... that you find mentioned in the 7th and the 14th chapter of the book of Revelation, that are going to have the seal of God and sealed against the plagues of God that are going to be poured out just before the Second Coming of Christ. That shows you how close we are to the time of Christ's Second Coming. He's coming very, very soon now.
Tonight I'm going to have to just talk to you. In order that you can hear this tonight, it had to be recorded in advance, several weeks in advance. I recorded it at a time when a certain ... I guess it was a flu bug (I don't know just what it was.) had been going around. Several of our ministers and many of our members had been having it. And I'll have to tell you that I am talking to you now with a slight temperature. I'm not quite over it yet; but, by the time you hear this, I hope I will have been completely over it.
Now, in the meantime, since last year I have passed my 93rd birthday; and I am now in my 94th year. I want to tell you how it came about that I discovered these festivals, and that God had commanded them to be continued forever. I want to tell you something about it. First though let me just mention that not only are there about 131,000 of you attending but you are attending in 90 different Feast sites (That's just a few less than the number of years I have lived.) and in 50 countries around the world. Half a hundred different nations and different countries, all around the world! And somehow, directly or indirectly, you are all my children in the Lord.
I have been observing these festivals now for 58 years, longer than any of you. And so I look on you as my children; and I am going to talk to you tonight as a father. Now I have a Bible in front of me. But, you know, I can't read a word of it. Last year, when I talked to you on this program the night of the very beginning of the Festival of Tabernacles, I was able to read scriptures and to read some notes. My eyes have been failing. Since a year ago, my eyesight has gone to the place I can't read even a note. I can't read a scripture. I am going to have to just talk to you, and I talk to you as my children; and I think you'll just have to look on me as your father tonight.
I want to tell you how this all came about. I was 34 years old. I had been successful in business; but God had finally called me, and He had had me challenged on two different questions: One, the question of evolution — which is the atheists explanation (or attempted explanation) of how there could be a creation without any planning, or design, or production by the thinking mind of the great Creator. Otherwise, the other challenge was on the question of Saturday instead of Sunday. That seemed like fanaticism to me at that time. And I had to go into an in-depth study in the subject of evolution.
You know, although my parents had come to the United States a hundred years before there was a United States (100 years before the Declaration of Independence) with William Penn (and they settled in Pennsylvania, which was named after William Penn), they were all Quakers. They came from England. I do have my genealogy traced all the way back to King Edward I of England; and, through the royal genealogy of the royal family of England, I have my genealogy every single generation back to King David of ancient Israel and Judah. I think that is significant that the one God would call for what He has called me to do would be of the house of David.
But, you know, I began to realize I'd never even proved there was a God. I had gone to Sunday school as a boy, but I wasn't that much interested religiously; and I got away from it when I was 18 years of age, and quit attending church. Later on, my wife and I joined a Methodist church in Chicago, because it was convenient and handy. We liked the preacher. We like the people. That's why most people join a church. That's no reason to join a church at all, but we didn't know any better at that time.
In fact, you can't join God's Church. You never were joined. You were put in by the Spirit of God. You were baptized into the Church by the Spirit of God. That's the way we come into God's true Church.
But I had to study the Sabbath question, and I had come to the place where I was just about ready to accept it; and then I came onto something in Colossians 2:14-16. That had to do with the Sabbath — the weekly Sabbath, the monthly new moons, and then the annual holy days. To me, it was like that said they are all done away. So I was just about to decide that I would give it up after all, and that Sunday must be the right day after all.
Then I went a little further, and I discovered something: that that was not doing away with the days at all, but rather establishing it; and that it then established the annual Sabbaths as well as the weekly Sabbaths. That's when I learned that we must keep the annual Sabbaths, and they had not been kept for hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of years in God's Church. But my wife and I began to keep them then, in the year of 1927. (I think that is 58 years ago.) Of course, she has passed on and is no longer with us; but I do continue. And now there are thousands of you that have joined in these days.
These days picture the very purpose and plan of God, and how God is working out His purpose and His plan here below. We are here now at this time for the Feast of Tabernacles. There are seven annual Sabbath days. One has already started tonight; and the other will be the 8th day, after the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles. That will be the final, seventh, annual Sabbath.
So I have been keeping these days all that time, and God restored it for you — for all of you — through me at that time. So give God praise and glory and credit. Of course, I deserve no credit whatsoever, and I suppose none of us does. God has all the glory, and all the praise and credit belongs to God.
But we are here to celebrate the coming of the Kingdom of God. Now we are living in a world that is in a great paradox. On the one hand, we are living in a world of the greatest accomplishment, the greatest progress that has ever happened since mankind has been on the face of this earth. If we have chronology right, people have been on this earth for almost 6,000 years.
I proved that evolution is not true. We didn't come through down any great stone age, and caveman time, and things of that sort. That's all a lot of rubbish that appears in the guise of intellectualism to deceive a lot of people. But people cannot understand the Bible, and they never did understand it. So evolution came along about 150 years ago and has grown until today it is generally accepted in all the institutions of higher learning, the universities and the colleges of higher education.
