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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.

   What would it take to convince you God exists? If he came down to talk to you, if he pronounced some strange things that were going to happen to you in the course of a few hours and then made them come to pass. Or if he granted you three wishes and you could get those automatically by divine fiat immediately if on a flick of the magic wand or if you saw some great sight that you simply could not explain by the tools of science, like somebody walking his duck on the water or somebody may be out walking in mid-air flying without benefit of wings.

   People are very excited about miracles, about occultism, about the spirit world and spiritual things. All there are tens of thousands of people who won't make a move politically, economically, and socially without first consulting their horoscopes. They believe that everything's got to be just right up in the heavens now. You know, that's some kind of a, a concern I would say I'm searching for the word. I hate to use the word vanity because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, but just think of that all those stars arranged up there just for you, that's convenient.

   But, you know, people these days are on a kind of a spiritist binge. I don't mean everybody. But as I notice the book racks that, uh, I travel about here and there and I see in airports, if I'm trying to pick up a book, I'll see a tremendous number of books on spiritism and the occult world and various strange mind science ideas, strange foreign religions and whatnot. And it does show a heightened interest in a spirit world. People are really interested today. They want to know what's going on and they come up with things of their own choice, just like shopping for church.

   I remember one young woman who told me she knew who she used to be. She meant that she was probably living the second or third or 10th time around. Well, when someone asked a columnist asked, Sir Bertrand Russell now dead famed British philosopher, a skeptic, an agnostic who died, I think back in about 1970 after publishing an extensive autobiography, the third section of which was replete with his belief that the world simply would not survive a nuclear holocaust.

   Someone asked him that question, what would it take to convince you there is a God? What kind of evidence? And here was his answer? And I quote his words this back in. Oh, I don't know when he said it, it might have been 1969 or earlier. He said, I think that if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was to happen to me during the next 24 hours, including events that would have seemed highly improbable. And if all those events then proceeded to happen, I might perhaps be convinced at least of the existence of some superhuman intelligence. I can imagine other evidence of the same sort which might convince me. But so far as I know, no such evidence exists.

   Unfortunately, Sir, Bertrand Russell missed the first series of programs have been going through on Seven Proofs God Exists. Number one that we covered was life or number one. Well, I better get them in correct order. Number one was law means a lawgiver is required. Number two is life requires a life-giver. It doesn't matter which order you put them in. They're all part of the seven. The third is that creation, the existence of matter and the things and the proof of no past eternity of matter demands a creator.

   The fourth was the sustaining of everything kind after kind, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom. And the fact really that man is not an animal but is a completely different, intelligent being very high above the most superior of all animals. But the fact of kind after kind means a sustaining not only of life itself. But of the principles that operate in our entire ecosystem, the relationship of living creatures to each other and to their physical environment that is like a pulsating machine that operates. There has to be a sustaining force, a sustainer that was proof number four and the fifth proof that we have covered now for several programs is that of the miracle of design, that design requires to any intelligent thinking, human being. A designer, randomness does not produce order, chaos does not produce beautiful harmony, accidents do not produce intricate design. That's logical, that is scientific and that constitutes proof.

   Some interesting little sign is what the Pharisees wanted during their day. The philosophers of that time who talked to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, even though many of them were firm believers in a spirit world, they just didn't believe who Jesus was. Others, of course, were more or less the uh mind science kind of people who deny the existence of a spirit world and afterlife, a resurrection and so on. And they were well over the Essenings and the Herodian, the Pharisees, all these various minority religious sects of that day.

   Now, that was as much an irreligious time as ours, maybe more so, I think when some people read the Bible or a little bit of it, as some people do once in a great while, maybe as they're about to die. But otherwise very seldom, they get the idea by reading a little bit of the Bible here and there that Jesus came during an age when there was a tremendous interest in religion, that all people talked about was religion. Back in Bible days, everybody went around talking about the Bible. Well, the Bible wasn't even written yet.

   It's like the old lady who wrote me a letter. Little old lady, sweet little old lady, I'm sure. And she was really taking me to task because I was using one of these others once in a while. I usually use the King James because most people use it. This one is the Living Bible. It's by a man called Paraphrase. No, I'm kidding. But it's the Living Bible, and it enlarges the meaning a little bit, gives you some modern English instead of just the King James 1611 English. And she wrote me a letter and really took me to task. She said, Garner Ted, don't, you know, if that King James Bible was good enough for the apostles, it's good enough for me. So I was really putting my place very well that time.

