It's nice to be back again. I've been, you might say, almost all around the world speaking since the first of the year. Last Sabbath, we were at Montreal. The Sabbath before that, we were at Toronto. And, oh my, the Sabbath before that ... Where were we? Big Sandy, Texas. I guess so. Somewhere. Anyhow, I'm back here tonight; and, God willing, I hope to be here tomorrow afternoon.
Now, I have an announcement. I won't say I have both good news and bad news, because I don't have any bad news; but I have some good news. We have not had a telecast or anything like that in Melbourne, Australia, for a long time. Now something has opened up. There is a large 50-foot television screen (Fifty feet! That's the height of the size of a 50-foot lot for a home. That's very large.) in the main city square of Melbourne, Australia (a city of, I guess it's over 2 million, almost 3 million, I guess). We will have it for three days a week for the half-hour television program. $200 per year -- and I think this must be a mistake the way they've put that. That news is too good to be true! Anyway, we have enough programs to last a few weeks and then repeat; because you've got a completely different audience every time there, and we can repeat the program right along.
Now, another bit of good news: We are immediately going to issue a new international GOOD NEWS in all five languages. In addition to English, it will come out in French, in German, in Spanish, and in Dutch. It will be not just THE GOOD NEWS alone. But it will be articles from the GOOD NEWS, articles from THE WORLDWIDE NEWS, and articles from YOUTH '81. (It will soon be YOUTH '82, before we know it.) It will be a 24-page black-and-white type of publication going to the people in these other nations. With THE WORLDWIDE NEWS, we've been reaching all of the English-speaking part of the Church all over the world. But we have a lot of French-speaking brethren, a lot of German, Dutch, and Spanish. Now we are going to be reaching all of them.
That is a problem that we began to notice in the recent trip that we had over to England, Scotland, Germany, France; and we even went down to Geneva, to the office down there, though I didn't speak to anyone down there. But we began to realize that, in the other languages, they are not getting the news right up-to-date that you get in THE WORLDWIDE NEWS. Hereafter, they will be getting it. So that is really, I think, quite a large little bit of progress all of a sudden.
I am getting reports all over (I got it in Europe. I got it in Germany, in France. I get it over in the United States. I've been getting it in Canada.) that our ministers are now getting (what we call "PMs") prospective member' requests from people who are requesting counsel of a ministers, who are interested. At least they are ready to begin attending some Bible Studies, if not to be invited to Church. They are getting them now at the rate of a few every week, and Churches are growing more than they have in the last ten or twelve years.
Another thing that I have noticed: the world as a whole is really in financial and economic trouble. I happened to be turning in to television last night, and I caught Billy Graham on the air. Perhaps some of you did? I listened a little while, and there was quite a pitch for money. He said that, for the first time, they have been running behind every single month -- worse than ever before in the history of their work.
Brethren, we were in that kind of condition three, four, five years ago. We've been getting back on the track, onto God's track. I think that this Church as a whole (I don't mean just the local Church, I mean worldwide.), that our people are praying in a manner they have not been doing before. I think we are studying and reading the Bible. I think that we are overcoming as we did not before. We are growing in knowledge (spiritual knowledge), in the grace of God, in spiritual character as we have not in the last ten years.
We are getting ready to meet Christ in the air. I can't tell you He's coming tomorrow or the next day because there are too many things in the Bible that are going to have to happen first. But it is getting near, very near; and we need to be getting ready because, when He comes, HIS WIFE SHALL HAVE MADE HERSELF READY. THE CHURCH WILL BE READY! But that doesn't mean that every one of you in it will be ready.
If you believe the parable that Jesus gave in Matthew 25, of the ten virgins that went out to meet Christ at the second coming, only half were ready to meet Him; and the other half had the door into the Kingdom slammed in their faces. They didn't make it into the Kingdom of God. There is a lake of fire waiting to devour them, until they will become ashes under the soles of the feet of those that are made immortal -- that are finally, truly, born again.
Now, brethren, that's a pretty serious thing. We are living right now in a time where, for the first time in all of earth's history, the weapons of mass destruction are ready. Even Billy Graham was saying last night that right now, poised for the cities (right for Los Angeles, here, for example; for New York City; for Washington, DC; for Chicago) are nuclear weapons poised somewhere in the Soviet Union that could destroy these whole cities.
One hydrogen bomb will cause more damage than ALL of the bombs exploded by both sides in World War II. An atomic bomb that blew up two whole cities in Japan (I mean each bomb did) is only the trigger that sets off a hydrogen bomb. But people are just sitting here, when any second such a thing could hit and destroy them; and we don't seem to worry at all. We are not concerned. Yet the history is that no weapon has ever been devised that was not used. Your Bible tells you that it will be used; and NO FLESH WILL BE SAVED ALIVE on this earth, except that God Almighty intervenes!
That's kind of a faith... It is just that serious. We are taking life too lightly. We are taking it too easily. We are not much concerned. We just think it's going along, and we're going along with it; and it will keep going on this way. But, brethren, it won't. We are living in very serious days right now. We need to be praying as never before. We need to be forgetting this world's pleasures, its entertainments, its pastimes. We need to be reading our Bibles more. We need to be thinking about the things of God and the things of the Kingdom of God, and devoting our lives to that -- instead of just being interested in the world, and just taking time to come to a Bible Study Friday night and a Church service on the Sabbath, then the rest of the time living in the world. Is that what we are doing? Of course, all I can do is remind you and tell you. But it's up to you whether the door is going to be slammed in your face or whether it won't.
You know, even Billy Graham has said a few things that are absolutely true. As he said last night maybe Christ won't come right away -- maybe not tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. It could be in, say, three and one half or four years. It could be. I don't say it will. But it is going to come for you any second, if your life ends then. You don't know how near it is for you. So it is a very serious matter; and most people are taking it very, very carelessly.
