Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Herbert W. Armstrong

herbert w armstrong

... and his impact on the millions of lives he touched is undeniable. When he died, Herbert W. Armstrong left an extraordinary legacy. He was the founder and chancellor of three colleges. He was the ...


Sunday, November 27, 2005

We are God-beings in the making!

Converted from carnal to divine? Transformed from fallen human to heavenly being? What exactly is the end result of our conversion process? What are we literally destined to become?

We are God-beings in the making!

EU Wants Israel to Divide Jerusalem

EU Wants Israel to Divide Jerusalem
15:51 Nov 27, '05 / 25 Cheshvan 5766
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The EU has accused Israel of a de facto annexation of eastern Jerusalem. An EU conference in Barcelona is discussing the issue, with the PA calling for dividing Israel's capital.

Israel will fall for Europe's BIG LIE of "peace and security" and permit them to station "peacekeeping" troops around Jerusalem. Such EU wolves in sheep's clothing will brutally betray both Arabs and Jews, expel Jews from the Jewish Quarter and seize the Temple Mount for their pagan pope and Europe's imminent wannabe divine emperor: believe it or not!

Israel will not be able to say that they weren't warned. The EU jackboot will stomp Israel and occupy Jerusalem!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Where are Enoch and Elijah?

Where Are Enoch and Elijah?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Enoch was translated that he should not see death. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Yet the Bible reveals they are not in heaven today! Here's the astounding truth.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Is All Animal Flesh GOOD FOOD?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Were all animals made clean? What about the unclean animals shown to Peter in a vision? Here is a straightforward Bible answer, giving the New Testament teaching. This subject is important to your health and well-being!

Is All Animal Flesh GOOD FOOD?

AFTER THOUSANDS of years of human experience on earth, it seems there still is nothing people know less about than food.

Observe a little baby. It seems to think that anything and everything its little chubby hands can get into its mouth is good to eat and everything baby gets his hands on goes straight to his mouth! How often must young parents take things away, and try to teach the lovely little bundle of humanity that everything one's hands can touch is not necessarily good for the digestion!

We're Just Grown-up Babies!

Well, one might wonder if any of us has grown up! Most of us adults still seem to think that anything we can stuff in our mouths is good for food. About the only difference between us and the baby is that baby puts into his mouth whatever looks good, while we employ the sense of taste in deciding what goes into our mouths.

Your stomach is your fuel tank. Your automobile's tank is its stomach. You wouldn't think of pouring just any old thing that will pour into the "stomach" of your car. You know that your car was not made to consume and "digest" fuel oil, water, milk, or kerosene.

Yes, we are very careful what we "feed" our automobile--and totally careless and indifferent about what we feed ourselves and our children!

What happens to the food you eat? In the stomach the digestive process takes place. And, once digested--if you have eaten fit and digestible food--a portion of the essential minerals and vitamins--the life-giving properties in the food--filter through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream to replenish and build up decaying cells, to provide energy, body warmth, good health.

Your body is wonderfully made! It is the most wonderful mechanism in the world.

But, just as you must use the right kind of gasoline in the gas tank and the right kind of oils and greases in the other parts of your car or impair its performance, so you must put the right kind of food into the most delicate mechanism of all, your body.

If you tried to oil a fine watch with axle grease you wouldn't expect the watch to keep good time.

And when you put into your stomach all kinds of foul things which the Great Architect who designed your human mechanism never intended, you foul up your body and bring on sickness, disease, aches, pains, a dulled and clogged-up mind, inefficiency and inability--and you commit suicide on the installment plan by actually shortening your life!

The God who designed, created, and made your body has revealed some essential basic knowledge about which meats will keep that body functioning in tip-top shape. Why does humanity refuse His instructions?

You Are Eating Poison!

You don't eat every plant that grows out of the ground. Some things that grow are poison, not food.

But did you know there are many kinds of poisons? Potassium cyanide will kill you very quickly. Some poisons will result in death within a few hours or a few days. But very few seem to know there are other poisons people mistakenly eat as foods which result in premature death after continuous usage for, say, ten, or thirty, or fifty years.

The only difference between these poisons we falsely call foods and potassium cyanide is the relative number of minutes, hours, or years it takes to accomplish its mission.

Just as every plant that God caused to grow out of the ground was not designed for food, so it is with animal flesh. Some will say, "Well, if swine's flesh isn't supposed to be eaten as food, what did God create swine for?" You might as well ask, what did God create weeds and poison vines for? Everything may have been created for a purpose, but not everything for the purpose of eating.

Now some believe that in the original creation--in the Garden of Eden God did not intend any animal flesh to be eaten. God's revelation on that point is vague, and many have argued it both ways. However, God has clearly revealed that certain animal meats may be eaten as food now, in this age, and Jesus who came to set us an example did eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, and so do I.

What the Great Architect of Your Stomach Instructs

When the first written revelation of God came to man through Moses, God instructed man as to which kinds of animal flesh man ought or ought not to eat. You will find this list in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

This is a basic law--a revelation from God to man about which kinds of flesh will properly digest and assimilate in the human system, and which will not. It is not a part of God's great spiritual law, summed up in the Ten Commandments. Neither is it part of the ceremonial, ritualistic, or sacrificial laws later abolished at the crucifixion of Christ.

It is necessary to recognize that God is the Author of all law, and there are countless laws in motion. There are laws of physics and chemistry. You know of the law of gravity. There is the great immutable spiritual law to regulate man's relationship to God and to fellow men--the law of love--the Ten Commandments. God gave His nation Israel civil statutes and judgments--national laws for the conduct of the national government. Israel was His Church, under the Old Covenant. And for the dispensation then present God gave Israel rituals and ceremonial laws for the conduct of religious services, laws relating to typical and temporary sacrifices, meat and drink offerings--temporary substitutes for Christ and the Holy Spirit. Those laws, of course, ended when the Reality came.

And then, we must realize, there are physical laws working in our bodies, regulating our health. This meat question has to do with these laws.

I know of men who make a hobby of bitterly accusing others of sin for eating pork, oysters, and clams.

Let us get this straight and clear!

We usually speak of sin in its spiritual aspect. That is the aspect in which it is considered in the New Testament. The Bible definition of it is this: "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

The penalty for violation of that spiritual law is death--not the first or physical death, but the second, of spiritual and eternal death in the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14).

Now the eating of wrong food is not a transgression of this spiritual law, and is not a sin. To violate the physical laws of health often brings the penalty of disease, disability, pain, sickness, and sometimes the first death. It is not necessarily spiritual sin.

That is what Jesus made plain, as recorded in Mark 7:14-23. Here Jesus was speaking of spiritual defilement, not physical health. Not that which enters into a man's mouth, but the evil that comes out of his heart, defiles the man spiritually. What defiles the man--and he is speaking of defiling the man, not injuring the body--is transgression of the Ten Commandments--evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, blasphemy (verses 21-22). These things have nothing to do with the physical laws of health. He was making a point concerning spiritual defilements, not physical health.

Specifically, on the physical level, He was referring to a possible particle of dirt which might get on the food from dirty and unwashed hands--He was not here speaking of clean or unclean meats at all.

No Change in Structure of Animal Flesh at Cross

The animals whose flesh properly digests and nourishes the human body were so made in the original creation. No change was ever made in the structure of men's bodies at the time of the flood, or at the time of Jesus' death, or any other time. Neither did God make some sudden change in the structure of animal flesh, so that what once was unfit for food will now digest properly and supply the body's needs.

The unclean animals were unclean before the flood.

Notice, before the flood, Noah took into the ark of the clean animals, to be eaten for food, by sevens; but of the unclean, of which he was not to eat during the flood, by two's--only enough to preserve their lives. The inference is inescapable that the additional clean animals were taken aboard to be eaten for food while Noah and his family were in the ark.

Prior to the flood, clean animals were usually offered as sacrifices. Those who ate the sacrifices often partook of the animal flesh, but vegetables were the main constituent of diet. After the flood God gave Noah not merely the green herb--vegetables--as the major part of diet, but of every type of living creature--clean animals, clean fish, clean fowl (Genesis 9:3 and Leviticus 11).

