Sermon given 9 November 2013

Why Christ Came - part 2

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Two weeks ago, I read a section from Mystery of the Ages, which was on Why Jesus Came, it was on page 216 of the hardback version. It was interesting that there were five points given there. Mr Armstrong said:

"Jesus did not come to save Satan's world while Satan sits on the throne deceiving them. Jesus will save the world at his Second Coming, when Satan shall be put away. Why, then, did Jesus come more than 1,900 years ago? Not to rule, not to reign over all nations, not to save the world while Satan still rules over them."

"His human birth was the arrival of the 'second Adam.' He had come 1) to qualify..." 'Mystery of the Ages'

Now I dealt with that last time. I dealt with the subject of qualifying; and how Christ came to qualify. I talked about how He qualified, He overcame. He overcame the world and Satan, in that sense. The qualification concept is there.

But He came as the second Adam, which I brought out as well. He talks about being the last Adam over in I Corinthians 15:45. The fact that He qualified to replace Lucifer. Lucifer, or Satan the devil - the other names that are ascribed to him, the slanderer, or the enemy - he is currently over this earth, and He has allowed this attitude of mind and spirit to be broadcast across the earth. But Christ overcame Satan in the confrontation that He had and He did so to replace him.

But also He qualified to administer God's Government; and that Government was, as He continually said; He came to do the Will of God, He continually mentioned that He was to do His Will.

The fact is that when we are looking at liberalism, towards the end of the sermon last time, I talked about God's attitude and Christ's attitude, and quoted from the article; ' GN March 1979 What Is A Liberal?'. It says under the heading 'What is the Mind of Christ?' (And He overcame - and we are to sit on His throne, as He overcame and sits on His Father's throne.)

"But God says, 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 2:5)."

"What is the mind of Christ? What is His attitude - His approach to viewing and deciding all activities? Does He, as I asked before, really WANT TO sin, to think and act contrary to His Law, but because of His super power, restrain Himself? We know He has never sinned. But why? Is He sinless because He has such supernatural POWER to restrain Himself?"

"A THOUSAND TIMES, NO!..."

He points to God's attitude and he says:

"What is God's ATTITUDE? Does God really want to sin, but, because He has power of resistance, He uses willpower and does not ALLOW Himself to sin? Can you realize that SIN is absolutely ABHORRENT to God? God DOES NOT WANT TO SIN! He has no such desire! He HATES sin! He is not tempted to sin!" ' GN March 1979 What Is A Liberal?'

Christ didn't have to become converted because He wasn't carnal. He had the broadcast He was putting up with. But He had the same kind of mindset, the same kind of direction in His life. He was tempted in all points as we are, and without sin. But the reason why is because He did not want to sin because His mindset was a Godly mindset. He was given the Spirit without measure.

The fact is, if we are going to be qualified to serve with Him, we too must also have that same mindset. The effort and the energy - 'this great supernatural power' - he mentions to restrain Himself - it is not the case of restraining Himself, it is the supernatural power that we need to get on our knees each day to make sure that we are plugged into the vine. To make sure that we have that Spirit flowing through us. If we have that Spirit flowing through us, it will then flow out of us on the riverbed, as Mr Armstrong explains it, of God's Law. Therefore breaking that Law is sin. Sin can be completely overcome in a way that any other way of trying to overcoming sin is not going to work.

That is how Christ was able to overcome sin. How He was able to live a sinless life, because His Spirit was God's Spirit, totally. He was totally dedicated to doing the Will of His Father, and therefore He qualified and overcame Satan. His will and His entire direction in life was a Godly direction, to become once again, a Spirit born Son of God, which is exactly what you and I have got to do as well. We have got to also overcome Satan. We have also got to qualify to become a Spirit born son of God.

So, that was one of the reasons Jesus came, to qualify. But as I mentioned last time, if we turn over to Mark 1:10, this is the scripture that we left the sermon on last time; here it describes the confrontation that Christ had with Satan:

"And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: (Mark 1:10)

It was a symbolic dove that actually descended upon Him and John the Baptist was told that the One you see the Spirit coming and descending like a dove on them, that is the One who is The Christ. That symbolism was that through the power of that Spirit. Mark 1:11:

"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness [He was driven there to confront Satan and to have this next stage in the reason why Christ came on earth at that particular time]. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." (Mark 1:11-13)

He confronted Satan and He overcame him using the Word of God. He overcame him because of the Spirit of God. He was dedicated to God's Way of doing things, completely, totally, utterly. He gives us the example of the way in which we too must overcome Satan, and overcome that mindset. Mark 1:14:

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God," (Mark 1:14)

This is the second point that Mr Armstrong mentions, as to why Jesus came, he says:

"...2) to announce the future establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD and teach that prophetic good news (gospel) to his chosen future apostles..." 'Mystery of the Ages'

So that is the second point that he mentions. Now I want you to notice; he didn't just mention that He is announcing the Kingdom of God, the future establishment of the Kingdom of God, but he lumps with that, to teach the prophetic good news or gospel to His chosen future apostles. So the two go hand in glove, and as we will see today, as we actually look at this subject. I thought of perhaps doing two other points and going on to the next point, which is talking about taking the penalty of sins. But, quite frankly, I'm pretty certain I will not get past this one single point because it is such a huge point.