You know, as I said, even Billy Graham can have some good things to say. He was talking about Lot's wife turning back last night. And a lot of people in this Church have turned back. They're not with us any longer. Either they disagreed, or they got their minds too much on the things of this world and its interests. They endured only for a little time. But Jesus said with great emphasis, "He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved." We have to continue to grow and to endure.
We are only begotten. We are just like an unborn baby in its mother's womb. If it doesn't grow, it's going to be aborted. It will never be born. It will never be alive. It will never draw its first breath. And we will never get into God's Kingdom (we will be aborted) if we don't continue to grow, and grow, and grow!
Now I know that God has been revealing new truth to me, even this year. Even in the last week, new truth has come to me. I put some of it on a television program that was recorded yesterday that you will hear in a few Sundays on the air. Perhaps I can mention some of that in the sermon tomorrow afternoon. But now, tonight, I want to get back into Bible Study; and perhaps I'll make a series of this subject. It's something we have not been going into for a long time.
We have a refresher course for the ministers. They come in, and they go over a refresher course to go back and remind them of things they learned when they were in college. Maybe they've been preaching on other subjects to their flocks in their local Churches. Maybe they've forgotten some of these things, and so they hear them all over again.
I have talked to many, many ministers who have been here. I've talked to them when I've been out to these various Church groups that I've been meeting all this year (Up in Seattle and Vancouver, Washington and Salem, Oregon. I never can think of this city up here in central California -- Stockton. Then in Chicago, in New York, in Denver, in Big Sandy, and Lake of the Ozarks. All of those places where I've spoken this year. In Charlotte, North Carolina. In Cincinnati. In these Canadian cities recently.), and I always have meetings with the ministers and their wives. So many of them tell me how wonderful it would seem to come back here to the refresher course because you sort of get filled.
You know, even in the medical profession ... There won't be any medical profession, by the way, in the World Tomorrow and in the Kingdom of God. That is, in the world that is going to be run by the Kingdom of God for a thousand years, or a Millennium. We're not going to have medicine and hospitals, medicines and doctors, and all that sort of thing. Now we've had a series on healing here on Friday nights, and we should know something about that. We're getting a little bit negligent on that! But even doctors have to keep up-to-date. If they don't keep up-to-date, in sight of six months they are stale; and they are just back numbers. They are out of date entirely.
You've heard me say a number of times how, in the decade of the l960s (just in that ten years), the world's fund of knowledge doubled. But you know that most of that knowledge was in certain technical fields: including medicine, and technology, and some of the sciences. That knowledge didn't filter down to the common run of people at all. Most people didn't learn any more, and didn't have any more knowledge than they had ten years before. Most people aren't learning. You should be learning every day and every year!
You know I remember when I was holding evangelistic services six weeks, six nights a week, in a schoolhouse. This particular schoolhouse, I think, seated about 100 people. It was after the first campaign that I had up in Oregon, when the Church was founded in the first place. But there was one man who was 83 or 84 years old, and he came every night. Every night I'd meet him at the door on the way out, after dismissing the meeting; and he'd say, "Well, I learned something new tonight." And that just gladdened my heart, that I'd said something that he learned something new. Well, he later became an elder in the Church. Of course, that was 40 some years ago. So, naturally, he died quite a while ago.
Well, I'm a little older than that now; and I keep learning every day. Do you keep learning? Are you still after new knowledge? That's what we have to be, and we have to continue to be, as long as we live.
Well, the subject I want to get to; and I'd better get on it now. I want to get back to the basic subject of all. The one point in the law of God that is God's great test point -- God's Sabbath day. You know, it's been years and years since we've had a message even on the Sabbath day. Does it make any difference whether we observe the Sabbath? Does it make any difference which day of the week it is? Does it make any difference whether we keep it or not?
You go back 55 years ago, and just about this time, I was challenged very seriously. I had a dual challenge. My wife had taken up with the seventh-day Sabbath. To me that was rank religious fanaticism. I'd been brought up in one of the Protestant churches. I had left church and church attendance at age eighteen. I was married at age twenty-five; and my wife and I attended church once in a while. In fact, we had joined the Methodist church (just because it was convenient and we liked the people there) in a suburb of Chicago, where we were living at the time. But we didn't attend every week, or anything like that. That's the way most people are. I didn't have any religious interest. I was just interested in business. Then, all of a sudden, I was challenged on the Sabbath question.
At the same time, a sister-in-law challenged me on the theory of evolution. She was just fresh out of college, her first year; and she had learned about evolution. Oh, she thought that was the most wonderful thing. She had learned that that was the foundation, the premise, on which ALL knowledge was based now. Knowledge had been produced at an overwhelming rate by the great universities; and evolution is the eyeglasses through which they view everything, and try to explain everything from that concept or that premise. So, she said I was ignorant.
Well, I was so proud at that time. I was so conceited. I had been quite successful in business. I thought I was pretty good at that time. A few months later, I felt I was worse than a burned out hunk of human junk; but, at that time, I was still pretty proud. So I began to study these two subjects. I first went into evolution. I delved into the writings of Darwin and of the men that have propagated his works: Huxley and Haeckel, and then Herbert Spencer and some of the more modern scientists or evolutionists of that time.
For a while, my head was swimming because it seemed quite convincing. I began to say, "Well, now, is there a God or isn't there? I just wonder IF GOD EXISTS. According to all of these things, this is scientific; and, if this is true, then there is no God." I HAD TO KNOW. I began to realize I had NEVER PROVED whether God exists. I had always supposed that God existed. I had been brought up to believe that, and I didn't know why I believed it. I'd just been taught it since I was a little child, and I just supposed it was true.
You know, most people don't know why they believe what they do. How many of you ever inquired in retrospect how you came to believe what you do believe? But if someone doesn't agree with it, you'll bristle all up; and you'll argue for your own convictions and your own ideas. You're sure it's right, whether it's right or wrong. You don't really know whether what you believe is right, because you've never proved it. You've just accepted it. You have assumed it. You've taken it for granted because you've heard it from others -- because you begin learning, when you are a child growing up, from your peers (other children your age). You learn much more than you do from your parents when you are a growing child.
