The World Tomorrow

What Did Christ Teach?

by Herbert W Armstrong


And greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.

But my friends what’s wrong with the world today? It seems that everything’s wrong with it, but do you know why? Why is it in this world in which we live, this upset, chaotic, war-fearing world, why is it that the churches are not proving to be the stabilizing influence that could save this world? Why is it the churches are lacking in power? What’s wrong?

You would think that at least the churches in our land here, in the United States is certainly dotted with them, that we would be able to, that is the churches would be able to save the situation. And if you think that just the churches in America couldn’t save the world; at least they should be able to save America. And yet there is more crime in America than any other land in the world today.

We lead the world in crime; we lead the world in many things that are wrong even in the way we live among ourselves here at home. Why is it? Let me tell you one of the reasons. This is one of the most astounding things of this time. And if you’ll get a Bible and look into it you’ll be astonished.

Millions in the United States believe on Jesus Christ; they profess to. Millions accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Millions will, at least in their own way, worship Jesus Christ and still they are not really Christians. They are walking in darkness, they have no light. They are not saved and yet they think they are. Millions - do you know why?

What The Early Churches Followed (PLAY FROM 01:52)

As we’ve just been going through the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to see what Jesus Christ did teach. It’s the most astonishing thing in the world when you open your Bible and when you see what the churches in that day did follow; the real true Spirit-inspired churches that were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and what is being followed today.

Just one example: The teaching of Jesus Christ was that if any man being divorced, or divorcing his wife, marry another, he commits adultery. And if any woman who has divorced a husband, or has been divorced, marries another she commits adultery. Today we don’t believe that. And today most of the crime, or a large share of the crime in the United States, is committed by young people under twenty years of age. And an astonishingly high percentage of the young people in juvenile delinquency and of crime are committed by those who have been raised in broken homes. That’s only one example. That’s one of the greatest crimes. It’s one of the greatest evils in the United States today.

Now, we were seeing here in the preceding program Jesus had said: "…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12 KJV). " He that followeth me," but people don’t follow Him today. They believe on Him but they don’t believe in Him, they don’t believe Him, I mean to say; they don’t believe Him in the sense that they believe what He said and what He taught. They make Him out a liar; they don’t believe that He taught the truth ... they believe exactly the opposite. They won’t follow Him, they won’t follow the customs that He followed. They don’t follow the example that He set.

And He said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done" (John 13:15 KJV paraphrased). Peter said that He set us an example that we should follow his steps. Why don’t we follow it then? (I Peter 2:21 KJV)

You know, you have probably read the book; 'In His Steps;' one of the most famous books that ever came out. And it was the book of a pastor, just like most ministers, he’d been going along in the usual way, and then something happened that really startled this fellow, it brought him to his senses apparently. But you know he hadn’t had the real Bible teaching apparently, and he was shaken and he was aroused to feel that he ought to follow in Jesus’ steps. He read that passage of following in Jesus’ steps (I Peter 2:21 KJV), and he decided that he would do it and then he preached a fiery sermon before his congregation and he was afraid that they would attack him and throw him out but they didn’t. They agreed, at least a large portion of them, I haven’t read that book for so many years I don’t remember the details, it’s sort of faded out in my memory.

But the thing is that I want you to get, if you have read that book you will know, that every time they stopped to think in their own mind; now what do I think Jesus would do in these circumstances. And in every case they did what they thought Jesus would do. But, you know my friends, if you’ll read the life of Jesus you’ll find that in most cases Jesus did do exactly the opposite of what they seemed to think He would do. They didn’t follow His steps, they followed their own ideas of what they supposed would be what Jesus would do.

His Teachings Not What Most Think (PLAY FROM 05:08)

Why it’s the most rare thing in the world to find anyone that will really read the Bible to find what Jesus did do and then follow His steps. Of course it’s going to correct us and reprove us and we’re going to have to unlearn a lot of things we’ve been learning and been taught even in Sunday school and in church and at home and every other place. And that’s the hardest thing in the world; is to unlearn.

