THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
by Herbert W. Armstrong
This is the eye-opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus
Christ -- of how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole
It's positively astounding! It has remained undiscovered by
science! No religion has revealed it! Higher education has never
taught it! Is it possible the whole world has been
deceived -- regarding the awesome purpose of human life -- about the
WAY to world peace and how it will come? And could it be true
that the real gospel message Christ brought from heaven revealed
this missing dimension -- but was suppressed? This is the
eye -- opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus Christ -- of
how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole world
Table of Contents
..... CHRIST'S GOSPEL WAS SUPPRESSED -- NOT HEARD FROM THE FIRST CENTURY UNTIL
..... THE STARTLING REVELATION OF WHAT WAS CHRIST'S GOSPEL
..... THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL AT LAST REVEALED
..... PRE-EXISTENCE BEFORE THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE
..... WHAT LED TO THE CREATION OF
..... HOW GOD PLANNED TO REPRODUCE HIMSELF
..... BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HUMAN MAN AND THE ULTIMATE SPIRIT -- COMPOSED
SONS OF GOD
..... WHY TODAY'S WORLD EVILS?
..... WHY THE CHURCH?
..... JUST WHAT DO YOU MEAN -- CONVERSION?
..... HUMAN NATURE -- AND HOW A WHOLE WORLD IS DECEIVED ABOUT ITS ORIGIN
..... IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?
..... WORLD PEACE -- HOW IT WILL COME
World Peace -- How it Will Come
I travel to all parts of the world as an ambassador (with out
political portfolio) for WORLD PEACE. I discuss world problems,
evils and world peace with many heads of governments -- kings,
presidents, prime ministers, and those high in the government,
leaders in science, education, commerce and industry. I have not
been called, and therefore make no effort, to bring about world
peace -- but serving as an ambassador of the power that will bring
it in our time!
Most world leaders are of superior ability. Yet they are
utterly unable to abolish world evils or bring about world peace.
Many scientists and leaders say that the only hope for world
peace is the formation of a supreme WORLD GOVERNMENT, controlling
the world's sole military power. Yet in the same breath they
admit the utter impossibility of this, claiming that such supreme
world power in human hands would enslave us all!
An Amazing Forecast
Few realize it today, but centuries ago a famous personage issued
a pronouncement forecasting this very solution. He was hundreds
of years ahead of his time, and the world of his day rejected and
suppressed the pronouncement. The world soon lost knowledge of
World leaders would do well to search out that amazing
forecast, in the light of present world conditions.
I have been privileged to announce to many of the world's
"great and near-great" this world's only hope -- SURE HOPE -- to
occur in our time!
Few, indeed, know that Jesus Christ came, not as a religious
leader on a "soul saving" crusade, but as a pioneer NEWS
FORECASTER. No man of historic note has been so completely
misrepresented -- so utterly misunderstood!
He came as a MESSENGER with a MESSAGE from God Almighty to
mankind. His message was BIG NEWS -- a vital and sensational news
ANNOUNCEMENT for the future. It announced world peace. It Was
good news for the future, proclaimed as an advance ANNOUNCEMENT
OF ASSURED AND CERTAIN WORLD PEACE in OUR TIME. That was Christ's
GOSPEL! The very word "gospel" means "good news."
And what was that news announcement for our times which was
suppressed by first-century enemies? The one official record
which the first-century conspirators were unable to suppress -- the
Holy BIBLE -- gives the official answer!
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of
God.... 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 1:1, 14-15).
Believe what gospel -- what GOOD NEWS? The good news of the
coming KINGDOM OF GOD.
But what did He mean -- the KINGDOM OF GOD? And how do we know
it was suppressed? And if the original and true gospel of Jesus
Christ was suppressed, what gospel or gospels were proclaimed to
the world to replace it?
The Written Record
To say that the true gospel proclaimed by Christ was sup
pressed -- was not proclaimed to the world after A.D. 70 for nearly
nineteen centuries -- is, indeed, a shocking and amazing statement.
