The World Tomorrow

The Gospel

by Herbert W Armstrong


Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.

My friends, why have you not heard the true Gospel of, and for the New Testament, for this time, for this age, this dispensation? Does that question surprise you a little bit? Well, most of you have really not heard it. Why have you not heard the real Gospel for this time? And what have you been hearing? And how has it all happened? You know, my friends, even in the professing Christian religion of this Western world we find a lot of different denominations preaching a variety of different gospels.

Now some designate their gospel as the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet I would venture to say that most of you have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Now you hear a lot also about the gospel of salvation. You hear what is called the gospel of grace. You hear of the gospel of the kingdom – or do you? And then you hear in some quarters, what is called the Israel message. Why have so many lost the only true Gospel which God sent by Jesus Christ? Does it make any difference which gospel you believe?

Did you ever read what the apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatians? Now, a lot of people think today that we must take what the apostle Paul preached to the Gentiles. Well, this was preached to the Gentiles; they were nearly all Gentiles up there in Galatia. And in Paul's letter to them found in the very first chapter, the eighth and the ninth verse you read this, and this was inspired by God - it's in your Bible:

"...though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed [now, it isn't only just a bare curse, it is a double curse because in the very next verse Paul continued to say] say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received [which they had received from Paul, and from Timothy, Silas, Barnabas and those evangelists that Paul was sending out under him], let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9)

It's a double curse to believe any other gospel than the very gospel that Paul preached to the Gentiles. Now, what Gospel was that? And why is it that the world seems to have lost sight of that Gospel? Why do people believe a different gospel today? Now Jesus Christ said it was necessary to believe the Gospel in order to be saved. I was reading to you in Mark, the very first chapter where you begin the very Gospel of Jesus Christ, the first verse of the first chapter:

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" (Mark 1:1)

Then we digress there for twelve more verses where the account of the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ's coming and for the ministry of Christ is explained. And then coming to the fourteenth verse:

"Now after that John was put in prison [after the end of John's preaching], Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe [what? He said, believe] the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

And so Jesus said it was necessary to believe the Gospel. It is necessary to believe that Gospel in order to be saved. And yet my friends you know that there are millions today that profess to be Christians that don't know what that Gospel is. Shocking as that sounds, it's true, listen; again, the very parting commission to the disciples that were the apostles - the original apostles, on whom the New Testament Church is founded, Jesus said:

"...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel...[now they were to preach THE Gospel, the very Gospel Jesus had taught them, and Jesus then said]. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16)

Now, what's He talking about believing? He didn't say; "He that believeth on me" in that case. Don't misunderstand, there are other places in the New Testament where it is very explicitly said that it is necessary to believe on Christ. That's true, even Jesus said it, but in this case He is talking about believing the Gospel and that is necessary too. He that believeth what is preached; of course, the Gospel and not just any gospel, but the Gospel He sent them out to preach.

The Origin of the Gospel (PLAY FROM 05:11)

Now my friends, where did this Gospel start? Did it originate with the apostle Paul? Absolutely not. No, the apostle Paul, he said to the Corinthians:

"Be ye followers of me, even as I [follow] Christ."(I Corinthians 11:1)

And he taught the very Gospel that Jesus had instructed him to teach. He says; " ...have I not been with Christ..." (I Corinthians 9:1 paraphrased). Now he doesn't tell you where he was with Christ but the very strong inference is that it was during that three years that he was over in Arabia. He said he'd been with Christ and he preached the same Gospel that Peter and the others did when he came down to Jerusalem. You read of it in the second chapter of Galatians. But when he came down to Jerusalem and compared notes with the other apostles, they found they preached exactly the same Gospel; although Paul did not get it from the other apostles at all, he got it direct from Christ. The other apostles got it direct from Christ.

Well then, did the Gospel originate direct with Christ? Oh, no it didn't. No, my friends, it did not even originate with Christ. The Gospel originated with God the Father. Listen carefully, I want you to get this. God the Father had promised to send a Messenger into this world from heaven bearing a message from Him; that is, a message from God the Father. You read of that in Malachi the third chapter in the first verse. Listen, Malachi 3 verse 1 – God said:

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [now that messenger was John the Baptist, you read of that in Mark the first chapter second verse, it was John the Baptist preparing the way before Christ]: and [then] the Lord , whom ye seek, [that is Christ] shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in..." (Malachi 3:1)

Now, Jesus was the Lord, He was the Messenger of the covenant. What covenant? Did Jesus then come preaching an Old Covenant message? My friends, if you have read your Bible you have read that Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant and Christ was the Mediator of the New, not the Old, the New Covenant. Therefore, He was the Messenger of that Covenant and the message He brought was the message of that New Covenant, not of the Old Covenant.