When you are at school: You go into school. It's like buying a loaf of bread. You go into a store. You lay down your money. You pick up a loaf that they wrap for you, and you walk out with it. That's the way you get an education. You go to school. You go to college or the university. You pay your tuition. They funnel into your mind ... It's usually called brainwashing. They brainwash you. In other words, it's a wrong term because brainwashing... I was brainwashed. They're not. It's other dirt put into their minds, is what happens. But you are supposed to believe whatever the lecturer says (or the professor) and whatever the textbook says.
I was an advertising man for many years. I've written advertising that has really gotten results, and I knew something of the psychology of advertising. One of the things of the psychology of advertising is that people automatically believe whatever they see in print. If it's in print, it must be so! Now every advertising man knows that is a truism. People really believe what they see in print. So they tell them things in print that are not so at all, but people believe it.
I began to realize that when I first began to think, in the year of 1927 (right after I was converted), about a magazine to be called The Plain Truth. God didn't let me start to publish it for seven years, but I had it in mind seven years before. I had an artist draw a picture (You've heard this before. I've mentioned it a number of times.) of a school room, with a number of children at their desks in the classroom; and every child had a funnel stuck in the top of his head. The teacher had a great big pitcher that was labeled "ready-made false propaganda." The teacher was pouring it right down the funnel into the heads of each kid.
Actually, that is the educational process. Why do we have to have such an educational process? Because most people would never get an education! So we have to have a system where teachers assign lessons, they assign things for you to study, you are to read a book, and you must come and recite on it and believe what it says whether it's true or false.
Then there's a system of rewards and punishment. You get rewarded with good grades if you really make it, if you believe what they say. Like I mentioned before, a grandson of mine in school was asked, "Larry, who discovered America?" He said, "Why, the Indians, of course." The teacher said, "Why, Larry, you know better than that. The book tells you Columbus discovered America." "No, ma'am, I don't believe the book. Weren't the Indians already here to greet Columbus when he finally arrived?" Larry got flunked. He was supposed to believe what the book said.
True or false, you are supposed to believe what they funnel into your mind in school, in college, in the university. And all they know, and all they give you, is materialistic knowledge. They don't know how to get along with other people. They can't tell you how to walk with God and to have a relationship with God. They don't know, because their minds are hostile against God.
Well, that's what I found about evolution. Evolution is the atheist's attempt to explain the presence of a creation without the previous existence of a Supreme Creator, who had a mind to think it all out -- to design EVERYTHING! To design the leaf of a maple tree and of an oak tree. To design even little ants, and bees, and grasshoppers. To design animals. And even the lungs, the heart, and everything that makes an animal actually live by breathing of air and eating food, and the circulation of blood and the beating of a heart (just the same as a human). Someone had to think that out, and plan it, and design it.
Well, I began to study. I said, "I'm not going to believe there's any God unless I find it proved. That's been stuffed in my mind. Now I won't accept it unless I prove it." Well, I did find it proved because I really went to work on it. I studied night and day. Many a times, about 1:30 in the morning, my wife would call and say, "Herbert, when are you coming to bed?" She'd been asleep for about an hour and a half or two hours. I was still studying. Then I'd be, at 9:00 in the morning, down at the public library, studying again.
But I finally found the error in evolution. I found the main trunk of the tree; and, when that tree was felled, all the branches (and the branch arguments) fell down with it. I proved that God exists! Then I looked at the Bible; and I said, "Well, now, all religions have their religious writings." For example, the Islamic religion has the Koran (instead of the Bible). Well, I said, "I'll get around to all these different religious books; but I'll start with the Bible. I'm not going to believe it unless I find it PROVED to be God speaking." Is God speaking through any one of these religious books -- the Koran, or the Bible, or the principle books of the other pagan religions?
You know, I began studying in the Bible; and, before I came to something on the Sabbath even, I came to Romans 6:23. "The wages of sin is death." "Whoa, wait a minute," I said. "I can't agree with that. I've always understood the wages of sin is eternal life. I know it's in hell fire. But, then, it's eternal life. You're going to live forever anyway."
Then I read the other half of that verse. Same verse. It says: "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I said, "I don't agree with that either! I already have eternal Life. I'm an immortal soul. Or, I've got an immortal soul. Whichever. I'm going to go to heaven when I die or to hell -- depending on how good I've been," (according to my own idea of what it is to be good). I didn't realize how wrong I was. I just didn't agree.
Then I looked up about the soul, and I found the Bible says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." I found how God created man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man (made of the dust of the ground) became a soul. Oh, the dust of the ground became soul! A soul, then, is from the dust of the ground. It's not spirit. Now I began to see that the soul only has temporary existence, not Life at all.
I looked at this thing about going to heaven; and I saw where Jesus said, "No man has ascended up to heaven." Of course, a lot of people think they can prove by the Bible that he does. I heard Billy Graham say one time, "The Bible says, 'When we all get to heaven.'" Can you tell me where the Bible says that? Well, I wish Billy Graham would because the Bible doesn't say that in any translation whatsoever that I know anything about; and I think I know all the translations. It just doesn't say that.
So I proved evolution was false, and finally I proved the Bible is the Word of God. I found the Bible is right, and I was wrong. I can't go into the details further. I'd be here all night, and all tomorrow night, and the next night, and I'd be here for weeks because I was studying day and night for six months before I finally gave in. But I finally had to surrender to God; and (instead of appropriating, or getting, or receiving Christ) I gave myself to Him because He bought and paid for me with His own shed blood. So I proved that the Bible was true.
Now, what about man? Where did we come from? Well, we begin back here in the first chapter of Genesis. It says:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens [That's plural. It should be, and it is in all translations except the King James. The King James is in error right there. Every other translation I know anything about says "heavens."] and the earth.
