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Why This Gap in the Bible?
By Herbert W. Armstrong
THE HOLY BIBLE COVERS three main categories: history, prophecy and instruction from God.
Through history and prophecy the Bible covers all God intended to cover of earth and world events from the creation, on into the future and the eternity beyond. But, in a sense, this Book of God - His revealed knowledge for His people - leaves a most conspicuous GAP in the progress of world events.
For example, in its history, the Bible gives no history of anything concerning such populous nations as China, India and Japan. None regarding Russia except in yet future prophecy. History is concerned to the one nation Israel, and the few other nations only as they were involved in contact with Israel.
Now consider the CHURCH. There are four whole books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, devoted to the biographical sketch of the human life of Jesus, and a history of the first early years of the Church. That's all except the symbolic prophecy of Jesus in Revelation 2 and 3 of the seven eras of the Church. But even here, many shout and scream that these two chapters are NOT a history of successive eras of the Church, but an account of the seven phases of the Church AS A WHOLE, without regard to the time sequence of periods or eras. Actually, these two chapters are depicting BOTH. For all eras have had in them the characteristics of these seven churches, with the Ephesian condition dominating at first, the Laodicean last.
But otherwise, there is nothing in the Bible revealing conditions in the Church from the first century to now.
One simply cannot understand this - nor the Bible message - unless one knows the great PURPOSE of God and His MASTER PLAN for its accomplishment. We must remember that the GOVERNMENT OF GOD was once set on the earth. That was before the creation of MAN! God set His GOVERNMENT on earth over angels who first inhabited the earth! Few indeed know that. God set a super archangel, the great cherub LUCIFER, ON EARTH'S THRONE! But Lucifer rebelled, and led his angels into rebellion - REJECTING THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD! That is extremely important to know - and keep firmly in mind - yet the so-called Christianity does not know, and refuses to know!
After this, God decided to REPRODUCE HIMSELF - to create physical human MAN from the dust of the earth, and to CONVERT MANKIND into the GOD-KIND!
God's GREAT purpose was dual: 1) to REPRODUCE HIMSELF into billions of GOD BEINGS, and 2) through these converted GOD BEINGS, RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to the earth. Then, after that, to finish the creation in perfected finished form of the entire, vast, endless UNIVERSE! And, through MAN converted into GOD!
But we must remember, OVERALL, God Himself is supreme, holy, righteous, perfect SPIRITUAL CHARACTER!
The angels were put here to develop that CHARACTER. That is the most important thing God can create. That is something even God cannot all by Himself alone create by fiat. It requires the DECISION and the WILL of the created entity - whether angel or man - to want and seek that character, which can be imparted only from God and through His Holy Spirit. Angels (Lucifer's third of them) were NOT WILLING! So God rejected them. They became demons. Lucifer became Satan the devil.
Then God created the first humans - Adam and Eve. God revealed to them His GOVERNMENT, founded on His SPIRITUAL LAW. All government is based on a foundational LAW or constitution. God told them the penalty for transgression would be certain DEATH. But God also made available to them His Holy Spirit - and through it His holy, righteous CHARACTER and the gift of eternal life, through which they might be BORN AGAIN as very GOD BEINGS - born children of GOD.
Yet Lucifer, now become SATAN, was still on that throne - and by God's decree MUST REMAIN there UNTIL Satan's Successor sits on that throne, having RESTORED THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD (Acts 3:19-21).
But Adam and Eve made the decision for all MANKIND - since they were the progenitors of the human race - ALL humans are their children. They REJECTED the government of God, the LAW and way of life of God, made the decision to follow the way of "GET" that Satan had chosen.
God's LAW, the foundation of GODLY CHARACTER, of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, is outflowing LOVE. It is a WAY OF LIFE! It is the way of love to God first of all, then love to fellow man by serving, helping, giving, sharing, cooperating.
Adam and Eve chose to decide for themselves instead of believing GOD'S LAW. And they chose the OPPOSITE way of life - that of SELF-love, vanity, coveting, envy and jealousy, hostile competition, strife, violence, war - rebellion against authority.
