World Tomorrow

The Next Life

by Herbert W Armstrong


Greetings! Where will you be in the next life? For there is a life after this life. The teaching of traditional Christianity has been for hundreds of years that once - when you die you go immediately either to heaven or to hell or to purgatory. In some cases, they believe you go to purgatory first and then you go to heaven or to hell.

Well, it may come as a shock to you but Jesus did not preach anything of the kind; you will find no such teaching in the Bible, believe it or not. Jesus said, on the contrary, as you read in John the third chapter and in verse 13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven [no man has gone to heaven, no man has ascended up to heaven], but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man [which was Jesus Christ Himself, nobody has gone to heaven]..." (John 3:13)

On the day of Pentecost when the apostle Peter was preaching the first inspired sermon after he had received the Holy Spirit; he said that the grave of David was there with them even to that day. And he said David has not ascended into the heavens, David had not gone to heaven. But David was a man after God's own heart; and the Bible prophecies say that David will be a king in the Kingdom of God. And he certainly had what Christians call salvation.

Now, Jesus did not preach heaven but He preached the Kingdom of God on earth. Very few seem to know that, because the gospel that Jesus Christ preached, I've been telling you on this program again and again and again - or I might say like Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to say; "again and again and again"! {1} I've been proclaiming it; that Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Let's just turn to that once again. It's in the book of Mark in the New Testament, the first chapter and the first verse, of the book of Mark:

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; ...Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching [preaching what? Preaching the gospel, yes but preaching what gospel? What was the gospel of Jesus Christ? Jesus came into Galilee preaching] the gospel of the kingdom of God." (Mark 1:1,14)

Now, the word 'gospel' means 'good news'. I said a week ago that Jesus came as a great newscaster. But His news was future news, it had not happened yet. It wasn't old news, it was not stale news, it was real news, it was new. It hasn't happened even yet. The Kingdom of God is something we today have to look forward to. Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God:

"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)

What did He say to believe? He didn't say; "Just believe on me," of course we need to do that, that's alright too; but He said; "...believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15) and you have to believe the gospel in order to be saved.

But that gospel was not preached from about 53 AD until 1953; exactly a period of one thousand nine hundred years, or one hundred time cycles of nineteen years each. The sun, the moon and the earth come into exact conjunction every nineteen years; and God has placed the sun and the moon in the sky in relation to the earth to mark out the spaces of time. So a day is a revolution of the earth as measured from the sun, and a revolution of the moon around the earth is a lunar month, and a revolution of the earth around the sun is a solar year. But when they all come together - the sun, the moon and the earth in the same conjunction - that is only once in nineteen years, and that is a nineteen-year time cycle.

And it was one hundred of those that the gospel that Jesus preached, was not proclaimed to the world. Now it was secretly proclaimed. The true Church of God did have it, but they didn't even have all of it, they didn't have all of it until it's been restored in this generation and in our time now.

Where Will the Kingdom of God Be? (PLAY FROM 05:14)

Now, the "Kingdom of God", what did He mean? Did He mean a kingdom up in heaven? Let me read a few other scriptures to you real quickly. I'd like to read over in the Book of Revelation for a moment. Revelation the eleventh chapter and verse 15:

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world [that's the governments, the nations of this world and their governments] are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

Time and again I've been showing you on this program that the prophecy said Jesus was to come as a king, as a king to rule in a kingdom. Jesus came preaching a kingdom, the Kingdom of God and it's going to be a kingdom on this earth as I'm going to show you right now. Let's go to the next scripture, Revelation 19:16 {2} Here it's speaking of the second coming of Christ, when Christ comes back again, verse 16, nineteenth chapter of Revelation:

"And he [Christ] hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:16)

He will be ruling over all of the nations of this world; the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. Now, I'd like to have you notice what Jesus said to His apostles in Matthew. Matthew the nineteenth chapter and in verse 27 and 28:

"Then answered Peter and said [to Jesus], Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?" (Matthew 19:27)

What'll we have in the next life? What'll we have in the resurrection? Because the Bible teaches the only life after this life comes through a resurrection, a resurrection of the dead.

