Greetings, everybody: nice to be back here again. Last week I was up at Orr, Minnesota speaking to many of our young juniors up there; and we had about as many, well, neighboring Church people from surrounding Churches that had driven some distance to be there (some parents I think were there also) as there were students or children. So we had quite a little crowd up there last week. The week before that in Cincinnati ... no, let me see ... yes, I guess it was Cincinnati. Boy, I am losing track. With being around so many places lately, I'm sort of losing track.
From Cincinnati we went right on into New York, where we had a meeting on Sunday with some people that I think are taking over Quest magazine. I think that Quest will be closed up. Let me see, today happens to be the 4th of July doesn't it? Well, I think it will be closed on the 15th; and that is going to mean a saving to the Work of some 4 million dollars a year, and with inflation it would probably have run 4 ½ or 5 million dollars next year.
I am glad that can go into additional telecasting, broadcasting, additional publishing and getting the gospel out to the world, which Quest was supposed to do but was never allowed to do (although it had been started with the supposition that it would). I find that contracts were made with the editors and people that there would never be anything religious in it whatsoever, although promises were made to me that there would be. Well, at least we will be rid of that.
Now next Sabbath, let me see, we are going back to Charlotte, North Carolina where a group of Churches in that area will all meet together; and on the following Sabbath I hope to go up to Vancouver, British Columbia for a number of Churches in western Canada and perhaps some from northern Washington will be up there. Then during the following week I will be again to this next session of the children up at Orr, Minnesota on the way to Europe. And then on the Sabbath of that week, which will be (I see, it'll be 3 weeks from today.) a combined service again for the Churches in England, somewhere in London.
I think the Sabbath after that in Germany with a service of the people from Germany and Holland, perhaps Belgium and countries, at least German speaking countries. I think there may have to be some German translators there. Then to at least one of the Churches in France, and perhaps down to Switzerland; then back home and speaking to a group of young people at Orr, Minnesota on the way back; or the final group at Orr for the summer. We are having three groups up there this summer, by the way. The 2nd group is just starting this week; and I will speak to them, God willing, on the way back over to England, and Germany, and France and then to Orr, the next group on the way back. After that I hope I'll be back here with you again, and so it will go.
Now I have been speaking the last several times I've been here, and in other Churches also, going right back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden. God has been revealing new truth to us. It's not new truth. It's truth that's been new for a long, long time. But God's truth is always new, by the way. It never gets old. It's not old truth. It's perpetually new; but a lot of it is new to us, because we hadn't seen it before. Now, it's all been in the Bible; but, you know, the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle.
I'm sure you all have worked out a jigsaw puzzle at one time or another. It's a large picture. Sometimes it's, oh, about so big; and sometimes they're smaller. It's cut up with a jigsaw with little curlicues all here and there, in about anywhere from 100 up to quite a little more than a thousand different pieces, all curlicues around different ways; and you have to put them together. They're cut in such a way it's very difficult to know what piece goes next to what other piece. Now, when they are unscrambled, you don't see any picture at all. You don't realize there is any picture there; and yet there is a picture there when you get it all together, and when you get them into place one next to the other where it belongs.
Now, the Bible is like that. I've often thought of starting to explain that in Genesis 1 verse 1. And in Genesis 1 verse 1 to explain and go to other parts of the Bible that talk about the same thing and throw additional light on what is there. Well, I would go next to John 1:1, in fact in John 1:1 to John 1 verse 4. And to make it still more clear, I think I would go on to verse 14 in John 1. And then I think I would go to the 3rd chapter of Ephesians and verse 9 where the Word, who became Jesus Christ, was really the maker of all things. How God made ALL things by Jesus Christ.
Now the Word of John 1:1 was with God and He was also God. I mean, He was with God, and He became Christ. But originally when He was just called the Logos in Greek (or in the English language it's translated into the word "Word") which means Spokesman, revelatory thought. He was God, and He was with God. It's just like John can be with Smith, but John is also Smith because he's the son of Smith. Now at the time of John 1:1 the Word was not yet the Son of God. I wonder if you realized that. He did not become the Son of God until He was born of the virgin Mary; and that's only a little over 1900 and, oh, about 1980 some years ago. Then He became Christ; but originally He was The Word, but He also was God.
Back in Genesis 1 verse 1 you find "in the beginning Elohim," and that was written in the Hebrew language. The word for "God" translated into the English word God is there Elohim, which is a uniplural noun like the word family or church, or team or group: more than one person forming one group, or more than one person forming one church or one family. God is only one God, but there's more than one Person in God. And you find that if you go to John 1:1 that explains a lot about Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God," Elohim, a uniplural. That's why when you come to verse 26 God said "Let (not) Me make man in My image." God said Elohim, the uniplural, more than one Person, said "Let Us make man in Our image."
Now, as you go on through, you can explain a great many other things from other parts in the Bible. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" and it should be plural heavens, not heaven as it is in the King James. You'll find that other translations, as far as I know I think about all of them, give it 'heavens,' plural. In the Hebrew Moses wrote it plural 'heavens,' not one, just heaven.
There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible: the heaven where the birds fly, where we find airplanes today; then the heaven which is above that, which we call outer space today, where our astronauts have gone and where the other planets exist; and then the heaven of God's throne, and I think that is sometimes called the 3rd heaven. That's not necessarily still further away. It is the 3rd heaven, and we don't know where that is. There is only one place in the Bible that gives us an idea, and that's in the (let me see) the 14th chapter of Isaiah where it speaks of it as being in the far north. I think it is referring to the throne of God and God's heaven at that place.
Now as you go a little further you find that that throws a great deal of light on what is in Genesis 1:1. The very next verse begins to lead to a lot of other things. "And the earth was without form and void." Now you go back to the Hebrew word, "and the earth was," and in this case it means 'became' because the same Hebrew word is used "became" in other places in Genesis. It "came to be" would be a better translation. Now "without form and void" is the English translated from the Hebrew words 'tohu' and 'bohu,' and that means chaotic, in confusion, waste and empty, a condition of decay. That is not a newly created condition at all. A thing doesn't become decayed when it is first made, or first created, or first brought into being. It comes to be decayed later.
