Atricle based on a Sermon given 5 May 2018

A Tale of Two Temples

by Ian Henderson

(PLAY FROM START)

Well greetings everyone, for all of you who want a title, I think we could call it; 'A Tale of Two Temples'.

What I would like to do today is look at the subject of the temple. It is coming up now; a lot of people are talking about it in the greater Church, about spiritual temples and physical temples and all the rest of it. I thought we would have a look at the subject because it is very important that we actually look at it.

First off, I think the first thing we have got to do is establish where we come from. Where does truth come from? Turn to Revelation 1:1, one of the more obvious scriptures to go to, notice the wording here:

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" (Revelation 1:1)

So truth comes from God the Father; God the Father, gives it to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ then passes it on to His apostles, and the apostles then pass that truth onto the Church. Now turn to John 5:19. I know this is basic but I want to set the ground rules here so that we know from whence we speak:

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5:19)

In other words Christ follows exactly what His Father wants Him to do. Turn on to John 15:5, a little bit here that actually affects us:

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

We need to let that sink in, don't we? Without Jesus Christ living in us, we can do nothing! Now turn to Luke 10:16 There is a verse here which when you really go into it, is exceedingly important. This is what Christ said to His apostles; and this of course would apply equally well to His end-time apostle:

"He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me." (Luke 10:16)

That is pretty clear. Now if you turn to Acts 5:30, I would like to show you something else here. This is, of course, after they had received the Holy Spirit and Peter was doing 'the work'. Here he is speaking to the leaders of the day and pointing out one or two very important points to them, and he ends up by saying:

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him [that is the key point]. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them." (Act 5:30-33)

Why? Because they were carnal! You know Romans 8:7 well:

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)

Enmity is hostile, full of hatred. Now the key to the whole thing from our point of view is our spiritual heritage! So turn to II Peter 1:19:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy [remember that that word prophecy is, forth telling; yes, it is forth telling the future, but it is also preaching, it is also preaching knowledge]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [Mr Armstrong always said, the Bible interprets the Bible]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:19-21)

Now straight into II Peter 2:1 - there is no break in the original letter:

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways..." (II Peter 2:1-2)

Not a few - many. II Peter 2:19:

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (II Peter 2:19-22)

And that is quoted from, partly; "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly [or his foolishness]." (Proverbs 26:11). This is why we are exhorted by Jesus Christ to; "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11). It is so important that we hang on to what we were told in the beginning. Now in 'Just What is an Apostle?' booklet that Mr Bowles writes here:

"This 'Way of Life' is also our spiritual heritage..." ('Just What is An Apostle?' chapter 10)

It is the way of life that we were given.

"It was The Way the apostles taught when the early church "... they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship..." (Acts 2:42). It was also 'The Way' taught to us by the end-time apostle – Mr Herbert W Armstrong – under the inspiration of the very same Spirit of God." ('Just What is An Apostle?' chapter 10)

"When Mr Armstrong was alive, that link was through God's apostle. Today, though the individual apostle is dead, we must still place ourselves beneath the identical administration – if we are to remain under the identical Government of God [and here is the quote that should ring in everybody's ears]. Any leader over us has no right to change that spiritual heritage over him. 'The Way' never changes. How ironic therefore, that at the end-time, Christ is depicted as standing outside the Laodicean Church knocking! (Rev 3:20)." ('Just What is An Apostle?' chapter 10)

The key point here is, understanding the spiritual heritage demands the Holy Spirit; because without the Holy Spirit you can't get it. That is what Acts 5:32 says:

"But God only gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him!" (Acts 5:32 paraphrased)

Continuing with the Apostleship booklet here in chapter 11:

"All others who are disobedient to that heritage make themselves "...grievous wolves...speaking perverse things..." (Acts 20:29-30) as "...false apostles..." (II Corinthians 11:13) and should be avoided by God’s True people (Rom 16:17)." ('Just What is An Apostle?' chapter 11)

Now false doctrine is not new, it started right at the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, didn't it? God gave Adam and Eve His Law. He must have given them His Law. I have heard people discussing this; but then Cain slew Abel, and it was murder, if there was no law against murder, then it wouldn't have been a problem. If there is no law, there is no sin. They had the Law. God wouldn't have created Adam and Eve and not given them knowledge. But Satan came along and said; "Oh, God, He is having you on here. This isn't right. You are not going to die. Don't be so stupid, He is trying to stop you getting power, real power. You can make your own decisions." (Genesis 3:1-5 paraphrased). We all know the story, and they fell for it. And it has continued ever since. Twenty years after the first Pentecost, Paul had the problem in Galatia. If you turn to Galatians 1:6, again a scripture you are pretty familiar with:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-8)

That word 'accursed' is Strong's 331, 'anathema', which means excommunicated, or expelled from the Church. Now turn to Acts 20:17, there is another piece of information here that helps. This is the apostle Paul obviously and here and he says:

"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church." (Acts 20 :17)

So this is a message to the ministry at that time in Ephesus. Acts 20:27:

"For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood [food in due season]. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (Act 20:27-31)

Three solid years Paul was at this. Three solid years fighting this problem; this was serious. There is another scripture writing to Timothy; "...all they which are in Asia be turned away from me..." (II Timothy 1:15). All, all gone; the whole area, horrible. It was a serious problem. The apostle Peter also warned, turn to II Peter 2:3. This is one of the reasons why it is happening:

"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (II Peter 2:3)

That word 'feigned', Strong's 4112, means artificial, it means fictitious, stories people are believing. So nothing has really changed as it?

