And greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
But, my friends, the news today is not good. Most of the news in the world today is only of fear of war, preparation for war, human suffering, suicides, murders, gangsterism. Well, why does God permit all this suffering? Why does He permit the poverty? Why does He permit the conditions that we see on this earth? And once again, let me answer, it's because God is allowing us to do as we please. It's because God is not, in the vernacular, cramming His religion down our throats because that's the only way He could prevent it.
There is only one thing that would prevent the kind of times we have, the kind of conditions that we see in this world, and that would be if we would turn to God Almighty and to, if you please, His religion. Which is only His Way — which we find through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior — as the one means of access to God Almighty, and the way of God, and the way to peace, and to happiness, and to plenty and prosperity, and everything good. And the way to eternal life in happiness, not in suffering or poverty. God Almighty will never let us have it that way.
Now, we're living in a very much mixed-up world. We're living in a world that has strayed very far from God in all of its politics, its commerce and business and industry; in its religion, in its educational system even and in its society.
Now, it was in such a world, not as complex as it is today, not a world of such advanced technologies as we have today, but still it was in this same world, that God sent His Son 1900 years ago with a message to mankind. And in that message Jesus Christ showed us the way to peace. Jesus Christ showed us the way out of our poverty. Out of our suffering and all of the unhappiness that we see about us on the world today. But God has never forced man to do the thing that would bring him happiness. You know, people just wouldn't like that, if God did it. People want their own way but; "There is a way that seemth right unto a man...the end[s] thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25)
When will we wake up and realize that wonderful truth? Now, Jesus proclaimed the way of peace, the way out of wars, the way to universal love on this earth, peace and good will among men. The way to plenty and to economic plenty and prosperity. Everything that we should, any of us, want. Freedom from fears and worries. Yes, and even the way into health and everything desirable.
Well, men continued to extol the name of Christ, and they've done that clear down through the centuries until now. They took the name of Christ but, my friends, they dropped off the message of Christ. Jesus Christ came preaching a certain Gospel, a certain message. He said;
"He spoke nothing of himself; the Father that sent him gave him a commandment, what he should say, and what he should speak." (John 12:49 paraphrased)
The Message Christ Brought And the message that He brought was the good news of the Kingdom of God. And that, actually, when you understand it is the Good News of the World Tomorrow. Now, Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the government of God, it's the rule of God, and God rules by His laws. So, it is the law of God in action in our lives. That, my friends, the churches renounced, that they rejected! They have accepted Christ, they have extolled Christ, they have proclaimed their message, their gospel about the person of Christ. But Christ's message, the message that God sent — the way to peace and prosperity, and everything good that we want — men have rejected. And God has allowed it to go on, and is going to allow it until the end of 6,000 years of this world, and we're almost to that end. It's going to happen in your lifetime and mine. It's going to happen in the next, well perhaps, 25 or 30 years or less, and just as likely less as more, let me tell you that. I'm not setting the date, no man can. But we're mighty close to it now.
