The Qualification of Christ
Telecast Date: July 1, 1978
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   We're in the living generation after all these hundreds and hundreds of years, and even a few thousand years, when it's going to happen. That's why God is thundering this thing to the whole world. That's why he called me 51 years ago, in this world of darkness, to take the light that is in God's word, the Bible, and get it to the world, and take this gospel of Jesus Christ to the worl d.

The World Tomorrow the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
   Who was Jesus Christ? Was he man or God? Well, I'll tell you who he really was. He was the man that nobody knows. Nobody seemed to know at that time. Nobody knows today. The most misrepresented, the most misunderstood, the most maligned, and the most accused man who ever lived. And yet this world's largest religion, called Christianity, is named after him. But what was he really?
   Was a vagabond? Was a hippie with no place to live? Or was he a wealthy man who hobnobbed with the rich of this world? The only authentic record of the life of Jesus Christ, the biography written in his time by those who knew him, and who were with him, who had spent over 3-years with him, are in what is generally called the four gospels. That's the first four books of the New Testament in the Bible.
   Now when I read these 51 years ago, I was absolutely dumbfounded, because I saw when I read in Matthew and Mark and Luke and John, which are the real biographical books describing the life of Jesus Christ, what he was, what he did, what he said, I read there in the Bible exactly the opposite of what I had been taught as a growing boy in a respectable Sunday school of one of the respected Protestant denominations.
   Then later when I founded Ambassador College 31 years ago, the freshman theology course was based on those so-called four gospels, that is, they're really the four books of the life of Jesus Christ, and the book of Acts, which is the one book of the history of the New Testament and of the apostles in the first century back, right after Christ had ascended up to heaven.
   I made that the basis of the first year teaching at Ambassador College because it is so shocking to show you that what is being taught today in the churches Protestant, Catholic, whatever you have that's called Christianity is almost precisely the opposite of what Jesus taught, of what he was, of what the early disciples taught, and of how the early church started.

John 1:1 - The Real Beginning

   The real beginning of the account of Jesus, and it's the real beginning of the entire history and prehistory of the universe, is not in the first chapter of Genesis (Genesis 1:1) I've said before on these programs but in the New Testament, in John 1, verse 1 (John 1:1). Now John is the fourth of these four gospel books in the beginning of the New Testament.
   And in the beginning of John the first chapter, I'm beginning with verse 1 (John 1:1), we read that "In the beginning," now that's clear back before any other beginning. That's so far back that I'm afraid your mind can't quite go back and conceive it. "In the beginning was the Word." Now that is a personage called the Word. It comes from the Greek word "logos" and it means "spokesman." It means the personage who was the spokesman.
   "And the Word was with God." Now God is another personage. And the two personages, the Word and God, were there together, "and the Word was God." In other words, the Word also was God, but a different person, and they're both God. Now you get that explained a little more in Gen 1:1, where it says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth."
   But if you look in the Hebrew language in which Moses wrote it, you'll find it says that "In the beginning Elohim," not God. God is the English word, and that's all right. but nevertheless, in the Hebrew that Moses wrote, Elohim is the uniplural name of God. It means more than one person, but forming one God. It's a word like the word "family." It's a word like the word "church." There are many members in the church, but only the one church.
   And "In the beginning Elohim," which included this Word and one here called God, these two personages, "created the heavens and the Earth." Now getting back here to John in the New Testament, the book of John, 2nd verse (John 1:2), "The same was in the beginning with God," that is, this personage called the Word. "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made."
   Ephesians the 3rd chapter, the 9th verse (Ephesians 3:9). You will read that God created all things, but by and through Jesus Christ. In other words, he instructed Jesus Christ, the one who was then Logos, or the Word long before he became Jesus Christ, instructed him what he wanted made, and the power was given to, or was in, the Word, and the Word spoke, as there is in one of the Psalms. "He spake, and it was done."
   Now the Holy Spirit is the power that moved when he spoke. Now I'd like to read from the 14th verse here of, first, John 1 (John 1:14). "And the Word," now this was very much later. This may have been millions and millions of years later. The Bible doesn't tell us how long. "The Word was made flesh," became a human being, "and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
   In other words, this personage called the Word is the one who, much much later, became born as a human being, as Jesus Christ. So that is the real beginning. If you want to know something about who was Jesus Christ, he has always existed. Other scriptures in the Bible say that both God and the one who is the Word who became Jesus Christ, although he was not yet Jesus Christ at that time.
   Well, I've said all of this before, but I want to bring this as background before I proceed on. There are prophecies given to ancient Israel of how God would send the one who had been known as the Word, the spokesman. And let me give you one here in Isaiah the 9th chapter, and beginning in the 6th verse (Isaiah 9:6), where it says, "For unto us," that's ancient Israel, as is written by the prophet Isaiah. "Unto us a child is born."
   So he would be of the nation Israel, and he was of the tribe of Judah, and therefore Jesus Christ was a Jew. The term "Jew" applies to the tribe of Judah. It's a nickname for Judah, and actually when the two, Israel was divided into two nations... Levi and Benjamin stuck with Judah, and they were all called Jews because they took the name Judah. But the other Israelites were not Jews, never were called Jews, and they went out and became lost in the world to this day, don't know where they are.
   Well, I know where and who they are, and I hope some of you speaking to me know, and if you don't know and would like to know, any of you write in for a very unique, a very important book, or booklet and it's free, there's no charge The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Where is the United States mentioned in the Biblical prophecies?

