Well, this is a Feast of Tabernacles crowd! I'm glad to see all of you, and very happy that I can be here. First I want to just bring you up very, very briefly on the progress of the Work. For the last three years, we've been striving to get God's Church back on the track. I'm sure you all know all about that. Well, we are on the track, maybe not 100%, and maybe we're not steaming ahead several thousand miles an hour yet.
For thirty-five long years, this Work was growing at the rate of 30% every year over the year before. That was up until about twelve years ago. Then I was called around the world, carrying Christ's message into other countries all over the world (Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia — all over the world); and the Work didn't grow, because there was mismanagement at Pasadena while I was away. However, we didn't go backwards.
Now, once again, I'm glad to report to you that we are lunging ahead. We had a gain last year over the year before. Not a big one, but it was a gain. This year we're getting back up towards 30% increase once again. Back on track! We are close to 25% in the United States. We're gaining as high as 60-65% or more over last year in other countries (Canada, Europe, Britain, South Africa, Australia — other countries). So I would say that the Work the world round is very close to a 30% increase right now.
When we please God, He blesses the Work. We are His people. If we please Him, He blesses us. It's just that simple. If we don't please Him, He corrects us. You know, God punishes every son He loves; and people don't understand God's punishment. God never punishes out of revenge, a desire to hurt, desire to cause pain and sorrow and suffering. God's punishment is always corrective. God only punishes to help, because we need it to get us back on the track where we're wrong. That's all. It's just that simple. But we are getting back on the track. We are beginning to please God a little more. Let's go on pleasing Him more and more, because we haven't got much time left now. We're coming right down into the latter days.
Now here it is in June. We're still just barely past the middle of June. Yet, for the last week or ten days, we've been having forest fires out in California. This is very early in the summer to have forest fires. They usually come in September (late August and September) when it gets very, very dry. Drought is prophesied to come before the Great Tribulation. As a matter of fact, that is part of it and leads into the Great Tribulation. This MAY be the beginning of it. We're watching. Jesus Christ told us to watch and be sober. We don't know the day or the hour, and we don't really know when these things are coming. We know that they are very near. Very near.
Today I want to speak on a truth that has never before been understood, even in this Church (and certainly never understood in the world). Today we are in danger of nuclear annihilation of all humanity. We are in danger of a nuclear war. I don't know whether you have been noticing it; but, on the CBS network, this week they are running a series about nuclear armaments and possible nuclear war. More and more nations now have nuclear weapons. Some smaller nations could start a war — a nuclear war that would trigger a great nuclear war. However, I don't see World War III coming from Russia according to the Bible prophecies. It's going to come from a source the world doesn't expect. But what is happening now in the world is certainly leading up to it, preparing the way; and it could happen and all come together very quickly and very, very suddenly.
Scientists have been saying now for some time, because we are in the age when science has been emerging greater ... As a matter of fact, the real birth of modern science has been in the last couple of centuries or less, most of it in the 20th century. They've been saying that, given sufficient knowledge, we will solve all of humanity's problems. We will eradicate all of our evils and troubles.
Back in the 1960s, when they were having a lot of trouble on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, Dr. Clark Kerr (who was then the president at the University of California) said that universities are factories. The function of a university is to manufacture knowledge, knowledge production.
In the 1960s, the world's fund of knowledge doubled. Now, you didn't double the amount of knowledge you had in your mind. Most of the increased knowledge was in the fields of medicine, and technology, and things of that sort that the average person in the grass roots wasn't familiar with; but knowledge did double. At the same time, in the decade of the 1960s (just ten short years), our troubles doubled also! While the increased knowledge didn't cause it, they certainly didn't solve the troubles or eradicate them.
Now, WHY? What is wrong with knowledge production? What is the reason? Why with all of the knowledge we have — all of the technology, all of the knowledge of higher education in the universities — but we have more troubles than we ever did before? WHY is that?
We have an absolute paradox today in human achievement. On the one hand, humanity (through science, technology, government, in higher education, and other sources) has been producing marvelous, absolutely awesome things have been produced — sending men to the moon and back, sending unmanned spacecraft (manufactured at the JPL just a walk from our headquarters at Ambassador College in Pasadena) to land on Mars and send back photographs close-up on the surface of Mars. Other unmanned spacecraft sending back photographs close-up of other planets (like Jupiter and Saturn) that the astronomers say are mind-boggling. ALL OF THIS KNOWLEDGE, and yet our troubles are growing. More and more trouble! WHY? Why the paradox? More knowledge, more trouble.
Well, brethren, it all began back in the Garden of Eden; and that has never been fully understood — not even in the Church of God. Certainly science doesn't understand it. Certainly it's not understood or taught in any way in the colleges, or universities, or the schools of this world. Certainly no church comprehends it. Yet it's in the Bible, every bit of it; and it's been there all these years. But they never saw it before. It's been there all these years, but we never fully grasped it before. We grasped this part, that part, and the other part; and we never put it together. We never saw the whole picture before. I want to bring that to you this afternoon. I want to bring you NEW KNOWLEDGE you never heard before! I want to bring you something that's very important for this time and in your life!
Now, I don't know how many of you came here to see Mr. Armstrong? All right, have a good look. You could see me on television or anywhere else. I look the same. That's only a photograph. The camera shows it as it is. Did you come to see me? Or did you come to hear a message? Well, I say OPEN YOUR EARS AND LISTEN!
