The World Tomorrow

The Office and Church of Christ Now

by Herbert W Armstrong


Now I’m telling you where and what Christ has been doing - where He’s been. Of course we may know where He’s been, but few of us know what He’s been doing for the last 1900. We hear a little preaching about what He did for three and a half years on the earth. We hear a lot of preaching about His person, exalting Him and extoling Him and deifying Him, which is all very proper, but usually He is presented as a dead Christ that was great, but He died.

They don’t say very much about the fact that He rose from the dead; that God Almighty, the Father in heaven, raised Him from the dead and that He is now very God and alive for evermore, and that He’s been on the job for ninteen hundred years. Why don’t we hear something about that?

One book in your Bible is devoted to the job, the office of Jesus Christ now, and that office is there to help you and to give you the breaks when you need them. And to deliver you out of your trials and troubles when you are in them, and you have them, because everybody has. He’s there to give you something you need that you have - most of you - not been getting.

Now we’re up in the middle of the seventh chapter, but just so that you get the picture, I want to go back again to the end of the sixth chapter to pick up the thought right in here, beginning with the seventeenth verse.

"Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise…" (Hebrews 6:17)

Because this book reveals, my friends, that you and I are the heirs of promise. If, IF we have been completely conquered by God; if we have really repented; if we have yielded ourselves to the government of God, the rule of God over our lives, totally and completely - which very few have - and IF we have living faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and MASTER, and our ruler, our present High Priest, which this book is telling us about; and as our coming King.

Christ's Current Office (PLAY FROM 02:37)

Very few people know anything about Jesus Christ as LORD and MASTER now, as our High Priest now, and as our coming King. So I’m presenting Christ to you right now, my friends, in that present office Not some ancient office of nineteen hundreds years ago, but the present living office, because Christ is living and He is the head of His church. That’s the church I represent and that I belong to. Which one do you belong to, my friends?

The church I belong to, I didn’t join, God put me in it. God called me out of this world. He struck me down. He brought me to a complete surrender. He put something in me by which He made me His son, and inducted, or baptized, or put me into the body of Christ - His church. That’s the church I represent, and no man is the head of it.

Jesus Christ is the living, dynamic head of it, and He directs it in all of its activities and all of its work. And it has a great work to perform which is the greatest work on the face of this earth today. And the greatest privilege that could come to any living human being - that a number of thousands of people share with me - is that of being His instruments in that very, very great work of carrying His LIVING message, His LIVING gospel to the whole world today.

Now, we are then the very heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ. Christ is the heir of all things. Christ has all power. All power in heaven and in earth has been given to Him. That’s what He has now, the living Christ that is alive now for you on His Father’s throne in heaven where He is at work in a dynamic activity for you. But it’s something you can have the benefit of only if you yield yourself to God; if you believe in living faith and if you come to Him for it. You have to actually come and get it. Now;

"Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto [that is to reveal so we shall understand, unto] the heirs of promise [I hope that includes you, my friends, because we are co-heirs with Christ if we are begotten of God as His children] the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." (Hebrews 6:17-18)

The Hope Of The Resurrection (PLAY FROM 05:32)

What is that hope? The Apostle Paul tells about that hope when he was on trial for his life. He mentioned that this whole thing had arisen because of what he was preaching of his great hope, the hope of the resurrection; of being raised from the dead, of being changed from mortal to immortal, from human to divine, exactly, precisely as Jesus Christ was. Because Jesus Christ, born a Son of God, and therefore very God by a resurrection from the dead, as you read in the very first chapter of the book of Romans (Romans 1:4), was merely "the firstborn of many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

He is the pioneer of our salvation, as we’ve been reading here in this book of Hebrews, and we’re supposed to follow Him. That is, we will follow Him if we have completely yielded to him; if we believe in living faith; and if we overcome; and if we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him; His knowledge, and in spiritual things. In other words, if we develop and grow in character more and more like Him until we really imbibe and receive within us so much of Him, so much of God, of God’s thoughts, of God’s character, of God’s ways, of His power, of His Spirit, of His love, all of His character and attributes which He will instill within us if we yield and if we want it and seek after it enough, that we, finally, become holy because God Himself puts that holiness within us.

Holiness can come only from God - not from you. You can’t originate it. You can’t create it. There is nothing holy about you, and yet you must become holy because without holiness none can see the Eternal. Now then, that is the hope that we shall be born like Him and be co-heirs with Christ, who is the heir of everything.

