... friends, this is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
And it's a good thing that the news for tomorrow is good, because today's news is very bad. Why do we have bad news today? Why do we have all of these troubles all over the world? I think there is no question that is more prevalent in the minds of people when they think of religion today than the question, why does God permit wars? Why does God permit all this poverty, and all this unhappiness, all the heartaches, and all of the troubles, and all of the suffering that we see in this world today?
And the reasoning, as I've mentioned so many times before, the reasoning usually is that if God is merciful, if He is compassionate, if He is a loving God, if He cares anything about humanity He wouldn't want us to suffer. And if He is Almighty, and if He has all power, He could prevent it. Why doesn't He? I've given you that answer a good many times, and I've explained to you that God could prevent it, and there is a reason why He doesn't. And that we have brought on ourselves every bit of this unhappiness, every bit of the suffering, every bit of the war that we have in the world. The only way that God could prevent it, would be to do something that mankind would not like. God would have to — in the vernacular, as I have expressed it so many times — He would have to cram His religion down our throats. He would have to restrain us from doing the things we want to do, that have brought on all these troubles. There's a reason for everything in the world. We're only reaping what we've been sowing, and God has not restrained mankind, and that brings us up to something that's a very important principle.
You've heard about a Devil. Let me tell something, my friends, no Devil has any power to force anyone to do wrong or to do any evil. And on the other hand, God Almighty will not force anyone to do that which is right and good. God has made us free moral agents. And for 6,000 years, God Almighty has kept hands off of humanity on this earth. He has made His truth known. He has made it available, it is accessible. We could find it if we wanted it. He made it accessible to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but they treated it cheaply. They thought they knew better than God. They looked upon God as a liar. They didn't believe what He said. They disobeyed His command. Now, God gave them a command but He didn't enforce it, He left it to them to do as they pleased.
And yet in another sense, God did enforce it. You can break the laws of the state, and if you break them there is a penalty. And you probably will be caught up with, by the police department or some government policing agency — the FBI or something of the kind. You probably won't get away with it, and the penalty will be extracted. Now, God is the author of all law. And God has set laws in motion, and people do not seem to realize that the laws of God are living things, they are moving things. The laws of God are inexorable.
Now, some of the laws of God we know: the law of physics, the laws of chemistry, the law for instance of gravity, as I point out to it so often, because even a little child can see the law of gravity operate. You know if you hold something up, and you're merely holding it above the ground, you let loose, it's going to be pulled down to the ground. There is a law of gravity that pulls it immediately down. You don't see anything there, but there is something that pulls it down. And so it is. And so God has set many laws in motion. And I tell you, my friends, when they begin to cease, they're speaking about the laws of God being done away and nailed to the cross. And begin to analyze and to understand these laws, and to know what they are, and how they operate and how they work, we'll begin to find why we've been in so many troubles, and what is the way out.
Physical Laws When they begin to examine some of these laws, for instance, the laws that operate in our physical bodies. Why do we have so much heart trouble today? Why do we have all of these things? Go to the physicians and ask them why you have cancer, if you have it. And there's about one chance in eight, ten or twelve that you do. What causes that? The doctors don't know. But I can tell you in a general way. I can't tell you specifically, because I don't think anybody can. But I can tell you that all cancer has come from the violation of the physical laws that God Almighty set in motion to operate in our bodies.
God didn't design and create and set in motion, a physical human body that was intended to get sick. God set in motion a heart that was supposed to keep beating and pumping healthy blood. A healthful bloodstream for an entire normal natural lifetime. And that normal and natural lifetime was around a thousand years, as God first created man. But because of the way we have lived and because of the way we have violated the physical laws that God set in motion, our lifetime has been cut down.
And now because the doctors are beginning to learn a few things about germs and disease germs, and things of that sort. And of sanitation and they are beginning to learn how to combat some of these things, that do violate and break the laws of nature, and that's all the germs are doing. As a matter of fact if a doctor can administer some medicine or some drug that will combat or will kill the germ, he isn't healing you. No medicine and no drug can heal, all he is doing is to kill that which has been breaking the laws in your body. And he stops the operation of law breaking that's all. You pay the penalty for whatever law has already been broken. Well, we should cease to break laws.
