Well greetings, brethren. Now we have come to the final service of the first of the festivals of the year 1983. Prior to the Passover, for a few weeks prior, we heard many sermons about examining ourselves — being ready for the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, as the apostle Paul had directed us in the 11th chapter of I Corinthians. Then we came to take the Passover a week ago last night, renewing our acceptance of Jesus' stripes (being beaten with stripes) for our physical healing — something I'm afraid we don't take advantage of as we should, but which we could; and that's one of the great advantages God has given us. It's something extra He doesn't charge for, that He wants to give; and I think He's displeased when we don't take better advantage of it. Then, of His shed blood for the remission of our sins; and now for the seven Days of Unleavened Bread to picture once again to us the coming out of sin and putting sin out of our lives. So where are we now? Where do we go from here?
The next festival will picture to us the coming of the Holy Spirit. For us of this time — when Jesus Christ has come to start a new world (an entire new civilization) and has called some of us out of this world (which is Satan's world) has said "Come out from among them [of this world]and be ye separate." — first comes repentance. Then comes belief in Christ, and then comes the promise we shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now the next annual festival is a one-day holy day, the Day of Pentecost, that will come in (let me see) I guess it's now just over six more weeks — after 49 days, to the 50th day.
But let's notice from the sixth chapter of Hebrews, the first two verses:
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
... because repentance and faith are the two original conditions to receiving God's Spirit, especially for those that God has called. As Peter explained on the Day of Pentecost, the promise is to as many as the Lord our God shall call; and Jesus Christ said no man could come to Him except the Father, which sent Him, draws the person. And so those of us that are called now are drafted. God is not trying to convert Satan's world. He is pulling some out of Satan's world to be specially trained to be leaders, to be teachers, to be rulers in God's world to come.
So many people don't understand what the word "gospel" means. It means "good news." As I've said so many times, Jesus came as a newscaster. He came with news, and it was good news. It was the good news that another world is coming. The Kingdom of God IS the next world — God's world! This is not God's world, and God is not trying to improve Satan's world for him. He's calling some of us out of this world all together.
It isn't a matter of just anyone who "will" may come. The one place in the Bible where that expression "whosoever will may come" is in the last chapter of the book of Revelation. The time setting is long after the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, and when Satan is gone, and when God is calling everyone to salvation. It does not apply now.
Now he continues in verse 2:
Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
So we should go on unto perfection. God is perfection. God is absolutely perfect in every way. Jesus Christ was perfect. No one could point out one thing that Jesus had ever done contrary to God's law, God's commandments, or what God had taught and the way of God. Again, the very last words in Peter's letter of II Peter, we should:
II Peter 3:18 Grow [now] in the grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Now you can't put sin out of your life without putting righteousness in. Once again, I've mentioned the bottle. It doesn't necessarily have to be a milk bottle, any kind of a bottle. Let's say that the bottle is filled with some very dark, ugly and poisonous liquid; and you want to empty it out (like we must empty ourselves of sin, and get sin out of our lives). You can't get that polluted liquid out of the bottle without letting something else go in, because the bottle is not going to be a vacuum. For every little cubic-centimeter (or whatever you would call it) that goes out, an equal amount of air will have to come in or something to take the place of it.
We can't put sin out of our lives without putting God's righteousness in to replace it. Sometimes the way to get sin out is to put righteousness in, and it will just force the sin out. That is the best way to put sin out of your life.
Now, the festivals of God show the completion of the creation of man. I have said so many times that God (I won't say He always does, but so far as I can see and think of just now) in every case God creates in dual stages. I've said that He didn't finish the creation of angels until character had been established in them. Each individual angel had to make his own choice, had to make a decision, before that character could come into him. He had his own part in that process.
And man was not completed at the time of the creation of Adam. He created man; but we read back here in Genesis the second chapter, and beginning with verse 18:
Genesis 2:18-19 And the [Eternal] God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. [Or adequate, or fit, competent for him.] (19) And out of the ground the [Eternal] God had formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Now that certainly implies that God said to Adam, "I want you to name them." One thing I might call your attention to right here, I don't see here any rebellion in Adam as yet. I don't see any resentment against God, any hostility. He didn't say, "Ah, go do it yourself." He didn't say, "Well, why should I do it? Let someone else do it." No, Adam just went ahead and did it.