Because it doesn't just involve announcing the future establishment of the Kingdom of God. It also is teaching that gospel to His chosen apostles, the disciples, and this delineation between the two groups is very important in the entire subject of the Kingdom of God. Because to one group, you announce - the ones that don't really understand, and the other group, you teach. This is what Christ did, He had to both announce and also teach. The two go hand in glove. So what I would like to do in this subject of announcing and teaching, I want to talk about:

1. The Hearer's View of the Kingdom of God. Because all that heard it had a certain view. There was a certain view within Judaism that they held, as far as announcing the Kingdom of God is concerned.

2. What they Missed. In other words, the hearers had a view of the Kingdom of God, but what was it that they actually missed in that view?

3. The Two Groups. Specify just how these two groups are different, because those two groups are radically different and were treated in different ways by Christ.

4. Applying the Entire Subject to Us Today. It applies to us today as well in this shattered time of the Church.

The Hearers View of the Kingdom of God (PLAY FROM 09:22)

Here we find in Mark 1:15:

"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel [who was He actually saying repent you, and believe the gospel to?]. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." (Mark 1:15-17)

Now He had already had presumably said; "...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand..." (Mark 1:15). or " preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, He came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. (Mark 1:14). These men responded. Why? Because God was opening their minds.

You start immediately to see this divergence of these two groups that were there. One group was the actual future apostles, the disciples, the ones God was opening the mind of; and the other was the other people were who didn't have their minds opened. Notice at the end of Matthew you find that this same gospel that Christ was preaching. In fact at the end of Mark it is actually mentioned, specifically, that the gospel is to be; "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). Here in Matthew 28:16 it says:

"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth [all power is given in heaven and in earth to Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church; and because of this - because all power has been given to Him, He says]. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:16-20)

So this gospel was to be preached; and it was to be preached and it was to be taught. It was to be teaching them what in fact He taught; and the way that He taught them. There was a difference in the approach; one to the world, was one way; and one to the people - His students, who had their minds opened - was another way, a different approach was being used. It is interesting, it says 'all power', and remember what we find here, in Mark 1:10 it says:

"And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:" (Mark 1:10)

The power was there, and He went and confronted Satan, and overcame Satan and then what did He do? "...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God," (Mark 1:14). Exactly the same kind of instruction was being given to individuals that were actually His apostles, His disciples, His apostles to come.

You can see the hearer's view of the Kingdom of God and the idea of the Messiah, in modern Judaism. If you just look up the Messiah as far as Judaism is concerned on Wikipedia, it talks about; "Orthodox Judaism maintains, and the Jews are obliged to accept the thirteen principles of faith as formulated by Maimonides in his introduction to the Mishneh Torah"; so that is their basic history. It says; "Each principle starts with the words 'I believe', and number 12 is the main principle relating to the Messiah...and the text is as follows:..."

These issues, by the way; the first one is the existence of God, it talks about the revelation through God's prophets, and the preeminence of Moses, or the Torah we have today is the one dictated to Moses by God, and the Messiah is another point and also the resurrection from the dead. These are the kind of things they specify.

Each principle starts with the words; "I believe". Number 12 is the main one referring to the Messiah, it says; "I believe with full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he tarries, with all that, I await his arrival every day." So that is what the Jews actually recite in their ideas. And at this particular time they were expecting the Messiah to actually appear!

So as far as the hearer's view of the Kingdom of God is concerned, if you turn over to Isaiah 1:26, it is interesting that when the Eunuch was reading a book and Philip came to him, the book he was reading was the Book of Isaiah. If we go right to the beginning of Isaiah, let's just look at a few verses within Isaiah alone, there are several other verses we could choose, but let's have a look here:

"And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness." (Isaiah 1:26-27)

This was looked upon even to this day, by the Jews as the rule of the Messiah and what will happen during that rule. If you go to Isaiah 2:2, it says:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the [Eternal's] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal], to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the [Eternal] from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:2-3)

Now we know we're here talking about the Millennial rule, we know and understand that; we read these verses and they make perfect sense. But you see to a Jew, they also read the same verses; and to them they make their sense and they are looking for a Messiah to come. They have a dichotomy to some degree, because they see certain physical aspects of the Messiah and certain spiritual aspects of the Messiah. So, they believe, in fact, of two Messiahs. The first one being, physical as the Son of David, and the other One, being the Eternal Himself; they seem to have this idea of there being two. They quote these verses here Isaiah 2:4:

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the [Eternal]." (Isaiah 2:4-5)

And people that Christ came and actually preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God to, had an understanding, this understanding about what the Kingdom of God was. They went back to these verses and they saw the Messiah as the One to implement this. They saw the Messiah's reign to implement the Kingdom of God on earth with the Jews as a prominent nation. Isaiah 2:11:

"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled [all the other nations, and human ideas, and all the Gentiles], and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the [Eternal] alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the [Eternal] of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:" (Isaiah 2:11-12)

So again, they read these verses in that context, and they were reading them in that context before. If we go over to Isaiah 11:1, and notice what it says here. Here it is actually talking about the Messiah Himself within that context, within the context of Isaiah:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the [Eternal] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [Eternal];" (Isaiah 11:1-2)

