The Gospel of Jesus Christ was not proclaimed to the world for 1,900 years. It was suppressed back in the year about 53 AD until in our time in the year of 1953. I want you to listen while I read to you what the apostle Paul in the New Testament wrote to the churches in Galatia, about 53 AD. The churches in Galatia in Asia Minor, that is the country that is now the country of Turkey.
He said, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:" (Galatians 1:6)
They had turned to another gospel. Now it was not really a gospel, because gospel is good news and this was not. So he said, "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of [Jesus] Christ." (Galatians 1:7)
You know it is hard to believe, but it has been perverted through all these years. Millions and millions have heard a gospel. We talk about hearing the gospel. There are millions who hear it or think they do, every Sunday. But what gospel is it? What gospel is it? And what gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
I'd like to have you turn with me, if you have a Bible, and otherwise just listen as I turn now to Mark the first chapter and the first verse. That is the very beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and notice what gospel He preached. It is a gospel that has not been preached for 1,900 years until the year of 1953. Mark 1, verse 1 in the New Testament:
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God [and then in verse 14] Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel [but now listen, what gospel?] Jesus came [into Galilee] preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:1,14) The gospel of the kingdom of God!
What is the kingdom of God? You know some people today say the kingdom of God is the church. I have even heard people about forty years ago, fifty years ago, saying the kingdom of God was the British Empire. They don't say that anymore. People have a lot of ideas. Some people say well, it is a sort of a feeling or something set up in men's hearts.
But listen, He came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying the time is fulfilled (Mark 1:14-15). Why was the time fulfilled? Why had it not been fulfilled until then? I've been explaining that and I will explain it again.
"...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
And He said do two things, He didn't say give your heart to me; He said repent and believe the message. The gospel of the kingdom was the good news He was preaching.
You know, not very many seem to know that Jesus Christ was a newscaster. I know He was 1950 years before His time. He was giving news that is news. You know I read a column, I've mentioned this once before, but I'm reminded of it right now. A columnist who has a comedy column in many, many newspapers all over the United States — many leading newspapers; was talking about news and he says, "You know they're not printing news in the newspapers, because when they print it, it has already happened and it is not new any longer, it is now old." He said, "Why don't they call it 'olds' instead of news?" Because he said, "It isn't news, it has already happened."
Well you know when Jesus Christ preached, it was new because it had not even yet happened. It was really a prophecy of what was going to happen.
"...the gospel of the kingdom of God...and he said...repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)
That is, believe the good news. How can people believe that good news if they have never heard it? And for 1,900 years that gospel was suppressed as I've just read you in the apostle Paul's message to the church at Galatia.
Now what did Jesus mean — 'the kingdom of God'? I want to read to you a prophecy of the birth of Christ. Why was Jesus born? Why did He come? Why did He proclaim a gospel and why was the gospel He proclaimed, or the good news — His message, a message about the kingdom of God — why was it?
I'd like to turn to a prophecy first — it's back in the book of Isaiah and then I'm going to show you where this is also quoted in the New Testament. Isaiah 9, verses six and seven;
"For unto us [that was Israel of the Old Testament it was speaking]...unto us a child is born... [that's talking of the birth of Jesus Christ]...unto us a child is born [or was to be born, as He was later after this was written]...unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:" (Isaiah 9:6)
Christ Came To Set Up a Government Have you ever heard Jesus Christ mentioned in connection with government? And that He came to set up a government to overthrow governments of this world and the nations of this world? Well let me tell you the Pharisees — the scribes and Pharisees and those that Jesus had to contend with 1950 years ago, they knew what He was talking about. And they were afraid. They thought He was coming to overthrow the government of Caesar — the Roman Empire at that time, which was over them at that time.
