THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
by Herbert W. Armstrong
1978 edition

--------------------
This is the eye-opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus
Christ -- of how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole
world deceived.
--------------------

It's positively astounding! It has remained undiscovered by
science! No religion has revealed it! Higher education has never
taught it! Is it possible the whole world has been
deceived -- regarding the awesome purpose of human life -- about the
WAY to world peace and how it will come? And could it be true
that the real gospel message Christ brought from heaven revealed
this missing dimension -- but was suppressed? This is the
eye -- opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus Christ -- of
how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole world
deceived.
--------------------

Contents


Chapter 1 ..... CHRIST'S GOSPEL WAS SUPPRESSED -- NOT HEARD FROM THE
FIRST CENTURY UNTIL NOW

Chapter 2 ..... THE STARTLING REVELATION OF WHAT WAS CHRIST'S
GOSPEL

Chapter 3 ..... THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL AT LAST REVEALED

Chapter 4 ..... PRE-EXISTENCE BEFORE THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE

Chapter 5 ..... WHAT LED TO THE CREATION OF

Chapter 6 ..... HOW GOD PLANNED TO REPRODUCE HIMSELF

Chapter 7 ..... BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HUMAN MAN AND THE ULTIMATE
SPIRIT -- COMPOSED SONS OF GOD

Chapter 8 ..... WHY TODAY'S WORLD EVILS?

Chapter 9 ..... WHY THE CHURCH?

Chapter 10 ..... JUST WHAT DO YOU MEAN -- CONVERSION?

Chapter 11 ..... HUMAN NATURE -- AND HOW A WHOLE WORLD IS DECEIVED
ABOUT ITS ORIGIN

Chapter 12 ..... IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?

Chapter 13 ..... WORLD PEACE -- HOW IT WILL COME


Chapter I

CHRIST'S GOSPEL WAS SUPPRESSED
-- NOT HEARD FROM FIRST CENTURY UNTIL NOW!


PREPARE YOURSELF for the most shocking revelation of your life.
Does it come as an astonishing shock to learn that the most
important dimension in all knowledge was sent from God to this
earth by Jesus Christ -- but that message was suppressed in the
very first century? That Jesus Himself was put to death for
revealing it? That His apostles, with one possible exception,
were also martyred for proclaiming it?
Yet this message from the living God, if humanity had
received and heeded it, would have saved this world from nearly
all of its troubles, sufferings and evils.
The very word "gospel" means "good news." That message, when
fully understood, reveals a human potential so stupendous -- so
awesome -- it appears at first to be totally beyond belief, yet it
has been suppressed from the world until now.
That message reveals the most necessary facts about
humanity: what man is, the purpose for which mankind was put on
earth, where we are going, what is the way to world peace,
happiness and universal prosperity, what are the true values,
what is the awesome human potential, and how it may be achieved.
Answers to these questions form the most important knowledge
ever made accessible to man. Yet it was spurned and rejected, and
soon suppressed.
Christ's gospel message, when fully grasped, reveals what
science has been utterly unable to discover. It reveals what
religion in this world knows nothing of. It reveals what this
world's higher education has never known or taught.
It reveals the most wonderful TRUTH a human mind could ever
come to know! It reveals the missing dimension in knowledge, the
knowledge most vitally necessary to know.
It was the most monumental good news ever revealed by our
Maker to mankind! Why would men have wanted to reject it -- put to
death the messenger who brought it?
Yes, why?
The answer is that men were DECEIVED. And all nations are
deceived today!
The purpose of this book is to reveal HOW men were deceived
and to make plain WHAT that good news really was. And is.
Nevertheless, it was suppressed. And that all-important
revelation from the living God was not again proclaimed to the
world until our present generation.
Even today, most of humanity has never heard the glorious
true gospel. And those millions who do hear it have been so
drugged and stupefied by false religions and counterfeit
"gospels" that they only become confused. The TRUTH, indeed, is
stranger than any fiction! Prepare yourself to read astounding
truth -- hard to believe, yet TRUE!


The Arch-Deceiver

It is not intellectually fashionable today to believe in the
actual existence of a devil, but biblical revelation says
differently.
Biblical prophecies say plainly that in our time, today, the
WHOLE WORLD would be deceived. Notice one such prophecy in the
book of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 9: "And the great dragon
was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan,
which deceiveth the whole world."
This Satan is revealed as the arch-deceiver who has deceived
the whole world. But how did he manage to deceive the human race?
In the third chapter of Genesis he is shown as the deceiver
of mother Eve. Through her, he caused the first man, Adam, to
commit the first sin by a human.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Satan was still here on
earth as the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4). He is also the
"prince of the power of the air" today (Eph. 2:2), holding sway
over the whole of mankind.
Christ's message revealed the advance news of the total
abolition of Satan's power over the world and his banishment from
the earth. It revealed that Christ was coming as his successor to
take over the RULE of all nations. In Satan's mind, it was
necessary for him to go all out to prevent that message from
going to the world.
But how could he do it?
First, he moved to destroy the Christ child and thus prevent
His growing up to proclaim that message. He influenced King
Herod, the Roman provincial ruler over the land of Israel, and
Herod caused all infants in Bethlehem and surrounding areas two
years old or under to be put to death. But God warned Joseph and
Mary about this, moving them to flee to Egypt with the infant
Jesus until Herod was dead.
Again, when Jesus was about thirty years old, Satan sought
to destroy Him spiritually before He qualified to preach a word
of His message. But the supreme temptation with which Satan
planned to ensnare Jesus became the very test which qualified
Christ to depose Satan and to become ruler over all nations.
Jesus thus qualified to restore the government of God on the
earth and to set up the Kingdom of God. However, it was not in
God's master plan for Christ to be inducted into that office
until the end of mankind's first 6,000 years on earth.
Nevertheless, Jesus proceeded with the mission for which He
had come to earth at that time. He proclaimed His message and
taught it to His disciples.
Satan, however, still was the invisible power that swayed
the world. Even though many of the Jews to whom Jesus preached
believed on Him as the promised Messiah, they were swayed against
believing His message -- His gospel.
How did, and does, Satan deceive, move, and sway humanity?
The amazing answer will be given later.


Christ's Gospel Rejected

Notice why and how the rejection of Christ's gospel happened.
In the eighth chapter of John, verses 30 through 46, you
will read: "As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then
said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in
my word [His message], then are ye my disciples indeed; ... but
ye seek to kill me, because my word [His gospel message] hath no
place in you.... But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath
told you the truth, which I have heard of God ... for I
proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but
he sent me.... And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me
not.... And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?"
In due time, the Romans crucified Jesus. But He rose from
the dead and ascended into heaven. From there, He sent God's Holy
Spirit for His disciples.
Christ's apostles went out, as He commissioned them, to
proclaim His message to the world. God's Church was raised up
(A.D. 31) to back the proclaiming of the message. The Church
began to grow, then "caught fire," and multiplied.
But Satan connived to set up a powerful Gentile religious
leader with a counterfeit religion -- the ancient Babylonian
mystery religion. He hatched a counterfeit "gospel." He even
appropriated the name of Christ, calling that religion
"Christianity."
That, I know, is a breathtaking revelation, difficult today,
1900 years later, to believe. But nonetheless, it is true!


The Counterfeit "Gospel" Is Set Up

In Samaria, north of Jerusalem, lived a Gentile people whom the
Jews of Christ's day spurned, calling them "dogs." They had been
moved there from areas of the Babylonian Empire about 700 B.C. by
various kings, including Shalmaneser of Assyria (II Kings 17:18,
21-24, etc.). They had brought with them into the land of Samaria
their own Babylonian mystery religion. In the eighth chapter of
Acts you'll read of their religious leader in the time of Christ,
Simon Magus the Sorcerer.
Christ raised up the Church of God to stand back of the
proclaiming of His gospel message by His apostles in A.D. 31. By
A.D. 33, after a most amazing initial growth, a great persecution
set in against God's Church (Acts 8:1). At that time, AD. 33,
this Simon the Sorcerer was himself baptized along with
multitudes of others. He then tried to buy an apostleship in
God's Church from the apostles Peter and John -- but of course was
refused and rebuked.
Thereupon this Simon appropriated the NAME of Christ,
calling his Babylonian mystery religion "Christianity." Satan
moved this man and used him as his instrument to persecute and
all but destroy the true Church of God. Before the end of the
first century -- probably by A.D. 70 -- he managed to suppress the
message Christ had brought from God.
There ensued "the lost century" in the history of the true
Church of God. There was a well-organized conspiracy to blot out
all record of Church history during that period. A hundred years
later, history reveals a "Christianity" utterly unlike the Church
Christ founded.
It had taken the NAME of Christ and applied it to the
Babylonian mystery religion. It had replaced the MESSAGE Jesus
brought from God with a "gospel" about the person of
Christ -- proclaiming the Messenger but suppressing the entire
missing dimension from His message.
And for at least eighteen and one-half centuries the true
gospel was not proclaimed to the world.


"Another Gospel" Gains Acceptance

By about A.D. 58, when the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the
Galatians, many already were turning to this now new counterfeit
"gospel."
Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
which is not another [it was not good news]; but there be some
that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal.
1:6-7).
To the Thessalonians, about A.D. 54, Paul wrote, "For the
mystery of iniquity doth already work ..." (II Thes. 2:7). It
was the Babylonian mystery religion, started by Simon the
Sorcerer (Acts 8), a religion of iniquity -- lawlessness -- a
religion rejecting the law of God. Much more of this later.


The True and the False Church

In the book of Revelation are pictured two churches, each of
which go under the NAME of Christ. One, pictured in the twelfth
chapter, portrays the true Church of God, small in number,
reduced through persecution and martyrdom, but obedient to God's
law, and hated by Satan. The other, in the seventeenth chapter,
called "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and
Abominations of the Earth" (verse 5). In other words, the
Babylonian mystery religion steeped in "iniquity" -- abolishing
God's law.
During the time of Paul's ministry, these same Simon Magus
ministers were troubling the Corinthians. Paul wrote to the
Corinthians: "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I
have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a
chaste virgin to Christ [the true Church, in the resurrection, is
to be married to Christ, spiritually]. But I fear, lest by any
means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your
minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he [a minister of Simon Magus] that cometh preacheth
another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive
another spirit [of rebellion and disobedience] which ye have not
received, or another gospel ..." (II Cor. 11:2-4). (More,
later, about the connection with the deception of the first
woman, Eve.)
But notice, they were proclaiming another Jesus -- as well as
another gospel -- and they followed another spirit -- of rebellion
and not obedience. That deception has continued through the
centuries and is the state today. They took the name of Christ.
They called their Babylonian religion "Christianity." But they
not only presented a counterfeit gospel but a counterfeit spirit
of self-centeredness and a counterfeit Jesus, completely
different to the Jesus of the Bible.
Of these false ministers, Paul wrote further to the
Corinthians: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be
transformed as the ministers of righteousness ..." (II Cor.
11:13-15).


Peter, John and Jude Expose False Ministers

Peter wrote of these deceivers: "But there were false prophets
also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers
among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies....
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom
the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through
covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of
you ..." (II Peter 2:1-3).
John wrote of these same perverters of the true gospel,
denying obedience to the way of God. "He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not
in him" (I John 2:4). "They went out from us, but they were not
of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have
continued with us ..." (I John 2:19).
Jude warned us that we should "earnestly contend for the
faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are
certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to
this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into
lasciviousness [license to disobey] .... Likewise also these
filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion [government],
and speak evil of dignities.... Woe unto them! for they have
gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of
Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These
are spots in your feasts of charity... clouds they are without
water, carried about of winds... twice dead, plucked up by the
roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;
wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness
for ever" (Jude 3-4, 8, 11-13).


The Word "Gospel" Misleading Today

Even the very word "gospel" is misleading today, especially as
used by evangelical Protestants, their missionaries, their
evangelists and their literature. The world has been, and is,
full of "gospel programs" on television, on radio, in print, in
personal evangelism.
Say to almost any person, "The gospel has not been
proclaimed to the world for eighteen and one-half centuries," and
he will think you are crazy, because it is the counterfeit
"gospel" that has been vociferously proclaimed. But it is a
"gospel" about the person of the messenger, while IGNORING His
message.
That gospel is based on the assumption that this is the
time, and the ONLY time, when God is trying to "get the whole
world saved." But those preaching such a message do not know even
what salvation is, or how it is obtained.
How could the whole world be deceived? What did Christ's
gospel MESSAGE contain that a powerful, invisible devil was so
determined to suppress and to counterfeit?
Expect some sensational surprises!

Chapter II

THE STARTLING REVELATION OF WHAT WAS CHRIST'S GOSPEL


We have seen how the most important of all knowledge, sent by the
Creator of all races, was suppressed and another "gospel" foisted
on a very deceived and unknowing world. The world heard
thereafter about the messenger, but not the message He brought.
The time has come when that awesome message must be revealed to
the world.


What, Then, Is the True Gospel?

The true gospel is the good news that God sent from heaven by
Jesus Christ. That message, when fully understood, reveals a
human potential so stupendous it appears at first to be totally
beyond belief! It is incredibly wonderful news revealed from the
Creator.
It reveals the most wonderful TRUTH a human mind could come
to know.
It reveals what I term the MISSING DIMENSION IN
KNOWLEDGE -- the most necessary knowledge so vital to know!
That vital message reveals why humanity was put here on
earth. That's vital knowledge science cannot discover, religion
has not revealed, education cannot teach.
Why? Were we put here for a PURPOSE? What is that purpose?
Is there, after all, purpose and meaning to human life? A
purpose and meaning suppressed from human dissemination? That's
vital knowledge OUTSIDE the scope of today's science, religion,
or education!


The Missing Dimension In Knowledge

If there is purpose, what is it? Why were you born?
Where are we going? What is the ultimate transcendent
potential of man? What is the way? How do we achieve that
destiny?
What is the way to peace -- among nations, between
individuals, and between groups?
Why all this world's evils? Why can't we solve our human
problems? There IS A WAY, and the true gospel reveals it! It's a
basic law that works by inexorable and relentless force.
What is human nature? Did God create and instill it in
humans to trouble us? Is it hereditary? How does it work? Neither
modern science, religion, nor education can tell you.
What is the human mind, and how does it differ from the
animal brain? Why, when the human mind can invent the computer
and can learn to send men to the moon and back, can't such minds
solve their own problems here on earth and live at peace with
their fellows?
What is man? Just what are we, after all? Science can't
learn that secret, religions have never rightly explained it, but
the true gospel, when fully understood, reveals the answer, and
in truth!
What are the true values? What is important, and what is
insignificant or of no value? Humanity dissipates its energy
pursuing false values -- spends its labor and its thinking in
pursuits that are valueless and prove useless when achieved.
The true gospel, when fully understood, explains the origin
of the Devil. Did God create a Devil to mislead and harass
humanity? The gospel explains how Satan came to be the
great -- though invisible and hidden -- POWER that sways invisibly
and actually rules this world. It explains why Satan moved with
all his wiles and subtileness to suppress, through humans he
could sway, this vital gospel message which God sent by Jesus
Christ to mankind.
Remember this: The true gospel message, had humanity heeded
it, would have saved this world nearly all its anguish, troubles,
suffering, and evils.
It is impossible for me, in a few words, to make it clear
enough with sufficient emphasis to cause the reader to comprehend
the supreme, tremendous meaning and importance of that true
gospel message.
And even today, when heard, it is seldom really understood
in all its colossal significance because Satan has thrown up such
a smokescreen of false and counterfeit religions, "gospels," and
teachings that the hearer or reader is left confused in doubt and
unbelief -- or in a state of indifference to the most important
things in life.
Nevertheless, now just before the END of this age, Almighty
God has decreed that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and
then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). This is the message the
Eternal God is delivering now, by His end-time apostle, to the
heads of governments in world capitals all over the world.
The true gospel, when viewed with all that it embodies -- the
reason for it, the prehistoric truth of earth's first
inhabitants, the reason humans were created and put on earth, the
CAUSE of all the earth's evils and sufferings, the nature of the
human mind, the need for spiritual salvation and what it is, the
coming world tomorrow of peace, what lies on beyond, and man's
ultimate incredible potential -- becomes the most all-encompassing
subject that can enter the mind of man. Beside it, everything
else shrinks to total unimportance. It is greater than any story
of man ever written before.


What Was Christ's Gospel?

God the Father had promised to send a messenger into the world
from heaven, bearing a message from Him for all mankind. This
promise is recorded in Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send my
messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [and that
messenger, as explained in Mark 1:2, was John the Baptist and the
Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in." The "Lord," here,
of course, refers to Jesus Christ.
That was the prophecy. The record of its happening is in the
first chapter Of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God." Then follows the account of John the
Baptist preparing the way before Him. Verses 12 and 13 record the
temptation of Jesus by Satan, wherein Satan sought to destroy
Christ spiritually, before He proclaimed a word of the message He
brought from God the Father. More about this supreme temptation
and test later. Then follow verses 14 and 15:
"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel ..." What gospel? "... the
gospel of the kingdom of God ...." That is the gospel Christ
proclaimed. The message He brought was the message about the
Kingdom of God.
That is the message God wanted proclaimed AS A WITNESS to
all nations! But since the first century the world has known
NOTHING of the Kingdom of God because that message was not
proclaimed to the world after the first century.
That message, when explained and fully understood, covers a
very wide range of revealed knowledge. It reveals -- I repeat -- what
science has been utterly UNABLE to discover, what religion has
never revealed, what this world's education has never known nor
taught.


Note These Points

There are a number of points to be noted which are significant.
One is, that in Malachi's prophecy, Christ was called a
messenger bearing a message -- but moreover, He is called the
"messenger of the covenant," which carries very important
meaning, to be explained later.
Again, notice the fifteenth verse of Mark 1. Jesus came into
Galilee "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God" and saying,
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel."
What did He mean, "The time is fulfilled"? And why was the
Kingdom of God then "at hand," when it had not been before that
precise time?
These points are of prime significance.
But first, before I explain more fully just what the Kingdom
of God is, notice further that this definitely is the very gospel
message Christ brought from God the Father -- the same gospel the
original apostles proclaimed -- the same gospel the apostle Paul
proclaimed to the Gentiles.


Christ Brought No Other Gospel

Jesus said, "I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities
also: for therefore am I sent" (Luke 4:43).
Jesus commissioned His disciples to teach the Kingdom of
God. "Then he called the twelve disciples together, and ... he
sent them to preach the kingdom of God ..." (Luke 9:1-2).
"But when they believed Philip preaching the things
concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they
were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12).
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom ..." (Matt.
4:23).
Jesus' parables concerned the Kingdom of God.
To His disciples, in explaining the parable of the sower, He
said: "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of
God" and then He explained to them the parable.
Again, "Then said he [Jesus], Unto what is the kingdom of
God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?" (Luke 13:18) -- and
then came a parable.
"And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of
God? It is like leaven ..." -- and then follows the parable of
the leaven (Luke 13:20-21).
One of His most important parables is recorded in the
nineteenth chapter of Luke: "... he added and spake a parable,
because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that
the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke 19:11). Then
He gave the parable of the noble man going to a far country to
receive for himself a kingdom and to return -- the picture of
Christ's ascension to heaven, where the coronation ceremony shall
take place, and His return to earth to rule all nations, as King
of kings and Lord of lords, in all the supreme power and glory of
the great God.
What gospel did the apostles and Paul proclaim?


Did Apostles and Paul Preach a Different Gospel?

After Christ's resurrection, the disciples were with Him forty
days. Were they talking among themselves about any other gospel
during that time than the Kingdom of God? Notice, just before
Jesus ascended into heaven. Luke had previously recorded what
Jesus had done and said "until the day in which he was taken up,
after that he through the Holy [Spirit] had given commandments
unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he showed
himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being
seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to
the kingdom of God ..." (Acts 1:2-3).
Notice after His resurrection Christ was speaking to His
disciples about "the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."
They, then, just before He ascended into heaven, asked him:
"Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel?" (Acts 1:6.) The apostles seemed never to understand that
the Kingdom of God was not to be set up on earth in their
lifetime, even though Jesus' teaching -- especially the parable of
the pounds (Luke 19, quoted above) -- should have made it clear to
them.
After two years, from the inception of the Church of God on
the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, the counterfeit movement set in,
headed by Simon the Sorcerer. The historic book of Acts records:
"And at that time there was a great persecution against the
church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad
throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
preaching the word." What word? Continue:
"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria ... but when
they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom
of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized" (Acts
8:1-12).
The apostle Paul spoke boldly at Ephesus for three months
"disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of
God." On a later trip, at Miletus, Paul called for the elders of
the Church at Ephesus. Saying his farewell to them Paul said,
"And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone
preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more" (Acts
20:25).
At Rome, "there came many to him [Paul] into his lodging; to
whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God ..." (Acts
28:23).
Again at Rome, "Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired
house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the
kingdom of God ..." (Acts 28:30).
Did Paul preach any other gospel? To the Galatians he wrote,
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man
preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let
him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9).
But verses 6 and 7 showed that the Galatians had, already,
turned to another gospel.
Jesus spoke of His message -- the Kingdom of God -- as the
"word" that He spoke. The apostles, as you'll read all through
the book of Acts, went everywhere preaching "the word" -- meaning
the Kingdom of God.


The Vast Comprehensiveness of a Full Understanding

I must call the reader's attention again at this point to the
fact that a full and complete understanding of the message sent
by God to all mankind, by His Divine Messenger Jesus Christ,
involves a vast comprehension of God's great purpose, and of
events prehistoric, historic, present and future.
I might say it means an overall understanding of every
thing! Once understood, it will seem that the supposedly
stupendous fund of knowledge disseminated in the great
universities, is, in fact, infantile! It will seem as if man
knows, now, almost nothing! For the missing dimension in
knowledge is the all-important knowledge!
So I ask the reader to expect GREAT THINGS to be revealed in
this and coming chapters.


The "Gospels" Being Preached Today

I have said that you hear many gospel programs today. One uses
the slogan, "Preaching Christ to the Nations." One might ask,
"Well, what's WRONG about preaching ABOUT Christ?" Or, "What's
wrong about preaching a gospel of grace?" Or "What's wrong about
proclaiming a message about salvation?"
I have shown you the scriptures showing they started, even
in the first century, preaching about a DIFFERENT Jesus -- a Jesus
supposed to have abolished His Father's commandments -- who turned
"grace" into license to disobey (II Cor. 11:4,13-15 and Jude 4).
They do not today preach the REAL Jesus, who said, "I have kept
my Father's commandments," setting us an example that we should
keep them also.
If those who claim to preach a gospel of SALVATION
understood and proclaimed WHAT salvation really is -- whether it is
going to a PLACE, being changed into a different CONDITION, or
WHAT -- or WHERE -- and HOW it may be obtained, it might be a part of
the true gospel. But today's "gospel" programs do not teach what
salvation really is or how one may receive it. When the blind
lead the blind, they all fall into the ditch.


Just What Is the Kingdom of God?

So it's time we come to UNDERSTAND just what is the Kingdom of
God!
What is a kingdom? The Bible speaks of several kingdoms. The
first world empire -- the Chaldean Empire often called
"Babylon" -- was a kingdom. God inspired the prophet Daniel to say
to its king, Nebuchadnezzar, "... the God of heaven hath given
thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory" (Dan. 2:37).
Then there was the kingdom of Israel -- the family descended
from Israel, which became one of earth's nations or governments.
The kingdom of Israel was a forerunner of the Kingdom of
God. It will be composed of the Spirit-born children of God -- the
Family of God, organized into a governing Kingdom.
Therefore the kingdom of God will be dual:
(1) A GOVERNMENT. A government -- or kingdom -- is composed of
four things: (a) a KING, ruling over (b) people, subjects or
citizens within (c) a definite jurisdiction of territory, with
(d) laws and an organized system of administering them.
(2) A FAMILY (as the kingdom of Israel was a family of the
children of Israel) -- in this case the Family of God -- a family
into which humans may be born, which shall be a GOVERNING or
RULING family that shall have jurisdiction over ALL NATIONS -- that
is, the WHOLE EARTH -- and, later, the entire universe.


The Kingdom: a Government

Christ is to be the King of the Kingdom of God. He is the Son of
God, whom He addressed as His Father. When the Church, by a
resurrection or instantaneous change from mortal to immortal
(from physical to spirit composition) becomes the Spirit-composed
children of God, Christ will marry the Church which shall become
His wife. So we have Father, Son, wife, and children of the
Father -- all a FAMILY relationship -- the Divine God Family!
Notice, now, some of the prophecies:
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name
Immanuel [which means "God with us"]" (Isa. 7:14).
"For unto us [Israel] a child is born, unto us a son is
given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his
name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his
government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of
David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it
with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The
zeal of the Eternal of hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:6-7).
The angel Gabriel is a super archangel -- a cherub -- one of
only three mentioned in the Bible. It is recorded, "And in the
sixth month [of the pregnancy of Elizabeth] the angel Gabriel was
sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin
espoused [betrothed] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house
of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in
unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord
is with thee: blessed art thou among women.... And the angel
said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with
God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring
forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great,
and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God
shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall
reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there
shall be no end" (Luke 1:26-33).
When Jesus was on trial for his life before Pilate, the
Roman ruler said unto Him, "Art thou a king then? Jesus answered,
Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for
this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto
the truth."
However, Jesus also explained to Pilate that His
Kingdom -- His rulership -- was not of this world -- this time -- this
present age, saying, "My kingdom is not of this world ... but
now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).


What Christ's Gospel Was All About

I say Christ's gospel -- the message He brought from God -- was the
advance good news of the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
But just what does that include?
And why is the Kingdom of God necessary?
Just how does it affect and relate directly to your personal
and individual life?
Actually, Christ's message of God's coming Kingdom is
directly concerned with world conditions as they are -- with human
nature -- its source and origin -- with world evils, suffering,
unhappiness -- with world peace. It's concerned with
government -- with the reason present human governments fail to be
the benefactors of their peoples they are supposed to be.
His message hits directly at the very roots of individual
personal happiness and at the awesome transcendent potential of
each human life. It is concerned with the CAUSES of present
conditions that affect every human and with the WAY that will
solve all problems.
But it is concerned with far, far more.
It is concerned with God's tremendous, overwhelming, overall
purpose as Creator of the entire universe. It's concerned with
the entire vast universe, filled with its uncountable galaxies,
nebulae, suns, stars, planets, and with God's purpose for them.
It's concerned with all the angels -- with the fact that one third
of all God's created angels turned to SIN from which there can be
no redemption, and God's great purpose and plan to prevent such a
catastrophe happening to the other two thirds.
Most of these things are never remotely considered in
religious teachings in this world. God's message is concerned
with overall truth.
What has been covered so far should be considered as merely
the introduction to the entire story of Christ's gospel message.


Chapter III

THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL AT LAST REVEALED!


Does it make sense to you -- when humanity has been endowed with
such tremendous mental power -- that more than HALF of all people
on earth should be illiterate, living in abject poverty, near
starvation, in filth and squalor; that in one country of 26
million people, only 3 percent can read and write and per capita
income is only $69 per year?
Does it make sense to you that human civilization has
developed modern science, higher education, the world's religions
and its great governments, yet all these are in total ignorance
of the way to world peace? None of these can tell us what man is,
whether he was put on earth for a purpose, what that PURPOSE IS,
where he is going or how to get there.
Does it make sense to you -- with man endowed with such great
powers -- that the world should be filled with so much unhappiness,
troubles and evils?
Did God Almighty the Creator purpose and ordain all of this?
We may blame it all on human nature, but did God create man
with this evil to harass him?
It's time to clear up this mystery. It's time we understand.
It's time we come to the answer of these supposedly unanswerable
questions that seem to baffle all human thought.


Man Has Rejected This Knowledge

What is the most necessary of all knowledge to know?
It is the knowledge of what man is; the knowledge of why he
is -- the PURPOSE for which humanity was put on earth; the
knowledge of the way to achieve that purpose -- of the way to world
peace, peace between individuals, groups and nations; the
knowledge of the cause of all the world's troubles and evils; the
knowledge of the solution to all these problems; the knowledge of
the true values -- what is important and what is worthless.
That is the missing dimension in knowledge.
Look at the situation as it is now -- our present, pulsating
twentieth century. Supposedly this is the day of enlightenment
and mass production of knowledge. But both modern science and
higher education have rejected the sole source of this basic
knowledge -- revelation -- and no religion has given us this
most-needed knowledge, though it is all contained in the book
generally supposed to be the source of belief of at least three
of the world's great religions.
Look at the situation as it was more than 1900 years ago.
Jesus Christ came from heaven with a message from God containing
this knowledge. But even most of those who believed on Him
disbelieved the message He brought and demanded His crucifixion
for declaring it. His apostles went forth proclaiming the
message; they too, with one possible exception, were martyred.
Before the end of the first century, Christ's gospel message was
suppressed and a spurious "gospel" proclaimed.
Go now all the way back to the beginning of humanity on the
earth. Our very first parents rejected this same revealed
knowledge imparted to them by their Maker in person. They
disbelieved what He said. Yet they did believe Satan's lies. They
disobeyed by stealing the forbidden fruit. They took to
themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. All
humanity has followed their example ever since.
The Eternal God nevertheless has made this vital revealed
knowledge and truth available to any willing to BELIEVE what He
says -- in His inspired book, the Book of books -- the Holy Bible.
This book has actually become the world's best seller. But this
precious book has been interpreted and misinterpreted, distorted,
twisted, misrepresented, misunderstood, and maligned as no other
book ever has.
Humans have written uncounted millions of books. People
BELIEVE what these books say, though they may be partly, mostly,
or totally in error and devoid of truth.
People take these books literally to mean what they say. Yet
of the Bible they will say, "You surely don't take the Bible
literally, do you?" They will not believe this book means what it
says. It is the very Word of the living God, but they refuse to
believe what God says.
And thus disbelieving humanity continues stumbling on its
way, piling up the mountains of human woes, discontent,
unhappiness, sorrow, pain, suffering and death.
Yet the Eternal God of truth and mercy makes available even
today -- in this end-time of the present evil world -- vital,
exciting, new knowledge to those willing to believe what He says
and to obey it.
More than fifty years ago ON PROOF, I came to BELIEVE and
OBEY.
And in His Word the living God has opened my mind to the
awesome human potential -- to the missing dimension in knowledge;
to the CAUSES of all humanity's evils and to the WAY to world
peace and how it finally is going to come. And the same God of
all creation is now opening before me the doors to unusual favor
in the eyes of heads of state all over the world as an ambassador
without human portfolio for world peace and a builder of bridges
for peace between nations.


The Vast Universe -- and Man

In this Book of all books, God reveals Himself as Creator of all,
not merely the earth and man, but the entire limitless universe.
The Maker of mankind is also the Creator of all. On a clear,
cloudless night one may behold the star-studded sky. Is it
possible there is an unrealized connection between the galaxies
with their mighty suns, their planets -- and man?
In this true story of the incredible human potential, I deem
it well to look first to the Creator's overall purpose.
Prepare yourself for exciting new knowledge -- the incredible
awesome potential for which humanity was created and put here on
earth.
Winston Churchill said before the United States Congress
that there is a purpose being worked out here below. Few indeed
know what that purpose is; yet it is plainly revealed.
And it's the most exciting, most wonderful, hope-inspiring
truth that could ever be revealed.


God -- Creator of the Universe

Did you ever wonder about the countless millions of shining stars
you have seen on an otherwise black, cloudless night? Sometimes
they appear like a stupendous skyrocket which has just burst out
into a glittering cluster.
Many of them are tremendous suns incredibly larger than our
sun. Probably most of them are surrounded by planets, like our
sun is surrounded by Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the other
planets of our solar system.
Haven't you wondered about them? Are any of them inhabited?
Did they evolve, as most scientists -- astronomers, biologists,
geologists -- theorize? Or were they created by an all-intelligent,
all-powerful Creator Being? Were they created and set in space
FOR A PURPOSE? Do any of the planets contain any kind of life, or
are all like our moon -- dead, decayed, lifeless, wasted, empty,
uninhabitable? And if they are in a dead state of decay and
lifeless, WHY would an intelligent creator have created them
thus?
Or did He?
These are indeed intriguing questions. Scientists are
extremely interested in knowing more about these uncountable
gigantic bodies out there in space. Science does not know much
about the origin of all these mighty bodies. There are many
theories -- many guesses -- many hypotheses -- as to how they were
formed -- but not based on actual revealed fact.
Science generally rejects REVELATION as a basic source of
knowledge. Although astronomers for hundreds of years have been
curious about the stars in the sky, many devoting their lifetimes
to this study through constantly improved telescopes, they knew
nothing about the purpose -- or whether there is a purpose.
In Pasadena, California, a short distance from Ambassador
College is the world-famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (known as
JPL), operated by California Institute of Technology, devoted
primarily to U.S. government and space projects. There they
design and produce unmanned spacecraft to be sent into outer
space to photograph and send back pictures of other planets in
our solar system. In December 1974 one came comparatively close
(26,000 miles) to Jupiter. It sent back photographs that revealed
additional knowledge about this largest of our planets. They did
not give any proof of existing life or of conditions capable of
sustaining life.
Then on February 9, 1975 astronomers at the University of
Arizona claimed to have discovered through a telescope evidence
of water on Jupiter. This I consider highly improbable.
Of course, the planet Mars has attracted the widest
attention. Haven't you wondered if Mars is inhabited -- what kind
of life might exist there? This very question has supplied the
theme for science-fiction movies and a television series viewed
by millions.
But does human life or some other form -- either much superior
to man, or much inferior -- exist on Mars or any other planet?
Science does not have these answers. But the many photographs
sent back to Earth from spacecraft on the surface of Mars, and
hence being much nearer Jupiter and Saturn than our planet Earth,
at least INDICATE a total absence of life on any of these
planets -- or conditions capable of sustaining life. So, too, do
photographs of the surface of Venus indicate a total absence of
life.
It had been planned to try to land the unmanned spacecraft
Viking on Mars on the 200th anniversary of the United States as a
nation. Actually, this spacecraft, in appearance something like a
huge, ungainly Tinkertoy, had been created at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The Viking was equipped to send
back photographs from the very surface of the planet Mars.
Actually it did land on July 20, 1976. The Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, operated as a government project, but a division of
the California Institute of Technology, is located a short
distance from our Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The JPL
scientists had arranged to transmit the very first photographs
ever taken on the surface of Mars to the Ambassador Auditorium so
that a public audience might view the transmission of these
pioneer pictures.
Naturally this transmission of the first actual photographs
from a planet farther than our moon was of very special interest
to me -- not only because of the importance of the first pictures,
but also because the Ambassador Auditorium had been designed and
built under my personal direction.
Several people had been sitting in the Auditorium throughout
the night. I personally, in communication with the JPL
scientists, arrived at the Auditorium about 4:50 a.m. The first
pictures began coming in on the large motion picture screen at
about 5:10 a.m.
The pictures showed clearly to us precisely what is revealed
in the Word of God -- Romans 8:19-23, Revised Standard Version. All
is waste, deterioration, a condition of decay. There appeared no
evidence of any sign of life of any sort, or of conditions that
could sustain life.
All indications are that only our planet Earth is a
life-supporting planet. Others appear to be like our moon -- dead,
decayed, wasted and empty. Our earth is part of the solar system
which is part of a single galaxy called the Milky Way. There are
many other galaxies on beyond ours. They extend in space
distances so vast the human mind cannot conceive of them in terms
of miles, meters, or any measure of distance except light years.
So even though science knows comparatively little about the
limitless universe, revelation tells us something amazing beyond
words about them.
The first verse in the revealed Word of God says: "In the
beginning God created the heavens and earth." The word "heaven"
in the King James should be translated "heavens," since the
original Hebrew is in the plural.
The ancient King David of Israel wondered about the stars
and was inspired to tell us God created them.


Created -- But Why?

David was inspired to write, "Oh Lord our Lord, how excellent is
thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the
heavens.... When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy
fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what
is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalms 8:1, 3-4).
It may be that King David was not given the revelation of
the real connection between man and the stars of outer space, for
he continues: "For thou hast made him a little lower than the
angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest
him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put
all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the
beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the
sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord
our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" (Psalm
8:5-9).
David here limits man's dominion to the present -- that which
God gave mankind in the creation of man -- the solid earth, the
earth's atmosphere, and the waters and sea (as in Gen. 1:26-28).
That is the dominion man has now.
In the New Testament, written much later, far more is
revealed.


Incredible Human Potential Revealed

In the book of Hebrews we read: "For unto the angels hath he (God
) not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak"
(Heb. 2:5). The theme of the context here is "the world to come."
There is but one earth, but the Bible speaks of three
worlds, ages, or civilizations on the earth -- the "world that then
was" (the antediluvian world from Adam to Noah); this "present
evil world" (from the Flood until Christ's return, yet future);
and "the world to come" (which starts when Christ comes and sets
up the Kingdom of God).
This verse speaks of angels as if the world had been put in
subjection to angels; in fact, in the very beginning of this book
of Hebrews, the first chapter, it is speaking of Christ and
angels and the relation of angels to humans. This must be
explained a little later.
But bear in mind the general theme here, or context, is "the
world to come, whereof we speak" -- not this present age, now
coming rapidly to its end! Continue on in verse 6: "But one in a
certain place testified, saying ..." Then follows a quotation
from the first six verses only of the eighth psalm.
In this psalm, David continued showing specifically that God
has now placed in subjection under man the solid earth, the
earth's atmosphere or air, and the sea. But now the writer of the
book of Hebrews is inspired to follow with something radically
different -- something to happen in the world to come!
This revealed knowledge of God's purpose for mankind -- of
man's incredible awesome potential -- staggers the imagination.
Science knows nothing of it -- no religion reveals it, so far as I
know -- and certainly higher education is in utter ignorance of it.
Nevertheless, it is what God says He has prepared for them
that love Him (I Cor. 2:9-10).
I have said before that God revealed necessary knowledge to
our first parents, but they didn't believe what He said! Some
4,000 years later, Jesus Christ appeared on earth with a message
direct from God the Father in heaven, revealing the same
necessary knowledge -- but only a handful -- a hundred and
twenty -- believed what He said, though many professed to "believe
on him" (as in John 8:30-31, 37-38, 40, 45-46).
Today science, religion, and education still do not believe
WHAT HE SAID.
I will explain this -- and why -- a bit later. But so many of
these interrelated points cannot be explained all at once.
But now let's see what is said in this passage in Hebrews,
beginning where Hebrews leaves off quoting the eighth psalm:
"Thou hast put all things in subjection under his [man's] feet.
For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he
[God] left NOTHING that is not put under him" (Heb. 2:8).
Is it possible God could mean what He says ("all things")?
Nothing excluded?
In the first chapter, the Moffatt translation of the Bible
renders the Greek word translated "all things" as "the universe."
In other words, for those willing to believe what God says,
He says that He has decreed the entire universe -- with all its
galaxies, its countless suns and planets -- everything -- will be put
under man's subjection.
But wait a moment! Before you disbelieve, read the next
words in the same eighth verse: "But now we see not yet all
things [the endless universe] put under him [man]." Remember
(verse 5), this is speaking of the "world to come" -- not today's
world. But what do we see now, today? "But we see Jesus, who was
made a little lower than the angels [or, "for a little while
lower"] for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and
honour." Man, other than Christ, is NOT YET "crowned with glory
and honour."
But see how Christ is already crowned with glory and honor.
Continue: "For it became him, for whom are all things [the entire
universe] and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto
glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
sufferings ... for which cause he [Christ] is not ashamed to
call them brethren" (verses 10-11).
In other words, Christians having God's Spirit are
joint-heirs with Christ to INHERIT all that Christ already has
inherited. He is now in glory! He has already inherited the
entire universe. He sustains it by His power. Man, if he is
converted, having God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9), is now only an
HEIR -- not yet a possessor.
But see now how Christ already has been crowned with glory
and honor -- and is already in possession -- has already inherited.
Begin with Hebrews, chapter 1:
"God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his
Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things [the entire
universe], by whom also he made the worlds; who being the
brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and
upholding [sustaining] all things [the entire universe] by the
word of his power ..." (Heb. 1:1-3).
The living Christ already sustains the entire universe by
His limitless divine power. The passage continues to show His
superiority over the angels -- He is the begotten and born Son of
God -- angels are merely individually created beings. Angels are
now administering spirits (invisible to us), ministering to
us -- to us who are now in lower status than angels -- but who are
heirs of salvation, when we, like Christ, shall become born Sons
of God (Heb. 1:4-14).


