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   Greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
   Now once again, will you get out your Bibles? Will you open them up and see how you have believed that the Bible says exactly the opposite of what it does; at least in so many very fundamental places, and fundamental precepts, fundamental teachings and doctrines.
   Now in going through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to see what Jesus did teach and how they had perverted His gospel, and how today we're only hearing a gospel about Christ. A gospel exalting Him of course, a gospel deifying Him, a gospel that says just receive Him, just accept Him and you shall be saved. And that's all there is to it. They say there is nothing more to salvation today but that is not what Jesus taught; that is not what the apostle Paul taught to the Gentiles.
   So will you open your Bible and see as we go through and see the example He set; how He lived, the things that He taught, the things that the early Church did believe. And how did we come to get such different ideas that we believe and call them Christianity today?
   Well we're in Matthew now, the eighteenth chapter verse 21, Matthew 18:21. "So Peter came to Jesus and he said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times [should I forgive him seven times and then the eighth time quit, say, no I won't forgive you anymore]? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22 paraphrased)
   Well, we don't practice that very much today do we, not very much. I want to mention one thing there though, God is very forgiving. God gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life; and of course they don't believe that today, they believe that whosoever does not believe in Him will not perish but will live forever, in hell fire, but the Bible teaches that they shall perish nevertheless and that's the word that's used in that golden text of all the Bible that people don't seem to believe it (John 3:16).
   And yet, a lot of people think that God just forgives us all the time. Now let me tell you something, God will not forgive any man whatsoever until that man repents and comes to Him and asks forgiveness.

Sin Cuts Us Off From God

   Our sins have cut us off from God and every one of us has sinned. Everybody has sinned; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And our sins have separated between us and God. You know in Isaiah, Isaiah says that God's arm isn't short that He can't reach out and do what we ask (Isaiah 59:1). He isn't deaf that He can't hear us when we pray but our sins have separated between us and Him that He will not hear. Now 'God heareth not sinners,' is another passage in the Bible (John 9:31). The Bible says God does not even hear sinners; God will not have anything to do with a sinner. God will not hear a sinner. Your sins have separated between you and God that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
   Now in another place, if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us and, this is in the New Testament, and if He hear us we know that we have the petitions that we ask of Him (I John 5:15). If He hears He will answer. I wonder if you ever realized that, but God usually just doesn't hear most prayers because the people who pray are not in God's will; they have not repented.
   Now there is another passage in the New Testament, over in John's letters, that "whatsoever things we ask we receive of him [you know why?], because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (I John 3:22). And the churches today, nearly all of them at least most of them teach that, why if you do that you'll be under a curse. If you keep the commandments of God, if you keep the great spiritual law of God, summed up in the Ten Commandments you'll be under a curse, and so they teach you not to do that today. "But whatsoever things we ask of him we receive because we keep his commandments" (I John 3:22).
   Now God heareth not sinners and sin is the transgression of the law; I John 3:4. And there are a lot of people today that say; "Oh, I know the Lord, how precious it is to know the Lord." They get up in church services and preachers will say that. And you ask that same man, "Well do you keep His commandments, do you believe in keeping the, the spiritual law of God?" And he'll say, "No, sir, brother, I don't believe in that, that was nailed to the cross, I don't keep it."
   Well God calls that man a liar when he says he knows the Lord because in I John 2:4, the second chapter you will read that, if that any man say "I know him and keepeth; not his commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). He has no truth.
   A lot of those people they prate around about how wonderful, and how beautiful, and how nice it is to know the Lord. They have a very emotional and sentimental message. They preach about Christ, they preach a lot about His person, they tell you how good it is to know the Lord and they don't anymore know the Lord than, well, than any dumb animal, not a bit. They don't know Him and He doesn't know them and He isn't hearing them and when they pray; and their beautiful flowery rhetorical prayers that they make in church. They may go as high as the ceiling of the room in which they sit but they're not ascending to Heaven, God Almighty never hears them. God hears not sinners! But if He hears we know we have the petitions that we have asked of him (I John 5:15) But there it says; "...if we ask anything according to his will" (I John 5:14), if we and 'we' in New Testament language means Christians who have surrendered to God.
   A young man came to Jesus Christ and said "How shall I gain eternal life, what good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16) Well, of course today they say there's nothing for you to do whatsoever; you don't do any good thing. Why it just comes. They twist grace around and make it license. Jude said they would do that; "...turning the grace of our Lord into lasciviousness" (Jude v:4), which is permission to commit sin and license to do as you please; and as we please or they tell you do as your conscience guides you.
   Well, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; the ends thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
   And if you do the way that seems right to you I'll guarantee you it'll never hurt your conscience. So, people following their consciences are doing what they think is right; that's what ancient Israel did, they did what seemed right in their own sight. And God wouldn't receive them as long as they did that.

