Well greetings brethren all over the United States and Canada and Britain. What a blessing we've been enjoying already. We got off to a wonderful start last night and earlier this morning here at Pasadena. And I'm sure you did in all the other Feast sites all over the United States, Canada, and over in the United Kingdom.
We have so much to be thankful for. We can look forward to a thousand years of real peace on earth. And we're here for a foretaste of that wonderful time in the Kingdom of God when the Kingdom of God is going to be ruling over all nations here on the face of this earth.
I've been telling people around the world — heads of state, the important leaders in various nations, including even Communist China — I've been telling them of that peace that is coming, the glorious, wonderful good news of the coming Kingdom of God. That was the real gospel, that was the... gospel means 'good news'. That was the good news of what is going to come that Jesus Christ proclaimed. That is the gospel OF Christ.
This world now, for over 1900 years, has been hearing a gospel about Christ, but they have not preached His message. The gospel OF Christ was about the Kingdom of God, a time of world peace when we learn how to live! The only reason we don't have peace in the world is because people are not living the way of peace. We are only reaping what humanity has been sowing all of these years. But we're here for a wonderful foretaste of what is to come. I want you to notice first in Revelation 11:15;
"And the seventh angel sounded [now Christ is coming at the last trumpet of the trumpet plagues, and the seventh trumpet is the last of those trumpets at the very precise time of the coming of Jesus Christ. The seventh angel sounded]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and [of] his Christ;" (Revelation 11:15)
And as I was saying, in what you just heard, which was a speech delivered before the Rotary Club of Athens, Greece; that will include the government of the United States, the government of Britain. That will include the governments of China and Russia. And the Russians won't be trying to bring the whole world under their domination any longer. They will be under the domination of Jesus Christ, not in war and enslavement, but in LOVE and in peace, and in goodwill and harmony.
"...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and [of] his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and [for] ever." (Revelation 11:15)
And brethren, we are to reign with Him as kings and priests, as you read in Revelation 5:10, and we shall rule and reign on the earth, not in heaven. I wonder what people think heaven is going to be like? Or what is it like? Jesus said, no man has ascended up to heaven (John 3:13). And God has not promised heaven, rather He has said that the righteous will inherit the earth and dwell therein forever (Psalm 37). And that is where we are going to dwell, here on earth. And I want to tell you that this earth, if we learn how to live, and if we learn how to handle what God has placed on the earth, the material earth, it can be more glorious than people imagine heaven would be. Only they just don't know that.
Next, I'd like to read to you from the eleventh chapter of Isaiah. My eyesight has become so bad that I have to use three different books to get the Bible, and the print so large, and even then I have to use a magnifying glass, so you have to bear with me. However, the main thing is to get the message, and here it is. Eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and the sixth and the ninth verses, when in this time that we are here to have, of which we are to have a foretaste at this present time, in the Millennium;
"...the cow and the bear shall feed..." (Isaiah 11:7)
No, I was reading the wrong verse;
"The wolf...shall [lie down] with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them [and then in verse nine, and]. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the [Eternal], as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6,9)
As full as the knowledge of God and of God's law, and way of life, the way to peace, as the ocean beds are full of water. And that's pretty full brethren. And then, finally, from Micah; the fourth chapter of Micah and beginning with, let's see, I don't have it, beginning with verse one;
"But in the last days [we are already in the last days, the latter days, and we're coming right into the very last days] it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD [and in this case mountain simply means nation, the nation, or the house of the Lord, the Kingdom of God] shall be established in the top of the mountains [there's the top of all the nations], and it shall be exalted above the hills [or the smaller nations]; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the [house of the] LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways..." (Micah 4:1-2)
The ways that lead to happiness, and joy, to PEACE, to ETERNAL LIFE.
You know, I stop to think: this world is troubled right now — and especially this United States and Canada and Britain, to which I am talking right now — with drugs and addiction to drugs. And a certain drug works on the nervous system, and on the brain and makes people feel an illusion of some kind of grandeur all of a sudden. I can't tell you definitely what it is, I have never experienced it, and God help me from ever having to experience it.
But I want to tell you that what we will have when we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and when we are no longer mortal that; "...this mortal shall have put on immortality..." (I Corinthians 15:54) and we shall be very God ourselves. We will experience a joy and a happiness that no drug addict has ever experienced. And it will be lasting, and it won't ruin our lives, it will enhance our lives. It'll be truly mind expanding in the natural and the RIGHT way and God's way. There is something so much GREATER to look forward to than anything in this world, that people can't imagine it.
"...we will walk in his paths [and]: the law [that's God's Law of love] shall go forth [from] Zion [which is the Church], and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Micah 4:2)
That time is coming. You know, our national seal is a lion, and a little child, and a lamb together. And brethren, the thing that I want you to understand is how wonderful it can be, and the fact that it is not going to be very long now. Now one of our own people has composed a hymn about that, 'It Won't Be Very Long Now'. And now all Feast Sites, except right here in the auditorium, are going to be able to see it. And we will hear the sound of it here, but we won't be able to actually see it. But all the rest of you in Feast Sites all around Britain, Canada and United States will be able to see it as well. The beautiful sign of a real lion here on the campus, a little child and a lamb, as Rene Becktold sings 'It Won't Be Long Now.'
Brethren, is actual Utopia impossible? Did you ever look up the word 'Utopia' in the dictionary? It says it is a fanciful, imaginary something that is impossible. A time of such wonderful peace, and joy, and happiness that it could never happen. Could it never happen? Is it impossible? This world thinks it is.
