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   The World Tomorrow, Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the plain truth about today's world news and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow.

   Once again, how, when did our Western World get away from, totally lose sight of, the very gospel which God sent to this world by Jesus Christ? Why haven't you heard the true original gospel of Christ before? We've been supposing in our day and generation that a gospel of men about Christ was the gospel of Christ. The gospel of Christ is the gospel which he preached, not a message merely about his person. Now, Jesus' gospel was the good news of the Kingdom of God.

   Now, did God ever have a kingdom set up on this earth? He did? Well, now next, was that kingdom merely some sentimental something set up in men's hearts? Or was it a real literal national kingdom, a nation, an actual government? It was a real kingdom, a literal kingdom, the Kingdom of Israel.

   Now first, I want you to get this distinction. Get this clearly. Listen, that Kingdom was not the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom was not the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. That was not the kingdom he brought the message about in his gospel; that was the Kingdom of Israel. And there is a great difference, a great distinction, between that Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of God. And yet there is a great connection too. I want you to get both the difference and also the connection. So now listen.

   First, the Old Covenant that God made with the children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—Jacob's name had been changed to Israel—and so they were all his children. They were called the children of Israel. God made them into a nation, one of the nations, one of the governments, the kingdoms here on this earth. It was a literal nation among all the nations of the earth. And God set up that nation by a covenant, an agreement that he made with those people. And that agreement was a marriage covenant that married them to God. And it was the very God, the very person of God, of the God family, the God kingdom, which was made flesh and dwelt among us, which became Jesus Christ.

   Now, in the 19th chapter of Exodus, it was in the third month, the children of Israel had just come out of Egypt, only in the third month now out of Egypt, they had come to Mount Sinai and God called Moses up to speak to him. And God said to Moses, "Now therefore, lay this proposition before the people and say to them." Now, therefore, as God is saying now to the people of Israel through Moses, "If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant."

   Now, there's that. Remember, the covenant is a contract. It's a mutual agreement by and between two parties, by which one promises certain rewards when the other performs certain conditions. Now, here are the conditions. "If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then here's the promise. Here's what God proposed to do: You shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people." In other words, the greatest nation on the face of the earth. They would be above the other nations of the earth.

   Now, we find this elaborated somewhat over in the 26th chapter of Leviticus where God said, "You shall make you no idols, no graven image to bow down unto it. I am the Eternal, your God. You shall keep my Sabbath. I am the Eternal. If you walk in my statutes and keep my commandments and do them, then will I give you rain in due season. The land shall yield her increase, the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and I'll give you peace in the land. You shall lie down. None shall make you afraid. And finally, you will be able to chase 100. Two hundred of you can put 10,000 others to flight."

   In other words, they would become prosperous. They would become the dominant, most wealthy nation on earth, and they would have peace. They would dominate over the nations of the world because you may be sure that in such a world as we live in today, the other nations would invade them. And if, well, if 100 of them could put 10,000 to flight, how long would it take them until they would be the greatest, most dominant nation on the face of this earth? And especially with all their wealth.

   Now, my friends, God had promised all of that wealth, all of that national greatness to Abraham to take place in his children. But God here in Leviticus 26 said to these people, if you keep my commandments, you have all of that. And yet He promised it unconditionally to Abraham. Now get this little distinction.

   Beginning with verse 14 in Leviticus 26 (Leviticus 26:14), God had said to the ancient Israelites—you're going to see in a minute what absolute connection this has with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although this kingdom must be contrasted with the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. This has to do with the kingdom of the Old Covenant. Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of the New Covenant. And I want you to see the difference between the Old and the New Covenant. I want you to see also the connection.

   Now listen. Verse 14, Leviticus 26, God also said to those people, "If you will not hearken unto me, will not do all these commandments," then he said that he would appoint over them terror and diseases and they would be invaded, conquered, and become slaves of their enemies, and that he would punish them for a duration of 2,520 long years. That is the "seven times" that is mentioned four times over, repeated three times after it is mentioned the first time here in Leviticus 26.

   Now, actually, my friends, they never did completely obey God and they never did completely surrender to his rule. And it remained until the year of 1800 A.D. before that was ever carried out. And we are the recipients today of that wonderful promise that God has made to Abraham. Now, we have not kept God's commandments either. We have not walked in his ways. No, we're walking in our own ways. You know what we believe in here, and we think it's right too. And well, of course, many phases of it are like, especially all of the freedoms, the private initiative, the private enterprise, and the things of that sort that we have. But we talk about our way of life, our American way of life. And I tell you, my friends, we need to also begin to learn something about what is God's way of life because that is what we have departure from. God help us to wake up and to begin to understand.