Then you have to go to the 14th chapter of Isaiah, the 28th of Ezekiel; and you have to go into II Peter 2 and verse 4; and you have to go into many other scriptures in the Bible to begin to learn WHY it had become that way and what had happened. Many other scriptures fit in there before you even get to the next verse. Now that's the way the Bible is. If you are going to understand the Bible, you are going to have to read it like that. You have to find a part here, a part there, and a part somewhere else that fits into the Bible clear into the beginning in Genesis or any other part of the Bible.
Now again you must put the Bible together every verse that modifies it, or describes it, or goes along with it and fits in with it like a jigsaw puzzle, one piece fitting next to another. You must get every other scripture in its context; and not put a different meaning on it because you can take a certain part of a scripture, a whole sentence or a part of a sentence, and make it mean something else.
That is like the old preacher (I almost called him the Methodist preacher, but I'm not sure he was a Methodist. He might have been Presbyterian, Baptist, or something else.) back in the time of our great, great grandmother's about. In other words, this probably was back in the latter part of the 19th Century, and we are living in the 20th Century. There was a new fad in women's hairdo. (I think you've heard me tell this before, but I know it has been some time.) The younger girls had a new hairdo. They were doing their hair up and rolling it around in a top knot, just slightly forwards in the middle of the top of their head.
Now frankly I've seen women's hair done that way; and I don't like it very well. I don't think it's very beautiful; and so you don't see many women doing it that way today, because I think they don't think it is very beautiful either. And you know a woman's hair is really her glory physically, and a woman can just change her whole appearance by changing the way she does her hair. As I say, usually you don't see any two women who do their hair up the same way. Well, I think every woman should do it the way that is more becoming for her and it fits her face better; and I guess that's what most of them do, and that's alright.
Anyway, this preacher was preaching a scorching sermon. He was preaching a corrective sermon last Sunday morning. Of course, it was a Sunday morning; and he was scorching these young women of that new modern fad. He told them to take that top knot down. He said, "My sermon this morning, my text is found in Matthew chapter 24, verse 17. You can turn to it and read it if you want. Matthew 24, verse 17 '...Top not come down ... '" Now he says, "Young woman, God says for that top knot to come down;" and he preached a whole sermon on that one scripture.
It does say 'top not come down' there because Christ is talking about a time of trouble coming when he says that "he that is on the house top [should] not come down" to take anything out of his house. So the 'top not come down' is there alright, but that isn't what it means in that context. So you see what I mean, in understanding the Bible you take a little here, a little there, a little somewhere else and put them together. But you've got to know that you get the meaning as it is in its own context and see that it makes sense put together with the other scripture in its context until you have a complete picture; and that's the way the Bible is.
Now if you start to read the Bible, and you just start in Genesis 1:1, and you start to read the Bible through; and I've heard people say, "Well, I know about the Bible. I've read the Bible all the way through from beginning to end." Well, you know, I was brought up in church, until I was 18 years old, and Sunday school. I didn't know what the church believed. I did know some things. I know that they believed and I believed (and I just took it for granted) that I was an immortal soul [and] that I would live forever. If I died that I'd pass on or pass away out of this body; and if I'd been good I'd go to heaven, if I'd been bad I'd go to hell! But I was going to live forever because I was an immortal soul, or else I had one, or something. I didn't know which.
Well, I had to come to find that I was all wrong. And I know that after I was married when I was age 25; a marriage that lasted, well, 50 years from the time we fell in love and were engaged, and it just lacked 3 months and 15 days exactly it would be 50 years from the marriage date. But I'm sure we'd been in love with each other for that long because we were engaged some little time before we were married. Most young people are, or used to be, or should be. And, anyway, my mother sent us a Bible right after we were married.
Now I didn't read it so much because I was a slow reader; but my wife was a more rapid reader, and I thought we'd get through it quicker if she read it. And the main thing was just to get through it, because I didn't understand it anyway. She'd read it to me. It was like saying "dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah." I didn't get anything out of it. If you start to read and read through the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, you will not get the meaning. You just won't get it that way, because what you read in one place must be put together with some of the things that you will read in other places; and I didn't know that then.
Now it wasn't until I was (well, let me see, it was in 1926 and I was) 34 years of age that I was challenged, and for the first time began to look into the Bible, because I thought it said something it didn't, and I wanted to make it say something that I wanted it to say. Of course I was quite disappointed because I said it didn't say what I wanted it to say at all. Then I began to learn something about the Bible. But I've learned all of that since I was 34 years of age. I was really a biblical ignoramus before that, or a biblical illiterate, whichever way you want to say it, the first 34 years of my life.
I did know that we'd gone through the book of Proverbs in Sunday school instead of the usual quarterly, as they called it, or the Sunday school lessons that the church used in all the other Sunday school classes. Our boys' class, and we all grew up together from little kids up until I was 18, all together, the boys' class. I don't know where the girls were, they must have had a class of their own or something because I remember we were only boys; and we had a young man teacher. To me, we thought he was quite an old man. But as I look back and think now, I think he must have been in his young, or not over his middle, twenties. But we all liked him.
So we just went through the book of Proverbs; and when we'd finished the book of Proverbs, we went back and started going through the book of Proverbs again; and after that we went through the book of Proverbs again. Now that's about all I knew; but that did put one thing into my mind that I wanted to have understanding. And I know when I was 5 years old my father said I was going to be a Philadelphia lawyer when I grew up because I always wanted to know why. I wanted to know how, and whether, and everything else about anything. I wanted to understand it. I asked so many questions.
Well, I didn't know then I would be a Philadelphia lawyer some day when I grew up because here I preach the law of God and the government of God in the Philadelphia Era of the Church. So I AM A PHILADELPHIA LAWYER, am I not? So my Dad was right. Oh yes, I tell you from the years of 18 to 20 I felt sorry for my father. I knew more than he did. And then he moved out. We had been living in Des Moines, Iowa when my father moved out to the west coast, first to Idaho and later out to Salem, Oregon. So I didn't see my father any more from 1912 until 1924 (so 12 years later when I saw my father). I had a lot of respect for him because I found he had learned so much in that 12 years, and he now knew more than I did. But I didn't know that when I was 18 or 20. And of course a lot of boys of 18 or 20 are like that. At that age they know more than their parents do.
