Well greetings brethren. In a way it seems strange to me to be back here in Vancouver, Washington. I lived here for six months in 1924, and the modern era of the work — the Church of God — was started in a sense, in Portland just across the river; and all of you who are here now, directly or indirectly are my children in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now in these years that have been going by, we all get a little bit older. Since my 92nd birthday — I'm beginning to brag a little bit. It seems like some people like to brag on their age when they become a little older. I don't know why, but I think I'm a little subject to that myself. So I don't say that I am 92 — I'm in my 93rd year. But I'm not 93 yet, but I hope to be. But I do want to mention one thing at the outset — that just about a month ago, I lost most of what eyesight I still had left. Now I had not seen out of my right eye for 22 years. I've been seeing out of one eye only — the left eye — and it is gradually been becoming weaker and weaker and in this calendar year of 1984, it has gradually worsened. However up until a month ago, I was still able to read notes if they were big print in front of me. I could no longer read even in the large print Bible, but I could have it magnified on separate paper and with a magnifying glass I could read it. And then just about a month ago I woke up in the middle of the night, I looked at my watch to see what time it was and all I saw was a swatch of grey. I couldn't see the face of my watch. I had no idea what time it was — in the middle of the night sometime. I went back to sleep. In the morning I could see no better. Through that day there was some improvement by evening. If I'm real careful, I can guess at the time of my watch now that's all, but I still can't see any kind of type; I brought no notes with me — no Bible. I couldn't raise it to the highest power magnifying glass that could be found anywhere in the world. So I have to just sit here and talk to you this afternoon.
The last two telecasts I have done, I had to just go before the camera as I am before you now — without anything at all — through the program. The second time I attempted it, I had to stop in the middle, it was no good, I'm not accustomed to speaking that way and just ad-libbing it without any notes. I'm accustomed to reading the scripture and then explaining it, and expounding it; I'm sure most of you know. I can no longer do even that! And so I had to stop right in the middle of the telecast. It was no good. Two or three days later, I came back again after much prayer for help. And God helped me to produce a program and I think that it will be a good program. I said some of the things I'm going to say to you here this afternoon, except I hope to go a little farther today than I was able to do in about 24, 25 minutes on the telecast.
But it occurred to me since the challenge that came to me that started me into the knowledge of the Word of God and the work of this Philadelphia era of God's church — and it started up here in this very vicinity. And we were living in Portland at the time, and I had lived, as I say, six months in 1924 here in Vancouver. And it was later in 1926 in the fall, we were living in Portland and we were visiting my parents who lived then in Salem and a neighbor lady — a neighbor of my mother — had become acquainted somehow with my wife and she was over visiting this lady in her home. She was quite a Bible student and she had opened up the Bible and asked my wife to read this verse — and my wife read it. She asked her to read it aloud, and she read it aloud. Then she asked her to read another verse and she turned to another verse and she read it and she had my wife read a third and fourth verse and so on. Very soon my wife was astonished. She says, "Well now wait, what are you having me read here?" She said, "Looks to me like I have been keeping the wrong day of the week!" and the lady says, "Well don't ask me. God is the author of the Bible. What does God say?"
Well my wife said, "It is very plain to me now. God says I have been keeping the wrong day of the week!" So she said, "Well I must rush back over to the house." That's where my parents lived. "I must tell Herbert. He will be overjoyed to know this!"
And, I was never so under-joyed in all my life! Of ALL things — the Jewish Sabbath! Well that was religious fanaticism! I said, "My wife turning to religious fanaticism!" That was the beginning of my conversion. And one of the ways that... I don't think that was the real beginning, but in a sense, it was the modern beginning of the reason why you're all here this afternoon, and the reason that you all come to believe what you believe. I thought you'd be glad to just hear some of that experience this afternoon.
What IS the Church of God? Why is it? How did I come to know about it? How did I come into contact with it? How did I come to be associated with it, and in it, and how did you? And I think that should interest every one of us! So, I'm just going to stand here without any notes or anything to go by. It's all up here anyway — in my head. I'm just going to try to explain it to you.
I'm going to begin at the beginning. I have to go clear back to the beginning. And the beginning goes back not a year or two, or two or three dozen years, or a few hundred years, or a thousand years, but far back longer than that. It goes back perhaps millions and millions of years. And ALL that existed in the entire universe and just space, was two Great Beings. One is called God, the other was called the Word. And you read of it in I John, the first four verses in the New Testament of your Bible. Now you begin in the Bible in Genesis 1 and verse 1 and the first words in all the Bible it says, "In the beginning God created the heaven[s] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
But Moses wrote that in the Hebrew language and the word for God was a Hebrew word — Elohim. And Elohim does not refer to one person. It is a plural and it refers to more than one person. "Gods [it should be, with an 's' on the end of it] — created the heavens and the earth."
And now just drop down in that same chapter in your Bible to the first chapter in Genesis and verse 26. "And [this] God [more than one] said Let us [He didn't say let me] Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
Why was there more than one there? Now before that, it should mention how God had created animals on the land, and especially mentioned cattle after the cattle kind. And He had created for example horses after the horse kind and dogs after the dog kind and elephants after the elephant kind. But, that was in verse 25, but in verse 26 He says, "Let us create man after the God kind, in our likeness, after our image." (Genesis 1:26 paraphrased)
Man was made after the God kind and most people have read that in their Bible and never understood a word of it!
Now in the second chapter you find He rested on the Sabbath day, and in verse seven of the second chapter, "God formed man of the dust of the ground. So he was formed and he came out of the dust of the ground. And what came out of the dust of the ground became a soul. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man, the dust of the ground, became a soul." (Genesis 2:7 paraphrased)
So a soul came from the dust of the ground. And the soul was not immortal because God told that soul that if he took of the forbidden fruit of one of the two symbolic trees in the midst of the Garden of Eden, he would surely die and he did take of it and he did die but I'm getting ahead of the story.
Now let's go back into John in the New Testament. "In the beginning was the Word [and in verse 14, you will read], and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." [and became Jesus Christ] (John 1:1;14)
So the Word is the One who became Jesus Christ. Before He was born as a human being He was a God being and He was Jesus Christ and the Word was with God — another person — now you have two great personages — and the Word was also God. And it says all things were made by Him.
Now in Ephesians 3, and verse nine — you see I do know some of the scriptures, and where you will find them if you want to turn to them in the Bible — It says: that "God [who] created all things by Jesus Christ:" (Ephesians 3:9)
Now He was the Word who later became Jesus Christ. So now we had something in the beginning. In the beginning before anything else, there was God, and it was God and the One who later was to become Jesus Christ. Now there was no earth, there was no sun, no moon, no universe — just space, and God didn't have to have a planet you know with gravity to draw Him down to the ground. And then it says that the Word lived and God lived. If they lived they had to do something. To live means action; it means doing something. Now how did they live and what did they do?
Well, they created, because Ephesians 3:9 says: "God created all things by Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 3:9)
And then in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning Elohim [and that is God and the Word combined as a family], created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
So their job, their profession, their work, was creating! Now how did they go about doing it? Did they fight one another? Did they have great contention and argument? No! We find that they loved one another. There are many chapters and many places in the Bible where it shows that. You know when Jesus was 30 years old, God said, "You are my beloved Son..." (Matthew 3:17). He loved the Son and Jesus loved the Father and said that He had kept His Father's commandments (John 15:10). He said that of Himself He can do nothing (John 5:19). It was the Father dwelling in Him that gave Him the power to do everything He did (John 14:10), and it was the same God that has given me the understanding and the knowledge to pass it onto you. He gave two very fine musicians all of the great talent and abilities to produce that wonderful music for you just before I came up here. God is the author of all those wonderful things.
