The World Tomorrow

FOT Continued - Part 2

by Herbert W Armstrong


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

And now once again my friends, there is no greater surprise than to open your Bible and see what it does say, because it doesn't say what most people think in this time, this day and age. It says just the opposite. No wonder people don't understand it. People try to interpret it. They try to put their meaning into it, and that's all interpreting is. The Bible interprets itself, and it means what it says.

Now we're going through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, taking them together, and here we are in John the seventh chapter. It was at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, about six months before Jesus was crucified, during his earthly ministry. He had gone up to the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem.

"…the Jews had sought him at the festival, they said, Where is he? But there was a lot of murmuring [and complaining, and gossiping, and one thing and another] among the people…some said, He is a good man: others said, No; he's a deceive. He is deceiving the people." (John 7:11-12 paraphrased)

But somehow they were prevented from laying hands on Him, and actually taking Him. They weren't able to actually take Him. And so:

"Many of the people therefore [now coming to verse 40, John 7:40, many of the people therefore], when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is [a] Prophet." (John 7:40)

He had just said, where it was on the very last day of the great festival, and that really was the eighth day. It was the day after the Feast of Tabernacles actually, technically it was a separate festival, but was considered as part of the same one, because they all followed along together, eight days continuously.

The Promised Holy Spirit to Come (PLAY FROM 01:56)

And it was on that day that: "…Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." (John 7:37)

You know if a man would stand up in some great conclave, a religious conclave today, and say something like that, people would - they wouldn't know what to think. They would either think He was crazy, or they would be so astonished, they wouldn't know what to think. Listen, He stood up and said:

"…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37-38)

If any man would stand up and say anything like that today, what would people think of him? Now what did they think? It really had an effect on people. The next verse says:

"(…this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive [that is they were going to receive, they hadn't yet]: for the Holy [Spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" (John 7:39)

The Holy Spirit He had said to His disciples, could not come unless He went to heaven. He said: "…It is expedient for you that I go away: …if I go {1} not away, the [other] Comforter [the Holy Spirit] will not [or cannot] come…" (John 16:7)

But He said: "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he [will] give you another Comforter, …Even the [Holy Spirit, or the] Spirit of truth, that the world doesn't know and cannot receive…" (John 14:15-17 paraphrased)

Now Jesus said, "…If any man thirst…" (John 7:37). And that if, as I have mentioned yesterday, the biggest little two letter word in all the English language. That little two letter word 'if' is standing between nearly all people today, and happiness, and eternal life. People go around wondering why they have their troubles. They wonder why they have economic and financial troubles. They wonder why they have fears and worries. They wonder why their lives are empty, and they have to try to fill their lives up with some kind of a pastime just to stuff them up, and somehow get your mind off of the emptiness and what a miserable life you are living after all.

And do you know? Pretty soon we are going to run down just like an alarm clock wound up. And that will be the end unless we receive eternal life. Jesus Christ brought immortality to light through the gospel. We are told that we can put it on at the resurrection. We are told that Jesus only of human beings, has ever had it. But we can receive it from God as God's gift.

"He that hath the Son [of God has] life; and he that hath not the Son of God has not life." (I John 5:12)

Repentance is Imperative (PLAY FROM 04:30)

But we have to repent. We have to turn away from our ways and our thoughts and turn to God and keep His commandments. We have to repent. We have to surrender our ways, the ways of human beings, the traditions of the people, the customs that the people are following. These beliefs and doctrines that the people are proclaiming, which are just the opposite of those of Jesus Christ. We'll have to turn from them and repent. Jesus said, "…If any man thirst…" (John 7:37). The trouble is that people don't hunger and thirst for God's way and the truth.

Because the Word of God is profitable to correct us and reprove us where we've been wrong (II Timothy 3:16). People don't hunger and thirst for that. No, people are hungry and thirsty for the ways of this world and they want those ways to make them happy, and those ways are leaving their lives empty. Those ways are making people unhappy. They are leaving headaches tomorrow, the day after the night before. That's the trouble in this world, and yet people want those ways. They hunger for them, they thirst for them, they don't want to give them up.

Well, if they don't give up those ways, they will not be able to give up the result of those ways, and the result of those ways. I don't know why it is, while people are young, in their teens, and even in their early twenties, and sometimes even into the thirties, those ways seem still so alluring and so attractive. And they appeal to vanity, and they appeal to pride, and people are just looking for a thrill, a kick out of life, something that will, well, be interesting and enjoyable for the moment.

But the true values they know nothing of. The things that are lasting and permanently uplifting and building, and that make for real happiness permanently, and the things that will bring eternal life so you'll go on living forever. But they don't seem to want those ways, and they have somehow been misinformed and mistaught and led into a lot of lies to believe that those ways are not the ways of happiness and that those are the ways of gloom and all that sort of thing. And they think that just these glittering lights of temporary pleasures of this world are the only things that are worthwhile. Poor, dumb, stupid, misled creatures.