It all gets back to the Garden of Eden, and it has to do with the incident of the forbidden fruit and the two trees that were there in front of Adam and Eve. When God created man, man needed two things. I'm going to go into that a little more. He needed two kinds of knowledge. One kind of knowledge he needed was to deal with matter, with things. God created him with ability to do that, and he has done that; and he has done miraculous things. At least, they seem miraculous to us.
But he also needed knowledge to have a relationship with his own Maker, God, and to deal with his fellow man; and God did not make him with that kind of knowledge. Very few people know how it all began. Very few people know what happened way back there.
Let me ask the question: What IF Adam had taken of the Tree of Life instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? No one ever thought to ask that question, did they? You never heard that question put before, I imagine. What IF he had taken of Tree of Life? What did his choice have to do with YOUR LIFE TODAY? (The way you are living right here in Cincinnati and surrounding territory — down in Kentucky, maybe some of you came over from West Virginia, other parts of Ohio.) Well, it gets back to Creation.
God is the Source of all life. He is the Source of everything. God is the Creator, and what He is creating is character. That is, righteous, perfect, SPIRITUAL character in entities of His own creation, (in His created entities.) But what is God? Who and what is God? Do you know that of all the religions in the world — including the religion called traditional 'Christianity' — not one of them knows who and what is God? They don't know what God is! They don't know who God is! Is God one person? Is God a trinity? Most of Christianity thinks God is a trinity — three persons in one God; and they are all wrong. They just do not understand.
The first place that God is mentioned in the Bible in time sequence is John 1 verses 1-4. You should be familiar with it. There is says:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word.
Now, the Word was a personal being; but He was called "the Word." It was written in the Greek language (the book of John and all of the New Testament); and the Greek word was logos, which means spokesman, revelatory thought, or the one who speaks. That was one personage. But:
John 1:1 ... the Word was with God.
God is another person. So now we have two persons. Then next it says:
John 1:1 ... the Word was God.
Here we can have a man by the name of Smith. But here is someone whose name is John and John is with Smith; and John also is Smith. In other words, John's father is Smith; and John is the son. But they are both Smith. They are both of the same family, but they are two different people all together.
It says that:
John 1:4 In him was life ...
In this Word was life: L-I-F-E. God is the Source of life; and life can only come from life. It cannot come from dead matter. It cannot come from the not living. God is the Source of everything. He is the Creator of everything, and on the 14th verse you read that:
John 1:14 The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
He became Jesus Christ. That was only about nineteen hundred and eighty some years ago. But He became a human being. He has existed always, and in Hebrews 7 you will find He was:
Hebrews 7:3 without father, without mother, without decent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life [having ALWAYS EXISTED].
Your mind can't understand that. I know. Neither can mine. You can't understand someone having ALWAYS existed. There never was a time when He didn't. That's true of both the Word and the one who is called God, and yet the Word is also God.
Now, in Ephesians, the Word became flesh. In Ephesians the 3rd chapter, I believe it is, you will read of how God:
Ephesians 3:9 ... created all things by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 33:9 [The Word] spake, and it was done.
It done by the Spirit that emanated from the very person of God and from the person of the Word, who became Christ.
Now let's go back to Genesis 1:1, and we see a little more about God and the beginning. Here again is says:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God ...
Now it says "In the beginning God created." The word for 'God' here was written originally by Moses in the Hebrew language; and the word Moses used was Elohim, which is a uniplural noun. It means more than one person. It's a word like the word 'family' — more than one person in the Jones family, or the Smith family, or whatever family you want to mention; but one family. Like the word 'church' is one church but many members. Like the word 'group,' a group of people. Look, we are a group. We are only one group here today, but there are many people — about 5,000 of us here.
God is more than one person, but one God; and God is a Family. He created man to be born into that Family and become part of that Family, and to come into the God Family until we become God. The world doesn't know that at all! They don't know what's going on. They don't know the purposes of God. God has a great purpose. Now then:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now in verses 24 and 25, God said "Let [us] bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing ... And God made the beast of the earth after his kind and cattle after their kind." He made elephants after the elephant kind, dogs after the dog kind, horses after the horse kind. But then:
Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in OUR image.
Not "MY image." You see, God is more than one person. God is a Family - one Family, one God but more than one person. "Let us make man in our image." He didn't say, "Let ME make man in MY image."
Genesis 1:26 Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Now, He did. Man is the same form and shape as God. God has hands. God has fingers. God has feet. God has arms and legs. So does man! God has a mind, and so does man. But He didn't make man out of the same composition of which God is composed, because God is a Spirit. John 4:24, God is composed of Spirit. But God has formed matter, and the earth is made of matter. That's all together different. Now in verse 7 of the 2nd chapter of Genesis:
Genesis 2:7 The [Eternal] God formed man [not out of spirit, but out] of the dust of the ground [Just like He had formed animals. "Out of the dust of the ground"], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [Animals breathe in and out of their nostrils the breath of life.]; and man became a living [but not an immortal, "a living"]soul.
Man was made out of the dust of the ground. In other words, what came from the ground became a soul. Twice the Bible says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." [Ezekiel 18:4, 20]To that very soul, God said, if you take of the forbidden fruit, "you will surely die." [Genesis 2:17] But the man didn't believe God, and people ever since have never believed God.
