Well, greetings, everybody! Once again, I'm going to speak to you as no man has spoken in our time. Today, we have nations in chaos, many at war, but in our present time, this present time, this world is going to erupt into peace. Today, we face human extinction. Survival is humanity's number one problem today, but tomorrow, the good news that I have for you is that utopia is going to rip this world, and in this present generation in which we live.
We are the generation that is going to live in two worlds. We're going to see the end of this world, but that doesn't mean the end of the Earth, it means the end of the present way of things, with all of the human anguish, of all of the evils that beset us, of all of the wars, of all of the frustrations, the failures, the poverty, the starvation, and the many things that are gripping this Earth today.
Well, over 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ came announcing this same, wonderful truth. He brought a message. It was the only message of hope for the world. That message has not been proclaimed for about 1900 years on this Earth. It was suppressed by the powers of governments and other powers. But Jesus came, bringing that great hope of the World Tomorrow, and almost nobody believed him then, and almost nobody believes it today.
God is going to force this world, even against its will, to be happy. He's going to force this world to live in a way that will make us happy, that will bring us universal prosperity, will bring us universal good health, and will bring us, and open up for each one to choose eternal salvation. Well, over 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ came announcing this same great, wonderful truth that I'm proclaiming to you now.
And yet, almost nobody believed him then, as almost nobody believes it today. And who was this Jesus Christ? He was the man, as I've said, that almost nobody knew then, almost nobody knows today. He was the most misunderstood, the most misrepresented, ignored man in the history of the world.
As I say, he knew that the real source of today's trouble is this great, supernatural spirit being that had deceived the whole world, called Satan the devil. He is the epitome of deception, subtlety, and evil. People don't realize how they have been deceived by him, and yet all of us without realizing it, have been deceived by him from the time we were almost infants, as soon as we began to have knowledge and to know things growing up, during the first year of our life, the second, the third year.
And very few of you can remember back that far, but this Satan formerly was the archangel Lucifer, and he and his angels had been created by God. He had been given the knowledge of the truth, but he had been given a mind to think with, to make decisions with, and in previous programs I've told you a great deal about that, this archangel called Lucifer.
He was perfect in all of his ways from the day God created him. God didn't create an evil being, he created a great superbeing that was perfect in all his ways from the time that God created him till rebellion, perverted evil, was found in him. And that came from his own thinking processes, and of his own accord. Now that perfect archangel named Lucifer became Satan the devil. The Bible says a great deal about him. He has been so clever in his deception, that he has made it very unpopular to believe that there is such a being as Satan today.
But the government of God demands that this Satan, who had been placed on a throne on this Earth to administer that government of God, that Satan must continue on this Earth until a successor has qualified to replace him. As he has disqualified himself, another must qualify and be actually inducted into office, and until that time, he is still remaining, and is remaining up to this day, and is going to remain even into the future some little time.
And he has caused all this world to turn to his evil ways instead of the right ways. He has been causing good to appear to be evil. But over 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ came to proclaim the now-imminent utopia of peace that God is going to bring to this world, in fact going to force it on the world — and it will be against the will of men, because men would rather go on living their own getting way, their selfish way of trying to take to themselves everything they can get, and denying it to everybody else.
It'll be the way of universal abundance, of joy, of eternal salvation. But first, however, Jesus had to conquer this Satan. He had to qualify to restore the government of God to this Earth, and not only that, to set up the kingdom of God.
Satan Temps Jesus Christ Now, first verse of the 4th chapter of Matthew (Matthew 4:1): "Then was Jesus led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungry," very hungry. "And when the tempter came," here's Satan, who is called the tempter, "came to him and said, If thou be the son of God..."
You notice that Satan is challenging him? He's appealing to his vanity. Now the average person would have said, "If I was the son of God? What do you mean? I'll show you I'm the son of God." Maybe that's what one of us would say if we were the son of God. But that is not what Jesus Christ said. But Satan tempted him. He says, "If thou art the son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
"And Jesus answered him and said, It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Well, "then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and he said to him, If thou be the son of God..." Now there's that word "if" again. I have heard people say, an uncle of mine when I was a little boy, I remember saying, "That's the biggest little two-letter word in all the English language — IF."
"If thou be the son of God." He's still tempting him with vanity, with greed, with lust, with everything of that kind. "Cast thyself down, because it is written..." Now if you really believe the Bible, let's see if you believe the Bible. The Bible says, "He," God, "shall give his angels charge concerning thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou shalt dash thy foot against a stone."
Now the kingdom of God is something different from the government of God. The government of God is merely the rule of God with his laws and the machinery for administering and enforcing it over — it was in that case, angels, it could be over people.
