The World Tomorrow

Not In Heaven

by Herbert W Armstrong



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?

You know, when I was first married my wife told me that her mother had died when she was twelve 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 twelve 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 if 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 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 in 1926, I didn't know. I always believed just what I'd been taught, what I'd 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.

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 a divorce in my family, all in my family, and all of our relatives had 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'd 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 of others before him; and then of Huxley and Haeckel and of Chamberlain, of Vogt, 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'd 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 really religiously interested; and I dropped out of church at age eighteen, when my parents couldn't take me any longer. I lost all interest and I got into business.

Accepting the Authority of God's Word (PLAY FROM 03:42)

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'd proved all of that, I happened to notice one passage in the New Testament; Romans 6:23:

"...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)

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..." (Romans 6:23). 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 this cannot be; the wages of sin is eternal life, not death. It is eternal life in hell fire, if you've sinned." Then I read the last half of that same verse:

"...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

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'd always heard that too, and 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 18:4, a little later. I got to looking up about this thing about going to heaven, and about a soul being immortal, and here I found it said:

"...the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4)

A soul can die? "Well," I said; "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 the 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 believed what He said? Only 120. You read that in Acts, first chapter verse 15. Only a hundred and twenty 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 and 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 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 the watch that I have here, just brought itself out of the ground and put various pieces and parts together, 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.

The Creation of Man (PLAY FROM 08:36)

Well I began to look back here, and I saw in Genesis 2:7, where it says that God formed man of 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." (Genesis 2:7)

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' [Strong's 5315] but in translating it into the English language, they translated the same Hebrew word, they translated it '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 its life by the breath of air and the circulation of blood, and has to be fuelled 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. Now, I learned this that in verse 17 of the second chapter of Genesis:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil..." (Genesis 2:17)

There were two trees in the midst of the garden that were special trees. Now actually they were symbolic trees, I don't doubt that there were real trees there; you may doubt that but it won't make any difference. They were symbolic, and they had very great meaning, and very great significance. But one is the tree of life, the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and God said of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

"...thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that [you eat of it you shall] surely die." (Genesis 2:17)

Now people don't believe what God said. God Himself told Adam "You will surely die." But then going a little further now, on over to the third chapter and into verse four, Satan the devil came along in the form of a serpent:

"And the serpent said unto the woman [that's Adam's wife, she started the ERA movement, she started wearing the pants and trying to lead her husband around, and the serpent said to her], Ye shall not surely die." (Genesis 3:4)

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.

Do The Dead Go To Heaven? (PLAY FROM 11:48)

Well, I wondered when I saw some of these passages; and I began to wonder what happens to a soul when it does die? "...the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). 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. Well 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, John the third chapter and in verse 13, and 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." (John 3:13)

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'll blow the dust off your Bible and look into your Bible awhile you'll begin to find the same thing.

Now you hear people talk about going to heaven; I heard a minister say on the air before millions of people; "The Bible says, 'when we all get to heaven'." I'll give that man a thousand dollars if he'll show me where the Bible says that, because it doesn't say anything of the kind. Not anywhere in your Bible - it teaches just the opposite. What does God say? Will you agree with God? Or do you think God is wrong, and all of 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 in the Psalms 115:16, and I'm going give you a lot of scriptures now for a while:

"The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men." (Psalm 115:16)

The heavens belong to God, but the earth has He given to the children of men. Now next if you'll notice the thirty-seventh Psalm and verse 22:

"For such as be blessed of [God] shall inherit the earth..." (Psalm 37:22)

That's what you shall inherit if you are saved, you inherit the earth, not heaven. And then in verse 29 just a few verses below:

"The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever." (Psalm 37:29)

That's for all eternity, the righteous are going to inherit and dwell therein forever in eternal life, immortal life.

Alright, now in Revelation two, Revelation two and verses 26 and 27.{1} I want you to notice what Jesus Christ Himself said. This is after He had ascended to heaven. Christ is quoted as saying [if you have a red-letter Bible it'll be in red letters, and unfortunately it is in mine and is a little harder for me to read. And I would rather it wasn't, but it's the only Bible that I can find that has the kind of print I want and the size. I have to have a larger print now, because my eyesight is not as good as it once was]: And so, to the Church, and Christians, and those in the Church, Jesus is saying this; verses 26 and 27 Revelation two {1}:

"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..." (Revelation 2:26-27)

Going to rule the nations right here on earth, that doesn't sound like going to heaven. And then again, Revelation 5:10, just turn a couple of pages here, and Revelation 5:10:

"And [speaking of Christ] hast 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." (Revelation 5:10)

Right there it is in your Bible in plain language; "...we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:10).

Now then, Christ's Gospel was the Kingdom of God, He proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God. Christ was born to be a King. He said when He was on trial for His life before Pilate. He said; "...I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world..." (John 18:37). But He also said; "...My kingdom is not of this world..." (John 18:36), of this time, this age, this present time. He was born to be a King.

