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   Ladies and gentlemen, greetings. If a major hurricane is on the way, coming right toward Miami Florida, it is vitally important that the people there have advance warning so they can prepare. And that has happened more than once in Miami. But a far more staggering event is going to occur wherever you live because it is going to occur and strike the whole world and comparatively soon. And there is only one advance warning and that advance warning is in your Bible.
   Now the world's greatest seller is the Bible. More people have a Bible than any other book. But as Bruce Barton said, it is the book that nobody ever understands, few of them read it, fewer still understand it, and fewer still believe what it says.
   Now about one third of the Bible is prophecy. It's advance warning, and the staggering event that I am referring to was given in a warning by Jesus Christ Himself. No less than just Jesus Christ Himself.
   Well, He spoke to many, many thousands multiple thousands of people for three and a half years when He was on earth. Do you know how many believed what He said? Only one hundred and twenty, after three and half years, believed what He said. You'll find that in your Bible in Acts, the book of Acts chapter one, verse fifteen.
   Very few people will believe, but this is going to come and your Bible says it is going to catch people just like a rat gets stuck in a trap. It snaps on him suddenly and he didn't know, he had no advance warning at all. And if you don't listen and heed what Jesus Christ Himself said, and you have not heard this preached it can strike you in the same way without any preparation whatsoever.

Prophecy of Jesus Christ

   Now it is in a prophecy of Jesus Christ. About one third of all of the Bible is prophecy. You don't hear prophecy preached very often, because very few understand it and even what is preached is preached by those who do not have a right understanding of it. But let's see if we can't understand the plain simple words. It is very plain. It is very simple if we can understand it if we want to believe it if we want to understand it. And it occurs in the New Testament in Matthew 24 and in Mark 13 and in Luke 21. Now almost none have understood these biblical prophecies and of all of the prophecies, the one most misunderstood is the book of Revelation.
   I have been saying a few things about that in the last few weeks. Let's go back to the book of Revelation just a moment then I am coming back to Matthew 24. But the book of Revelation is the least understood of all of the prophecies of the Bible; and a very, very important one. Very first chapter, the very first verse; "The Revelation of Jesus Christ..." (Revelation 1:1)
   Now it is a book of revelation. Revelation doesn't mean hiding and concealing. Revelation means opening up to understanding. And it is the revelation of Jesus Christ. He is the Revealer He is the one who opens it up so we can understand.
   Now "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass [these things are going to come to pass, they must come to pass]; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1). Who recorded it and we have it here in this book.
   Now, it came in the form of a scroll. Not the kind of book we have today, but a long scroll rolled up and it was sealed so they couldn't unroll it and open it up so they could see what it said. And even if they could see what it said it is written in symbolic language. And people can't understand it unless it is explained. And it says here, if you will read on into the third and fourth chapters, that here it was sealed with seven seals and no one could understand it. No man could explain it.
   Now when men try to explain it, they don't explain it correctly, because no man can explain it. Only Jesus Christ can explain it. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ. He took the book and He opened the seals and explained them. Now He does not explain the meaning of it in the book of Revelation. It was a closed and sealed book and it was expected to be closed and sealed until God's time had come, but we are living in the days now the very last days of this world and God's time has come. And now we have to go where Jesus Himself and where you find Him quoted. As a matter of fact, if you have a red letter Bible that's the kind of Bible where the words of Jesus, that He spoke Himself, are in red type instead of black type you will find this is all in red type, because it's the very words of Jesus Christ Himself.
   No man could understand this prophecy, but just Jesus Christ Himself. So now I'd like to turn to it in Matthew 24. I've gone into this a little bit and I want to just rehearse a little bit and then we are going to go right on further than we did the last time if you were listening then.
   Now Jesus said to His disciples they were near the temple at the time that is described here in Jerusalem and they had been showing Him the buildings of the temple and so He said to them: "Do you see all of these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2 paraphrased)
   In other words He was telling them that the temple was going to be destroyed. So utterly destroyed there wouldn't be one stone left and it was a temple built with on stone. Of course it had a great deal of gold, silver, and other things inside besides wood and other materials. But it was built on outside on stone.
   "And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives..." (Matthew 24:3)
   Now later the disciples came to Him; He had told them that the temple would be destroyed. Now actually that happened in the year of 70 A.D. That happened in their lifetime. Many of them were still alive in 70 A.D., because when this occurred, it was sometime before 31 A.D. Might have been about well it could have been about the year 30 A.D., but any way as He sat on the Mount of Olives later now.
   The disciples came to Him privately and they remembered what He had said, and so now they asked Him, "...when shall these things be?" (Matthew 24:3)
   Well what things? What had He been talking about the destruction of the temple. But at other times He had told them about the fact of the end of this world and that He was coming to establish the kingdom of God. Now I am going to go into that a little bit later. But, He told them that He was going to leave. He was going to heaven, but He would come back again. And that is in many prophecies especially take the prophecy of Luke 19 and other places in the Bible.
   Anyway they knew that, so they said, "Tell us when shall these be? And [now they asked another question that they hadn't been discussing down by the temple] what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world (Matthew 24:3)? Now you have heard about the end of the world well that is where it comes from, this expression right here in Matthew 24 and in verse three.

