The World Tomorrow

The Priesthood of Christ

by Herbert W Armstrong


My friends there are two great portions of the Bible that are almost wholly neglected. You almost never hear about them. That nearly one-third of the entire Bible, that is devoted to world conditions today, to our lives today, to the prophecies of those things that are taking place on earth now, and are going to take place in the very next few years. Almost nobody understands the prophecies. And then, that matter of what Jesus Christ is doing now. What has He been doing since He ascended from this earth to heaven over 1900 years ago? Where's He been all these 1900 years and what has He been doing? My friends, He's been on the job night and day for you as your High Priest. And that's an office that He's been given divinely, an office to help you, that you need.

Now, everyone of you are having your troubles. You know, we see a little baby and he'll begin to try to talk and make a few little sounds, and one thing and another and we think it's a lot of fun. You know, we tell it now, "Come on, tell us your troubles." Yes, he has his little troubles and a little child has his troubles that are just about as serious to the child. But when you grow up, you still have your troubles. And there isn't a one of you listening, that doesn't have problems and troubles and discouragements and disillusionments and all that sort of thing. You meet a lot of problems that you don't know how to handle. Sometimes, you are in real trouble. You get into real deep water. And what you don't seem to realize is that there is a supernatural power, that there is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not hanging dead on a cross, but who rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and is there now to help you, and God Almighty has assigned Him to that job and He's busy on the job. But it's a free moral agency proposition and you're not going to get that help unless you go after it.

It is something you have to ask for. Jesus himself said repeatedly, "Ask, and it shall be given..." (Matthew 7:7)

He gave parables to show that if we would ask and be persistent and not give up, we would get the answer. But, He just isn't real to many of you, is He? God isn't real. Christ isn't real. He's seems to have gone way, way off. Now, how far off He is in actual distance of miles or light years or whatever measurements you want to use to measure distance, I don't know! No scientist knows. And no Bible student knows.

There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible. The first one is the one where the airplanes fly, and where the clouds float around. Then there is the second heaven, mentioned in the Bible where we find the stars, the planets at night. The heaven where you find the moon, circling around the earth. And where we find the Sun and Mars and Jupiter and then all the galaxies and the Milky Ways. Then there is what is called the third heaven. And apparently, that is where God's throne is. Is it clear beyond this universe? Is it farther away in light years than this universe? I don't know, but divine power such as God has, annihilates distance and the other things of the sort. That isn't described. The things that are revealed belong to us, we can know - the things that are not revealed, we don't know. No scientist knows, no theological professor knows, so those things just aren't known.

But we do know that God is close. Because His spirit is operative everywhere, as you read back in the Psalms. You can go to the depths of the oceans and behold, God is there. You can go up to the highest mountain pinnacle and He is there (Psalm 139). It doesn't make any difference whether you're in Europe, whether you're in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, North America, here in the United States; wherever you are, God is there in Spirit. God's Spirit is there. I wonder if you can realize that?

God's Spirit projects itself from wherever God is in person, because man is formed in the image of God and the form and shape of God. And God is in a definite form and shape and He must be in a definite place. But God is a Spirit and God's Spirit emanates from Him everywhere. I don't think your mind can conceive that because we are composed of matter and matter is something that occupies space and has weight. Matter is confined to a definite space or location, spirit is not. God's Spirit emanates from Him, and just as your eyesight will emanate from you to translate knowledge into your mind from something that is millions of light years away. So God's Spirit not only transmits knowledge to Him, but it translates thoughts and sounds, smells, tastes, whatever you might have, anything that we know in the physical sense, but much more.

Through God's Spirit, He can act on those bodies or on the things that He sees and hears and that He knows. You can see a star that is so large that it becomes a mere speck in the sky because it is so far away - millions of light years as I say. And you can see it with your eye but you can't act on that star, you can't will to do something to it and say I want that star to divide in two, and half to go one way and half to go the other, and produce it. You have no power over the star, your mind cannot exert any force or energy that will act on that distant star. But God can see you and He can act on you and cause anything to happen. That's what God powers are like. Now, Christ has those God powers. Christ is the one by whom and through whom God created the heaven and the earth. By whom He thought out and designed you, and the intricate mind and the intricate body that is you. He is the one who designed and thought out and created and brought into being every force and every energy and every law that we know anything about (Colossians 1:16).

