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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.

   People in East Berlin want to escape to West Berlin. People in some of the communist countries want to come to the West. People in Los Angeles would like to escape to the deserts, the beach, or the mountains, and people in big cities would like to escape to the country. Everybody wants to get away from it all. People in the oriental religions want to escape to someplace like Nirvana, and Christians want to escape to heaven. What's your particular area to which you would like to escape?

   You know, when you were contemplating a trip the last time, if you were, you probably went to a travel agency. And if they had brochures about this beautiful idyllic far-off island, you probably hungrily devoured the pictures. You took a look at the costs, the excitement of the steamship voyage, how you were going to get there, or maybe you looked at the airfare ad the go-now-pay-later plan. And you were pretty excited about this place. You wanted to know all about it. What was available? What would you do there? What kind of recreation was it? Golf, sports, fishing, hunting, swimming, scuba diving. Just what was there? What was available?

   When you talk about going to heaven? It's remarkable to me that the greatest escape plan in all of history is the one about which almost nobody knows anything. And people are so completely vague about the subject that when you ask them, "What do you think about heaven?" They say? Well, um, heaven is, uh, it's, uh, yeah, well, heaven is, uh, it's up there. Mhm.

   What does the term heaven mean to you?

   Well, I think you'll be happy. You won't have any problems, and you'll be enjoying.

   What do you think people will be doing there?

   Well, I guess there will be plenty of things to do. Maybe watching over the people that remain on earth.

   What do you think you're going to be doing in the afterlife personally?

   Well, we won't have any activities. I can assure you of that, but we will be in the presence of God. We will see God in the vision as He is.

   What will be going on? People will be living and existing. I don't think that any human being really can have a conception and describe it, and anything I told you would be fantasies and just things that I thought in my head.

   And you ought to take a look at what people say almost every single time you ask the question about heaven. Where are you going, how are you going to get there? What is the reward of the saved? And can you find anything at all in the Bible to substantiate that belief? They almost always say, well, I can't quote anything out of the Bible but, and then they go on to tell you what their idea is. Not that they're wrong in doing that. Everyone is perfect, privileged to have whatever point of view he would like.

   In the past few programs, I've been showing you the commonly used scriptures even by the Christian professing religion and their ministry about justifying the idea of escaping to heaven. In a moment, we'll see again these commonly used scriptures and the fact that the Bible does not say that you are going to go to heaven.

   What in the world would a wise, loving, kind God, if you believe there is such a person as a God in heaven, want to put human beings through a kind of boot camp on the earth here below? A time of trial, of testing, of privation, tribulation, hardship. Jesus said, you know, many are the afflictions of the righteous. Why would a wise, kind, gentle, good, loving God want to put human beings through all the tribulation of the hardship for no purpose whatsoever and then take them to heaven at the end of a horrible life here below, as I've shown in this past series of programs.

   Heaven was a desire or a particular type of heaven, whether it was a desert oasis or whether it was Nirvana or the seven Heavens of the Babylonians, Egyptians, and pagan Romans and Hellenists in Greece, or where people have had from Indian societies and African societies or American and European societies, a desire to escape this life, to cross the river, sticks, to go to the great beyond, to get wafted off up into heaven, to go into some otherworldly existence, which is going to be much better, supreme superior in every way to this life here now that we exist in.

   So whether it's the slaves of America and the Stephen Foster songs that tried to capture the mood of the soulful music of that time, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," or whether it's people over in the Orient that talk about the idea of heaven as they see it.

   This Christian escapism, religious escapism is quite a theory, but believe it or not, it is not based on fact and it conceals one of the very greatest reasons for tribulation, for hardship, for trials. And for this thing, the Bible speaks of as overcoming.

   Now, the past several programs, I've been showing you not only the many plain straightforward scriptures which show nobody is going to heaven where Jesus said, "No man has ascended into heaven, but the Son of Man who came down from heaven." But also some of the most commonly used scriptures by the Christian professing ministry to indicate to people they are going to go to heaven as I showed you last time, and I had to break off the last couple of times for lack of time.

   Here's a scripture in II Kings two and verse 11 (II Kings 2:11), that talks about Elijah. It says he went up by a whirlwind in heaven. Now, I know maybe each time new people tune in, but I just don't dare believe this issue over and over and over again. I've already gone into this to the point. I think my son is gonna take over and do it if I don't shut up and get on to the rest of the scriptures here.

