QR Code

   The World Tomorrow, Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the plain truth about today's world news and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow.

   Well, greetings, friends. This is Herbert W. Armstrong with the good news of the world tomorrow. Well, it's certainly shocking to discover now that there is no Bible authority for these firmly established customs. That most of us certainly have supposed were Christian customs established.

   Yes, my friends. It's shocking to discover that the Christianity that we have grown up accepting is not the same gospel that Jesus preached at all, not the same Christianity that was believed and practiced by the church that Jesus Christ did build in the days when that church was led infallibly by the apostles and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

   Yes, it's a little shocking to learn that Christ observed the Passover instead of Easter, that the original genuine church of God which Jesus built observed the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread following it, but no Easter or Holy Week or Lenten season preceding Easter.

   It's certainly surprising to learn that the Apostle Paul actually taught the gentile converts to stop observing Lent and Easter. Instead, they were taught by Paul to keep the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. That's rather shocking, but it's true.

   But that isn't all. It's even more astounding to discover on research and through actual history that the true church which Christ founded and which he headed continued to keep the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, continued to proclaim and to believe the same gospel that Jesus had preached, utterly different from the gospels we've come to believe today, continued to practice the same customs that Christ and the apostles had observed and taught for hundreds of years, clear into the Middle Ages.

   Now, we've been recently in this broadcast going into the actual history of the true church from the time of Christ. Now, first, remember, once again, you have to know what to look for if you're going to find the history of the true church. Men have never found it because they have looked for the professing Christian church that was a great large church or many denominations of churches that were popular in this world, recognized in this world, politically organized, visible, having great power and influence in the world.

   That isn't the church that you find described in the Bible. Jesus called his church a little flock. He said it would be persecuted as they had persecuted him. He said, so would they persecute those that were his followers, those that were his. He was crucified. Many of the apostles were martyred. Many of the Christians were martyred for hundreds of years until pagan ideas came along and gained the ascendancy, until people were not allowed anymore to believe the same things that Christ had taught.

   Oh, I tell you, it's shocking when you get the real history of what actually did happen. This isn't imagination, this is fact and this is what happened. And you can go to the public libraries, you can search out these histories, you can get these books, you can find for yourself. You can certainly believe what your eyes can see if you're willing to look it up. You can believe what's in your Bible and in the Bible, you thought that what was prophesized and foretold for the church was not a great political organization recognized and loved by the world.

   Jesus said, if you were of the world, he said to his disciples, you would be respected and loved by the world. The world loves its own. But he said, the world hateth you because it has hated me. And he said that his church would be little, small in number, it would be scattered, dispersed, and that it would be the church that would believe and follow his teachings, keep his customs. It would be the church that was led by the Holy Spirit.

   Now, the true church of God, my friends, is a spiritual organism, not necessarily a visible organization at all. You might have, as I've mentioned before, 1000 people attending some place, some church. 999 might be in the true church and thoroughly converted, led by the Holy Spirit of God. And one, not. That one is not a member of the church, is not in it, even though he attends.

   On the contrary, perhaps there is one in some such group that might be in the true church that really has been changed, has surrendered his life to God, is filled with and led by the Holy Spirit of God. And the other 999 are not, they're just professing Christians. All right then, in that case, that one is all that is a part of the true church of God among this visible organization that might be meeting someplace calling itself a Christian church.

   Now, when you realize that you have to look then for the church, for those that believe and practice the very things that Jesus taught, the things that he set an example that were just exactly like the church of the apostles, just like the churches of the gentile converts that the Apostle Paul had brought into the truth, then you begin to know what to look for in history.

   And we've been finding it. Now we have found the two churches in the Book of Revelation, one in Revelation 12, the true church of God that was persecuted, driven into the wilderness away from organized society and from the police of the state in order to keep the commandments of God and to have the faith of Jesus. They loved not their lives unto death. You'll find it described in the 12th chapter of Revelation. They are the ones that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. That was the church the devil was wroth with, so angry with, he did everything he could to stamp them out.

   Then in Revelation 17, you find the great professing Christian church or churches, many denominations, quarreling denominations, all scattered, divided, and yet organized and visible together, called Babylon. The whole system is called Babylon the Great. Yes, the great church, great, all are divided, and that is called Babylon, which means confusion. But in Revelation 2 and Revelation 3, we have the history of the true church of God in advance as given by Jesus Christ himself.

   Now here, he has taken seven literal churches that then existed in Asia Minor, raised up through the preaching, of Paul the apostle, and the evangelist under him. And these local churches in Asia Minor characterized and pictured the course of the church as it would be from that time until the second coming of Christ. In other words, from the time that Christ ascended to heaven until he comes again to receive us unto himself.

