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

   Where do you find proof that people are going to go to heaven?

   Well, a church? They always tell us that when you die, it's gonna be a God is going to judge you right after you die.

   Can you quote me any proof of that or any verses to substantiate that?

   Uh, verses or a.

   Proving, proving that heaven is in the Bible. Promises in the Bible. Can you quote me any verses?

   Like uh, when, uh, when the Lord spoke to, uh, spoke to Noah, he told him that, uh, and then he spoke down from heaven. He said, when he came down from, you know, he spoke, he spoke from heaven, I don't know verses in the Bible.

   The Bible is just a story. I mean, we don't know who wrote it. It's the same as any novel today. It's just that's it.

   But he that believes in me shall not be condemned but shall have life everlasting.

   Okay. But does that say where it's going to be?

   Well, he, he did, he said in one place, if you believe in me, you shall be with me, and we know that Jesus went to heaven after he died.

   Uh, as far as you know, does the Bible itself promise heaven as the reward in the afterlife?

   Yes. Certainly in the Jewish religion, it does. Yes. And I'm looking forward to it.

   Ok. Can you quote me any verses to substantiate that?


   Can you quote any verses to substantiate whether or not the Bible says heaven is the place people go to when they die? Can your preacher quote any such verse? I have the verses that most ministers use to quote right here. We'll take a look at those verses, and we will see they don't promise heaven.

   The very focal point of the Christian religion is the idea that after we die, we go somewhere and hopefully that somewhere is a place of happiness and bliss and harp music and wings and heavenly Cadillacs and gold bricks in the street and fountains and well, it depends on your own personal idea or what your own pastor or preacher said or what your family believes or what in your own speculations, which admittedly we keep rather vague. And they don't bring up in polite conversation all that much over lunches or cocktails or dinner.

   Very few people really are heard sitting around and speculating about what it's going to be like in heaven. But preacher types do, you hear sermons, you listen to radio evangelistic talks and you go to big evangelistic campaigns and so on. You hear people talking about heaven. Now, recently, I was quoting an evangelical type who said sometimes dear reader, you know, we get homesick for heaven. And how can you get homesick for a place you've never seen and don't know very much about.

   One of the theologians admitted that the Bible says very little about heaven, about well where it is and what it's like and what it's all about and who is there and who dwells there and whether human beings go there. On this short series of programs, I've said time and again. And when you go back to the original three major codices, that means the documents on papyrus or vellum, mostly vellum, which is like sheepskin that exist in the Vatican over at the Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai over in the British Museum.

   When you look at those from which the Greek and the Latin and find the English version called the King James Authorized 1611 version of the Bible were taken, that you cannot find the words when we go to heaven or I'll see you in heaven or we'll all be to heaven or it's time for me to go to heaven or my dear grandmother went to heaven.

   You can't find that Peter, David, James, John, Jude or Bartholomew, ever went to heaven. You can find a statement though that Jesus said no man has ascended into heaven. Now these people on the street, we weren't trying to catch them because that's just normal and natural. Most people, including a lot of guys standing in pulpits, don't know that some of these scriptures are in the Bible. I mean that, there are lots of people out in pulpits who have gone to a theological seminary who don't necessarily believe that the Bible is inspired. They don't necessarily believe Jesus is alive today that he is in heaven or he's coming again.

   Some years ago, it was 44% who couldn't even name that's church-going Christians, who couldn't even name the first four books of the New Testament. And 9 out of 10 of those graduating from theological seminaries about a decade ago didn't think Christ was going to come back again. Now with a new kind of a charismatic revival, a new modern emotional religion, more and more people are getting involved in a literal interpretation of the Bible where they say they believe in a fundamental doctrines of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which is heaven and ever-burning hell.

   The idea of judgment, the idea of there being, uh, kind of a rapture where Jesus kind of comes by the earth and takes all the save somewhere else. But many of those people don't even know that these scriptures are in the Bible.

   Now we covered it a couple of programs ago. Just very quickly I want to refer to these. Jesus said, no man has ascended up to heaven. David is being spoken of in Acts, the second chapter in the first sermon that was ever quoted from after Jesus himself went to heaven. It says David is dead and buried. His sepulcher is with us to this day. David is not ascended into the heavens.

   In Hebrews 11, referring to many patriarchs, saints, righteous man, Abraham, Noah, Elijah, Enoch, and all these all died in faith not having received the promises in Hebrews 11:39-40 they received, not the promise God having provided some better thing for us that they without us should not be made perfect. We who are alive today. And those who were alive when these words were written would inherit the same promises at the same time. Not that they've been in limbo reserved for the fathers for a long period of time.

