Greetings! Could you open a Bible and show me, in the Bible, where it says, "If you are saved, you will go to heaven when you die"? Could you? Do you realize that not one in thousands knows what salvation is?
You hear a great deal about being saved. You hear a lot about receiving Christ. You hear a lot about salvation. But what do you mean, 'Salvation?'
I have a booklet I'm going to offer you at the close of this program, 'What Do You Mean... Salvation?' And it will be as big and eye-opening surprise to you as it was to me fifty-four years ago. I'm going to show you just what I discovered years and years ago. And not one in thousands knows what salvation is. Is it a place; is it a destination; is it a condition? What do you mean, 'Salvation?' If you are saved, what do you get; where do you go; what's going to happen? Isn't it time that we know just what the Bible says about that sort of thing?
Wages of Sin Alright, fifty-four years ago I read in Romans 6:23, in the New Testament: "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
Now, 'wages' is simply what you get paid for whatever you've done. That's what you get paid for what you did, if you work or if you have a job that's your wages. The wages of sin sin is what you did, and the wages you get paid it says, is death.
Now I couldn't believe that fifty-four years ago. I said, "Well, I've always been taught I was brought up in a very respectable and highly respected Protestant denomination and I thought that the wages of sin was eternal life but of course in hell fire if you were a sinner. I thought the saved go up to heaven, but if you're a sinner you go straight down to hell". And I still thought it was eternal life even though it might be in hell fire, but you just keep burning and burning and burning and never burn up for all eternity.
So I was really shocked. I said, "Well that can't be right." I couldn't quite believe the Bible. It wasn't what I had always believed.
Then I read the other half of that same sentence, the second half. It says; "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Well now that was just as shocking as the first part of that sentence the gift of God. I said, "Well I'm an immortal soul, or I have an immortal soul whichever. Anyway, I would just, 'pass away,' I won't really die. I pass away either up to heaven, or I go to hell." And of course some people think you go to purgatory whichever. Nevertheless, you go on living forever. That is the general idea that most people have had.
Well I got to looking around a little bit about this thing of the 'immortal soul'. And you know I found back here in the book of Ezekiel, in the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel and verse four.
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die!" (Ezekiel 18:4)
Now that was shocking a soul die? I thought, "A soul is immortal; how can it die? A soul is certainly immortal. How's it going to die?" "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Well, I read in the New Testament, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4)
Now I looked over here into the twentieth verse and here is the same thing repeated again. You know, repetition is sometimes a form of emphasis to make it really emphasized.
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:20)
Man Made From Ground Well I got to looking a little further. I turned clear back to the beginning of the Bible. And I turned back to Genesis the second chapter and verse seven, in the Bible, Genesis 2:7. And here it says
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [now He formed man of the dust of the ground, just out of matter], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [the same as animals, you breath in and out of the nostrils the breath of life down into your lungs and back out again]. And man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
It doesn't say, 'an immortal soul.' Man, made of the dust of the ground, became a living soul. In other words, what was made of the dust of the ground became a soul. A soul, then, came out of the ground and is not an immortal soul. It is not made of spirit, but is composed entirely of matter. Well that seemed to be quite a significant thing to me.
Now I got to looking a little further and I find here that in the first chapter of Genesis in verse twenty-five:
"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said; Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:25,26)
Now it is speaking there, not of just of one person, but, "God said." And the word for God here in the first chapter of Genesis is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim. Elohim is a uni-plural. It's like the word, family, or like the word church, or like the word, say, team, a team of more than one person, of a number of persons that make one team, a number of people make one church, a number of people: two, three, five, ten make a family. But it's only one family; it's one church; it's one team. And so God said [one God said], "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (Genesis 1:25-26)
And He made man, God made man, out of the dust of the ground. Now you are a soul; you are mortal. You are like a clock running down. Now a clock, you wind it up and it's running down. And when it runs down it's going to stop. Only God has life. And God ONLY has life. Only God has eternal life to give.
Now the first humans did not have life, but they were offered life. God did not make them to have life. God made them out of the dust of the ground. And we get our life and the Bible confirms this in other parts of the Bible it says that it, the breath, is "the breath of life" (Genesis 2:7). You breath in and out of the nostrils and you became a living soul. He was not a living soul until he was breathing.
