What Happens After Death?
Telecast Date: September 23, 1981
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   The World Tomorrow. The Worldwide Church of God presents The World Tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Greetings, you have loved ones who have died. Where are they now? Are they seeing you? Are you going to see them again? And when, and how do they know what you're doing, now? Well, how do you know what happens when you die? How do you know where your loved ones are and what has happened to them and whether they see you or not today? I didn't know. I always believed just what I had been taught. What I had always heard just like you have, you've heard everybody say that everybody talks about going to heaven or hell when you die, some say purgatory, you've heard those things all your life.

   You know, when I was first married, my wife told me that her mother had died when she was 12 years old, and she believed that her mother was in heaven and watching her and seeing everything that she did. And she wanted to be a good little girl when she was 12 years old because she thought her mother was watching her up in heaven.

   Well, you know, if some go to heaven and others go to hell, then I wonder, do saved mothers in heaven actually see the writhing and the screaming and wailing and the torture of their lost children in hell who have gone to hell? You know, that's a question you might think about.

   Well, back in the fall of 1926, and that is almost 50 years ago now, I mean 55, I was challenged. My marriage was at stake at that time. Now, actually, my marriage did last for 50 years until my wife died. I never knew of divorce in my family, all in my family and all of our relatives have lived their married lives on out until death, parted them.

   However, I wanted to save my marriage. I was challenged, and I began to look into the Bible for myself. Now, first, I had been challenged on evolution, and I began to make an in-depth study of that which I had not done before. I was somewhat familiar with it, but I had never made a real in-depth study of it. But beginning in the autumn of 1926 I did and I delved into Darwin and others before him and then of Huxley and Haeckel and of Chamberlain, a vote of many of the other modern evolutionists of that day for a while. My head was swimming. I began to realize I never had proved whether there is a God.

   Now, I had been raised in a regular, respected Protestant denomination by normal and respected down-to-earth parents. And I just supposed that there was a God because I'd always heard there was; I'd been brought up in Sunday school. I never was much religious. I never was really religiously interested, and I dropped out of church at age 18 when my parents couldn't take me any longer. I lost all interest, and I got into business.

   But then in the year of 1926 later, I was challenged on evolution and on a Bible point, and I proved to my own satisfaction that evolution is false. And I had looked at it, believe me in depth. And I had proved the existence of God. And I had proved and did prove later that the Bible is the authentic word of God and the authority. It is actually God speaking. It is His word. But before I had proved all of that, I happened to notice one passage in the New Testament, Romans 6 verse 23 (Romans 6:23): 'The wages of sin is death.'

   Oh, I stopped right there. I said, 'Now, wait a minute. I can't agree with that.' I began to realize I didn't agree with Christ. Now, Christ is the living word of God. Jesus Christ was the word of God in person. But the Bible, which I have right here, is the same word of God. Exactly. But in writing, it's the same word, no different at all. And, I didn't realize that then, but I was going to try to prove whether this was the word of God, whether it really had any authority.

   And I saw something I didn't agree with: 'The wages of sin is death.' I said, 'Wait a minute, the wages of sin. Wages is what you receive or what you get for what you have done, what you have earned by what you have performed or done. And if sin is what you have done, this says death.' And I said, 'No, that can't be. The wages of sin is eternal life, not death. It's eternal life in hellfire if you've sinned.' And then I read the last half of that same verse, 'But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.'

   Well, I didn't agree with that either. Why, I said, 'I'm already an immortal soul or I have an immortal soul, whichever I didn't know which really. But I had always heard that too. And I, I said, I can't agree with that. And I found I did not agree with God. Well, you know, not very many people agree with God. And I found that I didn't, not very many people do.

   Now, I happened to turn then to Ezekiel 18 and verse 4 (Ezekiel 18:4). And here I found it said, 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' A soul can die. Well, I said, I don't, I don't believe that. I didn't agree with that. You know, not very many people agree with God. Adam and Eve didn't in the Garden of Eden.