Christ's Present Position (Play from 06:53)

And it is recorded here in this book of Hebrews that tells us about Christ and His present position. He has a job and He is on the job and He's very industrious and very busy on it and it tells us in the first chapter that Jesus Christ has so much power that He sustains this entire universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).

He upholds and sustains and keeps in force and in motion, all of the laws; such as the law of gravity, all of the laws of physics, all of the laws of chemistry. Now, how much help could He be to you?

And I wonder if you realize that God not only has created man in His own image, God the Father so loved this world of sinners that have voluntarily rejected Him, because God who is the supreme ruler and God who rules the universe by His power and through the Laws that He has instituted, has ruled that you must choose whether you will obey Him or reject Him. And by so doing, He allows you to reject Him. He does not force you to be obedient to Him. But, God's laws are good for you. And if you go your way that seems right to you, that is contrary to the way of God, "...because the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7 paraphased)

The carnal mind seems to think that God is wrong and God's ways are wrong and if you go the way that seems right to a man; the way that has seemed right to human beings on this earth; the way that human beings have built up in a human society on this earth; and you go along like one of the dumb sheep. Yes, sheep on the way to the slaughter, those ways are not good for you. That's why this earth is suffering (Proverbs 16:25).

People write and ask me, "Why does God allow so much suffering in the world?" Because God allows you to go your own way and because your way has brought that suffering, that's why. The only way God could stop the suffering would be to stop you doing the ways you want to do. To stop you doing as you're doing - well, following impulse, blind desire, vanity, pride, passion, your own self-will, your own greed and all of those things in human nature that are wrong and that are constantly punishing you and punishing others. When you do wrong, you not only punish yourself, you punish others too. And so we're all suffering, one from another. Where we should be helping one other and we should be making things better for one another.

Now, to come under the law, and the Government of God, is to come under the blessings of that law and that government. And to have the help of God. One listener writes in and wants to know, where did this saying originate, and where did it begin, that 'the day of miracles is past'? Well, the day of miracles is not past. The day of miracles is not past at all. It is only past for those who do not know God because God hears not sinners, but the minute you repent of your sin and turn to God through Jesus Christ you're not a sinner any longer; then He begins to hear you (John 9:31).

And Christ came to pay the penalty of what you've done, that you may repent, that you can turn around, that you can be conquered and that you may surrender wholly and unconditionally to God and voluntarily come to Him and under His government. And then you're reconciled to God through the death, through the blood of Jesus Christ. It makes sense when you understand it.

And then, my friends, you have a direct connection with God. And then you'll find that the day of miracles is not past if you really believe. Because God will intervene on your behalf; even with private independent miracles, if you please. God has not only set laws in motion that are inexorable and that act automatically, either for good or for bad, according to whether you use them or violate them, conform to them or whether you break them. But God also will intervene especially on your behalf. The day of miracles is past for those who do not know God. But the day of miracles is not past for the real believer.

And so, Christ is there and He's our High Priest, and He's there to help you, but all of that help is of no avail unless you avail yourself of it. And you can't do that until you surrender to God. You can't do that until you decide you are willing to live by every word of God and every law of God instead of by every way and every tradition and every custom of man and the latest fads and the way that all the other dumb sheep are going to the slaughter. And the aches and pains and heartaches and suffering which this world is undergoing.

Christ's Job Is To Help Us (Play from 11:36)

Well, now we've come up here to the seventh chapter of the book of Hebrews telling us about Christ and His present job to help us if we would only come to Him for that help. And that's private help and that's private power and that's the help of the One who has the power that I've been describing. Who upholds the entire universe with the Word of His power. And one who can help you and can give you the breaks and can make things turn out right for you but not to your own selfish ends.