"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;" (Hebrews 6:19)

Now here it’s speaking of course, of the veil in the typical tabernacle that they had back in the wilderness in the days of Moses on this earth. Way back when the children of Israel were on the way between Egypt and Palestine. And then in the temple, as it was built by Solomon in Jerusalem later. And there was the holy of holies that was the picture, the symbol of God’s throne in heaven, just a picture to them.

But out... was the holy place outside and there was a veil or a great curtain between. No-one but the high priest could ever go into the Holy of Holies, and he, only once a year on the Day of Atonement in the fall every year. It was the tenth day of God’s seventh month as God counts time, but that’s not according to our calendar. It wasn’t July, which is the seventh month of the calendar we’re going by, which is merely a Roman calendar, or it’s really a pagan calendar, but the whole world uses it today.

Our High Priest Today (PLAY FROM 08:40)

Now then this; "...hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil [in other words to the very throne of God]; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus..." (Hebrews 6:19-20)

Now you see the high priest entering into - behind the veil that is - into the Holy of Holies, which was the type of entering into the very throne of God, which literally is up in heaven, was merely the type of Jesus Christ our High Priest, after He arose from the dead, ascending to heaven to the very throne of God. And He ascended into the very intimate throne of God, which was pictured by going into the most holy, or the Holy of Holies, the holy place, by the tabernacle that they had in the temple in Jerusalem back in the Old Testament times.

Christ has entered there at the very throne of God. Now notice it: "Whither the forerunner is for us entered" - on our behalf to serve us. He is our servant. He is our helper. You know, in God’s Kingdom my friends, in God’s form of government, it’s quite different from that that we know on this earth in our human civilization. Here, the one who rules is the master of the people and he lords it over them.

It doesn’t make any difference whether he’s in a position of government or whether he is merely boss in a place of business, or whatever; or if it’s a woman who employs servants in her household. Such a woman will give her servants orders, and she’s very stern and she expects them to obey her, and she not only expects them to obey, she expects them to serve her and to wait on her. She doesn’t serve them.

She has to pay them wages because she isn’t going to be able to hold them if she doesn’t. And perhaps many of these stern women that have had servants in their homes would not have paid any wages at all if they could have gotten out of it. Such is human nature. We haven’t had a chance to see human nature work in that way because competition and the fact that they could have gotten a job elsewhere has prevented. But that is human nature.

A man in business, who employs others, usually expects them to serve him and wait on him and do his bidding and do what he wants done. But it is not so in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said he that will be greatest among you - in other words the rulers - shall be the servant of all. Now God Himself carries that out, and Christ is now carrying it out. CHRIST JESUS IS OUR LORD AND MASTER, but He also is our servant and He is there not only to rule us, but to rule us for our good to serve us as our greatest servant.

Christ Our Servant And Ruler (PLAY FROM 11:42)

Now I’m speaking to you here from the radio studio at Ambassador College. It’s in certainly one of the most beautiful sections of Pasadena, California. I don’t know of any more beautiful city anywhere than Pasadena. It’s a cultural city. It’s a lovely city, and here we are in this famous, beautiful old South Orange Grove Avenue section. Beautiful grounds, everything is beautiful here.

Some of these fine stately old millionaire mansions that are still standing, and some of them are still in very fine shape, up and down South Orange Grove Avenue here in Pasadena. Now practically every one of these homes has its servants’ quarters. But my friends, you know they’re finding it’s very difficult to get servants anymore. Wealthy people today aren’t building these big eighteen and twenty and fifty room homes any more, these great mansions. They just don’t build them like that anymore.

And one of the primary reasons why you find the wealthy people of America, the people that have made their millions or have inherited them, one or the other; why they are not building these great mansions like they used to, at least not as much. In fact I don’t believe I know of any great mansions that have been built recently, although I know there have been some, but I just don't happen to know where they are. But the reason, my friends, is because they can't get servants anymore and they want a job where they are more independent, and where they can make more money.

But the point I want to come to my friends is this, there is one servant of supernatural, divine power that every one of you can have, and you don't have to pay any wages, any salary, any anything. Well, you do have a price to pay. The price you have to pay is the subjection of your own will and your own mulish stubbornness. You’ll have to give up a little bit of that, and the wanting of your own way where your own way is wrong.