Genesis 9:3 does not say that every living, breathing creature is clean and fit to eat, but that "as the green herb have I given you all things." God did not give poisonous herbs as food. He gave man the healthful herbs. Man can determine which herbs are healthful, but man cannot by himself determine which flesh foods are harmful. That is why God had to determine for us in His Word which meats are clean. Since the flood every moving clean, healthful, nonpoisonous type of animal life is good for food--just as God gave us the healthful, nonpoisonous herbs.

This does not give us permission to do as we please!

Not Ceremonial Law

The instruction in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, then, is not some ritualistic regulation for the Mosaic period only. Why do so many people have the idea that God is some great unfair monster who imposes foolish hardships on His people? Whatever God instructs us is for our good, not some nonsensical restriction for one period to be changed around some different way for other people of a different period.

Now for some specific instruction concerning mammals: "These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox [beef], the sheep [lamb], and the goat, the hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg [antelope], and the wild ox, and the chamois [mountain sheep]. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. And the swine [hogs], because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh (Deut. 14:4-8).

Horsemeat is not fit for humans because horses not only do not have divided hoofs, but they also do not chew the cud.

Similarly, swine flesh--pork, ham, bacon, sausage, rabbit meat, etc.--is simply not fit for human consumption. The same is true with oysters, lobsters, clams, crabs, shrimp, crawfish, dogs, snakes, rats, and skunks.

The only seafood fit for food are fish having both fins and scales. Halibut has both and is clean. Catfish is a skin fish--unclean.

It's all a matter of what we have become accustomed to doing. It seems strange and horrifying to hear that some Orientals eat mice as a delicacy. But many Orientals are horrified to hear that we eat nasty, slimy, filthy oysters! But some human grown-ups, like little babies, will eat anything they can get their hands on and stuff into their mouths.

At so-called "quality" grocery stores in large towns and cities, specializing in rare delicacies, you can purchase "delicious" canned rattlesnake--if you care for it.

So far as I am concerned, you may have my portion if you wish to try it. I do not care to eat it for the same reason I do not eat slugs, skunks, cats, or eels-- for the same reason I do not eat poison ivy or weeds. Yes, and for the same reason I do not put fuel oil mixed with sand in the gas tank of my car!

The day will come when we will at last learn that eating greasy hog flesh and other unfit "foods" has been a prime cause of cancer and other deadly diseases.

What About Peter's Vision?

But what about the sheet containing unclean animals which was shown to the Apostle Peter in a vision (Acts 10)? Did this vision change the entire composition of all unclean animals, or of the human apparatus, so that these unfit things suddenly became nourishing food?

Not at all!

The purpose of this vision was NOT to change God's food and health laws which have been inexorably in motion from the beginning, but to show Peter "that I should not call any man common or unclean" (Acts 10:28). Why? Because the Jewish people had been taught to regard Gentiles like unclean animals--to have nothing to do with them.

It is time you fully understood this vision. It may well affect your health, happiness and eternal life. Open your Bible to the tenth chapter of Acts.

Notice that Cornelius was an Italian soldier--an uncircumcised Italian--a Gentile by race. To the strict Jews, he was to be regarded as an unclean man. But God looks on the heart. Cornelius gave "much alms" to the Jewish people (verse 2). God remembered his alms and revealed in a vision that he should send some of his servants to Joppa to contact Peter.

In verse 9, we find Peter was a man of prayer. While praying on a housetop, Peter became very hungry. Just before noon Peter fell into a trance. In vision he saw heaven opened and a sheet was let down to the earth. This sheet contained "all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air" (verse 12).

Notice this carefully, This sheet contained every type of animal imaginable, including wild animals--lions, tigers, hyenas, monkeys, skunks. And creeping things--snakes and lizards, vermin and spiders. And fowl like vultures and crows and eagles!

Peter was shocked by the sight of all these creatures. Then, of all things, God commanded Peter to kill and eat of these creatures! What did Peter say?

"Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean" (Acts 10:14).

Peter had lived day and night with Jesus for over three years. He certainly understood from Jesus' teaching that there were some creatures which are simply not fit for human food. That is why when this vision came ten years after the rituals and ceremonies were abolished at the cross, Peter refused to eat. He knew that God's law of clean and unclean meats was still in full force and effect!

Now notice what the voice from heaven told Peter when he refused to eat: "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (verse 15). It does not say that what God cleansed were these revolting unclean reptiles, fowl and wild animals. It does say that what God cleansed is not to be called common! But what did God cleanse?

What God Really Cleansed

In this vision which Peter saw, the voice from heaven spoke three times, then the sheet was received up into heaven again. And what did Peter do? "Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean" (verse 17). He did not immediately assume like so many people that God suddenly changed His laws ten years after the crucifixion!

Now notice what happened "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, 'Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I hay sent them'" (verses 19-20).

The voice from heaven in the vision spoke unto Peter three times because three Gentile men--two servants and a soldier (verse 7)--were at that moment on their way see him. Peter went with them to see Cornelius. This is when Peter understood the vision! He confessed in verse 28 "...God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."

"What God cleansed" were not those unclean animals, but those Gentile men, formerly regarded unclean by the Jewish people.

Those unclean animals in Peter's vision were used to symbolize the Gentile races of men. The Jewish people had been forbidden to associate with them because of their abominable practices. But now the wall of spiritual separation had been broken down and salvation was extended to the Gentiles. Peter finally realized that this was the meaning of the vision and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (verses 34-35).

Yes, to be accepted with God, we must fear Him and work righteousness. What is righteousness? "...All thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalm 119:172). And among those commandments are the laws which tell us which kinds of flesh are clean and which are unclean!

Would You Eat Skunks and Rats?

But suppose God had been trying tell Peter--and us--that he should eat all the things contained in the sheet that was let down in vision. Would you eat those "creeping things"--lizards, snakes, spiders? Would you eat skunks and hyenas? Of course you wouldn't! Why? Because you have your own law of what you think is clean and unclean!

Common sense tells us that God did not intend for us to eat every creature. But we just aren't willing to let our Creator tell us which meats will give us lasting health and strength, and which ones are injurious to our bodies, and will eventually bring on more sickness and disease. It is time we let God tell us what is clean and what is unclean instead of using our faulty human reason!

Some people, however, still want to argue with God. One text they will bring up is found in I Timothy 4:1-5. Read it carefully.

Notice that these "doctrines of devils" include "commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving...." By whom? "Of them which believe and know the truth." What is truth? Christ said, "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). Then the Bible itself reveals the truth concerning which meats are good for food. We should not refuse to eat any food which, according to truth, God created to be eaten with thanksgiving. But this does not mean that all meats are healthful and fit for the human body.

Notice that the false doctrine is commanding to abstain from meats which are thankfully received by those who believe and know the truth--who know God's Word. But God's Word--the Holy Bible--tells us that there are some meats which are "unclean," and are not to be received with thanksgiving!

Now consider what verses 4 and 5 tell us: "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. "What does it mean to be SANCTIFIED by the Word of God and prayer?

"Sanctify" is a word meaning to make holy, or set apart for a right use or purpose--to set apart as fit for human food.

Now which meats has God sanctified for human food? The only passages in all the Bible showing which meats God sanctified are found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

Here you find that it is the "clean"--healthful--meats which are good for food. These are the only meats that can be received with thanksgiving and prayer!

There is not a single scripture showing that God ever set apart as fit for food any unclean creatures--snails, oysters, clams, snakes, octopuses, eels, horses, rabbits, or swine! Yet people eat these creatures without realizing the harm they are doing to their bodies.

Paul Instructs Vegetarians

Paul's letter to the saints at Rome is often quoted as supposed proof that any kind of flesh food is good to eat. But is this what Paul really taught?

Turn to the beginning of the 14th chapter of Romans. Notice what the apostle is writing: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye"--don't dispute with him and sit in judgment on him because of his weak understanding of the faith, Paul continues. "For one believeth that he may eat all things, another who is weak, eateth herbs [vegetables only]" (Romans 14:1-2).

Of whom is Paul writing? Of those who were vegetarians, as well as those who believed in eating both flesh foods and vegetables.

