Grateful for God's Blessings

By Herbert W Armstrong

4 May 1982


... God's headquarters -- temporary headquarters -- for our time now, if we realize how God has blessed us here, if we realize what we really do have. The Bible Studies: I've said it before, but they continue to be so exceptionally interesting. They're interesting. They are educational. They are inspiring. They are eye opening, and they give us God's truth. They give it in an entertaining and an interesting way, and almost an exciting way.

I have noticed that different speakers in the Bible Studies have different approaches, their own different personalities, different types of subject matter, and we have variety; and. I never cease to thank God for it. I think of the type of Protestant church I was brought up in. They didn't have anything like that. It was boring by comparison.

Then the morning service and so interesting, so inspiring, invigorating all the way through; and then this service so far, and sermonette. I wonder if you realize what God is giving you here? I wonder if you appreciate it? I wonder how much you thank Him for it?

Now, I'm very thankful for the great increase in attendance and very often even overflow crowds, especially on the Bible Study Friday nights because we have Sabbath morning services and Sabbath afternoon services in two different places, so we have more auditorium space for the Sabbath daytime services than we do the Friday night Bible Study. But we certainly are blessed, and I just wanted to mention that. I think that we all ought to just praise God for it and be so thankful.

You know, it would seem like somehow that Satan has managed to move our best ministers, our best speakers, out of the Church. I was remarking (Was it last Sabbath, or when was it?) how 50% of those ministers who have reached the top rank in God's Church have gone out or had to be put out. Really, they seemed to be the most able speakers. Yet we're getting so much more inspiring sermons today than we did then. Now, why is that?

It seems that the good ones went out, but that was all personality and self. It's a good deal like God said to Zerubbabel: "It's not by might, or power, by your own human personality; but by My Spirit," says God, (the LORD). I think that somehow God's Spirit is getting into us in a way that we didn't seem to have it to the same extent five years, seven years, ten years ago, fifteen years even ago.

If we just dedicate ourselves still more -- spend more time in Bible study, more time in prayer, and appreciate these things and how much more wonderful it is, and how much more satisfying really than a football game, a basketball game, or a movie, or some entertainment or excitement in this world, which are... Well, I don't know. They are dull, and boring, and depressing by comparison; and I think we ought to think about it.


Yet, when we do, I wonder if you ever wonder yourself "Why should the great God be concerned about you?" (You, you, you, you -- just you sitting down there.) You as an individual! Who are you? What do you amount to? Why should God be concerned about you? I wonder if you realize how insignificant, and how unimportant, and how little you are -- at least compared to God.

You know, when I take off in the G-2 airplane, or if you take off on any airplane, as you swoop on up from the runway and you begin to gain a little bit of altitude, if you're looking out and down (out the window and down), you notice that for the first minutes or two (for a few seconds) people begin to shrink. Then you get up a little higher and you look down and see streets, if you are over a city, and automobiles get smaller. They are little tiny specks down there, and you can't see the people any longer. Even houses and buildings get smaller until they just shrink and there isn't anything left of them. They look so small!

I wonder how they look to God, and how we look to Him. I'd like you to notice back in Isaiah 40. This is a chapter that I have been using for, I would say, more than 40-45 years now, off and on. Beginning with verse 15, Isaiah 40:

Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he [God] taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

They're fighting over the Falkland Islands down there in South American, off the coast of South America, now -- as if they were very big and important things. They are very little things really to God.

Isaiah 40:16-17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. [Oh, yes, lots of vanity. We think very much of ourselves!] (17) To whom then will you liken God? [Now this is comparing how little we are compared to the great God. "To whom then will you liken God?"]Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

Then dropping down to verse 22:

Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth [Oh, yes, God knows very well the earth is round. He created it and put it here. "The circle of the earth ... "], and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers.

You know, there was a comedy record about an airplane flight to Hawaii from California -- the great Al Ferguson Airline. Did any of you ever hear that record? (About 15 years ago, or something like that?) They got on this little airline that believed in economy, you know. I think it was the DC-1, something like that. They dispensed with seats, because they wanted economy; and it was only the first-class passengers that had straps to hang on to. The others had to stand without even a strap to hang on to. Someone looked out the window, and said, "Well, look, the people down there look just like grasshoppers." Then the captain said, "Well, those are grasshoppers. You idiot! We haven't even taken off yet." [Audience laughs.]

Ever since, I've been thinking how people are just less than grasshoppers or little tiny ants. You know there are different kinds of ants; but some of them are these little tiny things, and they can be real pests sometimes when they climb into your house or up into the second floor. They get all around. I don't know how they do it; but they go through the tiniest cracks, you know. Well, that's the way we seem.

Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain [That's what God does.], and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

Now to verse 25.

Isaiah 40:25-26 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (26) Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number [That is, the stars.]: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Comparing man to God -- we are AS NOTHING, as a tiny speck of dirt or dust; and yet we tend to think we are something sometimes. Yet there does exist somehow in the mind, or the nature, of every one of us a certain inferiority complex. I've noticed a lot of people suffering from that inferiority complex. They try to ride over it. I've known some that want to think they are scholars. So they are scholarly; and now they think, "Well, now I am important. I'm a somebody." We have to get to thinking we are a 'somebody' it seems, or we smart under the feeling of inferiority.