But, nevertheless now, that's all just a prelude to what I was going to get into for a sermon today. I wanted to tell you a little something about the Bible. And I was wondering, I have been going back to those two trees in Genesis; and that's the foundation of everything in the world. If you want to know why anything is like it is today Why is the world like it is? Why do we have the kind of world to live in that we do have today? you have to go back to that time; and I have been developing a lot of time to that recently.
I wanted to get to something else today. Well, I thought about whether I should bring a message on prophecy. Now, I'd like to get back to the prophecies once again; and I think it's about time that we do, and I think that I shall very soon. But it just seems that the way things have been breaking I haven't been able to speak here just regularly every Sabbath; and I don't get any of it but once every 3, 4 or 5 Sabbaths. But perhaps I will sometime soon.
But there is another type of subject: I found years ago up in Eugene, Oregon, before we started Ambassador College and before I ever moved down to Southern California, Pasadena, that just taking one chapter in the Bible and going through that chapter verse by verse, could form a very good sermon, the material for a good sermon.
Now once I remember up in Eugene, Oregon, I had not had time to prepare a sermon. I was caught short and didn't have time. So I quickly told the congregation that Sabbath that I would take a chapter in the Bible and go through it. I said, "Now why don't I let one of you select a chapter, and I will go through it and expound it." Well, there was a Sardis minister there; and he did not like me. I have told you the Sardis ministers persecuted me. The Sardis brethren all loved me, but their ministers did not. They felt competitive, and they did not like me, and they persecuted.
This man was sitting in the front row. He said, "Mr. Armstrong, may I suggest that you preach on the first chapter of Isaiah." I said, "Fine, alright." You know for the minute I didn't know why he wanted me to preach on that. I just remembered one thing, "though your sins be as crimson, they shall be as white as snow." I knew that was in that chapter, and the rest of it for a minute I just did not remember. But I knew he had some motive. I didn't know what it was, but he wanted me to preach on that.
Now, I had been taking the truth about God's annual holy days to the Sardis people; and they had rejected it. And he wanted to lay a trap for me just like the Pharisees did for Jesus. He wanted to trip me up and trap me, and he thought he had me there. So it came to where God says, in the 1st chapter of Isaiah as I was going through it, that God hated ... and wherever it is. Well, why don't I just turn to it for a minute? That is not what I intended to preach on today at all, and I'll get to something else in a minute; but let's go back to that just a second. I want to show you, it is rather interesting and I think if we just get to something interesting like that for a change it will be a little bit of a change in sermon material here; and I think it'll be good for all of you. Isaiah the 1st chapter, I didn't have it marked because I hadn't intended to use it. But he says here:
Isaiah 1:11 (To) what purpose is the multitude of sacrifices [And by the time I got to that point, I believe that's the place, I was emphasizing the word "your." It was their sacrifices that God was against.] unto me saith the Lord: I am full of burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of (fed) beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of (he) goats.
Now, let me see. Yes, verse 13:
Isaiah 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) YOUR new moons and YOUR appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
"Your appointed feasts," and I put the "YOUR". They were their. They were not God's appointed feasts! And did I wallop that minister in the front row. I said, "That's just it." I said, "YOU want to have YOUR CAMP MEETINGS. You want to have YOUR WAYS. But GOD'S HOLY FEASTS, GOD'S HOLY DAYS, you don't want to observe." So his trap came right back on him. But God has always helped me in a case like that.
Well, I just wanted to explain a little about that sort of thing; and today I thought I would do that. I would not only take a chapter, perhaps I'll continue on later; but I would start in the book of Hebrews. Now I find that it has been almost 20 years ago (19 or 20 years ago) in England I started a series of sermons on the book of Hebrews, and I believe I continued it even here in Pasadena at that time. Well, that's almost a generation ago.
Then I had a long series of programs on radio, and that series of programs on the book of Hebrews was repeated on radio about a year or so ago. I haven't been following it in the last year. I don't know just what they've been running just recently, but I didn't expect so. I thought that was a fairly good series, an interesting series of television, or radio programs rather; and I think it may be repeated again, because it was not dated. It was not timed. It is just as good now as it was 20 years ago. But I think we need some of that again. In other words, the book of Hebrews is the book about Jesus as our High Priest.
Now one might ask this question: What has Jesus been doing this past 1900 years? Is Jesus dead? Well, He died; but your Bible and mine says He rose again, and He is not dead any longer. The last we saw of Him, He "ascended up to heaven and a cloud received him out of their sight." That was about 10 days before the day of Pentecost and 40 days after His resurrection. But where's He been since? What has He been doing? He has been very much alive, and He has been doing something for us. He IS the head of the Church, but He is not a dead head of the Church.
You know, that reminds me, I was having a luncheon one time and holding a series of meetings up in Umapine, Oregon. There were some 7th Day Adventists people up there, and one of them had come to one of my meetings. Of course, they didn't come to more than one of them. But they came to one, and to invite me to their home for, I think it was a Sabbath or a Sunday dinner. Well, I accepted. I went.
Well, of course, they got into an argument with me; and they talked about their having a prophet in their church. And they said, "Well, Mr. Armstrong does the Church of God have a prophet?" I said, "Oh, yes." I said "Jesus Christ is our Prophet." "Oh well, well." they said, "We mean a living prophet. But do you have any living prophets?" "No," I said, "Do you?" (because Mrs. Ellen G. White is their prophet and she died quite a while ago). And they looked at one another rather astonished. They had forgotten their prophet is dead.
I said, "Your prophet is dead, but our Prophet is still living. Our Prophet is Jesus Christ. He is the head of the Church. He is the greatest of all prophets." He still today is living, and He is the head of the Church. But where is He today? "He ascended to the right hand of God in heaven" and there He has been the High Priest of the Church ever since. Now, He's not the High Priest of the world. The world rejects Him; and even individual Christians are not members of His Church. They reject Him as the head of whatever church they belong to because He is not the head of any other church but His own Church; and, if they are not members of it, He is not the head of their church. That's all there is to it.
His church is "fitly joined together." It is "compacted in every joint" just as if it is welded together, solidly bound together and organized. The organization is explained in the 12th chapter of I Corinthians and the 4th chapter of Ephesians; and how God has organized His Church. It is an organized body, but it is not a human organization. It is a spiritual organism, and yet it is well organized.