Outer Space -- Planets Now Dead

Now put this together with what is revealed in the eighth chapter
of Romans.
Here it speaks of Christ as God's Son: "... that he might
be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29). Humans, having
God's Holy Spirit are heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ -- who, alone of all humans, has already been born as God's
Son by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). He is the FIRST
of the human family to be born into the Family of God -- the
Kingdom of God. He is our pioneer who has gone on before. We
shall follow at the resurrection of the just at Christ's return
to earth in supreme power and glory.
This eighth chapter of Romans, verse 9, says if we have
within us the Holy Spirit of God we are His begotten sons, but if
we do not have His Spirit we are none of His -- not Christians at
all. But verse 11 says that if we have God's Holy Spirit growing
within and leading us we shall be raised from the dead by His
Spirit -- (or if living when Christ comes we shall be changed from
mortal to immortal).
Now continue: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God.... The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,
if so be that we [in this life] suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together. For 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 8:14-18).
Continue, Revised Standard Version: "For the creation waits
with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the
creation [all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to
futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who
subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set
free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of
the children of God. We know that the whole creation [stars,
suns, and moons now in decay and futility] has been groaning in
travail together until now; and not only the creation but we
ourselves [we Spirit-begotten humans], who have the first fruits
of the Spirit [the very FEW now being called to salvation -- the
"firstfruits"] groan inwardly as we wait for the [birth] as sons"
(verses 19-23).
What an amazing marvelous revelation of knowledge!
No more amazing, awesome, eye-opening passage could be
written!
It is so astonishingly revealing, one doesn't fully grasp it
just reading quickly through.
First I quoted from verse 29 of Romans 8 stating Christ WAS
the firstborn of MANY BRETHREN.
In Hebrews 1, we see that Christ, the first human to be born
by a resurrection from the dead, has been glorified and now
sustains the entire universe. He is our pioneer who has gone on
ahead. At His return to earth in power and glory those who have
been converted and received God's Holy Spirit shall be born into
the God Family by a resurrection. Then the entire universe will
be put into subjection UNDER them!
Then, from Romans 8, if we have and are led by the Holy
Spirit of God, we shall be raised to Spirit composition and
immortality in the God Family even as Christ was in A.D. 31 upon
His resurrection.
Now once again from verse 19, "For the creation waits with
eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (RSV). This
shall happen at the time of the resurrection, when those who are
human actually become -- by a resurrection or instantaneous change
from mortal flesh to Spirit immortality -- Sons of God.
Now understand please. Why should the whole universe -- the
creation -- be waiting with eager longing for the actual birth and
appearing of all these Sons of God, to be born into the Family of
God? The following verses portray a universe filled with planets
in decay and futility -- yet as if subjected now to this dead state
in hope! "Because the creation itself [the universe not now
capable of sustaining life] will be set free from its bondage to
decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God."
How did all the planets fall into the bondage of decay?
Surely God did not so create them!
Decay signifies a state or condition caused by degeneration
and decomposition from a previous undecayed state. God, then,
created these planets in a state of non-decay. But something
caused deterioration to set in.
What could have caused all this "bondage to decay"?
It cannot be the state in which God created them! Everything
we read in God's revealed Word about God's creation shows it to
have been a perfect creation. The earth was first created a
perfect creation of glorious beauty. Facts regarding that will
appear in chapter 4.
We shall see that angels inhabited the earth prior to the
creation of man. Angels, who were perfect from the creation until
iniquity or lawlessness was found in them, caused the whole
surface of the earth to turn into a state of decay, confusion and
emptiness, as we shall see.
Could the whole universe have been created capable of
sustaining life? We are not told specifically by revelation in
God's Word whether it was or not, but what we are told throws
additional light on why God decided to create man!
Continue this passage in Romans 8:22: "We know that the
whole creation [universe] has been groaning in travail together
until now." Consider that the creation is compared to a mother
about to be delivered of her child. The creation is pictured as
groaning in travail in hope (verse 20), awaiting the birth by
resurrection to immortality, of the children of God. It is as if
the creation is the mother and God is the father. Anyway the
whole thrust of the passage is that when we (converted humans)
are born of God -- then having the power and glory of God -- we are
going to do as God did when this earth had been laid "waste and
empty" -- Hebrew tohu and bohu (Gen. 1:2). Christ, who renewed "the
face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30), was renewing what had been
destroyed by the rebellion of the sinning angels.
What these wonderful passages imply and indicate goes far
beyond the amount specifically revealed.
To grasp the whole of the message of the Kingdom of God
requires many chapters like this one. It is an all-encompassing
subject.
This passage indicates precisely what all astronomers and
scientific evidence indicates -- the suns are as balls of fire,
giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this
earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility -- but not
forever -- waiting until converted humans are BORN the children of
God; born into the very Divine Family of God, forming the Kingdom
of God.
Jesus' gospel was the Kingdom of God. What I am showing you
here is that Christ's gospel of the Kingdom actually includes all
this knowledge here revealed -- even the whole universe is to be
ruled by us, who, with God the Father and Christ, become the
Kingdom of God.
God is first of all Creator, but God is also Ruler. And He
is Educator, who reveals knowledge beyond and outside the scope
of human mind of itself to comprehend!
Put together all these scriptures I have used in this
chapter, and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential.
Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total
power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe!
What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we
shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as
life has been imparted to this earth. We shall create, as God
directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity!
Revelation 21 and 22 show there will then be no pain, no
suffering, no evil, because we shall have learned to choose God's
way of good. It will be an eternal life of accomplishment,
constantly looking forward in super-joyous anticipation to new
creative projects, and still looking back also on accomplishments
with happiness and joy over what shall have been already
accomplished.
We shall never grow tired and weary. Always alive -- full of
joyous energy, vitality, exuberant life and strength and power!
What a potential!
But why! Why has God purposed all of this?
There is still much to reveal. With this chapter, added to
the previous ones, we have only started explaining the true
gospel.
Why was it opposed? What is the cause of all human
wretchedness and suffering?
What is the origin of evil?
What is the origin and source of human nature, and how shall
humans be ridded of it?
Why was man made mortal, of material substance from the
ground? Why does man, who is composed of matter the same as
animals, who dies the same death as animals, have a mind
thousands of times greater in mental output than animals whose
brains are virtually equal to human brain, both quantitatively
and qualitatively? What makes the difference? Why is the human
mind, while able to invent the computer and fly to the moon and
back, helpless in the face of its own problems and relations with
others here on earth?
All these things will be explained.
Science has no answers; religion has failed to tell us;
education is in IGNORANCE on these questions.
But read on, for the PLAIN TRUTH!


Chapter IV

PRE-EXISTENCE BEFORE THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE


I have explained to you the awesome potential of man. But why?
Why does the Creator God purpose all this? Why did the living God
decide to create man and put him on earth? God does not do things
without a reason.
To understand -- to comprehend the whole picture in the order
of time sequence -- we must now go all the way back into
prehistory. That missing dimension in knowledge, too, is revealed
in the Word of God -- God's message and revelation of knowledge to
mankind.
Did you ever start viewing a motion picture when it was more
than half way through? You probably were bewildered -- not having
seen what occurred before and led up to the point where you first
began to see.
It's the same in coming to an UNDERSTANDING of what God has
prepared for humanity -- of the ultimate human potential.
True understanding can come only by beginning the story at
the beginning!
If one should ask, where do you find the actual beginning of
events in the Bible, most who possess even a slight knowledge of
the world's "best seller" would say, "why in Genesis chapter one
verse one, of course.
WRONG!
The real beginning, in order of time sequence, is found in
the New Testament, in the first chapter of John, verse one. The
events portrayed in Genesis occurred later -- possibly even
millions of years later.
But the event recorded in John 1:1 reveals an existence
perhaps long prior to the time God created the earth and the
material universe.
Note it: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God and the Word was God." It continues, "The same was in
the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without
him was not anything made that was made."
The term "all things" is translated in Hebrews 1:3, in the
Moffatt translation, as "the UNIVERSE." The entire UNIVERSE was
made by Him!
The fourteenth verse of John 1 says: "And the Word was made
flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
The Personage called the Word was the one who
ultimately -- yet more than 1900 years ago -- was born Jesus Christ.
The name, "the Word," is translated from the original Greek
text, and means, literally, just what is translated into
English -- "Spokesman." But He was not the Son of God "in the
beginning." Yet the Scriptures reveal that He has always existed,
and always will -- "from eternity to eternity." He was "without
father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning
of days nor end of life ..." (Heb. 7:3).
So think on this, if you will!
Originally there existed only these two Spirit Personages,
self-existent. They had creative powers -- they had perfect supreme
minds -- they possessed perfect, holy and righteous CHARACTER.
But THERE WAS NONE ELSE -- NOTHING ELSE! There was no
matter -- no material universe -- YET! No other living being or
thing.
Only these two, equal in mind and powers, except that God
was supreme in authority, and the Word in perfect harmony under
that authority. They were of one mind, in absolute agreement.
But ALL THINGS -- the universe and everything existing in
it -- were made by the Personage called the Word. Yet, as we read
in Ephesians 3:9: "God ... created ALL THINGS by Jesus Christ."
And prior to becoming Jesus Christ, He was "the Word!" Also, in
His human life Jesus said He spoke only as the Father directed.
Yes, THINK!
In the eternity even prior to "prehistory" there were these
two Supreme Beings. Alone! In the emptiness of space! No other
life forms -- no other living beings! Nothing else!
But they possessed MINDS of supreme capacity. And, much,
much later, they created humans after their own likeness and
image. They endowed MAN with the power of MIND. It seems obvious
that human minds were made to function in the same manner as the
Creator's, although in an inferior way.
But how do we humans use our minds? We are endowed with
something akin to creative powers. Man produces buildings out of
existing materials. Man has produced intricate machines. But how?
Man thinks it out -- makes plans -- before the actual making.
As an illustration: After much prayer about it to learn
God's will, I was allowed to build the finest modern auditorium
on this earth -- the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California.
But I did much thinking and planning -- I engaged the largest and
best firm of architects and engineers in the world to design my
general idea of such an edifice into finished PLANNING. We were
twelve years thinking out, designing, and putting into actual
plans and blueprints this Auditorium before even breaking ground.
Every cubic inch of the Auditorium was designed on paper before a
single cubic inch went into production.
How much more, then, must the Great God and the Word have
thought out, planned, and designed in their minds, before the
actual Creation?
They did not create matter first. The laws and facts of
radioactivity tell us with certainty that there was a time when
such matter did not exist.
But the Great God through the Word first designed and
created SPIRIT BEINGS -- angels, each individually
created -- millions or perhaps even billions of them! They were
composed wholly of Spirit. They were given self-containing
life -- life inherent -- immortality. But also God created within
them MINDS -- with power to think, to reason, to make choices and
decisions!


The Supreme Creative Accomplishment

But there was one super-important quality that even God's
creative powers could not create instantly by fiat -- the same
perfect, holy, righteous CHARACTER inherent in both God and the
Word!
This kind of character must be DEVELOPED, by the CHOICE and
the INTENT of the one in whom it comes to exist.
So mark well this super-vital truism -- that perfect, holy and
righteous character is the supreme feat of accomplishment
possible for Almighty God the Creator -- it is also the means to
His ultimate supreme PURPOSE! His final objective!
But HOW?
I repeat, such perfect character must be developed. It
requires the free choice and decision of the separate entity in
whom it is to be created. But, further, even then it must be
instilled by and from the Holy God who, only, has such righteous
character to endow.
Perfect, holy and righteous character is the ability in such
separate entity to come to discern the true and right way from
the false, to make voluntarily a full and unconditional surrender
to God and His perfect way -- to yield to be conquered by God -- to
determine even against temptation or self-desire, to live and to
do the right. And even then such holy character is the gift of
God. It comes by yielding to God to instill HIS LAW (God's right
way of life) within the entity who so decides and wills.
Actually, this perfect character comes only from God, as
instilled within the entity of His creation, upon voluntary
acquiescence, even after severe trial and test.
I have devoted a few paragraphs to this point because it is
the supreme pinnacle means in God's overall PURPOSE!
Now as to the pre-historic angels: God 1) created them with
minds capable of thinking, reasoning, making choices and
decisions with self-will, and, 2) revealed plainly to them His
TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS WAY. But God of necessity allowed them free
moral agency in accepting God's right way, or turning to contrary
ways of their own devising.
What was God's ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE for the angels? Beyond
question it is that which, now, because of angelic rebellion, has
become the transcendent potential of humans!
As the testing ground, and opportunity for positive and
active creative accomplishment, God created -- brought into
existence -- the entire vast material universe.
God now created not only matter, but with and in it energy
and such laws as man has discovered in the fields of physics and
chemistry. God formed matter to be present in both the organic
and the inorganic states.
And so we come now to that which is revealed in Genesis 1:1:
"In the beginning [of the physical universe] God created the
heavens and the earth."
As previously stated, in the King James English language
translation (AV) will be found the word "heaven" in the singular.
But this originally was written by Moses in Hebrew. And in the
Hebrew the word is in the plural -- "heavens" -- thus including not
only our earth, but the entire material UNIVERSE.
It is therefore indicated that at that time -- after the
creation of angels -- the entire universe was brought into
existence at the same time as the creation of our earth. I find
strong indication of this in other biblical internal evidence.


The Perfect Creation

The original Hebrew words (the words originally written by Moses)
imply a perfect creation. God reveals Himself as Creator of
perfection, light, and beauty. Every reference in the Bible
describes the condition of any completed phase of God's creation
as "very good" -- perfect.
This first verse of the Bible actually speaks of the
original PHYSICAL creation in its entirety -- the
universe -- including the earth, perhaps millions of years ago -- as
a perfect creation, beautiful and perfect as far as its creation
was a finished, completed work. God is a perfectionist!
In Job 38:4, 7, God is speaking specifically of the creation
of this earth. He said all the angels (created "sons of God")
shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. This reveals that
angels were created before the creation of the earth -- and
probably before the material universe. The suns, planets, and
astral bodies are material substance. Angels are individually
created Spirit beings, composed solely of Spirit.
It will come as a surprise to many to learn that angels
inhabited this earth BEFORE the creation of man. This passage
from Job implies it.


Angels on Earth Sinned

Other passages place angels on earth prior to man.
Notice II Peter 2:4-6. First in time order were "angels that
sinned." Next in time sequence, the antediluvian world beginning
with Adam, carrying through to the Flood. After that, Sodom and
Gomorrah.
This Book of books, containing the revealed knowledge of the
Creator God, tells us that God created angels as composed of
Spirit. But can you imagine angels becoming sinning angels?
Angels were created with power of thought, of decision and of
choice, else they have no individuality or character. Since sin
is the transgression of God's law, these angels rebelled against
God's law, the basis of God's government.
Notice carefully what is revealed in II Peter 2:4-5: "For if
God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to
hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved
unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the
eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood
upon the world of the ungodly."
These verses show that universal sin brings universal
destruction to the physical earth. The antediluvian sin,
culminating with the flood, was worldwide, universal sin.
Notice:"... the earth was filled with violence....for all
flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth....for the earth is
filled with violence ..." (Gen. 6:11-13). "But Noah found grace
in the eyes of the [Eternal].... Noah was a just man and
perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (verses
8-9). All flesh had sinned -- over the whole earth. But only Noah
"walked with God." So, the Flood destroyed the whole earth -- all
but Noah and his family.
The homosexual and other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah spread
over the territory of those two cities. And physical destruction
came to their entire area. The sin of the angels was worldwide;
the destruction of the physical earth was worldwide.
The verses quoted above place the sinning of the angels
prior to the antediluvian sins that started with Adam, prior to
the creation of man. And that should be a surprise revealing of
one phase of the missing dimension in knowledge! Angels inhabited
this earth before the creation of man.
And the government of God was administered on earth until
the rebellion of the sinning angels.
How long these angels inhabited the earth before the
creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions -- or
even billions -- of years. More on that later. But these angels
sinned. Sin is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4). And
God's law is the basis of God's government. So we know these
angels, apparently a third of all the angels (Rev. 12:4),
sinned -- rebelled against the government of God. And sin carries
penalties. The penalty for the sin of the angels is not death, as
it is for man. Angels are immortal Spirit beings and cannot die.
These Spirit beings had been given dominion over the PHYSICAL
EARTH as a possession and an abode.
The universal, worldwide sin of the angels resulted in the
physical destruction of the face of the earth.
God is Creator. God is also ruler over His creation. He
preserves what He creates by His government. What God creates, He
has created for a purpose -- to be used, preserved, and maintained.
And this use is regulated by God's government. When the angels
rebelled against God's government, the preservation of the
physical earth and all its original beauty and glory ceased -- and
physical destruction to the surface of the earth resulted!
God is Creator, Preserver, and Ruler.
Satan is Destroyer!
So, now, we read in Jude 6-7: "And the angels which kept not
their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath
reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment
of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities
about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication,
and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example,
suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Now back to Genesis 1:1-2. Verse 1, as stated above, implies
a perfect creation. God is the author of life, of beauty, of
perfection. Satan has brought only darkness, ugliness,
imperfection, violence. Verse 1 shows the creation of a perfect
earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the
sin of the angels.
"And the earth was [became] without form, and void." The
words "without form and void" are translated from the Hebrew tohu
and bohu. A better translation is "waste and empty" or "chaotic
and in confusion." The word "was" is elsewhere in Genesis
translated "became," as in Genesis 19:26. In other words, the
earth, originally created perfect and beautiful, had now become
chaotic, waste, and empty, like our moon, except its surface was
covered with water.
David was inspired to reveal how God renewed the face of the
earth: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou
the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:30).
Now another surprise for most readers. Here is another bit
of the missing dimension in knowledge, actually revealed in the
Bible, but unrecognized by religion, by science, and by higher
education.
From verse 2 of Genesis 1 on, the remainder of this first
chapter of the Bible is not describing the original creation of
the earth. But it is describing a renewing of the face of the
earth, after it had become waste and empty as a result of the sin
of the angels.
What is described from verse 2 on, in the supposed "Creation
chapter" of the Bible, did occur, according to the Bible,
approximately 6,000 years ago. But that could have been millions
or trillions of years after the actual creation of the earth
described in verse 1!
I will comment later on the length of time it might have
taken before all earth's angels turned to rebellion.
The earth had become waste and empty. God did not create it
waste and empty, or in confusion. God is not the author of
confusion (I Cor. 14:33). This same Hebrew word -- tohu -- meaning
waste and empty, was inspired in Isaiah 45:18, where it is
translated "in vain." Using the original Hebrew word, as
originally inspired, it reads: "For thus saith the [Eternal] that
created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made
it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [tohu], he
formed it to be inhabited."
Continue now with the remainder of verse 2 (Gen. 1) (the
earth had become chaotic, waste, and empty): "And darkness was
upon the face of the deep [the ocean or fluid surface of the
earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God
saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from
the darkness" (verses 2-4).
Satan is the author of darkness. The rebellion of the angels
had caused the darkness. God is the author of light and truth.
Light displays and enhances beauty, and also exposes evil.
Darkness hides both.
The verses which follow in this first chapter of the Bible
describe the renewing of the face of the earth, yielding
beautiful lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetation -- then the
creation of fish and fowl, animal life, and finally man.


The Great Lucifer

But first, before coming to man, we need to fill in the
prehistory portion.
How did this sin of the angels come to take place? How did
it start?
Remember, God the Creator preserves, improves and enhances
what He creates by His government. What He creates is created to
be used. This earth was to be inhabited and used by angels,
originally.
When God placed angels -- apparently a third of all (Rev.
12:4) -- on the newly created, perfect, beautiful and glorious
earth, He set over them, on a throne, to administer the
government of God, an archangel -- the great cherub Lucifer. There
were only two other beings of this extremely high rank of cherub,
Michael and Gabriel.
So far as is revealed, these are the supreme pinnacle of
Spirit-composed beings within God's power to create. This Lucifer
was a super being of awesome, majestic beauty, dazzling
brightness, supreme knowledge, wisdom and power -- perfect as God
created him! But God of necessity created in him the power of
choice and decision, or he could not have been a being of
individuality and character.
I want you to grasp fully the supreme magnificence of this
towering pinnacle of God's created beings. Two different biblical
passages tell us of his original created state.
First, notice what is revealed in Isaiah 14. (This famous
chapter begins with the time, shortly ahead of us now, when the
Eternal God shall have intervened in this world's affairs. The
people of Israel -- not necessarily or exclusively the Israelis or
Judah -- shall have been taken as captive slaves, and God shall
intervene and bring them back to the original promised homeland.)
"And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give
thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard
bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up
this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the
oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken
the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who
smote the people in wrath ... he that ruled the nations in
anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth" (verses 3-6).
This is NOT speaking of the king of ancient Babylon,
Nebuchadnezzar. The time is yet ahead of us -- but shortly ahead.
It is speaking of the modern successor of that ancient
Nebuchadnezzar. It is speaking of the one who will be RULER of
the soon-coming resurrected "Holy Roman Empire " -- a sort of
soon-coming "United States of Europe" -- a union of ten nations to
rise up out of or following the Common Market of today. Britain
will NOT be in that empire soon to come.
This united Europe will conquer Israel -- if you know who
Israel is today, and I do not mean Judah, known as the Israelis
today. All that involves a number of other prophecies, which
there is not room here to explain.
But this "king of Babylon" shall at the time of this
prophecy have been utterly defeated by the intervention of the
living Christ in His power and glory. Continue on:
"The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth
into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice ... and the cedars of
Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up
against us" (verses 7-8).
(I want to interpose an interesting bit of information right
here. The cedars of Lebanon, biblically famous, are almost
totally cut down. Only one small clump of these trees remains,
high in the mountains. I have seen and photographed them.
However, perhaps the finest specimen of the cedars of Lebanon
surviving on earth are on what was previously our Ambassador
College Campus in England. We prized them highly. It is
interesting to see that this prophecy, written some 500 years
B.C., should record the fact that these beautiful and stately
trees should have been so largely felled.)
This passage in Isaiah 14 speaks of the doom of this coming
king at the hands of the glorified, all-powerful Christ. It
refers to him as Satan's chief political ruler and military
destroyer, totally deceived by Satan in the years very shortly
ahead of us.
Then, coming to verse 12, this human earthly type of Satan
the devil suddenly transposes to Satan himself -- the former
archangel, Lucifer:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the
morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken
the nations!" A better translation here is: "How art thou, who
didst weaken the nations, cut down to the ground." The RSV
translates it: "How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid
the nations low!" This the former Lucifer did through the human
political-military leader in his power -- spoken of in the first
eleven verses.
The name "Lucifer" means "Shining star of the dawn," or
"Bringer of light," as God first created him. Now continue: "For
thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God."
Notice, Lucifer had a throne; he was a ruler. His throne was
on earth, for he was going to ascend into heaven. Continue: "I
will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of
the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will
be like the most High" (verses 13-14). Actually, it is plain that
Lucifer had nothing less in mind than knocking the Creator God
off His throne and becoming supreme God himself.
Apparently he planned to put himself in place of God, over
the universe!
But finally, as the context returns again to the human type:
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [Heb. sheol ], to the
sides of the pit" (verse 15).
From that point, the thought returns to the human king.
Lucifer was the supreme masterpiece of God's creative power, as
an individually created being, threatening, as a Frankenstein
monster, to destroy his own maker -- and assume all His powers to
rule the whole universe.
His rebel rule was NOT a government based upon the principle
of love -- of giving, of outgoing concern for the good of others,
but based on SELF-CENTEREDNESS, on vanity, lust and greed, on
envy, jealousy, the spirit of competition, hatred, violence and
destruction, on darkness and error, instead of light and truth,
on ugliness instead of beauty.
Look now at the other biblical passage describing this
supreme angelic creation of God, in Ezekiel 28.


Lucifer a Created Being

Actually, the entire concept in chapter 26 speaks of the ancient
great commercial city of Tyre. It was the commercial metropolis
of the ancient world, even as Babylon was the political capital.
Tyre was the New York, the London, the Tokyo, or the Paris of the
ancient world. The ancient Tyre, port of the world's shippers and
merchants, gloried herself in her beauty, even as Paris in our
time.
Chapter 27 carries on with comparisons to passages in the
eighteenth chapter of the book of Revelation referring to a
politico-religious leader to come (verses 9-19).
But coming to chapter 28, the theme comes more completely to
the time just now ahead of us, the same time depicted in Isaiah
14. Ezekiel 28 speaks of the prince of Tyre, an earthly ruler.
God says to the prophet Ezekiel: "Son of man, say unto the prince
of Tyrus [actually referring to a powerful religious leader to
arise SOON, in our time], Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Because
thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit
in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man,
and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they
can hide from thee: with thy wisdom and with thine understanding
thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver
into thy treasures [or "treasuries"-RSV] ... and thine heart is
lifted up because of thy riches: therefore thus saith the
[Eternal] God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of
God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the
terrible of the nations ... they shall bring thee down to the pit,
and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst
of the seas" (Ezek. 28:2-8). (Compare with II Thessalonians 2:4,
speaking of that man of sin, "who opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called, ... so that he as God sitteth in the
temple of God, showing himself that he is God.")


What a Super Being!

But at this point, as in Isaiah 14, the lesser human type lifts
to a greater spirit antitype. Instead of the prince of Tyre -- a
human man -- it now speaks of the KING of Tyre. This is the same
Lucifer.
Ezekiel the prophet continues:
"Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of
man, take up a lamentation upon the KING of Tyrus, and say unto
him, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Thou sealest up the sum, full
of wisdom, and perfect in beauty" (verses 11-12).
Please read that again! God would never say anything like
that of a human man. This superb spirit being filled up the sum
total of wisdom, perfection and beauty. He was the supreme
pinnacle, the masterpiece, of God's creation, as an individually
created being, the greatest one in the almighty power of God to
create! The tragic thing is that he rebelled against his Maker!
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God" (verse 13). He
had inhabited this earth. His throne was here. "Every precious
stone was thy covering ... the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created"
(verse 13). He was a created being -- not born human. He was a
Spirit being -- not human flesh. Great genius and skill in music
was created in him. Now that he has become perverted in all
thinking, acting and being, he is the real author of modern
perverted music -- of discordant moans, squawks, shrieks,
wails -- unhappy, discouraged moods. Think of all the supreme
talent, ability, and potential in a being created with such
capacities. And all perverted! All gone sour -- all dissipated,
turned to hatred, destruction, hopelessness!
Yet, take courage. The awesome human potential, if we care
enough about it to resist Satan's wiles and evils and
discouragements and to persevere in God's way, is infinitely
superior and higher than Lucifer's -- even as created, before he
turned to rebellion and iniquity!
But continuing the particular revelation of this crucially
important missing dimension in knowledge: "Thou art the anointed
cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so," says God of this
Lucifer. This takes us back to the twenty-fifth chapter of
Exodus, where God gave Moses the pattern for the Ark of the
Covenant. The description begins with verse 10, and verses 18-20
show, in the material pattern, the two cherubs who were stationed
at each end of the very throne of God in heaven -- the throne of
the government of God over the entire universe. The wings of the
two cherubim covered the throne of God.


Trained at Universe Headquarters

This Lucifer, then, had been stationed at the very throne of God.
He was trained and experienced in the administration of the
government of God. God chose such a being, well-experienced and
trained, to be the king ruling the government of God over the
angels who inhabited the whole earth.
Continue: "... thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;
thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire."
This is not talking about any human being. But continue: "Thou
wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created,
till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:15). He
had complete knowledge, understanding and wisdom. But he also was
given full powers of reasoning, thinking, making decisions,
making his choice. And, with all this foreknowledge -- even of
results and consequences -- this superb being, the highest that
even God could create by fiat, turned to rebellion against his
Maker -- against the way that produces every good. He turned to
lawlessness. He had been trained in the administration of perfect
law and order. As long as Lucifer continued in this perfect way,
there was happiness and joy unspeakable over the whole earth.
There was glorious peace -- beautiful harmony, perfect love,
cooperation. The government of God produced a wonderfully happy
state -- as long as Lucifer was loyal in the conduct of God's
government.


What Caused the Angels' Sin?

What caused the angels on earth to sin, to turn to lawlessness?
Certainly the ordinary angels did not persuade this great
superbeing to turn traitor. No, it was in him that iniquity was
found. But, after how long? We don't know. God does not reveal
that! It could have been any number of years from one or less to
millions times millions.
And then, even after Lucifer himself made the decision to
rebel and try to invade God's heaven to take over the universe,
it is not revealed how long it took him to persuade all of the
angels under him to turn traitor and follow him.
I know well the method he used. He uses the same method
still today in leading deceived humans into disloyalty,
rebellion, and self-centered opposition against God's government.
First, he turns one or two to envy, jealousy, and resentment over
an imagined injustice -- then into disloyalty. Then he uses that
one or two, like a rotten apple in a crate, to stir up
resentment, feelings of self-pity, disloyalty and rebellion in
others next to them. And, as each rotten apple rots those next to
it until the whole crate is rotten, so Satan proceeds.
If, in the government of God on earth today, the "rotten
apples" are not thrown out early enough, they would destroy the
whole government. But, once thrown out of the crate, they cannot
do any more damage to those in the crate.
But think how long it must have taken the soured and
embittered Lucifer to turn millions of holy angels into
resentment, bitterness, disloyalty, and finally open and vicious
rebellion. It could have taken hundreds, thousands, or millions
of years. This was all before the first human was created.
All this happened after the original creation of the earth,
described in verse 1 of Genesis 1. Verse 2 of this "creation"
chapter describes a condition resulting from this sin of the
angels. The events described in verse 2, therefore, may have
occurred millions of years after the original creation of the
earth.
The earth, therefore, may have been created millions of
years ago. But continue this passage in Ezekiel 28: "By the
multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee
with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee
as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy
[remove] thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of
fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast
corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast
thee to the ground ..." (verses 16-17). At this point the
context returns to the soon-to-appear, human, religious-political
ruler -- of whom the prince of ancient Tyre was a forerunner.
Earlier in this chapter, I showed you how physical
destruction, ugliness, and darkness had covered the face of the
earth, as the result of the sin of Lucifer (who is now the Devil)
and these "angels that sinned" (now demons), and how in six days
God had renewed the face of the earth (Gen. 1:2-25).
But why did God create man on the earth (Gen. 1:26)?
Look at this situation as God does. God has given us humans
minds, like the mind of God, only inferior and limited. God made
us in His image, after His likeness (form and shape), only
composed of matter instead of Spirit. But God says, "Let this
mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). We
can, to some degree, think even as God thinks. How must God have
looked at the situation, as He started renewing the face of the
earth -- after the colossal debacle of the angels!
He had created a beautiful, perfect creation in the earth.
He populated it with holy angels -- probably millions of them. He
put over them, as king, on an earthly throne, the archangel -- the
cherub Lucifer. Lucifer was the supreme masterpiece of God's
creative power as a single separately created Spirit being. He
was the most perfect in beauty, power, mind, knowledge,
intellect, wisdom, within the almighty power of God to create.
God can create nothing higher or more perfect, by instantaneous
fiat.
Yet this great being, knowledgeable, trained and experienced
at God's own throne in heaven over the universe and the
administration of the government of God, had rejected that
government, corrupted his way, rebelled against administering or
even obeying it. He had led all his angels astray and into the
sin of rebellion and disloyalty.
Now consider further. Apparently the entire universe had
been created also at the time of the earth's creation. There is
no evidence either in God's revealed Word, nor in science, that
any of the planets in endless outer space had been inhabited with
any form of life. But God does nothing in vain. He always has a
purpose.
Apparently all such planets in the entire universe NOW are
waste and empty -- decayed (tohu and bohu) -- like the earth was, as
described in Genesis 1:2. But God did not create them in such
conditions of decay -- like our moon. Decay is not an original
created condition -- it is a condition resulting from a process of
deterioration. Evidently if the now fallen angels had maintained
the earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it,
carried out God's instructions, and obeyed His government, they
would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and
carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire
universe. When they turned traitor on earth, their sin must have
also brought simultaneously physical destruction to the other
planets throughout the universe, which were potentially and
conditionally put in subjection to them.
As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy, He must have
realized that since the highest, most perfect being within His
almighty power to create, had turned to rebellion, it left God
Himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin.
And God is the father of the Divine God Family.
Notice John 1:1-5. The "Word" who was "made flesh" (verse
14) has existed always -- from eternity -- with the Father. God the
Father has created all things -- the entire universe -- by Him who
became Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16-17).
When Jesus was on earth, He prayed to God, His Father in
heaven. The Father spoke of Jesus as "my beloved son, in whom I
am well pleased." Jesus lived on earth as a human, tempted in all
points as we are, yet without sin.
The fourth word in all the Bible is "God" (Gen. 1:1). And
the original Hebrew word is "Elohim," a uni-plural noun like the
word family, church, or group. The family is God. There is one
God -- the one Family, but more than one Person.
God saw that no being less than God, in the God Family,
could be certainly relied on never to sin -- to be like God -- who
cannot sin. To fulfill His purpose for the entire vast universe,
God saw that nothing less than Himself (as the God Family) could
be absolutely relied upon to carry out that supreme purpose in
the entire universe.
God then purposed to reproduce Himself, through humans, made
in His image and likeness, but made first from material flesh and
blood, subject to death if there is sin unrepented of -- yet with
the possibility of being born into the Divine Family begotten by
God the Father.
God saw how this could be done through Christ, who gave
Himself for that purpose.
And that is why God put man on the earth! That is what
caused God to do this most colossal, tremendous thing ever
undertaken by the supreme, almighty God -- to reproduce Himself!
The following chapter will make this undeniably clear.


Chapter V

What Led to the Creation of Man?


Something caused the creator God to decide to create MAN on this
planet. Few indeed know what it was and what the PURPOSE for
humanity's presence really is. WHERE are we going, and what is
the way?
These are the most vital questions. Yet, I repeat still
again, science cannot give the answers. No religion has the
explanation. No university teaches this most important of all
knowledge.


Earth Not Originally Populated by MAN

Most people know almost nothing about God. To understand
ourselves, WHY we are, where we are going, and how, we need to
know more about our Creator.
Our present life is like going on a journey. Suppose you had
just won a prize -- an all-expense-paid trip to some other country.
Wouldn't you want to know where you are going, how to get there,
and as many things as possible about this trip? Should we not,
then, be even more filled with eager anticipation to know as much
as possible about this one great trip of life? And to know that,
you need to know some things about the God who is sending you and
providing the way.
It is vital at this point, then, to know this -- as revealed
in the Bible: The Eternal God not only is Creator of all that is,
but is the RULER over all He creates and also EDUCATOR -- that is,
the revealer of basic knowledge. He reveals knowledge basic and
vital to know -- knowledge otherwise inaccessible to man. Yet
mankind -- generally -- has rejected revelation as a source of basic
knowledge.
What God creates He maintains. What He creates He creates
for a PURPOSE. He intends it to be put to use -- a right use that
preserves and improves. This use, maintenance and improvement is
controlled in the process of united, cooperative action, by the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
This earth, originally, was intended to be the abode of a
third of all the angels. The angels, beholding the earth at its
creation, found it so beautiful and perfect they shouted
spontaneously for JOY! (Job 38:4-7). It was to provide a glorious
opportunity for them. They were to work it, produce from it, and
preserve and increase its beauty.
And at this point, it is well to understand the nature of
God's original creation: It is like the unfinished furniture
available in some stores. This furniture is "in the raw" -- it is
finished all but for the final varnish, polish, or paint. Some
can save money by doing this finishing themselves -- provided they
have the skill to do so. This furniture may be of fine and superb
quality -- yet lacking the final beautifying completion.
So it is with God's creation. It is perfect, but subject to
a beautifying finish which God intended angels to accomplish. The
original "unfinished" creation was produced by God alone. But He
intended angels, prehistorically, and MAN, now, to utilize
creative power -- to finish this part in God's creation -- of adding
the final beautifying and utilitarian phases of what shall be the
FINAL COMPLETED CREATION!
And whether or not it had been revealed to the angels, it
was a supreme TRIAL AND TEST. It was to be the PROVING GROUND of
obedience to GOD'S GOVERNMENT and their fitness to develop into
final finished creation the millions of other planets in the vast
universe. For what is revealed in God's Word indicates that God
had created the entire PHYSICAL universe at the same time He
created the earth. The seventh word in Genesis 1:1 should be
translated "heavens."
Radioactive elements and the law of radioactivity prove that
there was a time when MATTER did not exist. GOD is a Spirit. God
is composed of Spirit. God was before ALL ELSE -- the CREATOR of
all. Angels were created prior to the earth. What God reveals
strongly implies that matter had never existed before the
original creation of the earth -- that the entire physical universe
was brought into being at that time.
So the angel potential was to take over the entire
universe -- to improve and finish the billions of physical planets
surrounding the uncountable stars, many of which are SUNS. The
sun in our solar system is merely an average-size sun. Some which
we see as stars are actually many, many times larger than our
sun. Our solar system, vast beyond the imagination of most minds,
is only a part of our galaxy, and there are many galaxies! In
other words, the physical UNIVERSE which the mighty God created
is vast beyond imagination! How GREAT is the GREAT GOD!
He intended angels, and now MAN, to have a vital part in the
final creation of the endless universe!
(But God may not have then fully revealed this awesome
potential to the angels, for one third of them set out to take it
from Him by force, without first qualifying.)
For this far-reaching purpose, God established His
GOVERNMENT on earth over them. The administration of the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD over this globe was delegated to the super
archangel -- the great cherub Lucifer.
Lucifer was the supreme masterpiece it was possible for even
the great God to create as an individually created entity. The
Bible reveals the existence of just two others of the same
rank -- Michael and Gabriel.
Bear in mind that even the holy angels and
archangels -- including this super cherub Lucifer -- of necessity
were endowed with ability to think, to reason, to form attitudes,
and to make choices and decisions.
God started this Lucifer out with everything going for him.
He sealed up the sum of wisdom, beauty and perfection. He was
PERFECT in all his ways from the instant he was created UNTIL
(Ezekiel 28:15) INIQUITY -- rebellion, lawlessness -- was found in
him.
He had been trained and was thoroughly experienced in
administration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD at the very throne of the
endless UNIVERSE! He was one of the two cherubs whose wings
covered the throne of God the MOST high (Ezek. 28:14, Ex. 25:20).
He was created gloriously beautiful -- perfect in beauty, but
he allowed vanity to seize him. Then he turned to erroneous
reasoning. God's LAW -- the basis of God's government -- is the way
of LOVE -- outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others,
love toward God in obedience, humility, and worship -- the way of
giving, sharing, helping, cooperating. He reasoned that
competition would be better than cooperation. It would be an
incentive to excel, to try harder, to accomplish. There would be
more pleasure in serving SELF and more enjoyment.
He turned against God's law of LOVE. He became jealous of
God, envious, and resentful against God. He allowed lust and
greed to fill him, and he became bitter. This inspired a spirit
of violence! He deliberately became his Maker's adversary and
enemy. That was his choice, not God's -- yet allowed by God!
God changed his NAME to what he became, SATAN the
DEVIL -- which means adversary, competitor, enemy.
He directed his supernatural powers henceforth to EVIL. He
became bitter not only against God, but against God's LAW. He
used his subtile wiles of deception to lead the angels under him
into disloyalty, rebellion, and revolt against the Creator and
finally into a WAR of aggression and violence to attempt to
depose God and seize the throne of the UNIVERSE.
As long as Lucifer remained loyal and administered the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD faithfully, this earth was filled with
wonderful and perfect PEACE. The angels were vigorously HAPPY to
the extent of joy! The LAW of God's government is THE WAY OF LIFE
that CAUSES and produces peace, happiness, prosperity, and
well-being. Sin is the WAY OF LIFE that has caused all existing
EVILS.
The penalty of sin by the angels was not death -- for God had
made them immortal spirit beings who cannot die. What God gave
them was THIS EARTH as their abode and opportunity to qualify to
possess and beautify the entire UNIVERSE.
Their penalty (they are still awaiting final judgment up to
now) was disqualification -- forfeiture of their grand opportunity,
perversion of mind, and a colossal earthwide CATACLYSM of
destruction wreaked upon this earth.
As a result, the earth came to the condition briefly
described in Genesis 1:2 -- (the Hebrew words "tohu and bohu" here
mean waste and empty, chaotic and in extreme confusion) with
water covering the whole face of the earth, in deep darkness.
Lucifer was created a perfect bringer of LIGHT. Now he became
author of DARKNESS, error, confusion, and evil.
So the rebellion of the angels that sinned (II Pet. 2:4-6;
Jude 6-7; Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-17) brought this extreme
cataclysm to the earth.
And in all probability it did more!
Whatever God creates is created in perfect condition. The
other planets were not created as dead hulks of waste and empty
DECAY -- like our moon and Mars. We do not yet know too much about
the other planets, but every evidence so far indicates this same
state of decay.
We have already covered the awesome, incredible POTENTIAL OF
MAN. Originally, this potential of being put over the UNIVERSE
was the potential of the angels. But they disqualified
themselves.
God did not create our moon and the planets in this state of
waste and decay. The evidence of what God does reveal strongly
indicates that the entire material universe was created when the
earth was created. As just stated, God is NOT the author of
waste, decay, and destruction, but Satan is. It seems, therefore,
based on what is now revealed, that a similar cataclysm of
destruction most likely happened to the surface of our moon and
the planets at the time it happened to this earth! And all this
was caused by the rebellion of Lucifer and his angels! But notice
what God did next.
In Psalm 104:30, "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are
created: and thou renewest the face of the earth."
Back, now, to Genesis 1:2, "And the earth was (became )
without form and void [Heb. tohu and bohu -- chaotic, in confusion,
waste and empty]; And darkness was upon the face of the deep. And
the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
God now RENEWED the face of the earth, preparing it to
become the abode of MAN!
But WHY?


