Bible

IS THERE A HELL?

IS THERE A HELL? If hell does exist, where is it – and can those who are there ever get out? by Herbert W. Armstrong   (Originally published in the Plain Truth Magazine, August 1982)   If hell does exist, where is it – and can those who are there ever get out? WILL THOSE in hell leave hell at the time of the resurrection – or are they confined eternally to hell, so that they shall be UNABLE to take part in the resurrection? What did Jesus mean when he said in John 5:28-29: “… the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth… those who have done evil, to the RESURRECTION OF JUDGMENT” (RSV). If “those who have done EVIL” – the UNsaved – shall come forth in the RESURRECTION of JUDGMENT, what is the connection between that resurrection of the UNsaved, and their being in an eternal hellfire? It’s about time we took this question out of hiding, and took a good look at it! What is the TRUTH? Common Idea of Hell First, what is the generally accepted common belief in our Western world about hell? Here’s the terse and brief summation of this popular belief, which I quote from the Encyclopedia Americana: “… As generally understood, hell is the abode of evil spirits; the infernal regions… whither lost and condemned souls go after death to suffer indescribable torments and eternal punishment… Some have thought of it as the place created by the Deity, where He punishes with inconceivable severity, and through all eternity, the souls of those who through unbelief or through the worship of false gods have angered Him. It is the place of divine revenge, untempered, never ending.” Now where, and how, did this popular belief about hell originate? The Encyclopedia Americana states further: “The main features of hell as conceived by Hindu, Persian, Egyptian, Grecian and Christian theologians are essentially the same.” The Western religious leaders from Roman times through the Middle Ages borrowed the doctrine of eternal torture from the pagan philosophers. Certain writers of the Middle Ages had such tremendous influence on the Christian-professing world, that their writings and teachings came to be generally accepted and believed, until it became the doctrine of the Christian-professing world. Among these influential writers were Augustine and Dante Alighieri. Some years ago, I ran across a book in a large library, titled Dante, and His Inferno. It summed up the history of the Christian-professing doctrine of hell. This factual history is rather amazing! Dante lived A.D. 1265 to 1321. Dante, remember, wrote a tremendously popular book, titled Divine Comedy, in three parts – “Hell,” “Purgatory” and “Paradise.” From the Pagans Now I quote from the aforementioned book of history: “Of all poets of modern times, Dante Alighieri was, perhaps, the greatest educator. He possibly had a greater influence on the course of civilization than any other man since his day… He wrote, in incomprehensible verse, an imaginative and lurid account of a dismal hell – a long poem containing certain phrases which have caught the attention of the world, such as, ‘all hope abandon… ye, who enter here!’ This had a tremendous impression and influence on the popular Christian thought and teaching. His Inferno was based on Virgil and Plato.” Dante is reported to have been so fascinated and enraptured by the ideas and philosophies of Plato and Virgil, pagan philosophers, that he believed they were divinely inspired. Here is an article on Virgil, from the Americana: “VIRGIL, pagan Roman poet, 70-19 B.C. Belonged to the national school of pagan Roman thought, influenced by the Greek writers. Christians of the Middle Ages, including Dante, believed he had received some measure of divine inspiration.” Plato was a pagan Greek philosopher, born in Athens, 427 B.C., a student of Socrates. He wrote the famous book Phaedo, on the immortality of the soul, and this book is the real origin of the modern belief in the immortality of the soul. I have before me, a copy of the Phaedo, and in the introductory pages, I read this about Plato: “In fact, he acknowledges . .. three kinds of gods: superior, inferior, and intermediate.” There is the general statement of the popular belief about hell, and where that belief came from – actually from the imaginations of pagans who knew not God! What About the Millions of Heathen? Now, before we examine the common idea about hell to see whether it is TRUE, I want you to consider one or two FACTS: See where this concept of hell, if true, leads us! On this earth are some 4,500 million people. The most POPULOUS lands are China, India and other parts of Asia. In spite of missionaries from the West, actually more than half of air the people on this earth have never so much as HEARD the ONLY name by which men may be SAVED – the name of Jesus CHRIST! Now is there some other way by which men may be saved? The