The World Tomorrow

The Calling of God - Part 2

by Herbert W Armstrong


Well greetings everybody.

Do you want to know what is the most common misconception, you could almost say a sin, but I'll say error, of belief, believed by every church that I know of that is a Christian church, except this one? That is that everybody is lost unless they get saved. That is that there's a great controversy going on between Christ and Satan. Christ is trying desperately to get everybody saved today.

That is not true! He isn't trying to get anybody saved except who God calls. Did you know that? Oh how little understanding there is in this world. Your Bible says that all nations are deceived. All humanity has been deceived, and the millions are wrong on this earth. And people will say; "Surely all these men can't be deceived? All of our great scholars, all of our great intellects, our great scientists, how can they be deceived?" Well their minds are only half there. Without the Spirit of God they are limited to physical and to material knowledge.

I know before I started Ambassador College back in 1947, I had a talk with the Chancellor of Higher Education in the state of Oregon. I told him I was starting a college and when he heard about the circumstances he said; "Mr. Armstrong, I can't tell you how much I envy you." He said, "Education is all wrong today, and I know it. Now," he said, "Here I am, I am in authority over the President of the University of Oregon, I am over the President of Oregon State University, I am over the State School for Teachers down at Monmouth. But," he said; "I am helpless, I couldn't change anything if I wanted to." The system is that the faculty have a vote, they have tenure, they have a lot of things that we are not going to allow in Ambassador College.

Well, God said, "You are going to be cut off from Me." And all humanity except those God has called, have been cut off. Now then, God had shut humanity off, and remember, He not only kept humans out from the Tree of Life, or the Holy Spirit, but as Jesus said in the New Testament:

"No man can come to me, [unless God] the Father...[draws] him..." (John 6:44)

Now, God called some for a performance, for a duty. Always it had to do with preparing for the kingdom of God. Everything God has done was looking forward to restoring the kingdom of God. Now Adam failed to qualify, but the second Adam, Jesus Christ, did qualify.

The second Adam, Christ, when He came 4,000 years later, Satan gave Him temptations. It went right to hunger and the vanity, the hardest temptations for any man to resist. But Jesus Christ quoted scripture, and obeyed God and rejected Satan. And He qualified to replace Satan as the ruler on the throne of this earth.

However, He has gone to heaven to be coronated up there, and when He comes He'll come with many crowns, already coronated. But here's the thing, Jesus Christ had to do what Adam had to do, but Adam failed to do. That is to reject Satan's way, to resist Satan, to accept God's way of give, of love, of outgoing love and concern. The law of God which is summed up in the Ten Commandments, the law of love, love to God, love to neighbor. And Jesus Christ did that, and Jesus Christ qualified then to rule on the throne of the earth over all nations.

Only the Few Called Now (PLAY FROM 04:23)

However, God had sentenced the world to 6,000 years and only 4,000 years had gone by, and so Christ has been in heaven as our High Priest ministering to those that have been called ever since. But we're almost to the end of that 6,000 years and we're in the generation that is going to see the end of it.

Then Christ is going to come again and when He comes He's called us to get back of His apostle in getting this message, the kingdom of God, out to the world as a witness. Not to convert the world. Jesus Christ did not come on a soul-saving crusade. Now the thing is, the people that God has not called are not being judged. The greatest error, as I say, is thinking that everybody is automatically lost if you don't get saved. The people God has not called are neither lost or saved, they are just not yet judged.

Now, they in the Church, I want to call your attention to something, it's back here in I Peter the fourth chapter and the seventeenth verse:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God..." (I Peter 4:17).

Now you take this thing of judgment, and in this world, judgment is in a court of law. And a man is being judged for what he is accused of doing, and either he did it or he is innocent and he pleads not guilty. And he is being judged to see if he was innocent, and is falsely accused. But he's always judged for something that happened in the past, not for what he is doing right now.