   Well, you know, some of these people came to Jesus seeking a sign, and what they wanted was for him to turn a tree black or the moon dark or to have the sun do a couple of loops or something weird that they could not understand by anything other than a metaphysical or a spiritual or a divine intervention. And he said an evil generation seeks after a sign but no sign shall be given to it. But the sign of Jonah, the prophet and what was that? But three days and three nights.

   So of course, the entire world rejected that sign. They really did. They claim to believe in Jesus, but they've rejected the only sign as a perennial perpetual sign of his messiah of his divine origin. The exact length of time he was in the tomb was the only sign he left. That's a sign that can be demonstrated by astronomy, by history, by the calendar, by the Bible itself, by the internal evidence in the Bible. Once you demonstrate whether or not the Bible is true and that merely means from the length of time in the tomb three nights and three days. And you can begin counting on your fingers and with a pencil and you can't with a sharpened pencil in 1 million years, get three nights and three days sandwiched in between a good Friday sunset and an Easter Sunday morning tradition. It just doesn't fit. It's not my fault. I never tried to make it fit.

   I was born into the world, a ready-made world just like you were. And I found most, all the traditions were already established. You know, as far as I know, I haven't started a single tradition, I've never been responsible for creating a single holiday. I've never named a single special week. Be kind to this or that week, I've never come along to change the habits of very many human beings. I have not the power to change my own habits, let alone yours. Only God can do that.

   I haven't been responsible for the fact that I found a ready-made world in which all the months were named after pagan superstition or some pagan, hideous Roman emperor who had an ego of such toady's proportions. He looked like one of these puffer fish who thought he ought to borrow a day off of February and stick it on his own month and call it Augustus because he was such an August personality and, you know, he couldn't let Julius get away with that. He had a 31-day month. Well, we still observe it that way today, Tuesday isn't the day of Tues, it's the third day of the week. We get to thinking it's the second day of the week, I guess. But the calendars haven't successfully buried the fact that there's still seven days in the week and the seventh is the day that Christ talked about.

   Well, back to the subject here for the moment, which is fulfilled prophecy. He wanted to know whether or not a divine creator being could give him in a 24-hour period, all sorts of interesting things and then make them happen. Well, what about predicting and foretelling thousands of years in advance the whole course of humankind? What about predicting down into our day. The emergence of economic and trading combines right now, this instant. What about if you could see in the Bible predictions of great major empires, what would happen to them, to city-states, to kings and individuals hundreds of years before they were even born. Some of them even named by their names.

   What if you could see the population explosion, pollution, global crime, the moral decay of our day, the sprawling problems in our cities that are blighted with crime and with the decay of our large institutions that seem unable to cope with them, of education, the home, religion, et sedera. If you could see the entire panorama of the problems of humankind spelled out for you in the Bible and see the predictions about what's going to happen from now, right on out. Would that demonstrate anything to you and especially coming along as proof, number six, following those first five major proofs.

   Predicting the future has always proved difficult. The Pilgrims envisioned a prosperous settlement never dreaming their land would soon become the most powerful nation on earth. The Wright brothers predicted success with no idea their new invention would usher in the possibility of global warfare. Henry Ford's automobile was a work of visionary genius, but he never expected our modern glutted freeways. What's coming next? Can you know? There is a source which accurately foretells the future of man, the Bible.

   The keys to understanding Bible prophecy are explained in this free booklet, How To Understand Prophecy. This booklet doesn't foretell the Pilgrims, Wright Brothers, or Henry Ford, but it does bring the Bible alive with meaning and significance. Send for your free copy of, How To Understand Prophecy. Dial This toll-free number 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   Did you know one full third of your Bible is prophecy? It really is. And most of all that one-third is yet to be fulfilled in our day. Now, here's the simple equation. Just this simple. If a person is free and many people in the Western world of Christianity think they are free to accept or reject various sections of the Bible at will as they choose to blue pencil the Bible and say, well, I believe most of what the New Testament says or I think that some of the writings of the Apostle Paul are all right for our day. But I can't go along with Paul on one or two points there that he got a little opinionated about.