No wonder they lead into all the heartaches, and all of the terrible aches and pains, that come on them. And you'll find that on the whole that, more of the people past fifty and sixty and into their seventies, are having all of these aches and pains and retributions, and realizing these things. And young people in their late teens and in their twenties, because so many of the things we do don't really crack down on us, and don't begin to extract their toll until after we pass forty or fifty. And while we're young we just go along heedlessly and think we are going to enjoy a kick out of life forever.

Then later on we find our lives have been mispent, and we find it's too late now and we're frustrated. And there's a life and you only have the one and it's gone, it's too late. How about you? When will we wake up?

The Action of the Holy Spirit (PLAY FROM 07:33)

Jesus said, if you thirst: "…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink [and what are you going to drink? The Holy Spirit]. (…this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:…)" (John 7:37,39)

That's what you drink, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow [out, it has to come in to go out. You receive it from God] rivers of living water." (John 7:38)

The Holy Spirit, it flows out from you. How does the Holy Spirit flow out from you? As I said yesterday, in the law of God, love is the fulfilling of the law. Let's go a little further. That's something that is active. That's something that is dynamic. That's something that is living and alive, it comes into you from Christ and from God Almighty the Creator. It flows out from you. And how does it flow out? Well first of all it has to flow out by going back to God, the God that gave it. Yes, it returns back to the God that gave it. How? In obedience; in love; in worship; in adoration. Oh yes, and there's something in that that just warms the soul and makes you happy.

And it returns to God in believing prayer, and in faith. And no matter how tough the going gets, no matter how great the problem, if that love of God that He gives you, if you've thirsted for it, and it comes as living waters from God and from Christ, right into you. And it returns to Him in prayer, and in faith, and in worship, you have a close contact with God. And no matter how great your problems, your troubles, God will deliver you out of them all. He will guide you, He'll show you the way out. Oh, He may let you be tried for a while. He may let the going be tough and it may look discouraging, to try and test your faith, to strengthen you, to build you up, but you'll always come out right. Everything will always come out right.

My friends, I've found that secret. In my life, everything always comes out right. And that's a truth, and I tell you that by the authority of Jesus Christ, and that's not perjury and it's not a lie, it's the truth. Everything always comes out right, as long as I trust God with the result, which I try always to do. Now I meet many problems and many trials. I meet problems and trials that weigh me down, and I think that some of you couldn't carry them, frankly. But I want to tell you that I know where to go for the guidance, and for the wisdom, and for the help, and for the deliverance, and I always get it.

And you know, sometimes, when I stop to think about it; "Many are the afflictions of the righteous…" (Psalm 34:19). Yes, I've had my share; "God punishes and chastens every son he loves" (Hebrews 12:6-7 paraphrased). He must love me a great deal, I've suffered a great deal of it. But when I stop to think, I believe that God Almighty has blessed me personally and my family, more than any person or family I know on the face of this earth. We've suffered, we've had to learn our lessons, some of them the hard way. I've been just as stubborn and rebellious as any of you, until God beat me down and took it out of me. Oh, how I thank Him and praise Him that He did. But I always now have the assurance that no matter how tough is the going, no matter how great is the problem, I know where to go to find the way out.

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: the [Eternal] delivereth him out of them all." (Psalm 34:19)

Now, in addition to that flowing out like rivers of water, away from you to God in that way, and that's the most blessed and satisfying experience that there is, and nobody can know it that hasn't tasted of it. Then those living waters flow out from you to other people, to your neighbors, to the people you come in contact with in doing good.

Now look how they flowed out from Jesus Christ. He went about doing good, and He had the power of God to do good with. He had a power that was much greater than His own, and yet He said, of myself I can't do a thing. "…Of myself I can do nothing…" (John 8:28 paraphrased). He said. Well if He could do nothing of Himself, how can you? He was the Son of God and He couldn't do anything of Himself.

"…the Father [He said] that dwells in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10)

This very Holy Spirit He was talking about here. How do you think you can do anything alone by yourself? And yet you most of you don't seem to think you need God. No, you can get along alright by yourself, you think, up to a certain point. And some day you're going to come up against it, you're going to hit up bang against that stone wall so hard that you'll find that you are not sufficient unto yourself. And that you can't deliver yourself from your problems and your trials and the troubles you've gotten into. Then what are you going to do?

Works - Good Or Bad - Which? (PLAY FROM 12:22)

Well Jesus had the power of God in Him and He used that power in doing good to others. He was a great blessing to others, and so can you be. And you know, if you find that you have helped others, and you've done a lot of good for a lot of other people, you know sometimes that makes you feel pretty good.

