Sermon given 24 May 2008

Your God Reigns

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Did you notice when you were listening to the 'World Tomorrow' programme on the 'Kingdom of God' just now, what Mr Armstrong actually said today? Did you notice the phrases that he used? Did you notice what he said was the problem in this world? He made the quote, he says; "There is a WAY which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12 and repeated in Proverbs 16:25). He quoted that and he showed that in fact the world is going a particular way. {1}

He asked the question; "Why does God permit wars? Why does God permit sicknesses and why does God permit suffering?" And as he says, "Why are you not more happy?" and I could add to that, why is the Church in chaos? And he says because God permits you to say; "Here is the way that I look at it, this is how I look at things." Rather than doing what God says.

It is not just an academic looking at scripture and going through scriptures and understanding the way in which you can understand these scriptures. The understanding of these scriptures didn't come by a pure academic look at scripture. Otherwise Cruden's, say, would have had a much better concept of understanding; or Strong's, or any of the academics within the biblical areas, would have had a much better idea of what the truth is. But that is not the way the truth comes.

The truth has got to come by revelation and it is given by revelation to an individual who doesn't say; "Well this is the way I look at it..." It's like an individual with the faith of Abraham who when God said; "Move", he just got up and he went. When God said; "Take your son, your only son, and offer him as a burnt offering," he rose up the next day early and he went. And he didn't ask, he didn't try and tempt God, he didn't try and put God to the test.

What I want to do today is I want to continue this series on the calendar. But today I will hardly speak about the calendar at all – I won't actually mention the calendar very much at all. I will refer to a couple of points right at the very tail end but it won't be about the mechanics of the calender.

It will be wha in fact I gave two sermons on before about the calendar; I gave three really if you include the one about 'The Time of the Judges', which I gave back in the Last Day of Unleavened Bread 2008. But in 'The Oracle of the Calendar', how it was given to the Jews and 'The Calendar's Unseen Hand' and I showed how in those in two sermons, and showed in the sermon regarding 'The Time of the Judges', the fact that the subject is not really about molads! Yes, we went into molads, we went into the way in which the sun, the moon and the earth are in conjunction and the way in which the system actually works but the subject itself isn't about that, it's about government. That is what the subject is about.

It's about government, it's about who has the right to make the decision as to what is the framework on which the very Holy Days of God are hung. That's what the subject is really about. And so in this concluding sermon on the series, I am making one statement – and that statement is: 'Your God Reigns!' That's the statement, and we find it in scripture. We'll go and have a read of some of these areas where we'll find that statement actually issued. But your God reigns! The one who, if we are part of the True Church we've got to understand that the God that we worship, reigns. We've just sung the psalm that mentions that and there are several psalms that actually mention that. The areas I want to go into, to break up the sermon into are:

Christ the Eternal of the Old Testament (PLAY FROM 05:44)

Let's look therefore at this first point; that Christ is the Eternal of the Old Testament. Turn over to John 1:1, where it talks about:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Was the Father the God of the Old Testament that was dealing with man? Yes, the Father was the God of the Old Testament in the sense that He was there, He was directing things, but the one actually dealing with man, if you turn over to John 1:18, it's very clear it says:

"No man hath seen God at any time [talking about God the Father], the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:18)

So when we see instances: I mean look at Adam and Eve, what happened with Adam and Eve? Adam and Eve talked with God and when they sinned, when they took of the fruit which they were told not to touch, or at least not to take of, they hid from Him because they heard Him, His voice, as He walked in the garden. He was an Individual that they were able to talk to face-to-face. That Individual could not have been the Father according to this, because it says; "No man hath seen God at any time..." (John 1:18). Yet this Individual they saw, they talked to Him. Jacob wrestled with this Individual. Moses spoke to Him face-to-face. In John 5:37, which is very similar:

"...Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." (John 5:37)

When He was talking to the Jews in regard to their race, the race of human beings has never seen His shape. If we turn back to Exodus 24:9 we find very clearly here that people did indeed see the shape:

"Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel [there was quite a crowd, quite a crowd!]: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink." (Exodus 24:9-11)

So food was provided for them. And so here, it is very clear that this Individual was the same Individual that gave the Ten Commandments. It is the same Individual that dealt with man. It was the one that Joshua dealt with and said "are you for us or agin' us?" And He said I'm neither for you or against you - I'm over you! So you basically take your shoes off". (Joshua 5:13-15)

So we see this Eternal Being couldn't have been the Father, it had to be Jesus Christ. And so when we are looking at this Individual, Jesus Christ, let's turn back to Exodus 17:7; and we find a problem that Israel had and the sin of Israel. It was basically specified, the actual place was named after this sin, it says:

"And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the [Eternal, tested, they put God to the test, and this is how they put God to the test], saying, Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7)

Now these people had just gone ahead and witnessed the ten plagues of Egypt. They'd witnessed the death of the firstborn, they'd witnessed the fact that the pillar of cloud and the pillar of smoke which was following them manoeuvred itself behind them to protect them from the army. They'd witnessed the crossing of the Red Sea. They got three days into the desert, they didn't have water so the water came out of a rock, they went ahead and witnessed the provision of manna and every day they would get up, apart from on the Sabbath, and manna would be there. And then they say; "...Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7). They were witnessing all of these things coming out of Egypt, coming out of this type of sin and yet this was the phrase; "Where's this God of Israel, is the Eternal amongst us or not?" That is the sin of Massah and Meribah.