And so in the Bible we read that two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). Now here were two that had existed forever; because we read of Christ, that He had ALWAYS existed. Now I know you cannot understand that — I can't either. There never was a time when He began to live. He had always lived. I CAN conceive that the fact that He's alive and will go on existing and existing and never die, but will always live forever — that I can understand. But how He has always lived and never began living — I can't grasp that. Don't try to; you can't either — you just can't. I don't think anybody can. I've discussed that with a lot of people and no one has ever yet been able to explain how He has always existed — but He has. And you read in the book of Hebrews, that God was speaking of Christ — but the same is true of God the Father.
"[Was] without father, without mother, without descent [having neither father nor mother], nor beginning of days nor end of life..." [but existing eternally] (Hebrews 7:3).
Always existing — now, there was nothing else! There was no Universe, no sun, stars, no earth, and then God began to create. Now He was busy — He had a job to do. What did they do? They worked in harmony together. But two can't walk together except they be agreed — they were agreed.
Also, two can't walk together except one is the boss, and don't ever think they can. Well, I have a good many husbands and wives here and one of you is the boss in your home. Now I tell you one thing, it isn't always the husband - it should be — it ought to be! But too many men have abdicated the responsibility, and there are cases where if the wife didn't take over and run the roost, it wouldn't be run — unfortunately. I say shame on some of us men who are like that. God intended the man to be the leader and to have dominion over his wife, but it should be loving dominion and no contention whatsoever. Well, that's the way God had dominion over Christ.
Jesus when He was on earth as a human being, He said that He could do nothing except what the Father told Him to do. He could do nothing of Himself and the Father gave him all the power; and He had done nothing of Himself — He did only what the Father told Him to do. He was completely obedient to God the Father. Now, there was a family relationship and they lived together. I say they created. What did they create first? They created angels.
Now God is a Spirit. In John 4:24 you read that "God is a Spirit..." (John 4:24)
He is not made out of flesh and blood like we are. We came out of the dust of the ground — God didn't. He created the dust of the ground. There wasn't any dust of the ground originally till God created it. But He was composed of Spirit. Now there are different levels of spirit, and God created other spirit beings, but what He created of necessity had to be on a lower level than the God who created it. And God began to create angels, and angels are spirit beings and they are immortal, and have immortal life; and an angel is a complete spirit being, or entity, and can never die, and never cease to exist. They're not material — not made from matter of any sort.
But we read — let's see — it's in, I believe its II Peter, second chapter and verse four: "...angels [that] sinned..." (II Peter 2:4), [tape here unclear]- and apparently it was the third of the angels.
Now I say God did things. Well at first He created angels, but then He created something else — next after having created angels, He began to create matter. Now God created matter. What out of? Well, He is spirit and He naturally had to create matter out of spirit, and turn some spirit of which He was composed into matter. And then there was the time when God created the heavens and the earth. And both Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 you'll find that He created the heavens and the entire universe at the same time He created the earth. The same general time — that doesn't mean the same instance or second — but the same general time. He called it the same day, but He talked about this day and that day, and it doesn't mean that the 24 hour day is the limit.
And when God created the earth, He intended this earth to be the center of the universe He was creating. And so we find in the thirty-eighth chapter of Job, that the angels were shouting for joy, and the great cherubs — or the morning stars — were singing together. They were so happy because God was creating these angels to be an abode, or a home for them. And He put the angels on the earth. Now if angels — there are three different levels of angels. Ordinary angels — the lower level — do not have wings. Then there are Seraph — a little higher level of angels and they have wings. There's not much said about them in the Bible and we don't know much about them. Then there's another - Cherub. They're the highest of all angels and next to God — higher than other angels, but still on a lower level than God. Now they had minds, but their minds were not quite of the caliber of God. Just a little lower in level and in power and ability, but still they had very wonderful minds and considerable power - especially the cherubs.
Now only three of those are mentioned in the Bible and they are Gabriel and Michael and Lucifer. Now Lucifer was one of the cherubs that had been right on the very throne of God. Now I say that God created, and what He created He ruled. Now He lived a certain way — He lived a way of cooperation and love. God and the Word cooperated together. God was the leader, He was the boss. There was no contention, no friction, perfect harmony and cooperation. And so they ruled whatever they had made and created because they created it, and they were more powerful than what they created. And so on this earth, they set angels. Now we don't know just how many, but a third of the angels went wrong, and we assume that was the third that were on the earth and they all went wrong; because He set one of those big cherubs - Lucifer — on the throne on this earth to administer the Government of God on this earth.
Now remember that God first of all then is the Creator, and secondarily He is the ruler over His creation. Now He rules by law, and what do we mean by the word law?
Law is merely the rule of conduct or performance. Now what was the rule of conduct or performance between God and the Word? It was love and cooperation — each loved the other. And organization, in the sense that the Word knew that God was the head and never questioned it and there was perfect cooperation and obedience at all times. Now you take a modern athletic sport of today. You take basketball, or baseball, or a football team — and they all have rules. You might call the rules — the law. Now if you break the rules, there are penalties. Now always in a game you will find penalties. In football they get penalized 5 yards, or 15 yards, or 10 yards, and this, or that, or the other thing. In basketball they get penalized — the other team get a couple of free throws for this and that. There are always penalties for disobedience.
Now God's law is a way of living, and it is the way of love: L-O-V-E, love. And if you have love to others, there's no contention, no spite, no jealousy, envy, no hostility, no competition — just cooperation and love. And so the law of God is love. L-O-V-E. And that's the way of giving, and serving, and helping, and cooperating. Now the other way is just the opposite. It's the way of getting, and taking, and competing, and trying to get the best of others.
Alright, God put a throne on this earth, and He intended ultimately to — He was going to make it His own headquarters and God Himself was going to come here and He still intends that. But He put this archangel Lucifer in charge, and Lucifer was there to administer God's law of love on the angels. But first of all, it had to be love towards God, and complete obedience to God, and worship of God, and reverence towards God, and this angel didn't want to do that. He became jealous of God. He was so beautiful that it went to his head, and vanity seized him and he said, "I think I should be better than God. I'm going to arm my angels into an army, and we'll go up and charge against God and knock God off His throne and I'm going to rule the whole universe. I don't want to rule just this earth!"
Lucifer said, "I want to rule heaven, I want to rule everything, and God just gave me this one little earth, and look at all the other planets all around the whole universe. This earth is only a little speck compared to all the others in the whole universe."
So he — I don't know, it might have taken millions of years — but he finally got ALL of the angels under him — a third of all the angels that God had created — hostile against God, jealous of God, wanting to knock God off the throne and take over and get it for themselves. And so they rose up and tried to knock God off the throne. They found God was more powerful than they were. He was powerful enough to create them in the first place. He was powerful enough to put them right back here on the earth where He put them in the first place. And now this Lucifer was changed from a great archangel into Satan the devil, and his name was changed, and the angels with him were changed into demons.
Now, God wanted His government to rule this earth, and God intended this earth to be His own headquarters for everything someday. And here it was the wrong government on the earth, and God wasn't going to change the government or take Lucifer off of that throne until someone had qualified to take it over that would obey God. And there was no one. God KNEW that He could not create anyone as great as Himself. This archangel Lucifer was the greatest that God could just create suddenly, and he had turned to rebellion. And God decided that He would REPRODUCE HIMSELF, and that's why when God created, well — He recreated the earth.