Why God Created Man!

Here is a truth perhaps never before understood by man!
Here is AWESOME TRUTH!
Look, now, at the situation as God must have seen and
considered it. God has given us minds like the mind of God -- only
inferior and limited. God made us in His image, after His
likeness (form and shape), only composed of matter instead of
Spirit. But God says to us, "Let this MIND be in you, which was
also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). We can learn to think His
thoughts after Him. If we have His Spirit, we can learn to think,
to some degree, even as HE THINKS!
How must God have looked at this situation after the
colossal debacle of Lucifer and the angels that sinned?
This LUCIFER was the supreme MASTERPIECE of God's creative
power as a single, separately created Spirit being! He was
created the most perfect in beauty, mentality, knowledge, power,
intellect and wisdom within the almighty power of God to create
in a being, with power to think, reason, make choices and
decisions on his own. God knew that no higher, more perfect being
could be created as an initial creation.
Yet this superior being, trained and experienced at the very
throne of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the universe, had resorted
to wrong reasoning and made a diabolical perverted decision. He
worked on the angels under him until he turned their minds to
rebellion also. This, incidentally, might have taken Lucifer
millions of years. In all probability he had to begin perverting
the minds of his angels one at a time, at first. He had to cause
them to feel dissatisfied, wronged by God, and inject into them
resentment and bitterness.
When Lucifer allowed thoughts of vanity, jealousy, envy,
lust and greed, then resentment and rebellion, to enter and
occupy his mind, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO HIS MIND! His mind became
perverted, distorted, twisted! His thinking became warped. God
gave him and the angels control over their own minds. They can
never straighten them out -- never again think rationally,
honestly, rightly.
I have had a number of personal experiences with demons
through a few demon-possessed people. I have cast out demons
through the name of Christ and power of the Holy Spirit. Some
demons are silly, like spoiled children. Some are crafty, sharp,
shrewd, subtile. Some are belligerent, some are sassy, some are
sullen and morose. But all are perverted, warped, twisted.
Look, now again at God's overall supreme PURPOSE. It is to
develop GODLY, PERFECT CHARACTER IN THE MILLIONS OF MANKIND WHO
SHALL DO THIS CREATIVE COMPLETION THROUGH OUT THE ENTIRE
LIMITLESS PHYSICAL UNIVERSE!
That is THE AWESOME PURPOSE!
For this PURPOSE, God started by creating millions of
angels -- Spirit beings. Then He created the PHYSICAL UNIVERSE and
this earth, and He put angels here to develop this earth, ruled
by THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
But the king He set as ruler -- LUCIFER -- rebelled, revolted,
misled a third of all the angels, and THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD no
longer governed the earth.
Lucifer was the supreme masterpiece. If Lucifer and his
angels went wrong, there was no assurance the other two thirds
would not.
As God surveyed this tragic cataclysm, He must have realized
it left HIMSELF as the ONLY BEING who will not and CANNOT SIN!
The only possible ASSURANCE of accomplishing His great PURPOSE
was for Him now to reproduce Himself!
But let us answer another question before proceeding:
WHY is it IMPOSSIBLE for God to sin? No greater power exists
that will prevent Him -- but God has simply by His own
power -- supreme and above all power -- set Himself that He will not!
What God saw was this. No being less than God could be
certainly relied upon NEVER to sin, that is, NEVER to turn
against God's LAW, and God's government, which makes possible His
ultimate PURPOSE. To fulfill His PURPOSE for the entire UNIVERSE,
God saw that nothing less than HIMSELF, and His holy, righteous
and perfect CHARACTER, could be absolutely relied upon to carry
out His SUPREME PURPOSE throughout the entire, vast, endless
UNIVERSE!
The question might be raised: Could not God have known, in
advance, what Lucifer and the angels under him would do? Doesn't
God know EVERYTHING? The answer is NO. If God were to have known
in advance what choice they would make, He would have had to
FORCE them to make it -- taken away from them power to think, to
reason, to have a choice, to make decisions. God does not CHOOSE
to know, in advance, what YOU or I will be thinking, reasoning,
deciding, tomorrow or in the future. He gave these Spirit beings,
as He gives us, the power to think for ourselves, to choose, to
make decisions. Otherwise we should be nothing more than
automatons, doing what we are compelled to do. He simply did not
choose to know. His PURPOSE includes the development of CHARACTER
in His created beings.
All that had happened caused God to now UNDERTAKE THE MOST
STUPENDOUS CREATION OF ALL -- that of REPRODUCING HIMSELF! The
ultimate creation of God Beings in His God Family -- superior to
angels!


Reproducing HIMSELF??

Now came the CROWNING PINNACLE of even God's unmatched creative
POWER! Now came the very zenith of all Divine accomplishment! Now
came a project so incredulously transcendently AWESOME it is hard
for the human mind to grasp.
How could the great GOD -- self-existent, before all else,
CREATOR of all else, reproduce HIMSELF into multiplied millions
of others JUST LIKE HIMSELF -- Divine, supreme in power, perfect in
character -- each by his own choice perfectly like-minded with the
Father, each having so set himself that he CANNOT SIN?
The next chapter will reveal HOW God planned to carry out
this incredibly AWESOME feat of reproducing Himself.



Chapter VI

HOW God Planned to Reproduce Himself!


I have covered the reason WHY God decided to create MAN and put
the human family on the earth. But HOW could so AWESOME an
undertaking ever be brought about?
Few, indeed, have the slightest concept of what was
involved. Few humans today have the slightest realization of the
magnitude of miraculous occurrences and divine planning required
so that this HUMAN LIFE each of us enjoys could be made possible.
In the previous chapter I mentioned that the question might
be asked, "Could not God have known, in advance, what Lucifer
would do?" The answer was NO! But assuredly God did know
Lucifer's rebellion and the sin of the angels on earth was a
possibility.
And, knowing of that possibility, did God wait until after
that earth-wide cataclysm occurred before any thought of creating
MAN entered His mind? And again the answer is a definite NO! He
did not wait until that tragic cataclysm to begin planning the
reproduction of His own kind.
Let me give an illustration. I fly in a Gulfstream-II jet
aircraft. Its human designers realized the possibility of
different parts or systems failing. So they designed and
installed what is called a "fail-safe" system. If a certain part
goes wrong, another part or system takes over immediately -- and in
some cases, even a third part or system. If human designers plan
ahead in case of a mechanical failure, how much more would the
GREAT CREATOR GOD have planned ahead in the event Lucifer and the
angels sinned! Undoubtedly God planned ahead. He knew, before the
creation of the earth, that angels, with independent powers of
thinking, reasoning, choosing, forming opinions and decisions,
could rebel and turn to iniquity. His great PURPOSE required Him
to allow this!
Perhaps that was a reason why He created MATTER -- the entire
physical universe. Matter, with its many properties -- such as
organic and inorganic matter, force, energy, inertia, gravity,
etc., provided material by which He could form MAN in a mortal
state, as the means by which He might reproduce Himself.
At this point, we need to KNOW STILL MORE about our Creator
GOD! And we need to know WHY almost no one today has had the
faintest idea of such a colossal, supremely AWESOME project going
on!


Only ONE God -- More Than One Person!

Let me try to make this most wonderful truth of all time PLAIN!
First, go back once again to the very first words in God's
revelation of knowledge to us: "In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth."
God inspired Moses to write those words in Hebrew, not in
the English words above. I repeat, the Hebrew name translated
"God" is Elohim. It is a uniplural word, like the words family,
church, group, team. One family, but composed of more than one
person. ONE church, but composed of more than one member. ONE
group, but unless composed of more than one person, it would not
be a group. One athletic team, but composed of two, five, six,
nine, eleven or more players -- besides a number of substitutes.
This former Lucifer, who became Satan, has so cleverly
DECEIVED all humanity that almost no one today knows that God is,
actually, a Divine FAMILY. One Family. God IS a Family. That
Family is ONE GOD.
Satan has deceived people into almost every other belief.
Perhaps the largest number have been deceived into believing God
is a "trinity" -- God in THREE persons -- LIMITING God to three
persons and misrepresenting the HOLY SPIRIT, which flows from God
and from Christ, to be a single person.
Others think of God as ONE PERSON ONLY.
But notice, again, in the New Testament, John 1:1-5, 14:
"In the beginning was the Word." Sounds similar to Genesis
1:1, doesn't it? In Genesis 1:1, it is: "In the beginning God."
But the English name GOD in Genesis 1:1 is translated from the
Hebrew Elohim, meaning more than one person forming ONE God. In
John 1, the word "Word" in English is translated from the
original inspired Greek word logos, which means "word,"
"spokesman," "revelatory thought," as a being or person.
The next words in John 1,''... and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made
that was made" (verses 1-4).
This "Logos" was a person. This person existed "from the
beginning" the same as God. He ALWAYS self-existed. He existed
with God. And He, also, was God. He is and was a person. God,
whom He was WITH, is also a person. They both coexisted forever.
"All things" (words elsewhere translated "the universe") were
made by Him -- the Word -- the Divine Spokesman.
But now notice verse 14: "And the Word was made flesh, and
dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten
of the Father,) full of grace and truth." This, of course, is
speaking of Jesus Christ. In the human flesh, He was begotten of
God the Father, the only one ever so begotten (before human
birth).
At the time of this begettal and human birth "the Word"
became the Son of God.
The Father, from heaven, said of Jesus, "Thou art my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased." Jesus, praying, called God
"Father" -- "Father and Son" -- a FAMILY relationship. The Church, at
the resurrection to immortal SPIRIT life, is to MARRY the
resurrected and glorified Christ (Eph. 5:25-28). So we have here
a FAMILY relationship -- father, son, husband and wife. And the
"wife" is to be composed of born children of God.
I personally have been the father of a FAMILY. My family
name is Armstrong. My first wife and I lived together fifty years
until her death. I have a son, Garner Ted. My son is also
ARMSTRONG, just as Jesus, the Word, was God, and yet He was with
God. Our family name is ARMSTRONG. All members of the family also
were named Armstrong. When our daughters married, they started
each the forming of another family, and they took the name of the
husband who became the father of that family. But each family is
only ONE family.
Likewise, there is but ONE God -- but GOD is the family name,
and there is more than one person in the ONE Family.


CHRIST the Maker of All

GOD is CREATOR. But GOD is the divine FAMILY. How can the Father
of the Family be Creator, and Christ also Creator? In Ephesians
3:9 it is written that God the Father "created all things [the
UNIVERSE] by Jesus Christ." And Christ is "the Word" -- the
Spokesman. Speaking of Him, we read in Psalm 33, "By the word of
the Eternal were the heavens [universe] made; and all the host of
them by the breath of his mouth.... For he spake, and it was
done" (verses 6, 9).
I will illustrate. In January 1914, I was sent by a national
magazine to interview Henry Ford in Detroit When I first saw him,
he was just outside the door of the huge Ford factory. He was
wearing a business suit, not workman's overalls. He was the MAKER
or manufacturer of the Ford cars. He made them BY his thousands
of employees, whom I saw in overalls at work inside the factory.
The employees used machinery and the POWER of electricity.
Likewise, God the FATHER is CREATOR. He created BY Jesus Christ,
the "workman" who SPAKE, and it was done by the POWER of the Holy
Spirit. But Jesus said plainly that He "spake" only as the Father
commanded Him.
Notice Colossians 1: Speaking of the Father (verse 12) and
"his dear Son" (verse 13), "who is the image of the invisible God
that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is
before all things, and by him all things consist" (verses 15-17).
Jesus Christ, prior to human birth, had existed with the
Father -- ALWAYS, ETERNALLY!


Just HOW Did God Plan to Reproduce Himself?

From eternity the Father and the WORD who became Jesus Christ had
co-existed. They had created angels -- probably many millions of
them. A third of them, under Lucifer, were put on the earth at
its creation. God set His GOVERNMENT over them, with Lucifer on
the throne. Lucifer rejected God's government. He and the angels
became DISQUALIFIED -- the GOVERNMENT OF GOD was no longer being
administered on earth -- and the earth had become waste, empty, in
decay, and in darkness.
Were there, prior to this, more than just the TWO -- God and
the Word -- in the GOD FAMILY? God reveals no more. Was the "Word"
the Son of God, and was God His Father at that time? They are
nowhere referred to as that.
To have been the Son of God at that prehistoric time, God
would of necessity have existed prior to the Son's birth. The
Son, had that been the case, would have come into existence at
time of such birth. But the "Logos" -- the Word -- had, like God,
eternally self-existed.
Consider, now, the truly AWESOME project God set out to
accomplish -- to REPRODUCE HIMSELF!
It is probable that, prior to this time, no form of life had
ever been created with the reproductive process. Probably the
very first example of reproductive life was that of plant
life -- at the time God was renewing the face of the earth (Gen.
1:11-12).
God had created the physical universe before placing the
angels on the earth. God had created MATTER containing properties
so that marvelous things may be done with it. There is both
organic (living) and inorganic (inert -- dead) matter. In matter
are such properties as energy, gravity, inertia. Awesome powers,
such as the hydrogen bomb, may come from it. The existence of
MATTER offered God what He needed to reproduce Himself. After
creation of reproductive plant life, God created animal life with
the reproductive process, each reproducing after its own
kind -- cattle after the cattle kind, horses after the horse kind,
etc.
But now God (Elohim) said, "Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness [form, shape] ..." (Gen. 1:26), in other
words, AFTER THE GOD KIND.
God had created angels out of SPIRIT. But now, for His own
reproductive purpose, MATTER offered God the properties He
needed.
And so....the ETERNAL God formed man of the dust of the
ground" -- out of MATTER (Gen. 2:7).


IF and WHEN Man Sinned

At this point we must consider a basic principle of GOD'S
GOVERNMENT. The state can never be without a head. God placed
Lucifer on the throne of the earth. He was no longer
administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD -- he was now disqualified -- but
he (his name now changed to Satan) must remain on that throne
until his successor has qualified and also been inducted into
office. The very fact that Satan was there to tempt the first
humans -- that he is, even now, "the god of this world" (II Cor.
4:4) and "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2) -- is
sufficient evidence of this basic principle of the GOVERNMENT OF
GOD.
More than this, once the earth became inhabited by those in
rebellion against the government of God -- once that government
ceased to function -- it became necessary for someone to qualify as
successor to Lucifer (now Satan) -- and in order to qualify to
restore the government and WAY of God, the successor must
actually reject and/or turn from Satan's WAY!
More, those who are to reign WITH Christ, must also qualify
by turning from or rejecting Satan's way, overcoming that way,
and actually living under the WAY of God's Law.
Knowing this, God knew the inevitability that Satan would
tempt the first created MAN to disbelieve God and commit sin. If
the super archangel and all his angels had been led into
rebellion, how much more certain that man, made lower than the
angels, would also sin!
Can you visualize God and with Him the Word (also God -- of
the God FAMILY) planning this supreme feat of their creative
power? The Word volunteered to give up temporarily the supreme
POWER and GLORY He had possessed always (John 17:5), to divest
Himself of all that, to be begotten by God, born in human flesh
for the purpose of death (Heb. 2:9). Since God delegated the
actual MAKING of man to the Word, He, when physically born as a
human being, for the purpose of death, would, in that death, be
giving a life of greater value than the sum total of ALL HUMAN
LIVES -- since He was their MAKER. And, being DIVINE as well as
human -- being God as well as man, He in the person of Christ,
would be able to avoid sinning. Then He, who NEVER sinned,
although tempted in all points just like the rest of us humans,
in death could PAY in our stead THE PENALTY WE HAVE INCURRED.
By creating MAN out of physical matter, being mortal, man
could DIE. So man's penalty for sin was DEATH. ("For the wages of
sin is DEATH; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord" -- Rom. 6:23.)
God the Father would have power to resurrect Christ to
immortal life from the dead -- thus making a resurrection to
immortal Spirit-composed life possible for humans.
So, God's master plan for accomplishing His PURPOSE took
form and shape. IF man sinned -- as all but Jesus have -- it could
thus be possible for him to REPENT -- to turn FROM sinning to be
reconciled to God and to live GOD'S WAY OF LIFE. In other words,
to turn to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, accept its rule over his life,
accept Christ as his Savior and coming KING. And He, Christ,
would qualify to REESTABLISH the GOVERNMENT OF GOD ON THE EARTH!
But what if sinning man refused to repent -- to turn FROM
Satan's way and to let the GOVERNMENT OF GOD rule in his life?
Then there would be the second death for any or all such (Rev.
20:14) -- when they would cease to exist -- be as if they had never
been (Obadiah 16).
But was this, that I have just covered above, all that God
(in the persons of God AND the WORD) had to consider? No. Far
from it!
The plan was to make MAN out of physical substance. But how
would God reproduce Himself or bring perhaps millions upon
millions into the GOD FAMILY?
This necessitated that God's very own LIFE -- Divine
GOD-life -- be imparted. God IS a Spirit -- composed of Spirit.
And yet this is made possible only after God's own holy,
righteous and perfect CHARACTER has been wrought in each
human -- by that human's repentance and faith -- during this earthly
mortal life.
What a marvelous plan God conceived. He would form man of
physical MATTER -- So that, if man totally failed, he could be as
though he had never been. So God made man of PHYSICAL substance,
formed and shaped like God so that man could be
converted -- changed from matter into Spirit composition at a
resurrection -- a Spirit-composed member of the GOD FAMILY.
Can your mind grasp what matchless wisdom, power of
designing and planning, made our transcendent human potential
possible?
God first formed PLANT life -- the flora. This was living
matter reproducing itself, but without
self-consciousness -- without brain. Next God created the
fauna -- animal life, in which He placed BRAIN, with a certain
consciousness, yet without the thinking, reasoning,
decision-making processes. But MAN, to be reproduced into the GOD
FAMILY, was designed to have a GODLY type MIND, ability to think,
reason, make choices and decisions -- develop God-like CHARACTER.
How could all this be done? Actually the brain of an
elephant, a whale or a dolphin is virtually equal in complexity,
design and quality and larger in size than human brain. The
chimpanzee's is also virtually equal, but slightly smaller in
size. WHY, then, is the human MIND so transcendently superior to
animal brain?



Chapter VII

Bridging the Gap Between Human Man and the Ultimate
Spirit-composed Sons of God


A human manufacturer sends along with the instrument or device he
manufactures an INSTRUCTION BOOKLET describing what his product
is intended to do with full directions for accomplishing its
purpose. The most perfect mechanism ever designed and made is the
marvelous mind and body that is MAN. And it is also only natural
that our Maker sent along His INSTRUCTION BOOK -- revealing for our
good what we ARE, WHY we are, where we are going, and what is the
way.
That instruction book is the Holy Bible. Yet man has made
this the most MISunderstood, misinterpreted and maligned book
that ever came into human hands.
Nevertheless, the MISSING DIMENSION IN KNOWLEDGE is all
there revealed. The incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL is there revealed
and made plain -- if MAN would only read it -- and BELIEVE WHAT IT
SAYS!
That is our source book. It covers pre-history, history,
instruction for the present, and prophecy revealing the future.
It reveals, as we have seen in preceding chapters, that
originally from eternity, there existed GOD and with Him there
coexisted, also from eternity, "THE WORD," a second PERSON who
also is God. God created all things by and through this
coexisting SPIRIT BEING called "THE WORD" (John 1:1-4).
In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word translated "God," is Elohim,
a uniplural name meaning ONE GOD who is composed of more than one
person. In other words, a Divine FAMILY, of which the GOD
mentioned in John 1:1 is HEAD.
We have seen how the Bible reveals that God first created
angels -- also composed of Spirit, though lesser beings than God,
and lacking in creative power.
Next, God created -- brought into existence -- the physical
universe, including the earth. At earth's creation, a third of
the angels were placed here. They were put under rule of the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD, administered by the great archangel Lucifer, a
cherub. Under the GOVERNMENT OF GOD the earth was filled with
wonderful PEACE, HAPPINESS and JOY. But ultimately Lucifer led
his angels into rebellion. The GOVERNMENT OF GOD was rejected, no
longer enforced. The earth as a result, became waste and empty,
in confusion and utter darkness.
Then in six days God renewed the face of the earth. During
this "creation week" of Genesis 1, God formed the first life
forms that reproduced themselves -- the flora and then the
fauna -- without the thinking, reasoning, decision-making process,
and without ethical, moral or spiritual capabilities.
Finally came the creation of MAN -- created in God's own image
and likeness -- form and shape -- but like animals composed of
physical MATTER from the earth. MAN, to be born ultimately into
the very GOD FAMILY, was designed to have GODLY-type
MIND -- ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions,
capable of forming ethical, moral and spiritual attitudes.
Remember, God's PURPOSE in creating man is to reproduce
Himself -- with such perfect spiritual CHARACTER as ONLY GOD
possesses -- who WILL NOT and therefore CANNOT ever SIN! (I John
3:9).
Such perfect spiritual and holy character cannot be created
by fiat. It must be developed, and that requires TIME and
EXPERIENCE.
Such character -- I repeat -- is the ability in a single entity
to come to comprehend and distinguish the true values from the
false, the right way from the wrong, to choose the right and
reject the wrong, and, with power of WILL, to DO the right and
resist the evil.
Animals are equipped with BRAIN and instinct. But they do
not have power to understand and choose moral and spiritual
values or to develop perfect spiritual CHARACTER. Animals have
BRAIN, but no intellect -- instinct, but no ability to develop HOLY
and GODLY CHARACTER.
And that pictures the transcendental DIFFERENCE between
animal BRAIN and human MIND.
But WHAT CAUSES that vast difference?
There is virtually no difference in shape and construction
between animal brain and human brain. The brains of elephants,
whales, and dolphins are larger than human brain, and the chimp's
brain is slightly smaller. Qualitatively the human brain may be
very slightly superior, but not enough to remotely account for
the difference in output.
What, then, can account for the vast difference? Science
cannot adequately answer. Some scientists, in the field of brain
research, conclude that, of necessity, there has to be some
nonphysical component in human brain that does not exist in
animal brain. But most scientists will not admit the possibility
of the existence of the nonphysical.
What other explanation is there? Actually, outside of the
very slight degree of physical superiority of human brain,
science has NO explanation, due to unwillingness to concede even
the possibility of the spiritual.
When man refuses to admit even the very existence of his own
Maker, he shuts out of his mind vast oceans of basic true
knowledge, fact, and UNDERSTANDING. When he substitutes FABLE for
truth, he is, of all men, MOST IGNORANT, though he professes
himself to be wise.
When man, in the name of science, denies -- or by
indifference, ignores -- his Maker, he blinds his mind to what he
is, why he is, where he is going, and what is THE WAY! No wonder
this world is filled with evils! There has to be a CAUSE for
every effect!
But when our minds are opened to the knowledge of our GOD
and His purposes, then we have glorious access to the vast
MISSING DIMENSION OF KNOWLEDGE: the very knowledge that God is
the Divine FAMILY -- that God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF -- that He is
using MATTER in the process, and that He opens our understanding
to vast vistas of new knowledge.
So now CONSIDER. God is composed of SPIRIT. God is CREATOR,
DESIGNER, RULER, EDUCATOR. God has SUPREME MIND. He IS the
PERFECT HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER!
But He is using material substance from this physical earth
with which to REPRODUCE HIMSELF. Out of physical EARTH He has
formed MAN in His image and likeness (form and shape).
But if man is to BECOME God, in the process of God
reproducing Himself, then the CHARACTER that is to be built in
him MUST emanate from God -- and the Spirit LIFE that is to be his
also must emanate from GOD.
In other words, God has had to plan to bridge the gap
between MATTER (of which MAN is now wholly composed) and SPIRIT
(which God now is, and man must become).
Matter is NOT Spirit -- cannot be converted into Spirit. HOW,
then, can God change mortal material MAN into immortal,
Spirit-composed GOD?
Man is composed wholly of MATTER. God says: "And the
[Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living
soul" (Gen. 2:7). MAN was made out of the dust of the ground. He
receives his temporary human life from air, breathed in and out
of his nostrils. His life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4, 6). But the
lifeblood is oxidized by breathing air, even as gasoline in the
carburetor of an automobile. Therefore breath is the "breath of
life" even as the life is in the blood.
Notice carefully that MAN, made wholly of matter, BECAME a
living soul as soon as the BREATH gave him his temporary physical
life. The scripture does NOT say "immortal" soul. Man does not
have an "immortal" soul. He IS a soul as soon as physical LIFE
enters him.
The Hebrew word for "soul" is nephesh. In Genesis 1:20-24,
animals are called nephesh three times -- only the translators
translated the Hebrew word there "creature." Animals have the
same temporary physic-chemical existence as man. Both die the
same death (Eccl. 3:19-20).
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). Again,
God's Word says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek.
18:20). Adam was a soul, and God said to him, in regard to the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "... in the day that
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). But Satan
denied this, and Adam and Eve believed Satan, as most of humanity
has done ever since.
So let us UNDERSTAND! Man is FLESH and BLOOD -- composed
wholly of MATTER -- and that living matter IS a living soul.
The SOUL is composed of physical MATTER, not Spirit.
I have explained that human brain is almost identical to
animal brain. But man was made in the form and shape of God, to
have a special relationship with God -- to have the potential of
being born into the FAMILY of God. And God is SPIRIT (John 4:24).
To make it possible to bridge the gap -- or to make the
transition of MANKIND, composed wholly of MATTER, into SPIRIT
beings in God's Kingdom, then to be composed wholly of Spirit,
and at the same time to give MAN a MIND like God's -- God put a
spirit in each human.
In Job 32:8, we read, "There is a spirit in man: and the
inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
This is a great TRUTH, understood by but very few.
I call this spirit the HUMAN spirit, for it is IN each
human, even though it is SPIRIT ESSENCE and not matter. It is NOT
a spirit person or being. It is not the MAN, but spirit essence
IN the man. It is NOT a soul -- the physical human is a soul. The
human spirit imparts the power of INTELLECT to the human brain.
The human spirit does not supply human LIFE -- the human LIFE is in
the physical BLOOD, oxidized by the BREATH of life.
It is that nonphysical component in the human brain that
does not exist in the brain of animals. It is the ingredient that
makes possible the transition from human to divine, without
changing matter into spirit, at the time of resurrection. That I
will explain a little later.
Let me make clear a few essential points about this spirit
in man. It is spirit essence, just as in matter air is essence,
and so is water. This human spirit cannot see. The physical BRAIN
sees, through the eyes. The human spirit IN a person cannot hear.
The brain hears through the ears. This human spirit cannot think.
The brain thinks -- although the spirit imparts the power to think,
whereas brute animal brains without such spirit cannot, except in
the most elementary manner.
A scripture often used by believers in an "immortal soul"
explains. In I Corinthians 2, the apostle Paul is explaining to
the Corinthians that he did not come to them using hard to
understand speech as many do to exalt their own vanity. He came
to them with plain and simple speech, in humility. And yet none
of the princes, the elite, the highly educated -- the rulers -- of
this world could understand.
WHY couldn't the more highly learned understand? Because he
was preaching Christ's message of the Kingdom of God. This is
spiritual knowledge. This kind of knowledge cannot be seen by the
physical eye, nor heard with the physical ear. Spiritual
knowledge cannot enter the human mind by natural means -- for
spirit cannot be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled.
Then he explains that in this manner (verse 11) no MAN could
have the knowledge a man possesses, except by "the spirit of man
which is in him." The brute animal has a brain virtually
identical to human brain -- and some even larger. But their brains
cannot KNOW -- comprehend -- what man knows. Neither could man
without the spirit of man which is in him. In other words, this
spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human brain.
Yet this human MIND is limited to knowledge of the physical.
It cannot KNOW -- comprehend -- the spiritual things of God. WHY?
Because even the human MIND only can know, naturally, what
knowledge comes to it through the senses of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, feeling. A brute animal also may see, hear,
smell, taste or feel what a man does, and still be unable to
utilize what enters his brain in thought or knowledge. The reason
for this will be explained later.
Now the second half of I Corinthians 2:11: "EVEN SO" (in
like manner) no man can know -- have knowledge of, understand or
comprehend -- the things of GOD, except by ANOTHER spirit, the Holy
Spirit of GOD.
Just as no dumb animal can know the things of man's
knowledge, neither could man, by brain alone, except by the
spirit of man -- the human spirit -- that is in man. So also, in the
same manner, even a man cannot know -- comprehend -- the things of
God, unless or until he receives another spirit -- the Holy Spirit
of GOD.
Stated still another way, all humans have from birth a
spirit called "the spirit of man" which is IN THEM. Notice
carefully that this spirit is NOT the man. It is something IN THE
MAN. A man might swallow a small marble. It is then something in
the man, but it is not the man or any part of him as a man. The
man was made of the dust of the ground -- mortal. This human spirit
is not the soul. It is something IN the soul which itself IS the
physical MAN.
Notice, further, verse 14: "But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned.''
So, from birth, God gives us one spirit, which for lack of a
better term I call a human spirit. It gives us MIND power which
is not in animal BRAIN. Yet that MIND power is limited to
knowledge of the physical universe. WHY? Because knowledge enters
the human mind ONLY through the five physical senses.
But notice that God had not completed the creation of MAN at
the creation of Adam and Eve. The physical creation was
completed. They had this "human" spirit at their creation.
But now must follow the spiritual creation. This required a
second spirit in man -- the HOLY SPIRIT of God.
"And the [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground
man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the [Eternal]
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good
for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and
the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:7-9).
Actually and literally, Adam, as yet, was "not all there."
The spirit of man was in him -- but not the Spirit of God. God
offered him freely the fruit of the TREE OF LIFE -- which
symbolized God's HOLY SPIRIT. Taking of the tree of LIFE would
have done two things: (1) opened his MIND to comprehend spiritual
knowledge, and (2) imparted within him the GIFT of God's Holy
Spirit, leading to ETERNAL LIFE. But, when God explained to him
the KINGDOM OF GOD, Adam disbelieved what God said and
disobeyed -- SINNED. Then what?
"And the [Eternal] God said, ... and now, lest he put
forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and
live for ever: Therefore the [Eternal] God sent him forth from
the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden
of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to
keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen. 3:22-24).
Now GRASP THIS, please!
Do not forget God's great PURPOSE! Through human man,
composed of material substance, God is reproducing
Himself -- adding to His own holy, righteous, sinless GOD FAMILY.
But God is composed of SPIRIT. How does God bridge the gap
between mortal physical MAN and immortal SPIRIT-composed God?
The very first human had made the wrong choice, and by SIN
rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. God then drove him out of the
garden of Eden and blocked all possible reentry to the tree of
life. But of course God anticipated the probability of this.
God's PURPOSE must STAND! But HOW?
It now required the "second Adam" -- Jesus Christ. He had
offered Himself before the world was. But He was not to come,
born human for the purpose of death, for about another 4,000
years.
God had marked out a 7,000-year period -- the first 6,000 for
mankind, cut off from God (With a few exceptions), to go his own
way -- to write the lesson in human suffering and anguish of living
contrary to GOD'S WAY OF LIFE, commanded by THE GOVERNMENT OF
GOD -- which Adam rejected.
This 6,000 years, with Satan still here, would be followed
by a single 1,000 years, during which CHRIST would rule, having
qualified to restore THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth. Satan would
be totally restrained during the seventh millennium.
During that seventh millennium, the KINGDOM OF GOD -- the
RULING FAMILY OF GOD -- would be established on earth.
Meanwhile, during the first 6,000 years, a FEW would be
offered opportunity to enter into the spiritual creation, Which
begins with the receiving of the SECOND SPIRIT -- that is, the gift
of the HOLY SPIRIT of God. Outside of this comparative few, God
adopted a "hands-off" policy toward the human race. Abel, Adam's
second son, apparently followed God's way, for Christ called him
"righteous Abel." Enoch "walked with God." Noah found favor with
God -- but apparently that was all during the first 1,900 years or
so.
After the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Joseph lived
God's way. Then God called and formed the nation of Israel, but
they were offered no spiritual salvation or eternal life -- only
material and national blessings. God called and used a few
prophets. Then Christ came and made spiritual salvation possible
for all. Yet only the first comparatively very small spiritual
harvest has been called to spiritual salvation during the nearly
2,000 years since Christ.


Human Reproduction the Type of God's Reproducing Himself

Few people realize that human reproduction has a sacred and
GOD-PLANE MEANING NOT APPLICABLE TO ANY OTHER KIND OF LIFE.
Human reproduction pictures spiritual salvation -- which is
actually God the Father reproducing Himself in the GOD FAMILY.
Now see the ASTOUNDING COMPARISON!
MAN, remember, is composed wholly of MATTER from the ground
(Gen. 2:7 and 3:19). But HOW can God bridge the gap, in
reproducing Himself, of converting a wholly physical man into a
wholly Spirit-composed member of the GOD FAMILY?
It starts with a spirit (a portion of spirit essence) IN the
wholly physical man. Remember, this spirit is NOT the man -- only
something IN the man. Remember, too, this spirit cannot see,
hear, or think. The MAN sees, hears, and thinks through his
physical brain and the five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting,
smelling and feeling. The spirit in man imparts the power of
PHYSICAL INTELLECT to the physical brain, thus forming human
MIND.
This spirit acts, among other things, as a COMPUTER, adding
to the brain the psychic and intellectual power. Knowledge
received in the brain through the eye, ear, and the senses is
immediately "programmed' into the spirit computer. All memory is
stored in this spirit computer. This "computer" gives the brain
instant recall of whatever portion of millions of bits of
knowledge may be needed in the reasoning process. That is to say
that MEMORY is recorded in the human spirit, whether or not it
also is recorded in the "gray matter" of BRAIN.
This human spirit also adds to man a spiritual and moral
faculty not possessed by animals.
God had made the needed second spirit -- the HOLY
SPIRIT -- available to Adam. But on Adam's rebellion and taking the
forbidden fruit, God had driven Adam out and closed all access to
the tree of LIFE -- symbolic of His Holy Spirit.
Yet through Christ, a repentant humanity may yet receive
God's GIFT of His Holy Spirit. To Nicodemus Christ said, "Except
a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Of course
Nicodemus could not quite understand that. Almost nobody today
understands it. Jesus explained, "That which is born of the flesh
IS FLESH, and that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT" (John
3:6). Man came from the ground. He IS flesh. Jesus was not
talking about another physical birth or experience of conversion
in this life -- but about a spiritual birth -- when man shall BE
Spirit, no longer composed of matter, but composed wholly of
SPIRIT! Yes, LITERALLY! Then he shall have been born of God. God
is Spirit (John 4:24, RSV).
Now to become human, each of us had to be begotten by his
human father. Likewise, to be born again -- of THE SPIRIT which is
of GOD the Father, one must first be begotten of the SPIRITUAL
FATHER -- of GOD.
This is explained in Romans 8:16-17: "The Spirit (of God)
itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
[begotten] children of God: and if children, then heirs [not yet
inheritors or possessors]; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Christ...."
And God's Holy Spirit, now combined with our human spirit in
the human MIND, does two things: (1) begets the human with divine
eternal life to be later BORN into the GOD FAMILY as a Divine
Being, then composed wholly of Spirit; (2) imparts to the human
mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE -- to understand the
things of God (I Cor. 2:11). Also God's Holy Spirit imparts
divine LOVE, FAITH, and POWER to overcome Satan and sin.
This Spirit-begotten Christian now has, conditionally, the
PRESENCE OF ETERNAL LIFE -- GOD LIFE -- within him (or her), but He
is NOT YET an immortal SPIRIT BEING -- not yet composed wholly of
SPIRIT.
He is now an heir of God as the son of a wealthy man is the
heir of his father -- but NOT YET "born again," -- NOT YET an
inheritor or a possessor. But IF His Holy Spirit dwells in us,
God will, at Christ's coming back to earth as King of kings,
"quicken" to immortality our mortal bodies BY His Spirit that
dwells in us (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:49-53).
Now see how the astonishing analogy continues:
Just as in human reproduction, the impregnated embryo, which
later becomes the fetus, is not yet BORN, but still being
nourished through the human mother; so the begotten Christian is
not yet BORN into the God Family. The divine life has merely been
begotten.
Satan has managed to deceive most of fundamentalist
Christianity into believing they already are "born again" on
accepting Christ.
But just as in human reproduction when the HUMAN
characteristics of form and shape and the human body and brain
gradually begin to form during the period of gestation, so now
the RIGHTEOUS and HOLY CHARACTER of God begins to take form and
GROW. Actually in many, this Divine CHARACTER may form so slowly
it seems hardly in evidence at first, except that in some there
will appear the glow of that ecstasy of spiritual "romance
" -- which may radiate in that "first love" of spiritual
conversion. But, so far as growing in SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (II
Pet. 3:18) and spiritual CHARACTER goes, most of that is still to
be learned and developed.
When newly converted, one is now a spiritual "EMBRYO." Now
he must be nourished and fed on SPIRITUAL FOOD. Jesus said man
must not live by bread (physical food) alone, but by EVERY WORD
OF GOD. The BIBLE is the written Word of God, just as Christ is
the personal Word of God. This growth is the character
development that REQUIRES TIME and comes largely by EXPERIENCE.
Above all, it requires continual BIBLE STUDY to show ONE'S
SELF approved of God, as well as much continual and earnest
PRAYER. When you study the Bible, GOD is TALKING TO YOU. When you
PRAY, you are TALKING TO HIM. You get to really KNOW God in this
manner, just as you become better acquainted with people by
conversation.
Yet much of this spiritual character development comes
through Christian fellowship with other spiritually begotten
people in God's Church.
Further, just as the human physical embryo and fetus are
given physical nourishment through the human mother, God's CHURCH
is the spiritual MOTHER of its members. God's Church is called
"Jerusalem above, which is the MOTHER of us all" (Gal. 4:26).
Notice the exact parallel. God has set called and chosen
ministers in His Church to feed the flock, "for the perfecting of
the saints, for THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY [proclaiming Christ's
gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world] for the edifying
of the body [Church] of Christ: till we all come in the unity of
the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect
man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"
(Eph. 4:12-13).
It is the duty of Christ's true ministers (and how few
today) to PROTECT the begotten but yet unborn saints from false
doctrines and from false ministers!
What a wonderful picture of God's reproducing Himself is
human reproduction!
And remember God intended human reproduction to be a FAMILY
matter. It adds human children to the human FAMILY. The HUMAN
FAMILY is the exact TYPE of the GOD FAMILY. God has bestowed
MARRIAGE and FAMILY life on NO OTHER form of life except on
HUMANS, whose potential it is to enter the FAMILY OF GOD!
But consider further! As the physical human fetus must grow
physically large enough to be born, so the begotten Christian
must grow spiritually in grace and knowledge of Christ (II Pet.
3:18) -- must overcome, develop in spiritual character, during this
life, to be born into the Kingdom of God!
That is well illustrated by the parables of the pounds and
the talents. In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus
pictured Himself as a nobleman going to a far country (heaven) to
receive a kingdom and later to return. He called his ten servants
and gave each a pound. While He was gone, one of the ten traded
with the money and gained ten pounds. He was commended and made
ruler over ten cities in the Kingdom of God. A second gained only
five pounds -- he did half as well, starting with EQUAL ability. He
was given reign over five cities. A third gained NOTHING -- and had
even that pound taken from him.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), one was
given five talents, another two talents, and another one -- each
according to his own ability (like handicap golf). On Christ's
return, the one who had been given five talents had gained five
more (representing spiritual growth and overcoming in this life).
He was commended as a good and faithful servant and given
responsibilities accordingly in God's Kingdom. The one who had
gained another two accomplished just as much in proportion to
ability. He, too, received an equal reward. But the one who had
been given the one did NOTHING WITH IT. In other words, in his
Christian life here and now, he did not overcome, he did not grow
spiritually -- he developed no character. The pounds or talents in
these two parables represent the initial measure of God's Holy
Spirit given at conversion. But as the Spirit-begotten person is
continually led by the Holy Spirit -- following where God's Spirit
opens his understanding, growing in spiritual knowledge and
overcoming -- the measure of God's Spirit in him increases. But
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit -- not by measure (John
3:34). The parables show that the convert who does not GROW in
Spirit and character development will lose out! He represents one
who "RECEIVED CHRIST" and considered he was already "born again"
but did not think he needed to overcome, grow spiritually, or
develop spiritual character. He thought he was "already saved."
He said he didn't believe in salvation by "works." What he didn't
realize is that while salvation is a FREE GIFT, we are REWARDED
according to our works (Matt. 16:27). But by doing NOTHING, he
lost not ONLY the reward, but he lost out on the free GIFT of
eternal life.
Christ's answer to such, when He returns with the KINGDOM OF
GOD, is, "Thou wicked and slothful servant.... Take therefore
the talent from him.... And cast ye the unprofitable servant
into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth." He failed utterly in God's real PURPOSE -- reproducing in
us the holy, righteous CHARACTER that we may receive from God.
Many have been deceived into a FALSE "salvation."
To conclude the parallel: As the physical fetus gradually
develops the physical features, organs and characteristics one by
one, even so the begotten Christian must develop the SPIRITUAL
ATTRIBUTES during this life, one by one, love, faith, Spiritual
knowledge, patience, gentleness, kindness, and temperance. He
must be a DOER of the Word of God. The fetus that fails to grow
would die and never be born!