Now the word Messiah means; 'Anointed One', He is anointed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God will rest upon Him, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Eternal. Knowledge, and they understand it is talking about the Messiah, the Anointed One, this is what He is anointed with. Isaiah 11:3:

"And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the [Eternal]: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (Isaiah 11:3-4)

So He is going to put right the evils and the wrongs that were in the earth at that particular time, and this was the Kingdom of God being established. This is the Messiah, the Anointed One of the Eternal, who would, in fact, implement this. This is what the Jews understood and to this day they understand the same thing. Isaiah 11:5:

"And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. [Verse 9] They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the [Eternal], as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious [even the Gentile nations and all around shall then go to Zion, again look at these verses and we understand the same thing]. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the [Eternal] shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:5,9-12)

Again, this is what they were reading. This is the Kingdom of God, and indeed it is. So when you have the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and Christ coming in preaching the gospel or the good news of the Kingdom of God, in the mind of the hearers this was in fact what was being discussed.

Let's turn over to John 18:36 because when you see what it says about the way in which Christ answered when He was at His trial, it wasn't just the people outside that understood this particular concept. It was the disciples as well, as we will go on and see. They understood this particular concept of the Kingdom of God:

"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world [order of things]: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18:36-37)

To this reason, to this end, of being a King, was He born. He is a King of righteousness. A King establishing truth. We have just seen passages in Isaiah that reinforce this and make this understood. Turn over a couple of pages to the beginning of Acts; we find therefore, the disciples and the apostles specifically asking Christ about this on His resurrection. He mentions to them that:

"...ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:5-6)

So, to them, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom being restored to Israel are one and the same. That is not quite the way Christ taught it, as we will go on and see. In their minds, they understood from the Old Testament scriptures, from the things that they learned in the synagogue from being a young child and the things that they memorized. They understood the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Israel as being one and the same thing. Acts 1:7:

"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." (Acts 1:7)

He didn't stop them, He didn't counteract them. He said; "Look, the timing is not down to you, or me. It is certainly not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power. God, Himself is the One that needs to do that."

Now a lot of this would come from the Book of Daniel. Turn over to Daniel 7:3. They again would understand these scriptures of Daniel as well; it probably wasn't as widely disseminated as the Book of Isaiah, but the Book of Daniel was understood to some degree. I say understood - I mean it was known about, they knew the prophecies here:

"And four great beasts came up from the sea, [different] one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings... a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side...and lo another [the third], like a leopard...After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly..." (Daniel 7:3-7)

So here we see these beasts arising. Then in Daniel 7:13:

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him..." (Daniel 7:13-14)

So here was the Messiah. Here was the Kingdom of God. What does it replace? Well, you've got Babylon as the first beast, the lion. Then you have Persia, the Medes and the Persians. Then you've got Greece, and finally you've got Rome. Rome was then going to be taken over by the Kingdom of God. So, the people that He would be talking to would know the sequence of events that would actually happen there. The same sequence of events that you find over in Daniel 2:31 that would be something that the people, the hearers, would understand:

"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:31-35)

The mountain of the Eternal was then established above the hills and above all the other mountains. It wouldn't be too much of a degree of understanding for them to put that together. Daniel 2:36:

"This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold [you are this head of gold, that is Babylon]. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee [the Medes and the Persians], and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth [Greece]. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes..." (Daniel 2:36-41)

And so on; then you see Rome - going all the way down - until it finally says in Daniel 2:44:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people..." (Daniel 2:44)

There's your Kingdom of God. Who is it that is destroyed? It is the Romans that are destroyed. Now they didn't understand all the ramifications, but the sequence of events they could see, and they could see exactly why the Messiah was needed.

What They Missed (PLAY FROM 27:07)

But what is it that they missed? Well stay here in Daniel and let's just go back to Daniel 7:17; what they missed, if you notice here:

"These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints [holy ones in Hebrew, Strong's H6922] of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom [notice] for ever, even for ever and ever." (Daniel 7:17-18)

Now that isn't human, that is not flesh and blood; that is spirit; flesh and blood doesn't last forever, and ever. That is really reinforced in that regard, but these individuals are. Daniel 7:27:

"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:27)

Again, it is everlasting. You go back to Daniel 2:44, which we read:

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed [notice, never]: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44)

That is what they missed. When Christ came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and wherever He was preaching at that particular time; "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15). It was a spiritual message, it had a great deal to do with the spirit of the situation. This is why when we find over in I Corinthians 15:50 and read what Paul writes regarding the return of Christ:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God [it cannot; why? Because it has got to stand forever, and human flesh and blood doesn't stand forever, human flesh and blood dies, it becomes old, it becomes weak]; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (I Corinthians 15:50)

That verse actually lies within the passage beginning I Corinthians 15:42:

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body [you have got to be 'born again', that is what Christ was talking about, being born again as the Spirit sons of the Eternal God]. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a [life giving] spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy [he is not going to live forever, he is going to die]; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly [just in the same way as Christ that came down from heaven, so we are going to take on spirit]. And as we have borne the image of the earthy [flesh and blood that dies and decays, that rots away], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." (I Corinthians 15:42-50)

Because it is the Kingdom of God that he is talking about, this coming Kingdom; which they - the Jews - missed, completely missed. They saw the Messiah and they saw the establishment of the Kingdom of God, but it was this eternal nature of that Kingdom that was something that they needed to understand. I Corinthians 15:50:

"...neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed [because we've got to be changed], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption [doesn't have it already, it must put it on, must take on incorruption], and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:50-54)

So, we also see the same kind of thing when you look at the prophecy that was given to Mary in Luke 1:31, regarding Christ as the Messiah. It was the nature of the Kingdom. What kind of Kingdom was going to be inherited? The Kingdom of God:

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom [the Kingdom of God] there shall be no end." (Luke 1:31-33)

There will be no end. So we are not looking at a physical kingdom. We are looking at something very different. If we look over in Luke 19:11 we find the parable of the nobleman, it says:

"And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." (Luke 19:11)

So it wasn't going to immediately appear. They missed this, they thought Rome was about to be taken over, to be defeated by the Jewish nation; by the Messiah rising up against Rome, battling against Rome and leading the Jews against Rome, and doing it in a supernatural way. Luke 19:12:

"He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." (Luke 19:12)

So he goes away from the earth, receives the kingdom and then comes back with that kingdom. Put in your notes; "...they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory..." (Matthew 24:30-31). Also it talks about; "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him..." (Revelation 1:7).

But turn with me over to John 2:23, because there is a confrontation here that really illustrates what they missed; what happened with the people that were listening to Him and heard what He had to say, regarding the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to announce the future establishment of the Kingdom of God and teach the prophetic good news to His apostles. The apostles were then able to understand, but the people who heard Him preach, were not able to understand. Here we find, it says:

"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." (John 2:23-25)

"There was a man of the Pharisees..." (John 3:1). Just an ordinary human being of the Pharisees of that particular era, of that particular time; who believed in the coming of the Messiah, who understood about the Kingdom of God. Who understood about the spiritual dimension to some degree about the Messiah, but not the fact that He was anointed with the wisdom of the Spirit of God, as it says in Isaiah, as we read earlier on. John 3:1:

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:1-2)

So what in fact was he saying? He was saying; "Look, you have been anointed by God." What have we just read over in Isaiah 11:1:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the [Eternal] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [Eternal];" (Isaiah 11:1-2)

He could see that, he could see that He was the Messiah. He was the Anointed One. Whether He was 'the' Anointed One, or 'a' Anointed One, perhaps he wasn't one hundred percent sure, but He was an Anointed One. The fact that no man, as he said; "...we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:2). He could recognize that, he could see that. What did Christ say? It's almost as though he's having one conversation, and Christ is having another, but it's not. John 3:3:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)

He could understand what Nicodemus was talking about; he was talking about the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of God ruled over by the Messiah, the Anointed One. The One that had this anointing from God, and who could do miracles like this. He could see that this must have been an Anointed One. Is He 'the' Anointed One, the One we have been waiting for and longing for at that particular time? Christ said, "...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3). In other words; you have got to be born totally, all over again. Just read what Mr Armstrong says, in 'Mystery of the Ages':

"Nicodemus said, 'Rabbi, we know [we Pharisees know] that thou art a teacher come from God.'"

"The Pharisees KNEW JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH! They were familiar with Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 53. The Pharisees KNEW Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. But they understood only one Messianic appearance. So they supposed he was planning to overthrow the Roman Empire then!" 'Mystery of the Ages'

Based on what Daniel said, the Kingdom of God then overthrows the Roman Empire.

"Of course Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he launched immediately into the fact that the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling all nations, could not be set up UNTIL the time of the NEW SPIRIT BIRTH - the time of the RESURRECTION!" 'Mystery of the Ages'

That is why he says what he does, because they missed it. They didn't understand that. It is what they missed. Under the section; 'The Born Again Question':

"Jesus answered immediately, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"

"But Nicodemus did not understand this. He knew that being born was an actual BIRTH - parturition from the womb of the mother. Today's theologians do not know even that! They deny a real second birth as a spirit being [they don't even understand that, they don't realize what he is talking about]. They spiritualize away the real truth by assuming that merely saying that one accepts Christ as his Savior constitutes being born again. In this, Satan has deceived them and in turn they have deceived millions of others." 'Mystery of the Ages'

This is a major problem. It is not just a problem in the world. It is a problem that has got itself into the Church as well, in the mix up of just what it means to be 'born again'.

"Nicodemus said, 'How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus now made the meaning PLAIN - but Nicodemus did not receive his PLAINNESS of speech, nor do theologians or religious leaders today."

"'Verily, verily,' replied Jesus, '...except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh IS FLESH; and that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT' (emphasis mine - John 3:5-6)."

"The Pharisees knew about water baptism. They had used it for years in converting gentile proselytes to Judaism. They knew of John the Baptist's baptism - a baptism of repentance 'for the remission of sins' (Mark 1:4). Jesus' meaning should have been PLAIN to Nicodemus - that water baptism was an initiatory rite preparatory to the start of being BORN of the Spirit." 'Mystery of the Ages'

So we see this individual coming, saying; "we know that you are a teacher come from God: you have been Anointed by God, because nobody could do the miracles you are doing unless that was the case." (John 3:2 paraphrased). Christ then had to point out the fact that except a man is 'born again', he cannot see the Kingdom of God. His idea and concept of the Kingdom of God was wrong. He missed a vital ingredient of the Kingdom of God. John 3:4

"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [by baptism] and of the Spirit [by a resurrection], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God [you have got to go through the process necessary]. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [the power that is necessary, living in a different dimension, an entirely different dimension]. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" (John 3:4-10)

Don't you understand the basics. Because the 'born again' question is a very basic one to the understanding of the Kingdom of God. It's what these people were missing, and it's ironic that so many others are missing to this day as well.