Bible says there is NOT! That means that thousands of millions of people on this earth have lived, and DIED, without ever having known anything about Christian salvation – without SAVING KNOWLEDGE – never having heard the ONLY name by which men may be saved! Now think what that means! IF all unsaved go immediately to hell at death – the hell commonly believed in – then more than HALF of the people who have lived on this earth have been consigned there – and they are there, now, without ever having been given so much as a CHANCE to escape it! Ask yourselves candidly, do you believe THAT is the plan by which an all-wise, all-merciful, loving GOD is working out his purpose here below? Now what is the TRUTH? We face this alternative: Either the Holy Bible is the inspired WORD OF GOD, BY WHICH THE CREATOR reveals the TRUTH on the subject, or else we must fling up our hands and confess WE JUST DON’T KNOW – we are ignorant on the question – because no one has ever COME BACK from such an ever-burning hell to tell us about it, and SCIENCE knows nothing about it. We must believe what the BIBLE says, or we can believe nothing, if we are rational and honest! Does the BIBLE say anything about “hell fire”? Did Jesus say something about hell fire? Yes, he did! Hell Fire in the Bible He said, in the passage most often quoted: “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt” (Mark 9:47-49). Now exactly what is this hell fire? This word hell is an English word. Mark wrote, originally, in the Greek language. The word originally inspired, which Mark actually wrote, was the Greek word gehenna, which certainly does refer to FIRE. But in most passages in the New Testament where the English word hell is found in our English translations, the original Greek word was a different word, hades – which does NOT refer to FIRE at all, but has an altogether different meaning. Incorrectly Translated “Hell” Remember we merely read a translation of the Bible from its original languages. A leading Bible dictionary, called A Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, says this: “In our Authorized Version the word ‘hell’ is unfortunately used as the rendering of three distinct words, with different meanings. It represents, (1) the ‘sheol’ of the Hebrew Old Testament, and the ‘hades’ of … the New Testament. … It is now an entirely misleading rendering, especially in the New Testament passages. The English revisers, therefore, have substituted the original Greek word ‘hades’ for ‘hell’ in the New Testament. In the American revision the word ‘hell’ is entirely discarded in this connection… The word ‘hell’ is translated (2) as the equivalent of the Greek word tartaros, (II Peter 2:4; compare with Jude 6), and, (3) as the equivalent of the Greek word ‘gehenna.’ ” The original Hebrew word sheol and the Greek hades mean the same – the GRAVE, and these original words are so translated in many places. Hell is an old English word, and 370 years ago, when the Authorized Version was translated, the people of England commonly talked about putting their potatoes in HELL for the winter – a good way of preserving potatoes – for the word then meant merely a hole in the ground that was covered up – a dark and silent place – a GRAVE. But PAGAN teachings that gained popular acceptance have caused people to apply to the English word the meaning of “hell” which came out of the imaginations of Dante. The Greek word tartaros occurs only once in the New Testament and does not refer to humans, but the place of fallen angels. Its meaning, translated into English, is “darkness of the material universe,” or “dark abyss” or “prison.” And now the Greek word gehenna. Here is the official DEFINITION of that very Greek word which was inspired by God, and written originally by Mark. I quote from Hastings: “Gehenna: the word occurs twelve times in the New Testament. This term ‘gehenna’ represents ‘the Valley of Hinnom’ (Nehemiah 11:30, II Kings 23:10, etc.). The place was … a deep narrow gorge in the vicinity of Jerusalem, understood to be on the south side. It is repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 19:6, etc.). It became an object of horror to the Jews, and is said to have been made the receptacle for bones, the bodies of beasts and criminals, refuse and all unclean things. The terrible associations of the place . . . the fires said to have been kept burning in it in order to consume the foul and corrupt objects that were thrown into it, made it a natural and unmistakable symbol of dire evil,… ABSOLUTE RUIN. So it came to designate the place of future punishment.” Hell – a Place of Destruction Gehenna was a place of DESTRUCTION and DEATH – not a place of living torture! Jesus was talking to Jews who understood all about this Gehenna or Valley of Hinnom. Utter DESTRUCTION by fire was complete. NOTHING was left, but ashes! Every text