By Herbert W Armstrong

17 April 1982


Well, the first festival of Unleavened Bread for 1982 is now over. For the past three and a half years Jesus Christ has been putting this church, His church, back on the track. And for approximately the past year, I have been explaining the very foundation of the world. How this world came to be started, the world into which we were born. The world into which this church has been, or from which it has been called out. I’ve been explaining how God is a family, as we read in the first chapter of John in the New Testament, the first four verses.

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

Two very great personages from all eternity. There never was a time when they did not exist. Without father, without mother, without decent, without beginning of days, or end of life, but existing eternally. And how the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, about nineteen hundred and eighty years, or little more ago.

I’ve been explaining how God has life. The Word has life, He lives, and living He has something to do, and that something is being Creator. And that He began His creation by creating other spirit beings lower than Himself, but created beings. And we find that there were three different types of angel beings created.

Ordinary angels and ordinary angels, by the way, do not have wings. Then there were the Seraphs or Seraphim as they are sometimes called in from the Hebrew - the ‘i-m’ pluralizing it, the same as a ‘s’ on the end of the word does in the English language. And the Cherubs or Cherubim - they have wings.

Now after the angels had been created; we don’t know anything about how long. How many years, hundreds of years, millions, billions of years - we don’t know. God finally created the physical universe. Now angels were created before the physical universe, I don’t need to go into those scriptures again. It’s made very plain in Job 38.

God's Way Of Living (PLAY FROM 3:31)

God has a way of living; He lives. His occupation is that of being creator, but He also is designer, He has to plan, think out, design, what is to be created before it is brought into being. And create means to bring into existence what did not exist before, to make is only to take already existing materials and change their form - make something out of it.

But the earth was created the same time as the entire universe, in the same day, as I mentioned the other day, in Genesis 2. And that day could be a general period, or could be a twenty-four hour day, of how the angels were put on this earth. Now since God lives, He has a way of living, and there is God and there is the Word. They had to live together and the way they lived was the way of love. It was the way of co-operation of mutual love one for the other. God was the leader.

The Word did whatever He said, but the Word was the spokesman. They are composed of spirit and their spirit emanates from them throughout the universe or throughout, well, all eternity and time and space. I guess you’ll have to go back to, who was it, not Steinmet’s, but this other scientist, who had the theory about time and space being the same thing. Anyway, they had a way of life and that way was co-operation and love and getting along together, mutual faith, confidence in one another, mutual love, sharing with each other - absolutely togetherness.

Now, that way of life became a law by which to govern the lives of created beings. When God created the earth, He created it for the angels and He put them here, but He set a throne on the earth. And He set a cherub on the earth who had been on the very throne of God, and was experienced in the government of God, and the government of God is administered by the law of God. And that is God’s way of life, which is love and co-operation and sharing and helping.

But this archangel Lucifer, rebelled. He began to reason that selfishness and self-centeredness would be better than obedience and co-operation and love - love is outgoing. And he thought that something coming into himself would be more advantageous to him and more to his liking and anyway he became jealous and envious. Here he was on this little old earth down here, we think it’s pretty big, but it isn’t very large compared to the whole vast universe with all of the galaxies - our Milky Way and other galaxies. And he was put here to administer the government of God on that throne, but he turned to rebellion. And that was the beginning of sin - sin began there, not with Adam.

Humans sinned again with Adam, but sin in the universe, so far as I know, began with this Lucifer, the beautiful archangel. And it was his beauty that went to his head. Sometimes I think handsomeness will go to a man’s head, or beauty to a woman’s head - that’s something we need to safeguard ourselves against.

So sin, which is the opposite way of love, which is the way of getting, the way of vanity, the way of destruction instead of creating and construction - the way of competition instead of co-operation. And this archangel Lucifer became Satan, and his angels became demons. They had ascended up to heaven to try to knock God off His throne and take over the whole universe in a coup. We’ve just been hearing a little bit about a coup in the sermonette. And they do have them in different governments all over the earth. And the first one was pulled by this Lucifer who became Satan.

As a result of their sin the earth had come to a state of decay, emptiness, wasteness. And so in six days God renewed the face of the earth for man. And now He created man. He had made the physical universe out of matter. He made man out of matter with the same type of life as animals, but made in the form and shape of God. Now God’s purpose was now - He had made angels you see, as lower beings, and they were spirit beings to begin with. They had immortal life; they had life inherent within themselves. Now He made animal life. Cattle after the cattle kind, dogs after the dog kind, and so on, but He made man after the God kind. Yet man had the same kind of life as animals, temporary existence, formed only of matter.

But there was a spirit in man which gave him mind power; the same as angels had and the same as God has - not the same type of mind exactly as God has. At least it is a limited mind and it was confined to materialism. Man was created with a mind capable of acquiring knowledge to deal with things, with matter out of the ground, or with the earth, to deal with other people, and he was made to reproduce himself. And God gave him the commandment “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth,” and God’s purpose really was to ultimately reproduce Himself in and through man. But first man had to reproduce man’s self. And man had to get along with man, therefore, because there were going to be many men or many humans in the world.