You read in Psalms 104:30 that God "...renewed the face of the earth." (Psalm 104:30)
Because of the sins of the angels, the earth had become devastated, and waste, and empty, and had become decayed — in the state of decay. And so in six days, God renewed the face of the earth for man. And you find that in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth chapter — or verses rather — of the first chapter of Genesis.
And during that week God says "Let us make man in our image." (Genesis 1:26)
Now, He created the man, and in the man, he was made out of matter, and God didn't make him immortal. He only gave him mortal life of temporary chemical existence made from the dust of the ground. But in the mind, so that he can have a mind like God, and so he could be begotten of God, and later born of God, and enter THE GOD FAMILY — higher than angels — God put a spirit within him. But now it couldn't be a spirit of the same level as the Spirit of God, or even of the level of the angels. So, He put a spirit that is of a still lower level in man, and was a human spirit, and is lower than the spirit of which angels are composed. Now the only difference between a human brain and an animal brain is that the human brain has a spirit in it with it. You notice that in the 8th chapter of Job — no wait a minute - the 8th verse of, I believe the 30th chapter. I'm a little mixed up on the chapter right now.
There is a spirit in man, and no man could know the things that a man knows except by the spirit of man which is in him. We know things that a horse or a cow cannot know, and yet they have a brain just as good as we do. And in the modern science, the brain research, they find animal brain is just as good in quality and sometimes even larger in quantity than human brain. Elephants have a bigger brain than we do, and so do whales and dolphins. Chimps have brains just a little smaller, but they don't have the thinking powers that we do, the reasoning powers, they can't have the knowledge that we can have. They have no sense of appreciation of art, music and literature. They have no sense of wisdom and judgment. Animals can't know those things, but humans can, because God put a spirit - it's a lower grade spirit — in man. But God intended that man could be begotten of Him.
And so in the Garden of Eden, there were two symbolic trees in the midst of the garden. One was the Tree of Life, and if Adam took of that Tree of Life he would receive the Spirit of God to go with his spirit. Now Adam was not complete the way God first created him. God wanted him to reproduce and have children. But the poor man couldn't do it, and I've never known a man since that could have children — have you? So God performed an operation. He didn't call it an anesthesia — the Bible says God put him into a deep sleep. Well that's what an anesthesia does. And God operated on him, and took one of his little ribs out of him, and made a woman out of it. Now he didn't make mother Eve out of the dust of the ground. He made mother Eve from Adam.
And now those two united and became one — but not one person — one family. God is one — but not one person. God is two persons - God and the Word, but God is one family — because God is a family and not a person. And God is a family that's composed of — it starts with now two persons. But God made man so that man could be begotten of Him, and if God's Spirit entered into man with that spirit, just like the woman combined with the man to make the man whole and complete so he could reproduce and have children, now man could be reproduced and become God — if the Spirit of God came into him, and that would be the mind of God and some of the powers of God. The power of God's love, of God's faith, of God's power, and many of the great attributes of God.
Now the other tree was the knowledge of good and evil. And Adam had been made with this one human spirit so he could have attitude and performances of good, as well as evil. Now perhaps the highest good that could come to the man was mother love — which the mother could have. But I wonder if you ever stop to think that even mother love is selfish, because the child came out of that mother. It's her's and she loves that child, but she doesn't love other children as much as she loves that child. Now the love of God is greater love. God even loves His enemies. God's love is a greater love than that — a much higher level of love. So man has spirit, but it is a still lower level of spirit than angels have. Adam deliberately made the wrong choice, and so then God shut up the Tree of Life so that man could not receive the Holy Spirit, and man was cut off from God - absolutely cut off!
Now remember that God is a family and composed of the one we call God as the Father, and the one we call Jesus Christ. Man was cut off from the one we call God the Father because He is the Lawgiver. And when Adam sinned, he broke God's law and disobeyed God, and that cut him off from God, and put a great wall between him and God. And there's only one way that man could be reconciled back to God, and that was to... what would God have planned to come forth a thousand years later — that would be Christ — who would come as a human being, and then die for the man, to pay the penalty of his sin in his stead. And then man could be reconciled back to God. But what God did, He shut off salvation, He shut off eternal life from ALL human beings right then and there UNTIL Jesus Christ, the second Adam, would come, and Christ would be born as a human being, and He would be born of the Holy Spirit. He would have the Spirit of God from birth, which Adam could have, but didn't have! And Christ came as the second Adam to do what the first Adam could have done but didn't. Now at the very time that Adam made that decision, he cut himself off from God. He obeyed Satan the devil, and he sold out to Satan. Satan had him kidnapped — him and his children, and his family. And man was going to reproduce, but he would live so long and then die, and that's what human beings have been doing now for 6,000 years. They live a little while and they die.
I've been visiting some of my relatives up here, some of them are already dead and others are going to die pretty soon. Yes we all come and we go. We only live so long. When I say I've lived 92 years and I'm in my 93rd year, I know that I'm only living by the grace of God from now on. And I had total heart failure 7 years ago, and I have to watch my heart because it could just snap any second and that will be the end of me. So I have to be very, very, careful! And that's the kind of life we have.
Now men went on — at that time God decreed that the Logos, who became Christ or the Word, would be born of the human flesh and become a human. But He would not have a human father. He would only have a human mother who would come from Adam and Eve, but He would have the Spirit of God from birth. And He would be able, if He would try hard enough, to live without sin. Now He was tempted in all points to sin; so He could have sinned, and the only reason is that He just made up His mind that He would NOT — and He never [Tape here unclear]. At the same time it was appointed then — at that time — that all human beings would die.
"...it was appointed [for men] once to die, and after that the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Now you'll read that in Hebrews 9, verse 27.
And then again in I Corinthians 15, and verse 22, 23 and so on, you read that ..."as in Adam all die..." (I Corinthians 15:22) Because of Adams sin, and because of our sin, EVERYBODY that had ever lived have been dying! There's nobody alive today that's 150 years old. So, just say that everybody under 150 years old is already dead — because there's nobody that old on earth — everybody else is come and gone! And so, God had deferred judgment.
Now Adam and Eve had a son — his name was Cain. They had another son, his name was Abel, and they had a third son, his name was Seth. Cain was not good. He turned to evil, and even though God warned him and spoke to him, he still rose up and killed his brother Abel. He was a murderer, and then he lied to God about it and said he didn't know where Abel was though he'd just killed him. But God had said that He would send His own son to pay the penalty that Cain had brought on himself. And since the Bible tells us that ALL had sinned, we know that Abel sinned and Seth sinned. They all sinned — and all of their children sinned. And so God was not judging them until after the second Adam, Jesus Christ, should come and live a perfect life and never sin Himself, — and pay the penalty. And so there will be a resurrection of all who have ever died in Adam, they will be resurrected in Christ, and then will come the judgment. Now that goes on up to now, and most of the world is STILL CUT OFF FROM GOD right to this day. That's why your neighbors can't see the truth that you see!
Now we come to the time — a civilization in the meantime has been built. We come for a little while when humanity turned to evil so much that God had everybody drowned on earth except Noah and his family. There were eight of them — Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives — eight people, and everybody on earth has come from them. We're all descended from Noah as well as from Adam, and all of them are going to be resurrected someday. God didn't judge them. They're not judged yet!