Now I might just say, by way of a little news I might put in right here, that in the past week the board that I have surrounding me now in the human level of the Church, at the headship of the Church, the leadership, is an Advisory Council of Elders. And in this past week we have been going over a constitution, and forming and carefully going over every line, and sentence, and paragraph of a constitution and bylaws of the Worldwide Church of God, an unincorporated spiritual organism. But it is organized, and well organized.
Now the unincorporated Worldwide Church of God does have a number of corporate entities under it, one of which is the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, a California corporation. We are incorporated actually in a number of States, but the only members of the corporation are merely the officers of the corporation. But the general laity of the Church are only members of the Church of God. In other words, we are all children of God; and the Church's congregation is the assembly, group, family. We're the begotten Family of God, not yet born.
Now, there are plenty 'born again' people all around. They don't know what 'born again' means. They don't know what Jesus meant by that word, but in God's own Church we do know. We are begotten of God, and we do have the promise of being born of God; and too bad that others cannot understand that. We are in the process of spiritual growth of overcoming Satan and this world, coming out of this world; and of growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and also of enduring until the end of this life, or the end of this time, whichever comes first.
So God has given us that understanding because this is the Church of God, and it is based on the Word of God. And of the foundation of the Church, we find in Ephesians the 2nd chapter that it is founded on the apostles and the prophets, "Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." But it is "fitly joined together." And Christ pictured it in the 15th chapter of John when He spoke about Himself being the vine and we are the branches. But did you ever notice that the branches are all joined to the vine, and the branches are joined to one another through the vine. Through CHRIST, we're JOINED to one another. We're FITLY joined together.
You break one of them off and let it go alone, and it's also broken off from Christ. A lot of people who want to be lone Christians say, "Well, I don't have to belong to any set church." Well, God has one Church. He doesn't say, "I will create several different groups of churches." "I will build my church and the gates of hell [or the gates of the grave, which it should be translated] shall not prevail against it." And He did build His Church, and the gates of the grave have not prevailed against it. It is still here. We have a number of congregations; but we are all organized, we are all together, and we do all speak the same thing and that one thing has to be what Christ speaks. Christ is the Word of God. He is the Spokesman.
Well, now finally I'll get around to what I was going to speak on for a sermon today; but come back to the book of Hebrews. But speaking about prophecy, I do want to get to it because ... Before I start this, I want to say another word; and I would just like to sort of talk to you a little bit today. I don't get to do that very often. Lately I have been coming with a planned, set sermon. I've tried to stay right on the beam and not sidetrack with something else, and I think I've been doing that fairly well lately. All my life I have had to try to avoid getting sidetracked and jumping off onto some other thought that will flash in my mind as I go along, but to stay right on the subject. Well, I've been doing that lately.
But today I just wanted to say what comes to my mind. That's what I am doing. I just want to talk to you as one of you, and we need a time to talk like that and be together because we are all one in Christ. But speaking about prophecy, how many of the 4 million people that exist on earth today do you think are still going to be alive when Christ comes? Now I think Christ is coming very, very soon because ALL of the prophecies and everything in the Bible that has to do with the time of His coming, the conditions of the world at the time of His coming, show that we are in the very last days just before the actual coming of Christ.
Now by that I don't mean that He can come tonight or tomorrow, because a number of things have to happen before that. At least there has to be a 3½-year period. There has to be a Great Tribulation, and it's coming. There has to be the forepart of what we call the Day of the Lord, and the Day of the Lord is when God intervenes and begins to supernaturally intervene in the world's affairs and take over PRIOR to the coming of Christ; and then He will take over completely when He comes.
But even prior to His coming, there are going to be frightful signs up in the sky. There are going to be plagues, and you know you will find that a tribulation is coming on this nation and 1/3rd of our nation is going to die of disease epidemics resulting from famine. In other words, famine and the disease epidemic that will follow pestilence, as it is in Matthew 24, and again back in Ezekiel (Let's see, in the 5th chapter I believe it is of Ezekiel.), and our cities are to be destroyed. Then another 1/3rd of our people are to die by military warfare, which in our day now means nuclear warfare.
Our cities are to be destroyed. Isn't it significant that it's the cities to be destroyed? Most of the people are living in cities today. They've moved off of the farm. And it is cities that can be destroyed now by hydrogen bombs, atomic warfare. That was never possible until our time. Just since World War II has that become possible. The United States did not have another atomic bomb when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. Now the Japanese didn't know that. They wouldn't have surrendered if they'd known that, but they didn't. They thought there were going to be more, and so they surrendered before any more of their cities were bombed; but we could not have bombed any more because we didn't have another atomic bomb. The only two we had were used. You might say it was a bluff; but the bluff worked, and they surrendered.
But soon after that they began to announce the hydrogen bomb, so great an atomic bomb only triggers it and sets it off. I don't know, what is it, a hundred times, a thousand times more powerful, more devastating, something like that? I haven't kept up on the technicalities of those things as I used to even.
But then if you read in the plagues that God is going to send at the end of the Great Tribulation and in that time, how many people are going to die in other countries and all over the world. I want to go into that again myself because I think we need to go into what is going to happen between now and then all anew and all afresh because somewhere between a 1/3rd and 90% of ALL LIVING people on earth today are going to be DEAD before the 2nd coming of Christ. Did you know that? That's the kind of time we are LIVING IN, and very few people KNOW IT.
Now I want to go back into prophecy once again. I was going into prophecy on radio 30, 40 years ago. I was about 30-40 years ahead of my time. Well, I tell you, the apostle Paul and the original apostles were way ahead of their time by 1,900 years. They thought the coming of Christ was going to happen right then in their time and their lifetime, their generation. They didn't know it ...
... a couple of Canaanites; and I was over there in about 1956, I believe it was, in a cave inside of the rock. And, well, if you have to get up in the middle of the night, that's quite a provoking place to be, as I found out, because even in summer it is rather cold nights over there.
No it's not a pleasant place to be either. It's a frightening place in a way because the amount of arrangement and all of those caves and some of the things that ... the carvings that they've actually carved a faηade of buildings out in the front of one building, right in the mountainside in the rock; but it is not a pleasant place, believe me. Now if that's where we're to go, you are not going to like it. And yet a lot of our people want to get to Petra. "Oh, can we go to Pe(e)tra?" or to Petra, which ever you call it. Well now, get that right out of your mind because it is not a pleasant place.