Man's First Decision (PLAY FROM 11:18)

So man was made mortal. And to the first man was the decision of the two trees, and I’ve been spending a lot of time on that in the last year. Man had to make a choice. One tree was taking to himself the spiritual knowledge of how to get along with his fellow man and how to have a relationship with God. Now he was not born with that capability. He didn’t have that knowledge, he didn’t have any, any possible capability of that kind of knowledge and he was forbidden to try to take it to himself. And God said, "in the day you do that you will surely die" (Genesis 2:17). You are mortal, you don’t have eternal life, you will die. You’re not an immortal soul. You are a living soul, and the soul is matter out of the ground. Genesis 2 and verse 7.

God had offered him life, however, in the tree of life, which was simply offering him the Holy Spirit because God offered him life in the same way God is offering you and me life today, and that is through His Holy Spirit. Now we have the Holy Spirit, we should have it now within us. That doesn’t mean we’re yet immortal, we are only begotten sons of God at this period, at this time. But that’s what Adam could have been, but he rejected the Spirit of God, and which would have opened his mind to comprehend spiritual knowledge which God was ready to reveal to him. But without the Spirit of God in his - within him - mingled with his spirit, his mind could not comprehend spiritual knowledge, even if, and when God revealed it to him.

So Adam rejected that and chose to try to take it to himself regardless, in disobedience of God and rebellion against God. So then sin entered the human race of man. Now something happened at that time. One thing is, God closed off the tree of life - that is God shut up the Holy Spirit from mankind until Christ, the second Adam should come. At the same time, as you will read in Revelation 13, I think I have that verse down here somewhere. Revelation 13:8; from that time it was determined that the Word should be born of human flesh and become human. God with us in human flesh and pay the penalty of human sin by living humanly a perfect life, never sinning and yet paying the death penalty instead of the rest of us - in man’s stead. At the same time it was appointed from that time on that man should die, as in Adam people would die.

"It is appointed for men once to die, but after [that] the judgment." That's Hebrews 9:27. {1}

And again since Christ was to come like you read in I Corinthians 15:22 " in Adam all [were to] die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." [By a resurrection]

And that’s when the judgment will come. It’s appointed to man once to die and after this the judgment and the judgment after they die, the judgment will come through a resurrection.

So the Holy Spirit was shut off. God called ancient Israel, but they didn’t have the Holy Spirit. And having only carnality and only a carnal spirit influenced by Satan they were filled with rebellion and they did not obey God and they disobeyed. And they went the wrong way. So you read in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel how, in the valley of dry bones chapter, how Israel is to be resurrected to that judgment …"appointed to them once to die and after this the judgment" according to Hebrews 9:27.

Then Christ the second Adam came, was born of the human virgin Mary. He said, "I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18). Now the prophet Joel had prophesied that the time would come that God would pour out His spirit on all flesh, although He closed up the Holy Spirit in the day of Adam, He was going to pour it out on all flesh (Joel 2:28). But He didn’t do it yet, even in the time of Christ. Jesus said "I will build My church" and the Holy Spirit was now to be poured out on a few, but Jesus also said in John 6:44

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

Now you read in the eighth chapter of Romans about predestination. How they are the ones that God has foreknown and that God has called. And except God has called them they can’t come yet. There is a time when God is going to call every human being that ever lived.

Now it’s appointed to men once to die and after this the judgment, as in Adam all died, in Christ all, the same all shall be made alive. Does that include Adam? I’ve been wondering about that, have you? Was Adam judged? Is Adam lost forever? Is he going into the lake of fire? Adam did not take the Holy Spirit. Adam made the choice not to take the Holy Spirit. So it looks like Adam is going to be in the Great White Throne Judgment. He’s going to be called account — to account for what he did, but he is going to learn that the second Adam, Christ came and paid the penalty of what he did. He paid – Christ paid the penalty of human sin and certainly what Adam did was human sin.

What Is The Church? (PLAY FROM 18:19)

So Jesus said, "I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18). Now what is the church? The church is God’s instrument for carrying out His purpose. And what is His purpose – to reproduce Himself - The Kingdom of God. Now the Kingdom of God is the family of God and that family of God started with the two great personages; the Word and with Him was God, those two. Adam could have been begotten of them and received the Holy Spirit from them, but he rejected that. And decided to take spiritual knowledge to himself and not receive it from God. He decided to go the way of rebellion - the way that Satan had gone, the former Lucifer. He rejected in other words the — he rejected the government of God.

Now remember this Lucifer was put on the throne and became Satan, but he is still on that throne. Now we come down to Christ and the church is God’s instrument for producing the Kingdom of God. What was the gospel message Jesus brought? Brethren, I’m telling you something, now just summarizing what I have been going over the past year. And that’s something no church on earth believes. Now either I am giving you truth that no other church has or I am some kind of a crazy crack pot and you better go believe the way the other churches all do, because no other church teaches these things. If this is true, do you realize what that means for you - that you have the knowledge that others don’t have anywhere in this world?

You know fifty-five years ago I began to realize in the Bible, when I began to study it, that the things that I had been brought up to believe in a highly respectable protestant church were just the opposite of what the Bible teaches. And I began to look into the teachings of Christianity as it’s called in general, Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity. And I found that they teach and believe just the opposite of what the Bible says; I supposed they got their religion out of the Bible. I had to come to find out they didn’t get their religion out of the Bible. They claim to, and they take certain passages in the Bible out of context, they put a different meaning on it. They twist the meaning all around and make it mean altogether just the opposite of what it really does say. It was a great shock to me fifty-five years ago. And I asked myself, I said, "But how can all these churches be wrong?"