They didn't believe Christ when He came. Christ talked to thousands upon thousands of people. Christ talked to 5,000 men (not including women and children), but they were there for the food they could get. I don't think they paid much attention to what He said. But after three and one half years of preaching, only 120 believed what Christ had said and followed Him. That's all. Not many have ever believed God, but they have believed Satan.
Satan came in the form of a serpent; and he got to Adam through his wife, Eve. He said, "Didn't God hold back something? He held a Tree back. God wasn't fair, was He?" So Eve said, "Well, He said we can have all of the trees of the garden; but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If we take that," she said, "we will surely die." Satan said, "Oh, no. God knows better than that. You won't surely die. You are an immortal soul." And ALL OF HUMANITY has been BELIEVING THAT ever since — that we are immortal souls. That was the first lie ever told by Satan.
Now, the thing I want you to get at this point is there is a difference between animal and man. I want you to notice the difference. There's a difference between God and man. Man is made in the image of God; but man is made out of matter, the same as an animal. Man is made out of matter — the same as a computer, the same as a machine, the same as your automobile. Your automobile has to breathe air. It has to be fed fuel in the gas tank. It has a carburetor that oxidizes the air. You'd be surprised how near an automobile's life is like a human life.
Animals have only a temporary existence. They do not have Life inherent. God is composed of Spirit. He doesn't have to get Life from the breath of air, the circulation of blood, and fueling Himself with food and water from the ground. Man comes from the ground. Man lives from the ground. You only have a temporary existence, like an animal and like a machine, until you run down.
You are like a wound up clock, running down. So today we try to beat all of that by electric clocks and others that are powered by the light or the sun, and this, that, and the other thing; but something has to empower it and keep it going, or it will run down. It will stop. We have to take on fuel. Just like you do in your gas tank, we have to take on fuel by eating food and drinking water that comes from the ground. We usually do that about three times a day.
MAN DOES NOT HAVE LIFE! Man only has a temporary existence; and, every breath he takes, he is in the process of dying. Man does not have Life. "In [the Word] was Life." He is the source of Life, but He didn't give man Life. Man only has a temporary existence.
Now I'd like to show you a little difference between the man and the animals before I go any further. Man was made with a spirit. Animals do not have a spirit. Man has a brain. Animals have a brain. Do you know that animal brain is precisely like a human brain? Some are larger. The elephant brain, the dolphin, the whale brain are all larger than a human brain. Chimpanzee just slightly smaller, others are still smaller; but they are just the same, and in quality (qualitatively) they are almost identical. One, the animal brain is virtually as good as the human brain. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE THEN between a man who can think and an animal who can't think and reason?
An animal has instinct automatically born in him, and it was created in the first animals as God created them. He didn't create man with instinct. He created man with mind power, and yet the brain is the same. What is the difference? The world doesn't know. Science doesn't know. Higher education doesn't teach it. The psychologists don't understand the human mind. They don't know of what it is composed.
The human mind is composed of brain that is just like animal brain with this difference — there is a spirit added to man, and there is no spirit in the animal brain; but there is a spirit in man. In Job 32 and verse 8,
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man.
Man needed this spirit to empower his brain with MIND POWER. Now the spirit in man is in the form of essence, and it comes with man's first breath, it is not part of the man. For example, if a man should swallow a very small marble (smaller than the tip end of my little finger), the marble would be in him; but the marble wouldn't be part of the man. It would be in him, but it doesn't belong in him. He'd want to try it out of there as quick as he could.
But the spirit in man is in the form of spirit essence (like air, or wind, or water), and it is compared to spirit. Spirit is compared in the Bible to wind, and water, and air. The Holy Spirit is compared to water, it pours. God pours out His Spirit. It is compared to air. Jesus said everyone born of the spirit is like the wind. You can't tell where it's coming from or where it's going, but you see what it does; (Similarities, comparisons.) THE SPIRIT IN MAN — psychologists don't understand it. The Bible explains it. It is the source of man's memory.
Now how does knowledge come into a human mind? It comes into the brain through the eye, the ear, the nose, the mouth, the sense of feel and touch. Knowledge can only come ... It doesn't come through the spirit. The spirit can't see. The spirit can't feel, taste, or smell. But the brain sees through the eye. The brain hears through the ear. It isn't your ear that hears. It's only an instrument that allows the brain to hear. But, as soon as it hits the brain, it is programmed instantly and recorded in the spirit in man. That is the memory.
It is like a computer. We have six computers at Pasadena, and I have one on my airplane. It figures a lot of things out, and it figures them out in a hurry. You have to program information into the computer. You program information, facts, knowledge. All it does is give you instant recall of whatever has been programmed into it, and that's what the spirit in man does. The reason a man can think (and an animal can't) is that the spirit of man gives man instant recall of what's been stored there. An animal doesn't have anything to store up that knowledge that long, that many pieces of knowledge as long as a man. An animal has a certain limited memory of a certain few limited things; but not compared to man; and an animal can't put all those facts together in a process we call reasoning and thinking. An animal is not a thinking animal. Man is, but man is not an animal.
Now there is another big difference. Man is like God in every way except he's made of matter. He's in the form and shape of God. For instance, God has a hand. Man has hands. Look at the things man has made by thinking out with his brain and the use of his hands and his fingers. An animal can't play a piano. An animal can't play on a violin very long, not like a man. An animal can't do the things a man could and design a fine watch with claws, with paws, with hoofs. An animal doesn't have a hand. Did you ever think what a wonderful instrument is the human hand? Well, God has a hand; and man is made in the form and shape of God.