Disciples Asked for a Sign

   He did not mean the end of the earth's existence. He was talking about the end of this order of things. Of man's government on the earth, of man's society and of a new world on this earth not somewhere else. Jesus said that He was born to be a king, but He said "My kingdom is not of this world...."(John 18:36). It is of the world tomorrow another world. What will be the sign of His coming? His coming is to start another world and it will end this world. That is this civilization, this man-built civilization influenced by Satan.
   They wanted a sign to show them so they would know when His coming was near. So Jesus answered and said now remember there are two questions. One the destruction of the temple that happened in 70 A.D. The other question they are asking now about the end of the world and His coming back to the earth as He had told them and He had given them in parables the idea that He was coming back to rule all the earth.
   Now notice, and He said, answering their first question; "...Take heed that no man deceive you [talking about the time between then and the time of the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.]. For [He said] many shall come in my name [and they did in those very days, come in my name,] saying, that I am the Christ and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:5). They would come saying that Jesus was the Christ, but they would deceive many.
   Now, "For many shall come in my name, saying I am the Christ and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:5)
   But He did not there answer the end of the world and what sign He would give of His coming again to rule the world tomorrow. Another world at the end of this world. He comes to that a little later here, down in verse fourteen.
   "And [He finally said here] this gospel of the kingdom [now that is the gospel He was preaching the 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)
   Now there would come a time when the gospel of the kingdom of God should be preached in all the world. That would be a sign of the end. If the gospel of the kingdom had been proclaimed previous to this time, that would not be a sign, would it? So that gospel was not proclaimed earlier.
   Now, He later showed them something else that was coming. The gospel of the kingdom would be proclaimed and then something else in verse twenty-one and twenty-two. Just read on just a little further; "...and then [He said] shall be great tribulation [this is going to be greater than any hurricane coming to Miami, Florida] then shall be great tribulation such, as was not from the beginning of the world until [to] this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:" (Matthew 24:21-22)
   And the correct translation, you will find it in the Moffatt translation and other translations of the Bible translating it into English, is that no human being would be saved alive on earth. In other words, a time of absolute human extinction. A time of what you might call comoscide.
   You know that the number one problem today is the problem of human survival on this earth. Do you know that for the first time in all the history of this world the weapons of mass destruction exist today that can erase all human life from the surface of this earth? You are living in such a time and He is talking about such a time. And He says here "...except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]. But, [He goes on to say] for the elect's sake..." (Matthew 24:22)
   The elect are those who pray to Him day and night and are really converted real Christians. There are not too many of those in the world. For their sake, those days shall be shortened. In other words, God is going to intervene before that type of utter destruction ever happens. But we are going to come just short of that of the annihilation of the human race from this earth.

What did he mean the Gospel?