My wife had taken up the Sabbath. I was challenged. I didn’t want to have that in the family. I thought that was — I thought observing Saturday - why to me that was fanaticism. I thought that I’d been brought up to believe what was true and right, what the Protestants believed, what the Catholics believed. The Protestants got Sunday from the Catholics. And the Catholics taught the Protestants about it. They say that you bow down to us and worship us by keeping our day, because you can’t find any – you, you claim to believe in the Bible, you Protestants.

The Catholics – or one Catholic cardinal said this, and he said, "You can search the Bible from beginning to end and you can’t find one word authorizing the observance of Sunday. The only authority you’ve got for Sunday is the Roman Catholic Church. We’re the ones that give you the authority for Sunday." And that’s true. There’s no authority for it anywhere in the Bible. And yet Protestants go along — daughters, harlot daughters of the great whore. The Bible calls them that in Revelation 17:5.

Now, Jesus was going to begin now to do what could have happened in the time of Adam if Adam had taken the tree of life. But the time had not come yet to pour out the Spirit of God upon all flesh. So, what did Jesus do to start His church? The second Adam had come, as I said the church is God’s instrument for producing what He intended to do in the first place; produce the Kingdom of God. What Jesus preached was the Kingdom of God. You read the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, - Mark 1 and verse one. Then it talks about John the Baptist preparing the way before Him, and then when it comes to Christ preaching that gospel, verse 14 and 15:

"...Jesus came into Galilee [after John was put in prison], preaching the gospel [what gospel?] the gospel of the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14).

That's the gospel Christ preached. That is not the gospel the Baptists preach, the Methodist preach, the Lutherans. That’s not the gospel the Roman Catholics preach. No church preaches that gospel, but this church. You ever think of that? Oh we’re either way out there all wrong, completely wrong or we’re right and the others are wrong. Which? Do you want to go along with the people of the world? Your Bible says in Revelation 12 and see I guess its verse 9, that the whole world — all the world and all nations have been deceived by Satan the devil. You want to go along with them? What is the church? It's God’s instrument of calling certain people that God has chosen and called out of this world that was built from Adam.

Now from Adam was built a kind of a world. Adam began his type of teaching his own children and I don’t know how he taught — there’s not anything revealed that I know of in the Bible about how much he taught his children. But there was some kind of education that came along and it finally got into the organized type of education we have today and the academic system, apparently, was started by a pervert. Plato or Socrates and they were both perverts anyway and pagan: the academic system and Socratic arguments coming from Socrates and all that sort of thing. They were all pagan - they didn’t have any truth. And education is materialistic and they lack the Spirit of God and the ability to, to comprehend spiritual knowledge or to think spiritually or have spiritual understanding. They simply lack it all together.

Kingdom of God (PLAY FROM 26:28)

So, the Kingdom of God is simply the begotten and finally born family of God. There was the Word and the Word was with God. They are going to produce a family. They were the beginning of a family of two great personages. And out of matter - nothing but plain matter - but with a spirit put into that matter and finally the Spirit of God to join with that spirit in man, God is going to reproduce Himself; out of such worthless things as you and me. Yes, you and I are pretty worthless in and of ourselves, but do you realize how great we can be? We are the very ones God has called to become His sons, to be born of Him and to become very God ourselves. Oh, how wonderful that is, and that’s something that no church understands, no church believes, no church teaches it.

The Kingdom of God is the family of God. The Kingdom of God is not the government of God. The Kingdom of God is the family of God, but ruling in the government of God, and ruling with the government of God.

Now the annual festivals explain and God has given it to only to His church and nobody else and no church but this church observes them. He gave them to ancient Israel, the Jews observe them to some extent today, not fully, and they have no conception of the meaning. Only God’s church understands the meaning, but the annual festivals picture to us every year repeatedly, year after year, the master plan of God for working out that purpose. Now the church is His instrument for working out that purpose. The annual festivals are the master plan for working it out in and with the church; you see that brethren? I try to make this just crystal clear so you can understand it. So the annual festivals are so very, very important.

Now, so far, I want you to stop and think and realize, no religion on earth knows the things I’ve just said. You have some friends who are Baptist? They don’t know that, you have friends who are Roman Catholic; they have no idea about these things. Some are Lutherans, they don’t know anything about these things, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, no they don’t know anything about it. Now maybe we’re just wild crack pots. If so the whole Bible is worse than a book of fiction. It’s the craziest thing ever written, because this is the plain truth that is just so plain anyone ought to be able to understand it if he would be willing in his mind. But they are not willing.

It makes me think of the time up in Eugene when I was trying to get the permission to use the baptistry of the Baptist church to baptize some people, we didn’t have a baptistery. We had a little church out at the end of West Eighth Avenue and we had used it, but there was a new minister in the church. We had used the baptistry before, but I had to go to a different minister this time because they changed ministers.

And he said, “Well, just a minute Mr Armstrong, let me go up to the office a minute.” Their office was upstairs in the church he went upstairs he came back and he said, “I should say not, Mr Armstrong. We can’t let you use our baptistry.” “Well,” I said, “Ok but would it be alright if I ask you why?” "Well" he says, “Let me just ask you a question, Mr Armstrong, what day of the week do you keep?” “Well,” I said very innocently I said, "The same day Jesus did, what day do you keep?” He got angry and said, “I don’t want to argue with you, Mr Armstrong.” “Well,” I said, “I didn’t mean to argue. I just thought Jesus set us an example and we should follow what He did.” He wanted me to get out of there. Well I think we went out to the river that time. And nobody owned the river and told us we couldn’t use it.

