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Billions Not Being Judged? - And Still Not Lost? - Part 1
Good News Magazine
January 1981
Volume: Vol XXVIII, No. 1
Issue: ISSN 0432-0816
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Billions Not Being Judged? - And Still Not Lost? - Part 1
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

   Can that be possible? Doesn't traditional Christianity teach that all who do not accept Christ are lost — go to hell when they die? Let's get this straight.

   WHAT ABOUT the billions on earth who have not accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior? Are they not LOST — condemned to hell unless before they die they do "accept Christ"?
   That's the teaching of traditional Christianity! Many have preached: "There's NO MIDDLE GROUND! This very moment you're either 'saved' or 'lost'!"
   A world famous evangelist has preached to vast crowds up to a hundred thousand at a time. In some of these crusades, televised, he has said that before he finished his sermon someone somewhere on earth would die. By tomorrow morning, he said, many will die. You, anyone of you, might be one of them. Accidents do happen unexpectedly. Unless you come on up to the altar tonight, and accept Christ as your personal Savior, you might be roasting in hell tomorrow morning!
   How many of our own people have taken that Protestant teaching for granted — just because you have heard it so many times since childhood? How about you?
   Let's understand this clearly! What did Jesus mean, when He told the Pharisees it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the judgment than for them? The evil people of Sodom were then long since dead. The Pharisees — who died some 1,900 years ago — are to be in that judgment!
   Jesus was speaking of a future judgment on the Pharisees and the Sodomites. They all died. Have they been roasting and burning in hell? The Sodomites were long since dead when Jesus spoke. They were not yet judged. Were they sent to roast in hell before being judged?
   On the other hand, Jesus said, plainly, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
   God tells us who are in His Church, through Peter, "For the time is come" (had come then, when Peter wrote) "that judgment must begin at the house of God" — that is, the Church — "and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Pet. 4: 17).
   There was no judgment on Sodom — YET! There was no judgment on the Pharisees — YET! But there was judgment then on the Church — for judgment had begun on the Church!
   You and I, called by God to be in His Church, are being judged now! But those not being called now are not yet being judged!
   Actually we who have been called now were predestined to be called now! But that is another subject.
   What does all this mean, then?
   God has called some of us — just an infinitesimal FEW of all the people on earth- to be trained in the Christian life to be KINGS and or PRIESTS ruling under Jesus Christ when He
   comes as King of kings to RULE ALL NATIONS, in the Kingdom (the divine Family) of God.
   To train us for that position — to QUALIFY us to be given power to RULE under Christ (see Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21) — God has given each of us a PART in the WORK of His Church! In the Church He has set apostles, evangelists, pastors, elders, deacons, deaconesses and lay members. Not many are evangelists. There is now but one apostle. All do not have the same office or place of service. Most are to stand back of those Christ sends forth proclaiming His message. To stand back of your local pastor. To help with PRAYERS first of all, with God's tithes and your offerings and in whatever way is assigned. But what of those NOT YET CALLED?
   They are also NOT YET JUDGED!
   What, then? Are others free to commit sin, commit crimes and not be punished-? By NO MEANS. Others will be judged for what they are doing NOW! They are being held accountable.
   They are like the bank robber who robbed a bank several months ago. But he was not judged the same day he committed the crime. The police had to catch him, arrest him and a date is set when he will be judged for what he did several months ago. He is not judged until he is brought to trial in a courtroom before a judge — and probably a jury.
   We, called now, are given our chance to RECEIVE by grace God's GIFT of eternal life. And Christ, Head of the Church, is the living JUDGE! We who receive God's grace are to be rewarded according to our WORKS! Christ our High Priest is ALIVE in heaven, JUDGING YOU AND ME RIGHT NOW, as to whether we still have and are led by God's Spirit, and the degree and character of our works. God has given some higher positions than others, but to whom much is given much shall be required . We shall be judged accordingly! And God's judgment is righteous and equitable!
   Let me make this CLEAR — UNDERSTANDABLE! Are you, then, saved now? NO!
   "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be [when Christ returns to earth in power and glory] saved" (Matt. 24:13). Jesus Himself said that!
   When Jesus comes in POWER and GLORY to RULE ALL NATIONS, then will salvation come to you and we who are in God's Church — IF Christ has so judged! And we are now BEING judged DAY BY DAY! Jesus Christ is now ALIVE. The living Christ is now HIGH PRIEST over the Church. All judgment has been assigned by the Father to HIM (John 5:22).
   As Christ's Second Coming approaches, we read, "NOW is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God"(Rev. 12:1O). We in the Church "are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Pet. 1:5).