Paul was confronted with the same problem that we encounter today in carrying the Gospel to the world. You would be surprised at the number of people who do not eat meat or even any animal products--milk, butter, cheese, eggs. Some have meatless days or days on which they will eat fish only. These are all people who, because they are weak in the faith, abstain from those clean meats which God originally sanctified or set apart in His Word for man's physical nourishment.

The question confronting Paul was not that Christians at Rome contended that all unclean animals had now been cleansed by God--the common false assumption of today--but the real issue, according to verse two, was over the vegetarian belief held by some that no meats whatsoever should be eaten.

Paul was straightening out the brethren on this matter, telling them that none of those clean meats which had been created by God to be received with thanksgiving should be refused. He pointed out to them, however, that it would be wrong for the vegetarians to eat meat if they had doubts about it, thereby defiling their weak consciences. For he wrote, "...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:22-23).

We must follow what God has revealed to us to be right according to the Word of God. This does not mean that our consciences always tell us what is right--not at all. We have to continually study to learn what is right and wrong. But God thinks more highly of a vegetarian who might sincerely and conscientiously deny himself the clean meats, because he does not know the full truth, than He does a person who would do the right thing according to the letter, but who really believes in his heart that he is doing wrong.

So "to him"--the vegetarian--"that esteemeth anything to be common, to "him"--the vegetarian--"it is common." That is, it seems so to him. But it is not common in fact, nor to us, for we know that all clean meats are good for food. That is why Paul wrote: "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing common of itself" (Rom. 14:14).

Notice that in this verse Paul used, according to the margin of the King James Version, the Greek word for "common," not the Greek word for "unclean." Why?

"Common" Does Not Mean "Unclean"

Many have carelessly assumed that Paul is writing about unclean meats in this 14th chapter of Romans. He is not! He is writing about the difference between vegetarians who regard that clean meats are common, and those who know that clean meats are of themselves not common.

In the Greek there are two different words used which are often carelessly translated "unclean" or "common." Notice that in Acts 10:14 both of these words are used. The Bible does not repeat itself foolishly. Therefore these two words mean entirely different things.

The Greek word for "unclean" is akarthatos. It means "unclean and impure by nature." The Greek word for "common" is koinos, which means "polluted through external misuse." (See any of the Lexicons.)

Paul used the Greek word for "common" throughout Romans 14:14. He did not use the Greek word for "unclean." In other words, Paul knew that no clean foods which God has sanctified are by nature polluted, but vegetarians who were weak in the faith--weak in understanding God's Word--thought meats should not be eaten. To such a vegetarian--"to him," not to others--that meat seemed to be polluted. His conscience defiled the meat for him; he would become upset if he were to eat meat. But that does not make the meat polluted in fact or for everybody else.

Notice Paul's conclusion: "For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure"--that is, all things that God sanctified and gave us to eat are clean --but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth..." (verses 20 and 21).

Paul is not recommending eating unclean meats! Quite the opposite. He is recommending not eating any meat at all in the presence of a vegetarian brother if he is offended!

When Is "Clean" Meat "Common"?

The only circumstance in which clean meats are ever common or polluted is when the clean animals have died of themselves or when the blood has not been properly drained. That is why the apostles and elders who gathered at Jerusalem forbade the use of meat from strangled animals and meat with the blood in it (Acts 15:20). This is New Testament teaching for today!

Such animal flesh was called "common" because it could be given to strangers or aliens in Old Testament times if those people wanted to eat it. They were the common and polluted people--the Gentiles--not the chosen and clean people, Israel (Deut. 14:21).

In New Testament times, clean meat offered to idols was prohibited if it had been polluted by strangulation or if the blood were remaining in it. Otherwise the meat was permitted to be eaten if it did not offend anyone.

Paul devoted the entire 8th and 10th chapters of I Corinthians to instructions on not raising the question of meats offered to idols. "But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake" (I Cor. 10:28). In other words, if clean meats offered to idols were not polluted, you could eat of them unless it offended someone. Under those circumstances the meat became common, not to you, but to the other person who raised the question about idols. Notice:

"Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other" (verse 29).

That is why Paul said in Romans, "But to him that esteemeth any thing to be common [margin], to him it is common" (Rom. 14:14).

Prophecy for the Future

What does the Bible say the people would be doing today? Notice: They that eat "swine's flesh"--that is what most people are doing today--"and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together"--in the wrath of God--"saith the Lord" (Isa. 66:17).

This is the fate of those who lust after the foods which God forbids us to eat because those meats will harm us. This is the fate of those "whose God is their belly" (Phil. 3:19).

Is it any wonder today, that with all our scientific knowledge, we have more doctor bills, more sickness than ever before in the history of the world? It is time we returned to God and began to obey His laws. He is our Creator. He made us. He knows what our bodies were made to utilize as good, healthful foods. He set the laws in motion regulating clean and unclean meats. It is time we began to obey them as Jesus and the apostles did!

God forbids also the eating of animal fat, or blood (Lev. 3:17; 7:23-27). Butter, olive oil, and some vegetable oils and shortenings are acceptable, but animal fat should be cut off before eating meat. Cheaper hamburger is not good because it is mixed with much fat. Lard should never be used. These things will wreck any stomach in time.

What About Fish and Fowl?

The Bible itself defines which sea life is good food: "Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas and in the rivers, them shall ye eat (Lev. 11:9). In verse 10 it is further clarified: "And all that have no fins AND scales in the seas...they shall be an abomination unto you."

"But which fish have both fins and scales?" is the question asked by many readers.

First, let us name the commonly known unclean fish--these art scaleless fish--which are not fit for food: catfish, eels, paddlefish, sculpins, sticklebacks, sturgeons and swordfish. These fish do not have true scales. Together with these creatures are other forms of sea life unfit for human consumption: abalone, clams, crabs, lobsters, oysters, scallops, shrimp, whale.

A more complete list of fish fit for human consumption is available on the next page. The most important clean fish--having both scales and fins are: albacore, anchovy, barracuda, bass, blackfish, bowfin, buffalo, carp, characin, cod, croaker, darter, flounder, gaby, grayling, haddock, halibut, herring, jack, mackerel, minnow, mooneye, mullet, needlefish, perch, pike, salmon, sardine, shad, silverside, smelt, snapper, sole, sucker, sunfish, surf fish, tarpon, trout, tuna, weakfish, whitefish. If any question arises, consult such books as Field Book of Fresh-Water Fishes by Ray Schrenkeisen which may be found in public libraries.

Some people, who are not competent to judge fish, have thought certain of these clean fish were without scales, but this is not true. One point to remember is that many fish have very small or minute scales near the head and the tail fin. In either case, such fish are clean and fit for food.

The second part of the question concerns fowl. Which birds are fit for human consumption? The answer is found in Leviticus 11:13-19 and Deuteronomy 14:11-20.

Each of these sections lists specific varieties of birds unfit for human consumption. No clean birds are listed. Only about two dozen unclean birds are listed out of thousands found the world over. These unclean birds illustrate the characteristics of all unclean birds. They fall into types each of which is unclean "after its kind." The question is, how do these unclean birds differ from those known to be clean or fit for human consumption? The characteristics of clean fowl are, of course, determined by the dove and the pigeon (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 1:14-17) which were anciently used for sacrifice.

By comparing the differences between these clean birds and those listed as unclean, we can arrive at the following six characteristics of clean birds: 1) they must not be birds of prey; 2) they catch food thrown to them in the air, but they bring it to the ground, where they divide it with their bills, if possible, before eating it; whereas unclean birds devour it in the air, or press it with one foot to the ground and tear it with their bills; 3) they must have an elongated middle front toe and a hind toe; 4) they must spread their toes so that three front toes are on one side of a perch and the hind toe on the other side; 5) they must have craws or crops; 6) they must have a gizzard with a double lining which can easily be separated. (Consult articles in Jewish Encyclopaedia under "Poultry," and "Clean and Unclean Animals.")

Clean birds have all these characteristics; unclean birds lack one or more of these characteristics. If a bird lacks any one of these characteristics, it is unclean.

Besides the pigeon and dove, the following birds are clean: chicken, pheasant, quail, partridge, grouse, turkey, all song birds, ducks and geese.

