Monday, May 15, 2006


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!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

HWA "in the power and spirit of Elijah"?

HW Armstrong "in the power and spirit of Elijah"?

That means Herbert W Armstrong was in the same holy mindset, mission and purpose as Elijah, authorized from Heaven to help restore the "Lost Ten Tribes" to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, away from the Gentilized Israelite practices of the Babylonian Mystery religion masquerading as traditional Christianity, and back to the faith once delivered to the early Church in Jerusalem - not bloody Rome.

Herbert W Armstrong is now dead and buried, just like the original Elijah, awaiting the first resurrection and transformation from human to divine at the return and reign of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Plain Truth reaching Israel

From: Trudy Gefen
To: davidbenariel
Sent: 5/1/06
Subject: Herbert W. Armstrong mentioned in Israeli newspaper

Just received the May 2006 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. Very interesting articles: The Deadly Holy Roman Empire, a frightening article "Israel's Final Chapter" (G-d forbid) and From HERO to OUTCAST. The other articles I have left to read another day, as I got a bit too depressed by the aforementioned. Of course, I've been reading this magazine (formerly The Plain Truth) almost continuously since the first one fell into my hands in 1965 here in Israel (at the Weizmann Institute) and have been either elated by what I have read, or upset. Usually, the latter. Luckily I have the Bible to which I turn to whenever the blues descend upon me, and invariably after reading some pertinent prophecies which present more pleasant and optimistic promises than the invariably grim warnings in The Philadelphia Trumpet/Plain Truth, my spirits are uplifted and my determination to remain in Israel strengthened more than ever, in spite of my fears for the welfare of my loved ones - and indeed everyone living here.

Still, I am not looking particularly forward to the Final Days even though a very good Christian Zionist preacher friend living here in Israel (we've been friends now for about 20 years) told me that the safest place to be in those days will be Israel. Yes, it will be hard, he said, but what will rage outside Israel will make our experiences look like a picnic in a hurricane/tornado. After all, he said, the safest place to be is in the eye of a storm. You get battered, but not as badly as those on the outside as the hurricane/tornado sweeps all before them. I hope he's right, though at the same time I pray for the safety of all the good people out there too.



Herbert W Armstrong and Worldwide Church of God Mentioned in Israeli Newspaper
By David Ben-Ariel

An Israeli newspaper ran a favorable article about a Worldwide Church of God member serving as a volunteer at Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan near Haifa.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Middle East in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong

THE MIDDLE EAST is seething with crisis after crisis. Few people realize the true significance of this turmoil. They seem to have no conception of the danger it threatens — eventual danger to the whole world.

It's time we woke up to the facts! It's time we knew what prophecy reveals. It's time we knew the background — the vital factors that have led up to this world danger — the significance of this series of crises!

There is only one way to know the answer. The God who made the world — who makes and unmakes nations — he reveals the future before it happens so we can know and take warning.

The time has now come to reveal a most amazing prophecy!

Unveiling the Future!

What is the real significance of this seething unrest? To understand it, we must study a marvelous prophecy, never before understood — a prophecy that has been closed and sealed until now — a prophecy that foretold, 2,500 years ago, this very series of crises and the war that shall finally draw in all the nations of the world!

It is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It is most specific, describing historical events, up to the present, in more detail than any other prophecy. It is the longest prophecy in the Bible. It is found in Daniel, chapter 11. It describes the impending war!

The prelude is found in the 10th chapter of the book of Daniel. The prophecy came to Daniel in the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of the Persian Empire (Dan. 10:1). A "man," apparently the archangel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), appears before Daniel, to make him understand what shall befall God's people in these present "latter days" (10:14).

The "King of the North" and the "King of the South"

The first verse of the 11th chapter is a continuation from the last verse of the 10th chapter. The angel says to Daniel, "Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will" (Dan. 11:2-3).

Actually there were 12 more kings in the Persian Empire, but only the first four following Cyrus were of importance for the purpose of this prophecy. They were Cambyses, pseudo-Smerdis, Darius and Xerxes. It was the last, or Xerxes, who was the richest of all and stirred up war with Greece.

Then King Philip of Macedonia planned a great war to conquer the Persian Empire, with an army made up mostly of Grecians. He died before the plans were completed. But his son, Alexander the Great, took over his plans, and invaded Persia. He met the Persian army at the Battle of Issus, 333 B.C. (Dan. 8:2, 5-6). Then he swept down into Egypt, and then to a final crushing defeat of the Persian Empire at the Battle of Arbella, 331 B.C., after which Alexander marched on a conquest clear to India, sweeping all before him.

Notice now verse 4 of the prophecy: "And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those."

How marvelously — how accurately — that came to pass. We quote from one of the authoritative English-language histories published in the last century, A Manual of Ancient History (Student Series) by Rawlinson: "Cut off unexpectedly in the vigor of early manhood [the 33rd year of his age, June, 323 B.C.], he [Alexander] left no inheritor, either of his power or of his projects" (p. 237). The Empire was left leaderless and in confusion, but out of this emerged, by the year 301 B.C., four divisions, just as prophesied, as a result of a division of the Empire into four divisions by Alexander's generals. They were:

1. Ptolemy (Soter), ruling Egypt, part of Syria and Judea.

2. Seleucus (Nicator), ruling Syria, Babylonia and territory east to India.

3. Lysimachus, ruling Asia Minor.

4. Cassander, ruling Greece and Macedonia.

Thus was the prophecy of verse 4 fulfilled to the letter.

Now notice what follows. From here the prophecy foretells the activities only of two of these four divisions: Egypt, called "king of the south," because it is south of Jerusalem; and the Syrian kingdom, the king of the north, just north of Judea. It is because the Holy Land passed back and forth between those two divisions, and because their different wars were principally over possession of Judea, that the prophecy is concerned with them. Here is verse 5:

"And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion." In history, we learn that the original Ptolemy I, called Soter, became strong and powerful, developing Egypt beyond the greatest dreams of Alexander. One of his princes, or generals, Seleucus Nicator, also became strong and powerful. And, in 312 B.C., taking advantage of Ptolemy's being tied up in a war, he established himself in Syria, and assumed the diadem as king.

Verse 6 says, "And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement [margin, "rights" or "equitable conditions," or "marriage union"]: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times."

Fulfilled to the Letter!

At the end of 50 years, this occurred exactly as described!

Syria's ruler, the king of the north, at this time was Antiochus II, called Theos. His wife was named Laodice. And, says Rawlinson's Ancient History, page 251, "Her influence ... engaged him in a war with Ptolemy Philadelphus [king of the south], B.C. 260, which is terminated, B.C. 252, by a marriage between Antiochus and Bernice, Ptolemy's daughter."

The prophecy says "he that begat her" shall be given up. Also that she shall not retain the power of the arm, neither shall the king of the north, whom she married, stand. All three are to come to their end. Notice how accurately this came to pass.

Says Rawlinson's History, pages 251 and 252: "On the death of Philadelphus [he that begat her], B.C. 247, Antiochus repudiated Bernice, and took back his former wife, Laodice, who, however, doubtful of his constancy, murdered him to secure the throne for her son Seleucus (II) B.C. 246 ... Bernice ... had been put to death by Laodice."

Nowhere in all the Bible is there so literal a prophecy, giving so many details of future history. And to read an ancient history of these kingdoms is simply to see unfolded before your eyes, step by step, verse by verse, this marvelous prophecy. There can be no doubt of its right application!

The Holy Land Changes Hands

Next let us notice verse 7: "But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate [margin, "in his office"], which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail."

"Out of a branch," or "shoot," of her roots. Her parents were her roots. Hence, this must be her brother, who next should occupy the throne of king of the south and fulfill this prophecy. Now listen to this accurate fulfillment, quoted word for word from the same page of Rawlinson's work (p. 252):

"Ptolemy Euergetes [the III, eldest son of Philadelphus (p. 272) and therefore Bernice's brother, a branch of her roots] invaded Syria, B.C. 245, to avenge the murder of his sister, Bernice ... .In the war which followed, he carried everything before him."

The eighth verse of Daniel 11 says this king of the south would carry captives and vessels of silver and gold into Egypt, and continue to reign more years than the king of the north, who at that time was Seleucus II, and verse 9 says he shall return into Egypt. As verse 7 said he should "enter into the fortress of the king of the north," Ptolemy III did seize the fortress of Syria, Seleucia, the port of Antioch, capital of the kingdom! Then he carried back to Egypt immense booty and 2,500 molten images and idolatrous vessels which, in 526 B.C. Cambyses had carried away from Egypt. He continued to rule until 222 B.C., while the king of the north, Seleucus II, died in 226 B.C.

When he died, his two sons took over the kingdom of the north; first Seleucus III, 226-223 B.C., who ruled only three years, and then his brother Antiochus III, called "the Great," 223-187 B.C. Both of these two sons of Seleucus II assembled immense forces to war against Egypt, avenge their father, and recover their port and fortress, Seleucia.

And this was accurately prophesied in verse 10: "But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return and be stirred up [margin, "be stirred up again"], even to his fortress."

"And," continues verse 11, "the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand."

In fulfillment of the latter part of verse 10, Antiochus the Great, after 27 years, recovered his fortress, Seleucia, and he also conquered the territory of Syria, as far as Gaza, including Judea. But the young Egyptian king, now Ptolemy IV (Philopater), was roused, and with an army of 20,000 inflicted severe defeat on Antiochus the Great; and fulfilling verse 12, he killed tens of thousands and again annexed Judea to Egypt. But he was not strengthened, for he made a rash and speedy peace with Antiochus, and returned to dissipation, throwing away the fruits of victory. Says verse 12, "And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it."

"For," as verse 13 continues, "the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches." It was "after certain years," or 12 years later, 205 B.C., that Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving his throne to an infant son, Ptolemy Epiphanes. Then Antiochus assembled a greater army, and won great victories.

He then made a treaty allying Philip of Macedonia with him, and others, against Egypt, and they wrested Phoenicia and southern Syria from the king of the south. In this they were assisted by some of the Jews. Josephus' Jewish history says many Jews helped Antiochus. But notice how accurately Almighty God had foretold this, hundreds of years before it happened! —

"And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall" (v. 14).

Read It in Your Own Bible!

To save space, the reader is asked from this point to read each verse of the prophecy from his own Bible, thus saving us reprinting the prophecy in full here. We give here only the facts in history.

Verses 15-16 — "the glorious land," of course, refers to Judea, the Holy Land. Antiochus the Great besieged and took Sidon from Egypt, ruined the interests of Egypt in Judea at the Battle of Mount Panium, 198 B.C., and then Antiochus took possession of Judea.

Verse 17 — "upright ones" (see margin) in Hebrew means "equal conditions, or marriage," but the one he marries will not stand on his side. In 198 B.C., Antiochus arranged a marriage between his daughter, Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra of 31 B.C. in Egypt) and young Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of the south, by which he hoped subtly to gain complete possession of Egypt; but the plan failed.

Says Rawlinson, page 254, "Coele-Syria and Palestine promised as a dowry, but not delivered." Cleopatra did not truly stand on the side of Antiochus, for it was only a trick to gain possession of Egypt.

Verse 18 — and so Antiochus turned his attention in another direction and tried to conquer, 197 to 196 B.C., the islands and coasts of Asia Minor. But the Roman general, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, utterly defeated him at the Battle of Magnesia, 190 B.C.

Verse 19 — Antiochus next turned his attention to the fortresses of his own land, in the east and west. But, attempting to recruit his dissipated wealth by the plunder of the Oriental Temple of Belus, in Elymais, he was killed, 187 B.C.

Verse 20 — Seleucus IV Philopator (187-176), his son, in an effort to raise money, sent a tax collector, Heliodorus, through Judea. But he reigned only 11 years, when Heliodorus poisoned him.

Verse 21 — he left no heir. But his brother, a younger son of Antiochus the Great, named Epiphanes (Antiochus IV), a contemptible reprobate, came by surprise and through flattery took the kingdom. To his aid came his assistant, Eumenes. Rawlinson says, page 255, "Antiochus [Epiphanes], assisted by Eumenes, drives out Heliodorus, and obtains the throne, B.C. 176. He astonishes his subjects by an affectation of Roman manners" and "good-natured profuseness [flattery]."

Antiochus Epiphanes

Verse 22 — "the prince of the covenant" does not refer to Christ. This was the attempt of Antiochus to replace the Jewish high priest by another who would be subservient to him.