Man was made to have A CONTACT WITH GOD and a relationship with God. An animal wasn't. God has mind. Animals don't. Man has mind, and man's mind is given him by one spirit added to and functioning with his brain. Now get that! No animal has it. Animals can't reason like man can. However, man was produced to need two things. Man was made to need a relationship with God. Man was made to need a relationship and get along with his fellow man.
Man needed two kinds of knowledge. Man not only needed knowledge to make things and deal with matter (And men have been very successful at that, he's produced almost miraculous things — awesome things.), but man have also been made to have to deal with his fellows, with his fellow man; and he needs the contact with God. But man was not made by creation with ability for those things.
Man was made with a spirit that gave him ability of mind that can receive knowledge of the physical and the material. But you can't see spirit. You can only see matter. You can only hear its vibration, and only matter vibrates. Spirit does not. You can't smell spirit. You can't taste it. You can't feel it. So you can't know anything about SPIRIT.
Now you need to know about spirit because dealing with your fellow man is a spiritual principle. Man was not born with that. Adam was not created with it, and you were not born with it. Man was given one spirit that gives him knowledge and the acquisition of physical and material knowledge ONLY. You go into the greatest universities, and all they teach is materialistic knowledge.
Spiritual knowledge is foolishness to them. It is a mystery to them. It's mysterious. They don't know anything about it, so they turn thumbs down on it and ridicule it. To them it is foolishness. The things of God are foolishness to the highly educated because the highly educated are educated only in materialistic knowledge. In other words, their brains (their minds, their bodies, their beings) are only half there. The spirit in man gives you physical knowledge, materialistic knowledge — the ability to acquire that kind of knowledge and to work with it.
It does not give you spiritual knowledge which you have to do because you get into the spiritual realm when you deal with other people and when you deal with God and man was made to need God — very seriously to need God! Notice, for example, in Psalm 34 and verse 19:
Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous [Yes, even the righteous have afflictions and troubles.]: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
MAN NEEDS HELP FROM GOD to deliver him out of trouble. Man's going to get in trouble, but he needs God to help him out of that trouble. "The LORD delivers him out of them all." Man is not equipped with the knowledge to solve his troubles.
Let me give you an illustration. It happened just in the last week, even within the last ten days. We were having trouble in a few of our Churches over in the Philippines. I'll let you in on a secret. Yes, there was trouble; and division was brewing over there in the Churches in the Philippines. Somehow, one of the local elders was writing against the man that was now in charge, who had only been put in charge at the first of the year. The man who had been in charge of the Philippines was moved in to Vancouver, in charge of Canada (where Mr. McCullough had been previously).
One side was on the side of the man who now was in Vancouver, and the other side were lining up on the side of the man who is now the manager over there. I had to act. I had to do something about it, didn't I, because we're trying to get this whole Church back on the track; and there was a part of it derailed. That's only one car of the train, I guess, that was derailed.
So I sent Mr. Bob Fahey and Mr. Gerald Waterhouse back there immediately. Now, they know that the troubles all come when you leave God out of the picture. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but [God] the LORD delivers him out of them all." Sure enough, they got over there; and they found that they were looking to one another, and looking at people, and looking at things — and they got their eyes off of Christ.
Let me give you another illustration. In the days when Jesus was on earth, Peter and some of the disciples were in a boat; and they were out in the Sea of Galilee (which is just a fairly large lake, not as big as one of our Great Lakes at all. I've been all around it.) Here came Jesus Christ walking on the water. Well, they were amazed! The disciples in the boat could see a Man walking on the water.
Peter wanted to walk on the water. So Jesus beckoned to him, "All right, come along." So Peter got out of the boat. He looked at Christ, and he started ... and actually Peter was walking on the water! But He was looking at Christ. He wasn't looking at the water. But, all of a sudden, he had to watch that water. So he looked down at the water, and he took his eyes off of Christ. What happened? Peter began to sink right away. He got in trouble when he took his eyes off of Christ.
That's the trouble with you and me. We take our eyes off of Christ, and we get in trouble. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous [You have them in your life. We have them in the Church. I have them in my private life. You have them in your private life.]: but THE LORD DELIVERS him." You can't deliver yourself! You get in trouble, especially if it is with other people; and you can't think your way out of it. You need the help of God!
So Mr. Fahey and Mr. Waterhouse got over there. They arranged to be there one day and to have the former manager come from Vancouver and be there (arrive) on the following day. You know what they began to find? They began to find they had, for some reason, got their eyes on these local things and had gotten their eyes off of Christ. The whole thing was beginning to sink in the Philippines, and all the Church would have gone down.
So the former manager arrived the next day. They got them together, and they got them into prayer; and they got them looking to Christ. Do you know what they found? They found there was nothing but some misunderstanding, and it was all straightened out. Neither man was bad. Neither man was wrong. We didn't have to fire one of them, or remove him from his job. They are both good men. There was just a misunderstanding. As soon as they looked to Christ, HE SETTLED THE MATTER; and the Church is back on the track in the Philippines. Isn't that great news?
Well, that's the way it will be in your private life. That's the way it is in the Church. That's why everything is going along fine at headquarters in Pasadena now. I'm back at Pasadena, and that's headquarters again now. Headquarters moved away from there for two years; but it's back there now, and it's all going fine back there now. Yes, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." That is wonderful!