   So I'm going to try to complete this this time. These three scriptures, John 3:13, "No man has ascended up to heaven." Hebrews 11:13, which mentions Enoch prior to this time, Elijah as well says these all, including Elijah, died, not having received the promises. New Testament scriptures, which help us understand an Old Testament scripture.

   II Chronicles 21 and 12, a writing came from the Elijah, the prophet many, many years after he was taken up into what the Bible says is the heaven of the air of this earth, not the heaven where God's throne is.

   John 14:2-3, "In my Father's house are many mansions." I showed you the word can be habitations, positions of responsibility, abodes, just like the word occupied on the door or occupation come from the same source. It's not stretching of the English language because this was written originally in Greek. And the original Greek can mean occupations or jobs, positions of responsibility or authority.

   And how does that square with the Bible? Easily and beautifully because God's word says to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne and to him that overcomes will I give power over the nations?

   All right, here it shows our citizenship conversation comes from the Greek word politeia, that means citizenship is in heaven from whence away from out of, down from, out, away from and so on, on the earth. Not still in. We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Revelation 21 and two (Revelation 21:2). I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. These plain scriptures help us understand a seemingly ambiguous one.

   Luke 23:43 where Jesus said of the thief, "Today, you shall be with thee in paradise." You can do it through misplacement of the comma, or you can simply understand the Bible statement that the dead know not anything which I covered in great detail last time and offered you literature on that subject.

   Again, Matthew 12:40, Jesus himself said that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and He was, the thief wasn't with Him when He was resurrected. He was alone, when He appeared to the disciples time and again and on one occasion, the 500 brethren at once. He was alone, yet He was three days and three nights dead, and the thief was not with Him.

   All you got to do is to remember that in the Greek language, there were no commas. And if you simply say, "Jesus said unto him today, I'm telling you, you're going to be with me in paradise." He changed the entire meaning that way it fits with the rest of the Bible. Did Jesus go to paradise that day? No, the Bible itself says He went into the tomb and He stayed there, and He was dead three days and three nights.

   This way, you let all of the Bible together interpret and make plain the rest of the Bible, line upon line, precept upon precept here a little there a little, that's what the Bible says is the way to study it. Rightly dividing the word of truth is what it says, and it says come and let us reason together. It doesn't say you read one verse, make up your mind what it means and then claim the rest of the Bible is lying to you because if any one of these scriptures is wrong, then you can't believe any of the rest of them.

   I Thessalonians 4:17, a favorite text of people who preach sermons about going to heaven, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord?

   And oh, they can wax so eloquent about that particular statement. "We will ever be with the Lord. We're going up to meet Him in clouds." And so people, without thinking technically, scientifically, without just putting it to the test of practicability, are saying, "Oh yes, we're going to heaven. Well, where clouds?" Well, a lot of times when I fly in a modern jet airplane, they're way down below me. I'm way above the clouds.

   As a matter of fact, if we had what you call sudden decompression where we were depressurized at altitude, you'd probably hear a very loud noise. There would be a lot of dust and papers floating around and you've got an emergency procedure, you'd better get busy and enact immediately. We have to be flying with a little yoke around our neck with a strap on it and a little mask and it's connected to oxygen. On the copilot side are two little controls, one for the pilot and copilot and one for the passengers now automatically in all aircraft.

   And the stewardess tells you that in the event of decompression, the mask switcher in your ceiling or the overhead will drop down automatically and there are little spring-loaded release clips there that causes this to happen. And it has happened even accidentally on a few occasions when they were triggered, just kind of like a sprinkler system in a building. It says grasp the mask, pull it towards you and press it to your mouth and breathe, normally.

   Now, I sometimes wish they would explain that a little more thoroughly than they do because it's very important that you breathe normally that you don't take a big gasp of air or you could hyperventilate, as they say, or over-oxygenate perhaps is a better way to express it. And you would be in pretty terrible trouble just about like a deep-sea diver getting the bends when he comes back up, you could put bubbles in your bloodstream. So, we have an emergency procedure. We're up there eight miles above the surface of the land. We're clear out of the sphere where men are able to live and survive. In instance, in a matter of seconds, we would all be unconscious and in a minute and a half or two, we would be dead.