Two Groups (PLAY FROM 42:29)

Because there were two groups that He was dealing with. If you turn over to John 6:37 as it says:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:37,39)

The Father is the One that gives individuals to Christ for training by the Living Word of God, as John 6:44 says:

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

I will make him a part of the resurrection. There are two groups involved; one, He announced the Kingdom of God to, He announced the outline facts of the Kingdom of God. The other ones He specifically taught. They were disciples, they were students, they were the ones He taught. Just as it says; "...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." (Matthew 28:18-19). The two things were involved. John 6:63:

"It is the spirit that [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)

The Word of Life, Christ was the Living Word. That Word has got to be made into a living word, with us as well. So we are baptized to start a new kind of life, an inherit indwelling of the Spirit of God, and inherit Spirit Life begettal, that will then eventually accomplish itself in the birth of a spirit born son of God. It is the Word of God that converts. It's like the DNA molecule. I mean basically DNA within the living cell determines what in fact the individual is going to become. Whether you've got blue eyes or brown eyes or whatever, it determines that. The Word of God determines what we are to become. John 6:64:

"But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:64-66)

Why? Because their minds were not opened. They understood a certain amount. They probably understood Him as being a ruler who was going to go ahead and overthrow Rome. The Kingdom of God just didn't make sense to them. John 6:67:

"Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life [which is what He was talking about here; "...the spirit that quickens; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63), He had the Words of eternal life]. And we believe and are sure that thou art that [Anointed One] the Son of the living God." (John 6:67-69)

This was Nicodemus He was talking about, but Nicodemus didn't understand when he was talking to Christ at that time of night. He did not grasp what is involved, and that you have to be 'born again'; go through the process and rebirth; total rebirth. Have to be begotten by the water, and born by the Spirit eventually, into the very Kingdom of God. If you don't go through that process, you won't be part of the Kingdom of God. It is just not possible.

"And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69)

So here were the two different groups - two different groups were involved. Now if we turn back to Matthew 13:1, it is interesting in reading what it says here, just how Christ dealt with these two different groups.

"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;" (Matthew 13:1-3)

So He gave the parable of the sower. He spoke the parable of the sower to the multitudes. What did the vast majority of people understand about the Kingdom of God? Notice in Matthew 13:10:

"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:10-13)

But what was He talking about in parables? Well notice in Matthew 13:24:

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven [or the Kingdom of God, that is owned by heaven, owned by the One who sits in the heavens, God Himself] is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: [Verse 31] Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: [Verse 33] Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven...[Verse 44] Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field...[Verse 45] Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: [Verse 47] Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea..." (Matthew 13:24,31,33,44,45,47)

He is preaching about the gospel of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. That is what He's doing, but He is doing it in parables hiding the meaning all the time. As it says in Matthew 13:34:

"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:" (Matthew 13:34)

So He didn't speak in any other way, except by parables. It is interesting, Mr Armstrong says in; 'A World Held Captive', he mentions about this fact. He says:

"Jesus brought the gospel message from God to mankind - not to convert and change Satan's world, but to ANNOUNCE the coming world-ruling GOD kingdom as a witness. Jesus came not on a 'soul-saving crusade,' nor did he plead with people to 'accept him as Savior.' When the woman at Jacob's well asked him for the 'living waters' of the Holy Spirit (salvation), he merely told her of her sins [He wasn't out to have a great massive following]."

"The word gospel means 'good news.' Jesus was a newscaster, announcing in advance the NEWS of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD."

"Since God's PURPOSE is to reproduce himself - expand the God FAMILY - and since it shall be the world-ruling family, then the KINGDOM OF GOD will be the born family of God ruling the entire world. NO RELIGION ON EARTH UNDERSTANDS THIS PIVOTAL TRUTH! It is a DECEIVED world - held captive by Satan." 'A World Held Captive'

So that's the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the Family of God, grown large, to rule therefore over the world and out into eternity. That is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is NOT the Millennium. The Millennium is merely ruled over by the Kingdom of God. But this world ruling family has got to be 'born again', it has to be born of the Spirit, it has to be born of water. This He had to get across. But who did He get that across to? He got that across to the people that were being called by the Father.

You hear Mr Armstrong preaching on the radio, on the broadcasts to Israel, and he didn't hold back. He gave them both two barrels. But isn't it interesting that you get people that talk about 'token visits' to the people of other countries, that Mr Armstrong made? They dismiss it saying; "'Token visits', the way of give and the way of get; that's not preaching the gospel." Oh yes - isn't that what Christ did? Preaching in parables to hide the meaning? Was that preaching the gospel? Of course it was, absolutely. Were they warned? Yes they were warned in parables.