Now, Jesus went on preaching a lot of other things. He said: "…as my Father hath taught me I speak these things, and he that sent me is with me: and the Father hath not left me alone [I’m in the eighth chapter of John by the way and now the twenty-ninth verse; open your own Bibles, John the eighth chapter, John 8:29]; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:28-29 KJV). So Jesus said.

Do you do the things that please God? Do you read the Bible to find out what pleases Him and why does it please Him; because it is going to result in happiness for you! The things that please God are the things that are going to make you happy and make you a source of good and benefit and happiness to others. The things that will bring you peace of mind; that will bring you just peace in life; the things that will bring you, yes, even prosperity. Of course, the material prosperity comes last, that’s added later. You get spiritual prosperity first. You find the true happiness and the true riches which are spiritual and then you can have the physical added later. I mention the physical because most people have that on their minds most of the time; they don’t realize the spiritual values, only the material and if they could just have, oh this new car, this new home, this new that or the other thing, some material thing, then they think they would be happy.

That’s not the source of happiness and when you get those things they won’t make you happy. If you found happiness then it’s convenient to have other nice material things and God will add them if you found real happiness.

But, Jesus said; "…for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29). And the things that’ll please God are the things that’ll make life worth living for you and make you happy.

Well "As he spoke these words, many believed on him" (John 8:30). Just like people do today. Now they believed on Him but they did not believe Him and as He said they were believing on Him; they were seeking Him but they were going to die in their sins. (John 8:21 KJV)

Many Only Believed On Him (PLAY FROM 07:24)

Now I want to go on through; I got into the middle of this in the preceding program didn’t get to finish it, and now I want to go on through with it and I want to show you about these people that believed on Him; that they did not believe Him, they didn’t believe His message . Today they preach the name of Jesus Christ around the world. They tell people about a Savior, they talk about His person but they don’t teach you His message! They don’t follow Him, they don’t believe what He preached.

Well my friends, that’s what you’re going to hear on this program. You’re going to hear about Christ, you can’t preach what He did without preaching about Him; that’s fine I don’t criticize that. But I just say you can’t believe on Him if you don’t believe Him; and you have to believe His message and He came preaching the Good News of the kingdom of God and that’s tomorrow’s world - the World Tomorrow and He said, "…repent ye"... (Mark 1:15 KJV); and that means turn around and go the other way. That means follow Him; that means believe Him and do what He said. Oh, He said: "How call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say" (Luke 6:46 paraphrased)? Again He said; "Not everyone that just calleth on me and crieth out Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom but only they that do the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21 KJV paraphrased)

Why don’t people want to do that way? Well because it’s so hard to turn around and admit we’ve been wrong. It goes against human nature, and people don’t seem to like to do it. Now here were people that believed on Him; but I want to show you that they did not believe Him.

Now come right on the next verse; the thirty-first in the eighth chapter of John’s gospel. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him (now I want you to notice He’s talking to those who believed on Him, they believed on Him), If ye continue in my word…" (John 8:31)

Now, if you do what I say, in other words; "…If ye continue in my word" (John 8:31). To continue in it is to do it, to live it, to practice it. In other words if you obey, if you do. Today you know, you get the teaching that you mustn’t do anything, just do what you please. Just believe; they teach believing on Him, yes, they teach seeking Him; worshipping Him - in vain. He said: "In vain do ye worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9 KJV). Following your own precepts and your human traditions; making the law of God of no effect by your traditions.