Unclean birds not listed specifically in the Bible are roadrunners, woodpeckers and the parrot family (which divide their toes so that two are on either side of a perch), aquatic and wading birds and gulls which have no crops or craws, no double lining of gizzards, and often no hind toe or no elongated middle front toe.

It may not be spiritual sin to eat biblically unclean foods. Yet, if one deliberately does it out of lust of appetite, that breaks the tenth command and becomes sin. But in all events wrong food injures the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It defiles the BODY if not the man, and if we continue to defile our bodies God will destroy us (I Cor. 3:17).

Mark 7 and Unclean Meats

The context is really the heart of the matter of what Jesus actually means by "purging all meats" (verse 19).

We take no exception to the view that after food has passed through the digestive tract, it has been purged or made clean. But how? The whole context of Mark 7 shows that it is a question of ceremonial cleanliness--not any law in the Old Testament, but instead the ritual purity which certain Palestinian sects had proclaimed on their authority.

The Greek word broma (if not taken to mean "filth" as some authorities suggest) means simply "that which is eaten" or "food," and includes all kinds of food (see Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich). To limit the words "purging all meats" to flesh foods is unjustified by the straightforward reading of the Greek.

The context (verses 1-14, 20-23) deals, not with biological uncleanness, but with uncleanness supposedly incurred from the omission of ritual washing (verse 15). The kind of food the disciples ate (verses 2, 5), is not referred to, but only the manner in which they ate (verses 2, 5, 15). The context throughout shows Christ dealing with the problem of the "commandment of God" versus the "tradition of men." Another point: there is no commandment in the Old Testament that forbids eating food with dirty hands. The Pharasaical tradition is in question here, not any of God's Word.

A General List of Biblically Clean Fish

Albacore -- (or Crevalle or Horse Mackerel or Jack) / Alewives -- (or Branch Herring or River Herring) / Anchovies / Black Drum / Bluebacks -- (or Glut Herrings) / Bluebill Sunfish / Bluefish / Blue Runner -- (or Hardtail) / Bonitos / Boston Bluefish -- (or Pollock) / Bowfin / Buffalofish / Butterfish / Carp / Chubs [Bloater / Long jaw / Blackfin] / Cod / Common Sucker -- (or Fresh Water Mullet or White Sucker) / Crappies -- (or Black or White Crappies) / Crevalle -- (see Albacore) / Flounder [Dab / Gray Sole / Lemon Sole / Summer Flounder / Winter Flounder / Yellow Tail] / Fresh Water Mullet -- (see Common Sucker) / Frost Fish -- (or Ice Fish or Smelt) / Groupers [Black Grouper / Gag / Nassau / Grouper / Red or Yellowfish Grouper] / Grunts [White Grunts / Yellow Grunts] / Gulf Pike -- (or Robalo, Snook, or Sergeant) / Haddock / Hake / Halibut / Hardtail -- (see Blue Runner) / Herring [Branch Herring (see Alewives) / Glut Herring (see Bluebacks) / Lake Herring / River Herring (see Alewives) / Sea Herring] / Horse Mackerel -- (see Albacore) / Ice Fish -- (see Frost Fish) / Jack -- (see Albacore) / Kingfish / Long Nose Sucker -- (or Northern Sucker or Red Striped Sucker) / Mackerel / Menhaden / Mullet / Muskeilunge -- (or Jacks) / Northern Sucker -- (see Long Nose Sucker) / Pickerels -- (or Jacks) / Pig Fish / Pikes -- (or Jacks) / Pilchards -- (or Sardines) / Pollack -- (see Boston Bluefish) / Pompano / Porgy -- (also known as Scup) / Red Drum -- (also known as Redfish) / Red Horse Sucker -- (also known as Redfin) / Red Snapper / Red Striped Sucker -- (see Long Nose Sucker) / Redfin -- (see Red Horse Sucker) / Redfish / Robalo -- (see Gulf Pike) / Salmon -- (Chum, Coho, King, Pink and Red) / Sardine -- (see Pilchards) / Scup -- (see Porgy) / Sea Bass / Sergeant Fish -- (see Gulf Pike) / Shad / Sheepshead / Silver Hake -- (or Whiting) / Silversides / Smelt -- (see Frost Fish) / Snook -- (see Gulf Pike) / Spanish Mackerel / Striped Bass / Trouts [Gray Sea Trouts (or Weakfish) / Lake Trout / Sand Sea Trout (or White Sea Trout) / Spotted Sea Trout] / Tunas [Albacore / Bluefin / Yellowfin / Skipjack] / Weakfish -- (see Sea Trout) / White Fish / White Sucker -- (see Common Sucker) / Whiting -- (see Silver Hake) / Yellow Perch
A General List of Biblically Unclean "Sea Foods"
Abalones / Bullheads / Catfish / Clams / Crabs / Crayfish / Eel / Lobster / Mussel /
Oysters / Scallop / Shark / Shrimp / Squid / Sturgeon / Swordfish

Source: Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Copyright © 1958, 1973, 1978 Ambassador College

All Rights Reserved


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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Just What Do You Mean... KINGDOM OF GOD?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Is it the CHURCH? Is it something "setup in the hearts of men"? Is it the British Empire? Is it "the good within you"? Is it "the Millennium"? Each of these is widely taught—yet none is right! The shocking TRUTH is here made PLAIN!

Why cannot the churches agree on what is the GOSPEL? Jesus Christ came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Yet few preach about the Kingdom of God today, for they have lost all knowledge of what it is!

A prominent evangelist said to a worldwide radio audience that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not for us today. Some denominations proclaim a "Gospel of Grace"; some what they call a "Gospel of Salvation"; some a gospel about Christ; some a social gospel; some the "Science of Mind" or "Religious Science."

Not One Is Right!

Some churches claim either that their particular denomination, or "Christianity" as a whole, constitutes the Kingdom of God.

Not one is right! Could anything seem more incredible? Yes, to the mind reared in this world's concepts, one thing is, indeed, still more incredible! And that is the PLAIN TRUTH about what the Kingdom of God really is!

The truth is not merely surprising—it is shocking—staggering! Yet it is truly GOOD NEWS—the most glorious GOOD NEWS ever to enter human consciousness!


What is the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ? THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW! It has not been preached for 18 1/2 centuries, strange as that may seem. Look into your BIBLE. Look at it from the very beginning!

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" you'll read in Mark 1:1. "Now after that John was put in prison, 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 the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).

It is necessary to believe that GOSPEL to be saved! And how can you believe it, unless you know what it is?

Jesus went everywhere preaching the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD. He taught in parables about the KINGDOM OF GOD. He sent out seventy men preaching, and commanded them to preach THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 10:9). He sent the apostles, on whom the Church of God was founded, to preach only THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2).

Isn't it amazing that the world has LOST the knowledge of what it is?

The Apostle Paul preached THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:28, 31). And God Almighty, through Paul, pronounced a double curse on man or angel that would DARE preach any other Gospel! (Galatians 1:8-9.)

Why, then, do so many DARE to preach so many other gospels? The good news of THE KINGDOM OF GOD is something you must understand, and BELIEVE, in order to be saved! Jesus Christ said so! You had better be finding out what it is!

Daniel Knew!

Haven't you heard men speak of the Kingdom of God something like this: "By Christians everywhere working together to bring about world peace, tolerance and brotherly love, the Kingdom of God may at last be established in the hearts of men."

Because they rejected Christ's Gospel 1900 years ago, the world had to supplant something else in its place. They had to invent a counterfeit! So we have heard the Kingdom of God spoken of as merely a pretty platitude—a nice sentiment in human hearts—reducing it to an ethereal, unreal NOTHING! Others have misrepresented that the "CHURCH" is the Kingdom. Others confuse it with a "millennium." Still others have, in our century, claimed the British Empire is the Kingdom of God. HOW DECEIVED CAN THIS WORLD GET?

The Prophet Daniel, who lived 600 years before Christ, knew that the Kingdom of God was a real kingdom—a government ruling over literal PEOPLE on the earth.

Jesus Christ brought additional knowledge about it which the Prophet Daniel might not have known. Still, Daniel knew there was going to be a real, literal Kingdom of God on the earth.