Now the very first sermon that God had preached to the Gentiles was preached by Peter, and Peter you know, was sent over to the house of the Gentile Cornelius. It's recorded in the tenth chapter of the Book of Acts, and you read of it in the tenth chapter, the thirty-sixth and the thirty- seventh verses. I want you to listen; this was the Gospel as it first went to the Gentiles. Now just open your own Bible, I hope you will open your own Bible and read this out of it. The tenth chapter of the Book of Acts, and the thirty-sixth and the thirty-seventh verses – read this with your own eyes, here it is:

"The word which God sent [now God sent it] unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ [He was the Messenger]: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and [which] began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;" (Acts 10:36-37)

Now there it is, there's the first inspired sermon under inspiration of God, recorded in your Bible, preached to the Gentiles. I want you to notice these points very carefully my friends. With whom did this message originate? Not with Paul, not with Christ, Peter said; "The word which God sent..." (Acts 10:36). God the Father. Now, to whom did God send it? Peter said; "...unto the children of Israel..." (Acts 10:36). Yes, as Paul said:

" the Jew first and [then later] to the Gentile;" (Romans 2:10)

The same Gospel went to the Gentiles as went to the Jews, but it went to the Jews first. So, it was unto the children of Israel. Now, this is ten years later that this same Gospel is now being opened up to the Gentiles of all nations; originally, however, it was sent only to the children of Israel, and it was sent by God the Father. Now it didn't originate with Christ, nor with Peter, nor with Paul, it originated from God the Father; God sent it by Jesus Christ. By whom was it sent? Who was the Divine Messenger who brought this message? Peter said:

" Jesus Christ, the Word which God sent unto the children of Israel preaching peace by Jesus Christ:" (Acts 10:36 paraphrased)

Well, there it is. Now, Jesus Christ then was the Divine Messenger. Malachi called Him the Messenger of the Covenant. And since Moses was the messenger of the Old Covenant and Jesus Christ is the Minister, the Messenger, the Mediator of the New Covenant then the message was the New Covenant message.

Now, where was that Gospel first preached? What geographical location shall we look to for it's beginning? Well, Peter said it began from Galilee. There you are, in the inspired preaching to the Gentiles. Yes, Galilee then is the place where it was first preached. Now, last of all, when did Jesus begin preaching this particular Gospel? What was the time set for it? Was there a definite time? Peter said; "...after the baptism which John preached;" (Acts 10:37)

Where is the True Gospel? (PLAY FROM 10:29)

Oh, my friends, there are explicit directions – after all of that you ought to be able to find which is the true Gospel. Where is the right time, the right place, the right Messenger, the right people to whom it was delivered? These very definite directions lead us directly back to right where I was a moment ago; the first chapter of Mark, the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in verses 14 and 15, after John's Gospel was finished, here it is:

"Now after that John was put in prison [well there's the exact time, after John was put in prison, there's the time], Jesus [there's the Divine Messenger by whom God sent it] came into Galilee..."

There's the precise geographical location where it was to begin. Now, we have the time, we have the Israelites there, we have the place, we have the Messenger. So, wherever, whatever we find Jesus preaching here is the Gospel that God sent. That Peter later was taking to the Gentiles. Now what do we read?

"...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching [what?] the gospel [God, or the gospel] of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

Now in this place He didn't say 'believe on me', He did in other places, but in this particular place He said believe the Gospel.

My friends, there are two things you have to believe to be saved. You have to believe on Christ, of course, but you also have to believe that Gospel. My friends, how can you believe that Gospel and be saved unless you know what that Gospel is? Why hasn't that Gospel been preached? Why have you not been hearing it? Why have you not believed that Gospel? And what happened to it? I want to show you, my friends, that that Gospel got sidetracked, not in our time, it isn't any modern doing, it isn't the fault of some church today or anything of that sort. No, this thing got sidetracked hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years ago. And we've been born into a world that didn't seem to know that.

Now when you were born you didn't know a thing did you? And you've grown up accepting what you've heard as christianity; you've come to believe a lot of things and when you look into your Bible my friends, you're going to find that you believe a lot of things that are exactly the opposite of what your Bible says. And your Bible tells you things directly contrary to a lot of the things that you have grown up in this modern world believing. Now believe it or not my friends that's true. Does that shock you? Are you afraid then to just blow the dust off your Bible, as you hear me say so very many, many times and really look into it for yourself? Just believe your own eyes, what you see in it.

Well, there we find it, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it is not man's Gospel about the person of Christ. Oh, you hear so much of that today. Now people are sincere and they believe that's the true Gospel, of course, and we should talk about Christ, that's alright. But that and that alone, just talking about Christ is not enough. Yes, we must believe on Christ but we also must know what message He brought and believe His Gospel, His message that God sent by Him.