Bridging the Gap

Finally, HOW has God planned to "bridge the gap" from physical to
spiritual composition -- to reproduce Himself out of PHYSICAL
HUMANS THAT COME FROM THE PHYSICAL GROUND?
First, God put IN the physical MAN a "human" spirit. It is
NOT, however, the human spirit that makes the decisions, comes to
repentance, or builds the character. As I have emphasized, this
spirit does not impart life, cannot see, hear, feel or think. It
empowers the PHYSICAL MAN, through his BRAIN, to do these things.
But this spirit RECORDS every thought -- every bit of knowledge
received through the five senses and it records whatever
character -- good or bad -- that is developed in human life.
The human MAN is made literally from CLAY. God is like the
master potter forming and shaping a vessel out of clay. But if
the clay is too hard, it will not bend into the form and shape he
wants. If it is too soft and moist, it lacks firmness to "STAY
PUT" where the potter bends it.
Notice in Isaiah 64:8: "But now, O [Eternal], thou art our
father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the
work of thy hand."
Yet God has given each of us a MIND OF HIS OWN. If one
REFUSES to acknowledge God or God's ways -- refuses to repent of
the wrong and turn to the right, God cannot take him and create
Godly character in him. But the human CLAY must be pliable, must
yield willingly. If the human stiffens up and resists, he is like
clay that is too dry and stiff. The potter can do nothing with
it. It will not give and bend. Also, if he is so lacking in will,
purpose, and determination that he won't "stay put" when God
molds him partly into what God wants him to be -- too wishy-washy,
weak, lacking root of character, he will never endure to the end.
He will lose out.
We are, in truth, the WORK OF HIS HANDS. Yet WE ourselves
must do our part in this spiritual development. If we lazily
neglect Bible study and prayer -- or if we let other material
interests become more important and we NEGLECT such great
salvation, we lose out.
But if we have the strength of character to YIELD, OF OUR
OWN WILL to put ourselves in God's hands, HE will instill within
us His SPIRIT and by it His righteousness -- His character -- open
our minds to His spiritual knowledge. We have to WANT IT! We have
to WORK AT IT! We have to PUT IT FIRST, above all else.
It must be GOD'S righteousness, for all of OURS is like
filthy rags to Him. He continually instills His knowledge, His
righteousness, His character within us -- IF we diligently seek it
and want it. BUT WE HAVE OUR VERY IMPORTANT PART IN IT. Then all
credit goes to GOD.
As we receive the CHARACTER OF GOD through the Holy Spirit
of God, more and more God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF IN US.
Finally, in the resurrection, we shall be as God -- in a
position where we cannot sin, because we ourselves have set it so
and have turned FROM sin and have struggled and struggled AGAINST
sin and overcome sin.
God's PURPOSE WILL be accomplished!


WHY Made From Material Substance?

Once again, STOP AND THINK!
WHY did God choose to make MAN out of physical matter
instead of Spirit? He made angels out of Spirit.
Remember God's PURPOSE is to reproduce Himself! His Divine
children are to be begotten of Him and then BORN into His God
Family. Christ, our pioneer, was begotten by the Father in a
manner no one else ever was, when conceived by the Holy Spirit in
the virgin Mary. He was the begotten (the ONLY begotten, in that
manner) Son of God from human conception and birth. He is already
the FIRSTBORN of many brethren (Rom. 8:29), born a Son of God by
a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4), as we may be later.
To show the preeminence above angels that is already
Christ's and also is our potential, remember we are joint-heirs
with Christ, and God says of Christ, "being made so much better
than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more
excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at
any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" (Heb.
1:4-5.) In the book of Job angels are spoken of as sons of God in
chapters 1,2, and 7, but only as created "sons." Still, as in
Hebrews 1, God never said to them, "You are my own begotten sons.
But when we humans receive the Holy Spirit of God, we do become
His begotten sons and His heirs, to receive by inheritance His
NAME -- just as my begotten sons inherited my name.
When we are BORN of God, we shall BE Spirit. Then why did
God form man in the first place of material substance -- out of the
earth?
I have partially answered that question already. Angels,
being spirit, are immortal. Those who sinned shall go on bearing
their punishment forever. Their punishment is NOT death. Their
punishment is loss of the glorious opportunity God gave them to
accomplish His purpose on earth, and to live forever in the
resentment, bitterness, attitude of rebellion, and utter
hopelessness and frustration of mind their own sins brought upon
them. Once they perverted their own minds, they can never regain
balance. Happiness and joy has left them forever.
Whereas, if MAN, composed of matter, sinned and refused to
repent and turn from his sin, he will die the second death -- he
shall utterly PERISH (John 3:16) -- he will be as though he had not
been (Obadiah 16). This reflects God's MERCY.


The Physical Changes, the Spiritual Is Changeless

But there is another all-important reason. As the humanist
philosopher Elbert Hubbard said, "Nothing is permanent but
change." Matter does not remain as it is, unchanged, permanently.
But it continues changing permanently. Perhaps stone or iron is
as unchanging as any element. But after a few thousand years, the
giant stones in the wall around Jerusalem, for instance, have
lost all their newness and show their age. Whatever you see now
on this earth in time will CHANGE.
Spirit however, is CHANGELESS -- except as God instilled in
angel beings the power of mind -- of thinking, reasoning, making
decisions and exercising will to act on decisions or choices. But
Spirit substance apart from the mind power of God or Spirit
beings is CHANGELESS. Once Satan and his demons made the decision
they did, being spirit, they cannot change!
In reproducing Himself God requires righteous CHARACTER
DEVELOPMENT. And that requires CHANGE. If God had made us of
Spirit, once the decision was made to reject God, we could never
have repented -- could not change from Satan's WAY to God's! Man,
composed of matter, is subject to CHANGE. Man, if called by God,
can be made to realize that he has sinned, and he can
REPENT -- CHANGE from his sin -- turn to GOD'S WAY. And once his
course is changed, with God's help he can pursue it. He can GROW
in spiritual knowledge, develop character, overcome wrong habits,
weaknesses, and faults.
And this is all done by the PHYSICAL MAN, through the
PHYSICAL BRAIN.
The human spirit in man empowers the brain with physical
intellect, and the Spirit of God united with it empowers the
brain with spiritual comprehension, and these spirits RECORD the
knowledge and the character and preserve them, as well as the
physical shape and appearance. These spirits do not develop the
righteous character, but through the Holy Spirit God does give us
HIS faith, HIS righteousness -- as long as we ourselves earnestly
desire it. But once holy and righteous character is developed in
physical man, HOW does God bridge the gap, changing MAN into
SPIRIT?


The Spirit MOLD

I have shown you that the Scriptures picture man as the
clay -- which he literally is -- and God as our Potter. We might call
God, also, our SCULPTOR, for with our submission and eager
willingness, we are the WORK OF HIS HANDS in spiritual and
character development. As Job said, "If a man die, shall he live
again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my
CHANGE come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee [in the
resurrection]: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine
hands" (Job 14:14-15).
This brings us to the question of death of the physical MAN,
and the resurrection -- Job called it the ''CHANGE" -- into the
Kingdom of God.
Now notice, as quoted before, in Isaiah 64:8: "But now, O
[Eternal], thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our
potter, and we all are the work of thy hand."
God could not form, shape, change, and develop His character
in us -- once we had sinned -- as all have -- had we been made of
Spirit.
Notice further: "Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth
it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" (Isa.
45:9.)
Another passage of scripture so often misapplied says: "For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it [the faith] is the gift of God: not of works" (Eph. 2:8-9). We
do not earn salvation by good works or gain it by works -- BUT when
we receive it as God's GIFT, the degree of reward will be
according to our "works" (Matt. 16:27) -- performance in living
GOD'S WAY -- building character.
But now read the rest of this passage which is nearly always
purposely omitted by those MISleading people on this point:"...
not of works"... WHY?..."lest any man should boast. For we
are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph.
2:9-10).
I have tried to point out that we must gain contact with God
and that HE is the potter -- or sculptor -- fashioning, molding, and
shaping our lives and righteous character into His CHARACTER
IMAGE, AS WE DESIRE AND YIELD.
All right. The Godly character in us, I have stated, cannot
be created by fiat. It must be developed. We must yield. We must
desire it, seek it. But it comes from GOD. Thus if we keep a
close daily contact with our Creator, through His Spirit and
through our spirit -- for remember, His Holy Spirit "beareth
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom.
8:16) -- then He is fashioning and shaping our characters. Had God
made us of Spirit, this could not be done once we had sinned.
Now, as Job brought out, we die. Afterlife comes through the
resurrection. When we die, all consciousness ceases. This is
covered in chapter 12. The physical brain becomes unconscious and
decays.
With what BODY do we come, in the resurrection? That
question is answered in I Corinthians 15: "But some man will say,
How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? . .
that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat,
or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath
pleased him ..." (I Cor. 15:35-38).
The body that dies is NOT the same body that will come up in
the resurrection.
Now we come to a MOST IMPORTANT part concerning the SPIRIT
IN MAN -- which I have termed the "human spirit." It does not
impart human life. It does not see, hear or think. The HUMAN MAN
makes his decisions, and it is in the physical MAN that character
must be built. It is the human CLAY that God forms into His
character. The SPIRIT in man RECORDS what the brain comes to
know, even the attitude, the facets of CHARACTER, not only of the
human brain, but also of the whole body. It keeps the imprint
even of the fingerprints.
Compare it to a sculptor's mold. The sculptor may want to
produce a bronze statue of a man. The sculptor might use clay to
form a clay model -- or plaster of paris. Then the sculptor makes a
MOLD of the model he has formed and shaped. The mold is a hollow
form, made from the finished model. Into the mold is poured
molten liquid bronze which then solidifies. The mold is removed,
and the bronze figure is an EXACT copy of the original model.
The spirit that is in every human acts as a MOLD. It
PRESERVES the human's MEMORY, his CHARACTER, his FORM AND SHAPE.
Now I do not conceive, naturally, that the spirit is a
hollow form. But it supplies the same purpose as the sculptor's
mold. If one has received the Holy Spirit, then in the
resurrection, God will provide a SPIRIT BODY, formed and shaped
by the Spirit mold. The resurrected being will be COMPOSED of
SPIRIT, not matter as the human model was. In the resurrected
SPIRIT form he will suddenly come ALIVE. It will seem like the
next flash of a second from his loss of consciousness at time of
death. He will have all his memory intact. He will look as he did
in human life in form and shape. Even his fingerprints will be
the same.
The CHARACTER which he allowed God to build within him will
be there. He will be alive FOREVER! And, like God the Father, by
his own will, he will have been made so that he CANNOT sin (I
John 3:9).
The body that comes in the resurrection is not the same body
that was flesh and blood in this human lifetime. God does not
turn flesh and blood matter INTO Spirit. The flesh and blood
physical body, after death, decomposes and decays, but the spirit
that was IN that body, like the sculptor's mold, preserves all
the form and shape, the memory, and the character INTACT. And
that mold, being spirit does not change -- even though the
resurrection may take place thousands of years after death.
Notice what happens AT DEATH.
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the
spirit shall return unto God who gave it." After death, whether
buried in the earth, cremated, or what, the physical body returns
to the earth. But the spirit that was IN the man, now having
recorded everything -- the body's form and shape, the facial
identity, the memory and the character -- returns to God. It will
be PRESERVED UNCHANGED.
Such saints as Abraham, Moses, David and Daniel died
thousands of years ago. STOP AND THINK ABOUT THAT! God had to
provide some way to PRESERVE the form, shape, appearance, mind
and character of saints for thousands of years. They were
composed of corruptible flesh and blood. All that was THEM (man
is composed wholly of matter) long since decomposed. Yet in the
resurrection, it will seem to them as the next fraction of a
second since loss of consciousness at death.
In the interim of death, they knew absolutely NOTHING. Says
God's Word, "For the living know that they shall die: but the
dead KNOW NOT ANY THING" (Eccl. 9:5).
The spirit which returns to God is the human spirit that was
in them throughout life. It was not an immortal soul," for the
soul was mortal and corruptible.
Those who died with God's Holy Spirit will be in the first
resurrection (Rev. 20:4-5). They will come forth IMMORTAL, in a
glorious body of SPIRIT composition, their faces aglow as the
SUN.
All others who have not been called to eternal salvation by
God during their human lifetimes will be resurrected after the
thousand-year reign of the Kingdom of God under Christ, in the
Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-12). They will be
resurrected MORTAL, once again in a flesh and blood physical
body, just as before. In this great judgment they will be
"called" -- their eyes opened to God's truth. Then, finally, there
will be a last resurrection (Rev. 20:13-15) of those who HAD been
called by God in their mortal human life, but had rejected or
turned from the truth. They, with those who reject it in the
Great White Throne Judgment, will be in the lake of fire (II Pet.
3:10-11), which is the second death. They then shall be ashes
under the soles of the feet of the immortals in God's Kingdom
(Mal. 4:3), and will be as though they had never been (Obadiah
16).
Then, ahead of the millions of immortal redeemed, shall lie
the tremendous awesome HUMAN POTENTIAL -- when God the Creator
shall have put THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE under our jurisdiction (Heb.
2:7-8).
But there is MUCH MORE yet to be revealed. WHY all the
troubles, sufferings, heartaches and evils in the world these
past 6,000 years? There is of necessity a CAUSE for every EFFECT.
There is yet SO MUCH of this overview of all God's truth to
be revealed.



Chapter VIII

Why Today's World Evils?


It's time, now, to stop a moment and get our bearings. We live in
a world whose number one problem is threat of HUMAN EXTINCTION! A
world gripped in the clutch of immorality, crime and violence. A
world fraught with suffering, both physical and mental, a
frustrated world staring at only hopelessness ahead!
But WHY? Why are nations being overthrown at the rate of one
a month? What has gone wrong with government, with religion, with
higher education? -- and WHY are more than half the world's people
illiterate, poverty-stricken -- many actually starving -- living in
filth and squalor?
Yes, WHY?
I mentioned earlier the confusion and inability to
understand what one sees in a motion picture when he begins
viewing at a point more than halfway through.
If one's approach to understanding today's chaotic world
starts from the vantage point of what we see today, he is,
indeed, confused, bewildered!
We must view the motion picture of REALITY from the
beginning. That's why we have started this revelation of TRUTH at
its farthermost prehistoric beginning.
We have covered the actual beginning of all things, before
the material universe was, with only the two SUPREME SPIRIT
PERSONAGES -- one called "the Word," who was with God. The
Personage called "The Word" created all things, under direction
of GOD!
Their first feat of creation was the angels -- individually
created Spirit beings -- apparently many millions in number. All
these were existing in physically empty space.
Then came the creation of our planet Earth and the entire
physical UNIVERSE -- created, apparently, simultaneously.
The earth was populated by a third of all the angels! They
were assigned to utilize the physical properties of earth -- to
produce from the earth -- to enhance its beauty. In other words, to
improve and finish, as it were, earth's creation.
And now, a vital NEW TRUTH!
What God had created was perfect in quality -- but, like
unfinished raw furniture, the earth's creation was to be
completed by the angels. Thus the angels were to participate in
acts of creation!
Actually this earth was the proving ground -- even as God
endowed it to be for man today -- to qualify the angels to perform
the same creative finishing of the planets of the entire endless
universe! And that has now become the transcendent potential of
MAN!
It was imperative that the angels work together, in peaceful
and harmonious unison. For this purpose God placed over them HIS
GOVERNMENT -- based on the spiritual Law of God. That law is a way
of life -- the way of LOVE -- of outgoing love to God and concern for
the welfare of others. It is the way of GIVING -- of helping,
serving, sharing -- of kindness, consideration and mercy.
On the throne of God's government God had placed the supreme
masterpiece of His creation -- the super archangel Lucifer. This
Lucifer, even as his angels, was endowed with an independent
MIND -- to think, reason, make choices and decisions. God's
intention was to create within Lucifer and the angels, upon their
decision, God's own holy and righteous character.
But Lucifer led his angels into rebellion. Instead of God's
way of LOVE -- of GIVING -- they had turned to GETTING -- to vanity,
sin, corruption, perversion of mind! From creation to
destruction.
Now to another point of NEW TRUTH! Haven't you wondered WHY
Satan is still here, now subtilely swaying mankind into his ways
of GETTING, seeking false values, and perversion of mind?
Think on this! Think of it as GOD viewed it! I have
previously explained how ONLY GOD, of all living beings,
possessed this holy and righteous character -- only GOD could be
positively relied on never to depart from His way of LOVE.
But God also knew there were not enough of Him! He wanted
millions -- even billions -- of personages endowed with His holy and
righteous character!
That is why God had purposed to REPRODUCE HIMSELF, through
MAN!
So, (Psalm 104:30) God in six days RENEWED THE FACE OF THE
EARTH -- restoring it from the wasteness and decay caused by
sinning angels -- preparing it to become the proving ground of MAN
to develop in man God's righteous character, and prepare him for
the same transcendent potential that had been that of the angels!
Genesis 1, we have seen, records the six days of renewing
the face of the earth, preparing it for MAN.
Come now to Genesis 1:25-26:
"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and
cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the
earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said,
Let us [not me] make man in our image, after our likeness [form
and shape]...." In other words, AFTER THE GOD KIND! For a very
special relationship with God!
But "God formed man of the dust of the ground ..." (Gen.
2:7) -- not out of Spirit as angels had been formed.
Now CONSIDER CAREFULLY!
The first man, Adam, was given the opportunity to QUALIFY to
replace the former Lucifer on the THRONE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF
GOD.
But -- note carefully this! -- to qualify, Adam had to not only
accept God's GOVERNMENT and way of life -- it was imperative that
he also HAD TO REJECT AND TURN FROM the way of Satan.
He had to OVERCOME Satan and his way!
Let me remind the reader at this point that the first eleven
chapters of Genesis are an exceedingly BRIEF synopsis of events
of the first more than two thousand years of human life on
earth -- up to the time of Abraham. Details must be filled in
either by what is obviously implied, or by records found
elsewhere in the Bible.
God fully explained to Adam and Eve His GOVERNMENT His
spiritual LAW and way of life -- and that, upon Adam's right
CHOICE, he could qualify, receive the Holy Spirit of God,
begetting him as a SON OF GOD. Also God explained to Adam and Eve
the CONSEQUENCES of rejection and disobedience:
This was symbolized by the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil. For, warned God, "in the day that thou eatest thereof, THOU
SHALT SURELY DIE" (Gen. 2:17).
Then God allowed Adam and Eve to be tested by Satan. But
Satan was subtile. He got to Adam through his wife Eve. Eve was
deceived -- but Adam was not.
Eve "took of the fruit" of the forbidden tree, "and did eat,
and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat" (Gen.
3:6).
So, "Now," said God, "lest he put forth his hand, and take
also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; There fore
the [Eternal] God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till
the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and
he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a
flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree
of life" -- LEST he and his children go back and take of the tree
symbolizing God's Holy Spirit (Gen. 3:22-24).
In other words, when Adam deliberately took of the forbidden
tree, to put it in modern twentieth century language, Adam said
to God, "God, my Maker, I reject you as my God, I REJECT your way
of life. I REJECT your GOVERNMENT over me. I elect to continue in
the way I choose, I want you to keep your nose out of my affairs.
I reject you as the source of basic knowledge -- I have taken to
myself the determination of the knowledge of what is right and
what is wrong."
And God replied, "I have set clearly before you the way of
truth. YOU HAVE DECIDED -- therefore I SENTENCE YOU and the world
that shall come from you to 6,000 years of being CUT OFF FROM ME.
Go, form your own governments. Form your own religions. Produce
your own knowledge, cut off from revealed truth, and devise your
own system of disseminating such false knowledge. Live according
to your own distorted sense of values. But, during this 6,000
years I shall call into my service such as I shall choose, for
the fulfillment of MY PURPOSE."
Now WHY was it necessary to leave Satan on earth, free to
sway and deceive all mankind for 6,000 years? There were TWO
reasons:
1)Those God called to His service and to salvation during
this 6,000 years, were required, as had been Adam, to QUALIFY to
reign in the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. And how? By rejecting and
overcoming Satan and his way -- as well as by voluntarily choosing
GOD'S WAY!
2)God's GOVERNMENT requires that the throne never be
vacated. The former Lucifer must remain until a successor both
qualifies and also is inducted into the office.
And we might add a third reason. God ordained that 6,000
years of sinning human existence PROVE, for ALL TIME, that
Satan's way can result only in evils, suffering, frustration,
hopelessness, and death. God is allowing Satan to deceive and
sway mankind for 6,000 years to PROVE this truth, not only to the
human race, but to the other two-thirds of the angels.
During this 6,000 years there have been three epochs, as
differentiated from the two worlds of the antediluvian world
culminating with the Noachian Flood, and this present evil world,
which shall culminate with Christ's coming to usher in the WORLD
TOMORROW.
These three epochs are: 1) all the time from the Adamic
creation of MAN to the Old Covenant made at Mount Sinai with
Israel; 2) the epoch of the "Old Testament Church" (Congregation
of Israel); 3) the Church of God of the New Testament. These will
be discussed in chapter 9.
But it should be clear, at this point, what is the CAUSE of
today's world evils. The presence of Satan, and his invisible,
subtile, yet super-powerful sway (see chapter 11 on human nature)
over mankind is the basic CAUSE. The WAY OF LIFE Satan has
injected into human minds -- the way of vanity, lust and greed -- of
jealousy and envy -- of competition and strife -- of rebellion and
deceit -- these things we generally term "human nature" are the
direct and specific cause. And all humanity has suffered the
effect!
Remember though, God had made an exception. He purposed to
call those few HE would choose to do what He required.
Some 1900 years went by. Apparently Adam's second son, Abel,
had been called, for Christ called him "righteous Abel" (Matt.
23:35). Enoch "walked with God." Then God called Noah. He was
perfect in his physical descent or generations, and also walked
with God. God called him in order to save humans alive during the
Flood.
God called Abraham to forsake the life of Babylon -- to come
out, as it were, from Satan's civilization -- and turn to God's
way. Abraham had not sought God -- yet he was a rare exception, in
that he obeyed without question or excuse.
Four hundred and thirty years after Abraham, God called
Moses. Moses had been prepared for his calling, having been
reared as a prince in the palace of Pharaoh. But Moses, humanly,
protested. He had never sought God or the commission to which God
called him. He protested, saying in effect, "Oh I can't do it,
Lord. I have an impediment of speech -- I stutter." So then God
told Moses He had appointed his brother Aaron to be his
spokesman.
God said to Moses, in effect, "You WILL do what I command
you!" And thereupon, he did.
God had called Moses to lead the descendants of Abraham -- by
then numbering some two or three million -- out of Egyptian
slavery. To these "children of Israel" at Mount Sinai God made a
proposition: If they would become HIS NATION, governed by His
laws and statutes, He would make them the head-most nation on
earth -- with the tremendous national and temporal blessings (this
life only) of becoming the most prosperous, most powerful, most
peaceful nation on earth. The people agreed.
Thereupon God entered into a COVENANT with them -- later
called "the Old Covenant," mediated by Moses. It was a marriage
agreement, by which Israel agreed to obey her Husband (God), and
God agreed to make them, on obedience, earth's number one nation.
But Satan was still on earth, and busy. The Israelites turned to
spiritual adultery, worse than a human harlot.
God called Jonah for a special mission to warn the city of
Nineveh of impending destruction. Jonah tried to run away from
God on a ship. But when God calls one for a special mission, God
sees to it that the mission is performed!
God called the prophet Isaiah. He protested he was a man of
unclean lips. But God cleansed his lips. Then Isaiah answered,
"Here I am. Send me."
God called the prophet Jeremiah. Indeed he was, like Jesus
later, sanctified before he was born. Yet he held up his hands
and protested, "But I am too young." God said sternly, "Thou
shalt go to all that I shall send thee." Jeremiah went!
The apostle Paul, originally named Saul, burned up energy
and zeal persecuting the Church of God. But God struck him down,
brought him to his senses, and he then became one of the greatest
of the men of God since Adam.
I, myself, certainly did not choose God. I chose the
profession of advertising and journalism. When I was 25, an
angel, in an intensive dream to my wife of a few days, revealed
that God was calling me to His service. I was merely embarrassed.
Becoming a minister of Jesus Christ was the last thing I should
have wanted to do.
"I don't know whether that dream had any meaning," I said.
"Why not tell it to the minister of the church on the
corner -- maybe he can tell you whether it means anything." As
Jonah, Paul and others had been allowed to go their own way for a
while, this unusual dream was soon forgotten -- for the time. One
decade went by. Then God stirred me to the most intensive, almost
day-and-night, study and research of my life, resulting from dual
challenges that struck at my vanity.
This intensive Bible study resulted in sweeping my mind
clean of all previous religious assumptions, then opening my mind
to the UNDERSTANDING of God's Word -- bringing me to a real
repentance -- being CONQUERED by God and His Word in unconditional
surrender -- and, in living FAITH turning over to HIM a life I felt
was worthless. I humbly gave it to Him, if He could use it. And,
like others He has conquered before me, He has used it these
fifty-one years!
Back, now, to the thread of our story. In His due time, God
sent forth His only begotten Son -- the former "Word" who had been
eternally with God.
He was the "Second Adam."
Like the first Adam, He had not only to BELIEVE and OBEY
God -- but also to reject and overcome Satan and his way!
Oh yes! He was TEMPTED in all points like the rest of us
sinning mortals -- only HE NEVER SINNED!
Satan was still around. He was vehemently aroused at the
appearing of this Second Adam. Jesus was the Messenger of the NEW
Covenant, bearing the Message of that Covenant from God. That
Message was HIS GOSPEL! Satan was deter mined to prevent that
Message from being proclaimed! For it included the abolition of
Satan from earth!
He tried to have the Christ-child killed as an infant. But
God saved His Son Jesus! For some thirty years, Jesus had faced
temptations from Satan, but had safely overcome!
Then came the most severe temptation ever thrown at any man.
Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights without a morsel of
food or a drop of water. But this fasting brought Him even closer
to God His Father. Though physically weak, He was spiritually
STRONG. The story of that temptation is revealed in the first
eleven verses of Matthew 4.
It was the most titanic contest ever fought. Jesus was
tempted as no man had ever been. Yet He resisted and over came
Satan, and remained faithful to GOD'S way!
Satan's very effort to overthrow Jesus resulted in Jesus'
qualification to replace him and restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
More, to establish the KINGDOM OF GOD, which is the FAMILY OF
GOD, ruling with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
Jesus had been required to OVERCOME SATAN -- to resist and
defeat him, in order to QUALIFY to sit on the THRONE OF THE WHOLE
EARTH!
But what about those God has called, from Abel until now?
Notice something that seems to have escaped all churches,
theological seminaries, and students of the Bible.
Notice what Christ Himself said, in Revelation 3:21: "To him
that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as
I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
To him that overcomes -- overcomes WHAT? Notice, over comes
even as I also overcame." What was Jesus required to overcome, to
qualify to sit, first, now, on His Father's throne, and, next on
His own throne -- the throne of David, in Jerusalem!
CONSIDER! Think on this! If Jesus was required to over come
Satan -- the former Lucifer -- who is still on the throne where God
originally placed him -- in order to QUALIFY to succeed the
disqualified Lucifer on that throne -- should we humans be required
to do less, in that we ALSO may sit on that throne with Christ?
Mark well this fact! What Jesus is quoted above as saying
applies ONLY to those called BEFORE Christ's return in ALL POWER
AND GLORY -- to sit with Him when He sits on that throne!
I have said repeatedly, THE WORLD AS A WHOLE is CUT OFF from
all contact with God -- for 6,000 years dating from Adam! Jesus
said plainly, "No man can come to me, except the Father which
hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Unless CALLED -- drawn -- by God
the Father, ALL HUMANITY IS TOTALLY CUT OFF FROM GOD!
What, then? Is there injustice with God? Are all others
LOST? -- condemned without a chance to the ultimate second death in
"the lake of fire"?
Positively NO!
I will show you that those NOT CALLED are simply NOT JUDGED.
They are NOT "lost" -- neither are they "saved." What a tragedy
that those professing Christianity have been them selves CUT OFF
from this TRUTH!
But first, notice what Jesus also said, recorded in
Revelation 2:26-27: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works
unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he
shall rule them with a rod of iron...."
Those called and drawn by God must keep on overcoming Satan
"unto the end" of this life! But they not only then shall sit
with Christ in His throne -- they shall, under Him, RULE over all
nations. This shall be the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of
7:18.


God's Festivals Portray the Master Plan Being Worked Out Here
Below

We now come to an eye-opening revelation, indeed!
God gave His annual Festivals, with their seven annual Holy
Days (Sabbaths) to His "Church" -- then called the Congregation of
Israel -- in the days of Moses!
They were intended to picture to the people of God,
repeatedly every year, His Master Plan of redemption -- leading to
the incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL!
These Festivals were ordained to be kept FOREVER! Jesus, the
apostles, and the early Church of God, ALL OBSERVED THEM! But, so
far as the author knows, only one Church continues to observe
them today -- the Worldwide Church of God!
They reveal a startling TRUTH, otherwise obscured from human
knowledge!
The human race began with Adam. But spiritual salvation and
qualification for the transcendent HUMAN POTENTIAL begins with
CHRIST. The physical human creation began with Adam -- but the
SPIRITUAL CREATION begins with the Second Adam!
It BEGINS with the forgiveness of sin -- following real
repentance -- being conquered by God -- and the living FAITH that
believes what Christ says!
Therefore the first of these Festivals was the PASSOVER. It
pictures to God's people annually the shed blood of Christ -- the
"Lamb of God" sacrificed to pay the PENALTY of sin we humans have
brought on ourselves, in our stead.
Then followed the Festival of UNLEAVENED BREAD -- seven days
in which no leaven may be eaten, or found in the houses of God's
people. Leaven puffs up -- as does VANITY, the epitome of sin. This
Festival lasts seven days, immediately following the
Passover -- with the first and last of the seven being annual Holy
Days (holy convocations).
These first Festivals come in the spring -- the fourteenth
through the twenty-first days of the first month of God's SACRED
year. They, with the Feast of FlRSTFRUITS, (PENTECOST in the New
Testament) fall in the spring -- representing, as at Jerusalem, the
FIRST, or early, GRAIN HARVEST. The Feast of Firstfruits
(Pentecost) reminds God's people every year that they, prior to
Christ's Second Coming, are merely the comparatively very small
FIRST spiritual harvest -- while all but the few God has called are
CUT OFF from God and His spiritual salvation.
The remaining four Festivals come during the autumnal
harvest time -- picturing the MAIN spiritual harvest. These occur
at the time of the main harvest of foodstuffs, in the fall of the
year.
The fourth Festival, a single Holy Day, is the Feast of
TRUMPETS. It pictures the coming of Christ in supreme POWER and
GLORY to rule all nations -- and to open spiritual salvation to ALL
THEN LIVING!
The fifth annual Festival is another single Holy Day -- a FAST
day. It is called, in the Bible, the DAY OF ATONEMENT. It is
observed by Judaism as "Yom Kippur." This most solemn day
pictures Christ's banishment of Satan, that humanity at last may
be made "AT ONE" with God. Therefore it is called the day of
AT-ONE-MENT, or "Atonement." A humanity CUT OFF from God cannot
be AT ONE with Him -- until Satan is removed, and ALL shall be
called and drawn by God -- IF they will -- to spiritual salvation
through Christ.
Five days later follows the Festival of TABERNACLES for
seven days. This festival pictures the PRINCIPAL spiritual
harvest -- during the thousand years that Christ and those who have
qualified, shall rule all nations. Satan will be banished -- into
the biblically symbolic "bottomless pit." Overcoming Satan
naturally will no longer be a requirement. The first of these
seven days is an annual Sabbath.
Then, the next day following the Feast of Tabernacles is a
one-day Festival -- also the seventh annual Sabbath.
It pictures a resurrection to judgment of all previously
uncalled by God -- all who ever lived -- billions who lived under
Satan's way and died uncalled -- neither then "lost" or "saved"
spiritually. These billions will be resurrected MORTAL -- as they
were -- flesh-and-blood humans. Then they shall look back on the
6,000 years of Satan's sway -- of human wrong-doing, sin, and
consequent suffering, anguish and death. Then, for their first
time, God shall call them. Satan will be banished forever! But
they still shall have to make their own DECISIONS!
With the 6,000-year record of world evils swayed by Satan,
and the 1,000-year record of humanity taught by Christ and
immortal saints, they may look at the record -- and compare.
We may HOPE that virtually all, if not all, will yield
themselves to God's call, and receive spiritual salvation and
ETERNAL LIFE!
But that is not yet all!
There then (Revelation 20:13) shall follow a final
resurrection of those who had been called to spiritual redemption
during all 7,000 years, and who had rejected God's loving mercy,
and rebelled, KNOWING the Truth! They will then be required to
REALIZE FULLY what they have rejected and rebelled against. They
shall all have died once -- and now they shall die the second and
final, eternal DEATH, in the lake of fire -- described in II Peter
3:7, 10.
But their days of suffering shall be over as revealed in
Malachi 4:1-3. They shall be left neither root nor branch -- they
shall be ashes under the soles of the feet of those living. They
shall be as though they had not been (Obadiah 16-17).
But of the saved immortals, "... there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).



Chapter IX

Why The Church?


One cannot comprehend the real purpose and function of the Church
without an understanding of Old Testament ISRAEL.
Ancient Israel was both Church and State. It was one of the
world's nations, called the kingdom of Israel. But it also was a
Church, called the Congregation of Israel. Or, as in Acts 7:38,
the "church in the wilderness."
One cannot understand either Old Testament Israel, or the
New Testament Church of God, unless he bears in mind God's
PURPOSE in placing mankind on the earth.
God is reproducing Himself! His cardinal objective for MAN
is the creation of holy, righteous, spiritual CHARACTER. Bear
that constantly in mind as we compare, or contrast, the Old
Testament "church in the wilderness," and the New Testament
Church of God. Creation of this righteous character prepares for
the ultimate objective.
We have explained the natural mind of man -- and how it
differs from animal brain. There is, in man, a spirit. This
spirit is in the form of essence -- not a soul or person. It
imparts to the human brain the power of intellect -- of thinking,
reasoning, decision making. This is explained in detail in
chapter 7.
This mind, then, with which each human is born is the
natural, carnal human mind. And "the carnal mind is enmity
[hostile] against God, for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). This mind is limited to the
acquisition of physical knowledge.
To comprehend the things of God -- spiritual knowledge -- is
impossible without receiving as God's gift His Holy Spirit -- a
second spirit added to the "human" spirit with which each person
is born.
God's creation of MAN was perfect as a physical creation,
yet incomplete! This physical creation began with Adam, but the
spiritual creation must begin with the second Adam -- Jesus Christ.
When God sentenced Adam's human race to 6,000 years of being
CUT OFF from contact with God, He made an exception. He reserved
to Himself the prerogative of calling into His service such as He
required to fulfill His PURPOSE
God had called Abraham. And 430 years after, God called
Abraham's descendants through Isaac and Israel, then called "the
Children of Israel." At that time they were in Egyptian slavery.
Under leadership of Moses, God led them out of Egypt, to inherit
the Promised Land.
At Mount Sinai, God offered them a covenant agreement, later
called "the Old Covenant." Upon obedience to GOD'S GOVERNMENT
over them, God promised to make them the most prosperous, most
powerful nation on earth. But God promised them only temporal,
material and national rewards -- NOT His Holy Spirit of eternal
life.
This hostile mind, unsubmissive to God, we shall see in
chapter 10, had been subtilely and invisibly injected into human
minds through the human spirit, by Satan. A baby is not born with
it. The "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2) begins
implanting it as early in life as the human mind begins to absorb
knowledge and to function.
Modern intellectuals have said, "Given sufficient KNOWLEDGE,
the human mind can solve all problems."
One of God's purposes in Old Covenant Israel was to PROVE,
by multiple generations of Israelites, that, even given KNOWLEDGE
of God's government and way of life, the carnal mind will
not -- and therefore cannot -- solve its problems, live in peace,
happiness, joy, and eternal salvation.
However, humans will not obey God's way to peace, happiness,
and eternal joy without the addition of a second Spirit to the
"human" spirit.
The experience of multiple generations of Israelites, PROVED
that the natural mind of man is hostile to God -- not subject to
the law of God, which is THE WAY to peace, happiness, and
abundance.
Adam and Eve had been instructed by God in HIS WAY. They
rejected it, and turned to the WAY of SELF-centeredness -- of
vanity, lust and greed -- of jealousy and envy -- of competition,
strife, violence and destruction.
But in Old Covenant Israel, God REVEALED to them, through
Moses and the prophets, the KNOWLEDGE of God's WAY.
WHY, then, Old Covenant Israel?
They were left without excuse. They were, in Adam, a
physical creation -- but without the SPIRITUAL creation, which can
come only through Christ the "Second Adam," they simply would not
live the way of life that produces peace and universal
well-being.
I repeat, they were without excuse! It was MAN -- the first
Adam -- who thought he could live a more happy life, without God's
Spirit, which he spurned.
God sent to Old Covenant Israelites His prophets, bearing
His admonitions, PLEADING with them. They stoned many of their
prophets to death!
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God pleaded: "Return, thou
backsliding Israel, saith the [Eternal], and I will not cause
mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the
[Eternal].... . Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou
hast transgressed against the [Eternal] thy God, and hast
scattered thy ways to the strangers [Gentile nations] under every
green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the
[Eternal]."
"Turn," God continued, "O backsliding children, saith the
[Eternal],for I am married to you ..." (Jer. 3:12-14).
Old Covenant Israel was carnal-minded, with minds hostile
against God, and not subject to the laws and ways of God!