   Now, he started out with Ephesus. Then north of Ephesus was Smyrna. On farther north was Pergamos. It was a mail route circling around. Then Thyatira. Then we began to come back down: Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Those were the seven churches and their characteristics that actually existed at the time in 90 A.D., at the time that Christ revealed this to the Apostle John who wrote it in the Book of Revelation. Their characteristics were absolutely typical of what was going to happen in the various church ages or stages of the true church. And here you find the true church.

   Now, we've gone through Ephesus, which was the apostolic church in the days of the apostles. And in this condition, it lasted up to 69 A.D. when they were scattered. And they went up to a town called Pella, considerably way north of Jerusalem on the other side of the Jordan River. And there, the world began to call them Nazarene. Although they never called themselves Nazarene, they were the church of God. That is God's name. God never named them Nazarene, but the world dubbed them that.

   Then we came to the church of Smyrna that lasted some 400 years from that time on. And then the church of Pergamos. We have been going through that, and we're about ready now to come to the church at Thyatira. But I want to go back and rehearse just a little bit and remind you of something that we came to right at the close of the preceding program.

   Now, the name given to these people, the church of Pergamos, finally, in the latter stages by the world, they were called Paulicians, I suppose because they followed the Apostle Paul. And their enemies called them Paulicians. Now, we find a great deal about them in a book called "The Key of Truth" that contains a great deal of their teachings that has been translated into the English language by Fred C. Conybeare. And I want to read once again a few of the things that I gave in the preceding program about them.

   This partially preserved record of God's people proves that they preached the gospel of the kingdom, the government of God. They did not turn grace into lasciviousness and say that grace means you're not under any obligation to obey the law, which the Bible nowhere says. In fact, Paul says in preaching grace, "Do we then make void the law by grace, by faith? Does our faith make the law void? God forbid! Yea, we establish the law."

   The Apostle Paul wrote, "It is not just the hearers but the doers of the law that shall be justified." Whereas the popular professing Christians at that time had come to believe that they should do the thing that seemed right to a man instead of what God said, that man must have known better than God. And so they went the way of human reason, and they had adopted the ways and the customs of the pagans, the philosophies of the pagans. They were coming to the time when one of their great writers.

   Well, it was a little later than this. Of course, Dante Alighieri had believed that such pagan poets as Virgil and as Plato had some measure of divine inspiration. And so he copied their ideas and added a lot by his own imagination. And he wrote some doctrines that have come to be embraced, even down to today.

   The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that the law is holy and just and good, that it is a spiritual law while he himself even was carnal, and that it was by the law that he came to the knowledge of sin. That's what Paul wrote about it. That's why, I suppose, they call these people Paulicians. They observed the commandments of God, the law of God. They believed in the government of God. They believed that God was the sovereign ruler.

   Well, they preached and believed the same gospel that Jesus did, the kingdom of God. And they believed that the church was founded not only upon Jesus Christ but also upon the apostles and the prophets, Moses and Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and clear on down to Malachi. Yes, they believe that. That's not very popular today. Today, we hear a lot of people believing that they shouldn't even look in the Old Testament anymore, and they baptized by immersion, not by sprinkling or anything of the kind.

   They realize that there are four passages in the New Testament. If we're going to live by every word of God, that we should, after people have thoroughly repented, have completely surrendered unconditionally to God and to the will of God. The government of God surrendered their wills, have come out of the world. That they did as the apostles had done. They prayed over them and laid hands on them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

   They not only continued to keep the Passover on the 14th of God's first month, Nisan, which comes along in the spring and not in January at all, but they also observed the Sabbath, the weekly Sabbath, believe it or not, and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Now, that's on pages 162 and 152 in the Key of Truth that was translated into English by Fred C. Conybeare.

   Well, the devil was quite angry with those people, as I read to you. And so, once again, Satan and his wiles to overthrow the church introduced false teachers among God's people. These teachers induced many in the church. And continually, as I've mentioned, the pure Church of God, my friends, is not made up of people that are 100% perfect. It never has been. But they are people at first who have completely surrendered to God, have wholeheartedly dedicated their lives to God, and given their lives to God to receive the Holy Spirit, to live by every word of God, and to be guided by the Spirit of God.