   Or if you say, well, I think most of what Jesus said is probably true. You know, Christian people are a very forgiving sort. I found that many church-going people are willing to overlook the fact that they think it isn't the fact that they think that Jesus Christ got a little carried away every now and then he began to kind of aggrandize who and what he really was. They think he was a nice man, a kindly man, a loving man, a strange man way ahead of his day. A man that we can all admire, look up to love. Yes, maybe even worship, but a man who might have made some understandable mistakes.

   They look in the 24th chapter of the book of Matthew and they see prophecy after prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled. That talk of a time when the possibility of human extinction or annihilation. And you could only understand that in the day of the nuclear arsenals of the major powers when human annihilation was a potential. And Christ spoke of that time, but they can't see that those prophecies have come to pass. So they say, well, maybe Christ got a little carried away, but we believe that we can still forgive him that. How about that? Men have it all turned around where instead of Christ forgiving them, they're forgiving Christ for having made some mistakes.

   Here's the point. If any of the Bible is untrue, then you can't trust any of it. If anything Jesus said was untrue was not quite right, was only slightly exaggerated. Then you've got no business claiming him as your savior because someone so imperfect who could have made mistakes couldn't have been the Son of God. He might have just been a man, a wonderful man. He might have been martyred. Maybe you could say that you believe in a religion based upon the philosophical teachings of a man who was killed for his belief. But that doesn't put you in the category of believing in a living Jesus Christ, who was able to interfere in your behalf and even between and among nations right now today, which the Christ of the Bible is said to be, he's said to be that powerful, that capable. It's something to think about. At least, you know, you just can't accept here and there a little part of the Bible and discard the rest of it. Either you accept it all or you accept none of it. It's just that clear.

   One-third of the Bible is prophecy. But who were these prophets? It says of them that the New Testament Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos and so many others, the former and the latter, they were called Holy Men spoke of old as they were moved or inspired by the Holy Spirit is what the New Testament says. And Jesus said, think not, I am come to destroy the law or the prophets.

   Now, that means, of course, literally that Jesus did not come to destroy the first five books of the Bible or that second of the two-thirds of the Old Testament called the prophets. Believe it or not, the Torah, the Jewish scroll of the first five books of the Bible, is embodied in that statement, the law. Now, I know it means the decalogue because the decalogue of the 10 commandments, in other words, is the basic root of that entire first five books of the Bible. That's the whole point as it was codified and given to the ancient nation of Israel. But it includes in that first five books of the Bible an awful lot of other material, including genealogical tables, including the creation account, including the history of the early development of Israel, their captivity, the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob prophecies for our day. Believe it or not even way back in the book of Genesis.

   And Jesus said, he did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, and people think he did. But then Jesus said, think not and people think it and he says, don't think it and they do think it. He says, swear not and everybody swears just a little, including in this many people who are ministers. They think it's kind of cute to tell a little joke where they can get a little word about Christ or about the Lord in there in a kind of a semi, um, you know, swearing fashion without coming right out and cussing a little bit. And, uh, then everybody gets a good laugh out of it and that's all right. It makes him one of the crowd.

   Well, Jesus said, swear not at all, he said, not by your beard, you know. And so we've got even in our nursery tales, funny little stories where a little pig says to a wolf outside the door, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin. So we even teach our little kids to go out of their way to, to listen to people who are taking oaths based upon what grows out of their face. Now, where would you go in the world of literature to find a place that tells you don't swear by your beard. You imagine somebody swearing by his beard. I can see people swearing through a beard but swearing by a beard. Well, way back when people looked upon a beard is a very great symbol of authority of age, of their position in the society and where getting one's beard caught in the door or whatever happened, yanking some of it out or cutting some of it off was a horrible shame during the day when some of David's servants were treated mistreated very badly. They had one half of their beards shaved off and they had their clothing cut off right in a very embarrassing place. And they had to hide out for who knows how many months until they could get that beard grown back out again before they dared show up in public. It's kind of like a horrible dream that many people have of showing up in public with only a pajama top on and that's the way those poor men felt.