Daniel was one of four extraordinary, intelligent and brilliant Jewish lads in the Judean captivity. These four men were stationed in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean Empire, in training for special responsibilities in the Babylonian government. Daniel was a prophet who had been given special understanding in visions and dreams (Daniel 1:17).

Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world ruler. He had conquered a vast empire, including the nation Judah. This king had a dream so impressive it troubled him—moved him to tremendous concern. He demanded that his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers tell him both what he had dreamed, and what it meant. They could not. They were baffled. Then Daniel was brought before the king.

Daniel disclaimed any more human ability to interpret dreams than the Chaldean magicians, "BUT," he said, "there is a GOD in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Daniel 2:28).

First, God's purpose was to reveal to this world-ruling human king that there is a GOD in heaven—that GOD IS SUPREME RULER over all nations, governments, and kings that God RULES THE UNIVERSE! This Chaldean king knew only about the many pagan demon gods. He knew nothing of the true living AIMIGHTY God. Like people and rulers, even today, he did not know that GOD is the living, REAL, active, RULING and GOVERNING PERSONAGE who actually and literally governs not only what is on earth, but the UNIVERSE ENTIRELY!

The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT—the fact that God RULES—the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD—the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal—preserved in writing for us TODAY—what is to happen "in the latter days"—actually within the next [few] decades—THIS LAST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY!

For US, Today!

This is no dry, dull, dead writing for a people of 2500 years ago. This is LIVING, TREMENDOUS, BIG NEWS for OUR DAY! It is advance news for us, NOW. News before it happens—of the most colossal event of all earth's history certain to occur in your lifetime—during the very next few years!

This is THE TRUE GOSPEL! It is the very Gospel Christ preached! It is intended for you and me TODAY! It is vital that you UNDERSTAND!

Read, in your own Bible, verses 28 through 35. In his dream, this king had seen a vast statue—larger than any image or statue ever built by man—so tremendous it was terrifying, even in a dream. Its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, legs of solid iron, feet a mixture of iron and clay.

There was a time element. Nebuchadnezzar had viewed it until a supernatural STONE came from heaven, smashing the statue on its feet. Then the whole of the statue broke into small pieces, and was actually blown away by the wind—it disappeared! Then this STONE expanded miraculously and quickly became a great MOUNTAIN—so great it filled the whole earth!

What did it mean? Did it have meaning? Yes, because this was God's doing. Unlike ordinary dreams, this one was caused by God to convey the message of God's sovereignty to Nebuchadnezzar—and, because it is part of the written Word of God, to us today—to reveal important facts of the TRUE GOSPEL!

"This is the dream," said Daniel (verse 36), "and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king."

This, then, is GOD'S interpretation. It is decidedly not Herbert W. Armstrong's interpretation. Men ought never to interpret the Bible. The Bible gives us GOD'S OWN INTERPRETATION! Here it is:

"Thou, O king, art a king of kings"—he was the first real WORLD RULER over a world empire! "... for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." God was revealing Himself to this human world-dictator as the MOST HIGH Ruler over all.

People today, like this Chaldean king, seem not to think of God as a RULER—as the Supreme One who GOVERNS—as the Head of GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing Himself through Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar—and through the Bible to you and to me TODAY—as a SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL, GOVERNING GOD who is to be obeyed!

"Thou," continued Daniel to this human emperor, "art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth" (verses 37- 39).

What IS a Kingdom?

Notice! This is speaking of KINGDOMS. It is referring to kingdoms that bear rule over the people on earth. It is speaking of GOVERNMENTS! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in the hearts of men." It is not speaking of churches. It is speaking of the kind of GOVERNMENTS that bear RULE and AUTHORITY over nations of PEOPLE here on earth. It is literal. It is specific. There is no misunderstanding, here, as to what is meant by the word "KINGDOM."

There is no misunderstanding the interpretation. GOD gives His own interpretation through the Prophet Daniel. The great metallic image represented national and international GOVERNMENTS—real, literal KINGDOMS.

It represented a succession of world-ruling governments. First was the head of gold. That represented Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom—the Chaldean Empire. After him—later, in time sequence—was to come a second, then a third KINGDOM "which shall bear RULE over all the earth"—world empire!

Then, verse 40, the legs of iron represent a fourth world-empire. It was to be strong, even as iron is strong—stronger militarily than its predecessors. Yet, as silver is less valuable than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, though each metal was harder and stronger, the succession would deteriorate morally and spiritually. The two legs meant the fourth empire would be divided.

After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian Empire, then the Greco-Macedonian, and fourth, the Roman Empire. It was divided, with capitals at Rome and Constantinople.

Now—verse 44! Read it! Get your Bible. See it with your own eyes in your own Bible. Here, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, is God's explanation of what the KINGDOM OF GOD is:

"And in the days of these kings. . ." it is here speaking of the ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17, is referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE which is now forming, out of the European Common Market, before your very eyes! Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a union of TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS which (Revelation 17:8) shall resurrect the old ROMAN EMPIRE.

So, mark carefully the time element! "In the days of these kings"—in the days of these ten nations or groups of nations that shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman Empire—notice what shall happen:

" . . . shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed… but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever"!

Yes, in OUR TIME!

Now here we have described FOUR universal world-empires—the only four that ever existed! Revelation 17 shows that after the fall of the original Roman Empire there would be SEVEN revivals which would be ruled over by a Gentile CHURCH—the "daughter" of ancient BABYLON—a church claiming to be Christian, but actually named by God "MYSTERY BABYLON the Great"—or, more plainly, BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES!

Six of those have come and gone. The seventh is now forming—the last, final, brief resurrection of the Roman Empire by ten European groups or nations. These are the ten toes of iron and clay mixed.

In their days—and they shall last but a very short space, possibly no more than two to three-and-a-half years—shall the GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM.

This, then, shall be THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Compare with Revelation 17. Here is pictured a church. Not a small church—a GREAT church. She rules over "many waters" (verse 1) which are described in verse 15 as different nations speaking different languages. She posed as the Church of GOD—which Scripture says (Ephesians 5:23; Revelation 19:7; Matthew 25:1-10, etc., etc.) is the affianced "bride" of CHRIST, to be spiritually MARRIED to Him at His second COMING.

But she has committed fornication. How? By having direct political union with HUMAN GOVERNMENTS of THIS WORLD! She "sat on" (Revelation 17:3) all seven of these resurrections of the Roman Empire—called the "Holy Roman Empire." She RULED OVER the human kingdoms—as a common-law and unmarried "wife" ruling her paramour "husband"—a totally unnatural and ungodly relationship.

She is, therefore, to "sit on" this last "head of the Beast"—this final resurrection of the Roman Empire. It will be a union of church and state. It is to endure but a very short time. It is to FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST at His SECOND COMING! That will be its END.

We see it in process of rising, now. Therefore we are CLOSE to the coming of Christ! We are now very near the END of this world!

When Christ comes, He is coming as KING of kings, ruling the whole earth (Revelation 19:11-16); and His KINGDOM—the KINGDOM OF GOD—said Daniel, is to CONSUME all these worldly kingdoms.

Revelation 11:15 states it in these words: "'The kingdoms of this world are become THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; and He shall reign for ever and ever!"

This is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It is the END of present governments—the governments that rule Russia, China, Japan, Italy, Germany—yes, and even the United States and the British nations. They then shall become the kingdoms—the GOVERNMENTS of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, then KING of kings over the entire earth.

This makes completely PLAIN the fact that the KINGDOM OF GOD is a literal GOVERNMENT. Even as the Chaldean Empire was a KINGDOM—even as the Roman Empire was a KINGDOM—so the KINGDOM OF GOD is a government. It is to take over the GOVERNMENT of the NATIONS of the world.

Jesus Christ was BORN to be a KING—a RULER!

When He stood, on trial for His life, before Pilate, "Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world." But Jesus also said to Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world"—(John 18:37, 36). His Kingdom is of THE WORLD TOMORROW!