   So what is the procedure? Oxygen for both the masks on everybody. Emergency descent, roll the airplane over, let the nose fall through, hit the speed brake, pull that throttle back and go downhill just as fast as you can dive out of the sky. Why? Because you're flying along, it looks like you're a part of the world. You see familiar things below a city. They point out, "This is Phoenix, or that's Detroit." You look down, you see little tiny vehicles moving. Oh no, you're clear out of the world. You can't live up there where you are and you're higher than where the Bible says, saints who are alive and remaining together and are going to be caught up together with dead people, living people with dead people at a resurrection are going to meet the Lord. Where? Not up there where you couldn't breathe, right in the air, in the air where there's still air and with the Lord in the clouds and in the air. Where's he coming? In Zechariah 14, 3 through five (Zechariah 14:3-5, it says in verse four, And his feet.

   And this is talking about that great final climactic battle. It is called the battle of Armageddon in the Bible, his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east. And this is talking of the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. Where's he going to come down in the same moment that he meets all these people in the air? The Mount of Olives. Well, this is for people who believe the Bible or who think or who suspect or who assume that the Bible might be true. Not for people that don't. If you're a skeptic, an atheist, if you say the Bible isn't the word of God or you're someone that has kind of an idea, you're a free thinker. You say, "Well, I think the Bible was written by a lot of men who didn't know what they were talking about." Fine, that's your privilege. You're left with no authority. You have no authority. You're an authority on yourself. You're your own God. You don't have a God, because you don't believe the God who said, thy word is truth. You see, you don't believe the Jesus Christ of Nazareth who is called the living word. You don't believe that Jesus Christ who said search the scriptures because they speak of me. You don't believe the Bible, which says it is the word of God and the inspired authorized word of God. So you're a God unto yourself.

   So I'm not arguing or reasoning or trying to help people like that because they've got to make up their own minds, they've gotta have experiences in their life that bring them to the point that their minds are open. If you say, "Well, I think James could have made a mistake or John or, or somebody else here, maybe Zachariah just thought, you know, a lot of people reason. Oh, he's just a man. He could have made a lot of mistakes." Well, if you reason that way, then you've got no business using one text from Genesis to Revelation to argue from or to claim you believe in it any more than you would be as an American. Someone who says you ought to see what this communist newspaper, Pravda says. I really believe Pravda. If you think the communists are a pack of cheats, liars, thieves, crooks, and international gangsters. Then how in the world could you be espousing something from their doctrines or from their newspapers? It's all or nothing at all because the Bible itself demands that of itself.

   Now, these plain scriptures cannot be misunderstood. Look at a couple more of them, and I'll come back over here in II Corinthians 5 and verse 8 (II Corinthians 5:8). Well, I didn't finish this one. So let me go to this, and then I'll come back. II Corinthians 5:8. "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." Now, if you knew nothing at all about the Bible, that would sound like we, the souls would be absent from us, our own bodies. We have to be up there where the Lord is, but yet we haven't done away with all these scriptures that said, "No man has ascended into heaven, that David is dead and buried and his sepulcher is with us and he's not in heaven that Christ is coming back down to the earth." So here again is something that looks like it is capable of a couple of different understandings.

   Does it say anybody's going to heaven? No. Does it say that Paul and those who believe with him were confident and willing to be absent from the body? Yes. And to be present with the Lord. Yes. What does the body mean? Do you know the church is called the body of Christ? Do you know that we are called members severally of one body that Jesus spoke of his body and said, "Take and eat of my body"? That in the book of Ephesians, the first chapter in the 18th verse (Ephesians 1:18), the fourth chapter of that book, the 12th chapter of I Corinthians, the analogy of Christ's body is drawn that we are members of one body. It says in Ephesians 4, the first few verses, time and time again, in The New Testament, any preacher, any minister and all this, whether his flock knows it or not, that the New Testament talks about the church being the body.

   Now, obviously, the apostle Paul is going to be absent from the body of believers who constitute the church, but he the soul isn't going to be absent from his body because Paul is the very man who talked about the resurrection again and again. In I Corinthians, the 15th chapter, the entire chapter is called the resurrection chapter. Let's take a look at this, the same man writing to Timothy. "I fought a good fight. I finished my course. I've kept the faith henceforth, there is laid up for me, a crown of righteousness which the Eternal Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day." What day? He goes on to define it and not only to me only but then also that love his appearing, What day? At the day of his appearing. That's when Paul expected his reward not immediately upon his death because he said, "Then we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump." That's I Corinthians 15 verses 50 through 52 (I Corinthians 15:50-52). I Thessalonians 4:16, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel. A trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first." That's the scripture that is just before this one up here. I Thessalonians 4:17. And it talks about a resurrection of people who have been dead unconscious in their graves. Absolutely dead.