   Now then, I want to go back to verse fourteen a minute. Just what did He mean "the gospel of the kingdom"? Have you heard that gospel? Not very many have, my friends, not very many have heard the gospel of the kingdom of God. I want you to notice in Galatians {1} the gospel that Jesus preached now was the gospel of the kingdom of God. You will find that in Mark the first chapter where it says: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God, as it is written in the prophets" (Mark 1:1), and so on. Well there was the John the Baptist preparing the way before Him but now come to the preaching of that gospel. Verse fourteen:
   "Now after that John was put [in] prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel [but what gospel? What gospel did Jesus preach? Is that gospel being preached today?] preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God [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 1:14-15). People have not repented and people have not believed that gospel.
   Now then, I want to go a little further and show you right away over here, for instance in the book of Galatians. This was recorded back just prior to 31 A.D., it might have been in 30 and 31 A.D. The book of Galatians was written about 52 A.D. The apostle Paul wrote it to the churches up in Galatia, which is in Asia Minor and that is the land occupied by the nation of Turkey today. Paul wrote to them in 53 A.D. Just a very few years; "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:" (Galatians 1:6)
   Now what they had was not a true gospel. The gospel is good news and that isn't exactly what they had. "Which is not another; but there be some that [would] trouble you and pervert the gospel of [Jesus] Christ." (Galatians 1:7)
   There were, now remember, Jesus said that in their time false apostles would come preaching that Jesus is the Christ and yet deceiving the many. How could you preach that Jesus was the Christ the Messiah, and still deceive the many? How could you believe on Christ and still be lost? How could you? Jesus says that many will believe on Him in vain, because they are not obeying, and because they are not believing the gospel of the kingdom of God.
   Well now I'd like you to notice a little more in II Corinthians the eleventh chapter, where the apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth he said: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent [meaning Satan the devil] beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so [that] your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel [showing that there would be another gospel preached, and it has been], which ye have not accepted, that [ye] might [well] bear with him." (II Corinthians 11:3-4)
   Now he goes on a little further, you go down a little further in this same chapter and he shows about the ones that were preaching that Jesus is the Christ, but deceiving the many. Verse thirteen:
   "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ [oh yes they preach that Jesus is the Christ alright]. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light [he pretends to be an angel of light, but he is only the angel of darkness]. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [that is if Satan's ministers] also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness [they claim to be the ministers of Christ]; whose end shall be according to their [works] beginning." (II Corinthians 11:13-15)

Prophecies about the Gospel

   Now, that is the prophecy. Perhaps you don't believe that, perhaps you don't want to believe that. Well, all I can do is tell you what God says it is up to you whether you believe it or not. But now I want to remind you of some of the prophecies about the gospel.
   First let's go back into the book of Isaiah; in the ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah and verses six and seven, where there was a message given to ancient Israel way back in the Old Testament time. And this was a prophecy this is one of the prophecies of the Bible.
   "For unto us [that is the house of Israel or the children of Israel or the nation of Israel unto us] a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government...(Isaiah 9:6) Now it is talking about government. Well we have a government of the United States where I live, just north of us is the government of Canada and south of us is the government of Mexico. Just over the water there is the government of Great Britain and England and the United Kingdom. And we have different governments all over the world. "... the government shall be upon His shoulder [one that is born as a child]: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Yet He will be born as a child.
   "Of the increase of his government [talking about a government, you know what a government is] and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David [David was ruling over the kingdom of Israel; it was one of this world's nations], 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 Lord of hosts will perform it [this]." (Isaiah 9:7)
   So there was that prophecy, now we turn into the New Testament in Luke the first chapter and beginning with verse thirty. An angel had come to Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus Christ and announcing to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah.
   "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 [she was to become the mother of Him and God was His Father no human man]. And he shall be great, and [He] shall be called the Son of the Highest [that is the Son of God Almighty the very Highest]: and [God] the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever;" (Luke 1:30-33)
   He was coming as a king. Now did He come as a king? Well what gospel did He preach? I just showed you He preached the gospel of the kingdom of God.
   Now, in Luke chapter nine, let me just turn to that for a minute. In Luke chapter nine He sent His ministers He sent them out to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. The very first verse: "Then [Jesus] called his twelve disciples together [now verse 2], And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2) That was the gospel that was proclaimed.

What Gospel did Paul preach?