The colleges and the universities of this world inculcate in students in higher education an attitude of professionalism. "I'm professional now. I'm running a profession. I'm better." It makes me think of the one who says, "I better than you is." Only they don't use that kind of language. They are clear above that now. They're above everything and everybody! Of course, they are even above God, those little ants some. I wonder what God thinks of them.

You know even Saul, who was ... Wasn't he the tallest man in Israel at the time? But, at the beginning, he was little and small in his own sight; and he was all right as long as he was little in his own sight. But when he began to realize how big he was physically, and thought he was big compared to God, God couldn't use him any longer. We have to be small in our own sight. We simply have to be.


Now, if we turn back to Hebrews (And I've been going through Hebrews now the past two or three Sabbaths. It's one of the most wonderful books in the Bible, certainly.), in the first chapter we see something again about how great God is; and not only God, but how great Jesus Christ is.

In Isaiah 40 we see something about the greatness of God; and, in a sense, that was speaking of Yhwh, who became Christ. That was the only God they knew anything about in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ came. He was the Yhwh of the Old Testament. He came to reveal the Father. In the Old Testament time, Israel didn't know there was God the Father back of the One they thought of as God. The One they thought of as God was the Word, who became Christ. They didn't know that; and people don't seem to know that even today. Yet that is true; and many, many scriptures in the New Testament prove it.

So now we know how great God is compared to man. Let's see how great Christ is. Let me go over it again. You know some of these things are worth going over again and again and again. Someone can say, "Well, I've read the Bible. I've read it all the way through. I don't want to be bothered with it any more. I read that before." Well, so have I. My wife and I, not too long after we were married, had read the Bible ALL THE WAY THROUGH -- from Genesis to Revelation. I let her do most of the reading, because she was a fast reader and I was a slow reader. But to me it was just a lot of blah, blah, blah, blah. I didn't know a word ... I didn't understand it. I just used to say, "Well, I just can't understand the Bible." And that is true of most people!

Now, of course, some parts of the Bible, anyone with a good mind can understand because a great deal of the Bible is history, and people can understand that. Some of it is instruction about the right kind of living, and even much of that is easily understood by even a carnal mind. Much is prophecy, and very few do understand that. Yet there is a spiritual side of the Bible, and almost nobody seems to understand that.

But I have noticed, when I read the Bible again (and I read this chapter over again), I see something new there that I never saw before. I know I have preached on the same subject. I preach a sermon to you. I travel, and I speak to another group in some part of the United States the next Sabbath. Some of them who have traveled with me on the airplane -- I tell them, "I'm sorry. I'm going to use that same sermon. I hate to do that and you be bored by hearing it all over again." Well, they do; but they say, "It was like a new sermon. I got things out of it I didn't get before." If we are speaking spiritually, that's true. That's the way it is with God's Word, the Bible. You go over it a second time, and you see things you didn't see the first time. We don't get it all with one reading!


And some of these things in Hebrews are worth going over again and again and again. So now, going back to the first chapter again:

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times [and as great as God is] and in [different] manners spake in time past unto the father by the prophets. (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of ALL THINGS, by whom also he MADE the worlds.

All things were created by Jesus Christ, but they were all created by God through Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word. He spoke, and it was done; but He spoke only what God the Father told Him to speak. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power that actually did what Jesus Christ spoke, and so there is power back of His word.

Hebrews 1:2-3 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir [that is, heir to inherit] all things [but He has inherited all things now.], by whom also he MADE the worlds. [God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, as you'll read in Ephesians 3 and verse 9.] (3) Who being the brightness of his [of God's] glory, and the express image of his person ...

That is, stamped with God's own character -- in the image, in the CHARACTER, of God. Now God said, "Let Us make man in OUR image (Genesis 1:26), after OUR likeness." He not only meant, as He had just in the verse before talked about making cattle after the cattle kind and other animals after their kind, now He said "Let Us make man after THE GOD KIND." After the GOD kind! Now God made us little. He made us insignificant. But there is something else that I want you to see as we go along.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [God's] glory [which is so great that our minds can't conceive it], and the express image of his person [or stamped with God's own character!] ...

When God said make us "in His image," He meant to stamp us with His character. Now, we weren't born with it. We have to ACQUIRE IT, and that requires our decision, our desire, our acquiescence to that way -- which is God's way. And to realize we've been going the wrong way (ever since we were little children, you might say). That we've been filled with self-centeredness, with vanity, with greed, with jealousy and envy, with the spirit of competition and strife -- all of which is just the opposite of God's way of love.

Hebrews 1:3 ... the express image of his person, and upholding ALL THINGS [The Moffatt translation and others have that "upholding THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE" 'all things' here means. It does mean all things, and I'll prove it to you later now. The universe ... ] by the word of his power.

In other words, Christ is sustaining the universe and keeps the earth turning on its axis, keeps the earth going around the sun once a year, keeps the moon going around the earth once every 29 ½ days approximately. Christ is the Heir who now is doing all of that! He has that much power. That is how great He is! God has given Him all that glory, the glory of God.