You know, James says: "We ask, and we receive not, because you, [he says] you ask amiss, that you might consume [what you're asking for] on your own lusts" (James 4:3)

Now God won't answer that kind of a request or a prayer. But, "...whatsoever we ask [of Him] we receive because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." (1 John 3:22)

And you must only ask according to what God has promised and what is according to His will and His will is expressed is His word, the Bible. And so, if you study it and read it enough. Yes, you have twenty-four hours a day, you have enough time to do it, what are you doing with all your time? Throwing most of it away if you just stop and think and be honest about it. You're awfully busy, aren't you - going around in circles - awfully busy - on a treadmill getting nowhere. Here we are, traveling, so rapidly. Oh, we're in a hurry getting places alright, but where are we going? We are not really going any place when you stop and think about it. We just have to hurry, we're all in a nervous fidget. We've got twenty-four hours a day and most of our time we throw away - we're not getting anywhere with it.

Now, here we've come down to this seventh chapter, and in the preceding program, we were going through this mystery about Melchizedek, who and what is Melchizedek? Well, Melchizedek was the divine, high priest of God before the human priesthood during the time of the earthly, mortal, human, fleshly nation of Israel, from the time of Moses until Christ when they had the Levitical Priesthood. Now why does God here in His Holy Word introduce this Melchizedek? And why does He talk about Abraham? Notice, He begins here speaking in the very second verse of the seventh chapter speaking of Melchizedek. Who, well in the very first verse, of the seventh chapter,

"...Melchisedec... priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;" (Hebrews 7:1)

Why does he mention Abraham and why does he mention Melchizedek? Let's read on, I want to show you why it's mentioned here. It's a very important thing that most of you don't know. You aren't conforming to God's laws and you aren't getting the blessings of those laws and you aren't getting the blessings of the priesthood of Jesus Christ that you could. You could be a lot happier, you could have things a lot better, you could be in a lot better economic and financial circumstances than you are, and you could have better health that you have. And you could have things a lot happier and a lot more pleasant than they are. And, I'm going to show you how you can and why you don't have it now. So, listen.

Abraham Was A Tithe Payer (Play from 14:47)

"To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all..." (Hebrews 7:2)

Now, why does he mention that? This is in your New Testament and this direction is for you, my friends today! Don't read over this and think, 'Oh, but that is dead stuff way back there.'

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is correct us, to reprove us, and to instruct us in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works "(II Timothy 3:16-17 paraphrased)

That means the Old Testament as well as the New but this is over near the end of your New Testament. Will you open your own Bible to the seventh chapter of Hebrews and read it, my friends?

Now, why does it mention this? Abraham was a tithe payer. He paid a tenth! And we know from other scriptures because it isn't all in one scripture always, that he gave the first tenth because that is the tithe that God demands. Not the second, not the last, but the very first tenth of your money - the first tithe. So Abraham gave the tenth, and it was the first tenth as we read from other passages.

"...of all; being first [that is Melchizedek] King of righteousness, and after that King of Salem, which is, King of peace; He was without father, without mother, without descent, he didn't have any beginning of days [in other words, He has always existed from eternity which your mind cannot even conceive neither has He any end of life. He's still alive then, isn't He? He never died] ... but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils." (Hebrews 7:2-4 paraphrased)

Now it pays Him homage and worship. How great He was. And again it mentions Abraham was a tithe payer and paid Him tithes before the Levitical priresthood. Now Abraham obeyed God and the promises on which your salvation rests my friends, were made to Abraham because Abraham obeyed God. That's why they were made. You read back here in Genesis 26th chapter. Let's see, this promise was made here as you read in the first verse...

