The World Tomorrow

Christ's Present Office

by Herbert W Armstrong

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The Bible gives a sharp, crisp, plain, direct command: "Prove all things..." (I Thessalonians 5:21) And prove all things includes the command that you prove whether the Holy Bible itself is a direct, the inspired, the authoritative word of such a God.

Listen, have you ever really proved it, my friends? Have you ever really proved that the Bible is the inspired revelation of God to man? That it carries the authority of God Himself? You really haven't now, have you? Has any skeptic or agnostic ever really proved that the Bible is not? Or that any other book is such a divine revelation? Why, no. There is no atheistic, agnostic or doubter who has ever disproved that the Bible is exactly what it claims within itself; the very Word of God. They simply doubt it. They simply assume that it is not. They refuse to believe it or to accept it.

But on the other hand, I presume that not one professing believer in 100,000 has ever really proved that the Bible is precisely what it claims to be. Now most of you who profess Christianity just sort of assume that the Bible is the inspired revelation of God to man; but when you get right down to it, you don't really believe it, now do you? Oh, I know that you're answering right back emphatically that you do believe it! But I'm going to show you that you don't really believe it. That you actually doubt it, without realizing that you doubt it. And God has commanded that you prove - you prove what? That you prove all things. Well, all things certainly includes proving that the Bible is the Word of God. You should prove it because it can be proved.

Now, there are four primary proofs that the Holy Bible is the very Word of God, that it speaks with the authority of the Creator-Ruler of the universe. There is the proof of science. There is the proof of fulfilled prophecy. There is the proof of history. That's a proof that is almost totally unknown and unrecognized by the world. Now, these three proofs can be demonstrated to any real thinker who has an open mind, willing to accept the fact, if and when proved. Of course, most so-called thinkers that profess to be thinkers and scientific men and men of higher education today really do not have the open mind they like to deceive themselves into thinking they have. There is one thing they have greater reluctance to believe; that there is a God and that the Bible is the inspired Word of that God, than any other one thing in the world. That one thing they refuse to ever let enter their minds.

But my friends, there is a fourth proof by which you could, if you really believed, prove it beyond any possibility of refutation to yourself. But this is a proof that would probably not be accepted as proof by anybody else. That is the proof of answered prayer; and that's a rather practical thing. Now, I can testify to you that I have put the Bible to that test. I have proved that the Bible is the very Word of the Eternal God just as it professes to be. I have proved it because there are thousands and thousands of promises wherein one who claims to be God inspired the words in the Bible and claims that under certain conditions He will do certain things if I pray and ask Him to do it. And I have, as I have mentioned before, not once, not twice, not ten or a dozen or a score of times but literally hundreds upon hundreds of times I have taken God at His Word and I have believed Him. And I have asked Him to do what He has promised and I have seen the answer come in miraculous ways. Scores upon scores of times.

And as I think I've said before too, there are actually hundreds of you in this radio audience now scattered all over these United States who have received direct answer from my prayers that you have requested me to pray for you in your behalf, and I have interceded. And here's what I have done; as I have said, if there is a golden text to the Book of Hebrews it is here in the fourth chapter. And my friends, once again that brings us down to this, the reason that you don't really believe, the reason you don't get an answer to prayer is because you don't know Christ's present office. You don't realize that Jesus Christ is on the job right now, that He has a job, an office, and He is in that office and that He is alive and that He is active night and day, and in your behalf, but you're not taking advantage of it.