Hebrews 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Angels were separately created, but Jesus was begotten of God, sired by God, and born of God in a way that no other human was, that no angel has been. He is the only human ever born that did not have a human father but had God as His Father. So He was God as well as man (although He was born of a human mother).

Hebrews 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

But He gave up all of the glory He had -- and He had all that glory with God -- and came down here to be a human being, as little in God's sight (you might say, in a sense) as we are (like a little grasshopper, or an ant, or something); but He still had the Spirit of God, and He lived as we ought to live, and He set an example for us. Then He gave that life, and He loved that human life. He knew what it was to live even a human life. It's only a temporary existence. It's not real Life in the immortal sense. He hated to give it up, but He did; and He gave it up for you and me because He loves you and me, and He did it for us. That's about the greatest thing anyone can do for another -- is to give your life for them.

So again we see how great not only was God, compared to man, but how great Christ was.


Now coming on to the second chapter, and beginning ... I'm covering over some fast ground once again, coming over to verse 5.

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he NOT put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

The subject matter here, what it's speaking about, is the World Tomorrow. In other words, the Kingdom of God after this world is done. It's the next world, "the world to come, whereof we speak."

Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying [This is a quotation from the eighth Psalm.], What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

Yeah, little man down here. All nations are as a drop in the bucket compared to God. We are like little grasshoppers. Who are you? Who do you think you are? What is man that God, GREAT AS HE IS, should be mindful of one of us?

Hebrews 2:6-7 Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (7) Thou madest him a little lower than the angels.

Now angels are very important, very high in the scale of life. We're made lower. They are way above us. So we were made even lower than the angels.

Hebrews 2:7 Thou crownedst him [That is man now.] with GLORY ...

Oh, now it's speaking about the glory that God has! And God has crowned MAN (who is like a little ant or a grasshopper) with GLORY. Now let's begin to get it.

Hebrews 2:7 Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.

Now, what are the works of God's hands? Well, He created matter; and He set us over it. He's talking about "the world to come." That is not under subjection to angels. But He set us over the works of His hands.

Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put ALL THINGS [And again, it means the universe.]in subjection under his feet.

In other words, ALL THINGS -- THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE -- is put in subjection UNDER OUR FEET. Now God is beginning to raise US up to His status of glory and honor! Yet ALL NATIONS have been as a drop in the bucket to Him. As mortal flesh, as human beings, we are as nothing! But when we receive the Holy Spirit of God, and when we begin to imbibe the very nature -- the divine nature -- of God ("Partakers" as Peter writes it "of the divine nature."), and we just drink in and soak in that divine nature (the very nature of God, the personality of God, the CHARACTER of God) ...

You see, Jesus was stamped with God's own CHARACTER; and we are to become stamped with His character, but it is a gradual process and you don't get it all at once. Now He's beginning to show us how important we are, how LITTLE we are without Him; and yet how important through Him we can become. Why should He be concerned about YOU or about ME? Because He is going to make any one of us greater than all of the nations on this earth put together are now. Brethren, I wonder if we can begin to grasp what God has in store for us, and what is the actual human potential -- what we may become!

It's hard for us to realize how INSIGNIFICANT and how UNIMPORTANT we really are, and yet how GREAT and how MIGHTY we can become (IF, and "if" is the biggest little two-letter word in all the English language.), IF we repent of the way we've been living and get out of our minds and hearts what has been there -- selfishness, vanity, lust and greed, envy, malice, jealousy, the spirit of competition and strife, glorifying the self, wanting to get and take away from others for our self and for vanity.

Look what Jesus gave up. He gave up everything. He gave up EVERYTHING to come down and be born as a human being so that He could die and give up that life after He had that life. He had to give up that. He gave up all the glory He had with God before He was born as a human being. He GAVE UP. He gave; and He wants us to learn that the right way of living is giving, not getting.

Oh, you can go other this again and again and get something new out of it. You need to think it over again and again. Someone will say, "Well now, isn't Mr. Armstrong going over this again? How many times before has he gone over that?" Yes, several times. I expect to several times more yet, and next time you'll get something you're not getting now out of it too.

Hebrews 2:8 Thou has put all things [That's the whole universe.]in subjection under his feet. For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he left NOTHING [You see, it's another thing the universe. He left nothing ... ] that is not put under him.

He didn't leave some other galaxy. He didn't leave other parts of the universe that is not put under us. It's all-inclusive. He excluded nothing! In other words, we are to BECOME GOD. God said, "Let Us make man in Our image." In other words, make man after the God kind! God is reproducing Himself! He wants us to be begotten as His children; and so that He can say of us, as He did of Christ, that we are BORN OF HIM. (Not during this mortal, human life.) That will come through a resurrection in the next life. But we can have that glory. We can be BORN OF GOD!

We are far more insignificant, and little, and small, and of nothing than we think we are now. But we can become so many millions times -- billions times -- greater than we think we can, ultimately, if we only can open our eyes to see what God is trying to tell us. That's what we can become.

Hebrews 2:8-9 But now we see not yet all things ... [We don't see ... The universe isn't put under us yet. (9) But [What do we see now?] we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels [And He came down as a human being, just like us.], for the suffering of death.