Well "...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 [now notice a government, His government — it's not only going to be set up — it is going to increase]...of the increase of his government [and peace] there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom [now that was a literal government with a headquarters in Jerusalem — it was in the land we call Palestine today], on the throne of David and upon his kingdom [a government] to order it, and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform it [this]." (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Now when He came, I want to read you how that was quoted in the New Testament. The virgin Mary was to become the mother of Jesus Christ. And the angel appeared to her with a message prior to that, now this is in Luke the first chapter and beginning with verse thirty. Luke the first chapter beginning with verse thirty.
"And the angel said unto her, Fear not Mary: for thou has found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest [God Almighty is the Highest — He was the son of the Almighty God] and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne [a throne to rule with a government] 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 1:30-33)
The same thing I just read to you in the prophecy of Isaiah and there it is again just before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Now the world heard nothing of Jesus born to be a king. You haven't heard much of that and a form of government that would rule this world, that would overthrow the governments of this world — that would come to stop all of the chaos in the world today and all of the terrible miseries and the terrible evils that this world is confronting today. And to deliver us from all of those things and set up a perfect government that will bring a real utopia. You hear of utopia and people laugh — ha, ha, ha, and you look in the dictionary even and that word utopia and it will say it is a mythical something that never could happen. Well why couldn't it happen?
You see all of the troubles today are caused by the way people live — the things we do. And as long as we are living in the wrong way, as long as we are doing the wrong things, we are just going to have trouble and we do have trouble. There are two ways of living, as I have said so many times. Basically, just speaking basically — one is the way of give; out flowing love toward others and the other is get. That's incoming lust and greed and vanity. Exalting the self and coveting and wanting to take what others have. That's the way the world is living.
But Jesus was born to be a king — that's why He came into the world. I'd like to have you notice now what Jesus Himself said in the book of John in the New Testament. What Jesus said to Pilate when He was on trial for His life. It's in the eighteenth chapter of John.
"Pilate therefore said to him, art thou a king then [he asked him are you a king? And]? 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. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18:37)
But not very many were of the truth, because of those who heard Him — many, many, many multiple thousands — only a 120 believed what He said. You'll read of that in the book of Acts, first chapter, fifteenth verse.
But in the verse just before this, Jesus had answered Pilate and said, "...my kingdom is not of this world [that is of this time. He didn't talk about the earth he is talking about the world, which is man's world, man's society, man's civilization that he has built on the world. He said] my kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36). That's not from this world, not from here at this time. In other words His kingdom was of a future time and a future world.
Parables and the Kingdom of God Now the parables of Jesus — many of them concerned the kingdom of God. He said time and time again "the kingdom of God is like this; The kingdom of God is like unto that.." or something else. He talked about the kingdom of God. And then, I want to read you just one parable that He said in the nineteenth chapter of Luke. The nineteenth chapter of Luke beginning with verse 11.
"And as they heard these things [that Jesus was saying] 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)
Now you see as I just told you He said, "My kingdom is not of this time, of this world." The kingdom of God did not appear then — it hasn't appeared yet. And yet people are all mixed up as to what it could be. And you just don't hear it preached very often. It has not been proclaimed — the gospel of the kingdom of God.
"He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." (Luke 19: 12)
Now in that parable He was speaking of Himself as the young nobleman. He was going to the far country, which was heaven. After His crucifixion and His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and He has been there ever since. Do you know what Jesus has been doing this last more than 1950 years? Well if you have a Bible, open the book of Hebrews and begin to read it. People wonder "Is Jesus still alive?" He rose from the dead! That's what people celebrate on the day of Easter, but as I have shown you, Easter does not celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, because He didn't rise on Sunday morning at all.
But nevertheless, Jesus did rise from the dead and He did ascend to heaven. And He is still alive and He has been alive all these 1950 some years. What has He been doing? Turn to the book of Hebrews and you'll find out. He has been there as the High Priest of the real true Church of God. Now not many people understand that. Well the true Church of God understands it. And He is there supervising the work. He is the head — the living head of the Church of God today. And that hasn't been known. He is the living head of the Church. But He is now on His Father's throne in heaven and not on earth, but He is coming to earth.