[Commercial break: ...
The United States And Britain In Prophecy (1980)
The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy (1967)
The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy (1956)]

   As I said, God called Abraham. Later, he called Moses and the children of Israel, and they rebelled. There are prophecies given to ancient Israel of how God would send the one who had been known as the Word, the spokesman, to be born as a human being, to come, and one who being God as well as man. He would be human so he could die, but he would also be God because God was his only father, but born of a human mother. He was human, as you and I.

He Was Tempted In All Points

   He was tempted in all points as you and I, but he was without sin because at the same time, he was God. He was able to keep so close in touch with his father, that never once did he slip over and sin, never once. He was tempted continually, so far as that's concerned, just as we all are, by this Satan who is the prince of the power of the air, and through the spirit that is in us.
   It's getting into our minds an attitude of rebellion, an attitude of vanity, of lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, an attitude of competition and strife. And all based on vanity, exalting yourself. And God's way is self-humility and exalting God, and seeking the way of God, which is the way to happiness, the way to peace, the way to our own well-being, which we all want or should want.
   Now, here is what Isaiah told for ancient Israel. "For unto us a child is born. Unto us," Israel, "a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulder." Now the first man was named Adam, and Christ is often called the second Adam, because there is a system of duality throughout the Bible and in all the things that God does. There is the Old and the New Testament. There was the nation of Israel, which was a physical nation in this world. There's to be the kingdom of God, which will be a spirit-born.
   And anyway, the first man was Adam, but Adam now had to make a choice. Adam had the opportunity to turn away from the way that this Lucifer, now called Satan, had gone. He had the opportunity to just receive the spirit of God, and it was there in that symbolic tree of the Tree of Life. All he had to do was take it. He didn't have to repent of anything, he had done nothing wrong. But he had to make a decision.
   And if he went that way, it meant obeying the laws of God; he would have become the king in the place of this Satan, who is the former Lucifer. He would have ruled over his own progeny, and all human beings have come from him and his wife Eve. Well, God informed him, just as he had the angels in the first place. God instructed him thoroughly. God said, "But you have to make your decision. I'll tell you the right way, I hope you'll choose that way, but you must choose. I will not do it for you."
   Adam had had a chance to restore the government of God and turned it down. Now one is going to come who will qualify to take over and restore that government of God on this Earth. There's something I want you to see. You don't hear in the world called Christianity anything about Christ as a ruler, and Christ as a government man that is going to set up a government over this Earth, and yet that's what he came for.
   "The government shall be on his shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," not of darkness and unhappiness and trouble and evils, but of peace. "Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David," the ancient David of Israel, "and upon his kingdom," or the God of that government of ancient Israel, "to order it and to establish it with judgment and truth and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Eternal of Hosts will perform it." (Isa.9:6)
   He has not yet come to rule. We're in the living generation after all these hundreds and hundreds of years, and even a few thousand years, when it's going to happen. That's why God is thundering this thing to the whole world. That's why he called me 51 years ago, in this world of darkness, to take the light that is in God's word, the Bible, and get it to the world, and take this gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Why Did Jesus Christ Come

   Well, I'm coming to that. What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? The world has never heard it. They don't know, but we're coming to that. This one was to be born, see "unto us a child is born." He will grow up and "the government will be on his shoulder." He is to restore the government that Adam rejected, and that the former Lucifer rejected.
   So then later, to Mary, the mother who became the human mother of Jesus, we find the angel said to her, and sent from God, and this is in Luke the 1st chapter, beginning in verse 26 (Luke 1:26). And "in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph." 'Espoused', in other words engaged to be married, but not yet actually. Marriage had not yet been performed.
   And "of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God." In other words, here is one that God had decided to call and to choose, to do something for him, to become the mother of the one who had been this great personage, the Word, who was now going to give up all that he had, divest himself of the great glory that he had had in the creation of everything that had ever been created, and come to be born as a human baby on this Earth.
   "For behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus." Now listen. Listen now. "He shall be great. He shall be called the Son of the Highest," the son of God, "and the Eternal, the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David." He's coming as a ruler. You hear Christ as a savior, and if you just believe that, and believe that he existed and so on, you'll be saved. Oh no, you won't.
   If you know the Bible, and if you understand what the Bible says, it takes a lot more than that. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of all these people are not lost. They're never been judged yet one way or the other. And, but I will say this. If you've come to know these things, if it has come to you to even want to know, and you turn it away and reject it, then maybe you can be lost. I'm not the judge of that, but I can warn you of that possibility.
   "The Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom," a ruler now, "of his kingdom there shall be no end." I want you to see that Jesus Christ came, and was born to restore the government of God on this Earth!