   Jesus Christ was on earth and preached for three and one-half years. He preached before thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people. Do you know how many of all those people who heard Christ, the very creator, the one by whom, through whom God created them and everybody, how many really believe what He said? Only 120. You read that in Acts, the first chapter, verse 15 (Acts 1:15), only 120 really believed Him. Some believed on Him, but they didn't believe what He said. Turn to the eighth chapter of John beginning verse 30 (John 8:30), read on and you'll find that for yourself in your own Bible. You'll be surprised at what you'll find in the Bible. Well, I was surprised. Now I found those things and I, I just couldn't agree with them at first. And then I began, of course, back at the beginning of the Bible.

   And I had to, on the matter of studying evolution because it teaches that of course, the whole thing about the creation of man in the beginning of Genesis and the Book of Genesis and the Creation Week. And all of that is just a lot of myth and a fable that never really happened because everything came by natural causes and resident forces, not by an intelligent mind who designed everything, brought everything into existence, created everything. They believe it just happened. Well, that's like believing that the watch that I have here brought itself out of the ground and put the various pieces and parts together and wound itself up and started itself going. There wasn't any watchmaker. No one designed it. No one thought it out, no one did it.

   And I began to look back here, and I saw in Genesis 2 and verse 7 (Genesis 2:7) where it says that God formed man of the dust of the ground. God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man, man formed from the dust of the ground, became a living, not an immortal, a living soul. Now, what became a soul came out of the ground. That doesn't sound like a spirit or like it was something immortal. Now, you'll find three places in the first chapter of Genesis where the animals are also souls. The Hebrew word is Nephesh. But in translating it into the English language, they translated the same Hebrew word 'creature' when they speak of animals and when the same word speaks of men, they called it 'soul.' But a soul is a physical living being that comes out of the ground and gets his life by the breath of air and the circulation of blood and has to be fueled by food out of the ground, whether it's animal or whether it's man. That is what a soul or the Hebrew word is nephesh really is. I learned this in verse 17 of the second chapter of Genesis (Genesis 2:17).

   'But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,' there were two trees in the midst of the garden that were special trees. Now, actually, there were symbolic trees. I don't doubt there were real trees there. You may doubt that, it doesn't make any difference. They were symbolic. And God said of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 'Thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.' Now, people don't believe what God said. God himself told Adam, 'You will surely die.'

   But then going a little further, now over to the third chapter and verse 4 (Genesis 3:4), Satan, the devil, came along in the form of a serpent, and the serpent said unto the woman, that's Adam's wife, and the serpent said to her, 'You shall not surely die.' In other words, he said, 'God knows better. God's been lying to you. He didn't tell you the truth.' Well, that's what a lot of people believe today, and everybody's been believing it ever since. If you're not going to die, then of course, what the devil was getting at is that you're an immortal soul. And you know, I believed that for a long, long time. And so many people believe that, that you are an immortal soul.

   Well, I wondered when I saw some of these passages and I began to wonder what happens to a soul and when it does die, 'The soul that sins, it shall die.' And Adam sinned and Adam did die. He lived 930 years and he died.

   Now, we don't like to use that term 'die' today. We like to say, 'Well, so and so passed away.' They were a soul, and the soul passed out of them and passed away somewhere. Where did they pass? Do they see you today? Are they alive? Are they watching you? Do they know what you're doing? Well, notice what Jesus said. Now, in the third chapter of the book of John, and in verse 13 (John 3:13), Jesus said, 'And no man hath ascended up to heaven. But He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven.' Only Christ who came from heaven has ever ascended to heaven. Of all human men, all human beings on the earth, no man has ascended up to heaven.

   Now, I want to take you through a few scriptures. How do you know, I didn't know at one time, and I began to see something in the scriptures that at that time I didn't agree with, and I began to find I was wrong, and I found God was right. And you know, I had to give up what I believed. And if you will blow the dust off your Bible and look into your Bible a while, you'll begin to find the same thing.

   Now, you'll hear people talk about going to heaven. What does God say? Will you agree with God or do you think God is wrong, and all the people are right? Well, now, that is what Jesus said in John 3:13. Now, I'd like to have you go a little further and back into Psalms 115 and verse 16 (Psalms 115:16), 'The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's, but the earth hath He given to the children of men.' The heaven belongs to God, but the earth hath He given to the children of men.

   Now, next, if you'll notice the 37th Psalm and verse 22 (Psalm 37:22), 'For such as be blessed of God shall inherit the earth.' That's what you shall inherit. If you are saved, you inherit the earth, not heaven. And then in verse 29 (Psalm 37:29), 'The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell there in forever.' That's for all eternity. The righteous are going to inherit and dwell there and forever in eternal life, immortal life.