How The Church Started (PLAY FROM 31:40)

Now let’s continue in what the world still doesn’t understand. How did Jesus start the church? I think they don’t quite understand that either. Well He didn’t just start a great big church, He first called twelve students. Now it is a funny kind of a school system. They didn’t have a school house. You know, they sort of went about from town to town, and they went along with Jesus where ever He went. And He preached in the synagogues to people and these students got to hear Him preach and then He talked to them privately.

Actually, the Sermon on the Mount, if you’ll go back and read it more carefully you’ll find that He started preaching that just to His own twelve students alone. Now the word disciple is a word that means student. If you want to put it in modern English, the language we speak today instead of the language of the King James back in 1611, it isn’t disciple it is student. One who is learning, one who is going to school, but they were going to school to Christ and He was the teacher. And so they went from town to town, they didn’t have any school room and He taught them wherever they were. And this was up on a mountain side you see, the Sermon on the Mount when He talked to them. And quite a group of people came before He got through and at the end of it there was quite a lot quite a crowd there at the end by the time He finished that talk to the disciples, but it was a teaching just to His disciples at first.

Now, how did Jesus start the church? Well He called the twelve students and He began to teach them for three and one half years. So that they then after they had been taught could teach the church, but they didn’t have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit couldn’t come until after He had taught them and been crucified, and He wasn’t crucified until after He had been teaching them three and half years. And then after He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, finally He sent the Holy Spirit. And on the day of Pentecost they received the Holy Spirit and the church was started.

Now, not only those twelve, there were a hundred and twenty all together who received the Holy Spirit that day, and then Peter preached a remarkable sermon that day. The first inspired sermon by one of the apostles after he became an apostle. The very day he first received the Holy Spirit and three thousand others were baptized that same day. And now the church started out with about three thousand, a hundred and twenty. And God was starting the church in order that we become students and that we are to go to school. A different kind of school! We’ve been going to school in this world and we’ve been learning a lot of materialistic knowledge and mis-taught a lot of spiritual knowledge that is not true. And a great deal that we’ve been taught in school and high school and college or university - except I hope Ambassador College - a great deal of it is absolutely untrue, especially the spiritual phase of it; because man has not been able to understand it and comprehend spiritual knowledge.

Worldly Education and Professionalism (PLAY FROM 35:42)

So those that are educated in the universities of this world - you know, just let me stop right here and say something about university life that I have observed and I’ve come to notice. There’s something in university life that does not happen in high school. In high school they’re just still giving you the higher education of ordinary education. You start getting the so called three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. You learn to read, except they don’t learn to read very well today. You’re supposed to learn to write, but they don’t learn to write very well anymore either. Now when I was young we were learnt; we had regular exercises, we had to go through to learn how to write well. I don’t think they do that anymore - at least they don’t know how to write well today. And we get all kinds of them coming to college who don’t know how to read. And yet that’s where they are supposed to begin around the first, second and the third grades and then arithmetic. But you get a little higher education in high school. You get some foreign language in high school and you get a little higher mathematics and higher than arithmetic and you get higher grammar and English and literature and studies of that sort.

But to get advanced education, you begin at age eighteen by going to college or to university. Now by and large the universities of today are teaching the professions. They teach you to become an architect or a doctor — an MD or a lawyer or some profession. And the thing that I have observed is that university education instills within its students an attitude of professionalism. They're supposed to feel, well "I’m superior now. I, I’m better than the other fellow he hasn’t had this professionalism education that I have. I must conduct myself with a little more dignity than I did before." They’re very careful; a great deal of language goes into it. They’re a little more precise in their language and their enunciation, their pronunciation. And yet they don’t know how to write very well, isn’t that strange? And - but they do feel superior. And they are taught to look down on other people. Now I don’t know that they are deliberately taught that. I don’t know that it is consciously done, but I notice that those who go to the university have that personality injected into them. They feel very professional and they feel very important. And it in other words it injects vanity. It is a kind of vanity that is just the precise opposite of Christianity and the teaching of Christ and getting into the Kingdom of God. It does not teach you to become as a little child, but to become very superior.

You go before a judge in a court and you better be careful how you talk in the presence of that judge. Because he has got to perform as a big somebody and he can hold you in contempt of court, and he can give you a very severe sentence. So you have to speak to him with a certain respect, and he demands it. And he sits there in all of his dignity with his black robe. You get back, in his own so called chambers, sometimes he’ll cuss and swear and smoke and everything else and drink just like anybody else. He isn’t any better in his heart, but oh boy, he can put on the airs of being a lot better. AND THAT IS PROFESSIONALISM IN THIS WORLD. I’m telling you what the world is like. AND CHRIST CAME TO CALL US OUT OF THIS WORLD AND TO BE SEPARATE - NOT TO GO ON INTO IT FURTHER.

Why is it that not only have we found that those students that come here that have had a university education are handicapped? And they are! And they’re not humble like they should be. And that we find that those who graduate from here, never having gone to another university, if then they are encouraged to go and get additional degrees, right away they become so very self-important. And they look down on us and they look down that way on Ambassador College - it is of nothing.

