By Herbert W Armstrong

19 April 1981


Now this is the day that the world calls Easter. I presume many of you saw the telecast this morning and I don't know how many people were made angry by it. I don't know how many tuned out because they didn't like it. And I also don't know yet how many have responded and written in for the literature. But we will know that later, but I hope it will be a good number.

But today is not Easter here, today is the first of the annual holy days and the beginning of the... well yesterday, or night before last really, was the beginning of the seven annual festivals. Now God has given the church seven annual festivals and also seven annual holy days and they do not entirely coincide.

For example, the Passover the night before last, was one of the seven festivals, but it's not a holy day. But it was a very sacred, and I should say holy service. But why did God give us these seven annual festivals? I don't know any other church on earth that observes them.

When I was challenged fifty-four years ago, fifty-four and a half years ago now, and I didn't know very much about the Bible up to that time. I'd been brought up in a respectable Sunday school and church. All I knew was, I thought I knew that there is a God and I thought I knew that, well they told me I had a birthright membership in the church, whatever that is.

Nobody has a birthright membership in this church, and also, I thought I was an immortal soul and I thought that if I was good I'd go to heaven when I died and if not I'd roast forever in hell but never burn up quite. But I was challenged and I had to begin to study the Bible.

I was also challenged on the doctrine of evolution, so I began studying Darwin, Huxley, Hagle, and Spencer, some of the modern evolutionists and even LaMarke and LaPlace before Darwin. Their writings are rather convincing, necessarily, or you wouldn't find practically the entire intellectual world of higher education accepting that doctrine.

It is a doctrine that, really, you can't believe it and believe in God. It says there is no God because evolution is the atheist’s attempted explanation of the presence of a creation without a Creator. No creator, no mastermind thought anything out. All of the things we see, all of the design, the marvelous design in nature, everything that happens in an animal body, a human body, such a miraculous mechanism, it just happened. No one thought it out. No human mind ever could think out anything like it, however, because a human mind isn't quite that bright.

Proving the word of god (PLAY FROM 4:14)

So I had to prove whether or not God exists and I did prove it to my satisfaction and I proved it to the satisfaction of a few atheists. But when I came to study the Bible I found it said things that I didn't believe. At first I couldn't agree with it because I supposed that what I'd been taught in church and Sunday school was the truth.

Everybody believes what he's always heard, what he's always been taught, what he's read, what his peers believe. Almost everybody believes like that. I did. I began to see that the Bible said just the opposite of what I'd believed and what I'd been taught. I went into it and checked a little further and found the Bible didn't contradict itself and it was absolutely true.

Inside of six months, I had come to have proof that God exists, I had come to have proof that the BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD in its original writings. There may be a few mistakes in any one translation. There are many translations, and there are thousands of copies of the original Hebrew and the original Greek and so on. And so we can come to the exact truth in any one text or any one verse if we want to. Of course, some people don't have enough time; they're too busy doing nothing. Or wasting their time.

But I was being challenged on the weekly Sabbath. My wife, the wife of my youth, had taken up with the weekly Sabbath. Said she'd got it out of the Bible. I said, "The Bible says, ' Thou shalt observe Sunday'." She said, "Show me." I couldn't, but I tried to. She said, "How do you know the Bible says that?" I said, "Because all of the churches observe Sunday and they get their doctrine, and their belief, and their teaching out of the Bible." But I had to find out that they got their teaching somewhere else: That the Bible says precisely the opposite and that they're preaching the precise opposite of what the Bible says and teaches.

It was quite an experience. My head was swimming for a while. It made me think of the way women used to have a housecleaning in the spring. Everything would be all upset and dusty and dirty and all mixed up for a little while until they got it straightened out and put back in place again. That's the way my mind was. I was all ready to accept the Sabbath because I found it proved in the Bible and not Sunday. Then I found a text in Colossians 2:16 that upset me. That had to do with the annual Sabbaths or Holy Days.

{1} Oh thank you. That is not the one I use. I think this one will do. Thank you very much... (great laughter from the audience and clapping) Oh, well now he did bring the right one. I'll just have to tell you. I'm glad my mind is not deteriorating like my hearing and my eyesight, but I have to use about four different magnifying glasses of different strengths.

Those that I have to use of the most powerful strength only show me just a little spot. I can't see very much so I use others that will cover a wider amount of space (more type) where I can, but they are not as strong. But I can't even use this glass. It used to be strong enough when I got the present bible. It's a big heavy bible (it isn't the bible that I used to use) I didn't need a magnifying glass I could read it. And now I have to have a magnifying glass, and even the first one won't do, and I have to use a still smaller one.

So pardon this little interruption, just thought I might explain that to you. You will learn that I am human just like you are, and we all are. If you look for a leader who is not human but is divine, you're just not going to find it in this time and this age. We are all sinners saved by God's grace – or being saved rather, I should say.

discovering god's annual sabbaths (PLAY FROM 9:36)

Anyway, I came to find out that that particular verse did not do away with those days. I thought it did away because I always assumed it did away with the annual Holy Days or annual Sabbaths. I'd been reading some Seventh Day Adventist literature, and other literature, and they all said it did. Well I said, if it does, it does away with the weekly Sabbath also, because they're all lumped together there.

And then I found every place in the Bible where all those days are mentioned together from the Old Testament and the New, and in no place is it talking about doing away with days. It's only talking about things they used to have to do on some of those days that were a substitute for the blood of Christ and for the Holy Spirit and we don't do some of those things any longer on any of those days.

Then I came to see that WE MUST KEEP THE ANNUAL HOLY DAYS. I didn't understand about all of the festivals yet. I didn't understand about the Feast of Tabernacles. I didn't understand why. I did ask why. I've always wanted to know why about everything. But I didn't know why. I just knew God says, "DO IT!"

