will never have immortal life.

Now God is eternal. God has immortality and God only has immortality. He has it to give. And when we receive His spirit that's His life joining with our life that begets us with His life. And then when we are born, it's just like a child begotten before it's born. But when it's born it becomes a human being. Before it's born it's not called a human being it's called a foetus. In the first four months it is called merely an embryo.

All this leads to one thing that we have talked so much about recently and I have come to fear that maybe we don’t understand. Why we are the firstfruits and we are not called only for salvation at all otherwise we wouldn’t be called now. You are called for something more than that and if you don’t qualify for that something more, you won’t make it into the Kingdom.

parable of the pounds (PLAY FROM 25:04)

Let me now, just deviate from the outline I have prepared here, and mention, for example the parable of the ten pounds, that you find in the 19th chapter of Luke. Jesus there pictured Himself as the young nobleman who was going to go to a far country to receive a kingdom and then to return. In other words, He went to heaven to receive the Kingdom of God, to rule over the whole earth and then to return back to the earth.

But before He left He gave His ten servants, which referred to the ten tribes of Israel, because His own, Judah, which comprised the three tribes of Levi, and Judah and Benjamin, they had rejected Him. And so you don’t find many of them being called to salvation, only very few. Because they have as a people, and a nation at least, they have rejected Him.

Now the one who gained ten pounds will rule over ten cities. He gave a pound to each one. The one who used it, and used what he had been given, and that represented the spirit of God. The one who used that spirit of God to develop character, to develop knowledge, to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To overcome.

Now we heard in the sermonette by Mr. Charles that the very beginning and principle of character is to admit that you were in error or to admit that you were wrong. You have been wrong, you have done wrong. You have sinned, because all have sinned. So everyone of you have sinned. But people do not like to admit a sin. The beginning is to admit it and that's only the beginning. Then you must go on from that. You must repent and repent means turn and start going the other way.

Repent has more to do with the future, and what you are going to do in the future, than it does with the past.

Now the one who had gained five pound was going to rule over five cities, and we're to be to be rewarded according to our works, but not saved according to our works. However, the one who did not gain anything, and who just kept it, in other words, the one who said, "Well I have the Spirit of God to get me into the Kingdom so I’ll just wait and go into the Kingdom." And he didn’t grow in grace and knowledge, he didn’t overcome. He didn’t gain more understanding so he could teach others.

HE DIDN’T QUALIFY TO TEACH OTHERS. HE DIDN’T QUALIFY FOR THE JOB TO WHICH HE HAS BEEN CALLED and he had it taken away from him, even the one pound that had been given to him, which means the spirit of God. And he never got into the Kingdom.

So the one who thinks he is merely being saved just to get into the Kingdom will not get there. Brethren, you, every one of you is being called for a performance, for a job, for a calling, for a commission to teach. Now that does not mean that every one of you must go round from door to door and start teaching the world, because God isn’t trying to save the world now. If you do that you would be talking to deaf ears, or people would laugh at you and think you're crazy.

when are you going to teach (PLAY FROM 29:08)

When then are you going to do the teaching? Well, primarily you will be doing the teaching after Christ comes, and after you are made immortal and after we are IN THE Kingdom. You will then be, not human any longer, but you will be very God yourself. But you have to have built the character, you have to acquire the knowledge, you have to have the understanding of what God teaches us about His purpose and about His master plan for working out that purpose, about His way of life so you can then lead others to salvation.

God is going to open up salvation to all who remain alive at the coming of Christ. Satan is going to be put away. Satan is still on the throne of this world. He will then be taken away. He's immortal, he won’t be put to death because he can’t die, but he will be taken away from the world. He'll not disturb the world any more at all.

I don’t think we know where he is taken; I don’t think we will want to know. It will just be good riddance. But Christ will be sitting on that throne. But when Christ does come He is then going to start to save all that remain alive on the face of the earth. Now all that have died in the meantime, as in Adam they've all died, so in Christ they will all be made alive by a resurrection in the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of the thousand year Millennium.