Well, God opened my mind to the truth. Do you know, I found that the Bible is a coded book and that God didn't intend people to understand it until now. The prophet Daniel was given things to record as part of the Bible, and he wrote down what he heard. God was communicating to him through an angel; and Daniel wrote down, "I heard, but I understood not." Then the angel said, "Well, just write it down, Daniel, and go your way."
Daniel 12:9 The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. [And he said ... ] None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Now the words of the Bible had been closed and sealed until our time; and God began to open it to me, that you could understand. And it was through me that He opened to you that we should keep these days; and what a wonderful thing it has been that we have had these annual holy days, and especially the Feast of Tabernacles. I hope you enjoy it to the very full.
But God kept on revealing so much knowledge. I found the Bible is a coded book, and God did not intend for it to be understood until now. For example, you know Jesus spoke in parables a great deal; and the disciples didn't understand Him. They said, "Well, we don't understand the parable. Declare the parable to us. Tell us what You mean. Why do You speak in parables?" And Jesus said He spoke in parables so people wouldn't understand because He didn't intend them to get the meaning and understand it yet. No one seems to have understood why. Why wouldn't God want people to understand?
Well, I found that you go back to the very beginning — that God created the first man, Adam; and Adam was created with a human mind. Now, you know, even the psychologists today don't know what a human mind is. The human mind is a brain, but it is more than that. Animals have brains, just like we do — dogs, and horses, and cows, and cats, and elephants, and all kinds of animals. But do you know that the modern science of brain research has proved, when they have taken brains out and really looked at them, that the animal brains are just as good as the human brain; and the human brain is not superior.
Then why does a human being know so much more than an animal? Why can a human think, and an animal can't think? How can a human have judgment and wisdom, and an animal can't? How do we appreciate music, and art, and literature; and an animal can't? Because what people don't understand, what none of the higher universities understand, what the great educated people of the world do not understand — it's all in God's Word, the Bible. This book right here.
God put a human spirit, along with the brain, in every human being. When you were born, there was a human spirit born with you. That spirit is in connection with your brain, and that spirit empowers your physical brain to think in the way that an animal can't think. It inspires your brain to come to comprehend knowledge that an animal can't comprehend at all.
You know, that's all in the Bible. In Job 32 and I believe verse 8, it says: "There is a spirit in man." And in verse 18, that the spirit in man constrains him. Then we find about the spirit in man the 2nd chapter of I Corinthians. No man could have the knowledge that a human has (an animal can't have it, and no man could have it) except by "the SPIRIT OF MAN, which is in him." But you know God made man to need another spirit.
Now God made the man just a man, one male man alone; and God wanted him to reproduce and have children. You know, the poor man couldn't do it. He didn't know how to have children. So God had to perform an operation on him. The Bible says God put him in a deep sleep. Today they call it giving him an anesthesia. That's the way they do in a hospital when they operate on you.
God took out one of his ribs, and God made a woman out of that rib and gave her to him as a wife. Now, the woman did not come from the dust of the ground. God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. So a soul is made out of matter, but the soul has a spirit in it. And, you know, people don't understand that today. They talk about a body, soul, and spirit; and they are all mixed up, and they don't know what they are because they don't understand the Bible.
But God began to give me understanding, way back there 58 years ago. And when I began to keep God's own law, to keep His Sabbath, to keep His annual Sabbaths ... and they picture God's plan and God's purpose, and this festival pictures the Second ... Well, the Second Coming of Christ is pictured back here about 5 days ago. No, no, I mean 15 days ago and at the Feast of Trumpets.
But then Satan the devil, and he had misled Eve; and then Adam deliberately sinned. The whole world has been sinning ever since, and the world was just kidnapped by Satan the devil. (The world has never understood these things.) And then God closed up the Tree of Life, and no one could have contact with God. The Tree of Life would have given Adam the Holy Spirit of God. The Tree of Life would have put another spirit in with his human spirit, and the two spirits together would have made them "one" with God.
Now there was Adam, a single man, but he was alone. He couldn't have children. So God made a woman, and the two of them became one family. Now he needed to have a second spirit, and then he would have been "one" with God. And, ultimately, we shall be "one" with God. Isn't that wonderful! And the world doesn't understand or comprehend it at all. It is just too bad. Well, we are here for a wonderful occasion — to celebrate the time after Jesus comes, when there will be a thousand years when we are going to rule and reign with Him.
Now Adam followed Satan. God closed up the Tree of Life, and it's been closed to all people; and salvation was closed. The world doesn't understand that, but salvation was closed to the world. Then God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, as the second Adam. Jesus came as the second Adam to do what the first Adam should have done but didn't. He came, born with the Holy Spirit; and He never lost the Spirit of God. He had from birth the Spirit of God with the human spirit — the two joined together; and it connected Him with God. He was directly connected with God all His human life! But He was human as well as God. And so, when He died, He paid the penalty of your sins and mine because GOD CREATED ALL THINGS BY JESUS CHRIST.