And if we go over to Malachi 2:17, I want you to notice something that perhaps you haven't noticed before. Remember the subject matter when we are reading this book of Malachi; the focus and the focal point is on the end time. Mr Armstrong mentioned on the radio programme, he didn't go into the element of the fact that there is going to have to be a voice crying out and coming, preparing the way before the Second Coming – he simply mentioned the instance of John the Baptist because he was dealing with the public at that particular time. But he made very clear reference in Malachi 3 about his own message and the message that was coming out. But I want you to notice here, the verse before, it says:

"Ye have wearied the [Eternal, the Eternal is the One that became Jesus Christ] with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the [Eternal], and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17)

That's the same sin of Israel. And there is no chapter break at all; what is next after? "...Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17). Where is this God that lead us out of Egypt? Where is this God that we understand the truth through? Malachi 3:1:

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [the Way, giving the way of life that is necessary within His people who are to become the very Temple of God]; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come [where?] to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the [Eternal] of hosts. But who may abide..." (Malachi 3:1-2)

Who will be sustained? Put in your notes Genesis 45:11 that same word, Strong's H3557, is translated as nourished, where Joseph nourished his father and his brethren;

"But who may abide [who will then be nourished?] the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi..." (Malachi 3:2-3)

Now what is the subject matter? The subject matter is the Temple, the Temple that Christ is going to return to is a spiritual Temple. The servants within that Temple of old were the tribe of Levi. It's very probable that it is actually referring to the servants within the very Temple. Malachi 3:3:

"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the [Eternal] an offering in righteousness." (Malachi 3:3)

And as I've brought out many times before, the way the purifier of silver would work would be, he would work over a crucible in sand and he would blow air across this crucible from a fire at the side and he would get rid of the dross of the lead and all the oxides of lead until finally one specific thing happened – as he was looking in to that and the air was blowing across that crucible, suddenly the silver would be on the surface and the lead would disappear because it would all be oxidised. At that precise moment, he would suddenly see his own reflection because the silver would reflect his reflection back. And at that precise moment he then made it into an ingot by putting water on it. And so here it is saying; "...he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..." (Malachi 3:3).

And He has sent His messenger preparing the way before this Lord that is going to come, that very Messiah; "...even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in..." (Malachi 3:1). He will come, and where will He come to? To His spiritual Temple, to His Temple. And it goes on down and Malachi 3:5 says:

"And I will come near to you to judgment...[verse 6 says] For I am the [Eternal], I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:5-6)

Now people say; "Well, Mr Armstrong's been dead 20 years." But again, this is the Eternal, this Individual who was the Eternal of the Old Testament, this Individual was Jesus Christ. Let's turn over to Hebrews 13:8. Because yes; Mr Armstrong has been dead 20 some odd years, but when you think of it, a thousand years to God is but a day. So what is twenty years? Well how many twenties in a hundred? There are five. How many hundreds in a thousand? That's ten. So that's ten times five which is fifty; which is a fiftieth of a day. What's a fiftieth of a day? Less than half an hour. Are you prepared to wait half an hour? Is He late because He's half an hour late? Well if If He's anything like us...! But He's not late. Again, I brought out before, you wonder about these postponements that people go on, and on about - are things deliberately postponed? Are things deliberately postponed? Notice what it says in here:

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8)

Exactly the same Individual as this Eternal One who doesn't change, He is the same yesterday, He is the same today, He is the same in the future, forever. I want you to notice however, notice the context of this, just as I said notice the context of those words back then where it actually begins; "...Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17). That's the context and it flows without a chapter break into the beginning of chapter 3. Here Hebrews 13:7 says:

"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their [conduct also includes what they are saying in a conversation]. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with [different] and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with [food], which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat..." (Hebrews 13:7-10)

And we do - we understand things, we have been given revelation that has not been given to the world and it says; "Look, we have somewhere to eat that others don't have." What does it say to Laodicea? It says; "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20). It's the same basic view point that is given to Laodicea.

So we see that Christ, yes; was the Eternal of the Old Testament – and that Eternal of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ does not change, He is eternal, He is always the same.