And then it wasn't very long until there came a man named Nimrod — just two generations and he started the first city. He started to build a city, and they started a civilization — a manmade civilization, not God's type of civilization — a kind that was influenced by Satan the Devil. So he created the first city Babylon, and then Nineveh, and Accad, and Calneh, and the other cities. And then later, I think it was eight or nine generations from the time of the flood, there was a man born whose name was Abraham — but first he was called Abram. But he was willing to walk with God. And God said, "IF you will obey me and walk with me, then I'm going to give you some great promises."
And Abraham did it. And 430 years after that, Abraham's descendants and the children that had been born from Abraham now, were somewhere around two and a half to four million people. And they were slaves in the land of Egypt, and God pulled them out of there and made them a nation on this earth — and there were other nations by that time instead of just cities — cities had become nations.
And so then later, God made a covenant with Israel and the God who did it was the Eternal — the one who became Christ — not God the Father. And they never knew about God the Father. They were cut off from Him and they never knew that He existed — that there was any God the Father. They never knew that! A lot of people don't know the difference yet today. Most people, you might say, don't. Too many think of God as one person, or they think of God as a trinity. They've got all kinds of ideas. They don't know who and what God is like. They don't know really what man is, and why God created him and put him on the earth. They wonder if there's any purpose back of human life — they don't know those things. It's just a case of ignorance because men turned from God, and they have been blinded.
So now, the nation Israel received God's laws because the One who was to become Christ was the God they knew and He married them, but they were an unfaithful wife. They committed adultery with other nations on the earth instead of God, and instead of God's government, they wanted the human government with other nations. And so, God finally drove Israel out — they were divided into two nations, Israel and Judah - and then over a hundred years after that, He drove out Judah into Babylon. And by that time, King Nebuchadnezzar had risen up and had organized the nations into one great world empire; and the first world empire in human government now. Remember Satan's still on the throne of the earth — but now here's a human government — but Satan is influencing the human government. And it's ALL based on get! It's ALL based on the opposite of love! It's not based on God's principle at all! It's not God's kind of government. The basic law is: take what you can take - competition, and strife, and get — lust and greed. That seems to be human nature today.
Now God sent one of his prophets Daniel to talk to Nebuchadnezzar. He had already taken the last of the tribes of Israel into captivity, and now even Nebuchadnezzar could have been God's king in God's kingdom if Nebuchadnezzar would have turned to God - he didn't! He just recognized that God exists, but he never would submit to God or obey him. And so that system of government is going on to this day. It finally came from the Chaldean empire of Nebuchadnezzar into the Persian Empire, and then the Greco-Macedonian Empire, and then the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was ruling when God sent Jesus to be born of the virgin Mary. And it was the Roman soldiers who killed Jesus. And of course Satan is the one who influenced it all, but God allowed all this, because it was all in God's plan that Jesus should pay the death penalty for all of us who have sinned.
Now when Jesus came, He was the second Adam and He had NEVER sinned! The first Adam had, but Jesus NEVER did!
And Jesus said, "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH!" That I think is in Matthew sixteen and verse eighteen. He didn't say churches — He said church. He didn't say the Methodists, and the Episcopalian and the Baptists, and the Congregational, and the Presbyterian, and the Roman Catholic, and all of these different churches. It will be God's church, and it will be called the Church of God. And so Jesus called out of this world twelve disciples — which mean students — that He would teach, and He was the teacher.
Now the word 'church' comes from the Greek word 'ecclesia'. All the New Testament was written in the Greek language, and when it says, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18), well that's only English. This is translated out of the way it was written originally — it was in the Greek language and instead of 'church' it said 'ecclesia'. Well, 'ecclesia' means 'called-out ones'. Now here was the world Satan was ruling, and God called some people out of this world — and Satan's still on that throne remember, and he's ruling the nations of this world and they're all part of Satan's government, and the government of God is not been enforced or in effect. And Christ came to obey God and Satan wanted to kill Him while He was a little baby and Satan tried to kill Him again when He was 30 years old, but Christ resisted him. And then Jesus said "I will build my church," and He called people out of Satan's kingdom here — the human kingdom - though it, at that time was dominated by the Roman Empire government. And they would come under the government of God, and the laws of God, and obey God's commandments and God's commandments are the law that is the basis of God's kind of government. It's all the matter of government!
Then, Jesus also said, "No one can come to me — that is come into the church — except the Father [God] draws him." (John 6:44 paraphrased)
Now no one ever heard about God. They only knew the one who had been the Word and now was made flesh. And Jesus for the first time revealed the personage of God. Oh, Israel and the Jewish people never heard about God, and the Jewish people to this day don't know about God. They talk about God, but to them they mean by God — the one who became Jesus Christ. But the one who was still God the Father they don't know, and they never did know. They don't know to this day. Oh this world is so mixed up!
Jesus taught His disciples and when He had done that — He had lived a perfect life — He gave his life to pay the penalty of human sin. So now others could come and receive the Spirit of God because their sins had been paid, and they had been reconciled to God the Father and the Holy Spirit has come from God the Father. Of course it's the same Spirit that emanates from Christ but it's God the Father we were cut off from, and we had to be reconciled back to God the Father to receive the Holy Spirit.
And so the church was finally started ten days after Jesus ascended up to heaven. And the church had what Jesus had taught the apostles — the disciples that he taught now became apostles. And of course the government began to fight them, and most all of them were martyred and put to death because people hate God, and they represented God, and the world hated them. The world hates me today. I represent God, and the world hates God! The world is in Satan's world and they are the children of Satan the devil. They don't know it — they're deceived — they don't realize it. If they knew the whole truth and really realize it, they wouldn't remain Satan's children. But they don't, and you can't open their minds; you can't prise them open so they'll understand. They can't understand and they don't understand — they aren't able to understand. God isn't calling everybody. He's only calling a few that are the first fruits to be taught and called out of Satan's world, and that is going to go on till the second coming of Christ. But Christ qualified to replace Lucifer on the throne and to take over that throne. And in the meantime, Christ went to heaven to be coroneted up there and crowned, and then to come back and to take over the throne.
Now the early church had the truth that Christ taught them. But very soon they began to lose a lot of that truth, and the church was terribly persecuted. And even in the first well — twenty or thirty years of the church, there was a great controversy — should the gospel that is to be preached be a gospel ABOUT Christ, or the gospel of Christ. Now the gospel of Christ is the gospel Christ preached. Gospel means good news; gospel means a message — and it's the message that God the Father sent to the earth by Jesus Christ. And that message was the kingdom of God or the GOVERNMENT of God — the government of God in the hands of God, and the children of God — the FAMILY of God. And the world knows nothing of it! Brethren I am giving you things that the people of the world DO NOT KNOW! THEY'RE IN DARKNESS AND IGNORANCE AND THEY DON'T KNOW! I want to come to, now if I can, on how God opened my mind, and how in turn He has opened your mind to this WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL truth. And most people can't know — they don't know and the time hasn't come yet - THEY WILL KNOW — their time is coming!
You see it was appointed for all men once to die and after that the judgment. It's going to be a time of judgment over a thousand years away yet. The last day after the Feast of Tabernacles we observe that time. There's going to be a great resurrection, and everybody who ever lived will come back to life now, are all going to learn the truth, and you'll find that God is going to save a very great portion of all the people who ever lived — at last!
I must not strain my voice as much or I'll be hoarse.
Anyway, persecution set in and there was a hundred year period when all historic records of what went on within the church were lost, and they have all been destroyed, and we don't have any records. But we know that a hundred years later when the curtain of history finally opens up again, we find the church calling itself Christian. They believe in Christ, but they don't have Christ's message, and they're preaching only a gospel about Jesus. They preach that Jesus died for us and that's all! But, they don't teach anything about God the Father; they don't teach about the kingdom of God; they don't teach about the government of God; they don't teach about God's way of life; they don't teach about the fact that we are mortal; they teach that we are immortal and going to go to heaven when we die, or hell if we sin, and they twisted the truth all around.