"...Isaac went unto Abimelech the king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the [Eternal] appeared unto him and said... unto thee and to thy seed will I give all these countries [that He had promised to Abraham Now why? Verse 5]...Because that Abraham, [who was Isaac's father], obeyed my voice, kept my charge, my commandments, my statues, my laws." (Genesis 26: 1-5 paraphrased)

My friends, that opens up two things that you probably don't believe, that you have not been taught. Why don't we believe those things today? One thing is, you're taught today that there were no commandments of God until the time of Moses and yet this was four hundred and thirty years before Moses and Abraham kept God's commandments, God's laws, His statutes. Where do they come from if they didn't exist until four hundred and thirty years later? Oh, yes, they existed. Sin, you read in, I John 3:4 in your New Testament, says that "...sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

And you read also that - as in Adam all sinned - Adam was the first man and Adam sinned! And sin entered this world by one man, Adam. Then sin, the transgression of the law, started with Adam and Adam transgressed God's law.

Do you know that he broke four of the ten commandments in the original sin? He had another God before the true God when he obeyed Satan. God is ruler. And who you obey becomes your God. He coveted or lusted for what he found on the wrong tree, or he wouldn't have taken it. So, he broke the tenth commandment. He and his wife Eve, reached forth and took it or stole it - what was not theirs. It was stealing; that broke another and they dishonored their only parent who was God because they had no human parent. You read in the geneology of Christ, it goes back to Adam, who was the son of God. Speaking of each one being the son of so and so, He was the son of God. So God was his only father (Luke 3:23-38).

Now, the commandments then began from the time of humanity on this earth. Those commandments are a way of life and God gave them to our first parents. And Abraham kept God's commandments.

Now the other thing is that today the teaching is, you don't have to obey God. We call Jesus "Lord". He says, "...why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things [that] I say?" (Luke 6:46)

A lord is one whom you obey. That's what a lord is. A lord is your master. The Lord is the one you obey. Today, people call Jesus Lord but they don't obey Him. Why, it just doesn't make sense.

Abraham obeyed God. Today the idea is that you get salvation, you get everything good but you give nothing, you don't give obedience, you can just disobey God with impunity. You can do what you please. God isn't concerned with what you do, well God is. Every action is followed by a reaction and there's a cause for every result. And there's a reason for the sickness and the sin and the suffering and the sorrow on this earth today. And that is sin and Jesus came to save us from our sins and not in our sins. Oh, my friends, when will we wake up? And when will we realize that your Bible says that you are deceived today. Because this whole world is deceived. We are living in a deceived world today. It's time to wake up.

Priesthood Of Levi (Play from 20:35)

Now Abraham paid tithes, and that was part of God's law for that time. And Abraham obeyed God and kept His laws and His commandments. And one of the laws that Abraham obeyed and kept was that of tithing to God. Now, that wasn't any part of the law of Moses - this is four hundred and thirty years before Moses and the law of Moses. So, listen,

"...verily they that are of the sons of Levi..."

Now, his sons were the priests and the High Priests from the time of Moses until Christ. Now, it's speaking of the Levitical Priesthood and the Mosaic dispensation which was a temporary one that began four hundred and thirty years after Abraham and ended with the time of Christ; when He died on the cross. So, listen.

"...the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment [so that law continued] to take tithes of the people according to the law..." (Hebrews 7:5)

So it was the law, but now the law was not to pay tithes to Melchizedek, during that time the law was to pay the tithes to the priests, the sons of Levi or the Levites, the Levitical Priesthood, because it was an earthly church, it was an earthly nation, a purely human nation without the Holy Spirit of God. They didn't know anything about being born again in those days. They didn't have the Holy Spirit. You entered the church by being born into it or being naturalized as a citizen, and by a fleshly ordinance, not by spiritual ordinances or ways at all. And so the law was changed so that the tithes were now paid to this human, this material, physical priesthood of Levi, when they had been paid to the spiritual priesthood in Abraham's time according to the law, of Melchizedek. Now, notice, that there was a change that lasted up until the time of Christ in the law, so that the tithes were paid then to the purely mortal and human priesthood of Levi.