Meantime, Christ is going to start to save everybody left alive. But He isn’t going to do just alone by Himself. He's calling us, to educate us, and to TEACH US, and to DEVELOP CHARACTER IN US so that we then can teach them, and save them.

Now as I go along I'll quote you some of the scriptures to show you that.

I think we have not gotten the whole picture brethren, until we realise that we are called to be educators; called to develop character, so that we can instill that character in others.

Now God calls some to the ministry and some to teach. He called some to proclaim the gospel; the good news about the coming Kingdom of God to the world, even though they won’t understand it. God has used me in that capacity to quite an extent and I have talked to millions of people by radio and television and through The Plain Truth magazine. He hasn’t called everybody to do that. He has called everybody in the church to back that however, by their prayers, by their tithes, or its God’s tithes and their freewill offerings, by their support, their prayers.

But that’s why we are called and we must develop in knowledge, we must gain understanding so we can teach when the time comes.

And some of us are going to rule over towns, villages and cities, perhaps some over nations. Now we know that each one of the original twelve apostles will rule over one of the nations that have developed out of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. We know what they are going to do.

We know that King David, ancient King David will be resurrected and he is going to rule over all of those twelve nations. And then he will rule over those apostles. We get a little glimpse into the way the world will be governed after Christ comes. Those things are revealed to us.

The parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents in the 25th chapter of Matthew show us that many of us are going to reign over villages or cities or communities. And in Revelation 5:10 we will be made kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth. And you're are called to QUALIFY TO DO THAT REIGNING. That is THE ONLY REASON you're called now. That’s WHY WE ARE THE FIRSTFRUITS.

people fighting the church (PLAY FROM 34:10)

Now we are coming, two weeks from tomorrow, to the day, to remind us every year about the Firstfruits. And that God is calling some now; He is not calling the world now. He is not trying to save the world yet, but He WILL, and they are not going to fight Satan when He calls them. We have a little tougher job than they do because we are going to have a better responsibility. We are going to be teaching and ruling over them when they are saved. And we have to fight against Satan and we have to fight against Satan’s world. And Satan has his world and he has people fighting us.

There are people fighting this church. People that are dedicating their lives to try to harm this church and to try to pull members out of this church. People that are talented and have ability, and are wasting that ability and throwing it away when they could be using it profitably in and with the church.

Satan is very clever. And those people think they are very clever. They don’t realise what dupes they are and how they have been duped and how they have been deceived.

And even they, I know now, HAVE SPIES RIGHT HERE IN THIS CONGREGATION, AND WORKING FOR US, AND SECRETLY DRAWING PAY IN ORDER TO FEED INFORMATION TO THOSE WHO WOULD TRY TO DESTROY THIS CHURCH. And why, they don’t know themselves. But the carnal mind is hostile against God and we represent God and this is the Church of God and it has God’s truth in it and it is proclaiming the truth of God. And they hated them and they don’t understand why themselves.

Well, brethren, what should be our attitude towards those people? Well I’ll tell what mine is; I pray for them. Because they're human beings just like we are, and they have a human spirit and they need the spirit of God with that human spirit, instead they have the spirit of Satan with their spirit. And they are headed for a lake of fire. And I don’t want to see them go into the lake of fire. Their lives can become precious if they come to do the very thing Mr. Charles mentioned; admit error, admit how wrong they are. Turn around and go the other way. I would love to have them come and go with us, because we are going to go anyway. And they are not harming the work of the church. The church is growing by leaps and bounds. Now they will harm some people in the church, but the church itself they are not going to harm.

That's the thing to say Glory, Hallelujah for, and praise God for. God protects His church.

You know we are going to get into this and that and the other trouble. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Eternal deliveres him out of them all.” And God does deliver us continually, do you ever notice that? He continually does.