Then, coming down to verse 26:
Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Now just before that, God had created the land animals each after its own kind -- cattle (it said, in the verse just ahead) cattle after the cattle kind. Well, then, that means dog after the dog kind, and elephants after the elephant kind, and other animals after their kind. But He created man after the God kind. Man was made to have a relationship with God.
Then we come on down to the second chapter of Genesis, after God had created man. In the last verse of the first chapter it says:
Genesis 1:31 God saw everything that he had made [including man], and, behold, it was very good.
You see man had only a temporary existence -- made temporarily, for a temporary existence, out of the ground (not having real Life at all). As far as God had made him, he was "very good." But God had not completed him yet. Now, for one thing, man wasn't complete: he needed a wife. God wanted him to reproduce, multiply, and replenish the earth; and he couldn't do that alone. I've never heard of a man having children by himself. So God provided him with a wife.
Now he had a mind, and he had a mind capable of receiving one kind of knowledge (and that is physical, material knowledge). His mind was NOT complete. It was NOT capable of receiving spiritual knowledge. It was NOT capable of having a relationship with God. Yet God had made him for that relationship.
God was going to reproduce Himself! He made grass to reproduce after its kind, vegetation to reproduce. He made animals, and fish, and birds to reproduce after their kind; and He made man to reproduce after his kind. Man was made after the God kind, and God was going to reproduce through man AFTER GOD'S KIND. (I didn't understand all that yet at that time). Well I have continued to learn from that time on.
Now we come down to chapter 2. Here was man. He wasn't quite complete yet. He didn't have immortal Life. It says:
Genesis 2:1-2 Thus the heavens and the earth [Now it's not "heaven." It's "heavens" plural.] were finished, and all the host of them. (2) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made...
Does it say God ceased creating? What did I just read? Did I say in the seventh day God ceased creating? God ended creating anything? No. On the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made; but He wasn't through creating.
Genesis 2:2-3 ... and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (3) And God blessed the seventh day [It had God's blessing. There's something special about that day then. God didn't bless the first day. He didn't bless the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth day. He only blessed the seventh day.], and sanctified it [Sanctified means He SET IT APART for a holy, righteous use. Set it apart to be used for a holy purpose.]: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Now, He created the Sabbath day. That is before man had to make a decision. After that, and after He had made the Sabbath day ... or during His making of the Sabbath day, I really think it is, if you go on reading. In verse 8 then:
Genesis 2:8-9 The [Eternal] God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [Really, I think it should be translated "the Eternal God had planted a garden eastward in Eden." That was part of the creation in the six days of creation. "And there He put the man whom He had formed."] (9) And out of the ground made the [Eternal] God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
There were the Two Trees, and man had to make a decision. One Tree meant Life. The other Tree (He said, if man ate it) would be death. Sure death! He said, "You shall surely die." The Tree that meant death was a tree of knowledge; but it was man producing knowledge by himself, and man only was half complete in his mind. Man had a mind that could receive knowledge only through the eye, through the ear, through the nose by the sense of smell, through the mouth by the sense of taste, or by the sense of feel and touch through the nervous system. There is no other way that man, as God originally made him, could receive knowledge; and if man took knowledge to himself, he would surely die. Now, why?
The other Tree -- the Tree of Life -- was also a tree of knowledge. Because the Tree of Life is open to you and me today, and to those that God has called into His Church; but we don't get eternal Life just instantaneously. We first receive the Holy Spirit of God. If the Spirit of God is in us, then the first thing is we begin to have a sound mind. Our minds are now complete.
Adam was not made with a complete mind. He was not made complete. He needed a wife! He was only half-there without a wife. Well, God provided him with a wife. But his knowledge -- his mind -- was only half complete in its ability to acquire knowledge! God offered him the Tree of Life, which would have given him the Spirit of God that would have opened his mind to spiritual knowledge (because you read in I Corinthians 2:9-10 that through the eye, and the ear, and so on you can't receive the knowledge of spiritual things; but God REVEALS spiritual knowledge to us). How? By His SPIRIT that dwells in us! When the Tree of Life is opened to us that means the Holy Spirit is open to us.
The first thing the Holy Spirit does is to open your mind to the knowledge of God and God's way of life, or God's law. God's law is a law that doesn't tell you (I've said this before.) how to make a microphone I'm speaking into here. It doesn't tell you how to build an airplane. It doesn't tell you how to build a television set; and now a lot of people are watching me over in one of the auditoriums tonight that are not here, one of the other auditoriums on campus. (Wonderful instrument.) The law of God tells you, though, how to have a relationship with God and how to have a relationship that is happy and profitable mutually with your neighbors and with other people.
ALL of man's progress has been in the materialistic realm, and ALL OF HIS TROUBLES have been in the spiritual realm of getting along with other people. As I've said so many times, husband and wife can't get along. Parents and children can't get along together. Capital and labor don't get along together. Black and white don't get along together. Nation doesn't get along with nation. Neighbor can't get along with next-door neighbor. Because we don't have the Spirit of God and the spiritual knowledge of God's law that would tell us how to get along with our neighbors and how to live with God!
And the first four of the Ten Commandments, of the law of God, tell us HOW to have a relationship with God; and the last six tell us how to have a relationship with neighbor. They are just broad principles to be applied. The one important test case is the Sabbath day, and that has to do with your relationship with God. Now, if there is no God, then there is not need to keep the Sabbath because it has only to do with your relationship with God. The Sabbath God made HOLY TIME. He told you and me to keep it that way.
All right, now let's go on a little bit further. Adam chose to take knowledge to himself. He rejected spiritual knowledge. Then God simply shut up the Tree of Life from man. God shut up the Tree of Life, but God had made the Sabbath for a definite reason. The world doesn't seem to know that. In Mark, the second chapter and the very last two verses (27 and 28), Jesus said to them:
Mark 2:27 The sabbath was made for man ...