Now, man was made with one spirit. He can deal with things. He was made to need another Spirit — the Spirit of God — to connect him with God. The Spirit of God would give him other things. That is the Spirit of Life. You see, before Adam were the Two Trees. One was the Tree of Life. I said "What if Adam had taken of the Tree of Life? What did it mean?" The Tree of Life meant the Holy Spirit.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. [Hebrews 13:8] God is offering us in the Church eternal Life. How? It comes through the Holy Spirit. We first receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the children (the sons) of God. [Romans 8:16] It's a begettal. It's an impregnation of eternal God Life. It is the Spirit of Life.
Let me give you another illustration. How were you born? You started as a little tiny ovary ... sorry, ovum I mean, in your mother's ovary; and it is released into a fallopian tube which had a hand that grabbed it. The fallopian tube is like an arm. You started going through that towards the mother's womb, or uterus. But you only had a temporary existence not to exceed 28 days. It might have been a lot less. Nobody is absolutely sure about how long its existence is, but we know it cannot be over 28 days.
But somehow, in that 28 days, a sperm cell from the very body of your father entered you — that ovum — and imparted life to you. That is, physical (just mechanical, you might say, but physical) life only — physical existence. So you didn't die at the end of 28 days. You would have. In your mother's womb, or uterus, you were nourished and fed through her. Her feeding, accrued from the ground, also nourished you; and you began to grow physically through physical food that came through your mother's eating of food from the ground.
At first, you were merely a ... (if I can ever think ... I stumble on this every time I want to use it.) an embryo, for the first four months. You hadn't even attained human form yet. At the end of four months, you were beginning to assume human form. Arms began to develop, legs began to develop, a head, a heart began to develop inside of your breast; and you became known as a fetus (what doctors call a fetus). There are five more months yet to go, and you had to grow and be developed and fed on PHYSICAL food to grow big enough to be born as a PHYSICAL BEING. Then you finally were born. But you were not born UNTIL you had grown and developed.
That is an exact parallel, an exact analogy, of the way God is reproducing Himself. God's great purpose is to reproduce Himself out of you and me; and you and I are each an egg, or an ovum. You are a human egg, so to speak. The nucleus of this egg is in the human mind. There is a spirit, but it must be fertilized by another Spirit that must come from the very body of the Father, who is God; and that is the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes and enters into you, that imparts LIFE — eternal Life.
But at the moment you are only begotten. You are so far only ... Oh what is it called? I don't know why that word won't come to me ... You are not even a fetus yet. You are only started towards Divine Life. You are not born yet, by any means. You are begotten. You are an heir of God.
Now the Spirit of God, when we receive it, witnesses with our spirit. (Romans 8, and that's the verse about ... What, about 12 or 13 around in there - 14 somewhere.)
Romans 8:16 ... with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
So there is a spirit that we have and the Spirit of God must come and join it, and we need the other Spirit. Until we receive the Holy Spirit of God, our minds are only half there! We are only half intelligent, and we have no knowledge of spiritual things. We have no knowledge of how properly to get along with other people. We have no knowledge to connect us with God, and to get along with God, and have a relationship with our Maker. You need that knowledge; and you need it very, very seriously.
Well, when you receive the Holy Spirit, God imparts to us ... And He's not changed. Wouldn't He have done the same thing to Adam? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We receive spiritual knowledge. Peter says that we must:
II Peter 3:18 ... grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
You've come to have spiritual knowledge. The Bible is full of spiritual knowledge, and you know that the natural mind cannot understand it at all. They can only understand the physical and the carnal things — the natural things — that are in the Bible. The Bible does have both, but they can't understand the spiritual things. It is foolishness to them. Absolute foolishness!
The Holy Spirit, then, gives you the knowledge of the law of God — which is a way of life. It is a spiritual law! The law of God doesn't tell you how to make a computer. It doesn't tell you how to operate an automobile. The law of God tells you how to get along with your neighbor and how to get along with God. The first four of the Ten Commandments, you find your relationship with God. The last six tell you how to get along with your neighbor. IT'S A SPIRITUAL LAW.
That's why men have had all of his troubles. It's in the spiritual realm. All of man's troubles are spiritual in nature, and man can't solve them! His knowledge doubled in the decade of the '60s, but his troubles doubled too. Why? Because he didn't get the Spirit of God, he was going on a mind that is only half there. But he wants to increase his physical knowledge, his materialistic knowledge; and that's what the universities are doing. Oh, how foolish. They study psychology, and they don't even know the composition of the human mind. They don't know about the spirit that is in the mind. They don't know about the mind of God, and the Spirit of God, and those things.
Now, the Spirit of God not only goes in your mind to have the knowledge of the law of God, the way of life of God, and how to get along with God and neighbor; it will give you the love of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law [Romans 13:10]; and it is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Romans 5:5; and that's the only kind of love that will fulfill the law. You weren't born with the love to fulfill God's law. You have to get that love from God. You have to love God first of all, and its love that comes from Him returning right back on the return circuit.
In this light here, here's the cord; and they are fastened together — there are two wires going through there. And, you know, that electricity coming in here to pour out that light, it flows in and it goes right back. It's on a return circuit. That's the way you can love God. We only love Him because He first loved us [I John 4:19] and because He pours His love into us.
Now another thing, once you have the Holy Spirit, you begin to have the faith OFChrist. Not your faith in Him. (That you have to have to start with.) But then He begins to give you divine faith — faith to RELY ON GOD and FAITH TO KNOW that HE WILL DELIVER YOU out of every time of trouble and distress. Oh, how wonderful it is to know we've got that insurance, and we can always be delivered.