"[And] as in Adam all die [says your Bible], in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)

Everyone who has ever lived is going to come back to life again. Everyone who ever lived is going to be brought back to life. You see " is appointed unto men once to die, [and] after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)

The judgment comes after a resurrection, on most people. Judgment is already starting now at the house of God, or at the Church, but judgment has not come on most people as yet. But notice here now, Peter asked; "What'll we have in the Kingdom, what'll we have in the next life"?

"And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

That'll be here on the earth - Jesus is coming to the earth. The kingdoms of this world, this earth, will become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. He's going to rule here on the earth! (Revelation 1:15)

Will We Rule in Heaven? (PLAY FROM 08:53)

Well, let's go a little bit further now. Are we going to rule up in heaven? Or are we going to rule here on the earth? Next you notice in Revelation five and verse ten, Revelation five and verse ten. I'm going to begin with verse nine:

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof [this is the seals in the seven seals of the book of Revelation.]... and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain [Jesus was slain and was crucified on the cross], and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we [we Christians] shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9-10)

Not in heaven, we shall reign on the earth. Each of the twelve apostles, Jesus promised, would be sitting on thrones, each ruling over one of the descendants from one of the tribes of Israel as they will be then at that time. Now I'd like to have you notice in the second chapter of the Book of Revelation, Revelation two and verse 26 and verse 27. Now this is Jesus Himself speaking, this is Jesus speaking after He had ascended to heaven and He said:

"He that overcometh [he that overcometh in this life, who repents, who grows in grace and knowledge, and who overcomes], and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations [He doesn't say; you'll go to heaven]... to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken [in pieces together]: even as I received of my Father." (Revelation 2:26-27)

As He said in the next page here, in the next chapter, as He is sitting with His Father, on His Father's throne in heaven now. (Revelation 3:21 paraphrased). We shall sit with Him in His throne when He comes to reign on the earth. And that is the promise of God, that is the future hope of a Christian, that is the reward of the saved. Not going to heaven; nowhere in the Bible can you find that teaching. I've even offered a one thousand dollar reward, if you can show me any place in the Bible that gives a hope of anyone now living ever going to heaven, or that anyone ever did go to heaven, except Jesus Himself who has ascended to heaven.

Now, I'd like to give you an Old Testament prophecy back in the Psalms, Psalms 37 and in verse 29, it says here:

"The righteous shall inherit the land [the land is on the earth, you don't have land up in heaven]... the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever."(Psalms 37:29)

Now, a real begotten child of God who has received God's Holy Spirit, has been converted as the Christians say; he is now an heir to inherit the Kingdom of God. He is not a possessor yet but this says that in the resurrection he will inherit the land; and that's the land of this earth, it's not the land up in heaven.

The World Is Not Happy (PLAY FROM 13:02)

Now, a week ago I went through a prophecy in the book of Daniel, it was in the second chapter of the book of Daniel showing that the Kingdom of God will replace the governments, the nations, the kingdoms of this world. I wonder if you realize my friends what a world we're living in today. This world is full of agony, it's full of wretchedness. There are thousands that are literally starving to death in some parts of this world; some parts over in the Middle East, and even into the more far East, some places in Africa even. There are conditions that are wretched, people are living in filth and squalor. Half, or more than half of the world is illiterate, can't even read or write. More than half of the world is living in filth and squalor and in utmost poverty.

This is not the way a world ought to be! This world is full of evils, it's full of strife, it's full of violence and it's full of war, and the fears of war. And we've come to the place the first time in the history of mankind where the weapons exist that can erase all human life from off this earth and that is our number one problem right now. People are not happy in this world.

I remember when I was a boy on an Iowa farm; I didn't live on an Iowa farm but I had relatives who did and I went down to visit them quite often. But farmers on Iowa farms were walking behind a plow that was horse drawn in those days; I don't think any of them had tractors yet at that time. And they were singing at the top of their lungs all day long. That's the way they lived, you don't find them doing that today; people are not happy like that today, we're living in a different time altogether.