Now the true church did exist. In the second and third chapters of Revelation, Jesus Christ gave a sort of a pre-history in advance of seven epochs, or seven eras of the church; different stages one after another that would happen. And we are the sixth of those seven stages. The last one won't last but a matter of a year or two when it finally comes — we're that near the end now — we're very close to the end. The whole thing may end within the next six or seven years now. We're getting very close to it. Now I don't say it will end that quick. I just say it could. So don't someone say Mr. Armstrong said that everything's going to end and the second coming of Christ will be six or seven years. I didn't say that.
In the meantime, the church lost much of the truth that the earlier apostles had, but it's all recorded in the Bible. It's somewhere in the Bible — so much of it is in the writings of the apostle Paul; some of it is in Peter, and James and Jude, and John, and then in the book of Revelations. Now among the prophecies, we find a prophecy in Malachi — last book in the Old Testament — the third chapter of Malachi, the first five verses. Near the end before the second coming of Christ, that God would raise up a messenger who would prepare the way for the second coming of Christ. Now you have to read all five verses, or you'll think that it's talking about a messenger to prepare the way before His first coming, and a lot of people think that was John the Baptist. Now John the Baptist was a type of the messenger that it's talking about in the third chapter of Malachi. In the fourth chapter of Malachi, the last two verses, it speaks about this messenger under the name of Elijah. Now it would not be the original Elijah, but of one coming in the power and spirit of Elijah doing a similar work, but turning the hearts of the children to the parents, and to the parents back to the children. Otherwise, God would come and smite the earth with total destruction. It says the curse there, but you'll find the word curse is from a Hebrew word that means complete total destruction.
Now we find that John the Baptist did come — and in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they all talked of John the Baptist in the sense of having been Elijah who was to come. Someone in one place asked John the Baptist, "Are you Elijah?" He said, "No I am not," and he was not. At one time Jesus said that he was one that would come in the power and spirit of Elijah, but was a different person. And he prepared the way for the first coming of Christ, and he was the voice in the physical wilderness of the Jordan River crying out, preparing the way for the physical Jesus to come as a human being, to a human people, and to a material temple built of stone, and wood, and other metal - but, only as a type of one that would come before the second coming of Christ preparing the way for the great SPIRIT Jesus to come in all the POWER and GLORY of GOD, to RULE the whole world and all nations, and coming to His SPIRIT-BORN church that will be raised and meet Him in the air when He comes. The dead in Christ will rise first, and those remaining who have His Spirit will be caught up with Him in the air — changed to immortality — that is the temple He's coming to. The first coming, He came only to announce about the kingdom of God. The second coming, He's coming to establish the kingdom of God, and to reign and to rule in the kingdom of God — and someone was to come.
Now in the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, you will read about Elijah. And beginning with the first verse, you read of the transfiguration where Jesus took two, or three, or four of the disciples, and they saw in a vision, in the transfiguration, the kingdom of God, and in this vision they saw Moses, and Elijah and Jesus all there in the kingdom of God — looking way ahead of their time and seeing the kingdom of God as it will be — about two thousand years after they thought. So they got to talking about Elijah, and I don't remember the verse now, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th verse, somewhere along there. They talked to him about Elijah. They said, "Well, why do the scribes say that Elijah will first come before your second coming?" (Matthew 17:10 paraphrased) and Jesus had talked about His coming back with a kingdom. And they said, "Why did...?"
Now at that time when they said that, John the Baptist had already come. He had been taken a prisoner, and had been killed, and his head had been cut off. Elijah truly shall come — even though John the Baptist had already come, and his mission had been fulfilled and he had been killed. Elijah shall come and restore ALL things! Then the next verse He went on to say..."but Elijah had already come in John the Baptist, and people killed him. They did what they wanted to with him." (Matthew 17:12-13 paraphrased) Elijah shall come and restore all things.
Now, John the Baptist didn't restore ANYTHING! What did John the Baptist restore? You can't tell me because he didn't restore anything. But someone was to come before the second coming of Christ and RESTORE THINGS INTO THE CHURCH! What's been taken away? Jesus is going to come at the second coming — and this is just before His second coming. When Jesus comes at His second coming, He's coming — as you read in the third chapter of the book of Acts in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first verses — He's coming at the time of restitution of all things, and restitution means restoring to a former state or condition — restoring something that had been taken away. What's He going to restore? JESUS IS COMING TO RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT — THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON THE EARTH! Lucifer and the archangels hid it away. And the government of God has never been on the earth, and Christ is coming to restore THAT GOVERNMENT! Then what was it — one come in the power and Spirit of Elijah to prepare the way BEFORE the coming of Christ — what was he to restore? It had to do with restoring government. Now what does that have to do with me? What does that have to do with you? I may hold you a little longer this afternoon. If I had notes, I'd have an outline holding right me right on the beam, and I wouldn't wander a few — a little bit — and I'll get through on time. I can't see enough to know what my time is, but I believe it's a quarter after something. I can't tell. Anyhow, I'm going to keep on talking. You've come a long ways and I want you to hear this. It's been quite a while since I've been able to talk to you personally up here.
I want to tell you a few things about my own life. Now some of this you've read in my autobiography, and some of it you haven't. And some of you read the autobiography a long time ago and you've forgotten most of it anyhow by now. I need to say that — give you a little history — leading up to why you are here today, and why I am here. I find that I can trace my ancestry back every generation to King David, and I am of the house of David. I am a direct descendant of King David of Israel. I am also a direct descendant from Edward I of England. And my fore parents came to the United States from England with William Penn a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence — that's a hundred years before there was a United States of America — and have been in this country ever since. They were Quakers, and William Penn was a Quaker, and Philadelphia, or rather Pennsylvania, was the Quaker state. It has a very famous oil that you may have used in your car, and there is no better oil — called Quaker state oil — and my family were Quakers as far back as I know.
Now they told me that I had a birthright membership in the Quaker church. I get that — my parents were in the Quaker church when I was born. Now let me just explain they're not some way off cult kind of a church. They're just like the Methodist or Baptist church as far as I know. And anyway, I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. I was taken to church, and up to the time I was 18 years of age but I never knew what the church believed. I never paid much attention — and of course they don't baptize; I was never baptized or anything. I never knew what the church's teaching really was anyway. And my parents were good upright people — and all of that — and my father was the bass in the male quartet. He had a bass voice that goes clear down to low C and fill any auditorium without a microphone. I don't know anyone on earth that can do that today — and there's no basses left anymore. We have some great tenors, you've just heard one this afternoon. We have another one over in Big Sandy. I'd like to get those two gentlemen together. We have two really great tenors in the church. The one in Big Sandy is the former member of the San Francisco Opera Company. So this little old Church of God — God has blessed us with some talent after all — you'd better realize that. This is where the real character, the real quality is.
Well, some of the Armstrong family moved into Ohio. Later, they moved into Indiana — my father was born in Indiana. They moved into Iowa, and I was born in Iowa — Des Moines, Iowa. We moved out here to the west coast, I came out here in 1924. Now when I... up to the time I was 16, I think about the only thing that occupied my life and my mind was just a little three letter word F-U-N. I think I was just an average boy, and an average boy up to age 16 doesn't have any worries on his mind — or anything — no responsibility — just fun. Just enjoy life. When I was 16, I had my first job away from home in my life — in a neighboring town. The man I worked for would put his arm on my shoulder and tell me my work was fine; I was doing so well, and he said, "Herbert, you're going to make your mark in the world. You're going to be a great success". But he said, "You're going to have to work hard to accomplish it because success doesn't ever come easily; but I can see you're going to be a great success."