I found these days were ordained FOREVER. I found Christ observed them, I found the early apostles observed them, the church observed them. Well then, where did the church get off the track. It did get off the track along somewhere. I just knew God said "Do it." I did it. That was 54 years ago and I've been doing it ever since and a lot of you have joined me since. For the first seven years only my wife and myself observed these days. No church on earth was doing it.

I brought this knowledge to the Sardis era of the church. I was laughed to scorn. They would not accept it. They were hostile against the idea. Even against the scriptures. They would accept what truth they had, they kept the weekly Sabbath, but they would go no further. Brethren, I tell you, if you accept just what you've received and will go no further and accept no more truth, you've stopped learning right there. You've stopped your entire experience with God right there, and you start dying instead of living from that time on.

God called Abraham and said, "Get out of this country where you are and all of the bright lights of Babylon here and go over to a land I'm going to show you. It's kind of a desolate land over there, it's not like Babylon.” But Abraham didn't say, "Well, why do I have to go?" He didn't say, "Well, can't I go some other time?" He didn't say, "No, I don't want to, so I won't do it."It just says,"Abraham went," that's all. That's why Abraham is the father of the faithful and why God made all of the promises that apply to you and me to Abraham.

there is a purpose (PLAY FROM 13:13)

Well, I had to do the same thing. I didn't understand why. But today I'm going to ask why. I think a lot of you don't know altogether why we observe these days. There is a reason. I'm not going to go into a dissertation about the Days of Unleavened Bread today. I want to tell you why God gave us all seven of the annual festivals with the seven annual holy days in them.

There are two holy days in the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. Now they're one festival, the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, but there are two holy days. The Passover is a festival in a sense, it's one of the seven festivals, but it is not a holy day. We think of two holy days in the Feast of Tabernacles, but it is not. The Feast of Tabernacles is seven days and the last day, which is a holy day, is a separate festival altogether.

Now the world knows nothing of this. The world observes Easter today instead, and Easter has no meaning. They say, "Well, Christ rose on that day," but that doesn't mean anything to them and Jesus did not rise on Sunday. I've had two programs a week ago and then again this morning, and it will be on tonight again at, I believe it's 8:30 tonight, I'm not sure. The same program that you saw this morning, I presume.

God's festivals are concerned with the question of why God put human beings on the earth. You know it's a funny thing to me. I can't understand it. Most people are not concerned about why they were born. They're not concerned about why they live. How did we come to be here? Where are we going? What is the purpose of our lives? Is there any purpose? Were we put here? Did God put us here? Did He have a purpose or did we just come by purposeless evolution, by resident forces and not by any being that thought it out. But God did put humans on earth and He put us here for a purpose.

the missing dimension (PLAY FROM 15:52)

Now in the world there is a gigantic missing dimension in knowledge. We have educational institutions all over the world. We have our higher education. They pride themselves on the high education. Oh, yes, they become very professional in higher education. They are filled with vanity, self importance, but they are half baked. They are only half there, their minds are only half there, and when it comes to knowledge they have less than half of all there is that they should have.

I'll give you one little example. In the decade of the sixties, the world's fund of knowledge doubled, but the world's troubles and problems and evils doubled also. Now, of course, the additional knowledge didn't cause the additional problems and troubles, but it didn't solve the others either, that we already had.

We've made great progress in the world, mechanically, materialistically, but our troubles have escalated until they're greater today than at any time in history, unless it was just before the flood. Jesus said "as it was in the time of the flood, so it would be now," and it is now. There is a gigantic missing dimension in education.

Our accomplishments in the world are materialistic. The human mind can think materially, but our problems and our troubles are spiritual in nature and our minds can't think spiritually. Spiritual things are so much foolishness to the average mind. The world will avoid religion or anything spiritual. It is only concerned with the physical, the material.

The world is ignorant of the purpose of human life. The world is ignorant of the human potential. The incredible human potential and the world knows nothing about it. They don't know why we're here, they don't know where we're going, they don't know how to get there. They don't know anything about it. They don't know where we're going and they don't know the way. They have lost their way and they're going the wrong way.

It's like (I've told it a few times, everybody's heard it time and again) that old joke about the good news and the bad news. About the airplane pilot (and of course, it's all fictitious because no airplane pilot would be like this) who said "Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking and I have both good news and bad news and I'll give you the bad news first. We are lost. We have lost our way. We don't know which direction we're going, we don't know where we're going. Now I"ll give you the good news: we're making extra fast time."

Well that's true in the world. The world is lost, it doesn't know where it's going, but it is going there very rapidly. Actually it's going to its own destruction, if God were not going to intervene, which of course He is. God had a very great purpose and God's great purpose is that He is reproducing Himself.

the spiritual creation (PLAY FROM 19:53)

God is creating from physical matter, human beings that will have a spiritual creation and ultimately will be changed from physical to spiritual, and will become spirit born beings; will become God beings just as God is. God is a family and God is reproducing Himself and it's going to be a very big family some of these days.

And God's purpose is to make us like He is, it is the creation starting with people made out of matter, out of the dust of the ground, and inculcating into us the character of God. That's holy righteous character, which is the ability to discern the true from the false, the true values, right from wrong. To choose the right, even though you have every pull, and every temptation to want to go the way of the wrong.

To have the character to resist the wrong, and against your own will go the right way. But call on God for the help you need because you won't have enough power and strength in yourself to do it. The one who can overcome himself, the world, and the devil. But that's a long process and we don't do it all at once. It takes a long time, it takes a lifetime and I think we'll still be overcoming and still improving in the resurrection.

But God gave us seven annual festivals to teach us every year (remind us every year) over and over again of His wonderful master plan to accomplish that purpose, to make us like God is. To turn us from human beings into God beings. From the kind of character we have had into the divine, holy, righteous character that God has.