So it was made then when man was made. I just read you when man was made, Genesis 1:26. In Genesis 2 (verses 1, 2, and 3 and so on), He made the Sabbath; and He made it for man! He had made man late that Friday -- only they didn't call it "Friday" then. That's a term we use today. Then on the day that we now call Saturday, He began preaching to them. Actually, God began preaching to that man and woman about the same time the sun set on Friday, right after they were created. Because there was Adam and Eve, and they had minds that were mature. What age were they? Well, they were just created. But they were created in a state that would equal being about, I would guess, thirty years of age. I can't tell you that exactly, because the Bible doesn't say; so nobody knows. But I would assume they were probably age twenty, age thirty, somewhere along there.
But their minds were unfilled with knowledge, and God began to give them knowledge. But they didn't believe what God said. Satan got to Eve, and she did believe what Satan said. Adam must have believed it too, because he went right along with it. She started the E.R.A movement. Now they're trying to get an amendment to the Constitution on the E.R.A. so that women can wear the pants. Of course, your Bible says that women would be the leaders in this day; and they are. They are coming more and more. One of them, in the last day or two, has been before the Congress of the United States, or a committee, to see if they will approve to put a woman (for the first time in history) on to the Supreme Court.
Of course, in England, a woman runs the government. I knew a woman who ran the government in Israel, Mrs. Meir. Mrs. Gandhi, whom I know, runs the government of India. Mrs. Bandaranaike runs the government of Sir Lanka (or did). So women are beginning to rule over men, and God didn't make women for that purpose. But women would rather thumb their nose at God and say, "God, get out of my life. I'm going to do what I want to do! I want rule over men."
I mentioned one woman to my wife one time; and I said, "She certainly likes to dominate over men (or domineer)." My wife laughed and said, "Yes, and over women too!" Some women are like that. Well, anyway, Jesus said:
Mark 2:27-28 The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. (28) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Now, what would be the Lord's day? Would it be the day He is "Lord" of? He is Lord also of the seventh day.
Now man was created mortal. Let's go back to Genesis 1 again. I know, my executive assistant (Bob Fayeh) will laugh and he'll say, "There goes Mr. Armstrong back to Genesis 1, 2, and 3 again." Oh, you bet yah.' that's WHERE EVEYTHING STARTED. We wouldn't be the way we are if it hadn't started this way back there. Well, I'm going to keep going back to it too. Don't say "I'm tired of that, going back to Genesis 1, 2, and 3" because you are going to hear a lot more of it. I think you'll be hearing about that for all eternity.
But, anyway, I hope you will because, if you don't make it into the Kingdom, you won't. You'll just be as though you'd never been. If you are ashes under the sole of other people's feet, you won't. But Genesis 2:7, I think I quoted that a while ago anyway.
Genesis 2:7 The [Eternal] God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became [the dust of the ground became] a living [not an immortal] soul.
I mentioned that a while ago. I was getting ahead of my outline here. Man had a temporary existence only. He needed immortal Life. He needed another Spirit that would have given him Life, and the Tree of Life would have given it to him. He wouldn't have received immortal Life, or immortality, immediately. He would have received the Holy Spirit of God.
He would have learned, then, about the law of God. He would have received the knowledge of God -- spiritual knowledge. He would have received the LOVE OF GOD, the love that will fulfill that law; and love is the fulfilling of God's law. He would have received the faith of God, to rely on God when he gets in trouble; and God would help him. But he'd have faith to rely on that. And he would received power through the Holy Spirit -- power to overcome Satan, power to overcome everything wrong in himself, power to do good, and power to really inherit eternal Life.
But Adam made a choice. As a result, you read in the third chapter of Genesis and the last three verses that God shut up the Tree of Life, and drove the man out of the garden of Eden, and BARRED ENTRANCE in to the Tree of Life; and man could not get in there to the Tree of Life at all. Now man had only mortal knowledge. Adam had to choose, and he did make a choice; and it was a great deal like you read (for example) over in Deuteronomy. God said to Israel later the same thing He had said to Adam, you might as well say. In the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy verse 19, God said to ancient Israel:
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE.
Now, He didn't say to Adam, "Choose Life." He just said, "You may eat of all the trees of the garden except the Tree that will give you death." That meant, of course, he could have had the Tree of Life if he wanted to; but God didn't urge him. God didn't say, "PLEASE take the Tree of Life!" God didn't try to ... You know someone said the other day, "God is not a salesman." Did you ever know that? God is not a salesman. God leaves the choice to you, and God just hopes you'll make the right choice. But He said to Israel:
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death [Well, that's what He set before Adam.], blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE that both thou and thy seed may live.
But they didn't choose Life, and Adam did not choose Life. So, consequently, having rejected God and the way of God, they rejected all of that part of His law that would keep them in a right relationship with God; and, naturally, they did not keep the Sabbath. You don't find any record of mankind keeping the Sabbath until you come to the children of Israel, under Moses, being lead out into the desert. Man did not keep the Sabbath until they were out of the land of Goshen in Egypt, and they were on the way over to Mt. Sinai; and you read of it in Exodus 16. Exodus 16, when God spoke to them there; and beginning with verse 25:
Exodus 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that today ...
Now they didn't know about the Sabbath. Adam didn't observe it. Adam didn't believe God. Cain and Abel, I don't know whether ... Abel was called "righteous Abel." Maybe he knew about the Sabbath and kept it, but most people just didn't. But Abel was killed by Cain, and he didn't live long. You don't read anything about men keeping the Sabbath, however, until here these people had been slaves in Egypt; and they'd been brought out by Moses. This was even after the Flood. This is now about 2,000 years or more later. And Moses said to the people, as God had told him to:
Exodus 16:25-27 Eat that today; for today is a SABBATH unto the LORD: today ye shall not find it [That is, manna that they were eating.] in the field. (26) Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. (27) And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather.
They thumbed their noses at Moses. They wouldn't believe it. They said, "Ah, we'll go out and get it anyway." They didn't want to obey. People never do want to obey government. They didn't want to obey the government of God, so they went out to try to gather it anyway.
Exodus 16:27 ... on the seventh day to gather, and they found none.