He was made mortal for that purpose, in order that He could suffer death. Now in, let me see, it's the 13th chapter (I think) of Revelation, that He was slain as the Lamb of God -- slain from the foundation of the world. In other words, when Adam made the wrong decision and sinned and defied God, right then Christ offered Himself to come; and it was agreed between God and the Word that the Word should become flesh and dwell among us and give up ALL OF THE GREAT GLORY that He had with God (because God had created everything -- all the angels, all the universe -- by Him).


He was going to give up ALL of that and come down to be like one of us, but different from Adam. He was the second Adam, and He never committed a sin. Different from you and me, He never let a sinful attitude enter into His mind. We should have been able to have lived like that; but we just weren't, not one of us. One reason is that Satan got to every one of us before we were a year old, because he's the prince of the power of the air.

Just as there are many voices and pictures in the air right inside of this auditorium now, not one of you are seeing it. But you could put in a television set, and tune it in, and the pictures will come and you can see them; and the voices, and you hear them. They're here! Only you can't ... you are not tuned into the frequency, or the wave length, or something; and you can't see it and you can't hear it without a machine, without an instrument, to bring it in. But the sounds are here, just as much as if you were listening.

Through the air, Satan can put in the child's mind as it begins to develop in the first year of an infant's growth (before he's a year old) can put an attitude of self-centeredness -- an attitude of vanity, of self-centeredness, and wanting to grasp and take and have. That attitude begins, and that attitude is what causes sin.

Now sin is when the temptation comes and you harbor the thought, and you think about it maybe a while (maybe you don't just sin immediately), but then finally it conceives into a sin -- into an action! Sin is the action.

I tell you, some of these thoughts came into the mind of Christ; but He didn't let them stay there. He cast them out. He was SO CLOSE TO GOD because He prayed to God more often than you do, brethren. Not one of you pray like He did; I don't either, I'm sorry to say. I don't know. I think if I prayed as often as Jesus did maybe I wouldn't have time to get all the work done; still He had time to get all of His work done, but He had time for prayer too. I guess He was just more devoted to it than we are. He had His mind on it, and that was number one on His mind. But He was able to think of two things at a time -- to think of the need to pray to God and the need of doing what He was doing.

I can't seem to do that. I can only have one thing at a time on my mind; but I can go from one thing to another, and I can shut one thing out of my mind and open up my mind to something else. But I have a single-track mind. I can only have one thing at a time on it.

Now I know a man who can be writing at a typewriter. Someone else can come, and he'd go on writing and thinking what he was writing and still talking in a conversation to another man on another subject. Now I could not do that in a million years, I don't think. My mind won't do that. And I've seen piano players that can play and they can talk to someone else, and they go right on with the same music while their minds are on something else; but they have to also have their mind on what they are playing, or their fingers wouldn't do it. I could never do a thing like that.

Some people can because some people have talents that others don't have, I suppose. Talents and abilities vary within different people. That's true. But we all have acquired the same nature that has come from Satan nevertheless; and, as a result, all of us have gone into the nature -- the act, actually -- of sin.

Romans 3:23 All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.


But, from the time of Adam's sin, it was decreed and decided -- covenanted between God and the Word -- that the Word was to be made flesh and dwell among us, and give up all of the glory He had with God, and come down in the lowliness of a human being (lower than an ant or a grasshopper) -- when all nations (and He was only a little tiny one individual of one nation) and all nations were as a drop in a bucket to God. That's how small He let Himself become. Even then, He loved that life (just as you love yours) -- that temporary existence. That's all it is. But He was willing to give it up, for you and for me.

He only came down in order to give up that glory with God, for you and for me; and then He gave up this life, for you and for me. But God resurrected Him after He had done that. Now He is the firstborn of many brethren, so we can be born of God and now come into the same GLORY THAT HE HAS, and be as much God as He is God! God is reproducing Himself, and He wants us to become His children until we become as GREAT as God is. When we begin to catch the vision of that, and we begin to want to serve God instead of self, and we begin to get back on the track (as we've been trying to do here in the last three or four years), God begins to bless us. And, oh, how He is blessing this Church and the headquarters here, and the HARMONY that we have here at headquarters now.

Satan isn't going to let that just lie there all the time. We thought we had such harmony in different places, and then we'd find there was a little bit here that we didn't notice. I wonder if you ever noticed on the Days of Unleavened Bread, you work so hard on the preparation day to get every bit of leaven out of your home; and have you ever noticed, you women, that you discovered some little bit in a nook or a cranny somewhere that you had overlooked and you didn't get out. See: that is to teach us that when we think we've gotten all the sin out, we just haven't yet. Some of it we overlooked and we didn't get out.

We thought we had everything straightened out down in Australia. We had a lot of trouble back there in 1980. I had to send a couple of men, or even three men, down there to help get it straightened out. Let's see, about three or four ministers were brought to see the mistake they were making; and they got back on the track. There were two or three that had to be put out, that wouldn't get back on the track. We thought we had them all back on the track; and then, just recently, we found another one. He was a "rightist."

So, as you heard in the sermonette, you are not to turn to the right or the left. In other words, don't add or diminish to the commandments of God. That means just go right down that line. Stay on the track! Don't go to the right or to the left, and don't get derailed off the track!