Before Jesus was born as a human being, He was the Logos (as you read in John 1, in the New Testament). And God created ALL THINGS by Jesus Christ. You read that in Ephesians 3:9. God the Father had been closed off to all the world from Adam. Now, when Christ came, He said, "I will build My Church." Now you and me, brethren, Jesus said (in the 3rd chapter and verse 21 of Revelation) that, if you and I overcome ... Now, we have to learn God's way first, and then overcome so we live according to that way of God. If we overcome, He will grant to us to sit with Him on His throne and help rule all the nations in the government of God under Him, when He comes.
Then, in Revelation 2:26-27, Jesus said if you overcome He will give you power over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron. Brethren, you and I have been called to learn the truth. It's here, but it's in a coded message; and it's hidden from the world, and they don't understand it. But God has opened these truths to us; and much of the truth that you have learned God has brought to you through me. He's used me as a sort of father symbol to you. And, as I said in the beginning this evening, you are my beloved children in the Lord; and we have come to know these things.
We are called out of this world to learn God's way of living, and we are going to have to teach the whole world that way. We are not called just to get us saved and get us into heaven, and something like that. We are going to rule RIGHT HERE ON THE EARTH! We'll be both kings and priests — Revelation 5:10; and we will rule and reign here on the earth.
Now, this last year (and since the Feast of Tabernacles last year) things began to come to me. I'll tell you how it came about. I got to looking into the biblical and religious curriculum in Ambassador College. I noticed that there was a lack of teaching about the Bible in the second year. So I began preparing a new book to be a textbook in Ambassador College. Now I didn't begin that until about November or December of last year; and I worked very hard on it now in my 93rd year, as I was. Out of it has come the most important book by far that God has ever written through me, and I think God wrote it through me.
I think it's the most important book in 1900 years, since the Bible. I worked very hard. You've heard somewhat about that book; and you know that I, just a couple of days ago, got to see myself the very first copy of it. And here is a copy — MYSTERY OF THE AGES — the most important book, I believe, that has been written in 1900 years. This book will open up the Bible so you can understand it. It takes the mystery away.
Now I think that carnal-minded people still will not understand it. But this is a complete full book. I just want to announce it to you; and at this Festival there will be a copy for every one, every family, of you. One to a family, they will be there for you; and we want you all to have it, and we want you to read it. I hope that you will read it, and I think it will open your eyes to the understanding of the Bible even more. I know your eyes have already been opened to understand the Bible, but I think this will open them even more than they have been opened before. It is really the story of the Bible, but it makes the Bible clear — the things that have been a mystery to everybody.
It started out with my asking myself years ago: What am I? Who am I? Why am I? How did I come to be here? Why are people on the earth? Why are they put here? Are we here for a purpose? Or did we just happen — by evolution and some blind forces of nature — without any mind, or knowledge, or planning, or anything of the kind?
I just want to announce this book. A copy will be given you at this Festival, and may God help you to enjoy it. I am sure He will. Now I want you to enjoy the Feast. Brethren, the key really for this whole Feast is the Psalm that was my mother's favorite Psalm. So many people seem to think it was my wife's favorite. They get that a little wrong. It was my mother's favorite. It's the 133rd Psalm, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Brethren, during the 1970s, there was quite a movement within the Church of liberalism, to get away from the real truth of God. Now we don't want to overdo the truth of God and to get straight-laced and go farther than God does — into fanaticism. We don't do that. On the other hand, we don't want to slide over towards the devil and the devil's way of life.
God has put His Church, in these last five years, back on the track! The Church today is growing as it never did before. And I want to tell you that, even through the summer (when we get fewer responses than any other time) on our television broadcasts around the world we have been getting an average of close to 17,000 or 18,000 telephone calls after every program. Think of 17,000 or 18,000 telephone calls coming in, and they are coming in that way every week. Our ministers are so busy — visiting people that are prospective members, and people that are prospects for baptism, and bringing in new members into the Church — that we need more ministers.
Brethren, we have many ministers ready. They are educated. They have graduated from Ambassador College. But they have to earn a living, and so they have jobs. They would like to spend all their time as pastors of Churches, and going out and visiting people and bringing them into the Church. But they have to have a salary to do it. Otherwise, they just have to take their time on the job because they have their wives and children to support. So pray that God will send forth more laborers to the harvest.
The harvest is plenteous, but our laborers in God's Work now are too few. Remember that, and remember that we want to have unity — all of us together. And so now I am going to ask the Young Ambassadors to sing what they sang specially for me, right just to the garden to the side at the home where I live — that they sang for me in the last Young Ambassador film; and let that be a theme for this wonderful Feast of Tabernacles. So now have a good night's rest and sleep, and come back all refreshed tomorrow for the beginning of a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles; and God bless every one of you. Good night, brethren.
The following, are the words of the song.
How good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell,
Together in unity, so David did tell;
Like beautiful music, a breathtaking view,
Like most precious ointment, like fresh morning dew.
That descended on the mountains of Zion long before;
God commanded a blessing of life forevermore.
How good and how pleasant for brethren to be
Dwelling safely together in sweet harmony.
Now Jesus was praying with fervent desire,
That all who believe might be one.
With voices united, together we stand,
At peace like the Father and Son.
One body, one spirit, one Lord and one faith,
One God, and one Father of all;
One baptism into the Family of God,
One hope, even as we are called.