The Beasts of Daniel (PLAY FROM 15:13)

But I was explaining to you a week ago from the second chapter of Daniel, the prophecy about the Kingdom of God; where the king Nebuchadnezzar had seen a dream and the prophet Daniel told him what his dream had been and interpreted it for him. He said the God of heaven has given the king this dream to show him what is going to happen in the latter days.

And so, the head - he'd seen a great image, a great vast image, so great that it was terrifying. It had a great massive head of gold, it had breast and arms of silver, it had a belly and thighs of brass; but its legs and feet were of iron and the feet and toes were part of iron and part of miry clay. And Daniel said: "You, Nebuchadnezzar"... king of the first world empire, the first world empire that ever existed on earth, Nebuchadnezzar was its king. It was the greatest empire up to that time...

"...You are that head of gold; after you will come another kingdom inferior to you..." (Daniel 2:38-39 paraphrased)

As silver is a little inferior to gold, but silver is stronger than gold; and the next kingdom was the Persian Empire and it was a little stronger as silver is stronger than gold. That was to be succeeded by a third kingdom; the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great. That covered a lot more territory, it was the biggest of all, it was the most powerful. But just as brass is inferior to silver, so it was inferior in character but it was stronger in physical and military might. And after that the fourth kingdom of iron; that was the Roman Empire. But the Roman Empire went on in to its two legs of iron, and finally coming down to the Holy Roman Empire from 555 to 1814 AD. And now we're waiting for a resurrection of that empire by ten nations in Europe, which is prophesied in your Bible. That is going to happen.

And then it shows that Christ will come and take over the kingdoms and set up the Kingdom of God forever. Now I went through that a week ago in the second chapter of Daniel. Now, at this time I would like to go through a prophecy of Daniel in the seventh chapter. And this is a case where Daniel himself was given a dream instead of interpreting a dream that came to the king Nebuchadnezzar. This dream came to Daniel himself and this shows the Kingdom of God and it shows what will be the reward of the saved – whether it's heaven, or what it is. So now let's listen to this prophecy, and this is a prophecy, now:

"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night... And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another [four wild animals he saw coming up from the sea, now he said]. The first was like a lion [didn't say it was a lion, but it was like a lion, that he saw in his vision]... And behold another beast, a second, like a bear [the second was like a bear]... After this...another, [beast] like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings...[this] beast had also had four heads..." (Daniel 7:2-6 paraphrased).

It had four heads. He's telling here the same things that we're going to see later that Daniel had interpreted in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The first beast was Nebuchadnezzar's Chaldean Empire. The second beast was the Persian Empire. The third was the Greco-Macedonian Empire and it was divided into four divisions. Alexander died quite young in a drunken debauch. He was - well I guess he must have wanted to die because he said what was the use of living any longer? He said there were no more worlds to conquer. He'd conquered everything there was to conquer. So, he went out into a gay life and he died in a drunken debauch; and his four generals each took one part of the kingdom and the kingdom was divided into four parts by his four generals. Each of whom then became a king. Now then, as we continue on:

"...and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible...had great iron teeth [here we see the iron just like in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the Roman Empire, characterized by iron]: ...and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all other beasts... I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, before whom the first three were plucked up by the roots..." (Daniel 7:7-8 paraphrased)

Christ To Rule on Earth (PLAY FROM 21:00)

Now, let's continue on with verse 13:

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [that is Christ] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him." (Daniel 7:13)

That is the same thing that I gave you in a program a week ago; the parable of Jesus going into a far country to get for Himself a kingdom; the parable of the pounds in the nineteenth chapter of Luke.

"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages [notice not in heaven, it's on the earth - all people, different nations, speaking different languages], should [obey] him: [and] his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:14)

And that is speaking of the Kingdom of God on this earth with Christ as its Ruler. Now, coming down to verse 17:

"These great beasts [or wild animals], which are four, are four kings [or 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." (Daniel 7:17-18)

Now the saints – the reward of the saints is to rule in that kingdom with and under Jesus Christ; and that's what Daniel brings out and what came to him in this vision as a prophecy long before the birth of Christ even.