Now, to show you that, I'm not going to spend so much time on just the Days of Unleavened Bread. We get that every year and I'll leave that to the other ministers and we certainly need that lesson, the lesson of putting sin out of our lives. Not one of us has accomplished it thoroughly yet. We still have to work on it. But I want to give you the overall meaning. So I'm going to begin at the beginning and the beginning is not Genesis 1:1.

The average person, if you asked him where does the Bible begin, he'd say, "Genesis one, verse one." But in the order of time sequence of what took place first, that is not the beginning. The beginning is John one, verse one in the New Testament. John one, verses one, two, and three.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Now the “Word” comes from the... it was written originally in the Greek language and the “Word” there used was "logos" , but it means "word", it means "spokesman", "the one who speaks", but it is the name of a person, a divine person, and that person was named "the Word", (the Spokesman) and the Word was with God, and the Word [Himself] was [also] God."

Now you have two beings, there's the Word, and there's the other with Him who is God, you have two beings and they're both God, because the Word is also God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

Now how far back the beginning is, the Bible doesn't tell us. That might have been billions times trillions of years, we don't know

John 1:3 All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.

Now we read in verse 14, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" and we find that He became Jesus Christ. The one who originally was the Word had existed forever, eternally; there never was a time when He did not exist. There was no father no mother. There was no time when He was born. He has always existed. Your mind won't accept that. I guess you'll have to accept it without accepting it, whatever that is. But it is true.

angels created first (PLAY FROM 25:00)

Now in the (let's see) it's the third or fourth chapter of Ephesians you'll read how God, (God the Father) created all things by Jesus Christ. He is the Word and God did the creating through Christ and Christ is the Word who spoke and the Holy Spirit is the power that acted when He spoke and did it. But He did only what the Father told Him to do, so you have the Father, you have the Son, and you have the power of the Holy Spirit, all in creation.

Now then, God created angels before He created anything else. He created spirit beings. God is composed wholly of spirit and at first there was no matter. There was no material universe, just wasn't any. But He created spirit, and He created spirit beings called angels. And then we turn back to Genesis 1:1, this is some time later, and we read "In the beginning God" and here the word for God is "Elohim", {2} which is a uni-plural. It means more than one person. It means the same two persons I just read you about in John 1:1 the Word and God created the heavens and the earth. And it should be plural "heavens" and the earth. ...God created the heaven(s) and the earth.

Now in Job, the book of Job, 38th chapter, I want you to notice something here.

Job 38:1,4 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said...(4) Where [were you Job] when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Job had just built a great building. He had just built the great pyramid, as a matter of fact. The only building where the cornerstone is the top capstone and that's mentioned here.

Job 38:6-7 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened or who laid the cornerstone thereof? [which had been the top and the last stone laid] (7) when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Now on the great pyramid the top cornerstone never was laid, but on the earth it was. And all the stars of God, there again stars, like I said yesterday, are a symbol for angels. And all of the holy angels shouted for joy. Now God had created angels first. Angels were already there when He created the earth, but He not only created the earth, He created the heavens and the earth and you'll read further where He created the entire universe at the same time.

Now I don't know how long ago that was. People think that all of this first chapter was 6,000 years ago. That is not true. We read now back in Genesis 1, verse 2: “The earth was” or the word "was" is elsewhere translated "became" and to be that way it had to become that way anyway. The earth became “without form and void.” The Hebrew words there are "tohu" and "bohu" and they mean chaotic, in confusion, deteriorated, waste and empty.

They mean... what is the word I want? Anyway, the earth had, well, I'll think of the word just a little bit later. Now the government of God was established on the earth and had been and He had put angels on the earth. They shouted for joy at the creation of the earth because it was to be their abode, their home. And God established a government over them, it was the government of God.

For the first created beings, God established His government. A government regulates your way of life. All government is based on a basic constitution or a basic law, which always has to do with a way of life and the regulating of that way of life among those ruled by the government. Now there was a throne on earth, there was a throne on earth at that time. So we come now to Isaiah. Now wait a minute, I"m getting way ahead of myself. I wanted to explain a few other things first.

satan's rebellion (PLAY FROM 30:24)

God had first created angels, then the angels were here and shouted for joy when He created the earth, He put His government over the angels, there was a throne on the earth. So we want to turn now to Isaiah. Isaiah 14 and beginning with verse 12. Speaking of a super archangel, it says;

Isaiah 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning... [One of three archangels that God had created. They were higher than ordinary angels, of greater power, greater mind, greater ability - the highest most powerful type of being God could create or ever did create that we know of.] ...How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations [or thou which did weaken the nations cut down to the ground.] (13) For thou hadst said in thine heart I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne [so there was a throne on earth for the ruling of that government] I will exalt my throne above the stars [or the angels] of God. I will sit upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. [That's the only thing in the bible, only place in the Bible that gives you any idea of where God's heaven and the throne of God is located in the far, far north] (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like [or will be] the Most High. [it could read]

He was going to take over the whole universe and take over the government of God. It's a funny thing. Some other humans have tried to take over the government of God, even in this church. That's what Lucifer wanted to do and it's what made him Satan the devil. So he rebelled and that turned into sin.

Now we go a little farther, back here into Ezekiel. Ezekiel 28 and we find beginning here with verse 14.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; [God said] (and) I have set thee so: thou wast upon the (holy) mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the stones of fire. (15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways, [in all thy ways] in thy ways from the day that thou was created till iniquity was found in thee.

He was perfect but he was created (a created being) until iniquity was found in him. But he was cast back down. He led the angels into sin. Now back in the New Testament, in second Peter the second chapter, the fourth verse, we read about the angels who sinned, who followed him in his sin, in rebellion against the government of God.