Now God is judging you for what you're doing right now. There are, in a sense, there are two phases of judgment in the Bible. We're not only being judged daily as we go along, but when Christ comes He is going to call us to an account, as you'll read in the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents, the nineteenth chapter of Luke and the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. He is going to call each to account as to what we have done.

Now get this also, we're not saved by our works, we're saved by grace. But we're going to be rewarded, or not rewarded, one or the other, according to our works. So works count. Works don't earn your way into the kingdom of God, that's God's free gift to those that God has called. And if He has chosen you He has chosen you to do something, and if you don't do it you probably won't get in.

Now you take one of the parables, take the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents, where God gave a pound to each one in the parable of the pounds. Now one man took that and that represented a certain degree of the Holy Spirit of God and He intended us to increase. Only one person, Jesus Christ who ever came with a full measure of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ didn't have the Holy Spirit by measure, that is a portion, He had it all, completely. But you and I started out with less:

"But [we] grow in the grace, and in the knowledge..." (II Peter 3:18)

According to the last verse in II Peter, that he wrote. We must grow in the grace of Christ and in the knowledge of Christ. And you grow spiritually, and you grow in the amount of the Holy Spirit that you have.

Now then, God cut off the world except those He called. Do you see what that means? That means that those that are not called have not had a chance, therefore the responsibility is not theirs. God isn't holding them accountable for the fact He didn't call them. God is the one who is responsible. Now that doesn't mean God is guilty, it just means the responsibility is His and He is going to aquit Himself of that responsibility. And that's what I'm here to talk to you about this afternoon. Now once again, John 6:44, Jesus said:

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

You can't read any scripture that refutes that, it would mean a contradiction in the Bible. And it would mean a contradiction of when God put angels to guard anyone getting back into that tree of life, because God just isn't calling everybody to salvation. And those He calls it's not just for salvation, it is for a job that you are to do.

And the Church is to get the gospel to the world, but not every member of it. Now the Church is well organized, and you find that in the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians, you find it in the fourth chapter of Ephesians; and how God has set different offices in the Church and each one has a certain thing to do. But God hasn't made our way easy in this life, and sometimes we have to suffer, to do what we have to do, instead of what we would like to do.

The Master Plan of God (PLAY FROM 09:45)

Now, no church or religious denomination has a knowledge of the master plan of God. God has revealed it to His Church through these holy days, and no other church, that I know of, keeps it. God gave us these seven annual festivals and seven annual holy days. Now they're not quite the same.

The first festival is not a holy day, it's the Passover and it's not a holy day but it is a festival. Then comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now the Passover is the beginning of God's spiritual creation, it pictures to us the sacrifice of Christ, that's the beginning. The next thing is we have to come out of sin and put sin out of our lives, and the seven days of Unleavened Bread picture that to us. That is the second festival of Unleavened Bread with its two holy days on the first and the seventh.

Now the third festival is the Feast of Firstfruits. We got to calling it in the New Testament Pentecost, which means, 'count fifty'. It's count fifty days beginning on Sunday and it brings out the fiftieth day, a Sunday. And that is to show that we are only the first harvest.

Now God did not call Israel. He called them to have His government and His laws, but God did not give them any chance of salvation. God did not give the Israelites the Holy Spirit, only the prophets. Almost nobody seems to understand why God had ancient Israel, when He didn't give them any salvation. Moses had the Holy Spirit of God, so did Isaiah, so did Jeremiah, so did the prophets.

Now the fourth feast is the Feast of Trumpets which pictures the second coming of Christ. And He's coming for His Church. And He's the vine, and His Church, we're the branches joined to that vine. Or, we are the temple built up to a Holy Temple. He's not coming to a physical temple over in Jerusalem.