   And I remind you, the Apostle Paul wrote these words a couple of decades and more after Jesus Christ had gone to heaven according to what the Bible says. Not that I want to argue about whether or not you accept what the Bible says or you think it's a writing of people who are misguided or uninspired. But if you're talking to people who try to tell you that, yes, I think the Bible says, I'm going to heaven, that's the issue I'm confining myself to right now. Does the Bible say that? The answer is no.

   Well, we went through all of these. I won't repeat them all. Revelation 11:15, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, Revelation 5:10 and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 22:6. The promise to a Christian that to he that overcomes and keeps my works to the end of him while I give power over the nations. Matthew 5:5 blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. That's from the sermon on the mount. That's a statement from Jesus Christ of Nazareth in the first person. Psalm 37:9, inherit the earth. Psalm 37:11 inherit the earth. Psalm 37:22 shall inherit the earth. Those that are blessed of God. Psalm 37:29 shall inherit the land and on and on, go the many, many scriptures about God's kingdom being on the earth, absorbing nations on the earth, promising rulership of people over other people on the earth.

   Now we come, I've skipped over some of these because they're lengthy, but they say virtue of the same thing, out of Zion shall go forth the law, the word of the Eternal from Jerusalem, a picture of what it's going to be like on the day that Christ comes. Where is he coming to? It says, and his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, the local environs of Jerusalem.

   Now then we come to these scriptures that are commonly used, and these are the most commonly used. The one about Elijah, the one about in my Father's house are many mansions, and the one about the thief on the cross. I want to show you not only in the light of the many, many plain scriptures we've already covered which are impossible to be misinterpreted, the meek shall inherit the earth. You can't misinterpret that, no man has ascended into heaven. Plain statement. David is not in the heavens, plain statement. Those are impossible to misinterpretation. Inherit the earth, inherit the land. I'll give them power over the nations as feet shall stand in that day in the Mount of Olives. No problem.

   But now we come to a few scriptures which seem to be capable of more than one translation. And last time I had to break off for lack of time. But in this program, I want to complete those in II Kings 2:11, it came to pass as they went on and talked that beholder appeared to chariot the fire. This is back during the days of Elijah. People who go to church have heard the preacher say at one time or another that Elijah went to heaven. They've heard about the fiery chariot; they've heard about swing low sweet chariot. They've heard lots of graphic descriptions of what it was like the day Elijah went to heaven.

   All right, I already proved in an earlier series of programs. The Bible talks about the heaven in which airplanes and birds fly and where the clouds are, the mantle of air that is a part of one of the spheres of this earth. The Bible defines that under the heavens, talking about one end of the land of the other under the whole of heaven.

   All right, it also defines the heavens where the stars, the sun, the moon, and all the planets are. In other words, the universe with all of its galaxies, and then it talks, believe it or not, in the precise terminology. And I have that scripture right here and pointed it out to you. The Apostle Paul talked in II Corinthians, the 12th chapter about a vision where one in his mind's eye seemed to be in the third heaven. And the Bible uses the term the third heaven just as if it's 1, 2, 3, the earth and its air, the universe number two, and the third heaven being the place where God's throne is.

   Now again, if you don't believe the Bible, then I'm talking over your head. I'm not talking right now to agnostics, skeptics, and atheists and so on. But the people who say they really believe the Bible, I'm letting the Bible interpret the Bible. It seems to say here that Elijah went up into heaven since the Bible talks about three heavens. Our question is which one?

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   Let's approach the Bible from a little bit of a suspicious point of view. The Bible says, prove me now here with it says, prove all things, hold fast that which is good. You know that the Bible says that the way you discover truth on a subject is line upon line, precept upon precept here a little there a little. It doesn't say you get all the truth about anyone's subject in just one place. So let's look at it. Is somebody lying here? And if so, who would you want to believe?

   This says, Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven back in II Kings 2:11. But Jesus says in John 3:13, hundreds and hundreds of years later and he had just come down from there. He said, no man has ascended up to heaven. But he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven, who's telling the truth back in the book of Kings or Jesus? Well, both because you see the Bible points out there can be three meanings for the word heaven, the air, and then the universe and then the third heaven of God's throne.