   And now the apostle Paul what gospel did the apostle Paul preach to the Gentiles? Well we turn over to the very last book of Acts. The last book telling the history of the church in its early days and we find here in verse twenty-three: "...when they had appointed him a day, there came many unto [to] him [that's the apostle Paul] to his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God [what gospel did he preach? The kingdom of God], persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets," (Acts 28:23)
   Can you imagine that, Paul preaching out of the law of Moses? Yes he did, but that isn't the way preachers seem to give it to you today. That isn't the way most of you believe. Anyway he kept expounding it from morning till evening.
   Now once again, in Acts chapter twenty-eight, verses thirty and thirty-one: Paul was in Rome and "Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house [now that could have been a hired hall where he was preaching to people- in his own hired house,] and received all that came [in] unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." (Acts 28:30-31)
   Well that was unusual, because he had been forbidden in previous years and he had been heckled and he was having a hard time to proclaim this gospel.
   Now once again, I'd like to turn to the book of Galatians and the first chapter. I want you to notice Paul was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. Now once again notice, Paul said to the Galatians in 53 A.D., he said: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel [what gospel did he preach? The gospel of the kingdom of God...unto another gospel] Which is not another [because it isn't good news and the word gospel means good news], but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)
   My friends, the gospel of Christ is not man's gospel man's message about Christ, about the person of Christ. It is the very message that Christ Himself preached. You read back in the third chapter of Malachi that there was to be a messenger preparing the way before Christ. John the Baptist was a messenger preparing the way before Christ. And He came as the messenger of the covenant, the new covenant, if you please. And, the gospel He brought was the gospel of the government of God. Jesus was born to be a king.
   When Jesus was before Pilate, on trial for His very life, He said that He was born to be a king for this cause came I into the world for that purpose He was born, but He said my kingdom is not of this world it is of a later time and a later world (John 18:36-37). It will be at the end of this world. That's why He talked about the end of the world, when His kingdom will come. Jesus was born to be a king His parables were about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is like this and like that He was preaching the kingdom of God, but that gospel was not preached for 100 time cycles.

What is a Time Cycle?

   Now a time cycle is the time when....You see God set the sun and moon in the skies and the earth turning on its axis as a means of marking off spaces of time. Do you know that the earth, the sun and the moon come into conjunction, approximately exact conjunction, only once every nineteen years? Nineteen years is a time cycle.
   Now one century of time cycles went by from the time that, that gospel was preached and they restrained the gospel. They suppressed the gospel for 100 time cycles, until 1953 when the most powerful radio station in all of the world was opened up to me in Europe. And I began to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and it was proclaimed to the whole world. And it had not been proclaimed for exactly one hundred time cycles of nineteen years, in other words for 1900 years.
   Look, I want you to understand what is the true gospel. Too few understand that. People have been led to think the gospel is just about Christ. "Just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ", that's all there is to it. Jesus said, "...in vain do they worship me [just worshipping Him. In vain do they worship me...] keeping for the commandments of God their own traditions." (Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7 paraphrased)
   You see they don't keep the commandments of God today, they say that the law is done away. And they.....Sure a law was done away, but they misunderstand which law. The spiritual Law of God, the way of love, of outflowing love to God and to neighbor that spiritual law is not done away and that is the basic foundation of the government of God. The kingdom of God you can't have a government without a basic constitution or foundation. And that is the Law of God. It is as inexorable as the very law of gravity.
   Now I have a special booklet I want to offer you. There is no charge. There is no price. And there is not going to be any request for money. We believe in giving not getting. In other words it is the way of love, which is outflowing giving, not incoming, lust and greed. Very opening here 'What Is the True Gospel?'. What is the true gospel that Jesus preached? Did Paul preach a different gospel to the Gentiles? Here at last is made plain the truth about the kingdom of God. I want you to write in for that and later I am going to announce to you another booklet of 'What Is The Kingdom of God?' That'll go a little further, but write for this booklet now. 'Just What Is the True Gospel?.' 'What Is the True Gospel?'
   And we will be happy to send it to you. It's an attractive booklet it will explain something that has not been explained for 1900 years in the world. Your Bible says the whole world has been deceived by Satan the devil and by a false gospel, so write in for that. Write right away and so I'll say until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong, goodbye friends.
{1} Footnote: Mr. Armstrong said Galatians, but referred to Mark

Broadcast Date: 1980s
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