As a matter of fact, if your own way is right then it's God`s way too and you wouldn't have to give that part up. But it's that part of your way that we all seem to crave and want that is WRONG, and you'll have to give that up. And you'll have to let the Christ who is on this throne of God in high heaven, RULE you. But He`s going to rule you for your good because HE IS YOUR SERVANT.

I don't believe that our minds can quite grasp what I am trying to get over. What I am trying to say is that He not only is the RULER, and when He comes to rule this world, He is going to rule it with a rod of iron, and there isn't going to be any "no" or "yes" any way at all, except just the way He says. And yet He's going to rule for the good of all the people, and in love, and in charity, and in mercy, and nothing else. You know, human nature is not like that and we humans don't rule that way do we?

I wonder if we can realize how Christ is going to rule when He comes. Well that’s the way He is ruling now, in heaven on the very throne of God, ruling over those who will voluntarily submit themselves to that rule. Who will really repent and who come to see how filthy and rotten and sinful and evil and wrong they have been, and abhor themselves until they are willing to want to change and go the other way. And they want to come to that Christ who is on that mercy seat, which is also the ruling seat of God the Father in heaven where He is our High Priest, and let Him be your ruler.

But also as your priest He is there to intercede for you. And He is there as your helper, and He is there as your servant, and He is there to give you wisdom where you lack it. And wisdom is merely ability to make a right decision in the right way. And that always means best for you.

A Change In The Priesthood (PLAY FROM 15:45)

Well, now Christ is made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. And then Melchizedek is introduced and we’ve been going through that. Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without descent, he has always existed. He is immortal. He has an endless life, which means he is immortal, he will never die. He is a High Priest continually, and yet during the time from Moses until Christ we had a nation Israel and they had a high priest who was a human high priest, a son of Levi.

Now during that time there was a change made in the priesthood. Now since Melchizedek abides a priest continually, he was the real high priest over and above, but the people; well they didn’t have the spirit of God and they didn’t have a spiritual contact, except the prophets and except through the prophets. And so they had to have a human high priest they could see here on the earth, even though Melchizedek when in actual fact did continue to abide a high priest, there was a human high priest set over the physical, human nation of Israel. The tithes went to that high priesthood.

Prior, the tithes had gone, by God’s law, as Abraham had obeyed God’s laws and paid tithes to Melchizedek. But now they went to this human priesthood that had a physical type of mission to perform. They didn’t preach the gospel. They didn’t have a spiritual ministry; they had a physical ministry of killing lambs and goats, and one thing and another, for sacrifices, of carrying on the various rituals, the carnal ordinances, the meat and drink offerings, the rituals of the law of Moses.

Those rituals, my friends, were given as hard work to be performed and the priests did a good deal of that work. They were a constant round of duties, morning noon and night, every day in the year, with special things on every Sabbath. Other special duties and sacrifices and meat and drink offerings on; every time there was a new moon up in the sky, and others on every annual holy day that God gave to His people. And so it was a constant round of physical duties to instill in those Israelites the habit of obedience.

Now they had the Ten Commandments, which is a spiritual law but they were not able to keep that law in the spirit. All they could do was to keep it according to the letter, and in order to help them to keep it according to the strictness of the letter in a physical manner, they were given these physical duties. And the priesthood, the ministry, was not preaching spiritual sermons of salvation or anything of the kind. They didn’t go to the world and preach the gospel. They were forbidden to go to other nations in the world; they merely ministered in this physical manner. And all of the patriarchs, or the men who had large homes, had Levites or priests or ministers right within their own estate, in their own homes, ministering to that large family.

Well, now from the time of Christ the priesthood is changed again. Jesus Christ brought the gospel. Jesus Christ said to His apostles, "It is expedient for you that I go away" (John 16:7). He foretold the fact that He would die to pay the penalty of our sins, and no-one, could be reconciled to God, no-one could receive the Holy Spirit except in some manner that is not explained how the prophets did. Otherwise the Holy Spirit of God and salvation was not offered as it is today.

And Jesus Christ said, "It is expedient for you that I go away. If I go not away - meaning to His Father’s throne in heaven - the other Comforter, the Holy Spirit would not come..." (John 16:7 paraphrased)

In other words, no-one could be converted. No-one could really become a Christian because no-one is a Christian until they have been changed, converted, received the Spirit of God and are now being led by the Spirit of God. That, in a sense, really literally comes within and changes them totally; changes the mind; changes the whole direction of the mind and of their concepts and of their thinking in every way, until they are not carnal but now are spiritual.