The entire Book of Hebrews is called the Priesthood Book. Perhaps it's the most neglected book in the New Testament. We hear, as I've been mentioning in these programs now the last few times, we hear a great deal about the crucified Christ, about the death of Christ. And a lot of people seem to think that the Savior is a dead Savior. Don't you know that the Savior is a living Savior, that He rose from the dead and that He does His saving work right on the inside, that He comes within you, in His spirit and that He does the saving within and not from without? Now, Jesus Christ is very much alive. He went up to heaven; "...the heavens received him until the times of restitution of all things..." (Acts 3:21). As you read in the third chapter and the twenty-first verse of the book of Acts of the Apostles. {1}

Why did He go to heaven? I think in the last program I explained that. Two reasons; one - to get for Himself a Kingdom and to return. He's going to come as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He's going to come ruling all of this earth, every nation on earth. And the kingdoms of this world are at that time going to: "...become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ..." (Revelation 11:15)

But He's not the King of kings now, not at all. Neither is He the lowly lamb of God anymore now! He was 1900 years ago. But He rose from the dead; and I want to picture to you the Jesus as He exists now. Perhaps you have pictures hanging on the wall, you have pictures in your Bible, supposed to be pictures of Christ? Oh, my friends, do you think that He ever did look, or does now, look anything like those pictures? You'd better realize that that is not the Christ at all. That's another Jesus that you have a picture of. That's not the Christ. There were no photographs ever taken of Him. There is no record of exactly what He did look like then; and He does not look now exactly like He did then, and I've explained that before.

Obedience and Belief are Necessary (PLAY FROM 06:59)

Now let's get into it. Here is the one passage of this whole book and it's about time that we looked into this Book of Hebrews and understood the present mission, the present office, the present activity and job of Jesus Christ Himself, because He's on the job right now and it's because you don't realize that that you really doubt. And you do have doubts because God has made an absolute promise and He has made thousands of them in the Bible that He'll do certain things if you really obey Him and if you really believe.

Well, very few of you really obey Him in the first place, but in the second place very few of you really believe. And you say; "Well, I know He could if it were His will." And how often do you hear people pray, and people that really believe in praying a lot to God, that believe that God heals the sick today? And they'll be praying for someone who is sick. And they pray that the Lord will undertake, they say; "Oh, Lord, undertake." To me, the word 'undertake' exercises all kinds of doubt. We're not quite sure He'll be able to do it, but we do hope He'll undertake it and He'll at least try, He'll do His best.

I don't think you've ever heard me use that expression. Because I don't have any doubts. I have seen the answer come so many times that I believe. Now, that isn't going to convince you, it isn't intended to. That just convinced me. But you can convince yourself if you would really believe. And the reason, my friends, you don't believe the Word of God, you don't have that faith to believe. If you can really believe that the Bible is the Word of God, if you have ever had it proved to you that the Bible is the Word of God so that you know it and can really believe it; well, you'll get an answer to your prayer - provided you obey God - every time. And provided you ask according to His will as it's expressed in the Bible, and you ask something He has already promised to do.

Our High Priest (PLAY FROM 08:55)

Well, here's the real golden text now of this book, which shows Christ in His present office and it's the last three verses of the fourth chapter:

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." (Hebrews 4:14)

Do you see that you have such a High Priest? Do you ever take advantage of it? My friends, Christianity is a very practical religion, but the way most people understand it, in fact, they don't understand it, they don't know what real Christianity is. I mean the real thing, of Jesus Christ. It's the most practical thing in the world. There's no superstition about it and it really pays, you really get the answer:

"For [verse 15] we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are..." (Hebrews 4:15)

Why, He lived in the human flesh. He had physical weaknesses. Listen, a lot of you people may doubt it, but I can prove it to you by the very Word of God that Jesus Christ, after He had been beaten, after He had taken your infirmities and your sicknesses and paid the penalty in your stead, and then He was sent out to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, that is called Calvary in a good many places, because they wanted to take a pretty sounding name instead of the ugly name that was the real name of the place.

They started Him out carrying His own cross. He was weak enough, my friends, He sagged down and was unable to carry that cross and it was put on another man to carry it for Him. Christ even knew what physical, human weakness is! And He grew in strength spiritually and mentally and emotionally, morally and in ways of that sort. He learned obedience by the things that He suffered. He didn't know it all, He learned. Yes, and He grew in knowledge and He grew in these things. He has been human. He can: "...be touched with the feeling of [your] infirmities [because He was tempted like you are in all ways]; in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)

How often do you go to that throne of grace? How often do you take advantage of this? How often do you claim the promises that God has made in your behalf, to fight your battles for you? Bring you out of all your troubles? To solve every problem and trouble that comes along and show you the way out? To guide you, to lead you, to give you wisdom? To heal you when you are sick? To provide every need, if you are in real need? Of course, He doesn't say every want, and we think a want is a need quite often when it isn't, I know.