Apostles Had Only Old Testament Scriptures

   No, we have to surrender. And how do you find God? Why, Isaiah told us; and you think you couldn't find any true way of salvation in the Old Testament? The apostle Paul said to Timothy in second Timothy the third chapter along the last few verses there:
   "All scripture is given by inspiration of God [he said], that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make thee wise unto salvation which is in Jesus Christ." (II Timothy 3:16,15)
   Now the only scriptures that Timothy had known from a child were the Old Testament as we call them today. Because, why in even writing that letter to Timothy, Paul was writing part of the New Testament then; and it had not yet been accepted as part of the scripture at that time. And John's gospel for instance, and the letters of John, the Book of Revelation had not any of it been written at all at that time; a great deal of the Bible had not even been written. And even a great deal of the New Testament that had been had not been yet recognized as part of the Scripture at that time.
   The scripture that had been known from the time that Timothy was a youth, or a child, was the Old Testament. And Paul said in the New Testament inspired writing that they were able to make him wise unto salvation which is in Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 3:15)
   Now then, one of those scriptures in Isaiah and it was the Book of Isaiah you know, that the Ethiopian eunuch was reading when the Holy Spirit sent Philip to preach Christ to him and he was baptized and converted. Right out of the book of Isaiah! Of course he was reading the fifty-third chapter, but in the, I believe it's the fifty-fifth chapter of Isaiah you read how to find the Lord. And it said to seek the Eternal while He may be found. And how do you seek Him? How are you going to find God if you want to really know Him? When it comes to really knowing Him there is just one way:
   "Seek ye the [Eternal] while he may be found, [that's verse 6 in Isaiah 55] call upon him while he is near [how are you going to do that?]: Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts": (Isaiah 55:6-7)
   That's the things that seemed right to you and the things that never did hurt your conscience; oh no, your conscience hasn't bothered you. Here's a man who's been following his conscience; he's been doing what the preacher said. Here's a man who has been accepting Christ the Savior; he thought he was converted but he wasn't. No, not any more than a dumb animal, not a bit.
   Because Jesus said, "...in vain do they worship me [that's in the seventh chapter of Mark...in vain] do they worship me teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men and making the law of God of no effect by your human traditions (Mark 7:7,13 paraphrased), and when you do that and try to accept Jesus and worship Jesus He said you do it all in vain. God isn't hearing you at all, God isn't saving you.

Many Only Think They Have Salvation

   I tell you that there are millions of people that think they have salvation; they've been lulled to sleep by a false sentimental teaching; by an emotional kind of a doctrine, but it is not sound doctrine! It is not the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7) and it speaks the truth according to the Word of God.
   And Jesus said "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). And the truth is in the Word of God. And they have maligned it, they have perverted it, they have spit in the face of it and they have turned it upside down until they have twisted the Bible around to say exactly the opposite as men try to represent from what it really does say! God help us to get our eyes open.
   Now God says here, the way to seek the Eternal while He may be found is this: Verse seven, Isaiah 55: "Let the wicked forsake his way." (Isaiah 55:7)
   That's the way that seemed right to him, that's the way that never hurt his conscience. Oh, he didn't do what hurt his conscience! Here's a man that did just what his conscience showed him he ought to do; that's his own way. And here, we find that the way of Christianity and the way to find God is:
   "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, [that's his own human thoughts] and let him return unto the [Eternal], and he [the Eternal] will have mercy on him and to our God for he will abundantly pardon". (Isaiah 55:7)
   Then God will begin to hear him. I'll tell you when God will begin to hear you; He won't hear sinners but the minute you repent, the minute that you turn to Him for forgiveness; the minute you forsake your ways, and forsake your sins, and that's repentance. Repentance is to turn around and go the other way. Repentance is to be so sorry for the way you've been behaving and the things you've been thinking and the things you've been doing that you turn around to go the other way. In other words, you forsake those things. You forsake your own way, you forsake the way that did not hurt your conscience, but seemed right to your own conscience. You have to forsake that way and find the way of God.
   Jesus Christ said, "...that man shall live by every word of God" (Matthew 4:4); The Holy Bible. Do you know the difference the between the real Christians and all these pseudo Christians that profess Christianity?