Now then, it says, "...that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them [that is Melchizedek] received tithes of Abraham... [Abraham obeyed God's laws and Abraham paid the tithes to Melchizedek, then that must have been God's law in those days, certainly. Alright, and Melchizedek] ...and blessed him that had the promises [that is Abraham]. And without all contradiction the less [that's Abraham] is blessed of the better [which is Melchizedek]." (Hebrews 7:5-6)

Now then, he's comparing two tithe-receiving priesthoods, the one back before the time of Moses, the one that antedated Moses to run back there in the time of Melchizedek, and also the much lower and human priesthood of Levi, the Levitical priesthood. Now which was the greater? Which is the greater? Which has precedence? He's going to show you which has precedence today. I want you to notice

"...without all contradiction the less [that's Abraham] is blessed of the better [that's Melchizedek]." (Hebrews 7:7)

Showing that Melchizedek was much higher than the sons of Abraham who are Levi in the Levitical priesthood. Now notice,

"... here men that die receive tithes [why, they are just, merely mortal, they die, and they were receiving the tithes from the time of Moses until Christ]; but there he receiveth them ...[back before the time of Moses], he received them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. (Hebrews 7:8)

That is does live, is eternal, immortal showing that the divine priesthood is so much greater than the human priesthood. It is showing which is the greater - which has precedence - I want you to notice;

"And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes [that is from Moses till Christ, the Levitical Priesthood did], payed tithes in Abraham [why they had to pay tithes to this priesthood of Melchisedec in Abraham, therefore they are the less and Melchizedek is the greater]. For he [that is, Levi] was yet in the loins of his father [Abraham], when Melchisedec met him." (Hebrews 7:9-10)

"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) [they received the ritual law and the law of tithing for that time] what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order [that is of the same rank, the higher rank, the rank that takes precedence, the rank that is so much greater after the rank or the order] of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? [now here is one much greater than Aaron, here is one much greater than the Levitical priesthood]? For the priesthood being changed..." (Hebrews 7:11-12)

Christ now is High Priest, after the order or of the same rank as Melchizedek which is so much higher, which is the divine priesthood and ranked so much greater and higher than the mortal human priesthood of the Levites. Isn't that plain? Isn't that simple?

Now, once again the priesthood has changed. Back there it was changed from the divine Priesthood of Melchizedek down to the lower human priesthood of Levi. But, now, once again, the priesthood has changed. And once again the spiritual priesthood is inaugurated. And under Christ we have the promise of the Holy Spirit and eternal life and salvation which they did not have prior to the time of Christ. They didn't preach the gospel to the world in the times of Israel, they were forbidden to have anything to do with the rest of the world. There were Gentiles in those days. Oh, my friends, let us get our eyes opened.

Let's see the truth. No wonder, we've been blinded. What we've heard and what we have come to believe has just blinded our eyes to so much of this wonderful truth. Here it is in your Bible. Open your own Bible, see it with your own eyes in your own Bible. Believe what you see in the very word of God. Listen,

"For the priesthood being changed... [I'll show you it was changed back there at the time of Levi, a Levitical priesthood under Moses but now that's all gone. The Mosaic dispensation is gone. All this time of the rituals of Moses has gone. There's another change and the Priesthood of Christ is here. A change being made in the priesthood] "... there is made of necessity a change also [in] the law." (Hebrews 7:12)

It doesn't say that the law is abolished. A change is made in it, why? Why, he's been arguing all the way through here to show you which is the greater priesthood, which has precedence, which should receive your tithes now! Why, tithing is an eternal command! Abraham paid tithes four hundred and thirty years before Moses. Before the Old Covenant, before the law of Moses, before that Levitical dispensation. But now the Priesthood is changed and once again, the Melchizedek Priesthood under Christ is back in force and effect once again and there is a change also in the law; so that the tithes are now paid to Jesus Christ.

"For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar [that is another tribe than Levi, Christ was of the tribe of Judah, not of the tribe of Levi]. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood." (Hebrews 7:13-14)

And the priesthood received the tithes, so Moses didn't tell you anything to give your tithes to Christ or to Christ's ministers or for His priesthood. So, there it is and I see the time is up and I wanted to go further and go clear back into the Old Testament and show you how tithing originated and in the ninth chapter of I Corinthians, but we'll have to leave off there.