I will just say this: If the Bible tells us WHERE we're to go on the "two wings of a great eagle" (and the Bible does say that we will do that), that is where we would go. But I am not sure the Bible tells us where we are going to go. So you still can't be sure of it. But, if that is not it, then the Bible does not tell us; but God will show us in His due time. We are getting near that time, and I do want to go back into those things again.
So now I just had a little talk with you for quite a while now, and it's alright because as I start in this book of Hebrews I can stop at any verse I want to. So let's begin now in the first chapter of Hebrews, chapter one.
Hebrews 1:1 God [now that's the Father], who at sundry times and in divers [or different]manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things ...
Now I want to stop right there and comment on that a while, and we may have to go to a few other scriptures. You can't understand the Bible if you just go right on without knowing what is in other scriptures that have something to do with it and say the same thing. Now a while ago I had a [rustling sound] ... When you lose something and you can't find it, look on the floor. That's where it probably will be.
Anyway, the prophets that spoke unto the fathers. Now the fathers go back prior to the time of Christ, don't they? Well now, in the days of Israel and of Judah and prior to the time when Judah was taken captive and became a slave people and no longer a nation, the prophets who wrote were Moses, and Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, (I'm not quoting them in order. I just jotted some of these down.), Hosea, Amos, Micah, David in the Psalms, and Solomon in the Proverbs, and Hosea (Let's see, I mentioned Amos and Micah and Hosea.), and Joel, and Zephaniah. Now that is all before the fall of Judah. Some of those wrote in the days after Israel had been taken captive and taken away, but Judah was still there with its capital in Jerusalem.
Now second, there are two very important prophecies that were written IN the captivity when they were slaves; and that message DID NOT go to the fathers back then, but were only retained to the Church today Ezekiel and Daniel. They wrote during ... They were slaves and in the captivity. Ezekiel was among the captives on the river Chebar, and Daniel was in Babylon.
Now 70 years after the captivity of Judah, a number of Judah (not any of Israel, but a number of Judah) and it's only A FEW of Judah even, and Judah consisted only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and Levi; and it's only a part of them were sent back to Jerusalem to build the 2nd temple.
The temple that Solomon had built had been destroyed finally by 580 BC, beginning with 604 and on down to 585; and I think it finally was finished by 580 BC. But 70 years later a colony was sent back to build another temple under Zerubbabel. Now Zerubbabel was a governor. He was not a prophet, incidentally. But the prophets of that time were Ezra and Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Now they did write for that portion of Judah that had gone back.
But the great 10 tribes had long since, over a 100 years before Judah's captivity, had gone north and west, or northwest to Western Europe and Northwestern Europe and the British Isles. Now many people don't know that. They don't know where they went. They're called the lost 10 tribes. But it is interesting to know that and to know the order of these prophecies. Now the prophecies, for example, of all of Israel: many of these prophets prophesied after Israel had been taken captive and were only prophets to the kingdom of Judah after Israel had gone into its captivity. Now there are some other prophets that didn't write books of the Bible (like, for example, Elijah was the prophet and Elisha, but they didn't write books. You don't find II Elijah 6 verse 7. You don't find that in the Bible, but it is interesting to notice that.
And yet we find that the Church is "founded ON the apostles AND THE PROPHETS, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone." I want you to get this. Now I have to go back to Ephesians the 2nd chapter to pick up that scripture that fits in right here; and, to understand this, we need to know all of that. Yet you only find, let's see, about four prophets mentioned in the New Testament. One was an elderly woman past 80 years of age who picked up the infant child Jesus, took Him in her arms and blessed Him as just a little infant, and then went on and apparently died soon. Nothing more was heard of her at all.
There was a prophet by the name of Agabus; and God spoke to him and used him to carry a message to one of the apostles (to Paul) and telling Paul that God sent a message to him that if he went on to Jerusalem, where he proposed to go, that he would get into trouble in Jerusalem. Well, Agabus told Paul. Now Paul didn't doubt that, but Paul went on anyway; and he did get in trouble. A great deal of trouble! That's why he appealed finally on to Caesar, and later went on his very perilous trip to Rome. He had a shipwreck on the way at one of the places where we are going to have a Feast of Tabernacles this year, the Island of Malta, just south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea; and we'll have a Feast site there this year. So that's a rather historic place.
Anyway, there were two other prophets at least to whom God revealed that they should lay hands on Barnabas and Saul and anoint them as apostles and send them as apostles to the Gentiles. Now they did that, but they didn't contribute any doctrine or any belief to the Church. They didn't have an administrative position in running the Church or administering the affairs of the Church in any way. Not ANY of those four prophets did. So there were no New Testament prophets that had anything to do with being founders of the foundation of the Church. So it refers to the OLD Testament prophets.
Now every one of these Old Testament prophets is quoted in the New Testament, and they ARE a part of the foundation of the doctrines and of the belief of the Church. The WHOLE of Ezekiel and the WHOLE of Daniel were written FOR THE CHURCH and were NEVER given to the people of Israel while they were a nation. They were written after Israel and Judah were both slaves in captivity, and were not a nation; and they were not ever proclaimed to Israel and Judah under the Old Testament.
How important is Daniel to the book of Revelation? How important is Ezekiel to understanding many of these other prophecies and knowing the things WE need to know in our time? Yet those books never were given to Israel or Judah while they were a nation, and there was no way for one of them as a slave to get his writings to the rest of them who were scattered here and there as slaves. So it is good that we know that.
But EVERY bit of the Bible that was written is the Word of God! Even the word of these sad prophets and even though, "God ... spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets," [Hebrews 1:1], what He spoke and what is recorded in writing in the Bible IS part of the Word of God. And Who is The Word of God? The Word of God (John 1:1 and verse 14) "became flesh and dwelt among us" and became Jesus Christ. So it is the Word of CHRIST regardless if it was that God was speaking to them, beginning with Moses. It also is for us and for the Church today. We'll just notice that as you go along.
