Well, greetings again everybody. Today is the day when in the world they are having football games, major league baseball games all over the country. In this country and around the world, we're facing a real economic repression or depression. The Stock Market was in a sort of semi-crash yesterday. Things are not good in the world; and while the world is going on like that, where is Jesus Christ and what position is He in right now today?
Jesus Christ is alive. He rose from the dead. He's been living these 1950 and more years, and yet the world: They hear a lot about Him. They don't see Him. They hear about a smart aleck Jesus who came, who knew more than His Father, did away with His Father's Commandments. His Father was supposed to be a cruel, stern, harsh God. Jesus came though with a great deal of mercy and all you have to do is just believe on Him and you get to go to heaven. And so the false preachers have preached that Jesus was the Messiah (and He surely was), and yet they have deceived the many; and the many have been deceived. Well, what about this Jesus Christ?
We read in Ephesians 3 verse 9 how God "created ALL things BY Jesus Christ." In John 1 and verse 1 we read that "In the beginning was the Word" and in the 14th verse we read that that Word BECAME Jesus Christ — "was made FLESH." That was about 1950 some years ago. This would be, well, about 1980 some years ago now. And He dwelt among us here on the earth, and yet by Him were all things made. God made all things BY Jesus Christ "and without Him was not anything made that was made." So, in a sense, He was the Creator (although God is called the Creator).
You know, it's a good deal like Henry Ford being the maker of the Ford motorcar. Early in January of 1914, before most of you were born, I was sent by a national magazine to Detroit to interview Henry Ford. In Detroit I saw Henry Ford between their skyscraper Administration Building and the gigantic factory, which at that time was out on Highland Avenue in Detroit. They later moved it to another location altogether. I saw Henry Ford standing in a business suit, but I looked through the doors in a breezeway between the office building and the gigantic factory. In the factory were hundreds, or actually thousands, of men in overalls; and they were the workmen. They were actually making the Ford cars. Henry Ford was making the Ford automobile BY those workmen. He paid them. He employed them. He told them what to do. They were working for him. They were doing it for him. They were making the cars, but they were using machinery and the power of electricity.
Now, that is a pretty good illustration of how God created all things by Jesus Christ. Christ is the workman, but He works by speaking. He was The Word who spoke, "who spake and it was done." And the Holy Spirit was there to do whatever He said. But He spoke only as the Father had told Him to speak. So it was God Almighty, the one who later became His Father, who was the real Creator after all. But by Jesus "were all things made" in heaven, in earth, all over the entire universe.
Now, the universe is governed by a government. You see, the universe has been populated by living entities that God has created. First were angels, and afterwards He created human beings. Of course He also created plants, fish, birds, animals, and then human beings. But God lives. God is busy. Jesus Christ said, "My Father works and I work." God has been working, Jesus Christ is working; and God Almighty governs the entire universe. Actually Jesus Christ, as you read now in the first chapter of the book of Hebrews, "sustains the entire universe by the word of His power."
But yet what is He doing just now? Well, as I said, God lives. The angels live. People live, and we must all live together with others. Angels had to live together with other angels. People have to live together with other people. We have to get along with other people. We have to accomplish things together. And so God established a government, and a government is based on a law.
There has to be a law, or a basic constitution of some sort, at the foundation of any government. You can't have a government otherwise. And that law regulates the way people live with one another, the way they get along so that they will live together in peace and in cooperation and with mutual happiness and wellbeing. And so they can produce or accomplish together and help one another in accomplishment, instead of preventing one another from accomplishing. So God is the author of government.
But the only government that Jesus Christ heads right now is in this Church. Did you know that? Yet He is the Creator of everything! ALL THINGS, the whole universe, was made by Him. God created everything by Him. But Jesus Christ now is at the right hand of His Father on His Father's throne in heaven, and God Almighty the Father is really the ruler of the entire universe. But the only thing on this earth that Jesus Christ is ruling today is this Church — you and me and our brethren in other parts of the world assembling today on His holy Sabbath day. He is not ruling the rest of the world. The rest of the world has said, as His own said when Jesus came to them, "We will not have this man to reign over us." That's what the first man ever created said.
Now God placed, when He first created the earth, God placed a super archangel named Lucifer on the throne of the earth. God set a throne on the earth to rule this entire earth and He set an archangel called Lucifer. There were angels under him, and they populated the earth. That was long before man was ever created. But this Lucifer fell into a rebellion. He resented the fact that he only had this one little earth, which is really a speck in the entire great universe. The earth is a very small part of our solar system, and our solar system is only a part of our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of many galaxies in the entire universe. And so this earth is really a very small spot in the whole universe.
He was jealous. He was envious. He thought he ought to rule a whole lot more. So he turned his angels under him into demons, and into rebellion, and into an army to invade heaven and try to knock God off the throne in heaven. Instead, Satan got knocked off there and sent right back down to the earth. As a result of that rebellion, this earth came into a state of decay because the angels here were given a government to rule them in what they were called to do. Of course, God's purpose was to create character in them so that they would really be productive — because God produces. God is Creator; and He wanted us to, in a sense, create or help in finishing His Creation. He wanted the angels to. The earth was not really completed. It was all perfect as far as it went, but God hadn't completed it. He put the angels here to do the completing. He wanted to complete it through them. But instead of that they ruined what was already here, and it came into a state of desolation; and Lucifer became Satan, the Devil.