in the Bible translated from this Greek word gehenna means complete destruction – not living torture – NOT eternal LIFE in torment! THE Bible says, in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is DEATH” – not ETERNAL LIFE in torture. The PUNISHMENT revealed in the BIBLE is DEATH – the cessation of life. Eternal life is the GIFT OF GOD! Then WHY have we been believing that PUNISHMENT is ETERNAL LIFE in fire? And WHY have we been believing we already have eternal life and don’t NEED to come to God through Christ to receive it as HIS GIFT? The PUNISHMENT is DEATH. It is the second death, from which there shall be no resurrection! The PUNISHMENT is for ETERNITY – DEATH for eternity – ETERNAL punishment – but nowhere does THE BIBLE say anything about the PAGAN teaching of eternal punish-ING. It’s eternal punishMENT, not eternal punishING! When Jesus spoke of being cast into “gehenna FIRE,” he was using this expression as an illustration of the LAKE OF FIRE, which THE BlBLE reveals is to be THE PLACE of this final punishment – this second DEATH. He referred to Revelation 20:14: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” THAT fire will be much hotter than Dante’s imaginary HELL! What Happens to “Hell”? Do people go at DEATH to the fictitious hell of Dante’s imagination to be TORTURED by flames of fire forever – and then are they to be brought OUT, to go into a JUDGMENT, to see if God had made a mistake in having punished them so long in this “hell”? Notice Revelation 20:13-15: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” The LAKE OF FIRE which JESUS referred to is a place of DEATH, not of eternal life – the SECOND DEATH – ETERNAL punishment! Notice what Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: “… fear him which is able to DESTROY both soul and body in [GEHENNA].” Here in plain language JESUS said the SOUL could be destroyed – and that it would be DESTROYED in this GEHENNA that has been falsely translated by the English word hell! Gehenna is a place of DESTRUCTION! Again Jesus used this word gehenna as quoted in Matthew 23:33: “Ye serpents,” he said to the Pharisees, “… how can ye escape the damnation of [GEHENNA]?” – the second DEATH – eternal PUNISHMENT! The ancient rebellious cities Sodom and Gomorrah suffered, as we read in Jude 7, the vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE. But they are not still burning. They were burned up FOREVER – eternal DESTRUCTION! Now what happens in this “hell” – derived from the Greek word gehenna? Let the Holy Word of GOD answer: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 4:1-3). God Is Love – and Justice! God is a God of LOVE – or MERCY, as well as a God of ABSOLUTE JUSTICE! If he were the vain, angry, unjust god pictured by the pagans who invented this popular conception of heaven and hell, then, according to the common belief of the illustration of Lazarus and the Rich Man, saved mothers up in heaven are hearing the shrieks, seeing the indescribable AGONY, writhing, of their own lost children down in hell – actually able to carry on a conversation with them – yet UNABLE to help them. Would THAT be the heavenly BLISS it is generally represented? Psalm 37 OUGHT to make plain to us this matter of heaven and hell. Notice! “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever” (Ps. 37:9-12, 20, 22, 29). And now, Psalm 104:35: “Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.” And now, Isaiah 66:24: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Never to Be Quenched? “Neither shall their fire be QUENCHED.” Does that mean burning forever and never burning up? Try this test: Put a piece of paper in a pan. Light it with a match. Now, don’t QUENCH that fire! Don’t put it out – for that’s what “quench” means. Very soon the paper will burn up. Then put it down on the floor and step on it! Now it’s merely ashes under the sole of your feet – precisely as THE BIBLE plainly says the wicked shall be! In Jeremiah 17:27, God warned the Jews that Jerusalem would be burned, and the fire would not be quenched – unless they repented. In Jeremiah 52:13, you read the account pf the burning of Jerusalem. That fire was NOT QUENCHED! It is NOT still burning! Do you know that THE BIBLE teaches the resurrection of all who die? The apostle Paul said his HOPE was the hope of the RESURRECTION! As the resurrection is true doctrine, then the pagan myth of an eternal TORTURE, beginning at death, is as deceptive as Satan himself! If all UNsaved – even all who never heard the ONLY name Jesus Christ – are roasting, screaming, in such a hell, and can never get out, HOW can there be a RESURRECTION! Thank GOD! – there is to be a resurrection to JUDGMENT, as well as a resurrection to eternal life of the dead IN Christ! Yes, thank GOD, he so LOVED the world – we NEED not perish, but through Christ we may have EVERLASTING LIFE!]]>