The Greatness of Christ (PLAY FROM 11:49)

Well now, in going through this Book of Hebrews we have, I think, pretty well covered the first chapter now. Here in the first two or three verses once again, remember, it says:

"God, who at sundry times and in different manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son..." (Hebrews 1:1-2 paraphrased)

Now, it proceeds here in the rest of the chapter to show us how great Christ is. How great is your High Priest! That's the first thing you need to know. You need to know about Him. You need to know about His greatness. How great is Christ? Far greater than you have ever dreamed or even imagined at any time.

Now: "Has spoken to us in these last days by his son whom he hath appointed heir of all things [heir of the universe]. By whom also he made the worlds. Who, being the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person [the brightness of the glory of God, the express image of the Father's person], upholding all things by the word of his power..." (Hebrews 1:2-3 paraphrased)

The Moffatt translation has that that He is the: "...heir of the universe [that He] sustains the universe with the word of [His] power..." (Hebrews 1:2-3 Moffatt) {2}

He sustains, He upholds all the laws that are in motion. All the laws that our scientists know and deal with, that the physicists and the chemists know anything about; every force, every energy, every power. My friends, who is it that sustains these laws, these forces, these energies that causes grass and vegetation to spring forth and to grow? That gives us the air we breathe? That causes it to rain on the just and the unjust alike? That is your Savior. He is alive. He is at the right hand of the Father. He is sitting right there with God Almighty, the Father.

He is there to intercede for you and to see that your needs are supplied and to see that when you really ask, if you are surrendered to Him, if you've given your life to Him so He can live your life for you in your stead, that every need of yours will be taken care of. That you will be led, and divinely led into the way that you should go, given wisdom that everything will go right for you. As we say; 'that you'll get the breaks'. And, everything that you really need, not everything you want.

Well, we've been seeing just how great He is. Just think of that:

"...upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high [that's God the Father], having become as much superior to angels as the name [that] he has obtained is more excellent than theirs [think how great He is then]. For to what angel did God ever say, 'Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee'?..." (Hebrews 1:3-5 RSV)

He's begotten of the Father as a human being here on earth. Now, He is born of God and a born Son of God by a resurrection from the dead.

Now here again, to Him: "'I will be to him a father [He didn't say that to any angel], and he shall be to me a son'? And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, 'Let all God’s angels worship him.'" (Hebrews 1:5-6 RSV)

And "...Who maketh his angels spirits..." (Hebrews 1:7)

Listen, He is very God because it would be breaking the very first commandment to worship anyone who is not God; "Thou shalt have no other gods before me and thou shalt not bow down to nor worship any that is not the real and the true God." (Exodus 20:2-5 paraphrased). The first two commandments. Now, if angels worshipped Him and He is not God, that would break the first two commandments. It would be idolatry. But it says here right in the Word of God, in the Bible:

"...'Let all [of] God's angels worship him.' Of the angels he says, 'Who makes his angels [spirits KJV] and his servants flames of fire.' But of the son [Jesus Christ] he says, 'Thy throne, O God [He has a throne, He is God], is forever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou has loved righteousness and hated lawlessness [sin, or iniquity is lawlessness, breaking the laws of God, the laws that God has set in motion]; therefore God, thy God [meaning the Father] has anointed thee [that's Christ] with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.' And, 'Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; they will perish..." (Hebrews 1:6-11 RSV)

Think how great Christ is. Why, you read, and I think we read it here just the other day, we read back here in Ephesians that; God...created all things by Jesus Christ:" (Ephesians 3:9) And, in John the first chapter that "He is the Word...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... That the Word was God and the Word was with God and all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:1-14 paraphrased)

And, then again in Colossians we read, if you remember, that all things were created by Him, this dear Son of the Father:

"In whom we have redemption through his blood...Who is the image of the invisible God [the very image of God], the firstborn of every creature [and I'm coming to that again later]: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers..." (Colossians 1:14-16)

My friends, anyone that doubts Christ, well Christ made whoever or whatever should doubt Him. All things were made by Him. God the Father had Him make everything and gave Him the power and the authority to do it.