And so we read in Psalms 104 and verse 30, speaking of God, the psalmist was told to write this, or inspired to write:
Psalm 104:30 Thou [God] sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and thou RENEWEST the face of the earth.
The earth had become desolate. It had become decayed, waste and empty, as a result of the sins of the angels (which you'll find recorded in II Peter 2 and verse 4). And now God had RENEWED the face of the earth for man. It was not the first creating of the earth at all. But the government of God in the meantime had become inactive, inoperative; it was not even operating at all. The government of God was gone from the earth, and here was an earth and no government on it.
So you read in Genesis: "In the beginning God," Elohim, meaning more than one person, the same as you read in John 1 and verse 1 where the Word was one personage, and "the Word was with God, and the Word [also] was God." Two persons, each one is God; more than one person forming God; like a family, more than one person forming one family. Like the word church — there are a lot of us here; but we're just one local body and Church here, and all of us all over the United States, there are many, many of us all over the world I should say. Many of us, but we are only one Church — only one body, not many churches.
And so God (Elohim) said, Genesis 1:26: "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." Now God was starting out to reproduce Himself. I don't know if there had ever been any such thing as reproduction before that great recreation week of renewing the face of the earth (that is generally called the creation week) in the first chapter of Genesis. There is no record of any reproduction of any kind prior to that time. So now God was going to REPRODUCE HIMSELF. Angels had failed, and God was going to reproduce Himself through MAN. And God said in verse 26: "Let us make man after our image, after our likeness."
Now He had made plants, then He had made birds and fishes and each reproducing after its own kind. And then He made land animals, cattle reproducing after the cattle kind (as you read in verses 24 and 25). And the other animals reproducing after their kind — elephants after the elephant kind; and dogs after the dog kind; and horses after the horse kind. But "Let us make man after OUR kind." In other words, God said "Let Us make man after the GOD kind." Man was made to be reproduced, or the instrument through which God would reproduce HIMSELF! But man had to reproduce himself. And the reproduction of man reproducing himself was only a type of God reproducing HIMSELF through MAN.
Now the way you are reproduced: every one of you started out as an ovum in your mother's ovary, and that ovum had a life of only 28 days. It might have been a lot less, but it could not have been more than 28 days. And unless within that 28 days that ovum was fertilized by a male sperm from your father it would die. It only had a TEMPORARY existence. It didn't have life. It was just going to exist temporarily; it wasn't a really continuous life, but a temporary existence.
But every one of you once fertilized by a male father and a sperm cell from your human father, and you became then an embryo in your mother's womb. And after four months being nourished from food taken in by your mother, you had grown physically on physical food through the mother until you were beginning to assume a human form and shape. And then you were called a fetus after four months, and you had five more months of development. Arms and legs had to come out and then hands and fingers and toes and feet and a head and a brain; and then inside the body a heart and lungs and other organs functioning. A nervous system was developing. A bone structure had developed, and you were being fed on physical food. And after a total of nine months, five more months as a fetus, you were ready to be born.
Now that is a precise type of the way God is reproducing Himself. God had intended that man was like an ovum, or an egg cell; and man has only a temporary existence. God said, "Let Us make man after Our likeness," after Our kind! But He did NOT make man like God in the sense of having IMMORTAL LIFE inherent within himself. Man only had a TEMPORARY existence, not an eternal inherent life. So we read in the 2nd chapter of Genesis in verse 7 that:
Genesis 2:7 The Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and MAN [made of the dust of the ground]became a living soul.
Not an immortal soul; but what was made from the GROUND, just matter, became a soul. A soul is material, not spiritual; and a soul has only a TEMPORARY existence, a physiochemical existence. That's all.
Now then, we were born with a spirit. There is a spirit in man, and that spirit imparts the power of intellect to the physical brain. But man was not made complete. God did not finish the earth when he formed the earth and put angels on it, and angels did not complete it. They destroyed what was here. They polluted it. Now He has made it all over for man, and man has done the same thing. Everything that man has been able to get his hands on in God's Creation man has polluted; he has perverted; he has ruined; he has practically torn down, demolished, destroyed. He has not built up. God intended man to improve this earth and beautify it. Man has not done that. Angels did not do it before us.
So the creation of man was not completed because God was REPRODUCING HIMSELF. Now the first man had only temporary life, but God offered him eternal life and made it available. We see in the 2nd chapter of Genesis in verses 16 and 17 that "the Eternal God ... " I've gone over this so many, many times; and here I am once again because this is where it all starts. You can't understand what is going on today; you can't understand what God is going to do tomorrow and why, if you don't know what started back here because it is only a continuation of the process that started at that time. So here we go again.