That descended on the mountains of Zion long before,
God commanded a blessing of life forevermore.
How good and how pleasant for brethren to be
Dwelling safely together in sweet harmony.
Dwelling safely together in sweet harmony.
[Applause. Then the opening message from the previous year, 1984, is played — the transcript of which follows here.]
Well, greetings brethren. Not only to you here in Pasadena, but to all you brethren who just telephoned in from New Zealand that you are getting the program down there. Right now it is very close to 9 o'clock tomorrow morning in New Zealand, yet it is the same time that it is here not quite 2 o'clock in the afternoon. But I am speaking now by satellite to all of our brethren in all Feast sites in the United States, in Canada, and in England; and it is a wonderful thing that we can all be together. We can all sing together, sing the same hymns at the same time. As Mr. Tkach remarked, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could hear what God does; and He sees and hears us all together at one and the same time. We are at-one-ment with God and with Christ. I think that's a most wonderful thing.
We are living in a world that has made tremendous progress. One great example of that progress, which is awesome, is the very fact that I can sit right here and talk to ALL of our brethren ALL OVER the United States, and Canada, and Britain, and in New Zealand. If we only had the hook-up facilities, I could to the rest of our brethren all over the world. But, at the same time, we are living in a world of appalling evils, problems (unsolvable problems), troubles that are multiplying even much faster than the progress. Now, there is a reason.
We are here on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles 1984 to sort of have a foretaste of that time described in your Bible in Revelation 11:15, when ALL the governments, and kingdoms, nations of this world will have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. It will no longer be run by the human beings who are under the influence of Satan the devil.
We are here to celebrate the time spoken of in the 11th chapter of Isaiah, when the wild animals will be changed. A young lamb will be playing with lions. Or, I mean, a young child will be out playing with a lion. When even the wild animals will be changed, and when we will have world peace.
We are here to enjoy a foretaste of the time spoken of in the 2nd chapter of Isaiah and about the first 9 or 10 verses — when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, and when they will beat their swords into plowshares, their shears into pruning hooks, or the implements of war into implements of production. No one will learn war; and there will be no war anymore, but just peace.
We are here to celebrate the time when even THE WHOLE WORLD will begin to be made at-one with God! Today this world is at-one with Satan the devil. Now, for six thousand years, we have lived ... this earth has been populated by a humanity living in what might be called "the day of man," or even more properly "the day of Satan." This is NOT GOD'S WORLD! This is Satan's world. We are here to celebrate the beginning of the time that will be God's world! It is not God's world yet. We in God's Church have been called out of Satan's world. We are the "come out" ones — those that have been called to come out and to follow Jesus Christ, and to be made now at-one with God.
But the world is not at-one with God. The world doesn't want to hear about God. God never enters in the minds, or the thoughts, or the activities of the people of this world. They are only concerned with the things of the ways of Satan. Satan is the author of vanity first of all, which has lead to competition and strife, and attitudes of jealousy and envy, of hostility, of rebellion, of destruction, of tearing down (never building up), of wanting to get (never to give or to share).
Whereas God's way is the way of love. L-O-V-E. LOVE — the way of giving, of cooperating, of helping, of sharing, of having a concern for the good and the welfare of others of our own kind (the human kind, the people); but love first of all towards God, in obedience, in reverence, in worship, and in reliance and dependence on God. God who is love, who is THE GIVER of all good gifts and everything good; and the Giver finally (as we are going to see, in due time) the Giver of peace.
But we have been living in "the day of Satan." We are looking forward to a time when the whole world will be, as we have been called out of the world, to become now at-one with God! The time we call the Millennium — a thousand year period.
Now, when this gospel of the Kingdom of God is proclaimed in all of the world for a witness to all nations ... And it is now. The Plain Truth is going into every nation on the face of the earth today. In one way or another, we are getting the gospel into every nation on the face of the earth today. I don't know of any other church of any kind that is getting its message there, although no other church HAS the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have a gospel about Jesus, many of them; but not the gospel of Jesus Christ — because His gospel was the gospel about the Kingdom of God, whereas man's gospel is merely one about Christ. Christ was a Messenger, and they only preach a message about the Messenger; but they overlook entirely the message that God sent by Him.
So we're looking forward to a utopia! Now, is utopia an impossible thing? You look up the word "utopia" in your dictionary. If you never did, you might look it up. You will find that the dictionary says that utopia is a fanciful, imaginary, impossible condition of absolute perfection where everybody is peaceful and happy, and there are no troubles of any kind. There is plenty for everybody and everybody has plenty. Everybody is happy and contented. Everybody is getting along, very happily and peaceably, with everybody else. In other words, the time of perfection.
Well, what's wrong with that? Why shouldn't there be a utopia? ... and get, wanting to take instead of share, one of hate instead of love, antagonism instead of cooperation, always trying to get the best of someone else and trying to get something without effort and without producing, and take what someone else produced away from them. This world has been going on now for about 6,000 years in that manner.