Now, all of these, the heavens here and the earth: "they will perish, but thou remainest [going to live forever, He's immortal forever]; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same..." (Hebrews 1:11-12)

Yes, Jesus Christ as we read again is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Now, He went about doing miracles and doing good to everybody 1900 years ago, a little over, when He was here on the earth. He's just the same today and He's still living and His present job is to do good for you and to help you.

Yes, He is the mediator. My friends, you don't need to pray to some dead woman. You don't need to pray to any dead saint. You can pray directly to the Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of God, the living Savior. I want to show you how great He is. I just want to show you now how great He is

I would like to have you now look back here for just a moment to Romans the first chapter and the fourth verse. Romans the first chapter and the fourth verse: "He was made a son of God by a resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:4 paraphrased)

Now here it is: "Paul, [the] servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle...[now, concerning, verse 3] Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:1,3-4)

Yes, He died, but He didn't remain dead. God the Father was living and God raised Him from the dead after three days and three nights in His tomb. You don't understand that three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday morning at sunrise? Write in for our booklet about; 'The Resurrection .' and you'll get an eye-opener that will really astound you. There's no charge for it either.

The Resurrected and Glorified Christ (PLAY FROM 19:22)

Well, now, I want to run right along here. I want you to notice, though, that after Jesus was resurrected and after He ascended to heaven that He was then glorified. Now, if you turn back to John, the seventh chapter and the thirty-ninth verse you read this during His earthly ministry. He had been saying:

"...If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink [and he will get the Holy Spirit, He spoke of it as living waters; but, the living waters, verse 39] ...this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given [not at that time, why?]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:37,39)

My friends, He was glorified after He went to heaven. He was glorified after He went to heaven. And after He was gloried how did He appear? Now after His resurrection He appeared just still like a mortal human man because you know, that doubting Thomas wouldn't believe that He was the Christ. He thought He was just some other man until Jesus said; "Just put your finger here right in the nail prints where the nails were driven in my hands and feet and see that it is I, even myself." (John 20:27 paraphrased). Then Thomas had to believe.

Now after He ascended to heaven, however, I want to show you what He looked like. I gave you this just a few days ago but I want to give it to you again. I want to refresh your mind now before we go along. It's over here in the first chapter of Revelation showing Christ at the right hand of the Father in heaven and what He looks like now. Verse 14, first chapter of Revelation, here's the Son of Man in verse 13 and in verse 14: "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as [flames] of fire;" (Revelation 1:14)

Is that the way He looked on earth? No. Is that the way your picture shows Him that you have of Christ? Oh, no. He doesn't look like that picture. That picture, my friends, if you'll pardon my saying so, and I don't mean any offense to anyone, maybe you've idolized that picture. But that's just what it is, an idol. It's a fake and it's an idol. And I don't mean to offend anyone at all. And your pictures usually show Him with long hair, don't they? But your Bible says, and He is the living Word and the Bible is only the written Word; "That it's a shame, even nature ought to teach you it's a shame for a man to have long hair." (I Corinthians 2:9 paraphrased)

Now: "His feet were like unto fine brass...his voice as the sound of many waters...and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." (Revelation 1:15-16)

Do you ever look right at the sun when there is no clouds, no haze, no fog, no smog and you don't have any colored glass or anything, just look right at the sun? Can you do it? I'm not going to try holding my eyes on it very long, I'll tell you, because I'm afraid it would put my eyes out and blind them. That's the way God looks, my friends. That's one reason that the Bible says; "No man can look on God and live." (Exodus 33:20 paraphrased). And that is the way Jesus Christ looks now, today. His face shining like the full strength of the sun! You can't have a picture like that; it couldn't be shown in a picture. You can't get that dazzling brightness that will blind your eyes when you look at a picture. Why don't you do what I did? I've thrown away all such pictures. And I ask you to prove all things and believe what you see in your Bible.