Genesis 2:16 The Eternal God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden [God placed him in the Garden of Eden after he was created.] thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
You see, he only had a temporary existence subject to death, subject to being dead, to dying. Like a clock wound up that is running down and will stop unless it is rewound. Like your automobile motor when it runs out of fuel, out of gas, it is going to run down and die; and it won't go any further without more fuel; and then without a spark to ignite the life again, and a spark plug, and so on.
Well, man had to make a choice. Now God had talked to the man on the first Sabbath. He created him on the end of the 6th day after creating animals on the first part of that 6th day, which we would have called a Friday today. On the Sabbath God talked to him. Now they had, let us call it a Bible Study that they had on that Friday night (just like we do today, we're following the same example). Only there wasn't any Bible printed, but God talked to the man and the woman that He had created that evening because it was the beginning of the Sabbath and sunset. And then He let them have a night of sleep. And then all day on the Sabbath God talked to them.
Now He couldn't give them a total education in just that one day, but He gave them all they needed at that time. And they had minds, and they had been created with minds that could receive knowledge. They could accumulate and acquire knowledge.
Now in this Garden of Eden, where God put them, were two very symbolic and special trees in the midst of the garden. One was the tree of life, the other the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God said they could FREELY have all of the trees including the tree of life. God didn't beg them to take of the tree of life. He just said "you MAY freely have it, freely. BUT He said, "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not."
Now analyze those two trees. One was the tree of knowledge, but they were going to die if they took it. In other words, it was the tree of death then — wasn't it? The other was the tree of life. One was the tree of life; the other was the tree of death. One was the tree of knowledge; well so was the other tree of knowledge, but it was a tree of a different kind of knowledge.
Man was born with ability to acquire materialistic knowledge. Man could acquire knowledge that could come through his eye. The brain would see through the eye. The brain would hear through the ear. The brain would feel through the sense of feel and touch, or the brain would smell or taste through the nose and through the mouth. Now man had no other way of acquiring any knowledge whatsoever. ALL knowledge had to come through one of those 5 channels, and ALL that could come through those 5 channels was materialistic knowledge.
Man could learn how to deal with things. He could cut trees that God had planted to grow out of the forest and make a desk like this. He could get metals out of the ground and make things like metal (like I am touching here). Man has learned to make a lot of things out of matter. But man did not know how to get along with other people. Man did not know how to have a contact with God; and God made man to have a contact with Him, because now God was going to reproduce Himself. I told you how he reproduced or how we have reproduced OURSELF.
Now look at how God reproduces Himself. If Adam had taken of the tree of life ... The tree of life is open to you and me today; and the way we take of it, we first repent of course today, which Adam didn't need to do because he had never sinned yet. Adam didn't have to do anything but just take of that tree of life. But, if he had taken it, it is like our taking of the Holy Spirit today. God doesn't give us immortal life just with the snap of a finger or the clap of the hand. He first gives you the Holy Spirit, and you have to then grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And you have to endure until the end. And you have to overcome the wrong ways that you've been in person, for you've grown up living the wrong way. Now Adam had not done that yet, but we have.
But Adam would have received spiritual knowledge, and we receive spiritual knowledge ONLY through the Spirit of God. In I Corinthians 2 you read, "eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and it has not entered into the mind of man the things God has prepared for him." You can't understand spiritual knowledge. You can't have a contact with God. You don't know how to get along with neighbors without the spiritual knowledge that will impart to you the knowledge of the law of God. Now the law of God has to do with spiritual principals of dealing with your human neighbors and your relationship with God.
The law of God doesn't tell you how to build a desk out of wood. The law of God doesn't tell you how to build an airplane or make an automobile. Man has been able to learn that just the way God made him. But God said, "If you take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will begin to acquire knowledge to do all these physical material things; but you will run out — your life will run out, your temporary existence. You will die." But if he had taken of the tree of life, he would have received Life. He would have received it as we do today. First by the Holy Spirit, which would have opened his mind to spiritual knowledge. He would have had knowledge to have a contact with God and to have a right relationship of cooperation with his neighbor. He would have come to know the law of God.
And the law of God is given to us, as I said a while ago, like the law was given to angels — the government of God to regulate our lives one with another, that we work TOGETHER instead of apart. That we cooperate together and achieve more, and that we grow more like God and develop Godly character.
Now Adam had to make a choice; and so God was supposed to be the leader over his life, and the wife was supposed to be a help to her husband. But she was like modern women today. She said, "Oh, I want to wear the pants. I am going to look out for myself. I am going to use my own head." So, as we begin to read now in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, (I am sorry I have to use a magnifying glass even with large print Bibles. My eyes are getting worse, but I am still going on doing the best I can.)
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field ...