Now to those who believe on Him He said; "If [and there’s that great big little two letter word if] If you continue in my word [that’s to practice it, to live it, to walk in it, to follow Him], then are you my disciples indeed [well now that shows that to those who believe on Him He was plainly saying; if you don’t follow me; if you do not continue in my word you are not my disciples even though you believe on me. That’s very plain]; if you continue in my word then are you my disciples indeed [said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him]; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8: 31-32 KJV)

There’s one of the best known passages in all the Bible; "…the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Now usually they just quote "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Oh are you going to know the truth? Do you know that there is a way to know the truth and that very few people know it? Jesus didn’t say, "you shall know the truth." They take that one verse, that’s verse 32, "and you shall know the truth," but that’s part of a sentence, and the sentence began in verse 31; and there Jesus said; "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth." (John 8:31 KJV paraphrased)

Must Follow Him to Know Him (PLAY FROM 11:08)

But if you won’t continue in His word you shall not know the truth; and the truth can’t make you free until you know it and follow it. You find it in different kinds of language all over the Bible. You find in the one hundred and eleventh Psalm that "The fear of the [Eternal] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:" (Psalm 111:10 KJV)

Well don’t you know that the Ten Commandments are done away? Why they were not given forever, let alone forever and ever, they were just temporary just until the cross. Is that so? Just look back three verses here; one hundred eleventh Psalm and verse seven: "The works of his hands are verity and judgment" (Psalm 111:7). What did He write with His own fingers, His own hand? The tables of stone; the Ten Commandments; on the tables of stone that is. "The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure [that’s all ten of them]. They stand fast for ever and ever" (Psalm 111:7-8 KJV paraphrased). So apparently the Bible disputes some of these that say they don’t believe that the Ten Commandments were to stand fast forever and ever.

Now God really tells them what they are in I John the second chapter and the fourth verse. The third verse says; "…hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [and there are some fellows that just don’t love the commandments of God and they hate anybody that will preach them] But he that saith [this is the word of God], he that saith I know him, [and they profess to know Him alright] and keepeth not his commandments [they certainly don’t], is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:3-4 KJV)

Well I just invite those people to read those words. To turn that looking glass around and look into it; God’s calling them a liar. And that’s not Herbert W Armstrong calling them a liar, that’s God Almighty; and that’s going to stand up in the judgment and they’re going to sit there and take it, or stand there and take it. When the time comes and God is going to look at them and say, "You’re a liar, you professed to know me but you didn’t know me, you’re a liar; you didn’t keep my commandments." You can only know Him if you keep His law: His commandments. "The fear of the [Eternal] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have they that do his commandments:" (Psalm 111: 10 KJV)

How are you going to seek Him? He said " shall seek me and you’ll not find me and you’ll die in your sins." Well I read that to you in the preceding program I think in Isaiah 55. "Seek the [Eternal] while he is near, while he may be found…Let the wicked [and that’s everybody is wicked until they’ve found Him] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts [because your thoughts and your ways are not God’s]: and then he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-8 KJV paraphrased)

God hears not sinners! God will not hear a sinner. But just the minute you repent of your sin; just the minute you want to turn away from it; the minute you forsake your way and your thoughts, which are the ways of sin, that minute you’re not considered a sinner. Because you’re trying to turn away from it. Of course you’ve got all your past load of sin on your hands yet and it’s over your head. You’re still under the law; it’s standing right over you and going to claim your life even yet. But, if you repent you have turned away from sin, you’re not a sinner for the moment, then God will hear you. And then you can come to God, then you can accept Jesus Christ and come to God through Him. And then the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all sin and wipe away the penalty.

God Hears Before Conversion (PLAY FROM 14:42)

Now God will hear sinners before they have really been converted; before they have really had their sins forgiven.

You know, the question was coming up just last night. And someone said, "Well now brother Armstrong said that God won’t hear sinners." And, well I can mention something, I don’t know about this man and I don’t want in any way judge. But I would suppose that perhaps he was not a converted man, at least up to this time, and I’m going to mention the man’s name because what I’m mentioning is certainly all to his credit. And that is Eddie Rickenbacker and his companions and when they were lost out in the Pacific Ocean. And they were floating I believe it was on a raft, if I am not mistaken, and several days. Well they began to pray; men always do under such conditions.

Now someone might have said well, they were not converted men. But God heard them. My friends, the minute you really cry out to God for mercy; the minute you throw yourself on His mercy; the minute you begin to repent; and you can’t tell me that those men didn’t at that minute repent. I don’t know whether they stuck with it or not, I’m not their judge and I don’t even know anything about it and that’s not the case, I hope they did.