Then it gives you power — spiritual power! You only had physical, material power.
Now, the mind then has a lot to do with what goes on within you. Take, for example, in I Corinthians. Beginning with verse 9 of I Corinthians 2 (the 2nd chapter of I Corinthians, verse 9):
I Corinthians 2:9 As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart [that is, the mind] of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him: [In other words, spiritual knowledge.]
Spiritual knowledge does not come through the eye, or the ear, the nose, the mouth, the sense of taste or feel. How then do you get spiritual knowledge that you need for contact with God and to get along with your neighbor?
I Corinthians 2:10 But GOD HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO US by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
And it's knowledge a little deeper than our intellectuals in the universities have been able to penetrate into so far.
I Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man [What man can have the kind of knowledge that man has, of being able to think like he does?], save the spirit of man which is in him? [That spirit that you are born with gives you the knowledge to deal with things.] Even so the things of God [or spiritual knowledge] knoweth no man, but [by]the SPIRIT OF GOD.
You can't have that kind of knowledge — you can't understand how to get along with others, how to get along with God, and how to have help from God — without the Holy Spirit. You are only mentally half there until you receive the Spirit of God. How many scientists know that? How many great educators, with a lot of letters after their name, understand that?
Now, the Tree of Life before Adam meant eternal Life; but it also meant receiving these things from God and that kind of knowledge! Now look at the other tree. The other tree was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was a tree that had to do with knowledge also, but that was the knowledge ... When Adam took of that, he took to himself knowledge production! He TOOK TO HIMSELF the knowledge. He would make up that knowledge in his own mind. He took it to himself — the production of knowledge. That's what men have been doing ever since, and they have their great universities and their knowledge production factories.
Are you getting this message, brethren? You've never heard one like this before. Did you come for what you could hear, for what you could learn? Or did you just come to get a look at me? I hope you are getting it, because this is important. It's important to your life and your eternity, and there is nothing more important.
Adam took to himself the knowledge. In other words, with his one spirit he was going to create all the knowledge. He said, "God, I don't need you." And in so doing, he rejected the Kingdom of God. He rejected the government of God.
Now at this point, Satan enters the picture; and Satan came across Eve, and got to Adam through his wife. How did Satan get there? Well, I haven't time to go into all of that. Satan was a former great archangel called Lucifer. You read of him in Isaiah 14 and verses 12-14. He had a throne. His throne was on the earth. He said he was going to rise above the clouds, so he was on the earth below the clouds. He was going to exalt his throne above God. He was going to go up, and take his angels with him, and conquer God.
Now all of the angels shouted for joy when the earth was founded. You'll read that in Job 38, beginning with the first verse (the first 4 or 5 verses). The angels inhabited the earth before man. Most people don't know that! There are a lot of things that people don't know that they ought to know.
The only college on earth that I know of that teaches these things is Ambassador College at Pasadena; and Ambassador College is being founded all over again in Big Sandy, as a two year college. Of course, if some of them look like they have the qualifications and if the Work might need them for further education, they can be transferred for the next two years back to Pasadena. So they don't have to be limited if they really have the ability to go further, and need to (if there is some reason why they should).
But here was man going to rely on himself to produce the knowledge. He wasn't going to let God reveal "revealed knowledge" to him — the spiritual knowledge. He took to himself the knowledge, and man has been doing it ever since.
Now do you understand why man has produced great things that are material, and why his troubles have grown? The world doesn't understand that. Your greatest businessmen don't understand it. The bankers don't understand it. The professors in your great universities don't understand it. I'm giving you knowledge that none of them has!
Man is left as helpless as a newborn baby. He's absolutely helpless. He is left with a natural mind, a carnal mind. Romans 8:7, the mind of man. Maybe I can just turn to that in a second. I thought I had it here. Romans 8 and verse 7:
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [that is, hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
That's the way you are born, with that kind of a mind. You are born with that kind of a mind. So now what happens? Now we go back to Genesis again. Adam took of the forbidden fruit. He followed his wife. He disobeyed God. He rejected the command of God. He rejected the government of God. He rebelled against the authority and the government of God.
Lucifer had been set on the throne of the earth, and over angels. Lucifer had been perfect in all his ways from the day God created him (You read that in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel.) until iniquity was found in him. But his angels had followed him IN REBELLION. You read of the angels that sinned in II Peter 2:4. The angels sinned; and Lucifer now became Satan, and his angels that sinned with him became demons. (I am writing an article that will explain a lot of this when it comes out in the May issue of The Plain Truth, you can be watching for it.)
But notice what happened after Adam had made that choice. Genesis 3:22 —
Genesis 3:22 And the LORD [or Eternal] God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us ... and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever ...
If he had taken of the Tree of Life (He had already taken knowledge to himself. He would have rejected knowledge from God. He had already rejected that!) But now he would have had eternal Life living in the kind of trouble, and agony, and suffering that man has brought on himself; but God loved man too much to let that happen.
Genesis 3:22 ... lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, andlive forever ... [which he could have done, even after making that choice.]
But look: Adam had no Sin-bearer. Christ had not come. There was no one to pay the penalty in his stead. He would have lived forever in agony, and trouble, and suffering. So, what did God do?
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man [from the garden of Eden]: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, TO KEEP the way of the tree of life [lest man go in there and get eternal Life and live forever going the way of man, without the Spirit of God].