Again, the Bible says, "The blood thereof is the life thereof" (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:14) the circulation of blood. We get a chemical existence through the circulation of blood and the breathing of air. And we have to eat food and drink water. And that is what fuels us and keeps us going. That's all we have; that's what we have.
Now, as I said, God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness" (Genesis 1:26). But He didn't make man out of spirit. God is composed of spirit and God made man of the dust of the ground.
Now in the second chapter of Genesis and beginning with verse eight, right after the verse I read to you:
"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed [He had formed man out of ground, the ground was already there], and out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that was pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:8-9)
There were two special trees among all the other very beautiful trees with luscious fruits, beautiful colors and everything. But these two were very special, they were symbolic. The one was a tree of life.
Now man did not have eternal life. He was a mortal man; he was a soul that would surely die! "The soul that sinneth it shall surely die" (Ezekiel 18:4,20): "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). That is what the Bible says. And it says from beginning to end, all through the Bible, that is what the Bible teaches.
I began to wonder, fifty-four years ago, why had I been taught something different? Why had I been taught just the opposite of what the Bible says? but I had been. Have you? I think it's about time we begin to look into this thing. So I did begin to look into it and I was quite surprised.
Why We Need Eternal Life Now carry on a little further. Here was this man and this woman made of the dust of the ground. Here was the tree of life. In other words, if they took of that tree they would RECEIVE life! They didn't have, I mean life inherent; I mean SPIRIT life. They would've been immortal. They wouldn't have been a soul, but they would have been immortal. They would then have had immortal life.
But there was another tree. And it was named the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now beginning with verse fifteen again:
"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:15-17).
Now there again, man was a soul what was made from the dust of the ground became a soul. And God said to that soul, made of the dust of the ground, "You will surely die if you take to yourself the knowledge of good and evil!"
God was giving him the knowledge of good and evil. God was showing him the right way of life. But you know, Adam did not believe what God said. Do you believe what God says today? Not very many do; not very many do. Adam didn't believe what God said. There were multiple, multiple thousands heard Jesus Christ preach when He was here more than nineteen hundred and fifty years ago. And of all those multiple thousands, how many believed what He said? Only 120. Only 120 not many will believe God.
So the devil came along and told old mother Eve, "Well, you won't surely die. You are an immortal soul" (Genesis 3:4). And you know mother Eve believed it. And her children we're all her children; everybody on earth comes from Adam and Eve they've been believing that ever since. They've been believing the devil, but we don't believe God. We won't believe what God says!
Now finally after the man took to themselves that is the man and his wife took to themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. You see, God's law tells us what is good and what is evil. God Himself tells us what is good and what is evil. That is divine knowledge. There is a divine spiritual law that tells us what is good and what is evil. And "sin is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4)
In your Bible, first John chapter three and verse four, "sin is the transgression of the law." And you'll find in the seventh chapter of Romans that "the law is spiritual;" (Romans 7:12) It's a spiritual law. And it's "holy, just, and good," (Romans 7:14) says Paul in Romans. Most people think the law is a terrible thing! Oh no. That's God's way of life. It's the way of loving others as yourself, the way of loving God above all, first of all. And loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). That is the out flowing love. I call that the way of give. But people are living the way of get, instead.
So that's what Adam and Eve did. They wanted to live the way of get. So they took to themselves the knowledge of good and evil! They disobeyed God! They decided they would decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. So you notice here in the third chapter of Genesis now.
God said "Now lest [the man] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden...and placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which pointed every way, to keep the way of the tree of life..." (Genesis 3:22-24). Lest they go back and gain immortal life and live forever in sin!
Why We Need Salvation Now sin is only the thing that causes you trouble. Sin is the thing that brings misery and heartache and unhappiness and suffering. And there are millions starving to death because of sin. Millions are suffering every kind of suffering and pang and heartache that you can think of all over this earth! It's a very evil world that we're living in today.