So Called 'New Truths' (PLAY FROM 12:43)

The Church of God 2018, here we are the greater Church. Here are just a few of the ideas and 'new doctrines' being taught by various groups; and they are not part of our spiritual heritage! This is where the problem comes in.

"We are 'living stones in the temple of God' so we are qualified to decide doctrine for ourselves." That kind of sounds a little bit like the Garden of Eden? Satan said to them, you can make the laws. That is your prerogative. You don't want to believe God. You wonder where it comes from.

"It's okay to keep birthdays and pagan holidays; because you don't want to offend people. You don't want to appear to be peculiar." What does God call us? He calls us; "...a peculiar people..." (I Peter 2:9).

"God does not promise a place of safety." I was quite sure I read something about that in Revelation 12 and a few other places?

"No Church eras down through the centuries says Revelation 2 and 3. Just a group of congregations in Asia Minor, during first century AD." That blots a whole stack of scripture out doesn't it?

"The World Tomorrow programmes were just for the unconverted world, not Church members." We have just listened to a World Tomorrow programme. Do you really think that is to the world? I think it is more applicable to the Church today than ever before. That is why we listen to them. It is quite amazing some of these broadcasts are 30 and 40 years old; they are right bang up to date.

" 'Prediction Addiction'; Mr Armstrong used prophecy as a hook to snag listeners to The World Tomorrow programme and it is not important to the Church today." So the Berlin wall falls down and we don't really care. Germany rearms and we don't really care and so forth, and so forth and so on.

"God is not a family, God is a trinity." Like - hello?

"Mr Armstrong did not claim to be the Elijah to come and how could he claim to be an apostle." You know, you almost want to laugh at this.

"It's our civic duty to participate in worldly politics."

"Doctrines put into the Church by committee of senior ministers." That actually overwhelms me because you know; all those senior ministers, they were all trained by Mr Armstrong and the doctrines were set in the Church before they were trained in most cases.

"We reserve the right to adjust/amend the doctrines of the Church as we grow in grace and knowledge." Oh boy - read the scripture. It doesn't say that, it is says; "...grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..." (II Peter 3:18). We have to grow in the knowledge of Christ, not go around with new ideas.

"Tithing no longer commanded; 'just give as you are able'. But please keep giving because we need the money."

"Mr Armstrong did not restore truth to the Church. This or that group in South America, Eastern Europe or China all observed different parts of the nineteen truths." Interesting?

"Mr Armstrong emphasized God the Father and diminished the role of Jesus Christ; we are just redressing the balance." Doesn't that sound good? "Look how great we are. We are sorting it out."

"Jesus Christ was not the God of the Old Testament." This is real; people are preaching this stuff as we sit here today. This stuff is being preached throughout the greater Church.

"The Exodus under Moses was just a few thousand not millions!" The Bible clearly states that there were; "...about six hundred thousand on foot that were men [indicating they were men of military age, which I believe is 20 to 50 or thereabouts], beside [women and] children." (Exodus 12:37).

"Unless you belong to a particular splinter group and acknowledge the primacy of their human leader, you are apostate." Which makes a mockery of the whole thing because if everybody feels the same way, then the whole lot is going to be wrong; depending from which group you are looking at everybody else is wrong. Therefore everybody is wrong. Except the people that are sticking to the spiritual heritage that we were given; that was probably given Adam and Eve in the very beginning.

"The meaning of Passover changed, there is no physical sin, there is no bread, the bread is of no importance. Hence no promise of healing." So please go to your doctor and don't get me out of bed because you want an anointed cloth.

"To prevent the abuse of one man rule, we need some form of voting or Presbyterian system, all ministers of equal rank." Where do you get that in the Bible?

"God has placed Mr Trump in office to put things right!" God put Mr Trump in office to stir up end time events! Think about what he is doing. What he is doing has got a lot of right in it, because America has been taken advantage of by other nations. America has been 'sold down the Swanee' by previous administrations, but the problem now is so vast.

The Physical Temple (PLAY FROM 18:00)

And here is the Lulu: recently the need for a physical temple before the return of Christ is being pushed by several groups; and that is what I want to discuss today.

This is just another; 'My Lord delays his coming' idea; Christ cannot come until a Temple is built, Christ can't come until this, Christ can't come until that. Who are we to set this? It is set in the Bible that is not our job. The Bible says no such thing!

Now, I want to make it quite clear here that I am not attacking the individuals concerned. We are not to beat our brethren across the head, because they are our brethren, whether in the Laodicean Church or not. Or they are thinking like the Laodicean Church or not. But it is interesting the context of that scripture is speaking about meat in due season. And that is what we are going to be looking at today. The idea goes completely against what the Bible teaches.

Now I got my wife to transcribe this little video, it is only about seven or eight minutes long. So what I am going to do is read from the transcript and then we will have a look at what the truth is. It starts off by asking some questions

"Will there be a third temple prior to the return of Jesus Christ? Will there be animal sacrifices and temple worship services prior to the return of Jesus Christ? And if so, what will all of this do in as far as world news and world events is concerned?"

Plausible questions; then, we start with a highly questionable statement:

"Support for the rebuilding of a temple on the Temple Mount is now a global phenomenon that is transcending political and religious boundaries."

That is just not so. There is a very small group in Israel pushing for a third temple, and it does have limited support around the world, and some wealthy donors. But - 'a global phenomenon that is transcending political and religious boundaries'? That's a little bit of a gross exaggeration! Next a assessment of the present situation:

"Everything except the third temple is already in place. Everything that needs to be put in the third temple is already in place. There is already blueprint for the third temple, and they say it won't take longer than six months to build the third temple once the green light is given."