This world is living in abject ignorance and poverty. It doesn't know these things. It is not only living in poverty of material things and even enough food in many cases, but poverty of the knowledge of God, poverty of understanding.
But why can't we have it now? This world's governments are the governments of Satan. Now I want to read to you about that from the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation. It is a picturing a time here that is approximately now, in fact it may have happened just recently. It could have happened before the greatest state, the largest state in the United States tried to, through a law suit, to destroy this Church. If not, it soon will happen, and it speaks of it in the past tense, but it is really speaking of something that is to happen in the future when John wrote it. And he wrote it back in the 90's AD;
"And there was war in heaven: Michael [who is a super-archangel, a cherub] and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan..." (Revelation 12:7-9)
He's the former archangel Lucifer. He became embittered. He became hostile against God and God's way of living, and he became Satan the Devil. And his angels became demons, and they are ruling this dark world right now and the world doesn't know it. So it's the one called the Devil and Satan; "...which deceiveth the whole world..." (Revelation 12:9)
How could the whole world be deceived? Do you think that the heads of governments that I have been meeting around this world think they are deceived? No, but they are. If they knew they were deceived, they wouldn't be deceived, because deceived means someone who is — who thinks he is right, but is wrong, he's just deceived. And if he knew it he wouldn't be deceived. The world doesn't know it's deceived. But the whole world is deceived by Satan today and this is his earth, his government rather.
"...and his angels were cast out with him [now let's continue on]. And I heard a [loud] voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God..." (Revelation 12:9-10)
Do you know what they're preaching in the gospel about Christ? What Christianity so-called, and falsely so-called, is preaching? That salvation is already come as soon as you come up front somewhere and just say, "I accept Christ." You know, this world is on the way of getting, receiving, taking. Jesus said; "...It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), but the world wants to receive, to get, so they receive Christ.
You know brethren, when I was converted I gave myself to Christ. Certainly I accepted Him as my Savior, but I had to go further than that, I had to GIVE MYSELF to Him. And He has been using me since. Not as much, I have to confess, as He might have if I had been able to have given myself more fully and completely.
You know, we think we give ourselves to Christ, but we usually kind of hang back on a little bit of it, through human weaknesses, through habit, that's been bred into us by former action, and by the life that we've been living. And it takes time for us to overcome and to root out all of these things until we can live more like Jesus did. He is the only human being ever born human, who never sinned. All of us brethren, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And another thing, all have sinned since they became converted, and since they did receive God's Holy Spirit and gave themselves over to Christ.
But, he says;
"...Now is come salvation [that's at the second coming of Christ, not when you receive Christ. How this world has been deceived. Now this is speaking of the time of the second coming of Christ, and then will come salvation],...and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren [which is Satan the Devil] is cast down [and when, cast down] which [deceiveth, no, which] accuseth them before our [Lord] day and night. And they overcame him [with] the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; [which is merely the word of God] and they loved not their lives unto [the] death. Therefore rejoice [you], heavens, and [you] that dwell in them [which are not human beings but spirit beings]. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath..." (Revelation 12:10-12)
And the coming Great Tribulation already, in a sense, in it's preliminary stages just before the real Tribulation. There's never been a time of trouble since the time of the Flood, I think, like there is already now in the world, but it's going to be far worse. But it will be the wrath of Satan, the result of the way people live, and Satan will have; "...great wrath because he knoweth he hath but a short time." (Revelation 12:12)
And the reason is what I quoted that you just heard. This gospel of the kingdom is being proclaimed around the world for the first time in over nineteen hundred years. And Satan DOES KNOW that that means he has but a short time to sit on the throne of this earth, and he's going to be removed. And if we don't know it, I want to tell you that Satan does.
"And when the dragon saw that he was cast [down] he persecuted the woman [the Church]...And to the woman [or the Church] were given [the] two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly [unto her] wilderness..." (Revelation 12:13-14)
Now that's the second time. In the Middle Ages they had to flee afoot. And during the Festival, on the night of the — instead of 'Behind the Work', it'll really be 'A History of the Work' this time. And I want you all to be sure to see that on one evening of the Festival. A history of the entire Church, and especially of the transition between the Sardis era and the present Philadelphia era of the Church. And you will understand that.
"And to the woman were given [the] two wings of a great eagle, [now the other time when they fled in the Middle Ages, but now the woman is going to]...fly, [not flee] to her place, where she is nourished for a time,...times, and half a time..." (Revelation 12:14)
Or for three and a half years it'll be this time. Because previously, a day was a year being fulfilled, but now at the end time, a day is just a single day and not a year being fulfilled. And that time is coming very soon upon us. And there will be a transition from Satan's kingdom and Satan's government on earth, over to that of Jesus Christ.
Now how did Satan himself originate? And I say to you that this is not God's world, this is Satan's world. How did it become Satan's world? How did Satan himself originate? Did God create a Devil? Well, in, let me see, it's I Peter, fourth chapter I believe, no, I Peter 3:4. I may be mistaken on that, I didn't jot it down. I didn't intend to take time to read it. It speaks about the angels that sinned prior to the time of Adam, and they're reserved to their time of judgment. Then it talks about the time between Adam and Noah and then culminating in the Flood as a result of the sins of men on the earth. And then after that, the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of those cities as a result of sin.