The world blinded!

   The whole world is blinded to this great TRUTH — the TRUTH OF SALVATION — of how one obtains it — of what it is (going to heaven or to hell — or remaining on earth). Is salvation going to a PLACE? — or being changed from mortal to immortal?
   If I should tell a "Christian" who has accepted Christ (in the spirit of "GET") that when one is "saved," he is changed from a human person into a GOD BEING, would he not call that blasphemy? How did the whole world become so BLINDED — so mixed up — in such religious CONFUSION? God says, "The god of this world [SATAN] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ ... should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:4). Satan has deceived the WHOLE WORLD (Rev. 12:9).
   That's why in religions, religious leaders, deceived by Satan, blinded to GOD'S TRUTH, have started this world's religions — Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism,
   Muslimism, Christianity and Judaism. The latter is NOT the religion ancient Israel received from
   Moses but a perversion introduced by rabbis after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. There are some 250 sects and denominations of Christianity. They use the NAME of Christ but are FAR, FAR from the teachings of Jesus and His apostles!
   Yet the TRUTH is all PLAINLY preserved for us IN THE BIBLE — but religious leaders have insisted on "interpreting it" — putting their twisted meaning on it!

The PURPOSE for humanity

   Winston Churchill said, before the U.S. Congress, "There is a PURPOSE being worked out here below." A higher Power above is working out that PURPOSE.
   Behind all creation there had to be the preexistence of an almighty Creator — of supreme MIND. A Creator who RULES over His creation. That Creator placed angels on this earth prior to man. To govern them, with the government of God, He placed a super archangel, the cherub Lucifer, on earth's throne. But Lucifer rebelled. He led his angels (a third of all angels) into rebellion. The government of God was no longer administered on earth. Lucifer became Satan the devil. His angels became demons — all with superior but perverted minds.
   God's PURPOSE was to reproduce Himself through mortal MAN, made from the dust of the earth — to instill within MAN, by man's own decision and desire, the holy, righteous, perfect spiritual CHARACTER of God — converting mortal man into immortal GOD BEINGS! God purposed through men to RESTORE HIS GOVERNMENT on earth. For this dual SUPREME PURPOSE — restoring His GOVERNMENT over the earth and reproducing Himself through mortal MAN, God had devised a MASTER PLAN for its accomplishment.
   So first, learn about the GOVERNMENT of GOD no longer operative on earth. Of necessity all government is based on a foundational LAW or constitution — whether local city government, state government, national government or the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
   The government of GOD is based on His spiritual LAW. That LAW is a WAY OF LIFE! It is the way that will produce peace, happiness, contentment, joy, abundance for ALL — and for mortal MAN eternal salvation — immortal life as a GOD BEING!
   It is the way of OUTFLOWING LOVE — first in obedience to and worship of God — secondly, loving human neighbor as one's self. I simplify this way of life by the term "GIVE" — cooperation, serving, helping, sharing. God Himself is the epitome of that — He is the great GIVER who, Himself, IS LOVE! The transgression of that spiritual LAW I term "GET" — vanity, covetousness, envy, jealousy, competition, strife, Violence, resentment of authority.

The three divisions of government

   In any government there• are the three major divisions:
   1) The lawmaking, or legislative. In the United States this is the Congress. In Britain, the Parliament. In the government of God, God the Father is LAWGIVER.
   2) The executive. In the United States this is the president. In Britain, the prime minister. In the government of God it is CHRIST!
   3) The judicial. In the United States this is the Supreme Court. In the government of God it is CHRIST, for all judgment has been given by the Father to Christ. The Father judges no man (John 5:22).
   Because of the extreme sin of Lucifer and• the angels (II Pet. 2:4, Isa. 14: 12-14) the earth had come to a physical condition of decay, waste and emptiness (II Pet. 2:4-6, Gen. 1:2). So God renewed the face of the earth (Ps. 104:30) in six days to make it habitable for man (Gen. 1:2-26).
   Now began God's supreme, PURPOSE of — reproducing Himself — creating holy God BEINGS as His very begotten GOD Children — from MAN made from the dust of the earth.
   On the sixth day of that "creation week" (actually a renewal of the face of the earth) God created MAN after His own likeness (form and shape) out of the dust of the earth (Gen. 1:26, 2:7). But unlike the dumb animals, God breathed into men the essence of spirit, empowering the physical brain with thought-functioning MIND (I Cor. 2:11, Rom. 8:16).