Well, how are you going to be saved from all of that? Man went wrong. God sent man out and shut off the tree of life so he couldn't have the tree of life. And man is cut off from God. And God the Father is the only one who has life to give, the only one! How are we, then, going to get life?
Well I would like to have you notice next in John the third chapter. And this is the golden text of all the Bible. I know you've heard this; everybody's heard it.
"God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son [that was Jesus Christ] that whosoever believeth on him should not perish [should not what? Doesn't say he should not live forever in hell, it says, 'should not perish' That's what your Bible teaches from beginning to end]... but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
That is the gift of God! There again it is; it's all through the Bible, my friends. The Bible teaches it all the way through. Why have we been taught just the opposite of this holy Word of God? Why? I think it's about time we open our eyes and begin to know.
Jesus said to Nicodemus just turn back about, well I have to turn one page here in my Bible here was this Pharisee, Nicodemus. He sneaked in by night to see Jesus.
"And he said, "We Pharisees know that you are from God" (John 3:2 paraphrased). Oh they knew it; they knew that He was the Messiah. Then Jesus immediately got right to the point. And Jesus said, "Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (John 3:3)
What is the Kingdom of God? Well, what gospel did Jesus preach; what was the gospel that Jesus proclaimed? It had something to do with the Kingdom of God.
Turn to Mark the first chapter and verse one. "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Mark 1:1)
WHY HAVE YOU NOT HEARD THAT GOSPEL? WHY HAVE YOU NOT HEARD THAT GOSPEL?
You will read in Galatians the first chapter and verses six and seven that they were ALREADY changing to another gospel, a COUNTERFEIT gospel, talking about the PERSON of Christ. Christ was the messenger who brought the message and the message that God the Father sent by Christ that is the gospel. But you've heard about the Messenger, but you haven't heard His message, except through this program, my friends,
"Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Mark 1:1 paraphrased)
Verse 14; "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14). That's the gospel He preached; He preached no other gospel! And a double curse is pronounced upon man or angel that'll preach any other gospel. That's in Galatians the first chapter and the eighth and ninth verses.
Notice here, Jesus said "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, REPENT YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL." (Mark 1:15)
Now He said to repent. In other words, repent of sin. And "sin is the transgression of the law," (Romans 6:23) the way of God. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and they got shut off from life. And they only had a chemical, temporary existence like a clock running down.
Now the clock runs down for some when they're just babies being born, others, maybe after an hour, and some after a day or a year. Some live to be seventy years old. And some, by the grace of God, live a little longer. Some very, very, very few live to a hundred or past. But we're all, like a clock, running down. We don't have life inherent in ourselves; we just don't have it.
Spirit Life Now back again now to about Jesus talking to Nicodemus once again. And Jesus said in verse 6 to Nicodemus.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh [now you and I were born mortal of the flesh made out of the dust of the ground. We are flesh; that's what we are. What do you mean, 'born again'] That which is born of the Spirit IS spirit." (John 3:6)
When you are born of the Spirit you will BE spirit; but you are not now spirit, you are still flesh. And so am I; and so is every human that lives. Jesus Christ only is now spirit. He was human. He died; He died for you and for me. God gave His only begotten Son for you and for me. Jesus was the firstborn by a resurrection of many brethren. You and I can be those brethren born of God by a resurrection. But the world doesn't seem to know. WHEN YOU ARE BORN AGAIN YOU WILL BE SPIRIT. You won't be mortal any longer. And that is not what is being preached today, either.
Why don't they preach what the Bible says? Why don't they believe God? Why do they believe Satan? It's about time we open our eyes and we find out what this world is believing.
Now I'd like to have you turn to first Corinthians, the fifteenth chapter, beginning with verse 45.