The serpent — you'll read, and I'm going to turn to it I think a little later anyway, in Revelation 12 and verse 9: that old serpent called Satan, the Devil. In other words, the former archangel Lucifer was turned into a devil, and his name is Satan, and he now appeared in the form of a serpent. Not that he is a serpent, but he was speaking in and through the serpent.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Eternal God had made. And he said unto the woman, [He got to the woman. He knew the woman would like to be the leader, so he went to her; and he is tempting women today with the ERA. I hope you women are not part of it — unless you want to follow the way of Satan instead of the way of God. "And he said to the woman:"] Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
In other words, didn't God hold something back? "God wasn't quite fair, was He? He didn't give you everything. He should have given you every tree in that garden." Well, the woman answered unto the serpent:
Genesis 3:2-6 ... we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree (which) is in the midst of the garden [meaning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil], God hath said Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God ["God knows better than that. God has lied to you." He began to cause her to distrust God, so she wouldn't believe what God said. God said YOU WILL DIE. Satan says, "God's a liar. God knew better than that." For God;] doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food ... [Now she used the sense of sight. She didn't have the sense of the Spirit of God. She was using physical senses to see physical things; and that the tree was good for food, material and physical, that] it was pleasant to the eye [the sense of sight], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [that appealed to her intellectual vanity; and she had a mind, she was just beginning to realize that fact], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And so Adam took of it with her. When a wife leads into the wrong way; and, I tell you, a wife ... I remember when I was first married, when I was 25 years old. My wife said some days after our marriage (and I don't remember if it was 3 or 4 days or a couple of weeks now) but she said; "They say a husband is just whatever his wife makes him." She said, "Well, just you watch me make mine." So she went to work on me, and she had something to do with my conversion and the very fact that I am sitting up here before all of you and speaking to you and giving you the truth of God that has been revealed to me ever since. But I am glad she was a helper in bringing me toward God instead of like Eve, the first woman, in leading her husband away from God. Quite a difference!
So now the woman took of the fruit of the tree, and Adam did. That left Satan still on the throne of the earth. Now IF Adam had taken the tree of life he would have received God's law and the government of God, the knowledge of the government of God; and he could have ruled the government of God and RE-ESTABLISHED the government of God on earth and ...
... .ruling the whole earth, and he has been doing that now for 6,000 years. He's STILL THERE today. It left Satan on the throne of the whole earth, ruling the whole world.
Adam had children. You don't read how many, but he had "sons and daughters." We do read of Cain and Abel, and we read of Seth, and we read of the fact that he had other sons and daughters. And then Seth had children. He had very many. We don't know how many. But we know that after about 1,500 years there must have been many millions of people on the face of the earth, and they were having a population explosion that was to the time of Noah and the Flood.
So now Satan is still on that throne. You read in Revelation 12 and verse in 9:
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent [the same serpent that tempted Eve, that old serpent] called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth ad his angels were cast out with him.
The angels that had sinned, as you read in II Pet. 3 verse 4; and they became demons. But now, as you read in Genesis 3 verses 20 to 24 (I won't go back to read that.), but God ... After Adam had made his decision and had rejected the tree of life and had taken the tree of death, you might say — of taking to himself the knowledge, instead of letting God reveal revealed knowledge, spiritual knowledge. And he could only take to himself physical knowledge. God then shut up the tree of life, and He SHUT IT UP COMPLETELY. And mankind from that time on, mankind in general, had NO ACCESS to immortal life or to the tree of life. And the tree of life comes through the Holy Spirit.
Now we want to jump on a little further down, coming into our time now. Now you read in Isaiah the 7th chapter and in verse 14 a prophecy. This goes back long before the time of Christ, in the days of Israel. God did call His nation, Israel; but He never gave them the Holy Spirit. It was still shut up. The tree of life was shut up, and ancient Israel did not have the Holy Spirit. They did have the law of God, but it is a spiritual law; and their natural, carnal, physical minds could not understand the spiritual law without the Spirit of God. And so one of their prophets, Isaiah, was inspired to write this — Isaiah 7 verse 14:
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.
Now we find that quoted again in the New Testament where it says that Immanuel being interpreted means GOD WITH US — God in human form, God born as a human being, God as begotten. I mean a Son begotten by God of a human virgin. And [He] was the ONLY begotten Son of God, the only one EVER begotten to be born as a human begotten of God.
Now, we can be begotten of God; but not to be born as a human. We've already been born as a human. We can be begotten of God to have a SPIRITUAL birth and born immortal as God beings, but not to be born as a human being. In that sense Jesus was the only one, the ONLY begotten of God in that sense. So, now also, let's turn a page or two here to the 9th chapter of Isaiah and beginning with verse 6. Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us [That's ancient Israel.] a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the GOVERNMENT shall be upon his shoulder [Now I'm talking about government. The government was on the earth. It was given to this archangel Lucifer. He rebelled. The government ceased. Now a Son could be born to become a King. The government could be on His shoulder]; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The almighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his GOVERNMENT [a ruler to govern with laws and with government; shall be of His government] and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David [You see, it is talking about a throne now. The throne of David], and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
So now I'd like you to turn over to I Peter, the first chapter and the 19th and 20th verses.
I Peter 1:19-20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as (of) a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
In other words, God was or Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. He was foreordained. Now man had sinned. God was going to reproduce Himself through man, and the sentence on man was death; and, once man had sinned, how was God going to reproduce Himself through man under the penalty of DEATH? Well, He had foreordained that the Word would be begotten in the womb of a human mother and be born as a human being, subject to death. But He would also be the Son of God. God was His Father. Mary was His Mother; so He was human, so He could die. But He was also God, so that He had the mind of God. He had the SPIRIT of God FROM BIRTH! He didn't have to receive the Spirit of God. He already had the Spirit of God from birth.
