The World Tomorrow

Christ's Message

by Herbert W Armstrong


Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel, but what gospel? Did you ever read it right there in your Bible? The gospel of the kingdom of God! People say it's the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they think that's a gospel about Christ.

Today they are preaching a great deal around the world, a message about the messenger, but they are overlooking His message. And let me tell you, until I began preaching it myself back in 1933, or even before that, 1931 as a matter of fact, I do not remember having heard anyone preach that gospel. I had never heard of it, and I think you had never heard of it prior to that time. The gospel, or the good news, because, 'gospel,' means, 'good news,' of the kingdom of God.

Now the kingdom of God has not come yet, but I'm coming to that. The message that Jesus Christ, His gospel, is not known in the world today. Because He came and preached it in the years from 27AD until 31AD, probably beginning in the fall of 27 and ending in the spring of 31.

He preached to thousands upon thousands, but there were only a 120 who actually believed what He said, as you read in the fifteenth verse of the first chapter of the book of Acts, after He had preached three-and-a-half years to many thousands of people. And He was very God in the human flesh. One of His names was Emmanuel which means, 'God with us' (Matthew 1:23) . He was God in the human flesh, and yet only a 120 believed what He said.

He was preaching about the World Tomorrow. He was preaching a message of the Kingdom of God. He sent His apostles out to preach the same message. Several of them were crucified. Christ was crucified for preaching that gospel. The world didn't like it. It was a gospel of world government, it was a gospel of world peace. It was a gospel of right ways of living. The way of love, the way of outgoing concern, the way of giving. It's outgoing toward God, in reverence and worship and obedience, and knowing that God is the great giver. And reliance on Him, because He wants to do everything good for us, and has the power to do it. And also it is love toward neighbor, and that is out-flowing, not in-coming.

The Message Christ Brought (PLAY FROM 03:14)

Today they are preaching a great deal around the world, a message about the Messenger, but they are overlooking His message. Now what was that message that Christ brought? What did He proclaim? What was His gospel? We turn back to Mark, in the first chapter of the book of Mark is a good place to start, because the first words are:

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

Now this is the very beginning of His message and of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then it goes into a few verses about John the Baptist. Now there was a prophecy in Malachi the third chapter, and the first verse, that said there would be a messenger to prepare the way before Christ. And that Christ was coming as a messenger, the Messenger of the Covenant. He would come with a message from God. And that message is about a covenant and, of course, it was the message of the New Covenant, which is going to set up the kingdom of God. Now the one who prepared the way before His first coming was John the Baptist. And so now, beginning with verse two, it begins to talk about the ministry of John the Baptist, preparing the way before Christ. And dropping down, say, to about verse nine:

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized [by] John [John the Baptist] in Jordan [in the River Jordan]. And straightway coming up out of the water [He must have been down in it to come up out of it, wouldn't you think?], he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:9-11)

And that voice was the voice of God Almighty, God the Father, and He is the Father of the God family. And God is not one person, God is a whole family. God is only one person, in the sense of God the Father, who is the Father of that family. That is a family as Christ taught, and as part of this message of the kingdom of God, that we could be born into that family.

Anyway, people have had various ideas about what the Kingdom of God is. And I think this is a pretty good time to just simply say that, I have a booklet I'd like to have you write in, 'The Kingdom of God'; 'Just What Do You Mean The Kingdom of God?.' What is the Kingdom of God? Here's just a little booklet. You can read it all at one sitting, very simple, very plain. But it'll explain to you what is the Kingdom of God. Now is it the Christian Church? Is it the Roman Catholic Church? Is it a certain Protestant Church? Is it the Jewish synagogue? Or is it something set up in men's hearts? I don't think anyone will say any longer it is the British Empire, because as I say, that doesn't exist anymore.

Nicodemus' Question to Christ (PLAY FROM 06:28)

Why don't we just turn right back here in John, the third chapter of John. This is early in the life of Jesus, well, during His ministry, back along probably late 27 or 28AD.

"There was a man of the Pharisees [and the Pharisees were a ruling class in Judea at that time over 1900 years ago], named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same come to Jesus by night..." (John 3:1-2)

Now he sneaked in there, because he didn't want anyone to see him come. The Pharisees were opposed to Jesus, because He came preaching a kingdom of God. And they thought He meant that He was going to overthrow the Roman government, and that they would be accused, and maybe put to death for sedition. And they had government positions under Caesar, the Roman Empire at that time, and so they were not going to fall in line with Jesus. But this man was one of the rulers of the Pharisees.