God was raining it from heaven, and He did not give them any on the seventh day. God continued to feed those people for FORTY YEARS -- as long as all of them over twenty years of age LIVED! ALL OF THEM DIED in the wilderness that started out over twenty years of age, never went into the Promised Land. And all the rest of their lives, those people of twenty-years-old and older were fed by manna from God; and yet they disobeyed the God that was feeding them. God just rained bread down from heaven for them six days a week; and on the sixth day, twice as much (for that day, and the Sabbath). But on the Sabbath day, God was not working on that day. He didn't work by sending any manna down. Now they didn't have any question which day was the Sabbath. God showed them by a miracle from heaven.
Exodus 16:28-30 And the LORD said unto Moses, HOW LONG refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?(29) See, for that the [Eternal] has given you the sabbath [He GAVE THEM the Sabbath. That was a wonderful gift! The Sabbath is holy time, and it is a wonderful gift from God. He has given you the Sabbath.], therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. (30) So the people rested on the seventh day [after that.]
I should think they would, after that rebuke from God. But they did that Sabbath, anyway. They rested. But I don't know about a few Sabbaths later. They probably were going out to try to work again. People never like to obey God. Well, they had carnal minds. In Romans 8, verse 7, you read:
Romans 8:7 The carnal mind [The natural mind that we are born with.] is enmity [which means hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Of course, the one test commandment of all in the law of God is the Sabbath, and you see how they didn't want to obey God. Now, next we come to Mt. Sinai; and God gave His law at Mt. Sinai. Moses had gone up on the mountain with God, and the people were made ready against the third day (and God told them three days ahead to be prepared). Then, on that Sabbath day, God came down. In chapter 20 of Exodus, beginning with verse 1:
Exodus 20:1-2 And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage [and so on].
He gave the Ten Commandments, and He said:
Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [To what? To keep it holy! I want to tell you something about that a little later.]. (9) Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God.
The seventh day of the Jew? There weren't any of them called Jews at that time. The Jews are only the tribe of Judah that split off from Israel, and the Benjamites and the Levites had also joined with them and they became known as "Jews" also; but the rest of Israel were not Jews and never were called Jews, never! It was NEVER a Jewish Sabbath. It was MADE FOR MAN, not made for the Jews! Jesus didn't say the Sabbath was made for the Jews and Sunday was made for Gentiles. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made FOR MAN." Here God says that "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God." Well, now, what did Jesus say? I read to you a while ago:
Mark 2:27-28 The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. (28) Therefore [Jesus was] Lord also of the sabbath.
If He is Lord of the Sabbath, then it's His day! And here it says: "the Sabbath of the LORD thy God." Then, the Sabbath is the Lord's day!
Exodus 20:10-11 ... in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. (11) For in six days the LORD [or the Eternal] made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Hallowed it, and made it holy time; and told us to keep it that way.
I want to tell you about a case that came up once, way up in Oregon, long before I came down to start the college in Pasadena. There was a minister of the Sardis Church that was holding a little tent meeting up there; and a woman couldn't understand why it made any difference of keeping the Sabbath, and why some other day wouldn't do just as well. The minister couldn't explain, and I finally asked him if he'd give me permission. I thought I could explain it to the woman, if he didn't object. "Well, okay." He didn't like it a bit, but he told me to go ahead.
I said, "Well, you see, the Bible says that the Sabbath is holy to God." I quoted this here. The seventh day is the Sabbath, and the Lord blessed the Sabbath day. It says in other places in the Bible that the Sabbath is holy to the Lord. Now, it's holy; and He told us to keep it that way. I said to the woman, I said, "If you had a tea kettle in your kitchen, and you put a lot of ice water in it, and you sat it down somewhere on the sink; and you told your husband you were going out to the store for a little shopping and told him, "Keep that ice water hot until I get back." I said, "Does that make sense? Can you keep ice water hot?" "Well, no," she said, "I guess we couldn't." I said, "You can't keep it hot unless it is hot. And you can't keep a day holy unless it IS holy."
Can a man make time holy? The Sabbath is a space of time. It is from sunset to sunset. That means that you keep the Sabbath when the Sabbath comes to us. We keep the Sabbath when it comes to us. We don't keep the Sabbath at exactly the same hours that they do in Japan or that they do in Jerusalem. But, when the sun sets there, they begin to keep the Sabbath until the next sunset; and I've seen the sunset go down in Jerusalem more than once. And, when the sunset goes down here, that's when we begin to keep the Sabbath. But that time is holy at the spot where we are, until the sun sets the next day -- from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset.
Well, GOD CAN MAKE TIME HOLY, but no man can do that. No man can set time apart as holy, and make it holy; and tell you to keep it that way. If you trample all over it, as one of the prophets (Isaiah) said, if you trample all over the Sabbath that's not keeping it holy. (I'd like to go into some of those things. I don't have time probably, tonight.) Anyway, God made the Sabbath holy, and it was "holy to the Lord."
Now I want next to show you to whom did God say this, and from whom did the children of Israel receive the Sabbath? Did they receive it from Moses?
I remember a time years ago (up in Oregon, before I came down to California) when I had gone down to a little town in Oregon (down below Eugene, several miles) -- I even forget the name of the little town now -- but there were two churches in that town; and I decided to attend each church. That was years and years ago, but I had been converted. I had a Bible with me. I understood a little about the Bible. I had attended the Church service on the Sabbath up in Eugene; but this was Sunday, and I had gone down there.
So, on Sunday morning, I went over to one of the churches. I don't remember whether it was a Christian church, a Methodist, or a Baptist, or what. Anyway, I remember going in. It was a Sunday school; and I saw a class of a group of men, so I went over and sat down with the men. The man who was teaching the class had a lesson leaf there (a quarterly, I think they sometimes they call it in churches like that), and the lesson was on how the Israelites received the law from Moses.