Genesis 2:20-24 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet [or fit for him, adequate]for him. (21) And the [Eternal] God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam [That's what they do before they give you an operation in a hospital. They give you a deep sleep with an anesthetic so that Adam didn't feel what was going on.], and he slept: and he [God] took one of his [Adam's] ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; (22) And the rib, which the [Eternal] God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (23) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. [So Adam even went on to name her, and give the name Woman.] (24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Adam was not complete. God wanted him to reproduce. No man can do that by himself. So He made a woman. Now they were two, and He brought them together; and the two became one. But one what? Not one spirit! They became one flesh. Now man's physical creation was complete. Just his physical creation! However, the spiritual creation is what God is really doing, and He's starting by making man a sort of a clay model that will be changed into spirit later on. Physical creation complete, but the spiritual creation had not.
Now Adam was mortal. I've read so many times, Genesis 2:7, that "God formed man of the dust of the ground." He was made in the image of God — in the form and shape of God. In that sense, he was different from other animals. But "He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [just the same as He did in animals], and man became a living [nephesh or] soul."
Animals had also become living "nephesh," only in the King James translation they translated it three times in Genesis 1 that animals had become living "creatures." They came to the same Hebrew word referring to man and they called it "soul." That's because the ones who did the translating into English still believed Satan's lie (that we are immortal souls). But it doesn't mean immortal. It just means a physical being. The dust of the ground became a soul.
Now Adam only had a temporary, chemical (or physical) life. His life was limited, and was limited to breathing air and the circulation of blood. But God is immortal. God has eternal Life. In Him is Life — self-containing Life, inherent Life. God offered that to Adam through the Tree of Life.
Now once again, there are the Two Trees. If I mention it, someone's going to get up and walk out and say "There's Mr. Armstrong getting back to those Two Trees." You betcha! And I'm going to do it again, and again, and again — because you can't understand salvation, you can't understand what Christ is doing, you can't understand the Church, you can't understand the world or what's wrong with it, you can't understand ANYTHING unless you understand the lesson of those Two Trees and the incident of the forbidden fruit.
One was the Tree of Life. That was freely offered to him. The other was the Tree of Self Knowledge, taking to himself the knowledge of good and evil. Now that had nothing to do with knowledge of building a house, of knowledge of making clothes to wear, knowledge of food to eat or physical things. Or later on (as mankind advanced) knowledge to make automobiles, railroad trains, airplanes, spacecraft, computers, the many marvelous machines that we make today. Good and evil does not give you knowledge to do any of those things. Good and evil is knowledge merely of a relationship with, dealing with, other minds.
It's the spirit in the mind that gives the attitude, and it has to do then with spiritual knowledge and spiritual attitudes — attitudes of love, or of hate; of cooperation, or of competition; attitudes of give and cooperate and serve and help, or attitudes of get and take away and of animosity. It has to do with right and wrong. So God forbade him to take this kind of knowledge to himself.
God had made man with a mind that was not complete. Now man's creation physically was not complete until God had made a wife for him. But his creation spiritually and mentally was not complete, and is not yet! The spiritual creation of man is still going on, and our spiritual creation is not yet complete.
We've just come to the place in the annual holy days, and they picture the spiritual creation. We have just come to the place now of having repented of sin, having accepted Christ and His sacrifice for the remission of sins and as our Savior through, whom we may receive eternal Life from God the Father. We haven't even come to the place in the annual holy days that picture the coming of the Holy Spirit. So that creation is STILL going on. It's not even complete yet.
Now the Tree of Self Knowledge (of trying to take just to himself the knowledge of right and wrong) — spiritual knowledge: And spiritual knowledge has to do with what life is all about, why God created man, why He put us here, where we are going, what is the purpose of life, what is our objective. If man was to be made into God — and that is God's purpose, He is reproducing Himself — but what IS GOD now? God is supreme mind and spiritual character.