An Important Reminder —How Leaven Pictures Sin By George M. Kackos

 (Source)

God offers Christians vital lessons through the Days of Unleavened Bread. What do these days picture, and how can they help you lead a happier life?

The apostles were jolted! First, the sound of a violent windstorm filled the house where they were meeting. Then, almost before they had time to think, glowing flames of fire began leaping upon them. Continue reading…

U.S. and Britain Admit NAZI UNDERGROUND Behind Arab Crisis!

U.S. and Britain Admit NAZI UNDERGROUND Behind Arab Crisis!

Written by Herman Hoeh [Original Publication]

  [COMMENT: This article from Mr. Herman Hoeh has important information concerning what has happened since WW2. Why the Arab Spring? Why radical Islam? Why the Syrian conflict? During World War 2, the Nazi’s had Arab allies. These Allies went on to become the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Isis etc. The Nazi’s had gone underground, faded among the nations. Even the United States and Britain, also Russia, integrated officials from the Nazi regime, to utilize the information the Nazi’s had gathered from medical science to rocket science, to propaganda & media, from the intelligence community to the educational community, and America and Britain has helped Germany & the Nazi underground as an ally since World War 2, and  was used to ADVANCE and CONTINUE upon the knowledge that had been gained from the Nazi regime. Notice in Ezekiel 23 and how it explains how modern day ISRAEL, (America and Britain) represented by Aholah who represented Israel’s capital city “Samaria”(verse 4) when Israel split away from the King of Judah. Our nations, the United States and Britain, have allied with Assyria or GERMANY. And Germany has USED US in preparation of the next World War and what they have developed through our nations WILL BE USED AGAINST US! “And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,  Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. [Yes, men of military might, men of leadership] Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.  Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her. “(Ezekiel 23:5-10) THIS IS COMING UPON OUR PEOPLES! Why the uprising of radical Islam? This article will explain some things that perhaps you have never thought of before.] Written by Herman Hoeh As we went to press with the last issue of the Plain Truth, a flash report came over the wires too late to be printed. Here is that report — the most important news in years! FROM Bonn, Germany, comes confirmation of the Nazi Plot in the Middle East. Both the United States and the British Governments, according to reporter Norman Lindhursr, are exerting heavy pressure on the present Bonn Government to “repatriate” numerous Germans in the Middle East, over 250 of whom are vicious Nazis. The American and British Governments have charged that the Nazi Underground is “playing no small role” in stirring up anti-Western tensions among Arabs. Western Alliance Cracking! Here is the evidence which Anglo American authorities have presented to West German Chancellor Adenauer: Nazi advisers of Egypt’s President Nasser are inciting the whole Arab world into a “jihad” or “holy war” against Israel. Chief among these dangerous Nazis is Johannes von Leers. He was the chief anti-Semitic German mastermind for Hitler’s propaganda minister Josef Gobbels during World War II. After Hitler’s defeat, von Leers fled from Germany to Egypt. He is now serving as Nasser’s chief adviser on “Jewish Affairs.” Serving with von Leers in Nasser’s camp are Johannes Darnling, Oskar Dirlewanger and Wilhelm Voss. Damling, an SS Colonel during the World War, was wartime Gestapo chief in Germany’s industrial Ruhr. Today he is helping “reorganize” Egypt’s police force. It is the police force — not the army — which can keep Nasser in power. Dirlewanger, who is now advising Nasser on guerrilla warfare, was chief of the SS “special tasks” organization in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine during World War II. During the war Dirlewanger supervised the wiping out of entire villages as a “guerrilla-suppression” measure. Today, according to the secret Anglo-American demands handed to German Chancellor Adenauer, Dirlewanger is helping mastermind a guerrilla organization in Nasser’s United Arab Republic and elsewhere in the Arab world. At the same time, Wilhelm Vosshead of Germany’s wartime Wehrmacht Central Armaments Supply Board — is presently chief adviser to Nasser’s “central planning board,” which is Egypt’s chief economic development agency. Voss heads a mission of at least 30 high-ranking Nazi engineers and technicians in the United Arab Republic. According to the U.S. and Britain, it is Voss who convinced Nasser that Egypt could become a Middle East industrial colossus if Nasser would permit German industrial investment, seize Suez from Britain, and gain control of Syria’s oil pipelines. These Nazi Underground plotters in the Middle East have been a long-standing issue between the British and Bonn. Heretofore, American pressure