Have you not read what the angel proclaimed to Mary, the mother of Jesus, prior to His birth? Jesus told Pilate He was born to become a KING. The angel of God said to Mary: ". . . thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the THRONE of His father David: and He shall reign over the House of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be NO END" (Luke 1:31-33).

These scriptures tell you PLAINLY that GOD is supreme RULER. They tell you in plainest language that Jesus was born to be a KING—that He is going to RULE ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH—that His Kingdom shall rule eternally.

But all this is only part of the fantastic, amazing, actually SHOCKING TRUTH about the KINGDOM OF GOD.

The KINGDOM OF GOD will rule over the peoples and nations of the earth. Yet these mortal peoples and nations will NOT be the Kingdom, not even in the Kingdom of God. They shall be merely RULED OVER BY IT!

We still have to learn OF WHAT, or OF WHOM it is composed. Can YOU, as an individual, ever become a part of this Kingdom?

Can Be Entered!

In Jesus' day, the religious leaders knew He was a Teacher sent from God with GOD'S TRUTH. They branded Him a false prophet, heretic, and seditionist. Yet they knew His was the voice of GOD!

One of them, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, occupying an office of authority over the Jews, came secretly by night to see Jesus.

"Rabbi," said this Pharisee, "we know that thou art a teacher come from God" (John 3:2). Yes, we Pharisees, he said, know that! He did not say "I know it." He said "WE know"—we Pharisees! They knew He spoke the TRUTH—yet they not only rejected it, they crucified Him!

But Jesus hewed straight to the line! He told Nicodemus about THE KINGDOM OF GOD. He told him some things you need to UNDERSTAND!

Notice! "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). Yes, notice! The Kingdom of God is something that CAN be seen, but only by those who have been "born again." It is something others cannot see!

But what about the CHURCH? Can carnal people who make no claim to having been "born again" SEE a CHURCH? Of course! But they cannot see the Kingdom of God! So SAID JESUS! Then, if you believe Jesus, the CHURCH cannot be the Kingdom of God!

Notice further: "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" (verse 5). The Kingdom of God is something that can be entered into—BUT, only those "born of water and of the Spirit" can enter into it!

Notice further! In the resurrection chapter of the Bible, we read: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (I Corinthians 15:50). The Kingdom of God is something no human, of flesh and blood, can enter or inherit!

Now do flesh and blood people enter into the CHURCH? If so, then the Kingdom of God cannot be the CHURCH—for the Kingdom of God is something flesh and blood humans cannot enter into!

What do you think the "Church" is? Is it the building? Flesh and blood people can and do enter buildings and cathedrals called "churches." Is it the converted PEOPLE? Flesh and blood people can and no enter into the membership of any group of PEOPLE that may call itself the church. But flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of GOD—so the CHURCH is not the Kingdom of God!

In Men's Hearts?

Now some think the Kingdom of God is some ethereal sentimental feeling or something set up in men's hearts. If so, then the Kingdom of God enters into mortal man. But these plain scriptures say plainly that it is men after they are no longer flesh and blood—but resurrected into spirit-composed bodies—who can enter into the Kingdom of God. It does not enter into men. Men enter into it—after resurrected in glory—after they are no longer "flesh and blood."

Is it the "god within you"? No, it is not something that was born inside of man, or has ever entered into man—it is something man may enter after he is "born again.

What about the British Empire? Well, I have been pretty well over the British Isles, Canada and Australia—and all of the multi-thousands I have seen there were flesh-and-blood humans. They did enter the British Empire—but they cannot enter the Kingdom of God, in their present flesh-and-blood life. So the British Empire cannot be the Kingdom of God.

But, someone misunderstanding the scripture may ask, "Didn't Jesus Himself say that the Kingdom of God is within you'?" In the 17th chapter of Luke, verse 21, King James translation, is a MISTRANSLATION which has led some to suppose the Kingdom of God is some thought or feeling or sentiment within man.

In Hearts of Pharisees?

Let's take a good look at this. First realize, if it does say that, it is contradicted by all the other scriptures I am giving you in this article. If the Bible does contradict itself, you can't believe it anyway—so then it still would prove nothing.

First, to whom is Jesus speaking? Read it!

"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21).

He was speaking to the unconverted, carnal, hypocritical, lying Pharisees. Notice, "He answered them, and said—" It was the Pharisees who asked Him the question. Were they in the CHURCH? No, never! If one thinks the Kingdom is the CHURCH—and the Kingdom was "within" the Pharisees—was THE CHURCH within the Pharisees? Such an assumption is rather ridiculous, now, isn't it?

Notice again, precisely WHAT JESUS SAID. Remember the CHURCH had not yet been set up. Jesus did not say "the Kingdom of God shall be set up in your hearts." He said none of the things people interpret into this verse. He said to the Pharisees "the Kingdom of God IS"—present tense is, NOW! Whatever He was saying the Kingdom of God is, He made it present tense, not future.

Luke wrote these words, originally, in the Greek language. The Greek words he wrote were translated into the English words "within you." But, if you have a Bible with the marginal references, you will notice that this is alternately rendered "in the midst of you," or "among you." "The context indicates that this indeed is the better translation. If your Bible is a Moffatt translation, you will notice that the translation recognized that Jesus was talking of His reign or rule, at the head of government.

This is the Moffatt translation of the same verse: "He answered them, 'The Reign of God is not coming as you hope to catch sight of it; no one will say, "Here it is" or "There it is," for the Reign of GOD IS NOW IN YOUR MIDST.'"

The Revised Standard translation renders it "the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you." All these translations render it present tense.

Jesus was not talking about a church soon to be organized. He was not talking about sentiments in the mind or heart. He was talking about His REIGN, as the Messiah! The Pharisees were not asking Him about a church. They knew nothing of any New Testament church soon to be started. They were not asking about a pretty sentiment. They knew, from the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others, that their Messiah was to come. They overlooked completely the prophecies of His first appearing as the "Lamb of God," to be slain for the sins of humanity—being born as a babe, growing up, being rejected and despised by them, as recorded in Isaiah 53. They looked only to the prophecies of His second coming as the all-conquering and ruling KING.

But they had even these prophecies distorted in their minds. They looked for Him to come as a purely Jewish Messiah, to liberate them from the Romans, and reversing the situation so that the Jews would be masters over the Romans. They looked for a limited Jewish Kingdom, located in only a small part of the world, with the Messiah ruling and letting the Jews lord it over the Romans.

This, the Pharisees anticipated as the Kingdom of God. They had an erroneous conception of the Kingdom of God—but at least they did know it was to be a REIGN—a GOVERNMENT.

World-Ruling Government

Jesus set them straight. He explained that it would not be a local, or limited Kingdom for the Jews only. It would not be merely one of many human and visible kingdoms which men could point out or see, and say, "This is it, here"; or "that is the Kingdom, over there" But He, Himself, was born to be the KING of that Kingdom, as He plainly told Pilate (John 18:36-37). The Bible uses the terms "king" and "kingdom" interchangeably (see Daniel 7:17-18, 23). The KING of the future Kingdom was, then and there, standing in the midst of them. And in the language in which He spoke to them, that is precisely what He said—as the marginal rendering and other translations state.

Jesus went on, in the following verses, to describe His second coming, when the Kingdom of God shall rule ALL THE EARTH. In Luke 17:24 He refers to lightning flashing, just as in Matthew 24:27, describing His second coming to RULE the whole world. Verse 26—as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when Christ comes in power and glory as world Ruler. Verse 30—the day when He is revealed.

Plainly, Jesus was not saying that the Kingdom of God was within those Christ-hating, hypocritical Pharisees. Nor was He saying that the Church would be the Kingdom.

Now continue with the other scriptures, and it becomes very PLAIN!

Jesus distinctly said that those Pharisees would not be in the Kingdom of God. To them, He said: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye [you Pharisees] shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:28-29).

The Kingdom of God is something men shall ENTER—at the resurrection of the just! Yet Abraham is not there yet (see Hebrews 11:13, 39-40).

Has Not Yet Appeared

But one may ask, did not Jesus Christ say the Kingdom of God was "at hand"? Yes, we quoted this, in the beginning of this booklet, from Mark 1:15. This naturally led some to mistake what He said, and what He meant, and assume the Kingdom of God was established and set up during Jesus' ministry. Thus some supposed it was the Church.