Now, in proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God, multitudes came to Jesus. They followed Him wherever He went. They crowded around Him because of the miracles that He had performed, but He never sought crowds. He didn't go out trying to drum up a crowd at all, but they followed Him, nevertheless. And when they did, He spoke to them in a language they could not understand. He spoke to them in parables, and without a parable He never spoke to them. And He spoke to them in parables to hide His meaning, to seal it up, to cloak it, to conceal it so they couldn't understand. He gave the message — the Kingdom of God, He gave the message of the way, and yet, it was closed to their ears. The disciples came to Him after the parable of the sower and the seed, and they said, "Well, we don't understand. Why did you speak in parables?" And He said, "Because to them it is not given to understand." He called them 'without'. Now, the disciples had been called by Jesus into the inner group, so to speak, they had come in to become begotten as God's own children. Now;
"...to you [He said] it is given to understand...but to them without I speak in parables: That seeing they'll see, but not comprehend, so they will not understand; lest [he said] they should turn again it should be forgiven them and they should be converted." (Mark 4:11-12 paraphrased)
And, you'll find that in Mark, the fourth chapter and the twelfth verse, Mark four, verse twelve. He spoke in parables lest they could understand and be converted. That isn't the way you hear it told today, is it? That isn't the way you hear preachers explain it today. That's the way it is in the Bible in plain language, that's not an interpretation. That's just the plain ABC statement so simple, a little child can understand it. It's not my interpretation. You can read it for yourself and there it is. Well, He explained this parable to them. And then He said it was about the Kingdom of God;
"Hear ye the word of the parable and the sower. When...one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not..." (Matthew 13:18-19)
And so on, it was all about the Kingdom of God. We went into that in the preceding program, but I want to go on with some more of these parables now. And now we had just come in the preceding program, up into this parable in the fourth chapter of Mark, and beginning the thirtieth verse where;
"...he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God?..." [how shall we liken the kingdom of God] (Mark 4:30 American Standard Version)
Everything that Jesus taught His disciples, everything He even said to the multitudes, though He hid the meaning, and spoke in a language they couldn't understand, yet He talked always about the Kingdom of God.
"And he said, How then shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth?" (Mark 4:30 ASV)
That's what He was proclaiming — the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God is that government that will govern over the whole world in the very near future that's coming in your lifetime and mine. Why haven't you heard that Gospel preached? Why has that Gospel not been preached? People write into me and say, "Oh, you brag, that you're the only one in 1800 years to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ." I tell you, my friends, I DO NOT. AND I DENY THAT! I'm becrying the fact that others will not, never have preached the Kingdom of God! Why haven't they preached it? Why won't they preach it? Why won't you people out there listen to the Kingdom of God message? Why is it that famous preachers, preachers that preach as I do to worldwide audiences all over the world, will come out and say, "Well, the Gospel of the Kingdom is not for this time. That's for a future time. It's for another people. It's not even for our race or our nationality. It's for another people and another time." Why do they do away with the truth of God?
Jesus Preached the Kingdom after John Turn to Luke 16:16, and you'll find that the law and the prophets, and that's the Old Testament, were until John. Not until the cross, not until Pentecost, not until the second coming of Christ, not until the time these men say the Kingdom message will go out, but just until John. And it is when John was put in prison that Jesus came into Galilee preaching, what? The Kingdom of God. And in Luke 16:16;
"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time [since John] the kingdom of God is preached..." (Luke 16:16)
That, my friends, is the message and the only message that Jesus taught and proclaimed. That is the message that, Peter, James, and John, and Andrew, and the other apostles went out and proclaimed. That is the message the early Church believed and preached. That is the message the apostle Paul taught and preached to the Gentiles. That is the message, the so-called Gentile churches, actually, they were Gentile born, but they had now become Israelites. Because you know, Paul said;
"..if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's children, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29)
But that is the message that Paul preached to them and the message they believed. And the apostle Paul pronounced a double curse on man or angel, that would dare to preach any other Gospel. (Galatians 1:8,9) Is it of my making, my friends, that in this twentieth century, that God has sent me to proclaim that message? And that it just simply is a statement of fact, a fact not of my making. I've had nothing to do with it. That, that message has not been proclaimed, the government of God, living by every word of God. When God says, for instance in Jeremiah 10, as I was just explaining in the preceding program I believe it was, that having Christmas trees and setting them up in your house, is the way of the heathen. And He commands; "...Learn not the way of the heathen..." (Jeremiah 10:2)
If we were making the law of God of some effect, instead of making it of no effect by our traditions. If we were obedient to God and the rule of God, if we proclaimed and believed the Kingdom of God. If we were doers, and not hearers only, we'd pay some attention to those things instead of saying, "Well, this is the way we look at it" or, "This is what our church says." God have mercy on us. I tell you, my friends, it's time to wake up. No, God has sent me to proclaim these truths, and I give you the truth, and I give you actual facts. They're not of my making. God help us.