You know what — he said that so often I got to believing it and I got to realizing that ambition was not only a desire, but also a realization of the effort it would take to accomplish that desire — and I had both. I was fired with ambition, and while I was yet in high school I began to go to the public library, and go into other studies besides my high school work. I was studying philosophy of the ancient philosophers. I was studying books on business administration and things of that sort. When I was 18 years of age, I found a book in the public library; it was titled 'Choosing a Vocation'. The idea was that every young man should not just drift aimlessly into whatever job came along. He should analyze himself and know where did he fit, and avoid fitting the proverbial square peg into the round hole, and know where he would succeed. And this book — I took it from the library and studied it — and it took me through a course of self-analysis — to analyze all of the things that I like, and the things that I did not like to do; of any possible abilities or talents — if any — and also of faults and weaknesses, so that I could avoid the kind of profession or occupation where my faults and weaknesses would hold me back, but take advantage of those where I had strengths. I decided after this — then if it took me through an analysis of all the various kinds of jobs, of vocations, occupations, and professions to see where I would fit. And it seemed to me that I fit in the advertising profession.
Now my father's younger brother, Frank Armstrong, was the leading advertising man in the state of Iowa. Advertising in those days meant only newspapers and magazines advertising. No one ever heard of radio yet or television. And no one ever heard of television till after World War II. But, I was in training by reading ads in magazines and newspapers, and I wanted to learn how to write that kind of ad, and write them effectively. So I went to my uncle for advice, and he steered me, and I realized I had to work hard.
He said, "Now," he said, "There's no college, nor university that has a course worth going to in advertising or merchandising." He said, "The only reason why you need a college education is because the average young man will not study if he doesn't have someone assigning the lessons, and with some kind of a force over him to make him study." Now in a college or university, lessons are assigned, and there's a system of penalties and rewards in the form of grades. And penalties you can flunk and be in disgrace, and rewards you advance and all that, and then you get somewhere if you're trained in some special technology or something like that.
But he said, "If you would apply yourself, and if you will study and don't have to have someone prod you on, you can get just as good an education outside of school as you can in."
A lot of people think that education is something like buying a loaf of bread from the grocery store — you go in and order a loaf of bread, and you drop, put down your money, and you pick up the bread, and you walk out with it. So you go into a college, you put down the money, and you walk out — you got a lot of education up in your mind — it doesn't come like that you know. And my uncle says that education doesn't consist of just tracing over a door sill, or college classroom or sitting in an arm chair. But he says that it consists of study, and of books, and of travel, and of rubbing shoulders with other people, and of human dealing, and of thinking, and a lot of things like that.
I was ambitious. I said I would apply myself and I did — and I spent my evenings studying. I went over to the newspaper where he told me to go to work, and they didn't need any help, and I had to convince them that they did need the help. I got the job! I sold myself — I didn't just say, "...you don't need no help do you?" ...and walk out. I convinced them that they needed it — my kind of help. Then I got onto a national magazine. I was writing national magazine articles before I was twenty-three. I was the idea man travelling all over the United States getting editorial material for a national magazine. Then I had an offer from Chicago for seven years representing a whole string of magazines. By the time I was twenty-eight I was making what today would be, at least a third of a million dollars a year. The flash depression in 1920 took every bit of that away.
I was married at twenty-five years of age to an Iowa school teacher. The girl was like a diamond in the rough. She was a real diamond! She didn't have all of the dressing and the ornamentation around the diamond. In other words, she hated city culture because she's been a country school teacher out in the country. I said to her, "I can buy all of the setting that you need to embellish the diamond if you need more culture or that sort of thing, but I don't think you need it. It's the diamond I'm interested in not just a lot of peach stuff around it."
And I married a diamond believe me. And she is the one that helped me in raising up all these churches and everything that is come down to all of us here today. Well I was married when I was twenty-five, and it was just a few days after we were married, my wife had a — I guess you could call it a dream, but it was more like a vision. It was a dream like she had never had in her life before. It was so real! And she saw something up in the sky. She was out in the residential Cross Creek in Chicago and everybody was attracted. Everybody saw the great crowd was gathering. And then she thought it was the second coming of Christ and it looked like great giant white bird fluttering; and finally there was one that was coming on down and she finally saw that it was an angel, and for a minute, she thought it was the second coming of Christ. She began to worry about me because she said, "Herbert isn't saved and maybe he's going to miss out!"
I was interested in business but see, I dropped out of church when I was eighteen, and now I was twenty-five, and this angel in her dream — now it was just her vision/dream — he came down and put his arm around her and me and said that he came to announce that God had need of me. She said, "What about this, was this the second coming of Christ?" and he said, "No but it's comparatively soon and there's work for you to do before He comes".
And I was going to movies a great deal and my wife asked him, "Well, is it wrong for Herbert to go to movies so much?" And he said, "Herbert is not going to have enough time to go to movies from now on."
And in the morning, she told me the dream and I was embarrassed. If there was anything I didn't want to do it was to get to be a minister or anything to serve God and I was into business. I was making money very good at that time. I didn't get married until I was able to support a wife and young men today aren't like that.
So I said, "Well there's a church right down the corner." I said, "Why don't you find who the minister is of that church and go to him and tell him about your vision or your dream and if there was anything to it. Maybe he'll tell you what it means."
I wanted to get it out of my mind, get away from it as quick as I could and I got back to business. Now I have reason to believe since that dream was real — that God was calling me. But like Jonah, I wanted to run away from the call. I didn't want it. So God let me go on and get a little more experience, and the experience I was getting in those years was what I have needed to build the work of God these last 50 years. And finally in 1920 when I was eighteen — no wait a minute — twenty-eight I mean, there was a crash depression. The greatest depression the past living generation had ever known, but it only lasted a short time — less than a year — but it was great while it lasted. You don't hear much about it anymore now, but it was terrific at that time. Now my clients were some of the largest manufacturing corporations in the Middle West. Goodyear Tyre and Rubber company, the J.I. Case Plough Works, the Moline Plough Works — let me see if I can think of the others — other corporations like that — several of them, and every one of them went into receivership, and they had to cancel out all advertising and it just took away everything I had coming.
Later, in 1924 we flew out to Oregon. I had been making surveys for newspapers. I made one for the Vancouver Colombian right here in Vancouver, Washington. They wanted to hire me. I said, "Well I would work for six months if they wanted me to."
But I said, "I don't think you can afford to hire me." Well, the owner of the paper at that time said, "Well I think we can. How much is it going to cost me?"
When I told him, it was a third of the whole payroll of the paper. But they paid it and we lived here in Vancouver for six months. Now I developed advertising to the local Vancouver laundry at that time, and his business doubled by my advertising. So I started a laundry advertising service, and finally I got laundries all the way from Eugene Oregon, clear up to North to the Canadian border, and over across Washington all the way East, Walla Walla, Spokane, Wenatchee, everything. And then the National Association went in for a national campaign and just wiped that all out! And it left me without anything, and for the first time in my life, I was cleared down and out.