It took supreme power to create matter. There was a time when there was no such thing as matter. There was no earth. There was no sun. There were no galaxies. No universe! (Nothing physical whatsoever.) Only God and the Word! And then next God created spirit beings, or angels. They are spirit and invisible to human eyes. They are not matter. But God has supreme mind. He was able to first design angels (what form and shape they would be), design their minds. But the one thing God couldn't do was to create character within them. You see, character is something we have a share in; and no one knows that better than God.
So, when He created Adam, the Tree of Life simply meant spiritual mind, spiritual knowledge of God and God's purposes, and spiritual righteous character (perfection of character). That's what GOD IS. He's making God out of us. He is reproducing Himself out of us!
Now if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was going to result in death, I think we could call that the tree of death! But it was a knowledge tree of a certain kind of materialistic knowledge. It also had a certain spiritual type of knowledge, but it was not God's type of spirit. A human mind, (a carnal mind) can have good aspirations. A carnal mind can have a high sense of morality. He can have good intentions. He has attitudes — either good or bad. But there is one difference. He has only this human spirit within him, and the human spirit is intensely selfish.
Now I said a while ago Adam did not at first show anything evil. God told him to name the animals, and he did. He submitted when God put him into the deep sleep, and he accepted the wife that God made for him. That shows that what we call "human nature" was not created in Adam. God did not create something evil in Adam. Something evil got into Adam, but it was not created there at first by God; and we have to go back to these Two Trees to understand some of these things.
The Tree of Life meant the Holy Spirit of God, and that meant the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). That's a kind of love God did not put in Adam when He first created him. Adam was capable of exercising a certain love, but it was a selfish love.
When Eve became a mother of Cain, I think she loved Cain. We think of mother love as being about the highest form of love. Well, it's only the highest form (if it is a highest form) of carnal love; but it is selfish in nature because that child was her child. That child came out of her. It was hers, belonged to her. She had to take care of it.
We always seem to be in favor of what is ours. Maybe it's our basketball team, or our football team; but we are for it, and we are against the team that is against it. That's a type of selfish attachment and selfish love; and that's the only kind of love that Adam was competent or capable of.
If he had taken the TREE OF LIFE, he would have received THE LOVE OF GOD. God would then ... But Adam had to make that decision. That is the kind of love which in us does certain things. First of all, the Spirit of God impregnates with immortal, self-containing, inherent Life (which Adam did not have). Secondly, the Spirit of God opens the mind to understand spiritual knowledge, and spiritual attitudes, and a spiritual sense of right and wrong (which the normal, carnal human mind cannot understand to that extent).
The Holy Spirit is much more than that. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, and love is the fulfilling of the law. Once you understand what the law of God is, it is love towards God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Now man doesn't have the KIND of love that will do that!
The people in this world — with high aspirations, with a good sense of morals, high ethics, everything of that kind in business — usually they don't care anything about God. They don't know anything about the things God has in store for us. They don't have the love of God. They just simply have what we would call 'good character' from just the human point-of-view because they have the human spirit within them.
The Tree of Life meant a spiritual mind that could acquire spiritual knowledge that God has in store for us, and God's purposes, and what God plans, and spiritual character so we could become perfect like God. So, you see, both Trees were trees of knowledge. One was knowledge that can come only by the human spirit within man. The other was knowledge that comes by the Spirit of God.
So man's part in his spiritual creation begins with man making a choice. He has to ... What Adam had to do was to reject Satan and Satan's way and accept eternal Life from God and would be accepting the knowledge that God would reveal; and through the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in him would open up his mind to comprehend and understand what God was revealing. Then that would give him the LOVE to fulfill the law. It would give him the FAITH to rely on God. It would give him the spirit of POWER. It would give him so many things that he lacked, and that every child born ever since has lacked as they were born.