Now, there are spiritual laws that regulate man's relationship with his God. And you know, man has strayed so far from the Almighty Creator, who is still the living Almighty Ruler, which man doesn't seem to realize, because God has permitted him for 6,000 years to be a free moral agent. And man doesn't realize that there is, or need be, any connection with God. And yet, someday we'll come to realize that there can be no source of happiness, peace of mind, and real wellbeing, and enjoyable living — abundant living — except you have a direct contact with God Almighty. And God also set laws in motion that regulate your relationships with your human neighbor here on earth. Now, we're violating those laws. They are inexorable. They are just as much in motion and just as much a force and effect as the law of gravity. Mankind has been breaking them, and therefore we have wars, and we have troubles, and we have problems.
There are laws that regulate success or failure in life, 'The Seven Laws of Success.' You can never be completely successful if you break or violate any one of those seven laws. And most people don't know any of them, and the average man in this world and the average woman is not obeying a one of those laws. No wonder we have so many failures. No wonder we have so many failures.
God Almighty intended that every human being on this earth should live abundantly and become a great success in life. Of course we have to analyze what success is to begin with. And a lot of people have a false idea about what constitutes success. It isn't merely money making. But I will say this, that a man who is abundantly successful will have enough of money for all of his needs. He isn't going to be a pauper, he's going to be fairly prosperous. Not necessarily wealthy, because that isn't always good.
We have Departed From God The reason, my friends, that we have all of our heartaches, and all of our pains, and suffering, and our troubles in this world, and the reason we have an upside down world today is because we have departed from the way of God. Now, God revealed it to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they turned away from it. God revealed it to the antediluvian world through Noah. We don't find very much, just a few fragments of history, about that time in the Bible. But we do read in the New Testament that;
"...Noah [was] a preacher of righteousness..." (II Peter 2:5)
Now, if you will get the Bible definition of righteousness, you will find that God defines what He means by righteousness. In the one hundred nineteenth psalm, the longest chapter in all the Bible, and the one hundred seventy second verse and it is; "...all of God's commandments..." (Psalms 119:172 paraphrased)
In other words, the laws that God thought out, that God planned, that He ordained, and set in motion. The living laws of the Eternal Creator God. And He rules by those laws and when we violate them God doesn't have to have a human policeman around to catch us, you know, the laws just naturally crack down. And whatever we sow we reap. You break God's laws, my friends, they break you — every time. And a lot of people are trying to get away with it, and no one ever did and no one ever will. When will we wake up and find the way that we can be really peaceful and happy and our lives just full of abundant joy? There isn't very much of that in the world today.
Well, the antediluvian world sneered at Noah, they jeered at him, but Noah was a preacher of righteousness. But the world at that time didn't believe it. Now, there is record — historic record — to indicate that one of Noah's sons, Shem, also believed in God's standard of righteousness, and the obedience to the laws of God after the flood. But in a very short time, in just three generations, the world was being repopulated. You know Noah lived to be more than 900 years old. And the world as it became populated again responded to that something that is in the nature of man;
"...the carnal mind is enmity against God [it's antagonistic to God]...it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)
And so men felt that God was wrong and God's way is wrong, as they always seem to feel. And a man rose up with an idea of emancipating man, from the laws and the government of God and men fell for that. And so Nimrod became a great leader, the world's first despot. And he built the first cities this side of the flood. He built Nineveh, Babylon, the Tower of Babel and he made himself the first king, the first emperor on earth. And his wife began to originate the religion that has permeated this earth since the Flood. She was the author and the originator of every religion on the face of the earth today, every organized religion. Yes, and I mean and I include, my friends, even that religion that is called Christianity today.
Man Has Always Strayed From God Now, all of these religions have had their various evolutions into different forms as the years have gone by. But they all, every one of them, are the outgrowth of that which the wife... Nimrod who you'll read about him in the tenth chapter of the Book of Genesis. And his wife started the whole idea. She started the idea of the Madonna, the mother and the child. And she devoted and directed worship of the people to her instead of to the child. You'd be surprised where a lot of these things came from because they knew back there that God would send His Son to be the Savior, the Messiah of the world. They knew that He would be born of a virgin. And so they had to invent a counterfeit long before the time for the real event to occur. And so there was a counterfeit and we have a great deal of the counterfeit today. And this whole world has been deceived as the Bible said we would. Yes, what God said in His word the Bible has been true. That was prophesied over 1900 years ago and it certainly has come out true. What God has said, has taken place.