But how then did this Satan originate? I want you to notice it back now in Isaiah, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah. I think many of you have read this many times. I want to go back over it and read it once again. Isaiah the fourteenth chapter, beginning with verse 12;
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!..." (Isaiah 14:12)
Now the word 'Lucifer' means 'shining star of the dawn', or 'one who brings light', a light bringer. Lucifer was a shining brilliant super-cherub, an archangel, much more powerful than ordinary angels. There are three classes of angles mentioned in the Bible; ordinary angels, and seraphs and cherubs, and Lucifer was a cherub. Only three are mentioned in the Bible.
"For thou has said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven [so he must have been under heaven], I will exalt my throne [oh, he had a THRONE! Now I want to show you that, that throne was right here on earth. I will exalt my throne] above the stars of God [or the angels of God]..." (Isaiah 14:13)
He was going to dominate over God. He was going to pull a coup. He was going to arm his angels, who now became demons, and they were going to invade heaven in a war, and they were going to knock God off the throne. And this Lucifer was going to take over the whole universe. He was jealous because he had been assigned a throne on this earth, and this earth is a tiny speck in the great universe that God has created. He was jealous and envious;
"...I will exalt my throne [so he had a throne] above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [And that is the location of God's throne in the far, far north] I will ascend above the [heavens, above the] heights of the clouds; [so he was under the clouds, he was on the earth] I will be [it says here] like the most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14)
And I think a better translation might have been 'I will become the most High.' He was going to take over everything that God had.
Now I think that we should go a little further right here. Why was he put on a throne? And was there any government there? What is government? Well government is the administration of law. Now we need to know what is law. Government is the administration of law, and law is the very foundation of government. Now law is merely a way of life. It is a way of conduct, the way you conduct yourself and guide your own actions and your living.
Now how did he become Satan? What was the origin of Satan? And what is the origin of this thing we call sin? Well we see it here in the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel. Now let me see, Ezekiel 28,. I think I got this mixed up a little bit here, I don't know how that happened. Where God said of this same Lucifer, who became Satan;
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth..." (Ezekiel 28:14)
Now back, and see, it's in the twenty-fifth chapter, I believe, of Exodus, you will read of how at the very throne of God in heaven there are two cherubs whose wings spread out over the throne of God. He had been one of those cherubs on the very throne of God with his wings covering over the throne of God. It is just like our students that are educated here at Ambassador College, and then some of them become ministers, and we send them out into the field to take care of the Church.
Well Lucifer had been educated at God's heaven, in God's college in heaven and he was sent out into the field, which is this earth, to govern and rule the earth with God's government. And our ministers are sent out to administer God's government in the Church and to preach Christ's gospel and to teach the people Christ's way of life in the same way. Then again;
"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day...thou wast created [he was not born as humans, he was a CREATED being, and he was perfect as God created him], till iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:15) And iniquity is lawlessness, against law, whereas government is the administration of law.
"Thine heart was lifted up [now why did he turn the wrong way? Why did he turn from God's way? Verse 17 says,] "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness..." (Ezekiel 28:17)
His beauty was brilliant, and it was so bright it probably would put human eyes out if you looked at it. And vanity seized him, it's the same vanity that seizes humans. Men want to be thought of as big and important. Women want to be beautiful so they sit in front of a mirror, and they paint up their faces to make them more beautiful than God did. They think God did a poor job, they're better than God and so they want to — vanity, they look in that and say, "How beautiful I am."
You know, mother Eve would have painted her face but there were no mirrors there, and I think if she'd had a mirror she would have done it. And if there were no mirrors today, none of you women would ever have painted your faces. It is sheer vanity, and it is done because the world does it and because you want to be LIKE the WORLD! And because you don't want the world to think you are not one of them. You want the world to think you are one of them. That's the only reason that women do it, and it is one of the sins that violates the spirit and the obvious intent of the Law of God. And the Law of God is love, and love is outflowing towards God and toward neighbor.
It's just like I had to consider why did I smoke fifty-seven years ago when I was first converted. I said, "Do I do it to please God?" No I didn't think God liked my smoke secondhand. I had read in the Bible where our prayers become a sweet smelling savor in His nostrils, but I didn't think my smoke ever did, secondhanded.
And then did I do it to please my neighbor? I maybe one out of about ten thousand, might like my smoke secondhanded, I don't know, but I know that most of the others would think it was obnoxious. And they would not like it, and it certainly wasn't showing any love towards them.
Well did I do it for the right kind of love toward self? Which we should have, incidentally, because the body and the mind is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we have an obligation to take care of it as God would have it taken care of. No, I knew that it was harmful. I knew the function of the lungs, and taking smoke into the lungs was bound to defeat the very purpose of the lungs and their function and it was harmful. Therefore according to the spirit of the law I could not smoke. There is no word in the Bible about it.
But ancient Israel had to obey the law by the letter. Jesus came and magnified the law. For example, it was murder if you actually put another person to death, but it wasn't murder until they were killed. But Jesus magnified the law, and according to the spirit, to even hate a brother, you are a murderer already.
And about adultery, until the act was committed it wasn't adultery in the Old Testament. But in the SPIRIT of the law of the New Testament, Jesus said if a man even looks after a woman to lust after her, even though she doesn't even know anything about it, he has committed adultery already with her in his mind, in his heart, which means his mind.
Now, it was self-glory that caused this wonderful, great Lucifer to become Satan the Devil. Now he was much greater than any human, much greater than any of us. And he was beautiful and he had a certain glory, and he had wonderful knowledge that we don't have. But that self-glory, vanity, led to wanting to exalt himself. It is me, me first, and that meant some kind of hostility, or envy, or jealousy, or something toward other people, not love toward other people. He wasn't concerned about them, he was concerned about himself. It meant coveting. It meant an attitude of competition against others. And so that became his law, his way of life, and a way of life is a law, and that became Satan's way of life.