Now, WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? When you get back to the beginning, what is it ALL about? In the first place, it all has to do with one central thing; and that is the purpose of the Eternal Creator God! God has a great purpose. You know, it was during World War II (and I've said this hundreds of times I suppose now), Winston Churchill — one of the greatest statesmen of all times and especially in our lifetime, and I think there is not one of that caliber living today — he was speaking before the United States Congress assembled; and he said, "There is a purpose being worked out here below."
I don't think Mr. Churchill understood what that purpose was. But somehow he seemed to know there is a purpose being worked out; and indeed there is. What is that purpose? And who is working it out? When he said "worked out here below," he naturally meant by God above working it out. EVERYTHING revolves around that GREAT PURPOSE! That's THE OVERALL PURPOSE, and EVERYTHING that is going on (or ever has gone on) is only a part, or a portion, of the development towards that purpose.
Now that starts with God Himself. I don't know how to explain anything except to go back to the beginning. I've said so often: you look at this world and try to understand it and you don't. Do you know why? It is like going into a movie when it is almost over, and you don't understand it. You don't know what's going on. You don't know why the things you see being said and done are being done, or what led up to it — because you didn't see what went before. You didn't see what led up to it. Then you would have understood.
We have come into this world when it is almost over. It's near its 6,000 years; and God has, in His purpose, allotted 7,000 years to complete His purpose. The first 6,000 years have been allotted to Satan the devil. Now how did he get into this? Well, we need to go back to the beginning to understand even that. So I usually cover the trunk of the tree with its roots, and I leave the branches and the twigs to our other ministers. They bring you the details. But God has a great purpose.
Now in the first place today, I said we've been for 6,000 years in "the day of Satan" the devil; and he has so blinded the world that they have no idea about God. Most of the people in the world are simply not conscience of God. They just don't think about Him. He doesn't enter into their thoughts, or the daily activities of their mind; and they don't want Him to enter in. You begin to talk about God, and they are uncomfortable. They want to change the subject or run away real quick. They are nervous. They don't want to talk about God.
Actually, they are afraid of God. It's not that they think God is a monster, going to harm them or hurt them. It's rather the other way. They think God is so good that they might find out how bad they really are, and they don't want to know. So they run away, and they are afraid of God.
I've said many times: there is no religion on earth that knows who or what God is, except God's own Church. You read in the very beginning of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." But Moses wrote that in the Hebrew language. In the Hebrew language, he didn't use the word "God." The word for God in Hebrew was "Elohim," and Elohim is a plural word. (Not uni-, but plural word.) It means more than one; and it should be Gods with an 's' on the end of it in the English language, because God later said, "Let Us make man in Our image." Not let Me! There was more than one person there.
Now, who was that? Who and what then is God? Of what is He composed? What is He like? You find that described in the New Testament, in the 1st chapter of John, the first five verses — where it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Now, it's the same as in Genesis: "In the beginning ... " But instead of saying God created the heavens and the earth; it says, " ... was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... All things were made by him." There He's the Creator. It just goes into a little more detail.
Now, who and what is this Word? Is that talking about a being, a personage? In verse 14, I believe it is, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and became Jesus Christ. So the Word was a great personage that became Jesus Christ — is the personage before He became Christ.
We read of it in Hebrews, that He was like God. "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life." He will always exist. He always did. There never was a time when He began. He always has been. (Don't try to figure that out in your mind. You just can't. I can't either.) Nevertheless, something had to always exist; and it took intelligence to produce the unintelligent things we find in the universe.
Now it said that He lived. God lived, and the Word lived. The next thing then is: How did They live? They lived happily. They lived at peace. They loved one another. Two can't walk together except they be agreed, and They agreed. When the Word (the Logos, as it is in the Greek language) became Jesus Christ — when He was about 30 years of age and was baptized — God said from heaven, "You are My BELOVED Son, in whom I am well pleased." He loved the Son; and the Son loved God, who then became His Father after He was born of the virgin Mary. And He obeyed His Father.
He was the Word. He spoke; and one of the Psalms says, "He spake, and it was done." The power that did it was the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit that proceeded forth from God and also from the Word. But Jesus said, when He was human on the earth, that He never spoke anything except what His Father told Him to speak.
Now two cannot walk together except they be agreed. But, at the same time, two cannot walk together except one is the boss. Every young married couple going to the altar in a wedding ought to remember that. One is going to be the boss. So there are so many young brides today that say now, in advance they say, they won't go to the altar if there's any promise to obey. "I'm not going to promise to obey. Our marriage is going to be fifty-fifty." And I just simply say, "Oh, yeah." [Audience laughs] Fifty-fifty?
You know, that reminds me of a judge back in Gladewater (We used to call it Gladewater. Now we call it Big Sandy.) over there in Texas. This judge said that he settled that question on his wedding day. He said, "I laid down the law to my wife. I let her know without any equivocation who was going to be the boss in our family; and I told her I would be the boss, and make no mistake about that. I would allow her to, well, make any decisions in some little, minor problems that might come along; but I reserved the voice in deciding all major problems. And I wanted her to understand that! I am the boss." Well, he said, "Now, that worked out very well all these years since we were married. No major problems have ever arisen." [Audience laughs.] So you can guess who the boss was.