   But still, my friends, there's human nature in every one of us. There was in all of those, and constantly the devil is trying much harder to deceive and to pull away those that have God's truth and are in the truth than he is those that don't have it and are rather safely on the devil's side anyhow, because of either their ignorance or because they have never come to accept and to follow the truth. They've never repented, they've never accepted Christ, they've never received the Holy Spirit. That's all right. That satisfies the devil. He lets them alone. But the ones that the devil is so anxious to overthrow are the ones who have surrendered to God and do have the Holy Spirit. And so, the devil was certainly after this church at all times.

   And so, once again, some of these people were deceived. False teachers came among them, induced many of them to celebrate the idolatrous pagan holidays that centered around the Christmas and the New Year's season. Now, you're going to be shocked if you get the truth about that and where Christmas came from. And if you have not yet ever gotten our booklet on that, write in for our booklet on Christmas, The Plain Truth About Christmas. That will give you the historic facts. It will give you the facts out of the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Britannica, other ancient histories that are authentic. It will give you facts that nobody can deny one way or the other. You need to know the truth. Write in for that booklet on Christmas because I don't mention that very much anymore. I mention it when we come to Christmas time. There's no charge. We'll be very happy to send you a copy. It's a little bit shocking, but it's the truth.

   I tell you, my friends, we're getting into the times this world is terribly upset. We're down at the end of this world. There's some meaning in this terrible upset, chaotic world condition, and it's about time that we wake up and find out what we've been believing and where it came from and how it came and what the Bible does say and what is the real truth.

   Well, as a result of these sins, because Christ had said that his church was to remain pure and separate from the world, waiting for the marriage to Christ at his second coming, now, as a result of what happened in the church alone at that time, Jesus warned his church. Revelation 2:16, here on the history of the history written in advance. Actually, it's a prophecy in the second chapter of Revelation, beginning with the 12th verse (Revelation 2:12). It describes this church of Pergamos here. Now, beginning with verse 14 (Revelation 2:14), Christ had said, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate," says Jesus Christ. Repent.

   Now he says here to this church, "Repent, or else I will come unto thee." And that's his own church he's talking to now, his own church. Yes, they're human. And I tell you, we can fall away. Why, the church started out, but Paul said there will be deceivers in among you to lead you astray. And we're told, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." My friends, you need to watch that today. You can be misled, any one of you. You know, often I get to thinking, sometimes I get to wondering, would it be possible for me to fall away? It most certainly would. But I don't need to worry about it because I know also that the Bible says that the Christ, who is the head of the church, the one who is my Savior, my living Savior, not a dead Savior hanging on a cross any longer, that he is able to save me to the uttermost. He is able to keep me from falling. And I have to rely on him, not on my own power, my own strength.

   I know that God has called me to his ministry. And I think that there are hundreds of thousands of you out there, my friends, that know it. Yes, there are some others that they may know it and they may not know it, but who are very angry at the truth of God and would certainly not acknowledge it. Some of you, however, know it. But I'm human, just like you. And I know that my only chance of remaining faithful unto the end, of continuing to increase and grow spiritually and in knowledge and in character, and to overcome and to endure unto the end, the only chance that I have is that Christ, who is now my High Priest, is able to keep me from falling. It's my faith in him and the trust that he will not let me fall. But if I want to, if I want to turn away, then he's certainly going to let me fall. But I just don't want to, but I haven't enough strength in myself to prevent it, and I know it. And neither have you, my friends. You better wake up and realize, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

   I'm going to just dip over here a little bit. When we come to the last of these churches, the Laodicean church, that's getting down into our day and into the future yet ahead of us. And here Christ says of this church, "I know thy works, thou art neither hot nor cold. I would that thou wert hot or cold. So then, because thou art lukewarm," just lukewarm Christianity. There's a lot of that today. That's getting down in our day. I'm going way on ahead here for just a moment. I want you to get this. "And neither hot nor cold," Jesus Christ said to this church, or the people like this in this condition, and some of them are right here now, and there's going to be a lot more of it in the next few years. He says, "I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, 'I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.'"

   Yes, I tell you, my friends, that's the church in our time and the time just ahead of us. It's the time when knowledge has been increased, when we're coming to know things that they didn't know back here 50, 100 years ago, even things the apostles didn't know. Why Jesus said to the apostles that the prophets that had lived hundreds of years before them had looked into the things that he was revealing to them and desired to know these things. But he said they couldn't know them, the time hadn't come. But he said to his own disciples, "Blessed are your eyes because these things are revealed to you and you can see them." But those holy men of old, the prophets, had desired to know these things, but they couldn't.