I simplify these two ways - God's LAW and its transgression - by the terms "GIVE" and "GET."
When Adam chose, for all his children who compose THE WORLD, the way of "GET" - rejecting God and the government of God, HE CUT ALL HIS FAMILY OF HUMANITY OFF FROM GOD!
And God made his decision binding UNTIL the GOVERNMENT OF GOD is RESTORED to earth - EXCEPT the infinitesimally FEW God purposed to specially call into His service prior to that time.
THEREFORE THE WORLD AS A WHOLE HAS BEEN CUT OFF FROM ANY CONTACT with - or even knowledge of - GOD for the past 6,000 years! BEAR THAT CAREFULLY IN MIND!
Now God designed a MASTER PLAN for working out His PURPOSE here on earth.
As Adam was wholly physical, God started the PHYSICAL creation of MAN through Adam. But God purposes to convert mankind into GOD BEINGS WITH THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL CHARACTER OF GOD? So this SPIRITUAL CREATION OF MAN began with the SECOND ADAM - Jesus Christ!
Meanwhile God's MASTER PLAN called for a very FEW - the prophets of the Old Testament, and the CHURCH of the New Testament - to be called to receive His HOLY SPIRIT, and to be JUDGED FOR ETERNAL LIFE OR DEATH in this present life.
God also called and chose the ancient nation ISRAEL, descended from Abraham, to be His NATION. To them, He made Himself KNOWN - He gave His spiritual LAW - also temporary sacrificial and ceremonial religious laws, as well as national civil statutes and judgments for their nation. BUT GOD DID NOT GIVE THE NATION ISRAEL His HOLY SPIRIT. He PROVED, through them, that even with the KNOWLEDGE of GOD and of His BASIC SPIRITUAL LAW, humans without the addition of God's Holy Spirit would not LIVE according to God's spiritual law of "GIVE." God made His Holy Spirit, and eternal life, available only to Israel's prophets. They and they only, of all on earth in those years, were being then JUDGED as to final salvation or final DEATH!
For ALL OTHERS - the nation Israel, and all other people on earth - God's MASTER PLAN called for their JUDGMENT to come in a later life - after the thousand-year soon-coming reign with CHRIST in a peaceful and happy WORLD TOMORROW. In that thousand years, CHRIST WILL RULE ALL NATIONS. Those truly converted and "saved" of the CHURCH will be kings and priests, ruling with and under Christ, serving in the work of converting with salvation to eternal life all others then still living on earth.
As for ALL OTHERS - ancient Israel, those of ancient nations such as China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Africa - they have not been JUDGED during their earthly life. Remember, it is appointed to man "once to die, and after that the judgment." All who ever lived will be resurrected - those already judged righteous through repentance, belief, Christ's sacrifice and having lived GOD'S WAY as led by the Holy Spirit, to eternal life as spirit-composed GOD BEINGS - all the unjudged to mortal, flesh-and-blood life again.
WHY did God call Old Testament prophets and His CHURCH? Why may they receive salvation - that is, be JUDGED as righteous NOW - and WHY are all the billions of others UNcalled and UNJudged now? That is what a so-called Christianity simply does not understand!
It is because SATAN is still on that throne. Adam rejected God for all his family - for MANKIND! Adam FAILED TO QUALIFY to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD! That left SATAN on the throne of the whole earth! Satan is the most powerful being next to God. He is the "prince of the power of the air." He has been able to completely SWAY, Influence, cause humanity to live his satanic way of "GET" - to transgress God's holy spiritual LAW - to live in SIN!
If Adam could not resist him - if Satan was able to overthrow the first created man - created as a PERFECT physical and mental specimen of mankind - most assuredly none of Adam's children or descendants, inheriting Adam's moral, mental and physical weaknesses, could have overcome the superpowerful, wily, cunning Satan!
This is a basic TRUTH traditional Christian teaching is in total ignorance of! So God's perfect MASTER PLAN for His wonderful PURPOSE provided for leaving all MANKIND - except those specially called - UNJudged now. It provided for their resurrection at a LATER TIME WHEN the GOVERNMENT OF GOD shall have been restored, and SATAN shall have been removed from that throne and from the whole earth.