Well, in this case God was the boss; and Jesus said He was. There is no question about it. You can't have any society, you can't have any organization, unless one is the boss. There has to be leadership. But God lived. The Word lived. They got along; and They lived the way of cooperation. One was the boss; and there was love between Them; and there was harmony, and there was peace.
Now, the next thing is: What did They do? If They lived, They had to be doing something. What was Their occupation? Well, They were Creators. They created, and in Ephesians 3:9 you read that God was the Creator. He was the boss, and He created all things BY Jesus. Now Christ did whatever His Father told Him. He only spoke what His Father told Him to. So God told Him what to do. He spoke, and (as one of the psalms says) it was done. The Spirit of God leaped out and did it. So it all originated with God the Father, and there was total cooperation; and a perfect creation came about.
The first thing that They created was angels. What is God? Of what is God composed? Let's see. It's in John 4:24, I think. "God is a Spirit." He is composed of spirit. What is man? Man is flesh, made from the dust of the ground. That's quite different. But you see back in Genesis, it was Elohim (more than one person) said, "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness."
But the Eternal God (and the Eternal is the one who became Christ) formed man of the dust of the ground — just out of matter. What was made out of matter became a living soul. So the soul came out of matter, and the soul is not spirit. But God did put a spirit in man to give him a mind. So you read in Job that there is a spirit in man. You read in the 2nd chapter of I Corinthians that no man could even have the knowledge that a human can have (a knowledge such as horses, cows, elephants can't have) ... No animal can have human knowledge, and a man could not have that kind of knowledge except by THE SPIRIT OF MAN — the human spirit — that is in him.
Now, I find in the Bible that there are different degrees, or levels, of spirit. Highest of all is the Spirit of God, who has the power of creation — the power of thinking and planning and designing, and then of bringing into existence out of nonexistence, of forming and shaping. He designed an oak leaf and caused an oak tree to always bear oak leaves. He designed the human brain and the human body, far more marvelous than anything any human can design or produce. God was Creator, and God was composed of spirit.
Now the first thing that God created then was angels. We find that angels were in existence before matter, because you find in the 38th chapter of Job that, when the earth was created (and the heavens were created at the same time, according to both the 1st and the 2nd chapters of Genesis), that the angels were already in existence; and they were shouting for joy and singing for gladness because the earth originally was made as a habitat for the angels.
Now we find that there are three archangels, or cherubs. They are the highest level of angels. Angels are created on three levels: First are ordinary angels. They do not have wings. A little higher (also composed of spirit, also immortal — not make of matter, but made of spirit) are seraphs. They do have wings. Then above them, highest of all, next to God were cherubs or super archangels. They had wings. There are three of them mentioned in the Bible.
A third of them had followed one, Lucifer. Lucifer was one. He was on the very throne of God, and there was a government there. The government was based on a way of living, a way of life — which is love, cooperation, perfect harmony and agreement, and being at-one with God. At-one-ment with God! One of those archangels, Lucifer, had been on the throne of God. He was experienced in the government of God.
Now all government is based on a law. How would you define law? I had to speak be the law school of the University of Southern California — one of the most famous law schools in the United States. I mentioned then that law is merely the rules of human conduct, of the conduct of one or more persons in contact with other person or persons. I also mentioned that men can't seem to understand what is a right way of conduct.
Even our Supreme Court judges can't understand the difference between right and wrong. They just don't know. One of the big arguments right now is abortion. Is it right or wrong? Only God can tell you that! So I think the next program that I put on the air will be answer to that question. When does human life start? Is it at birth, or is it before birth? Is an abortion the taking of human life? Is it murder, or isn't it? Well, I'm not going to give any opinions. I'm just going to tell them what God says. I'm going to tell them what Jesus Christ would say if He were here — what He does say, because the Bible is His Word in writing. So He says that. That's what He says.
Now any government is founded on a law, a basic law; and a law is merely the rules of human conduct. God's way of human conduct is LOVE.
Now the next thing that God created was the physical universe. As I say, in Job 38 you read of God creating the earth. In Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are statements that show in both places that the whole universe was created at the same general time as the earth. It says in the same day, but it doesn't mean 24-hour day. (The same general time.)
So angels were created before the physical universe. When God created the physical universe and created the earth, He put a third of the angels on the earth; and He put this Lucifer over them. Now there are two other archangels, each one over a third of the other angels I presume. One, of course, was Michael; and the other was Gabriel. Those are the three archangels.
But God set a throne of government on the earth that His government — based on the law of LOVE (of love towards God first of all, and then love towards your fellow creatures) ... In this case, it would be towards other angels. Lucifer was set on a throne to (Oh, what's the word I want?) administer that government; and he still is on that throne to this day.
Now when he was set on that throne, nobody knows. It was prior to the creation of the first human. I don't know whether it was 2 or 3 years before or whether it was millions of years, because angels are immortal and they have been living a long, long time. They are immortal.
This Lucifer, when he got on a throne of his own, he became jealous and beauty went to his head. Now you find about him in the 14th chapter of Isaiah and the 28th chapter of Ezekiel. He was so beautiful that he allowed vanity to seize him. It went to his head, and he then became jealous of God. God rules the whole universe; but he could only rule this one little planet, earth. So he organized his angels into an army; and he said, "Let's go up and pull a coup. Let's invade God's heaven and knock God off the throne. I want to take over. I'm going to take God's place. I'll be God!" But he got knocked back down to earth. So he was no longer the super archangel. He became Satan the devil; and his angels, who went with him, became demons.