Verses 23-24 — although only a few were with him at first, yet by this "Roman manner," by deceit and flattery, he crept into power and prospered. He also invaded Galilee and Lower Egypt. His fathers, the former kings of Syria, had favored the Jews, but says Rawlinson, page 255, they "were driven to desperation by the mad project of this self-willed monarch."

Verse 25 — Rawlinson, pages 255-256, says, "Threatened with war by the ministers of Ptolemy Philometor [now king of the south], who claim Coele-Syria and Palestine as the dowry of Cleopatra, the late queen-mother, Antiochus marches against Egypt ... B.C. 171" (pp. 277-278). But he was met by his nephew, Ptolemy Philometor, king of the south, with another immense army. But the Egyptian king was defeated through the treachery of his own officers and was outwitted by Antiochus.

Verses 26-27 — continuing in Rawlinson, page 278: "After his victory at Pelusium, Antiochus advanced to Memphis, and having obtained possession of the young king's person [Ptolemy Philometor, king of the south], endeavored to use him as a tool for effecting the entire reduction of the country." In 174 B.C., the uncle of the king of the south sat at a banquet. Antiochus pretended to ally himself with the young Ptolemy, against his brother, Euergetes II, but each was trying to deceive the other.

The Abomination of Desolation

Verse 28 — in 168 B.C., returning from Egypt with great plunder, Antiochus set himself against the Jews, massacred many, and then returned to Antioch with golden vessels from the Temple at Jerusalem.

Verse 29 — the same year, he again invaded Egypt, but with none of his former success, because Philometor, king of the south, got help from Rome.

Verse 30 — the Roman fleet came against Antiochus, he was forced to surrender to the terms of Popillius, commander of the Roman fleet, and retire from Egypt and restore Cyprus to Egypt. Returning through Judea, smarting under the defeat, he vented his exasperation against the Jews, and extended special favors to those Jews who would turn from their religion.

Verse 31 — then, 167 B.C., the next year, came the climax of the horror. Antiochus sent troops to the Holy Land, who desecrated the Temple and sanctuary, abolished the daily sacrifice (see also Daniel 8:11, 24) and (Kislev 15, Hebrew calendar) placed the abomination — an image — on the altar in the Temple precincts, making it desolate (Rawlinson, p. 255). Many who claim to teach the Bible try to apply the prophecy of this verse to Moslems in the 7th century A.D., building the Dome of the Rock on the supposed site of the ancient Temple at Jerusalem! But every verse of this prophecy, step by step, verse by verse, unfolded in actual history, just as here recounted, so there can be not the slightest shadow of doubt as to this abomination that "maketh desolate" — it was an idol set up in 167 B.C., by Antiochus Epiphanes.

The Prophecy Comes to Christ and the Apostles

Verse 32 — Antiochus tried to end the religion of the Jews. He took away the daily sacrifice, forbade the ministration at the Temple. He perverted by flatteries the Jews who were willing to forsake their religion.

But — right here, the prophecy cuts off from the continuation of events in the history of those ancient north and south kingdoms. Up to this point, the prophecy was unfolded, step by step, in the actual history of the northern kingdom of the Seleucidae, or Syria, and the southern kingdom of Egypt. But, say most commentaries, all accurate details seem suddenly to stop short with this verse.

Now let us notice verse 32 in detail, and particularly the last part:

"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries." This, Antiochus Epiphanes did do. But now notice the last part of the verse: "but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."

So our question now is, when, beginning with, and following, 167 B.C., did people begin to know God, and to be spiritually strong, and to do exploits in the Lord's service? The answer is, at the time of the Maccabees, beginning in 166 B.C., and, two centuries later, at the first appearing of Jesus Christ and in the days of the apostles!

Verse 33 — "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days."

Jesus and the apostles did instruct many. But Jesus was put to death, and history indicates that all the early apostles were martyred, except John. And this continued, many days, even into the Middle Ages, when millions were martyred for their faith.

Verse 34 — "Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And [verse 35] some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."

Here is described in general the whole course of God's people, from the days of Christ to the present. Compare with such passages as Rev. 12:6, 11, 13-17. And notice the vision carries on down to this present time of the end.

Verse 36 — The king of the north — who is he, now, in the early and middle New Testament times, to which our prophecy has come? In 65 B.C., Syria was swallowed up by the Roman Empire, and became a Roman province. The Roman emperor now controlled Judea, and therefore the king of the north, here referred to, is, at this time, the emperor of the Roman Empire. This verse says he should do according to his will, and he did — exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and he did; for the Roman emperors required all to worship them and sacrifice to them, as a god. He was as a god. He was to speak against the true God, and he did and persecuted all Christians.

Verse 37 — his fathers had worshiped idols, but the Roman emperors set themselves up as gods.

Verse 38 — the Roman emperors honored the god of forces, or (margin) munitions, and developed the greatest war-making power the world ever knew. "And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things." After setting themselves up as gods, before A.D. 476, the emperors who followed, beginning with Justinian, A.D. 554, began to honor with gold, silver and power a god in a high religious office never known to their fathers. (Compare this prophecy of Daniel with Revelation 17:4, 5, and 18:3, 16.)

Verse 39 — the emperors did acknowledge the supremacy of religion, increased it with material glory and caused it to rule over many.

Prophecy Skips to Present

Now we come to the very present century.

Verse 40 — "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him ...." Who is today the "king of the south"? It cannot be the king of Egypt, for in 31 B.C. Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, swallowed up by the king of the north. Today Egypt is a republic ruled by native Arabs. It has no king of its own.

But, in the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (verse 7), 247-222 B.C., Egypt annexed part of Ethiopia, immediately south of Egypt (Rawlinson, pp. 272, 273). Since that time, the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica says (article "Ethiopia") Egypt and Ethiopia were two or three times under the same government. Thus, the two were as one land. And the only portion of that land of the "king of the south" that remained independent until the 20th century is Ethiopia!

Ethiopia, the King of the South

Ethiopia was the only country in all East Africa that continued independent, and had a government and kingdom dating back before the Roman Empire. It was the southern part of the kingdom of the south. So it is the only possible government that could be the king of the south.

At the time of the end — our time — this king of the south was to push at the king of the north, now at Rome!

In 1895 King Menelik, of Ethiopia, sent an army of 9,000 to 10,000 men against General Baratieri's Italian army.

North of Ethiopia was Eritrea, belonging to Italy. And southeast was Italian Somaliland.

In 1896 General Baratieri with 13,000 men tried to defend Eritrea against the Ethiopians. They lost 4,600 whites and 3,000 native troops, and more than 3,500 were taken prisoner.

In a later engagement the Italians were cut to pieces because of their inexperience in fighting in mountainous country and because they were greatly outnumbered. This defeat was disastrous to Italian expansion in Africa.

Ever since, Italy demanded revenge! In 1927 Mussolini set the time, at just 40 years from that defeat, or 1935, when he would be ready "finally to make our voice heard, and see our rights recognized!"

1935 came. The hour struck! Mussolini attacked! Now notice verse 40: "... and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over."

A whirlwind comes in the air, sweeping all before it. Mussolini did send a great air force into Africa! Also many modern "chariots" — trucks, tanks, etc. — and ships, loaded with soldiers. More than 100,000 sailed to Ethiopia.

And, notice it, Mussolini's forces were to pass over — in the air! It is at this precise point in this astounding prophecy that Mussolini's struggle in Ethiopia and in World War II ended. Mussolini did not finish the prophecy. There is yet another leader to arise in Europe! Notice what will next happen!

Verse 41 — "He shall enter also into the glorious land ... " — the Holy Land. This is yet to be fulfilled.

When the coming revival of the Roman Empire takes the Holy Land, then the nations will be plunged into the initial phase of the great, last and final crisis at the close of this age! Other prophecies reveal that this revival of the Roman Empire will bring into subjection the U.S. and Britain! (Request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

"And," continues verse 41, "many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" — the modern land of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The coming dictator will unite many others with him — 10 in all (Rev. 17:12) — reviving the ancient Roman Empire.

Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now the "king of the south."

Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps — and he will then control them. Italy lost control of Libya and Ethiopia after the war.

Verse 44 — but news out of the east and out of the north — Russia and the Orient — shall trouble the revived Roman Empire. Russia will enter the war!

Verse 45 — the coming Roman Empire shall establish its palace, as capital of the revived Roman Empire, and eventually its religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2 says the city shall be taken! "Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him"! This language signifies the end of the "beast" and the "false prophet" at the hand of God! You will find this end described in Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12.

And now what is the time of this end, at the close of this marvelous prophecy? The next verse, Daniel 12:1, says at the time of the resurrection of the just — at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!

This prophecy begins with the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, soon after the death of Alexander the Great — 2,300 years ago. But it ends at the time of the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ to bring peace at last to the region — and to the entire world! It is so plain, there can be no doubt of its right application!

Are you ready for that event? It is fast approaching. Now is the time to get ready, for Jesus said, "Be ye also ready"!

The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last! by Herbert W. Armstrong

The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!

by Herbert W. Armstrong

The Prophecies of the Book of REVELATION are revealed at last!

The closed, sealed prophecies are opened.

Here is a startling, eye-opening booklet vividly picturing the catastrophic events soon to bring the END OF THIS AGE!

GOD'S TIME has come! At last, the most mysterious, intriguing, never-before-understood Book of Revelation stands UNVEILED!

In this heretofore closed, sealed Book, the Eternal God now reveals, not only the wonderful world of PEACE--of PLENTY--Of HAPPINESS and JOY soon to shine forth on this very present generation, but also the terrifying world-catastrophes this present world is first bringing on itself!

Science, technology and industry are producing more and more frightful weapons of mass destruction. Already they have produced the means to erase human life from the earth!

Meanwhile, immorality, crime, violence, poverty, sickness and disease, famine and starvation stalk the earth, in fast-increasing acceleration.

However, there exists a living God of love, mercy, compassion, wisdom, justice, of transcendent PURPOSE and of SUPREME POWER, very soon now to intervene, and BY FORCE to save humanity from itself. If He did not exist--then indeed the imminent end of the world would become also THE END OF HUMAN LIFE!

But the living God, happily, is VERY MUCH ALIVE!--alive to world trends--alive to the self-inflicted plight fast closing in on a humanity now caught hopelessly in the trap of its own rebellion-- utterly helpless to extricate itself from its fast-approaching fate!

What's Coming First?

But this happy WORLD TOMORROW, under the government of Almighty God, will not come until man has actually reached the end of his rope! Not until man has proved beyond his last shadow of doubt that he is utterly incapable of ruling himself--not until he has been given his last chance!

The time has come when this world must be warned!

The present strife between major nuclear powers--the constantly accelerating international tensions--the internal upward spiral within nations of crime, race riots, violence of every sort--are combining to plunge the world into a holocaust of destruction and death such as never happened before--and never shall again!

The God of Creation knows human nature and its inevitable END. Every gigantic step in world events from here is pictured in God's prophecies!

God's time has come to OPEN WIDE to human understanding the awesome prophecies of the Book OF REVELATION. Today this solemn warning is being thundered around the world, as a witness! Take warning yourself, while you may, and mark well this fact:

No PLAGUE NEED COME NEAR YOU! You may, if you heed and obey God, be accounted worthy to escape these things that shall certainly come to pass!

These Not Normal Times

It's time to wake up! These are not normal times! After nearly 6,000 years of comparative quiet, the whole world suddenly erupted in world-shaking VIOLENCE beginning in 1914. But we have seen NOTHING, yet, compared to what is soon coming!


Does God Exist? by Herbert W. Armstrong

By Herbert W. Armstrong

Let’s face this question! Is it rational to believe in God? Is God merely a myth—an invention of an ignorant, superstitious past? Many today assume this.

I Questioned God’s Existence

With me—and I hope with the reader—I wanted to know! I wanted to be sure! I questioned the existence of God! Also I questioned the opposing doctrine of evolution. I did not seek to disprove either. But I did research and carefully examine the evidences on both sides of this two-sided question. For this question is the very starting place for the acquisition of all knowledge. It is the foundation for understanding!

In my in-depth research into this question I emptied my mind of prejudice. I sought the truth, whether it was what I wanted to believe or not.

There are the two possibilities of origins—special creation by a Creator God, and the theory of evolution. It has become intellectually fashionable to accept the evolutionary doctrine. It has won popular acceptance in science and higher education. Even many professing Christian denominations have accepted it, if only passively.