God locked up Life. God locked up the Holy Spirit and shut it off from man right then and there; and THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW THAT! The world thinks the Holy Spirit has been — that salvation has been open to anyone who would and all along. It has not been. Salvation has been closed to the world. Salvation was closed to the world. The whole world was cut off from the Spirit of God. The world had some knowledge ABOUT God, but it was cut off from contact with God and having a relationship with God.
Now notice how man's world developed; and it has taken man through discontent, and sorrow, and ordinary suffering, through violence, and coming down to the point now where we have nuclear war looming that can destroy and erase all human life from this earth, and destroy every one of us. That's what man has done. For 5,800 years man lived about the same level, on an even keel. Man didn't advance even in material development and science.
The only means of transportation still for hundreds and thousands of years was walking, or on a mule or a donkey or a camel or something, or a rowboat or a sailboat. Even the steamboat was only rather fairly recently invented, in the last (what is it?) one, two hundred years or so. I don't have those dates right at hand right now. But the last century and a half, medical science, technology, modern education in the Western world has made awesome progress they say — MATERIALLY; but there has been nothing but retrogression and decadence in life, and spiritually, and in our condition in every way.
Why? Man cannot deal with people. He can deal with things. Man does not have help from God. Man is leaving God out of the picture. Let us not leave God out of the picture in His Church! Let's keep God in the picture. Keep God in the picture in your life. Think about God every day.
In the Bible Study last night at Pasadena (I didn't get much sleep because I stayed up to listen to it; and Mr. Meredith was giving the Bible Study, and as usual he talks way over time.), he was talking on prayer; but, believe me, the people needed it. They needed more prayer, and I think what I said last Sabbath there inspired that sermon.
Man now has his greatest problem, that of survival. Man only has a temporary existence. His mind is only one half there; and it remained for the second Adam, Jesus Christ, to bring us Life. Now Life came with Christ. Material existence came with Adam. The single mind came with Adam, and Adam rejected the spiritual mind. But the spiritual mind came with Christ! Life came with Christ. Adam didn't take Life. But Christ brought Life to us, and Christ came to pay the penalty of our sins.
Now why did God wait so long? There's another reason. In the first place, He couldn't let Adam get them, or any of Adam's children until Christ came to take the Holy Spirit because then they would have lived forever in agony, and trouble, and sorrow, and pain, and suffering. But Christ is the second Adam, who brought us Life; and He gave His life to pay the penalty of our sins, so that our past could be erased and we can now receive the Holy Spirit.
We are in the same position today as the very firstfruits, and the Spirit of God was not opened to people until Christ — from the first Adam until the second Adam; and it is not open today except those few who have been predestinated to be called now, and won't be until Christ comes the second time. Why? Because Satan is still here, because Satan has gotten everybody going the wrong way, and because ...
Well, take the angels who sinned — demons. I've talked to some of them. Ever talk with a demon? I have. I've cast them out of people, and I've talked with them for a while before I cast them out. I've found that they are sassy, and they are impudent, and they are hostile, and they are bitter, and they are resentful. They are unhappy, and they are angry. They don't want to come out.
The first one I ever cast out was a woman. I spent some time with her. I told her, "Come out;" and she got sassy and said, "You come out." I told her that I was commanding her in the name of Jesus Christ to come out. I told the demon, "Come out of that woman." I wasn't talking to the woman. I was talking to the demon in her. Finally, it said, "I won't come out! I had been paying on this place here, and been paying payments on this house for so many years, and I've got a right to stay here." You know, I inquired; and the number of years she had mentioned was the time when she became insane.
They thought she was insane, and I thought I had failed. I didn't see ... You can't see a demon. I didn't see it come out (or him, or whatever a demon is) of the woman. The next morning they took that woman to the state insane asylum. The insane asylum said, "What did you bring this woman here for? There's nothing wrong with her. Her mind is as sound as anybody." She didn't remember a thing in all those years. She had been demon possessed.
I have talked to other demons who are just sassy and insolent. Demons don't recognize that what they did wrong, that's more than 6,000 years ago, was wrong. God knows we judge things by comparison; and God wants us to know, and He wants the angels to know that God's way is right. The way of man and the ways that Satan went, and the angels went that are now demons is THE WRONG WAY; and it does not pay! God has given us 6,000 years of man doing the wrong way and going the way of Satan; and it has brought nothing but heartache, and trouble, and woe, and suffering, and nothing else.
Now we are going to have 1,000 years, and that's about to begin with the Second Coming of Christ. Then Satan will be put away, and we'll have 1,000 years where Satan won't be troubling people. People will be having God's truth. They'll be receiving the Spirit of God. They will know how to deal with other people. They'll deal in love, and in cooperation, and serving one another, and helping one another (instead of trying to take away from one another and tear the other man apart). After that 1,000 years, they can look back and compare the 1,000 years where they lived the way of God (and the way of Christ) and the 6,000 years where they were living the way of Satan in opposition to God.
Then will come THE JUDGMENT. It's appointed to man once to die. The people that have been denied the Spirit of God ... The Tree of Life was CUT OFF, and it's still cut off from the world as a whole. It's open to a few. God has called you and me. You are a few — the very precious few — God has called. Why? We have to overcome, and we have to begin ... There's one difference. We are the same as Adam. Adam would have had to overcome Satan, if he had taken of the Tree of Life. But Satan would have been ultimately put away, I'm sure. We have to overcome Satan. Others, when God opens up the Tree of Life to them, they will not have Satan. He will have been put away, and they won't have any Satan to overcome; but we do. We have it a lot harder than others will in the Millennium.
