The World Tomorrow

A Form of Godliness

by Herbert W Armstrong


Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.

Now, we want to get at this today and we want to really answer this question; we've been going through the New Testament and shocked to find out that it doesn't say what we have supposed it said. What we'd been taught it said, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been hidden from the world; that the world has adopted a gospel of its own about the person of Christ. They have exalted Christ and deified Him, they have proclaimed Christ to the nations of the world; but His message they have rejected. And when you look at the teaching of Christ, it is diametrically opposed to the teaching that is being believed in churches today.

Today they have a form of godliness that you read in the prophecies of Paul's letter to Timothy. Much of the form – you have a great deal of form and ceremony, beautiful music, very dignified services; yes, and a very polished sermon by a man who has degrees after his name and is a suave polished speaker. But he isn't preaching to you the things that Jesus Christ preached, but rather his doctrines are opposite. And you don't find the same kind of form and ceremony that Jesus Christ brought us, or the example that He set, or that the Church had when it was really led by the Holy Spirit of God. It's about time we blew the dust off our Bibles and begin to look and see what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why haven't we heard it?

Christ the Chief Shepherd (PLAY FROM 01:51)

Now in going through this we had come to the tenth chapter of John and Jesus had been proclaiming that He was the Shepherd of the sheep, He is the Chief Shepherd. Now, ministers of Jesus Christ, the true ministers, are shepherds under Him. He is the High Priest and they are the priests or the ministers, or the preachers; "And God has set different ones in the Church; first apostles and then after that, prophets, and evangelists, and pastors and teachers..." (I Corinthians 12:28 paraphrased) and so on. And we find the pattern as it was carried out by the apostle Paul through the Book of Acts; and also through the letters of Paul, especially his letters to Timothy and Philemon, and the young ministers that he sent out as evangelists, raising up Churches.

But Jesus was the Chief Shepherd and He called the people sheep; and we are just like sheep. I wonder if you realize how much like sheep we human beings are? We want to follow others, we want to be like others, we are more concerned with what people think about us than what God thinks. And that's why it was so very necessary that God inspire the apostle Paul to say to us as he did in the twelfth chapter of Romans:

" not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

The Holy Spirit is the renewing of our minds and the Spirit of a sound mind. Now this world believes in conformity. They want to conform, the main thing is to be just like other people. And if other people adopt for instance, a type of church ceremony or service or something – then we must do like others. That seems to be human nature. That is the nature of the carnal natural born mind. God says not to be conformed, not to be like sheep in that sense. However, we are to be like sheep in the sense that we are to follow Christ. And so, you find that Paul said:

"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." (I Corinthians 11:1)

And the real meaning of the Greek word 'followers' is – well it's a good translation but it isn't necessarily the best; actually it means 'copy me'. And again, we're told to follow Christ, and to follow after God and the real meaning is copy, imitate. And so, again, God is the Great Shepherd overall; but Christ pictures Himself here as the Chief Shepherd of the sheep. And He said in verse 11 of the tenth chapter of John:

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep." (John 10:11-12)

And then again, He had said here:

"The thief comes only to steal, and to slay, and to destroy [but Jesus said]: I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10 paraphrased)

Have it to the full, and that means enjoyable, satisfying life. People are dissatisfied and restless and discontented today and they don't seem to know what's wrong with them. But they are unhappy and we are filled with mental troubles, fears and worries, I mean, and things of that sort; and with every kind of ache and pain and disappointments and disillusionments and unhappiness. Empty lives, we are filled with those things. Jesus came that we might have life to the full. That means enjoyable life; life that is just packed full of interest every second. Life that is so interesting, so enjoyable that we live it to the full, that we have it abundantly.

Now, I was reading to you of the prophecy in Ezekiel of how the shepherds have proved false and they have served the devil, the god of this world, and they have fed themselves. That is financially and economically, materially instead of feeding the sheep on the spiritual food as they should.

Now one reason is that the spiritual food is really the Word of God and we are to eat the word and to live by every Word of God. It is the spiritual food we are to live on and the Word of God is sharp, sharper than a two-edged sword, it cuts both ways. The Word of God is given by inspiration of God; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable...for correction, for reproof, and instruction in righteousness, as well as for doctrine:" (II Timothy 3:16 paraphrased)

Now, people just don't like to be corrected or reproved. There's nothing that people hate more than that. You don't like to be cut with a sharp two-edged sword that's going to cut you going and coming; but that's exactly what the Bible does, and so people don't like it. But, my friends, we need to be corrected, we need it because the way we are living has brought all this emptiness and all this discontent and all this heartache and headache and all the wars and strife and confusion in this world. And we need to be corrected.

This world is just what we have made it my friends. If you're living in an upset and a chaotic upside-down world it's a world of man's making and it is that way because man has made it that way. God didn't do it. It has come from violating the laws of God and from disobedience of God.