   But here's one of the simplest statements of Christ, don't swear, don't even swear by the hair on your head or by the beard that grows out of your face. So people go out of their way to do precisely what Jesus says, don't do. Now, Christ was a prophet. His message had to do with our day. He looked down beyond his day into our, you can look into the fourth chapter of the book of Matthew and prove that as I will right now, we might as well while we're talking about it, Matthew 24 where the disciples of Jesus Christ asked him, tell us when shall these things be and what will be the sign of your coming?

   They had been amazed at the size of those stones at the temple buildings. They wanted Christ to take a look at them. They said, take a look at these giant stones and he said, will you see these stones in these buildings? Verse two of Matthew 24 I tell you there shall not here be one stone left upon another that shall not be thrown down. Now, later on, he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came and they said, tell us when shall these things be, when is all this going to happen? An earthquake? What is it? And what shall be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world? Now the margin has it here. The consummation of the age. It means the society, it means a transitional period. It means the change of an age, the closing of one age and the introduction of a new age. It doesn't mean the utter destruction of the entire globe of the whole earth on which humankind dwell.

   Jesus answered and said, take heed that no man deceive you many shall come in my name saying I am the Christ and shall deceive many. How can you do that? How can you come and you say Jesus is the Christ and deceive people?

   Well, that's fairly simple. He said, and I can turn to that too in Matthew, the 15th chapter. In vain, do they worship me? Teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men. Can you believe that people can actually worship Jesus Christ? They can adore him. They can make all kinds of funny signs with their hands. They can throw things over their shoulder, wave feathers and tinkle little bells, and turn around several times. They can crawl on their knees. They can go through abstinence, they can go on diets and fast, they can put prayer wheels in streams and let the air turn them around. They can do everything imaginable which constitutes, in human understanding, worship and do it all to no good purpose, to empty vanity. So said Christ, in vain do they worship me. How can they do that? Teaching for doctrines, the commandments of man. If you accept tradition, philosophy, the commandments, the opinions of men, if you have the attitude, well, here's the way I look at it. Then Jesus says you can worship him in vain. That's not my fault. That's in the Bible, but it is in there.

   And I don't think you hear very much about that. Do you? Do you have people who tell you now be careful because you could even worship Christ? You can have in your mind's eye a concept of what you think Christ is like, a picture of what you think he looked like, what he stood for, what he taught, the kind of a man he was, the kind of a life he lived, and what he did for you. You can go out and witness to people and say, oh what Christ did for me, and I worship the Lord, and you can do it all in vain if you are making a mistake of teaching and believing in doctrines that are really commandments of men and not the commandments of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

   In a moment, I'll come back and show you what was the motive of these prophets. Did they want to be prophets? What some of them said about the job they were given and why prophecy was written in the first place.

   While people struggled through the Depression the Plain Truth magazine was warning about European nationalism when everyone sighed relief at the end of World War II. The Plain Truth was predicting the Middle East crisis when Korea dominated the headlines. The Plain Truth was forecasting the formation of the Common Market when the space race captured America's fancy. The Plain Truth was covering trade war and the rise of Japan, future super giant. The Plain Truth magazine examines everything from world events to family life in the light of Bible prophecy, history written in advance to keep ahead of today's world trends. Request the Plain Truth magazine after 40 years, still ahead of its time. Dial this toll-free number 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   Prophecy is dual. That is, it has a double meaning. Doesn't mean there's double talk involved. It means that just as you look at Matthew 24 and you see that most of these events Christ foretold did not occur at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Now to bring you up to date on what many scholars seem to think, many do. Well, I guess most think that what Christ said in Matthew 24 was all done away, was all fulfilled at the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in about 70-80 by the armies of Titus, the Roman emperor.

   Now, if that is true, then even his very first statement here was an error on Christ's part. It brings us back to the point I mentioned earlier if Christ made a mistake in any of this prophecy or anywhere else, then how do you know he didn't make a mistake about the total picture of what is salvation, of what is repentance, of what is sin, of what constitutes a Christian life? How can you know that Christ was right about anything? If you think he was wrong about anything? Here in Matthew 24 in the very first few verses, verse two that I read (Matthew 24:2), there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. I'm here to tell you that hasn't happened yet.

   You see, Ambassador College has been engaged in participation with one of the major archaeological projects of our day, the unearthing of the Herodian era, as it's called Herodian period area there underneath tons and tons of debris, right at the ancient temple wall. Some of the very same stones those disciples showed Jesus Christ are still there and they're still in place.