Now, the 2nd verse: [Hebrews 1:2] God "has in these latter days spoken unto us by his Son." Now 'His' you'll notice is in italics in the King James and some of the other translations 'by a son' or 'His son' and I think 'His son' is very good there. At least the translators of the King James put it there. "Whom he hath appointed ... " God the Father then appointed Christ what? "HEIR of ALL things." Now the Moffatt translation translates 'all things' to mean the entire universe. The entire universe! So Christ is the heir of the whole universe.
Alright, Ephesians 3 and verse 9, God created EVERYTHING. God created the world by Jesus Christ. He is the One by which (and Christ is the Word of God) "he spake," as you read in one of the Psalms, "and it was done." Well, the POWER that did it when Christ SPOKE was the HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that comes from Christ and from God not a separate person, but a POWER that emanates from them.
Now notice this: that Christ then is the HEIR to inherit the whole universe. Well, God used Him in creating it all. "By whom also he made the worlds." That is, by Christ. He made the world. There again God made everything by and through Christ.
Now verse 3 [Hebrews 1:3] "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person ... " Now some of the other translators have that a little different. "Stamped with the very CHARACTER of God" in the Moffat Translation. STAMPED WITH THE VERY CHARACTER OF GOD. "The express image of His person," but 'image' sometimes means character. God made man in the form and shape of God. God said "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" [Genesis 1:26]. We are made like God in form and shape, and we are made to BECOME in the very image in the sense of His character. God did not create Adam in God's character, but God gave him a chance to COME into God's character through the Tree of Life; and Adam rejected that and took the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and said he would go along without any help from God.
The express image of God's person (in His very character, and stamped with the character of God the Father), and "upholding ALL THINGS." Now then, I'd like to read that. I have the ... Let's see, I have here the Revised Standard translation. I have to use two or three different magnifying glasses, and I have to use a little stronger one for this Bible.
Hebrews 1:3(RSV) He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature [Now, the Revised Standard says 'his nature,' and Moffatt says 'of his character,']; upholding the UNIVERSE ['All things' means the universe; and here the Revised Standard calls it 'the universe'; upholding the universe.] by his word of power [In other words, the power that is in His Word. He speaks. The Holy Spirit performs whatever He speaks. ... the entire universe. Now I want you to notice that ALL THINGS here means 'the universe' by the Word of His power.] "when he had by himself purged our sins," (KJV) [In other words, by His death on the cross, Jesus had purged our sins to reconcile us to God.]
Now our sins had cut us off from God; and we could not get back to God, because He had shut up the Tree of Life (in other words, the Holy Spirit) until Christ came. But, when Christ died, His blood reconciles us to the Father. Now, to understand that, you have to go back to the 5th chapter of Romans; and you will find there the blood of Christ DOES NOT SAVE YOU. A lot of people don't understand that. A lot of preachers will preach the blood of Christ saves you. It doesn't.
The blood of Christ forgives your sins up to the minute of your repentance and the minute of your belief and acceptance. But it does not forgive any future sins you commit tomorrow and next year, in advance, before you commit them. It simply does not. And the blood of Christ doesn't save you. The DEATH OF CHRIST CAN'T GIVE YOU LIFE. LIFE CAN'T COME FROM DEATH. LIFE COMES FROM LIFE. And so you read in the 5th chapter of Romans that we are reconciled to God by the DEATH of His Son. Not "saved by the death of His Son." "Reconciled TO GOD by the death of his Son," but "we shall be saved by his LIFE," by His resurrection! And we'll be saved by a resurrection.
Now go back and read the 5th chapter of Romans, and you will understand that. So, you see, you have to fit in other parts of the Bible with this as you go along to really comprehend it and understand it. He purged our sins, reconciling us to God the Father. Now on the other hand, does that mean just anybody can say, "Alright, I'll go and ask Christ to reconcile me to God the Father?" Oh no, because JESUS said "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
And in the 1st chapter of Ephesians you learn that we in the Church were PREDESTINATED before the whole world, PREDESTINATED to be called now by God. And it is only those that God the Father calls and DRAWS, through the power of the Holy Spirit, who can come to Christ.
Now, the Pharisees came to Jesus with trick questions; and someone might come to me with a trick question. "Mr. Armstrong," they would say, "here's a man who really sincerely in his heart wants to come to Christ, and to come to God, and wants to obey Him, and wants salvation, and wants to come out of the world, and wants to have God's Spirit and live God's way. Do you say that he can't come to Christ unless the Father draws him?" "Yes, I do." "Well, is he shut off?" "No." "So, what then?" "Well," I say, "If he does want to do that, the Father DID draw him (Didn't He?) or he WOULDN'T WANT TO." Do you get the answer? But what about the world? They don't WANT to! And any man who DOES WANT TO, WANTS TO ONLY BECAUSE GOD THE FATHER DID DRAW him. But you take most people, they don't want to.
Now go back to the time when I gave myself to God. I gave up trying to disagree with Him. I saw I disagreed. I saw He was right and I was wrong. But (Instead of saying "I GET Christ, I appropriate, I accept Christ, and I'm going to get and take.") I said: "I will give myself to Him. He bought and paid for me, and I belong to Him." So I did. I gave myself to Him. But I know now that He had drawn me and called me, otherwise I wouldn't have wanted to do that.
But what do you think is the first thing I did? Oh, I was so filled with happiness about it all, and the TRUTH that God had revealed to me was so WONDERFUL, that I just wanted to share that right away with those closest to me my family and my relatives. So I went to them. I was just in awe, an eager beaver. I was all enthusiastic. I was all lit up with it.
Now you see, my wife, when she first learned about the Sabbath, came and she said, "Oh, I must go tell Herbert. He'll be glad to hear this." That was a wonderful truth to her when she saw in the Bible that we must keep the Sabbath on Saturday instead of observing Sunday, which is not the Sabbath. Well, I didn't want to hear it. I didn't like it a bit. God used that to start drawing me, but He hadn't drawn me very much yet.
But, after 6 months intensive study, I saw how wrong I was; and I proved that God exists; and I proved that the Bible is His Word. I saw that I disagreed with it, and I saw that He was right; and everything He said made sense, and everything I believed did not. Then I received His Word with joy, and happiness, and enthusiasm; and I wanted all my relatives to believe it. They thought I was insane. They thought I'd gone crazy. "What happened to you? Well, I don't want any of that." They didn't want any of this truth AT ALL.