God Wants What is Good for Us (PLAY FROM 07:32)

Now, the thing that pleases God is our happiness. Jesus is God and He said that; "...He spoke nothing of himself; the Father that sent Him gave Him the commandment, what He should say and what He should speak." (John 12:49 paraphrased). And what did He say? Why, He says:

"The thief comes to kill, and to destroy: but I am come [and He spoke nothing except what the Father told Him, this is the Father's will then; Jesus said I am come] that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10 paraphrased)

That is God's will, that we be in health and that we prosper and that we are happy and contented and that we're just so full of happiness that its brimful and running over, that we have joy. Jesus said; " joy I give unto you." (John 15:11 paraphrased).

When can we learn that God is love? That God loves us and that we've just been destroying ourselves by our foolishness, by our stubborn rebellion against Him, by our somehow misguided human concept that God is an evil force, that is filled with vanity like we humans are. Why that vanity is in our carnal human minds - it isn't in God's mind, there is no vanity in God's mind whatsoever. But out minds are filled with vanity. And so, we think that God just - somehow God gets pleasure out of our suffering and our unhappiness.

Oh, my friends, did you ever read of God and what He is in your Bible? Why, God is the God who says that His mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above the earth. A God that is so filled with mercy and compassion.

Human Nature (PLAY FROM 9:14)

But listen, God will not hear sinners. God will have nothing to do with a sinner, do you know why? Because that sinner is doing the way that is not only destroying him and making him suffer and making him unhappy but making people all around him unhappy and making them suffer and God doesn't believe in coddling or molly-coddling that sort of thing. You know, God doesn't believe in this modern psychology of let little Freddy and the little daughter; just do whatever they want to do, and let them go according to that nature in them. God knows the nature in us, and that its wicked, it's deceitful above all things.

God says that a loving parent is going to punish every child He loves. And the punishment is to prevent us from doing the things that injure us and destroy us and it comes in love. That's why God's word corrects, it corrects us because we're doing wrong and God's word corrects to turn us away from the way that is making us unhappy. And turn us into the way that will give us happiness and joy and peace and make life filled with everything good.

But you know, we think; "What are our neighbors going to say, and our friends, and our family, and people like that; what would they say?" You see, they are going this wrong way – the way that brings on all the aches and the heartaches and the pains and the suffering and everything that's wrong. And listen, they're not villains, they're not trying to do wrong. Oh, no, no, they believe the way they're doing is right, they're good people, they are sincere people, they - at least they feel that they are honest at heart. Of course our hearts play tricks on us sometimes, but they are what we call good honest people. But, my friends:

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man....the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

And that's the way they're going. And so, we're so afraid that they might not approve of our going the right way, that's going to even be a blessing to them and make them happy. So that we get a sort of a cowardice, and we become mental and spiritual cowards. We're afraid of 'what will people say?'

And somehow, we, well we just haven't seen God; you know I think that I will bring you a message sometime on why God is unseen, why He is invisible – in other words why God hides Himself so you can't see Him. You can't see God, He doesn't let you see Him with your physical eye. He will let you see Him another way, but not with your eyesight. Why does God hide Himself? I'm going to bring you a message on that sometime, there's a reason, do you know what that reason is? God had a wonderful - and God has a reason for everything He does and everything that God does is for our good. Oh, if you could only learn that.

And so, when He opens our eyes to the truth sometimes we don't want to turn to it. We don't want to turn to the way that'll make us happy and make others around us happy, that'll make our lives useful, that will fulfil the purpose for which we were born and put here on this earth; because we're so afraid of what others would say. Now, why are we afraid? We're not going to hurt those other people. No, but it's vanity and we just think we can't take their looks, or reproaches, or possible persecution that might come. We're such cowards we just can't take it.

Now, let's be frank and analyze it. Human nature plays a lot of tricks on us we don't stop to think. What is it that makes us feel the way we do and motivates us in doing the things we do? Why do we get like cowards and run away from things? A lot of you people are running away from God this minute, you're afraid of God in the sense that; you're afraid of - not God really, what you're afraid of is your friends your former associates in this world and what they would say and why. Because if you turned to the right way that's going to make them feel miserable and so they're going to sort of persecute a little bit and frown on what you're doing because instead of admitting it and getting right themselves they try to justify themselves. Because when you begin to realize you're doing the wrong thing, you know, it makes you feel a little inferior; and you're so filled with vanity, and everybody is, that they don't like to feel that way. And they want to mount up above it, and the way they get above it is to try to put the person doing right down below them. And then they feel like they have gotten up above and they ride right over their own sins.

You know, I don't believe we're very bright after all are we? I don't believe the human mind is so smart as some people think, and I'm using the vernacular.