"...and [he] said unto [Jesus], Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God [we, we Pharisees know, now they already knew that. They knew he was the Messiah, that He came from God. I want you to notice that point as we go along]: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:2)

Well, Jesus just took it right out of his mouth, right there, and got directly to the thing that this man needed to know. He didn't need to know so much about the government. He thought Christ was going to overcome the government right there. What he needed to know was about why we were born, and how we can be born again, and what that means. So:

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

Now notice this; the kingdom of God is something that can be seen, with the eyes. But it can't be seen until after you have been born again. And those who have not been born again can't even see it. Alright let's continue:

"Nicodemus saith unto him [he couldn't quite get that, being born again? Now he knew he had been born from his own mother, so he said, well], How can [how can that be? How can] a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (John 3:4)

He knew what being born meant. It didn't mean, as I said awhile ago, that people think, the kingdom of God is just an ethereal nothing set up in your mind and heart, that mean nothing. And that's what people think being born again means.

It just means if you - it just reminds me of this young man I've mentioned before, that said to me over forty years ago, he said; "Well Mr Armstrong, I gave my heart to the Lord last night." And I said, "Was the Lord there?" And he said, "No." "Well," I said, "Was the surgeon there?" "No." "There wasn't any surgeon, to sort of, cut you open and let you reach in, and take your heart out, and have it?" "Uh, no." "Well," I said, "What do you mean that you gave your heart to the Lord, then?" "Well," he said, "I just guess I don't know."

He didn't know what did happen to him. And in other words: it's a lot of mystic nothing. Now this is concrete; this is definite; it's something that's real. That's what I want you to get.

"...How can a man be born when he is old? ...[Well] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."(John 3:4-5)

So you not only can see the kingdom of God, it's something you can enter into. But you have to be born first, born of God! Now we were born of man. Being born again is not born of man again, but born of God. Now:

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh [Nicodemus was flesh, I am flesh, you are flesh. That's what we are, we were born of the flesh, we are flesh]; and [He said] that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

It's not flesh any longer, it's not matter, it is composed of spirit. Those that say they have been born again, they are sincere, they believe it. But they ought to study the Word of God, and God's own explanation, and that of Christ, a little further, and maybe they would see that they've been deceived. And a deceived man - it's not a disgrace to be deceived, a deceived man can be just ever so sincere, and so honest. And he believes he's right, so I'm not condemning him.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

And you have to become spirit before you can see the kingdom of God. You have to become spirit before you can enter into the kingdom of God. Now notice it's something you can enter into, and you can see. Now He said:

"Marvel not that I say unto you, that you shall be born again. [For] The wind blows where it listeth [now the spirit is often compared to wind, or air, in the Bible, and He's using that comparison here], and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell whither it cometh, or whither it goeth [where it's coming from, where it's going to]: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:7-8 paraphrased)

Well now, the people that think they've been born again in this world are not like that at all. And they are not spirit. They are still flesh. Well Nicodemus didn't exactly understand it.

The Resurrection (PLAY FROM 12:38)

And a little later, something else that people don't understand, Jesus said;

" man hath ascended up to heaven, ...[in verse thirteen]" (John 3:13)

And not many believe that. So they don't believe what Christ said. People say, "I believe in God, alright." But you don't believe what He says. Here's what He says, I came to believe that. Now maybe I'm a little foolish. Also, if I am, I'll be foolish, but I believe, not only in God, but I believe God! And I've found that very few - Adam and Eve didn't believe God, they believed Satan, and the whole world has been believing Satan ever since.

Now let's turn over to I Corinthians next. And I Corinthians is a resurrection chapter of the Bible, and I shall tell you that right now. And I can't take the whole chapter, I won't have time. But certain portions of it here, we can go through. Beginning back here in the third verse, where Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth. Now they had been Gentiles, now were converted:

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again [on] the third day according to the scriptures:" (I Corinthians 15:3-4)

Now "...according to the scriptures..." (I Corinthians 15:4) means; as Jesus said, the only sign He gave, He would be three days and three nights in the tomb, after He was killed, before His resurrection. If you can figure three days and three nights out of being buried Friday evening, crucified on Friday, and resurrected early Sunday morning, then again I'd like to give you about a thousand dollars. And I don't think I'll have to give it, because you can't figure that.