   Now, in Revelation 2, verses 26 and 27 (Revelation 2:26-27), I want you to notice what Jesus Christ himself said. This is after He descended to heaven, 'And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.' That's the nations on the earth, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. Going to rule the nations right here on earth. That doesn't sound like going to heaven.

   And then again, Revelation 5, and verse 10 (Revelation 5:10), 'And speaking of Christ has made us unto our God kings and priests.' That is, those in the church and those who are converted, kings and priests, and we shall reign where? On the earth. Right there it is in your Bible, in plain language, 'We shall reign on the earth.' And He said that if we overcome in Revelation 3, verse 21 (Revelation 3:21), 'we shall rule with him on his throne, even as he is now sitting with his Father on the father's throne in heaven.' Now, He is in heaven. But He said, 'No man has gone up there.'

   And you know, on the day of Pentecost, the inspired Peter in the first sermon ever preached after the Holy Spirit had come, he spoke of the prophet David, a man after God's own heart. And he said, 'David is not ascended into the heavens, and his sepulcher is here with us to this day.' As Peter said in the first inspired sermon. Jesus again said in John 5:28, 'Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves.' That's where the dead are, in their graves, 'shall hear his voice. Apparently, they're not hearing it now.

   Wouldn't you say that sounds like? And other scriptures say that is true 'and shall come forth. They that have done good under the resurrection.' The only hope of life after death in your Bible is the resurrection of the dead after they die. And Jesus, they're speaking the resurrection, the resurrection of life. And they that have done evil under the resurrection of judgment, now in the King James, it says damnation, other translationsl tell you judgment, which is the correct translation 'on the resurrection of judgment'.

   And another scripture says, it's a point of a man wants to die. And after this, the judgment. Now, about those in the graves, in the meantime, before the resurrection, are they conscious? We turn now to Ecclesiastes, the ninth chapter, and verse five (Ecclesiastes 9:5), 'For the living know that they shall die. The living do know that the most certain thing in your life is that you're going to die. You don't like to think about that. But how many people do you know who have died? They all died. They didn't think they were going to die either until they did, many of them, 'for the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything'. They don't know anything. They are unconscious. That's what your Bible says. I know you've heard otherwise. But where did you get it? You didn't read it in your Bible. I believed otherwise too. And I began to see that the Bible was saying just the opposite. And I had believed just the opposite of what the Bible says. And I began to prove that this book is right and I was wrong. I had to give up my belief. Would you be willing to give up yours? I had to go through that. I had to do it 55 years ago.

   'For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything. Neither have they any more a reward for the memory of them is forgotten.' In other words, they have no memory. They remember nothing. In the resurrection, they will remember everything just as if they'd never been dead. Other passages in the Bible tell you that, but they don't know anything while they are in the grave.

   Now, then are they lost or are they saved, your loved ones who have died? Maybe you wonder about that. Where are they today? Are they in heaven? Are they in hell? Where are they? Well, if the Holy Spirit was in them and leading them, then I want to show you what you will find in the Bible in Romans 8 and verse 11 (Romans 8:11). 'If the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead,' that's the Holy Spirit, 'dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you,' that is, make alive by a resurrection from the dead, your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwells in you.

   Now, in verse 14, while we're on this eighth chapter of Romans (Romans 8:14), 'For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God,' the children of God, begotten of God and his begotten children. If we are led by the spirit, now, in all probability, your loved ones who died are not lost. You know that. I want to give you a little bit of a message of hope right now. In Hebrews 9:27, I've read this passage a number of times on this program, 'And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment, after this, the judgment.'

   Now, I want to go a little further on that, Matthew 11 and verse 24 (Matthew 11:24), 'But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for you.' Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees way back in the time of Christ 1950 some years ago. They're going to be in the judgment. But even those in Sodom and Gomorrah are going to fare better than they will in that judgment. Now, the judgment that He was speaking about is recorded in the 20th chapter of Revelation, beginning with verse 11 (Revelation 20:11-12), 'And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God', dead, resurrected, standing before God, 'and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.' And that shows that many, and I believe most in that judgment, are going to find eternal life.