And you'd better prove whether the Bible is the Word of God. Well now, Jesus has been glorified and I showed you right there what He looks like. Now just one more passage before I go back to Hebrews and that's back in Romans 8 now; the eighth chapter of Romans and, well, the sixteenth onto the eighteenth verses here:

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs [now we can become]; heirs of God, and [now get this] joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:16-17)

What? Why, does that mean what it says? That we can be glorified? Now, when Christ was glorified I just read to you what He looks like and I read to you the power that He has, and we're to be co-heirs with Him. Now, wait a minute. Let's get this. Surely, this can't mean what it says. Why, you've never believed this, have you? I didn't believe it either for a long time, but here it is.

What are you going to do with it? "...that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs..." (Romans 8:16-17). We are only heirs now. What are you going to do when we're possessors? What about when we come into the inheritance and are no longer heirs? You're just in the mortal flesh now. You look, now, like Jesus did. Yes, I don't think He was quite as pale and anemic and sallow as most of us are. He probably had red, rosy cheeks because of plain health and He didn't paint it on like a lot of you women do, either. It was just real vigorous health.

But we are: "...heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; [and] if so...that we suffer with him [and He suffered]...we may be also glorified [that's in the future;] glorified together. For [Paul says] I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:17-18)

What Is Man? (PLAY FROM 24:42)

That is in the resurrection. That's when we're made like Christ. Now, I'm coming back to that again. But I want to go on now here in Hebrews. Oh, my time is almost up. Now then, the first chapter, as I say, is devoted to showing us how great Christ is. Now, take this last verse, the fourteenth here, speaking of these angels:

"Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14 RSV)

Or, in the King James Translation, let me read it for you here:

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)

Well, we're already the heirs, but we shall inherit salvation. I tell you, my friends, very few know what salvation is. Very few people know what it is or anything about it. Now, coming to the second chapter it comes to man. The first chapter is devoted to Christ, our High Priest. The second chapter shows about us and why we need a High Priest. Now, you might say if there's a golden text here that sums up the second chapter it is here along in the sixth verse:

"...What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him?" (Hebrews 2:6 RSV)

When it comes to seeing how great Christ is, then the question comes, well now, what's a mere man? A little speck of a weak, anemic man; a man that has a natural carnal mind, unless or until He's converted, that is hostile toward God. And mankind has devoted everything He could trying to disprove that God is the ruler, rejecting the rule of God and trying to represent God as a harsh, stern monster of some kind, an egotistic, vain creature like Herbert Spencer pictured Him.

"...What is man that [one as great as Christ, and as great as the Father should be] mindful of him or the son of man, that thou carest for him?" (Hebrews 2:6 RSV)

Well, I see we're going to have to stop there. Now, I am going to show you about man; and I'm going to show you why He cares about us. And, I'm going to show you, my friends, what a great thing is in store for us and why you need this High Priest sitting up there and what you're neglecting and what you're passing up. Oh, my friends, you don't realize what opportunities you have. You don't realize the vast glory that is in store for you. And there is something you need to be working at that you're neglecting.

Now, listen my friends, write in for our booklet; 'Why Were You Born?.' I think of all of the booklets that we have written, that we've published, that I've been announcing on this program for years and years that there has never been one more important than this. This lays down before you the whole purpose of life. It lays down the whole, of the why's and wherefore's of this thing that we call salvation. Why do we need it, and just what is it, what do you get and how? The name of this booklet, 'Why Were You Born?.'

Until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying; goodbye friends.


Footnotes:

{1} Mr Armstrong referred to Acts 3:19 instead of Acts 3:21.

{2} All scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.