Here was a man that was a "rightist." He said that the other ministers were still "leftists" and that they were not back on the track. That he was the only one that was back on the track! Well, we had to put him out of the Church. Our minister in charge of things in Australia had to fly back to headquarters. He had made a very exhaustive investigation. He brought me report from lay members and other ministers -- not just his own idea at all; but absolute, complete evidence. I had to decide to put him out. So he went back there and had a conference with him and told him what had happened.

Once he realized he was on the outside, that really hit him. That brought him to repentance, I hope. I don't know whether it's a complete, full repentance or not. But, when he did, he's been accepted back into the Church; but, so far, not back into the ministry because one thing is all the evidence showed that he was a square peg in a round hole. He never should have been put in the ministry. Even when he was in Ambassador College, he was in another part of work. He could deal with things, but he couldn't seem to deal with people; and that was the main thing. He couldn't deal with people. So far he's not back in the ministry, but his attitude is right.


Now there was another man, a minister over a flock. He was called in, and I had to talk to him. He was doing things that weren't right; and yet his attitude was good, and he didn't mean to do wrong. But he was doing wrong. Yet he was a good minister. He was a good speaker. He was not doctrinally in disagreement. Two can't walk together except they be agreed. Well, he agreed all right. But I had to take him out of his pastorate and put him under an older, stronger minister. But he had a right attitude.

IF your attitude is right, God can use you! You can repent. You can change. You can get right with God, and you can go on. But, if your ATTITUDE is wrong, nobody can deal with you. God can't. Nobody can. You have to have a right, willing attitude or even God can't deal with you because God gives you the right ...

We talked a little bit in the sermonette about rights, and we have our human rights in this country. Yes, you have a right to go out and kill someone, if you want to, maybe. God gives you that right; but, of course, the police don't. They are probably going to catch up with you, and you're going to suffer at man's hands, and you'll also suffer at God's hands. You are going to suffer doubly. You may not see how God is punishing you at the time.

You have a right to lie. You have a right to steal. But God allows you to. He doesn't give you a right to. I think maybe that's not stated quite right. I don't know that He gives you a right to. But yet, in a sense, since He is allows it, you can do it. You are the one who can decide. God isn't going to prevent it IF you are going to insist on doing it. But God wants us to come in a right attitude.

You see: God Himself has the right attitude. That is an attitude of love to all of us. No matter what you've done, God still loves you. It took me a long time ...

[**Tape skips at 42:58]

Of course, I do know that God isn't going to bless them in evil and evil doing, and in some of the things they've been doing that has made them enemies. So I know that asking God to bless them doesn't mean that I am asking God to help them go on with their evil, because God is not going to bless anybody that way. That isn't the way God blesses. We do need to pray for our enemies.


Well, now, if you notice ... going on here. Jesus was made human for the purpose of death. That's why He came down here; and He was the Lamb of God "slain from the foundation of the world" -- from the time that Adam sinned. That's why it is written in the book of Hebrews also, in the 9th {1} chapter that we'll be coming to later:

Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed [for all] men once to die, but after this [after that death] the judgment [because this life is only temporary].

That's why death is called "sleep" in the Bible. You go to sleep, and you're going to wake up in a resurrection.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, [Now, wonder what we see. We don't see all things put under our feet yet, but we do see Jesus ... ] crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man [for you and for me].

"Every man" means every person. It isn't a matter of gender.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things [That is, the whole universe.], in bringing many sons [Or children. There won't be any sex in the Kingdom. So even those who are female and women now will be called sons I suppose in the Kingdom of God.] unto glory [because there won't be any matter of sex one way or the other. "And bringing many children, (or sons) unto glory."], to make the captain of their salvation {1}who is Christ. "To make Him ... "] perfect through sufferings.

Now, that takes us back to the 8th chapter; and, once again, let me just hurriedly go over that -- in the 8th chapter of Romans, and beginning with (let me see) verse 18:

Romans 8:18 I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which SHALL BE revealed in us.

You are so little now, but you are only a tiny speck that even couldn't be seen in one of the whole nations; and yet all the nations of the earth are not a drop in the bucket to God. That's how insignificant we are NOW! But talking about the glory which SHALL BE revealed in us.

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the [creation, as that should be] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

You read in I John that:

I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we [already, now] the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear [That is, it can't be seen now.] what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear [and cometh, the Second Coming], we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is.

Then you have to turn back here to Philippians to get what that will be like, that we'll be like then. Let's see. Philippians 3:21, about the Lord Jesus Christ:

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body [That is, at Christ's Second Coming. At the time of our resurrection, "Change our vile body ... "], that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious [or glorified] body [And that's what we shall be like!].

Now "waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God" -- that's the same as waiting until we appear, we can be changed; and they can actually see that glory. It can't be seen now. In the 8th chapter of Romans then: "Shall be revealed in us [that glory]." It will be revealed so the people can see it.

Romans 8:19-23 For the earnest expectation of the [creation] waiteth for the manifestation [until we can be seen] of the sons of God. [It can't be seen now.] (20) For the [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (21) because the [creation] itself [Not "creature" but "creation." The physical creation ... ] also shall be delivered from the bondage [or the thralldom] of corruption [which it is in now] into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit ...