   Now, the apostles too were holy men when they received the Spirit of God, and they desired to know some things that they couldn't know. But now, my friends, we're in the time of the end. We're at the time that the prophet Daniel spoke of when knowledge is being increased, and we today are privileged to know things the Apostle Peter couldn't know, the Apostle Paul couldn't know. Oh, what a blessed privilege! But also, my friends, what a responsibility, because when we know these things and we get a little bit spiritually conceited, we get to thinking, well, we're pretty rich and increased with goods. We know things they didn't know. And some of us, when we come to see how this world has been duped and deceived and misled, some of you people that are beginning now to realize how deceived you have been and how deceived this world is.

   As the Bible said, that all nations would be deceived. That's either true or your Bible's false. It wouldn't say a few people would be deceived, but all nations would be deceived. That's either true or the Bible is false, one or the other. And when we come to see it and we have the truth, and we see that we have truth and our neighbors around us don't have it—now, there are many of you in my audience from coast to coast. Some of you up in New England, some of you down in Florida, some of you in the Middle West, many of you in Texas, up in the Pacific Northwest, all over the United States where you hear this program every single night or morning or noon every day—some of you have come to see the truth. I wonder if you get the feeling you're just a little bit better than the other people around you. You find your neighbors don't know it. You find most of the other people around you don't know this truth. Yes, they're still deceived. You get to think you're a little better than they are.

   Oh, I say to you, if you think you stand, take heed lest you fall. Here's this church of our time. So then it's the one that's coming next. As a matter of fact, we're in the Philadelphia time. We're not out of it yet, but some of us are, if we don't look out, going to be a part of this Laodicean church. Listen: "Because thou art lukewarm," Jesus said, "I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, 'I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,' spiritually speaking." In other words, we're so spiritually rich and we have all of the knowledge. We have knowledge that even the apostles didn't have. Yes, it's true. We have, we can have today. Oh, that's wonderful. But I want to tell you that good things, my friends, are a great responsibility. A lot of us today don't realize that when we get these precious things from God, they also impose upon us a great and a grave responsibility that we don't get just spiritually proud and get to think you are better than other people.

   You know, if you have additional knowledge, God requires you to live up to it, and God is going to judge us according to how well we have done with what we have had to do with. Now, if God gives you more to do with, if he gives you more knowledge, more understanding, he's going to hold you accountable for it. With what you do with it, and you're going to be judged according to your works. You don't get saved by your works, but you certainly will be judged according to your works, and the degree of reward or the degree of punishment, whichever it may be, is going to be according to your works. All works count, to this church, he said, "I know thy works." He said that, I think, to every one of these churches, certainly most of them here. But he tells this church to repent too. So if you've gotten into that lukewarm condition, maybe you're getting a little ahead of time, getting over into the Laodicean condition even ahead of time, you'd better repent.

   As a result of these sins, Jesus warned His church in verse 16 here, Revelation 2: "Repent, or else I will fight against thee with the sword of my mouth." And the Word of God is like a sharp two-edged sword, and this picture is coming out of the mouth of Christ, who is the Word of God.

   Now, well, most of them took that warning rather lightly until it was too late. Trusting in their own worldly political alliances with neighboring Arabs, instead of relying on Jesus' protection, they were betrayed. They were slaughtered, 100,000 of them according to history. That's what happened. The faithful few who escaped were driven to southeastern Europe. And let me see here, we find from page 104 on this book that there they throve for centuries and spread their tenets into Bohemia, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, and even into England, those that had remained faithful and were not slaughtered.

   Now, we come to the church in Thyatira. This is mighty interesting. Now, John was inspired to commend the church at Thyatira. That was the next step or the next stage in the history of the true Church of God, because the last works of the church were even better than the first. You know, that is really something outstanding.

   The history of mankind, my friends, whether you realize it or not, has been one of degeneration. It's natural for us to sort of go down. And that is especially true in religion. I have had experience now for considerably more than half a century in the ministry of God. And I have noticed that there's a sort of first love, a sort of first flush. It's a good deal like being engaged to be married in the first marriage. There's a sort of first flush of love, and of course, that is going to disappear after a while.

   Now, if we know God's laws regarding marriage and if we're faithful one to the other and living in God's way and bringing the spiritual principle in with it, the love of a husband and a wife for each other will deepen as the years go by. I know that by experience. But of course, if people don't, well, then that first flush is gone and there they are.

   It's the same way with religion, with your Christian experience. There's a sort of first flush and then most people just sort of fall back and get lukewarm. Well, here was one that came the other way, and their last works were even better than their first.

   Oh, I tell you, it's shocking when you get the real history of what actually did happen. This isn't imagination, this is fact. And this is what happened, and you can go to the public libraries, you can search out these histories, you can get these books, you can find for yourself. You can believe what's in your Bible.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.