has kept the controversy from becoming heated. But now that American troops have intervened in the Lebanon, the U.S. is coming face-to-face with this secret plot to revive Naziism in Europe and the Middle East. Tensions are mounting that ultimately will crack wide open the Western Alliance against Communism! Most Americans are oblivious to what is happening in the present crisis. Western defense hinges on our continued control of the Arab World. But this control is fast slipping from our grasp. Nazi Underground Throughout Middle East It is the Nazi Underground, according to Intelligence reports, which lies behind Syrian aspirations to take over the Lebanon. In 1949 two former Wehrmacht Colonels, Rainer Kriebel and Heinz Heigl, persuaded the Syrian Government to hire a mission of 50 ex-Wehrmacht officers and technicians headed by themselves. They encouraged the Syrians to rearm. When the Syrians rashly turned to Russia for arms and a Communist takeover appeared imminent, the Nazi Underground persuaded certain Syrian leaders to join with Egypt to form a “positive neutralist alliance,” called the U.A.R. or United Arab Republic. The Communist party was immediately outlawed. It was “the Communist take-over that failed” which has obscured the vital role which the Nazi Underground is playing in the Arab World. Little wonder that when the Iraqi revolters bloodily crushed the pro-Western Government, their Nazi-minded spokesman, Captain Ali Din, declared bluntly — as we reported in the last issue of The PLAIN TRUTH: “I hate the British, Americans, and French. I have nothing to hide. I am not a Communist, but a NAZI! Our revolution will spread to Jordan as Soon as British troops leave.” And that is exactly what Britain fears! Though the British would like to leave Jordan immediately, they are frightened at the prospect of revolt against pro-Western King Hussein. That could bring the intervention of Israel and a renewal of the Arab-Jewish conflict. Britain dares not allow that to happen. The Mysterious Case of Dr. Eisele Another figure in the controversy between Anglo-American authorities and Bonn is Dr. Hans Eisele. He was the Buchenwald concentration camp doctor. Though accused of murdering 200 Buchenwald inmates with lethal injections, Dr. Eisele avoided arrest in Munich by fleeing to Egypt. An investigation by Adenauer shows that Eisele was secretly smuggled Out of Germany by a Nazi SS “underground.” The prosecutor, who was to bring Eisele to trial under the Allied denazification laws, had delayed for five years in settling the Eisele case. The prosecutor was himself a former Nazi. The present German Government is trying to extradite Eisele from Egypt. But the American and British Governments are trying to persuade Adenauer to extradite all the Middle East Nazi plotters along with him. Bringing Dr. Eisele back to Germany would provide a good smoke screen to cover up the activities of the other far more important Nazis whom the German Government is refusing to extradite! What Prophecy Says WILL Happen! Where will the Arab crisis end? What will happen if U.S. and British troops leave the Middle East? Can the United Nations solve the problem? The answers to these questions are REVEALED in Biblical prophecy! Yet almost no one understands what the Bible says. What most newscasters and what most statesmen and ministers assume is going to happen is the very opposite of what the Bible reveals will happen! Many misguided ministers, who profess to know Bible prophecy, are glibly declaring: “There will be no cold war of 50 or 100 years in duration. In fact, this present phase of the conflict with Soviet Russia is about to end with the Kremlin striking southward into the Middle East… precipitating the final phase of world conflict in the Battle of That Great Day of God Almighty.” This is what a widely known prophetic monthly assumes may happen. But it is NOT what will happen! Russia is not going to strike at the Middle East first! Many ministers who profess to know prophecy have not been willing to open their eyes to the plain words of the Bible about the immediate future. For there are as many — if not more false ministers and prophetic students today as there were false prophets in days gone by! Now let’s notice what the Bible reveals will occur. Let’s see if the Bible reveals that Russia is about to take over the Middle East. Notice first the prophecy in Zechariah 12:3: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it” — as Britain and America are doing today by trying to keep peace between Jew and Arab — “… all that burden themselves with it SHALL BE CUT TO PIECES.” That is America’s and Britain’s fate! By intervening in the Middle East we are precipitating our downfall. We are going to be Cut to pieces! The Bible says so! Who Will Do It? But who is going to do it? — Russia? Is Russia about to take over the Arab world? What does the Bible say? It does not matter what men think. But it does matter what the Bible says! Who is going to take over the Middle East and cut our nations to pieces? Notice the prophecy of Daniel 11, especially