I think you never heard this explained before, perhaps. Law is merely a way of human conduct — well, it was of angel conduct — towards God and towards neighbor. This Lucifer, through vanity was only concerned about self, and self-interest, and not any interest in anybody else. It turned him against God, and against being subservient to God, against obeying God. Now he wanted to exalt himself above God as we have seen. That way leads to competition. That leads to strife and controversy, and it leads ultimately to chaos and to anarchy.
Now I want you to notice, it became a law. And that was self, and self-decision as to what it right and wrong according to self-interest, and whatever interests me. That is my law of what is right, and it's every man for himself.
Now God says, in the Bible; "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverb 16:25)
Well this seemed right to him. His mind had become perverted and he didn't see things as they really are, he saw them in a distorted, twisted manner. Now he believed in the way of everyone for himself, of self glory. God's way, which is God's law, is love.
Now go back, for instance, where God originally lived before all else. There were just the two who had lived eternally together; the Word, who was made flesh and dwelt among us and became Jesus Christ, and God. And the Word also was God. Jesus was God. And that was before He was born as a human being, as a great God being.
Now, let me give you something about law and about way of conduct, and human life and the way we conduct ourselves. In the first place, here is a law and it is explained in your Bible; "Two cannot walk together [and get along well together] except they be agreed." (Amos 3:3 paraphrased)
Now you have to both believe the same way. And again, two cannot walk together except that one is the boss. One leads the other. Take God and the Word. When the Word became Christ and was baptized, God said; "...This is my beloved Son [He loved the Son], in whom [He was] well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)
Christ loved the Father, but God was the boss. Jesus said I have spoken nothing, although He was the Word, He said He had spoken nothing except what the Father commanded Him to say. (John 12:49) He obeyed the Father. He said; "...I have kept my Father's commandments..." (John 15:10) He glorified the Father, not Himself. He came as a humble servant, and He came to do good to others, and to show love towards others. And love and obedience and worship toward God. And He prayed to His Father and He relied on His Father instead of other things.
Now the origin of sin was when Lucifer turned from that attitude of love to the self-attitude of vanity, and of greed, or of coveting. And that leads to competition, that leads to controversy, to strife, and it leads ultimately to anarchy. It leads to chaos, it leads to confusion. Now remember this, that Satan was put on the earth and he was ruling the earth, now not God's way, but Satan's way, which was self-glory, the way of coveting.
God's way was love; "...the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]..." (Romans 5:5)
Love is the fulfilling of God's law, but human love can't fulfill God's law, it takes the love of God, shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. In other words, God Himself put His love within us. He injects His love inside of us. And that is the only love that will fulfill God's law.
I think I explained last night that even mother love is perhaps the highest form of human love. But that's natural, human love, carnal love. But it is a selfish love, she doesn't love other babies like her own. That baby is her's, it is part of her, it came out of her and she loves that baby. But she doesn't love other babies the same way. Now take the love of God;
"...God so loved the world [which has thumbed its nose at God and defied God, and has sinned against God, but He so loved that world]...he gave his only begotten Son [for that world], that whosoever in the world would accept Christ should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 paraphrased)
Jesus Christ had the same love. He loved the world, and the people that were putting a crown of thorns on His head, were spitting in His face, were cursing Him, who had beaten Him till He was so weak He couldn't even carry His own cross. But on that cross He looked up to heaven and said, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) He loved them, and He loved them, He was dying for them, and He gave His life for those who hated Him. That is the love of God.
Brethren, do you have that kind of love? You weren't born with it. You may have a little of it through the Holy Spirit. But remember that even when we start out and receive the Holy Spirit, we don't have it to the extent that Jesus did. He had it without measure. We get it in a certain small measure and we haven't got it fully, we're still filled with carnal love to a great extent, every one of us. That's why we overcome. As you overcome and get certain sin out, it's like getting a certain amount of air out of a bottle and putting some good pure water in. But the same amount of air has to go out and as you get some of God's righteousness in, a certain amount of Satan's sin has to go out of you. So it works both ways; you have to get rid of Satan's way and grow in God's way.
Now God's way is the way of giving, of serving and cooperating, of helping, of loving others, of obedience to God. And it's the way that leads to harmony and to peace. Satan's way now is every man for himself.
Now God's purpose, I went into that last night. I'd like to get into it again for just a minute. Let me see, in Romans, the eighth chapter of Romans. Let me just explain part of that once again.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that [that] love God, to them [that] are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Now God has a purpose, and we who are Christians were called, otherwise, Jesus said no man could come to Him. Now the only way to get back to God is through Christ. He's the only door that you can, through whom, and through which, you can come to God. And your sin is against God, and until you get back to God and He forgives you, the penalty still hangs over you, which is death and you can't be ransomed out of it.
But Jesus said no man could come to HIM unless God the Father had selected you, chosen you and has drawn you by His Spirit. And I noticed that. I noticed that some people, they don't understand why themselves, but they are just being drawn by the Holy Spirit toward God.
"For whom he did foreknow [whom God foreknew, before you were born], he also did predestinate [not to already be saved or lost before they were born, but] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [the Son, or Jesus] might be the firstborn [of] many brethren." (Romans 8:29)
Now I went into that last night, and in the fourth verse of the first chapter of Romans, you find that Jesus was made a Son of God after He had been a human being on earth, He then became a Son of God by a resurrection from the dead. He was BORN a Son of God by a resurrection. Now here it says He was the firstborn of US, of many brethren, and we can be BORN AS HE WAS.