Well if we are called only to be saved, then God is unfair, and is a respecter of persons because then why didn’t He call all of the others? He is only calling us to help call the others. And He is calling us at a time when, as I say, we have to fight human enemies that are under the influence of Satan the Devil. But they think they're so smart in their own conceits, they wouldn’t acknowledge that the Devil is leading them. I suppose they think they are smarter than the Devil.

need for teachers (PLAY FROM 38:29)

But God is no respecter of persons. Well, let me give you an illustration why God needs teachers and rulers in the World Tomorrow. We’ll be kings and priests. As priests we are going to teach and rule. As kings we’ll rule and as priests we will be teaching and helping to be saved.

Well now we have over in Jordan, just across the river from Jerusalem, a project going in a school over there. We are co-operating in a school, helping to finance a school for the mentally retarded. When I first visited that school, they have a modern building, and it is very well equipped, but I thought maybe they....well I asked the principal of the school and the Princess who is really sponsoring it.

Are these children here the only children in the country that are mentally retarded?

Oh no, that’s just a small fraction.

Well, why don’t we have more, why don’t you take in more? Why don’t we expand the building so you can take more students, more pupils, and more children in here and teach them?

Well we couldn’t teach more even if we had the building. We couldn’t teach them until we have trained teachers.

So the next thing is to train teachers. So we have helped them by sending people that are already educated in that area to help train teachers over there.

So they will have more teachers to teach children.

God can’t save the world until He has people trained to be teachers to teach them to be saved, as He is going to save them in the Kingdom. God can’t save billions until He has thousands of teachers. And so God is bringing thousands into His church today. That is one reason the church is small, it doesn’t have to be big, He’s not saving the world today. He’s calling the few to help save the many in the Kingdom, and after the Kingdom in the Great White Throne Judgement. Now during the thousand year Millennium we’ll be teaching all who are then called, and everyone will be called then.

And all of those who respond and who do receive God’s spirit, we will be teaching them and help them to grow in grace and knowledge and the development of character. So that in the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of the Millennium, there will be millions converted who will be able to be teachers to teach the billions that will be resurrected in the Great White Throne Judgement. And that’s the way God’s plan works.

marriage of god and israel (PLAY FROM 42:11)

And I tell you the world has not understood it. Protestant ‘Christianity’ has no concept of that whatsoever. So it's time that we clear our minds and be sure that we do understand that.

Of course, the only reason we need salvation is because we have been going the wrong way; we have been doing the wrong thing. And we need to first come to the knowledge of the fact that it is wrong, then we need to repent and then we need to go the other way and we need to overcome and we need to grow in grace and knowledge until finally God’s purpose will be fulfilled – of creating children for Himself.

Now in the Old Testament God married Israel. We had the sermon on Marriage in the morning service – the a.m. church. And there was a great deal said about God marrying ancient Israel. And God, (and it was the God who became Jesus Christ,) was the husband. And He is yet going to marry Israel, but He had to divorce her in this life.

Now the husband died, and His death severed that marriage. But His death also paid the penalty of their sins in their stead. And now they are like branches, as you read in the 11th chapter of Romans, of the natural olive tree that had been broken off because of unbelief.

But if they, now that Jesus has paid the penalty of their sins in their stead, when the time comes, they awaken to the fact, and they are willing to repent, they find that they are grafted back into that natural olive tree, which is Israel. And that natural tree, Israel, is Israel filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the CHURCH. And the church is the New Testament Israel. And the church is the affianced bride of Jesus Christ. And the church is to be married to Christ.

Now Christ is the Son of God. And we will become the wife of Jesus. And there you have a father and a son and a wife situation. And we will be Christ’s children, God’s children, I mean. And Christ calls us brethren. He is our elder brother; He is the firstborn of many brethren. And we will be brethren, we are to be resurrected as He was, either at the Second Coming of Christ in an instantaneous change to immortality, which is an instantaneous death and resurrection actually, or if we die, as we heard one of our ministers did this week, be resurrected at the Coming of Christ into immortality and then go on with helping. But then we will be as much God as He is.

part of the family of god (PLAY FROM 46:05)

Now we're part of the family of God, once we get into the Kingdom of God and we're part of the family of God, but all the mortals on earth will not be in the Kingdom of God. So now, as we go out to convert them, they become our children. And they become through us, children of God, because we are all in the God family. And we will beget them as children, but it will be a spiritual begettal or a conversion. And ultimately after the Great White Throne Judgement EVERY human being who has ever had the breath of life, including Adam and Eve, will have had a full opportunity, and have been called of God, and if they are willing and not stubborn and obstinate, if they are willing to live the right way, and it's a matter of how we live and how we believe, it's a matter of developing character. Everyone will be in the God family.