"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven [it's not up in heaven, it's under the whole heaven on the earth, on the earth], shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)

That is Him, Christ, who will come as the Ruler at that time. Jesus Christ proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God, the Good News of the Kingdom of God. He didn't preach going to heaven. He didn't say - well He did talk about hell; I'd like to explain that in another broadcast.

Because the New Testament was written originally in the Greek language and in the Greek language there were three different words used for 'hell'. One was 'tartaroo', that applied only to angels. Another was 'hades', which means the grave, and that is the word most often used where hell is usually used in the New Testament, that is more often. It is referring to the grave where people are buried. And the other was 'gehenna'. Now gehenna was the city dump - as I call it - in Jerusalem where garbage, and even dead animals, and the bodies even of criminals were thrown over and burned until they were burned up.

That is the kind of hell that Jesus did talk about when He talked about hell fire That is a fire that will burn them up! And your Bible says that those burned up in that fire will become ashes under the soles of the feet of the saints, who are converted and saved, and given immortal life on the earth, and who inherit the land of this earth. (Malachi 4:3)

So, the Kingdom of God is a kingdom that will replace these governments, these nations, these kingdoms of man that are so filled today with violence, with war, with every evil that we can think of. More than half of the people on earth are poverty stricken, many are starving to death. It's a terrible thing! Practically nobody is happy. I've known many of the great and the near great of this world, and I know very few that are really happy.

I don't know; it doesn't seem to me that people are as happy as when I was a boy, now that's quite a while ago, I'm a little older than most of you. But, I've seen things come and go; I've seen many things come, and almost all of the progress - so as we call it, it's a false progress - but what we call progress in this world has come since the middle of the twentieth century.

But all of the progress, all of things that we think that man has done; some of them are absolutely awesome! We send men to the moon and back; we send unmanned space craft to bring back photographs right on the very surface of Mars, close up photographs, on the very surface on the planet Mars. We send unmanned space craft to send back photographs, close ups, at least the astronomers call them close ups, of Jupiter and of Saturn. Astronomers say it's absolutely mind boggling. The things that man has done are awesome but all of those things are physical and material.

Our problems are spiritual in nature and we don't seem to be able to solve them. We are just lost in front of our problems. A man goes to the moon and back, as an astronaut, breaks up with his family, and his whole family is broken up in divorce. His children separated from parents. That's the kind of world we live in, that's only one example. This world is filled with that sort of thing.

Related Reading (PLAY FROM 27:01)

I am going to offer you a second booklet this time. I want to offer you first a booklet: 'Just What Do You Mean Salvation?' People talk about being saved – but what do you mean being saved? If it doesn't mean going to heaven what does it mean? What about your loved ones that have died, where are they today? You need this book to find out, you need to know.'Just What Do You Mean Salvation?'

Now I'm going to also add the book that I offered to you one week ago: 'Just What Do You Mean The Kingdom of God?.' What is the Kingdom of God? That is the Gospel Jesus preached. The Gospel that Jesus preached was sabotaged, and it, well, it was restrained and it was suppressed. For a thousand nine hundred years the world didn't hear it until 1953. The Gospel that Jesus preached was not proclaimed to the world. What was that Gospel?

You need that book, if you didn't get it, if you didn't write in or call in by telephone, toll free. If you didn't do that a week ago you better get it now. The 'Just What Do You Mean The Kingdom of God?.' And this booklet, 'Just What Do You Mean Salvation?' What is Salvation? Now there's no charge for these booklets, we do not solicit the public for money, we believe in giving not getting. We try to practice what we preach. I don't know anyone else doing it this way, but that's God's way and that's the way that we do it. So, I'd like to give it to you.


{1} Referring to Mr Roosevelt's pronunciation of the word "again" with the hard, or long sounding 'a'.

{2} Mr Armstrong said verse ten when the scripture he quoted was verse sixteen.