Now this is interesting; that is basically, sort of right, basically right. They have an altar ready, it doesn't even mention that. They have an altar ready, which is portable, so it can be assembled within 24 hours. So from the time the decision is made, within 24 hours, the first sacrifice can be being offered.

"Back in 2008, The Temple Institute said; 'They were pleased to announce that production of 120 sets of linen garments for lay priests is presently underway.' These are now complete, including the High priest's breastplate. That part of it is all in place."

"The Temple Institute, which is totally dedicated to this task: has called upon Israel's finest craftsmen and artisans, and enlisted them in the historical task of recreating the sacred vessels and vestments...[which] are all fit and ready for use in the Holy Third Temple, may it be built speedily, and in our days!" (http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery.htm)

So The Temple Institute is obviously pushing this and they have got quite a bit of money behind them. A while back they produced, the large Menorah, the candlestick, the seven branched candlestick for the temple. It is solid gold, which cost a fortune.

"Over $100,000 has been raised for the project's plans already, plus an additional 'crowd funding campaign' for $120,000 for the conception and rearing of the red heifer necessary for the ritual cleansing.

That is something that goes back into Old Testament times; you had to have the ashes of a red heifer. They are doing that now. They are trying to breed those cattle now.

"Having already prepared over 70 sacred vessels including the golden menorah and High Priest's gemstone-encrusted breastplate, now is the time to fulfil the commandment of the Red Heifer." (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197996)

So it is ready there, he is right. It is all in place. However, there is a small problem, in fact there is a massive problem. You might have noticed that the Temple Mount is occupied by the Muslims – any attempt to clear the Mosques and build a temple would start instant war!

However, in the last few years, some religious Jews have been keeping the Passover – complete with the sacrificial lamb. Over the last few years, the site chosen has been getting nearer and nearer to the Wailing Wall – this year, it was literally within a few hundred yards of the Wailing Wall; and given official sanction by the Israeli government.

Now we get to the bit where things start to get a little bit acquisitive. This is now back to the transcript:

"I realise that some 'Biblical' scholars are telling us that there is not going to be a third temple. Every time it talks about the temple in the future just prior to Christ's return, it is talking about the Church. This is totally wrong. They say there are two different words. One talks about the physical temple and one talks about the spiritual temple – the Church. Totally wrong; because the words that refer to the spiritual temple do refer to the physical temple as well. So they can deceive you as much as you want and I hope you understand the fact that they are trying to deceive you; because the Bible makes it very clear that there is going to be a third temple."

Why? Because I said it! His true colours are revealed. This is a very, very thinly disguised attack on God's end time apostle: Mr Armstrong and his teaching; accusing him of deceiving the people. While he alone has the truth, or at least, his version of the truth! I can only repeat Luke 10:16:

"He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me." (Luke 10:16)

That is pretty serious. That makes it clear! Christ is coming to a Spiritual Temple. Here is what God's apostle was inspired to teach:

"God calls His Church the Body of Christ. In this case the word body is used in the sense of a cohesive single GROUP – a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM. We are 'the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord' (Ephesians 2:19-21)."

"So we are a body of Spirit-begotten people – we are a building, and we are a holy temple! And all that one body is 'fitly joined together and compacted [welded] by that which every joint supplieth' (Ephesians 4:16)." 'How Conspiracy Worked'

If you think about when they built a building, especially back in those days and they built some pretty amazing buildings; but they always started with the cornerstone. From the cornerstone they measured out the foundations. The foundations had to be level, true and square. And on top of that went the building. As long as you are building on the foundation then you are solid. It is an interesting fact, today, the churches today, the great abbeys, Westminster Abbey and all the rest of it. These huge buildings have literally no foundations; literally no foundations. In fact, over the years, several of them have had collapses. Just a small point.

Spiritual Temple (PLAY FROM 25:53)

This is a quote from Zerubbabel's Temple a sermon Mr Armstrong gave in 1978:

"THIS BUILDING IS BEING BUILT BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD! Not by might and power. Not by brick, and mortar, and wood, and plaster, and other physical materials; but by the Spirit of God!" 'Zerubbabel’s Temple'

That's how the temple is being built. Now this is a quote from a Good News 'Personal' in April 1979. He says:

"I have said through the years, over the air and in print and before audiences, 'Don’t believe me because I say it – look in your own Bible and believe what you find there!' " Good News Personal April 1979'

That is a terrific challenge isn't it. So let's do it. I Corinthians 3:16: I hope there is some children out there listening, because you know, you can understand this. This is so basic and so simple; that if you can basically read a little bit and write a little bit and have a little bit of understanding, you can get this. It is just not complicated. I Corinthians 3:16:

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16)

How simple is that, how straight forward is that, how uncomplicated is that? How can you go against that? I Corinthians 3:17:

"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (I Corinthians 3:17).

Pretty obvious. Drop down to I Corinthians 6:19: This is in such basic language too, no really fancy Greek words here that people can argue over:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (I Corinthians 6:19)

Interesting in the World Tomorrow broadcast, it mentioned about the people going up to the altar; "Give your heart to the Lord," He doesn't want your heart, He wants you. He wants every one of us, totally, one-hundred percent. Why? Because He owns us, He owns us, He died for us. You are not your own. Let's go to II Corinthians 6:16:

"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (II Corinthians 6:16)

And He dwells in us by the power of that Holy Spirit. Is there anything simpler, straight forward and uncluttered than that? One final scripture here, Ephesians 2:21, as we read from Mr Armstrong earlier:

"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:" (Ephesians 2:21)

Two Words (PLAY FROM 29:31)

A Holy Temple; does anybody have any queries on that? Can anybody question this? And yet, let's look at the two words. There are two words, two mysterious words.