Yet, though in the minority, there still remain scientists, educators and fundamentalist religious groups, as well as those in Judaism, who cling to belief in the existence of God.

Don’t Assume—KNOW!

Many of these, however, especially among the more or less religious individuals, have merely assumed the existence of God. Why? Simply because they were taught it from childhood. It has been believed in the circles in which they have lived or associated. But few of these have proved it!

Of course, on the other hand, perhaps a vast majority who accept evolution, at least passively, were simply swept into that acceptance in college or university. It became the scholarly “in” thing. The opposite belief, special creation, has not been widely taught. It has not been objectively examined. Too frequently, proponents utilize the psychological ploy that it is a badge of scholarly status to accept evolution, and a stamp of ignorance or intellectual inferiority to doubt the hypothesis.

All of which goes to show that people in general believe what they do simply because they have been taught it, or because it has been accepted in their particular social environment. People want to belong! They go along with their particular group. In general, they believe what they have taken carelessly for granted—without examination or proof!

Of course I know well, too, that people generally believe only what they are willing to accept. In most instances people feel no compulsion to refuse what is accepted in their social or geographical environment. As one philosopher said, most dyed-in-the-wool evolutionists accept the theory because of their reluctance or unwillingness to believe in God.

As the book professing to be the Word of God says, “[T]he carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). All the facts, positive evidence, rational reasonings and proofs in the world will never induce such a one to accept that against which he is prejudiced. For prejudice is a barrier to the entrance of truth into any mind.

I Found PROOF!

I was forced, on examination of the facts, to realize there is no proof for the theory of evolution. It is purely a theory—a belief—a faith, not based on proof. Though its zealous proponents push it onto the world as if it were proven fact!

I found proof of the existence of the Creator God. I also found proof that the book called the Holy Bible is, in fact, the very inspired revelation from that all-intelligent, all-knowing God, of the vital, necessary, basic knowledge and instruction without which man is unable to solve his problems, prevent his evils, or live in peace, happiness, universal prosperity and abundant well-being here on Earth. Man is the crowning product of his Maker. The Bible is our Maker’s instruction manual He sent along with His product.

Which God?

An atheist wrote me: “We have the history of many religions, and many gods. Which one of these gods do you claim for your God—and how do you know that He exists?”

That’s a fair question. It deserves an answer!

Yes, my friends, I have a God.

The gods of some nations have been carved by men’s hands out of wood, stone, or other existing material. The gods of some religions and individuals have been carved out of human imaginations and faulty human reasonings. Some have worshiped the sun or other inanimate objects of nature. All these gods are merely the created—most of them formed and fashioned by man, therefore inferior to man.

But He who did the creating—He who brought everything that exists into existence, including all else falsely called God—He who created all matter, force and energy, who created all natural laws and set them in motion, who created life and endowed some of it with intelligence—He is God! He is superior to all else that is called “God.” He, alone, is God.

Creation is the proof of God

But during the past two centuries especially, there has developed among God-rejecting men in the Occidental world, the mental disease of theophobia. Two hundred years ago it appeared under the popular catchphrases “deism” and “rationalism.” Then it masqueraded itself under the appealing name “higher criticism.” This pseudo-scholarship employed, as it advanced, such attractive titles as “progress,” “development” and “evolution.” It has appealed to the intellectual vanity of a world groping in spiritual darkness in an era of widespread diffusion of knowledge.

Creation Without a Creator?

The theory of evolution provided the atheist an explanation of a creation without a Creator.

But this misguided “rationalism” failed utterly to account for the origins of things and of life; and today the more candid among geologists and biologists confess that they do not know how life could have evolved from inanimate matter, through the simple life forms, to the complex, interdependent species we see about us, finally to man. Lamarck’s theory of “use and disuse,” Darwin’s “natural selection” and other theories have now fallen by the wayside, and “mutations” explain only the presence of varieties less fit to survive.

Amazing Knowledge of Science

Now suppose we confine ourselves to facts!

What, then, has science actually determined?

Discovery and study of radioactivity has proved that there has been no past eternity of matter! Radioactivity is described as a process of disintegration. The atomic age is opening up new fields to explore. Soon after Madame Curie discovered the element radium, in 1898, it was discovered that radium, and the other radioactive elements as we know now, are continually giving off radiations.

as Matter Always Existed?

So notice carefully what this fact of science means:

Uranium is a radioactive element heavier than radium. It has an atomic weight of 238.5. In decomposing, it gives off a helium atom, weight 4, repeated three times, and then the substance left is radium, atomic weight about 226.4. Radium, then, is simply the end product of uranium after it has lost three helium atoms. Then the disintegration continues in radium. And the final product of this process of radioactive disintegration is the element lead! Now of course this process requires great periods of time. The calculated half-life of radium is 1,590 years—uranium much longer.

I have seen it myself, in the darkroom of an X-ray laboratory. A tiny portion of radium was placed on a mirror at the far end of a hollow tube, and I looked into this tube through a magnifying glass at the other end. Under this magnification what I saw appeared as a large, vast, dark sky, with thousands of shooting stars falling toward me from all directions. Actually what I saw were the emanations of tiny particles being emitted by the radium, greatly magnified.

We know, therefore, that there has been no past eternity of matter!

When Matter Did Not Exist

The radioactive elements in existence today have not yet been in existence long enough to have run their course, and disintegrated into lead. To have always existed, without any definite time of starting in the past, this “life” period of radioactive elements long ago would have run its course. All radioactive elements would have long ago disintegrated into lead. Since these elements exist only for a definite span of years, and all the uranium, radium, thorium and other radioactive elements in the world today have not yet existed that many years, there was a time, prior to the duration of this span in the past, when these elements did not exist!

Here we have definite scientific proof that matter has not always existed. Here we have definite specific elements that once, in the long ago, did not yet exist. Then there came a time, later, when these elements came into existence.

Evolution usually postulates that things come about gradually, through the slow-moving natural processes of the present. Try to imagine, if you can, something coming into existence out of nothing, gradually! Can your mind entertain the idea?

I think not. No, I think if you are rational, you will have to accept the fact of a special and necessarily instantaneous creation. And some power or some one had of necessity to do the creating. There is a cause for every effect. And in accepting that inevitable fact, proved by the findings of science, of the existence of that great FIRST CAUSE, you have accepted the fact of the existence and preexistence of the Creator—God!

Where Did LIFE Come From?

But how about the presence of life?

How did life get here? Science has learned some things about that, too.

The wisest of the ancients did not know what science makes available today. Thus it is demonstrated today that life comes only from life, and that each kind reproduces only after its kind (Gen. 1:25).

The works of Tyndall and Louis Pasteur, in the field of bacteria and protozoa, finally demonstrated scientifically once and for all in these more minute fields what Redi first demonstrated with larger organisms.

All the advances of medical and surgical science in the treatment and prevention of germ diseases are based upon this great truth of the law of biogenesis—that life can come only from preexisting life.

No fact of science stands more conclusively proved today. Life cannot come from dead matter. There is not one shred of truth from science to account for the presence of life upon the Earth by any means other than a special creation by the great original first Cause—God—who is life and the fountain source of all life! It is now absolutely certain, according to all that can be known from science—according to all that is rational—that it required a real creation to produce life from the not-living—organic from inorganic matter.

Life Only FROM Life

One cannot rationally deny the existence of my God, unless he can account for the origin of life without a Creator who, Himself, is Life! The Creator, therefore, begins to be revealed, by science and by reason, as a living God—a God in whom is life, and who alone has imparted life to all that have it!

I could go further and show you that what science has discovered about energy and its origin and the laws of conservation of energy also proves conclusively that “the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Heb. 4:3), that the material creation is a completed work, which is not now going on!

Next, then, let’s examine whether the great first cause is a Being of intelligence, or merely some blind, dumb, unintelligent force.

Is Anything Superior to Your Mind?

Look about you. You admit that the transmission of knowledge to your mind is limited to the channels of your five senses.

So now I ask you, do you know of anything that is superior to your mind?

Look at the planets coursing through the sky. Behold, in all its splendor, the entire cosmic universe, with its suns, its nebulae and galaxies.

Yes, they are inanimate. They have no mind, no intelligence. They cannot do what you can do—think, reason, plan and carry out plans according to private volition and will.

The human mind can know, think, reason, plan and carry out its plans to execution. It can invent and produce instruments by which it may acquire knowledge of the vast universe, or of the minutest particle. By developing rockets and computers, man is able to send astronauts to the moon and bring them back alive. He can cause rivers to run backward, turn the forces of nature to serving human needs. And now he has learned how to release the energy of the atom, and utilize a power so vast that man is able at last to annihilate all life from the Earth.

But there remains one thing no man ever has been able to do. He cannot build, make, produce or create anything that is superior to himself!

A man can take existing materials and out of them build a house. An automobile is almost a living thing, but the intelligence and powers required to invent and produce it are superior to the thing produced.

The Supreme Intelligence

To suggest to you that anything you could invent, make, build or bring into being could be superior in intelligence and ability to you and your mind, would certainly insult your intelligence!

Now let me ask you candidly, do you honestly believe that any power or force of less intelligence than your mind produced you?

If you do not believe in my God, then you have only the alternative of believing that something less than your intelligence produced you—that dumb, purposeless unintelligence brought into being your intelligence! The only rational possibility is to acknowledge that the very presence of the human mind is proof that the great First Cause is also the supreme intelligence, infinitely superior to the abilities of mortal man!

Suppose You Were Creator?

Suppose that you could add to your powers of reasoning, planning, designing, the actual creative power, so that you could project your will anywhere to produce and bring into being whatever your mind should plan and desire. Then, suppose you undertook the designing, creating, fashioning, shaping and setting in motion of a limitless cosmic universe—with planets and suns and nebulae and galaxies in all their splendor, each of these vast units being of such intricate and complex construction as the existing universe. On one of these planets you would plan and produce all the forms of life that exist on this planet—and I do not mean reproduce, for there would be no present universe to copy. There would be worlds within a world, down to the minutest infinitesimal particles of matter we cannot even see by the aid of the most powerful microscopes.

Do you think your mind would be equal to the task?

Just stop and think.

Is it rational, then, to believe that any power or force lacking even human intelligence, could have planned, designed, created, formed, fashioned, shaped, put together and set in motion the awesome universe we behold?

The First Great Cause who created matter, then, stands revealed as the supreme intelligence and architect of the universe!

The Miracle of Living Food

But again I say, look about you! Here are human beings on this Earth, composed mainly of certain, specific elements of matter—living, organic matter. These elements of life must be supplied and replenished through food, water and air.

No man, with all his ingenuity and science and laboratory facilities, can produce food! That is, he cannot take plain inorganic matter and turn it into the living substance we call food. But some Power, Force, Intelligence or Being did in some way, at some time, start the process going—a process far too wonderful for any man to devise or produce.

And so it is that out of the ground grows grass, and green leafy vegetables, and all other vegetables, and vines and trees yielding fruit—each with its seed in itself, each through this seed reproducing after its kind—and it is very good!

When a marvelous little grain of wheat is planted in the ground, a plant develops and sprouts above the ground, and in some manner too wonderful for any human mind to understand or imitate, the elements drunk in through the roots from the ground are utilized by the life germ in the seed of wheat, and new grains of wheat appear.

During this process, the inorganic iron and other elements dissolved in the ground, drunk into the roots and carried up into the new grain of wheat, have been actually converted into organic matter that can be assimilated as food.

And this same marvelous process takes place in the growth out of the ground of all grains, vegetables, fruits and foods. When we eat animal meat we are merely consuming, secondhand, the vegetation that the animal ate.

Man, with all his vaunted science, his technical laboratory facilities, with all his inventive genius, lacks the intelligence and the powers to produce a grain of wheat, or to convert inorganic matter into living food. Then is it rational to say that forces or powers exist, of no intelligence, which have been able to produce this living miracle of food? Did not a far greater intelligence than man design, create and supply man with all of this?

Man’s Intelligence Versus God’s

But now let’s compare the wisdom and intelligence of man with that of God, who brought these marvels into being, and keeps them functioning.

The grain of wheat God causes to grow out of the ground is a perfect food. But, like other perfect gifts from God, man fails to value the priceless perfection of the all-wise God, and, undertaking to improve on God’s handiwork, perverts, pollutes, and defiles it! Every bit of God’s perfection man’s hand has ever touched, it would seem, he has besmirched, spoiled and polluted!