Well, Jesus said;...How [then] shall we liken the Kingdom of God?...what parable shall we set it forth? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all seeds that are upon the earth, yet when it is sown [it], growth up [notice, it grows, it doesn't die, and it doesn't stand still, it grows and grows], and becometh greater than all the herbs..." (Mark 4:30-32 ASV)
You know everything God ever did through human men, started just like that, as small as possible. Do you know that God started the whole human race through one man? He started it through one man who disobeyed Him, and turned his back on God, and the government of God. And started the other way, and his children after him, rebelling against God. Nevertheless, God started the human race with one man. That was the beginning of this world.
Now, God found another man, and started His own nation, Israel. Out of whom, and through, and from whom, are to become those begotten of God. And finally the Kingdom of God, by one man, Abraham, a man who obeyed God, and a man who was a man of faith. And Abraham is the father of the faithful. And if you are Christ's then are you one of Abraham's children, and heirs according to the promise made to Abraham. (Galatians 3:29) Because all the promises on which the Christian must rely, and depend for his salvation, are the promises that God made to one man, Abraham. Oh, I tell you we'd better go back and study our Bibles and learn what they say.
Faith by Obedience And so Abraham obeyed God, and you'll find that Abraham was faithful. And he is an example of faith, but he proved his faith by his obedience. You read of it in the eleventh chapter of Romans — no I mean Hebrews, the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. And by the way, I mentioned the eleventh chapter of Romans, it certainly ties in, that's another wonderful chapter. That is showing that the Gentiles are grafted into Israel if they are converted, and what's happened to Israel just until a certain time. And then the eleventh chapter of Isaiah fits into it, and shows what'll happen after that time is over. There are many of these eleventh chapters in the Bible that tie in one to another. Well, I meant the eleventh chapter, now, of Hebrews, the faith chapter of the Bible. And you'll find a great deal of that is based on Abraham, the father of the faithful. Then you turn over to James and in the second chapter, you'll find the great experience of Abraham who proved his faith by his works and; "...faith without works is dead..." (James 2:26)
Today, they tell you, 'Just faith, but no works.' What are they proclaiming? What kind of a faith is required for salvation? My friends, write in for our booklet, on that subject, 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' Do you know that millions who actually believe in Jesus Christ, and who have professed Him, and accepted Him as personal savior, have no salvation at all? They're not saved. They're not born again or anything of the kind. They're trusting in a wrong kind of faith. Now, you know, you might be deceived. Why don't you find out? Why don't you write in for this booklet — 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' If you're on solid and safe ground you'll just be sure of it, and if you're not, it's better to find out, and find what is the way. Because I want to tell you that many false prophets are gone out into the world. And a deceived person is an honest person, who really believes, but has been fooled and deceived, and the Bible says that this whole world has been deceived. (Revelation 12:9) Could you possibly have been deceived yourself? My friends, better not take a chance, write in and get that booklet. It's free. It's an attractive booklet. It isn't a cheap tract. It's a very attractive booklet. It will fold into your pocket or a large size envelope. It's a twelve page booklet. There's no charge.
Well, my friends, all of salvation comes through Jesus Christ, our Lord. And He was the Son of God and He was the Logos, the Word of God, that was made flesh. Yes, made human for the purpose of death, to give His life for every man. And so, Abraham is the human father of the faithful, and Jesus Christ is the one through whom we come to have that salvation — one man, again. God starts everything as small as it can be started. You know, my friends, that God started this present work, the smallest that anything could start. Jesus came professing or proclaiming His Gospel. He taught it to His disciples. He said that;
"...many false prophets would arise, they would use his name [they would say He was Christ]; but they would deceive the many." (Matthew 24:5 paraphrased)
But, His disciples had asked Him when would His second coming occur. When would this great time, the Day of the Lord, and the destruction, and the final chaos at the end of the world occur, and the destruction of this world and the second coming of Christ? And He had named a number of things, but He said that is not the end. And finally He said in Matthew 24 and in verse fourteen, Jesus said this;
"...this gospel of the kingdom [which He said men would depart from because they would be deceived. This gospel of the kingdom] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)
The end of the world, the end of the age, the second coming of Christ. And so it is His will that His Gospel, the Gospel that God sent by Jesus Christ, once again, now in these latter times, go out to all the world. That's the doing of God, it's not the doing of man. It's not my doing at all. I tell you, my friends, if we are servants of God, we are merely instruments in His hand, and it is God doing it. You'll find that the apostle Paul when he came back to Jerusalem told the apostles there, what things God had done through him in his work. He didn't do it, God did it. Paul was an instrument. I have done nothing. God has done it. I am merely an instrument. And anyone must become merely an instrument in the hands of God, if God is ever to use them. But God does work through human beings, those whom He will call. And so this Gospel of the Kingdom now has begun to go out.