The government of God was established on the earth. It's based on a law and that law is the law of God and that law is summed up in one word "love". But for man now it's divided into two divisions, love toward God and love toward fellow man. The principle was the same over angels, love for one another and love first of all toward God and obedience to God.

The angels though, sinned, were cast down to "tartaroo", it should be, which is a place of restraint, the only place in the Bible the original word "tartaroo" there is used in the Greek.

"And delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment. [II Peter 2:4] So there is a judgment coming on angels.

Incidentally, did you ever notice that we in the church are to judge angels? They have a judgment day coming too. There is nothing said about the former Lucifer, or Satan, ever coming to a time of judgment, but the angels under him will. And judgment is not a time of condemnation and punishment, judgment is of trying, as to whether you shall have to be condemned and punished or whether you are to receive eternal salvation and eternal life. So maybe there is hope for the fallen angels and we are to judge angels.

renewing the earth for man (PLAY FROM 35:24)

All right now, back to Genesis 2, and verse 2. A result of that sin of the angels on the earth and Lucifer and under Lucifer, we come to verse 2.

Genesis 2:2 ...the earth was, [or became] without form and void,

It was in a state of decay. Now decay is not a created state. You don't create something that is decayed. Decay is something that had to take place after creation. A rotting, a decaying situation. That's what the earth was actually or became, “and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

There had been light. God's truth and God's way is light and in God there is no darkness at all, but Satan is the author of darkness and so the whole earth was covered with darkness.

And the spirit of God moved upon the waters.

Now right at that point I want you to notice now the 104th Psalm. The 104th Psalm and verse 30.

Psalm 104:30 Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created, Thou renewest the face of the earth.

God renewed the face of the earth. It had become decayed as a result of the sin of the angels. That might have been billions and billions of years. They're immortal. They don't just live 70 years and die. Angels were made to live eternally. They have life in themselves. They're composed of spirit so they {3} cannot die.

Now back to Genesis again. {4} "Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, Thou renewest the face of the earth." Notice here. There was darkness, (Psalm 104:30)

Genesis 1:2-4...the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,(3) [Then] God said, [The one who did the saying was the Word, the Spokesman. He said,] Let there be light ...(4) and God saw the light that it was good.

The spirit of God was there over the waters and the spirit of God is the power that brought light and God divided the light from the darkness. Then in six days God renewed the face of the earth for man. That was only a renewing of the earth and making it ready and it was beautiful the way God renewed it, but man has destroyed it also. Man has polluted, perverted, ruined everything, every material thing, and everything of this earth that man has ever gotten his dirty hands on.

Angels brought this earth to desolation and ruin and decay. Man has been doing the same thing, because man has been motivated by the fallen angel Lucifer, who has become Satan the devil. Now in verse 26, after God renewed the face of the earth for man, we find that the Eternal God said;

Genesis 1:26 ...Let us [you see, not just "me", "let us” This includes God and the Word and it's the Word who did the speaking now. Let Us] make man in Our image after Our likeness.

Now He had made the cattle after their likeness after the cattle kind. He made dogs after the dog kind, elephants after the elephant kind, and fish after the fish kind but now He said let's make man after the God kind, after Our kind.

Man was made in the image of God, in the same form and shape as God, but man was made out of matter and not out of spirit. Second chapter and verse 7 of Genesis:

Genesis 2:7 The Eternal God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.

Made out of the dust of the ground, not out of spirit like angels, but when he breathed air in and out of His nostrils, what was made out of the ground became a soul. A soul then, came out of the ground, and a soul can die.

Now God made man without life. Did you ever think of that before that way? God didn't make man with life. He didn't give him life. He gave him a chemical temporary existence. Now he was temporarily living, but he was a living being made of matter. But that was not life.

the two trees (PLAY FROM 40:44)

There were two trees in the Garden of Eden where God put the man he had created, and his wife with him. And one of those trees was the Tree of Life and God offered him that tree. And if he had taken of that tree he would have taken life and God would have given him life. But he didn't have life; he had only a temporary mechanical physical existence. That's all. That's all you and I have except by the spirit of God through conversion, and the world as a whole doesn't have that.

Now notice verses 15 and onto 17 in the second chapter.

Genesis 2:15-17 The Eternal God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the Eternal God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat [and that included the Tree of Life] (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.

Man was made mortal with a temporary life subject to having that life cease and he would die. Angels can't die. They're immortal. But man was made to die. Adam rejected life. God offered him the Tree of Life. Adam took to himself the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, the knowledge of good and evil, and in so doing, Adam rejected the government of God.

The government of God that had been set on the earth with Lucifer on that throne and his name is now Satan and he's still on that throne, and he's still ruling the earth and all of the earth's governments. The governments of this world are ruled by Satan the devil. He sits on the throne of the earth. Adam made that decision, not only for himself, but for his children, and his children are the world. All humanity are the children of Adam and he made that decision for them.

So we read over in the third chapter of Genesis beginning in verse 32:

Genesis 3:22 {5} And the Eternal God said lest he [the man] put forth his hand and take also of the Tree of Life and eat and live forever... [and gain life, gain immortality]

He didn't have life; he was dying every minute he lived. Dying is a process. It takes the average of seventy years for the average person to die. Some die in the first few minutes of birth, almost like a stillbirth Some die after one or two years. Some live on to be sixty, seventy, eighty, or even ninety or one hundred. Not too many.

Genesis 3:23-24 Therefore, the Eternal God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden... (24) ... and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, Cherubim, and a flaming sword [that] turned every way to keep the way of the Tree of Life. [lest the man go back and gain life]

Mankind now is shut off from LIFE. Now get that point, brethren, because the churches don't get it. THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND IT. MANKIND IS SHUT OFF FROM LIFE and they're also shut off from God. I want to make that plain as we go along now, more than we ever have before. Adam rejected life. He rejected God's way. He rejected God's law, the basis of God's government, which is a way of life, a way to make us happy.