Since no ordinary human son of Adam, with Adamic heredity, could overpower Satan - could QUALIFY to RESTORE the government of God - God provided to send, IN DUE TIME, His own Son Jesus Christ to conquer Satan and to QUALIFY to sit on that throne, RULING ALL NATIONS - with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
Jesus was born a son of Adam through His virgin mother Mary. But Jesus was begotten NOT by a son of Adam, but by GOD THE FATHER HIMSELF! Jesus was GOD as well as MAN. Jesus actually was Lucifer's Creator - for God created all things BY Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9).
Jesus, and He alone, was able to live, being HUMAN as well as God, in PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS. JESUS had the supreme, high, spiritual CHARACTER of God from BIRTH! No other human ever did! Jesus resisted and conquered SATAN! Jesus QUALIFIED TO RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. By His perfect life, always tempted even as we - but NEVER once sinning as we - He lived WITHOUT EVER BRINGING ON HlMSELF THE PENALTY OF SIN, WHICH IS DEATH!
Get this thoroughly in mind! Jesus did not have to die FOR His OWN SINS - for there were none! HE DID NOT HAVE TO DIE - PERIOD! Yet He did submit to legal action by false human government of the Roman empire. He did submit to false punishment through false allegations of His own people who betrayed Him! WHY? NEVER would He have done this under normal circumstances, just as His Church did not submit to GOVERNMENT persecution by false allegations from OUR OWN FALSE BRETHREN! But ONE THING WAS DIFFERENT in Jesus' case - HE SUBMITTED IN ORDER TO TAKE YOUR SINS AND MINE ON HIMSELF AND PAY OUR PENALTY IN OUR STEAD! He did it ONLY FOR us!
I have shown you WHY God left the world UNJudged UNTIL after the government of God is restored to earth and Satan is BANISHED from the earth.
But WHY, then, did He give His Holy Spirit to the prophets, and WHY did He call the CHURCH and give those of us CALLED out of the world His Holy Spirit and opportunity for eternal salvation NOW?
Because when Christ returns to sit on earth's throne, and RESTORE the government of God, Christ will need an ORGANIZED GOVERNMENT with many in many positions of government responsibility under Him to administer that government to the millions and billions of people over which it shall rule.
We of the Church were not called for special favors. Not just to "GET" salvation before the others. But, in order to sit with Christ on His throne right here in Jerusalem (where this is being written),, we need 1) to turn from Satan's way of "GET" - to qualify to sit on that throne - and 2) to develop in this human life the SPIRITUAL CHARACTER of God - for to rule in the KINGDOM OF GOD we must have acquired the spiritual CHARACTER of God and become immortal GOD BEINGS.
God is calling us NOW - WHY? For the sake of the billions NOT yet called - so we may by overcoming Satan's way and growing in grace and developing GOD'S CHARACTER, become GOD BEINGS in order to HELP those other now unjudged humans to find the righteous way of life, and themselves to be given eternal salvation and eternal life IN PEACE, HAPPINESS AND JOY!
How PERFECT! How WONDERFUL! - are GOD'S WAYS - His grand PURPOSE and MASTER PLAN!
So finally, WHY does the BIBLE not record the history of all the gentile pagan nations? WHY this gap in the Bible?
The Bible is the revealed knowledge of God. Its PURPOSE is to reveal GOD'S PURPOSE, His master plan and its working out.
And that has involved Adam, the Flood, ancient Abraham and his family, national ISRAEL and Israel's prophets and His Church.
For this purpose, Church history, except what is revealed, was not necessary for God's purpose in His revealed knowledge. God has revealed all that is pertinent to His PURPOSE AND HIS MASTER PLAN!
Most biblical prophecies relate to our time now, on through the next very few years to the Second Coming of Christ. Church history from mid-first century until how is a GAP - unmentioned - and it was not pertinent to the purpose of the Bible!