   'And the dead were judged out of those things written in the books according to their works.' But Christ will have died, and if they repent, they will be given a chance to accept the blood of Christ, even then over 1000 years ahead of us yet, in a resurrection, all are going to die. In Adam, you find in I Corinthians 15 and verse 22 (I Corinthians 15:22), 'As in Adam, all die. So, in Christ shall all be made alive.' Everyone, whoever died in Adam is going to come back in a resurrection.

   Now, the first to come back who died was Christ, the first fruits. Every man in his own order, Christ, the first fruits. He was the first afterward. They that are Christ, they then have the Holy Spirit and are led by the Holy Spirit. Now, at Christ's coming afterward, they that are Christ is coming, then cometh the end. It doesn't give you the rest of it here. But in other places in the Bible, it does.

   But, all of those who were misled and deceived by a Satan, the same one that deceived Eve, are going to be resurrected out of their graves. They're going to hear His voice, God's voice, Christ's voice, and come forth. And, many into a resurrection of life and in a judgment in which many will receive eternal life.

   Now, everyone is not called now. There's no way to come to God except through Christ. And yet Jesus Himself said in John 6:44, 'No man can come to me except the Father which sent me, draws him.' No man can. There's going to be a judgment. Those who come to Him now have Satan to fight. They have a world that is influenced by Satan to overcome. They have themselves and everything that Satan has pumped into them in human nature to overcome.

   But they that are called later, Satan won't be around. Christ will be ruling the earth will be full of the knowledge of God as the ocean beds are full of water. And I believe that then, without any Satan around, most people are going to make the decision to go the way of God, accept the blood of Christ for the remission of their sins, be reconciled to God, and receive eternal life. I believe that even the dead ones that maybe you've wondered, where are they today will be in that judgment.

   Well, there's a lot more that I could go on, and I would like to. But I want you to write for a book that'll go into this in more depth than I can. 'What is the Reward of the Saved?' I've offered this before on this program, 'What is the Reward of the Saved?' It'll go into everything I've given you on this program in more detail. I'd like to have you receive it.

   'What is the Reward of the Saved?' Now with it, we'll send you a sample copy of The Plain Truth, of the next issue. I have the current issue, one recent issue here. The Plain Truth is a magazine of Understanding. There is no magazine on Earth like it. It's a very handsome magazine in full color. There is in the beginning a personal editorial from me, 'Blood, Sweat and Tears'. There is an article, 'America and Europe The Falling Out Begins,' a long article. Then 'An Elusive Dimension of Health'. And later on in this issue, 'The Crisis in Public Education and What You Can Do About It.' There is a crisis in public education, and all of you who have children are facing that. You need to know this.

   And then there's a long section here, it's the cover story in this particular issue on 'The Real Value of Britain's Royal Family.' And then there is an article, 'Death And Then What?' That's on the very subject I've been speaking about, Death And Then What?' I will send you a sample copy of The Plain Truth. It may not be that issue. It will be another issue. The Plain Truth, with some issue, and you can have a year subscription, gratis if you wish it. There's no charge. I don't know of anything like it.

   This booklet I want to send you. There's no charge. I don't say that we send it free if you send us so much money. I don't ask for money. I never asked for money on here. Did you ever notice that? I don't know any other program like it. We just don't do it. We believe in giving, not getting. We don't solicit the public for money. We won't ever ask you for money unless you start yourself sending it voluntarily, unless you yourself have decided you want to do it. We won't ask you. I don't know any other program like that.

   Now all you do is send your request then for this booklet, "What Is The Reward of the Saved" to Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123. That's all address you need. Just Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123. Or go to the telephone right now and have a free telephone call, call 800-423-4444. Now, that's a free call, 800-423-4444. Or if the lines are busy, keep trying and call again because many are calling in. Now in California, Alaska and Hawaii call collect area code 213-577-5555. That's area code 213-577-5555. So, until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, goodbye friends.

   For the free literature offered on this program, write Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123 in Canada Box 44, Vancouver BC or in the continental United States, you may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444 in California, Alaska and Hawaii call collect, 213-577-5555. If the lines are busy, please try again. The preceding program and all literature were produced by the Worldwide Church of God.

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.

Telecast Date: September 23, 1981
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