"And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul [now, just a living soul not an immortal soul made of the dust of the ground, but] the last Adam [that was Jesus Christ] was made a quickening spirit [Jesus was made a quickening spirit by a resurrection from the dead]. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual [Adam was not spiritual] but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual [Christ was the One who became spiritual]. The first man was of the earth, earthy..." (I Corinthians 15:45-47). Adam was of the earth, earthy. So are you; and so am I and it's about time we realize that's what we are and that's all we are. And eternal life is the gift of God. And you have to get it God's way. And that begins with repenting of your sin and breaking of God's laws. That's the way it begins. But let's read on:
"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy [that's you and me and every human being you know of] and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we [we in the Church, we who do have God's salvation] we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." (I Corinthians 15:48-49)
Now we'll have a different image. "that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit." We shall BECOME spirit when we're born again. We won't BE flesh and blood; we won't BE matter. We won't have a heart ticking and pumping blood through our veins any longer. We'll have life inherent in ourselves.
"Now this I say [my], brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God [you can't inherit the Kingdom of God as long as you're flesh and blood. I'm still flesh and blood, so are you, and we're not going to inherit the Kingdom of God as long as we're flesh and blood]; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a MYSTERY [a mystery is something that's been hid from people that they've not been able to see, not been able to understand. What is that mystery?] We shall not all sleep [that is, we will not all be dead. That's the Bible language for being dead]. But we shall all be [we in the Church] SHALL ALL BE CHANGED [if you do have salvation, that is] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound [that's at the second coming of Christ, if you know the other scriptures] and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, AND WE SHALL BE CHANGED [changed from mortal to immortal; changed from matter to spirit] For this corruptible [made of matter] must put on incorruption [spirit that can't rot or decay] and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:50-54)
Oh, what a wonderful thing that is. But that only comes because "God gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Saved By Christ's Life Now I'd like to have you read something else in the book of Romans, in the fifth chapter of Romans and verses eight on through ten, Romans five, beginning with verse eight.
"But God commendeth his love toward us [now God who so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son] that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [God gave His Son; Christ died for us]. Much more, then, being now justified by his blood [now notice: by the blood of Christ you are justified. Let me tell you another shocker; this will shock you and surprise you: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST DOES NOT SAVE ANYBODY. The blood of Christ JUSTIFIES YOU of your past guilt and reconciles you to God! And God has life to give. Notice it: we're justified by the blood of Christ]... shall be saved from wrath through Him [we'll be saved through Christ] for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son [the blood of Christ reconciles you to God. God cut off everybody back in the garden of Eden! But through Christ, you are reconciled back to God again reconciled to God by the death of His Son] much more, being reconciled, WE SHALL BE SAVED [you're not saved, yet SHALL be saved, at the second coming of Christ] BY HIS LIFE." (Romans 5:8-10)
L-I-F-E ... LIFE! Not saved by His death, but by a resurrection, and by the resurrection of Christ. Oh how different that is from the preaching we hear today from the COUNTERFEIT GOSPELS THAT WE HEAR! LET'S GET BACK TO THE WORD OF GOD AND BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD.
What God tells us is the truth, my friends. Will you believe it with me? It's about time that we do.
Now I'd like to go a little further, if I have just another minute or two. I'd like to have you notice Luke 13:3 Luke 13:3.
"[Jesus said] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)
You have to turn from your way. You have to turn to God's way. And the blood of Christ will not avail you anything till you do. Repentance is towards God the Father. It's God the Father we're cut off from. Now Christ died to reconcile us to God the Father. And through His shed blood you're reconciled to God, and then God will give you eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ, and through the resurrection.
Now one other passage, if I can have time. And that is Psalm 37:29. I want you to notice.
"The righteous shall inherit [not heaven... shall inherit] the earth [the righteous shall inherit the earth] and dwell therein forever " (Psalm 37:29)
So says your Bible. And there is no promise in the New Testament, the Old Testament, anywhere in the Bible of anything else, except inheriting the earth. There is no promise of going to heaven. You can't find it in your Bible. It's about time to wake up.
Why don't you write in this eye-opening booklet:'What Do You Mean... Salvation?' I tell you there's been so much deception; so many people have been deceived. They just don't know the way of salvation. They don't know how you get it; they don't when you get it. This world has been deceived. Your Bible says, in Revelation 12:9, that the whole world has been deceived by a Satan the devil. Yes, there is a Satan the devil. And he became a Satan after God had made him a perfectly righteous super archangel. I'd like to have you get that booklet. There's no charge for the booklet. It's free. We believe in giving, not getting. So, until next time, Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."