Transcript: "They say there are two different words. One talks about the physical temple and one talks about the spiritual temple – the Church."

Well; there are two different Greek words translated 'temple' in the New Testament. The first one, if you collect the Strong's number is 2411 it means a sacred place, the entire precincts of the temple itself. The second one is Strong's 3485 which means that part of the temple where God Himself resides. In other words, the one refers to the whole temple within the walls, the whole precinct, and this is talking about the Holy of Holies.

There is no mystery about this. It is dead simple to understand. I will give you two examples. Turn to Matthew 21:12. This is when Christ went into the temple and cast out the money changers.

"And Jesus went into the temple [2411] of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple [2411]..." (Matthew 21:12).

Which is the temple precincts. So He went into the whole area and cleared the whole lot out. If you turn to I Corinthians 3:16:

"Know ye not that ye are the temple [3485] of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).

That temple is 3485, which is the Holy of Holies. Surprising? The two words accentuate the true meaning of the word 'temple'. There are two words, yes, there are. If it was talking about the holy of Holies it would also use 3485. On a spiritual basis of course, God dwells in the Holy of Holies. We are holy, doesn't it say that? We are holy. We have got to be holy, because God dwells in us.

The Man of Sin (PLAY FROM 31:54)

Now there is another little interesting bit here now. This is from the transcript:

"There are many prophecies talking about a third temple – a physical temple in Jerusalem. It talks about the man of sin standing in the temple of God in Jerusalem, proclaiming to be God. This can't be talking about the true church of God because that would be absolutely nonsense. It is talking about a physical temple."

There is a small problem here. The scripture actually reads and this is II Thessalonians 2:4. Let's just turn there, let's just read this because, one of the reasons I am doing this is, we all come in to contact with things from time to time, and some of it can look very convincing. You have got to read very, very carefully, because the little twists and so on are very, very subtle. This one, actually, is not too bad, it is pretty obvious; the scripture reads, talking about the man of sin:

"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:4)

Did you see what I missed out? Or what he added in? He said it talks about the 'man of sin' standing in the temple of God 'in Jerusalem' - 'in Jerusalem.' You see that then puts the man of sin in a physical temple in Jerusalem, which is not what the Bible says; it's not what the Bible says.

Mr Armstrong says in his sermon 'Foundation of a New World' 31 December 1983:

"And you, brethren – and I’d like to include myself with you – are that temple to which Christ is coming. Some people think the Jews are going to build a new temple for Christ. The Jews reject Christ. They’re not going to build the temple for Him to come to [notice carefully the words – he does not say they are not going to build a third temple in Israel, he says the Jews are not going to build a temple for Christ to come to, and I will show you why in a minute]. But GOD IS BUILDING THAT TEMPLE! And you and me – we, individually – each are the temple of the Holy Spirit; and as a collective body we are the temple of God in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ the ROCK is the chief corner stone, or the foundation on which we are built." 'Foundation of a New World'

It talks about the man of sin in the transcript standing in the temple of God 'in Jerusalem'; but how does Mr Armstrong explain this man of sin? First of all, there as been a kind of fulfilment of this hasn't there? Mr Tkach stood in the temple of God, in the Church of God. He didn't necessarily say; "I am God." But he changed God's Law and only God could ever do anything like that. But He wouldn't would He? He would never change His Law; His law has always been the same. He took it on himself to change God's Law, so he was taking over as a prerogative. And you know what, 40 weeks to the day, he was dead! Very dead; to the day, 40 weeks later. But we are talking now about this scripture at the end time. This is what Mr Armstrong says in 'Who and What is the Prophetic Beast? - part one':

"...As God, he sits in a temple claimed to be the temple of God, showing himself to deceive people into accepting him as God..." 'Who or What Is The Prophetic Beast? – part one'

Now, if we understand how the Roman Catholic Church works, that shouldn't shock us - no surprise to those who understand. The Roman Catholic Church preaches that IT is the Kingdom of God. Now quite how it works that out, because the thousand years comes into this, and they have been going for seventeen hundred years, so they kind of got their timings wrong a bit as well. They believe that the Pope substitutes for, or takes the place of Christ; 'vicar' means in place of. Even being referred to as 'the holy father'; the name that God reserves for Himself! That is just a small point. You will often see in the News [Pope] in brackets. I refuse to put 'holy father' in there. I don't care what anybody says. That's not to be there. It does not go. Matthew 23:9:

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Matthew 23:9)

That is a title that God reserves for Himself. And if you think, it might sound rather strange; we have 'king, we have 'emperor', we have 'lord', we have all these names that can refer to people in high places. But 'father'? You see it is a very intimate, personal relationship. In the New Testament, we have that scripture which says; "...Abba, Father..." (Mark 14:36). That is like 'Dad', it is as personal as you can get. That is what God is getting across with that. It is a personal relationship. But of course, you discount marriage, you get rid of father. One member, one of her grandchildren mentioned to her that at school now, they have a book and the little girl had two Mummies.