University of Southern California, that’s very big, that’s way up here, UCLA that’s way up here, Stanford they’re way up there, Harvard, oh, that’s bigger yet, Oxford and Cambridge. Ambassador College, oh, that little ‘ole thing over there, they believe in Jesus Christ. Well you know if they believe in something like that, that’s not scientific. Even God isn’t scientific. You know science refers only to those things that are physical and material and Christ is not physical or material neither is God. So what do they think of God? They have nothing but disrespect and contempt for God and for Jesus Christ. AND THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE TAUGHT AND THEY COME TO HAVE THAT ATTITUDE. I’M TALKING OUT; I’M SPEAKING OUT HERE TODAY. THAT’S THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN THIS WORLD.

Real Accreditation (PLAY FROM 42:46)

There’s one college that has real accreditation in this world and that is Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. And if Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas goes on to be a four year college it’ll have that same accreditation.

Well, Jesus started the church by starting with twelve people. How’s He going to start the Kingdom of God, that great family of God, that ultimately is going to consist of billions of people? He is going to start that through the church. He is going to start that through the church.

So here we are near the end of Satan’s world that started back in the days of Adam, and they started a certain educational system. They started certain kinds of government. The first record that we have so far as I know is that of Nimrod after the flood. And we had, first city states, government of a certain city, and the wars from one city between one city and another. And finally we got into certain nations. And we had the nations of Egypt and Babylonia and of Greece and so on. And then a man named Nebuchadnezzar got a lot of those nations together in the first world empire and government came to be empirical. That was succeeded, it was called the Chaldean Empire or Babylon after its capital city. It was succeeded by the Persian Empire and that by the Greco-Macedonian Empire - split up into four divisions after Alexander died prematurely in a drunken debauch.

And then came the great Roman Empire, it fell in 476 AD and in 554, the Pope at Rome brought Justinian from Constantinople on over to Rome to start the Holy Roman Empire as they called it. That was a sort of resurrection, a rejuvenation of the old Roman Empire. In the meantime there had been the Vandals and the Ostrogoths and the Heruli and they sort of disappeared. We don’t know what ever happened to them. The Bible says they were plucked up by the roots and a plant plucked up by the roots is gone. You can’t find any record of it any longer and that’s the way it was, and that came from Constantinople.

Now I had an experience just on this last trip, just about two weeks ago. In Jerusalem the patriarch, he’s younger than I am, but he’s the patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church. And he came to my suite in the hotel to see me. I thought he might come and I was prepared and I had a gift of Steuben to give to him, but he came with a gift for me. And he presented me, I didn’t think; I might have brought it with me and I could show you here today. I think maybe we will show it; I don’t know whether to show it or whether to throw it away. Well now, I don’t mean any disrespect, I want you to understand what I mean. What he gave me he regarded as something of very great honor. It was a medal that had first been given by, oh what they call him, the great Constantine wasn’t it? From Constantinople way back in those days about the fourth or fifth century and it is a fairly large gold cross and it comes with, well I believe it’s a ribbon, that will hang around the neck and you can wear it. Course I’m not going to wear it, because it’s a pagan symbol that’s what I meant, but he doesn’t look on it as pagan. And he looks on it as something very great and God does look on the heart. As far as he knows he isn’t looking on it as anything wrong now you understand, I don’t mean any disrespect and we should respect certain offices even though they are wrong. I tell you I respect the office of Satan, believe it or not, I respect it because I fear it. There is power there.

But so few of those have ever been given. From the first one they have a record of every one ever given. Way back since about the fourth or fifth century or something like that. I think it was Constantine the great who gave the first one. That will go back to the fourth century, 321 AD - 321. And that’s the time of the Nicene Council, and the one I have is the, let me see, the one hundred and twenty-first wasn’t it, or was it the one thirty-first one that has ever been given in all these years. Well I think that probably we shall put it in our collection of souvenirs and things that have been given, and of perhaps of decorations that have been give me and things of that sort. But anyway, I just thought I would mention it. It was looked upon as a very great honor and I’m sure he meant it that way, so I don’t mean any disrespect. I think you understand that.

Church Started With Few (PLAY FROM 49:28)

But here, the church was started, it was started with those few and ever since it’s been going. But within about twenty-two years the church had turned to other doctrines as you read in Ephesians, not Ephesians, but Galatians 1, verses six and seven. And the original gospel of the Kingdom was lost. It was not proclaimed to the world after 70 AD and not very much to the world after 53 AD until 1953 AD when it went out to the world after it had gone coast to coast in the United States and went out to all Europe on Radio Luxemburg, beginning 1953, the very first week of that year. That was nineteen, that is one hundred time cycles from the time it had been stopped, and it was one time cycle from the time that same gospel started going out in the United States. And there might be something in that, those, those dates just coming exactly right on the nose like that.

But what now; here we are near the end. The gospel was not preached to the world, the church itself continued but lost most of that gospel. I came among the church first in 1926-1927 and by that time they had lost most of the original truth, but somehow God opened my mind to begin to understand a lot more than they had seen. I didn’t understand it all then, but I understood a great deal that they didn’t. They knew; they didn’t know what the gospel of the Kingdom was. They knew there would be a thousand year reign with Christ, but they didn’t know what would happen. But God began to reveal more and more to me and to restore the truth to His church in this Philadelphia era.