And the poor, defenseless grain of wheat is no exception! Into flour mills of human devising go the millions of bushels of healthful wheat. And there the supposedly intelligent human takes it apart, removes the 12 alkaline reacting mineral elements, and turns out for human consumption sacks of white flour composed of the four acid-reacting carbohydrate elements—with poison bleach added!

Out of this, the human population makes white bread, biscuits, doughnuts, pastries, puddings, macaroni, spaghetti, gravies, etc., etc., often mixing flour with white “refined” sugar and greases or fats—a combination guaranteed to wreck any stomach in time! Yes, the sugar refiners do the same thing to sugar; and nearly all foods on the market for human consumption today have gone through man’s factories and suffered from man’s processes until they have been devitalized, depleted of their health-giving properties and turned from foods into slow-acting poisons! And these foodless foods with which man has tampered in lust for profits have produced in human bodies a whole series of diseases of which our forefathers of a few generations ago never heard!

Cause of Diseases

Result: Today human beings drop dead before their time with heart failure, others die with cancer; the population suffers rheumatism, arthritis, diabetes, kidney diseases, anemia, colds, fevers, pneumonia and thousands of other diseases. We respond to the toothbrush and toothpaste ads and frantically brush our teeth, but our teeth keep decaying and we lose them beginning at an early age because of lack of calcium and fluorine in our diet.

Today Americans are undernourished overeaters. We cram down too much bulk, yet starve our bodies of essential minerals and vitamins. It would seem man is not very intelligent after all!

Then, too, the God who created this Earth and all vegetation told us to let our land lie idle every seventh year. But man is too greedy to do that. And so our land is worn out and depleted, and such natural good foods as carrots, beets and turnips are lacking in the necessary mineral elements and vitamins! And drug companies get rich selling vitamin pills!

Whose intelligence is higher—that of the God who provided every perfect need for every living thing, or that of greedy, gullible, God-rejecting humans who, in the interest of bigger profits and more luxuries for themselves, have robbed the very foods God created and gave us, of their health- and body-building values?

“There Was No Watchmaker”

I needed an accurate watch with a very plain dial for timing broadcasts. The only kind that filled the need was a railroad watch. I have one—the very finest railroad watch made, a 23-jewel watch.

But it does not keep perfect time. Once or twice a week I have to adjust it a second or two, if I want to be sure it is accurate to the second. I set it by the master clock of my city (or any U.S. city), which is always found at the Western Union office. But even this clock does not keep perfect time. Once or twice a week it must be adjusted by a second or two to the master clock of the nation, by telegraph, from the Naval Observatory, Washington, d.c. There at the Naval Observatory is the master clock of the U.S. But this great master clock of the United States is not perfect, either. It, too, must be adjusted and corrected occasionally.

Yes, it is corrected by the master clock of the universe—up in the skies—by astronomers! Up there in the heavens is the great master clock that never makes a mistake—is always on time—never off a fraction of a second—the heavenly bodies coursing through the skies!

Now you, sir—my doubting friend! If I show you my fine precision 23-jewel railroad watch and tell you that it was not made in a factory after all—in fact, it was not designed, planned, put together, by any watchmaker at all—that it just sort of happened—that the iron ores just brought themselves up out of the ground, refined themselves, formed and shaped themselves into the delicate little cogs and wheels and other pieces; the silicon just came of its own accord out of the earth and turned itself into the glass crystal; the gold case just refined itself, shaped itself; the cogs and wheels and scores of little parts just assembled themselves together in that case, wound themselves up, and started themselves running and keeping almost perfect time—well, if I should try to tell you anything like that, you’d tell me I’m crazy or a fool, would you not?

Certainly! You know that the presence of that watch is rational and positive proof of the existence of a watchmaker, or watchmakers, who thought it all out, planned it, formed it, shaped it, put it together and started it running.

Master Clock of the Universe

But then you, Mr. Skeptic—you look up into the great vast sky at the master clock of the universe, which never misses a second—the perfect watch by which we must constantly set all our imperfect man-made watches—and you tell me, “That all just happened! There was no great Watchmaker! No master mind thought out and planned that vast universe, brought it into being, set each star and planet in its own exact place, and started the myriad heavenly bodies coursing through space, each in its prescribed orbit, in its orderly precision. No, it just fashioned itself, put itself together, wound itself up, and started itself running. There was no Intelligence—no planning—no creation—no God!”

Do you say that to me?

If you can, I answer that I do not respect your intelligence. And the God I acknowledge replies to you, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”! (Ps. 14:1; 53:1).

If you can look about you, and observe how intelligently planned and executed is everything in nature and in plant and animal life—everything we see except the bungling, botching, polluting of God’s beautiful handiwork by the clumsy hand of God-ignoring-and-rejecting man—and then say you doubt the existence of an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, then I do not have much faith either in your rational processes or your sincerity as a seeker of the truth!

Just What Do You Mean... BORN AGAIN? by Herbert W. Armstrong

By Herbert W. Armstrong

Why did not the Pharisee Nicodemus understand when Jesus said to him: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”? (John 3:3).

Why do people not understand those words today?

How many know, today, that Jesus’s gospel was a sensational, never-before proclaimed news announcement?

Jesus Was a Newscaster

Those in Judea knew—or should have known—Malachi’s prophecy concerning this. It was the gospel of God—and the word gospel means good news!

Jesus was a newscaster. His news was something absolutely new—never before proclaimed to mankind. It was the most wonderful news ever reported. Actually almost too wonderful for humans to believe. It was news of the utterly transcendent potential of man.

A humorous columnist wrote a bit on the news printed in daily newspapers. It is actually not news, he insisted, since it is a reporting of events that already have happened. Therefore it is no longer new, but old when printed. He insisted it really ought to be called olds!

The tremendous message that Jesus brought was news! It was not a report of past events. It was advance news!—news of an almost unbelievable utopian World Tomorrow!

And it is sure!

And it was news that we may be born again! Yet almost nobody understands it!

How many, even today, know that Jesus’s gospel was not in any sense a new or different religion—yet it was actually so breathtaking—so seemingly incredible, so startling, it should have left its hearers in a daze of awe! It didn’t. Why?

Why has it never been recognized by the world as the stupendous news that it actually was?

Simply because the leaders in Judea rejected it—hated it—hated Jesus for announcing the wonderful great news—turned most of the people against it. And it has been so misrepresented, so distorted and maligned, that the whole world has been deceived—and has totally misunderstood it! Your Bible says the whole world—all nations—have been deceived about that gospel!

The time was at hand, then, for this message to be announced! The time is at hand, today, for its true meaning to be made so plain that people may understand it!

It will be, in this booklet! And it is a crucial challenge to you who now read it!

And you have to understand what was that news announcement, or you can never understand what Jesus meant about being “born again.”

What Was the News?

Notice, briefly, first, what that astonishing new message was!

The pre-announcement, in Malachi’s prophecy, says: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek [the Messiah], shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant …” (Mal. 3:1).

Now notice the beginning of the Messenger’s proclamation of that message.

It is recorded in Mark’s Gospel, chapter 1: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets …” (vv. 1-2). Then follows the citation from Malachi, written above. That is followed by the account of John the Baptist, preparing the way before the Messenger.

Then, verses 14-15: “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.” That is, believe the good news!

What is the Kingdom of God?

What did He mean—the Kingdom of God?

Jesus’s whole message—His gospel—was about the Kingdom of God! Yet few know anything about it, today.

A kingdom is a) a nation composed of people, and b) the government of the nation.

In some cases, the people of a nation are the descendants—the children—of one man. The nation of Turkey is the descendants of the ancient Esau, twin brother of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, father of the nation Israel. Before the twins were born, God said to their mother, Rebekah, “Two nations are in thy womb …” (Gen. 25:23).

Now Jesus the Messiah was to come as “the Messenger of the covenant.” The “Old Covenant” had established the human children of Israel as a nation or kingdom of humans, called the kingdom of Israel. Jesus came as the Messenger—heralding the message of the New Covenant that shall set up the Spirit-composed children of God as the kingdom of God!

As the ancient kingdom of Israel was composed of the human family of the human man Israel, so the Kingdom of God will be composed of the divine family of the divine God!

And what does this have to do with “being born again”? It has everything to do with it!

Daniel foretold it

The Prophet Daniel wrote of this Kingdom of God. In his second chapter, after foretelling of the Chaldean Empire (Babylon), the Persian Empire, the Greco-Macedonian Empire with its four divisions, and the Roman Empire, stretching even into the now-forming resurrected “Holy Roman Empire” in Europe, we read the following: “And in the days of these kings [the forthcoming United Nations of Europe] 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 for ever” (Dan. 2:44). To “stand for ever” it will, of necessity, be a Kingdom of immortals, not mortals.

It will be a world-ruling Kingdom!

Daniel’s 7th chapter portrays it again—and shows the connection with being “born again.” The four world empires—Babylon through Rome and its coming resurrection in Europe—are pictured as four beasts—wild animals.

Saints Become Immortal

Verses 17-18: “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings [kingdoms], which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” To possess it for ever, the saints will have to be immortal!

Then the Babylonian religious power, now Roman, “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days [Christ at Second Coming] came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (vv. 21-22). Read also verse 27.

The Second Coming of Christ is described thus: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

Yet in spite of these and many more such scriptures, many deceived theologians today mislead the people saying that the church is the Kingdom of God! Or, that “the Kingdom” is some mysterious ethereal nothing “in men’s hearts.”

Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

What did He mean? Why had this message never been proclaimed before? The answer requires a pre-history background.

There Was Once Peace on Earth

It isn’t popular, today, to mention the existence of a devil. But the Bible, again and again, puts great emphasis on the presence of a real, literal devil.

Biblical revelation shows that originally, this Earth was a place of peace, happiness—a real utopia. It was then ruled by the government of God. That government will be once again restored (Acts 3:20-21) by Christ returning to Earth in the supreme power and glory of God!

But what happened? Why don’t we have that government, now? Why is there no peace on Earth?

When the Earth was originally created, the angels shouted for joy! (Job 38:7). It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was populated by angels—not then by humans. It was governed by the government of God. There was a super arch-angel—a cherub named Lucifer (meaning bringer of light)—one of two cherubim whose wings stretched over the very throne of God in heaven. Lucifer was thoroughly trained in the administration of the government of God (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-17).

God governs by His spiritual law—a law based on the principle of love. Love, first, to God with submission and obedience, and secondly to His creatures—the way of outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others. But Lucifer’s heart was lifted up in vanity, because of his beauty and vast knowledge. He rebelled against God, mutinied, set out to organize his angels into an invading army and to conquer God—in order to rule the entire vast universe. This disqualified him as Earth’s ruler. However, the very principle of God’s government requires that the ruler retain office until a successor qualifies and is inducted into office.

Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan, the devil. His angels became demons. As a result of this universal rebellion on Earth, universal destruction and chaos struck the surface of the Earth. In six days God re-shaped the Earth’s surface (Gen. 1), creating fauna and flora—and man!

When Man Appeared

God formed man, not after any animal kind, but in God’s own likeness—not of spirit composition as is God, but of material flesh and blood. The first man, Adam, father of the human race, allowed Satan’s attitude of rebellion to enter his heart, failing to qualify as Satan’s successor.

When Jesus was baptized by John (Mark 1:9-11), immediately He underwent the most titanic struggle ever, in His temptation by the devil (vv. 12-13).

Jesus had come to qualify to replace Satan—to restore the government of God on Earth, and bring back world peace! But, as the first Adam had undergone and succumbed to Satan’s temptation, Jesus had to face and overcome this disqualified Satan.

Jesus underwent this test under the most trying and difficult conditions possible. He had been almost totally depleted of physical strength by fasting 40 days and nights—no food and no water! Yet even in this physical weakness, He was made the stronger spiritually.

Few have ever realized the stupendous struggle that took place in that crucial temptation. Jesus resisted Satan’s supreme temptations. He did it by quoting Scripture and obeying God. He proved under the maximum possible test that He would obey God’s laws and administer God’s government faithfully. Then, in utter physical weakness but supreme spiritual strength, He proved He was Satan’s Master, by giving Satan a crisp command to leave—and the defeated Satan slunk away!

Then (Mark 1:14), having qualified for the executive administration of the government of God on Earth, Jesus came into Galilee, saying, as quoted above, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand”! (v. 15).