The man began, and he got all mixed up; and he got embarrassed. He said, "For some reason, I don't know what's wrong with me today. I just can't seem to talk." And he turned to me and he said, "Mister, something tells me you can teach this class. Will you take my place and teach this class?" Well, I was almost struck dumb. How did he come to pick on me? Well, I said, "I will teach the class, if you ask me; but I won't teach none of that in the quarterly because it isn't true." He said, "It isn't?" I said, "No, indeed it isn't. But I have a Bible here, and I'll teach you right out of the Bible."
So I quoted what I just read to you to them, and I said, "Now, next, let's turn over Deuteronomy 5 (the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy)." And I said, beginning in verse 1:
Deuteronomy 5:1-4 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, [Now this is repeating the same thing, in Deuteronomy. "Said unto them ... "] Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments, which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. (2) The LORD your God made a covenant with us in Horeb. [Now Horeb is the area of Mt. Sinai, or Mt. Sinai.] (3) The LORD [or the Eternal] made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. (4) The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.
Now, who talked with them? Moses? No. "The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire." Then Moses said, in parenthesis:
Deuteronomy 5:5-7 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount.) [But God, saying ... Now that was in parenthesis. So, cutting out the parenthesis, it said: "The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire" ... ] saying, (6) I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (7) Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
Then He goes on, and all the Ten Commandments are repeated. Again, it is repeated:
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the [Eternal] thy God hath commanded thee. (13) Six days thou shalt labor, and do all thy work: (14) But the seventh day is the sabbath [Of the Jew? It doesn't say that here, does it? No, it's the sabbath ... ] of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. (15) And remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Then it goes on:
Deuteronomy 5: 16-21 Honor thy father and thy mother ... (17) Thou shalt not kill. (18) Neither shalt thou commit adultery. (19) Neither shalt thou steal. (20) Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor. (21) Neither shat thou desire thy neighbor's wife [and so on, in coveting].
In other words, GOD SPOKE THOSE WORDS DIRECT TO THE WHOLE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL, and the people heard the voice of God. They did not get the law from Moses. They got the law direct from God! God wrote the two tables of stone that contained the Ten Commandments with the very finger of God. So God has hands and fingers just like we do. Animals do not. God wrote them. Now the people received the law. They did not get the law from Moses. They got it direct from God.
Those people were stunned in that Sunday school class that day. They'd never heard anything like that. They said, "Well, this quarterly is not true." I said, "No, I found I'd been taught all that sort of thing as a young boy; and I found that the Bible teaches just the opposite, and that these quarterlies and the teachings of churches are just the opposite of what God teaches" so people don't believe God any more.
They didn't know what to make of it. Well, I suppose they went right back to their own way after that. I don't know. I didn't stay around. After Sunday school, I went over to the other church for the preaching service. I was just visiting churches that day.
Well, now I want to come next to the thirty-first chapter of Exodus; and God made a special Sabbath covenant with the only people that were His called and chosen people at that time. Now remember Israel did not have the Holy Spirit. The Tree of Life was still shut up from them, but He did reveal to them His way of life. They at least had it so they could live by the letter of the law; but they wouldn't even do that, let alone live by the spirit of the law.
But in Exodus 31, now I'm going to show you the first sermon I ever preached in my life. You have to go back a good many years. This is going back more than fifty years ago, quite a little over a half a century ago. It was down in the country, up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was in a little country schoolhouse. They had a lunch out under a big oak tree. I had never preached aloud in my life. You know that day I was a visitor, and they asked me to ask the blessing before the lunch.
I somehow knew they were going to do that. I had a premonition, and I'd been praying silently that God would put the right words in my mind because I'd never prayed aloud in all of my life! I said, "God, help me." They didn't know I'd never prayed aloud before. But I told them later, and you know one of them was a little girl at that time. After she grew up (and she may be a grandmother by this time) but every time she saw me after that, she reminded me that she was there the first time I ever prayed aloud in my life in front of other people. I'd probably prayed aloud to myself, but never in front of anybody.
That's when I got initiated. It makes me think of the old saying: Come on in, the water's fine (just duck in). I'd never done it before, but I found it wasn't so difficult after I really did it. But that day I preached a sermon, and the sermon was on these two verses right here. It was the Sabbath covenant. Beginning with verse 12, Exodus 31.
Exodus 31:12-13 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, (13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths [Whose Sabbaths? The Jews' Sabbaths? No, "verily My" -- God's Sabbaths.] ye shall keep ...
And to "keep" means you keep it holy. You couldn't keep ice water hot. It had to be made holy, and God just wants you to keep it the way ... to maintain it the way He made it, that's all. Don't trample all over it. Don't muddy it up.
Exodus 31:13 Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations ...
It is a sign. It is not a mark. It is not the mark of the beast. A mark is like a brand that is MARKED on you, BRANDED on you. You put a mark, or a brand, on cattle. Now the poor old cow has nothing to say about it. You just stamp the hot iron on her; it's branded, and she can't ever get it off. But she is branded so that everyone can know who she belongs to. A mark is put on you.
But a sign is a badge of identification. For example, a grocer hangs a sign out in front of his store that says "Anderson & Company Groceries." Now that tells you what kind of a store it is, and it identifies who owns it: Anderson & Company. A sign identifies. But a sign is VOLUNTARILY used -- voluntarily accepted and put out, or hung out, or whatever. A sign is just like a mark (or a brand) except it is opposite in the sense that a sign is something you accept of your own volition, and a mark (or the brand) is something that is put on you against your will, or regardless of your will. So I want you to notice this:
Exodus 31:13 Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations [Now a sign identifies. What is it going to identify?]; that ye may KNOW that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
In other words, a sign that IDENTIFIES WHO GOD IS! A sign that says "THAT IS GOD'S." How are you going to know who God is? "That you may know that I am the LORD." Keep the Sabbath that you may KNOW that He is the Eternal, or the Lord, the Master "that doth sanctify you" -- that sets you apart as His people. It identifies them as His people, and it identifies God as the one they worship.