Now Adam yielded to Satan and to Eve. Sin had not entered Adam until he yielded to Satan. I'd like to just show you something now. Once again, let's go over this in the third chapter of Genesis.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the [ETERNAL] God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
In other words, he right away is belittling God and accusing God of being selfish and taking everything to Himself. "He held something back, didn't He? He didn't give it all to you, did He? Well:
Genesis 3:2-4 The woman said unto the serpent, 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, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. [Now watch how Satan goes to work.](4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
In other words, "God is deceiving you. You can't believe God. You can't rely on God." He started to discredit God. He started to cause doubt about God. You know, I've noticed that in the Church some that haven't been members too long will come say, "Well, I've got questions." Questions mean they have doubts, that they are doubting God. They are doubting God's truth. They are doubting the Bible. Now, if they are really honest, sometimes we explain their doubts; and, oh, they see it and that's just fine. They go right along. They remain loyal, and they grow in grace and knowledge. But sometimes they are critical; and they are just trying to find something wrong, and they refuse to see anything that is right.
Genesis 3:4-6 Ye shall not surely die. (5) For God doth know["He already knows this. He's deceived you." He knows ... ] that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) [Now, it was] when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [Now, it really was good for food.], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [Now it began to appeal to her sense of sight, one of the physical senses. It was desired. A desire for something beautiful came in to her, and for the taste of good food.], ... desired to make one wise [That appealed to intellectual vanity. She began to think what she could do with her mind. "What is this power in me I find suddenly created? I'd better use it."], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Then something happened to both of them! Something happened to their minds. They had made a choice of self-centeredness, of selfishness. They wanted what looked good to them. They denied God. First Satan destroyed God's credibility and the AUTHORITY of God. "You can't rely on God. God is no authority."
Now the Bible is merely God speaking. The biggest church that professes to be "Christian" in this world says, and its top cardinals have said (and I think this has come from Rome), the Bible is not a sufficient guide to heaven, as they say. Well, heaven isn't what God has promised us any way; but they assume that.
So at first he had to try to destroy the credibility of God, and the authority of God. Secondly, he appealed to intellectual vanity — to make man feel he's SUPERIOR to God, till man would look down on God. Now I want you to see how that has come through the centuries down to our time. That's where it started. You have to go back to find how we got to be that way. It started that way. That was the foundation of this world, and this world is Satan's world.
Today universities feel that they are very superior to God's College. Practically every student ... I think that there may be one or two exceptions; but, on the whole, the students who have been to Ambassador College and then gone to one of the universities for higher degrees have come to look askance at Ambassador College. They become ashamed of it. It's not on the high level of this scientific university. Didn't we all use to feel that way? Frankly, I am awakened to the fact that I think I did. We weren't quite as good as they were. They were intellectual.
I know in the early days, when we had two students here who had master degrees from Oxford University, we had others from other universities: Northwestern University, I think from Harvard, or one from Yale. We used to try to advertise that fact, to show how good we were — that we even had students from those fine colleges. You see, they were way up there; and that seemed to elevate us. I look back with shame on that now. We were higher than they were all along, but we didn't seem to know it. We hadn't advanced that far in the knowledge of God.
Today in the world fundamental religion, even though they are wrong, those who are fundamentalists are those that claim to believe the Bible. There's the "Bible Belt" down in Kentucky, and Tennessee, and that area; and they are generally looked on with contempt by the educated people of the world. They are looked on as ignorant. God is ignorant! That's the psychology that Satan has generated in this world! If you believe in God, there's something wrong with your mind. The only thing that is wrong is that their minds are only half there.
God made the human mind only half there. It had one human spirit, and the human mind is human brain plus human spirit. But it isn't complete. God made it to need another Spirit — the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God coming with the spirit of man in the mind (just like the male and the female became one physically) then they become one spiritually and mentally. Man is not complete, is not all there even mentally, until he receives the Spirit of God; and he can't have the Spirit of God holding God in contempt! He's got to look on God as the supreme AUTHORITY. He's got to recognize the supreme credibility of God Almighty and of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus was on earth — the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees — they were the mighty men. They were the scholarly (so they thought). They tried to show how ignorant Jesus was, so they asked Him trick questions to back Him into a corner. But somehow they always found that He made sort of monkeys out of them. Maybe He caused them to believe in evolution? [Audience laughs.] At least, their descendants have come to believe in it.
But sin had not entered into the minds of Adam or Even until they yielded to Satan. And so "human nature" is that nature that entered in when they accepted Satan instead of God, and God closed off the Tree of Life (or the Holy Spirit).