But whether they did or not, at that minute, I believe that they were repentant and they probably were going further than God would demand and making all kinds of promises to God about how they would obey Him; and how good they were going to be from now on if God would only save them; because it’s human nature to do that. And I have known of many cases of unconverted people and when they think they’re going to die they scream out and they’ll make every promise in the world to God. Now God doesn’t demand that you make promises to Him; that isn’t necessary, but of course they don’t know that and they’ll make all kinds of promises.

Well my friends the minute they do that they are not sinners, at that moment they have turned from their sin, and they really mean to, they’re scared to death at the minute. And they mean it in their hearts. It may be it doesn’t stay there very long, I can’t be the judge of that, but at that minute they really mean it. And God will hear them and God has answered prayers like that. Oh yes, God has answered the prayers of unconverted people. If He didn’t my friends, how could you ever get converted? If you had to get converted first, and you can’t get converted my friends until God hears you, why you’d be hopeless and helpless, you just never could find God.

God will hear you when you turn away from your sins and the way is to forsake your own thoughts and your own ways. Well that’s what people just don’t want to do.

Now, Jesus said: "…if you continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth" (John 8:31). And it’s only if you forsake your way, if you continue in His word, that you can know the truth.

"…a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:" (Psalm 111:10)

That do obey God and that do seek the way of truth by trying to live by every word of God; and they study and search the scriptures to find the way of truth in order to live that way and it’s going to correct them and reprove them, they’re going to have to take a good deal of correction and reproof.

Pharisees Offended (PLAY FROM 18:03)

"They answered him, we be Abraham’s seed, and we were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, ye shall be made free." (John 8:33 KJV)

Why immediately they took offence at what He said, they were offended. They thought that He was saying that you’re in bondage. He said if you will follow me, if you will continue in my word you can be made free. You can know the truth, "…and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32)

Well they took offence at that, that implied they were not free and the only they could see was material things; they didn’t get the spiritual meaning that Jesus had in mind, free from your sins, they thought He meant that you’re slaves. And they were very proud of the fact that they were Abraham’s children. They were free men, they were not slaves to anyone, actually in a sense they were the slaves of Caesar, up to a certain extent because they didn’t even have their own government then; they were under the Roman government.

But they said,"We were never in bondage to any man, how sayest thou, you shall be made free" (John 8:33 KJV paraphrased)? Notice their impudent, sarcastic, indignant, offended speech right away; their hearts were not right; and yet they believed on Him.

Now, "Jesus answered them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34)

You’re the servants of sin; you’re slaves to sin because you are sinners, you’re committing sin. That’s why He had said to them even though they believed on Him they were still sinning. That’s the way with people today, they want to believe on Jesus Christ; they want to accept Him as personal Savior but they want to continue right on in their sins. And they’re still the slaves of sin. And you can’t be made free from sin until you will forsake sin, until you begin to follow Jesus. Until you forsake your way and believe what Jesus taught and keep God’s commandments because Jesus kept them and set us an example and said that we should keep them too. Now there you are.

They answered Him that they were not the slaves of any man. He said that "…Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin and the servant abideth not in the house forever." (John 8:33-35 KJV paraphrased)

In other words, the meaning there: you take a rich man’s mansion and he’ll have a son or two we will say and also he might have several servants. Now the servants are not going to abide in that mansion forever. When the man dies they have no further claim on it; they’re just there as long as he employs them. And the sons are going to inherit the property and they’re going to continue there, but not the servants. But He said the son abideth forever, the Son will inherit the property. (Refers to John 8:35 KJV paraphrased)

And now a Son of God will live forever and will inherit eternal life because God is Eternal, and if we become His sons we have to be like Him and we have to have eternal life the same as He has it. But a servant is not, and if they’re the servants of sin, and sin is a, well sin is the thing that leads to death and that’s what it’s going to lead them into.