King of Kings (PLAY FROM 17:51)

Turn back with me to Psalm 97:1, which might have been the one we sang; "The Eternal Reigns!" So going on to the second point, the King of kings in the world tomorrow, this is when Christ will indeed reign in the world. And this psalm here, is talking about that particular time and it says, notice:

"The [Eternal] reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof [the isles are to be glad]. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled." (Psalm 97:1-4)

This is the Eternal, remember, "The Eternal reigns!" That's what it says in verse one and this is the reign of that Eternal God, the one who became Jesus Christ. Psalm 97:5:

"The hills melted like wax at the presence of the [Eternal], at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth [the One who is over the whole earth. Now this hasn't happened yet, this is to happen, this is a prophecy for the future; the return of this One who is; "...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard..." (Psalm 97:5-8)

Now that is where the presence of God is; Zion was the place of the Temple. Remember, what was the Temple? It's the spiritual Temple to which Christ will return, here is the Church. Psalm 97:8:

"Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Eternal; [the Jews are waiting for their Messiah, they will wait and they will recognise the Messiah when He comes; just as the True Church will recognise the Messiah when He arrives]. For thou [Eternal], art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods." (Psalm 97:8-9)

All the other gods that there may be. Now Mr Armstrong was just commenting about Revelation 18 and the destruction that will take place on Babylon and how this system of Babylon - it is not just the Roman Catholic Church, it is not a single church. It is extended from that church into all the other churches of this world which are based in this world; and it then extends beyond that into the political systems of this world, and beyond that into the commerce and the industry of this world as well. It is the system that flows from a certain mindset and that mindset is against the way of God. And as Mr Armstrong quoted that passage; "There is a WAY which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12). And so what we are looking at here when we're looking in Revelation 19:6 notice what it says:

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters [if you've ever been to Niagara and you go down and you actually walk underneath Niagara, you actually walk through the passageway below the waterfall; the noise is deafening, the actual stone underneath your feet is vibrating with the deafening noise], and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth [once again notice the context]. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." (Revelation 19:6-7)

Now in Hebrew - this is written in Greek - but in Hebrew there was no word for 'wife', there was no word for 'husband'. But what they had was for 'wife' was 'woman' - in other words 'my wife, my woman'. And to all those feminists who are around at this present time; the word for 'husband' was even better, it was 'lord', it was not 'her husband', it was 'her lord'. And yet here it says: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." And look at what happened just before that, it says; "...for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6. Do you think He is not going to reign over His Church? Of course He is; that's the first point as far as reigning is concerned. This is the beginning.

When we actually have our sample prayer, when we go through the sample prayer, when we get on our knees to pray each day, we say; "...thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever..." (Matthew 5:13). Into the ages, it's looking at the reign of Jesus Christ; "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10). As it is already in heaven because on earth it is not. Men are doing what is right in their own eyes. Revelation 19:8:

"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. [Verse 14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations [He is the Word of God, as it goes on and says]; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:8-9,14-16)

He is the King of those kings of the earth, the Lord of those lords of the earth, as it says in Revelation 20:6:

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God [teachers within the Kingdom of God] and of Christ [priests of Christ; Christ being the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek], and shall reign with him [kings because Melchizedek was a King-Priest] a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6)

And these individuals are the same individuals that are being talked about in Revelation 19:7 who where His wife has made herself ready. The very Temple of God has been prepared and is the Temple to which Christ returns to marry His bride. To then rule and to be the God who reigns. He will reign with His bride within the Kingdom of God, and flesh and blood doesn't inherit the Kingdom, the Kingdom is that ruling family. It is that ruling family that will rule over all of mankind and all of creation. And that family has itself got to be ruled, it's got to be under the authority of God. It is the family of God, it is subject to God and subject to Christ, who is also subject to God the Father.

Now if we turn over to Isaiah 42:1, here is another passage that we find that talks about this time, the return of the King of kings. Because here it deals with both His First Coming and also His Second Coming. Let's just skip over the first coming and just deal with the Second Coming as King of kings in the world tomorrow, because it says:

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (Isaiah 42:1)

To all the nations, and Isaiah 42:4 says:

"He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth [this is going to come as sure as the rising of tomorrow's sun, absolutely dead certain that it will be here]: and the isles shall wait for his law." (Isaiah 42:4)

Now we just read about that, about the isles waiting for His law. And then if you notice, down in Isaiah 42:11 it says:

"Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar [that's the Bedouins] doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of [Petra] sing [the word 'selah', Strongs H5553; or 'petra', Strong's G4073 is almost interchangeable, the place of the rock] sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the [Eternal], and declare his praise in the islands. The [Eternal] shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy..." (Isaiah 42:11-13)

Notice, just before we do go on, let's just stop a little bit where it says; "...the inhabitants of the rock [the inhabitants of Petra] sing..." (Isaiah 42:11). It is interesting in Isaiah 52:8 it also mentions here, notice:

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the [Eternal] shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:8)

Eventually the Church will be gathered, the Church will indeed be as one and when do we sing together? In services, that's when we sing together. And there will indeed be one Church to which Christ will return. One Temple, one unified Temple to which Christ will return. And in Isaiah 52:9 says:

"Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem [Jerusalem being the area around Zion; if you go through Isaiah and look at it in that way, it certainly makes an awful lot more sense]: for the [Eternal] hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem." If we go back now to Isaiah 42:11 where it talks about:

"...let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the [Eternal]...The [Eternal] shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace [He's been very quiet, He's not doing this right now, He's been quiet, He's held His peace]; I have been still, and refrained myself [because the time wasn't quite yet]: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. [Verse 20] Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not [talking about Israel, talking about the people who are not listening to what is being said]. The [Eternal] is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable." (Isaiah 42:11-15,20-21)