Now how about salvation?

   So here was mortal MAN — and his wife — Adam and Eve, the first mortal humans. Bear in mind, GOD is composed of SPIRIT — with immortal life inherent' — self-sustaining. God does not have to breathe air to live. He does not have to have a physical heart pumping blood all through the body. He does not have to eat food for fuel, nor even to sleep to recoup strength. Man is in God's form and shape — but not composed of self –sustaining SPIRIT as is God.
   But God did put a spirit in form of spirit essence in man. This is no part of man — it is something IN man from his first breath until he dies. It empowers his physical brain with intellect. Unlike animals, therefore, man has a mind quite similar to God's mind — with one exception.
   What is that exception? The spirit in man is not an "immortal soul." This "human spirit" cannot of itself see, hear or think! The physical brain sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and it is the BRAIN that thinks.
   But UNDERSTAND THIS. This is VITALLY important! God DID NOT COMPLETE THE CREATION OF MAN when He created Adam and Eve. He has not completed it even YET! Man was made to NEED another Spirit — the Holy Spirit of God — to join with the spirit that is in man from birth until death. God did not yet finish the creation of man when He created Adam and Eve. Nor was it finished when their children and their children's children were born.
   The Spirit of God, needed to be in man with man's own spirit, further empowers man to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. Without God's Holy Spirit added to the spirit with which man is born, man CANNOT UNDERSTAND NOR COMPREHEND SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. Realize HOW IMPORTANT this is. All man's problems and troubles and evils are SPIRITUAL in nature — not physical nor mental nor emotional. Without God's Holy Spirit added, NO WONDER man cannot understand nor solve his problems, troubles and evils! Further, God's HOLY SPIRIT, on entering within a human person, begets that person with eternal immortal GOD life — so that, by a final resurrection man, through the Holy Spirit, may be
   BORN of GOD — which means born a very GOD Being!
   Yet people today think they are "born again" when they merely say or profess that they "accept Christ," or "receive Christ." They think they "GET" Christ. When I received God's Holy Spirit, it was when I "GAVE" my very self and my whole life over to Christ. He had bought it and paid for it with His shed blood. I belonged to Him. And He has been USING IT! It was not a matter of "GET" — which is SATAN'S way! It was a matter of "GIVE." That is God's way!
   Man merely the raw material
   It is important to understand this. God's process of reproducing Himself out of MAN (who is so much dirt or earth made into organic or living MATTER) was only STARTED in the creation of Adam and Eve.
   All we humans, born by the physical reproduction process, from them, are merely so much material CLAY in the hands of the Master Potter who is GOD. God says: "But now, 0 Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand" (Isa. 64:8) .
   Let me here remind you of God's PURPOSE — to make of us immortal divine GOD Persons, who, with and under CHRIST, shall RESTORE the government of GOD over the earth.
   That process is still going on after nearly 6,000 years. And none but Jesus who was mortal has ever yet been resurrected IMMORTAL GOD! The government of God has not yet been restored to earth!
   Now at this point consider another important point in the government of GOD. It is NOT "democracy" — government from the bottom of the people being ruled. It is government from the TOP — from GOD the Father on down.
   God delegated the government — HIS government — into the hands of a super archangel, Lucifer. Lucifer had been trained in the operation of God's government from God's throne in heaven. He was set on earth's throne to be the executive ruling the earth WITH God's LAWS AND God's GOVERNMENT.
   God's government regulates the WAY OF LIFE of those ruled by it. The WAY is GIVE" — but Lucifer rebelled and chose the way of "GET." For Adam or any human to QUALIFY to RESTORE God's government over the earth, that human would have to I) reject Satan's way of "GET" and 2) accept and choose God's WAY of "LOVE." Adam had that chance.
   Before Adam in the Garden of Eden were two symbolic trees. One, the tree of life, symbolized receiving God's Holy Spirit, which Adam so sorely needed. But first Adam had to REJECT Satan's way of "GET" and that was represented by the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of GOOD AND EVIL. Satan wanted to remain on that throne in POWER over the earth. HE DID! He got to Adam by deceiving his wife Eve!
   The one who replaces Satan on that throne over the whole earth must be one who will never — NEVER — NEVER turn against God's law of LOVE — God's WAY of "GIVE" — but must rule people IN living in that way that will CAUSE universal PEACE, happiness, joy, abundance!
   Satan is the most UNhappy, discontented, resentful, embittered, spiritually MISERABLE personage anywhere in the vast universe!
   Satan caused Adam and Eve to make themselves UNhappy, living the WAY that produces sorrow, pain, suffering, anguish, discontent, resentment, bitterness, anger, desire to
   "GET" from others and make others UNhappy.
   The whole world (Adam's children) lives that way today. In our sports we talk about "the ecstasy of WINNING and the agony of defeat"! For one to enjoy ecstasy, he must cause his opponent to suffer "AGONY"! Even in human government! I'm writing this November 7. Just three days ago Ronald Reagan enjoyed the ECSTASY of WINNING by a landslide, and Jimmy Carter the AGONY of defeat. They FOUGHT bitterly, even accusing one another! Mr. Carter and wife went alone into a room and bitterly wept! Four years ago they ENJOYED the ECSTASY and exhilaration of WINNING, and causing President Gerald Ford and wife to SUFFER AGONY of defeat! Four years ago, did it hurt Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn that Gerald Ford and wife were suffering AGONY? Somehow I wish they might read this and realize the VAST DIFFERENCE between our — vaunted "democracy" and God's government, whose basic constitution is the way of LOVE to ALL — "GIVE" instead of selfish "GET." Then they should read my booklet, Just What Do You Mean — Born Again?
   You see, human people must be REALLY "born again", — born very GOD Persons — with the HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, PERFECT SPIRITUAL CHARACTER OF GOD actually inherent within them — that is, GOD Beings who CANNOT sin or go contrary to God's way of "GIVE" (I John 3:9).