Well, men strayed their way from God again. Then in the days of Moses, God raised up a prophet, Moses. And through Moses God gave the people His law, His way again. And God raised up a nation to be His peculiar nation on the face of this earth. And God promised them every blessing if only they would obey Him, and if they would live according to His laws. Why? Because His laws were the way into every good thing for us. And yet people imagine that God is some kind of a harsh stern God and everything that God wants is for our evil, and to see us suffer and see us miserable. Oh, how wrong can men get. Now, you find it here in the twenty-sixth chapter of the book of Leviticus. As God said to ancient Israel;
"If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then [will I] give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit...your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time [crops the year around]: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give [you] peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid..." (Leviticus 26:3-6)
They would have had prosperity. They would have had peace. They would have found the way to happiness in every way. And always as God said to ancient Israel, He told them to keep His laws, His commandments, listen to Him that it might be well with them. Now, when they broke His laws, just automatically they brought punishments on themselves, because these laws of God have been set in motion.
Children of Israel Disobeyed God The children of Israel divided into two nations. First, the House of Israel disobeyed God, and later the House of Judah. And as God had said if they wouldn't obey Him they would be driven out as slaves into other nations. In other words, they were a small nation. God offered them protection as long as they would follow His laws. If they didn't God would remove His protection and other nations being bigger, more powerful, would naturally invade and conquer them and that happened. It was just a natural consequence.
Then God made His way known to the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who took the second of the two houses of Israel, the House of Judah, into captivity, and to his son, and to the next ruler in the kingdom of the Chaldeans. But they rejected God. They acknowledged Him, they had to acknowledge Him because of the miracles that He performed to wake them up and to show them the truth. But they never bowed down to obey Him. They never accepted His way. They never began to live it.
And so God turned the Gentile nations over to have the nature and the minds of wild animals, especially their leaders and that's what we've had in the world ever since. Springing at one another's throats by wars of conquest. Trying to take everything away from the other fellow, instead of honestly going out and producing it themselves in a type of labor, that would have been very enjoyable and would have made them happy. Because happiness doesn't come from idleness and ease, it comes from the right kind of useful labor. That's another one of the laws of God that very few people seem ever to have learned.
And then later the world was corrupted. It had strayed completely away from God in bringing nothing but troubles and heartaches and pains on itself again. And God sent His own Son, born of a virgin, Jesus Christ. And Jesus came preaching the way into happiness and into peace. Now, a strange thing began to happen. His own people rejected Him. Some of them accepted Him, and then a lot of Gentiles began to accept Him. And then there arose up a fifth-column deal within that Church, that accepted Him and proclaimed His name, and took all of the prestige that came with the power of the name of Jesus Christ. And they called themselves Christian, but they injected into what had started as the true religion of God and of Jesus Christ, they injected into it their same old pagan ideas. It was the same old package now wrapped up in a new paper, and with a new label on the outside, and they called it Christianity.
And just as Jesus had foretold, that the many false prophets would go out into the world claiming that He was the Christ. Not claiming they were the Christ, you've misinterpreted that in Matthew the twenty-fourth chapter. They have not done that, but they have gone out saying, 'Jesus is the Christ!' They have tried to make Christ known to the nations. They have proclaimed His name, but His message they have covered up, and rejected and denied and hid and the message of Jesus Christ. The Gospel that God sent by Him to this world, this starving, this hungry, this heartaching world, this world filled with wars, this upside down chaotic world — it has rejected. The way that God sent by Jesus Christ. And He preached a way of life. And Jesus came with a certain Gospel and what was His Gospel?
Now, in going through the New Testament, and to see what Jesus did proclaim, and what was His teaching and His Gospel, and how different it is from the gospel that we hear today. We hear today a gospel about Christ, they extol Christ, they exalt Him, they worship Him and Jesus Himself said;
"...in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men [and] Making the law [the way] of God of no effect by your human traditions..." (Mark 7:7,13 paraphrased)
Human ideas that originate in human minds that are contrary to God and that believe God is wrong. Oh, we've had it from the beginning of the world. No wonder we suffer.
God Is Working Out A Purpose Now, you know, my friends, God is working out a purpose here below. God has set us here that we might become like Him. We may if we will, but God is recreating Himself. And what God put us here for is to develop in us, perfect righteous, holy spiritual character. Now, that is something, my friends, that God Himself cannot create. It is something that is developed, and through experience. And it is something that involves a separate entity with a mind and a will of its own separate from God. And we couldn't be characters, we couldn't have such a mind and such a will if God enforced His will on us.
No, we must come to see the truth, and the only way it seems that we can learn it is by hard, and sad experience. And it requires experience, and experience requires time, and so God has set aside a certain duration of time. Thank God, it's only 6,000 years, and we're just about at the end of that 6,000 years now. After which, my friends, you're going to see that God Almighty will step in and intervene in the affairs of men.