   All right, now, let's get back to this story. God laid before them this proposition. Then here were the terms and conditions coming in the 20th chapter where God gave them his great spiritual law, the Ten Commandments. Those are spiritual principles. Then later, God gave them also physical rituals for the church because he formed them into a church and they were called the congregation of Israel—congregation meaning church. Then also, as a nation, he gave them civil laws to govern their nation. They didn't have a parliament, they didn't have a congress or a legislature. They didn't make their own laws. God was their King. God gave them their laws.

   Now, in the 24th chapter of Exodus, you find this covenant made. It was sealed and ratified by blood. And so, I read to you just a brief part of it in the preceding program, how Moses took half of the blood, he put it in basins, half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. He took the book of the covenant, which all the terms and conditions of this contract were written down in, and he read in the audience of the people. And they said, "All that the Eternal has said will we do and be obedient." They agreed to their part of this agreement, this contract. Then Moses took the blood and he sprinkled it on the people, and he said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the Eternal hath made with you concerning all these words."

   Now, the covenant was made. And incidentally, anything added after the signature is no part of this covenant. And then the other covenants you find later are separate, different covenants and not a part of this covenant.

   Now, the Ten Commandments were not the covenant as some people mistakenly believe. They were the tables of the covenant, the terms of the covenant, but not the covenant. A door of a house is not the house itself. It's a part of it. And the Ten Commandments were the conditions that the people were to live up to and obey. But they were not the covenant. The covenant itself was an agreement. A lot of people like to argue that point today in order to have their own way.

   All right, I'm not interested in arguing or debating with anybody. If you want to believe that way, you can. If you want to believe lies, my friend, you're just as free as the air. God has ordained that you must choose, that you must decide. God won't pound his religion into your mind. God isn't going to cram it down your throats, not at all. And we can't do it by striving or by arguing. I don't care to argue with anyone at all. And so, if anyone wants to believe otherwise, they're just as free as the air to believe. I proclaim to you God's truth, and my friends, I hope you hunger and thirst for it because anyone who doesn't is not worthy of it.

   Well, now, my friends, that covenant, that covenant that God made that set Israel up as a nation was a marriage covenant. And I was reading that to you. The third chapter of the prophet Jeremiah, 14th verse (Jeremiah 3:14), God says, "Turn, O backsliding children," speaking to Israel, saith the Eternal, "for I am married unto you." That's Israel, the Old Covenant. Yes, that's the Old Covenant. But just keep that in mind. I want to show you something. Now, he had said in verse 8 previously (Jeremiah 3:8), "I saw when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery and I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not and went and played the harlot also." They refused to obey God and let God really be their King.

   Now, God had set before them life and death, and God had commanded choose. They had to choose; they had to make the decision. Well, that's exactly what they did. God was their King. They had no earthly rulers, but they didn't want God to be their King. And soon they wanted a man to be their king just like the heathen pagan nations around them. And so, you read in I Samuel, the eighth chapter: Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and they came to Samuel. This is I Samuel 8. Turn to it in your own Bible. I Samuel, the eighth chapter, beginning with verse 4 (I Samuel 8:4). The elders of Israel came to Samuel, who was God's prophet and representative at that time, and they said unto him, "Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." They wanted a man, just like other nations, to be a king.

   Well, that displeased Samuel. He prayed to God about it, and the Eternal said unto Samuel, "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." You see, they rejected God from being their King. Did you ever read that in your Bible? Did you ever fully realize that before? That's going to be news to a good many of you, I know.

   All right, God continued in verse 9 (I Samuel 8:9), "Now therefore hearken unto their voice." You see, God allows us to do what we want. God has ordained that we must choose. He will not choose for you. God laid before you life and death, yes, peace or strife, and competition and war. You can have the happiness of God's way and his government and the prosperity of it, or you can have all the discomfort, the emptiness, and the unhappiness of pain and suffering and death of going your own way and the way of this world and the way of its customs and ways. So, God is allowing them to make up their own mind. God, in fact, has ordained that they must make their own decision, and that's the decision they made.

   And so, God said, "Now therefore hearken unto their voice: albeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them," which of course Samuel did. But nevertheless, they wanted their own way and they wanted a man to rule over them.

   And what do we have on this earth, my friends? We have government by man over man. And God intended that we should only be governed by him. But God set before us the choice, and God has decreed we must choose. And if we reject him, he allows us to do so. And that's exactly what mankind has been doing for 6,000 years. And that's why we have all of our troubles, all of our aches, our pains, our suffering, our empty lives, our frustrations. All of the unhappiness, discouragement—everything wrong has come as a result of that.

   Well, now God made this covenant with Israel. It was a marriage. Remember, they disobeyed. Israel was divorced, and God divorced her. Then what did Israel do? You see, the king, the government that they served, was their god and master, their husband. In other words, the wife is obedient to the husband in God's plan.