God will not give us immortal life in unhappiness. If you won't live the way to make you happy, God won't give you eternal life. Adam refused to do that. He took to himself the knowledge of how to live and it was the wrong way to live. And he did that and made the decision for all of his family and now God merely endorsed that decision by driving Adam and his posterity out of that garden and barring a re-entrance to gain life.

duality of scripture (PLAY FROM 45:32)

So, I want you to notice now a little bit of God's system of duality. I've mentioned so many times that everything that God does and his plan is in a dual way. There is a first and a second, a former and a latter. There was the first Adam, there is the second Adam. The first Adam was made of matter, the second Adam was the Lord from heaven, was spirit. The first Adam gave us death; the second Adam will give us life.

Now I'd like to have you notice in 1 Corinthians the fifteenth chapter. 1 Corinthians 15 and verse 22.

I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die...

We're dying every minute, every second you live. You're only one breath away from death. Just one breath. If you don't take the next breath you will never live, you'll be dead in, what, I don't know, five, eight, ten minutes, certainly. You can't live ten minutes without a breath of air. You're only one breath away from absolute death.

I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, [We all have that to look forward to] even so, in Christ shall all be make alive.

The same "all" EVERYBODY is going to be made alive in Christ. Now he's talking here of a resurrection. This is the resurrection chapter because after they die, they're going to come up by a resurrection to life. But it says:

I Corinthians 15:23 Every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits; [Jesus was resurrected 1950 years ago] afterward they that are Christ's [see every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ's] at His coming.

Then will come the end. And it doesn't go on to explain that in I Corinthians 15 here, but other chapters and other places in the Bible do. Now I'd like to have you notice another scripture in that line: Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.

Now people don't understand judgment. We're going to have to deal a great deal more about judgment in the Church of God. We haven't dealt on that very much in this church.

Judgment is not a condemning and a punishing. Judgment is a trial to see whether you are going to gain eternal life, in God's judgment, or whether you're going to be condemned and punished. And the punishment is death and it is eternal death and it is the second death.

Because everyone who dies in Adam is going to be resurrected as a result of Christ's resurrection and then the judgment and the second death will come after that judgment. But the world is not judged. The world has never been judged, and is not now being judged. Now put another way, the world has not had a chance of salvation.

Judgment is not a condemning. Judgment is not a punishing. It is really an opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life. That's what it is. But man was shut off from it. Man was absolutely shut off from it. Now Adam had cut humanity off from the Holy Spirit until that judgment. It is appointed as in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive. It is appointed to man once to die; now we die in Adam, but after that the judgment and we are resurrected through Christ for the judgment which is really an opportunity for salvation.

judgement open to the church now (PLAY FROM 50:02)

Brethren, I think we haven't understood that. I may be getting on in years a little bit, but God is still teaching me things and I am still teaching you. Now many of you have never understood that before. Be sure and get that and understand that. Adam had cut humanity off from the Holy Spirit until the judgment and the judgment has not come on the world yet. The judgment will come on the world when it is resurrected to that judgment.

But, through Christ, judgment was opened to the church when Christ came. Now get that. Judgment was opened by Christ, the second Adam, just for the church, the firstfruits only, but not for all the world. I want to show you that. To show you how Jesus said that no man could come to Him except the Father which sent Him draws us. And God isn't drawing very many.

The world is cut off and the world is not being judged and the world is deceived and the world is ruled by Satan and the world is deceived and going in the false ways instead of God's holy day today. They're having their pagan Easter. Now they're all going to know better some day. They don't know now and you can't convince them now. You'd just be talking into a deaf ear if you tried to convince any of them because you can't do it. I've tried and I haven't succeeded.

God called some of you and so you heard when you heard the voice. But judgment was open to those that God called at the time of the church and we're only the firstfruits. Now understand this, through Adam the world was cut off, but through Christ the judgment was opened to the church and later it will be opened to everybody.

But its only opened to the church so far and there's a reason for that. Now God called the church of the Old Testament through Moses, but they were not called to judgment. They were merely His nation on earth and as a church they were called the congregation of Israel. And they are called “the Church in the Wilderness” I think it is in the seventh chapter of Acts in the New Testament. But they were not judged. They did not have the Holy Spirit. They were not offered eternal life. They were not JUDGED.

We've often wondered about why did God called ancient Israel. Why did He call them and not offer them any salvation? Judgment hadn't come for them, but He wanted to give them His government, His laws, to see that man, with Satan on the throne here, would never go God's way, and that Israel never did, although they had His law. They had His truth.

Now physical existence, this material chemical existence that we have, breathing air, a heart pumping blood, and you have to live by refueling yourself, we do it usually about three times a day with food and water. But that's only to keep a temporary existence going and it comes all out of the ground, doesn't it, just like we did.

But life begins with Christ. Life didn’t begin with Adam. Adam never had life. He only had a chemical existence and God shut mankind off from getting life when He drove them out of the Garden of Eden. Now get that. Adam did not have life. The children of Adam have not had life. Christ, the second Adam, a spirit man, made flesh, and coming in the likeness of human flesh, brought the Holy Spirit and life to those that God Himself chose and called for a special reason and a special purpose. So life began with Christ, just as the physical existence began with Adam.

But life now, began with Christ. The whole plan of salvation began with Christ. Not with Adam. Israel had a type of it in the sense of duality. They were a church, but they didn't have the Holy Spirit, they didn't have life, but they did have some of the things of God. They had the laws of God which they did not obey. Now God gave to them, because they were the church, seven annual festivals to be a type of God's plan for carrying out His purpose of reproducing Himself and making God beings out of us.