Now the Kingdom of God is not something that you and I can inherit and one day enter into. Jesus said flesh and blood cannot enter into that Kingdom, you have to be born into it. Be born again, you'd be born into the Kingdom of God. Now, Paul said to the Galatians:

"...if you are Christ's, then you [the Galatians, the Gentiles] are Abraham's children [we become Israelites through Christ], and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29 paraphrased)

Not inheritors, but heirs, we are not now born into that Kingdom. We are merely heirs to inherit that Kingdom. And then in Matthew 25 beginning with verse 31 you read about when Jesus is going to come; at His second coming and sit on the throne of His glory and then He shall say to those on His right hand:

"...Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" (Matthew 25:34)

You see, my friends, it's something that we shall, if we are found worthy, we shall inherit and we are heirs of it now. And flesh and blood can't enter into it; so as long as you're flesh and blood you're not in the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God isn't some fluffy-fluff slush-slush thing set up in your hearts. It's a real thing, and you have to be born of God to enter into it.

What is the Gospel of the Kingdom? (PLAY FROM 15:07)

Now, the Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, that's the Gospel Christ preached. The Kingdom of God, now just what is that? The Gospel of Christ isn't a message of men about Christ and about His person. Oh yes, it includes that, but it's so much more, my friends; it is Christ's very own Gospel, the message that He preached. Now, as a result of the fact that people have not heard it today, millions today believe ON Christ, but they don't believe Christ because they don't know what He preached in order to believe it; do you see? His Gospel was His Message; and yet it wasn't His, it was the Father's who sent Him. He said that, read it in John 12 verses 49-50, He said:

"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment [the Father's] is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:49-50)

That's what Jesus said. And He said; "the Word that you hear is not mine, but it's the Father's which sent me." (John 14:24 paraphrased), you'll read that in John 14:24. Now, descriptive of the religion of the Old Testament and of the Gospel of the New Testament you read in Luke 16:16:

"The law and the prophets [that's the Old Testament message] were until John [not until the cross, not until the day of Pentecost, the Old Testament preaching was until John]: since that time [see, there is a definite time, after John was put in prison, since that time] the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." (Luke 16:16)

And yet my friends, there are so many in this modern day of religious confusion who believe that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not intended for this time or for this age. You know, I've heard many say that; "Oh; the Gospel of the Kingdom isn't for this time, that's for some future time." They think that they have a different gospel of some kind today and so they don't believe the true Gospel because they don't know what it is.

Now what is that Gospel? The English word 'gospel' comes from an older English word 'Godspel' and it means good news, glad tidings, Good News. Daily we read news of world happenings, that's mostly bad news. But the Kingdom of God is the World Tomorrow and its good news and that's the name of this program – The World Tomorrow. And that's why I say; "This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News (that's the Gospel) of the World Tomorrow." And that's the Kingdom of God. Do you see why I always address you like that my friends? Good news is the Gospel, the Kingdom of God; that is the message that Jesus brought, in other words – the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the world tomorrow. Oh, my friends, I hope you can understand it.

What is a Kingdom? (PLAY FROM 18:06)

Now, the Kingdom of God; well, what is a kingdom? Now, primarily a kingdom is a government; first of all, a kingdom is a government. It is a nation and the government which rules that nation, you have to have a nation to have a kingdom. Now, especially in this Biblical sense there is a dual sense of the word nation or kingdom. It includes all of its subjects and citizens and the government which rules it.

There are four things necessary to constitute a kingdom: First, it's a definite territory; with a specific location, definite boundary lines. Secondly: A king or a supreme ruler, or governing agent. And then thirdly: the subjects over which he rules, citizens or subjects within that territorial jurisdiction. And then fourth: laws and a form of government by which those people are ruled.

Now my friends, if you leave out any one of those vital requisites you do not have and you cannot believe the Gospel for this New Testament time, this dispensation of grace as we call it.

We must know whether the Kingdom of God is already here now or whether it's coming later. We must know whether the territory of the Kingdom of God is on this earth or whether it's going to be up in heaven for a thousand years. We must know whether it is a literal kingdom of human mortals, and whether that kingdom is just some imaginary thing that dwells in your heart or in your imagination, or whether it is a literal kingdom. Or a real thing that is actually coming or whether it is figurative or what. Any one of those things left out my friends, you don't have the real Gospel. And so, you know, a great many people today are all mixed up.

Now, in Bible usage, a kingdom is often a family, that is a family from a single parent grown great. For instance; the Arabs are descended from Ishmael and they're often called by the name of Ishmael, who was the son of Abraham. And the Turks are descended from Esau. One family grown great into a nation.

Now, the Kingdom of God is God's Family; and it is those that are born of God and therefore in the Family of God. And until they grow into a great nation with government and with rule, and is a family relationship. God the Father is the Head of it. There's the Father, Jesus Christ the Son; Father and Son relationship. The Church, to enter into the Kingdom is to be married to Christ and we're the bride, or shall be at His second coming; and we all have to obey the Father. And the wife in this case must obey the Husband. Now, there is God's family relationship, there is God's Government.