"And that he was seen of Cephas [which is Simon Peter, and] ...of the twelve. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto [the] present [when Paul was writing this letter], but some are fallen asleep." (I Corinthians 15:5-6)

Now isn't that funny? The Bible talks about dying being, 'falling asleep.' Today they say, "He passed away." Is that the way you speak of anyone who died? Are you afraid to say, "He died!" - that he's dead?

Well the Bible says, when you die, you're dead. It's like that dog, Rover – when he died, he died all over! And that's the way we do, brethren. Whether we - and it is appointed in the Bible:

" is appointed unto [all] men once to die..." (Hebrews 9:27)

And " in Adam [and I'll come to that right here in this chapter] all die..." (I Corinthians 15:22)

It doesn't say, 'all pass away'. The 'pass away' comes from the immortal soul lie. And twice the Bible says: "...the soul the sinneth it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4,20) Not live forever, it shall die. Now:

"After that, he was seen of James; [and] then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of of one born out of due time." (I Corinthians 15:7-8)

He said, in another place: "...have I not seen...Christ...?" (I Corinthian 9:1)

Well he didn't see Him before His resurrection, before His death. So apparently when Paul speaks of having been for three years down in Arabia, that's where Christ appeared to him supernaturally, after Christ had ascended to heaven, and taught Paul separately (Galatians 1:17-18).

"For [he said] I am the least of the apostles..." (I Corinthians 15:9)

But most people today think he's the greatest; he wasn't. You don't hear as much about Peter as you do Paul, for the simple reason that Christ sent His twelve apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And people don't know where they were. They were in Western Europe and England at that time; and that's where Peter went. Peter didn't die in Rome. And his bones have not been found in Rome, because he didn't die there. He died in England.

What Happens After Death? (PLAY FROM 17:00)

Well anyway, now he continues in verse twelve:

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (I Corinthians 15:12)

It doesn't teach going to heaven when you die. It teaches that "...the dead [do not know] anything..." (Ecclesiastes 9:5) in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes. And also it says there will be a resurrection.

And in the resurrection it'll be like the next thousandth or millionth of a second, in your consciousness from the time you died. Anyone who commits suicide doesn't realize, that just, bang, like that, the first clap is when the bullet goes through his brain, and he loses consciousness. And the second clap is when he wakes up in the kingdom of God and he still has all of his problems, and troubles before him. And now he's got a murder, a self-murder, of having killed himself, on his hands besides.

And you know, one of our ministers told me how he has explained that to a few people that were going to commit suicide. And he said after he explained that they didn't do it. Because death does not end all! There's a life after this life! You can't get away from it. Jonah may have tried to run away from God in a ship. And others have tried to run away from God by putting a bullet through their brain, or some other means of suicide. But that doesn't do it, you don't get away from God like that.

"But [he says] if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain, and our faith is also in vain...And [verse seventeen] if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; [you] are yet in your sins." (I Corinthians 15:13-14, 17)

In other words the only hope of life after death is a resurrection. And it's appointed to all men once to die. But it's also appointed to all people to be resurrected from that death. And everyone who has ever died is going to be brought back to life in a resurrection. Now then let's come on a little later, verse 22:

" in Adam all die..." (I Corinthians 15:22)

You see the penalty of sin is not this first death. We all die this first death because of Adam's sin, not because of our own sin. The penalty that is the penalty for our sin, when we commit sin – and we all have, every one of us, is the second death. After this death there'll be a resurrection. Then there will be a second death in a lake of fire. And there won't be any resurrection at all from that death.

And those in that, the Bible says, will be: "...ashes under the soles of [our] feet..." (Malachi 4:3) - of those of us who go on into immortal life. They will be as though they had not been. And it says that'll be a fire that will burn them up. Not keep burning and burning and burning. If you can show me anything that'll keep burning forever and ever, and never burn out, I'll pay you a million dollars for it. Because I can make several million out of that, if I can find some kind of combustion that'll keep burning, burning, burning. A fuel that you don't have to keep heaping more fuel on, more oil, more wood, more coal, more something. But:

" in Adam all die, [so also] in Christ shall ALL be made alive [everyone who died, suicides, everybody]. But every man in his own order [there will be an order of resurrection, not everybody in the same resurrection]: Christ the firstfruits [and that was over 1900 years ago now, and then]; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. [And then will come] the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; [and] when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he [has] put all enemies under his feet." (I Corinthians 15:22-25)

And that's speaking of the resurrection.