Now the New Testament CHURCH OF GOD

Remember Old Covenant Israel lived in the days of the first Adam.
Satan, the "prince of the power of the air," by subtile injection
through the "human" spirit of his hostile attitude, ruled supreme
in the world. And with the exception of those in God's Church, he
does still today!
Remember, too, that all nations and peoples, except the
nation Israel, had been completely CUT OFF from God and knowledge
of God. They had continued forming their own ideas of government,
swayed, though unrealized, by Satan. They had formed their own
religions -- created in their own imaginations their own gods. They
had produced their own store of human materialistic
knowledge -- though more than half of all living were -- and remain
today -- illiterate, living in abject poverty, filth and squalor.
They were suffering the evil consequences of Satan's way!
It was, and today still is, except for the Church of God and
the Message of HOPE it disseminates, A WORLD WITHOUT HOPE!
But Jesus Christ, the second Adam, was to come at God's
proper time, bringing a hope that is real -- and transcendently
wonderful beyond human capacity to comprehend!
Notice two prophecies, recorded by Old Testament prophets
under inspiration of God:
"For unto us [the Israelitish people] a child is born, unto
us a son is given: and the GOVERNMENT shall be upon his shoulder;
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty
God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase
of his GOVERNMENT and peace there shall be no end, upon the
throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to
establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even
for ever. The zeal of the [Eternal] of hosts will perform this"
(Isa. 9:6-7)
This prophecy foretells Christ's appearing as a KING -- a
RULER -- to reestablish the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth.
Then, foretelling His coming as the Savior of mankind,
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name
Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14).
Now see this prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament: An
angel appeared to Joseph, fiancé of Mary the mother of Jesus:
"Joseph," he said, "thou son of David, fear not to take unto
thee Mary thy [espoused] wife: for that which is conceived in her
is of the Holy [Spirit]. And she shall bring forth a son, and
thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from
their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a
virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they
shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God
with us" (Matt. 1:20-23).
This prophecy reveals Christ as SAVIOR.
And so was born JESUS -- the SECOND ADAM! Begotten of God
before His human birth -- as no other had been. He was GOD as well
as man -- GOD with us -- GOD made human so that, as a human, He could
die (Heb. 2:9) for humans! Yes, GOD in the likeness of human
flesh, who could overcome Satan the former King Lucifer, thus
qualifying to restore the GOVERN MENT OF GOD to earth!
Satan tried to destroy Jesus soon after birth -- before He
could grow up to qualify and announce the KINGDOM OF GOD! But God
protected the Christ-child, causing Joseph and Mary to flee with
Him to Egypt -- until Herod, provincial Roman king over Judea, was
dead.
"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with
wisdom ..." (Luke 2:40). Jesus was endowed with the Holy Spirit
of God from birth.
I have said that, as the "prince of the power of the air,"
Satan subtilely and invisibly injects into human minds through
the "human" spirit his attitude of hostile rebellion. Satan
begins implanting this carnal attitude as early in life as the
child begins to absorb knowledge and to think. But the growing
child Jesus, filled with GOD'S Spirit, resisted from infancy this
magnetic "pull" we call human nature.
Jesus never had a carnal mind, hostile against God. His
mind, from earliest childhood, was subject to the law of God.
Thus He was constantly and continually overcoming Satan, in a
manner no other human had experienced!
Then, turning again to Mark's record, "And it came to pass
in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was
baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway, coming up out of the
water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove
descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying,
Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
"And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan .
After forty days and forty nights without a morsel of food
or a drop of water, Jesus was physically very weak but
spiritually strong. Then ensued the most titanic battle ever
fought -- for the highest stakes of all time in the universe!
The detailed story of this supreme struggle is recorded in
Matthew 4, beginning verse 1.
Many a doctor of medicine would believe no man could live
forty days without food or water. They are woefully ignorant
about fasting. Jesus was, truly, somewhat close to actual
starvation. Words could not describe the desperate HUNGER that
gripped Him.
Satan struck directly at Jesus' weakest state at the moment.
He hurled his first blow in this contest for the greatest stakes
ever fought for, at what he well knew to be humanity's weakest
point both spiritually and physically -- vanity, and hunger:
"IF," Satan must have sneered insultingly, "IF thou be the
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
A spiritually weaker human would have bristled up, angrily
answering back, "IF I be the Son of God -- what do you mean, IF?
I'll show you whether I'm the Son of God! I'll show you I can
perform miracles!" And, to satisfy His desperate hunger, He would
have fallen into Satan's subtile trap!
But Jesus held fast His OBEDIENCE to GOD! He answered, ''It
is written,'' going immediately to God's Scripture, ''Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God!"
Satan had lost out on his most masterful thrust of
temptation. But Satan does not give up easily! How well I know
that, by experience! He struck again.
"If thou be the Son of God," -- Satan repeated his stab at
humanity's weakest point -- vanity -- but now under different
circumstances. He had taken Jesus up to a pinnacle of the temple.
"Cast thy self down: for it is written" -- now Satan could quote
Scripture, too, only he misapplied its intended meaning -- "It is
written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in
their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot
against a stone," -- or lest inertia wallop you as gravity pulls
you speedily to earth. He was testing Jesus' FAITH in God, as
well as a repeated challenge against human vanity. Satan's
ministers can quote Scripture -- but they twist and distort it out
of its intended contextual meaning.
Jesus came right back at Satan.
''It is written again,'' He said, ''Thou shalt not tempt the
[Eternal] thy God."
The scripture about angels bearing one up IF he falls
applies only to an accidental fall. To jump off deliberately
would be "tempting God." In other words, doubting the Word of God
in its intended meaning, and TESTING God -- putting God to the
test, implying doubt that He would do it!
Satan had one more "ace-in-the-hole." He now tempted Jesus
on lust and greed -- on GETTING -- on seizure of POWER!
Satan now took Jesus to the top of a high mountain, and
showed Jesus all the kingdoms of this world. Then he said, "All
these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship
me."
In other words, both Satan and Jesus knew that if Jesus
QUALIFIED, He would be given RULE over the governments of all
nations on earth. But they both knew of God's 6,000-year sentence
on humanity -- and Jesus would have to wait almost 2,000 more years
for the POWER and GLORY of world rule.
Jesus did not deny this power of rule, by Satan's subtile
DECEPTIONS, was in Satan's hands. But He also knew Satan was a
liar -- would not keep his word -- and if he did, Jesus still would
have world rule only UNDER SATAN. He knew it was GOD'S to give,
and He was definitely prepared to wait until GOD'S TIME -- after
the 6,000-year sentence on man, when GOD would crown Him and send
Him again to earth in supreme splendor, power and glory!
This time, Jesus decided to put an end to this colossal
struggle for world power. "Get thee hence, Satan!" Jesus snapped
out the command with AUTHORITY! And Satan, defeated in his bid to
retain world sway, slunk away (Matt. 4:10-11).
But don't think Satan gave up! Not yet! He tried to
overthrow God's apostles, and His Church. He schemed to
manipulate human powers to persecute God's Church, and to
SUPPRESS Christ's Gospel Message of WORLD HOPE! He is still
warring savagely against God's Church and apostle, even in this
final generation of his evil world!
But JESUS CHRIST LIVES! GOD IS ON HIS THRONE, with Jesus
there at His right hand. And Satan can do only what God allows!
Back, now, to Mark 1:14: "Now after that John was put in
prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching THE GOSPEL OF THE
KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the
KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
That is, believe the MESSAGE Jesus proclaimed announcing the
coming world-ruling KINGDOM OF GOD!
The time was fulfilled. Jesus had QUALIFIED, where the first
Adam failed, to wrest world rule from Satan -- to RESTORE God's
government to the earth -- to establish the Spirit-born Family of
God, ruling in THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
Leaving Nazareth, Jesus took up residence in Capernaum, on
the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was no vagabond. He
occupied an established home, contrary to much false supposition
today.
And immediately Jesus called His disciples to Him -- to teach
and train them to become His apostles to go forth with His
Message of THE KINGDOM OF GOD, after Jesus' personal mission on
earth had ended.
Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He
called to follow Him two brothers, Peter and Andrew. These
brothers had not sought out Jesus. They had not aspired to become
His apostles -- they had chosen to be fishermen. But they now, at
Jesus' word, FORSOOK ALL, and followed Him!
Next Jesus called to His discipleship two other
brothers -- James and John. They too, had elected to be
fishermen -- not apostles. (Matt. 4:18-22.)
Matthew had chosen to be a tax collector. But to His twelve,
Jesus later said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you."
And, as in Mark 1:14-15, so in Matthew's account, "Jesus
went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and
preaching the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" (verse 23).
Until Jesus had QUALIFIED to restore God's government by
overcoming Satan, there could be no assurance, save in the mind
and purpose of God, of the restoration of the govern ment Satan
had rejected.
For some three and a half years Jesus went about the land of
Israel, preaching in their synagogues the GOOD NEWS of the
world's future HOPE, teaching and training His disciples to
become apostles.
Finally, after being beaten with stripes, that His Church
might have physical healing, Jesus was crucified -- that by His
shed blood our sins might be forgiven -- because He had paid our
penalty, death, in our stead.


The Church Is Born

After being three days and three nights dead in the tomb, Jesus
was resurrected. By this resurrection, He became the first BORN
Son of God (Rom. 1:4). He was now VERY GOD Himself -- the first so
BORN of many brethren to follow by a later resurrection.
After His resurrection, Jesus was forty days with His
apostles, "speaking of the things pertaining to THE KINGDOM OF
GOD" (Acts 1:3).
Then He ascended to heaven, to the right hand of God on the
heavenly throne (Heb. 12:2; Rev. 3:21).
Ten days later (the year was A.D. 31), came the annual Holy
Day called "the Feast of the First Fruits," and, in the New
Testament, "the day of Pentecost."
Of the many thousands who had heard Jesus' proclaiming the
KINGDOM OF GOD, there were, after the 3 1/2 years, only 120 who
believed! (Acts 1:15.)
On that festive Holy Day, beside the 120 disciples, there
were gathered devout Jews from many parts of the world.
Then an unprecedented and amazing spectacle happened. It was
the welcoming display of the coming of God's HOLY SPIRIT to fill
His Church! And it has never been repeated!
It happened suddenly! "There came a sound from heaven as of
a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they
[the 120 disciples] were sitting" (Acts 2:2). Wind can make a
considerable noise. God's Holy Spirit is compared, elsewhere, to
wind (John 3:8). Let it be noted that no such wind-sound is heard
in modern-day "pentecostal" meetings!
But the disciples not only heard -- they saw this super
natural display. "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" -- each of the 120
(Acts 2:3). And they, the 120, "were all filled with the Holy
[Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit
gave them utterance" (Verse 4).
Word of this supernatural display spread rapidly, and then
it was that the many devout Jews from the many nations came
running in -- "and they were confounded, because that every man
heard them [the 120] speak in his own language." Note it! Each
individual, in his own native language, heard them -- the
120 -- speaking in his own foreign language. And they understood
clearly, in their own various languages, what the 120 were
saying. The miracle was in the HEARING, rather than the speaking!
Then Peter, chief apostle, for the first time inspired with
God's Holy Spirit, preached a heart-stirring sermon, showing that
Jesus was both Lord (King-Ruler) and Christ (Savior).
That same day God "ADDED unto them about three thou sand
souls" who were baptized that same day (Acts 2:41).
And thus THE CHURCH OF GOD -- the same Church that is known
today as the WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD was born. The line of
succession will be shown later by which the Worldwide Church of
God is positively identified as the continuation of THE SAME
CHURCH.


Now WHY the Church? Its Purpose

When Jesus Christ returns to earth in supernatural splendor,
power and glory, He is coming to His TEMPLE. But where is that
temple -- when will it be built?
Many students of the Bible have wondered -- speculated. Will
the Israelis, after all, destroy the "Dome of the Rock" -- the
Moslem temple standing today on the site of both Solomon's
temple, and the temple to which Jesus came at His first
appearing?
Malachi's prophecy says: "Behold I will send my messenger,
and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye
seek [Christ], shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant ..." (Mal. 3:1).
It was John the Baptist who prepared the way -- but that was
before Jesus' FIRST coming. When we read on through verses 2-6 it
becomes altogether evident that this prophecy in Malachi is
talking about Christ's second coming, in power and glory, to
RULE.
WHO, then, as a human messenger (one bearing a message) was
to prepare the way before His SECOND coming? And what of the
temple to which He is to come?
Look briefly at the prophecy of Haggai. It concerns the
contingent of Jews who returned to Jerusalem seventy years after
the destruction of Solomon's temple to build the second temple on
the same site.
The prophecy concerns Zerubbabel, governor of the
contingent, and builder of this second temple. This was the same
temple to which Jesus did come -- except that the Roman King Herod
had somewhat enlarged, restored, and embellished it.
But Zerubbabel was merely a TYPE. The prophecy, as we see
plainly beginning verse 6, chapter 2, is millennial.
"For thus saith the [Eternal] of hosts: Yet once, in a
little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and
the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the
desire [RSV has, 'so that the treasures of all nations shall
come'] of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with
glory, saith the [Eternal] of hosts.... The glory of this
latter house shall be greater than of the former ..." (verses
6-7, 9).
It is speaking of the end-time -- at the second coming of
Christ.
Now what does it mean, "the glory of this latter house (or
latter-day house) shall be greater than that of the
former?" -- that is, greater than Solomon's temple, which had the
most glorious splendor of any building on earth? Certainly the
second temple, built by Zerubbabel, even though larger, could not
compare in splendor to Solomon's.
But God was speaking of the temple to which Christ shall
come, at His glorious second coming as King of kings and Lord of
lords!
Jesus Christ came the first time still in the days of Old
Covenant Israel -- a carnal minded and rebellious people. It was a
material temple, even as He came to a physical, carnal people!
But He is coming the second time in supreme power and glory.
He will come this time to a GLORIOUS TEMPLE -- a SPIRITUAL, not a
material temple!
Of God's Church He says, in the second chapter of Ephesians,
"Now, therefore ye are of the household [Family] of God, [the
CHURCH] and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in
whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy
temple in the Lord" (emphasis mine, Eph. 2:19-22).
The glorified Christ is coming to the glorified temple -- with
a glory far greater than Solomon's temple!
Note it. Christ is not coming to a material building, but to
His Church, then to be GLORIFIED with Him!
Notice further, in Ephesians chapter 3: "From whom the whole
body [body of Christ-the Church!] fitly joined together and
compacted by that which every joint supplieth ..." (verse 16).
Now let's UNDERSTAND!
Old Testament Israel, both Church and state, lived in the
days of the first Adam. They had the one "human" spirit -- they
were carnal minded, hostile against God, not subject to the law
of God. But God gave them His laws (spiritual, as well as
sacrificial, ceremonial, and statutory). It proved that with out
the second Spirit -- the Holy Spirit of God, people would not turn
to the right way of life -- even though God revealed to them the
knowledge -- not only of Himself -- but of His GOVERNMENT!
But the New Testament Church of God started out with God's
Holy Spirit added to the "human" spirit, even from its inception.
The Old Testament sacrificial laws and ceremonial rituals
were a mere temporary substitute for Christ and the Holy Spirit.
When the reality came, the substitute was ended -- but the basic
SPIRITUAL LAW -- the law of LOVE, codified in the Ten
Commandments -- continued. But the CHURCH was required, having the
Holy Spirit, to obey them not merely according to the strictness
of the letter but according to the spirit -- or principal, or
obvious intent, of the law (II Cor. 3:6).
Now we come to the purpose and function of the Church of
God.
Immediately after the foundation of the Church, the apostles
Peter and John performed a sensational healing of a well-known
cripple -- after which Peter preached to the crowd that was
attracted (Acts 3:1-26). But immediately the priests, captains of
the temple, and Sadducees threw the apostles into prison
overnight (Acts 4:1-3). And the next morning the apostles were
brought before the high priest and his family beside other rulers
and dignitaries. They were severely THREATENED and commanded to
cease preaching in the name of Christ.
These apostles were human. This experience was unnerving!
They went immediately to a company of CHURCH MEMBERS for
encouragement, prayer and morale strengthening (Acts 4:23).
These loyal Church brethren "lifted up their voice to God"
(Acts 4:24), in united prayer, petitioning God for inspiration
and divine power, that the apostles might continue boldly
proclaiming the Message.
Notice here an important function of the Church. The Church
lay members did not go forth with the Message -- they backed up,
unitedly, the apostles who were charged with THE GREAT
COMMISSION. Notice: "And when they had prayed, the place was
shaken where they were assembled together" (Acts 4:31).
These Church brethren were able to stand solidly and loyally
back of the apostles, because they "were of one heart and of one
soul [mind]" (verse 32).
Later, when the savage persecution had set in, the apostle
James was martyred, King Herod also had Peter cast into prison,
with the intent probably of killing him also (Acts 12:1-4).
"But," verse 5, "prayer was made without ceasing of the
church unto God for him.''
The result? God sent an angel to loose the chains that bound
Peter, and to lead him secretly out of the prison. Peter fled on
to Caesarea.


The Prevailing Error

At this point it is well to clarify further a most common and
universal erroneous belief. It is the assumption that God is
desperately waging a contest against Satan, attempting to get
every living human "saved" NOW! This assumption must con cede
that Satan is winning that contest overwhelmingly! But there is
NO SUCH CONTEST. Satan has power to do ONLY what God ALLOWS!
The corollary to this assumption is an even more tragic
belief that has acquired universal acceptance. And that is the
fallacy that everyone not now "saved" is "lost" -- condemned to an
eternal hell fire -- which, incidentally, is also a myth. The vast
majority are neither "saved" nor "lost." Just not yet JUDGED!
It was our first human progenitor that made the CHOICE. God
accepted his decision, and pronounced sentence on Adam's world
for 6,000 years -- except for those God called for some special
performance. The 6,000 year sentence is about to expire -- and a
happy, joyful world of PEACE, with eternal life available to all,
is now just around the corner!
Jesus Christ emphatically verified this sentence God
pronounced on the world. He said plainly, "NO MAN CAN come unto
me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
And none can come to God, except through Him!
So let us clarify once for all time that the purpose of the
Church is definitely NOT to preach or persuade the whole world
into a spiritual salvation, NOW -- before Christ's second coming!
Some have construed the GREAT COMMISSION as being to the
Church to fulfill as a whole -- to evangelize and "save" the
world -- NOW! A large system of missionaries from traditional
Christianity has resulted.
Examine, now, the three places where THE GREAT COMMISSION is
explained.
First, the report of THE GREAT COMMISSION recorded in
Matthew 28:
"Now the eleven disciples" (Judas already had left them)
"went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed
them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some
doubted. And Jesus came and said to them ..." To WHOM? Not the
Church as a whole! Only to the disciples who were to become the
original APOSTLES! "... 'All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me. GO, therefore, and make disciples
[learners -- those taught] of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I
am with you always, to the close of the age' " (Matt. 28:16-20,
RSV).
Notice carefully. This GREAT COMMISSION to be SENT FORTH
with Christ's Gospel Message was given only to those who were
apostles -- and the word "apostle" means "one sent forth" with the
Message!
The King James translation of the above has been
MISinterpreted by some to imply that ALL the people in every
nation were to be converted then.
The King James version has: "Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them ..." The sense is, "teach within all
nations," NOT teaching every individual. The RSV translation,
above quoted, also has this same sense. "Make
disciples -- students -- learners -- to HEAR the Message within all
nations." And, "baptizing them" can refer ONLY to those God
specially called, since Christ said plainly, "NO MAN CAN come to
me, except the Father which sent me draw him."
Now examine Mark's account of THE GREAT COMMISSION (chapter
16). Most translations from the original Greek text into English
OMIT verses 9-20, saying these verses were NOT INSPIRED and were
added at a later date by uninspired editors. Even so, the RSV
does quote these verses in finer type, starting verse 15, as
follows: "And he said to them" -- the eleven apostles -- "Go into all
the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." That is,
announce the GOOD NEWS of the coming Kingdom of God. Continue:
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved...." But Jesus
plainly said NO MAN could come to Christ -- believe -- except those
specially called by the Father!
Notice now the King James translation: "Afterward he [Jesus]
appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, ... and he said
unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to
every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved
baptized EXCEPT those God the Father specially called. So there
is NOWHERE ANY CONTRADICTION. The GREAT COMMISSION was given to
the APOSTLES -- those "sent forth" with the Message -- NOT the lay
members of the Church.
What, then? Did not the lay members have any part in
proclaiming the gospel? Definitely they did, as we have seen.
Their part was to back up the apostles -- stand behind them with
their prayers, encouragement, tithes and offerings. They are PART
OF A WELL-ORGANIZED TEAM, as we shall show in more detail.
And there is NO EVIDENCE in either Matthew's account or
Mark's, that any were to be baptized except those God the Father
had called to a special service.
But NOTHING contradicts the fact that God had with drawn His
Holy Spirit from ALL, except those specially called.
Now notice the account in Matthew 24. This is in the form of
a prophecy, for our present living generation:
The King James has, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and
then shall the end [of this age] come" (Matt. 24:14).
The RSV is the same in meaning: "And this gospel of the
kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a
testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."


The Church an Organized Body

Is the Church of God merely a scattered, isolated, number of
professing Christians, each going his own way to get out the
Gospel -- or, as many believe, to GET his personal salvation and
eternal life?
Jesus Christ specially called His disciples, trained them to
become His apostles. To THEM -- the apostles -- the ones "sent forth"
with His Gospel message -- He gave THE GREAT COMMISSION -- not to the
laity of the Church as a whole.
But WHAT OF GOD'S CHURCH? HOW IS IT ORGANIZED? It is a
spiritual organism but also it is PHYSICALLY ORGANIZED, as we
shall now see.
The Church is the begotten Family -- or household of God (Eph.
2:19), "And are built upon the FOUNDATION of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone"
(Eph. 2:20).
It is, continues verse 21, like a "building fitly framed
together [which] groweth unto an holy TEMPLE in the Lord."
It is the TEMPLE to which Christ shall come at His second
coming in GLORY! It is that Body of Christ that is the affianced
BRIDE of Christ, to be married to Him (as the Old Covenant was a
marriage covenant) when He returns.
Ephesians says: "... Christ also loved the church, and
gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a
GLORIOUS CHURCH" (Eph. 5:25-27) in the resurrection!
Of that same marriage, Revelation says: "Alleluia: for the
Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and
give honour to him: for the MARRIAGE of the Lamb [Christ] is
come, and his wife [the resurrected glorified Church] hath made
herself ready" (Rev. 19:6-7).
It is not only a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM -- it is a well-organized
physical ORGANIZATION! Notice I Corinthians 12: "... brethren I
would not have you ignorant" (I Cor. 12:1). "But now are they
many members, YET BUT ONE BODY" (verse 20.)
And it is a well-ORGANIZED body (verses 4-6, 11-12): "Now
there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there
are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there
are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which
worketh all in all ... But all these worketh that one and the
selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For
the body is ONE" -- (united, organized into cooperative
team-work -- not scattered individuals, each claiming to serve God
in his own way!
Continuing: "For ... the body is ONE, and hath many
members, and all the members of that ONE BODY, being many, are
ONE BODY, so also is Christ. For by ONE SPIRIT are we all
baptized into one body ... That there should be no schism
[division] in the body; but that the members should have the same
care [that is, outgoing concern and love] one for another"
(verses 12-13, 25).
Continuing: "And God hath set some in the church, first
apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities
of tongues."
Now back to Ephesians. What about the member who GOES OUT OF
THE CHURCH, to have his own relationship with Christ -- to GET his
own salvation? He is OUTSIDE the body of Christ!
Notice, again, the "household of God" -- the CHURCH -- is built
upon a FOUNDATION. Would one build a BUILDING on a foundation of
shifting sand? God's Church is built upon "the FOUNDATION of the
apostles [the New Testament], and prophets [Old Testament, whose
prophecies are for US TODAY (I Cor. 10:11)], Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:19-20).
How WELL ORGANIZED?
"In whom all the building [the Church] fitly framed
together, groweth into an holy TEMPLE in the Lord" (verse 21).
Further: "From the whole body fitly joined together and
compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the
effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase
of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Eph. 4:16).
Yes, Christ ORGANIZED His Church.
"And his gifts were, that some should be apostles, some
prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers" (Eph.
4:11, RSV), continuing in KJV: "For the perfecting of the saints,
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure
of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:12-13).
What about a single member, "a joint, or part," going off by
itself -- or following a MAN instead of the CHURCH OF GOD that is
in direct continuous succession from the apostolic Church founded
by Christ, in A.D. 31? He is like a joint or a piece of wood or
stone, entirely outside of, and therefore NO PART OF the BODY OF
CHRIST that shall MARRY Christ!
We have seen that Christ gave the lay body of the Church the
SPECIAL MISSION to back up His apostles in their GOING FORTH with
the Gospel to the world -- with their prayers, encouragement,
tithes and offerings.
But this GIVING of their prayers, encouragement and
financial support was GOD'S ASSIGNMENT as the very means of
developing in them God's holy, righteous CHARACTER -- that they,
with the apostles and evangelists, may qualify to RULE with and
under Christ in God's Kingdom. This very means of character
development within the laity is THE WAY OF GIVING -- not Satan's
way of GETTING.
God's WAY -- the WAY of His law -- is GIVING of outflowing LOVE.
It is the GIVING way. The person who tries to be an individual
separate Christian, to GET his own salvation, is going at it the
GETTING way -- Satan's way. And I would not want to try to GET
myself into God's Kingdom by Satan's way.
Notice again WHY God set apostles, evangelists, pastors and
other elders in His Church NOT ONLY for the work of the ministry,
being SENT FORTH into all the world announcing Christ's Message
of HOPE. Read it again (Eph. 4:12-13): It was "for the perfecting
of the saints, ... and for the edifying [en
lightening -- instructing] of the body of Christ, TILL we all come
in the UNITY of the faith, and of the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man...."
But cannot a single separate individual EDIFY HIMSELF,
outside of the Church? Not likely -- and THAT IS NOT GOD'S WAY.
How does God infuse HIS TRUTH into the Church? NOT through
each individual separately -- but through the apostles, and other
ministers under them.
In the time of the first apostles -- first century -- the Bible
was not yet completely written. God used a very few prophets,
through whom He communicated. The prophets gave the message to an
apostle. Today the Bible is complete. God has used no prophets in
the Church in our time.
However, the laity of the first century Church received
their teaching and instruction from the apostles. The original
twelve had been taught by Christ in person -- and so also had Paul.
Jesus Christ was the personal Word of God. The Bible is the
written Word of God. It's all the precise same TRUTH and
TEACHING, whether from Jesus in person, when on earth, or from
the written Word of God. God's apostle for our day was taught by
the written Word of God -- the SAME IDENTICAL TEACHING!
But what of the separated individual believer, who tries to
GET his salvation all by himself -- or by following some MAN, or
any of hundreds of professing Christian denominations of our day?
He is CUT OFF from that TRUE teaching which Christ reveals to and
through His apostle!
What if one in the Church disagrees on some point of
doctrine? Then he is out of harmony with God's Church. And GOD
HAS ONLY THE ONE CHURCH.
And all in the Church are commanded to speak the same
thing -- and it must be what CHRIST, either in person, or by
written Word, has taught His apostle.
To the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote: "Now I
beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
ye all speak the same thing ..."(I Cor. 1:10). Some of them
wanted to follow Peter, some wanted to follow Apollos, some Paul.
But PAUL was their apostle, and Christ taught them by PAUL.
The separated individual believer will follow his own idea
of God's truth. THAT IS NOT GOD'S WAY.
God in His almighty wisdom, has raised up the CHURCH, as HIS
MEANS of teaching all the SAME TRUTH -- all speaking the SAME
THING! Not each individual his own thing!
God raised up the CHURCH, not only that its apostles and
evangelists go into all the world announcing the GOOD NEWS of the
coming Kingdom of God, but also, as the very means for the
general body of lay members to develop God's own holy righteous
CHARACTER -- by means of GIVING -- giving their continuous prayers
for the apostle, giving their encouragement, tithes and
offerings!
WHAT, then, of the person who follows after a man outside
the Church -- or tries to GET his salvation, simply by GETTING -- and
not GIVING that which members are to give to the Church's Work?
Consider Jesus' parable of the pounds in Luke 19. The pound is
the British unit of money. Jesus illustrated Himself giving each
member, on conversion, "one pound" -- representing the Holy Spirit
given at conversion. But the Christian MUST GROW in grace and
Christ's knowledge. As he does, by GIVING in the Church, he
receives an increasing amount of God's Spirit. The isolated,
separated member will probably LOSE OUT (see Luke 19:20-24).


In Summary: WHY THE CHURCH?

Finally, WHY the Church? WHY did not Christ just "save" separated
individuals? What is the REAL PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH?
Like most everything in the Bible, the purpose and function
of the Church has been grossly misunderstood. The entire world
has been deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:9).
Jesus had not come on a "soul-saving crusade." The most
widespread false assumption of all is that Christ is contesting
against Satan to "get everybody saved NOW!" And with it, the
supposition that all not saved are "LOST" -- condemned! They are
neither. They are not yet JUDGED!
But in Adam, by his decision, all humanity has been
sentenced to 6,000 years of being completely cut off from God!
That is, all except the comparative very few specifically called
for a special mission.
Jesus Christ, I repeat, emphatically verified this
6,000-year sentence. (John 6:44.) No scripture can or does
contradict that plain statement of Jesus.
Jesus called, chose, and for 3˝ years trained His apostles
to become, with Him and the prophets, the FOUNDATION on which the
Church was built. Also He set the example, those 3˝ years, for
His apostles, in proclaiming (announcing) the coming KINGDOM OF
GOD. Then Christ died for the sins of humanity, and was
resurrected, and ascended to God's throne in heaven.
On the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, He sent the Holy Spirit in
a great manifestation both visible and audible, to found His
Church.
On that day of Pentecost, it was Peter, chief apostle, who
proclaimed the Gospel Message -- and that day God ADDED three
thousand baptized that same day.
A day or so later -- very possibly the very next day -- Peter
and John healed the cripple and Peter preached the gospel. God
ADDED another two thousand to the Church.
It is significant, and generally unrealized, that neither
Jesus nor the apostles embarked on any "soul-saving crusade,"
which is a modern Protestant practice. The apostles, as Jesus had
done, proclaimed the gospel -- the GOOD NEWS of a coming BETTER
WORLD. It was not an emotional pleading, "Won't you give your
heart to the Lord?"
True, because unbelieving Jews did not accept Jesus as their
promised Messiah, the apostles, at first, put special emphasis on
the fact they were eye-witnesses to Jesus' Messiahship and
resurrection. They had been with Him 3 ˝ years before He was
crucified, and forty days after He rose from the dead.
But they did proclaim the same Message Jesus had taught
them -- the coming Kingdom of God. It was not a begging for
"souls." "... the Lord added to the church such as should be
saved" (Acts 2:47).
When the apostles met with fierce persecution, imprisonment
and threat, the laity of the Church ENCOURAGED them, prayed
heartrendingly for them, supported them financially.
So, let the truth be clarified once for all, the PURPOSE of
the Church was NOT to "get the world saved NOW!"
God's PURPOSE in raising up His Church in a world otherwise
CUT OFF from God, was dual:
1) To provide a united body of Spirit-led believers to back
up the apostles (and evangelists) who had been specially trained
to GO FORTH into all the world with Christ's Gospel Message. All
this, as their part in THE GREAT COMMISSION. Theirs was a WORK OF
GIVING -- giving of their prayers -- their encouragement, and
financial support of the ORGANIZED Gospel WORK. And this as GOD
's means of, and the training ground for,
2) the overcoming of Satan, and the constant development of
that holy, righteous CHARACTER thus qualifying them to sit with
Christ on the throne of earth-wide GOVERN MENT.
GOD'S WAY of developing His holy character was THE GIVING
WAY. GOD'S way of life is the GIVING way of outgoing LOVE.
Satan's way is INcoming self-advantage -- hostility to God's way
and to His Church.
Those who allow an attitude of hostility and rebellion
against God's Church -- and God's GOVERNMENT within His Church -- to
cause them to leave, and "go it alone," or follow a MAN, are
seeking merely TO GET salvation FOR THE SELF! That is NOT God's
WAY!


The GLORY on Beyond!

Happily, the 6,000-year sentence on Adam's world -- being cut off
from God, is due to END in our present living generation. This
world, now -- still Satan's world except for God's CHURCH -- is fast
plunging into the supreme CRISIS of world tribulation. But it is
said to be "darkest just before dawn!"
Then, SUDDENLY, when least expected by the "cut-off world,"
Jesus Christ will come in supreme supernatural POWER AND GLORY!
Yes, "at such an hour as ye think not," said Jesus.
His CHURCH will have been made ready!
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we
which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
[precede] them that are asleep [dead]. For the Lord himself shall
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ
shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in
the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thes.
4:15-17). He is coming to RULE ALL THE EARTH!
Then shall be fulfilled Revelation 19:6-7: the mighty voice
of the archangel shouting, "ALLELUJA! for the Lord God omnipotent
reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice!..." The Church,
resurrected IN GLORY, shall reign with Christ a thousand years!
Satan will be banished! God will call ALL LIVING to His
salvation. After the Millennium shall come the GREAT WHITE THRONE
JUDGMENT (Rev. 20:11-12) when all who had been cut off from God
for 6,000 years shall be resurrected MORTAL -- and all called to
God's salvation and eternal life!
Then, the glorious eternity beyond -- all saints then
immortal, inheriting the transcendent human potential -- RENEWING
THE FACE OF ALL DECAYED PLANETS, FINISHING THE GLORIOUS BEAUTIFUL
CREATION THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE ENDLESS UNIVERSE -- in happiness, joy
and GLORY!



Chapter X

Just What Do You Mean ... Conversion?


How many times have you heard non-Christians, judging one who
professes Christ, say in disgust: "Well if that's Christianity, I
don't want any of it!"
How many judge GOD by the way professing Christians live?
How many assume that one must live a perfect life, before he can
become a Christian?
How many say: 'If I could give up smoking, I'd become a
Christian."
How many think a Christian is supposed to be perfect, never
doing anything wrong? Suppose you do see or hear about a
Christian doing something WRONG. Does that mean he is a
hypocrite -- that he is not really a Christian, after all?
Is it possible for one to actually SIN while he is a
Christian and still remain a truly converted Christian?
The startling TRUTH is that few know just what is a
Christian. Few know HOW one is converted -- whether suddenly, all
at once, or gradually. Does conversion happen immediately, or is
it a PROCESS? IT'S HIGH TIME WE UNDERSTAND what constitutes REAL
CONVERSION.
Do Christians ever sin? If one does, is he "lost"?
First let me ask -- and answer the question ''What is true
Christian conversion?" "What is a real Christian in the sight of
God?" Does joining a church make one a Christian? Does saying, "I
accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior" make one a Christian?
Let's get the Bible definition. In Romans 8:6-9 you will
read: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind [fleshly mind]
is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law
of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh
[fleshy minded] cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
A Christian, then, is one who has received, and in whose
mind dwells the Holy Spirit of God. Otherwise he is NOT
Christ's -- NOT a Christian.


False Conversion

Millions may profess to be Christians, but unless God's Holy
Spirit, given as HIS GIFT by GRACE, is at the moment, dwelling in
them, they are NOT CHRISTIANS.
Millions may have their names written in Church membership
books, and still be "NONE OF HIS" -- not really CHRISTIANS at all!
And millions are so deceived (Rev. 12:9).
So UNDERSTAND THIS! A person is a Christian -- in God's
sight -- ONLY while God's Holy Spirit is dwelling IN him. Not
before! Not after!
So a truly converted person has received (and currently has)
God's Holy Spirit dwelling within him. But, there is yet quite a
bit more to understanding what constitutes real conversion.


Real Conversion

There is a sense in which true conversion does take place at a
definite time -- all at once. But it is also true that in another
sense conversion is worked out gradually -- a process of
development and growth.
NOW NOTICE CAREFULLY!
WHEN does one really become a Christian? It is when he
receives God's Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:9, we read that unless we
have the Holy Spirit, we are not Christ's -- not Christians.
There is a definite TIME when God's Spirit enters into one.
At the very moment he receives the Holy Spirit, he is, in this
first sense, converted. Yes, all at once! If he has Christ's
Spirit, he is CHRIST'S -- he is a Christian! The very Life of God
has entered into (impregnated) him. He has been begotten as a
child of God.
But does that mean his salvation is complete? Is he now
fully and finally "saved"? Is that all there is to it? Is he now,
suddenly, perfect? Is it now impossible for him to do WRONG?
No! FAR FROM IT! BUT WHY? What's the answer? Why do so many
MISunderstand?
Why does almost NOBODY understand the very PURPOSE of the
Christian life?


The Purpose of the Christian Life

WHY do people not understand the very gospel Jesus Christ taught?
He taught the KINGDOM OF GOD. So did the apostles, including
Paul. Jesus spoke mostly in parables. Take a quick look at one or
two. Notice what Jesus revealed. Notice the awe-inspiring
TREMENDOUS potential that is ours.
Take the parable of the nobleman going to a far country,
later to return. It is in Luke 19:11-27. Jesus is the nobleman.
He was going to a far country -- to the heaven of God's throne,
seat of the government of the entire universe. He spoke this
parable because His disciples thought the Kingdom of God should
appear immediately. So far more than 1900 years have gone by, and
the Kingdom of God has not yet appeared.
So He called, in the parable, his ten servants, and He gave
them ten pounds -- a pound each, using, in our English language
translation, the English unit of money. This is symbolic of one
unit of SPIRITUAL VALUE with which each was started out. In other
words, representative of the portion of God's Holy Spirit which
was given to each on initial conversion.
But His citizens hated Him. They rejected Him as their
RULER. They said, "We will not have this man to REIGN OVER US."
The Kingdom of God is a RULING GOVERNMENT. They, as of then,
received no conversion -- no "pounds." (They shall yet find
conversion, as many, many passages of Scripture affirm.)
Now the reason for His going to heaven was to ''receive for
himself a KINGDOM, and to return." That is, He was going to the
throne of the government of the entire universe where God
Almighty, the Father, sits, to have conferred on Him the
RULERSHIP OF THE WORLD. The coronation ceremony will take place
in heaven, at the throne of UNIVERSE RULE. When He returns He
will be crowned with MANY CROWNS (Rev. 19:12). He is coming to
RULE ALL NATIONS with almighty divine POWER (verse 15).
Back to Luke 19. On his return, his servants, to whom he had
given the money -- that is, the beginning unit of GOD'S SPIRIT at
conversion -- are to be called to an accounting, "that he might
know how much each man had GAINED" while he was gone. This means
each Christian is expected to GROW spiritually -- in spiritual
KNOWLEDGE and grace (see II Peter 3:18). The Christian life is a
life of spiritual GOING TO SCHOOL -- of training for a POSITION IN
GOD'S KINGDOM, when and after we shall be changed from mortal to
immortal -- when we shall be no longer flesh-and-blood humans, but
composed of SPIRIT, with eternal life inherent.
In the parable, the first came to report he had multiplied
what he had been given TEN TIMES. You see, the receiving of God's
Spirit is GOD'S GIFT -- that is what God does -- it comes by GRACE,
as a gift. WE CAN'T EARN IT. But all through the New Testament it
is made plain we shall be REWARDED according to OUR WORKS. Not
SAVED by works we have done. This man had, by his own
application, multiplied his spiritual gift ten times -- his one
pound was now ten pounds. He received a greater REWARD than the
one who gained five pounds.
The nobleman (Christ) said to him, "Well, thou good servant:
because thou hast been faithful in very little, have thou
AUTHORITY over TEN CITIES."
He had qualified to RULE. He had been obedient to God's
commands -- God's government. We have to BE RULED before we can
learn to RULE.
The second servant had increased his spiritual stock of
goods five times. He had qualified, in this life, for HALF as
much as the first servant. He was given HALF the REWARD.