Why the News Was New

How was the time fulfilled?

Why was the Kingdom of God then at hand—and not before?

Simply because the wonderful news of the coming Kingdom of God could not be announced until a successor had qualified to replace Satan as Earth’s ruler!

At last the Kingdom of God—God’s government over the Earth—was at hand! At last, it was assured, and the time was fulfilled! The one who had qualified to rule the Earth was now free to announce His coming government!

Why Kingdom Not Yet Set Up

Yet Jesus was not going to take over the reign immediately. There were a number of reasons:

1) God had set a definite plan, with a definite time-program, for working out His purpose here below! It is a 7,000-year plan of seven millennial “days,” of which the first seven literal days of re-creation were a type. The first six of these millennia were allotted for man, of his own free volition (though swayed by Satan) to go his own way. Also, in effect, they were allotted as the six millennial “days” for Satan’s “labor” of deception over humanity, to be followed by the millennial “Sabbath,” in which Satan will observe enforced rest from his work of deceiving the nations, and God will teach humanity His truth!

2) Jesus, in God’s plan, was first to choose and teach disciples to become apostles, to carry on the proclamation of the good news—and to become the foundation of His Church.

3) Christ is going to set up a world government over all Earth’s nations only with the administration of a thoroughly trained and experienced organization. The first 6,000 years of human experience has proved abundantly that man, under Satan’s sway, is utterly incapable of ruling himself. Human-devised governments always have failed to bring world peace. Yet man, even now, seems unwilling to admit that fact. Men are still trying, in vain, to work and fight for peace. And that is where being “born again” comes in.

And that, also, is where being “born again” has been tragically misunderstood and misrepresented! God’s government will be divine government, by the saints converted into divine spirit persons, born of God! As those born of humans are human beings, so those born of the divine God will be divine beings, having been given immortality! They shall be born into—enter into—inherit the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom Is a Family

A kingdom is a nation composed of people, as well as the government of that nation. The Kingdom of God is composed of the divine family of God. The one Being we habitually think of as God is the Father of that family.

Christ is a Son of God—a member of that divine family, even as we may be! That divine family is the Kingdom of God.

There are five kingdoms—the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom (we are not of the animal kingdom, erroneous education to the contrary notwithstanding!), the angel kingdom—and the God Kingdom!

God (Heb. Elohim—a name, plural in form, meaning more than one person, forming the one God) said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” We were made of material flesh, but in the form and shape of God, and with minds on a totally different plane than animal brain. The human family was made so that we might be able to receive God’s Spirit, and become His children. Animals were not so made.

In God’s wonderful plan for working out His purpose here below, God has allotted the time period between Jesus’s first coming in human flesh, and His Second Coming in power and glory, for the calling of some to receive His Spirit and be spiritually educated and trained, through His Word, to become rulers with Christ when He sets up His Kingdom.

The Crux of Salvation

4) In order that man might be reconciled to God, Jesus also came for the express purpose of death, by His shed blood paying for us, in our stead, the death penalty we have incurred as the penalty of sin. In order that we might be given God’s gift of eternal life, Jesus’s resurrection from the dead was necessary before we could receive eternal life.

5) The plan called for Jesus’s ascension to God’s throne in heaven—the throne of the government of God over the universe—to become our High Priest, during these years of training and spiritual development of the heirs of God to be used in the executive administration of the government of God when Christ does set up that government over Earth’s nations.

6) Jesus could not induct Himself into the office while here on Earth in human form. It was necessary for Him, as explained in the parable of the pounds (Luke 19), to go to heaven to there receive the authority of the Kingdom from God (the Father)—and to be crowned! The coronation ceremony will take place in heaven at God’s throne, before Christ’s return in power and glory!

7) Then He must return in all that power and glory and supreme authority to rule!

Those are the reasons why Jesus did not then, immediately, set up, or establish the Kingdom of God!

But even Jesus’s own disciples could never seem to understand that He was not going to set up the Kingdom of God immediately. It is human to want things now!

Why Jewish Rulers Hated Message

The Jewish rulers of Jesus’ day, also, thought He was proclaiming a government to be set up immediately—to overthrow the Roman Empire, then ruling Judea as a vassal state.

One of these rulers of the Jews was a man named Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were hostile to Jesus, because of this new gospel. Nicodemus, however, wanted to meet this astonishing Messenger and discuss it with Him. To avoid criticism from his colleagues, he came to Jesus by night.

“We know,” he said, “that you are a teacher come from God.”

The “we” implies that the divine identity of the Messenger and the Source of His message was known to the Pharisees. But they were “now” people, concerned with protecting their status as rulers under the Roman government, not with receiving revelations from God.

Judea was a vassal state, under the rule of the Romans. The Romans were shrewd enough to force leaders among the Jews to administer most of the details of government, under higher Roman officials. Of course, the Roman rule was protected by occupying military forces. This system made life for the Jewish sub-rulers very desirable—a status worth maintaining.

At once Jesus perceived the import of Nicodemus’s first words. His message was the good news of the coming world government of God—that is, the Kingdom of God—the government of God.

These Jewish rulers feared that message. Jesus was of their race—a Jew. If they did not oppose Him, they feared being shorn of their power, and perhaps put to death as subversives threatening the overthrow of the Roman government. And the Pharisees thought Jesus proclaimed the immediate takeover of that rule!

Not of This Age

Therefore Jesus did not waste words. He struck straight through to the crux point—the Kingdom of God is not of this world—this time—this age—but of the World Tomorrow—a different and a following age. Not composed of humans, but of immortals—the God family!

So Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Notice carefully, please—being “born again” has a vital connection with the Kingdom of God—with the fact that it is not of this time—this age. And—I repeat—Jesus’s gospel—His message—was the Kingdom of God.

But Jesus’s abrupt opening statement left Nicodemus confused. The religious leaders, and the hundreds of denominations and sects professing Christianity today, are confused and deceived! Today’s religionists put a different twist on it than did Nicodemus, however.

Nicodemus did understand clearly what is meant by being born. He knew it meant being delivered from his mother’s womb. It meant being delivered into the world! Today’s religious leaders read into it a different meaning! What Nicodemus could not understand was how—in what manner—anyone could be born again! And of course, being carnal-minded, he could only conceive of a second physical birth. But he knew what being born meant!

Born Human a Second Time?

Puzzled, he asked, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (v.‑4). He was not confused about what is meant by being born. What Nicodemus could not understand was a second birth. He thought Jesus was talking about a second human birth.

He was unable to conceive of any but a second physical birth—his mind could not grasp spiritual things.

Now Jesus had made clear that the Kingdom of God is something that can be seen—but not until, or unless, one is “born again.” Not during this physical lifetime! Also, verse 5, the Kingdom of God is something a man may enter into—but not until after he is born again—another and entirely different birth.

Then Jesus came quickly to the point—that the Kingdom of God is not of this present human life in this present world—it is not of this time—this present life-time—or age. It is the succeeding age—and the life to come.

Here is the crux point that explains it all: Jesus said:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (v. 6).

Man is now flesh—human. He is material substance. “[D]ust thou art,” said God to Adam, “and unto dust shalt thou return.” Again, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 3:19 and 2:7).

Those Born Again to be Spirit

But, said Jesus plainly, when one is born of the Spirit he will be spirit! Look at it! Read it in your own Bible.

The Kingdom of God will be composed of spirit beings—not of humans!

At birth of human flesh, one is delivered from his mother’s womb into this world. When born of the Spirit, one will be delivered from the Church of God (physical) into the Kingdom of God (a Kingdom of spirit beings!).

Man is now composed of flesh—material substance—matter.

When born again he will be spirit—a spirit being, no longer human. He will be composed of spirit—of spirit composition—with life inherent—with self-containing life—not then existing by the breath of air and the circulation of blood.

Of the next age when the Kingdom of God will rule the world—the next life—Jesus said, “[T]hey neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God …” (Matt. 22:30). Marriage is a physical, fleshly union. In the age of God’s Kingdom—when “born again”—we shall be spirit, not flesh. Born of God as spirit beings, no longer human. Angels are spirits—composed of spirit (Heb. 1:7). Jesus did not say we shall then be angels—but as the angels—sexless and composed of spirit. Angels are spirit beings—created as such—but not begotten and born of God as God’s own born children. We therefore shall be much higher than angels!

Jesus explained this further to Nicodemus: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

You cannot see wind. Wind is compared to spirit. It is invisible. That’s why mortal flesh, as we now are, cannot see the Kingdom of God. Those who inherit it will be spirit—normally invisible to eyes still human.

Energy of an A-Bomb?

Jesus was comparing also the power of one born of the Spirit to that of wind. A scientist of the U.S. Weather Bureau, Dr. J. Murray Mitchell, Jr., research climatologist, said that the energy of one average hurricane is much greater than an A-bomb such as destroyed Hiroshima. I am quite certain that no human claiming to have been “born again” in this human life is capable of exerting a tiny fraction of that kind of energy. But—as I shall show in this booklet, one when he becomes spirit will have that kind of power!

Not While Flesh and Blood

The Apostle Paul made clear that the Kingdom of God is something a human may inherit, but not in this age—not while he is composed of material flesh. He may, now, become only an heir, not yet an inheritor!

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50).

Leading up to this verse, Paul had made it very clear. “The first man is of the earth, earthy [human]: the second man is the Lord from heaven [a divine God Being]” (v. 47).

This is what Jesus was saying to Nicodemus. He was of the earth, earthy—human—he was flesh, not spirit. He was born of the flesh, so that’s what he was—flesh. When one is born of the Spirit, he will be spirit. Paul is here explaining the same truth.

But we cannot be spirit in this present age.

There is a time element concerned with being born again!

Continue, now, in i Corinthians 15: “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy …” (v. 48). That is precisely what Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus. He was born of the flesh—he was flesh. He was born of the earth—he was earthy. And so are we all! And, same verse, “… as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” But for us humans, when? Not in this life!

Next verse: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall [future—resurrection] also bear the image of the heavenly” (v.‑49). As we are now flesh, we shall be spirit—at the resurrection. That is when we shall be “born again”—when we shall see, enter into, the Kingdom of God—when we are spirit—at the resurrection!

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [the then living] shall be changed” (vv. 50-52). There is the time when we may be born again—when we may see, enter into, inherit the Kingdom—when “born again”—and not before!

How Changed When Born Again

How shall we be changed? The next words answer!

“For this corruptible”—flesh, as we now are—“must put on incorruption”—spirit—that which is born of God is spirit—“and this mortal must put on immortality”—be changed from material flesh to spirit!

Until born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God (Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:3).

Until born again, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:5).

Until no longer flesh, but changed into spirit, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:6-8).

While still flesh and blood (as Nicodemus was and we are) we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (Paul to the Corinthians, i‑Cor. 15:50).

Until the resurrection, at Christ’s coming, we shall not be changed from corruptible flesh into incorruptible spirit (Paul—i Cor. 15:50-53 and verses 22-23).

Until the resurrection, therefore, we cannot see, enter into, or inherit the Kingdom of God. We cannot be born again until the resurrection!

Now Heirs—Not Yet Inheritors

While in our present status, born of the flesh and composed of flesh, we cannot see, enter into, or inherit the Kingdom of God. Notice, now, the status of the truly converted Christian, in this life—this world:

“… Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). Unless one has received the Holy Spirit, and this Spirit is dwelling in him, he is not a Christian. Joining a church does not make one a Christian. Receiving and following God’s Spirit does!

Holy Spirit Entering Compares to Sperm Entering Ovum

But now see how God’s Spirit entering and dwelling in one compares to the physical sperm impregnating the ovum—the imparting of eternal spirit life, later to produce—to bring forth—a spirit person! A fertilized ovum—an embryo—is not a born human person. Life from the father has been imparted to it—he has begotten it—but neither embryo nor fetus is yet a born person. In the same manner, the Spirit-begotten human is not, yet, a spirit person or being, as Jesus said he shall be when born again!

Continue: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (v. 11).

Understand this! There is a direct comparison between having been born of the flesh, and being born again of God. Jesus said, that which is born of the flesh is flesh—a born human. That which is born of the Spirit (God) is spirit—a born spirit person!

A mortal human life starts when a sperm cell from the body of the father impregnates—imparts physical life to—an ovum (egg cell) in the mother. At this point the father begets, sires. He does not “bring forth”: the mother does that, later. His part in the process leading to final birth is then done. But there is a time element. At the time of begettal, birth (parturition) has not yet occurred.