   Now, the upper stones were tossed down. The temple itself was completely destroyed and later razed. But the wall, the buildings of the temple, which is what they showed him have not been totally destroyed. Here, a little further on, he talked of nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in diverse places. And finally, he said in verse 21 of Matthew 24 (Matthew 24:21), "For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world, this time known or ever shall be." There's only one understanding for that verse—a time without parallel, unprecedented in the history of the entirety of the world. And he said, except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved. The Moffatt version has it, no flesh saved alive. Obviously, talking then of a time when except God would intervene. That's what it means when it says days shorten, cut short, the time stops, human events prevent human annihilation. Unless a Divine, all-wise Creator, God does exist. There wouldn't be a human being left alive on the face of this earth.

   Sir Bertrand Russell went to his grave in the firm conviction that would happen, that there wouldn't be a human being left on this earth. It is all through his autobiography. He was an agnostic. He was welcome to his belief or to his lack of belief. He didn't believe there was a God. He had never seen the proof. You have that proof available to you. The time is now when you can still take the time to prove it to yourself, you can study, you can read, you can make a few marks in a book. You can take your time to ponder. You can think of these things we brought up in this series. Law requires a lawgiver, life a life-giver, creation a creator, the sustaining of it all a sustainer, and the design around you a designer, and you can ponder as I'll come along the next couple of times to show you actual fulfilled prophecies. How could a prophet centuries before an event occurred, put it to pen and ink? Well, actually, uh they use other materials and have it come to pass precisely as he predicted. And how could some of those same prophecies be occurring daily right now? That constitutes a major proof. The time is now for you to prove it one way or the other. And once you've proved it, then it's time to act on it. You don't just believe God exists without doing something about it. If somebody says, I believe in God, it's about time he began to find out what God says about him, what God says about the meaning of his own personal life, what God says about the reason for him walking this earth and drawing breath in the first place, and then finding out if there is a purpose in his being here and whether or not he ought to be busily fulfilling that purpose.

   If Jesus Christ of Nazareth told the truth, then Matthew 24 has not been fulfilled yet. Prophecy is dual. There are symbols in Bible prophecy. There are monsters you read about a sea, big mountains, little mountains, a woman standing mysteriously cloaked as if behind or in the sun with her feet on the moon. But what do they mean? What are these symbols? What do they stand for? Is there any way you can unlock the meaning of Bible prophecy? Why is it closed and sealed until our day? Daniel was told to close up the prophecy and seal it because it was not to be understood.

   Did you know in the Bible there is a place where Jesus Christ said, "No, they can't understand. No, they're, they're not going to understand because if they were to understand they might be converted, they might turn, and I might heal them." But what does this mean? Did Jesus not want them to turn around and be converted and that he should heal them? There are shocks everywhere in the Bible, especially in those gospels when you read of the things Jesus said, and then you, you try to simply superpose that over what you've always heard, what you've taken for granted, what you've assumed. It's not a matter of somebody being at fault, not a matter of somebody being guilty. It's a matter of people casually assuming without going to the trouble to check and find out. You be sure to tune in next time, and I'll be covering various points about the ancient city of Babylon, how it was predicted over 600 years before it occurred that that city would collapse and become just like ancient Sodom and Gomorrah. It does remain that way to this day. It did happen.

   Well, we have a booklet for you entitled "How To Understand Prophecy." I don't think you've heard me mention this booklet very often How To Understand Biblical Prophecy. It tells you exactly how to uncover the meaning of vitally misunderstood, oftentimes prophecies of The Old Testament such as some of the book of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Hosea and so on. It tells you who the prophets were, how they were called, how the prophecies were preserved and why they were written and how it is they were written for our day. It takes you through very briefly the introduction of the book of Ezekiel, shows you how to understand that better, tells you about prophetic time lapses, prophetic symbolism, and shows you with proofs from the Bible, how the Bible interprets itself and the common symbols that are used.

   Get your free copy. You can have it by return mail as soon as we receive your request. If you write to me, Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California, and request the booklets I've announced and the Plain Truth. And by the way, please be sure to tell us the call letters of your radio station, the station to which you're listening. That's all we ask. Until next time, this is 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: 1976