Some of the Canaanites worshipped the false god Baal. Others worshipped Jupiter. Others have worshipped other false gods. But the Sabbath day never identified Baal, or Jupiter, did it? The Sabbath identifies God, who rested the seventh day from His work. Now notice this:
Exodus 31:13-14 ... a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD ... [How did they know? Well, through the Sabbath.] (14) Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.
That's a death sentence for violation. Well what is the sin then to break the Sabbath. And what is the penalty for sin? I told you a while ago that one of the first texts that I noticed in the Bible "The wages of sin is death." It is a death sentence.
Exodus 31:14-16 ... shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, HOLY TO THE LORD [At first he said it is holy to you; but now He says it is holy to the Lord, and sanctified and set apart by the Lord. "Holy to the LORD."]: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. (16) Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
A SPECIAL COVENANT between them and God -- that identifies God to them (which one is God) and identifies which people are God's people. Now then:
Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel FOREVER.
Oh, then that didn't end at the cross, did it? A lot of people who believe in Sunday say, "Well, the Sabbath, that's just part of that old law; and Jesus nailed that to the cross." This says it's forever. Now we are the children of Israel, of the tribe of Manasseh. Most of us don't know that. I think these people here in this auditorium tonight ought to know that.
Exodus 31:17-18 ... the children of Israel FOREVER; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (18) And [then] he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
So the Sabbath became an eternal covenant forever; and we are the children of Israel, whether we realize it or not. But anyway, who is a Jew? Who is an Israelite in the New Testament? Who is one spiritually, the apostle Paul says. Not one who was one by natural birth, but who is one spiritually.
Now the Sabbath is holy time. I don't have time ... Let's see if I have time for one more scripture? Yes, I just have time for one more passage. I'd like to turn next to a little incident that happened when God first called Moses, back in chapter 3 of Exodus. Exodus chapter 3 beginning with verse 1.
Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian ...
Midian was over east and a little north of Mt. Sinai. Moses, you know, had been raised in Pharaoh's palace. But, at age 40, he had left; and there was an incident (that I won't go into tonight) with his people. But he'd gone on over to this land of Midian; and he had married the daughter of this Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Exodus 3:1-5 ... and [Moses] led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb [or Sinai. Now he came to Sinai here before God even called him to lead the children of Israel out.]. (2) And the angel of the [Eternal] appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush [There was a bush growing out in the desert.]; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. [It just kept burning, and burning, and burning, and burning but never burned up. Now that's a very unusual thing.] (3) And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. [Why it doesn't burn up. He'd never seen anything like that before.] (4) And when the [Eternal] saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And [Moses] said, Here am I. (5) And he [That is, the Eternal.] said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Now, what made that ground holy? The fact that God was there speaking in that burning bush. God's presence there ... God is SO HOLY that, when He was there, even the ground right there was so holy that Moses had to take his shoes off. God made the Sabbath holy, and He tells us to take our shoes off of it and quit trampling on it -- to begin to keep it holy, as He made it. He made it holy, and He told us to keep it that way.
It's kind of interesting to go on reading all the rest of this, and how God told Moses that he was going to have him lead the children of Israel out of their bondage and slavery in Egypt; and Moses protested. He had an impediment of speech, and he was slow of speech. God said, "I know all about that. But your brother, Aaron, is a good speaker; and he'll be your spokesman." Moses said, "Oh, LORD, I'm not fit to do it. I can't do it."
You know, when God calls anyone, they usually don't want to do it. Jonah didn't want to do it. He ran away; and he tried to run away from the job God told him to do, tried to run away in a ship. But God just troubled the ship so much that they seemed to know that Jonah was causing the trouble. They threw him overboard, and a great fish swallowed him up. But he was in the belly of that fish three days and three nights. It was some special fish that God had prepared for him. But he finally decided he'd do what God said.
If God calls you to do something, He's going to make you do it. If He doesn't make you do it, then maybe He didn't call you in the first place. But if He really called you to do something, you'll have to do it; and. Moses did.
Oh, there's so much more. That's only a start on the Sabbath, up to where it begins in the Bible. Then we begin to see more about the children of Israel and the Sabbath, and how they defiled it. They walked all over it. Let me see, I think it's ... the fifty-sixth chapter of Isaiah? I'm a little rusty on some of these. We all need a refresher course now and then. Some of these things, I knew every word years ago; and I find now I don't even remember where some of these things are. Let me see. It appears to me it is Isaiah 56. I won't have time to read very much of it. Let me just read a little of this:
Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the [Eternal], Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come ...
Now that is today. His salvation was not near to come when Isaiah wrote, but it is while you and I are sitting here tonight. "My salvation is near to come." Salvation, did you know, it doesn't come when you say: "I accept Christ." Salvation comes with the second coming of Christ. "He that endureth unto the end shall be saved." Not saved now! But salvation is now near to come.
Israel 56:1-7 ... and my righteousness [God says] to be revealed. (2) Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. (3) Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. (4) For thus said the [Eternal] unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; (5) Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. (6) Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the [Eternal], to serve him, and to love the name of the [Eternal], to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; (7) Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
He's talking now about our time and about the Millennium just ahead of us.
Isaiah 56:8 The [Eternal] GOD [or "the Lord [Eternal]" it really should be here] which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. [And so on.]
Well, I think that about covers it about the Sabbath in that particular prophecy. But there is so much in the Old Testament, and so much in the New. I'd like to keep this up, in fact I don't know whether I can be here next Friday night or not. I have to leave rather early on the Sabbath a week from tomorrow because I'm going up to Calgary, Alberta to preach on the Sabbath. But, if not, it will be the Sabbath after that.
I would like to go on a little more on this matter of the Sabbath; and give us a refresher course on it, of course I'm only going over something you should know already. But perhaps you got a few points tonight you hadn't quite thought of that way before. That is only a start. It's just sort of a background for what will come in the future. But time is up now, and I'd like to quit. I notice so often, these Bible Studies go way overtime; and I will try not to keep you any longer, so "Good night" until tomorrow afternoon.