Now how about others, they will become as though they had never been. They will be ashes under the soles of our feet. They will just be non-existent. They won’t know anything. When animals are killed and we eat their flesh, beef, mutton, lamb, and so on, the animals didn’t know anything once it’s dead. And people after they finally end up in the Lake of Fire will have no knowledge of anything; they will just be as though they had never been.

Well that's the way it is.

the first adam (PLAY FROM 48:04)

Now the first Adam rejected the spirit of God, or life, he chose the other tree, which was the way of self-knowledge. The tree of life would have given him the spirit of God, because God’s life comes through His spirit. But the spirit of God also is the spirit that joins with our human spirit and our minds, and then begins to open our minds to an understanding of God’s truth, and the development of God’s character.

Now Adam didn’t get any of that. He chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as I have said so many times; there is a certain good in humanity, unless he throws it all away and deliberately turns the other way completely.

But human good is, falls far short of God’s good. It is on a different level, in a different category altogether. God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus loved the world as well. They spit in His face. Why they beat Him within...well I was going to say an inch of His life, but He was disfigured, as you read in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, or the 52nd, as no man every was. And yet the very ones who did that to Him, He prayed, "Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing."" He loved them enough to die for them. And His death paid the penalty of their sins, as they were doing it, at that very moment. That's the kind of love humans don’t have. And He had that kind of love.

But when Adam chose his own way instead of God’s way that was the beginnings of a civilisation. Now I have said that so many, many times. God then closed off the tree of life, in other words, He closed off the Holy Spirit from mankind, until Jesus Christ, the second Adam should come.

satan's world (PLAY FROM 50:29)

Now meanwhile, God let this world go on, He let Satan, still on the throne of the world, the throne of the earth. And Satan began to influence, he had kidnapped the human family and he began to bring most of them his way. And by his spirit he led their spirit. And in man, there has been a certain amount of human, carnal good. Even that is self-centred, as I said, even mother-love is good, it's splendid, but it is also self-centred. And it is not the kind of good that God has.

Then, at that same time, that was the foundation of this world, and this is Satan’s world, at the foundation of Satan’s world, (Revelation 13:8) it was then appointed that Christ should come, and be the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. So at the foundation of the world it was appointed that Christ should come and pay the penalty of human sin.

Now also at that same time, it was decreed as you read in Hebrews 9:27 that "it was appointed to all men once to die...” (now that Adam had sinned.) “but after that the judgement” and the judgement would come by a resurrection.

So in 1 Corinthians 15, verse 22 ...”as in Adam all die,” (and all do die) “so in Christ shall all be made ALIVE,” by a resurrection. But Christ is the first one. The first born of many brethren to be made alive by a resurrection. Afterwards, they that are Christ’s at His coming. And then will come finally the Millennium and then the Great White Throne Judgement to follow, as you read in the preceding verses in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians.

But what was left on earth was Satan’s world, and he influenced the children of Adam in building a civilisation. And into such a world of good and evil, some human good, but evil mounting all the time. Into such a world came Jesus Christ. And He said, I will build My church. Now the church was merely calling some out, the FIRSTFRUIT, to be taught and trained and DEVELOP CHARACTER so that when He comes again, the second time, to rule, we will be changed to immortality and rule with and under Him.

the great commission (PLAY FROM 53:34)

He taught His twelve. The great commission was go out and teach others. Now in Matthew 5, verses one and two, let me read you a few of the scriptures that I have quoted here for me.