Now some ask the question: then did He know everything when he was six months old? No, because He was born as a baby; and the knowledge ... His brain had to develop. But as His brain developed, it received the spiritual knowledge and gradually began to remember everything that He had had from all eternity with God the Father. But He had to grow to maturity.
That's why, when He was only 12 years old, He was able to confound the wisest men at that time in Judea in the Temple in Jerusalem, when He was only a little boy 12 years old. He didn't know it all yet. He was growing up. His brain was developing. He was a physical being, remember. But He also had the Holy Spirit of God; and, by the time He was adult, He had the full knowledge. He talked in prayer to God about the glory He had had with God before the world was, and He remembered all of those things by that time. It all came back to Him.
Brethren, we will remember in the next life all of things that have happened in this life. But we then will be born of God — mature, and not as a child having to grow up. Jesus was born as a child and had to grow up. So we will have one thing a little better than that at our time.
So now I want you to notice another scripture I've gone through time and time again: I Corinthians 15 and verse 22.
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam ALL die ...
Because of Adam's sin, he brought death on himself; and now Adam's sons began to sin before they were even full-grown. WHY DID NOT GOD TAKE A SON OF ADAM (Let's say Seth. Or let's say Abel.), and why did He not then say, "You take of the tree of life"? Because he had already sinned before he became full grown, before he was old enough to receive God's Spirit. Before his mind was mature, he had already sinned and brought the death penalty on himself; and their sons had. Noah had, Abraham had, everybody had.
Abraham did obey God; but he had disobeyed first, and that's why Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all died not having received the promises. They couldn't receive the promises until after Christ had come and until the rest of us could share it with them, as you read in the book of Hebrews and in the 11th chapter, the Faith chapter of Hebrews. So now:
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Now God had fixed this. God was going to reproduce Himself THROUGH MAN. And though men sinned and brought upon himself the penalty of death, God was YET going to save Himself through MAN; and He was going to do it by sending JESUS CHRIST to be BORN of a human woman. And Jesus Christ had to meet Satan and overcome him and QUALIFY TO SIT ON THAT THRONE OF THE EARTH. That's what He had to do.
"I sentence you to DEATH." And I can see about that time Cain beginning to whimper and beginning to say, "Well, your Honor, I just throw myself on the mercy of the court. I see there is no other hope for me." And then the Judge, Jesus, will say; "Well now, you throw yourself on the mercy of the court. It happens that this court does have mercy as great toward you and toward all people as the heavens are high above the earth. And, I tell you, long after you had sinned and long after you died, I came in human form, and I lived without sin, and I didn't incur the penalty of death like you did. BUT I TOOK YOUR PENALTY ON MYSELF AND I PAID IT FOR YOU. And your penalty has already been paid, if you want to repent and if you want to turn around and go the other way and from now on live a different way in this life.
That'll be a life of resurrection in the judgment. Now we are going to celebrate that on the final day of the coming Feast of Tabernacles. That is, it'll be really after the Feast of Tabernacles. It's the Last Day, which is really not part of the Feast but is a day and a separate feast in itself.
So God appointed that there would come a time of Christ to bear the sins of the many and that there would come a time of JUDGMENT of ALL people. But judgment not only means being brought to account for what you did and being sentenced, as they will, to death — eternal death. That will be the 2nd death for them. But also they are going to find out that Christ did die and that His shed blood paid the penalty that they incurred. And for the first time they will know that, and they will have a chance to then receive the tree of life that Adam rejected.
All right. Now when Jesus came, you will notice that He said, in Matthew 16 and verse 18, He said "I will build my church." Jesus came to start a Church. Now this Church was the first one to receive God's Holy Spirit to begin the fulfillment of a prophecy in Joel — that the prophet Joel had said back in Joel 2 and verse 28.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward [God says] that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Now He SHUT UP His Spirit after Adam sinned. He SHUT UP the Holy Spirit, and NO MAN had been able to RECEIVE the Holy Spirit. Christ was BORN with the Holy Spirit! But until this time, except the prophets who received it out of due time, beginning with Abraham, no man had ever received the Holy Spirit. God called ancient Israel, but they did not receive the Holy Spirit. They were not impregnated with immortal life. They were not begotten of God. Except for their prophets, none of them will come up in the resurrection to eternal life at the 2nd coming of Christ, not any of them.
But now the time will come when God will begin to pour out His Spirit on ALL HUMANITY, but He had shut it up at Adam's time from all humanity. Now Christ said, "I will build my church." And to those in the Church after Christ had gone to the cross, and had died and paid the penalty in our stead — those that God had called specially at that time — were able to come and receive the Holy Spirit of God. And on the day of Pentecost, 120 received the Holy Spirit of God; and that's the first time the Holy Spirit had been poured out on a group of people: The first time in the history of mankind that the Holy Spirit had been poured out on a group of people.
And Christ had already ascended up to heaven as the High Priest for us. He had to do that so that some of us could be saved. Well, Christ could have taken over the reins of government right then and there. But He wanted help in ruling when all of the world would be saved, and He wanted to call a number of us so we can be kings and priests with Him, ruling with Him on His throne at that time.