   So what is this being absent from the body and present with the Lord that people try to make mean souls going to heaven? It's the Apostle Paul saying the dead know not anything, which the Bible says continually that the dead in their graves are unconscious. The same man who talked about the hope of a resurrection and who was the strongest New Testament proponent and writer to talk about a resurrection of the dead, line upon line, precept upon precept here a little there, a little.

   The scripture I skipped over unintentionally was Revelation 5:10. What is this about meeting the Lord in the air and being with the Lord? Look at this because we repeated it once earlier and has made us unto our God, Kings and priests. Where are they going to rule? Where will they be and we shall reign on the earth. There isn't any difficulty in understanding the Bible if you put it all together like a mathematics problem and you have two plus two and three and five and seven and you come up with whatever the answer is. But if you pick out just a portion of this without the proper formula, which the Bible itself demands, which is honest, careful, perusal and study of all of the text on any one given subject.

   The Bereans were commended in the book of Acts because they picked up the Bible. And when they heard something strange, it says of them that they searched the scriptures daily, whether these things be so and as a consequence, many of them did believe because they searched the scriptures, they tried to check up, to prove to find out whether they were being lied to or not. All in the world I'm doing in this short series of programs. And I'm just about to wrap up now finally. Is to point, to point to you what the Bible plainly says. So let me show you some final scriptures and I'll come back and conclude with some very important thoughts.

   And that is this. There are many very plain straightforward scriptures which cannot be misinterpreted that I mentioned about three programs ago that claim it's all going to happen on the earth. Here are some of them: Acts 2:29 and 34 we repeated earlier talking about David who is dead and buried, his sepulcher is with us unto this day. David is not ascended into the heavens. Revelation 22:12. "Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me." It's coming. When he comes down, we're not going up there to get it.

   Now, let's take a look at some of these scriptures covered in the first program. John 3:13, no man is ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven. The son of man. I believe that. Do you? Acts 2:29. We just read, I won't read it again. It's about David. He's not up in heaven. Hebrews 11:13, patriarchs, prophets, righteous men, men who wrote the Old Testament, including men after God's own heart. They all died. They're still dead. They have not received the promises, Hebrews 11:39 through 40. "These all having obtained a good report through faith received not the promise." Acts 24:15. The hope of the resurrection of the dead is what the Bible taught. Here again, the Apostle Paul is speaking, II Timothy 4:7 to 8. What was the expectancy of Paul? We just repeated it. He was going to receive his reward at that day. And also those who love his Christ's appearing. Revelation 11:15, the seventh angel sounded over great voices in heaven saying the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord. Not that they go up there. He comes down here.

   Revelation 5:10, we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 2:26. "If you overcome, to him will I give power over the nations?" Matthew 5:5, blessed are the meek. They shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9, "They shall inherit the earth." Psalm 7:11, "Shall inherit the earth." Psalm 37:22, "For such as the blessed of Him, of God shall inherit the earth." Psalm 37:29, the righteous people are righteous.

   You know, when they're spiritually righteous, they get their reward. What is that reward? Shall inherit the land? And so it goes scripture after scripture that is incapable of misinterpretation. That shows the hope of a Christian who is called to the life of overcoming of working on his own personal problems is not Christian retirement. It's lifelong, eternal service, working right here on this earth where all the problems really are.

   There's a time to be born, a time of youth with its lessons, to be learned and its carefree moments, a time to raise a family to watch your children grow and teach them of life, a time for work, for productivity and doing your part for mankind. There's a time to grow old and enjoy your grandchildren and there's a time for death at the end of a full exciting life. Then what? Heaven, hell, reincarnation. What is the answer to this question that has long bothered man? You need to know, read this free booklet, What is the Reward of the Saved? It answers this question in a unique and surprising manner. The Bible nowhere promises what you've always assumed. Be sure to read this informative booklet, What is the Reward of the Saved? Dial this toll-free number? 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   The whole story of the Christian life is one of overcoming, of working on your own problems. Why does the Bible say? Why did the Apostle Paul say continually? "I press for the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Does that sound theological? You bet it does because it's a scripture right out of the Bible. I'm just making this point that the Bible continually promises a Christian a life of hardship, of persecution, of overcoming, of a struggle towards certain goals of character, of mental and spiritual and social and moral and physical development.

