Booklets and Articles Index
OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH
Where is the one and only true Church today-the Church founded by Jesus Christ in A.D. 31?
Seven major eye-opening proofs identify it unmistakably.
By Herbert W. Armstrong
THE REIGN OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
How incongruous! The churches calling themselves "Christian" do not know that the true gospel is the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. They know nothing of what the earth will be like under the rule of the KINGDOM OF GOD!
They know nothing of the only GOOD NEWS in today's world-of the world's only and sure HOPE!
Don't laugh at the word "utopia"! It is regarded in today's troubled world as an impractical, impossible JOKE! Webster's dictionary defines it: "an imaginary and indefinitely remote place; a place of ideal perfection, especially in laws, government and social conditions; an impractical scheme for social improvement."
Jesus Christ was no impractical dreamer. His gospel was the GOOD NEWS that a coming UTOPIA is REAL-it is SURE!
Stop and THINK! WHY should it be impossible to have ideal perfection- in laws; government and social conditions? WHY?
"Human nature," you answer? Yes, but as shown in a previous installment, human nature was NOT created in us by GOD-was NOT born in us. It has been injected into humans by the "prince of the POWER OF THE AIR," Satan, who is so powerful that he surcharges the air with his morbid attitude of gloom, resentment, rebellion, selfishness, vanity, strife. Satan broadcasts in self-centered attitudes, and the "human" spirit in every human is tuned in on his wavelength! Thus Satan is now actually WORKING IN the people of this disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).
But when the glorified CHRIST comes in supreme POWER and GLORY to rule all nations, Satan will be totally restrained from humanity. ALL will be called to salvation and eternal life-and, as God's people now are, will become partakers of the divine nature! (II Peter 1:4).
"Human nature" will be GONE! The earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Eternal as the ocean beds are full of water (Isaiah 11:9).
World-famous scientists foresee three possibilities for the future. 1) Some optimists think we shall soon have the magic push-button century 21-with such an array of gadgetry produced by technology that human labor will be all but eliminated, and the world shall be entranced and bedazzled by material technology. But of course, this would break down completely, morals would sink even lower- if possible!
2) shall have more and more evils, and with nuclear power and other means of mass destruction, humanity will soon be erased, from the earth.
3) Some say the world's only hope, now, to escape cosmocide is to form one gigantic world government, controlling the only military power and weaponry-yet in the same breath they admit the impossibility of it. WHO would sit on the throne RULING the world? The United States and Europe would never accept a Communist in supreme command. The Communists would never accept an American or Western European. WHY?-yes, WHY should we have a world where more than half of all its people live in illiteracy, abject poverty, filth and squalor, racked with diseases and pains and without hope? WHY?-when the human mind can produce the marvels of technology, the computer, send men to the moon and back, transmit photographs from the surface of Mars and Jupiter to the earth?
Can't we realize there has to be a CAUSE for all these evils-and that the GREAT MAJESTIC GOD has power to eradicate the causes and usher in a REAL Utopia? Don't sell God short!
Let's face it! Right now there are two alternatives. Either there does exist the living almighty GOD of supreme mind and power, who will very soon intervene and SAVE HUMANITY FROM ITSELF, or else HUMAN EXTINCTION is now imminent!
There is no other alternative!
But thank God, there is the GOOD NEWS of the soon-coming PEACEFUL, HAPPY WORLD TOMORROW!
When the supreme Creator-RULER comes again to earth, already crowned as KING of kings, in supreme POWER and GLORY and all the holy angels with Him, the Gentile nations actually will FIGHT to resist Him!
But "…their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth" (Zechariah 14:12) The living CHRIST is coming to rule with DIVINE FORCE! And one of His first acts will be to depose Satan!
Jesus, after His resurrection ascended to heaven, in clouds taking Him up out of sight. He shall return in clouds.
The mighty Lord shall descend with a SHOUT! -with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God; The dead in Christ shall rise is a glorious resurrection to SPIRIT IMMORTALITY! The living in Christ shall then be caught up in the air with them, changed to spirit immortality - to MEET the descending Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Christ's feet shall stand that same day on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4). The immortal saints shall be continually with the Lord-reigning with and under Him from Jerusalem over all nations!
With Satan gone, the KINGDOM OF GOD shall be set up in power. Everyone whom God has called out of this world of Satan's, has been called to a special mission preparing for this Kingdom!
The GOVERNMENT OF GOD will be restored worldwide! The humans left on earth will be ruled over. No mortal humans will rule - only those who PREPARED and QUALIFIED to RULE during their earthly life after receiving God's Spirit.
God has hot revealed in specific detail how His government will be organized. He does reveal that it shall be government from the TOP down. Christ will be KING of kings over all nations. It is specifically revealed that King David of ancient Judah, resurrected, shall be king over the nations descended from the 12 tribes of ancient Israel (Ezekiel 34:2:3; 37:24-25; Jeremiah 30:9). Jesus Himself revealed that the 12 original apostles shall sit on 12 thrones, each ruling one of these nations (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30)
As a theocracy, with government from the top down, it also is revealed that God the Father is the supreme head over Christ and therefore ABOVE ALL. The Kingdom of God is the FAMILY of GOD-and the Father is supreme head over His family!