But now I want you to notice something that Jesus said in John 6:44. (Well, if I don't turn to it, I'll quote it anyway; because I know it.)
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.
You see, Jesus was not at that time opening up the Holy Spirit to all flesh, not at all, ONLY TO THE FIRSTFRUITS.That is why we celebrated the day of Pentecost some few months ago now, in the summer. Pentecost shows that we are only the FIRSTFRUITS of God's salvation. God has NOT POURED OUT His Spirit on all flesh YET. But He began with a type of people that are a type of all the rest of humanity; and the Holy Spirit was poured out on those 120 on that Day of Pentecost.
Now then, that same day Peter preached a sermon. He said, "What you see here today is what Joel prophesied." I just read it to you, that the time will come when God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Now this wasn't "all flesh" yet, but this was the beginning of the group. And many said to Peter, "What shall WE do?" And Peter said, "REPENT." Repent of everything you have done. Repentance is toward God, and you have sinned. God is the Lawgiver, and you have cut yourself off from God. "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION of SINS." That will remit your sins, and you will be reconciled to God. You cut yourself off from God by sin. But you'll be reconciled to God through Christ, and through your faith and belief in Christ; and then YOU will receive the Holy Spirit.
And, you know, that very Day of Pentecost, over 1,950 years ago, there were about 3,000 who received the Holy Spirit and were baptized that same day. And so now there are over 3,000 in the Church, the very day the Church was born and started. But 3,000 was a small number compared to all the people on earth at that time.
Now, it was probably the very next day or just a few days later (probably the very next day), Peter and John were at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; and there was a cripple, and Peter healed him. And a lot of people came around, because this man had been a cripple from birth and everybody knew him. And everybody came around because he leaped up and was able to jump, and leap, and walk immediately. He didn't have to learn to walk even. It was a real miracle! And Peter preached a sermon; and there were about 2,000 more converted by that, that very next day.
But then the persecution began to set in; and inside of 20 years false prophets had come, and really the true Church had to go into hiding by 70 AD. And Satan still was on the throne and ruling, and persecuting the Church. But of those that God was calling (He is not calling but a few now.) that few had to overcome Satan and Satan's world. Now, let me tell you, that is a very difficult thing; and I wonder how many of you are really overcoming this world. I think YOU are NOT overcoming the world AS MUCH AS YOU THINK YOU ARE. Listen to me, brethren: I MEAN YOU!
The Protestant churches teach that you just believe in Christ, and that's all you have to do. That is not all you have to do! You have to REPENT, you have to OVERCOME, you have to GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE, and you have to ENDURE unto the end; and so many don't do that.
I received statistics on this Church the other day, and about one-third of all baptized and grown members of this Church turn away and are lost. They may endure for a few days. They may endure for even a few years, but about one-third leaves. And, I tell you, I pick up an Ambassador College Envoy (the year book), and I see the pictures of students of 10 years ago, of 7 years ago, of 15, 20 years ago; and I almost have heart failure. My heart almost dropped when I see the faces of so many and think they were here. They came to Ambassador College. They had the truth. Some of them received the truth. In fact, most of them did; but they didn't endure. They fell away. They're not with us any longer. Some are really lost. Some are really lost.
Here is a man who came through Ambassador College, became one of the ministers in the Church, and then he was just overcome by alcohol. Now Jesus drank wine, but Jesus only drank a little; and God and Jesus teach temperance in all things. If you can't drink just a little, don't drink at all! But this man did drink all. He drank too much. Pretty soon he became an alcoholic. Then he took up cigarette smoking again. He thought maybe that would help him quit the alcohol; and it didn't, so he was doing both.
A minister went to see him after he had left the Work; and he just blew smoke right in the minister's face, used profanity, dirty language. And not too long ago he wrote me a letter appealing for money because he was up against it and wouldn't I help him? And all these people like that, they say, "Well, I served you for so many years; and I served you faithfully." And so they think now I ought to pay them. Well, you know, they forget: they WERE paid. They got a salary; and they had a GOOD salary, and they lived very well. This particular man, we built a fine new home for him. He didn't appreciate it.
Now his wife is very sick. Well, we had to find out even if he was lying or telling the truth. I said, "We will pay the wife's hospital bills, doctor bills, and everything. But we will not contribute money to go out and buy more booze and just keep drinking from morning till night, and even getting up and drinking more in the middle of the night if you wake up so you can go back to sleep.
Ah, my heart just drops when I think of some people that I have loved so dearly and been so CLOSE to; and they've just let Satan pull them out and the lust of the flesh, the desire of material things. Their lives are a wreck. Can they ever be saved?
What about you people? How long are you going to endure? Of all of you here, according to the statistics so far, one-third of you won't be here 10 years from now. I MEAN YOU! I'm not here to entertain you. I am here to try to help SAVE YOU, AND BRING YOU INTO GLORY AND INTO HAPPINESS, AND IMMORTAL ETERNAL LIFE, AND GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT, and wonderful happiness and joy. That's what I want for all of you. That's what I pray for every day. I pray for all of you, and I pray for people like that. But, you know, just my prayers can't save everybody.