Now the fifth one then is the Day of Atonement, and that has to do with putting Satan away. When Christ comes, He's qualified, He's going to take over that throne, and when He takes it over Satan will be put out. And that's pictured in the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation, how:

"The angel with the key to the bottomless pit comes down and lays hold on that old dragon which is Satan, old serpent, which is Satan the devil. And put the seal on him and seals him up for a thousand years..." (Revelation 20:1-2 paraphrased)

So he can't get at the Church. Now he's immortal, he'll still be alive but he won't be around us during that millennium, it'll be a millennium. The world can't be at one with God, when it's cut off from God, and when it is being swayed entirely by Satan, who is the god of this world. The god that the world looks to as God is Satan, they don't know who the true God is. It's funny that the whole world could be deceived, but that has happened.

Now the sixth festival is the Feast of Tabernacles. That pictures the thousand years reign of the kingdom of God, which is the family of God made immortal, that will rule over all of the mortals. So in the Millennium you're going to have both mortals and immortals, and all of the mortals, of people that are still living, will then be called. Then God is going to call everybody but there won't be any devil to overcome then. We have to overcome Satan the same as Christ did if we are going to sit with Him on His throne ruling. You see? But they won't, there is a very great difference.

The Great White Throne Judgement (PLAY FROM 13:54)

Then finally comes today, this Last Great Day of the Feast. Now I want to show you about this, we've come to it. All that are still living on earth, because the many people who are living will die between now and the time Christ comes. And there are prophecies that show that a third of the people in our country are going to die with pestilence and disease, coming from very great famine. Another third by an invasion, a military invasion, and probably by nuclear warfare, if not neutron warfare.

It's going to be horrible. It's going to be terrible. God has promised that His church will be protected through that Great Tribulation. And you wonder about the fact that now for many years I have been getting the gospel over the world, and been given very great personal favor in the eyes of kings, and prime ministers, and presidents, and heads of government, and then many of their heads, their cabinet members, and their law making body, and so on.

Now, the kingdom will be reigning over all of the people on the earth for the thousand years. But now we get to the billions of people that have lived and died and God never called them. And it isn't their fault, you see God decided that, because of what Adam did long before they were born, and so it was not their fault. It is God's responsibility, He's not holding them responsible for it, and God has to see to it. God has to take care of that situation because God is no respecter of persons, He's not going to be unfair to anybody.

There are billions. What about all of ancient Israel? They were not given salvation, what about them? They're not going to be in the kingdom of God, only those that have had God's Holy Spirit will be resurrected to be in the thousand year reign with Christ. But now you read of that thousand years in the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation, come down to verse 11:

"And I saw a great white throne [white is the color of perfection and purity, and it's a throne before which people are going to be judged], and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God [a resurrection of people that have been dead, standing before God]; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life..." (Revelation 20:11-12)

Therefore some are going to have a chance of gaining eternal life because many of their names will be written in this book of life and every one of them will then be called. This is a resurrection of all the billions upon billions of people that have lived and have never been called and have never had a chance. And now they're going to be called. Let me tell you, no church on earth will teach you this, they don't know these things. This is the knowledge and the wisdom of the Eternal God.

"...the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [which means that some would be given immortal life]: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Revelation 20:12).

There will be a judgment in that Great White Throne. That will be the resurrection of everybody from Adam and Eve on till now, that was not called.

Now some few have been called and have rejected the call. Adam was, he had every chance in the world. God called him, God talked to him but he turned it down. I don't know how many have been called and turned it down, I hope not many, but I don't know that, and neither do you. But I do know this, that most of them were not called, and all of those who were not called will come up in this Great White Throne resurrection. And they're going to come back into mortal life, flesh and blood, not immortal, no salvation.

But they will then be called and given the opportunity of salvation and there will not be any devil there then. Now the devil will be released after the thousand years for a short time, and then he is put away again before this judgment. And the devil will not be there at the time of this judgment. So, we see then:

"And the sea gave up the dead [that] were in it; and death and [the grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to [his] works." (Revelation 20:13)

Now that's going to be.