Jesus Christ is coming as KING of kings and LORD of lords so the Kingdom of God shall combine church and state, as did ancient Israel-with Christ earthly King and LORD. ,
NOTE WELL THIS PRINCIPLE: In a world cut off from God, God has called out of the world those predestinated. And in every instance the call has been to a definite DUTY, and also in every case that duty has been one of PREPARING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
God called Abraham. All the PROMISES of our eternal salvation were given to Abraham, and we inherit them from the fact Abraham is the "father of the faithful." This reveals that Abraham will have higher position in the Kingdom than David. He will be NEXT UNDER CHRIST. Then again, the Scriptures use the phrase "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," grouping them together as a team: All the PROMISES were repromised also to Isaac and to Jacob. This indicates they shall be a headquarters TEAM-next under Christ-over both church and state, with Abraham, chairman of the team. In Luke 13:28, Jesus said definitely that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shall be in that glorified Kingdom.
When the KINGDOM--the divine FAMILY of God-reigns on earth, it shall be the ONE GOVERNMENT over ALL nations. There shall be ONE God, ONE government, ONE religion. . In the transfiguration vision, Peter, James and John saw Christ transformed into the GLORIFIED Christ, His face shining as the sun (Matthew 17:1-7), and with Him in the Kingdom, Moses and Elijah. These two, in the vision, represented the offices of church and state.
Both Moses and Elijah, in their human lifetime, qualified for chief positions in church and state, respectively, next under Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-Moses over all national GOVERNMENTS Elijah over church. It was Elijah who restored KNOWLEDGE of the worship of the true God.
All these men, who were CALLED to special missions by God during their physical human life, were prepared and qualified for these positions in the KINGDOM.
Actually, the preaching of the gospel and spread of religion IN THE KINGDOM will be primarily RELIGIOUS EDUCATION-since ALL shall be called, and the decision will be made individually by each person. It is significant that Elijah had founded THREE COLLEGES (II Kings 2:3, 5; 4:38) at Bethel, Jericho and Gilgal, teaching God's TRUTH in a world corrupted by false paganized education.
The one original true Church of God is UNIQUE in the knowledge that THIS WORLD HAS BEEN CUT OFF FROM GOD-its inhabitants who were uncalled are therefore NOT BEING JUDGED-yet! They have been neither "saved" nor "lost." But THEY HAVE BEEN DECEIVED!
As Jesus said, many would go out claiming to represent Him, proclaiming that Jesus was the CHRIST (Messiah)-yet DECEIVING THE MANY! (Matthew 24:4-5, II Corinthians 11:13-15).
Millions have been deceived into a FALSE SALVATION. What about all these sincere people-are they "LOST"? Of course not. But neither did they receive the "salvation" they were deceived into expecting. They simply were not-YET-judged. THEY SHALL BE-all who have died-in the resurrection of the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-13).
Salvation shall surely come to all - who once the TRUTH is revealed, and they are undeceived-are as willing as they thought they were in the false salvation they were deceived into accepting! This will include many whom our readers may have supposed were "lost." It is a GLORIOUS HOPE!
Now notice Matthew 25:31 on.
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." Combine that with other scriptures already covered. When Jesus comes in His glory, He will come as He went to heaven- in clouds. The dead shall rise first- in a resurrection-then the living in Christ shall be instantly changed to spirit immortality and be caught up in the air with them to meet the descending Lord. His feet shall stand that same day on the Mount of Olives. The resurrected and changed saints shall be continually from then with Him. Then He shall sit on the throne of His glory-in the City of David, Jerusalem.
All the holy angels will be with Him. In Revelation 12 we find that a third of the angels followed Lucifer into rebellion. But what about all these HOLY angels-the other two-thirds? I have said angel creation was not COMPLETE until by their own decision CHARACTER-either righteous or evil-had been formed in them. What about this two-thirds of angels, here called HOLY! God does not reveal HOW their character, and therefore their creation, was completed. But, in some manner not revealed, it is apparent the two-thirds had formed holy and righteous character, for here they are called HOLY angels, and in many parts of both Old and New Testaments they are described as definitely holy and in God's service.
Now continue, Matthew 25:32, "And before him [Christ] shall be gathered all nations…" This can refer only to the people in all nations still remaining alive at that time-all MORTAL, human, flesh-and-blood people.
Remember, many who had been called and truly converted will then be sitting with Christ in His throne at Jerusalem. Continue: "... and he shall separate them one from another ... " Remember the dead and living IN Christ had already been separated and risen to meet Christ in the air. This separation refers to the still-living MORTALS-who had not previously been called-who had, up to now, been cut off from God and from salvation. But now, with Christ on the throne and Satan gone, ALL are spiritually called! Now continue, still verse 32: "... as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then [verse 34] shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
All then still living will be called. Those who decide for God's Kingdom-with Satan then out of the way-will INHERIT the Kingdom of God-be BORN INTO IT!
"Then [verse 41] shall he say also unto them on his left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels [demons]." That fire is described in 2 Peter 3:10-12-the face of the earth becoming a molten inferno-burning up the mortal incorrigible. However, this fire will not take place until the end of the millennium.
Verse 46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." That "everlasting punishment" has been construed by the deceived to mean "everlasting punishing-but it is punishment-and the wages of sin is DEATH (Romans 6:23). True, some few scriptures speak of the fire NOT BEING QUENCHED-and the deceived misconstrue this to mean an eternally burning hell. Often I have illustrated this before audiences by placing a small piece of paper in a metal pan and lighting it. I say to the audience,
"Now watch! This fire shall not be quenched!" Then I put the remaining ash on the floor, step on it and quote Malachi 4:3, "... they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet…"
WHAT A FABULOUS POTENTIAL lies ahead of all humans willing to BELIEVE when called!
WHAT WONDERFUL TRUTH God has revealed to His one and only true original Church, small and persecuted, yet vigorously ALIVE with God's WONDERFUL TRUTH!