What we understand within the Church today comes from a magnification of the Law of God. The churches outside have none of this, they do not have this, they do not put themselves under the Government of God. But the Government within the Church is a magnification of the Law of God, which is the way of God. You know; "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the [Eternal]." (Isaiah 55:8). "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12). It is not the way of the world, it is not the way of Babylon. Babylon sidles up to the world and its commerce and its ways of get, its ways of competition, and all that produces the evils which are in society. Isaiah 42:21:

"The [Eternal] is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. But this is a people robbed and spoiled; [is it talking about the Church, could it be talking about the Church just as much as it is talking about Israel? It certainly seems to indicate that in the time frame today] they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses [they can't get out of it]: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith [why is it the problem?], Restore." (Isaiah 42:21-22)

None says; "Restore, go back and restore." Or go back and put into place the things which you've heard. Why? Because seeing many things you don't observe, opening the ears you don't hear. The truth is there, Christ is on the outside knocking. But it says if you listen, if you hold to what I'm saying, then I will come in to you. If you open the door I'll come in and I'll sup with you and you with Me. Eating together the very Words of Life, the very principles, the laws of life that we need.

Where Is Christ Now? (PLAY FROM 31:49)

So where is Christ right now? Let's turn over to Psalm 110. It's a classic psalm that certainly within the Book of Hebrews is continually quoted, and in the New Testament generally is quoted. It is talking about the coming of the Messiah, it's very clearly talking about the coming of the Messiah and how He will judge among the heathen, in verse 6. He will fill the places with dead bodies, He will wound the heads over many countries, He will drink from the brook in the way and so on. His actual return and His conquering return where He'll cry like a travailing woman having held His peace all that time. But what is happening right now? What is He doing right now? Well it's given here it says:

"The [Eternal] said unto my Lord..." (Psalm 110:1)

Very often when you are seeing 'the Eternal' that is actually talking to Moses, it is Christ. But the word 'Eternal' can also apply to the Father. Here is one area where it actually applies to the Father. The 'Eternal' is saying to 'my Lord', the Lord of David, that is - the One who is over David. Psalm 110:1:

"...Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)

This is what Christ is doing right now, He is at the right hand of the Father. He's sitting there waiting. He has waited a long time as we just read over in Isaiah 55:1 and yet He's waiting; "...until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1). Psalm 110:2:

"The [Eternal] shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion [why is He waiting, why is it delayed? Is Zion ready to have the rod of His strength coming out of it?]: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." (Psalm 110:2-3)

Are we ready, are we willing? Is the Church ready for its position within the future when it will rule with Christ, administering the identical way - and that is the key! It has got to be the identical way to the Husband. There is no division between the Husband and wife that will be ruling in the Kingdom of God. The children that are coming into the very family of God through the Millennium. There can be no division, and that's the problem today; there is division. Christ is on the outside knocking and the division is in the Church and as He knocks, it's ones that open that allow Him to come in. And then they have something to eat, which has already been prepared, the food is already there. Psalm 110:4 says:

"The [Eternal] hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek [He is the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek]. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath." (Psalm 110:4-5)

There it leads inexorably to the rulership that will take place. Now, as I say, we see this over in the Book of Hebrews. Turn over to Hebrews chapter one, and let's just go through Hebrews a little bit and just notice one place where this is being mentioned:

"But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?" (Hebrews 1:13)

Here it is talking to the Christ. Where is Christ now? He's at His Father's right hand waiting until the enemies are made His footstool. But I want you to notice what then happens here in the beginning of Hebrews as it starts to describe this Individual and who this Individual is, where He is now. In Hebrews 2:1 it says:

"Therefore we [also] ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard [notice what it says], lest at any time we should let them slip [the things that they had heard - where did they hear them from? Where did they hear them from?]. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;" (Hebrews 2:1-3)

So in other words it was the ones that actually heard the word, that understood that word and then passed that word on to the people that Paul, or the writer of Hebrews - almost certainly Paul - was talking to. If you notice in Hebrews 3:1 it says:

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;" (Hebrews 3:1)

Let's just consider this High Priest. Now remember, He's at the right hand of God and He is at the right hand of God after the order of Melchizedek as our High Priest. And it says here in Hebrews 3:5:

"And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house [the very Temple to which He'll return, the Church]; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end [it was a word that was delivered to us, it was delivered to us faithfully by this High Priest, through those that He revealed it to, and we then must hold that word faithfully right through until the end]. Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit saith, To day if ye will hear his voice," (Hebrews 3:5-7)

Now where does the Holy Spirit say that? Well, you can put in your notes, Psalm 95:7-11, that's where it's being referred back to. Hebrews 3:8:

"...To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of [trial] in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me..." (Hebrews 3:7-9)

When did they tempt Him? Put Him to the test - remember Meribah, when they said; "...Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7). "Is He there? Yes, we have seen Him defeat the Egyptians, the mightiest nation on earth, we've seen Him destroy them in the Red Sea, we've seen the manna, we've seen the pillar of fire, we've seen our exit from Egypt; but is the Eternal still amongst us?" We seen us understand the very meaning of life today but; "...Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7). Hebrews 3:9:

"When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)" (Hebrews 3:9-11)

They will not go ahead and enter into His rest. Why? Because there was unbelief. The Word that they were given was not a dead word. It was not a dead word that was studied by acedemics. It was a Living Word that actually led them through the wilderness, it was a Living God that was with them. The idea; "...Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7) is a nonsense when we look back on what actually took place. And if people look back on us and we then exhibit the same kind of reluctance to believe that Word that has been delivered to us when it explains the very meaning of life - does that come from the mind of man? It's insane. And it goes on then, notice down in Hebrews 3:14:

"For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;" (Hebrews 3:14)

That beginning of our confidence, the beginning of our understanding of this word that was given to them and it is held then right the way through to the end. And in Hebrews 4:1 it says:

"Let us therefore [us today - remember, it says; today if you will hear His voice] fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it [a future rest he's talking about here, the Millennial rest]. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." (Hebrews 4:1-2)

They didn't believe God. They asked the question; "...Is the [Eternal] among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7). And it goes down into Hebrews 4:9:

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works [his own way; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12), And it's his own way, he ceases from his own works], as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. [the kind of example of unbelief of Israel. Looking at Christ now we see how Christ will rule in the future - and He's ruling right now..] For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:9-13)

It is talking here, and it's talking here very clearly, about the Living Christ. It's talking about Christ living and it's the One that is the High Priest. Remember what it said; "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;" (Hebrews 3:1). Let's consider this individual, this is the one being talked about. Hebrews 4:14:

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed [through, is a better translation] the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession [the thing that we are involved in, this work that we're involved in, that has been given to us, to be prepared to become the very bride of Christ, to become the very Temple to which Christ will return]. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16)

To boldly go where no one goes before as the old Star Trek logo is! But it's true, it is; we are boldly going where no one's gone before. We are going in a direction as a Church. So what is Christ doing now? Well, He's reigning – He is reigning. But He's reigning in the Church, He's not reigning in the world, He's waiting until He finally puts His reign across the world, but the reign has got to remain within the Church, that's what He's doing. He's at the right hand of the Father but He's there as our High Priest and we as also priests of the order of Melchizedek, priests-to-be, kings and priests, are going to have to be under that government, under that reign, under that rule.

If we go back to Ephesians 1:19, we'll see a little bit more of that reign; and how we need to make sure that we are under that reign. It says:

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward [notice, towards US] who believe, according to the working of his mighty power [this is what He's doing], Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the [heavenlies, in this heavenly perspective that He now has, sitting at the right hand of the Father waiting until all His enemies are made His footstool]. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all...under his feet, and gave him...the head over all...to the chuch," (Ephesians 1:19-22)

Get rid of the words in italics, they aren't there. This Individual was then given to the Church, who is the affianced bride of Christ. He is the One that is actually still creating. He's creating within us the righteous character that is necessary. He's not gone off somewhere, He didn't leave the Church. He says; "...I will not [leave] thee, nor forsake thee." (Joshua 1:5). He said that to Joshua and it was Him saying that to Joshua - how much the more to us? The very principle of the Comforter and then the way in which He says; "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:18). This One who is; "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). It goes straight into Ephesians 2:5 now, notice:

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places [the heavenly perspective, the same perspective that Christ has, the same way, the same mindset] in Christ Jesus: [Verse 10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:5-6,10)

His spiritual law, has been before ordained that we should be walking in them. And it is His workmanship that allows that to be the case. So where is Christ now? Well, Christ is, right now, on the throne with the Father, at the right hand of the Father; waiting until His enemies are made His footstool and He assumes the reign over the entire earth. But in that position, He is also of the order of Melchizedek, the High Priest after that order, who is training the other priests that will be reigning with Him, part of His bride, part of the Temple to which He'll return and that's what He's doing right now.

He is reigning. You know; 'Our God Reigns' doesn't just apply to in the future, it applies to right now within His Church. If we are part of the true Church, we are under that reign. As I said, the Hebrew word for 'husband' is 'lord'. The Hebrew word for 'wife' is 'woman'. And we as the bride of Christ, the bride-to-be, His affianced bride as the woman of Christ and He is our Lord. Right now, He is our lord. We are looking forward to that time, to that relationship.

The Living Word (PLAY FROM 47:44)

And He is, as I mentioned before; a Living Word. Let's have a look at a couple of scriptures here in this regard, that He is our Living Word. Turn over to Romans 10:1 and let's just read a good portion of Romans 10, most of it quite frankly, in this area that He is indeed our Living Word and He is actually working with us as the Church:

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." (Romans 10:1-2)

They do not get it, they do not understand. And remember in so many cases, remember it's talking about Israel here; and the word Israel is on Ephraim and Manasseh. Are we going down the same Babylonish route that the world is going down? A route, the way in which the churches of this world journey? And they are journeying in a direction which is in league with the commerce, with the industry, with the politics, with the education, with the things of this world. Romans 10:2:

"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:2-3)

It's the righteousness that God defines and He has defined it to who? He has defined it within His Church. Romans 10:4:

"For Christ is the [end-point, the focal point] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Romans 10:4)

What are they believing? They are believing that He is actually working with them, as we read over in Ephesians 2:10. That He, in fact, is working with each and every one of us. "For Christ is the [end-point, the focal point] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Romans 10:4). The way Christ walked, He was utterly obedient to the Father and we should walk therefore in the same way. He is our elder brother in this family relationship looking at the Kingdom of God. Romans 10:5:

"For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them [that's the carnal approach to it]. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)" (Romans 10:5-6)

And if you go and check the original in Deuteronomy 30:12-13, it talks about this commandment, the commandments down from above. But here he's saying; "Look, this is a Living Word, it is a Living Word, it is a Living Word that has got life and form and breath." This is the Word of God that is described; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1). This Word is the Christ, this Word became the Christ, it is the God of the Old Testament, it is the One that gave the actual words.

It is not just an academic study! Academic studying doesn't give you this Word. Academic studying, as Mr Armstrong used to say; going into it in little tiny ways, you will never learn the truth of God that way. You've got to place yourself under it and you've got to walk in the way that it then defines and that is the way it is saying here:

"But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word [this is a living Word now] is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;" (Romans 10:6-8)

Why? Because Christ is not way off somewhere having left His Church. Christ is right now the Ruler of the Church, your God reigns in the Church. That is what is real, that is what is actually the case. "...The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith [notice what he says], which we preach;" (Romans 10:9). How do these Romans understand about that word of faith? Because they heard it from Paul. They heard it from a source that God gave them of that word. And it was from that source that the word came. The source that came to these Romans at that time. Notice what Romans 10:9 then goes on and says:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus...(Romans 10:9)

Now people quote this, they quote this, they go to town and say; "All I have to do is just say; 'Jesus Christ' that's it, and suddenly the switch is flicked and you are sent to heaven." That's not what it means at all, but notice in the context what he actually is talking about. He's talking about the Lordship. Romans 10:9 says here:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [who's the Lord? He's the husband of the bride-to-be, the Lord Jesus, the ruler over us], and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead..." (Romans 10:9)

He's not dead now, He's raised, He's at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest over us and has jurisdiction. This Word, this Living Word which Paul preached, this Living Word that Mr Armstrong preached, exactly the same Word – it's not just a dead word, it's a Living Word. That if you do this...

"...believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

If you really do understand that, that it's the Lord Christ that is raised from the dead and is active right now and is working with us. And that righteousness; you don't go charging off somewhere in the wild blue yonder. It has been given to us. Why? Because He's working with us. There's your authority, there's your Government within the Church. It's the Way of God, it's the Word of God flowing down from God, from the Father, through Christ. But it's a Living Word, it is a Living Word. Romans 10:10:

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness [to do what is right]; and with the mouth confession is made [saying that He is Lord] unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)

To actually go all the way through, subject to this Lord, subject to this Lord Christ, until finally He's able to say; "Right you then become part of the very bride of Christ, part of the very Temple of God, of the King of kings, part of the Priesthood under the High Priest, part of the kingship, these king-priests, under the King of kings. Romans 10:11:

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [quoting there from Joel 2:32]. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?..." (Romans 10:11-14)

In other words there is a process that is necessary for this to take place. If you're going to put yourself in the Government of God, under this Lord, under this High Priest, who is then alive, this Living Word. How is it done? What happens? Romans 10:14:

"... and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be ['apostlised', the word 'sent' is 'apostled', made an apostle, Strong's G649]? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15)

Christ is knocking on the outside and He says, look if anyone opens to HIm, then He will come in and they will eat together. (Revelation 3:20) It's interesting, it says in Romans 10:21:

"But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." (Romans 10:21)

Ones that are disobedient and gainsaying. They are saying something different from the Word that was delivered to them. And it's interesting if you go and check that back in Isaiah 65:2, it goes and and says walk in way that is not good, after their OWN thoughts. That's why they were gainsaying; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12). They go after their own thoughts; and this is why they are gainsaying. That applies to this situation that we find ourselves in today as well, so very much. But here, as it says in Romans 10:15:

"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things [that bring the gospel]! But they have not all obeyed the gospel..." (Romans 10:15-16)

That gospel that has been brought has not been obeyed. They have not placed themselves under that Living Word, they have not regarded it as a Living Word, they have regarded it as an academic study so often. In the areas of the calendar this certainly is the case, it is an academic study to so many people – but it's not! If you want to be in the Church, I am talking about the true Church – you can go to the churches outside in the world and the Babylon of confusion, that's not the true Word – we've got to be underneath that Word, and the Word as delivered to us. As it says; "...The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;" (Romans 10:8). That has been preached to you, to us, within God's true Church. But it says Romans 10:16:

"But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?" (Romans 10:16)

Now where does that actually come from? Well it comes from Isaiah 53. Now this is the passage that we just read that says:

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the [Eternal] shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:8)

It's tied up to the people of the Rock, singing in services, together. The time will come, that's in Isaiah 52:8. In Isaiah 53:1 notice, where it says:

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the [Eternal] revealed?" (Isaiah 53:1)

Revealed, it had to be revealed. It's revealed to God's people. It's revealed to God's people; and in that context, it says in Isaiah 52:7:

"How beautiful upon the mountains [mountains can refer to the governments, governmental systems] are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings [the gospel, good news], that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! [notice the context; your God reigns - within the Church! This God is going to reign in the future but is reigning within the Church, within Zion] Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the [Eternal] shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:7-8)

Why? Because He is once again reigning in the Church. And it is that rule within the Church that then flows into the rule within the world. But the trouble is the Church has lost its way, it's gone down this route – it has eaten and drunken with the drunkards. It's got ideas that are coming in from outside churches. We are not a Church in the outside sense. We are not part of Babylon, we are totally different. This is not 'religion' as you find out in the world, we are talking about rulership of all things, everything. Again, what's the context of this in Isaiah 52? Turn back one page to Isaiah 51:7:

"Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law...[verse 16] And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth [there is the return of Christ and the start of the Millennial rule], and say unto Zion [that's the Church now], Thou art MY people." (Isaiah 51:7,16)

We're not a church like anybody else outside. Totally different, totally different. We're under a different rulership! The kingdom is the Kingdom of God, the rulership is by Jesus Christ. And it is the understanding that this is a Living Word that has actually guided the Church - not just now - but yesterday, today, forever. And He has guided the work and put the Word into the Church at this end time, through Mr Herbert Armstrong. If you don't understand that - if that is something difficult for people to understand, then how can you possibly be part of that bride of Christ, that Temple to which Christ will return? Remember the verse just read that says; "...Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7).

And here it's very interesting; remember when we've got this concept, of Christ outside the Church knocking; "... if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20). And just before that, in the end of the message to Philadelphia, in Revelation 3:11 it says:

"...hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11)

Again looking forward into the rulership - that no man takes your crown; it's the rulership. Understand that the rulership has got to be the same rulership that is over the Church now as it has always been. It is the rulership of Christ. But here in Isaiah 52:7 I want you to notice something, again the context of this verse:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings...that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7)

But notice the verse before, Isaiah 52:6:

"Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I." (Isaiah 52:6)

He is outside, He is knocking, He says; "look, it's Me! Outside – I'm outside the Church. You're not putting yourself underneath, it's not 'your God reigns!'". Once we get that straight; "...Thy God reigneth." (Isaiah 52:7). And has reigned in the Church before, reigns in the Church today, will reign in the world tomorrow. Once we get that straight your; "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice TOGETHER shall they sing..." (Isaiah 52:8). Because they'll be under the same government, the same rulership. And the understanding that the truth didn't come from Mr Armstrong, it came from Jesus Christ. But it came through the one that was sent. It came through somebody because it is a Living Word. It is a living High Priest.

The Calendar (PLAY FROM 1:04:43)

And finally, let's have a look at a few of the issues therefore with the calendar. You see, once we get that straight, we understand that this living Word has guided the Church all the way through; "...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8). That He doesn't leave us or forsake us, then the calendar and all the similar issues fall into place. Turn over to Leviticus 23:1:

"And the [Eternal] spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel [including Spiritual Israel, the Church, as well as physical Israel], and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the [Eternal, the feasts of Jesus Christ because He was the God of the Old Testament, He's the one that spoke to Moses with the 70 elders] which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts." (Leviticus 23:1-2)

Is it conceivable that He would reveal His Feasts - this Being that was .. "...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8). And that raised up an individual, revealed to him His plan - but He didn't do it initially, He checked that this individual was going to be faithful and faithfully kept the Holy Days not understanding what they meant for 14 years - then slowly, bit by bit, He explained what the actual Holy Days meant. Within those Holy Days is the very plan of God, the meaning of life, the purpose of being human. Is it conceivable that when we understand just what, in fact, happened that, that revelation did not also include a guidance?

You know, the Word is not far from you, it is near, this living Word; "To day if ye will hear his voice," (Psalm 98:7). Is it conceivable that He would go ahead and do that, and yet not go ahead and reveal to him the framework on which the Holy Days have got to be hung? Leaving it until somebody, some Charlie down in Outer Mongolia or somewhere comes up with this wonderful idea that; "Oh no, we're going to go ahead and get rid of postponements, but not all of them, just this particular one, and only half of that one." Or whatever it may be. It does not make sense.

Once you understand government, once you understand what Christ is actually doing; that it is Christ, - "Your God reigns", to Zion, to the Church. The Church is being trained, the Church is there to become the bride of Christ, the Church is there to become the very Temple of God. To rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Once you understand that He is an active Word, He is an active High Priest, He hasn't gone way off somewhere – that God doesn't go ahead and make some stupid mistake like that. It is absurd! Absolutely absurd!