Telling a parable about a treasure in a field - is that preaching the gospel? Yes it is. As much as they could understand. Yet he didn't just have token visits. The way of give and the way of get and the fact that a strong hand from someplace is needed to sort this world out because it's going the wrong way, was not a token visit. He was doing the job. The same job that Jesus Christ, Himself did. He made a dichotomy between the two groups of people. These two groups; one to which He announced, the other one He taught as apostles and disciples and students. The two were very different groups of individuals. So, we see that; "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:" (Matthew 13:34). But to the ones who really needed to understand, if you 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. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4)

Down in John 1:10:

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not [He came unto his own, and his own received him not. He had to talk to them in parables, He hid the meaning from them; why? Because their minds weren't opened]. But as many as received him [as many as had their minds opened by the Father, and they were given to Him, His disciples, His students; the ones that even though they themselves thought that He was going to go ahead and establish the Kingdom to Israel, wondered if it was going to be straight away or not], to them gave he power to become the sons of God...(John 1:10-12)

They had to be 'born again' as sons of God. Initially begotten by water by baptism and then through the very indwelling of the Spirit that is then given. They were working with that Spirit on their mind. They were working with that Spirit in conjunction with the Word of God, to become born, fully born, Spirit born sons of God. John 1:12:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power [the spiritual power] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were [begotten], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:12-14)

So He was the example. He was the One that went ahead of us and gave us the example. Let's read I John 3:1:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God [in embryo, we are begotten again], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:1-2)

We see in places like Philippians 3:21:

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)

Born sons of God. That is what the Kingdom of God is. It is comprised of individuals that have gone through the conversion process. Converted from flesh to be Spirit. Why? Because the Kingdom of God is an everlasting Kingdom and flesh and blood cannot inherit it. Impossible for flesh and blood to inherit it. I John 3:3:

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure [every man, as it talks about in; "...in bringing many sons unto glory..." (Hebrews 2:10). ]" (I John 3:3)

Even as Christ is pure, because He is the elder brother of all of us in that sense.

Applying This Today (PLAY FROM 56:24)

Now if you go over to Mark 4:13 there's an interesting comment, almost like a footnote in Mark's version of the sower parable, if you put together what it says in Matthew 13:34, where it talks about how He spoke to them only in parables. But here, if we are applying this to today, notice what it says:

"And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable [of the sower]? and how then will ye know all parables?" (Mark 4:13)

How are you going to understand anything? How are you going to get your head around anything that is actually given to you in the way of parables? How are you going to make a comprehensive assessment of what is actually being said? Because if you don't get this particular one - it is all about who understands and who doesn't, and what they do with that understanding. That is what it is all about. Mark 4:14:

"The sower soweth the word [it is the Word of God that is sowed, the Word that is actually given to us; be that coming out of Christ's mouth when He was here on earth, or whether it's coming through scriptures, or however it comes, it is still the Word of God that is sown]. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." (Mark 4:14-15)

These people aren't converted. They hear the Word and it is gone. I think I mentioned to you before that I remember talking to this individual and quoting a place out of Romans to him regarding the way of gaining understanding. The light seemed to dawn, and then the shutters came down and he went back to what he was understanding before. This was a neighbour many, many years ago. Satan comes immediately, and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts, and certainly I have seen that happen. Mark 4:16:

"And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves..." (Mark 4:16-17)

They trust in themselves, trust themselves to be righteous. They can't do it themselves. As I say, the work and the effort involved is to get on our knees each day; to repent, and to allow God to lead us into repentance, allowing ourselves to be moulded and be malleable, to be moulded by God the Father, by Jesus Christ Himself, by the Word of God so that it becomes a living word. Mark 4:17:

"And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended [ why? because they are doing it on their own strength; see the Word as just a Word that is comprehended in a human way]. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful [ now that we all have a danger of falling into, certainly Laodicea, there is a real problem in that area]. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit [they do something with that Word, they understand it], some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred." (Mark 4:17-20)

So, we see these groups, and notice, the Word is proportional to the seed. The seed and the Word are being discussed as the same thing. Isn't it interesting that the structure that we have been given are the Holy Days. The structure as far as understanding the Plan of God comes from the Holy Days. What are the Holy Days all about? It's about harvests, it's about sowing seed. The seed is the Word of God that is sowed. As I said, Mr Armstrong, sowing seeds as a warning, as a warning witness. He is perfectly able to go ahead and sow that seed, the gospel, to all the world as a witness as it says in 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." (Matthew 24:14)

This he did. In fact if we turn over to Revelation 3:7, we've got to understand something. That he was, in fact, sowing the Word. He sowed it in different ways. In certain ways, he would sow it as we've heard here. It was really strong. He was able to sow it without any problem at all, so that the people who were potential students, people who God had opened their mind to the truth, were able to hear that Word and grow with it. The people of the world who heard that same message, it would go straight over the top of their heads. He also went to Kings. He also went to governments. He talked about the way of give and the way of get which they understood, and a strong hand from someplace that would have to impose His will on mankind. The same message was there, but it was like talking to the world in parables. The same kind of thing that Christ did, entirely. We find here it says:

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word [what is the Word? It's the seed that has been sown], and hast not denied my name." (Revelation 3:7-8)

But tying that up with Matthew 24:14, the gospel of the Kingdom going to all the world as a witness, that has happened. That has happened. The seed has gone ahead and been sown and the seed was sown by Mr Herbert Armstrong. If you turn over to Revelation 10:7, and notice:

"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:7)

So the born sons of God will be born again. Born of water previously, as the begettal through the baptism and impregnation of the Spirit of God at that time, but born of the Spirit at the time of the resurrection. So the focus here of this particular verse is pointing people to the fact that; "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:7). The thing that then leads up to that time, leads up to that first resurrection, or being 'born again' of the Spirit. Revelation 10:8:

"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey." (Revelation 10:8-9)

In other words, the gospel of the Kingdom of God was in his mouth as sweet as honey because of what it portrayed. But in his belly it was bitter. Why? Because it was a fair way off. It wasn't just about to happen. It was a little while away. Revelation 10:10:

"And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up..."