Things of god Start Small Do you know that this started the smallest of any broadcast? 'The Plain Truth' magazine started the smallest of any magazine. It was printed on a borrowed mimeograph, we didn't even have one of our own. I had to even borrow the typewriter on which I cut the stencils. I did it myself with my own hands. Mrs. Armstrong helped me to get it out, and to print it, and to mail it to a very, very few. She turned the mimeograph machine to grind out those copies. We couldn't afford to have them printed in those days. And I don't remember just how many copies of that first issue of 'The Plain Truth' but I think it was 250 or 300 copies, about 300. It was certainly, if anything less than that, it certainly was not more. And it started as small as anything could start.
The things of God start small, but God sees that they grow great. This from the very beginning has been a work of implicit faith in God. We have no means whatsoever. I didn't have the money, as I said, to even buy a mimeograph or a typewriter. Later, we bought a second-hand typewriter for ten dollars. Later, I bought an old second-hand Neostyle, not even a mimeograph. It was an old kind of an antiquated machine, that had gone out of date when the mimeograph actually came in. And I believe we got that for five or ten dollars second-hand, a real old one, that had been worn out. And that's the way the magazine was started out. We started out paying two dollars and a half a broadcast on the air and that was just the cost of station time. My friends, if you know what radio and television cost in these days, you would know how small this started. Well, the things of God start small, they grow great.
Now, that's the way it is with the Kingdom of God. It started with Abraham who would obey God, and just a few people. But salvation was not opened up until after Christ came. Did you know that? Except to those few that God called, just the prophets, the few that God called back in those days. Otherwise, no one could just say, "I want to be saved and come to God." Salvation wasn't opened before the cross. The Holy Spirit was not available to just anyone who might desire the Holy Spirit until that day of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended to heaven.
And then, the real spirit-begotten family of God began, with the one man, Jesus Christ. He's the first-born of many brethren, the first-born from among the dead. But do you know that the Kingdom of God is going to grow until it becomes greater than all other nations? It's a kingdom, it's a government, a nation, a family. A family of persons grown into the greatest most powerful nation on earth. We now, are nations of human beings in the animal kingdom. Did you know that? Human beings are merely in the animal kingdom. But the Kingdom of God is a nation, a government of those people that are in the God Kingdom. Not the animal kingdom but that have been changed, have been converted;
"...this mortal [putting] on immortality." (I Corinthians 15:53)
Until they're in the God Kingdom, because the Kingdom of God is the God Kingdom. I don't believe that can quite soak in. I doubt if very many of you comprehend the tremendous import of those words that I just said. But if you will begin to study your Bible, and especially in the New Testament you will find it's written all the way through your New Testament.
Another Parable Well, now here He comes to another parable, Mark the fourth chapter the thirty-third verse;
"...with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as...were able to hear it; and without a parable spake he not unto them: but [listen] privately to his disciples he expounded all things." (Mark 4:33-34 ASV)
He didn't explain the meaning of the parables to the multitudes. Now, take Matthew's account parallel along with that, and you'll understand it. Matthew 13:33-35 where the same thing is given in little different language, and a few more additional details are added.