But Jesus did not say the Kingdom of God had been established. It was now being preached (Luke 16:16). He did not say it was already here. Jesus, Himself, corrected this false notion. Will you read this IN YOUR OWN BIBLE? Will you then believe Jesus Christ—or will you call Him a liar and believe so-called "Christian" traditions of men? Will you believe YOUR BIBLE?

Notice—read it in your own Bible: Jesus "added and spake a parable... because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear" (Luke 19:11). WHY did Jesus speak this parable? Because some, even then, mistakenly thought the Kingdom should immediately appear—because some thought it would be THE CHURCH!

Now continue: "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return" (verse 12). Christ is that "nobleman." He is speaking of His ascension to the throne of God His Father, in heaven. Notice, He went there to be given rulership of the Kingdom—to receive the Kingdom. Notice, too, He is to return, when He has received it! He has not yet returned! Other scriptures explain this. We will turn to them a little later.

But continue: "And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us." The original 12 tribes of Israel had been divided into TWO nations, immediately after the death of King Solomon. The nation Israel rejected Solomon's son, Rehoboam, and set up Jeroboam as their king. They made the city of Samaria their capital. But the tribe of Judah seceded from Israel, in order to retain Rehoboam as king, and Jerusalem as their capital. Then the tribe of Benjamin joined them, and many Levites. The northern Kingdom then became known as the TEN TRIBES.

Now Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah. The promise of the "Sceptre"—or kingly tribe, from which Messiah was to be born—was divinely given to Judah. Consequently when it is stated that Christ "came unto His own, and His own received Him not," it is speaking of His having come to the Jews of the Kingdom of JUDAH, dwelling then in the Holy Land, with its capital still at Jerusalem. At that time the TEN TRIBES had migrated from Assyrian captivity northwest across Europe. They were far away, had lost their identity, were speaking a different language. It was then 700 years after their captivity and removal from the Northern Kingdom (Samaria).

Not Church Language

And so the nobleman's citizens who rejected him were the Jews at Jerusalem and dwelling in [Judea]. And notice, Jesus is here talking about a KINGDOM which is a literal GOVERNMENT. His citizens would not accept Him as KING—they refused to have Him REIGN over them. That is not CHURCH language—that is civil government language!

So it becomes plain that the ten servants of the parable, to whom He gave the ten pounds, represent the TEN TRIBES, who had become known as the LOST Ten Tribes. After the Jews rejected Christ, He sent His original apostles to the "LOST sheep of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL"—and the term "House of Israel" always applies, after the division, to the ten-tribed kingdom—never to the Kingdom of Judah—or, as often called, the House of Judah.

Continuing the parable, spoken because some thought the Kingdom of God was immediately, then, in the first century, to appear: "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading" (Verse 15). When Christ returns, we shall all be called before the Judgment Seat of Christ—to give account!

Now notice in verse 17, the one who had gained ten pounds is given authority to RULE CITIES—"have thou authority over ten cities"! To the one who had gained five pounds, he said, "Be thou also over five cities."

This is speaking of the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST—and of His delegating authority to rule to saints converted during this Christian era, between Christ's first and second appearings on earth.

This parable, then, was spoken to make clear to us that the Kingdom of God is a literal GOVERNMENT, to be set up AT CHRIST'S SECOND COMING—and not before! The CHURCH, then, cannot be the Kingdom of God. But the true Church of God is to be changed, by a resurrection and instantaneous change from mortal to immortal, INTO the Kingdom of God. The Church, when all its members have been changed to immortality, shall BECOME the Kingdom of God. But it is not, now, the Kingdom!

Saints to Rule

Now read the description of Christ's actual receiving authority to RULE the Kingdom. He is the nobleman who went to heaven to receive this kingship, and to return.

We have already seen how the Prophet Daniel recorded the setting up of the Kingdom of God—at Christ's coming—to consume all present national governments on earth, and set up the world-ruling Kingdom of God. This was recorded in the second chapter. Notice now chapter seven:

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [Christ] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him" (verse 18). Jesus continually referred to Himself as the "Son of man"—all through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.. Christ ascended to heaven in clouds (Acts 1:9). He ascended to the very throne of God in heaven (Mark 16:19). Now continue:

"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14).

That is plain! Christ ascended to the throne of God in heaven. God is Sovereign over the entire universe. This vision shows God Almighty, Father of the resurrected living Christ, conferring on Christ dominion. Dominion means sovereign or supreme ruling authority. Also given to Him was "a kingdom." Where is that Kingdom to be? It says "a kingdom that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him." The people, and the nations speaking different languages, are here on earth. He is given dominion over ALL NATIONS—the whole world!

Important Word "UNTIL"

Now will you read, in your own Bible, Acts 3:21? It says the heavens have received Jesus Christ UNTIL—not permanently, just until a certain time. Until when? Until the times of RESTITUTION of all things. Restitution means restoration to a former state or condition. It is speaking of restoring God's laws, God's government—of restoring happiness and universal PEACE.

In this 7th chapter of Daniel, the prophet had experienced a dream, and visions. He had seen four wild animals. Notice, verse 16, the interpretation begins verse 17. This is GOD'S inspired interpretation—not mine: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the KINGDOM, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever" (Daniel 7:17-18).

Notice it! Not only is Christ to rule—but the saints—that is, converted true Christians—those begotten as sons of God—are to take and possess the Kingdom! They are to rule under, and with Christ! In the New Testament it is recorded that converted saints are co-heirs with Christ!

In this same 7th chapter, Daniel explained another power. The fourth beast of his dream—the fourth empire—the Roman Empire, was pictured as an animal having ten horns—explained here and in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 as ten revivals or resurrections of the Roman Empire, after its original fall in 476 A.D. But among them—after 476 A.D.—arose another little horn—a religious kingdom, actually ruling over the last seven of the other "horns" or revived Roman kingdoms (verse 20).

Now read about this "little horn"—the religious kingdom—verse 21: "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, UNTIL [note, another "UNTIL"] the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."

The saints—then no longer human flesh and blood, but immortal—are to possess the Kingdom, at the second coming of Christ!

Jesus Christ makes that plain. It is Christ who is speaking in Revelation 3:21, and 2:26-27: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." The Father's throne is in heaven—where Jesus Christ is now; but Christ's throne, in which the saints shall sit with Him, is the throne of David, in Jerusalem. (Luke 1:32).

Further: "And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron."

Can't Know the TIME

After His resurrection, on the Mount of Olives at the very hour of His ascension to heaven, Jesus was explaining to His disciples how they would receive the inspiring God-begetting POWER of the Holy Spirit on the approaching day of Pentecost.

His disciples wanted to know whether the Kingdom of God was to be set up at that time! The CHURCH was established on that imminent day of Pentecost. Was that CHURCH, then, to be the setting up of the Kingdom?

"Lord," they asked, "wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"

Jesus again made plain that the Church is not the Kingdom.

"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:7-9).

The commission He had given the CHURCH was to preach His Gospel to all the world. They were to receive the Holy Spirit, begetting them as saints—as Christians—putting them into God's CHURCH. This would infuse them with the power to carry out the mission of the Church. But it was NOT the setting up of the Kingdom of God. Of that they were not to know the time.

Just what did Jesus mean, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons"? He explained it another time. It is recorded in Matthew 24:36: There He was speaking of the end of this world, and His second coming:

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." He was speaking of His second coming, and setting up of the Kingdom, the time of which no man knows, but only the Father.

However, though we do not, even now, know the day or the hour, we do know, from God's prophecies, that it is today very near! Notice this, in Luke 21:25-32: He had been foretelling the world events, right now beginning, leading to "distress of nations" in world troubles and world wars, "with perplexity"—"men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth"—world trouble such as never before experienced. "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."

The Two Fateful Alternatives

This world trouble began in 1914, with World War I. There was a recess from 1918 until 1939. We are in a second recess now—although we have been in what we call "COLD WAR." But now at last we have nuclear energy. We have hydrogen bombs stock-piled in such power and volume that they could blast all human life off this planet several times over. There are two other destructive weapons today in existence, either of which could erase humanity from the earth.