But how was He born? By a RESURRECTION and changed from mortal to immortal, changed from matter, composed of the ground of the earth and having to breath air, which is part of the earth and gases formed, to stay alive. He was changed to immortality. And that's the way we will be born again, and these so-called 'born again Christians' don't know what they are talking about, brethren. I pray that they will, at some time, have their minds opened to come to understand the truth of God. But they only preach about Christ, and it's a false Christ that they are preaching, not the true Christ. They don't even know the true Christ.
That's one of the curses on the world. And look at this world. They think it is God's world. Oh it is not, it is Satan's world. Satan was placed on that throne and to administer government. Now he deserted the government of God and turned to his own kind of government. Government is a way of life, and his way of life is hostility against God. His way of life is selfishness, and vanity, and every man for himself.
Alright, now what is the purpose of God? It is to create man and to reproduce Himself through human beings. He made us out of the dirt of the ground. He, let's see, the bible of the Arab world, the — oh now, wait a minute, the name, I had it right on my tongue, it won't come out — Koran. It says we were made out of mud. Well whether it was mud, or just dirt, dirt is just dry mud but the water's gone out of it. Either way, man was made of the dirt of the ground.
Now Jesus plainly said; "He that is born of the flesh is flesh; [that is still matter,] he that is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6 paraphrased)
He becomes spirit, no longer matter. Why can't the preachers of this world see that? They can't, they're blinded, and Satan has blinded them. You read that in II Corinthians, let's see, II Corinthians 2:4, or 4:3 and 4, I think it is.
Well now, back in Genesis the first chapter; "In the beginning God [which is Elohim, and that is a plural name, means more than one, and it meant God and the Word] created the heaven[s] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
And God created all things by Jesus Christ, as you read in Ephesians three and verse nine. But He formed man of the dust of the ground and made man only to have a temporary, physical, chemical existence. You're like a clock running down that was wound up and when it runs down, there's nothing but just winding it up, or why it dies, and isn't running any longer.
But now God is going to reproduce Himself in man and to do that man has to come to have God's character. And God's character is choosing God's way of life through any kind of temptation and going that way and setting himself to LIVE the way of God's life, the way of love, friendship, cooperation, and obedience to God, and worship of God. That is the way, and until you have chosen that way and have set yourself and have overcome every other way, you finally will be made God like He was. And in first, yes, I John the third chapter and verse nine, you read that once we are born of God we CANNOT sin, we won't BE ABLE to sin, it'll be IMPOSSIBLE to sin. Just as it's impossible for Christ to sin, it's impossible for God to sin.
It was not impossible for Christ to sin when He was human on earth. Oh no, He was tempted in all points like we are (Hebrews 4:15). But now He's been made God once again by a resurrection. It will be impossible for Christ to sin now, and impossible for God, because they have so set themselves, they won't. And being spirit, spirit never changes. As Jesus said, He is "...the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) God says; "...I change not..." (Malachi 3:6) and when we become God we will never change. And we've got to set ourselves in God's way in this life before we can be born of Him.
Now first, Adam had a choice, if he was to become the character of God, and that character had to come from God, but it had to come by Adam's choice. It would have been, if God had just forced it on him, it wouldn't have been character. Character means it was his own choice. Well life was offered to him, and the Tree of Life. Everything in that Garden of Eden was offered to Adam but one tree, and God said "Don't touch it".
Brethren, Satan got to them, and look, he's gotten to — he gets even to babies. Before they are nine months old Satan's already got to them and put selfishness in them. Put a little baby nine months old who can't walk yet, and set him down on a floor and put about eight or ten toys, or a dozen or something on the floor, but point to one, just one toy, and say, "Now listen, can't touch, no touch. Can't play with that, just play with the others but don't touch that one now, don't touch it." And you go off and close the door. Just peek through the keyhole and he doesn't know you are watching, and you watch him go for the one you told him not to touch every time.
Well that's precisely what Adam and Eve did. Now Satan came and approached Eve, and Adam wasn't on the job, and she slipped away, which she should have never have done. And now, I want you to notice this, Satan did not say to her, "Look, I want you to take up my way of life, and I want you to obey me. I want you to accept me instead of God." He didn't say that, he said, "No, go your own way. You do what looks right to you. Now just look at that tree, look at the forbidden fruit. Can't you see how beautiful it is? Can't you see that it is good to the taste? That it is pleasant to the eyes? It is desired to make you wise?"
Oh, that began to tempt her. It looked good and she went her own way and she took it, and she was deceived. She gave to her husband also with her and he did eat. He was not deceived, he did it deliberately, and that was the original sin.
But they then enslaved themselves under Satan. They became Satan's possession. Their minds became perverted and twisted, right that moment, and all human minds have become that way ever since. Not by heredity or by birth, but because Satan's the prince of the power of the air. And just as my voice is going through the air, and up the satellites and down, and being heard over there in England. It's tonight for you people in England over there, but it is going through the air. So Satan can send attitudes, moods and feelings and attitudes through the air. And your mind is in tune with his wave length, and every human mind is, and they get it. And so he has deceived the whole world ever since.