Now after that had happened, God next decided that He — in His great purpose being worked out here below — would reproduce Himself. He could create no higher being than the cherubs. Here was a cherub who had gone the wrong way and sinned, and lacked the character of God. So He said only God can be assured of always going the right way and never will go the wrong way. So He would reproduce Himself, and He would reproduce Himself out of humans made out of the dust of the ground. Then God said, "Let us ... " That was God the Father said to the Word, "Let US make man in Our image, after Our likeness." Then the Word obeyed, and He formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
Now, he didn't have immortality. Angels did. But man had a mind, and he had a human spirit; and a human spirit was on a lower level than an angel spirit. The lowest level of any spirit, but it was still spirit. It was human spirit, and the human spirit with a human brain ... And incidentally a human brain is no better than a cow's brain, or a horse's brain, or an elephant's brain, or any animal brain. But the human spirit with that brain empowers it with THE POWER OF INTELLECT — the power to acquire and comprehend knowledge, the power to reason, the power to have wisdom and judgment, to make decisions, to put facts together in a reasoning process and come to conclusions, even to invent and to do many things that the human mind can do. So the human brain empowered with the human spirit becomes a mind. Animals don't have minds. They merely have brains.
But God offered the man LIFE. He put him in the Garden of Eden. There were two symbolic trees. One was the Tree of Life; and, if the man would take that Tree of Life, he would then be made at-one with God. It meant that God, with God's Spirit, would enter into him and combine with his spirit.
Now man was at first made alone and incomplete. God had not completed the creation at first. He was only a single, male, human being; and God wanted him to reproduce and replenish the earth. The poor man couldn't do it. So God performed an operation, put him to sleep, used ... Perhaps it was a miraculous anesthesia, but it was an anesthesia. He took out one of his ribs, and made a woman out of it. So He added the woman — a female human — to the male, and the two became ONE! But one what? One family! They became one family, just as God and the Word are one God Family.Now, they became one human family. Already you begin to see a type towards God.
God offered them eternal life. If they would take of the Tree of Life, then the Spirit of God would enter into them and would impregnate them with immortal life. They would have been begotten with eternal life; and, in due time, they would be born as very God — as Jesus Himself was later, after four thousand years.
But, in the meantime, Satan came along; and he deceived Eve. Eve took of the forbidden fruit. That was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and God forbade them to take that, to take to themselves the knowledge of good and evil. Now, notice: they were made with a human spirit, and it had the power to know up to a certain level. On the level of the human spirit, they could know good as well as evil. They couldn't know good though on the grand scale that God's mind can, because they had a lower grade of spirit; and any good that they could do was of a self-centered nature.
I've said many times that one of the highest attributes of good that is possible for a human is mother love — the way a mother loves her child; but that is in itself innately selfish. The child came from that mother. It's hers. She loves it. She doesn't love other children like that one. All the difference in the world!
Whereas God doesn't have favorites — God is just love, period. God loves sinners as well as the righteous. He loved sinners so much He gave His only begotten Son to die for them, that they could be reconciled back to Him again. That's a different kind of love all together. It's on a higher, more grand, scale.
So, what did God do? He closed off the Tree of Life so that no man could get to it; and He put super archangels guarding it with flaming swords lest anyone should go in and take it, and eat, and live forever. So this world was founded, and Satan had virtually kidnapped Adam and Eve. They went the way of Satan. Satan didn't say, "Worship me." He said, "Do your own thing." He said, "Choose good and evil for yourself, your own way. Do your own thing." And so they did!
But they could not choose a higher good, because it wasn't within their power. They only had a human spirit. It wasn't on that higher level of the Spirit of God. So the world that followed had both good and evil. But there was Satan, who had kidnapped them and kidnapped their whole family.
At that time, the foundation of the world, God made certain decrees. He decreed, as you'll read in the 13th chapter of Revelation and verse 8, that the one who was the Logos (or the Word) would become flesh and dwell among us, would live a perfect human life and would pay the death penalty in man's stead — because the penalty for that sin was death. So now it was already decreed that man's sin could be paid for and man could have his penalty removed.
The next thing God decreed was that, as in Adam all were going to die, so in Christ the same all would be made alive by a resurrection. You read of that in I Corinthians 15, beginning with verse 22. Then, along with that (in Hebrews 9:27) you will read that it was appointed then — at the very foundation of the world — for men once to die, because of sin. They're all the offspring of Adam and Eve, and they had sinned. Adam had sinned, and all have sinned since; and they all die in Adam.
But after they die, there would be a judgment. They would be resurrected in Christ. Christ would come and pay the penalty of sin. They would be resurrected. Then it would be possible after all for them to be saved. In other words, God had A PURPOSE He was working out here below. When Satan induced Adam and Eve to go the wrong way, he did not defeat God's purpose! GOD'S PURPOSE SHALL STAND! No one can defeat God's purpose.