It is necessary to make this explanation, at this point, because the popular deception of a deceived traditional “Christianity” is to claim that when one “receives Christ”—“accepts Christ”—“professes Christ”—or first receives God’s Holy Spirit to dwell in him, that he is already “born again.”

First, then, notice the physical type and comparison.

The Time Element

In human physical reproduction, there is a time element. From impregnation—begettal on the part of the father—having conceived on the part of the mother—to birth, or parturition, or being delivered from the mother’s womb, is a time element of nine months.

That nine-month period is called gestation. Upon conception, the now fertilized ovum is called an embryo. A few months later, it is called a fetus. But during this nine-month period of gestation, we do not speak of the embryo-fetus as having been born. It is in the process toward birth. It is the child of its parents. But it is then the unborn child of its parents. The father has already begotten it—sired it. But the mother has not yet given birth to it. Yet it is, during the gestation period, the unborn child of its parents.

Now in being “born again,” the process of this birth begins when God’s divine spirit-life is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit, from His very person, entering to dwell within us.

Repeat, from Romans 8: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [change to immortal spirit] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (v. 11). This is describing the same thing explained in i Corinthians 15:50-53, the resurrection.

I want to make this crystal clear. Millions of sincere professing Christians believe that when they profess Christ (or receive His Holy Spirit) they are “born again.” What actually happens is this:

The Church Our Mother

When one, after repentance, faith and baptism, receives the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God puts him into—baptizes him into—God’s Church. The Church is called the body of Christ. So we read: “[B]y one Spirit are we all baptized into one body …” (i‑Cor. 12:13).

Again, the Church is called “Jerusalem above,” or “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22-23). Now notice, in Galatians 4:26: “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

The analogy is this: When begotten by God the Father by receiving His Holy Spirit, we are put into the Church, which during this gestation period is our mother.

The human mother of the fetus within her womb serves the function of feeding her unborn child with physical food, so that it may develop and grow physically. And also she carries it where she may best protect it from physical injury or harm, until parturition—delivery from her womb.

The spiritual mother—the Church—is commissioned to “feed the flock” (i Pet. 5:2) through the ministry which God has set in the Church “[f]or the perfecting of the saints … for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man …” (Eph. 4:11-13). Just as the human fetus develops and grows physically during the pre-birth gestation period, so we, after begettal by God’s Spirit, develop and grow spiritually in pre-birth state.

But not only is the Church to feed the members on the Word of God—spiritual food—but also to protect these conceived but yet unborn children of God from spiritual harm, as the very next verse shows: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (v. 14).

Then, at the time of the resurrection, we in the Church—the spiritual mother—shall be delivered from her, and born into—brought forth into—the Kingdom—the spirit-composed family of God.

Sons of God Now

Now, further: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). The unborn child in his mother’s womb is the child of his father and mother, though not yet born—delivered from the womb. So are we, if God’s Spirit dwells in us—if we are being led by God’s Spirit—children of God. Yet, at this time, we are in the gestation state, not yet that parturition. And only heirs. Not inheritors!

Continue: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be [future—at resurrection] also glorified together” (v.‑17).

Now see how this passage designates the resurrection into glory—when we shall be spirit—as a birth!

“For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God”—that is the time of Christ’s coming to reign, and of the resurrection to (being born of) spirit composition—“… because the creation [rsv] itself also shall be delivered [a birth] from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (vv. 19-22).

What could be more clear?

Here is another comparison: We shall be delivered from this world (the Church is in, though not of, this world) into the glorious World Tomorrow and the Kingdom which shall rule it.

The creation is waiting for this time of Christ’s coming, the resurrection, and the Kingdom of God. Because the creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Not now delivered—shall be—at the resurrection time! Although this is not referring directly to our being born again, it is a direct comparison to the birth of a child being delivered from its mother’s womb.

The resurrection—the time when we are changed to be spirit and to inherit the Kingdom will be a time of delivery from the bondage of corruptible flesh and from this world of sin—a real birth!

Christ Born a Second Time By the Resurrection

Continue in Romans 8: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren” (v. 29).

Now compare with Romans 1:3-4: “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God … by the resurrection from the dead.”

Jesus was, in the human flesh—His first birth—a descendant of David, and, by the resurrection from the dead (born again)—the Son of God, now no longer human, but composed of spirit—a spirit being. He thus became the first so born of many brethren who shall be born again at the time of the resurrection of those who are Christ’s.

Of course we understand, and so did Paul in writing the above, that Jesus was also the Son of God while in the human flesh. Though born of a human woman, He was sired by God. But this is comparing the two births—the one from the human Mary, as descended from the human David—the other, by His resurrection to glory, as Son of God by His resurrection, in the same manner we may be.

Emphatically this does not imply that Jesus was a sinner needing salvation. He was the pioneer, setting us the example, that we, too, may be born of God.

When Born Again What Shall We Be Like?

When we are born again, what shall we be like?

Here is the answer: “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body [flesh], that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body …” (Phil. 3:20-21). And what is Christ’s glorious body like? His eyes are as flames of fire—His face bright as the sun at full strength (Rev. 1:14-16).

A Time When Begotten but Not Yet Born

Thus, scripture after scripture—analogy after analogy—comparison after comparison—shows that being born of God is a process, in which there is a time element. Just as being born of the human flesh is a process.

At the time when the father begets and the mother conceives—of the union of sperm cell and ovum—the fertilized ovum becomes an embryo. But it is not yet delivered from the womb—not yet born! And will not be for nine months. A pregnancy is in progress. Yet during this period of physical development and growth, it is the unborn child of its parents.

In like manner, at the time when the Spirit Father, God, begets a human with the Spirit (the spiritual counterpart of the physical sperm)—the Holy Spirit—he becomes a son of God! He is then already a son of God.

But he is still human—he is still material flesh and blood. He must now undergo a period (until death, the resurrection) of spiritual development and growth. He is in the gestation state in the process toward being born. He is in the Church of God, but the Church is not the Kingdom of God.

The Church is composed of human, flesh-and-blood children of God. And, flesh and blood cannot see, cannot enter into, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is made up of spirit-composed children of God. The Spirit-begotten human in the Church is in the process of being born of God, but he has not yet entered the Kingdom of God. He has not yet been born of God.

He is in the gestation state toward spirit birth, but not yet born of the Spirit. He yet has a lot of spiritual developing and growing to do—acquiring the spiritual character-image of God.

Power Greater Than Energy of Wind

There is another passage, understood by almost none, that reveals our astonishing, transcendent potential!

It begins in Hebrews 2, verse 6. But first, notice about Christ, in chapter 1: “God … Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things [Moffatt and others, the universe], by whom also he made the worlds; Who, being the brightness of his glory, [Moffatt] stamped with God’s own character and upholding [sustaining] the universe by the word of his power …” (Heb. 1:1-3). All power, in heaven and Earth (Matt. 28:18), has been given to Christ. He is now Chief Executive of God’s government of the universe.

Now begin with Hebrews 2:6; a citation from Psalm 8:4-6: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”

Yes, why should the great God be concerned about us mortals? Why did He put us here on Earth? What is the purpose of life—what is our transcendent potential? It is so far above and beyond anything you have thought or imagined, it seems shockingly incredible!

Can you believe it? Are you willing to believe what is now plainly stated? Here comes the astonishing answer, beginning verse 7: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels ….” Some translations have it, “for a little while lower than the angels.” Continue: “[T]hou crownedst him [kingship] with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands”—that is, God’s creation. Continue:

Not Yet the Universe!

“Thou hast put all things [Moffatt: the universe] in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. …” Can you grasp that? The entire vast, endless universe! But that is for born sons of God. Man is not yet born—except Christ only! Continue: Here comes the answer:

“… But now [in this present gestation state] we see not yet all things [the universe] put under him” (v. 8).

But what do we see, now?

“But we see Jesus … crowned with glory and honour …” (v.‑9). Yes, as revealed in chapter 1, Jesus has already been given the executive administration of God’s government—the Kingdom of God—over the entire universe! Only, until our time to inherit and possess the government of Earth, at Christ’s return, He is allowing Satan to continue on this Earth his work of deception. Now continue:

“For it became him [Jesus], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain [margin: leader—or, forerunner, pioneer—the One who has gone on before us, as we are to follow] of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (vv. 10-11).

Christ FirstBorn of Many

We are, as quoted before, heirs of God, and joint-heirs—as brethren—with Christ. He has gone on ahead, through a resurrection, to glory as the pioneer!

He is the firstborn of many brethren! He has inherited “all things”—the universe! We are still heirs—still in the gestation stage of the process of being born of God. Jesus is now our High Priest, supervising our spiritual development—preparing us to be kings and priests, reigning with Him!

The first thousand years we shall reign on the Earth. For He shall have “made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).

The First Thousand Years

For that first thousand years, Jesus is to reign on the throne of His earthly ancestor David in Jerusalem (Isa. 9:6-7). 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 …” (Rev. 2:26-27). But how and from where shall we rule?

Jesus said, again, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne [at Jerusalem], even as I also overcame, and am [now] set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

When born of God, we shall be spirit, no longer human flesh and blood. We shall be given power! As Daniel revealed, the saints then shall take the kingdoms of Earth’s nations and rule them—for the first thousand years.

And … after that? The passage in Hebrews 2 shows that then, under Christ, we shall be given power to rule over the entire vast universe—literally all things. For that is the power that has been given to Christ, and we are joint-heirs, to become joint-inheritors with Him.

All Power—The Universe

Most people have passed right over many vital statements in the Bible, not recognizing their tremendous import!

Let me give you a few. Ask yourself if you have ever recognized the true import of these statements in God’s Word?

Matthew 28:18: “And Jesus came and spake unto them [after His resurrection], saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Matthew 11:27: Jesus said: “All things [the whole universe] are delivered unto me of my Father .…”

John 3:35: “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”

John 13:3: During the last Passover: “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God.”

John 16:15: “All things that the Father hath are mine .…”

I Corinthians 15:27-28: “For he [the Father] hath put all things under his [Christ’s] feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

And—incredible, yet true!—we, in Christ, are made co-heirs with Christ in this ultimate supreme rule.

Incidentally, 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, along with verses 22-26, indicate that our reign over the universe shall follow the thousand years’ reign on the Earth.

Must Grow During Gestation

Human life starts with what the Bible terms “corruptible seed”—physical male sperm. Divine life starts with that which is incorruptible—the Holy Spirit of God entering the human person. But as the human embryo must grow till it becomes a fetus, which must grow to the point of being born into the human family, so the Christian in whom divine life has been started by the gift of God’s incorruptible Spirit must grow toward perfection to be born into the God family. He will then be perfect, unable to sin.

Peter gives an analogy of this: “Being born again …” (i Pet. 1:23). Being—in process of—not having been—not yet an immortal person—but being “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible .…” (Other translations use the term “begotten.”) Greek: annagennao—to beget anew (Young). Peter is here referring to the process having started within us by the incorruptible Spirit of God—not as our human life was begotten by human physical sperm. Peter here shows that the Spirit of God is the incorruptible “seed” that imparted the presence of eternal life within us. Continue: “by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Peter continues, chapter 2: “Wherefore … As newborn babes‑…” (vv. 1-2). Not that we are already-born perfect divine spirit persons having entered into and inherited God’s Kingdom. He is comparing the Christian’s spiritual “gestation” period to the growth of a newborn human physical baby simply because it would be awkward indeed to compare it to a physical embryo or fetus. He is not saying we are already born babes in God’s Kingdom—but as—or like newborn human babes. It is an analogy, which Webster says is a comparison or “likeness between two things … consisting in the resemblance not of the things themselves, but of two or more attributes, circumstances or effects.”

Peter is simply showing that, as a newborn human babe must be nourished and grow physically (even, for that matter, as must the unborn fetus), so Christians must grow spiritually. Continue: “… desire the sincere milk of the word” [rsv has, “long for the pure spiritual milk”], that ye may grow thereby” (v. 2). Paul styled it “unto a perfect man” (Eph. 4:13)—unable to sin. When born again, we shall not be helpless spirit babes, but spirit beings of perfection unable to sin. This Christian spiritual growth is in spiritual character and knowledge in this present human life. As a physical babe must grow physically, so we in the Christian life must grow in spiritual knowledge and character (see ii Pet. 3:18) to become perfect, which we shall never attain until born as spirit beings.