No, you see, God had not drawn them. Some of them are still living, and He still hasn't drawn them even to this day. How many of you had that experience when you were first converted? You wanted to get members of your family and others that were close to you, and you wanted to get the truth to them; and they wouldn't have any of it. They just thought you were crazy. And that's the way it is.
The natural mind of man (the carnal mind, which is the mind we're born with) "is enmity" which means hostile, "against God; is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed CAN be." That mind has to be changed and receive another Spirit. There is a spirit in with your brain that imparts the power of intellect to your brain, but you are only half there mentally. You only have HALF of a MIND. You need the Spirit of God to complete your mind. That's the other half, and the more important half. And without that you will find that the things of God are foolishness to you, and your mind is just hostile against them. You are not subject to the law of God, which is God's way of living, "neither indeed can be." And that's the way it is.
Now, as we go on through this, we see all of these things. "When he had purged our sins," and as I say that only reconciled us to God the Father, "sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Now why did He do that? Why did He go up there? Why didn't He just ... ? He'd qualified. He'd overcome Satan. He had qualified to restore the government of God. He had qualified to sit on the throne of the WORLD, and to establish the Kingdom of God, and to be the Ruler of the WHOLE EARTH.
Why did He not take it then? Why had God waited FOUR THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE THE SECOND ADAM CAME? God had SHUT UP the tree of LIFE, and SHUT UP THE HOLY SPIRIT, FROM MAN. MAN HAS A MIND, AND GOD CREATED THAT MIND; AND, AS GOD CREATED IT, IT'S HOSTILE TO HIM.
But the first man, Adam, had a right to make a choice; and he had an opportunity, and a right, and a command from God to take of the TREE OF LIFE. HE COULD HAVE HAD A WHOLE COMPLETE MIND, BUT HE DIDN'T; AND, WHEN HE SINNED, HE BROUGHT DEATH ON HIMSELF. SATAN WAS THERE; AND SATAN HAD GOT TO ADAM THROUGH HIS WIFE, EVE. His wife, Eve, was the first woman of the ERA movement. Ever think of that? That started back with Mother Eve, and the women still want to wear the pants.
I was just trying to think where I mentioned that the other day. I know: I was speaking to all of the visiting ministers the other day, just a few days ago; and I was mentioning how the wife of one of our Evangelist rank ministers, one of our oldest ministers in the Church ... I mean not in physical age but in years of service and leading the Church; and, of course, both of them graduated from Ambassador College, he and his wife, years and years ago. I think their children are aged to be in College now, maybe are. I forget how many of our former students now have children in Ambassador College. But I remember I asked her one time I said, "Did you ever try to be the boss in your home and wear the pants?" She looked kind of funny. She began to grin a little bit; and she said, "Well, yes, once." I said, "Oh, once; and did you find who the boss was?" She said, "You're telling me, I sure did!"
Well, I've had two wives (and the first one was my wife until death, as she should have been), either one of whom perfectly capable of being the boss, but neither one has been; and I think that's the way it should be. But a husband not only should rule his wife; he should rule her in LOVE, and in patience, and in kindness, and in absolute consideration for her in every possible way.
It's like when we were in conference this week. My wife called me on the telephone, and they told me later that she called, and I called her back. And she said, "Well, I called you; but I didn't want to interrupt you in conference." I said, "Well, my wife always gets in to me no matter where I am." She said, "I knew that; but I didn't want to interrupt just the same." Well, my wife has always had a privilege that other women don't have some ways. I've wanted to treat a wife with love, with kindness, with consideration, and with honor, and to give them every honor like that; and I think every husband should do that.
But the husband still is "the head of the wife;" and, if he can't be the head of the wife, there's something wrong with him somewhere. He should be able to BE the head of the wife; but he should be in all love, and patience, and kindness, and goodness in every way.
Now, "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Oh, yes, so I was saying: Why did God then wait 4,000 years for the second Adam? (And even after the second Adam came and purged our sins.) Now the first Adam, as I say, he had sinned; and Satan was still there, and the world sort of overlooked Satan, and so their children began to sin. None of the sins of Abel were recorded; but we know he did sin, because they are specifically not recorded, but in general they are because another scripture says "All have sinned" and that includes Abel.
Cain sinned. He was a murderer and killed his brother; then he lied to God about it. He got punished too, didn't he? But God's punishment is corrective, and intended to correct us and can help us. His punishment is in love, and not in hatred or vengeance and wanting to see us suffer. God doesn't want us to suffer. God doesn't have hate. He has LOVE. He hates evil. He hates wrong things, wrongdoing; but He doesn't hate people.
But then Christ, even after he had QUALIFED, after he had CONQUERED Satan, He went up to HEAVEN at the RIGHT HAND OF GOD as our HIGH PRIEST. WHY? WHY IS GOD WAITING for SIX THOUSAND YEARS before He gets rid of Satan and before He establishes everything on the earth? WHY? Because man had to learn, and man has not learned yet by 6,000 years of man's going the wrong way that his way of life is wrong.
I was just saying to another minister this morning: Well, what's wrong with the way the world is living? Why isn't trying to get the best of everything right? When it's good for you, look how much more you get when you try to get everything, take it away from the other. If the other man suffers, you don't feel it. It doesn't hurt you; so why isn't it alright for you to let him suffer? What have you got to worry about if he suffers or not? How do we know that God's law is better?
Satan argues that competition is better than cooperation. I have been in conferences of businessmen (and not just in conferences but in meetings of businessmen, conventions) where the speaker would say, "Competition, not cooperation, is the life of business today." There's what businessmen believe, competition. In sports, everything is competition. "Let's get the competition going. We want competition." Satan wants competition. Satan is the number one competitor.
The world still thinks competition is a better way than cooperation. Now God's law is based on cooperation. Satan's law is based on competition, and yet some of you right here still think you like competition. How about it? God knew that if humans did not have time for generation after generation to LEARN THE LESSONS TO LET THEM GO THE WAY THEY WANT TO, AND LET THEM SUFFER AND LET THEM FIND OUT THE RESULT OF THEIR WAYS, they would never believe it.
I tell you, if God had corrected things in Adam's time and before other children were born, and fixed it all up for Adam, and let Christ come and pay his debt for him and say, "Now Adam, it's alright, you go right on." they would always have believed Satan's way is better. But, let me tell you, after 6,000 years ... and even then, they're going to have to see in a 1,000 years Millennium of living to prove that God's way is better, people would never believe it.