We have it a lot harder than others will in the Great White Throne Judgment that we celebrate on the Last Day after the Feast of Tabernacles. Then the WHOLE WORLD will be resurrected, and ALL will be called to judgment. They'll have to give account for what they did in this life; BUT, if they confess their sins, they will find the Savior has come (way back there from the year about 4 B.C to 31 A.D.); and that He paid the penalty of their sins in their stead; and that their penalty and all that they are held account for can be taken away; and they can ... God can say, "Come, ye blessed, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and of Life." They can all yet have it, and EVERYBODY WHO WAS EVER BORN is still going to have a chance.
You know, we've been studying one thing. What about Adam? Will he be in the Great White Throne Judgment? I now begin to fairly believe he will be. Adam sinned, but there was no Savior to forgive his sins. He had no chance. You and I have sinned, but the Savior has come before our birth. We can confess our sins, repent, and be forgiven. Adam couldn't. No Savior had come for him. Adam has to wait for ... You see, there's another scripture that says:
Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment.
I Corinthians 15:22 As in Adam ALL DIE, even so in Christ [the second Adam] shall ALL be made alive [in the Great White Throne Judgment, and come to everlasting Life].
Now ALL OF THIS, brethren, is pictured in the feast days; and no church on earth knows about it except this Church. It has to do with God's plan of redemption (not with what Adam did, but with what the second Adam did), and it starts with Christ. It starts with the Passover showing the sacrifice of Christ. The second festival of seven days, the Days of Unleavened Bread, shows our putting sin out of our lives and repenting, since Christ has come to pay the penalty in our stead. Now we have to come out of sin. The third is the coming of the Holy Spirit. We can't do it on our own power. We have to have the power of God and the Spirit of God. That is the day of Pentecost, which was just a week ago tomorrow. No, that's just last Sunday. That was the Feast of Firstfruits, and we are the first to be called, the first of God's salvation, the first to be called.
Next will come the Feast of Trumpets, picturing the Second Coming of Christ as King of kings. After that, the Day of Atonement, which pictures the putting away of Satan immediately. Christ will be ruling and will be on that throne. Satan is still on his throne, but Christ will then be on the throne. Then comes the Feast of Tabernacles, which is seven days that pictures the 1,000 years. After that the Last Great Day that pictures the final judgment, when ALL THAT EVER LIVED will be resurrected and brought into judgment.
Now judgment is a trial and test to see whether you are guilty or not. But, if they plead guilty, they can also plead the blood of Christ. The books will be opened in that judgment, and one is the book of Life. L-I-F-E. Life! Life will be offered to them, and that is a wonderful thing.
I have a great deal more, but I don't have time; and I've talked to you a long time. We started a little late, and I'm very tired. I'm going to show you some things about the Last Day and about this particular Church. We'll get those things to you in another message in another way, maybe in the Good News or maybe in the Worldwide News.
God has raised up this Church because we are very near the end, and we have not much more time. Brethren, this Church has not been ready! We have not been ready, but we've been getting back on the track. I'm going to say what Mr. Meredith said to a packed auditorium last night in Pasadena: How much do you pray every day? How close are you to God? How much is Christ in your life? How much is He in the picture? How much do you just have your mind on other things and other people? But not on God, or on Christ!
Brethren, we're not as close to God as we ought to be. We're not back on the track fully yet. Or, if we're on the track, we're not going ahead full steam yet. But we are starting, and we're growing, and we're increasing. Now it is "he who endures unto the end [that] shall be saved." God is looking to YOU PEOPLE to be KINGS and PRIESTS, and to be made VERY GOD! You have to have the whole RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER of God, and rule under Christ, and rule this whole world for 1,000 years. Are you ready?
Are you ready? There is so much more. I have only had the beginning. The real sermon should come after this, as it didn't a week ago in Pasadena. I'm going to leave that to your pastors to get that to you, because I'm tired and I'm going to leave now. I'm still trying to keep myself going, brethren. In just about a month and ten days, I will reach my 90th year. I'm older than most of you. I've been serving God now for 54 years. I've been keeping His holy days now for 54 years. As a result, you are all observing them. As a result, you have come to know the truth.
God is keeping me alive. I don't know how much longer He will. I do need your prayers. I need them for physical condition. I'm trying to keep alive. I'm trying to keep right on the job. I've got to do about four more television programs this coming week. Two weeks from today I expect to be speaking to a combined group up at Vancouver, British Columbia and all of western Canada. I'm trying to keep going. I'm not retiring. I'm in my office every day. I have all of the executive management of a very great worldwide operation — the Work of God, the Church of God. I have to travel a great deal. In just a month from now, I have to go to Britain, Germany, and France.
I hope I can limit it to that and come on back. But I can't think of retiring yet. Others have retired twenty years before my age. I'm glad you all stand back of me. I get so many signatures (that come in by the hundreds and thousands) that you are back of me 100%. Well, I need it, brethren. But you need God back of you, and you need to be in close contact with God. See that you are! Pray more. Read and study the Bible more. Think a lot less about the pleasures and the interests of this world and this life. Remember the time is very, very short. That's all I'm going to say now. Thank you very much, brethren. I love you all, and I know you love me. Thank you very much.