The Comparison

During our converted human Christian life, we are already children of God, as yet unborn. We have within us through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the presence of eternal life—Spirit life—divine life—but, only from and through God. We do not, yet, have any eternal life inherent—of ourselves, independent of God! And, we could lose it—be aborted!

This compares to the unborn physical fetus, in the gestation period. It has human life—but only through the umbilical cord and from the mother—not independently of itself. And it can be aborted!

This is so clearly brought out in the Bible, in i John 5:11-12: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” It is not inherent in us. We do not now in this life have born life of our own, independent of Him. Our contact with Him through His Spirit is the umbilical cord through which we are partaking of eternal life from Him. Continue, verse 12: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” If one is cut off from Christ, he has no eternal life.

A born human baby has human life on its own—independent of its mother. That defines the difference between the state of begettal and a born state! The only difference is, in the Christian life we are fed and protected by and through the spiritual mother—the Church, while our actual eternal life comes into us through and from God. But when born again, of God, we shall have eternal life inherent—of our own! We are not now in that state!

How Jesus Was the Only Begotten Son

King David of Israel had God’s Holy Spirit. Praying for forgiveness following his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, he implored: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:10-11).

The prophets had received God’s Holy Spirit. Peter wrote: “…‑[H]oly men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (ii Pet. 1:21). They could not be called “holy men” unless God’s Spirit was within them.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to be seen in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said so. Therefore God’s Spirit was “dwelling in them”—they were begotten of God—but they were not Born of God—for Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren.

But if they were begotten of God by the Holy Spirit—and hundreds of years before Christ was born, how could Jesus be called “the only begotten Son of God”?

Answer: The scriptures calling Jesus the only begotten Son of God all apply to His begettal as the human Son, His first birth—born of the human mother, Mary. Jesus was the only human ever begotten by God prior to human birth. In Revelation 1:5, the Authorized Version speaks of Christ as the first begotten—but other translations render it, properly, firstBORN—referring to His resurrection, not His human birth from His mother Mary.

Jesus was not the first begotten in the sense that Abraham, David and Old Testament prophets were begotten.

Before Jesus was conceived by Mary, He was not the Son of God. God is the divine family. He was one of that family. In John 1:1 He is called the “Logos”—the Word. He, like the Father, had existed eternally. But He is nowhere in God’s Word referred to as a son of God prior to conception by Mary. His human birth was His first birth. He gave up the glory He had with the Father in order to be born into the world to save the world.

Abraham and many others—prophets and writers of the Bible—were begotten of God—they were in the same identical state as human Christians who have God’s Spirit within them today. But they have not, even yet, inherited—entered into—the Kingdom of God. They have not yet been born of God.

Jesus had to be the first to be born of God—the firstborn of many brethren. That was His second birth, as the resurrection will be ours! “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise [were not born into the kingdom]: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:39-40).

This, again, proves that the conversion in this life—receiving the Holy Spirit—is only a begettal—not a birth! For Old Testament fathers and prophets received God’s Spirit—but they were not “born again” because Jesus was the first so born!

How does this process of being born again take place?

What Is the Way?

Peter gave the way, and the conditions. Repent, he said, and be baptized, as an act of faith in Christ, His shed blood in payment of the penalty of our sins, and His resurrection making possible our eternal life and being born again. Then, he said, we shall receive the Holy Spirit.

Those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells are Christ’s (Rom. 8:9); all others are not. But if God’s Spirit dwells in them, God will, by a resurrection as He raised Christ from the dead, bring forth all such in immortal spirit life—composed of spirit as Christ is.

All these scriptures make clearly plain that we are to be born again by, and only by, a resurrection to spirit composition.

We are now heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ—not yet inheritors, or possessors of the Kingdom.

The Human Birth

What is a birth—what is meant by being born?

The actual final birth is called parturition—a baby being delivered out of its mother’s womb.

But this birth requires a father, as well as a mother! If it were not for the part the father contributes in the process, there would be no fetus to be born. But there is a time element. The father’s part in what shall, later, be the birth is to beget—to gender—to sire. From his body emanates the sperm cell that unites with and starts life in an ovum within the mother. This occurs nine months prior to parturition—or birth.

We never say, in the English language, that immediately when an embryo is conceived in the mother—sired or begotten by the father—that the embryo has already been born! Birth has not occurred! To say it would sound idiotic, ridiculous!

From conception must follow the process called gestation for nine months. The embryo takes on human form and is called a fetus. It must develop and grow physically to be born.

So with being born again, in a spiritual birth.

What comes from the divine Father is the Holy Spirit. Just as the unborn child in the mother’s womb is, even in the fetal state, the child (yet unborn) of its parents, so those in whom God’s Spirit dwells are, already, children of God. But they are still of this first birth—still human—still composed of physical flesh. They are still in their spiritual mother—the Church—which is still in this corruptible present world, though not of it. When born of the Spirit, said Jesus, they shall be spirit.

But if God’s Spirit dwells in them, God then will resurrect them (if they are dead), or change them (if still living) from physical to spirit composition at Christ’s coming. They will then be brought forth—delivered from their mother, the Church, into the Kingdom of God.

Of the first birth we are, and remain, flesh! Human beings!

Of the second birth, which is spiritual, we shall be spirit, no longer flesh—but spirit beings!—divine beings!

The Greek Words

The New Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in the Greek language. It is inevitable that some difficulties confront translators in the rendering from one language to another.

For example, there are some idiomatic expressions common to one language that have no equivalent in another.

One word may have more than one meaning in a language where the equivalent word in another language would not have the same different meanings. For example, the English word saw may mean did see, or it might mean—as a noun—a carpenter’s instrument to cut through wood, or, as a verb it may mean to cut with a saw.

However, by checking different translations, and by understanding of the context and all other passages of the Bible in relation to the same subject, we may come to the correct meaning as expressed in English.

One such example is the original Greek word for the English born—a word Jesus used in speaking to Nicodemus.

The Greek word used in John 3:3-8 for born is gennao (pronounced ghen-ah-o). Here are the English definitions of the Greek gennao from leading lexicons—Greek-English dictionaries:

Thayer: “gennao: 1. properly: of men begetting children. Matt. 1:1-16; Acts 7:8, 29; foll. by ek with gen. of the mother, Matt. 1:3, 5, 6; more rarely of women giving birth to children. Lk 1:13, 57; 23:29; Jn. 16:21, etc. 2. a. univ. to engender, cause to arise, excite. … d. peculiarly in the Gosp. and 1st Ep. of John, of God conferring upon men the nature and disposition of His sons, imparting to them spiritual life i.e. by His own holy power, prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a new life consecrated to Himself.”

Liddell and Scott: “gennao: to beget, of the father; to bear, bring forth, of the mother; ii, to generate, produce.” (Webster defines “generate” “to beget; procreate.”)

Strong: “gennao: to procreate (prop. of the father, but by extens. of the mother); fig. to regenerate:—bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.”

Young: “gennao: to beget, bring forth.”

George Ricker Berry: “gennao: to beget, give birth to, produce, effect; pass., to be begotten, born (often in John of spiritual renewal)” (That is, receiving or having received the Holy Spirit, being begotten.)

One man, a native Greek from Cyprus, in a private communication, stated it this way: “the verb gennao denotes the production through birth.” And further, “denotes a production through a process that always includes a birth.” He put major emphasis on birth, rather than begetting or conception—but when asked if it does not include an impregnation by male sperm, and conception, as well as gestation period, he agreed that it does.

However, it is to be noted that the scholarly authorities whose definitions are quoted above, all put first and primary emphasis on the begetting by the father. It is, as I have always said, a process, with the time element at different stages of the process.

It might be made more clear, in nontechnical language, to explain that in some languages words may be all-inclusive as to time, without distinction as to past, present or future state of a process. For example, in German there are not the two words designating the two states of being an heir or an inheritor. The one German word would be used in describing a young man who is his father’s heir, having not yet inherited anything, or a man who, after the death of his father, has become an inheritor of his father’s estate.

A Frenchman said, “If I were an author, I would much prefer to write in English, because there are so many more words, expressing various shades of meaning.”

There is a time period between fertilization by a male sperm and parturition—delivery from the womb—which state as to time, in English, is medically termed gestation. We never refer, in English, to that gestation state as a born state. Likewise, in English, we cannot properly refer to the Christian in whom God’s Spirit dwells as having been “born” of God. My commission is to make the truth plain in English.

Definition: “Supernatural Begettal by the Holy Spirit”

“To beget means begetting, the action or process of generating or producing; generation”—from New English Dictionary of Historical Principles, 1888. It is interesting also, in this dictionary to find the following: “Begettal (f. beget v. + al, cf. Commital) Begetting, 1873, C. M. Davies: They believe in his preternatural begettal by the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, the one Greek word, gennao, means production through a process that includes and is generated by the imparting of the fertilizing or lifegiving element by the father. There is a time when the culmination in birth has not yet occurred.

In the Greek, gennao, the word is all-inclusive as a production process. But in English, the word birth is not all-inclusive, and refers only to the final stage of the process—the time of parturition—delivery of child from the womb. One’s birthday in English always means the day—or anniversary of the day—of his delivery from his mother’s womb.

Status of Christian, Now

Now let us notice one of the problems to be expected in rendering the verb gennao into our being born again of God.

When Jesus was talking with Nicodemus, He was referring to the time when we may see, enter into, the Kingdom of God. And that is the time of the final birth. For the Kingdom is literally the family of God. Therefore the translators correctly rendered the Greek gennao in John 3:3-8 in the English word born.

Combining this with i Corinthians 15:45-53, the resurrection chapter, it is made absolutely plain that we do not enter into and inherit the Kingdom of God while still flesh and blood, but only after the resurrection to spirit composition.

Being born again refers to the time—the future state—when we shall be spirit, no longer flesh and blood—born actually by the resurrection.

But in certain passages, the Greek gennao is used, in referring to the present state of those who have received the spiritual life-begetting, impregnating Holy Spirit. They are, upon receiving His Holy Spirit, children of God, in the same sense that the embryo-fetus is the unborn child of its human parents.

We are in the state—the time element—after generation-conception, but prior to birth. In the human instance, the medical term for this state is gestation.

We are now begotten children of God—but still flesh-and-blood humans—still heirs—not yet spirit-composed divine beings—not yet inheritors—not yet having been “brought forth” into, or seen or inherited the Kingdom of God—therefore, not yet born of God.

In other words—shocking though His truth may sound to some to whom this truth is new, that which is born of humans is born into the human family—the human kingdom—and that which is born of God is born into the God family—the God Kingdom—the Kingdom, or family, of God! But while still flesh and blood, we are merely begotten of God—we have not yet been “brought forth” into His family—His Kingdom!

The English Verb “Beget”

Now a word of explanation about this English verb beget—or the adjective form, begotten.

The simple dictionary definition (Webster) is: “1: to procreate, as the father: sire. 2: Cause,” Above, I quoted the definition from the New English Dictionary of Historical Principles: “begetting, the action or process of generating or producing‑.…”

Also this same dictionary in giving an example of the use of begettal in a sentence, quotes, from author C. M. Davies, 1873: “They believe in his preternatural [supernatural] begettal by the Holy Spirit.”

Beget refers to the father. And the father’s action is to cause the start of the process toward birth.

Various Translations

Since the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, our English language Bibles have been translated from the Greek.

And since the Greek gennao is an all-inclusive term—referring to begetting by the father, but also, secondarily according to the lexicons, including the process culminating in birth, the translators had to decide which English term to use in each case.

It had been the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that its church is the Kingdom of God. When one embraces the Catholic faith, he is regarded by Catholicism as having already entered into the Kingdom of God. Protestants have largely followed this assumption as applying to Protestantism, though some regard the Kingdom of God as some ethereal something “set up in men’s hearts.” Many translators assumed this error. This led to translating gennao into the English term born in many instances where it rightly should be translated begotten. They simply chose the English term that conformed to their erroneous belief. And since the Greek gennao is a term including the whole process of birth even from conception, they in some cases translated gennao by the English word born—where I have proved by many passages flesh and blood humans have not been yet born again, of God.

In every instance where the Greek gennao refers to Spirit-begotten Christians, it should be rendered “begotten.”

Notice a few outstanding examples!