   Now, did Elijah go into the third heaven of God's throne? Jesus says no, because he's talking about the heaven where he was and from which he came and to which he went back, he clears up that part for us. Is there another scripture that might tell us whether or not Elijah was taken into? Well, now, did he go into space? Well, if he did God had artificially kept him alive just like our astronauts because he would have had to have taken a little capsule of the life support systems of this earth along with him. And it doesn't say that it says he was taken up by a whirlwind. Now, whirlwinds are pretty limited to the lower part of our own air mantle that covers the earth, and they're not even up at 60, 80 a hundred thousand feet, they're right down real close to the ground. So that's how far Elijah went up.

   Let's take a look at this Hebrews 11:13 in this chapter called the Faith chapter of the Bible. Elijah is mentioned by name and it says these all died, including Elijah in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded to them and embraced them. That is the promises of eternal life and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth and they died in faith. Elijah, the Bible says died, and Jesus said, nobody's up there. He didn't go to heaven, he's not there. I just came down, it's empty. Just God, just the angels. Please believe me. That's what Jesus says.

   Now let's get the final capstone to this. In II Chronicles 21:12. And I covered this last time. There came a writing to him, that's to Elisha, from Elijah, the prophet. Now you can check me on this. This is II Chronicles 21:12. And if you take a look at the history of it as to who the kings of Judah and Israel were, you will find that this was many, many years after Elijah had disappeared by that whirlwind into what the Bible says is heaven, which we've established as the mantle of air covering this earth. There came a letter, a writing to Elisha from Elijah, the prophet saying, "Thus says the Lord God of David, your father, because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat, your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, etcetera, etcetera." And then there was a statement about what was going to be the consequence of that series of actions on his part.

   So now we're doing what the Bible says, line upon line, here a little, there a little, here a little, there a little the other place some more. And these plain scriptures are used to let us understand what might appear at first reading to be a little ambiguous.

   Now, some character, and maybe he would not be a character, some person who honestly and sincerely thought that the Christian religion says everybody's going to heaven. And he looked up in a Concordance and he said, "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven," but he neglected to follow the Bible's own principle line upon line. Precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little. The statement by the Apostle Paul rightly dividing the word of truth, the statement by the Bible itself, "prove all things," the statement by Jesus, "search the scriptures because they are those with testify of me. And then you think you have eternal life," the statement by Jesus that said, "thy word is truth." What about those scriptures? Well, then if he had gotten all of the information on any one subject, he wouldn't have made that mistake. And by the way, we have a book on that subject, what about Enoch and Elijah? What happened to them? And where are they? Which completes it?

   Now, let me hurry along or I won't even finish it for the second time around I've got to do that, John 14:2-3, one of the favorites of all in my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also.

   Now really, let's just look at that scripture plainly and see what it does not say. It says in my Father's house are many mansions. Now, if we're going to be literal, does that mean buildings inside of a building? It says in my Father's house. So we're assuming he's talking about heaven and it says many mansions. But technically does it say you're going to go to heaven, you see that word anywhere, the word heaven, no, isn't there. It doesn't say we'll all go to heaven, we'll see you in heaven or anything. But it does say in my Father's house and Jesus is speaking, are many mansions. Now, believe it or not. That word of the English language. Mansions is taken from a Greek word which can mean habitations, occupations. Do you know that when a sign that says occupied on a door comes from a Greek word which can mean a job, your occupation and something you occupy are used interchangeably and I'm not giving any hocus pocus or hanky panky. I'm letting the Bible interpret the Bible. And I'll show you plainly that you've got to get back sometimes to the original etymological derivation of terminology from a Greek word to an English word. Sometimes there's translation, sometimes there's transliteration and sometimes there is, unfortunately, interpretation, which is what we don't want.

   Is he talking about endless brownstone apartments, 20 stories high with plumbing problems and heating problems in heaven. Is that what he's talking about? Everybody gets his house to live in. Looks like a honeycomb beehive of billions of people living in mansions, everybody with lots of servants and automobiles and Cadillacs. God is a realistic God. So let us be realistic. He's not talking about that since the Greek word is capable of the interpretation, occupations, jobs, offices, positions. And since Jesus said in the scripture that we quoted to you earlier, "to him that overcomes will I grant power over the nations?" Don't those two scriptures have to superpose over each other? Does one cancel out the other? If that's true, then you can't trust any of the Bible and the Bible is lying to you. What does it not say? It does not say you're going to go to heaven. But Jesus said I go and he went to heaven, all right, to prepare a place for you.