Matthew 5:1; “And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up into a mountain: and when he was set, (Now this was the Sermon on the Mount) “his disciples came unto him: (and notice that He was teaching His disciples). Now when He had finished, there was quite a mob of people had come up, but He started talking only to His disciples. ...”his disciples came unto Him: (2) “And He opened His mouth, and TAUGHT them, saying, (He began to teach.)

So Jesus began to teach. Now in Matthew the 7th chapter, and verse 28 and 29:

Matthew 7:28; And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:(29) For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. He came as a teacher, and we are called in the church to be taught so that we ourselves can learn to teach.

Now let’s go on to Mark the 1st chapter and the {2} 21st verse:

Mark 1:21; And they went to Capernaum, (that's Jesus and His disciples) and straightway on the Sabbath day; he [Jesus] entered into the synagogue and taught. Now He was teaching again. And we are being taught now, so that we can teach in the Kingdom.

Matthew 7:29; And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority and not as the scribes.

Brethren, I wonder, have you ever noticed, that I don’t say, well, I think this, and well now, my opinion is so and so. Have you ever heard me talk like that?

God has given me His truth, and Jesus, I think set an example and He spoke as one in authority. So do I. I just wondered if you've noticed.

paul's teaching (PLAY FROM 56:26)

The 1st chapter of Acts starts out, the whole book of Acts starts out with these words:

Acts 1:1; The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach.

It is not only what He did but what He taught. And He taught so that we would learn, so that we in turn could teach when He comes in His Kingdom. That's when we will be doing most of the teaching. Some of us are called as teachers and ministers, to teach you now. Some are teachers in Ambassador College. And they teach future ministers. Some are ministers who teach you. And you're being taught so that when the time comes you can teach and rule.

Now from Acts the 4th chapter and in verse 17 “But,” (now, this is when Peter and John had healed the cripple just inside the Beautiful gate of the temple, and they were arrested.) And those who arrested them said, it is recorded here:

Acts 4:17; But that it spread no further among the people, (said the priests and the Pharisees,) let us straitly threaten them, (that is Peter and John) that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. (18) And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus.

They were teaching. And we are learners, or disciples now, learning, and all of you people are, so that you can teach when the time comes. These are your school days, learning, so that in the Kingdom you will be able to teach.

Now the 5th chapter of Acts and verse 42: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and to preach, Jesus Christ.” That was the disciples. So the disciples also went about teaching.

Now, finally, I am trying to show you they were to teach and to teach teachers, and that all of us are finally to teach.

Now we come to 1st Corinthians 4:17; “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus”, (that is Paul is writing this in 1st Corinthians to the Corinthian church,) “have I sent unto you Timothy,” (it was) “who is my beloved son”, (as he was his son in Christ) “and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.”

He went around, went about teaching.

are we ready to teach (PLAY FROM 1:00:26)

Now 2nd Timothy the 2nd chapter and verse 24

II Timothy 2:24; And the servant of the Lord must not strive (this again is Paul’s instructions to ministers – a servant of the Lord or a minister, must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, and to teach, patient...... well there is nothing more to it, but he was to teach.

And then in Hebrews the 5th chapter beginning with verse 11.

Now Paul was writing, and this I do want you to get, and this applies to the whole congregation. I have shown you that the apostles taught, Jesus taught. He sent the apostles out to teach and they did teach. Now I want to show you that the whole congregation and all of you are to teach.

Hebrews the 5th chapter and verse 11. Just break in the middle of a sentence here.

Hebrews 5:11-12; “Of whom we have many things to say that art hard to be uttered, seeing that you are all dull of hearing.” (12) ”For when the time ye ought to be teachers,” (now let’s just..– that’s those who have been converted and that applies to the congregation)...”you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.” (Or the commandments – God’s teaching.) “and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”

In other words, brethren, you should grow in grace and knowledge and absorb more and more so that you can go out and teach others. And Paul is here rebuking the congregation. They ought to already be teachers, but they had not absorbed enough knowledge to teach anybody. And I wonder how many of you are in that boat today. And you haven’t absorbed enough knowledge. You haven’t grown enough in character. Have you grown enough that you can qualify now, do you think, for the job that is coming?

why the church now (PLAY FROM 1:03:26)

Now why do we have the church now? I’d like to read to you now from the 5th chapter of Revelation and verse 10.{3} And this is speaking now about the Millennium and after Christ comes.