He didn't say, "Obey my government." He said, "No, do the thing that looks right to you, instead of what God said. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, take that to yourself, decide for yourself what's good and what is evil." So that's what they did. Well that was a spiritual decision. So Adam chose self, the way that he would decide the way of good and evil by himself. And they are still going that way. Now the Bible says; "...his...you are to whom ye obey..." (Romans 6:16) They obeyed Satan instead of God and so they became Satan's, and people do belong to Satan ever since. You know, Jesus, in the eighth chapter of John in the New Testament, speaking to those Jews who believed on Him, they believed on Him, and He said;
"You are the children of your father the devil, and his deeds you would do..." (John 8:44 paraphrased)
Read it, beginning the thirtieth verse, the eighth chapter of John. You might jot that down and read it. You'll be surprised. Even those who believed on him, were the children of Satan the Devil. And what do the Protestants teach today? Just believe on Christ and that's all there is to it. Alright, you look that up, I won't take time to go into it now, you look at it. Believe what you see with your own eyes.
So they were kidnapped, in a sense, they became Satan's, and Satan kidnapped them away from God. Now Jesus had to pay a ransom to get them back to God. Can you see that? They were kidnapped, and Jesus had to pay a ransom with His own life, and that's what He did.
Now God closed off the Tree of Life, which came through the Holy Spirit, and it also meant the revealed knowledge of God. And it meant the love of God that would fulfill the law of God. It meant the knowledge of God to open their minds to the way and the Law of God. But it meant love that would fulfill that law of God, once they knew it. But God closed that off until the second Adam, Jesus Christ should come.
And why is He called the second Adam? Because this world was started by Adam, it's Satan's world and Satan started it through Adam, who obeyed Satan's way. And he didn't say, "I am going to accept Satan's government." No, no, he thought it was just going his own way. Now that way leads to confusion, and it ultimately leads to chaos, and anarchy. Jesus said that;
"...if Satan is divided against himself, his kingdom won't stand..." (Mark 3:26 paraphrased)
Well brethren, Satan is divided against himself and he tells everybody, "Be divided." He tries to divide people. Then he'll try to organize certain people together, knowing that they won't stay together, but everyone is all for himself. And that's the world you have been living in, and it's a world divided against itself. And too often, even in the home, husband and wife are divided against each other. Children and parents are divided. Brother and sister are divided.
And any Chief of Police in any big city will tell you that most of the murders, more murders happen in the home and among family members, than any other kind of murder. That's the way it is. And so family is against next door neighbor, and one class of people is against the other, black and white, labor and capital, various nation against nation, and they go to war. And that's the world. It's going Satan's way, it's Satan's world brethren. It is Satan's world and his civilization. And it's a civilization that is divided, with everyone doing is own thing.
Now Jesus said, "...I will build my church..." He said; "...I will build my church..." (Matthew 16:18)
And to build that Church He chose twelve, and began to teach them. And He taught them to come out of this world. And 'Church' comes from the Greek world 'Ekklesia' and it means 'called out ones.' Jesus called them out of this world of Satan to come to God's way instead of every man for himself, to the way of God and the way of love. And He taught them that way.
You know, in the sermon on the mount He was teaching His own twelve, and others came while He was teaching. And when He was through that teaching there was quite a crowd there, but when it started out He was talking only to His twelve. And the message was meant just to His own followers. But by the day the Church started, after Christ had died and had been resurrected and had ascended to heaven, then ten days after Christ went up to heaven as our High Priest, the Church was started with a hundred and twenty, of which that twelve was a part. And they were one tenth of the group.
And then, that same day, three thousand more were converted. A day or so later, it might have been the very next day, two thousand more, and the Church began to multiply and grow. But not for long, in a matter of days the persecution set in. You go back to the New Testament and you read, beginning with the second chapter and you will find that the events happened very rapidly, and that it was not seventy-five or three hundred years later or something like that, that they turned to another gospel.
But in Galatians, the first chapter, verses six and seven, Paul said, and this was in the year of 53 AD and the Church started at 31, so it was only twenty-two years after the Church had started. To those Churches in Galatia, Paul said they had already turned away from the true gospel to another gospel.
Now we find this in research, the only thing we can find about the history of the first hundred years, from about, oh say, about 53 AD when Paul wrote that letter, for a hundred years, it was a lost century so far as the history of what happened in the Church is concerned. But this much we do find, that there was a heated controversy, and many people were killed and it was VIOLENT as to whether the gospel should be a gospel OF Christ, the same gospel He preached about the Kingdom of God, or a gospel ABOUT Christ. And we find that later it was a gospel about Christ, is what humans turned to. And that's not the gospel of Christ at all.
Now why did Jesus come? He came to restore the Government of God. Remember there is Satan on the throne, and this is his government and his world. And the government is based on a law, which is every man for himself, go your own way of selfishness, and greed, and vanity. God is reproducing Himself and it is the God family that we enter into. That's why we can call Jesus brother. That's why He calls us brethren. It's all one, we're begotten into a family, the God family, and only begotten now, not yet born.
And that will become the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is the FAMILY of God, ruling as a Kingdom and a government, that's what it is. Now gospel means good news, and the good news of that Kingdom, and of that family and its way of life, is what Jesus came to preach and proclaim. Now the Kingdom is to restore the throne of God on the earth.
God set a man on this earth — that is an archangel — to administer God's government, based on God's law of LOVE. He turned to just the opposite way. He turned to the way of vanity, and of jealousy, and envy, and competition, and against other people, instead of love towards them. And that's the way the world has been living, and that is the way that cannot lead to any peace. That's why, and as I go around the world preaching world peace, brethren, I preach the WAY of GOD. Everyone must go the way of God, of LOVE toward other people instead of contention and competition.
Now remember again, even two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Now the basis for God's government is an attitude of love instead of an attitude of self, and contention and competition. If twelve people — now Jesus chose twelve — if you take twelve today, and there are usually are twelve on a professional basket ball team. And if one is contentious on that team, the whole team is in trouble. And they don't have peace and they don't win games.