   Now, does that mean that he is going to let you go up there? He said, "No man is ascended to heaven." Let's read the rest of it. If I go, that's to heaven and prepare a place for you. And place can mean position. It literally can, no matter what we think in our English language, the word place can mean position or occupation, job, as well as just geographical location, a place for you. I will come again.

   Now when he comes back, where is he going to be? I was in Richmond, Virginia, and I said I might come back to Richmond. What was I gonna do? Meet all those people in Albuquerque? I kept trying to call it Nashville. As a matter of fact, while I was there, kind of got a joke about that. He said, "I will come again." Where's it going to be When he comes again? On the earth? He was talking to people on the earth. He says, "I'm coming back." They believe General Doug MacArthur, they believed him when he said, "I will return to the Philippines." Why don't they believe Christ when he says, "I'm coming back to the earth," and it's just one little gem of light in the blackness of nothingness in one corner of the Milky Way in which there are 200 billion, billion stars. He says, "I'm coming again." People don't believe he meant what he said, "I'm coming again and will receive you unto myself. That where I am, where will he be when he comes again on the earth, there, where, there, where on the earth? That's where you may be also."

   So actually, even in this scripture of John 14:2-3, which many people seem to assume talks about heavenly mansions. The scripture plainly says he's coming again to the earth, that where he will be on the earth. There you may be also and it's capable of a couple of different interpretations, isn't it? It doesn't say you're going to heaven, but it says in God's house are occupations, ocupaciones in the Spanish language, occupations, mansions. Well, not in the sense that we mean occupations abodes is another commonly translated word or duties, responsibilities.

   Now, let's take a look at a couple of scriptures that help clarify it. Philippians three and verse 20, (Philippians 3:20), for our conversation is in heaven. What does that mean? We talk and run a wave lenght and people up in heaven are overhearing what we say. No, the Old King James word again, could mean something totally different. Now, you'll have to check me on this, but I've looked it up. Believe me, the Greek word is politea, POLITEA in the English language the way we might pronounce it in Greek politea from which we take politics, policy and it actually means citizenship from which we take the word citizenship, our citizenship reserved for us. We're a member of that government which rules from that place is in heaven, from whence, not in whence, but from whence also, we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He's coming down out of heaven to the earth. He's coming from there.

   Revelation 21 and verse two (Revelation 21:2), and I, John saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband in a scripture that is quite symbolic back in Revelation 21 and verse two. So again, let's remember what we've seen many, many plain scriptures that says, the meek are going to be on the earth. We shall reign on the earth. Jesus says, no man has gone into heaven. You know, there are literally dozens of them in whole chapters of Ezekiel 36. It talks about the old waste places being built. Jeremiah 23. It talks about David being resurrected and ruling over Israel on this earth. Dozens literally of scriptures that talk about the earth as being the place of God's throne. Here's one that says he's coming down out of heaven. God coming down from God, out of heaven on the earth. These must be used to understand one which seems to be capable of more than one interpretation. That way, it's not me interpreting it, it's not you or somebody else. It's the Bible interpreting the Bible. That's the only fair way to do it.

   The next one, it seems as if Jesus said to the thief on the cross, that right now today you're gonna be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43 Jesus said unto him, the thief on the cross, "verily, I say unto you today, you shall be with me in paradise." In the English language, they put a comma, a capital "T" on today and said, "you will be with me in paradise." But yet Jesus himself said it, Matthew 12 and verse 40 (Matthew 12:40), for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly. The Bible says great fish. So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth that was in his tomb? And Jesus says, that's where he was and the thief wasn't with him.

   Now, all the four gospel accounts about Mary, Mary Magdalene, James, John, all the people who came to the tomb after the resurrection found it was an accomplished fact. Said nothing at all about the thief being there. He was buried somewhere else in a common grave. Never heard of again. You know that there is another translation of which this is capable. There are two possible explanations from a plain interpretation from the Bible interpreting itself. And that is this, if you take that comma out of there and put it over here, if it says Jesus said unto him verily, I say unto you today, comma, shall you be or you will be with me in paradise? You can say, "What is that in a, what's that up in a road, comma, ahead?" And that sounds kind of weird, or you can say, "Oh, what's that up in the road, a head?" And you get the idea, it's a head in the road, not a head lying in the road, but there are ways in the English language by which that could be misinterpreted.