Bible fundamentalism is ridiculed in intellectual circles today, and those of higher education. It is ridiculed in the newspapers. It is ridiculed on television. Do you think that, with God's truth, that I could get time on NBC, or CBS, or ABC and their network? They ought to just willingly give time — all three networks — and let the people KNOW THE TRUTH! But, no, I would have no credibility with them. They think that the truth of God is so much foolishness.
Now we find it over here ... I hadn't intended to read this, but let's turn to I Corinthians 2. They have their language of scholarship today. But Paul said, beginning with verse 6:
I Corinthians 2:6-7 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world [Not in the language of scholarship.], nor of the princes of this world, that come to [nothing]: (7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery...
A "mystery" because they don't understand it! They cannot understand it without the Holy Spirit. So they just say it's so much foolishness. Now let's read on, and I'll show you.
I Corinthians 2:7-8 ... even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. (8) Which none of the princes of this world ...
Now 'princes' in this case not only means a prince who might become a king someday, but it means the leaders. That could mean commercial, industrial leaders, and political leaders, and leaders in all lines of thought (education) and everything.
I Corinthians 2:8-9 None of the princes of this world knew [They don't have that kind of knowledge!]: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart [or the mind] of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
What is the real plan? What does God have in mind? Where are we going? What's going to happen in the future? Why did God put humanity on the earth? Look, humanity is all against God. Poor God. Is there anything He can do about that? They don't know what His real plan and program is. They are blinded to it. They can't know.
I Corinthians 2:10 BUT God hath revealed them unto us [Who revealed it? The Holy Spirit? No. GOD has revealed it unto us. How?] by his Spirit [that dwells in us].
The Spirit didn't reveal it. God did. But the Holy Spirit opened our mind to comprehend what God revealed so that we can understand. Now it says:
I Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth [even] the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him.
A cow doesn't have that spirit. A cow can't understand human knowledge. A cow can't understand physics, and chemistry, and astronomy. He can't understand music, art, literature; and they don't have the attitudes of good and evil that man has — because they lack the spirit of man. Man wouldn't have that knowledge except by the human spirit that is in him.
I Corinthians 2:11 ... even so the things of God [What God has in store for us and the plans of God.] knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
We can understand, if we have the Spirit of God, for GOD reveals it. How does He reveal? The Bible is His Word. It's revealed right here. [Thumping on his Bible.] Now we read on:
I Corinthians 2:12-14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world [or the attitude of the world], but the spirit which is of God, that we might know [that is, come to knowledge]the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches [not in scholarly language], but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man [the ordinary carnal mind, the natural man] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Without the Holy Spirit, you can't come to know it. The Holy Spirit gives you the power to comprehend (to discern, to understand) the truth that God reveals. He reveals it to us now today in the Bible, which is God's Word in writing.
The educators of this world don't understand. Last Friday I talked to a group of people down at the University of Southern California in the law school in a meeting of a certain scholarship, or a chair, established by the Ambassador Foundation in my name. There was quite a ceremony. In fact they said this was one of the very highlights, and keystones, of the whole history of the university. They had two professors, who will be on that scholarship there, who gave speeches; and the president of the university made a speech. He said some very nice things about me. Then I said a few words.
I told them that, when I was five-years-old, my father had said that when I grew up I would be a Philadelphia lawyer. Now, of course, when I was five-years-old what I wanted to be when I grew up was a streetcar motorman. I'd get up front and watch the motorman drive and handle his car, and that intrigued me. That's what I wanted. Well, I asked my father so many (as he called it) crazy, fool questions that he got tired of answering why this, and how that. I wanted to know "how" and "why" all of the time! I wanted understanding, and I wanted him to explain so I could understand. He said I'd be a Philadelphia lawyer sure enough, when I grew up.
I said that I was challenged finally, at age 34, on a point of law. "Now all of you are interested in law here in this law school, the University of Southern California. I was challenged on a point of law, and I had to examine a certain textbook. It's a textbook that I fear is not used very extensively in the law school. [Audience laughs.] It's a law book however, and it's called the Holy Bible. You know, I discovered that that Book gives instruction about law from beginning to end; and it is quite a thick book." [Audience laughs again.]