The Kingdom of God

So the parable of the pounds shows Christians are to RULE under
Christ, when the Kingdom of God is set up. Jesus was speaking of
GOVERNMENT -- world government. This parable was given to show that
the Kingdom of God was not to appear at that time. The Kingdom is
not an ethereal, sentimental something "in our hearts." It is not
the Church.
Daniel's prophecy shows that the SAINTS are to RULE, under
Christ the Messiah, when He sets up literal WORLD GOVERNMENT. See
Daniel 2 -- read it through and then notice verse 44. This Kingdom
will break in pieces every other form of government -- all rule of
man -- and will stand forever. Notice Daniel 7: And especially
verses 18 and 22. It will be an earthly kingdom -- not in heaven,
but "UNDER the whole heaven," verse 27.
Jesus said: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth MY WORKS
unto the end, to him will I give POWER over the nations: and he
shall RULE THEM with a rod of iron" (Rev. 2:26-27).
He said, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me
in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my
Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21). When Jesus said this, through
John in the 90s A.D., He was in heaven with His Father on the
throne from which the entire universe is governed.
When Jesus sits on His own throne on this earth it will be
the throne of David, in Jerusalem. Notice what is said of Jesus:
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
and the [Eternal] God shall give unto him the throne of his
father David: and he shall REIGN over the house of Jacob forever;
and of his kingdom there shall be no end'' (Luke 1:32-33).
But He was not going to set up the world government of the
Kingdom of God at that time. The Bible speaks of three worlds -- or
ages -- in time order. First, the world that then was, overflowed
with water -- prior to the Flood; second, this present evil world;
and third, the world to come. On trial for His life before
Pilate, Jesus said He was born to be a king (John 18:37), but
that His kingdom was "not of this world." He will rule THE WORLD
TOMORROW (verse 36).
The saints (Spirit-led Christians) are to reign, under
Christ, "ON THE EARTH" (Rev. 5:10), for a thousand years (Rev.
20:4, 6).
WHY has the whole world been deceived with a false gospel
(Rev. 12:9)? WHY have they been deceived into belief in a
counterfeit Kingdom of God? (Request our free booklets " What Is
the True Gospel?" and "Just What Do You Mean -- the Kingdom of
God?")
Look again at the many parables of Jesus. They teach the
Kingdom of God. They make plain the fact the Kingdom of God is
the WORLD GOVERNMENT soon, now, to be set up by Christ, coming in
ALL POWER and GLORY, to bring us world peace, abundance,
happiness and joy.
The purpose of the Christian life is to train future KINGS
to rule with and under Christ. How then, does one become a
Christian? When? And WHY is salvation a PROCESS, as well as an
initial phase when he becomes a Christian instantaneously?
Here is the PLAIN TRUTH you need to know.


Real Repentance

I repeat: "A Christian [a truly converted person] is one who has
received, and in whose mind dwells the Holy Spirit of God."
But how does one receive the Spirit of God?
On the day the Church of God was started, the Apostle Peter
said, "Repent, and be baptized ... in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38).
Repent of what? Of sin. And what is sin? "Sin is the
transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). What law? The law that
the carnal mind, hostile to God, is not subject to -- the Law of
God (Rom. 8:7). Again, we read of "the Holy [Spirit], whom God
hath given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:32).
These are the two conditions to receiving God's GIFT of the
Holy Spirit: repentance and faith. Being baptized is the outward
manifestation of the inner faith in Christ. Repentance is not
merely being sorry for something one has done -- or even many such
sins. It is a real repentance of what one is and has been -- of his
whole past attitude and life apart from God. It is a total change
of mind and heart and direction of life. It is a change to a new
WAY OF LIFE. It is a turning from the self-centered way of
vanity, selfishness, greed, hostility to authority, envy,
jealousy and unconcern for the good and welfare of others to the
God-centered WAY of obedience, sub mission to authority, love
toward God more than love of self and of love and concern for
other humans equal to self-concern.
LOVE is the fulfilling of God's Law (Rom. 13:10) -- but God's
Law is a spiritual law (Rom. 7:14) and can be fulfilled only by
"the love of God, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]"
(Rom. 5:5).
The Holy Spirit will open one's mind to UNDERSTAND God's
instruction on how to live, but it will not force one to live
God's way -- it will not pull or push one. Each Christian must take
his own initiative, though God's Spirit will give him help, faith
and power. But it is "as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).


Real Christian Conversion

The two above-mentioned conditions to becoming a
Christian -- REPENTANCE and FAITH -- we ourselves must perform.
But these do not make us Christians -- do not convert us. It
is what GOD does -- giving His Holy Spirit by His grace as His free
gift -- that converts us.
Our repentance and faith do not earn the receiving of God's
Spirit. God does not give us His Spirit because we repent and
believe. He gives His Spirit because He wants to give it. He
wants us to have His Spirit as His gift before we repent. He
merely requires repentance and faith as conditions.
Yet no one can, of himself, say: "Oh now, I see -- I must
repent. All right, I hereby repent." One does not just decide
casually, as a matter of routine, to repent. WHY?
Jesus Christ said that none can come to Him, except the
Spirit of the Father draw him (John 6:44, 65). God grants
repentance (Rom. 2:4). God calls one, and convicts the mind and
conscience by His Spirit, working on the mind externally. Usually
a real a struggle goes on within. The person has been shaken to
know he has done wrong -- that he is wrong -- he has sinned -- he is a
sinner! He is brought to real REPENTANCE, not only for what he
has done, but for what he now sees that he is. It is not easy.
The self never wants to die. To repent is to make an
unconditional surrender to God -- to obey His Law!
Yet he, himself, must make the decision. If he does repent,
surrender to God, and in FAITH accept Jesus Christ as personal
Savior, then, upon performance of these TWO conditions, God
promises to put within him the GIFT of the Holy Spirit. This is
the very life of God-SPIRIT life. It imparts to him the very
divine nature!
Then what, at that stage, has happened?
This new convert has only been begotten of God -- not yet
BORN. Many who believe they are "born again" on receiving the
Holy Spirit are more in error in terminology than in what
happens. (For a full explanation, write for our free booklet
"Just What Do You Mean -- Born Again?")
This new convert has not received the full measure of God's
Spirit which Christ had; he is only a spiritual babe in Christ.
He must now GROW spiritually, just as a newly conceived embryo in
its mother's womb must grow physically large enough to be BORN as
a human.
This new convert has now REPENTED, in his mind, from the
depths of his heart. HE MEANS IT, too! In all sincerity, in his
mind and heart, he has turned around to go the other way -- to live
a different life. He is now a CHRISTIAN -- he has received God's
Holy Spirit. He has been converted, He is a Christian. He really
wants to do what is right -- to obey God -- to live GOD'S WAY.


What If a Christian Sins?

So a Christian convert, then, is one who has received God's
Spirit, which is dwelling in him, leading him, and he is
following GOD 'S WAY of life. A converted Christian has forsaken
his former habitual way of life -- his selfish way unconcerned with
God. Now he lives in the habitual way of God's Word -- in the light
of the Word of God.
But suppose, like an eight-or ten-month-old baby trying to
learn to walk, as he "walks" this NEW WAY, he stumbles, "falls
down," as it were, and SINS. Is he then condemned -- lost -- no
longer a Christian?
I would like you, now, to notice, and UNDERSTAND, what the
Apostle John was inspired to write for our admonition. It is in
the first letter (epistle) of John:
Speaking of Christ, in his opening salutation, as "that
which was from the beginning ... which was with the Father, and
was manifested unto us; that which we have seen and heard declare
we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly
our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ"
(I John 1:1-3).
The true Christian has been reconciled to God through
Christ. And, having God's Spirit, he enjoys actual fellowship
with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. And even his fellowship
with fellow-Christians is through God and Christ. He is joined to
them, as the different branches are joined to a grape vine and
joined together through and by the vine. Compare Jesus' analogy
in John 15:1-7. Christians, then, are actually walking with
Christ -- and two cannot walk together except they be in agreement
(Amos 3:3).
Now continue in I John: "This then is the message which we
have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and
in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship
with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not [are not
doing] the truth" (verses 5-6). That is, He -- the living
Christ -- is walking in the light -- as if on a brilliantly lighted
path. But if we are walking in darkness, we are walking on a
different path altogether, where it is dark. Therefore we are not
walking with Him at all, and if we say we are, we are lying.
But suppose, while walking with Him -- in the light -- one of us
stumbles and falls down. This is not a case of having turned away
from Him and the path He is treading, to a different and darkened
path. If we say, "Oh I'm sorry," would He not give us a hand and
help us get up and continue on the lighted path with Him? Would
He become angry and say, "Get off my path -- go walk down a
darkened path"?
In still other words, the true Christian has turned from his
former life of habitual sin -- and from his former attitude of
selfishness, and self-seeking when he had no serious intention of
living God's way. But now he has turned from his former way. His
life, in general, now, is the habitual way of the Christian life.
But he is not perfect the minute he is converted and
receives God's Spirit. He must GROW spiritually, in grace and
knowledge of Christ, as Peter writes in II Peter 3:18. He is the
creature of habit, and all old former habits do not just
automatically leave him without any effort on his part to
overcome them. He must learn to overcome sin. It is inevitable
that he may be caught off guard and make a mistake. So continue
in I John 1:
"But if we walk in the light" -- that is, even though we may
stumble occasionally, it is now only the occasional slip -- not a
turning our back on God's WAY -- not a turning back to the habitual
and constant way of sin.
Do you begin to UNDERSTAND the difference? The true
Christian intends to live God's WAY. He wants to live God's way.
He tries to live God's way. And, in general, it now actually is
his habitual NEW WAY of life. The occasional slip, or sin, does
not mean that in his mind and heart he has rejected God and God's
WAY. Continue:
"... As He is in the light" -- if that is now our goal and
purpose and habitual way of life -- then "we have fellowship one
with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us
[us who are now Christians] from all sin. If we [Christians] say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us" (verses 7-8).
If we, now Christians, say that we are already perfect -- that
we never slip up and make a mistake or commit a sin, we are
deceiving ourselves. I knew a woman who deceived herself in this
way. She claimed to be above sin -- claimed she never sinned. And
although she was what most people would call a good woman, she
actually was committing the biggest sin of all -- spiritual pride
and vanity! She gloried in her "sinless" state. She lacked
Christian humility.
But if, while walking down this lighted path with God, one
stumbles and falls down, does God kick him aside?
Verse 9: "If we [we who are Christians -- it is not talking
about the unconverted] confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness."
So notice the "IF." "If we confess our sins." When we
stumble, we must admit it -- we must repent of it -- we must ask
forgiveness. If we deny it, or blame it on somebody else, we
shall not be forgiven. We must confess it -- to God!
"If we say that we [as Christians] have not sinned, we make
him a liar, and his word is not in us." The context continues
right on into the second chapter: "My little children, these
things write I unto you, that ye sin not." In other words, we
should not sin -- we must strive to avoid any sin. God gives us no
license to sin. But, "... if any man sin, we [we Christians]
have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and
he is the propitiation for our sins [those of us who are
Christians]: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the
whole world" (chapter 2:1-3). But, of course He is the
propitiation for the sins of the unconverted in the world only
when they come to real repentance, and faith in Christ.


Real Conversion -- A Process

Because many do not correctly understand the whole
above-mentioned process, they become discouraged. And some even
give up even trying to live a Christian life. And WHY? Because of
the false notion that a Christian is one who becomes PERFECT at
one fell swoop, or that one cannot become a Christian until he
has broken all wrong habits, and made himself righteous.
It's vital to UNDERSTAND how true Christianity REALLY WORKS!
The newly begotten Christian must grow up, spiritually. What
would you think of a human baby, who became six feet tall all at
once, without growing up? The growing up process requires TIME.
There is an instant when a person receives the impregnating Holy
Spirit of God -- when he first becomes a Christian. But he is only
a spiritual infant. He must grow up spiritually.
The newly converted person, in his mind and heart, sincerely
has ABOUT-FACED! He has actually gained contact with GOD, and
received God's Holy Spirit. God's own divine NATURE has now been
conceived within him. BUT THAT'S ALL: It is merely conceived -- not
yet full grown! He is still human -- mortal -- flesh and blood. He is
still composed of matter, not Spirit.
Understand this!
For nearly 6,000 years, humanity has been going in the WAY
OF pride and vanity, selfishness and greed, a lack of outgoing
concern for others -- the spirit of competition, opposition,
strife, effort to acquire, and to exalt the self. Humans have
been filled with self-gratification, jealousy, envy, resent ment
toward others, a spirit of rebellion against authority and
hostility toward God and the Law of God.
The Christian must overcome these tendencies.
The Christian must develop the righteous CHARACTER to choose
the right way, and resist the wrong -- to discipline the self in
the way he ought to go, instead of the way of self-desire and
vanity.


Perfect Character

God's PURPOSE in having created humanity -- in having caused YOU to
be born -- is to reproduce Himself. (Write for our free booklet
"Why Were You Born?")
God, above all things, is PERFECT, RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER! God
is able to create character within us; but it must be done as a
result of our independent free choice. We, as individual separate
entities, have our part in the process.
What is perfect character? It is the ability, in a separate
entity with free moral agency, to come to the KNOWLEDGE of the
right from the wrong -- the true from the false -- and to CHOOSE the
right, and possess the WILL to enforce self-discipline to DO the
right and resist the wrong.
Like muscle, character is developed, and grows by exercise.
My name is Armstrong. I suppose I could make my arm slightly
stronger, and develop the muscle, by constantly bending it back
and forth at the elbow. But if I pull, or push, against some
heavy weight or resistance, the muscle will develop much faster.
There is within us this NATURE that exerts a heavy pull against
that perfect righteous character -- to give us something to strive
against for the VERY PURPOSE OF STRENGTHENING AND DEVELOPING
RIGHT CHARACTER!
God's CHARACTER travels in the direction of His Law -- the way
of LOVE. It is an outgoing CONCERN for others. God has that
character! He has an outgoing concern for you and for me. He GAVE
His only begotten Son to reconcile us to Him and make the JOYS of
His character and everlasting life possible for us (John 3:16).
He showers on us every good and precious gift. He even puts
within us HIS DIVINE NATURE (II Peter 1:4) -- when we repent and
turn from the WRONG ways of THIS WORLD, begin to resist it, and
turn TO Him through faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior!
God's divine nature is the nature of love -- of giving,
serving, helping -- of outgoing concern. It is also the nature of
humility.
Now when one is converted -- has repented, and turned from
this world's false WAYS -- has at once received God's Holy
Spirit -- his humanity -- his HUMAN nature does not flee. It was
(probably subconsciously) injected within us by Satan, the prince
of the power of the air. He still exerts a pull. We still live in
THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD, and it exerts a pull. God still allows
Satan to be around. And Satan is still around!
So we now have THREE PULLS to RESIST -- to OVERCOME! We must
now overcome these three: Satan, this world, and our own SELVES.
We have to battle against these three, in order to develop and
strengthen RIGHT CHARACTER within us. God says plainly it is THE
OVERCOMERS who shall be saved -- who shall REIGN with Christ! (Rev.
2:26-27; 3:21; 21:7.)


God's Help

No human being is strong enough to do this BY HIMSELF! He must
seek, and IN FAITH receive, the help and power of GOD. Even with
God's power he will not overcome such forces easily or all at
once. IT IS NOT EASY! Christ plainly said the way to ultimate
salvation is hard, difficult (Matt. 7:13, 14). It's a constant
BATTLE -- a struggle against self, the world, and the devil. The
creation of CHARACTER comes through EXPERIENCE. It takes TIME!
This development is a PROCESS. It is a matter of
GROWTH -- DEVELOPMENT. It requires, to become PERFECT, full and
right KNOWLEDGE of the very Word of God; because Jesus taught
that we must live by EVERY WORD OF GOD (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4).
The natural, unconverted mind cannot fully and rightly
UNDERSTAND the Scriptures of God. But the Holy Spirit opens the
mind to this spiritual comprehension. The acquisition of this
KNOWLEDGE, in itself, is a procedure requiring TIME. It is the
DOERS of this Word, not hearers only, who shall be saved (Romans
2:13).
But can any man GO, immediately and all at once, this new
WAY he now learns about? Can any man, all at once, break all
HABITS he now sees are wrong? No, he finds he has a FIGHT against
acquired former habits.
He still has this PULL of this invisible but powerful Satan
to overcome. This pull has been subtilely instilled as A LAW
working within him -- produced by the broadcasting of Satan the
devil -- the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). This whole
world is in tune with the very mind of the devil (Rev. 12:9).
The Apostle Paul calls this pull of human nature -- the law of
sin and death.
Paul was converted. Paul was a real Christian. He had
repented, accepted Christ, and received the Holy Spirit. With his
MIND, he wanted with all his heart, and in real intense
sincerity, to DO God's WAY! But did Paul DO it perfectly?
Let him tell. LISTEN!


Paul's Experience

"For we know that the law is spiritual," he wrote, "but I am
carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what
I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.... Now
then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." He
is speaking of human nature within him. He continues, "... for
to WILL is present with me; but how to perform that which is good
I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do.... For I delight in the law of
God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans
7:14-23).
The law of his mind is the Law of God -- the Ten Commandments.
The law "in his members" is human nature instilled by Satan. Then
Paul cries out "... O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver
me from the body of this death? ..." Then he thanks God -- that
GOD WILL -- through Jesus Christ, and by the power of His HOLY
SPIRIT. BUT IT TAKES TIME!
The truly converted Christian will find that he often
stumbles, under temptation, and falls down -- even as a physical
child learning to walk often falls down. But the year-old child
does not get discouraged and give up. He gets up and starts out
again.
THE TRULY CONVERTED CHRISTIAN IS NOT YET PERFECT!
GOD LOOKS ON THE HEART -- the inner MOTIVE -- the real intent!
If he is trying -- if he gets up whenever he falls down, and in
repentance asks God's forgiveness, and sets out to do his very
best NOT TO MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN -- and to persevere with
renewed effort to OVERCOME, God is rich in mercy toward that man
in his striving to overcome.
I think it should be apparent by now that the newly
converted Christian is not PERFECT all at once. He does not -- must
not -- commit sin deliberately and willfully in a spirit and
attitude of rebellion. That's what he has repented of! He wants
to live completely above sin. But to live perfectly would require
all spiritual KNOWLEDGE. He would have to live by EVERY WORD of
the Bible. The Holy Spirit imparts spiritual perception so he can
UNDERSTAND the Bible. And to under stand all the Bible TAKES
TIME. We have to GROW into the KNOWLEDGE of HOW to live perfectly
without sin.
A Christian may, from force of habit, or under weakness and
temptation, sin. But if he is a Christian, he is immediately
repentant, and on this repentance Christ's sacrifice cleanses his
sin (I John 1:7-9).
Converted people often are under heavier temptation than
before conversion. Satan exerts more pull than before. They are
STRIVING against sin, STRIVING to overcome. But they are not yet
perfect. Sometimes they are caught off guard. They may actually
sin. Then they WAKE UP, as it were, and realize what they have
done. They REPENT. They are filled with remorse -- truly
sorry -- disgusted with themselves. They go to GOD, and CRY OUT for
HELP -- for more power and strength from God to OVERCOME (Hebrews
4:16).
This is the WAY of the Christian!
It is the way of a constant BATTLE -- a striving against
SIN -- a seeking God in earnest prayer for help and spiritual POWER
to overcome. And if they are diligent, they are constantly
GAINING GROUND. They are constantly GROWING in God's KNOWLEDGE,
from the BIBLE. They are constantly rooting out wrong habits,
driving themselves into RIGHT habits. They are constantly growing
closer to GOD through Bible study and prayer. They are constantly
growing in CHARACTER, toward perfection, even though not yet
perfect.


What If One Dies?

But, someone may ask, what if one's life is cut off, and he dies
before he has attained this perfection? Is he saved, or lost? The
answer is that we shall never obtain absolute perfection in this
life.
I said, earlier, that a person who is converted does receive
the Holy Spirit at a definite time -- all at once! Not the full
measure Christ had -- he is not at once full grown
spiritually -- only a spiritual babe in Christ. Yet he is then a
changed, converted person -- changed in mind, in attitude, in the
direction he has set himself to travel. Even though he has not
yet reached perfection -- even though he may have stumbled under
temptation, and taken a spiritual fall -- as long as, in his mind
and heart, he is earnestly striving to travel GOD'S WAY, to
overcome and grow spiritually -- as long as God's Spirit is in
him -- as long as he is being LED BY the Spirit of God, he is a
begotten SON OF GOD.
If, anywhere along this life's journey, that life is cut
short, such a man will be resurrected -- saved-immortal in God's
Kingdom.


Never Give Up and Quit

It is only the one who QUITS and GIVES UP (Hebrews 10:38) -- who
REJECTS God, and God's WAY, and rejects Christ as his Savior -- who
neglects or turns FROM this direction of GOD'S WAY, in his mind
and heart (in his inner INTENT) who deliberately and
intentionally in his mind -- or, from continued neglect -- TURNS FROM
Christ -- who is lost.
If, once having been converted, having received God's
Spirit, and TASTED of the joys of GOD's WAY, one deliberately
rejects that way, makes the DECISION, not under stress of
temptation, but deliberately and finally, NOT to go God's way,
then God says it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew such a one to repentance.
He would have to REPENT of that decision. But if he WILLFULLY
made it, not in a time of temptation, but calmly, deliberately,
willfully, then he just WILL NOT ever repent of it.
But anyone who FEARS he may have committed the "unpardonable
sin" -- is perhaps worried about it, and HOPES he has not committed
it, and still WANTS to have God's salvation -- no such individual
has committed it -- such a one MAY repent, and go right on to
salvation IF HE WANTS TO!
(If you would like a booklet that thoroughly expounds and
explains all about "the unpardonable sin," write for our free
publication on the subject. Its thought-provoking title is "What
Do You Mean -- The Unpardonable Sin"? It will make the truth
plain.)


What to Do?

If you see a Christian do something wrong, DON'T SIT IN JUDGMENT
AND CONDEMN -- that's God's business to judge, not yours! Let's
have compassion and mercy -- WE don't know the inner heart of
others -- only GOD does!
And if you, yourself, have stumbled and fallen down, DON'T
BE DISCOURAGED! Get up and press on ahead!
God looks on the heart -- the attitude -- the intent.
As long as one, in his heart, has the real desire to walk
God's WAY with Him -- is deeply sorry and repents when he commits
the occasional sin -- and is seeking to overcome sin, and to make
God's way his habitual way of life, he will stumble on occasion,
but if he confesses it and repents, he will be forgiven, But, if
he is diligent in his Christian life, his occasional stumbling
will become less and less -- he will be making good progress,
overcoming, GROWING spiritually and in righteous godly character.
What is your attitude? When you have sinned, have you been
carelessly indifferent about it? You are on dangerous ground. Do
you justify it, feel others are to blame? That will never justify
your sins. Do you still desire to go God's Way? Then it's not too
late. Turn from sins, CONFESS your sins -- to God. REPENT! Pick
yourself up, with Christ's helping hand, and go on overcoming and
GROWING spiritually.
(And if you are one who has NEVER really repented, been
baptized and received God's Holy Spirit -- yet earnestly desire
to -- you may want to get in contact with one of God's true
ministers. Just write: 300 West Green St., Pasadena, California
91123.)
But remember, once you know you have really repented and
been forgiven, don't repeat the sin(s), but FORGET it. As the
Apostle Paul wrote, "FORGETTING those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14).



Chapter XI

Human Nature -- and How a Whole World
Is Deceived About its Origin


I once overheard someone say: "Just look at that beautiful, sweet
little baby-and to think it's filled with all that evil,
despicable human nature!"
But was it?
Think of this paradox! How can it be explained? The human
mind can produce wonders. We have sent successive teams of men to
walk on the moon. We have returned them safely through the
earth's atmosphere. Yet these marvelous human minds cannot solve
our problems here on earth -- cannot bring the world PEACE! WHY?
All the violence, war, crime, corruption, dishonesty, and
immorality is blamed on HUMAN NATURE.
But where did HUMAN NATURE come from? Did the Creator
instill it within us from creation? Were we born with it? And
please understand that I am speaking of human nature in its evil
spiritual phase -- of vanity, lust, greed, envy, jealousy,
competition, strife, rebellion against authority, resentment, and
hate.
The answer requires a knowledge of the composition and
nature of the human mind -- accessible only by revelation. The
composition of the human mind, as compared to animal brain, has
been explained. BUT WHY does such wonderful MIND power work so
much evil?
Did an all-loving, all-merciful, almighty GOD deliberately
plague the human race He created with an inborn nature of vanity,
lust, and greed -- with a heart of hostility against God, of
deceit, envy, jealousy, and hatred?


How Was Adam, at His Creation?