Because we are the firstfruits -- those that God is calling to teach us and train us, so that He can use us in teaching and training THE WHOLE WORLD to become sons of God. That was brought out so well in the sermonette, or the, yes, the Bible Study last night.

Romans 8: 23 ... even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the [It should not be "adoption" but it means really the real BIRTH as sons of God.], to wit, the redemption of our body.

When this vile body will be changed into a glorified body -- until our eyes will be like flames of fire, and our faces shining like the sun. Our faces shining like the sun! Well that shows how great our future can be, what is the MARVELOUS, INCREDIBLE, almost, well, beyond imagination -- the potential that God has in store for us, and what we may become (little though we are now). Also, that shows you the great power of God -- that God has POWER to do even that; and think what power that is.

Now then, let's see. On to verse 18, did I cover that in Hebrews the 2nd chapter? Well, no. "Forasmuch then ... " Let's go down to verse 14 in the 2nd chapter.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [That is, Christ.] also himself likewise took part of the same [He was flesh and blood, the same as we are.]: that through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.


And then in verse 17 again:

Hebrews 2:17-18 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren [We are His brethren, and He is not ashamed to call us brethren.], that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in all things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

In other words, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every point just like we are and yet without sin. He is at the right hand of God, interceding for us as our High Priest. Now, ALL THIS WHOLE THING is that God is reproducing Himself and we are to be born into His Family until God becomes a great, vast Family. Oh, what A WONDERFUL POTENTIAL it is! Brethren, what do things amount to in this earth, in this world, that seem to attract us so much and slip into our minds? And our whole hearts get set on carnal, temporary things that are of no value whatsoever, until we just entirely loose a sense of the true values; and we go after false values.

It's too bad that the world is blinded to these things. The churches don't understand why Christ came. They say, "Well, do you know the Lord, brethren?" That's all it means -- "Do you know the Lord?" They don't know what the Lord looks like. They don't know much about Him, one way or the other. They just think if you say, "Yes, I give my heart to the Lord. Well, I accept Christ." Then you can forget all about it and go about your own carnal way, just like you were before. But you said you accepted the Lord, so you think that now you go about and still live the way you did and you go to heaven when you die. They don't have any idea what heaven is, except that you live in idleness and ease and won't have any responsibility, won't have anything to do; and they think that's going to be what they want. That would be the most boring thing in the world that could possibly happen to them.

Well, now we'd gone on through the 4th and the 5th chapters of this book of Hebrews; and I'd come down to the last verse of the 4th chapter, and I didn't get to that. I think I got on to something else and ended the sermon without it. So let's go back and begin with the 12th verse of the 4th chapter. {2}The 15th verse, I mean, of the 4th chapter.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ...

He is there to intercede for us. Now the one interceding at the right hand of God, who God says is His Son -- and is now actually sustaining the whole universe with the word of His power -- great as He is (and He is as great as He is described back in the 40th chapter of Isaiah that I read to you at the beginning of this sermon, and He is restored to that great position now, and great as He is and He is there interceding for us) He is:

Hebrews 4:15 ... not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was IN ALL POINTS [tested]like as we are, yet without sin.

Now, if a thought never entered His mind, He wouldn't have been tempted. So the thoughts did enter His mind. They did tempt Him! But He didn't entertain those things in His mind. He didn't retain them in His mind, and He didn't act upon them. He shoved them out of His mind before they conceived into an action, and He never sinned. But you have sinned and so have I.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ...

Brethren, how many troubles do we carry? We suffer persecution. Let's see. Where was it I heard about {3}a tree that was very, very, very old; and it had many scars. Yet it withstood the most terrible storms. It was scarred, having been struck about six or eight times by lightning; and they left terrible scars. It had almost been blown over, off of its roots, by storms; but hundred of years that tree had lived. Finally, it was some little tiny beetle that got through to the very life and the heart of it; and the tree finally it died.

Well, we have to endure these things That tree lived on, and on, and on. You know, you hear those things in sermons and Bible Studies. Our ministers are bringing you things like that. There are lessons in it that you need to get, and to remember, and to heed -- because they help us in our understanding so that we come to a comprehension of who and what God is, and who and what we are, and what is our potential, and what is it all about. God reveals to us WHY things are like they are in the world, why they are having the troubles in the world they are!


Now it's terrible that two nations like Argentina and Britain (formerly called Great Britain) have to be striving like they are, fighting like a couple of little kids fighting over a toy. You know, if Christ were here and the Kingdom of God were here, and if we were ruling with Him, He'd get that whole thing decided in a hurry as to who should have sovereignty. Does it belong to the Argentines because it's in their physical locality, down there nearer than it is to England? Or does it belong to the British because its people are British and want it to remain British? Now that's what you get down to; and man doesn't have the wisdom to answer that, so they want to fight, fight, and fight.