And then it was in the autumn of 1926. We were visiting my parents — we were living in Portland at that time — on Crickadet St. We were visiting my parents in Salem, and my wife was visiting a neighbor lady. The neighbor lady opened up the Bible to her and asked her to read a verse and she read it. She had her read another one aloud, and another one, and another one. Then my wife saw that it said she had been keeping the wrong day, and I told you about that didn't I — at the beginning. She came over to announce to me and thought I'd be overjoyed, and instead, I thought it was the worst blow I'd ever had hit me in my life because I was in love with my wife. And I found she was more loyal to God than she was to me, though no wife could ever been more loyal to her husband than she was to me — but there was one wife that was even MORE loyal to God. Now we've had in this work a number of men that had left the church in high positions. And in every case their wives went right with them, but my wife would never have done that. My wife put God first! She loved her children, and no mother ever loved children more than she did. But she would put God first, and she did when she had to.
Well, I told her, I said, "Well you've just been misled." I said, "The Bible said thou shall observe Sunday."
"Well," she said, "How do you know? Did you ever see it there?"
"Well," I said, "No, I don't know anything about the Bible."
"Well," she said, "How do you know then?"
I said, "Because all the churches observe Sunday and they get their religion out the Bible don't they?"
She said, "Well do they?"
I said, "Well sure, everybody knows that!"
She said, "How do they know? Why don't you look into the Bible and see for yourself." She said, "Look, you look into the Bible, and once you find that it does say observe Sunday, then I'll go back to it. You don't have to worry. I'm going to do what the Bible says."
Now at the same time I was challenged on the doctrine of evolution. I had never gone into an in depth study of evolution, but I had followed it quite a little in the newspaper, and I didn't believe in it. And then I was challenged by a sister-in-law who had just come out of college. Said I was downright ignorant and anyone that does not believe in evolution is an ignoramus — hasn't got any education at all. She said, "You're just an old ignoramus Herbert."
I couldn't take that! I was too proud in those days. That's another thing I had to get rid of when I was converted. I was cocky and conceited. I had been quite successful in business. I had to be humbled and had all of that taken out of me. Well, I said, "First I'm going to make you swallow those words if you're right — if I'm right and you're wrong and I'm sure you are!"
Well, I did have that satisfaction. I made her swallow those words later too. But I began studying evolution first. So, I read up on the works of Darwin, and Huxley, and Haeckel, and Chamberlain, and Vogt, and other modern evolutionists. And, for a while my head was swimming, and I said, "Well now wait a minute, this is true — there isn't any God."
This is only the explanation of how a creation came to be without any Creator — without any mind, or any planning, or any design of any kind. And I went into it and finally I disproved evolution, and I made some people who had doctor's degree in — Oh, what kind of thing is the science, I want to say — biology and sciences of that sort — ADMIT. I wrote some things that made them ADMIT that I had proved evolution was a false theory. But they said they still were going to go on believing it because they believed it all their lives and they wouldn't know how to live without it. And, I began to think well, how do I know that God exists? Now I had just accepted that much by going to church ever since I was a child. But I said that I never proved any existence of God. How do I know? Maybe I was misled about God. I began to study further and I read in the Bible in Romans 6:23 "the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)
I said now WAIT a minute, that can't be right. The wages of sin is what you get paid for the work you do in this world, the work you do with sin. The wages you get paid is eternal life but it's spent in hell fire. I said that I know that much. That's about all I knew. I knew that if you were good, you would go to heaven for all eternity; but otherwise, you're an immortal soul and you'll go to hell for eternity. And then I was more surprised at the last half of the same verse. It says, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Well, I already have eternal life, why do I need it as a gift? And then I looked up in the concordance, and I saw that the Bible said - twice — the soul that sins it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20)! And that God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and the dust of the ground became a soul, and God said to that soul you will die if you take of that wrong fruit — and he did die. And then I looked up this going to heaven; and I saw where Jesus said, no man has ever gone to heaven (John 3:13). And then I saw in one of the Psalms where the wicked shall not inhabit, but the righteous shall INHERIT the earth and DWELL THEREIN FOREVER in the earth (Psalm 37). I said well that's just the opposite of what the church teaches.
I began to see that the churches did not teach what the Bible says, but just the opposite. I began to come across other truths that opened my eyes I had never seen before. I found the truth about the Sabbath. I found where Jesus said that the Sabbath was — man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man and therefore Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath. And so the Sabbath is the Lord's day, and the churches said Sunday is the Lord 's Day. But in Mark, I think it's the second chapter and thirty-first verse, that the Sabbath is the day of the Lord - the Lord's day. (Mark 2:28)
I looked back into Genesis and I found that too. Then I began to find all the way through the Bible that God made the Sabbath holy time and told us to keep it holy. And to make a long story short, I found evolution was not true, and found that God was true, and I had to eat crow. And I found that I had to turn over to keep the Sabbath with my wife.
Now in the meantime, a minister down in Florida had written me of a certain book, that showed promises made to Abraham that showed that the people of the United States were one of the so called lost ten tribes of Israel. And he said I was completely ignorant if I didn't understand that, and I did not understand any prophecy of the Bible or understand the Bible without that knowledge. Well that really got me! So I had to research that. I got that book and I got others and I researched that. That's when I looked back at that time about 192_... let's see... 1927. I wrote the first edition of the book, 'United States in Prophecy'. And, now I had some mistakes in it at first and they have been corrected, but it's still the leading booklet that we've sent out and over 3.5 million people have requested that booklet now.
Well to make a long story short, God was opening my mind and I began to find the truth. And when I saw the Sabbath, I'd just about accepted it and I came across Colossians 2:14;15 and 16. Then I said, "WAIT a minute!" I read what the Seventh Day Adventist said about it and I said, "No" I said, "...that's just like these annual Sabbaths - they're all done away."
And my wife couldn't sleep all night. She was awake and praying all night; and in the morning she said if I go to the library and look at the original Greek words, I'd find there was a mistake in the translation somewhere and it didn't do away with those days at all! I did, and I found the days are not done away with, rather, we had to keep the annual Sabbaths as well as the weekly Sabbath. And that's when I first saw that we have to keep God's Holy days the same as the Sabbath back then. And that is what caused me to accept the Sabbath. And then I had to decide whether to be baptized because the Quakers didn't believe in baptizing. So I called through the Church of God a minister, and he was insulting. I talked to an Adventist minister and he was legalistic. I talked to a Baptist minister and he was very nice. I talked to a Quaker minister and I convinced him he was wrong and he finally had to admit it — that we should be baptized — and so I was finally baptized in the spring of 1927.
I became so much in love with the Bible and with this truth, and to find this truth, it was so wonderful that I have never stopped. And I would study it day and night often — at 1 or 1:30 in the morning. My wife would call out and say, "Herbert, aren't you ever coming to bed?" She'd been sleeping. She'd wake up and wonder what had happened to me. I would study up into the wee hours of the morning, and then I had to be up and down at the library by nine o'clock to study further.
And God began to open my mind to the truth, and He had brought me down. And before all of this, He had brought me to the place where I knew what it was to go hungry after I had made a third of a million dollars a year. I'd gone to the top and now I had hit the bottom. And I had very righteous shoes — only one pair — but they were certainly righteous. They had 'holy soles!' I had a suit though for every day of the week. The one I was wearing was it — and it was thread bare, and I needed another one. Yeah I can laugh at those things now, but it wasn't fun at the time.