And I said, "All of the laws that we have, constitutional law — the Constitution of the United States, and deciding law as to whether it is constitutional and in accordance with the Constitution — it all emanates from that Book; and that Book sets the principle. Whenever law deviates from that Book, it is not administering justice and it is not administering truth because," I said, "THAT IS THE CRITERIAN. That is where all law really emanates from."
I said, "I became, in time, the Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God. The Work has grown around the world, a lot larger than our physical size. I have found that in this great law book, called the Holy Bible, that it says that sin (which is evil and everything that we punish people for in courts of law) is the transgression of THE LAW. But that is God's law!"
"But I find that the real author of the book, Jesus Christ, gave a history of the future of the Church in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation (sometimes called the Apocalypse in Roman Catholic circles)." And I said, "There He showed what would happen — the chief characteristics of the Church — in the various eras from that time until now." And I said, "It happens that we are in the era called the Philadelphia Era."
"Now sin is the transgression of the law, and I do a lot of teaching and preaching about LAW and transgressing the law; and I try to show people how to avoid lawyers and judges [Audience laughs.] by not breaking the law. But I happen to be a law teacher in the Philadelphia Era, so I guess my father was right after all. I have become a Philadelphia lawyer."
Now, I don't know whether they thought I was a lunatic [Audience roars with laughter.] or what they thought; but I think some of them began to think that one over a little bit. I know that several expressions were heard in the audience. They really got something new, they'd never thought of before.
Into such a world (that Satan has gotten into that condition) came Jesus Christ. He was begotten by God (not by a human father), but He was human; and He came and started in this world. He started the Church. The Church is merely another world.
This world was founded in the time of Satan; and, when God shut off the Holy Spirit and men had no access now to the Spirit of God, they developed a world based on the spirit of MAN; and the world grew not wanting knowledge from God. As a matter of fact, they sort of fear God in a sense — not that they look at God as a terrorist, but they're afraid that they might have to get righteous. So they are sort of afraid of God because He might tell them they're wrong, and they don't want to be told they're wrong. The hardest thing in the world is to admit you're wrong, and they don't want that!
But Jesus came not to reform or to convert the world of Satan, and Satan's world, or Satan. He came to start a new and different world such as Adam should have started. He came to also to confirm the promises made to the fathers. Now this morning we heard quite a sermon from Dr. Hoeh about the promises. You'll find a great deal about those same promises in the book "The United States and Britain in Prophecy" and the Old Covenant made with Israel and the New Covenant that will be made.
Now the Old Covenant formed Israel as a nation. That was a physical nation, and that's as far as God has gone in the creation of man so far. They're all just physical and human. The New Covenant will be a SPIRITUAL covenant that will form the nation, the Kingdom of God. It will be a spiritual Kingdom. All of those will be God in the same sense that Jesus Christ is God. He is the firstborn of many brethren, and He was born God by a resurrection from the dead (as you read in the first five verses of Romans the first chapter).
It's all based on the promises made to Abraham — the promises of the New Covenant. The Church was founded only after the death of Christ; so it was, as Dr. Hoeh explained, the New Testament — a witnessed will that only takes effect after the death of the Testator. But even then Jesus still said no man could come to Him except the Father (God) draws them.
Jesus did NOT come to save ANY AND EVERYBODY that would say, "Well, I volunteer. I'd like to get saved" (like the churches of this world and Protestantism teach). God selects, He drafts, those that He wants to be educated, to be trained SPIRITUALLY, so that they IN the new world (which Christ has come to build and to start) can with and under Him rule and teach a new way of life. At that time Satan will be put away, and he won't be here.
Now this world of Satan (with Satan here, and influence), Jesus didn't come to try to reform, or convert, or save this world. He came to call certain ones OUT OF THIS WORLD and be the nucleus of starting a World Tomorrow. Now He's going to have a good many thousand of those that were converted in the first years of the Church, beginning with 31 A.D. The foundation of the Church are the apostles and the prophets, and the prophets begin with Abraham apparently (unless you would say Moses was one of them).
Jesus came to confirm the promises made to them, but they were spiritual promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (as well as physical and material). They can be fulfilled only through Christ!