   Now, when they had men rule over them and when they went after the ways of the pagans and they served the gods of the pagans, and they took the way of pagan practice and said they were serving their God by pagan methods. And my friends, some of you, in fact, a lot of you, are doing that today, and you don't know it. You're taking pagan ways, pagan customs, pagan beliefs, and you think you're serving the true God. And you think you're worshiping the true God that way, and you call it Christianity.

   And I want to tell you, a lot of you need to wake up and look in your Bible and look into history and see how these things came about and get the truth. You're going to be shocked. You're going to be dumbfounded when you learn the truth. We have been born into a world that has grown up into certain ways and certain customs. And of course, people do what they think is right. This hasn't come by people thinking they're doing wrong, or that is, they don't do it in order to do wrong. Of course, people want their own way. Well, I tell you, there's an awakening coming very soon, and God Almighty is going to bring it about.

   Well, now God gave them laws. As I explained, the Ten Commandments were the overall basic spiritual law, and all of the laws were based on it. But then, in addition, they had their civil codes that applied only to the nation as long as it was a nation, although they are God's right and just laws. And then also he gave them the physical church laws or the Ecclesiastical laws that had to do with the sacrifices, animal sacrifices. I explained previously, those animal sacrifices could not forgive sin. They were merely a substitute for Christ. And then all the rituals, the meat and drink offerings, the carnal ordinances, the burning of candles, the washings, and one thing and another—well, those were merely a substitute for the Spirit of God.

   Now, the law of God, that is, the spiritual law, the Ten Commandments, is a spiritual law, and it requires a spiritual love to fulfill it. And love is the fulfilling of that law. But it requires the love of God set about in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. And my friends, Israel did not have the Holy Spirit. God never promised them salvation in the Old Covenant. I read you the terms and the conditions: "You shall be above all nations." They were just going to be materially blessed. They were going to have wealth and be dominant in this world, for this life, for their nation. But there was no individual eternal life promise. There was no salvation. There was no promise of the Holy Spirit to Israel.

   You've heard that in the Old Testament they got saved by works, and in the New Testament, we get saved by grace. Oh, poppycock! Let's get our eyes opened. Under the Old Testament, there was no salvation offered, my friends. There is no way to be saved except by grace. There never was; there never will be. God has never had but one way of redemption, one way to save people, one plan for giving us eternal life. There never has been another. But there was an Old Covenant and there is a New Covenant. And now I'm going to try to open your eyes to see just exactly what it means and what is the difference.

   Oh, we've been so mixed up. We've been so tangled in a kind of a Babylon of superstition here. God help us, then, to get this thing straightened out.

   Now, the Old Covenant was based on material conditions and material promises, purely and simply. So, when they were divorced from their husband, who is the one who became Christ, and they went off and married strange gods and strange religions and things, according to the law of the Old Covenant, my friends, a husband never could take his wife back if he divorced her and she went and married another. And consequently, Israel was helpless. Their hope was cut off.

   Over here, it just occurs to me. Let me turn to this, the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. Just a second. This is Ezekiel 37, verse 11 (Ezekiel 37:11): "Behold, they say"—that's the house of Israel, and bones means skeleton, means Israel all dead now, the Old Covenant Israel that is now dead—"They say, as if they could talk, 'Our bones are dried, our hope is lost. We are cut off for our parts.'" In other words, they seem to know they were married to Jehovah, of the Old Testament, the real one who became the Christ, the one that was the Word, the spokesman of God that was made flesh and dwelled among us. But he divorced them. He was their husband. Now they had gone and had a wrong relationship of marriage, an adulterous relationship with others—yes, with other religions, with other gods, with other rulers, instead of letting God be their ruler. And now they could not even marry him back. Their hope was lost.

   Let me just explain this once again, my friends. Their husband came, changed into human flesh for the very purpose of death. And Christ not only died to take away your sins and mine individually to give us individual salvation—yes, that was perhaps the number one and the greatest purpose in his death—but, my friends, also there was a second purpose in his death. He died to free Israel from that divorce. When Israel's husband died, Israel was freed from that divorce, and now she's free to marry whom she will. And if Israel will now accept Christ as her savior, as well as her husband, then she can marry him.

   I want to show you, my friends, that when the New Covenant is made, the New Covenant will set up not the Kingdom of Israel, but the Kingdom of God. Then Israel is to make that covenant with God and to become now not the Kingdom of Israel, but now the Kingdom of God—not any longer human being, but now transformed and changed to divine being. God is coming in the person of Christ. He is divine. He is glorified, and he is the firstborn from among the dead. And we're going to be like him, for we shall see him as he is, and we shall be glorified together with him. We are joint heirs with him of all things of the Kingdom of God.