The man I just talked about, he has his part to do. I have my part to do. I know God will give me all the help in the world, and He does. I have to ask God for help every time I come out here to speak to you, and He does help me. This is not just a hunk of human junk speaking to you. It is Christ speaking in me and through me. Me — I am nothing. But I can give myself to Christ, and He can use me. And you can give yourself to Him, and He can use you in whatever way He wants to use you. I don't know what way He will use you. I didn't know what way He was going to use me when I first gave myself to Him 55 years ago. But that's the way it is.
Now, He has called some; and we have to overcome Satan, and we have to overcome the world going Satan's way. We have to come out from among those people and the world and BE SEPARATE. THAT'S BABYLON! "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM" God says; and "BE SEPARATE, saith the Lord." Now I want you to notice what God has said to the CHURCH, and this is for us in the CHURCH.
Revelation 3:21 To him [that's in the Church] that overcometh will I grant to SIT WITH ME ON MY THRONE, (even) as I also overcame, and am [NOW] set down with my Father ... [God on the throne of the whole universe.]
Jesus is up there with His Father now — the Head of the Church and the High Priest over us; and He is using me as a human instrument. But He is the main Head of this Church (or the real Head), the only real Head of the Church. But He says we can reign and rule. And that's why He went to heaven and gave this other almost 2,000 more years now is to call some of us out so we can have more that will be CHANGED and where God will have reproduced Himself. And WE will be BORN OF GOD until we BE God. WE OURSELVES will be GOD — as much "God" as Jesus is, as much "God" as the Father is. JESUS IS A SON OF GOD BY A RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, you read in Romans 1 verses 1, 2 and so on; and we can be in the same way.
He is the first born of many brethren. Oh, I want you to be one of those brethren, born with Him; and some of us are not going to be. Some of you are not going to be. DO YOU COME HERE JUST TO BE ENTERTAINED AND AMUSED BY ME? I am not an entertainer, and I am not here to entertain; but I am here to explain. I am here to plead. But you have already made the decision and given yourself over to Christ.
Well now, very soon now, it's very soon now we're going to find that Christ will come again. Now Tuesday is the day — the annual holy day — the Feast of Trumpets; and that pictures to us the 2nd coming of Christ. Why is Christ coming? Christ was born to be a King. Christ was born to sit on a THRONE! NOT JUST BORN AS A SAVIOUR SO THAT IF YOU SAY "I RECEIVE CHRIST. I'LL GO TO HEAVEN." HE WAS BORN TO GROW UP AND TO CONQUER SATAN, AND TO DIE FOR YOU AND FOR ME, AND TO WORK AS OUR HIGH PRIEST THESE 1950 YEARS. And to help us get into that Kingdom, and to rule with him; and so WE shall be kings and priests, and we shall RULE and REIGN ON THE EARTH.
And now we read in Revelation 11 and verse 15, the time will soon come that is pictured by the day, the Feast of Trumpets will be next Tuesday beginning tomorrow night, Monday night I should say:
Revelation 11:15 The kingdoms of this world ... [That's all the governments of this world. Now I know many of the kings and the prime ministers and the presidents that are sitting on those thrones, and the one emperor. There were two emperors. One of those was taken captive, his government overthrown, and he died; but I knew him very well. Our birthdays are only 8 days apart. One of the last things he did was to send me congratulations on my 82nd birthday. He was also 82 at the time, but he didn't live to be 83. He was taken captive, and he died. I personally think they probably put him to death. But the kingdoms of this world will] (are) become the kingdoms of our Lord and (of) his Christ; and he [Christ]shall reign forever and ever.
Then we can be kings and priests and reign with Him ON THE EARTH. Not in heaven, on the earth. Now then we come on to, a little later, let me see, yes it is later in this same chapter. No, it's the 19th chapter; the 19th chapter and verses 6 and 7.
Revelation 19:6,7 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ALLELUIA; FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH. [That's what we are going to celebrate next Tuesday.] (7) Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his WIFE hath made herself ready.
Brethren, you are that wife. Are you going to be ready? THE WIFE WILL BE READY. THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE WILL BE READY! But how many are going to be IN the Church at that time? HOW MANY MORE OF YOU ARE GOING TO SLIP AWAY? HOW MANY OF YOU ARE GOING TO LET THIS AND THAT AND THE OTHER THING IN THE WORLD TEMPT YOU AWAY, OR YOU LOSE INTEREST, OR YOU NEGLECT PRAYER? Why is it that this Church wasn't even more than one-third filled, I mean this auditorium wasn't one-third filled, until I came back here two years ago, or three years ago? And now we are all filled.
Do you just come for a show? Do you just come to be entertained and amused? BRETHREN, YOUR ETERNAL LIFE IS AT STAKE! All I can do is try to THUNDER IT AT YOU. BUT I CAN'T TAKE HOLD OF YOU AND MAKE YOU DO IT. ONLY YOU can do that, yourselves. But I can tell you. And I'm telling you. And I mean it! I pray for you. I tell you, I do all I can do. I can't do any more. Now the 19th chapter of Revelation:
Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude ...