I came in the very tail end of the Sardis era of the church. It was the true church of God, but they had lost so much of the original knowledge and truth. They had the true name, they had the law; they had the Sabbath; they had the identifying sign. But they didn’t have the true gospel; they didn’t know our identity as Israel and God revealed that to me. So many things that God revealed to me that first year, a lot He didn’t reveal until later. I didn’t know then that we can be born as very God into the God Family. I didn’t know that until Ambassador College had been in existence two or three years right here in Pasadena. I saw it in the Bible but I was afraid to believe it because it seemed to me that would be blaspheming. I thought well, we can’t be as great as God. That’s almost impossible to believe but brethren, that’s what God says. We can and His spirit reveals to our spirit, and through our spirit to us, the very fact that we are the children of God, the begotten children of God and we shall be born and we shall be made this, this vile body of ours will be changed in the resurrection to become like His glorified body. Every bit like, like Christ, like Christ is now, and He is very God now. Just as much as He was before He divested Himself of His divinity and came down to this earth to be human.

It’s a marvelous thing and no church on earth understands and no church believes those things. So where are we now? Well here we are near the end of this world. And God is calling His church and getting it back on the track and ready for His coming, because this is the church that is to rise and the generation brethren, we are the people that somehow are to be changed and this mortal put on immortality. And these vile physical bodies will be changed into a spirit body of immortality and in that kind of a body we’ll rise. We won’t have to have airplanes to go in. We just simply go up ourselves in the air and meet Christ in the air and come down that same day on the Mount of Olives. Why do we have to go up and meet Him in the air? Well, because He’s going to come down that same; down the Mount of Olives. How are we going get there? We are going go through the air - you can go a lot quicker that way than any other way that I know of over land or sea.

And here we’re, we’re down to the time of the final exams. We’re learners, we’re students and we’re down to the time of final exams. And now we have just for this year, come past the end of the first of the festivals that shows us we are to put sin out of our lives. So where do we go then from here?

Where Do We Go From Here? (PLAY FROM 55:16)

Well, I’d like to have you turn with me now to the sixth chapter — wait a minute – where do I find that – the book of Hebrews. My eyes are getting worse all the time. I hope they’ll stay with me a little while longer so I can continue to serve you. The sixth chapter of Hebrews:

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;" (Hebrews 6:1)

We’ve seen that we are to put sin out of our lives once again this year; we are supposed to see that every year of course, at this same time. But now looking at this year where do we go on?

"…let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." (Hebrews 6:1-2)

So we go on into further knowledge. Now as we do that in these very final days before Christ comes, we need to realize that Jesus Christ is the head of this church. It is Christ who has been putting us back on the track not I, not Herbert Armstrong, but Jesus Christ is the head of the church; I’m not. I’ve been an instrument He has been using and I hope I can continue to be, but Christ has been doing it. He is the head of the church and He also is our living High Priest at the right hand of God in heaven.

Now He says to us that if we overcome and endure to the end and keep His works to the end, we can sit with Him on His throne in Jerusalem, as He did overcome and is now set down with His Father on the Father’s throne up in heaven. He has gone there to be crowned and to receive the kingdom and to come back to earth to reign on that throne. But in the meantime He is our High Priest. Now Jesus Christ is living, He’s not dead. He’s alive, but what’s He doing, what has He been doing since yesterday; since day before yesterday? What’s He doing all day today? Well, He is up there at the right hand of God as our High Priest, interceding for us.

Now here is the thing; do you ever get discouraged? I do. I get disgusted with myself once in a while, maybe twice in a while. Sometimes I feel almost like giving up and I think that Christ is having a pretty hard time with me. But there we have someone right on the right hand of God who understands all that we are going through, and knows the temptations and knows the trials, and the troubles that beset us, the persecutions - every problem, because He has lived in the human flesh here on this earth. He was tested in every way He was tempted in all points just like we are. You think He never wanted to look on a beautiful woman? Oh yes He did, but He didn’t allow himself to do it. He was tempted in every way that we are, but without sin. But He knows what it is. He knows how hard it was for Him to resist. And He’s there to help us and He’s there as our High Priest. So we need to look there again as never before, and I think the time has come to go back and begin again in the book of Hebrews.

Back To The Book Of Hebrews (PLAY FROM 59:55)

You know some years ago, I had quite a long series on radio, on the book of Hebrews, and that whole series has been repeated two or three times, always about two or three years after it had been aired before, and - but let’s go back to the book of Hebrews. I think we have a little more time yet, and I’d like to go through a little of that this afternoon. Because this is the book about Christ and what He’s doing now. What has He been doing ever since He went up to heaven nineteen hundred and fifty years ago? Well, this is what He’s been doing, and this is where we read about it.

"God, who at sundry times and in [different] manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets [and through them He is speaking to us today because they are part of the foundation of the Church along with the apostles] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [you notice the word his is in italic and it should be a son, but his son is alright, it doesn’t make any difference, because Christ is the only one that is really His begotten son, so far begotten. I mean begotten before He was human] by [a] Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things by whom He made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Now God created all things by Jesus Christ, you read that in Ephesians 3:9. So God made all things by and through Jesus Christ. That’s everything in the whole universe.

"Who being the brightness of his glory [of God’s glory], and the express image of his person, And upholding ... (Hebrews 1:3

Well stamped with His very own character as the Moffatt translation and other modern translations will give it to you. Some have it 'stamped even with His own,' His, not character, but His own - I was reading in one other translation even this morning. His own nature, but Moffatt has it His own character and I like that better and I think that is the real meaning, stamped with God’s own character, "upholding all things".