And I want to tell you, my friends, no one can get into the Kingdom of God who is not governed by God the Father. And it is government from the top down. It isn't government from the people down below, voting and by their own ways deciding how they want God to rule them. Oh, no, God is going to rule us His way according to His will. That is the government or the Kingdom of God.

Begotten But Not Yet Born (PLAY FROM 21:18)

Now, what about the Gospel of grace? What about the Gospel of Salvation? You hear about that. Well listen; when Nicodemus came to Jesus secretly, you read of it in John the third chapter. Jesus said:

"...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)

Jesus was preaching the Kingdom of God all the time; He didn't preach anything but the Kingdom of God. Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of God, He explained the most important phase of it. Now, in I Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul wrote that flesh and blood, that is a mortal human, cannot enter in to the Kingdom of God. So, it's something you can't be in; you can enter into it, but flesh and blood can't. You have to be changed from mortal to immortal, from human flesh and blood to divine beings, to enter in to that Kingdom. Listen, God is divine, and if you are born of God you'll be divine.

My friends, a lot of people think they are born of God now. I tell you, that comes from a misunderstanding of Greek words. In the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, there was only one word for being 'born' and also being 'begotten'. Now, a baby is begotten before it's born. And a baby may be begotten, and there is a life there but it is not yet born. And my friends, that is spiritually speaking the condition that the real Christian is in now. He is a son of God, just as the unborn baby is the son or the daughter of its parents even before it is born, but it has not yet been born.

Now, when we are born of God, then it will be a matter of not just being begotten but born. And in the Greek language they do not have one word for a begettal and another for being born. They used the same world and the translators have in some places put the word 'born' and that you are already 'born again'; where it should have been begotten. That's the thing that has confused so very many, many people. Well, these are very important things, you should devote enough time to it to be sure. So, you read it in your Bible.

Now, as Paul said in I Corinthians 15 verses 50-54 there; flesh and blood, that is the mortal human, as we are now, cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Well, it is not then a kingdom whose citizens are mortal flesh and blood humans. Jesus went on to show Nicodemus in His talk with Nicodemus back in the third chapter of John that we have been born of the flesh and so we are flesh; therefore we are not in the Kingdom of God. And He said that; "...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6). And when we are born of God - and in John 4 you find God is a Spirit - and when you are born of God you will be spirit. Therefore, we are not actually born into the Kingdom of God now, we are begotten as sons of God now, that's all.

Now, the Kingdom of God is composed of those who have become born of the Kingdom of God. For instance; you read that Jesus Christ was born a Son of God by a resurrection from the dead, by His resurrection Jesus became born of God and He is now in the Kingdom of God.

What God Has in Store for Us (PLAY FROM 24:38)

But listen; Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren. Are you going to be one of those many brethren my friends? I hope you will. You can be, but you'll have to give up your own way. And if you're set in your own ways you'll have to, as I said the other day, to try to use language you'd understand, that wasn't perhaps the best of English, but I think it's very expressive. You'll have to get 'un-set'. In other words, you'll have to unlearn and you have to give up your way and forsake your way and come to find the ways of God and the ways of Christ, and follow that. So, you can be one those many brethren that are to be born into the very Family of God as Jesus was.

Now, Jesus was glorified and became God. Do you know, that we also are to be glorified with Him? And do you know we are to be like Him? We aren't going to be like some lower kind of being - we are going to be on his plane! My friends, that's, why, that's fantastic, I know, it isn't what you've believed; it's something that's new to most of you. You read your Bible, my friends, it's just all through the Bible. Your New Testament is full of it but you've been afraid of it. Why don't you read your New Testament and see what God has in store for us?

Do you know that; "...Eye hath not seen, and ear heard, neither has it entered into the very heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for us." (I Corinthians 2:9 paraphrased)

Oh, I want to tell you what God has in store for us; it's a lot different and a lot better than just going up to heaven, floating around the sky somewhere and playing on a harp and nothing to do. You know, God has something so much better for us and it has never entered the heart of man. But God does reveal it by His Spirit, if we will open our minds to understand.

So, the Hebrew word for God is 'Elohim', and it portrays a single family of a number of persons. And it's a family that will grow great into a Kingdom; the very name of God, my friends, implies that. And the way into it is to forsake your way. I read it to you in the proceeding broadcast, I believe, from Isaiah 55 verses 6 and 7:

"Seek ye the [Eternal] while He may be found...Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his [own] thoughts: and let him return unto [God]..." Isaiah 55:6-7]

Because God's ways are not ours. That's the beginning and then you have to grow in grace and knowledge, and you'll have to keep in constant contact with God. You have to grow, just as an unborn child must grow in its mother's womb before it can be born. So must we if we're going to be born of God.