verses 40 and 41. The time setting is “at the time of the end.” Here is a prophecy for now! Now is the beginning of the time of the end. Man is about to destroy himself. God is about to intervene in human affairs. Notice what is to happen at the time of the end. Open your Bible to Daniel 11:40: “The king of the north” — all Bible scholars know that the ‘king of the north’ originally meant Syria in Old Testament times; but when Rome conquered Syria, the ‘king of the north’ became Rome; and when Rome fell, the German Nation and its allies wok over Rome and now have become the ‘king of the north’ (verses 36-39 — the German Nation, now working through the Nazi Underground, “shall…” notice it! “… shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land” — that is Palestine — “and many countries shall be overthrown” — that includes the United States and Britain! “But these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” [Turkey and Jordan and Iraq] (Dan. 11:40-41). Why? Because these nations shall finally be in league with Germany [the descendants of Assur or Assyria] according to Psalm 83! Germany’s coming Fuhrer — who will lead within probably 13 years from now a 10 nation union in Europe (Rev. 17:12-13) — is “the king of the north.” He will “stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (Dan. 11:42). There is going to be a falling out between Nasser and his German supporters. Nasser’s Nazi advisers are yet to turn upon him. Germany will take over the Suez from Egypt. Germany will take over Syria’s oil pipelines, now under Nasser’s control. When Russia Will Strike! The other Arab nations will rejoice when this happens. Now turn to Ezekiel 25. Here is another prophecy for our day. Here is a prophecy revealing what is going to be the fate of the Allied intervention in Jordan and the Lebanon. This is a prophecy to be fulfilled in the early 1970’s. This prophecy has never been fulfilled before! Here the Jordanians are mentioned under the name “Ammonites.” The Ammonites settled Jordan’s capital Amman. Notice: “Say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God; Because thou saidst, Aha, against My sanctuary, [a temple or sanctuary is yet to be built by the Jews in Jerusalem!] when it was profaned [which shall happen in less than 14 years from now], and against the land of Israel [that is Britain and America today — we are the descendants of the House of Israel], when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah [that is the nation called “Israel” in Palestine today], when they went into captivity” — when the coming Fuhrer of Germany heading a restoration of the Roman Empire in Europe “overthrows many countries” (Daniel 11:41); “Behold, therefore, I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee” ( Ezek. 25:2-4). Who are the “men of the east”? The Communist hordes of Eurasia! This is when atheistic Russia strikes! But notice that Russia does not strike until after the Arab world has been swung into the revived Nazi-Fascist camp! Now turn to Daniel 11:44 again: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north” — where Russia and China are today — “shall trouble him” — the German king of the north. This is the time that Russia invades the Arab world through Iraq and Jordan! How plain the prophecies are. Russia will not strike immediately into the sandy wastes of the Arab world. It is Germany that will first control it! Only after our people have been conquered — “cut to pieces” as Zechariah worded it — will Russia and Germany come to blows. “Therefore he” — the German king of the north — “shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [nations]. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas [the Mediterranean and the Dead seas] in the glorious holy mountain” — Jerusalem. The apostle Paul clearly describes this in II Thessalonians 2:4 as the “man of sin” — the religious accomplice of the coming Nazi-Fascist Fuhrer of Europe — “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped” — let him who reads this article understand. “He as God sitteth in the temple of God [probably yet to be built in Jerusalem by the Jews as a result of another Arab-Jew conflict], shewing himself that he is God.” At this juncture in human history, when man would destroy himself if God waited another minute, Jesus Christ shall come. And “he” — the king of the north — “shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:45). God will then deliver Israel and Judah from captivity. They will be brought back to Palestine. When Russia sees their prosperity, Russia then — and not before — will attack Israel — our people who have been brought back to Palestine. This is the fulfillment of the prophecies in Ezekiel 38 and 39! How different is the Bible revelation of what is going to happen when compared to the guessing and the deceptive teaching of men! It is time we awakened to what is really going to happen. It is time we became conscious of what the Nazi Underground is now plotting in the Middle East — and became aware of the terrible consequences it holds for America and Britain!]]>