The kingdom of God is the family of God, of those born of God, born into the God family, themselves becoming entirely immortal and supernatural, and ruling and reigning over the entire Earth with the kingdom of God, the government of God that is. That will be the kingdom of God, and first they're going to reign for 1,000 years, and after that is going to come a time when all who have ever lived and have been deceived and have not known the truth, they have not been judged — they're not lost, neither are they saved, but they're going to be resurrected.
They're going to be resurrected mortal once again. The only hope of any life after this life is the resurrection. But all who die in the first death, in this life, die as in Adam, as a result of Adam's sin. But the result of our own spiritual sins is the second death, eternal death from which there will never be a resurrection. But all who have ever lived are going to be resurrected.
[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?] You know, one thing, Adam and Eve believed in God. Did you know that? They really did believe in God. But they did not believe God. Oh, what a difference there is. They believed there was God, they believed that the one talking to them was God. They knew God existed.
I was talking to someone the other day, and they said, "Why, practically all scientists and heads of colleges and universities believe in God today." Well, now this was a woman, and she just was ignorant. She didn't know what she was talking about. That is just not true. They don't all believe in God, and let me tell you, I was challenged on the subject of evolution as well as the Bible subject on the law of God, 51 years ago.
The Evolutionary Concept And that's what brought me to a study and research of the Bible. And at that time, I was challenged also on this evolutionary concept, or theory, that is accepted now in all educated circles. Actually, evolution is the atheists', the non-believers', explanation of the presence of a creation without a creator. They don't believe in a creator, and you cannot believe evolution straight and pure as is it, and also believe in God.
Now many people dispute that. They will say, "Oh yes you can," but you can't. You can believe in a sort of a theistic evolution, but you'll have to twist the Bible a great deal. You can't believe the Bible and believe evolution. So I was challenged. I delved into the works of Darwin, Huxley, Haeckels, Spencer, Vogt, one of the modern evolutionists of that day, and Chamberlain, and others.
But for a while, my head was all mixed up. My head was swimming, I was confused. I said, "Well, look, I've always believed in God." I believed God existed, you see? But I said, "I know now I've never proved it. I've just assumed that there is a God, because I was taught that from the time I was a little child in Sunday school growing up."
But I said, "Now I've got to have proof." And I read, as I began to study the Bible, where God says, "Prove me now herewith," (Mal.3:10) and again in the New Testament, it says, "Prove all things." (I Thess.5:21) So I said, "Okay. I will do that. I will prove." And in the end, I proved that God does exist. But just that is not enough. Adam knew that. Many of the people knew when Christ came, that he was the promised Messiah.
You will read in the 8th chapter of the book of John, beginning in the 30th verse (John 8:30), you will read of a lot of Jews of that day who believed on him. They believed on Christ, but to those who believed on him, Jesus said, "Why do you try to kill me, you who believe on me, you're trying to kill me because you do not believe my word, because you do not believe what I say. You believe on me, you don't believe me." There's a great difference. To believe him is to believe what he says.
Now I would like to read you another prophecy about Jesus. And this is in Malachi the 3rd chapter, and the 1st verse (Malachi 3:1), where is a prophecy that says: "Behold, I will send my messenger." Now, Christ is the Word of God, and it is Christ, the Word of God, that was speaking, who was going to send his messenger. He was speaking there of a human messenger, "and he shall prepare the way before me," preparing the way before Christ's coming, "and the Lord, whom ye seek," meaning Christ, "shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant."
A New Covenant Now he was the messenger of the New Covenant. Moses had been the mediator of the Old Covenant that God made with Israel. A covenant is a contract by which one says, "If you will do so-and-so, I will give certain rewards for that performance." And often, "If you don't do so-and-so, then I will give certain punishments for the lack of that performance, or the contrary performance."
That covenant, made at Mount Sinai in the days of Moses, was a covenant that has often been called a marriage covenant. In the 3rd chapter of the Jeremiah, you will read about how Israel was married to God. But she was a faithless wife, became a harlot, and worse than any human harlot has been, as a nation. Also, that covenant set up the children of Israel, who had been slaves, as a new nation on this Earth. They were one of the world's nations.
Now God had given them great promises of physical, material, national wealth — all temporal, just of this life only. He never gave them any promise of eternal salvation, none of the spiritual promises, but he gave them, then, physical laws. He gave them, beside his great spiritual law, which they could only obey in the letter but not in the spirit or the obvious intent, but he also gave them statutes for their government.
He gave them also ordinances, and then as a church — they were both church and state — he gave them sacrificial law, meat and drink offerings and various things that they were to do, all physical things to be done by them, all of which were done away when Christ came, because they were a substitute for Christ and the Holy Spirit.