   Now here in Philippians, the third chapter and I'm reading this to you out of the Bible. I have a bigger Bible here than I was using because some of those pages were coming loose. But it says here that the apostle Paul was trying to strive that he was trying to overcome, to attain. He said in verse 11 (Philippians 3:11), if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Again, he's teaching the resurrection. Not as though I had already attained either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I also am apprehended. In other words, if I may gain that for the very purpose for which Christ got a hold of me of Christ Jesus brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended. But this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth under those things which are before I press toward the mark. For the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

   This from a man who had done what the street corner evangelical types tell you, you've got to do. He'd already received the Lord Jesus Christ. He'd already been to explode. 72. I mean, he was the guy, you know, I'm, I'm kidding there. But you know what I mean by that, I hope? He was already the fellow who had given his heart to the Lord. He'd been converted. He'd been baptized, he had received God's spirit. Yes. The Apostle Paul even spoke with tongues for those of you that, that kind of like the Charismatic or the charismatic experience of the newfound emotionalism and religion. Here is a statement from a man who had it all from the point of view of a human being who had been repentant, who had become right in God's sight. They've done all that Christian religionists tell you, you've got to do, you've got to receive the Lord in your heart, whatever form they give you. He'd done it. Yet, he still said, I press. He said on one occasion that he had to fight his own body because he said, lest after preaching to others, I should be found a castaway. He realized that even in preaching, he himself could still be lost.

   Why does the Bible say, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"? Not that you earn salvation but that you overcome by doing, growing. Why does it say grow in grace and knowledge? Why does it say to him that overcomes what I grant to sit with me and my throne or give power over the nations? Why does the Bible say to resist the devil? Why does it say to resist various influences? Why resist? Why work? Why overcome? Why strive, why press? Why try to develop gentleness, goodness meekness, faith and so on against which there is no law as the Bible says, to go retire. Why do you need it?

   If all the world you gotta do, you know it'd be beautiful if the way the Christian religion is tell it could happen because everybody could live like a dirty rot, so and so, he could live like a cantankerous old rotten, so and so, and then come to a deathbed repentance, he could live any way he sees fit and I can tell him you only got 10 minutes left. He's 99. He got in jail for rape or whatever he calls the minister and he says, I repent quick. What is one of those words? Do you believe on Jesus? Oh, yes, I do. Praise be. You're saved, you know, bang. He says, thank you. And he dies, goes to heaven. Is that the way it really is? No, no. What I've told you is true. I have not really done anything except to point I just pointed, it said, look over there, that's your Bible you're looking at, it's the same in your Bible as it is in mine. Why don't more people believe it? I don't know. It's a kind of an anti-supernatural bias. People don't want to believe what the Bible says. They'd rather believe what they themselves think on the issue.

   No, the Bible does not say that anybody is going to go to heaven. It's not the reward of the saved. You don't work and struggle and overcome in order to not be able to use it, you work and struggle and overcome because every little bit of character you're building in this life here and now is going to be used in the life that is to come. These booklets, After Death ...then What? What is the Reward of the Saved? And What will you be doing in the NEXT LIFE? All explain in depth. And this is the last in a short series of programs on this subject. They all explain in-depth, in-depth at the word and saying depth and death. At the same time, what you can be doing after the end of your rope as a human being and it's not fantasy, it's where it really is, right, as the Bible says, and you'll get a chance when you read these books to check up and find out if I was lying to you because they give it to scriptures. You can look it up in your own Bible right there at home.

   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 that 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. It is macabre concentrates on death and dying. It's not an uninteresting 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 ...then What?, is based precisely upon what the Bible says. Jesus said in verse 21 in the fifth chapter of the book of John 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 is 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 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 ...then What?, answers every single one of these questions. How many resurrections are there? And do you have a soul? It goes somewhere when you die. What about purgatory? What about various limbus infantium or patrum? 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.

   What is this thing called death? You write for this free booklet, After Death ...then What?, or just mentioned the one on death and write to Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California. This is the last one in this short series on what happens after death. Be sure to catch that next series of programs. Until then this is Garner Ted Armstrong saying see you then.

   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.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Broadcast Date: 1977