[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?]

   A young man came to me one time and he said, "Oh, Mr. Armstrong," he says, "I gave my heart to the Lord last night." I said, "Oh, you did?" I said, "Well, where did you do that?" Well, he said, "Down in the First Christian Church." Oh. Well, I said, "Wasn't that wonderful? Was the Lord there?" Well, no...
   "Well, was a surgeon there? Did he cut you open and were you able to reach in, take your heart out, and hand it to someone?" Well, no. "Well, what do you mean, you gave your heart to him, then?" And he began to shake his head, and he said, "Well, I guess I just don't know."
   And I'm afraid that's just about as much a lot of people know who think they've given their heart to the Lord. We ought to understand what these things mean. But very few seem to. Anyway, Christ has come, and born to be a king. Now then, Jesus himself, on trial for his very life, because you know, he was crucified. And he went before Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman ruler in the land of Israel, or Palestine, at that time.
   And in the 37th verse of John the 18th chapter (John 18:37), "Pilate therefore said to Jesus, Art thou a king then? And Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born." To what end? To what purpose was he born? To become a king! Let's get that into what Christ was born for, as well as others to become a king. "For this cause came I unto the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice."
   Well, if you're of the truth, you will hear it. But he also said in the verse just before that, the 36th verse (John 18:36): "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world," this present world, this age, this time. It's of the future world which we call the World Tomorrow, of a time later than this world. This is Satan's world. This is man's world. That will be God's world.
   "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I would not be delivered to the Jews," to you know, to be crucified, "but now is my kingdom not from hence." That's from this, from here, or from this time, and from this age. Jesus Christ was born to restore the government of God on this Earth.

Adam And Jesus Christ Had To Make A Choice

   Now then, the first Adam had to make a choice. You know that Jesus Christ had to make a choice too? Jesus Christ had to make a decision of whether he would go the way of God, or whether he would go the way of Satan. And Satan was allowed to come to him and to tempt him, in the 4th chapter of Matthew, the first 11 verses (Matthew 4:1-11). Now this, this is back right after Jesus was about 30 years old, and just the beginning of what is called his earthly ministry.
   "Then was Jesus led up, of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be tempted of the Devil." Now a lot of people laugh at the idea of a devil. Well, let me tell you, you better not laugh, because the devil does exist, and the Bible is just full of accounts about him. He is a former super-archangel, more powerful than all of us put together, I would say. He is very, very powerful. He is an evil spirit, and he broadcasts evil, and evil attitudes, into the minds of people everywhere.
   "And when he," or Jesus, "had fasted forty days and forty nights..." You ever fast for 40 days and 40 nights without food or water? No, I'm sure not one of you ever has. But Jesus did. "And was afterwards very hungry," 'an hungred' it says here. 'And when the tempter" or Satan, "came to him, he said," Satan said, "If thou be the son of God..." Notice that great big, little, two-letter word "IF".
   He said, "You have to prove it to me. I doubt it. I don't think you're the son of God, but you think you are. IF you are, now prove it." What a temptation and appeal to vanity. You know, the average person would have said, "Well, I'll show that I am. You have to know how big I am, and how great I am," but Jesus didn't do that. Not at all.
   While he was human, he didn't have that type of human nature in him. That type of human nature comes from Satan the devil. It wasn't born into us at all. "Now when the tempter came to him and said, If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread." In other words, "You can perform a miracle if you're the son of God, let's see you prove it to me. I don't believe it."
   You know, the average person today, if you're challenged, you'd want to prove it, wouldn't you? Well, Jesus didn't have to do that. "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down, because it is written..." In other words, just jump over. "Because it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning thee."
   You see, "Prove to me that you really believe an angel will grab you and not let you fall and get killed if you jump overboard." "And in their hands, they shall bear thee up." But "Jesus said to him, It is written again." Jesus quoted the Bible. Jesus obeyed God. Jesus was going to obey the government of God. He came to be the ruler of that government.
   He said, "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." And that is exactly what Satan was trying to do. "Again, the devil driveth him up into an exceeding high mountain and showeth him the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and he said to him, All these things will I give thee." Now Satan knew better than most people do. Now many preachers or ministers of the gospel know it today, that Jesus was born to be a king, but Satan certainly knew it.
   He said, "All these things" all of these governments, these kingdoms, "will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Now Jesus did not deny that Satan was in control, more or less, of this whole world. He didn't deny it at all. "Then said Jesus to him, Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord God and him only shalt thou worship."
   Right then, he overcame Satan. But not only that, all his life he had a human mind. And Satan's temptation was coming into his mind, to let vanity enter, to let a spirit of competition and strife, destruction instead of construction, jealousy and envy and things like that, but never once did Jesus allow one of those things to find lodgment or take root in his mind. Never once did they conceive and come into sin. So Christ had qualified now to restore the kingdom of God.

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Telecast Date: July 1, 1978
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