And anyone who believes that hasn't a clue. You cannot do it, you don't understand the truth of God by going into it in little tiny ways. You know, having a little verse here and getting your microscope out and analysing a certain word. That is not the way it is done, that is not the way it was revealed. It HAS to be revealed. You do not get the meaning of life revealed - which it is - understanding that it was the Living Christ speaking and that He then somehow forgot to put the framework on which to hang them. Here in Leviticus 23:15 notice:

"And ye shall count unto you from [and including] the morrow after the sabbath [when do you count from and including? The morrow after the Sabbath, that is the Sunday], from the day [from and including] that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering..." (Leviticus 23:15)

So when do you count from? From the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. Is it conceivable that; "Oh no, Mr Armstrong got it wrong and we count from the Sabbath? He didn't really mean the day after the Sabbath, you don't count from and including Sunday, as some people are doing". Ridiculous! You know, your God reigns! Your God reigns! And if He doesn't you're in the wrong place! If He doesn't, we are in the wrong place.

And if we understand the purpose....understanding Pentecost, Pentecost is coming towards us, just a couple of weeks away. And yet He is saying here the actual counting, the way it is to be counted and yet we have confusion over this, we have confusion over it. It's not confusion if you understand that it is a Living Christ, a Living Christ, who is guiding His people, when His people are put underneath. And He is outside the Church in so many cases knocking and if we listen, food is there, if we just listen, it is there. What you had, what you have, it is there all available. It is not something complicated.

We don't have to say; "Oh we're going up to heaven to bring Him down from above. Or down to the deep to bring Him up from the dead" (Romans 10:6-7 paraphrased). No, it's there in your mouth! It's something you've already been given. Why? Because it was a Living Christ at that time guiding His Church. So counting Pentecost, it's the way we were taught to count Pentecost. We were guided to count Pentecost by the Living Christ.

Let's have a look at another one - going away from the calendar, as I say, I'm not saying very much about the calendar, those are the only two bits I really need to say. Why say more? There's no reason to say more, we don't have to say more. We need to understand where the government is. If we understand where the government is, it's a Living Christ, it all falls into place. Matthew 24:14:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

Do we understand that? Now we understand it a little bit more perhaps than Mr Armstrong understood it in one aspect; and that is that he did not see the shattering. We do see the shattering. And there is very clearly in scripture the shattering that took place. But you know, some people say; "Oh, there's a dual gospel. The gospel about Christ and the gospel of Christ." That's not what we were taught, that's not what Mr Armstrong was saying on the World Tomorrow just today – at all! There is no dual gospel about there and the very sign that the end is coming is that this Gospel of the Kingdom is going be preached in all the world as a witness for the first time in 1900 years.

And yet do we believe that? Are we confused about that? Well not confused if you understand that there is a Living Christ, and a Living Christ gave His message and He gave His understanding; and the message Christ brought was the gospel. The gospel is the message that Christ brought, that the apostles brought. Let's have a look at another one, back a couple of pages into Matthew 17:10:

"And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall [future tense] first come [John the Baptist was by that time dead, he was dead, he'd been executed], and restore all things." (Matthew 17:10-11)

So that has to happen before the end. Has that already happened? Well what is going to have to be restored? 'Restore all things' - the meaning of life, the Government of God within the very Church of God, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. What are you going to restore? To then say; "Oh, it's all things, oh we missed about that postponement. I mean we're going to have to change this postponement." That's ridiculous! The 'all things' has been restored, the 'all things' has been restored; it's been given to the Church. Why? Because we understand there is a Living Christ; "...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8).

And we could go on, and on, and on; but let's have three scriptures very very quickly to close: first of all, read Malachi 2:17 again let's go back:

"Ye have wearied the [Eternal] with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the [Eternal], and he delighteth in them [in people that are doing things which are not according to the word of God]; or, Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17)

"Where is this God of judgement that led us out of Egypt? It's twenty years since Mr Armstrong died!" Malachi 3:1:

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple [where is He coming to? His temple], even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the [Eternal] of hosts."

And in Revelation 11:1, let's just remind ourselves of where we are today:

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God..." (Revelation 11:1)

He will return to His Temple and right now the Temple is being judged. So many people think that they can make the judgements. 'Let the people decide' is the meaning of Laodicea, but it also means; 'let the people be judged' as well. It can mean both, it can be read in both ways. And He will...

"...Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." (Revelation 11:1)

So who is indeed part of that Temple and who is not? And if we turn over to Revelation 19:6 again and just re-read this passage:

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters [like Niagara], and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." (Revelation 19:6)

Your God reigns – the God of the Church. He's going to reign in the future. He reigned in the past. He is reigning right now within the Church, even though He is at the right hand of the Father. Revelation 19:7:

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [the true Church, the true Temple] hath made herself ready." (Revelation 19:7)

Has gone back to the basics, gone back to understand, saying; "Today, if you will hear His voice, don't do what happened in the past when they went and said, 'is the Eternal amongst us or not?'" The Eternal has been amongst us right from the word 'go', the Eternal is still amongst us today. He has not forsaken His people. There is a shattering, but it is for a little while until eventually the watchmen will sing indeed together. And Revelation 19:8 says:

"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." (Revelation 19:7-8)


Footnote:

{1} Mr Armstrong's comments are not verbatim here, but 'The World Tomorrow' broadcast Mr Bowles was probably referring to was; 'The Kingdom of God' 7th June 1979.