First, let's see what is revealed about the first man, Adam, and
his nature at the time of his creation.
The Bible reveals only the most brief high points of human
history for the first two thousand-plus years -- a third of all the
time from the creation of man to now! Only eleven chapters are
devoted to the history of all that span of time. The account of
the first created couple is merely the briefest possible summary.
The first humans were the last act of creation on the sixth
day of what is commonly called "creation week," recorded in the
first chapter of Genesis.
God had created plant life -- the flora -- on the third day of
that week, animal life -- the fauna -- on the fifth and sixth, each
reproducing "after its own kind." Cattle reproduced after the
cattle kind (verse 25), lions after the lion kind, horses after
the horse kind, etc.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness." In other words, "Let us make MAN after the GOD kind!"
God was actually reproducing Himself !
And notice, the name God -- the Hebrew name as originally
written throughout Genesis 1, is Elohim. It is a uniplural noun,
like family, group, church. It is ONE family composed of more
than one person. It is like one team, one church, but each
composed of multiple persons. The God to whom Jesus prayed is the
FATHER of the FAMILY that is GOD. God IS a FAMILY -- but ONE
family, ONE GOD.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him, male and female created he them." WHY? Because
human reproduction is the type of God's reproducing Himself. And
physical reproduction requires both male and female.
But continue: "And God blessed them ..." Did He bless them
by creating in them an evil sinful nature, utterly unable to be
subject to God's right way of life? But continue this passage: ".
replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28).
"And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it
was very good" (verse 31). If the first humans -- as God had
created them -- were VERY GOOD, could it include a hostile and evil
nature that was very EVIL?
That ought to give every reader something to think about!
Now what does this record of the creation of the first
humans reveal as to Adam's nature at the time of his creation? I
repeat: Only the very most brief high spots are recorded here.
The little that is revealed gives us, however, all we really need
to know.
Here it is: "And out of the ground the [Eternal] God formed
every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought
them unto Adam to see what he would call them ..." (Gen. 2:19).
Here, in the briefest of summaries, we may see clearly
whether this short account reveals a rebellious and disobedient
nature in Adam, or one of compliance and obedience.
Absolutely NO REBELLION is indicated here. We find, instead,
the response that Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of
the air, and to every beast of the field.
This incident reveals Adam's attitude and nature as he was
created, PRIOR TO his temptation by Satan (which is recorded in
chapter 3). Notice carefully. Absolutely NOTHING in the account
of this pre-temptation incident indicates in Adam the presence of
an evil, hostile, rebellious attitude or nature. It does not
reflect a heart that is deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked, as human nature is described (Jeremiah 17:9),
nor a carnal mind that is enmity (hostile) against God and which
"is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans
8:7).
Nor, on the other hand, does it reveal a nature filled with
the Spirit of God. Adam had not yet been confronted by Satan, had
not disobeyed, nor had he taken of the "tree of life" to receive
the indwelling LOVE and POWER of God's Holy Spirit, which would
have imparted the DIVINE NATURE (II Peter 1:4).
So prior to the temptation by Satan, we have only the
revelation that Adam's NATURE, as God created him, was not evil,
hostile and diabolical. There may have been the physical and
mental nature of self-preservation and such things. But NOT the
evil nature of SELF-centeredness.
We need to realize that God created Adam and the human race
for a PURPOSE. We need to have clearly in mind, at this point,
WHAT that purpose is.
Angels had inhabited this planet before the creation of man
(II Peter 2:4-6). These angels had sinned. God had set over them
a king -- Lucifer, a super archangel -- to govern them with the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:11-17). All this
has been covered in detail in previous chapters.
This super king, Lucifer, was, of all created beings,
supreme in created perfection (Ezek. 28:12, 15). But, remember,
holy and righteous CHARACTER is something that cannot be created
in a person instantaneously by fiat. It must be developed in an
independent entity through a process in which one comes to
recognize the right way from the wrong, to choose the right and
reject the wrong even against self-desire.
The great Lucifer and the angels who followed him
(apparently a third of all angels) were originally created as
Spirit-composed beings, immortal. But in order that they have
personality and individuality as independent beings, it was
necessary that they be provided with faculties for knowing,
thinking, reasoning, and making their own decisions and choices.
These angels followed their king Lucifer in the decision to
turn from and rebel against the GOVERNMENT OF God -- God's WAY OF
LIFE. That is THE WAY of LOVE -- outgoing concern for the good of
others -- the way of humility, obedience to and love for their
MAKER, of giving, serving, cooperating, and sharing. They turned
to THE WAY of vanity, lust and greed, of rebellion, jealousy, and
envy, of competition, strife, and violence, of resentment,
bitterness, and destruction. Obviously the other two thirds of
the angels and archangels have remained holy, loyal, and obedient
to GOD'S government.
But now, to carry out God's PURPOSE for the inhabitants of
this earth, to accomplish the grand and awesome PURPOSE
throughout the entire universe that could have been Lucifer's and
his angels, GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF THROUGH HUMAN BEINGS!
The super archangel Lucifer was the supreme pinnacle of
God's creative power in a created being. When he turned to
rebellion, it left ONLY GOD Himself who could be utterly relied
on NEVER to deviate from God's WAY -- God's GOVERNMENT. It is
impossible for God to sin -- because He WILL NOT! It now became
God's purpose to reproduce Himself through human beings.
That required the development in human beings of God's own
holy, righteous CHARACTER. It was necessary, for this purpose,
that man be composed of physical matter, that he CHOOSE God's
government, reject Lucifer's (now Satan's) self-centered
rebellious way, and strive to overcome it. God's PURPOSE in
having put humans on earth can be achieved only by man coming to
choose God's GOVERNMENT as God's way of life -- to reject with
utter finality Satan's way, completely overcoming it.
So God created MAN out of physical matter. God created in
man a MIND like God's, though of course inferior, because it was
composed of physical brain, empowered with intellect by a spirit
(essence) in each.
Although the holy and righteous CHARACTER to be developed
within man must actually come from God, each human must make his
own decision. He must make his own choice to reject Satan's WAY,
strive against it, and to obey God's GOVERNMENT
Adam was compelled, therefore, to make the choice. God
purposely allowed Satan opportunity to confront Adam with his way
of rebellion. But He did NOT allow Satan to get to Adam first.
God Himself instructed Adam in GOD'S WAY -- the way of the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD based on the LAW OF GOD, just as Lucifer and
his angels had been first instructed in the ways of THE
GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
Then God allowed Satan to confront Adam. Satan got to Adam
through his wife. Satan subtilely deceived Eve into DISBELIEVING
what God had taught them. Adam followed her in choosing rebellion
and rejecting God's rule and government over them. They took to
themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is
evil -- deciding for themselves right from wrong.
Then, something happened to the minds of Adam and Eve -- the
eyes of both of them were opened (Genesis 3:7). The spirit and
attitude of rebellion had entered their minds. Their minds
(hearts) now had become perverted -- deceitful and desperately
wicked.
And THAT EVIL IN THEM CAME FROM SATAN, NOT FROM GOD! They
were NOT created with this evil nature.
But how did humanity, today, come to have this evil attitude
we call "HUMAN NATURE"? Did the children of Adam and Eve inherit
it from them? Or, was it passed on by heredity?
Let me give you an example of heredity. God put Adam to
sleep and removed one of his ribs, out of which He made Eve. Do
all men today find themselves short one rib by heredity? Of
course not. Acquired characteristics are not passed on by
heredity.
Adam and Eve chose and acquired the "nature" or attitude of
sin from Satan. It was not passed on by heredity. Jesus Christ
called their second son "righteous Abel."
Then how do we humans come to have (universally) this evil
attitude we call human nature today?
It's partly explained in the apostle Paul's second letter to
the Corinthian Church. He said he desired to present that Church
"as a chaste virgin to Christ. BUT I fear, lest by any means, as
the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II
Corinthians 11:2-3).
Satan was still around when Paul wrote. (The reason is
explained elsewhere.) The people at Corinth had not received this
evil nature by heredity. Rather, the apostle feared lest they (in
this NEW Testament time) should be beguiled into evil attitudes
in the same manner as was the original mother Eve -- directly by
Satan.
Eve did not have a mind that was evil before Satan came
along and confronted her. But Satan, by subtileness, deceived
Eve. Eve's children were not born with this evil nature. Nor were
the people of the Corinthian Church. But Paul feared lest Satan,
still around after some 4,000 years, pervert Corinthian minds
directly, as he had done to Eve.
Satan was still around when Christ was born. He tried to
destroy the Christ child by having Him murdered. Satan was still
around when Jesus was thirty and baptized. And he tried to
destroy Jesus spiritually then, in the temptation. As Satan
destroyed (spiritually) Adam, he tried to destroy the "second
Adam." Satan is still around TODAY!
But the wily Satan has succeeded in deluding many, if not
most, of the best minds into believing he is a nonexistent myth.
The best minds, unsuspecting, are deceived (Rev. 12:9).
Here is a TRUTH you, the reader, NEED TO KNOW!
To the Church at Ephesus, God said through the apostle Paul
(Ephesians 2:1-2): "And you [who] ... in time past ... walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of
the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children
of disobedience ...."
GRASP IT! Satan is here called "the prince of the power of
the AIR!" I could not have understood that sixty years ago. I did
not then realize how communication by sound and by picture can be
broadcast instantaneously through the air.
In past chapters I have stressed the point that Satan, the
former great archangel cherub Lucifer, was the most perfect and
powerful being that God could create as an individual being. He
was perfect as originally created. But he is composed of spirit,
and thus he is invisible to human eyes.
This great and powerful being, even though evil, has power
literally to surcharge the air around this earth. HE BROADCASTS!
Wherever you are as you read these words, chances are there
are voices and perhaps music in the air around you. A radio or TV
set tuned to the right wavelength would make them audible and
visible to you.
The spirit in every human being is automatically tuned in on
Satan's wavelength. You don't hear anything because he does not
broadcast in words -- nor in sounds, whether music or otherwise. He
broadcasts in ATTITUDES. He broadcasts in attitudes of
SELF-centeredness, lust, greed, vanity, jealousy, envy,
resentment, competition, strife, bitterness, and hate.
In a word, the selfishness, hostility, deceitfulness,
wickedness, rebellion, etc. that we call "HUMAN NATURE" is
actually SATAN'S NATURE. It is Satan's ATTITUDE. And broad
casting it, surcharging the air with it, Satan actually NOW WORKS
IN the unsuspecting all over the world today! That is HOW Satan
deceives the whole world today (Rev. 12:9 and 20:3). Being
invisible, people do not see or hear him.
This prince of the power of the air -- this god of this
world -- IS THE REAL SOURCE OF WHAT WE HAVE COME TO CALL "HUMAN
NATURE''!
Here is the real CAUSE of all the world's evils!
But it seems nobody understands it, and therefore the world
does nothing about it -- except to go along with it blaming human
nature and supposing it was GOD who created us with an evil
nature when actually it is Satan's.
Let me give you an illustration of how we can be swayed,
influenced, and driven by Satan's broadcasting through the air.
When God wanted to cause captive Jews in ancient Babylon to
return to Jerusalem to build the second temple, He put it in the
mind of Cyrus, king of Persia. The Persian Empire had taken over
the rule of empire from Babylon. Following is the explanation of
how God moved Cyrus to do what God wanted.
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia ... the
[Eternal] stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he
made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom ..." (Ezra 1:1)
that a contingent of Jews return to Jerusalem.
God did not speak to Cyrus in words or direct communication,
as He talked with Moses and God's prophets. God reached Cyrus
through Cyrus's spirit. God stirred up his spirit, causing him to
want to do it. God did cause King Cyrus to know that in issuing
this proclamation he was doing it according to the will of God.
Utilizing this same principle, Satan, prince of THE POWER OF
THE AIR, stirs the spirits of humans, injecting into them
attitudes, moods, and impulses of selfishness, vanity, lust, and
greed, attitudes of resentment against authority, of jealousy and
envy, of competition and strife, of resentment and bitterness, of
violence, murder, and war. People do not recognize the source of
these attitudes, feelings, motives, and impulses. As I said, they
do not SEE the invisible Satan. They hear no audible voice. They
do not know the attitude came from Satan (Rev. 12:9). But they
come to FEEL such attitudes, impulses, and desires. That is how
Satan DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD.
People will feel depressed and won't realize why. But those
unaware of this phenomenon, with this self-centered attitude
being broadcast and injected into their unsuspecting minds from
earliest childhood, do, to a greater or lesser degree, absorb it
until it becomes their normal attitude. It becomes habitual. It
does not, of course, exhibit the same degree of effect in all
minds -- one person will become more evil than another. But the
natural tendency is there. They come to have it naturally. It
becomes their very NATURE. And we call it "human nature."
All this is an outstanding example of just how subtile Satan
is! The finest and most brilliant human minds have been deceived
by it. Thus the WHOLE WORLD has been swayed by Satan into what I
often term, simply, the "GET" way of life -- the way that has
become HABITUAL and NATURAL which we term "HUMAN NATURE."
Few realize how many passages in the Bible, especially in
the New Testament, warn us about Satan and his subtileness. But
first, before I take you to more of these, let us follow on
through this second chapter of Ephesians.
In chapter 1 of this letter to the Church at Ephesus, the
apostle Paul gives thanks and praise to God who has blessed "us"
(the converts at Ephesus and Paul -- also all Christians) with
every spiritual blessing within the heavenly sphere. God had
chosen us before we were born -- before the foundation of the
world -- being predestined to be called to spiritual salvation. God
has richly lavished on us His grace. He shows that we being
called in this time -- this New Testament ''church age" -- are the
first to be called to this glorious grace (emphasizing that this
is NOT the time God is trying to save all the world, but only
those predestined to be called NOW). Paul had heard of their
faith and prayed for their eyes to be opened fully to the awesome
human potential -- the supreme greatness of their divine heritage.
I urgently suggest the reader carefully read this first
chapter in the Moffatt translation. As translated by Moffatt I
think it is one of the most beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring
pieces of literature I have ever read.
Now the highlights of chapter 2: You Christians at Ephesus
were spiritually dead, but Christ has given you the impregnation
of eternal life. You are now spiritually alive. In the past you
lived according to the way of this world (the SELF-centered way),
according to the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR. In II
Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called the god of this world, who has
blinded the minds of those who do not believe in Christ and His
truth. NOT that they inherited this spiritual blindness -- but that
Satan blinded those living in that generation directly.
And in Ephesians 2 Satan is referred to as the PRINCE OF THE
POWER OF THE AIR! Notice the word POWER -- the POWER of the air.
Then it calls him the SPIRIT (being) that NOW -- the time when they
were living -- actually was WORKING IN those of the world who were
not obedient -- that is, the world in general. The Phillips
translation in modern English renders this: "You [then] drifted
along in the stream of this world's ideas of living, and obeyed
its unseen ruler [who is still operating in those who do not
respond to the truth of God]."
Emphatically this shows Satan is the UNSEEN one who,
unrealized by the people, is actually swaying their minds,
leading them in what I term the "GET" way.
The Phillips translation continues (verse 3): "We all lived
like that in the past, and followed the impulses and imaginations
of our evil nature ... like everyone else." This "nature" has
been acquired from Satan. It was not inherited from our parents.
It was not created in us by God. That which has become habitual
and therefore natural becomes a NATURE within us.
Such nature IS NOT hereditary, but an acquired
characteristic. This very passage shows the AUTHOR of this
"nature" to be Satan, NOT GOD. The next words in the Phillips
translation are: "being under the wrath of God by nature." It
would make no sense at all for God's wrath to be on us BECAUSE OF
WHAT GOD PUT WITHIN US. Adam was NOT created with this "EVIL
nature." Adam acquired it from Satan. Lucifer (Satan) was created
PERFECT. He acquired it by false reasoning. These Ephesians, in
their generation, had acquired it from Satan. But now, IN CHRIST,
through His grace, Christ had given them LIFE, who were
spiritually dead because of this acquired evil nature.
But how about the converted Christian? His spirit (mind),
like all others, is tuned on Satan's wavelength. The same
tendency, just as if this evil nature were inherent in him from
birth, is present. Satan has been injecting it since early
childhood. But the true Christian has repented of that WAY. He
has REJECTED it. He has turned from it. He has accepted and
turned to GOD'S way -- the way of GOD'S GOVERNMENT!
The passage in Ephesians 2 explains it. People generally, in
the world, are spiritually dead. They have gone along with the
rest of the world in the self-centered way. As the Phillips
translation renders it, they have "drifted along on the stream of
this world's way of living." They have "obeyed its UNSEEN ruler
[who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth
of God]."
I have quoted from the Phillips translation, not because it
is a more accurate or dependable translation, but because it
brought out the meaning more clearly in this particular passage.
Conversion does not disconnect Satan's wavelength. The
tendency to become resentful over real or fancied wrongs or
injustices from others, the tendency to try to get the best of
others, may still prove a temptation. THESE are the things the
converted Christian must strive to overcome!
When Jesus spoke of OVERCOMING, He referred to overcoming
these WAYS of Satan, which are contrary to GOD'S way. The
Christian must, as Peter was inspired to write, GROW in grace and
in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We read in James 4: "Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." This is speaking of
resisting these very self-centered thoughts, attitudes,
tendencies, and ways which Satan injected into us from childhood
and is constantly broadcasting and injecting into unsuspecting
minds through the spirit in man.
However, no man is IMPELLED to respond to and obey these
impulses being broadcast by Satan. Satan has no power of duress
to FORCE anyone to think or do wrong. But the unsuspecting
automatically do without fully realizing what is taking place in
their minds. They "drift along."
The passage in II Corinthians 4:4 adds clarity to the entire
thesis that this evil spiritual nature in humans has been
acquired, individually by each person, from Satan.
Before I became familiar with radio, I could not have
understood HOW Satan injects this evil attitude into humans. He
is a SUPER POWERFUL spirit being. He was set on a throne as king
over the earth. He himself, by his own reasoning processes,
acquired this evil nature. God did not create it in him (Ezek.
28:15). Though disqualified now to administer the GOVERNMENT OF
GOD over the earth, he must remain here UNTIL his successor has
qualified AND been inducted into office. There is a REASON why
Christ has not YET come to take over that office, remove Satan,
and restore the government of God.
Before Jesus Christ could qualify to restore the GOVERNMENT
OF GOD and RULE all nations, He had to withstand Satan's most
severe temptation. You'll read of that supreme struggle in the
fourth chapter of Matthew. Jesus had to -- in human flesh -- reject
Satan's way and teach and prove OBEDIENT to the GOVERNMENT OF
GOD -- so He can RESTORE it on earth!
It was immediately after that -- after Christ QUALIFIED to
restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth -- that Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying,
"The time is fulfilled" (Mark 1:1, 14-15). It was never fulfilled
until that titanic struggle in which Jesus resisted Satan,
conquered him, and showed His MASTERY over him.
Now notice something you probably never realized before:
I have said repeatedly THIS IS NOT THE TIME GOD IS TRYING TO
CONVERT THE WHOLE WORLD. He is calling only a comparative VERY
FEW, now.
WHY? WHY does not God call everyone on earth NOW?
Are those of us called NOW getting a real SPECIAL deal?
Well, THINK OF THIS: We, now called, must resist Satan, who
will PULL OUT ALL STOPS to attack and DESTROY those of us called
NOW!
All others are drifting along SATAN'S WAY ANYWAY. Sure, he
broadcasts to sway everyone to his SELF-centered way, contrary to
GOD'S WAY. But he has the whole world already going his way. But
those of us who have turned from his way are fighting to OVERCOME
his way, and turning to GOD'S way -- the WAY of God's
GOVERNMENT -- are the ones Satan HATES. He seeks specially to
destroy us! Without God's protection and restraining power over
Satan, we could never make it!
Few, even among professing converted Christians, realize the
vital and SUPREME NEED to be conscious and constantly aware of
Satan's efforts to get to US, who already have turned from
Satan's way and to the WAY of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. For this
very reason, Satan has gotten to and overthrown many who have
fallen away (II Thes. 2:3).
Few actively heed what God, through Paul, said later to the
Ephesians: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in
the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye
may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against POWERS, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness [wicked SPIRITS] in HIGH PLACES"
(Eph. 6:10-12).
There is a reason WHY God allows those predestinated to be
called NOW to have to withstand Satan and his REBELLION AGAINST
THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
It is necessary -- in order for us to QUALIFY to become rulers
(under Christ) in the KINGDOM OF GOD -- that we NOT ONLY reject
Satan's false way but strive against it until we OVERCOME IT,
relying all the while on GOD for the power to do so.
As we, from earliest childhood growing up, acquired Satan's
nature, so, through conversion and the struggle of OVERCOMING, we
rid ourselves of it. We ACQUIRE, instead, the DIVINE NATURE.
Peter wrote that we become "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE" (II
Pet. 1:4). We most certainly were not born with it.
So, Lucifer ACQUIRED that "satanic" nature by his own
reasoning and choice. Humans have ACQUIRED Satan's nature from
childhood and call it "human nature." But converted Christians,
who reject Satan's way and OVERCOME it, turning to GOD'S WAY,
BECOME PARTAKERS OF -- i.e., ACQUIRE -- the DIVINE NATURE. But for
God's PURPOSE, it was necessary that we first know and totally
REJECT Satan's way and accept GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
When God does set out to CALL EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH to
spiritual salvation, Satan will be BOUND a thousand years, unable
to broadcast his impulses and attitudes. The world will be at
PEACE! Those called then will not have to battle what we do now.
But WHY? There has to be a REASON!
To those of us being called, NOW, Jesus said: "And he that
overcometh [Satan and his own self], and keepeth my works unto
the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall
rule them with a rod of iron ..." (Rev. 2:26-27).
When Christ comes to RULE, as the KING of kings and LORD of
lords, we who are called now will rule with and under Him, as He
restores the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to this earth.
Notice again: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down
with my father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21). Those who shall reign
WITH Christ, when He comes to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, MUST
OVERCOME (and that includes overcoming SATAN), EVEN AS JESUS DID!
Now does this apply equally to those who shall be converted
after Christ comes, during the Millennium?
The answer is NO! These two quotations (above) are found in
Jesus' message to the seven CHURCHES that span this CHURCH AGE!
They do NOT apply to those called later! Do they apply only to
the era of Thyatira and Laodicea? No, they apply to ALL the
Church age. These seven messages DO apply to seven successive
Church eras. BUT they also apply to the WHOLE CHURCH through ALL
eras. In other words, the Ephesus characteristics DOMINATED in
the first era, and the Laodicean will dominate in the last, but
SOME of these characteristics are found in EVERY era. The
messages apply to the WHOLE Church (and so I have said and
written for more than fifty years) but certain characteristics
predominate in the various eras.
But GET THIS CRUX POINT! Jesus had to QUALIFY to RULE the
earth. God's WHOLE PURPOSE IS TO RESTORE THE GOVERN MENT of GOD
on earth and set up the KINGDOM OF GOD. Jesus had to resist and
overcome the temptations -- very special ones -- of SATAN. Are WE to
rule without any such qualifications? Of course not! Those who
are to rule with and under Christ when He restores the GOVERNMENT
to the earth MUST QUALIFY -- must turn FROM Satan's WAY TO GOD'S
WAY, that is, to the GOVERNMENT of GOD. We must root out -- root
and branch -- Satan's ATTITUDE and WAY, and so thoroughly that we
shall make it IMPOSSIBLE ever to turn again to Satan's
way -- IMPOSSIBLE TO SIN (I John 3:9).
Those called to spiritual salvation AFTER Christ comes will
not have to battle Satan.
Notice, Matthew 25 and Revelation 20:
First, Matthew 25, beginning verse 31: "When the Son of man
shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then
shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." Christ is coming in
all the supreme POWER and GLORY of the Creator GOD! He is coming
to RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the WHOLE EARTH -- over ALL
NATIONS! One SUPER WORLD GOVERNMENT! He will restore the throne
of David at Jerusalem. Since 1968 the Ambassador International
Cultural Foundation, through the auspices of the Worldwide Church
of God has been in joint participation with Hebrew University and
the Israel Archaeological Society in excavations in Jerusalem,
and recently in clearing off some fifty feet or more of debris
which has covered the ancient throne of David, which existed some
2,500 years ago.
Continue: "And before him shall be gathered all nations"
(verse 32). He is coming to RULE the WORLD -- to RESTORE the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
Every government is founded on a basic LAW. The law of God
is unlike any man-made law of any human government. It is a
SPIRITUAL law (Rom. 7:14). And it is a HOLY law (Rom. 7:12). It
is A WAY OF LIFE -- God's way! When people are governed in that way
of life, there will be PEACE, HAPPINESS, JOY, ABUNDANCE!
But that basic LAW of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD is also the law
of the Christian WAY of life. Sin is the transgression of that
law (I John 3:4). Christ is coming also to call ALL PEOPLE to
spiritual salvation and eternal life. That is when God will seek
to spiritually save THE WHOLE WORLD -- and NOT TILL THEN!
Continue: "And he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats: and he shall set the
sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall
the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world" (Matthew 25:32-34).
The nations before the king on his throne are the nations of
this world. Those called to and qualified for salvation during
that Church age and previously (prophets, etc.), will have been
resurrected to meet Christ in the air, as He descends to earth on
His return (I Thes. 4:16-17). They will be ruling with Christ,
already being immortal, composed of Spirit (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).
They, with Christ, will compose the KINGDOM OF GOD.
It is necessary, here, to explain the difference between the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD and the KINGDOM OF GOD. The GOVERNMENT of God
was established on earth IN PRE-HISTORY OVER THE ANGELS.
But the KINGDOM of God is BOTH the GOVERNMENT of God and the
FAMILY of God. Those now being saved spiritually will, in the
resurrection, INHERIT the Kingdom of God. They shall have been
BORN of God -- born into the Divine FAMILY of God. They shall be
married to Christ. Of this divine spiritual marriage, children of
God will be begotten and born spiritually all during the thousand
years commencing with Christ's return to earth as KING.
Now let's notice the twentieth chapter of Revelation:
The apostle John is recording what he saw in vision: "And I
saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the
bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on
the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and
bound him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:1-2).
When Christ comes again to earth in supreme POWER and GLORY,
He shall already have been crowned with many crowns. The
coronation ceremony will have taken place in heaven (the throne
of God the Father) before His return. Christ then shall have been
qualified AND inducted into office. I have said before, Satan
must remain on earth swaying the nations his way UNTIL Christ,
the successor, has both qualified AND been inducted into office.
Immediately on Christ's return, Satan shall be BOUND.
Continue: "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 should be fulfilled: and
after that he must be loosed a little season" (verse 3).
Those resurrected then shall reign over all nations with
Christ -- and a thousand years of PEACE on earth will ensue.
Imagine what it shall be like with Christ and resurrected
saints forming the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling with the GOVERN MENT OF
GOD over all living humans who shall be left alive. Satan will be
restrained from broadcasting. Christ will be ruling with GOD'S
WAY of life.
But NOW NOTICE! Verse 7: "And when the thousand years are
expired, Satan shall be loosed out of this prison, and shall go
out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the
earth ... to gather them together to battle: the number of whom
is as the sand of the sea" (verses 7-8).
Grasp it! These are people at PEACE! They shall not be
inoculated with the satanic NATURE we now call "human nature."
They shall have been living happily in PERFECT PEACE. Now Satan
once more BROADCASTS. Remember these nations are HUMAN. Satan is
INVISIBLE to them. But notice the CHANGE come over them as soon
as Satan is loosed and able again to sway humanity:
Verse 9: "And they [the human nations] went up on the
breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about,
and the beloved city...." Immediately "HUMAN NATURE" shall
have entered into them! Immediately they shall have been filled
with envy and jealousy against the saints of God, filled with
wrath and violence! But God will not allow them to destroy. They
shall have been told -- have been warned about Satan. "... and
fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the
devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone ... and shall be tormented day and night for ever and
ever."
After this shall occur the Great White Throne Judgment -- the
resurrection of all humanity from the time of Adam to Christ's
Second Coming who had not been in the first resurrection or
called by God. In this judgment is to be "the book of life,"
meaning many, perhaps most, shall then find spiritual salvation
and eternal life. In the time of their judgment, Satan will be
GONE!
Up to now, God has called VERY FEW to spiritual salvation,
contrary to general tradition and opinion in the "Christian"
world!
From Adam to Noah we have the record of only Abel, Enoch,
and Noah -- some 1,900 years! From Noah to Christ, there was
Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, prior to calling the
children of Israel out of Egypt. God NEVER offered spiritual
salvation (eternal life) to the Old Testament nation Israel, but
only to the prophets and those called to SPECIAL DUTY.
From Adam to Christ, NONE were called to spiritual salvation
except those called to perform a SPECIAL MISSION.
From Christ to now, only a VERY MINUTE PORTION of humanity
has been called, and they for the SPECIAL MISSION of THE GREAT
COMMISSION -- "Go ye into all the world and preach the GOSPEL" (of
the KINGDOM OF GOD).
We who have been called in this "church age" have been
called to qualify as rulers with and under Christ in the Kingdom
of God, restoring the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, in other words, to
develop the holy, righteous CHARACTER of God. But OUR PART in the
GREAT COMMISSION is the assignment God has given as THE MEANS of
preparing us for rulership with and under Christ when He
comes -- and THAT IS NOW SOON!
This chapter began with the question of whether this evil
"human nature" is born in a sweet tiny baby. Let me now just
quote three passages from the Bible.
"And they brought unto him [Jesus] also infants, that he
would touch them.... Jesus called them unto him, and said,
Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for
of such is the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:15-16). The evil nature
which some erroneously have supposed was born in babies is the
nature of Satan's kingdom, but "of such" -- these babies -- is the
Kingdom of GOD.
"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a
little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and
said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of
heaven" (Matt. 18:1-3).
"Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to
come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.
19:14).
We humans start out at birth all right. We begin our human
life with neither the "human nature" from Satan nor the Divine
nature which may be imparted only by the Holy Spirit. But soon we
begin to absorb and ACQUIRE the selfish, self-centered attitude
broadcast by Satan. But Satan's kingdom of angels -- now turned to
demons -- rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, and it was thus removed
from earth.
GOD'S PURPOSE in having created and put HUMANS on earth was
to develop in them GOD'S own holy and righteous character. God
wants a people who will REJECT and overcome Satan's WAY OF LIFE
and turn to THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD -- which is GOD'S WAY of life.
That GOVERNMENT OF GOD exists at this time on earth only
through those that are being led by God's Spirit within the
Church of God. Satan is angry. He hates it! He subtily tries to
inject into minds under that government of LOVE a hostility that
MISrepresents it as a harsh and cruel government of Satan.
But I repeat, LUCIFER was created by God "perfect in all his
ways, until iniquity was found in him." He acquired the nature of
rebellion and evil by false reasoning. Adam acquired it from
Satan. The Ephesians (Eph. 2:1) acquired it from Satan -- as has
all humanity, except Jesus Christ. But now, IN CHRIST, through
His grace, we may ACQUIRE the DIVINE NATURE OF GOD (II Pet. 1:4).
God's GREAT PURPOSE is to RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to
this earth, in and through the KINGDOM OF GOD!
We CAN, by Christ's grace, CHANGE "human nature" and
eradicate it entirely from us, replacing it with the DIVINE
NATURE!



Chapter XII

Is There Life After Death?


Why this mystery about life after death? WHY so many beliefs of
so many different religions? How can we KNOW? Can we believe God?
Adam and Eve didn't. Few believed Christ -- that is, few believed
what He SAID! Could we believe God -- if He told us?
I said to my wife more than fifty years ago, "I know the
Bible says, 'Thou shalt keep Sunday.' " "How do you know?" she
asked. "Did you read it?"
"No, but I know it's there, because all these Christian
churches get their religion from the Bible, and they all keep
Sunday."
"Why don't you look it up and show it to me?" she
challenged.
But I couldn't find it.
I chanced to read in Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is DEATH
school they taught me the wages we earn for sinning is IMMORTAL
LIFE, not death -- eternal life in hell fire." Then I read the
remainder of the verse "... but the GIFT of God is eternal
life...."
"That's a shocker!" I expressed, further surprised. "I
thought I already had eternal life. I'm an IMMORTAL SOUL."
I had left church and Sunday school when I was eighteen. But
I had been brought up in an established and respectable Christian
denomination. I became intrigued. I had heard the preacher say,
"The Bible says, when we all get to HEAVEN...." I chanced to
read where Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven." And
after reading a few more plain biblical statements, I began to
believe that even the churches TODAY do not believe what Jesus
SAID!
Yes, more than fifty years ago my mind was swept clean of
all previous teaching, suppositions and ideas about things
relating to God. I had then proved the infallible inspiration of
the Bible in its original writing.
I was right to believe what God says in His Word.
What does the Bible say about life after death? Did anyone
ever die and then actually experience a life after death -- and who
could PROVE IT and explain to us what that life was like?
The answer is YES. Jesus Christ Himself died and was DEAD.
But He rose from the dead and was seen by MANY -- including His
disciples, who had been with Him for three and a half years
before He died, and forty days after His resurrection. And they
went about loudly proclaiming that they were eyewitnesses of His
LIFE AFTER DEATH.
In I Cor. 15:22-23, you will read: "For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive [after death]. But
every man in his own order...."
The fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians is the "resurrection
chapter" of the Bible. Its subject is the resurrection to LIFE,
after death! But there is, in God's Master Plan an order -- or
succession -- of resurrections.
Continue: "Christ the firstfruits" -- this occurred more than
1900 years ago -- "afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.
Then cometh the end ..." (verses 23-24).
Later in this chapter a great deal will be said about the
resurrection of those "that are Christ's" -- Spirit-begotten
Christians. But what of the others?
The same ALL who die in Adam, it says, "in Christ shall . .
says, "... they that are Christ's [shall be resurrected] at his
[second] coming" -- now imminent -- in our present generation. "Then
cometh the end" (verse 24) -- but the details of the resurrection
of others -- the overwhelming majority of all who ever lived -- are
recorded elsewhere.
In Rev. 20 we find described two more resurrections.
First, verse 4, the saints who are Christ's are to live and
reign on the earth with Christ for one thousand years. Satan will
be put away (verses 1-2) but the rest of those who have died will
not live again until after that thousand years (verse 5). Then,
beginning verse 11:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was
found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great,
stand before God" (the second resurrection); "and the books were
opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:
and the dead were judged ... according to their works."
This will be by far the GREATEST resurrection, in numbers
resurrected. It will include the BILLIONS who have lived CUT OFF
from God -- who were not then judged.
The Bible is essentially the Book concerning the nation
Israel. The resurrection of all of them, not previously called to
spiritual salvation, is recorded in Ezek. 37.
The prophet Ezekiel was taken in a vision and set down in a
valley filled with very dry bones. In verse 11 it is recorded
that God told him that these bones were the whole house of
Israel. They -- these dead skeletons -- were pictured saying, "Our
bones are dried and our hope is lost."
But the prophet was told to say to these dry skeletons,
"Thus saith the [Eternal] God, Behold, O my people, I will open
your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and
bring you into the land of Israel."
In the vision, before God explained to the prophet the
identity of the great valley of skeletons, the prophet was told
to say to the dry bones, "Thus saith the [Eternal] God ...
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you,
and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall
live" (verses 5-6). Now back to verse 13: "And ye shall know that
I am the Eternal, when I have opened your graves, O my people,
and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my spirit in
you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land:
then shall ye know that I the Eternal have spoken it, and
performed it, saith the Eternal."
This prophecy is of a resurrection to mortal flesh-and-blood
life -- not a resurrection, like that of the saints at Christ's
Second Coming, to immortal Spirit-composed self-existent life.
God had never offered Old Testament Israel His Spirit, or
spiritual salvation. Only material and national promises -- and
even that for obedience which they refused to give.
But now, in this Great White Throne resurrection, along with
all other peoples who had been CUT OFF from God, these Israelites
(including those who were uncalled even after Christ came), would
be resurrected to mortal, breathing, flesh-and-blood life. They
all, hopefully, are then to come to really KNOW that the Eternal
is Lord, and He shall, upon their eventual conversion, put His
Holy Spirit within them. They, too -- along with all of every
nation, who had not been specially called prior to the
Millennium, shall live again physically in this resurrection. And
after a period of growth and overcoming, then shall come their
spiritual salvation -- with no Satan around to deceive them!
Now back to Revelation 20. Verses 13 to 15 indicate that
there will then be a last, final resurrection of the incorrigible
who have rejected the eternal salvation offered them. They, with
any such living at the end of the Millennium, will then die the
second death -- utter extinction -- in the lake of fire, described by
Peter as the face of the earth becoming a molten mass.
Malachi adds: "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as
an oven, and the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be
stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the
[Eternal] of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor
branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of
righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go
forth ... and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be
ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do
this, saith the [Eternal] of hosts" (Mal. 4:1-3)."... and they
shall be as though they had not been" (Obad. 16).
But, what, in the meantime -- what between the second of one's
death and the resurrection? The Bible teaching, contrary to much
religious and church teaching -- that is the WORD OF GOD
teaching -- is that the dead ARE DEAD -- utterly unconscious.
Notice the inspired wisdom of Solomon: "For the living know
that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing ..." -- the
RSV translates it, "the dead KNOW NOTHING" (Eccl. 9:5).
Recently a Worldwide Church of God minister told me of
experiences he has had with three successive would-be suicides.
Each time he said to them, "Well, go right ahead -- but first you'd
better learn what happens at the moment you die. So far as your
consciousness goes, the next fraction of a second you will wake
up in the resurrection -- and if you commit this self-murder,
you'll still be facing all your problems, and the guilt of this
SELF-MURDER crime in addition. Why not solve the problems NOW,
before you commit this murder?" Not one of the three went on
through with his intended suicide!
So, there's nothing to gain by "ending it all," thinking
that is the easy way out. Death only brings instant awakening in
the resurrection. You will know absolutely NOTHING from the
second you die, till the second you awake in the resurrection.
These men, the minister explained, had supposed that suicide
would END IT ALL -- and they'd be out of their troubles, but when
they learned they would still have their troubles plus a MURDER
charge against them in THAT JUDGMENT, it no longer seemed that
suicide was the "quick way out of it all."
No, death is not a friend, but an ENEMY! Christ came to
DESTROY DEATH -- to make a happy, peaceful, abundant life possible
for all -- for each in his own due time. He came that we might have
LIFE, "and have it more abundantly."
There most certainly is life after death -- and Christ made
possible a transcendent human potential so great it seems
incredible. He came to DIE in our stead -- to pay the penalty we
have incurred for us, and to GIVE US LIFE!
Christ Himself taught that there is LIFE AFTER DEATH.
He taught the Pharisee, Nicodemus, but Nicodemus didn't
believe Him! Jesus said to him, "... I have told you earthly
things, and ye believe not" (John 3:12).
Why didn't the Pharisee, Nicodemus, understand when Jesus
said to him: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God"?
Why do people not understand those words today? How many
know, today, that Jesus' gospel was a sensational,
never-before-proclaimed NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT?


Jesus Was a Newscaster

Those in Judea knew -- or should have known -- Malachi's prophecy
concerning this. It was the gospel of God -- and the word "gospel"
means GOOD NEWS!
Jesus was a NEWSCASTER. His news was something absolutely
NEW -- never before proclaimed to mankind. It was the most
wonderful NEWS ever reported, actually almost too wonderful for
humans to believe. It was news of the utterly transcendent
potential of man.
The tremendous message that Jesus brought was not a report
of past events. It was ADVANCE news of an almost unbelievable
UTOPIAN WORLD TOMORROW! It was news of life after death. And it
was news that we may be BORN AGAIN! Yet almost nobody understands
it!
Why has it never been recognized by the world as the
stupendous NEWS that it actually was?
Because first-century enemies of the gospel SUPPRESSED IT!
The Church of God, on the foundation of the original
apostles and Christ, was founded on the Day of Pentecost, A.D.
31. About two decades later, when the apostle Paul wrote his
letter to the churches of Galatia, it had already been sup
pressed, and false ministers had turned the people to a DIFFERENT
GOSPEL. Paul wrote, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from
him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and
would pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7). Again, in
Romans 1:18: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their
wickedness suppress the truth" (RSV). And in II Corinthians 11
Paul speaks of false apostles of Satan (verses 13-15) who come
preaching "another gospel" (verses 4, 13, 15).
The time was at hand, when Jesus preached, for this message
to be announced! The time is at hand, today, for its true MEANING
to be made so PLAIN that people may UNDERSTAND IT! (Matt. 24:14.)
It WILL BE, in this chapter. And it is a crucial CHALLENGE
to you who now read it! And you have to UNDERSTAND what was that
news announcement, or you can never UNDERSTAND what Jesus meant
about being "born again."


What Was the News?

Notice, briefly, first, what that astonishing NEWS message was!
The preannouncement, in Malachi's prophecy, says: "Behold, I will
send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and
the Lord, whom ye seek [the Messiah], shall suddenly come to his
temple, even the messenger of the covenant ..." (Mal. 3:1).
Now notice the beginning of the MESSENGER'S proclamation of
the MESSAGE. It is recorded in Mark's gospel, chapter 1: "The
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is
written in the prophets ...." Then follows the citation from
Malachi, written above. That is followed by the account of John
the Baptist, preparing the way before the messenger.
Then, verses 14-15: "Now after that John was put in prison,
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of
God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is
at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" -- that is, BELIEVE the
good news!


What IS the Kingdom of God?

What did He mean -- the Kingdom of God? Jesus' whole message -- His
gospel -- was about the KINGDOM OF GOD! Yet few know anything about
it, today.
A kingdom is (a) a NATION composed of people, and (b) the
GOVERNMENT of the nation. And a more complete eye-opening
explanation will follow in chapter 13.
In some cases, the people of a nation are the
descendants -- the children -- of one man. The nation of Turkey was
descended from ancient Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, whose
name was changed to Israel. He was the father of the nation
Israel. Before the twins were born, God said to their mother,
Rebekah, "Two nations are in thy womb ..." (Gen. 25:23).
Now Jesus the Messiah was to come as "the messenger of the
COVENANT." The "old covenant" had established the human children
of Israel as a NATION or KINGDOM of humans, called the KINGDOM OF
ISRAEL. Jesus came as the messenger -- heralding the message of the
NEW covenant that shall set up the Spirit-composed children of
GOD as the Kingdom of God!
As the ancient kingdom of Israel was composed of the human
FAMILY of the human man Israel, so the Kingdom of God will be
composed of the Divine Family of the Divine God!
And what does this have to do with life after death? It has
everything to do with it!


WHY Jewish Rulers Rejected the Message

The Jewish rulers of Jesus' day thought He was proclaiming a
government to be set up immediately -- to overthrow the Roman
Empire, then ruling Judea as a vassal state.
One of these prominent Jews was a man named Nicodemus,
mentioned earlier. He was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were
hostile to Jesus because of this new gospel. Nicodemus, however,
wanted to meet this astonishing messenger and discuss it with
him. To avoid criticism from his colleagues, he came to Jesus by
night.
"We know," he said, "that you are a teacher come from God."
The "we" implies that the divine identity of the messenger
and the source of His message was known to the Pharisees. But
they were "NOW" people, concerned with protecting their status as
rulers under the Roman government, not with receiving revelations
from God.
Jesus perceived the import of Nicodemus's first words. His
message was the good news of the coming WORLD GOVERNMENT of
GOD -- that is, the KINGDOM OF GOD, which shall rule all nations
with the GOVERNMENT of God.
These Jewish rulers feared that message. Jesus was of their
race -- a Jew. If they did not oppose Him, they feared being shorn
of their power and perhaps put to death as subversives
threatening the overthrow of the Roman govern ment. And the
Pharisees thought Jesus proclaimed the immediate takeover of that
rule!


Not of This Age

Therefore Jesus did not waste words. He struck straight through
to the crux point -- the Kingdom of God is not of this world -- this
time, this age -- but of the WORLD TOMORROW -- a different and a
following AGE. Not composed of humans, but of immortals -- the GOD
FAMILY!
So Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Notice carefully that being "born again" has a vital
connection with the Kingdom of God -- with THE FACT that it is not
of this time -- this age.
But Jesus' abrupt opening statement left Nicodemus confused.
The religious leaders and the hundreds of denominations and sects
professing Christianity today are confused and deceived! Today's
religionists put a different twist on it than did Nicodemus,
however.
Nicodemus did understand clearly what is meant by being
born. He knew it meant being delivered from his mother's womb. It
meant being delivered into the WORLD! Today's religious leaders
read into it a different meaning! What Nicodemus could not
understand was how -- in what manner -- anyone could be born AGAIN!
And of course, being carnal-minded, he could only conceive of a
second physical birth. But he knew what being born meant!


Born Human a Second Time?

Puzzled, he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" He
was not confused about what is meant by being BORN. What
Nicodemus could not understand was a second birth. He thought
Jesus was talking about a second human birth.
He was unable to conceive of any but a second physical
birth. His mind could not grasp spiritual things.
Now Jesus had made clear that the Kingdom of God is
something that can be seen -- but not until or UNLESS one is "born
again." Not during his physical lifetime! Also, verse 5, the
Kingdom of God is something a man may enter into -- but not until
after he is born AGAIN -- another and entirely different birth.
Here is the crux point that explains it all: Jesus said,
"That which is born of the flesh IS flesh: and that which is born
of the Spirit IS spirit."
Man is now flesh -- human. He is MATERIAL SUBSTANCE. "Dust
thou art," said God to Adam, "and unto dust shalt thou return."
Again, "And the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became
a living soul" (Gen. 3:19; 2:7).


Those Born Again to BE Spirit

But, said Jesus plainly, when one is born of the Spirit HE WILL
BE SPIRIT! Look at it! Read it in your own Bible.
The Kingdom of God will be composed of SPIRIT BEINGS -- not of
humans!
At birth of human flesh, one is delivered from his mother's
womb into this world. When born of the Spirit, one will be
delivered from the CHURCH of God (physical) -- the mother of
begotten Christians -- into the KINGDOM of God (a Kingdom of SPIRIT
BEINGS).
Man is now COMPOSED of flesh -- material substance -- matter.
When BORN AGAIN he will BE Spirit -- a SPIRIT BEING, no longer
human. He will be COMPOSED of Spirit-of Spirit composition -- with
life inherent -- with self-containing life -- not then existing by
the breath of air and the circulation of blood.
Of the next age when the Kingdom of God will rule the
world -- the life after death -- the next LIFE -- Jesus said, "They
neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels
of God ..." (Matt. 22:30). Marriage is a physical, fleshly
union. In the age of God's Kingdom, when "born again" we shall BE
Spirit, not flesh. Born of God as SPIRIT BEINGS, no longer human.
Angels are spirits -- composed of Spirit (Heb. 1:7). Jesus did not
say we shall then be angels -- but AS the angels -- sexless and
composed of SPIRIT. Angels are Spirit beings -- created as
such -- but not begotten and BORN of God as God's own born
children. We therefore shall be greater than angels!
Jesus explained this further to Nicodemus: "The wind bloweth
were it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst
not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone
that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
You cannot see wind. Wind is compared to Spirit. It is
INVISIBLE. That's why mortal FLESH, as we now are, cannot SEE the
Kingdom of God. Those who inherit it will be Spirit -- normally
invisible to eyes still human.


Not While Flesh and Blood

The apostle Paul made clear that the Kingdom of God is something
a human may INHERIT, but not in THIS AGE -- not while he is
composed of material flesh.
"The first man is of the earth, earthy [human]: the second
man is the Lord from heaven [a divine God being]" (I Cor. 15:47).
This is what Jesus was saying to Nicodemus. He was of the
earth, earthy -- human. He was flesh, not Spirit. He Was born of
the flesh, so that's what he was -- FLESH. When one is born of the
Spirit, he will BE Spirit. Paul is here explaining the same
truth.
But we cannot BE Spirit in this present age.
THERE IS A TIME ELEMENT CONCERNED WITH BEING BORN AGAIN INTO
GOD'S KINGDOM.
Continue, now, in I Corinthians 15:49: "And as we have borne
the image of the earthy, we shall [future -- resurrection] also
bear the image of the heavenly" (verse 49). As we are now flesh,
we shall be SPIRIT -- at the resurrection, that is, when we shall
be "BORN AGAIN" -- when we shall see, enter into, the Kingdom of
God -- when we are Spirit -- at the resurrection!
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all
sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [the
then living] shall be changed" (verses 50-52). There is the TIME
when we may be born again -- when we may see, enter into, and
inherit the Kingdom -- when "BORN AGAIN," and NOT BEFORE!
How shall we be changed? The next words answer! "For this
corruptible [flesh, as we now are] must put on incorruption
[Spirit -- that which is born of God is Spirit], and this mortal
must put on immortality" -- be changed from material flesh to
Spirit!
Until born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God -- Jesus to
Nicodemus, John 3:3.
Until born again, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of
God -- Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:5.
Until no longer flesh, but changed into SPIRIT, we cannot
enter into the Kingdom of God -- Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:6-8.
While still flesh and blood (as Nicodemus was and we are) we
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God -- Paul to the Corinthians, I
Cor. 15:50.
Until the resurrection, at Christ's coming, we shall not be
changed from corruptible flesh into incorruptible SPIRIT -- Paul, I
Cor. 15:50-53 and verses 22-23.
Until the resurrection, therefore, we cannot see, enter
into, or inherit the Kingdom of God. We CANNOT BE BORN AGAIN
UNTIL THE RESURRECTION!


Now Heirs -- Not Yet Inheritors

While in our present status, born of the flesh and composed of
flesh, we cannot see, enter into, or inherit the Kingdom of God.
Notice, now, the status of the truly converted Christian, in this
life -- this world:
"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
his" (Rom. 8:9). Unless one has received the Holy Spirit, and
this Spirit is dwelling in him, he is not a Christian. Joining a
church does not make one a Christian. Receiving and following
God's Spirit does!


Spiritual Birth Process Compares to Physical

But now see how God's Spirit entering and dwelling in one
compares to the physical sperm impregnating the ovum -- the
imparting of eternal SPIRIT life, later to produce a SPIRIT
PERSON! A fertilized ovum -- an embryo -- is NOT a born human person.
Life from the father has been imparted to it. He has begotten it,
but neither embryo nor fetus is YET a born person. In the same
manner the Spirit-begotten human is not, yet, a SPIRIT PERSON or
BEING, as Jesus said he shall be when born again!
Continue: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus
from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the
dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that
dwelleth in you" (verse 11).
UNDERSTAND THIS! There is a direct comparison between having
been born of the flesh and being born AGAIN of God. Jesus said
that which is born of the flesh is flesh -- a born human. That
which is born of the spirit (God) is Spirit -- a born SPIRIT
PERSON!
A mortal human life starts when a sperm cell from the body
of the father impregnates -- imparts physical LIFE to -- an ovum (egg
cell) in the mother. At this point the father begets, sires. He
does not "bring forth." The mother does that, later. His part in
the PROCESS leading to final birth is then done. BUT THERE IS A
TIME ELEMENT. At the TIME of begettal, birth (parturition) has
not YET occurred.
It is necessary to give this explanation, at this point,
because the popular deception of a deceived traditional
''Christianity'' is to claim that when one ''receives Christ,''
"accepts Christ," "professes Christ," or first receives God's
Holy Spirit to dwell in him, he is already "BORN AGAIN."
First, then, notice the physical type and comparison.


The TIME Element

In human physical reproduction, there is a TIME ELEMENT. From
impregnation -- begettal on the part of the father -- having
conceived on the part of the mother -- to BIRTH, or parturition, or
being delivered from the mother's womb is a TIME ELEMENT of nine
months.
That nine-month period is called gestation. Upon conception,
the now fertilized ovum is called an embryo. A few months later,
it is called a fetus. But during this nine-month period of
gestation, we do not speak of the embryo-fetus as having been
born. It is in the PROCESS toward birth. It is the child of its
parents. But it is then the unborn child of its parents. The
father has already begotten it -- sired it. But the mother has not
yet given birth to it. Yet it is, during the gestation period,
the unborn child of its parents.
Now in being "born again," the PROCESS of this birth begins
when GOD'S Divine SPIRIT-LIFE is imparted to us by the Holy
Spirit, from His very PERSON, entering to dwell within us.
Repeat, from Romans 8: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up
Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from
the dead shall also quicken [change to immortal spirit] your
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (verse 11).
This is describing the very same thing explained in I Corinthians
15:50-53, the resurrection.
I want to make this crystal clear. Millions of sincere
professing Christians believe that when they profess Christ (or
receive His Holy Spirit) they are "born again." What actually
happens is this:
When one, after repentance, faith, and baptism receives the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God puts him into -- baptizes him
into -- God's Church. The Church is called the body of Christ. So
we read: "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (I
Cor. 12:13).


The Church Our Mother

Again, the Church is called "Jerusalem above" or "the heavenly
Jerusalem" (Heb. 12:22-23). Now notice, in Galatians 4:26: "But
Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."
The analogy is this: When begotten by God the Father by
receiving His Holy Spirit, we are put into the Church, which
during this gestation period is our MOTHER.
The human mother of the fetus within her womb serves the
function of feeding her unborn child with physical food, so that
it may develop and grow physically. And also she carries it where
she may best protect it from physical injury or harm, until
parturition -- delivery from her womb.
The spiritual mother -- the Church -- is commissioned to "feed
the flock" (I Pet. 5:2) through the ministry which God has set in
the Church "for the perfecting of the saints ... for the
edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of
the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect
man ..." (Eph. 4:11-13). Just as the human fetus develops and
grows physically during the PRE-birth gestation period, so WE,
after begettal by God's Spirit, develop and grow SPIRITUALLY in
PRE-birth state.
Human life starts with what the Bible terms "corruptible
seed" -- physical male sperm. Divine life starts with that which is
incorruptible -- the Holy Spirit of God entering the human person.
But as the human embryo must GROW till it becomes a fetus, which
must GROW to the point of being born into the human family, so
the Christian in whom divine life has been started by the gift of
God's incorruptible Spirit must GROW toward perfection to be born
into the GOD Family. He will then be perfect, unable to sin.
But -- that perfection of holy righteous CHARACTER must be
developed (with God's help and the in-filling of His Spirit
during this human life -- the spiritual "gestation" stage).
But not only is the Church to feed the members on the Word
of God -- spiritual food -- but also to protect these conceived but
yet unborn children of God from spiritual harm, as the very next
verse shows: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to
and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the
sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait
to deceive ..." (Eph. 4:14).
Then, at the time of the resurrection, we in the Church -- the
spiritual mother -- shall be DELIVERED from her, and born
into -- brought forth into -- the Kingdom, the Spirit-composed FAMILY
of God.


Sons of God NOW

Now, further: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they
are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). The unborn child in his
mother's womb is the child of his father and mother, though not
yet born -- delivered from the womb. So are we, if God's Spirit
dwells in us -- if we are being led by God's Spirit -- children of
God. Yet, at this time, we are in the gestation state, not yet
parturition. And only HEIRS, not inheritors!
Continue: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that
we may be [future -- at resurrection] also glorified together"
(verse 17).
Now see how this passage designates the resurrection into
GLORY, when we shall BE Spirit, as a BIRTH!
"For the earnest expectation of the [creation] waiteth for
the manifestation of the sons of God" -- that is the time of
Christ's coming to REIGN and of the resurrection to SPIRlT
composition -- "... because the [creation] itself also shall be
delivered [a birth] from the bondage of corruption into the
glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until
now" (verses 19-22).
Here is another comparison. We shall be delivered from this
world (the Church is in, though not of this world) into the
glorious WORLD TOMORROW and the Kingdom which shall rule it.
The CREATION is waiting for this time of Christ's coming,
the resurrection, and the Kingdom of God, because the creation
shall be DELIVERED from the bondage of corruption or deteriorated
decay. It is not now delivered. It SHALL BE -- at the resurrection.
Although this is not referring directly to our being born again,
it IS a direct comparison to the BIRTH of a child being DELIVERED
from its mother's womb.
The resurrection -- the time when we are changed to BE Spirit
and to INHERIT the Kingdom will be a time of DELIVERY FROM the
bondage of corruptible flesh and from this world of SIN -- A REAL
BIRTH!