Now God has known what He is doing. He is reproducing Himself in us so we can be stamped with His character, even as Jesus was. And His character is knowing that His law is a way of life, and that is the right way, and that no other way is right. And how many of us have been living in the way of this world, and going the way of this world, and doing the things of this world? (The practices of this world, the games, the sports, the social life, the amusements of this world.) How many of us like the amusements that you see on television or in movies? You like the entertainment of this world.
Do you think for one minute that Bob Hope thinks that the telling of his jokes is bad? He'd say, "I make people laugh, and that's good for people to laugh. I'm helping people and doing a lot of good." Now he really believes that. I'm sure he believes it. Bob Hope has been on this stage more than once. I think he was here the day that Bing Crosby was here; and, let's see, I'm really not on stage, I'm on the orchestra pit. They can put me down right out of your sight real quick if someone wanted to join the right button. I didn't realize that. I'm right here on the orchestra pit, and that's become part of the stage.
Well, it was down; and Bing Crosby was back on the stage, and didn't realize he stepped over too far, and he fell down, all the way down; and he landed on this platform that I'm sitting on; but it was way down below then. And Bob Hope had to get a joke off; and he quipped and he said, "Well, I'll tell you Bing, if you've got to take a fall like that, it's at least nice to do it in a place of class like this." So I know those great entertainers realize (and they're considered great by the world), they realize that this is a place of class. You see it's a very fine place, a very beautiful place.
No, God had to know that it did take time; and that's why Christ has gone to heaven to be our High Priest; and the other 2,000 years ... It's more than 1,950 years now that has gone by since the death of Christ. And it's getting to be almost 2,000 years since the birth of Christ. I don't know, are we going to have to go up until 1994 to be exactly 2,000 years before Christ comes? I don't know. You might think about that, but don't go believing it because I just happened to say it.
But He sat down on the throne of God, with the Majesty of the whole universe on high, to become our High Priest because God made it to let them know those things. Now God raised up prophets. He began to give His truth to ancient Israel. He raised up a nation. He made them actually, in a sense, His wife; but He did not give them the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Tree of Life was still CLOSED UP and not open to them. But God did begin to open it JUST A LITTLE BIT to a few prophets. God opened it to Abraham; and God then opened it to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to Joseph.
And then we find that God opened the Tree of Life to Moses. ONE MAN AT A TIME. Later He opened the Tree of Life to others to lead God's people: Samuel; and after Samuel, David; and to others; and to those that He could use in writing His Word. And then finally, after 4,000 years, He sent the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ. Christ came and paid for the sins of the world. He paid for Adam's sin. He paid for Seth's sin. He paid for Cain's sin and Abel's sin. He paid for your sin and mine, and for those yet to be born so far as that's concerned, and those who will be born in the Millennium even. He came to qualify for the Kingdom of God.
Now God had used a few prophets. He showed that people can't have God's truth without his Spirit and a complete mind, that with a carnal mind they still would be hostile against God; and they were in ancient Israel. The Christ came; and He started now the Church, and it started out with 120 on the day of Pentecost. But that same day 3,000 more were added. Then God had added right along, every day for a little while, those who were to be saved that He added to the Church.
Then persecution set in, and a false gospel set in; and the true gospel then was ... What's the word? [Suppressed] I never can think of it. But it never went to the world any longer. They sent a counterfeit gospel out instead of it. They began to preach about the Messenger, Christ, instead of the message He brought from God; and His message was the gospel. And then there were not so many more added to the Church, not as many as there were in that first flush of those first days, the first 2 or 3 years; and persecution set in.
And now God is raising up more of His Church in this latter time, to have a people ready for His name. And there will be several thousand having the Spirit of God so that, when Christ comes, they will be changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" to immortality (or the dead in Christ will be raised first, and rise, and meet Him in the air; and come down with Him on the Mount of Olives that same day).
We will be the ones that will sit with Christ on His throne. That doesn't mean we'll all be sitting on some kind of a throne over in Jerusalem either. But we will be ruling under Christ as He rules the world and rules over all nations. Present rulers will be put down. Then Satan will be taken out of the way; and Christ will be ruling, and we'll have to get the Word of God out to ALL the world. And those who remain, as I say, there may be so many that will die between now and that time (that will be killed or destroyed between now and Christ's actual coming) that maybe only 10% of the people now living will STILL BE ALIVE WHEN CHRIST COMES. And He may come within 6 to 7 years. Maybe He'll come within 4 or 5 years. I can't set dates. But I know He is coming comparatively soon, and I don't think He's going to wait until 1996 either; but He could. I don't know, and you don't know.
But there will be enough to be the rulers and to teach the rest of the world the way of God, and there won't be any Satan to overrule them. God has let Satan be here, and God has let the world LIVE that way to prove (by heirs of God and people that can be begotten and then born into the very Family of God) that the wrong way has not paid; but it has only brought human suffering, and agony, and despondency, frustration, unhappiness, suffering and misery; and the whole world will have learned that lesson ultimately.
Now, in the meantime, Christ is up there at the right hand of God as our High Priest. It goes on to tell how great Christ is. Let me see how the time is getting along. It is getting along about time that I stopped, and I've only gotten a few verses here. If I go through this whole book of Hebrews, how long is it going to take me at this rate?
You see, if you put in things from other parts of the Bible and expound these scriptures as you go along, there is so much more to any one scripture than just that one verse itself. And someone just reading right through, they don't get the meaning. I hope the next time you read ... How many verses have I read here? About 4 verses, that's all. Yes, the first 4 verses "being made so much better." No, the first 3 verses; "sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." And I think I'll stop right there, because Christ has been sitting there ever since to help you and me; and to be the Head of this Church, to guide this Church.
You know, since I've been called and I wake up in the morning and it just seems like Christ (Well, He is the Word of God. He does the speaking.), like He is speaking to me and getting the message through to me; and the fruits of it afterward have proved that it was Christ speaking from on high. He still works with us in this Church. He still protects this Church, and He still is leading this Church. And is He is preparing me and you to grow spiritually and in spiritual character, to be stamped with His very own character so we can rule with Him when we meet with Him not only to rule the world, but to save the world.