And when Christ and the Holy Spirit came, we didn't need a substitute for them any longer. But they needed that. Now the killing of animals, and animal sacrifices, did not forgive sins. It was merely a token of it, to show them that Christ would come and that their sins would be forgiven when he came. That's all, but the animal sacrifices didn't do it.
Well, now, the New Covenant then. Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant. That will be made with the church, when the church has been resurrected, and when the church has been made immortal, and when the church is no longer human, but when the church is now very God, and every member in it is a child of God. The church is in the — always when it's spoken of symbolically, it's spoken of in the feminine gender — and the church is going to marry Christ.
Christ is resurrected from the dead. He was born very God, by a resurrection of the dead, as you read in the 1st chapter, and the first couple of verses or so of Romans the 1st chapter. And he was the firstborn of many brethren, as we are to be born of God and resurrected, as you will read later in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans.
But Christ was coming as the messenger, not the making of the covenant at that time, but the messenger to bring the message of the covenant that would set up Israel, then made immortal, as not only the wife of the divine Christ, and the children of God, but in the family of God, they would take over the rule of the world and the government of God, and become the kingdom of God.
Now if you'll read on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th verses there, you will see it's speaking of the second coming of Christ and not the first. And yet, you read of, when we turn over here to Mark now, the 1st chapter, you read of how John the Baptist was the one who came to prepare the way before Christ at his first coming. And yet, the prophecy is speaking primarily of someone preparing the way before Christ in his second coming, as the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.
We're in the day and the generation when that is going to happen. The things prophesied to occur at this time are happening all over the world! Where is the one preparing the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ? Where? We need to think about that.
[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine] Turn over now to the book of Mark, in the very first chapter. "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the son of God." Now this is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you want to know about it, this is the beginning, this is the place to begin. "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger to prepare thy way before thee." Now that is quoting the prophecy I just read to you in Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament.
Then it continues: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord." And then it says, "John did baptize in the wilderness." It is speaking of John the Baptist as the one who prepared the way before Christ's first coming, but there's nothing said there about the second coming, because that had not occurred yet, at that time.
And this is giving the history of what happened at that time, not the prophecy of what will. Malachi's prophecy there was a prophecy that did pertain to this. Now then, if you carry on down here to the 9th verse: "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the river Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens open, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven," and I read this in another scripture to you a few moments ago, "saying, Thou are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness," and then came the great temptation recorded in Matthew, but not recorded here.
Now then, it was later that, seeing "He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted of Satan, and was with the wild animals, and the angels ministered unto him. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee," not to Jerusalem, but unto Galilee, way up north of Jerusalem, "preaching," what? "The gospel," but what gospel? "The gospel of the kingdom of God." That is the gospel that he preached.
"And saying, the time is fulfilled." How is the time fulfilled? Christ had just qualified by conquering Satan, had qualified now to restore the government of God on this Earth. And the kingdom of God is that government! And his message was the prophecy of the coming kingdom of God that is going to bring a utopia to this Earth. It is going to bring peace to this Earth in a way that we have never had it before.
Repent and Believe the Gospel "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye, and believe" what? "Believe the gospel." How can people believe the gospel that has not been preached for 19 centuries? By about the year of 60 A.D., people had turned to another gospel, you'll find that in Galatians the first chapter, and verses 6 and 7 (Galatians 1:6-7). They had turned to another gospel.
In II Corinthians the 11th chapter, you will find how Paul feared that there were false teachers out that would turn them to another gospel, and that did happen. And the true gospel was suppressed, and it was not preached. But God did raise me up from the advertising field in which I had put myself, and yanked me right out of that, and opened my eyes to see these things in his word, and to carry it to kings, and to nations all around the world, and to people that this gospel may go as an announcement today, just as Jesus announced it then.
But we today are the very generation of people that is going to live into the end of this world and the beginning of the wonderful, utopian, peaceful, happy, salvation-giving World Tomorrow. We're going to see it happen in our time.
I want to just say, if I have time, I want to invite all listeners and viewers to write in for a booklet — What is the Kingdom of God? Just What Do You Mean...The Kingdom of God? Now some say the kingdom of God is the church. As a matter of fact, that was taught by the Roman Catholic Church about 1800 years ago or more. That is taught in many Protestant churches, that the church is the kingdom of God.
I have known of some that claim the British Empire was the kingdom of God. I have heard of those who say that by all of us working together, we can bring about the kingdom of God set up in the hearts of men. In other words, an ethereal nothing set up in men's hearts. Just what is the kingdom of God? The booklet is free, there's no charge whatever.
It will just open the Bible up and make it plain. And that is what is coming, that's what you're going to live into, that's what you're going to see. You better read about it and know what's coming. So, until next time, this is Herbert W. Armstrong saying, for this time, goodbye friends.