   Do you know that the commas and the various punctuation marks were not in the Greek? The Greek language just goes right on. The English translators placed commas where because of their theology, they thought they belong. But here's another point that I think really is what the Bible is saying. The Apostle Paul expressed this too. The dead know not anything, in the grave there is no praise of thee, neither remembrance nor giving of thanks. The Bible says, as dies the one the Bible says meaning man so dies the other, meaning a beast, believe it or not. It says the state of the dead is just what we know it to be utter blackness, complete and total unconsciousness.

   So, so far as that thief was concerned in the instant that his mind blacked out from death, he will be with Jesus Christ of Nazareth in paradise in God's Kingdom. Now the thief is still dead right now. He's totally unconscious right now. The other day in a newspaper article, I saw a sad story about a girl who had died, who had been terribly injured in, I don't know whether it was an automobile accident, a fall from a horse or some uh brutality from another human being or what or even a sickness. But at any rate, she was lying there like a vegetable on a bed. No signs of consciousness. That mind absolutely blank or something like 13 or 17 years. And she did not recognize anybody didn't know anything. Her body systems were working, but the mind was completely short-circuited just wasn't working a pitiful, pitiful thing, but she was completely unconscious.

   Now, that's a medical problem. I'm not going to get into that right now. But you all know that people can be knocked unconscious, they can sleep so deeply, they were completely unconscious. It was a man who during a heart transplant operation came back and said he lost his religion because he believed and his preachers had told him that when you die, your soul goes somewhere and you're still conscious. Well, he was completely blacked out and he said, therefore, I lost my religion. The Bible agrees with that man. When you are dead, you are blacked out. There's nothing there.

   I think the most logical explanation is what the Bible itself allows. And that is that the dead know not anything, not the passage of time. Therefore, when Jesus said, I'm telling you just like it is today, you're going to be in paradise with me. But you see Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights, the thief wasn't with him. And when he appeared back to the people, James and John and the rest he was alone. The thief wasn't with him. No, you let the plain scriptures interpret the seemingly ambiguous ones and then you can come to biblical understanding. I'm kind of wading through this a little more slowly than I thought I'd intended to complete all of this in this program and quickly recapitulate and I run out of time again. I'm sorry about that. But for those of you at home, maybe, uh you'll get more out of it if I do go a little more slowly because I'm saying some things that I think many people are unfamiliar with because they are not really students. Most people are not of the Bible.

   You ought to write for these booklets. In the meantime, so you've got a chance at home to sit down and to understand better yourself. What will you be doing in the NEXT LIFE? What is the Reward of the Saved? and After Death ...then What?, what does the Bible say happens at death? The Bible talks about a resurrection. Christ talked about the resurrection of the just and the unjust. It talks about worms destroying this body. That's what Job said, though, worms destroy my flesh, this body in my flesh, I shall see God.

   How can you prove it to yourself? It's simple reading. It is not something it takes a professor from college to explain to you. It's something your children can understand. It's a book that is filled with hope. It is a book that is good news. It is not a, moorabbin bad news book at all that is macabre concentrates on death and dying. It's not an uninterested subject. It's not one for trying times alone. You cannot say you are truly educated if you don't understand, what is this thing we call death, this booklet after death. What then is based precisely upon what the Bible says.

   Jesus said in verse 21 in the fifth chapter of the book of John (John 5:21), "For as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them," that means enlivens them, makes them alive. Even so, the Son quickens or makes alive whom he will for as the Father judges, no man, he has committed all judgment unto the Son that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father, he that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

   Then he went on to talk about those who had passed from death unto life and he said the hour is coming and now he is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God. Well, when does that happen? Does it happen the moment they die or 10 minutes later or a year later? Or does it happen at a precise moment in the future? That yet has not occurred this booklet after death. What then answers every single one of these questions.

   How many resurrections are there? And do you have a soul that goes somewhere when you die? Do people go to different places and stay in different compartments and wait different lengths of time in order to be released from some ethereal never, never land somewhere out there in the blackness of space.

   Write for that book, After Death ...then What? You can have it if you'd like by return mail absolutely free of charge. All you need to do is to write to me, Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California. That's the only address you need. Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California. Until next time, Garner Ted Armstrong saying goodbye, friends.

   You have heard the World Tomorrow with Garner Ted Armstrong, sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God. For literature offered on this program. Send your requests along with the call letters of this station to Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California, 91123. Or you may dial this toll-free number 800-423-4444.

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Broadcast Date: 1977