Today world-famous scientists say only a super world-government can prevent world cosmocide. Yet MEN cannot and will not get together to form such a world-ruling government.

It's time we face the hard, cold, realistic FACT: humanity has two alternatives: either there is an Almighty, all-powerful GOD who is about to step in and set up THE KINGDOM OF GOD to rule all nations with supernatural and supranational FORCE to bring us PEACE—or else all human life would be obliterated (Matthew 24:22).

If the deceived religionists, who think the CHURCH is the Kingdom of God, were right, and there is not going to be any supernatural and all-powerful WORLD GOVERNMENT which is the Kingdom of God, then humanity is utterly without HOPE. All human life is in danger of extinction.

But notice what Jesus Christ said!


Where is your trust—in the Word of God, or in paganized, empty, deceiving teachings falsely labeled "Christianity"—inherited as "Christian tradition"—which says the CHURCH is the Kingdom of God; or, that the Kingdom is merely a meaningless, frothy and ethereal sentiment "set up in our hearts"? It's about time you come to know who are the false prophets, and WHO is speaking the true Word of God faithfully!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


By Herbert W. Armstrong


Chapter 1 Boyhood
Chapter 2 Learning Important Lessons
Chapter 3 Learning to Write Effective Advertisements
Chapter 4 "Idea Man" for a National Magazine
Chapter 5 Pioneering in Public Opinion Polls
Chapter 6 Discovering Rules of Success
Chapter 7 How to Put Resourcefulness into Practice
Chapter 8 Becoming a Publishers' Representative
Chapter 9 How I Met My Wife
Chapter 10 Marriage Plans Complicated by War
Chapter 11 Our First Child
Chapter 12 Depression Strikes!
Chapter 13 Business Disintegrates
Chapter 14 College Competition and "Oregon or Bust"
Chapter 15 Launching a New Business
Chapter 16 Researching the Bible and Darwin
Chapter 17 At the Crossroads-and a Momentous Decision
Chapter 18 Learning Whether God Answers Prayers
Chapter 19 Trying to Convert Relatives
Chapter 20 The First Sermon
Chapter 21 The "Million Dollar" Clay Business
Chapter 22 Astounding Answers to Prayer
Chapter 23 Prelude to Ministry
Chapter 24 Ordained to Christ's Ministry
Chapter 25 Evangelistic Campaigns in Full Swing
Chapter 26 Caught in Newspaper Business Trap
Chapter 27 Stuck in Astoria
Chapter 28 Back into the Ministry
Chapter 29 The Real Beginning of Present Work
Chapter 30 The World Tomorrow Broadcast Begins
Chapter 31 The Plain Truth Is Published
Chapter 32 Campaign Gets Under Way-Despite Opposition
Chapter 33 Early Evangelistic Campaigns-the Trials and Tests
Chapter 34 Steady Growth of Work at Eugene
Chapter 35 Uphill All the Way
Chapter 36 Broadcast Work Expands
Chapter 37 A Costly Lesson Pays Off!
Chapter 38 Work Grows-Despite Hardships and Persecutions
Chapter 39 The Plain Truth Revived!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The United States and Britain in Prophecy
By Herbert W. Armstrong

People of the Western world would be stunned—dumbfounded—if they knew! The governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australasia, South Africa would set in motion gigantic crash programs—if they knew! They could know! But they don’t! Why?


Chapter 1 The Lost Master Key Has Been Found
Chapter 2 Prophecies Closed Until Now!
Chapter 3 National Greatness Promised Israel—Yet the Jews Never Received It—Why?
Chapter 4 The Separation of the Birthright and the Sceptre
Chapter 5 The Davidic Covenant
Chapter 6 Children of Israel Become Two Nations
Chapter 7 Jeremiah's Mysterious Commission
Chapter 8 The Mysterious Breach
Chapter 9 Israel's New Land
Chapter 10 Birthright Withheld 2520 Years!
Chapter 11 Why Israel Lost Identity
Chapter 12 The Birthright—At Its Zenith—And Now!
Chapter 13 And Now What? The Prophecies for the Immediate Future
Chapter 14 What's Prophesied to Happen, Now—To America and Britain

Monday, November 14, 2005


By Herbert W. Armstrong

Does it make any difference WHICH day we observe—or whether we keep it? Does the Bible establish SUNDAY as the LORD’S DAY? Was the Sabbath given for the Jewish people only—while Christians are commanded to keep SUNDAY as the LORD’S DAY?


Chapter 1 But Does It Make Any Difference?
Chapter 2 Who Made and Established the Sabbath?
Chapter 3 God—Not Moses—Gave the Law
Chapter 4 A Special Eternal Covenant
Chapter 5 Which Day for Gentile Christians?
Chapter 6 Why Israel and Judah Made Slaves
Chapter 7 Is Sunday Mentioned in the New Testament?
Chapter 8 The Amazing Truth About Christian Fellowship

Friday, November 11, 2005

Was Herbert W. Armstrong Elijah?

Geoff Neilson has written "7 quick steps proving HWA is the endtime Elijah," that Herbert W. Armstrong was the prophesied individual to come in the power and spirit of Elijah, as taught by the former Worldwide Church of God and still believed by many of the branches of the Sabbath-keeping Church of God but not all of them or every individual within them believe he completely fulfilled that great restoration role but that he served as an Elijah to the Church and there yet remains for the appearance and work of an Elijah to the nations:

#7--If Elijah has not already come, then (a) the endtime hasn't started; (b)everyone in the Church's doctrine is in a state of huge disrepair until he comes and restores all things, (c) and no-one in our day has ever understood endtime prophecy.

That's hysterically throwing the baby out with the bathwater and proving that too many have built their whole "house" upon a man rather than the WORD OF GOD. Mr. Rupert knew, taught and observed the biblical Sabbath, festivals, dietary laws and our Israelite identity, and prophesied of the great apostacy, long before God's apostle was sent to take these already revealed truths to the world in a BIG WAY, as prophesied, laying the foundation (like Mr. Rupert did for him) for the TWO WITNESSES who will finish the Work. Mr. Armstrong finished the Work God gave for him to do. It's time to go forward, to look ahead, and continue to let God's Word correct and improve our understanding.

I thank God for His apostle Herbert W. Armstrong and give tremendous credit to the man, but my life and beliefs are based on the WORD OF GOD that remains alive and lasts forever, and it has the last say on every subject.

Mr. Armstrong was given the gift of inspired understanding, but he was not a prophet or he wouldn't have made a single mistake! As Chanah wisely notes, if we say, against his own words, he was a prophet, then you're making him out to be a false prophet, and I certainly don't think that's your intention.

Your intention, I believe is to honor God and His servant, but we're to give credit due where credit is due - nothing more or less. Mr. Armstrong isn't anybody less because he wasn't a biblical prophet - and prophets are sent to the NATIONS with strong messages, not pretty platitudes appropriate for the times. Mr. Armstrong wrote of the time coming when the PLAIN TRUTH would drop like a BOMBSHELL about the origins of traditional Christianity.

That time has come! No more black tie dinners and diplomatic, refined and harmless speech, now it's time to tell it like it is, drop all pretense and ROAR GOD'S FINAL WARNING TO THIS WORLD! We won't merely say, as was appropriate at that time, "A Strong Unseen Hand from Someplace" will save us, we'll herald the coming of the King of the Jews, the King of Israel, who will rule with a ROD OF IRON and knock some sense into the heads of state! He will smash all opposition! He will liberate Jerusalem and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mystery of the Ages

By Herbert W. Armstrong

Did you ever ask yourself: "Who am I? What am I? Why am I?" You are a mystery. The world about you is a mystery. Now, you can understand! This is the final and most important book Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, and is the culmination of the basic biblical truth he came to understand in his interest-packed life.


Author's Statement
Introduction: How the Seven Mysteries Were Revealed
Chapter 1 Who and What Is God?
Chapter 2 Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits
Chapter 3 Mystery of Man
Chapter 4 Mystery of Civilization
Chapter 5 Mystery of Israel
Chapter 6 Mystery of the Church
Chapter 7 Mystery of the Kingdom of God