That kind of fight down there, going on, brethren, let me tell you: that could escalate into a nuclear war that would absolutely wipe out every life -- man, woman, and child -- on the face of this earth is God didn't supernaturally step in and stop it by a supernatural act of God. The atheist who doesn't believe in God, well he's just left without any hope because, otherwise, there isn't any hope. Sooner or later, that's going to happen! Some madman CAN touch it off.

What about the madmen we've already had in this world? There are some of them even today. What about Khomeini? If he isn't a madman, what do you call him? What about Arafat? He would blow up a whole airplane with women and babies on it, that have nothing to do with the disputes -- to settle the disputes -- with other people. Arafat wanted an interview with me. I refused. I won't talk to him. I talk to heads of state, and I'm going to be talking to the king of ­­­­­Greece on this next trip in a couple of weeks. Arafat, I don't want to talk to.

I'm not an official ambassador of any earthly nation. And they think, you know, that these nations are great. Well, all of them put together are not a drop in the bucket to God, whom I represent; and I am His ambassador.

But there are madmen. I think Arafat wouldn't hesitate to use nuclear weapons, if he felt he needed to (to get his end). What about, let me see, this man down in Central Africa. He's gone out of the picture now. Uh, king ... Oh, I had his name in my mind; but it won't come to me. What about this Gaddafi? We've had madmen, wild men; and many of the Arabs are like a wild people.

Now, Arab leaders I've known are not wild people. King Hussein is very sane. He's not insane at all, and I don't think he's going to start any nuclear war and kill the whole world. Neither would Mr. Sadat, although he was willing to start a war; and then later he repented of that. He must have, when he went over to Israel and declared peace finally, and changed. But he risked his own life, and finally it cost him his life. He was assassinated by his own people because he did it, and now they've lost their lives, and President Mubarak. They are sane men. I don't think that they are going to start a nuclear war that would set the world on fire. But there ARE madmen that could.

These smaller nations either have, or soon will have, nuclear weapons. Today almost any nation can have the secrets and know how, and also have the material to produce nuclear power; and many small nations already have. It wasn't too long after the United States and Russia had it, until (let me see) Britain and France and one other nation also had nuclear weapons; and there was then "the big five." Well now several other nations do. Even little Israel apparently has it. I don't think they're going to start plunging the world into nuclear warfare. At least, if there's a madman at the helm down there, I haven't met him yet; and I have known all of the heads in Israel for the last ten years, or twelve years.

But this world is in danger. Well, you'll get some of that. I believe that's the program that will be on tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon on television. But this world is in real danger!


Anyhow, we read here about the kind of High Priest we have; and He understands. We are troubled. We are weak, and we make mistakes a lot of times just because of our own weakness; but we have a High Priest who understands it.

How many sufferings do we bear? You know there is a song in the Protestant hymnbook, "Oh, what needless troubles we bear" or something. I can't just remember it. I haven't sung any of those songs for so many years now. I think ours are so much better, with the words of scripture. Most of the words in the songs that are sung in Protestant churches are songs just singing the praises of the people that sing, about how good we are. They really are. (There was a sermonette preached one time at the Feast of Tabernacles on that, that I remember; and many of those songs were quoted and the words that show how we sing how good we are and all that sort of thing.) But there is this one about what pains and sorrows we needlessly bear when we have a High Priest we could go to.

We don't go there often enough, and we don't realize the benefits that God has given -- the great things He has given. And, brethren, He's given us the benefit of divine healing; and we're not taking the advantage of that as we should, because we're not close enough to God and we're not so full of His Spirit that He's given us by His Spirit the very faith of Jesus.

Now you can't work up faith for your own healing. That faith God must give you. Christ had that faith. He had the faith to walk on water, to raise the dead, to turn water into wine. I don't know that He's going to give you faith to take some plain water and make wine out of it, so you can go and get drunk on it. But there are areas in which you need faith, and you don't have it; but God would give you the faith that Christ had. Well, it's the same faith that God has, and it comes from God through His Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit means so many things. First of all, of course, it begets this Life of God within us and makes us heirs of God. We are begotten children of God. But, actually, that's something that will appear in the resurrection IF we continue to GROW in grace and knowledge and endure to the end.

But the Holy Spirit in us: the first manifestation of it is that it opens our minds to comprehend spiritual knowledge. Now a carnal mindcannot comprehend spiritual knowledge -- just like you can take a science professor that can try to teach physics, chemistry, or zoology, or biology, or astronomy to a cow, or a chicken, or a turkey! They are not going to get any of it. Even though it is revealed to them and told them, but they don't understand the language at all; and they are not going to get it. Yet they have brains; and a cow's brain is just like ours, but it doesn't have that spirit in it. Our spirit needs the other spirit -- the Holy Spirit of God, and the first thing the Holy Spirit does is to open our minds to comprehend the way of God.

So we have to be led by the Spirit. It opens up the Word of God, to understand the right way of life of God; and it's as many as are LED by the Spirit of God. In other words, we have to decide whether to follow it once our minds are open to it. It's as many as are led by the Spirit of God that are the sons of God.

Then we find that that way is the way of love, and that love is a love we don't have. We don't have the kind of love to love our enemies. I never had; but praise God and thank God, He's given me a love now that I can even have love for my enemies. I don't love what they do. I don't love their despicable attitudes. But them I do love, and I pray for them; and I mean it from the heart. I really do. I think I hadn't grown very far until I learned that; and I don't think I understood that five years ago, but I do understand it now. God gives us the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit -- the only kind of love that will fulfill His law, because even though with your mind you UNDERSTAND the law of God ...