Brethren, I tell you, we have to realize what a tremendous thing God had in mind for us, and had in mind for Adam. Adam could have become a God being but he rejected the Tree of Life and he wanted to take everything to himself. He got on the getting side. He would have had to have given himself to God to have life and he never did receive life. But life begins with Christ.

god's plan through the holy days (PLAY FROM 56:11)

The Old Testament church had a picture that they could not understand through these holy days but they didn't understand the meaning of the holy days. The holy days picture God's plan of changing us from mortal to immortal, from man into God, but ancient Israel didn't understand it. They couldn't. They didn't have God's spirit.

All right let's turn then to I Corinthians now. I Corinthians 5 and verses 7 and 8.

I Corinthians 5:7-8 Purge out, therefore, the old leaven [and speaking of these days of unleavened bread here, purge out, therefore, the old leaven] that ye may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. [that is, getting sin out of your life, because leaven is a type of sin] For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: [We celebrated that, night before last] (8)Therefore, let us keep the feast, [speaking here of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Next I'd like to have you notice that the festivals are a type that were given to ancient Israel. However, they didn't understand it. They didn't know why they did it. I didn't know why when I started. Not for several years. But God finally did explain it to me. But I had to obey first and find out why later.

Alright, back to Leviticus now. Leviticus 23.

Leviticus 23:4 These [beginning in verse 4, These] are the feasts [or festivals] of the Eternal, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.

Now these come seasonally every year. They don't come every week, they come according to seasons. God gave the Sabbath for man when man was made. "The Sabbath was made for man" Jesus said. It was made when man was made, at creation. At man's creation that is, not the creation of the earth, but at man's creation.

But these feasts were made for the church and they were made when God raised up the first church, but it was only the church of the Old Testament and this church was not offered life. They had not come to judgment yet and judgment was not on them yet, but they were given these festivals, even though they didn't understand what they pictured.

Leviticus 23:5-6 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's Passover. (6) And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto the Eternal, seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

Now if you read on further you'll find all of the other festivals are explained later and I'll come to that later too and the meaning of all of them. But first I want you to get the meaning of the whole thing and God's purpose and how it's working out so that we can understand how these festivals explain the seven major steps in God's plan of redeeming us through Christ.

We're redeemed through Christ. We were born and put on earth and given this chemical existence through Adam. But life comes through Christ. Now all of these festivals, incidentally, were ordained forever. Next let’s turn back to Exodus 12 and verse 14.

Exodus 12:14-15 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Eternal throughout your generations. You shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. (15) Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread, even on the first day you shall put away all leaven out of your [homes]... and so on.

And the seventh day was also a feast.

Exodus 12:17 ...therefore, shall you observe this day in all your generations [now speaking of the feast of unleavened bread] by an ordinance forever.

Well the days are all ordained forever. I saw that back in the spring of 1927. I didn't understand why, but I said "if God says do it, I'm going to do it." Because I have come to believe in what God says and what God means and that He has a reason for what He says that we should do. Now let's get a little more of the meaning.

meaning of passover and unleavened bread (PLAY FROM 1:01:45)

First, the Passover shows the crucified Christ, that Christ was crucified for the remission of our sins. Second, the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread picture our putting sin out of our lives. Now Christ's death purges sin only up to the time we accept it. It doesn't give you license to sin tomorrow, next day, next year. It is only sins that are past.

Consequently, we must put sin out of our lives. But if we in the church, as you read in I John 1, sin, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. That is, if we confess and turn away from them, forgive us our sins, and He'll do the same thing for all the world, but in their due time. Judgment hasn't come to all of the world yet and judgment is on God's church now, the only ones He's calling.

The Passover is the crucified... is the memorial... it was a festival looking forward to the crucifixion of Christ, up until the time of that crucifixion. But from there He said, "This do in remembrance of me" and it has ever since been a memorial of the fact He did die for our sins. Now that only reconciles us to God the Father and it's God the Father who has life to give. We don't have life. Remember you weren't born with life. You were born with a chemical existence. That's all the world has had. A chemical existence. Not really life. But Jesus died to pay the penalty that you have when you've broken God's law. You've sinned against God.

God is the lawgiver, Jesus is the judge. Jesus is the administrator. He'll be the King of the kingdom but God is over Christ and God is the lawgiver, and when you have sinned you have broken God's law. Jesus' death reconciles you to God the Father who has life to give. You are saved by the resurrection of Christ and by your own resurrection in due time.

Now second are the seven Days of Unleavened Bread and they begin today. This is the first day of the seven Days of Unleavened Bread in this year of 1981. That simply means a putting of sin out of our lives. Now that is quite, quite an order (let me tell you) to get sin out of your life. Maybe you'll find that trying to get leaven out of your home is quite a thing.

I notice some of the women over in my home going around trying to find if there's a little bit of leaven even in the seat down in the meshes of a rug and trying to get it out of everywhere that we could get every bit of leaven out of that home.

It is a very difficult thing, and time after time you'll find you thought you got all the leaven out of your home then you find some of it there that you've forgotten, that you neglected. And often you'll find sin still in your life that you haven't put away yet, that you thought you had.

pentecost explained (PLAY FROM 1:05:45)

Now the third festival is the Day of Pentecost. That will come seven weeks later. We count from the morrow after the weekly Sabbath (or beginning with the morrow after the weekly Sabbath). In the Bible, that confused me for so many years because every translation says you "count from" and when you count from a Sunday, the first day after a Sunday is Monday. One day after a Sunday is not still Sunday. But that is a wrong translation.