Revelation 5:9-10; ...for thou (Christ) was slain and has redeemed us to God by thy blood (He came to reconcile us to God) out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) and as made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH.

We are being taught now; we are being to develop the character now, so that we may be kings and priests and reign and teach in the Kingdom of God on the earth, when Christ comes.

Now, these others scriptures that we all should be so familiar with. Back now to Revelation 2, verses 26 and 27, where Jesus said, “he that overcomes and keep my works unto the end, the same will I give power over the nations.” You have to qualify for this brethren, that is why we are called now, not just for salvation. .”. give power over the nation: (27) And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces: even as I received of the Father,” Jesus said.

Now in Revelation 3 and verse 21.

Revelation 3:21; “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on My throne” (that will be the throne of David, here on the earth in Jerusalem) even as I also overcame, and am set down (as He is now, as our High Priest, set down with the Father up in heaven.) But when He comes back to the earth, He will sit on His throne.

Now that is when, as the parable of the talents gives, He will be calling each one to an accounting. What have you done in this life? How much have you qualified for? How big a job have you qualified for? Now many are going to get into the Kingdom and we are not saved by our works, but we're to be rewarded by our works. But you won’t even be saved at all, if there are no works at all. If you simply do not grow in grace or knowledge at all, you won’t even get into the Kingdom. And the parable of both the pounds and the parable of the talents make that very, very plain.

But we will. Christ is not going to rule the world alone. We are going to sit with Him in His throne. Now that throne will be more than just one place. It's going to spread over the whole earth. It’s the government and we will be ruling under Christ in His government and over the whole earth when He comes.

the future (PLAY FROM 1:07:22)

Well that explains why we are the firstfruits and why this festival is coming up now – The feast of the Firstfruits in just two weeks from tomorrow. So I hope we will have the understanding and I assure you that there is no church, but this church on the face of the earth that has this understanding. Absolutely none.

But brethren, it means constant study, Bible study, it means constant prayer, it means to be back of those that are in the work and getting the work out to the world. That is your part, that you grow in grace and knowledge yourself. That you develop in character, and I think we should begin praying even for our enemies.

I’d like to see them converted. And I think God is able, but perhaps He is not going to convert them now. Maybe they are losing out on their chance to be kings and priests and along with us to sit on His throne, and to rule over the world. But I do pray that some of our enemies are not going to have to go into a lake of fire. I love them too much for that. I don’t want to see that happen to any of them. But I want to see all of you brethren into the Kingdom of God.

What is past is past. Christ has paid the penalty. The slate is wiped clean. We go forward from here. And from this day forward and we are going to be judged by our fruits. And I hope that we will become a more and more fruitful church.

I have said brethren that, now take finances for the work. Because we are in a world where it takes certain facilities and the work can advance pretty much according to the amount of money that flows in. But God will supply the need and the money according to our own performance and righteousness in His sight.

As we increase in dedication and in prayer, as we grow closer to God, as we please Him, He will reward us. Now I am glad to report that finances are up too and they are coming in better than we had programmed ahead, had projected and making the budget at the end of last year for this year. The budget is balanced. We have money in the bank.

Our enemies would like to destroy it, they would like to get that money, but it is God’s money and I don’t think He is going to let them have it. We’d like to see them however in the Kingdom with it. But we must be pleasing God a little, but I think if we please God a lot more, we’d find the growth would be a lot more, and we could grow even faster than we are. So let’s grow faster from here on. Let’s please God more from this point on.

{1} Mr. Armstrong said 7,000, but obviously meant 7,000,000

{2 Mr. Armstrong said the 1st verse but meant the 21st.

{3} Mr. Armstrong started in the middle of verse 9.