Now, without the Holy Spirit, you can't even understand it, because the law of God is spiritual and it is spiritual knowledge; and the natural, carnal mind can't understand spiritual knowledge. But even understanding it, without "the love of God shed abroad in your heart" you don't have the kind of love it takes to fulfill that law! And you don't have the faith to trust Christ; and there He is, our High Priest. So:

Hebrews 4:15 We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

I tell you: Just to think that He is sympathetic, and He knows what we have to put up with, and He knows that we are weak where He was strong. He loves us, and He has that love of God; and He loves YOU and He loves me, and He loves every one of us (just as we ought to love even our enemies).

We can go to Him, and we go to the Father in His name; but He's there interceding for us. He was in all points tempted like we are. He knows what we are up against. He suffered against the devil, and He knows the devil is after us. The devil would rather persecute us than he would people that are already going his way. We are the ones Satan is angry with!

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come BOLDLY ...

Are we timid? Don't come timidly. Don't be too timid to come, but:

Hebrews 4:16 ... come boldly unto the throne of grace [in prayer, to find ... ] ... help in time of need.

There is Christ, with all of this POWER -- sustaining the whole universe by the word of His power -- who already has suffered and died for you; and He loves you (because He died for you). He's there to help you. And God the Father loves you because He gave Christ to do that for you. We can come to Him. Only that's one of the great benefits we "don't get." {4}

I heard Amy Semple McPherson preach a sermon on healing one time. She gave the illustration of a man who was on a steamer taking a trip to Europe. That's when we didn't fly to Europe. We always took steamers way back in those days. Of course, she's been dead now probably 30, 40 years, or more. Anyway, her sermon was of the man that got on a steamer and didn't think he could afford to buy meals on the steamer. So he loaded a lot of crackers and cheese in his suitcase, and just ate on nothing but crackers and cheese. (You could almost get sick on a diet of nothing but crackers and cheese -- morning, noon, and night.) Then he found out that meals were included. He just didn't know that. He thought he'd have to pay for it. But on a steamer, you know, why you don't pay for your meals; and, boy, they give you some wonderful meals. But, of course, the price of the ticket for the passage is expensive enough to cover all that. You pay for it all right; but the thing is, he'd already paid for it and he didn't know it.

Now, it's one of the benefits that go along with it. God has already given you that, and Christ has paid the price that you could be healed. So we don't come boldly enough to the throne of grace, and we don't do it in enough faith. Now we have to faith in Him, sure. But, as you read in the 3rd chapter of Galatians (Or is it the 2nd chapter?), that we have to have faith in Him in order that we may have HIS FAITH placed within us by the Holy Spirit. Then we get even Christ's own faith. That is real faith!

Brethren, if we just pray a little more to God and get closer to Him in prayer -- and appreciate what God gives us, and realize how He's blessing us here at headquarters of His Work. He's blessing our brethren all over this world! What you heard last night about people down in Africa (those of you who were here, who heard that message about it down there), the terrible conditions that they live in. They live on a small enough amount of money that you would think you couldn't live two days on what they live a whole month on. Yet we have Church members down there, and they are our brethren. They are reaching out for the same final glory that we are! We need to pray for that. They need our prayers and our help, because they are our brethren.

So we need to have more of the love of God and more of the faith of Christ, more of the understanding of His work; and we need to keep closer to Him and spend a little more time in prayer than we do, and attend these Bible Studies, and instead of the attractions and the interests of the world, spend our time in the things that this Church is providing for us to get closer to God.

Now, I know we are going to have a lot of things tomorrow in the way of just fun and activities; and that is all right. Even the Church is trying to provide us with enough of those things to give us a little bit of relaxation and efforts of fun. I'm going to try to be out to the field day with the youngsters and even up into high school. Of course, they're not youngsters any more. They're grown up, they think. Well, I think back. I think I was beginning to get grown-up by the time I was sixteen on to eighteen. But I was beginning to think seriously after age sixteen, and not too much yet until eighteen; and by that time I was beginning to think more seriously. I guess that's the way it is. We all have to grow up.

Anyway, as they say, "Hang in there." I'm sure still doing it, and I have to. Every one of us do. But there's a glory waiting for us we can't know anything about.

{1}Editor's note: Mr. Armstrong said the 8th chapter, but he quoted from Hebrews 9.

{2} Editor's note: At first Mr. Armstrong mistakenly read from the 5th chapter of Hebrews, but then he corrected himself.

{3} Editor's note: Mr. Armstrong stumbled around a bit at this point, saying, "Was that in a sermonette or the sermon this morning? Or, maybe that was the sermonette this morning; and I guess it was. About ... "

{4} Editor's note: In this context, Mr. Armstrong doesn't mean we can't get this benefit from God. Rather he means that we don't "get it" -- that we don't seem to really comprehend and put it to use. Thus, to further make his point, he gives the illustration of the man only eating crackers and cheese on a steamer when his meals were included.