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal [until all was], leavened." (Matthew 13:33)
And finally the Kingdom of God, my friends, will permeate the entire world. But the Kingdom of God is a certain age, as well as a different kind of life, and government, and people, and it is not of this world.
Jesus said; "...My kingdom is not of this world..." (John 18:36)
And He spoke of this age, this present time. This is not the time of the Kingdom of God. Oh, if we could understand it! Jesus' Kingdom is the Kingdom of God and He said; "My kingdom is not of this age." It's of the world tomorrow. It's of the age to come. God help us to open our eyes. Now, here's what Matthew said;
"And all these things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes [notice, unto the multitudes He spake in parables]; and without a parable spake he nothing unto them:" (Matthew 13:34 ASV)
But as Mark says, Mark 4 verse 34; "...without a parable spake he not unto them: but privately to his disciples he expounded all things." (Mark 4:34 ASV) He explained these things in plain language to His disciples.
Well, finally He said; "that it might be fulfilled...[by] the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; and I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 13:35 ASV)
Now, we come to Matthew 13:36 carrying right on in Matthew's account of this. And here's the parable of the tares.
"Then he left the multitudes...he went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain unto us the parable of the tares in the field." (Matthew 13:36 ASV) They didn't understand it.
Well, He said; "...He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are...sons of the evil [one]." (Matthew 13:37-38 ASV)
Do you know, my friends, you hear this expression today, and I think that most church denominations and sects and organizations believe it. This thing 'The Fatherhood of God' and 'The Brotherhood of Man' and it means that God is the Father of all people. Do you know that is not so? Do you know that unless you are converted through Jesus Christ, and have received the Holy Spirit of God, and been begotten of God by His very Spirit, that in Bible language you're a son of the Devil? Now, that's rather shocking, but if you'll study your Bible, you'll see that's exactly what it teaches. And here in the Kingdom, but this is in the Kingdom not now, not this age, but the Kingdom of God after Jesus comes.
"...the tares are the sons of the evil [one] [there'll still be some of them there]; and the enemy that sowed them is the devil: and the harvest is the end of the world [the end of the age, what age? Listen];...the reapers are [the] angels. As therefore the tares are gathered up and burned with fire..." (Matthew 13:38-40 ASV)
And that'll be the end of the Millennium as I showed you in a preceding broadcast. Not the end of this age or this time. So it will be in the end of the world.
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling..." (Matthew 13:41 ASV)
But His Kingdom is not of this time, this age, and that's speaking of gathering out of His Kingdom, which is coming in our generation.
"...and them [them] that do iniquity, shall [he] cast...into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth [and]. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father..." (Matthew 13:41-43 ASV)
Of course, they will shine forth. They'll be glorified as Jesus was glorified. Now, He continued with other parables. I'm going to have break off right there though, and we'll continue on. Oh, I hope you can understand this and get it.
But now, I want to tell you, remind you once again to write in for that booklet on 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' Put yourself to the test, and see whether you have been deceived. Because many deceivers, said Jesus, are gone out into the world today.
Now, finally listen. You live today in the most tremendous times of all earth's history. You're going to live on into, and through the supernatural world catastrophes bringing about the end of this world, ushering in the Kingdom of God and the happier world tomorrow. The very first business of your life ahead of everything else, ought to be the study of your Bible, to come to really understand the Bible — especially its prophecies. But you need help. At last you can take the 'Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course' by correspondence right there in your own home. This Bible correspondence course is now ready for your enrollment. So listen. If you want to really understand your Bible. If you are willing to really set yourself to devote a half hour, or more every day to the real study of your Bible with this wonderful course, then we are ready to start sending you the lessons by mail. Just write and tell me that you want to enroll.
Never has there been a correspondence course like this and we have decided to charge no tuition. We're going to send you this course by mail without charge, trusting God purely on faith to supply the need. Now, remember this is not just something to read over carelessly. This is a course of study, and the textbook is your Bible, you'll have to really study your Bible.
Now, write immediately and tell me that you want to enroll.
And so, goodbye friends, until tomorrow.