GRACE- Do You Really Understand it?

GRACE

Do You Really Understand It?
  The word grace is part of every Christian’s vocabulary, yet for many the subject is confusing. Let’s let God’s Word give us a clear understanding.    

By Douglas G. Peitz

[Original Publication]

  Few people — even professing Christians! — really understand what grace is. And rather than searching the Bible for God’s teaching on the subject, they get bogged down in debate over whether grace does away with God’s law. Is grace, as many assume, merely unmerited pardon for sin — or is it much more? Why do we need grace, if we do? Does grace abrogate the need to keep God’s commandments? We need to know! Let’s go to the Bible and let God’s Word answer.   Grace in the New Testament     The New Testament Greek word translated “grace” is charis. Charis was a widely used word in the first century; its primary meaning is “that which gives pleasure or delight.” But, like the English word grace, charis held a variety of associated meanings not dealing with the grace of God toward man. Before we see what God’s grace is, let’s first look at these other uses. Luke, in describing Jesus’ childhood development, wrote, “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). In other words, God was well pleased with Jesus Christ. Obviously, charis is not used to mean unmerited pardon for sin in this case, since Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15, II Corinthians 5:21). In the book of Acts, Luke uses charis to express kindness, favor or goodwill toward another. God gave Joseph “favor [charis] and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt” (Acts 7:10). Also, the Church was given favor, or charis, with the people around Jerusalem (Acts 2:46-47). Charis can also express thankfulness. Paul said, “But thanks [charis] be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57). Finally, charis can be used to denote a gift or favor done as an act of goodwill: “Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him [Festus] against Paul; and they petitioned him, asking a favor [charis] against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem — while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him” (Acts 25:2-3).   God’s grace     Charis was used by the Greek world in all the above senses. But the New Testament writers applied this word in a new sense to describe what God is doing for humanity. They realized that God’s plan of salvation is so kind, so merciful, so unmerited and so thankworthy that it is the ultimate charis! God’s purpose is to reproduce Himself. Those whom God calls (John 6:44) are given the chance to repent and accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Then, upon being baptized, they are given God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), which enables them to develop godly character and ultimately be born into the very Family of God (I John 3:1-2). Charis is an all-encompassing word for this whole process of conversion that is being accomplished by God’s power.   Why grace is necessary   Why is grace essential to salvation (Ephesians 2:8)? And why are all efforts to earn salvation futile (verse 9)? There are two reasons. First, “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) — sin being the transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4) — and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We have all earned the death penalty. And just as any government today realizes, the violation of law cannot go unpunished, or anarchy would ensue. No, a penalty must be paid, regardless of how sorry the criminal is or how good he promises to be in the future. Similarly, our regret and subsequent good behavior can never pay the penalty for sin, because the penalty is death. And God’s laws are enforced. God does not compromise with sin by allowing a way of life that leads to unhappiness, misery and death to go unpunished. The penalty for our sins must be paid. Second, not only have we sinned, but man by himself is incapable of overcoming sin. Paul said in Romans 8:7, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Our best efforts are futile unless God gives us the help we need. God’s grace toward us begins when God begins calling us. Unless God opens our minds, we cannot understand His purpose (John 6:44). Paul commented, “God … called me through His grace” (Galatians 1:15). The very fact that you can understand the truths of God as revealed in the Bible is because of God’s grace. But being called is just the beginning of grace. The process of conversion requires more than understanding. It requires change, or repentance. We must freely choose to obey God — and unless God shows us what to repent of and the importance of obeying Him, we cannot repent. “The goodness of God leads you to repentance,” Paul explained in Romans 2:4. But being sorry for sinning, and changing, is not enough. So God’s grace continues with Jesus Christ’s sacrifice: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation [an atoning sacrifice] by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness” (Romans 3:23-25). Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin, which is death, in our stead. Christ’s sacrifice is the supreme expression of divine grace. It is totally unmerited (Romans 5:6-8). Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the penalty of breaking God’s law. But it does not do away with the law! Think: Would God now allow the violation of laws that necessitated the death of His own Son? Of course not. Grace does not nullify God’s law. Rather, grace is necessary because God’s law is eternally binding. As Paul explained: “Shall we continue in sin [the transgression of God’s law — John 3:4] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) Continuing in sin would mock Jesus Christ’s supreme sacrifice.   Unmerited but not unconditional     Here is where many misunderstand. Grace is unmerited but it is not unconditional. There are two conditions: repentance and faith (Mark 1:5, Acts 2:38). Although we can never earn salvation, God does set certain requirements for receiving His grace. Let’s understand. Once God, by His grace, reveals to us the need to repent and humbly accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sins, we must do our part. We must voluntarily yield ourselves to God, admitting where we have been wrong, and make the necessary changes. Then we must be baptized as an outward expression of our repentance and faith (Romans 6:3-6). Don’t misunderstand — God’s grace is free and unmerited, but if we refuse to change our lives — to obey God — He is under no obligation to bestow His grace upon us. God will not allow Christ’s sacrifice and His grace to be taken lightly. The process continues. Peter tells us we must now “grow in grace” (II Peter 3:18, Authorized Version). Grace is unmerited pardon for sin, but it is much more. For if grace were merely the unmerited forgiveness of sin, how could we grow in grace except by sinning more? No, we must, while coming under God’s grace, overcome sin. If you are truly under God’s grace, you will be striving diligently to obey God’s commandments. Paul said: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14). We are to develop godly character by growing and overcoming in order that we can ultimately be born into the very Family of God. But we cannot do this alone (Matthew 19:25-26). We need God’s Spirit. And His Spirit, by His grace toward us, is a gift (Acts 10:45, 11:17). God’s Spirit gives us the power we need to develop character. But we must work at it. Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Corinthians 15:10). To grow in grace is to overcome sin through coupling God’s Spirit with our own efforts. Without God’s help, overcoming sin would be impossible. Finally, after we have developed godly character through God’s Spirit, one final act of grace is bestowed upon us — eternal life! We deserved death, but will receive life eternal. As Paul said, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The world is deceived into believing in a shallow, limited concept of God’s grace. True grace is more than the forgiveness of sin; it is the total process of salvation. Peter summed it up beautifully: “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen…. I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand” (I Peter 5:10-12).]]>