   And so, my friends, you read here that there is going to be the marriage of the Lamb and that his wife has made herself ready. Yes, I tell you, it is his wife that has made herself ready. Here it is in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation and the seventh verse. Revelation 19, verse 7 (Revelation 19:7): "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him. The marriage of the Lamb has come." There's a New Covenant marriage that will set Israel up once again, this time as a nation, but this time as a divine nation, this time as a spiritual nation, this time as the Kingdom of God. And that Kingdom of God is the message Jesus brought. That was the New Testament Gospel. And you see there is a connection between that and Israel of old.

   Listen: "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and who's ready? She isn't married yet, but she's His wife. His wife has made herself ready." Not someone that's going to be his wife; she's already his wife—Israel, my friends, you think that salvation is for Gentiles? Let me turn to something real quickly for you back here in Ephesians. Ephesians, the very second chapter, the Apostle Paul writing to the Gentiles at Ephesus wrote this. He wrote, "Wherefore remember..."—verse 11, chapter 2, Ephesians chapter 2, verse 11. Am I going too fast for you, friends? I hope not. I'm just running through this as it comes into my mind very rapidly.

   Now, verse 11, chapter two, Ephesians (Ephesians 2:11), "Wherefore remember that ye, being in time past Gentiles..." Oh, then they're not Gentiles any longer, are they? In time past, they were Gentiles. Listen: "...in the flesh, Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision that is made by hands. That at that time when you were Gentiles, you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers..." that is, foreigners "...from the covenants of promise." Because all of the covenants, all of the promises are made only to Israel. And I want to tell you, if you don't become an Israelite, you cannot get in on any of the promises of God because they pertain to Israel and Israelites only. And so, these Gentiles then were strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope. Don't you see? They had no hope. It's Gentiles that have no hope.

   Israel had no hope until her husband came and died and freed her from the Old Covenant divorce. But now there's hope. Yes, and they were without God in the world. There's the position of a Gentile. But he said, "But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Why? Because in Galatians, the third chapter, in the 29th verse (Galatians 3:29), Jesus said to those Gentiles, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's children," in other words, Israelites, "...and heirs according to the promise." The promises made to Abraham, the promises that pertain alone to Israel. Oh, God help us to understand that all the promises are for Israel.

   But of course, the Old Covenant was made to the people of Israel of national and individual promises of wealth and of national dominance and national greatness. But eternal life, that comes in under the New Covenant only. But that still is a promise made to Israel, my friends, and not the Gentiles. But any Gentile who repents of his sin and who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and is thereby reconciled to God and becomes a begotten child of God, by that very begettal, becomes the child of Abraham. And Abraham is the father of the faithful. And you become, by spiritual begettal, an Israelite.

   And I want to tell you, a born Israelite is never going to get in on the New Covenant unless he is born again, this time born of the Spirit. Now, the Old Covenant was made on material and national promises. The law and the prophets were the message of the Old Covenant, of that Old Covenant church. It was purely material. They didn't have the promise of salvation or anything of the kind.

   But now, if we have time, I want you to notice Hebrews here, the eighth chapter, and the 13th verse. Hebrews 8, verse 13 (Hebrews 8:13): "In that he saith, 'A New Covenant,' he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." The Old Covenant then is ready to vanish away and is gone, the Old Covenant.

   But now, I want you to notice, my friends, verses 6 to 10 (Hebrews 8:6-10): "Now hath he obtained"—that's Christ—"a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant." You see, Moses was the mediator of the Old; Christ is the mediator of the New, and it's a more excellent ministry than Moses' ministry. And it's a better covenant that he's going to make with us, which will be established on better promises. "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for the second. But finding fault with them"—the fault wasn't with God, the fault wasn't with the Ten Commandments, the fault was with the people who didn't keep the Ten Commandments—"he saith, 'Behold, the days come,' saith the Eternal, 'that I'll make a New Covenant.'" Who with? Not Gentiles, but with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not," saith the Eternal. "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," saith the Eternal. "I will put my laws"—God's laws, God's government—"in their minds, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be my people." That is the New Covenant. And my friend's time is up.

   We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. So stated President Abraham Lincoln over 100 years ago. It is true. The world has never before seen such a standard of living as that attained by the United States. Is there a reason for our national blessings, or was it all strictly by chance? The answer is revealed in "The United States and Britain in Prophecy." This free booklet makes clear what Bible prophecy has to say about modern-day America, Britain, and Canada. So far, we have been the wealthiest peoples on earth. Lately, economists and business leaders have begun voicing real concern about our future. Are these blessings now being taken away from us? Request "The United States and Britain in Prophecy" and find out.

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