And He said twice in the book of Revelation — in the second chapter and in the third chapter — if we overcome, He will grant to us to sit with Him on His throne when He comes back to earth and sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem. King David of ancient Israel, because He was born as a descendant of David, so David was His father many, many, many generations back. And again He says, if we overcome, those in God's Church today that had been called by God Almighty and through Jesus Christ and His shed blood have come to God. And through the Holy Spirit of God have been begotten as a child of God. He says if we overcome He will give us power over the nations. And we shall rule them with Him and under Him in the kingdom of God when He comes.
Preparing People To Rule Now He is talking about, in this parable of Him going to heaven to receive the kingdom. And in the meantime, He is the High Priest preparing the people to rule with Him. That's what He is doing — so that He is preparing for that kingdom right now. And judgment is on the church. Judgment is not on the world as a whole yet. There is a judgment day coming and that's coming for a lot more than nine thousand out of every ten thousand. A great deal more.
Well now, notice now in verse 17 when He returns, having received His kingdom. He said unto one man, "...Well, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in very little, have thou authority over ten cities." (Luke 19:17)
He had been given ten pounds. He had multiplied it by ten, that is he gained another ten, multiplied it by two actually. And now He says according to your works you shall be rewarded. Now we are not saved according to works — don't misunderstand me. But when you are saved and you are born into the kingdom of God, there are going to be different offices and there are going to be different rewards. And we are to be rewarded according to our works. That's why Christ is the high priest now preparing people for very great offices that they will be in and work that they will be doing for ever and ever in the kingdom of God when He comes.
Now here's one that had done fairly well and He says "you will be in authority over ten cities". And now again read on: "And the second came, saying, and said, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds [he only did half as much]. And he said likewise to him, be thou over five cities." (Luke 19:18-19)
No, each of them had had one pound — I was thinking of the parable of the talents. In this parable each one had had one pound and the one had gained ten. Multiplied it ten times over, he will rule over ten cities; according to his works. That isn't going to save him, but it is going to determine the amount of reward and what he will be doing when he is one of those that has overcome and will rule with Christ on His throne in Jerusalem at the very seat of David in Jerusalem.
Now then, there is a prophecy of our end time that I want to bring you now in Matthew 24. This is really the greatest prophecy in the New Testament. It's one that I refer to quite often and it is the greatest prophecy that Jesus Christ Himself ever gave. So now listen to what Christ Himself said and the prophecy about His coming and about His government.
They had been looking at the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus was on earth with His disciples and they had just come out of the temple.
"[And] Jesus said unto them, See ye not all of these things, verily I say unto you, there shall not be one stone left here upon another that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2)
He was talking about something that did happen in 70 AD. He was talking to them probably about 30 or 31 AD, but He was talking about something that was going to happen in their lifetime.
Now a little later they were up on the Mount of Olives and the next verse says: "And [as Jesus] sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, [well] Tell us when shall these things be [the things He had talked about — the destruction of the temple — actually that happened in their lifetime in 70 AD]...and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)
Troubles In This World Oh, that was going to be a long time afterward, but they ask two things. They thought His coming would be in their lifetime. Well it wasn't and it wasn't in the lifetime of their children, or their children's children. It hasn't even come in our lifetime, but we my friends are the generation living when He is coming. And it is going to happen in our time! This world is on fire! This world is in trouble! This world is in trouble such as the world has never been before. And there are even greater troubles coming yet. Until God Almighty steps in to end these troubles and to come and save us from ourselves.
Now notice the prophecy here of Jesus — first He answered about what they had asked and about the destruction of the temple and what had happened in their lifetime.
"...Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you [that's that generation living then]. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am [the] Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:4-5)
Many would come in His name saying He is the Christ. What gospel have you heard? You hear a gospel that Jesus was the Christ. You talk about the person — you hear about the person, but you don't hear about the kingdom that He is going to rule. You don't hear about the fact He came as a king — born to be a king — born to rule over the nations of this world.