Christ Born a Second Time By the Resurrection

Continue in Romans 8: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he
[Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren" (verse 29).
Now compare with Romans 1:3-4: "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 ... by the
resurrection from the dead."
Jesus was, in the human flesh -- His first birth -- a descendant
of David. But, by the resurrection from the dead (born AGAIN),
Jesus became the born Son of God, now no longer human, but
composed of SPIRIT -- a Spirit Being. He thus became the FIRST SO
BORN of many brethren who shall be BORN AGAIN at the time of the
resurrection of those who are Christ's.
Of course we understand, and so did Paul in writing the
above, that Jesus was also the Son of God while in the human
flesh. Though born of a human woman, He was sired by God. But
this is comparing the two births: the one from the human Mary, as
descended from the human David, and the other, by His
resurrection to glory, as Son of God.
Emphatically this does NOT imply that Jesus was a sinner
needing salvation. He was the pioneer, setting us the example,
that we, too, may be BORN of God.


When Born Again What Shall We Be Like?

When we are born again, what shall we be like? The Bible gives us
the answer: "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
who shall change our vile body [FLESH], that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body ..." (Phil. 3:20-21).
Now notice a scripture in the third chapter of I John. Here
it plainly says that "WE" -- meaning begotten, converted
Christians -- are now, already, the SONS of God, as was explained
earlier. Next, this scripture reveals that "it doth not yet
appear WHAT WE SHALL BE." We are, later, to be something
different. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we SHALL BE immortal
Spirit. That is what we shall later be.
"But," this scripture continues -- read it -- understand this
WONDERFUL TRUTH -- " we know that, when he [Christ] shall appear
[at His second coming to earth] WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM...." We
shall look like Christ!
What does the GLORIFIED Christ look like? His eyes blaze
forth like flames of fire! His feet glow like finely burnished
brass. His face shines like the SUN, in FULL STRENGTH -- so bright
it would blind your eyes if He were visible to you now! (Rev.
1:14-16; 19:12-13; Matt. 17:2.)
And THAT is the way YOU and I shall look if and when we are
finally BORN of GOD!


Our Transcendent Potential

There is another passage, understood by almost none, that reveals
our astonishing transcendent potential! It begins in Hebrews 2:6:
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"
Even though this was covered in greater detail in chapter 3,
it is important that it be summarized in connection with the
subject of this chapter -- life after death.
Yes, why should the great God be concerned about us mortals?
WHY did He put us here on earth? What is the PURPOSE of life?
What is our transcendent potential? It is so far above and beyond
anything you have thought or imagined, it seems shockingly
incredible!
Can you believe it? Are you willing to believe what is now
plainly stated? Here comes the astonishing answer, beginning
verse 7:
"Thou madest him a little lower than the angels." Some
translations have it, ''for a little while lower than the
angels.'' Continue: "Thou crownedst him [kingship] with GLORY and
honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands . .


NOT Yet the Universe!

"Thou hast put ALL THINGS [Moffatt: the universe] in subjection
under his feet. For in that he put ALL in subjection under him,
he left nothing that is not put under him...." Can you grasp
that? The entire, vast, endless UNIVERSE! But that is for BORN
sons of God. Man is not yet BORN -- except Christ only! Continue:
Here comes the answer:
"But now [in this present gestation state] we see NOT YET
all things [the universe] put under him" (verse 8).
But what do we see, NOW?
"But we see JESUS ... crowned with glory and honour"
(verse 9). Yes, Jesus has already been given the executive
administration of God's government -- the KINGDOM of GOD -- over the
entire UNIVERSE! Only, until our time to inherit and possess the
government of EARTH, at Christ's return, He is allowing Satan to
continue on this earth his work of deception. Now continue:
"For it became him [Jesus], for whom are all things, and by
whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto GLORY, to make
the captain [margin -- leader, forerunner, or pioneer -- the one who
has gone on before us, as we are to follow] of their salvation
perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they
who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not
ashamed to call them brethren" (verses 10-11).


Christ Our Elder Brother

We are, as quoted before, heirs of God, and joint-heirs -- as
BRETHREN -- With Christ. He has gone on ahead, through a
resurrection, to GLORY as the pioneer!
He is the firstborn of many brethren! He has INHERITED "all
things" -- the UNIVERSE! We are still heirs -- still in the gestation
stage of the process of being BORN of God. Jesus is now our elder
brother and high priest, supervising our spiritual
development -- preparing us to be kings and priests, reigning with
Him!
The first thousand years we shall reign ON THE EARTH. For He
shall have "made them kings and priests: and they shall reign on
the earth" (Rev. 5:10, RSV).


Ruling With Christ

For that first thousand years, Jesus is to reign on the throne of
His earthly ancestor DAVID in Jerusalem (Isa. 9:6-7). And "he
that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I
give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of
iron ...' (Rev. 2:26-27). But how and from where shall we rule?
Jesus said, again, "To him that overcometh will I grant to
sit with me in my throne [at Jerusalem], even as I also over
came, and am [now] set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev.
3:21).
When BORN of God, we shall BE Spirit, no longer human flesh
and blood. We shall be given POWER!
As Daniel revealed, the saints then shall take the kingdoms
of earth's nations and rule them for the first thousand
years -- establishing WORLD PEACE and Divine government under
Christ.
And after that? The passage in Hebrews 2 shows that then,
again under Christ, we shall be given power to rule over the
entire vast universe -- literally all things. For that is the power
that has been given to Christ and will be ours as joint
inheritors with Him!
Yes, there is a LIFE AFTER DEATH for those obedient to
God -- a Spirit life of incredible potential beyond our wildest
dreams! Can we humans grasp the awesome portent of these
astounding truths? Attaining immortal life should be our
all-encompassing goal. For that is the gift and desire of our
merciful Father and His Son Jesus Christ.



Chapter XIII

World Peace -- How it Will Come


I travel to all parts of the world as an ambassador (with out
political portfolio) for WORLD PEACE. I discuss world problems,
evils and world peace with many heads of governments -- kings,
presidents, prime ministers, and those high in the government,
leaders in science, education, commerce and industry. I have not
been called, and therefore make no effort, to bring about world
peace -- but serving as an ambassador of the power that will bring
it in our time!
Most world leaders are of superior ability. Yet they are
utterly unable to abolish world evils or bring about world peace.
Many scientists and leaders say that the only hope for world
peace is the formation of a supreme WORLD GOVERNMENT, controlling
the world's sole military power. Yet in the same breath they
admit the utter impossibility of this, claiming that such supreme
world power in human hands would enslave us all!


An Amazing Forecast

Few realize it today, but centuries ago a famous personage issued
a pronouncement forecasting this very solution. He was hundreds
of years ahead of his time, and the world of his day rejected and
suppressed the pronouncement. The world soon lost knowledge of
his forecast.
World leaders would do well to search out that amazing
forecast, in the light of present world conditions.
I have been privileged to announce to many of the world's
"great and near-great" this world's only hope -- SURE HOPE -- to
occur in our time!
Few, indeed, know that Jesus Christ came, not as a religious
leader on a "soul saving" crusade, but as a pioneer NEWS
FORECASTER. No man of historic note has been so completely
misrepresented -- so utterly misunderstood!
He came as a MESSENGER with a MESSAGE from God Almighty to
mankind. His message was BIG NEWS -- a vital and sensational news
ANNOUNCEMENT for the future. It announced world peace. It Was
good news for the future, proclaimed as an advance ANNOUNCEMENT
OF ASSURED AND CERTAIN WORLD PEACE in OUR TIME. That was Christ's
GOSPEL! The very word "gospel" means "good news."
And what was that news announcement for our times which was
suppressed by first-century enemies? The one official record
which the first-century conspirators were unable to suppress -- the
Holy BIBLE -- gives the official answer!
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of
God.... Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the
kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the
KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel"
(Mark 1:1, 14-15).
Believe what gospel -- what GOOD NEWS? The good news of the
coming KINGDOM OF GOD.
But what did He mean -- the KINGDOM OF GOD? And how do we know
it was suppressed? And if the original and true gospel of Jesus
Christ was suppressed, what gospel or gospels were proclaimed to
the world to replace it?


The Written Record

To say that the true gospel proclaimed by Christ was sup
pressed -- was not proclaimed to the world after A.D. 70 for nearly
nineteen centuries -- is, indeed, a shocking and amazing statement.
This same written record the conspirators were not able to
destroy confirms it. The Church of God was started the day of
Pentecost, A.D. 31 (Acts 2). About twenty years later, the
apostle Paul, under inspiration, wrote to the churches in
Galatia, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that
called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is
not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would
pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7). The verses following
pronounce a double curse on any who would preach any other
gospel.
To the Corinthian Church the apostle Paul wrote, "I fear,
lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity
that is in Christ. For if he that cometh [speaking of false
preachers] preacheth another Jesus ... or another gospel, which
ye have not accepted ..." (II Cor. 11:3-4).
And further -- verses 13-15: "For such are false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of
Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers,
also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness...."
To the early Christians at Rome: "for the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness
of men, who hold [back] the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom.
1:18). The Revised Standard Version has it: "who by their
wickedness suppress the truth." The message God sent by Jesus
Christ was being held back -- suppressed.
Then again, even Jesus Christ Himself made it very clear
that His gospel the -- KINGDOM OF GOD -- would be suppressed until
our time.
His disciples had asked what would be the sign by which we
might know when we were at the end of this world (age), just
before Christ's return to earth.
First He warned them against being deceived. Many would
come, He said, in His name, claiming to be the ministers of
Christ saying that He -- Jesus -- was the Christ and at the same time
deceiving the many. But when "... this gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations
This proclaiming of the KINGDOM OF GOD could not be the sign
that we are at the end of the age, if it had been proclaimed all
along!
Just as Christ Himself directly prophesied would happen,
many have preached about the person, saying that Jesus was the
Christ -- preaching about the messenger, but SUPPRESSING His
message!
But the END TIME is now here. After almost nineteen
centuries, that message is now going out WORLDWIDE, by the
Worldwide Church of God!
Some have preached a "gospel of salvation" (actually a false
salvation) and some a "gospel of grace" -- turning grace into
license to commit sin. Still others have turned to a "social
gospel."
But Jesus brought from God the Father a vital message
announcing the KINGDOM OF GOD! What did He mean -- the KINGDOM OF
GOD? Isn't it amazing that almost no one in today's world knows?


A Message of Government

Few seem to know, today, that Jesus' MESSAGE was about
GOVERNMENT! Few realize that this is NOT the time God is trying
to SAVE (spiritually) the world. Few knew Jesus was concerned
with GOVERNMENT.
Jesus was born to be a KING! Notice, once again, what was
prophesied in Isaiah about Christ: "For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given: and the GOVERNMENT shall be upon his
shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The
mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the
increase of his GOVERNMENT and peace there shall be no end, upon
the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to
establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even
for ever" (Isa. 9:6-7).
Notice what was said to his mother Mary: "... the angel
Gabriel Was sent from God unto ... Nazareth, to a virgin
espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David;
and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her,
and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured.... Thou shalt
conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his
name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the
Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his
father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for
ever: and of his KINGDOM there shall be no end" (Luke 1:26-33).
When Jesus was on trial for His life before Pilate, He was
asked, "Art thou a king then?" Jesus answered, "Thou sayest I am
a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into
the world." But He also said, "My kingdom is not of this world"
(John 18:37, 36).
WHY has the whole world been deceived, not knowing WHY
humanity was created and human life existed upon this earth!
Again, and again, I ask, WHY are we HERE? WHERE are we
GOING? WHAT is the WAY -- the WAY TO PEACE, well-being, happiness,
abundance?
WHY no world PEACE? Why all this world's evils? WHY can't
SCIENCE give us the answers? These questions are the MOST
IMPORTANT in human life. WHY aren't people concerned?
The greatest religion in the world, in number of adherents,
is Christianity. People SUPPOSE the Christian religion came out
of -- is based on -- the BIBLE.
Then WHY don't the various sects and denominations of
traditional Christianity tell us the REAL THEME of the Bible? WHY
do they not know the TRUE GOSPEL that Jesus pro claimed? It's all
IN THE BIBLE -- it's not suppressed THERE! It's plain and clear!
It's time someone SHOUTED to lethargic, indifferent,
sleeping humanity, WAKE UP!


Is There An Afterlife?

Some fundamentalist denominations of Christianity preach about
spiritual salvation -- about an afterlife.
IS there an afterlife? The truth is PLAIN AND CLEAR in the
Bible. And this was clarified in chapter 12.
Jesus' gospel was the KINGDOM OF GOD. Does that have
anything to do with afterlife -- with spiritual salvation? It has
everything to do with it. BUT THE WHOLE WORLD IS DECEIVED and
ASLEEP! The gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD has to do, basically,
with TWO themes -- government and spiritual salvation (which some
call being "born again"). The previous chapter dealt with being
"born again." This chapter deals with GOVERNMENT.
But once again, what did Jesus mean THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
The truth is not merely surprising -- it is
shocking -- staggering! Yet it is truly GOOD NEWS -- the most
glorious GOOD NEWS ever to enter human consciousness!


CHRIST'S Gospel

Jesus went everywhere preaching the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF
GOD. He taught in parables about the KINGDOM OF GOD. He sent out
seventy men preaching, and commanded them to preach THE KINGDOM
OF GOD (Luke 10:9). He sent the apostles, on whom the Church of
God was founded, to preach only THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2).
Isn't it amazing that the world has LOST the knowledge of
what it is?
The apostle Paul preached THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 19:8;
20:25; 28:23, 31).
Haven't you heard men speak of the Kingdom of God something
like this: "By Christians everywhere working together to bring
about world peace, tolerance and brotherly love, the Kingdom of
God may at last be established in the hearts of men."
Because they rejected Christ's gospel 1900 years ago, the
world had to supplant something else in its place. They had to
invent a counterfeit! So we have heard the Kingdom of God spoken
of as merely a pretty platitude -- a nice sentiment in human
hearts -- reducing it to an ethereal, unreal NOTHING! Others have
misrepresented that the "CHURCH" is the King dom. Others confuse
it with a "millennium." Still others have, earlier in our
century, claimed the British Empire is the Kingdom of God. HOW
DECEIVED CAN THIS WORLD GET?


Daniel Knew!

The prophet Daniel, who lived 600 years before Christ, knew that
the Kingdom of God was a real kingdom -- a government ruling over
literal PEOPLE on the earth.
Daniel was one of four extraordinary, intelligent and
brilliant Jewish lads in the Judean captivity. These four men
were stationed in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of the
Chaldean Empire, in training for special responsibilities in the
Babylonian government. Daniel was a prophet who had been given
special understanding in visions and dreams (Dan. 1:17).
Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world ruler. He had
conquered a vast empire, including the nation Judah. This king
had a dream so impressive it troubled him -- moved him to
tremendous concern. He demanded that his magicians, astrologers,
and sorcerers tell him both what he had dreamed, and what it
meant. They could not. They were baffled. Then Daniel was brought
before the king.
Daniel disclaimed any more human ability to interpret dreams
than the Chaldean magicians, "BUT," he said, "there is a GOD in
heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king
Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28).
First, God's purpose was to reveal to this world-ruling
human king that there is a GOD in heaven -- that GOD IS SUPREME
RULER over all nations, governments, and kings -- that God RULES
THE UNIVERSE! This Chaldean king knew only about the many pagan
demon gods. He knew nothing of the true living ALMIGHTY God. Like
people and rulers, even today, he did not know that GOD is the
living, REAL, active, RULING and GOVERNING PERSONAGE who actually
and literally governs the ENTIRE UNIVERSE!
The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S
GOVERNMENT -- the fact that God RULES -- the truth of THE KINGDOM OF
GOD -- the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS
CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal -- preserved in writing for us
TODAY -- what is to happen "in the latter days " -- actually within
the next two decades -- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!


For US, Today!

This is no dry, dull, dead writing for a people of 2500 years
ago. This is LIVING, TREMENDOUS, BIG NEWS for OUR DAY! It is
advance news for us, NOW. News before it happens -- of the most
colossal event of all earth's history certain to occur in your
lifetime -- during the very next few years!
This is THE TRUE GOSPEL! It is the very gospel Christ
preached! It is intended for you and me TODAY! It is vital that
you UNDERSTAND!
Read, in your own Bible, verses 28 through 35. In his dream,
this king had seen a vast statue -- larger than any image or statue
ever built by man -- so tremendous it was terrifying, even in a
dream. Its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver,
the belly and thighs of brass, legs of solid iron, feet a mixture
of iron and clay.
There was a time element. Nebuchadnezzar had viewed it until
a supernatural STONE came from heaven, smashing the statue on its
feet. Then the whole of the statue broke into fragments, and was
actually blown away by the wind -- it disappeared! Then this STONE
expanded miraculously and quickly became a great MOUNTAIN -- so
great it filled the whole earth!
What did it mean? Did it have meaning? Yes, because this was
God's doing. Unlike ordinary dreams, this one was caused by God
to convey the message of God's sovereignty to
Nebuchadnezzar -- and, because it is part of the written Word of
God, to us today -- to reveal important facts of the TRUE GOSPEL!
"This is the dream," said Daniel (verse 36), "and we will
tell the interpretation thereof before the king." This, then, is
GOD'S interpretation. It is decidedly not Herbert W. Armstrong's
interpretation. Men ought never to interpret the Bible. The Bible
gives us GOD'S OWN INTERPRETATION! Here it is:
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings" -- he was the first real
WORLD RULER over a world empire! -- "... for the God of heaven
hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." God
was revealing Himself to this human world-dictator as the MOST
HIGH Ruler over all.
People today, like this Chaldean king, seem never to think
of God as a RULER -- as the Supreme One who GOVERNS -- as the head of
GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing Him self through Daniel to
Nebuchadnezzar -- and through the Bible to you and to me TODAY -- as
a SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL, GOVERNING GOD who is to be obeyed!
"Thou," continued Daniel to this human emperor, "art this
head of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior
to thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear
rule over all the earth" (verses 37-39).


What IS a Kingdom?

Notice! This is speaking of KINGDOMS. It is referring to kingdoms
that bear rule over the people on earth. It is speaking of
GOVERNMENTS! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in
the hearts of men.'' It is not speaking of churches. It is
speaking of the kind of GOVERNMENTS that bear RULE and AUTHORITY
over nations of PEOPLE here on earth. It is literal. It is
specific. There is no misunderstanding, here, as to what is meant
by the word "KINGDOM."
There is no misunderstanding the interpretation. GOD gives
His own interpretation through the prophet Daniel. The great
metallic image represented national and international
GOVERNMENTS -- real, literal KINGDOMS.
It represented a succession of world-ruling governments.
First was the head of gold. That represented Nebuchadnezzar and
his kingdom -- the Chaldean Empire. After him -- later, in time
sequence -- was to come a second, then a third KINGDOM "which shall
bear RULE over all the earth" -- world empire!
Then, verse 40, the legs of iron represent a fourth world
empire. It was to be strong, even as iron is strong -- stronger
militarily than its predecessors. Yet, as silver is less valuable
than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, though each metal
was progressively harder and stronger, the succession would
deteriorate morally and spiritually. The two legs meant the
fourth empire would be divided.
After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian
Empire, then the Greco-Macedonian, and fourth, the Roman Empire.
It was divided, with capitals at Rome and Constantinople.
Now -- verse 44! Read it! Get your Bible. See it with your own
eyes in your own Bible. Here, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, is God's
explanation of what the KINGDOM OF GOD is:
"And in the days of these kings ..." it is here speaking
of the ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by
connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7, and Revelation 13 and 17,
is referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE which is now
forming, out of the European Common Market, before your very
eyes! Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a
union of TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS which (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect
the medieval "holy" ROMAN EMPIRE.
So, mark carefully the time element! "In the days of these
kings" -- in the days of these ten nations or groups of nations
that shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman
Empire -- notice what shall happen:
"... shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume
all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever"!


Yes, in OUR TIME!

Now here we have described FOUR universal empires -- the only four
that ever existed! Revelation 13 and 17 show that, after the fall
of the original Roman Empire, there would be ten revivals -- SEVEN
of which would be ruled over by a Gentile CHURCH -- the "daughter"
of ancient BABYLON -- a church claiming to be Christian, but
actually named by God "MYSTERY BABYLON the Great" -- or, more
plainly, BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES!
Six of those have come and gone. The seventh is now
forming -- the last, final, brief resurrection of the Roman Empire
by ten European groups or nations. These are the ten toes of iron
and clay mixed.
In their days -- and they shall last but a very short space,
possibly no more than two to three-and-a-half years -- shall the
GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM.
This, then, shall be THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
Compare with Revelation 17. Here is pictured a church. Not a
small church -- a GREAT church. She rules over "many waters" (verse
1) which are described in verse 15 as different nations speaking
different languages. She posed as the Church of GOD -- which
Scripture says (Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7; Matt. 25:1-10, etc.) is the
affianced "bride" of CHRIST, to be spiritually MARRIED to Him at
His second COMING.
But she has committed fornication. How? By having direct
political union with HUMAN GOVERNMENTS of THIS WORLD! She "sat
on" (Rev. 17:3) all seven of these resurrections of the Roman
Empire -- called the "Holy Roman Empire." She RULED OVER the human
kingdoms -- as a common-law and unmarried "wife" ruling her
paramour "husband" -- a totally unnatural and ungodly relationship.
She is, therefore, to "sit on" this last "head of the
Beast" -- this final resurrection of the "Holy Roman Empire." It
will be a union of church and state. It is to endure but a very
short time. It is to FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST at HIS SECOND COMING!
That will be its END.
We see it in process of rising, now. Therefore we are CLOSE
to the coming of Christ! We are now very near the END of this
world!
When Christ comes, He is coming as KING of kings, ruling the
whole earth (Rev. 19:11-16), and HIS KINGDOM -- the KINGDOM OF
GOD -- said Daniel, is to CONSUME all these worldly kingdoms.
Revelation 11:15 states it in these words: "The kingdoms of
this world are become THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS
CHRIST; and He shall reign for ever and ever!"
This is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It is the END of present
governments -- the governments that rule Russia, China, Japan,
Italy, Germany -- yes, and even the United States and the British
nations. They then shall become the kingdoms -- the GOVERNMENTS of
the Lord JESUS CHRIST, then KING of kings over the entire earth.
This makes completely PLAIN the fact that the KINGDOM OF GOD
is a literal GOVERNMENT. Even as the Chaldean Empire was a
KINGDOM -- even as the Roman Empire was a KINGDOM -- so the KINGDOM
OF GOD is a government. It is to take over the GOVERNMENT of the
NATIONS of the world.
Jesus Christ was BORN to be a KING -- a RULER!
These scriptures tell you PLAINLY that GOD is supreme RULER.
They tell you in plainest language that Jesus was born to be a
KING -- that He is going to RULE ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH -- that His
Kingdom shall rule eternally.
But all this is only part of the fantastic, amazing,
actually SHOCKING TRUTH about the KINGDOM OF GOD.
The KINGDOM OF GOD will rule over the peoples and nations of
the earth. Yet these mortal peoples and nations will NOT be the
Kingdom, not even in the Kingdom of God. They shall be merely
RULED OVER BY IT!
We still have to learn OF WHAT or OF WHOM it is composed.
Can YOU, as an individual, ever become a part of this Kingdom?


Can Be Entered!

In Jesus' day, the religious leaders knew He was a teacher sent
from God with GOD'S TRUTH. They branded Him a false prophet,
heretic, and seditionist. Yet they knew His was the voice of GOD!
One of them, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, occupying an office
of authority over the Jews, came secretly by night to see Jesus.
In chapter 12 one phase of Nicodemus's night visit with Jesus was
covered; but now, MORE!
"Rabbi," said this Pharisee, "we know that thou art a
teacher come from God" (John 3:2). Yes, we Pharisees, he said,
know that! He did not say "I know it." He said "WE know" -- we
Pharisees! They knew He spoke the TRUTH -- yet they not only
rejected it, they crucified Him!
But Jesus hewed straight to the line! He told Nicodemus
about THE KINGDOM OF GOD. He told him some things you need to
UNDERSTAND!
Notice! "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I
say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Yes, notice! The Kingdom of God is
something that CAN be seen, but only by those who have been "born
again." It is something others cannot see! Read it in chapter 12,
or request our free booklet "Just What Do You Mean -- Born Again?"
But what about the CHURCH? Can carnal people who make no
claim to having been "born again" SEE a CHURCH? Of course! But
they cannot see the Kingdom of God! So SAID JESUS! Then, if you
believe Jesus, the CHURCH cannot be the Kingdom of God!
Notice further: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God" (verse 5). The Kingdom of God is
something that can be entered into -- BUT, only those "born of
water and of the Spirit" can enter into it!
Notice further! In the resurrection chapter of the Bible, we
read: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption" (I Cor. 15:50). The Kingdom of God is something no
human, of flesh and blood, can enter or inherit!
Now do flesh and blood people enter into the CHURCH? If so,
then the Kingdom of God cannot be the CHURCH -- for the Kingdom of
God is something flesh and blood humans cannot enter into!
What do you think the "Church" is? Is it the building? Flesh
and blood people can and do enter buildings and cathedrals called
"churches." Is it the converted PEOPLE? Flesh and blood people
can and DO enter into the membership of any group of PEOPLE that
may call itself the Church. But flesh and blood cannot enter the
Kingdom of GOD -- so the CHURCH is not the Kingdom of God!


In Men's Hearts?

Now some think the Kingdom of God is some ethereal sentimental
feeling or something set up in men's hearts. If so, then the
Kingdom of God enters into mortal man. But these plain scriptures
say that it is men after they are no longer flesh and blood -- but
resurrected into Spirit-composed bodies -- who can enter into the
Kingdom of God. It does not enter into men. Men enter into
it -- after they are resurrected in glory -- after they are no longer
"flesh and blood."
Is it the "god within you"? Absolutely not. It is not
something that was born inside of man, or that has ever entered
into man. It is something man may enter after he is "born again."
What about the British Empire? Well, I have been pretty well
over the British Isles, Canada and Australia -- and all of the
multi-thousands I have seen there were flesh-and-blood humans.
They did enter the British Empire -- no longer extant -- but they
cannot enter the Kingdom of God, in their present flesh-and-blood
life. So the British Empire cannot be the Kingdom of God.
But, someone misunderstanding the Scripture may ask, "Didn't
Jesus Himself say that the Kingdom of God is 'within you'? " In
the seventeenth chapter of Luke, verse 21, King James
translation, is a MISTRANSLATION which has led some to suppose
the Kingdom of God is some thought or feeling or sentiment within
man.


In Hearts of Pharisees?

Let's take a good look at this. First realize, if it does say
that, it is contradicted by all the other scriptures I am giving
you. If the Bible does contradict itself, you can't believe it
anyway -- so then it still would prove nothing.
First, to whom is Jesus speaking? Read it!
"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom
of God should come, He answered them and said, the kingdom of God
cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or,
lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke
17:20-21).
He was speaking to the unconverted, carnal, hypocritical,
lying Pharisees. Notice, "He answered them, and said." It was the
Pharisees who asked Him the question. Were they in the CHURCH?
No, never! If one thinks the Kingdom is the CHURCH -- and the
Kingdom was "within" the Pharisees -- was THE CHURCH within the
Pharisees? Such an assumption is rather ridiculous, now, isn't
it?
Notice again, precisely WHAT JESUS SAID. Remember the CHURCH
had not yet been set up. Jesus did not say "the Kingdom of God
shall be set up in your hearts." He said none of the things
people interpret into this verse. He said to the Pharisees "the
Kingdom of God IS" -- present tense is, NOW! Whatever He was saying
the Kingdom of God is, He made it present tense, not future.
Luke wrote these words, originally, in the Greek language.
The Greek words he wrote were translated into the English words
"within you." But, if you have a Bible with the marginal
references, you will notice that this is alternately rendered "in
the midst of you," or "among you. "The context indicates that
this indeed is the better translation. If your Bible is a Moffatt
translation, you will notice that the translation recognized that
Jesus was talking of His reign or rule, at the head of
government.
This is the Moffatt translation of the same verse: "He
answered them, 'The Reign of God is not coming as you hope to
catch sight of it; no one will say, "Here it is" or "There it
is," for the Reign of GOD IS NOW IN YOUR MIDST.'"
The Revised Standard Version renders it "the Kingdom of God
is in the midst of you.'' All these translations render it
present tense.
Jesus was not talking about a church soon to be organized.
He was not talking about sentiments in the mind or heart. He was
talking about His REIGN, as the Messiah! The Pharisees were not
asking Him about a church. They knew nothing of any New Testament
Church soon to be started. They were not asking about a pretty
sentiment. They knew, from the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah,
Jeremiah and others, that their Messiah was to come. They
overlooked completely the prophecies of His first appearing as
the "Lamb of God," to be slain for the sins of humanity -- being
born as a babe, growing up, being rejected and despised by them,
as recorded in Isaiah 53. They looked only to the prophecies of
His second coming as the all-conquering and ruling KING. This the
Pharisees anticipated as the Kingdom of God.


World-Ruling Government

Jesus set them straight. He explained that it would not be a
local or limited kingdom for the Jews only. It would not be
merely one of many human and visible kingdoms which men could
point out or see, and say, "This is it, here"; or "that is the
Kingdom, over there." But He, Himself, was born to be the KING of
that Kingdom, as He plainly told Pilate (John 18:36-37). The
Bible uses the terms "king" and "kingdom" interchangeably (see
Daniel 7:17-18, 23). The KING of the future Kingdom was, then and
there, standing in the midst of them. And in the language in
which He spoke to them, that is precisely what He said -- as the
marginal rendering and other translations state.
Jesus went on, in the following verses, to describe His
second coming, when the Kingdom of God shall rule ALL THE EARTH.
In Luke 17:24 He refers to lightning flashing, just as in Matthew
24:27, describing His Second Coming to RULE the whole world.
Verse 26 -- as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when
Christ comes in power and glory as world Ruler. Verse 30 -- the day
when He is revealed.
Plainly, Jesus was not saying that the Kingdom of God was
within those Christ-hating, hypocritical Pharisees. Nor was He
saying that the Church would be the Kingdom.
Now continue with the other scriptures, and it becomes very
PLAIN!
Jesus distinctly said that those Pharisees would not be in
the Kingdom of God. To them, He said: "There shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth, when ye [you Pharisees] shall see Abraham, and
Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God,
and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east,
and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and
shall sit down in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13:28-29).
The Kingdom of God is something men shall ENTER -- at the
resurrection of the just! Yet Abraham is not there yet (see Heb.
11:13, 39-40).


Has Not Yet Appeared

But one may ask, did not Jesus Christ say the Kingdom of God was
"at hand"? Yes, we quoted this, from Mark 1:15. This naturally
led some to mistake what He said, and what He meant, and assume
the Kingdom of God was established and set up during Jesus'
ministry. Thus some supposed it was the Church.
But Jesus did not say the Kingdom of God had been
established. It was now being preached (Luke 16:16). He did not
say it was already here. Jesus, Himself, corrected this false
notion. Jesus "added and spake a parable ... because they
thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke
19:11). WHY did Jesus speak this parable? Because some, even
then, mistakenly thought the Kingdom should immediately
appear -- because some thought it would be THE CHURCH!
Now continue: "He said, therefore, A certain nobleman went
into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to
return" (verse 12). Christ is that "nobleman." He is speaking of
His ascension to the throne of God His Father, in heaven. Notice,
He went there to be given rulership of the Kingdom -- to receive
the Kingdom. Notice, too, He is to return, when He has received
it! He has not yet returned! Other scriptures explain this. We
will turn to them a little later.
Continuing the parable, spoken because some thought the
Kingdom of God was immediately, then, in the first century, to
appear: "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having
received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be
called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might
know how much every man had gained by trading" (verse 15). When
Christ returns, we shall all be called before the judgment seat
of Christ -- to give account!
Now notice in verse 17, the one who had gained ten pounds is
given authority to RULE CITIES -- "have thou authority over ten
cities"! To the one who had gained five pounds, he said, "Be thou
also over five cities."
This is speaking of the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST -- and of His
delegating authority to rule to saints converted during this
Christian era, between Christ's first and second appearings on
earth.
This parable, then, was spoken to make clear to us that the
Kingdom of God is a literal GOVERNMENT, to be set up AT CHRIST'S
SECOND COMING -- and not before! The CHURCH, then, cannot be the
Kingdom of God. But the true Church of God is to be changed, by a
resurrection and instantaneous change from mortal to immortal,
INTO the Kingdom of God. The Church, when all its members have
been changed to immortality, shall BECOME the Kingdom of God. But
it is not, now, the Kingdom!


Saints to Rule

Now read the description of Christ's actual receiving authority
to RULE the Kingdom. He is the nobleman who went to heaven to
receive this kingship, and to return.
We have already seen how the prophet Daniel recorded the
setting up of the Kingdom of God -- at Christ's coming -- to consume
all present national governments on earth, and set up the
world-ruling Kingdom of God. This was recorded in the second
chapter. Notice now chapter seven:
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son
of man [Christ] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the
Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him" (verse
13). Jesus continually referred to Him self as the "Son of
man" -- all through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Christ ascended
to heaven in clouds (Acts 1:9). He ascended to the very throne of
God in heaven (Mark 16:19). Now continue:
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:14).
That is plain! Christ ascended to the throne of God in
heaven. God is sovereign over the entire universe. This vision
shows God Almighty, Father of the resurrected living Christ,
conferring on Christ dominion. Dominion means sovereign or
supreme ruling authority. Also given to Him was "a king dom."
Where is that Kingdom to be? It says "a kingdom that all people,
nations, and languages, should serve him." The people, and the
nations speaking different languages, are here on earth. He is
given dominion over ALL NATIONS -- the whole world!


Important Word "UNTIL"

Now will you read, in your own Bible, Acts 3:21? It says the
heavens have received Jesus Christ UNTIL -- not permanently, just
until a certain time. Until when? Until the times of RESTITUTION
of all things. Restitution means restoration to a former state or
condition. It is speaking of restoring God's laws, God's
government -- of restoring happiness and universal PEACE.
In this seventh chapter of Daniel, the prophet had
experienced a dream, and visions. He had seen four wild animals.
Notice verse 16; the interpretation begins verse 17. This is
GOD'S inspired interpretation -- not mine: "These great beasts,
which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the
earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the KINGDOM,
and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever" (Dan.
7:17-18).
Notice it! Not only is Christ to rule -- but the saints -- that
is, converted true Christians -- those begotten as sons of God -- are
to take and possess the Kingdom! They are to rule under, and with
Christ! In the New Testament it is recorded that converted saints
are co-heirs with Christ!
In this same seventh chapter, Daniel explained another
power. The fourth beast of his dream -- the fourth empire (the
Roman Empire) -- was pictured as an animal having ten horns,
explained here and in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 as ten
revivals or resurrections of the Roman Empire, after its original
fall in A.D. 476. But among them -- after A.D. 476 -- arose another
little horn -- a religious kingdom, actually ruling over the last
seven of the other ''horns'' or revived Roman kingdoms (verse
20).
Now read about this "little horn" -- the religious
kingdom -- verse 21: "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the
saints, and prevailed against them, UNTIL [note, another "UNTIL"]
the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of
the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the
kingdom."
The saints -- then no longer human flesh and blood, but
immortal -- are to possess the Kingdom, at the Second Coming of
Christ!
Jesus Christ makes that plain. It is Christ who is speaking
in Revelation 3:21, and 2:26-27: "To him that overcometh will I
grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and
am set down with my Father in His throne.'' The Father's throne
is in heaven -- where Jesus Christ is now; but Christ's throne, in
which the saints shall sit with Him, is the throne of David, in
Jerusalem (Luke 1:32).
Further: "And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto
the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall
rule them with a rod of iron."


Can't Know the TIME

After His resurrection, on the Mount of Olives at the very hour
of His ascension to heaven, Jesus was explaining to His disciples
how they would receive the inspiring God-begetting POWER of the
Holy Spirit on the approaching day of Pentecost.
His disciples wanted to know whether the Kingdom of God was
to be set up at that time! The CHURCH was established on that
imminent day of Pentecost. Was that CHURCH, then, to be the
setting up of the Kingdom?
"Lord," they asked, "wilt thou at this time restore again
the kingdom to Israel?"
Jesus again made plain that the Church is not the Kingdom.
"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times
or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things,
while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out
of their sight" (Acts 1:7-9).
The commission He had given the CHURCH was to preach His
gospel to all the world. They were to receive the Holy Spirit,
begetting them as saints -- as Christians -- putting them into God's
CHURCH. This would infuse them with the power to carry out the
mission of the Church. But it was NOT the setting up of the
Kingdom of God. Of that they were not to know the time.
Just what did Jesus mean, "It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons"? He explained it another time. It is
recorded in Matthew 24:36: There He was speaking of the end of
this world, and His Second Coming:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels
of heaven, but my Father only." He was speaking of His Second
Coming and the setting up of the Kingdom, the time of which no
man knows, but only the Father.
However, though we do not, even now, know the day or the
hour, we do know, from God's prophecies, that it is today very
near! Notice this, in Luke 21:25-32: He had been foretelling the
world events, right now beginning, leading to "distress of
nations" in world troubles and world wars, "with
perplexity" -- "men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking
after those things which are coming on the earth" -- world trouble
such as never before experienced. "When ye see these things come
to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily
I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be
fulfilled."
So all signs show we are in the very last generation of this
present evil world.


The Two Fateful Alternatives

This world trouble began in 1914, with World War I. There was a
recess from 1918 until 1939. We are in a second recess now. But
now at last we have nuclear energy. We have hydrogen bombs
stockpiled in such power and volume that they could blast all
human life off this planet several times over. There are other
destructive weapons today in existence, any of which could erase
humanity from the earth.
Today world-famous scientists say only a super world
government can prevent world cosmocide. Yet MEN cannot and will
not get together to form such a world-ruling government.
It's time we face the hard, cold, realistic FACT: humanity
has two alternatives: either there is an Almighty, all-powerful
GOD who is about to step in and set up THE KINGDOM OF GOD to rule
all nations with supernatural and supra-national FORCE to bring
us PEACE -- or else all human life will be obliterated (Matt.
24:22).
But the recent "recess" will soon erupt into nuclear World
War III -- called, in biblical prophecy the "Great Tribulation"
(Matt. 24:21-22). But God will cut short that final supreme world
trouble, and send Christ again to earth as KING of kings, LORD of
lords -- to restore God's government by the world-ruling KINGDOM OF
GOD!



THIS BOOK IS PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE BY THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF
GOD IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
It is made possible by the voluntary, freely given tithes and
offerings of the membership of the Church and others who have
elected to support the work of the Church. Contributions are
welcomed and gratefully accepted. Those who wish to voluntarily
aid and support this worldwide Work of God are gladly welcomed as
co-workers in this major effort to preach the gospel to all
nations.

HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, recognized and respected by leaders in
government, industry and education around the world, is pastor
general of the Worldwide Church of God. He is editor-in-chief of
The PLAIN TRUTH magazine, which he founded in 1934. In 1947 Mr.
Armstrong founded Ambassador College, now with two campuses, in
Pasadena, California, and Big Sandy, Texas. He is also founder
and chairman of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation,
known for its cultural, charitable and humanitarian activities.
Herbert Armstrong has visited more than 70 countries proclaiming
the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and he has been highly honored
by heads of state in such critical and diverse areas as Japan,
India, Black and South Africa, China, Israel and Egypt. Now in
his nineties, Mr. Armstrong continues to work tirelessly,
writing, and broadcasting and preaching the good news that God
will intervene to save mankind in this generation! He is also the
author of the book, "The Wonderful World Tomorrow -- What It Will
Be Like," advance good news of a utopia humanity won't bring
about.