The Melchizedek Priesthood (PLAY FROM 20:20)

Well that was a complete change. That’s the difference between the Old Testament church and the New Testament church of which Jesus Christ is the head. Christ said; "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18).

And it hadn’t been built when He said it when He was on earth. That is a different church than the church of Israel, or the congregation of Israel as it is called in the Old Testament. Church of Israel, same thing, you might just as well call it the church of Israel. But that was a flesh-born church. People were born into that church by a physical birth.

Now how did the priests come? They came by a physical birth. But now, Christ, by a re-birth, being born from the dead by a resurrection, made a Son of God and is now elevated to the very rank of Melchizedek. Now since Melchizedek abides a high priest continually; actually Melchizedek is the one who "was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14) and who was "God with us" (Matthew 1:12) and was the Son of God in the fact that God was His only Father and Mary was His mother. He was human, and yet He was of divine origin too and He was the one by whom God made the worlds and He gave His life for us and God raised Him from the dead. Now there you are, and it is just that simple and yet it seems quite complex too. Now:

"...the priesthood being changed [in verse twelve of chapter seven] there is [also] of necessity [made] a change [in] the law. For he of whom [continuing on now] For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar [in other words, not the tribe of Levi as it had been from Moses to Christ]. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda [He was of the tribe of Juda not the tribe of Levi]; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood [so this has nothing to do with the Mosaic dispensation, it supersedes it, it replaces it], [For] it is yet far more evident [for] that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest [now notice, after the similitude of Melchisedec. Back up here at the beginning it said Melchisedec had ‘neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.’ That was verse three. So you see the similitude, or the likeness, there ariseth another high priest after the rank, or order, or similitude of Melchisedec] Who is made, not after a law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." (Hebrews 7:12-16)

Let me read that in the Moffatt Translation, that fifteenth verse:

"This becomes all the more plain when another priest emerges, resembling Melchizedek, One who has become priest by the power of an indissoluble life and not by the law of an external command. For the witness to him is… [now you see the Levites were made priests by the law of an external command and by a flesh birth. But Christ is not made a priest by that kind of a law. Now notice what law it is now speaking of]… the witness to him is; thou are a priest forever with the rank of Melchizedek. A previous command is set aside… [now what command? Why that the high priest had to be made one by this command, or this law that the priest would be a son of Levi, because Christ is not of the tribe of Levi but of the tribe of Judah. So that previous command, the law of an external command as it is in verse sixteen there, is set aside] on account of its weakness and uselessness, for the law [now referring to the whole law of Moses, the ritualistic law, the law of rituals, and of sacrifices and meat and drink offerings, the physical law that was given to them to instill within the habit of obedience] The law made nothing perfect [it was a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ] and there is introduced a better hope by means of which we can draw near to God." (Hebrews 7:15-19 Moffatt)

The Hope Of The Resurrection (PLAY FROM 24:38)

That hope is the hope of the resurrection. They had no hope of that, my friends, under the Old Testament. But we have that hope now because we can repent and we can be reconciled to God because Christ has now died to pay the penalty of our sins in our stead. They didn’t have a Saviour who had died to pay the penalty of their sins up until that time, but we have.

We can be reconciled to God. We can receive His Spirit. We can be begotten as His children and we can have that high hope of being born into the very family of God. That’s a hope, my friends, that was never extended to the people under the Levitical priesthood or in the times of Moses - so that we can draw near to God.

"A better hope [verse twenty] because it was not promised apart from an oath. Previous priests became priests apart from any oath, but He has an oath from Him who said to Him, The Lord has sworn and He will not change His mind, Thou are a priest for ever [and as it has said in preceding verses here of the rank of Melchizedek]. And this makes Jesus surety for a superior covenant." (Hebrews 7:20-22 Moffatt)

The New Covenant which is so much superior to the Old because it has eternal promises, the promise of eternal life, the promise of salvation which they did not have under the Old Covenant.

Now haven’t you always heard the teaching that they were saved by works in the Old Covenant and we’re saved by grace? Oh my friends, what poppycock! When will we wake up? When will we learn the truth? They had no salvation. They merely had physical, material promises that they would have become the greatest nation on earth if they had obeyed God. We have the promises of an endless life, eternal life and salvation.