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 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 grip 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, with 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.
The message that Christ brought was news, because it was something that had not yet happened. It was news of the future. It was news of what God says is going to happen, whether we like it or not, because we're going to do it. It's going to be done to us by the supreme creator God and supernatural power.
Jesus knew as few know today, that the real source of all this world's troubles, its evils, its pain and suffering, its heartaches, is an actual, existing, supernatural, super spirit power, which is called in the Bible Satan the devil. Now this Satan has deceived the whole world, according to the Bible, all nations. And that means all creeds, all races have been deceived.
Man Doesn't Know He's Deceived A deceived man doesn't know he's deceived, otherwise he wouldn't be deceived if he knew it. A deceived man is one who thinks he is right, and he may be ever so sincere. Many are sincere, but they're sincerely wrong. And yet, he has deceived this whole world. He has deceived the world, actually into believing he doesn't exist. And so, it isn't popular to believe there is a devil today, 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 super being that was perfect in all of 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 he had been made king over all the Earth, and the Earth was then populated by angels, and he was the king over those angels. God had put him here to administer the government of God over this Earth. So it may surprise many of you to realize that the government of God once ruled over this whole Earth.
And as long as the government of God ruled, there was happiness, there was joy, and great exultation all over this Earth, because the government of God is based on a way of life that produces happiness and joy, and abundance for everybody, and happiness of every kind.
Lucifer Turned To Rebellion But this Lucifer, this superarchangel, and the angels under him, as I said, they had been given minds and ability to choose, and they chose to rebel. They rebelled against the government of God, and against the way of God, because you cannot have a government, except you have a law, a basic constitution, a law or ordinances or rules of some kind. Otherwise, you don't have government.
And the law of God, the great spiritual law, was the foundation and the basis of that government that brought so much happiness to the angels until they rebelled against it. And they chose the way of evil instead of the way of good. Well, that way of life has caused all the world's evils, all of the pain and suffering, all of the heartaches, all of the troubles, all of the wars, and the destruction and violence that has come to this Earth.
Living that way, that this Lucifer turned to in his rebellion with his angels who became demons, and for the past 6,000 years, we have a record of what that way of life has done to this world, the unhappiness it has wrought. 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.
Jesus Christ Had to Qualify 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. Now the kingdom of God is something different than 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.
But 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 be a time when all who have ever lived and been deceived and who 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. And I hope I can get around to saying a little about that in this program, if not, it will be, I hope, in the next one. 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?] So now I would like you to notice one scripture foretelling the coming of Christ, a prophecy, back in the book of Isaiah, in the Old Testament. It says here, Isaiah the 9th chapter, beginning with verse 6 (Isaiah 9:6). "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of this government and peace there shall be no end." It will be everlasting, eternal, immortal.
"Upon the throne of David." That was in Jerusalem, in the so-called Holy Land, or Palestine, or now it's the land of Israel. And I go there quite often myself. "On the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth and forever. The zeal of the Eternal of Hosts will perform it."
So Jesus himself said, if you will turn now over to John the 19th chapter in the New Testament. He was then on trial for his life. This was just on the same day that he was crucified, that is, the crucifixion came later on the same day. This was probably through the night part of the day, before daylight. But anyway, it was before this Pilate in Jerusalem.
"And Pilate therefore said to Jesus, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king." (John 18:37) Now that's a good deal like the modern say-so "Well, I'll say," only he said, "You say." And that was the emphatic way of saying "I am a king." He said, "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."
Well, not very many are of the truth, for not very many heard it. But now previous to that, he had said in the verse just ahead of that, he had answered and said, "My kingdom is not of this world," that is, this present age, this present time, this evil world, that is as I have said is manipulated and deceived by this great archangel or super-demon called Satan.
Not Christ's World... Yet And this is Satan's kingdom. He is called the god of this world. This is not Christ's world, we ought to understand that. The Bible makes that very plain. "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," or from here, or from this time, or for this present society, this present world in which we live.
So Jesus said himself he was born to be a king. Now I've shown you in previous programs how in the first chapter of the book of Luke, how the angel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus, with the same thing, that he was to be born to be a king, that he was going to reign on the throne of his father David, and that of the end of that kingdom, there would be no end.
Well, now as soon as Jesus was baptized, he had to qualify before he could ever take over the government of God, re-establish it, that is, and the kingdom of God, and where Lucifer had disqualified himself. Now Christ had the opportunity to qualify. Actually, the first Adam, the first man created, had that opportunity, but he made the wrong choice. He chose rebellion.
He chose the way of Satan. And our people, all descended from Adam, have been following that manner, that way of life, ever since - the way as I've said, of, well, primarily of vanity, because vanity is what brings you into lust and greed, and to envy and jealousy toward others, and destruction of everything else but your own self.
Now, coming back to the first chapter of Matthew, we find here is the one place in the Bible where you get a detailed description of the great contest that came on between Jesus now, and this former king, the former Lucifer that is now called Satan the devil, the one that is invisible, the one who has deceived the world into believing he doesn't even so much as exist.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized," that is, the 16th verse of the 3rd chapter of Matthew (Matthew 3:16). "Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." Now he had been down in the water, or he couldn't have gone up out of it, incidentally, so it wasn't sprinkling or pouring. Jesus had been down in the water, he came up out of the water.
"And lo, the heavens were open unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him. And the voice from heaven saying," this was the voice of God Almighty, the Father, "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."
Jesus Christ Tempted By Satan Now, now we come right on the next verse, 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 this 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." Now you're hungry, If you're the son of God, you've got the miraculous power to turn these stones into bread, "Go ahead and show me." I don't believe you're the son of God. Now you prove it to me. I don't know whether you can imagine what a temptation that was, or not, hungry as he was.
But he was humble and not vain. He didn't come to exalt himself, but to exalt his father and to set us an example that we should follow his steps. And God says that if we, if we elevate and exalt ourselves, we shall be abased. "But whoso will humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:12) So let's just remember that.
"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." Now Jesus Christ himself was the Word of God in actual person. He is the Word of God. But the Bible is the written word of God. Jesus was the personal Word, as a person, but the Bible is in print and it is the printed word of God. Same thing, only one is just in print, and we have words in a book, the other was the real Christ himself. But the words are the same.
Well, "then the devil took him up into the holy city, 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, do you believe God meant it, do you believe God will send an angel, or that God will prevent you from doing this if, from falling, that is, and becoming hurt if you leap off the top of this temple? Again, it was a challenge as to whether he believed 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. 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.
[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine] Well, the devil wasn't ready to give up quite yet. So, "the devil taketh him into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world," the various nations or governments and kingdoms of the world, "and the glory of them. And he said to him, All of these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me." I thought that, I think maybe this is another place where it says, "For they are mine, for they belong to me."
Well, Jesus knew that he had been in place, in fact Christ, before he was born as a human being, is the very one that had set this Lucifer on the throne. And he understood all of that well enough. But he knew that Satan was really ruling in, and influencing and swaying, the whole world the way he wanted it to go. And that's why we're having all the troubles that we're having.
"But Jesus answered and said," he was about through now, "And Jesus said, get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, thou shalt worship the Eternal thy God and him only shalt thou worship." Jesus refused, hungry as he was, to worship Satan, to do the things that would get him food, or deliver him out of that. I know a lot of people, even some doctors think today if you miss one meal even, you're going to die. Oh, don't think it. You can fast quite a while, and get along fine. And Jesus fasted forty days, Moses fasted forty days, others have done it.
Now then, it was later that, seeing as 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 into 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 has 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 a peace to this Earth in a way 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 a 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...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 who 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.
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