One Fold and One Shepherd (PLAY FROM 13:36)

Well, now we had come down to this sixteenth verse where Jesus said:

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring [now notice; them also I must bring], and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

My friends that didn't happen while Jesus lived. Jesus Christ was cut off and crucified before that happened. And yet He said He was going to do it. He said that He had other sheep. Now what sheep is He talking to? The Jews. But Jesus did say that He laid down His life for His sheep and He said:

"...other sheep I have, which are not of this fold [not of that Jewish fold to whom He was speaking]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

Now that did not happen in His life time. The one-fold means that the other fold of sheep, and He's calling the people sheep, the other fold must be joined together with this fold to whom He was sent. Now Jesus came to His own, that was the House of Judah, the children of Judah called the Jews; "...and his own received him not." (John 1:11). Now who did He say that He was sent to and that He would turn to? People think; "Well" He said, "Lo, I turn to the Gentiles." Oh no, He didn't, my friends, He didn't say anything of the kind. That was the apostle Paul who was a special apostle sent to the Gentiles. That was Paul that said that. But do you know what Jesus said? He said:

"...I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)

Now when Jesus had called His own disciples, during their training, when He was training them to be disciples, to become apostles, and He sent them out on a practice mission, He commissioned them. And I want you to notice if you haven't noticed before; to whom He sent them. He did not send them to the Gentiles, but He said:

"...Go not into the way of the Gentiles..." (Matthew 10:5)

Let me see; that's in both the tenth chapter of Matthew and the ninth and tenth chapters of Luke where the other seventy are mentioned also. Let's turn back first to the tenth chapter of Matthew and I want you to notice what He said. He called His twelve disciples and then the names of them are given and then in verse 5, this is Matthew 10:

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not [now Samaria had been the capital of Israel but they had been moved out of there 700 years before Christ and Gentiles put in so it had been a Gentile city for 700 years when Jesus said this; but, He said]: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 10:5-6)

The House of Israel, and He said; "...I am not sent but unto of Israel." (Matthew 15:24). Now I am going to show you who this other fold was. And first I would like to have you turn with me once again back to the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel where the word of the Eternal came to Ezekiel saying:

"Son of man, prophesy [that's foretell] against the shepherds of Israel [and that is the pastors, the preachers of Israel] ...and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal] unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? [You feed yourself] Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed...The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick... " (Ezekiel 34:2-4)

We've been going into that. Jesus not only healed the sick, He set an example for His ministers; and that Peter and Paul and all the apostles healed the sick even more than Jesus. And that in the New Testament, the commission is:

"If you are sick call the elders of the Church and let them pray over you anointing you with oil and the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:14-15 paraphrased)

That's a promise and God is bound, God is bound by a written promissory note there in His Word. He can't break that promise. The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise them up. He's got to do it, He said He would, He's bound; you can just say; "Well Lord you promised, you can't break that promise." And He can't do it - if you can believe that. Of course, other scriptures show that the one condition is your obedience and your faith. You have to believe with believing faith that is proved by its obedience:

"...whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." (I John 3:22)

And the things that are pleasing in His sight are the things that make you happy and that just give you a sense of wellbeing, joy and everything good.

Now, as I told you, write in for our booklet on ‘Healing’ and I won't take any more time on that. If you want the Bible explanation about whether God heals the sick today, and whether you should go to doctors, and take drugs, and be cut open with knives, and things like that. Now there may be a time when an operation is necessary but in the main - well, you read the booklet; ‘Healing’ it'll give you the Bible teaching on that pretty well.

" ...neither [now notice He says here; neither] have ye sought that which was lost [the lost sheep of the House of Israel]; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them [yes, they'd been ruling right over them, but they didn't know who they were because they were lost, doubly lost; lost in identity and they were lost so far as obedience to God and salvation was concerned too]. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field..." (Ezekiel 34:4-5)

Christ to Return and Search Out His Own Sheep (PLAY FROM 19:36)

Now then, let's turn on down a little further and see. Jesus did not go to this other fold that He said He had. He said:

"...them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

Now He didn't bring them together with the Jews and make one-fold out of them and the one Shepherd over them before He died; He was crucified before that happened. And it has not happened since. But Jesus is going to complete His work after He comes again and He is coming in our time our generation. Now when He comes what's He going to do? Let's drop on down a little further; the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel {1} verse 10:

"Thus, saith the Lord [Eternal]; I am against the shepherds [that's these preachers, that have fed themselves and been interested in preaching what the people want and the people don't want to hear the law of God and so they've done away with it, in their own minds; they think they've done away with it]; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock..." (Ezekiel 34:10)