Now, we're coming to the time where man is about to annihilate himself. We're coming to the time when man has turned his mind, his ingenuity, the only creature that we know that God has ever created that can have some of the powers of God. Powers to design, powers to think, to plan and to lay out a plan and a design, and then to carry it out, and execute it. To make things, like God is a creator, man can make things, and no other creature we know can do that. And how has man used that godly power? He's used it for destruction every time. He's used it to tear down, and to destroy, and to bring about unhappiness instead of making humanity happy. And now, we have the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb, and they're even inventing now terrible means of destruction far worse even than those.
Now, the Russians have managed to get the secret of the hydrogen bomb. And two such nations, with one of them having the mind of a wild animal ready to spring at us anytime, they think they could conquer and win. And the only reason that the Russians have not attacked us is because they knew they couldn't win. Because we had the atomic bomb, and we had more of them than they. And if we ever let the Russians feel that they had enough weapons of destruction to annihilate and to destroy the United States, you won't have to provoke a war with them. They'll provoke the war themselves and they'll do it instantly. They perhaps won't even need an excuse, they'll start it immediately just like Pearl Harbor started. There was no excuse and there was no warning.
That's the kind of world we live in. And our scientists tell us today that they are frightened. And that they know what is being produced, and that man will soon be annihilated, and all human life from off the face of this earth unless something can prevent them. They don't think anything can prevent it except world government.
World Government Now, a world government will have to have a man at the helm. I don't care where you are, my friends, whether it's a home, whether it's a business, whether it's a school, whether it's a nation. Someone has to be at the head, that's all. And when the children rule the roost, as they do in so many homes today, you just don't have a very happy home. And so, someone would have to be at the helm. And there is no man on this earth that is competent, or able, or is righteous enough to be the ruler of the whole world. But God Himself is going to send Jesus Christ again to this earth and He, and He alone, of all who have ever been human, is able, and competent, and honest, and righteous, and qualified in every way to rule this world. And we are going to have world rule. We're going to have world government. God Almighty will intervene. That six thousand years that He set apart for human experience to run its course is now just about up.
Oh, I tell you there's a reason for these things. There is a purpose being worked out here below. And we're so dumb, and so blind, and so estranged from God and so cut off from the knowledge of His revelation, that He reveals, that we can't seem to know what life is all about. Why we're here, where we're going. what is the cause of these things we see about us? We're so preoccupied with our own little every day work-a-day world, and the little world that we live in, that we can't see the big problems of life, and yield ourselves to Him.
Now, coming here in the life of Jesus, we were in the ninth chapter of Matthew, and we had come to that in the preceding program yesterday.
"And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching [what?] the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness." (Matthew 9:35 American Standard Version)
Now, that's the gospel He preached, but men today don't know what the Kingdom is. They don't know what is the Kingdom of God. They don't realize that the Kingdom of God, is God. And that God is not one person, but God is a Kingdom or a family of persons. Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. You read of the very beginning of his gospel, in Mark the first chapter and the very first verse is;
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" (Mark 1:1)
Then you read about John, who prepared the way before Him, and coming to verse 14 we find the beginning of Jesus preaching; "Now after...John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of kingdom of God," (Mark 1:14)
Later we find over here in Matthew nine, He went about all the cities and villages preaching that same gospel. He never preached any other. Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. That is the reign of God over us, the rule of God, the government of God.
But God is also a family. Now a kingdom, my friends for instance, here is a certain kingdom, it was the Ottoman Empire, and it was very prominent in world affairs only a few years ago. Go back forty or fifty years and from then, from some time back it had been very prominent, and that is the Turkish kingdom. Now, the Turkish nation are a kingdom. But I'm using them as an illustration because we have them very well identified in Bible prophecy. They are the family grown great into a nation that had descended from one man Esau. Esau who had the birthright, but sold it to Jacob way back there, one of the sons of Isaac, the son of Abraham. Now, that kingdom is merely a family, but it also is a nation or a government. Now, that is what a kingdom is, in the Bible sense. And the Kingdom of God is the family of God. And Jesus came preaching that we could enter into that Kingdom. But we must be born into it, born of God, not born of human flesh.
"That which is born of the flesh [He said] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit [and God is that Spirit] is spirit." (John3:6)
But it also is a government, and it means rule, and it is governed by God the Father. And there's a family relationship in the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. It is a family. Oh, my friends, when will wake up and find the way into that Kingdom through Jesus Christ, our Lord who said;
"...if you would have [eternal] life [if you would be saved], keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17 paraphrased). And He said; "...believe the gospel." (Mark 1:17)
As well as on Him. There it is, my friends, that's the answer to your problems.
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