The Real Christian

   Now my friends turn this looking glass around, look into it, let's see where you are. You ask this yourself right down in your own inner consciousness. Look into it with your own heart. Here it is:
   "Man shall live by every word of God." (Luke 4:4)
   "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." (II Timothy 3:16)
   All right, "...you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). And Jesus said, "...thy word is truth" (John 17:17). That's all in the Bible.
   Now, here's the difference. The real genuine Christian is one who has forsaken his way and who regards the Bible with awe and who realizes the Bible is the Holy Word of God; and who recognizes the Bible therefore as the supreme authority; and who regards God as the Supreme Ruler over his life and has yielded to the rule of God and God has revealed His laws and His Way and His will in the Bible and therefore he is a man who looks upon the Bible as supreme authority. And he trembles before the word of God and he fears to do anything contrary to it and he hungers and thirsts for the righteousness that is merely the way of God; the way of the Bible by the Holy Spirit within him causing him to go that way. That is righteousness.
   "All thy commandments are righteousness." [Psalms 119:172]
   And the real Christian is the one who is surrendered to God. And the way you do it is that you surrender really to the Bible because the Bible is the Word of God and you regard it as the supreme authority.
   Now I've met a lot of people that, oh they can say how, how nice it is to know the Lord. They have all this sentiment, they have all of this emotion, oh they talk long and loud about the Lord Jesus Christ. They talk about how they love Him but they won't do what He said; they disobey Him, they crucify Him afresh, they spit in His face, just like those that crucified Him back there. Because they acknowledge Him with their mouth but in works they deny Him, being disobedient and abominable; that's in Titus, in your New Testament the first chapter and I believe it's the sixteenth verse {1} if I'm not mistaken. It's in the first chapter of Titus.
   Oh I tell you my friends there is the way and we've been led into a different way. Well, not very many people want to forgive until seventy times seven do they? That's what Jesus said to do (Matthew 18:22).

The Real God

   Therefore...Verse 23, we're back in Matthew 18 now; Matthew 18:23 " "Therefore the kingdom of heaven..." (Matthew 18:23) Let me remind you again; that 'of' does not mean 'in'. It is the kingdom of heaven. Which means that heaven rules it; heaven owns it; heaven guides it; and rules it. It is a kingdom made up of people who are ruled by God.
   You know God Almighty has been presented as a sort of a Creator that created some dead matter, so far ago that nobody remembers it, and He's gone way off and is impotent and is not active today. And that God doesn't see or hear what they do. And they've been taught that they should love a Lord Jesus Christ but, they've heard a different Jesus preached, one that came to knock His Father's law in the head and to do away with it; that was a smart Alek that knew more than His Father. Now that's not the Jesus of the Bible at all. But that's the kind of Jesus some people believe in. And they don't really know God.
   Now let me tell you God created force and energy. God put all laws in motion that are active and that move; all the laws of physics; all the laws of chemistry; all the laws that are powers and forces and that are active and are moving. God Almighty thought them out. God worked out the pattern and thought out the idea and He created those forces and those energies; and He set them in motion in the form of laws. And those laws are the way that God rules all creation today. Not only this earth but all the planets all the universe God is supreme Ruler.
   You know we don't hear God presented as Ruler very much. People don't think; "Well, I'd better look out, I've been disobeying God, and I'd better be concerned with what God thinks." And even when they do think that then God is presented as a harsh stern old monster that wants us to do things that are contrary to our best interests.
   And so you hear today that the common teaching of those that have departed from the Truth of God; they try to malign God, and they're disobedient children, rebellious stiff necked children that will not hear the law of the Eternal. And they try to tell you and describe to you and use the psychology on you to make you believe that the law of God is very contrary to your best interest.
   God is a, well He's the type of god Herbert Spencer thought about he is a vain creature; he has more vanity than any human mortal that ever breathed. That's the kind of god they look to. But that's a god of human imagination, that's not the real Creator God. They think of God as one whose vanity is tickled if we suffer, who wants us to be unhappy, who wants us to give up everything that is really good for us. And whose way is contrary to our best interest, to our happiness, our welfare and consequently they think the law of God is a terrible, terrible hard thing. And it is contrary to us.