You know, I know there are people going around just plotting, 'how can I get even with somebody? I hate somebody and I am going to try to plan to do a lot of dirt and evil. Oh I want to make that person suffer. I hope something terrible happens to that person.' And then they begin to try to plot and find out how to make it happen. And maybe they succeed, and maybe they've tortured another person and hurt him, and finally killed him. Listen, do you think that any person who does that is going to feel good about it afterwards?

Now here's another man, that maybe some man has done him a lot of dirt. This fellow wasn't good. This fellow mistreated him, took advantage of him deliberately. But do you know he's returned good for evil. He had love in his heart, and so he planned something to do that fellow a lot of good, to do him a great kindness, and he did it. And, well do you know, it just sort of got the fellow, and he came to himself, and it made his whole life different from that time on. And he was so thankful and so grateful that his whole life had been helped.

How do you think that fellow feels that did it and that helped him to straighten out? And that did him a kindness and a good. Is he going to feel better about it than the fellow who had plotted to get even and to torture and to cause suffering and to kill? Which makes you feel better? When you do the right thing and help others or when you do something to harm others and benefit yourself?

Maybe you can plot to get the best of another fellow, to beat him out of two or three thousand dollars and you get a wonderful deal. You may get a great kick and thrill out of the fact that you beat somebody else. That's just a kind of vanity. You think you really accomplished something. Well who are you and what did you accomplish? Not very much. Are you really going to feel good about it, or isn't it really going to come right back and bang at you and hurt your conscience?

Now the living waters of Jesus here that He talked about, that we get from Him, they not only come into us and warm our heart and soul. But they flow out, and they'll flow out to your neighbor in service, in kindness, and good and back to God. And in the channel bed that I spoke of yesterday, the Ten Commandments, and what are the Ten Commandments? The first four tell you how to love God and obey Him and have a close connection with Him. And the last six of the Ten Commandments tell you how to love your neighbor. They are just the broad principles but when you carry those principles all the way out, magnify them, expound them according to their intent and meaning and spirit, then they form the whole duty of man. And oh how good it makes you feel. But it takes:

"…the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]…" (Romans 5:5)

This living water that Jesus spoke of, to fulfill His law, that is love. And "…love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10). What's wrong about love? What's wrong about the Law of God? Why do some people then think it is so awful? They must think, "Well God was all wrong when He gave us the way of love, and the way of loving others, and the way of worshipping God and obeying God." Oh, they think obedience to God is the worst thing you could do. They just love license and having their own way.

Oh, I would rather be happy. I would rather have the assurance that I have. I would rather have the deliverance that I have found, time after time, after time, in my life. And I would rather have the blessings that God finally has begun to reap, or to bestow on us. Every blessing in the world. For a good many years, I want to tell you, the blessings were all spiritual, there wasn't anything of a material nature that was a blessing. It was material hardship, and we had to be willing to go through it.

But somehow God gave us enough grace not to grumble and complain about it. That much, I look back and I can see is true. And do you know, in the end God promises that He will give us even the material blessing, but the spiritual comes first. The material doesn't matter so much if you've found the spiritual blessings: you've found happiness. Material possessions can never make you happy. They might add a little bit to happiness if you already have it, it's very convenient, that's true. It is more convenient to have the wherewithal for things than to not have it, we all know that. But, oh my: "…seek ye…the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; …all these [other] things will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased) They're not too important, but they'll come.

The Search for Truth (PLAY FROM 17:12)

Well, now when Jesus said these things: "Many of the people…when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is [a] Prophet." (John 7:40)

What would you think if someone would stand up and talk like that today? They said:

"…Of a truth this is [a] Prophet. [But] Others said, This is the Christ. [that is, this is the Messiah] But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? (John 7:40-41)

Now, so far as they knew, He'd been born up in Galilee, but He wasn't. Actually, you know, Jesus was born down in Bethlehem {2}. Just where the prophecy said He would be. And there wasn't any room in a hotel, not for Christ. No, there was no room for Him. A lot of people don't make room for Him today either. And so He was born in a stable, in a manger. Yes, the very Son of God didn't have a nice hospital to be born in. He didn't have a nice home or hotel room, or anything of that sort to be born in. He had to be born out in an old stable for horses. I presume it was horses, or oxen.

He came to save you and me. He came to show you and me the way to live. We reject that way and we want the salvation without it, some of us. I hope that doesn't include you. Now these people didn't know where He had been born. You know He was born there, but his folks had just been down to pay taxes, and they went right back right away. And so He was brought up up there in Galilee. And so they said:

"…Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That [the] Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" (John 7:41-42)

Now they knew the scriptures said He'd be born in Bethlehem, and actually Christ was born there but they didn't know it.