In John 1:13, the Authorized, or King James, Version of the Bible renders it: “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” In the American Revised Version a marginal rendering says: “or, begotten,” as it should be. Other examples appear in John’s first epistle. Notice:

In the American Revised Version, i John 2:29 is correctly translated: “is begotten of Him”; but in the Authorized Version it is, incorrectly, “… every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.”

i John 4:7, the Authorized Version incorrectly has it: “… and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” But the Revised Version corrected this error, rendering it: “…‑is begotten of God.”

i John 5:1, in the Authorized Version, incorrectly has it: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”

Here, this same Greek word, gennao, was inspired by the Holy Spirit three times in the same verse. The first time, the King James translators erroneously rendered it into the English word “born.” The second time gennao is used in the Greek they could not render it “him that was born” or “him that ‘borned’”—for it refers to God, and not the human believer. Here they were forced to choose the correct translation of gennao, in the past tense, as “begat.” Then, since they already had to use the past tense “begat” in that instance, they also correctly rendered it, in the third place the word occurred, “is begotten.”

The Revised Version also corrected this error, rightly rendering it: “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God, and whosoever loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him.”

One final example: i John 5:4—the Authorized Version erroneously renders it: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world …” but the Revised Version corrected it to read: “For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world .…”

Correctly Translated

Now quickly notice a few instances where the same Greek word was correctly translated “begotten.”

i Corinthians 4:15, the Apostle Paul is talking to those converted under his ministry. “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” There it is correctly translated, showing that Paul’s converts at Corinth, as his “spiritual children,” had been begotten of God, but not yet born.

The experience of conversion, in this life, is a begettal—a “conception”—an “impregnation”—but not yet a birth! This we have made very plain!

One more—Hebrews 1:5—speaking of Christ’s begettal in the virgin Mary. This verse shows that Christ, later born of God by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4), was an actual begotten Son of God, in a manner that no angel is, or can be. Angels are merely created beings. They are not actually begotten of God, so in this sense they are not His born sons, as Christ now is—and as we may also be. Notice the verse: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? …”

Now that ought to be plain. A converted person—one who has repented, accepted Christ as Savior, received God’s Holy Spirit, does have a changed attitude and outlook and purpose—his whole character begins to change, and travel in an opposite direction. But he is not invisible to the human eyes of other people! He is not composed of spirit. He is still composed of material flesh, even though God’s Holy Spirit has entered, and now dwells in, and leads his human mind.

When We Cannot Sin

There is a particular verse that has puzzled millions, discouraged thousands who didn’t understand, and caused some to accuse the Bible of contradicting itself.

Look at this verse! It says: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (i John 3:9).

Now is that a contradiction of verse 8 of the first chapter of the same book, which says we deceive ourselves if we think we have no sin? The answer is easy to understand.

Remember that in New Testament language the pronoun “we” or “us” refers to converted Christians. (The unconverted are referred to as “they” or “them.” An example is i Thessalonians 5:3-4: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them … and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”)

i John 1:8-10 reads: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we [Christians]”—this verse is referring to sins committed, though of course not deliberately and willfully, after being converted—“confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we [we Christians] say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Then, the next verse, i John 2:1: “… And if any man sin, we [Christians] have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” It is here speaking of Christ in His present office as our High Priest.

Christians Should Not Sin

Of course the Bible teaches that Christians should not sin. The first part of 1 John 2:1 (not quoted above) teaches that. The emphasis all through the New Testament is on rooting out sin—overcoming sin—growing in God’s righteousness, always toward perfection.

But these and numerous other verses (especially the Apostle Paul’s experience, Romans 7:14-25) say plainly that converted Christians do sin—though not habitually practicing sin deliberately and willfully. Certainly it is not impossible!

Look at Jesus Christ Himself! The Scriptures say He did not sin—yet they teach plainly that at all times it was entirely possible for Him to sin. Jesus, in the human flesh, “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). No scripture says that He could not sin.

So here we have many scriptures showing that it is not impossible for converted Christians to sin—it was not impossible even for Jesus! Yet, in 1 John 3:9, in the Authorized Version, we have the flat statement that, if and when we are actually born of God, we shall not be able to sin—it will then be impossible!

Two Translations

Here, again, the translators had to decide how to render the verb gennao. And it must be decided by the meaning in the context as a whole.

Some more modern translations render it “begotten” supposing the passage is talking about Christians now not continuing in indifferent practicing of sin, as they did before conversion. They know well that it is not impossible for a human Christian, now, to sin. So they render it in the sense of continuing in the habitual practicing of sin, once begotten of God.

On the other hand, it also can be rendered “born” as in the Authorized Version, without any contradiction.

Notice this, in i John 3: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God …. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Christ at His Second Coming] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (vv. 1-2).

This is speaking of the time when we shall be spirit—born of God.

What We Shall Be

Now notice that! Understand what we shall be, when we are born of God! Then, next we shall see—still further—when we shall be born of God.

This scripture, in this marvelous third chapter of i John, plainly says that “we”—meaning begotten, converted Christians—are, now, already, the sons of God. Yes, of course, and the tiny embryo, no larger than a pinpoint in its mother’s womb is, already, the son (or daughter) of its human father, even though not yet born.

Next, this scripture reveals that “it doth not yet appear what we shall be.”

Grasp that! Isn’t it plain? We are, later, to be something different. Of course! Although we already are begotten sons of God, we are still flesh—still matter—still visible. But what we shall be has not, yet, appeared. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we shall be immortal spirit. That is what we shall later be!

But, this scripture continues—read it!—understand this wonderful, Wonderful Truth!—we know that, when He, Christ, shall appear at His Second Coming to Earth, we shall be like Him!

Now what shall He be like? If you can know that, you can know what born-again Christians shall then be like—for they shall be like Him!

What does the glorified Christ look like? His eyes blaze forth like flames of fire! His feet glow like finely burnished brass. His face shines like the sun, in full strength—so bright, it would blind your eyes if He were visible to you now! (Rev. 1:14-16; 19:12-13; Matt. 17:2).

And that is the way you and I shall look, if and when we are finally born of God! These deceived people who talk about having has a “born-again experience” certainly don’t look like that!

When Born Again?

That tremendous, glorious event of being born of God is to take place at the resurrection of the just—at the time of Christ’s Second Coming to Earth!

We are now flesh—vile corruptible flesh subject to rotting and decay. But at Christ’s coming, when we shall be born of God, this vile body shall be changed, and made exactly like Jesus in His glorified body!

Yes, I know this is probably too wonderful for you to grasp!

But scripture after scripture piles up on us, confirming this tremendous truth!

Look at the very resurrection chapter, i Corinthians 15.

The Bible, which is God’s message and instruction to mankind, nowhere teaches any such thing as the pagan doctrine of an “immortal soul” going to heaven at death. It teaches that the soul is mortal and shall die (Ezek. 18:4, 20).

But it does teach the resurrection of the dead.

Now, when? At Christ’s Second Coming! “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [that was more than 1,900 years ago]; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (i Cor. 15:22-23).

That is when—at Christ’s coming! And notice, Christ is the “firstfruits”—the first of those who have been human to be born of God by a resurrection from the dead! The true resurrection from the dead!

What Kind of Body?

Now how? What kind of body? That question is asked in verse 35. Notice God’s answer: “[T]hat which thou sowest”—bury in the ground—“thou sowest not that body that shall be …” (v. 37). The immortal body that comes up in the resurrection will not be this vile, rotting body of material flesh—but a different body. Continue: “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him. … So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. … It is sown a natural body”—that is, of nature—material flesh—“it is raised a spiritual body”—composed of spirit! “And as we have borne the image of the earthy”—material flesh—of the earth—earthy—“we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (v. 49)—like God—like Christ in His glorified body!

The remainder of this passage we have covered earlier.

Christ Only The First

I have been the father of two sons. I am human. They, begotten of me, were born human, as I am! When we are born of God, we shall be of His very family. We shall be spirit as He is Spirit—immortal as He is immortal—divine as He is divine!

Why does not organized professed “Christianity” know that? Why should that seem incredible, impossible, or even to some like blasphemy?


The New Testament of your Bible teaches that truth all the way through! Jesus taught it! Paul taught it! Peter taught it! John taught it! The Holy Spirit inspired it, repeatedly!

You have seen, in Philippians 3:20-21, how, as stated just above in i Corinthians 15, at Christ’s coming our vile bodies shall be changed into spirit, made immortal, fashioned like Christ’s glorified body. That is when we shall be born of God. And that change does not take place in this life! All these sincere people who think they have been “born again” have never experienced that change!

Now we saw in i Corinthians 15:23, that Christ, who was born of God by His resurrection, was the firstfruits of those to be resurrected—those to be born again!

Now believe other scriptures that say the same thing!

Believe Romans 8:29: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son [Christ], that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Christ was born a Son of God by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). He was only the first to be so born of God, of many brethren. We are to be in His same image—as He is, now! We are to be put on His same plane—as His brethren—to be also born of God—to become God’s sons!

We are already begotten sons—if really converted—but what we shall be, in the resurrected glorified body—does not yet appear—cannot yet be seen (i John 3:1-2).

God is to have many sons born of Him. Of all these, Jesus was the first to be so born. He is the only human so far born of God, though many have already been begotten!

Believe Colossians 1:15, 18: Speaking of Jesus, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature … the firstborn from the dead ….” Yes, just the first of many brethren, in the very image of bright, shining glory of the invisible God. And we are to be conformed to the same image (Rom. 8:29).

Will You Believe?

Now will you believe what God says in the book of Hebrews?

Why should God be concerned about human beings? From a small airplane we look like little ants down here. From a jet 5 to 6 miles high, people on the ground have shrunken so small they can’t be seen. How tiny must we look to God? Why should He have concern for us?

The question is answered in Hebrews 2, beginning verse 6. God made man a little lower than angels, but, in God’s purpose and plan, He has crowned man, as He first has Christ, with glory and honor.

What is the glory with which Christ is now crowned? A crown denotes kingship—rule—authority—power. Jesus Christ said, just before ascending to heaven, that all power in the universe—in heaven and in Earth—had been given to Him.

In Hebrews 1:1-3, it is revealed that Christ now is the brightness of God’s glory!

Yes, His eyes like flashing flames of fire—His face shining bright as the full-strength sun.

Christ’s glory is such that now He sustains, upholds, controls, every force, energy and power that exists everywhere—supreme power over the universe!

Now believe what God says about us!—Hebrews 2:10: “For it became him … in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain [margin: leader, or predecessor, or pioneer] of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” And in verse 11, Jesus calls us His brothers.

Oh, what matchless, transcendent glory God purposes for us—when we are born again! Revelation 1:13-17 gives a graphic description of that future glory.

Why Not Now?

But, as we read in Hebrews 2:8, we do not see yet all this glory having been inherited by any but Christ. Why, then, are we not yet born?

Because, when we are, we are to be given such powers to guide, direct and control, that we must first be trained and have the perfect spiritual Character developed in us so that we may safely be entrusted with such vast powers!

God created this universe. He is the real Supreme Ruler! He is not going to turn over that power to rule to any except those who will rule His way, who will obey Him, obey His government, and carry out His government, under Him!

So, it is only those who are led by God’s Holy Spirit in His ways who are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). And we have to begin overcoming our own self-natures, the wrong ways of this world that have become fixed habit, and the devil. We must “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (ii Pet. 3:18).

Yes, even as the unborn, but begotten, human baby must grow from its beginning size no larger than a pinpoint, fed on physical food, so once we are impregnated by God’s Holy Spirit—His Life—we must Grow spiritually, fed on the spiritual food of God’s Word the Bible, and by prayer, and what fellowship is possible with truly begotten brethren in God’s truth.

And unless we do continue to grow in spiritual character development, more and more like God, we become like the unborn babe that miscarries—or like an abortion! And such shall never be born of God!

Glorious World Tomorrow

What wonderful, almost incomprehensible, Glorious Good News!

And the best news is, that the coming of Christ is now drawing very near! Just a very few more years! And then—the peaceful, happy, glorious World Tomorrow!

All who now are begotten sons of God shall then be born—elevated from mortal to immortal, from decaying flesh to spirit—from human to divine!

And that true born-again experience will be incomparably more glorious than the false, vague, meaningless, so-called “born-again experience” that deceived thousands think they have had now.

Can your mind grasp what an incredible, transcendent glory is the true potential of those who do believe, repent and obey?

But, the scriptures that break before our eyes this glorious good news, also warn us to take heed, and to make our calling and election sure!