You know, it is interesting when you go back in the Book of Isaiah. There is so much there that expresses what is in the New Testament; the ideas that come across in the New Testament. Isaiah 46:8 gives you some idea, what Christ and the Father think and want to get across to people:

"Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old [what did Jude say; "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3) ]: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me [and what does He do?], Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:8-10)

Remember in Jude, it mentions about Enoch understanding that Christ was going to come with tens of thousands of His saints. The Second Coming of Christ was known about before the flood, before He came the first time. The plan of God has not changed. That is why people today in the Church need to be careful what they are preaching. It is not our job to change things; it is our job to preach what we were taught.

One of the main attributes of the Philadelphian Church is that they have kept the word of God, and not denied His name, or to use the correct word, have not denied His authority! His authority; that is the key. As He says; "...I am God, and there is none like me," (Isaiah 46:9). They would also earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, going back remembering the former things. They would hold fast to that truth. (Revelation 3:11) They would preserve that truth – that 'Way' - that Spiritual heritage.

Trodden Down by Gentiles (PLAY FROM 39:58)

Now, here we go, another bit of the transcript and again listen up very, very carefully. Quote:

"Many scriptures talk about the certain courts belonging to the temple are given to the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. And the temple is to be measured. That is at the time when the two witnesses are in operation. So by the time of the Great Tribulation you will have, or you will see the beginnings of the building of the third temple."

Just a small point here; let us get something straight in our heads, because we know it. This person is a little bit off track with timings. 1290 days, Jerusalem is surrounded by armies and the sacrifices are stopped. 30 days later, the Tribulation starts, so he is talking here about that they are going to start a temple. If they are about to start anything like that, it will stop real quick on the 1290 day mark.

If people are looking for a temple, then they are wasting their time. The Bible does not tell us to look for a temple. The sacrifices are going to be stopped, so they are going to start at some stage of the game. That is what it tells us.

And yet again he misquotes. He says; "certain courts belonging to the temple are trodden down." Well turn to Luke 21:24:

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem [Jerusalem] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

It's Jerusalem that is trodden down – not 'certain courts belonging to the Temple'. Again he has got this idea of a physical temple, therefore, he has got to twist his ideas around to suit what he is trying to promote. This is the danger we have got to watch for. What people say, and analyse it in the light of what we were taught. We have the truth. Oh; we are going to learn a few things as we go along, but anything we learn will fit within that building and upon that foundation. If it doesn't, you just throw it away. Don't get involved.

The Bible says, Jerusalem shall be trodden down and this particular gentleman is talking about certain courts belonging to the Gentiles, to the temple being trodden down, to prove what he is saying. We should always give the scripture and give an explanation of it as opposed to giving an idea and then tagging a scripture on to it to prove what we are saying. Like the one about; 'growing in grace, and knowledge -' stop! "...grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..." (II Peter 3:18). That is the whole thing.

Measuring the Temple (PLAY FROM 43:15)

Measuring the Temple. Well first off; if this is a physical temple he is talking about, why bother? You have got the plans! The dimensions are all in it. You can have a look at the plans. Ridiculous isn't it. 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)

Well, there is Mr Bowles down there and he is six foot two! Is that what he is talking about? It is talking about spiritually. It is a spiritual temple. How do we measure up? And the timing is just before the Great Tribulation, which is like NOW! It is now. 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 [that is The Great Tribulation, three and a half years; the next event is]. 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)

Another three and one half years. Judgement is on the Church now, this is the measuring bit. Mr Armstrong calls the sermon; "The Trunk of the Tree." October 1983:

"Judgement is now on the Church, you read in I Peter 4:17. We are being judged now. The world and angels are to be judged by us" 'The Trunk of the Tree.'

Is that not a little bit like when you do anything for the first time in the Church? The first time you give a sermonette, first time you do song-leading? How do you feel? How are you going to feel judging angels? But you know, how do we judge them? We judge that out of here, the Book, it is all here. It is all there. It mentions that in Malachi there. Malachi 3:18:

"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:18)

That is what we are about. Do they keep the Sabbath? Do they keep the Holy Days? Are they tithing? Do they believe that marriage is sacrosanct? That it is not an idea of man; it is what God created for a wonderful reason; and so on and so forth. Then he goes into I Peter 4:17:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17)

Well the end is quite simple. If we are not living it now, we aren't going to be teachers. How can you teach something if you are not living it? Take a very simple example: you tell your child; "Don't put your hands too close to the fire, because if you do you will burn yourself." Have we not burnt ourselves at some stage? We have got the experience, we know.

It is very convincing. The other night I was watching the snooker on the TV. The World Championships and they had Stephen Hendry on as one of the commentators. And he was saying; that what he needs to do now is this or that. That is bang on. Why? Because Stephen Hendry has won the World Championships, I think seven times. He knows snooker, inside out and backwards. He is brilliant, even today he still plays a pretty good game. He has got the experience, and then you can teach. Then you can teach.

Our experience is in this Bible. We are living our lives and what we are basically doing is proving that God is doing what He says He is going to do. God says, you obey me and I will bless you. Oh, there are still trials. God is always there. As Mr Armstrong said; "Judgment is now on the Church." The question is – are we "fit for purpose!" Mr Bowles mentions here in the 'Just What is an Apostle?' booklet:

"As long as each section of the foundation is carefully measured from and aligned with the corner stone, then the resulting walls above those foundations will also be aligned and true. It is only by using this simple process that the unity of a building is preserved. As Paul says, 'in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord' (Eph 2:21)." (Just What is an Apostle?)