Now other translations have that "upholding the entire universe ", because God created the entire universe by and through Jesus Christ. Now in some places where it says ‘all things’ it does mean the entire universe and it is translated that way in this place in many modern translations. Now notice that, "...upholding [or sustaining as some translations have it] the entire universe by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3)

In other words He keeps this earth turning on its axis. He keeps this earth right where it is in the exact distance and proximity to the sun and the moon, and a certain distance from the earth and He keeps those things there. That’s the power of Jesus Christ. That’s how mighty and how powerful He is.

" the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." (Hebrews 1:3-4)

By inheritance; now He is heir to everything; well God made everything by and through Him, He’s the maker of everything anyway. And we are heirs with Him and co-heirs with Him. Think of that and think how great that is.

"Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name For unto which of the angels said he [that is God] at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" (Hebrews 1:4-5)

They are considered sons of God in the fact that God created them, but not in the sense that God has begotten them and they’ve been born to be His sons. Now Christ was the only begotten son of God so far as His human birth is concerned. You and I can be begotten children of God and I hope every one of us is. And we are only begotten now - not yet born. But Jesus was the only one to ever be begotten prior to a human birth. See, we were not that, we are only begotten after we’re born human, to be born divinely of God.

Now we find later that Jesus is the first born of many brethren and you read that in the eighth chapter of Romans and we are to be those brethren that are to be born of God just as He was. And He was born very God as you read in the first chapter of Romans (Romans 1:4).

"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my begotten Son, this day have I begotten thee? [He never said that He had begotten an angel to be His son, but He will say that of us some day. And we’re going to be much higher than the angels] And again, I will be to him a Father [as God says], and he shall be to me a Son." (Hebrews 1:5)

That’s a wonderful thing but to be a Son carries with it a responsibility.

"And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten [which is Jesus], into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship Him." (Hebrews 1:6)

That is when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the virgin Mary all the angels could worship Him. Although He was human He was also God. Now the very fact that even angels could worship Him shows He’s God, because it is sin to worship anything less than God. 'You shall have no other gods before Him' is the very first commandment.

"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits [in other words they’re composed of spirit and they do have life inherent immortal life] and his ministers a flame of fire." (Hebrews 1:7)

Like flames of fire, they are not made of matter they’re composed of spirit. And there is so much about the spirit world in other parts of the Bible especially like, let me see the sixth chapter... You know as we get older, if we don’t keep going over it very often, all the time, we forget a certain chapter or certain verse in the Bible, we use to know so well. And I find that that is happening, anyway where it’s speaking of the spirit powers that are really ruling in this world. {2}The people don’t understand, there are invisible things going on that people don’t see and don’t understand. Do you know a lot of times they think that someone is demon, well, when someone is demon possessed and they think they are just crazy, or something they don’t understand it. Many things that people don’t understand because they don’t know God and they don’t know about spirit and spirit beings.

"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God [now this is spoken of, of Christ], thy throne, O God is for ever and ever [now the throne that Lucifer was put on is not for ever and ever, he’s going to be removed from that throne. But Jesus’ throne is to be for ever and ever without ever having an end]: ...a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;" (Hebrews 1:8-9)

You know, this world doesn’t love righteousness, it just loves iniquity, it just loves iniquity. You know it’s hard to believe but that’s true brethren. Jesus loves righteousness. He really loves it and He hates iniquity and we’ve got to come to that same place ourselves if we’re going to be God and to be God we have to do that. We have to come to understand righteousness to the extent that we realize that it’s something to be loved.

"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity [or iniquity of course is rebellion and disobedience]; therefore God, even, thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows [speaking of Christ there again] And, Thou, Lord [speaking of Christ again], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth;" (Hebrews 1:9-10)

Now that reminds me of what He said to Job in the thirty-eighth chapter of Job. Job had just laid the foundation of the great pyramid, the greatest building on the face of the earth, and He says, "Where were you, Job when I laid the foundations of the earth? (Job 38:4 paraphrased) Well look here, here it says:

"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands [God created all things by Jesus Christ - Ephesians 3:9]: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall wax old as does a garment;" (Hebrews 1:10-11)

Material things, it makes me think of what Elbert Hubbard said. You’ve heard me speak of Elbert Hubbard. Well he was before the time of, I guess any of you, because he went down on the Lusitania, along about early 1917, that helped plunge this nation into world war. And, but I knew Elbert Hubbard in 1914 and prior to that time. And let me see, he, well there is something here that I had in mind.

"They shall perish; but thou remainest: but they become old like a garment." (Hebrews 1:11)

He said nothing is permanent but change. Now that was just his way of putting it. The only thing that is permanent is change in matter and he knew of nothing but matter he didn’t know anything about spirit. He was a philosopher and he really made fun of the Bible because he didn’t understand it.

Angels Are Ministering Spirits (PLAY FROM 1:13:16)

"And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels saith he at any time, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits [the angels, they are spirit beings and ministering spirits], sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:12-14)

They are going to be the heirs - you and I rather, are to be the heirs of God, the heirs of salvation and angels are here to help us.

You know, I just wonder have you ever had an experience with an angel? I have. I think one time an angel was speaking to my wife. It was in the middle of the night in bed and she had our elder daughter Beverly, lying next to her in bed. And she first began to dream that something was saying, "move Beverly". She didn’t pay any attention and then it said, — "move Beverly.” And pretty soon it was shouting at her “MOVE BEVERLY!” And it woke her up and she heard it again, “move Beverly.” Well she didn’t know why she did it but she - Beverly was just a little baby at the time, and she, she got her and moved her away from where she was and she no more than got her moved, that a great big heavy oil painting on the wall came crashing down. Would have hit her right on the head and killed her.