Physical and spiritual phases of man!

   As mortal Adam failed to reject Satan's "GET" way of life — REJECTED God as Revealer of knowledge of good and evil — took to himself the reasoning out of the knowledge of what constitutes good and what is evil or sin — REJECTED God as Ruler — rejected the government of God — rejected God's WAY OF LIFE — sinned by transgressing God's LAW — as Adam did all that, so Christ rejected Satan and his way of "GET" — conquered Satan, KEPT God's LAW, OBEYED GOD and QUALIFIED to RESTORE the government of God.
   So of the TWO phases of God's MASTER PLAN, the physical and spiritual:
   1) The physical stage of God's PURPOSE for man began with Adam, and
   2) The spiritual creation of man began with the second Adam, Jesus Christ!
   God made MAN'S decision — made by the first man, Adam, for all his family, which constitutes the world — BINDING upon Adam's family UNTIL the government of God is RESTORED to earth. Christ the second Adam qualified to do that. But Jesus ascended to God's throne in heaven, there to receive the Kingdom over the whole earth from God the Father.
   God made one exception in BINDING Adam's decision upon mankind. God reserved to Himself the prerogative of calling certain individuals to come out of Satan's world — OUT OF
   Adam's family and be begotten into Goo's FAMILY. And WHY? To prepare a people who would choose God's WAY and God's government — who would reject Satan and his way of "GET" — who develop in this mortal life the holy, righteous, perfect spiritual CHARACTER of GOD — who shall have REJECTED Satan's way of life. Who, in other words, have REPENTED of SIN, and have chosen to receive God's own righteousness and character. And who, in a word, have overcome Satan and QUALIFIED to reign with and under Christ when He RESTORES the government of God to earth!
   Actually, put another way, God is calling those of HIS CHURCH out of this world to be trained in a real Christian life to HELP SAVE ALL THIS WORLD WHEN THE TIME OF THEIR JUDGMENT FINALLY COMES! True Christians are called now to resist and overcome
   Satan, in order to HELP save the whole world when God's time comes to judge and save the world!