I was sitting in the lounge the other day, having a break from preparing this sermon and I looked out of the window. Where we are, we are on the side of a hill. The houses across the road are slightly lower than us, and I just looked and I thought, yes, it is true. If I align on my lounge window and line it up with the roof tiles on one of the bungalows across the street, it is dead straight. Each row of tiles is absolutely plumb on my window line; because those buildings are built using this kind of principle. Today they probably do it with lasers or something but it is the same principle. You have got to get the foundations straight before the building. If the foundation isn't straight the building is not going to work.

If you want an example of that, I put it on the News; in San Francisco they built this tower block. I believe it is about 50 storeys high, and after a few years, somebody, I don't know if it was a joke or what, but they measured it. They suddenly found out it had sunk into the ground, about eighteen inches and the whole building has tipped. It is fourteen inches out of line. Would you like an office in there, on the forty-ninth floor? That would be great, I don't think so. Why? It is built on sand and soft earth. You have to look at that and say, who in their right mind would put a 50 storey building on a sandy soil? Well the Bible says; a foolish man would. And when it rains and it rocks and a little bit of an earthquake, that whole building will topple. Mr Bowles continues:

"The responsibility to carefully align such foundations with the Corner Stone was something not given to the general ministry, but according to this scripture in Ephesians and several others, remained the preserve of apostles" (Just What is an Apostle?)

It is not our job as ministers to start re-measuring things and trying to work out this and that. We have got the foundation and the foundation is solid. In fact the framework of the building is already up. What we do is, we fill in the blocks. But it has to be plumb-line. It has got to be absolutely lined in with that.

"The general ministry, as faithful stewards (I Cor 4:2), were then duty bound to align their own teachings carefully with these foundations – TEACHING ONLY AS THEY HAD BEEN TAUGHT." (Just What is an Apostle)

And why do people go off and have all these crazy ideas, well it is vanity isn't it. It is vanity to get all these people to follow them. And of course, if you have got a church group of a few hundred people all tithing, it is a good business. That is what Peter {1} said, they; "...make merchandise of you..." (II Peter 2:3). The apostle Paul makes this very clear in Ephesians 2:19:

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" (Ephesians 2:19-20)

It is all there and I am willing to bet - of course we don't bet, but as a figure of speech, that maybe we will be given some revelation, but I can guarantee one thing. It will be in this Bible. It will be something we haven't read properly or understood properly or whatever.

It is like Mr Armstrong, he read in the Bible, you will keep my Feast Days, and he just said, "Yes, boss." And he kept the Feast Days for seven years, on his own; he and his wife, the pair of them. And another seven years with a small group. Fourteen years without understanding and then God said; "Okay, I know you are true and faithful." He opened his mind. Opened his mind to what? The entire plan of God as laid out by the Feast Days. That is stunning. Ephesians 2:21:

"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the [Eternal]:" (Ephesians 2:21)

You see that temple has got to be growing, we have to be changing, as Mr Armstrong said in the broadcast today. We have got to be repenting. The ultimate repentance is to change, isn't it? We repent from being physical. Won't that be nice? To have a body that works completely, not have to sleep, not to feel pain. To look at a problem and say; "I can solve that." It will be wonderful to see people going off track and just appear behind them and say; "Excuse me; you don't do it that way, that is not the way we do it."

What Happens if a Physical Temple is Built? (PLAY FROM 53:16)

And here is the crunch: having said all that, what happens if they do build a physical temple? It could happen. It literally could happen. They do have blueprints, and it could be a prefabricated thing. The thing could be thrown up in six months or so.

It won't be the Temple that Jesus Christ is coming to, because as He lands on the Mount of Olives, the whole area is totally destroyed! Turn to Zechariah 14:3. What it says here is hard to take in, but then when you read Revelation, as we will do in a minute you will see, not really:

"Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." (Zechariah 14:3-4)

Nothing, nothing physical is going to survive that - nothing. And it is interesting that Jerusalem is on the Great Rift Valley fault line. If you look at a map and you follow the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, you take it all the way down into Africa, that same fault line goes all the way down, right down to Malawi.

You go up there and there are lakes all the way up on that fault line. Up in the top part, there are huge cracks and chasms in the earth opening up right now. But nobody worries about it, because nobody's living there. In fact they reckon, if things go on for another million years or so that whole part of Africa will split off. Like Madagascar has been ripped away from Africa. Revelation 16:19:

"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before [the Eternal], to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." (Revelation 16:19-20)

Think about what is going to happen. The whole world is going to be shook up. It is going to be re-landscaped. This is a landscaping job the likes nobody has ever thought of. All the mountain ranges lowered. Think about it; 29,000 feet of Mount Everest. You can see how it happened. The whole of India was literally thrust up into Asia, causing that mountain range. You can see the same thing with the Rockies and the Pyrenees. At some stage there was a great mass migration of continents. And it all seems to happen at the same time.

Dr Hoeh speculated that in actual fact, that happened at the Flood. The Flood wasn't just water coming up. The whole world was re-landscaped, completely re-landscaped. One of the first things they did afterwards was they surveyed the whole place. They had to find out what was all there. Dr Hoeh did say that he felt that quite possibly we would have in the Millennium again, one large land mass. It says, the islands are not found. The mountains get lowered, there will still be hills. The land is not going to be a pancake. You need a bit of hills to give it character. But it is all going to be arable; it is all going to be tillable, or at least available for animals.

Having said that, when you drive up here from Carmarthen, and you see some of the hills that are incredibly steep and they are covered in sheep. You just wonder if the legs on one side of the sheep are shorter that the others, so they can stay level while they eat. The whole world will be made to where it is useable. Do you know, we only use about ten-percent of the surface at the moment? The rest is unusable for one reason or another. Look at the Sahara Dessert for instance; you fly over it for about three hours- three hours! When Mr Bowles used to fly down to Nigeria, three hours, that is bigger than Texas; a massive, massive area. Just think of how many people you could settle in an area that big. And there are a lot of other desserts around that are going to be fertile. That is the story for a few months ahead, isn't it.