About three years ago, I get the years a little mixed up, but the Lakers won the national of the world's championship, and they were all together. The next year there was contention and Philadelphia won it, and the Lakers lost, and the coach got fired. I don't know what happened but there must have been some contention, and the coach must have been involved. A new coach came in and they got harmony once again and that year the Lakers won the championship again.
Well I don't know just how much harmony they had this year, but I do know this, that the Philadelphia 76ers had wonderful harmony and peace. And they had a coach that believed in that and they were all for him. Now as to talent, I think they were about equal. They were undoubtedly the two most talented teams on earth. But the Philadelphia 76ers won it this year, because they were more together, they had more cooperation. And I tell you, if one of the twelve is wrong, the whole team is going sour.
We can't have peace on earth until it's UNIVERSAL. Now GET THAT brethren. If two are not together, they are in contention. If one out of the twelve is in contention, you have trouble. One rotten apple in a crate will rot the others next to it, and you leave them in there, pretty soon the whole crate is rotten. Now that's a principle. If we are going to have peace on earth, that principle has to be followed.
Jesus had twelve He chose and one of them was not in harmony, Judas Iscariot. And Jesus said to him at the Last Supper of the Passover; "...That thou doest, [doest] quickly." (John 13:27) And Judas left. Jesus didn't have to put him out, he left. Finally he went out and hanged himself. But it was too — he repented, but it was too late.
In Satan's world peace is absolutely impossible without universal attitude of harmony, and peace, and love, and cooperation. Now Satan's law in this world is a law of self, and selfishness, and hostility towards others. God's law is a world started with the second Adam, Jesus Christ. The twelve were all in harmony. Later on some were not in harmony and they went out. During Jesus' ministry many began to leave Him who had started to follow Him. They only started a little while and then they began to leave, and He turned to own His disciples and said, "Will you leave Me also?"
Many have gone out of this Church brethren. Why? Because they didn't have the Holy Spirit of God of LOVE and cooperation within them. And because they resented the Government of God in God's Church. And God has raised me up to restore that government in the Church. And those who know me best, know that I only, if I, to whatever extent I rule, and I don't call it a rule, I just call it leadership. But it is in love and compassion, and if I find someone going wrong, I want to talk with them and I want to try see if we can straighten things out. Usually it is a misunderstanding. Let's open it up.
But if they are in a wrong attitude, if their attitude is hostile, if they're bitter, if they're resentful, you can't do anything with them. Now we've had ministers, we've had others, and they were trouble, and they were brought to me, and some of them I've been able to save. And they're all much stronger today. Others have had to go.
Brethren, I didn't build this wonderful, beautiful auditorium, Jesus Christ built it. I didn't build this campus. I didn't build this Church or this work, Jesus Christ did. But I was used as an instrument but only to the extent that I yielded to Him. The only difference — it's not because of superior ability on my part, not at all, I know that better than most of you know it. I think some of you think I might have more ability, I don't. I tell you I don't, but I have tried to yield to Christ, to His Law, to His love, His way, and let Jesus come into me and let the mind of Christ be in me and let Him live His life in me.
Now as long as I can do that Christ is going to use me. That is as long as I live, as long as He lets me live, and I don't know how long that'll be. My doctor thinks it's going to be some little time yet if I am in my ninety-second year and if I didn't have a total heart failure six years ago. As Dr. Zimmerman was saying to me about the day before yesterday, he said I'm only six years old because my heart completely stopped. I was as dead as I'd ever be, but they brought me back through, what do they call this? Oh I don't know, CPR or some initials, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and so on.
So he says I was born again. (laughter from audience) Well that's physical, I haven't been born spiritual yet. But I have been begotten and I hope all of you have, brethren. I hope all of you have. But if one has an attitude of hostility there is no peace. It must be universal. Now we have to come out from the world and be separate. And so this world had turned to a gospel about Christ.
Now we come to Malachi the third chapter. In the first five verses it says that at this end time God would send a messenger to prepare the way for Christ, and it's His second coming. If you read the second, third, fourth, fifth verses, you see it's not talking about the first coming of Christ. Although John the Baptist is mentioned in Matthew and Mark, and I think Luke and John, as fulfilling that prophecy, he did as a type. But the prophecy itself is referring to the end time when God said He would send Elijah the prophet just before the Day of the Lord comes.
Now in Matthew twenty-four you read that at the time of the end, this gospel of the KINGDOM shall be proclaimed in all the world. And for over nineteen hundred years the gospel of the kingdom WAS NOT proclaimed to the WORLD. God's true Church, to some extent, kept it but even they had lost the gospel. When I came among the Church that we now call the Sardis era, and they were the people of God and their hearts were right with God.
They were simple people and they had love in their hearts, and I'm not saying anything against them but they had lost so much truth, and they had even lost the true gospel, the Kingdom of God. They didn't know we could be born into the family of God. They didn't know that we would be ruling through the Millennium. They knew there would be a thousand years that Christ would be on earth, but they didn't know what was going to happen. They didn't understand it. I don't know that they have come to understand it since, I've been out of touch with them for the last forty years or more. But I hope they have come to understand it. But the gospel of the kingdom has been now proclaimed around the earth.