The Valley of Dry Bones (PLAY FROM 19:15)

Now then, what about the ancient Israel of the Old Testament? As I say, they were called by God in a way, they were given His law, they were under God's prophets, but they were not given His Holy Spirit or any chance of salvation. Now we turn back to the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel and here is this chapter of the valley of dry bones:

"The hand of the [Eternal] was upon me [verse one Ezekiel thirty-seven, the hand of the Eternal was upon me], and carried me out in the spirit of the [Eternal], and set me down in the midst of [a] valley which was full of bones," (Ezekiel 37:1)

Now in other words, that means that he was in a vision. By the spirit he had been taken where in this vision he sees a valley of bones.

"And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley and, lo, they were very dry [skeletons and bones that had been dead a long, long time and they're all dry now]. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered O Lord [Eternal], thou knowest [and actually Ezekiel was just a prophet and he didn't know that this was being given to him now, in a vision, and] Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O [you] dry bones, hear the word of the [Eternal]. Thus saith the Lord [Eternal] unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and [you] shall live:" (Ezekiel 37:2-5)

You skeletons, full of dry bones, you're going to come back to a life in a resurrection.

"And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and [will] cover you with skin, and [will] put breath in you [that's the kind of breath that we breathe, that's not immortality of self-containing life by the Spirit of God, this is breath that oxidizes the blood with a heart beat in people], and [you] shall live; and...shall know that I am the [Eternal]." (Ezekiel 37:6)

They didn't know it. They never did really know who the Eternal was during their lifetime. They didn't get to really know Him, they just knew about Him, but they didn't really know Him, and they didn't really believe Him. But now they're going to, in this resurrection.

"So I prophesied as I was commanded: and [lo] as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking [more like an earthquake], and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them [yet]." (Ezekiel 37:7-8).

So they couldn't live without that. Now when a baby is born it usually, there is no breath in it, and do you ever notice how they give it a little slap on the back, on its little bottom or something, and it begins to "Waaah!" right away. And, well I've seen three of my four children born and I know how it is, and I can still remember.

"Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind [that's the air, the wind], prophesy, son of man, and say [unto] the wind, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live [the breath of life, this is mortal life, physical life made out of matter]. So I prophesied as he [had] commanded me, and...breath came into them, and they lived, and [they] stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army." (Ezekiel 37:9-10)

It'll be billions and billions of people! All of ancient Israel. And not only that, all of ancient China, and Japan, and India, and of Indonesia, and even of Russia, and nations like that.

"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel [that tells us what it means]: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost..." (Ezekiel 37:11).

They think that their bones are dried, that they were lost. Well God didn't offer them salvation, brethren. He did not offer them the Holy Spirit, He offered them His law, His spiritual law. Then because they were a government and a nation He gave them another kind of law; statutes and judgments to rule the nation. Now we're not in that nation today, but really those laws were not done away, and the statutes and judgments. If our government, and the United States for instance, would use those as its national law, we'd be a lot better off than we are. But we are commanded of course to be subject to the government that we're under and that's the way that is today.

"Therefore prophesy...unto them, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves [this is all ancient Israel], and cause you to come up out of your graves, and [will] bring you into the land of Israel. And [you] shall know that I am the [Eternal],[they didn't really know that before, they knew about Him but they didn't really get it, and] when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in [to] you [then He will give them the Holy Spirit, now first they're going to get breath, that's mortal life, then He's going to put His Holy Spirit into them], and [you] shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall [you] know that I the [Eternal] have spoken it, and [have] performed it, saith the [Eternal]." (Ezekiel 37:12-14)

What a wonderful thing. Look how wonderful is the way of God! He has decreed that the world should be cut off from Him, because Adam made that decision for him and his descendants. And we are all the children of Adam, everyone who has ever lived since Adam and Eve. But I do want to close with one scripture in the eleventh chapter of Romans and beginning with verse 33:

"Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and [the] knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out [how wonderful is the way of God]! For who hath known the mind of the [Eternal or of the] Lord? ...who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things [that's the universe and everything in it]: to whom be glory for ever [and ever]. Amen." (Romans 11:33-36)