This was the message going to Israel. Ezekiel 3:3:

"And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them." (Ezekiel 3:3-4)

This was the message going to Israel from the one sent, the apostle sent, with that message. Revelation 10:10:

"...and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter [so that, in fact, was what took place]. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (Revelation 10:10-11)

That also happened. He went before all these world leaders and he gave the same message, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He didn't give it in the words that he gave on 'The World Tomorrow' that was being broadcast; which was also being used by people who were being called and converted by God Himself, by Christ Himself. Because these individuals, he knew that they weren't going to be converted by Christ Himself, but he gave them, the same way as Christ preached, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He did it by parables when he came across people where they couldn't understand. Revelation 11:1:

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

You need to measure the people of God. What is he measuring them for? What are we talking about? We are talking about when; "...the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished..." (Revelation 10:7). Being born again, being born of the Spirit, the Spirit born sons of God into the very Kingdom of God.

Christ came proclaiming and preaching the Kingdom of God. He came to announce the future establishment of the Kingdom of God, but He is also teaching that prophetic good news, the gospel, to His chosen future apostles as well. Here, we see a measuring of the temple. A measuring of the temple of God and the altar and them that worship therein. Revelation 11:2:

"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (Revelation 11:2-3)

So between Mr Armstrong's death, and Mr Armstrong preaching to all nations and people and tongues and kings, and the rising of the two witnesses, we have the measuring of the temple. That is where we are now.

As it says; "...he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;" (Revelation 3:7). What was it? Because you kept My Word, and you have gone ahead and sown that Word. As the sowers goes out to sow, some will go on stony ground, some will go on good ground. The sowing of that Word is crucial. In the Holy Days, what's it about? It's about harvests. It is about sowing that Word so that a harvest will come. When do you harvest? It's at the Day of Trumpets, it's the time of the First Resurrection.

If we go back to Isaiah 27:13, which sets the scene as to when this particular section of scripture is going to take place. So the prophetic fulfillment of this scripture is, as it says:

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the [Eternal] in the holy mount at Jerusalem." (Isaiah 27:13)

Isaiah 28:1 continues:

"Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower..." (Isaiah 28:1)

So when was it? It's the time of the last trump. The time the trumpet shall be blown, the Day of The Eternal. It talks in Isaiah 27:1 about how leviathan, the piercing serpent, is going to be bound. He is going to be taken care of at that particular time. But I want you to notice in Isaiah 28:5:

"In that day shall the [Eternal] of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate." (Isaiah 28:5-6)

Now I have gone through this passage before, but I think it's worth going through it again because I want to highlight something else towards the end of the passage. Turning the battle to the gate, in the context of what we are talking about here in Isaiah 28. In the world tomorrow if false ideas arise, we are going to have to go ahead and deal with those false ideas and track it down and take it right to the source of those false ideas. These individuals are necessary. Isaiah 28:5:

"In that day shall the [Eternal] of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people [the residue there are being measured currently to be that temple], And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate [the ones that are going to track those individuals down, and establish the Word of God and the Kingdom of God, as Spirit born sons of God]. But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment [we have lived through apostasy, we have seen the apostasy at work]. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." (Isaiah 28:5-8)

It is like having a table full of food that somebody has vomited over and you have got to pick the food out of it to try and eat. It is abhorrent, it's vile, it's horrendous. Yet, that is what we found. We have found that people have gone ahead and had their own ideas and spewed their ideas out over all the truth. Then we have got to go back to the basics and get that truth back again, so that we can take the battle to the gate in the future. So that we can take the truth and make sure we hold onto that truth. Isaiah 28:9:

"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine [true teaching, the kind of teaching that will be able to take that battle to the gate in the future]? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." (Isaiah 28:9)

As it says; "...ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God..." (Hebrews 5:12-14). Unfortunately that, in fact, is the case today in so many instances. People need to be taught the first principles. Isaiah 28:10:

"For precept must be upon precept..." (Isaiah 28:10)

It is interesting, again, the apostasy attacked this with vehemence, they attacked it with vehemence saying; "Oh, it's just about a drunken stupor. You have to go back to the original Hebrew and understand it. It's just drunken words, that's all it is, nothing else." No it's not. It is how you understand the Word of God. Remember, it is the Word that is sown. The Word is sown by the sower that goes forth to sow, and the Word is sown. Isaiah 28:

"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the [Eternal] was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." (Isaiah 28:10-13)

To them it was just like drunken wording, that's all. If they understood the Word, if they had the Word of God and put the right understanding and revelation to it, it wouldn't be just unintelligible dribble. Notice Isaiah 28:14 says:

"Wherefore hear the word of the [Eternal], ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 28:14)

As I have said many times, when we are looking at the Book of Isaiah particularly; when we look at Zion there is the true Church. When we are looking at Jerusalem and Judea, you are looking at people that are on the peripheries of the true Church. When you are looking at Israel, you are looking at the physical Israelites. Isaiah 28:15:

"Because ye have said [the Word of the Eternal, the Word that is sown, the Word that we have just been reading about; "...ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 28:14), the peripheries of the true Church], We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:" (Isaiah 28:15)

So the Word that comes from them is NOT pure, it is not pure. Isaiah 28:16:

"Therefore thus saith the Lord [Eternal], Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not [flee in confusion, probably better translated] Judgment also [true judgment, because he was talking about that, about judgment, the spirit of judgment and for strength for those that turn the battle at the gate] will I lay to the line [remember what we read in Revelation about measuring the temple], and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail [hail is one of the last plagues of God in the end of this world] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28:16-18)

In other words, you will go into tribulation. Isaiah 28:19:

"From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the [Eternal] shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon..." (Isaiah 28:19-21)

Now Mount Perazim is where David went ahead and took the images of Baal and burned them. It was actually called Baalperazim by David. David burned the images of Baal. Who is Baal? Baal is lord. We find it in Protestant circles to this day. II Samuel 5:20-21:

"And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them." (II Samuel 5:20 and 21)

The Valley of Gibeon was Joshua's long day. What actually happened in Joshua's long day? Who in fact killed the most? Well it was hail that killed the most. Joshua 10:10:

"And the Lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." (Joshua 10:10-11)

But in Isaiah 28:17, what does it say?

"Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies... [The final plagues will take place, verse 21] For the Eternal shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the [Eternal] God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. (Isaiah 28:17,21-23)

My words, in other words. What is it talking about? It is talking about sowing. Sowing the words of God. Listened to what the words of God has to say. What is the Word of God? Isaiah 28:24:

"Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?" (Isaiah 28:24-25)

Is that what He is going to be doing all the time? Is He constantly plowing and doing nothing else? Constantly sowing and doing nothing else? Where do we find ourselves today? We find ourself where the temple is being measured. We are being judged. We find ourselves just before the return of Christ. Just before the three and one half year period of the tribulation. We find ourselves just before the harvest time. So you are not going out and sowing, and sowing, and sowing, and sowing. What are you sowing for? You are sowing for the harvest. You are sowing for the ultimate harvest. Here, when you are looking at this particular passage, it says; "Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?" (Isaiah 28:24). Is that all he is doing? He has to therefore sow, he sows specific seeds in different places. Isaiah 28:26:

"For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:26)

Why is He teaching him, for what? For the eventual harvest. What is the eventual harvest? Isaiah 28:27:

"For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod." (Isaiah 28:27)

Cummin is a little tiny seed, a tiny, tiny seed. It is like a seed of herbs. You get a few herbs, and you just very very gently shake them so they don't fall out. You put them in, in the way you treat bread wheat and you will completely destroy that seed. To get the bread wheat out of the ear, you have to have a cart wheeled over the stalks, and this is what he is saying. Each one has a different method of harvesting. God has got to determine that. How is He determining it? Well He is determining it by measuring the temple. He is measuring the temple, as it says over in Revelation 11:1. That is the time that we're in. Isaiah 28:28:

Bread corn is bruised; it's bruised because it's driven over with a cart, otherwise you would spend your time beating on it and nothing would come out. What's he talking about? He's talking about the end time. He's talking about the trump of God. He is talking about our time now. He is talking about the harvest that is necessary. You know; "he that openeth, and no man shutteth [yes, but]; and shutteth, and no man openeth;" (Revelation 3:7). Why? Because He is focusing in on the harvest. He is not focusing in on the sowing. The sowing has been done. The Word has gone out. It wasn't just token visits as some people say to try and pull the wool over other people's eyes with. Isaiah 28:28:

"Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the [Eternal] of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Isaiah 28:28-29)

So apply this to today, as far as preaching the Kingdom of God. Now is the time of the harvest of that preaching. That preaching has already gone out. We still listen to the words of the apostle that was sent at this end time. We listen to the words of the apostle that was sent as the little book that was in his mouth sweet and his belly bitter.

But you know; he also went before Kings and preached that gospel, the way of give and get, which was part of the gospel of God. Just as Christ was able to preach to the multitudes in parables. But to the apostles, the disciples, He preached giving them understanding.

Turn back to John 3:2, because when we look here and find Nicodemus not understanding these things, not really comprehending and Christ had to say to him:

"The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God [you have been anointed by God, the Spirit of God is there]: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him [that's the only way that this could be possibly true, is that He was the Messiah; but they missed the point]. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot [even] see the kingdom of God [you have got to be born again, as it says in verse 5]. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:2-5)

You have got to be baptized and start a new life with the begettal of the Spirit that then has got to come to its fruition, and then it has to be harvested. The Word working with that mind, that mind that is being opened. It goes on in this section in John 3:12:

"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? [He is talking like this to Nicodemus] And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven [at that particular time that John was writing, He was in heaven]. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:12-15)

That fact that He needs to die and pay the penalty of sin, that was also one of the reasons why Jesus came, and that is what we will look at next week.