Now in Revelation nineteen and verse seven, I want you to notice. Revelation nineteen and verse seven. Finally, it says;
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour [un]to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [has] made herself ready." (Revelation 19:7)
We are that wife, brethren. We are that wife, ARE WE READY? It has to be a hundred percent. The Church is going to be ready, but that doesn't mean everybody in it will be, and the only ones that are going to rise and meet Christ in the air when He comes, and we'll only meet Him as He's coming back here. He's not coming to meet us as we go to heaven, we're rising to meet Him and He's coming to the earth. And we'll come down with Him that very same day, on the Mount of Olives. We won't stay up in the air very long.
As a matter of fact I fly in my airplane higher. Every time I fly I think we will go then. But how are you going to get everybody, and all of the people of God from all parts of the earth, all over on the Mount of Olives all of a sudden, the same day? Well they have to rise into the air and they go through the air, that's the reason we rise to meet Him in the air, and the only reason, if we understand it. But His wife will have made herself ready.
And now, finally, I want you to turn to the twentieth chapter of Revelation. And the first few verses refer to the angel from the bottomless pit laying hand on Satan the Devil and putting him in a prison for a thousand years, and there will be no Satan. Now there's a throne, and there's this world's government, and there it is. Jesus is coming to sit on two thrones brethren. He's going to sit on the throne of David, but that's only over the nations of Israel. But He's also going to sit on the throne of Satan that was put there for Lucifer, and Christ is going to sit on that throne. And that's the throne over the whole earth.
And we are going, if we overcome, to sit with Him on His throne, Revelation 3:21. And if we overcome we will be given power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron, Revelation 2:26 and 27. And then, as we read here in the fourth verse, after Satan is taken away.
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon [that, the thrones that we will occupy, more than one]...and judgment was given unto [the saints, you see, and judgment was given unto] them: [that means the Church] and I saw the souls of them were beheaded for the witness of Jesus [and that was — much of that was many hundred years ago, but they will rise first at the coming of Christ, resurrected, brought back to life], and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark [in] their foreheads [or in their minds],...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)
And that will be the reign of Christ, the restoration of the government. Now you find in, I believe it is in the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, the disciples asked Jesus, "Well how do they say then that Elijah is going to come?" Now John the Baptist had already come. And Jesus said;
"...[Elijah] truly shall...come, and restore all things. But [He said] I say unto you, That [Elijah] is come already... (Matthew 17:11-12)
And they did with him what they pleased, and they beheaded him and killed him. And John the Baptist was already killed when He said that, but He said Elijah shall come.
What has been restored? The gospel of the Kingdom of God has been restored. The Government of God has been restored in this Church, and something has been restored brethren. And Christ is coming to restore everything and WORLD government, not just His Church, but the WHOLE WORLD! And we are to reign and rule with Him.
Now I've mentioned how you have to have teachers before you can start a school. And before He can run the world, He has to have people taught as rulers. And we, and the dead in Christ will rise, and we are all the ones that are going to rule under and with Christ in various offices where Jesus Christ, as the KING OF KINGS is going to place us. And we reign for a thousand years.
Wild animals will be tamed. People will begin to learn to LOVE one another and we'll have peace, and we'll have happiness and joy. And brethren, we will have that wonderful happiness that can only come when you are no longer human, no longer beset with this body of matter, but we're composed of spirit like God. We'll have minds that can understand things you don't dream of now. You will appreciate beauty that you can't understand now, so much more wonderful than anything of all that you can think of now.
A young lady, teenage, was asking me the other day, "Mr. Armstrong, can you explain one thing to me? What if Christ comes before I am old enough to be married, and to enjoy motherhood and family life? Am I going to have to lose all of that?" I tried to explain to her that she will have something so much more wonderful, that she wouldn't even think of that. Now you have to realize there is something more wonderful than anything we can have in this life.
I'm going to have to write an article for the Youth 83 on that subject, because I think many young people are thinking about things like that. And they just think of this world, and they just think of the pleasures you can get out of the human flesh. But pleasures of God's Spirit can go so far beyond it, there is just no comparison.
Now brethren, time has come to close this service. Here we are in this wonderful Feast again. I think we are off to a great start, and all of you all over the United States, Canada, and I have to look right here in this little microphone to see the others. But I see in the auditorium filled here in the beautiful Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. And you brethren have come from different parts of the United States and even from other nations that are here. And most of our local brethren are now at other Feast Sites and not here. Let's enjoy this Feast to the full. Let's remember, that the way to enjoy is unity in God's love, and love one to another. And Jesus said;
"By this shall all men know [you] are my disciples if [you] have love one to another." (John 13:35)
Show that, and brethren, in many places where we've held Feasts before, local business men have said, "Why I find those Church of God people, that were here, they are just the finest people we've ever seen. I just wish that our people locally here could be as fine as they are. They come into our stores and they are polite." Brethren they are letting their light shine. You are doing that wherever you are, and whatever city you are in, for this festival, let your light shine. These men said they wished their own people could be as good as we are. They didn't hear our good arguments, they just saw our good performance. Just saw our good performance. And then one of them said, "The one thing I can't understand" he said, "is why do such fine people have to believe such a crazy religion?" (great laughter from the audience).
Well perhaps he didn't understand the connection between the two. But the day will come when they will understand. So let's show love towards those that if we have to deal with any of them in the local stores and things like that, be polite. Let's let our light shine by our works, not by our arguments or trying to teach, because you can't teach them, they wouldn't understand it. But just show love. That's what we all must do.
God bless all of you and have a wonderful Feast now. And there's no reason why it shouldn't be even greater than last year or any year before. Each year should be greater than the year before. I know, I know more than I did a year ago, and I can enjoy more than I could a year ago and I hope you can. I'm sure you can too. God bless you all.