This world is in trouble right now. For the first time in the world, the weapons of mass destruction exist that can blast all humanity off the face of this earth. Our number one problem today is that of human survival and this is very important — that you open your ears, that you open your minds, that you listen!
Well He went on talking about a few things in their time, but He didn't answer the second part of their question just yet. Then He came to verse 14 and He answered the second part about His coming which was going to be over 1900 years later of course.
And then He said: "And this gospel of the kingdom [that's the gospel He was preaching then, the gospel of the kingdom of God] 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)
People don't Believe God I have just shown you that gospel has not been preached for over 1900 years, until the year of 1953 AD. My friends I began proclaiming that gospel and God opened my mind to see it. It's right here in the Bible. It seems to me that anybody could see if they were willing. But so few are willing to believe what God says.
Do you know that in the garden of Eden Adam and Eve would not believe God — even though He was right there in person talking to them. They didn't believe what He said. He told them the way of living, but they took to themselves the way of the fruit of the knowledge of what is good and what is evil, when God was trying to impart that knowledge to them. They didn't take of the tree of life — they didn't have life — they had a chemical existence; that is all you and I have, a chemical existence.
Adam and Eve could have taken of the tree of life and God offered it to them, but they didn't take it. And mankind ever since has been rejecting that. And mankind ever since has been doing what he himself thinks is right. Taking to himself the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. That's the way this world is going.
I was brought up in a very respectable church, but they had their own set of beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. And I was brought up believing that. I had to come to see that I was taught things that are contrary to what Jesus proclaimed and what the Bible teaches. And the Bible is the word of Jesus — it's the word of God and He is the Word (John 1:1). And I had to give up what I believed. I wasn't walking with God. Two can't walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). And I had to begin to agree with Him. I had to give up what I believed — I had to begin to believe what He says here.
Now then it goes on. After this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed you're getting down toward the very end. I began preaching it in 1934 on radio and after exactly 19 years in 1953 I went on the most powerful station in the world — Radio Luxemburg in Europe and the gospel was going out to all Europe for the first time in 1,900 years. For the first time in 1,900 years — believe it or not — that is the truth as God is my judge — that is the truth. I want to tell you better wake up and listen.
Now then when we come down to this time He says finally and after this gospel is proclaimed to give warning: "...then there shall be great tribulation [we are heading — we are in the fore parts of it now, but it is going to be a lot worse. We are not in the real Great Tribulation yet], such as was not from since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:21)
It is going to be a far greater time of trouble yet, "And except those days [should] be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]... " (Matthew 24:22)
It's a time when all humanity could be wiped off the face of the earth — that never happened until the hydrogen bomb and the present weapons of mass destruction. We are in that time now for the first time in human history and it's time for us to wake up and to realize it.
[He says] "...but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:22). And God will intervene.
Now you, you go on a little farther in that same chapter in verse 29:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Matthew 24:29 paraphrased)
A lot of people don't know what those powers are. But, there is coming the time of the great Day of the Lord when God is going to take over and intervene and begin to take over the whole reins of the earth and all nations. Now the very next verse goes on:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man [that's Jesus Christ] coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)
And other places in the Bible, back in Revelation 19, for example show He is coming as the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS to rule over every nation on the face of this earth. That time is coming — that is the 'Good News' that Jesus preached. The time when He will come. Satan will be abolished and there won't be any Satan the devil on this earth anymore. It isn't fashionable to believe there is one now, but there really is. But that time; Christ is coming to abolish Satan and he will be removed.
Now I say to you, that this day is this very prophecy that I have just read to you out of the Bible fulfilled in your sight and in your hearing. And you had better heed it.
Now I would like to offer you a booklet that will carry you a little further in this. It's a booklet called 'What Is The True Gospel?' 'What Is The True Gospel?' It is a very short booklet — I wrote it some years ago and I don't remember just now the number of pages in each of these several booklets that I've written. But I'd like to send it to you. Now there is no charge. I want to offer it to you. It is not going to be followed up by a request for money. So until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."