But what happens when Christ lands in Jerusalem. There is going to be nothing left. The Romans destroyed everything, I think it was about 100 AD when they finally went down there and scrambled Jerusalem completely and turned it into a ploughed field. Nothing left. All these Roman Catholic stories about; 'the way of the cross.' You go down the road there and there are all these things on the wall, 'this is where Jesus walked with the cross.' That is a lot of bunkum because there was nothing there. Nothing survived that period of time.

So if they build a temple, when Christ hits the ground, there will be nothing left of it. There is going to be a temple; you read about that in Ezekiel 41. Go down to Zechariah 14:5:

"And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." (Zechariah 14:5)

See, the same story to Zechariah; "...Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." (Zechariah 14:5).

"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea [so some will go out towards the Mediterranean and some to the Dead Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain [think of that, Jerusalem is quite hilly] from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses." (Zechariah 14:8-10)

Geba is between 5 to 6 miles north of Jerusalem, Rimmon is 34 to 35 miles south of Jerusalem. This is a plateau approx 40 miles long and probably 15 to 20 miles wide. And the land will raise up and it will be flat. And right at the one end will be the temple with the water coming out. And the rest of that looks very much like being the City of Jerusalem. Bearing in mind that will be the capital of the whole Earth!

Sacrifices Without a Temple (PLAY FROM 1:00:37)

Now the transcript ends with a measure of truth – and a measure of error. Quote:

"The animal sacrifices will be given. Then of course, the King of the North says, and he is also called the Beast, and the King of Assyria, new modern dictator, this leader in Europe, of German or Austrian descent. He will come in to stop the animal sacrifices. All of this is clearly prophesied."

Okay yes, there will be a leader, King of the North who will probably be an Assyrian. Because that it what the Bible calls him. But he needn't necessarily be from Germany. I am not saying Mr Trump is the Beast, but he is an Assyrian. There are lots of Assyrians. There are 80 million people in America who claim decent from Germans, believe it or not. That is just in America. They are all over Europe. Hitler wasn't a German, he was Austrian. So we wait and see. We will know him by his works. That is what Christ told us. If you want to judge anybody look at what they are doing.

Pastor General's Report – November 20, 1979. And if you haven't ever read that Pastor General's Report, I suggest you do. There is information in this you will find nowhere else. This is one small section:

"Many of us are being tried and tested as NEVER BEFORE – and for our own good!"

But, verse 11 [this is talking about Daniel 12], 'from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away...' Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice – possibly at the wailing wall. The indication is the armies of the 'beast' of Revelation 17, entering Jerusalem (Dan. 11:41, Zech. 14:2), will stop this daily sacrifice. '...And the abomination that maketh desolate set up.' What is this abomination?" 'The Time We Are In, Now.'

Which we understand from Luke 21 is the actual army. A statue does not make desolate - an army does. Then he concludes the transcript:

"The fact is that the third temple is going to be built, and don't you be deceived by those deceivers who tell you it is not the case. It is going to be built and this booklet [he has produced a booklet on this now] in great detail talks about the many, many scriptures which make it very clear that we will have a third temple – a physical temple which is going to be built prior to the return of Jesus Christ. And when that happens you know that the return of Jesus Christ is very, very near."

Sounds very good. Sounds very exciting: totally wrong. What do we teach? What are we actually talking about? It's all about a physical temple. We are a spiritual temple. Christ is returning to a spiritual temple. He already dwells in that spiritual temple.

What he is saying is that we must wait for the temple to be built before we do anything. The Bible says no such thing! We will see the sacrifices stopped - BUT THERE IS NO MENTION OF A TEMPLE. This is another version of; "MY LORD DELAYS HIS COMING"! In other words; we can't flee, we can't do anything until there is a temple. So everything, we can have a financial thing, we can have German massing armies ready to go down to the Middle East. But we can't do anything because there is no temple. Do you see the danger of that? You get left behind. And if you get left behind, where are you? You are in the Laodicean Church. These things are very, very important.

The lesson of history here; the Bible tells us that the daily sacrifices will be stopped but there is no mention of a Temple. Now at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Jews went back to rebuild the Temple, the first thing they did was to start the daily sacrifices. It is interesting because they started at the Feast of Trumpets. Turn to Ezra 3:1:

"And when the seventh month was come [first day of that is Trumpets], and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month [Feast of Trumpets] began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid." (Ezra 3:1-6)

They were sacrificing and they hadn't even started to lay the foundation of the temple. So it is pretty obvious that you can have sacrifices without a temple, because it happened back then. I can almost stand and say that is going to happen again. But if they do build a temple, it certainly won't be the one Christ returns to.

Then you have Ezra 4 going into the fact that they got started on the work and then of course, they had the opposition didn't they? Letters were going to and forth to Persia and eventually in Ezra 4:24:

"Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia." (Ezra 4:24)

Now the gap there, according to my inspired margin, was 16 years. Work restarted just before the Feast of Tabernacles. Haggai 1:15 a very interesting little book:

"In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king." (Haggai 1:15)

That is the setting, you go four years later and the house was actually finished in the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius. So it took them four years to build the temple. So all that time there was no temple, but the sacrifices were going on. So it took four years to build, a 16 year dead period, that is 20 years, and another year, 18 months at the beginning when they were starting to lay the foundation. So there were sacrifices going on for way over 20 years, with no temple.