God's Law for Our Good

   Just the opposite is the Truth; you know that the greatest bestowal of God's love on humanity was His law. Do you know that? The law of God is the way that you can find peace of mind and be rid of all your fears and worries. The law of God is the way unto every kind of peace; and peace with your neighbor; the law of God is the way of love; and love is the most heartwarming and joyful thing that could possibly happen. And the law of God is the way to prosperity; the law of God is the way unto every good thing for human beings.
   And the only reason that our lives are empty; the only reason that we have fears and worries, and that we have sickness and disease and that we have all of our aches and pains and troubles and suffering and anguish is because mankind is so stiff necked in rebellion he's been violating the law of God; and thumbing his nose at the loving Creator whose mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above this earth.
   When will we wake up my friends and realize that God is love. And that God's law is love and love is the fulfilling of that law and it takes the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 5:5) You know the Holy Spirit of God works hand in hand with the law of God. There's the greatest bestowal of love that God has for us; His law and His Spirit which gives us eternal life. But God will not give eternal life to anyone who has not forsaken his own way, who has not surrendered to the way of God because the way of God is the way to human happiness, the way to human joy. God Almighty does not forbid you to do one thing, except those things that are going to harm you and make you unhappy because God loves you, and God's law is love.
   Oh, when can we come to see that? And to see that these people that hate that law of God, and try to represent to you that it is an evil way and that God is wrong and God is evil, and God made a mistake, but that sinning human mortals who ought to repent and be ashamed of themselves and are making themselves unhappy and others around them, they try to say; "Well you're alright, you get your conscience clear, you're alright, God is the one that's wrong." And oh how they can malign the law of God and oh how they hate the servant of God that will tell you the truth about God's law. They have nothing but hatred. And they're rather vicious, some of them.
   Well God help you to get your eyes open and your mind, and to realize that God put us here for a purpose. And that purpose really is to fulfill His law. And that's the way to happiness and everything you want; what's wrong with it?
   Well, "Therefore the kingdom of heaven [and that's the kingdom that is ruled by heaven therefore is the kingdom of heaven] likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents [now, there is some dispute as to the value of a talent but some people think a talent is worth, well, a few thousand dollars, for each talent]. But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and his children, and all that he had and payment to be made [now in those days they did things like that to recover a debt]. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying Lord [and this is not speaking of God but this man called his human master lord here, Lord he said], have patience with me and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion [when he repented and when he appealed for mercy], he was moved with compassion and loosed him, and forgave him the debt." (Matthew 18:23-27)
   "But the same servant went out..." (Matthew 18:28)
   Soon as he was free; you know, he was like a lot of people; they cry to God for mercy. Yes, they'll seek God when they're in trouble, and the minute God hears and answers their prayer; if they're sick He heals them; or if they're in trouble He removes it from them; and as soon as they get out of the trouble then they go strutting around again. They have no time for God.
   I have known of people like that and I know a man one time, he was so sick that he just, he was screaming to God for mercy, he thought he was going to die. He had not really lived a very good Christian life you know, but he promised he would and he made all kinds of promises to God if God would only heal him. Well, God took him up on it. It was only ptomaine poisoning anyhow and he was alright the next morning. And a few months later this man had vowed he would study the Bible and everything and I was going to study it with him but he never seemed to have time. And I said, "Well listen, why can't we, when can we get together here, we want, we were going to study the Bible together." He said, "'aw heck Herb," he says, "I haven't got time." Was years ago and that was his language and I'm giving you the exact slang expression so you'll get the spirit in which he said it. And he just didn't have time.
   He only had time for God when he was really in trouble, you know, there are a lot of people like that, I know you're not of course, or are you? Now maybe you are. Well, I'm not accusing anybody I'm just telling you the truth and if you have been that way I hope you won't be any more.