Jesus affirmed God's decision

   The fact that God did make binding Adam's rejection of God — that Adam cut himself and his family (the world as a whole) OFF from God is made plain in Genesis 3:22-24: "And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the Eternal God sent him forth from the garden of Eden ... So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
   Jesus affirmed man's being cut off — all except the FEW individuals God specially calls when He said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Unless specially called and drawn by God the Father, no man can come to Christ. All have been CUT OFF from God! WHY? Really two reasons — Adam's decision, and every man's own SINS have cut him off. And none can be reconciled to God the Father except through Christ. Yet none can come to Christ except those called and drawn by the Father! And that narrows it down to the FEW individuals out of earth's billions of today — the comparative FEW who compose God's CHURCH!
   Now recount: Satan is still on that THRONE — and Satan is of such great invisible evil spiritual POWER that he has deceived the whole world, which is cut off from God. Satan has made it his world. He is the god of this world. The world is living his way of "GET." And mankind (except the Church) is CUT OFF from God! UNTIL that is, Satan is banished from earth's throne and CHRIST is ruling on it!
   Jesus Christ QUALIFIED to replace Satan on earth's throne, and to RESTORE the government of God (and way of life of' "GIVE") to the earth!
   But now observe the CHURCH. They are the ones God has called out — of this world — out of its way of "GET" — to repent of that way, to believe God and His Word and to receive the GIFT of God's Holy Spirit. Remember at this point, man was created with a spirit in him. I call it a "human" spirit. It empowers him with physical and material intellect, but NOT with comprehension of SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE! Man was made to NEED a second Spirit — the Holy Spirit from GOD — to open his mind to spiritual knowledge and beget him with GOD-life as a son of God to become, by resurrection, an actual GOD Person.
   But the CHURCH is composed of those who have turned from sin (the way of "GET") and turned TO the law and way of life of GOD. They have received — the Holy Spirit, opening their minds to Goo's WAY — His spiritual LAW.
   As Jesus QUALIFIED to replace ' Satan on the throne ruling the whole earth, so each member of the Church must QUALIFY to sit with Christ on that throne RULING with the RESTORED government of God. When resurrected as very GOD Beings, Children of GOD, they with God and with Christ shall constitute the KINGDOM (or Family) of GOD!
   But the begotten true Christian in the Church must, in this human Christian life, overcome Satan and this world, and develop the holy, righteous, perfect spiritual CHARACTER of God Himself — of a GOD BEING! That is the process of the MASTER PLAN of God working out His PURPOSE!
   Meanwhile, unknowingly and invisibly led by Satan, man has formed his own religions — Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Muslimism. Satan led rabbis after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah to pervert Mosaic law (minus God's spiritual law) into the religion of Judaism. And the Babylonian Mystery religion turned into a counterfeit "Christianity," taking the name or title "Christ" as the name of their religion. Nevertheless, it is the Babylonian Mystery religion [grown great, and was ruling over the nations of Europe (Rev. 17:5)] and her "harlot" daughter churches. With this "Christianity" Satan has deceived much of the world. Through it, Satan has done away with Christ's Gospel — the Kingdom of God, turning the "Kingdom" into the church. He has caused this counterfeit to DO A WAY WITH God's basic spiritual LAW — the very foundation of the government of GOD, which Satan rebelled against! They hold doctrines the very antithesis of those of God's Word, the Holy Bible!
   Now meanwhile, for this first 6,000 years, mankind has been CUT OFF from God, deceived by the god of this world, Satan.
   Meanwhile, mankind, except the very, very few God has specially called, has been CUT OFF from God. Mankind has not been judged — YET! Except those very few specially called in God's Church, that is!
   But WHAT ABOUT all the rest? What about the billions and billions of people uncalled — as yet?
   You've heard about "the JUDGMENT DAYS coming." People have talked about it — but not understood it. That will be explained in PART 2 of this article, to be published next month.

(To be continued)

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Good News MagazineJanuary 1981Vol XXVIII, No. 1ISSN 0432-0816
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