OPINION: Herbert W. Armstrong on the "Laodicean Era"

  Here is Mr.Armstrong talking about the Laodicean era and Church. He also talks about ministers who try to steal members of God’s Church into their church, so they gain a following. Any CHURCH, and MAN, who comes in with VAIN Flattery trying to gain us as followers of his ministry, trying to gain our support in order to “appear” like one of us IS NOT OF GOD, AND IT IS NOT GOD’S CHURCH!!!!!!

Listen up as the Living Head of the Church, the coming KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS, Jesus Christ puts things straight, through His Apostle Herbert W Armstrong! Believe it or not, IT IS A WITNESS UNTO YOU! Herbert W Armstrong talking about the Laodicean Era & Church [su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgNzTiJ4ANA" autoplay="yes"]
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OPINION: Bible Scriptures Show What Time We Are In

BIBLE SCRIPTURES SHOW WHAT TIME WE ARE IN

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God…”(Revelation 11:1) (For more information on “the temple of God” please read Herbert W. Armstrong’s article: Why The Church?) In 1977, Mr. Armstrong died from total heart failure, with men conspiring in the wings to take his place as leader of the Worldwide Church of God. BUT THEY WERE FOILED and God miraculously raised his chosen apostle and end-time Elijah BACK TO LIFE!!!! From that point on, Christ began leading His apostle MORE POWERFULLY THAN BEFORE, and guiding him to CLEAN UP THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD, to MEASURE THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE OF GOD, to make READY the fiance Bride of Jesus Christ, whom is going to marry the Church upon His second coming. Continue reading…

Why Did God Raise Up The Nation Of Israel-And Deny Them Spiritual Salvation?

Why Did God Raise Up the Nation Israel — and Deny Them Spiritual Salvation?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Published in the Good News Magazine, May 1984

Did anyone ever think to ask WHY God raised up the ancient nation Israel, denying them His Holy Spirit and eternal salvation – except their prophets only? Why “chosen people”? WHY were Old Testament Israelites called God’s “chosen people” —and still denied the Holy Spirit to beget them into eternal life? “Chosen”—for what? To be teacher’s pet? For special favors above other nations? Was God a respecter of nations? To understand, we need to start with Adam and Eve. It is an intriguing story, and I have never seen it put together in this manner before. The true reason for ancient Israel is an integral part of God’s supreme master plan. Continue reading…