This same written record the conspirators were not able to
destroy confirms it. The Church of God was started the day of
Pentecost, A.D. 31 (Acts 2). About twenty years later, the
apostle Paul, under inspiration, wrote to the churches in
Galatia, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that
called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is
not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would
pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7). The verses following
pronounce a double curse on any who would preach any other
To the Corinthian Church the apostle Paul wrote, "I fear,
lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity
that is in Christ. For if he that cometh [speaking of false
preachers] preacheth another Jesus ... or another gospel, which
ye have not accepted ..." (II Cor. 11:3-4).
And further -- verses 13-15: "For such are false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of
Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers,
also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness...."
To the early Christians at Rome: "for the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness
of men, who hold [back] the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom.
1:18). The Revised Standard Version has it: "who by their
wickedness suppress the truth." The message God sent by Jesus
Christ was being held back -- suppressed.
Then again, even Jesus Christ Himself made it very clear
that His gospel the -- KINGDOM OF GOD -- would be suppressed until
His disciples had asked what would be the sign by which we
might know when we were at the end of this world (age), just
before Christ's return to earth.
First He warned them against being deceived. Many would
come, He said, in His name, claiming to be the ministers of
Christ saying that He -- Jesus -- was the Christ and at the same time
deceiving the many. But when "... this gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations
This proclaiming of the KINGDOM OF GOD could not be the sign
that we are at the end of the age, if it had been proclaimed all
Just as Christ Himself directly prophesied would happen,
many have preached about the person, saying that Jesus was the
Christ -- preaching about the messenger, but SUPPRESSING His
But the END TIME is now here. After almost nineteen
centuries, that message is now going out WORLDWIDE, by the
Worldwide Church of God!
Some have preached a "gospel of salvation" (actually a false
salvation) and some a "gospel of grace" -- turning grace into
license to commit sin. Still others have turned to a "social
But Jesus brought from God the Father a vital message
announcing the KINGDOM OF GOD! What did He mean -- the KINGDOM OF
GOD? Isn't it amazing that almost no one in today's world knows?
A Message of Government
Few seem to know, today, that Jesus' MESSAGE was about
GOVERNMENT! Few realize that this is NOT the time God is trying
to SAVE (spiritually) the world. Few knew Jesus was concerned
Jesus was born to be a KING! Notice, once again, what was
prophesied in Isaiah about Christ: "For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given: and the GOVERNMENT shall be upon his
shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The
mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the
increase of his GOVERNMENT and peace there shall be no end, upon
the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to
establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even
for ever" (Isa. 9:6-7).
Notice what was said to his mother Mary: "... the angel
Gabriel Was sent from God unto ... Nazareth, to a virgin
espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David;
and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her,
and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured.... 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 for
ever: and of his KINGDOM there shall be no end" (Luke 1:26-33).
When Jesus was on trial for His life before Pilate, He was
asked, "Art thou a king then?" Jesus answered, "Thou sayest I am
a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into
the world." But He also said, "My kingdom is not of this world"
(John 18:37, 36).
WHY has the whole world been deceived, not knowing WHY
humanity was created and human life existed upon this earth!
Again, and again, I ask, WHY are we HERE? WHERE are we
GOING? WHAT is the WAY -- the WAY TO PEACE, well-being, happiness,
WHY no world PEACE? Why all this world's evils? WHY can't
SCIENCE give us the answers? These questions are the MOST
IMPORTANT in human life. WHY aren't people concerned?
The greatest religion in the world, in number of adherents,
is Christianity. People SUPPOSE the Christian religion came out
of -- is based on -- the BIBLE.
Then WHY don't the various sects and denominations of
traditional Christianity tell us the REAL THEME of the Bible? WHY
do they not know the TRUE GOSPEL that Jesus pro claimed? It's all
IN THE BIBLE -- it's not suppressed THERE! It's plain and clear!
It's time someone SHOUTED to lethargic, indifferent,
sleeping humanity, WAKE UP!
Is There An Afterlife?
Some fundamentalist denominations of Christianity preach about
spiritual salvation -- about an afterlife.
IS there an afterlife? The truth is PLAIN AND CLEAR in the
Bible. And this was clarified in chapter 12.