Now what's He going to do? He hasn't done that yet either; but He's going to. That's going to happen at the second coming of Christ and those that are the preachers in the pulpits of most of the churches in the land today; I want to tell, you my friends, they are going to be unfrocked, and they are going to be cast out into outer darkness. When; "...the blind lead the blind, they all go into the ditch together." (Matthew 15:14 paraphrased). Better heed these words; "He that hath an ear [let me tell you], let him hear..." (Revelation 2:7). Now, verse 11:

"For thus said the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, I, even I..." (Ezekiel 34:11)

Not these preachers, not these pastors that have fed themselves and not the sheep, that have ruled them with force and cruelty, that did not seek where the lost House of Israel was, that did not heal them when they were sick; He says, the Lord Eternal - and the Lord Eternal is Jesus Christ who was made flesh and dwelt among us - and He says:

"...Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out [He hasn't done it yet; He is going to do that at His second coming, let me read it to you]. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and [the] dark day." (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

Now, verse fourteen He says:

"I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be [and the high mountain of Israel is Palestine] ...I [verse 15] will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord [Eternal]." (Ezekiel 34:14-15)

I – not the pastors that have refused to preach the truth and have fed themselves - but Jesus Christ Himself.

"I will seek that which was lost [here are the lost sheep my friends, He says He will seek out that which was lost], and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick [He will heal the sick, He will find lost Israel, He will bring them in and make one-fold out of them and the Jewish people together]: I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them [these preachers] with judgment. And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle..." (Ezekiel 34:16-17)

"Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye [He is speaking to these preachers, these ministers again now, these false shepherds; as for my flock, they eat that that you] have trodden with your feet [their dirty feet]; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet." (Ezekiel 34:18-19)

"Therefore thus saith the Lord [Eternal] unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge...[and verse twenty-two] Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge...[He's going to do the judging]. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David... " (Ezekiel 34:20,22-23)

Resurrected from the dead in the time of the resurrection.

"And I the Eternal [He is the One who became Jesus Christ, was born of the virgin Mary, and was made flesh, He is the Word of God that did all the speaking in the Old Testament and He says I] will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the [Eternal] have spoken it." (Ezekiel 34: 24)

And there you are.

Israel and Judah to be United (PLAY FROM 24:20)

Now then, my friends, do you realize there were the twelve tribes of Israel, that they were divided into two nations and that the tribe of Judah formed a separate nation and Benjamin joined Judah and most of Levi; and they became the House of Judah and they were named 'Jews'? They were given the nickname, 'Jewish' because of their name Judah. And their national name was not Israel but Judah. And the first place that the name Jews is used in all the Bible is II Kings 16:6, the Jews were at war against Israel and Israel's ally was taking one of the towns of the Jews and taking the Jews captive.

Oh, my friends, Israel had been driven out and lost and called 'the lost ten tribes' 700 years before Jesus. He was speaking of the lost sheep of the House of Israel and if you know your Bible the term House of Israel is never used to refer to the Jewish people of Judah. They are descended from Judah; now they're of the twelve tribes of Israel just the same as Israel is but nationally they were called Jews; nationally they were called the House of Judah. And nationally the other ten tribes were never called Jews but were the House of Israel and they had become separated and the House of Israel as we find in the Bible had even come to speak a different language and to think that they were a Gentile people and they had become lost. And Jesus said that they were the ones He would bring. Now notice quickly in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel:

"Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [now there were the two tribes of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh; I will take the stick of Joseph], which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [there's the nation Judah], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand." (Ezekiel 37:19)

Here are the two folds of sheep that are going to be made one-fold; Israel at the time of the second coming of Christ.

"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone [and they now think they are Gentiles; called the lost sheep, the lost House of Israel, lost in identity] ...and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves anymore with their idols, and their detestable things [and so on] ...[they shall] be my people, and I will be their God. [And verse 24] And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd..." (Ezekiel 37:21-24)

Now quickly just before we close turn back, Jesus says; "I am the good shepherd..." (John 10:11). He is the Chief Shepherd, He is going to be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; but David will be King over Israel and Lord over them and shepherd over them. And He says here:

"...other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

I've read you the scriptures of the prophecies showing how and when it's going to happen. My friends, we know now, that the lost ten tribes of Israel migrated northwest from Assyria and then they were lost from view. And we find that the people of the British Empire and the United States and the people of northwestern Europe came exactly from the place where Israel was lost, and they don't know what happened to them before it. And there is absolute proof, absolute proof, that the lost House of Israel are the people, the white English speaking people are the descendants of Joseph.

Write for our booklet; 'The United States and Britain in Prophecy’ Time is up – it's explained there in absolute proof what is prophesied to happen to the United States, where the United States is mentioned in prophecy. There is no price.

Until tomorrow, good bye friends.


{1} Mr Armstrong mentions Isaiah instead of Ezekiel.