So now look at some of Satan's world today. We find it in Romans. By the way, I just mentioned something in Romans — the third and the fourth verses:
Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord ... [Just taking out the modifying words, it continues] (4) ... declared to be the Son of God ... by the resurrection from the dead.
Just taking out modifying little clauses in between, that is the actual sentence there. He's the Son of God by a resurrection. He's the firstborn of many brethren. WE are to have the same inheritance and inherit everything that He has — if we overcome, if we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and if we endure until the end.
But now I'd like to read you some of the things, beginning with the sixteenth verse of Romans. Here's a picture of this world.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Now why did Paul say that? Satan has discredited God. He has made people ashamed of the gospel of Christ, ashamed of the things of God. This world is superior, in their own smug complacence.
Romans 1:16-18 I am not ashamed of the gospel [which means the good news; and the good news is the news that the Kingdom of God — another world altogether — is coming] ... for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth ["Power of God" He's affirming the power of God, and the credibility of God, and the authority.]: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men ...
Now, does it say that the wrath of God is revealed against men? Oh, no. It doesn't say that. I want you to notice. The wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness that is in men.
Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto them.
Yet they look askance on God. They try to belittle God.
I remember even when I was a boy, other boys saying, "Well, I'm no saint." I remember going to see a young fellow about my age (actually, a little younger) one Sunday. He was fixing his own automobile out in front. I knew him quite well, and I'd never heard him use any foul language. He never did in my presence. A couple of other guys came, with cigarettes in their mouth, and stood around talking; and I heard this fellow begin to pour out a gush of foul language and profanity that I never had heard come from his lips before. I was just aghast and staggered. But, you see, he was ashamed not to appear to be like them. He would be ashamed to be a goody-good.
Romans 1:20-25 For the invisible things of him from the [foundation] of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse. (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations ["In their imaginations." Their reasoning, their human reasoning and thinking, are all vanity.], and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise [Yeah, they're scholarly. They're learned. They are scholars.], they became fools. (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts [or minds], to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. (25) Who changed [That is, these people who were wrong, changed ... ] the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
Let's see. They held back the truth in unrighteousness. Didn't I read that? That's in there.
Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections, for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another [homosexuality].
Today they try to glorify that. It is coming to the place where it is gaining public acceptance; and it's coming to the place that the law of man is saying that, if you are against anything that is now accepted by public acceptance, you are wrong and you'll be punished. Now, you will find that very soon now, homosexuality is going to be absolutely accepted. You may have a homosexual as President of the United States. They GLORIFY EVIL, and LUST, and perverted minds.
Romans 1:27-28 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet [it says here, which means again adequate or fit]. (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge ...
Now the knowledge in the universities; do they retain God in the knowledge in the universities? Do they disseminate the knowledge about God? NO! They don't want anything to do with it.
Romans 1:28-31 God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not [well]convenient [or are not proper]. (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding ...
They have no real understanding. They have much knowledge, much education. But I've always said knowledge is of no value except as you can put it to work; and, if you can't put it to the right kind of work, it still is of no value.
Romans 1:31-32 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
And they've held back the truth of God. In other words, they change to another gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ was suppressed; and the Protestants, and the Catholics, and the churches that call themselves "Christian," do not know and do not preach the gospel of Christ. The good news is the news Christ brought. It's the message God sent by Christ. He was the Messenger. They only preach about the Messenger, but not His message!
Jesus came not to convert Satan's world. So He called certain ones that God has selected to be THE LEADERS in HIS WORLD! And, brethren, do you know that you are among those leaders — except you be reprobate. What a responsibility it is! You have been drafted. You are a drafted army. To us God said, "Come out from among this world and be separate." We are not the same. Are we ashamed of the gospel? Are we ashamed of the Bible? Are we ashamed of Jesus Christ? Are we ashamed of God's truth? I hope not. So let us go on to perfection. You know all the scriptures. There are so many. Jesus is our High Priest. He's at the right hand of God in heaven, and He is there working for us now.