So God arranged that, even though man should die, through Christ they would all be made alive. Then would come a judgment, but the judgment was not on the children of Adam and Eve.
It's just a case of when we are to be saved. Those that God calls are those that were predestinated to come. We have a different battle than those that will come later. We have to fight Satan. We have to fight this world. We have to overcome Satan; we have to overcome the world; and we have to even overcome our own selves.
Now, EVERYBODY is going to be called! But only those in God's Church are called now. Others will be called later. It's just a case of when you are called. We are called now, not to get salvation. We are called now to learn, and to come to be filled with the Spirit of God, and to learn of God in order to be teachers, and to bring others (when their time comes) into salvation and into the Kingdom of God, and to bring them into a condition where they too will finally be at-one with God.
So now God has given His Church ... and ancient Israel was the Church in the wilderness; but they were really the congregation or church of Israel. We are the Church of God. In other words, they were the flesh-born children of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. We are the spirit-begotten children of God. So we are called by our Father's name. They were called Israel. That was their national name. We are called Church of God, and we go by our Father's name — God. Oh, brethren, do we realize these wonderful truths? Do we realize it?
Now, God has given us these annual holy days. First was, it began, the spiritual phase of God's program began with Christ and His sacrifice; and the Passover pictured that. The seven Days of Unleavened Bread picture coming out of sin. That's the next step. The Day of Pentecost, coming in the summer, pictures the coming of the Holy Spirit. Also, it was the time of the coming of the law at Mount Sinai. That comes in the summer, usually in the month of June. (I guess, always.)
Then we come to the Feast of Trumpets. That is the Second Coming of Christ. That is a time when Christ will come and take over the reign and the rule OF ALL NATIONS. When He comes, we are going to reign and rule with Him. He says, for example, in Revelation the 2nd chapter. Well, it's in chapter 2 verses 26-27 and chapter 3 verse 21. We will sit with Him on His throne. We will be given power over the nations, and rule them with a rod of iron.
We are called now to qualify to do that! That's the only reason we are called. Not just to get salvation. Those of you who think you are called just to get salvation are going to find you won't get it. You are like the one who received one of the ten talents, when Christ in the parable gave one talent to each of His ten servants. The one who took it and gained ten with it, and did something, and qualified for what he would do in the Kingdom — he's going to reign over ten cities in the Kingdom. He qualified for what he can do in the Kingdom of God. The one who gained five talents only did half as well. He will be given half as big a job in the Kingdom, which means half as big an honor really.
But the one who just tried to get saved, and that's all (and he tried to keep what he had, and he didn't add anything to it) had it taken away from him; and he didn't get into the Kingdom at all. That's what is going to happen to any of you people who think you are just getting into the Kingdom and you are just going to get saved. IF YOU DON'T REALIZE YOU HAVE TO GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST as well as His grace. IF YOU DON'T REALIZE YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME. IF YOU DON'T REALIZE YOU HAVE TO ENDURE TO THE END. IF YOU DON'T REALIZE YOU HAVE TO QUALIFY. We are rewarded ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, not saved according to our works; but we are not being called just to be saved.
Salvation itself is a free gift of God, but we are called for something more than that now. We are called for a great job, and we MUST qualify! What have you qualified for? How much have you grown since this time last year? Ask yourself that. And many of you are going to have to say, "Well, I guess I haven't grown. I guess I haven't learned any more than I knew then. I guess my character is not any better than it was then." I sometimes think that a lot of Protestantism has rubbed off on some of us, and they think it is just a matter of getting saved. Brethren, it is far, far more than that.
Now then, if we qualify, then when Christ comes we are going to sit with Him on His throne. We are going to be given power over the nations. We will be kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. (That's Revelation 5:10.) Then will come that thousand-year period that I mentioned at the beginning. After that, Satan will be loosed.
Satan will be put away. The Day of Atonement, which we had just ten days ago, pictures Satan being put clear away. Christ will come and rule. When He does, Satan won't be on the throne any longer. He will be removed. YOU will be ruling with Christ. Have you been qualifying? Have you been gaining ground?
Brethren, I don't say you have to reach absolute perfection. I don't think any of us are going to do that. But we have to have gained ground. We have to have made progress. We have to have been overcoming. We have to have been growing in grace AND KNOWLEDGE. Do you study your Bibles enough? Do you pray enough? Otherwise, brethren, some of you are not going to make it into God's Kingdom. We talk about making it into God's Kingdom. Well, let's quit talking that way. Let's talk about qualifying to be a king or a priest.
Following then, of course, will come that thousand years; and after that will come the time of the Great White Throne Judgment. Those who had lived before and judgment was not on them — they will be resurrected. As they have died in Adam, they will all be resurrected in Christ. It will be the final judgment; and, of course, that is a subject for the Last Great Day of the feast. Then we will show the final culmination of this marvelous, great purpose of God. It's a marvelous thing; and God's purpose, as I said, DOES STAND!
As I've said before, I have looked into the Book (which is God's Book). I've looked over to the end to see how it comes out, and we win. We will win, brethren. Keep studying your Bible. Keep praying. Keep qualifying, and never fail.