"So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him [and]. Then came the officers to the chief priests and [the] Pharisees; and they [that is the chief priests and the Pharisees said to the officers], Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?" (John 7:43-47)

You know, when they heard Jesus speaking, they sort of, must have backed up with awe, and they were afraid to take Him. And now the Pharisees said,"Well has this deceiver deceived you too?" Now they claimed He was a deceiver. I speak the same words He did and preach the same gospel. You better judge for yourselves. Remember, my friends, they thought Jesus was a deceiver, and they said He was. But the one who is not suspected of being a deceiver, he usually is.

I say check up on all men, check up on your own preacher, check up on me. And how do you do it? Do like the Bereans did with the apostle Paul, they didn't know if he was a deceiver, but they listened without prejudice. Now they didn't listen to Paul with a lot of prejudice. They didn't listen jeering and say, "Well that's a deceiver, I won't believe a thing he says." They listened readily, and with readiness of mind without any prejudice. They said, "Well now, we'll listen, we'll weigh what he says." Then they went and "…searched the scriptures whether these things be so" (Acts 17:11 paraphrased). And you know, when they searched the scriptures, they found that it was so.

You know, every once in a while I meet a man that says, "Mr. Armstrong I've been listening to you for quite a while now, and I have been studying the Bible to find out if you're wrong, or if you get off the track." Now I just heard about a man that was reported to one of our young ministers, and he brought the message to me. And I imagine this man will be listening and he'll probably be glad to know that I got his message.

He began to listen and he heard the truth. He had listened to this, that, and the other thing, and always he got disappointed. He had followed different things. He was in search of the truth, but sooner or later someone would have some truth and he would jump at it. You know we all have truth. You know what we have in this world is truth mixed with error. No man is wholly right, and no man is wholly wrong, and no-one is altogether good and no-one is altogether bad. Human nature is a mixture of good and evil.

Now, actually, we are to get rid of human nature in this sense that we're to stamp out the evil of it. And receive the new nature of God through His Spirit, and develop that until we do finally, through the power of God, become wholly good, but that takes the miraculous doing of God. And as we let God correct us and purge out error, finally we come into more and more truth and finally we can get the error purged out so we can be altogether right. It's possible.

Well, this man had listened to some, and they all have some truth, and he rejoiced in the truth, and then pretty soon they'd come to a terrible error. He'd look at his Bible and it was an error. Well, he listened to this program and he began to hear the truth, and he was overjoyed. And he heard more truth, and more as he continued to listen. But he listened in great fear, because he was just afraid that sooner or later he'd find this program going off the truth, departing from it and going off on some tangent. And he didn't want to be disappointed again. And now he's been listening for quite a while, as I remember, I'm not sure I got all the facts exactly straight. He's been listening for quite a while and he hasn't been disappointed yet.

Now, I find this, the people that have not already been inoculated with some idea, and people that are not listening to this program to see whether it conforms to their idea, and what they have been taught, or to some doctrine that they already have. Now those people who listen to it that way, pretty soon, they find I disagree with their doctrine. And then they decide that I'm all wrong, absolutely wrong. But people that have no doctrine, people that just search the Bible honestly, and that have an open mind and will search the scriptures, whether these things are so, I'll tell you continuously, people by the dozens, the scores, and by the hundreds, are saying, "We've been listening a long time and we have not found any place where you are wrong YET!"

Well that does me a lot of good. But I say, continue to search the Bible, and continue to check with your Bible. You might find a place where we're wrong some day. And if you do, I hope you'll come and tell us, I want to be the first to know it, and straighten it up and correct it. Now of course, people write in to me regularly and accuse me of being wrong where they're the ones that are wrong. And they expect me to just take their ideas and depart from the Bible truth. Well that I just cannot do - that we cannot do.

But I want to tell you, those who don't have a preconceived idea, but those who will judge it according to the Bible, and without anything else on their minds, I don't know of a one that's been able to find anything wrong yet. And I hope God will protect us so that He will let nothing wrong go out on this program. But were fallible and we're human and I tell you that we could be wrong and I can yet be wrong, I don't want to be. And I've had to correct myself many, many times and I've had to admit it and I've had to admit it out over the air, or I couldn't be as near right as we are now, I can assure you that. But this is the doing of God, and if we're right it's because God has made it that way. This is the doing of God.

Now, these Pharisees said:

"…Are [you] also deceived [to these police officers that they'd sent out to take Christ]? Have any of the rulers or…the Pharisees believed on him? [in other words, none of the leaders believed, that's what they said about Christ]. But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus [said to] them [now this Nicodemus was there] (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)" (John 7:47-50)

He was a Pharisee and he had come to Jesus by night. Remember that was back in the third chapter of John. We're up in the seventh chapter now. He said:

"Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? [and] They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. [and he had come from Galilee. Well he'd been brought up there] And every man went unto his own house." (John 7:51-53)

And that was the end of that.


{1} Mr Armstrong mistakenly omitted the word 'not' when quoting this verse.

{2} Mr Armstrong should have said Bethlehem instead of Nazareth.