Let's see, "and His wife ... " Oh, I already read that. "His wife hath made herself ready." And then in verse 16 we read that Christ, when He comes, " ... hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." He is going to rule, and then what is going to happen? The 20th chapter, on the same page in my Bible:
Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years [are finished] ... .
Now, he'll be released just a short time after that; and then he'll be put away forever, before the Great White Throne Judgment. Satan then will be put away. He is on the throne of the whole earth. HE IS RULING.
I talk to the heads of governments all over the nation. Now just yesterday I had a talk with President Sadat's right-hand man, the 2nd man in the government of Egypt; and he said that he would very gladly arrange a meeting with President Sadat again. I fully expect to be over there in the middle of November, right after the Feast of Tabernacles. That is, probably a couple of weeks after.
And also arrangements are being made for another meeting with King Hussein, and also with Menachem Begin if he is still Prime Minister in Israel at that time. I think there is to be an election between now and then, and he may not even be running this time. I don't know. But I will see whoever is the Prime Minister because, if he is not the Prime Minister, I already know the man who will be in any event; and they are very good friends of mine.
But I want to renew acquaintances with King Hussein at this time, because this Church is going to have to flee to a place of safety. Now I don't know if it is Petra. I don't know that at all. I just know that some things in the Bible indicate it might be that, and I don't know of any other place that is indicated; but I don't know that that's the place at all. But, just in case, King Hussein is in charge of it; and I'd like to be in his acquaintance for your sakes, brethren. And it's all being arranged. Now I expect to meet the King of Saudi Arabia on this trip, beside our brethren over in England again; and I will be going over there right after the Feast of Tabernacles.
Now, as I said, I am expecting to go down (Monday morning, we'll leave here) to Nashville to be with our brethren in Nashville for the Feast of Trumpets. And then on the following Sabbath, God willing, I hope to be in Minneapolis for a combined service with a number of our brethren up there. (Let me see: I think I have everything here in my pocket if I can find it, a little note I have here.) The Day of Atonement will be Thursday, October the 8th; and I expect to be here.
The following Sabbath nearly everybody will be traveling to a Feast, so I will just be here. There are no other places I can talk to very many people anyway. And then in the Feast I expect to be here the first and the last day especially; and the Sabbath in the middle of the Feast over at Big Sandy at the Tabernacle over there, where there will also be a great many people. And after that, well after the Feast (It'll be a week or two, a couple of weeks or more.) then we will go back over to Europe again. But that is the schedule.
But now we are going to celebrate the 2nd coming of Christ next Tuesday. I have tried to explain to you why He is coming. He's coming to sit on the throne of the earth, over all nations. I talk with the heads of governments; and I think that no other man has talked with as many of them as I have in their own offices, where they rule and reign. Now the throne on which they rule today is merely the office in a building where they sit and do their work, and that's where I meet them. I think the President of the United States has met a lot more than I have because they meet as a certain group where they all meet together. But I don't think any man has met more than I have, going to them on their own throne in their own private office and had a private meeting with them in their own office.
But, brethren, I find that they are just filled with troubles; and they are troubles they cannot solve. And they are not going to RULE very much longer. Christ is going to come and rule over ALL THE NATIONS of the earth and solve these problems and these troubles. But He has called you and me to be KINGS and PRIESTS with Him and UNDER Him, and HELP Him and the rulers. And WE'LL BE THE RULERS, AND WE'RE GOING TO TEACH these rulers.
I can't teach the kings on the earth now. I'm not trying to convert them. I go to them to get what little message I can. But the main thing is to open the door so I can speak to the people under them and so we can get the message into those countries. And we are getting the message into more and more countries all the time. We are planning now to get the message into Spain. We are planning now to get the message into Italy, in the Italian language. We've been working on that this week. God is working in this Work, as He has never worked in any work in 1900 years, right now.
But, brethren, finally I want you to leave here this afternoon thinking: Are you going to endure? How much time do you spend in prayer? Do you spend anywhere near as much time in prayer as you do on television? Do you spend as much time in prayer as you do in entertainment and just the things to amuse you and fill in your time that you like to do? You better ask yourself some of these questions or some day you'll wish you had.
Did I say all I can do? I can shout at you. I can tell you. I can plead with you. I can pray for you, and I do. I'm just like you: I have to endure to the end too. I have to meet temptation. My life has been threatened. I have been threatened with this, that, and the other thing. There are people who would like to destroy me right now. It's not easy, but I had to count the cost before I gave myself to Jesus Christ. I am having to pay the price! I knew I would. And you have to pay the price. Are you willing?
Jesus said of Himself He could do nothing! If He hadn't PRAYED so continually to the Father, He could never have endured. Even Christ — and He had the Holy Spirit, He was GOD (as well as man). But also He was man, and He was tempted in all points like we are. I tell you, not one of you prays anywhere near as much as Jesus did, and you need it more than He did. You better think it over, and I hope this has helped more than an entertainment afternoon. Thank you very much, brethren — all of you.