The Spirit Body (PLAY FROM 21:21)

Now let's come a little further in this chapter, verse 35:

"But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" (I Corinthians 15:35)

Now listen to this. You wonder what kind of a body you're going to have in the resurrection? Well I can tell you that other scriptures say that you'll look just like you do now. You'll have the same fingerprints, and all-in-all you'll have in your mind, you'll have and remember. And whatever personality you have, it will be there. And whatever you have done in the way of building character, either good or bad, it'll be there. Now all will be there.

"But [now listen to this] some...will say, How are the dead raised up? ...with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest [that which you sow, or plant in the ground, in other words, the burial in the ground] is not quickened [or brought back to life], except it die; And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare grain, it may [be] of wheat..." (I Corinthians 15:35-37)

But what comes up is not the same grain of wheat. It's another grain that looks just like that grain of wheat, do you see? And he uses that comparison here.

"But God [gives] it a body as it hath pleased him, [and] to every seed his own body." (I Corinthians 15:38)

Now you'll have to know something about the spirit in man, if you want to know what is going to preserve, and bring you back. Because that is the mould, like a sculptor's mould. And God puts another body in it, and it comes back with your same fingerprint, your same memory, your same knowledge, your same character, everything.

You commit suicide, it's just bang, bang. The next bang you're still alive again, and now you are in a judgment, and being held accountable. So I just advise you, don't do it that way; that's not the way out. Now beginning with verse 45:

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul..." (I Corinthians 15:45)

Now it didn't say, an immortal soul - a living soul. And as with all souls, it's appointed to all men once to die. The first man made a living soul:

"...the last Adam [which is Christ] was made a quickening spirit [that is a life-giving spirit. However] that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural [Adam was natural, Christ came afterward, He is spiritual]; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy [now get this in comparison to what I read you about Nicodemus]: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy..." (I Corinthians 15:45-48)

Jesus said; "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; ...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

You know I spoke of the magazine, 'The Plain Truth.' The purpose of that magazine is to make the truth plain; and Jesus said; "...thy word [this Bible] is truth." (John 17:17) And the purpose of 'The Plain Truth' is to make this Bible plain. Now:

"As is the earthy, such are they...that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they...that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy [and we are born of the flesh, we are flesh], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." (I Corinthians 15:48-49)

And we shall be, if we have God's Holy Spirit. He says, 'we,' you've got to get this; where it says, 'they,' it means unconverted people outside. Where it says, 'we,' it's speaking of the Church and people that have God's Holy Spirit. So he says:

"...we have borne the image of the earthy, we [in the Church] shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren [you see he says, 'brethren', he's speaking to those in the Church], that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." (I Corinthians 15:49-50)

Then flesh and blood has not been born again. Now the kingdom of God is something you can see. The kingdom of God is something you can enter into. The kingdom of God is something you can inherit. And Paul writes here that flesh and blood, while you're still made of flesh and blood, and a heart beating, and you can feel your pulse (and it's pretty hard to feel your own personal pulse), but as long as you can; you can't enter into, or inherit the kingdom of God.

"...neither [does] corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [that is not all remain dead], but we [in the Church] shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound [you read of the trumpet plagues back in the book of Revelation], and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption...this mortal must put on immortality." (I Corinthians 15:50-53)

You see we're not immortal now, we put on immortality. We are mortal souls, not immortal souls:

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [Then he concludes by saying] O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 15:54-57)

Booklet Links (PLAY FROM 27:30)

And I think that's a good place to close right there. And let me say that here I have, once again, this booklet, 'Just What Do You Mean – Born Again?.' I've spoken somewhat on that today and I think you'd like to see it in print; and also the booklet on 'Just What Do You Mean The Kingdom of God?.' That was the gospel that Jesus preached: the kingdom of God.

Let me tell you: the kingdom of God is the Family of God into which we can be born. But it also is the ruling, governing family restoring the Government of God. It is a kingdom, a government, a nation, a ruling nation. And not just some ethereal nothing stirred up in men's hearts.

So now, remember these things that we have offered, no charge whatsoever. We just do not put a charge on things like that; and glad to send it to you. So until next time this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."