Now let me see. I wanted to read something here from II Timothy, the second chapter and verse 15:
II Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Brethren, in the churches of this world they do not rightly divide the word of truth; and they will not! The hardest thing in the world to do is admit you've been wrong. The Protestants have been WRONG, and they don't want to admit it. The Catholics have been wrong. Some of them do admit it. We have, I should imagine, there some among you here today that were raised as Catholics. I hope you were never a real devout one; but, nevertheless, you probably were Catholic.
So we have to grow in grace and knowledge, and study the Bible — rightly dividing it. Also, in Ephesians 6:18, which is so very, very important:
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit [That's real earnest prayer. Not just some casual prayer, just to get it done as a routine; but putting your whole heart in it.], and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
When we study the Bible, God is talking to us. When we pray, we are talking to Him. And so that's the way we get acquainted with God. Now I'd just like to read a little something in closing, in I John. We read in the third verse:
I John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you [This is John, of course, speaking; and he had been with Jesus and knew Him. In his old age, he was writing this.], that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
We walk daily, then, with Christ. If we have come out of sin, if we have repented, He has called us. God the Father really called us, and we have come to Christ because of that. Now if you will notice also beginning with verse 8:
I John 1:8 If we [That's "we" in the Church now.] say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Brethren, even after we receive the Holy Spirit, we're not going to be perfect yet. It's a matter of growing in grace and knowledge. It's a matter of continual overcoming. And we don't do it all at once.
You know, there's a little story back in the Old Testament. God told Israel, when they went into the Promised Land, that they couldn't drive all of the inhabitants out all at once; but they must drive them out, or they would become (you know) pricks in their sides and a great source of trouble to them. But they couldn't do it all at once. Well, they just didn't drive them out. They didn't obey God, and they were a trouble to them. So you don't make it in one fell swoop, as we say. We have to get rid of these things as we find them.
I John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we [And "we" means the Church.] confess our sins [If, when we slip, we do confess it ... and it doesn't say just your faults. It says sins!], he is faithful and just to forgive US [The "us" means Church members, those who have God's Spirit. "To forgive us ... "]our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [We've got to be cleansed and not do it again. We've got to overcome.] (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Now it continues right on here:
I John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
We are not to sin. But if we do, walking along with Christ, two can't walk together except we be agreed. We're walking along with Christ. We stumble and fall down. We committed a sin, not maliciously. It might have been knowingly (through temptation, through habit, or whatever), but not maliciously. What's the other word that I want? It's defined in the booklet about the unpardonable sin. Not willfully. Sometimes willingly, but not willfully; there's quite a difference.
I John 2:1-2 These things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, WE have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous [He's our High Priest up in heaven, at the throne of God.] (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Most of the world is not called yet, but they will be; and that shows that our sins are in contrast to the world outside (that are not in the Church). That shows he's talking there to the Church. So from here on we must overcome.
Now the next holy day will be the Day of Pentecost — the coming of the Holy Spirit; and what a wonderful truth to come to us at that time. These holy days picture God's program for changing man (as he was after Satan got through with Adam) till God's creation of man is complete, as it finally will be.
We have something a little different to face than Adam did. He had not sinned. He just had to accept the Tree of Life, and he didn't. We have already sinned, and we've got to repent of that before we can even come to accept the Tree of Life. We have to repent of doing as Adam did. It isn't easy, and the path ahead is not easy; but the rewards are so tremendous. We will be VERY GOD. We will have perfect righteousness.
You know the most unhappy thing is when you know you are wrong and it's bothering your conscience. It gives you fear and everything wrong. But when your conscience finally is complete, and you know that you will finally become perfect, and also (if I'd gone on to read I John the third chapter) once we are BORN AGAIN ... We are not now born again. We sin, and "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." But once we are born again, I John 3:9 it says we CANNOT SIN because God's seed remains in us; and we cannot sin because we are born of Him — as Christ is now born of God.
Christ cannot sin now. He could have when He was in the human flesh on earth. He just didn't. He was tempted, but He didn't sin. We've been tempted, and we all have — every one of us! But now God is there to cleanse us and bring us out of this sin. Let's come on all the way out of it. But as I said now, in the beginning, to put sin out we have to put God's righteousness in. Let's hunger and thirst for God's righteousness, and be filled with that. Jesus has given us the promise that, if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we shall be filled.