One time I was driving in a rain storm in a blizzard up in Oregon before they got the good freeways that we have now and it was a curving road just curving around - very dark night — rainy night. I wasn’t going too fast, I was probably only going only twenty miles an hour or twenty-five, twenty maybe and around a curve. And all of a sudden I saw there was a truck right in front of me. And it’s a funny thing, but something took the steering wheel and almost yanked it out of my hands and turned it so that I missed that truck. I got over and there was another truck turned upside down in the ditch, and there was another truck right ahead of it and I just had not, not an inch to keep from hitting another car ahead of me, that was on the left side of the road, and the one I had just passed on the right side of the road and something turned my steering wheel and I went right through there and didn’t hit either one of them. Now I felt something just wrenched that steering wheel right out of my hand. You think I’m lying, you think I made that up in my imagination? That happened, and my life was saved.

There was another time I was in Portland. I was driving a car out Foster Road in Portland. Now there had been a man that I had met that had a very crooked spine and he’d tried to get in at Aimee Semple McPherson’s meeting. Now this is back when I’d been just converted a very short time. I’d never made a prayer aloud in my life yet at this time.

But I had learned to pray, but I never prayed out loud in front of anybody at least. I probably did in private, but not in front of anybody. And I had helped that man to get into Aimee Semple McPherson’s meeting, but he couldn’t get to her, she didn’t have time to see him. And so I had told him that God heard my prayers, and I said I could pray for you so that you would be healed. And, well he had asked me to come and see him then, so he gave me his address and so later I had gone out to see him.

And then I quoted this scripture to him in first John how "what things so ever we ask of Him, we receive, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." (I John 3:22 paraphrased) And I said; I told him about the Sabbath and I said, “I think God wants to find out if you will obey Him, and if you will,…” and I made the Sabbath very plain and I went through a Bible study that he could see it as plainly as A B C with his own eyes in his Bible. But he wouldn’t do it, he’s a Pentecostal man and he wanted to just go to church and have fun shouting "glory, glory, halleluiah," that was a lot of fun, he thought. And I had finally just given up. I said, “Well, if you’re not willing to obey God, I’m not willing to pray for you.”

And so, one day I was driving the car out Foster Road and I just happened to think, well I just went past the street, where if I turned off half a block down the street, was what, where this man lived. And I had wondered if I should stop and see him again. I thought no, I don’t think I’d better. So I drove right on past and the funniest thing happened. At the next block something got a hold of that steering wheel and wrenched it out of my hand and turned me to the right into the next street. And I was just aghast for a minute because I couldn’t understand what had happened.

Well, I said, "I’ll go down to a place and turn around and get on back." I got down, and the street, that street didn’t end; it just turned around at the end and came back on the other street, in front of this man’s home. And the first thing I knew here I was coming right back in front of this man’s home. Well, I said, "Well I am sure that God sent an angel to turn that steering wheel and turn me in here; I think God wants me to drop in and see him after all." So I parked the car and I went in and sure enough the man had blood poisoning and wasn’t expected to live twenty-four hours.

And I told him of this experience and I said, “I believe God sent me here. And I believe He wants to heal you of this blood poisoning to show you that if I pray for you, you will be healed.” Now the main thing is this crooked spine; his spine was all twisted; it was a terrible mess. I said, “Do you want me?— I will pray for you for the healing of this blood poisoning, just to show you that God does love you and will heal you if you will obey Him. Well, yes, he asked me to pray for him and I did, and I came back the next day and he was completely healed - instantly.

There was no more blood poisoning; I said, “Well, now you see what God has done for you. And this proves what God will do, and I know He sent me in here to see you this time by a miracle. Now will you begin to keep God’s Sabbath and obey God so that you can be healed?" He said, "No I won’t." And I left him and I’ve never seen him since.

Well that’s two experiences that I’ve had with angels. I’ve had some others with demons. I don’t like to relate about those. But demons have been cast out, at least three times that I know of, by my voice. So I think God has used me in more ways than one and will use any of us if we just submit ourselves to Him and to His way and to His word and be obedient to Him. But He does demand obedience and we have to be yielded to Him.

Christ Our High Priest (PLAY FROM 1:23:14)

So now we want to go on and remember that Christ is our High Priest in heaven and He is there interceding for us so I’m going to let it end there. I had hoped I could go on into the second chapter of Hebrews but, I’ll save that for next time. That’s a very interesting chapter and the whole book of Hebrews.

But I’m learning one thing; I haven’t preached a sermon very often lately where I just read right through a chapter. And even with a high powered micro or magnifying glass I have very great difficulty reading the Bible. I’m afraid I can’t do much more of that kind of preaching because it, it bothers me, and I lose my place. I hesitate and it bothers you, and I don’t like to do that, and maybe I could have some of these things typed up in bigger type to help me some way.

But I’m carrying on the best I can with what I have to do with, that’s all I can do. And I thank you though for your prayers because I know they are with me all the time. And I’m very grateful and I know the prayers of the brethren from all over the world are, and I do need them and we all need them right now. We all need the prayers of one another. Remember those others that are sick and ill and have requested our prayers, let’s not forget them.

{1} Footnote: Mr. Armstrong said 9:28 – but it should be 9:27

{2} Footnote: Mr. Armstrong was probably referring to Ephesians 6:12