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. [and He is the Son of God; and if He made them free then they would be free]I know that ye are Abraham’s seed [or Abraham’s children He said, I know that]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you." (John 8:37)

"My word has no place in you". And it has no place in Christians today.

They, that means many of them, I don’t mean everybody and if that’s not true of you then I don’t mean you. I’m only meaning those to whom it applies and everybody can look into the mirror for himself or he can try the shoe and see whether it fits and if it doesn’t fit don’t put it on and wear it, and I don’t mean you. But I am pretty sure that that means most people today because that’s been the teaching my friends, we’ve had no other teaching than that.

Because He said, "My word hath no place in you."{1} These words said Jesus to those Jews that believed on Him. They believed on Him but He said my word has no place in you.

"I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do …" (John 8:38)

Now He’s talking about what they do and He is emphasizing in His teaching that just believing on Him was not enough. You know it doesn’t make any difference how much energy I try to put into telling you people that. A lot of you somehow just don’t see it, do you? Well if you don’t see it you’re not seeing the way to eternal life. And if you want to be deceived my friends enjoy your life while you may; it’s a temporary existence and you won’t live long. I say that to every one of you because this whole - I don’t care if you live to be a 120 it isn’t going to be long. It flies by and we’re just like a leaf: we’re here today we’re gone tomorrow. Why can’t we wake up and realize these things?

Abraham's Children (PLAY FROM 23:06)

Yes, He said: "I know that you’re Abraham’s children; but you seek to kill me [that’s break God’s commandments], because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father" (John 8:37-38 KJV paraphrased). Now, who was He telling them was their father?

He said: "They answered him and they said unto him, Abraham is our father [well now was he really? By flesh birth, yes, but spiritually he wasn’t, spiritually Abraham is the father of the faithful and not of others. Now listen]. Jesus said unto them, if you were Abraham’s children you would do the works of Abraham." (John 8:39)

Now, were they Abraham’s children? You know what God said of Abraham way back here in Genesis, in the eighteenth chapter of Genesis in the nineteenth verse? "And the [Eternal] said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; [that’s in verse 17 and in verse 19 God said of Abraham]; For I know him [God said] that he [Abraham] will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the [Eternal] to do justice and judgment; that the [Eternal] may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him" (Genesis 18:17, 19 KJV). The children of Abraham are those that Abraham then has commanded to do the way of the Eternal and to follow the ways of righteousness. These people didn’t do that.

Now then to the Gentiles in Galatia later the apostle Paul said that you’re neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ, but in Christ we are all one "And if you be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29). Now the real children of Abraham then are those who obey; those who are Christ’s and who are Christ’s? Well, these people believed on Him but were they His? No, He said, "My word has no place in you" (John 8:37). They were not His. He was not making them free and they were not Abraham’s children or they would have done the works of Abraham.

"But now [He said] ye seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: This did not Abraham [in other words Abraham didn’t do like you’re doing]. Ye do [and He’s talking about doing which you don’t hear much of in today’s so called Christianity] you do the deeds of your father [now who was their father?]. Then they said unto him, We be not born of fornication." (John 8:40-41)

You know Jesus had no human father, God Almighty was His Father. And when they called Him born of fornication they were accusing God Almighty of being that fornicator. I wonder if you can realize the blaspheming of what they were saying. God Almighty was His Father and Mary was His human mother. But they knew that He was born of a virgin and so therefore they claimed that it was fornication. They accused Mary and they accused God.

"…we have one Father, even God [said these Jews]. Jesus said unto them, if God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word." (John 8:40-43)

Well I would say my friends why can’t some of you understand it; do you understand what I’m saying to you? These are the words of Jesus Christ; these are the words of life I’m giving you. Do you understand?

He said: "Ye are of your father the devil [their spiritual father was the devil because they served him and obeyed him] and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. [well then how were they going to find the truth to be made free; and these were the people that believed on Him?] When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (John 8:44-45 KJV paraphrased)

These words said Jesus to those that believed on Him.


{1} Mr Armstrong said, "My place has no place in you" rather than My word has no place in you."