Lesson For Us Today (PLAY FROM 1:07:47)

Now let's get down to the lesson for us today. This is from a Worldwide News – February 25, 1980 - 'God Commands That We Avoid Certain Ones!' Now remember this is at a time when a whole load of people had left or had been pushed out, fired by Mr Armstrong. So there were all sorts of little groups starting up all around Pasadena, and people were confused, because if you are following a man, you just went where your man went. Here is what Mr Armstrong says:

"Brethren, if I as Christ’s apostle COMMAND YOU not to go to hear one of these or to receive one of his tape or cassette into your home, WHAT WOULD YOU THINK? Would you be angry at me? Well, that is PRECISELY WHAT GOD COMMANDS YOU. Are you angry with HIM? Some of you have been disobeying Him!"

"Are we a COMMANDMENT KEEPING CHURCH? If we are, then let’s OBEY. If you DON’T obey God or Jesus Christ, YOU ARE RIGHT NOW BEING JUDGED. IT IS JUST THAT SERIOUS. And it’s time we all begin to take it seriously." 'God Commands That We Avoid Certain Ones!.'

And it is interesting that, Peter talking about people returning to their own vomit. That comes from Isaiah 28:8:

"For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." (Isaiah 28:8)

There is no [totally] clean spiritual food. And that today we have unfortunately in God's Church. There is an awful lot of bad stuff out there. And it is mixed with good. It talks about the Laodicean mind. The Laodicean mindset keeps the commandments of God. People are keeping the Feasts, they are keeping the Holy Days. Most of them are probably tithing and so forth and so on, but they have the testimony of Jesus Christ which is the spirit of prophecy: the spirit of teaching.

But are they believing it? Well if they were believing it, they would have the spiritual heritage, of which we have been talking about; and they would be sticking to it. But obviously there is a problem because we have all sorts of ideas going around. And those ideas don't come from the Bible. Now another mention from Mr Armstrong here. 'Foundation of a New World.' This is a sermon he gave in 31 December1983

"And you, brethren – and I’d like to include myself with you – are that temple to which Christ is coming. Some people think the Jews are going to build a new temple for Christ. The Jews reject Christ. They’re not going to build the temple for Him to come to. But GOD IS BUILDING THAT TEMPLE! And you and me – we, individually – each are the temple of the Holy Spirit; and as a collective body we are the temple of God in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ the ROCK is the chief corner stone, or the foundation on which we are built." 'Foundation of a New World

That is the key. The tremendous knowledge that we have been given, this 'Spiritual heritage' that we talk about, came from God the Father, given to the Word, Jesus Christ, who faithfully taught His apostles.

And what is it? It is the Way, the Bible. It talks about the Way. Which Way? God's Way. You can use a ridiculous example. A man buys a Ferrari sports car and puts a plough on the back and goes ploughing a field with it. You don't do that. You don't do that, it is not designed for that. We live in a world that is governed by Satan – ruled by Satan. But there is God's Way, and that's what's coming. That is what is going to be enforced. That is what we have got to be learning and living now so we can teach it in the very near future. God's Way cannot be changed! It is priceless! It is our future! It is the very plan of God for all of mankind, right from Adam.

But we have a tremendous responsibility! A couple of scriptures in closing; go back to Isaiah 8:16. When you realise the full implications of what I am going to read just now, it's shocking. Who are we? We are nothing, as far as the world is concerned. In God's eyes, we are special:

"Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." (Isaiah 8:16)

The testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy. So it is what we have. It is all the stuff we have, the preaching, the books, the letters, the personals and so on, that Mr Armstrong wrote. They are all on there. There is also a whole load of sermons that have been given in the Church here, which are based on what Mr Armstrong taught. And it wasn't Mr Armstrong. That came from Jesus Christ. And you, every one of us sitting here, every one of you out there on the internet, all around the world. You are the disciples.

"Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." (Isaiah 8:16)

That is who and what we are; and we must never forget that, and I really do hope that others in the Church will get round to this way of thinking, because we are told how to recognise false teachers here. How do we sort truth from error? Drop down to Isaiah 8:20:

"To the law and to the testimony [here we go again: the law is the way God lives, the way we live; the testimony is the truth we have been given]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)

That is how you judge. It is not that difficult, is it? It is not that difficult. Let's just close by reading Revelation 3 again. I know we read this and you get to the stage where you can virtually quote it word for word. But we need to read over this every now and again, because we are all pretty weak as human beings. Most of us are round about our sell by date. Some of us are past our sell by date, certainly getting around to our best before date. I always take encouragement from the fact that God didn't tend to use people until they got old. Like Abraham was about 100 and Moses was 80, so we have a while to go, we are okay, we have a few more years yet.

But think about it, this is where we are going. Revelation 3:10. Let these words sink in. I just wish they would sink in to the whole Church. Unfortunately, there is going to be an era that Christ is in actual fact going to be outside. And they are going to have to seek God. And when they seek Him, they'll find Him. But they will have to seek Him. They will have to repent has Mr Armstrong said in the World Tomorrow broadcast. They will have to repent, change their attitude and then be taught. Revelation 3:10:

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:10-12)

Can you think of anything else you would like? That is about as good as it is ever going to get. You are going to become a son of God, with immense power, in the very temple of God and in the Holy City. Is there anything else anyone could ever want. And here is the key, Revelation 3:13:

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelation 3:13)


Footnote:

{1} Mr Henderson meant to say Peter and not Paul.