So, here I found the church — the Church of God. I never heard about the Church of God before. And here were people — and about the only truth that they had left, was the Sabbath day and the name of the church — Church of God — and they did believe in tithing. The Sabbath is holy to God, and the tithe is holy to God. So they believed in the whole thing holy to God and they had the truth about unclean meats. Well, I said that's more or less physical, but nevertheless it's Bible truth — something we ought to follow. It's physical but not spiritual, but you should still obey God and we'll do it. Finally I was converted. So I began to go with the Church of God people because they came the nearest to the truth than anyone that I knew. Then I wondered, where is the true church? I said God only started one church, and all these churches are not God's church because they believe just the opposite of what God says in the Bible. And the farther I went, the more I saw that the churches are wrong. I finally learned the difference between God Himself that we call God the Father, and Jesus Christ, and the churches don't realize that difference — they really don't. They don't think much about God the Father. They talk about Him a little once in a while but they have no personal perception at all. So I kept studying.
One time my wife was very ill — several things, several complications — she would not live another twenty-four hours. A neighbor lady had some people come and anoint her, and pray for her, and she was healed instantly. Then I began to study about healing, and I learned a lot of things about how God heals the sick. Little by little things changed. I began to have faith where I could pray for people even before I learned how to pray aloud, and they were healed when they were sick — even of cancer, of leukemia — and so I was going with the people of the Church of God. The ministers hated me, and the brethren — or the people — the members all loved me — that's fine. But the ministers had to accept me gradually. It came after a couple of years I began to speak once in a while, but they called me the tail end preacher. I was the tail ender, that's where I had to start, and the preachers didn't like me in the Church of God. The brethren loved me — isn't that funny. But wherever I went there was fruit born and were people converted. Wherever they went there was no result whatsoever. That's another thing I couldn't understand quite.
Finally the meeting was held down in Eugene. That church was raised up. There was a church down in the Willamette Valley not far from Jefferson, Scravel Hill, and finally I began to preach there. I held meetings just outside of Eugene in a country school house and raised up a church of nineteen members. So finally we had moved down there and I preached there on the Sabbath morning and preached up in Jefferson in the afternoon. I continued preaching at Jefferson for quite a while. I held those meetings in 1933, and in 1934 — first Sunday in 1934 — we went on radio on KORE Eugene and that started the broadcasting. February that year, the 'Plain Truth' came out on just a mimeograph sheet. Today, the 'Plain Truth', one of the great magazines of the world — over seven million going toward eight million in circulation right now.
The radio work grew and grew gradually, and finally I was on every day on Mexican stations. The church began to grow — more and more people came in. I was on the air every day and I realized we had to have a college to have an educated ministry. There was no money to start a college. I used to come up to Portland and preach on Sundays and we got on KWJJ. And finally I would come up here for Sunday and stay here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and make transcriptions at that time — we had to make electrical transcriptions which were just like a phonograph record only longer — stopped there and it only would play a few times and would be worn out. It's good for the first few times. You could get fifteen minutes on each record. That full half hour program took two records. But I had to come up to have the records cut in Portland. I began to realize that I had to go to Hollywood to have the records done, and I needed a college. I didn't want to start it in Hollywood, I didn't want to start it in Los Angeles. Los Angeles, I regarded, was the home of all crackpot religions, and I didn't like it but I had seen Pasadena, and I did like it — it was a nice city and it wasn't quite like it is today then. Not much of an industrial city, but it was a very nice city of nice homes and nice people, and it wasn't like Hollywood or Los Angeles. We started the college in 1947 and the work began to grow, and we began to train ministers. So we began to send ministers up this way, and we sent them to other parts of the world, and we got them on the air and more and more stations all over the country. And finally, we were broadcasting every day, and the church began to take off and grow rather rapidly. And so here we are today.
Well, now I couldn't bring any notes. I may have overlooked a lot of things. I just came up here to start talking right out of my head, and I have. I don't know how the time is, but I think I'm over time. If I can see it right I think it's about eight minutes until four — is that right? And so anyway, I'm going to break off here. I'm not going to tire you out. I'm getting a little tired myself so I must be tiring you. But I'm going to stay on this firing line as long as God gives me the breath to do it. And I certainly appreciate your prayers, your help, in every way, and we're not going to have much longer now. We have a song we've used in the Young Ambassador film "It Won't Be Long Now" — It won't be long now. I tell you, the recent in the world news, the most important thing, is the economic collapse, and the economic situation which is worldwide. You're not hearing too much about it. They're trying to quieten it down in the United States right now until after the election. But I was in London the time they were having the world economic summit conference, and I just met because of the trouble with the airplane — I missed one day of having the talk with the President of France — but I did have a good meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan while I was there. I already knew him anyway, and I expect to have a private dinner with him in Tokyo in November right after the Feast. And I find that this economic situation is very, very serious! American banks have loaned money to smaller developing countries, and they are unable to pay, and it can lead to forcing the countries of Europe to unite and restore the ancient Roman Empire — just as it's prophesied and as I have been preaching for the last 50 years. It's going to be restored, and then our work will be over because that will trigger the Great Tribulation — it'll be coming very quickly, and things can happen very rapidly any time now.
Now it may not happen right away. It may happen very suddenly after the election in early November. I'll be gone over in Asia and Southeast Asia through the month of November. I have meetings scheduled with the three top men in power in the republic of the Peoples Republic of China — communist China. And I expect some great things to come out of that meeting and that I can't tell you right now; but (word unclear) there, looking for me — expecting me — and they're going to allow my plane to be flown in there — which is a very exceptional thing — they don't usually allow that sort of thing. And not only that — I not only can go to Beijing the capital, the city they used to call Peking, but also to Shanghai. And in order to go to Shanghai, they're going to have to send two government jets along with me, but I get to go in my own airplane, and there's some children there that I want to see. They call themselves my grandchildren.
They're the first children the Chinese government ever let leave China, and they came to perform in our auditorium in Pasadena. Then they performed in San Francisco, and I was photographed with them with the mayor of San Francisco, who is a lady, and with the children in the foreground. And then again in Washington D.C., and Nancy Reagan had them come to the White House, and I was photographed with these Chinese children and Nancy Reagan and me in the background. Then they performed two different nights in the Kennedy Center in Washington, and they created quite a sensation. They were called the Little Ambassadors from China, and they're expecting me over there, and they call me their grandpa; and you have to fall in love with those little kids. The oldest of them are 14 and they begin from age 7. The cutest one of all — the little girl only 7 years old — she's the announcer, and she just marks out the announcement. She's a little Chinese girl. So I expect to see them and many other things planned on that November trip.
The Chinese government would like to back some projects that I hope to start in Bangladesh and Nepal, and they will back it with many millions of dollars of Japanese money. I have a very fine relationship going with them, and hope to get something very fine going with China, and hope that I will be able to explain a lot of these things to the top men in China who are ruling over more than a billion people — over one fourth — of all the people in the world — the greatest nation on earth. Someone had asked me — they heard that I was going to go to Russia. No, that's a rumor. I don't know if anything that will take me to Moscow, and nothing is developed in that line whatsoever yet. The communists know all about me, I know, and they know that in the past I've written things against communism and they're very well aware of it. But nevertheless, I'm not going to rock the boat if they don't. It's getting a little more difficult for me to be around. I may still be Armstrong - thus sayest my name anyway - but I'm mighty weak. I can't walk very far, and that's why I couldn't. I could stand and talk to you for 10 or 15 minutes, but not as long as I've been talking, that's why I'm sitting here.
Alright, I said that I wouldn't talk any longer and so I won't. I thank all of you brethren — I love you all. I believe and hope that you all love me, and hope you will still keep me in your prayers and I'll keep you in mine. And as I said before... it won't be long now... we'll all be in God's kingdom before we realize it.