Every translation of the Bible was wrong when I first studied it 54 years ago. But I find now that it was a mistranslation, and you count beginning on that Sunday and it brings you to a Sunday seven weeks from; well, as a matter of fact, it will be seven weeks from today. Seven weeks from today will be the Day of Pentecost this year. And that is the picture of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the first giving of life - which Adam never got, (which no human has had) but life coming to human beings through the Holy Spirit - judgment upon the church.

Now Jesus said in John 6:44:

John 6:44 No man can come to Me except the Father which sent me draws him.

And God is not calling very many. God is only calling a few. And why? Because we must learn to overcome Satan, we have to overcome ourselves. We have to get all of the sins out of ourlives and do it now and that's just a little too hard for everybody to do. We will have been the firstfruits and when judgment comes and the opportunity for salvation to everybody else still living; beginning in the Millennium, there won't be any devil around for them to overcome.

They won't have to overcome Satan, but we do. But there is no scripture that says they will be sitting with Christ in His throne. But in Revelation 2:26 and Revelation 3:21, 22 if we overcome we shall be given power over the nations and rule them with a rod of iron.

We shall sit with Christ in His throne even as He now sits with His Father on His Father's throne in heaven. Those of us in the church. But it's a LOT HARDER for us to overcome now than it will be for others in the Millennium or for the biggest number in the Great White Throne Judgment after the end of the Millennium.

We have the much harder job, my brethren, and it is not so easy, but the stakes are worth it. They are very, very great. I knew, when I gave myself to Christ 54 years ago at about this time of the year, or a little earlier in the year than this, I knew it meant persecution. I knew it meant every trial and trouble. I counted the cost.

But I looked at the wonderful rewards and I knew it was the only thing that was good and right and I did want to be right, but I found it was pretty hard to be right and I haven't always been as right as I wanted to be and that's true of every one of you. You've all had that same struggle. We all do. But God looks on the heart and that's the inner intent and what is your motive and what is your purpose and what do you really want to do? Well, I have wanted to live God's way.

So the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost and it came for the church and the Day of Pentecost then symbolizes the church, the firstfruits of God's salvation to receive life. Adam did not receive life. It was offered and he rejected it. Now some of us are beginning to receive life. There is something that I think maybe we don’t understand ourselves quite yet.

The prophets were called of God and they had the Holy Spirit, but did they have the Holy Spirit within them? If they didn't, they had the Holy Spirit in such a way that they will be in the resurrection when Christ comes. They will be caught up even before those that are living at the time of Christ, who will be changed to immortality, that is those who have God's spirit and are in the church.

the feast of trumpets (PLAY FROM 1:11:01)

Alright, the fourth of these annual festivals is the Feast of Trumpets. Now they blew the trumpet every month up to the seventh month and then they stopped blowing trumpets. And at the seventh trump, that will picture the coming of Christ. The Feast of Trumpets though, pictured the second coming of Christ and the restoration - coming for the restoration of the government of God and the Kingdom of God. But the trouble with it all is that Satan is still here, and that has to be taken care of. Also in Revelation 2:26 and in Revelation 3:21 and 22, those of us that overcome will be ruling with him. The saints are going to take the kingdom and possess the kingdom as Daniel says in the seventh chapter. Now the next festival has to do with Satan.

the day of atonement (PLAY FROM 1:12:11)

Festival number five, which is the Day of Atonement, which is very close after Christ's coming. An angel with the key to the bottomless pit, (well I could read that over here in the twentieth chapter of Revelation) is going to lay hold on Satan the devil. In the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, it pictures the second coming of Christ and in the 20th chapter, right after Christ's coming, we read;

Revelation 20:1-5 And I saw [John is telling what he saw in vision here in his prophecy; I saw] an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit with a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were fulfilled and after that he must be loosed a little season.

(4) And I saw thrones, and they [that is those from the church now (from the church age) that had been called and that God had called and drawn and been in judgment] sat upon these thrones and judgment was given unto them: [Now we begin to judge, and we're going to judge the world, judgment is given to them] and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, [martyrs that is] which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead [will not live] again until the thousand years [are] finished. [That] is the first resurrection.

the feast of tabernacles (PLAY FROM 1:14:31)

Now then, we will live and reign with Christ in ruling the government and now the governments of all the world and all nations will be under Christ and under us. Judgment will now come to all the world that is left living and their children that are as yet now unborn, but will be born during that Millennium. But there won't be any devil, and the law of God will go forth from Zion, and the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the oceans.

I tell you the millions are going to come and be saved when that happens in that... that's a picture during the Millennium and we celebrate that in the Feast of Tabernacles. Now I'd better go ahead a little bit with this. The Atonement is banishing Satan. He is the goat...I don't know, is it the Azazel, or Azazael, (or whatever it is) not a scapegoat, but it is the goat that represented the devil and is taken away into another place.

Then we come to the sixth festival which is the Feast of Tabernacles beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month of God's calendar, and that is what I just read to you in Revelation 20.

The seventh festival really is the Last Great Day. That's the time of the great judgment when all that ever lived; [now] as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order [Christ was made alive 1950 years ago] afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. (I Corinthians 15:22-23).

That's going to happen in the next few years. I can't tell you just how many, but it isn't going to be too many from now on. Others later. Now then, coming back to the 20th chapter of Revelation again: Revelation 20:7-10 ...when the thousand years [were] expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (8) And [he'll] go out to deceive the nations, [many of whom were perhaps unconverted yet, and there will be a population explosion once again, about that time, there will be a few billion people on earth once again and Satan will go out to deceive the nations] which are at the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, the number of [which] is as the sand of the sea. (9) And they went [or you could read it, they will go, it all puts it into the past tense here; went] up upon the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. [that will be their first death, they will be people born during the Millennium] (10) And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are [or were cast] and shall be [that is, the devil shall be] tormented day and night forever and ever. [That only includes the devil]

the last great day (PLAY FROM 1:18:19)

Then here comes your eighth day and the final seventh festival.

Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. [Here is a great resurrection] and the books were opened and another book was opened, which is the book of life [So some are going to receive life. Adam didn’t receive life. Most of the people who have ever lived have never received life. We have it conditionally, by having the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is only an earnest payment, sort of a down payment on it, that we have if we continue to overcome.

He that endureth unto the end the same shall be saved”] The books were opened and another book was opened which is the book of life] and the dead were judged, [or will be judged] out of those things that are written in the book.

Then after that there will be another resurrection of the incorrigible wicked who have been judged, who have been called, and who rejected it. Or who have started and committed the unpardonable sin of rejecting the Holy Spirit, after they had received the Holy Spirit. That will be a resurrection just to go into the second death. And all of those who do not receive and are not judged to receive life in that Great White Throne judgment, they will go into the lake of fire. And finally there will be the second death and that will complete God's program.

repentance and building godly character (PLAY FROM 1:20:18)

Now God is building character in you and me. That is the purpose of this life and these annual holy days merely picture the seven annual steps of how, through Christ, he begins to give us life. But how do we get that life? We have to first REPENT, and to repent is to turn away from our way and turn to the way of the law of God and the government of God, because it all is going to restore the government of God to this earth.

Now the governments of this world are all managed by Satan. But the government of God has been established in the Philadelphia era of God's church. The government of God was not established in the Sardis era when I first came among those people, the government of God was not there, but God has established the government of God in this church. And that's a sort of a type of a whole real government of God that will be over every nation and every person on the earth when Christ comes, and the devil will be away.

In the meantime judgment is on us. Judgment has begun at the house of God. It has not begun on the world, as yet, and the world has not yet been called. The fact that judgment is on us is not a condemnation, it is an opportunity for salvation.

Now I went into, yesterday afternoon, the 25th chapter of Matthew, the ten virgins. Five of them had their Bibles (the lamp), but the spirit was not in them (in their vessels). The Holy Spirit had gone out and they did not have the Holy Spirit, and they did not get into the kingdom of God. Brethren, this is a very serious thing on us and we are in the very last days and it isn't going to be very much longer now. It is going to be too late. I don't know how much longer.

I know that it behooves us to be very careful every day and we're not praying as much as we should. We're not praying as earnestly as we should. Most of us aren't praying as often as we should or as long when we pray as we should, and pretty soon it's going to be too late. Are we going to be among those of the Laodicean condition? The Laodicean church as such, has not come yet, but it will, it will come soon. It comes after the great tribulation. It comes out of it.

Well, I've tried today to give you the meaning of these festivals and how the festivals of God, these feast days, picture the plan of how God works it out and what that plan really is. Remember mankind was made without life, only a chemical existence. The idea is how do we gain life. That's why in the second chapter of Ephesians it says you were Gentiles without God,“you were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) They didn't have life.

The world is dead from that point of view, that is they’re dying every day they live. Death is a great process, it takes a long time. It takes some people seventy years to die and some it takes a hundred years to die. I hope I get to a hundred, but maybe I won't.

I remember my mother saying to me one time, she said, "Herbert, do you think I will ever live to be one hundred?" Well, I don't know. You know how you talk to anyone like that. You want to bolster them up and I said, "Of course you will, Mother." Maybe I shouldn't have said that because I didn't know. She didn't quite make it but she was ninety-five and a half when she died. Some of my grandparents were up in their nineties when they died. Well, I think it's needful for the rest of you that I stay around a little while longer and I hope God will keep me here, and I believe he will. I do covet your prayers and you do have mine.

draw closer to god (PLAY FROM 1:25:22)

I know we need a revival in this church. We've been trying to get back on the track and we've been getting back on the track in doctrines and things like that but are we as filled with the spirit of God, brethren all of us, as we should be? I doubt it.

You get more filled with God the more you read the Bible and the more you talk to God in prayer. Spend more time in Bible study, not just reading, but Bible study and prayer. Read some of the prayers of Daniel, of David, and those men of God and how they prayed and poured their hearts out and put all their hearts into their prayers.

Do you pray like that? Or is it just a little prayer of; "Father, I want to pray for this person and that person” and so on, and just a little light prayer and that's all there is to it. That's not praying with a real contrite spirit. You need to be in earnest and we need to get closer to God. To spend more of our time with God and less with this world and the interests and the pleasures of this world.

Well, until next time. Now I'm due to be in New York next Sabbath and that will be, of course, the last holy day. And I'll have quite a large audience in New York, I think, and many church brethren that will come in there. And perhaps the Sabbath after that I may be back here again, but until I see you again, why once again I'll say goodbye to you. I hope that I'll be with you more often again from now on than I have been the last two years.

{1} Editorial Note: Mr. Armstrong digresses for a few paragraphs here as he explains his deteriorating eyesight and his need for magnifying glasses.

{2}Editorial Note: Mr. Armstrong eventually stopped applying the term ‘uniplural’ to Elohim. In his April 1983 sermon “Spiritual Health Checkup,” he explained (at 28:50 on the audio file) that Elohim is indeed a plural word and not uniplural. This is further clarified in his book, MYSTERY OF THE AGES (page 50) where he said: The Hebrew word translated “God” is Elohim—a noun or name, plural in form, but normally singular in grammatical usage.

{3} Editorial Note: Mr. Armstrong had just explained That the angels were spirit and were made to live eternally so he meant to say “cannot die.” The original says “die”

{4}Editorial Note: Although Mr. Armstrong said “Now back to Genesis again” he at first repeated the passage from Psalm 104:30

{5} Editorial Note: Mr. Armstrong quotes from verse 22 here, but mistakenly says “verse 32”