And He said that if we overcome, in 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, 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..." (Acts 2:34)

"...and his sepulchre is [here] with us unto this day." (Acts 2:29)

As Peter said, in the first inspired sermon. It was not going to heaven.

The Dead Know Nothing Until Their Resurrection (PLAY FROM18:23)

Now, it's a shame to have to debunk a lot of things that a lot of people have been believing, but there's been an awful lot of false gospel going on in the world. I'm sorry about that, but that is true, and I had to find the proof that this Word, the Bible, is the Word of God; it is God speaking. And I believe what He says, and I hope you do too. Now then, Jesus again said in John 5:28, where Jesus said:

"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 unto the resurrection [the only hope of life after death in your Bible is the resurrection of the dead, after they die, and Jesus is here speaking of the resurrection, the resurrection] of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of [judgment]." (John 5:28-29)

On the King James, it says 'damnation,' other translations tell you 'judgment', which is the correct translation. "...unto the resurrection of [judgment]." (John 5:29). And another scripture says that:

" is appointed unto men once to die, [and] after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)

And that comes by a resurrection, more about that in just a moment. 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; this is written by the wisest man who ever lived, who was inspired by God to say this:

"For the living know that they shall die..." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

The living do know that, the most certain thing in your life is that you're going to die and 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 any thing..." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

They don't know anything, they are unconscious, they don't know anything. That's what your Bible says; don't scream at me, 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 any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

In other words; they have no memory, they remember nothing. In the resurrection they will, they'll remember everything just as if they've 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, or 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 find in the Bible in Romans 8:11, Romans 8:11:

"...if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead [that's the Holy Spirit] dwell in [them], he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)

That is, make alive, by a resurrection from the dead, your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you. And now in verse 14, while we're on this right here; there's so many things in this eighth chapter of Romans:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

The children of God, begotten of God, and His begotten children, if we are led by the Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit of God is not going to get behind you and push you, it isn't going to shove you, it isn't going to grab you and pull you along and lead you. It will open your mind to the truth; it will show you the Way of God, the way to live. It will show you the spiritual law of God, the way of life. But it's up to you to decide whether you'll be led by that way or not. That will be your decision. The Holy Spirit isn't going to force you one way or the other.

Lost Or Saved? (PLAY FROM 23:50)

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 all probability, they're not lost. 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:" (Hebrews 9:27)

After this the judgment, now I want to go a little further on that. Now I'm going to have to have whole broadcast later on the judgment. You've heard about that Great Day of the Judgment, and the Day of Judgment. It's a marvellous truth that very few people seem to understand. What about that Judgment Day? Well, I'll give you just time for a few things now, Matthew 11:24, 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 thee." (Matthew 11:24)

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees way back in the time of Christ 1950 some years ago. They are 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 twentieth chapter of Revelation, Revelation 20 beginning with verse 11, and this is after the Millennium, after a thousand years, more than a thousand years from now. And John is recording what he saw in vision:

"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 I have a reason for believing that, many scriptures that most people don't understand, show that]: and the dead were judged out of those things which written in the books, according to their works." (Revelation 20: 11-12)

But Christ will have died, and if they repent they will be given a chance to accept the blood of Christ, even then, over a thousand years ahead of us yet, in the resurrection, in a resurrection, and they will come forth. Now I could tell you a lot more about that judgment if I had time. But, why then, do people ... all are going to die in Adam. You find in I Corinthians 15, I Corinthians 15:22:

" in Adam all in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)

Everyone who ever died in Adam is going to come back in a resurrection. Now the first to come back who died was Christ, the Firstfruits, and He was made alive and made very God in the resurrection:

"...every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [He was the first]; afterward they that are Christ's [they that have the Holy Spirit, and are led by the Holy Spirit now, at Christ's coming; and afterward they that are Christ's] at his coming. Then cometh the end..." (I Corinthians 15: 22-24)

It doesn't give you the rest of it here, but in other places in the Bible it does. There will be that Great White Throne Judgment and there's so much about that if I had time I would like to give you, but I can't give it to you now.

Now, why do all die in Adam? Back in Genesis 3:22 you will find; 3:22, 3:23 and 3:24 you will find that when Adam sinned God shut up the Tree of Life, which means the Holy Spirit, He shut up that no one could have that Spirit until Christ came. 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 are 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 said Himself said in John 6:44:

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me [draws] him..." (John 6:44)

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 as full of the knowledge of God as the ocean beds are full of water. And I believe that then without any Satan around that 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 booklet that'll go into this in more depth than I can: 'What Is the Reward of the Saved?’ Now I've offered this before on this program. 'What Is the Reward of the Saved?’ Now is it heaven? What is it? This is a booklet I'd like to have you read. There is a page here; a separate page in addition to the main article; "Great is Your Reward in Heaven." that is a quote that Jesus said. He also said; "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Now do some go to heaven and some stay on the earth? Well, you want to read that. This will explain that very thoroughly for you.


{1} Mr Armstrong said Revelation 3 instead of Revelation 2.