Jesus' gospel was the KINGDOM OF GOD. Does that have
anything to do with afterlife -- with spiritual salvation? It has
everything to do with it. BUT THE WHOLE WORLD IS DECEIVED and
ASLEEP! The gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD has to do, basically,
with TWO themes -- government and spiritual salvation (which some
call being "born again"). The previous chapter dealt with being
"born again." This chapter deals with GOVERNMENT.
But once again, what did Jesus mean THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
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!
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; 28:23, 31).
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 King dom. Others confuse
it with a "millennium." Still others have, earlier 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.
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 (Dan. 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" (Dan. 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 ALMIGHTY 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 the ENTIRE UNIVERSE!
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 two decades -- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH 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
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 fragments, 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 never to think
of God as a RULER -- as the Supreme One who GOVERNS -- as the head of
GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing Him self 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 progressively 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 (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect
the medieval "holy" 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 empires -- the only four
that ever existed! Revelation 13 and 17 show that, after the fall
of the original Roman Empire, there would be ten revivals -- SEVEN
of 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 (Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7; Matt. 25:1-10, 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" (Rev. 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 "Holy 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
When Christ comes, He is coming as KING of kings, ruling the
whole earth (Rev. 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!
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.
In chapter 12 one phase of Nicodemus's night visit with Jesus was
covered; but now, MORE!
"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
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! Read it in chapter 12,
or request our free booklet "Just What Do You Mean -- Born Again?"
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 Cor. 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 DO 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 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 they are resurrected in glory -- after they are no longer
"flesh and blood."
Is it the "god within you"? Absolutely not. It is not
something that was born inside of man, or that 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 -- no longer extant -- 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 seventeenth 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
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. 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
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
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
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 Version renders it "the Kingdom of God
is in the midst of you.'' All these translations render it
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. This the
Pharisees anticipated as the Kingdom of God.
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
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 13:28-29).
The Kingdom of God is something men shall ENTER -- at the
resurrection of the just! Yet Abraham is not there yet (see Heb.
Has Not Yet Appeared
But one may ask, did not Jesus Christ say the Kingdom of God was
"at hand"? Yes, we quoted this, 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. 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.
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
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
13). Jesus continually referred to Him self 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" (Dan. 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 king dom."
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 seventh 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" (Dan.
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 seventh 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 A.D. 476. But among them -- after A.D. 476 -- arose another
little horn -- a religious kingdom, actually ruling over the last
seven of the other ''horns'' or revived Roman kingdoms (verse
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
The saints -- then no longer human flesh and blood, but
immortal -- are to possess the Kingdom, at the Second Coming of
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 the 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
So all signs show we are in the very last generation of this
present evil world.
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. But
now at last we have nuclear energy. We have hydrogen bombs
stockpiled in such power and volume that they could blast all
human life off this planet several times over. There are other
destructive weapons today in existence, any 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 supra-national FORCE to bring
us PEACE -- or else all human life will be obliterated (Matt.
But the recent "recess" will soon erupt into nuclear World
War III -- called, in biblical prophecy the "Great Tribulation"
(Matt. 24:21-22). But God will cut short that final supreme world
trouble, and send Christ again to earth as KING of kings, LORD of
lords -- to restore God's government by the world-ruling KINGDOM OF
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HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, recognized and respected by leaders in
government, industry and education around the world, is pastor
general of the Worldwide Church of God. He is editor-in-chief of
The PLAIN TRUTH magazine, which he founded in 1934. In 1947 Mr.
Armstrong founded Ambassador College, now with two campuses, in
Pasadena, California, and Big Sandy, Texas. He is also founder
and chairman of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation,
known for its cultural, charitable and humanitarian activities.
Herbert Armstrong has visited more than 70 countries proclaiming
the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and he has been highly honored
by heads of state in such critical and diverse areas as Japan,
India, Black and South Africa, China, Israel and Egypt. Now in
his nineties, Mr. Armstrong continues to work tirelessly,
writing, and broadcasting and preaching the good news that God
will intervene to save mankind in this generation! He is also the
author of the book, "The Wonderful World Tomorrow -- What It Will
Be Like," advance good news of a utopia humanity won't bring