Repentance and Forgiveness

   Well anyway, this man was like that only he was a little worse, let's read on:
   "The same servant went out, and he found one of his fellow servants, which owed him a hundred pence [that's about, well let's say that's a dollar; let's say a penny is the value of an American penny right now. This was a very small sum of money that this man owed him]: and he laid hands on him and he took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not [he had no compassion]: but he went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So, when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and they came and told unto their lord all that was done, and then this lord, after he had called him said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt [a great big debt it was], because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also not have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise [now get this], so likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses." (Matthew 18:28-35).
   That's their doing, their works, and there is a teaching about works and they tell you there's no works in the Christian religion today. God help us to see and to understand.
   Now, you see that's the picture of God having forgiven us and He forgives us something that is worth, well, ten thousand talents and each talent worth two or three thousand dollars that would be a good many million dollars wouldn't it? What does that figure real quickly? A thousand, thousand is a million; ten thousand would be ten million and if it's two it'd be probably twenty, thirty million dollars. And I think it was about two thousand dollars in American money years ago and it would be about three or four times that; probably fifty, sixty, seventy million dollars.
   Now really what God forgives you or me, my friends, is a lot greater debt than that. It's a lot bigger debt than that. Sometimes we don't want to forgive another one. But let me just say this: God does not go around saying to everyone while they still are disobedient and while they have not repented; "Alright I forgive you." God does not do that, God does not hear sinners, let's get that straight; God will not forgive anyone until that person is repentant and comes and falls down and says; "God have mercy on me a sinner."
   But when you repent, when you forsake your way that's repenting when you forsake your thoughts; you forsake the way you've been thinking; you forsake the way you've been acting and doing; and you turn to God's way and you realize that the Bible is God's Way and you live by every word of God and you recognize the Bible as the supreme authority in life and in all this universe. Because it's the Word of God; and that's recognizing God's authority. The Bible is merely His written word. Jesus is the Word of God, the Bible is the Word in writing and Jesus is the Living Word, and the words of the Bible they are life and they are Spirit too so far as that's concerned.
   Now when you turn to that way, and turn away from your own way you're no longer a sinner; and then if you ask God to forgive you He will hear you. Then if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior He'll come in and He'll live His life in you. But do you see why Jesus Christ can't come into your heart; He can't come into your life until you have forsaken your way; until you have forsaken your thoughts; until you've turned around willing to go the way of the Bible.
   I'll tell you why: Because if Jesus Christ comes into you and you're not saved and He's not your Savior unless Christ is dwelling in you; and if Christ is dwelling in you He will live the same kind of life in you that He lived on this earth 1900 years ago. Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today if He is in you; and will be tomorrow and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
   Now He is the Living Word. He kept His Father's commands. And if you don't forsake your ways He can't. He has got to live your life for you and you let Him live it. Like Paul said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2:20). It was not Paul living his life it was Christ living it for him. And Christ can't live your life for you as long as you're stubborn and rebellious going your way because His ways are not your ways and you've got to forsake your ways and turn around and be willing to let Him live your life for you His way, which is the way of the Bible. Because He is really the Divine Architect; and Author of it.
   And there it is. Oh it's plain and simple if we only want to see it. And then the blood of Jesus Christ does cleanse us from all sin, and then we shall we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
   Oh time is up, listen, you want to read these precious truths, get this thing straight, get your mind straightened out, you're going to be all in a whirl for a while...
Footnote: {1} Mr. Armstrong said the first chapter verse 7 rather than verse 16.

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