Here we are living in a world of science, of technology, of higher education, of a great diffusion of education such as never existed in past times in world history, of technology. We can send men to the moon and back; we can invent the most intricate machines. Man can almost perform miracles — he's made rivers run backward.
And still we can't solve our problems. We have not learned how to live with one another. Nations cannot get along, or live with one another. Nations, the governments of nations, are being overthrown at the rate of one a month, and have been for the last two, three, four years. And you know it just doesn't make sense.
Now I've been speaking to you in a way that no man has spoken in our time. The answer to these questions is something that science can't answer, religion knows nothing about — or glosses over — could know; education can't teach, because it doesn't know.
I might mention now that I have practically completed the writing of another book that will be called...I haven't decided on a title exactly, yet, but seven truths that decry this religious confusion in the world.
You live in a world, not only of science and of education, philosophy, technology, and all of that, but you live also in a world filled with religious confusion. We have in this world, for example, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, the Moslem religion, and the Christian religion.
Now the Christian religion is the largest, believe it or not. And in the Christian religion there are 250 denominations and sects in the United States alone — beside many small groups and smaller sects — but, more or less larger denominations, 250 in the United States alone. And they certainly don't all speak the same thing.
Why do we have this kind of confusion? Why do we have this kind of trouble in the world? It's time someone comes up with the answer! And I will be very frank and say I cannot understand why so many people are not concerned at all — they're not concerned about why they happen to be on the earth. How did we get here; were we put here, and put here for a purpose, or did we just happen? Where are we going and what is the way and why haven't we found it? Why do we have violence, crime, families breaking up, and divorce, home-life broken up? And we don't know how to live.
And if we want to get at the answers to things like that the average person says, "Don't bother me with that. I want to see this football game on television." Or, "I want to go to the dance tonight. I want to enjoy myself."
It's like a man that's in a dream. He's asleep. And someone wakes him up and he says, "Don't, don't wake me up; don't wake me up! Go away!" Now I guess that's just about it, we are asleep; and we don't want to be awakened for some reason.
Why should there be all this religious confusion? I want to speak a little about that in this program.
One True Church Religion is generally defined as the worship of the Creator, or of the supernatural. Now of course, you might say that religion is the entire antithesis of that. In Russia we have atheism and the belief that all religion is wrong anyway — the opium of the people.
And yet of all of these religions, and of all the denominations and sects and groups in Christianity, there is only one original true Church — which is not a large Church, but a small and persecuted Church! And the only one on the face of the earth that can answer these questions!
I ASK YOU, DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? The people are not interested in a thing like that — and they're not.
A book I'm writing now — the first chapter will be, "Who and What is God?" Do you know that of all the religions, including Christianity and all of its sects and denominations, except the one original true Church, NOT ONE OF THEM KNOWS WHO OR WHAT GOD IS! And yet religion is the worship of God!
It's like the apostle Paul, who was taken up to Mars Hill, the court of Areopagus — the Greek scholars way back in his day in the first century — and they were so scholarly, and yet they knew so little. And they sort of mocked Paul as he came up. They looked on him as an ignorant something. He didn't have the polish, the education, or the something they did. He probably had a lot more.
But they said, "Well we're always looking for some new thing. Now we understand you have a kind of a strange religion." And it's funny, but the truth seems strange to most people, because they never heard it before. And they don't understand what it is. And so it does seem strange to them.
Paul said, "Well I have observed that you are too ignorant, absolutely ignorant. Religion is the worship of God. And yet as I came along, I saw, in one of your idols you worship, a sign saying, 'To the Unknown God.' You worship a god, but you have no idea who that god is! You don't know who you're worshiping. You are superstitious of all people."
He says, "I'll tell you who God is — God that made the worlds and all that exists, everything you see up in the sky, this earth, everything in it, all people [and he said], made human beings to all breathe the same breath. And He gives us all the same breath, and made us, incidentally, all of one blood." (Acts 17:18-29 paraphrased)
Now many people don't believe that. It's time we awakened a little bit and understood it. We say that your child is your own flesh and blood. Oh no, he isn't, he isn't your own flesh and he isn't your own blood.
His flesh came through food. And your own body changes every seven years anyway, because you're not only eating food, you're eliminating constantly. And new cells are being created. And old cells are breaking down and being eliminated. And finally, of course, the new cells come in and you have almost exactly the same look and the same form and the same shape. Only as we get older you find that maybe your cheeks and jaws begin to sag a little bit and a lot of things of that sort — if you don't resort to plastic surgery to correct it.
Creation of Righteous Character Well God is the Creator. But none except the one original Church that Jesus Christ founded, as I said, knows who and what He is. I've spoken on that before.
But of all of the things that God creates...I wonder if you realize that the most difficult and the most important by far of anything that God can create, or ever has, is holy righteous character. And I wonder if you realize that is something that even God Himself cannot create. That's something that God, instantaneously, by Himself, simply cannot create.
Now character of that sort is the ability in an independent separate entity — or a living being — that has intelligence and mind, ability to know, to have knowledge, ability to think and reason, ability to come to conclusions and make decisions. And one who is independent and who has what we call, 'free moral agency', he can think for himself. And one who comes to know the right from the wrong, the true from the false, and even though, in his own human nature, it is a pull for the wrong, he will choose and do the right! It not only takes knowledge, it also takes will and self-discipline to do what you find is correct and true and right!
And yet we have so little of that anywhere in the world. However that is the greatest thing and the most difficult thing to create that God has. And God cannot do that alone.
For instance the real purpose of humanity being on the earth is to create that kind of holy, righteous character. And I might put it in other words, as I've said time and time again, that God is reproducing Himself. He's made us in His image, in His form and shape. God looks like we do except that God is composed of spirit and we're composed of flesh. We come in different colors. And I don't know whether you'd call it color what God has. His face shines like the sun itself. If you ever looked right into the sun you tell me what color it is. You'd better have a smoked glass to look through when you look at it though, or it'll blind you. And that's how bright God's face is.
But He made us to become like that someday ourselves. And that is a part of the potential of humanity.
God and the Word Now I have shown you the beginning of God. We find the very prehistoric beginning in the New Testament, in the book of John, first chapter and the first verse.
"In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1) Now the word, 'Word,' and it is with the capital 'W' and it is a name here, but it means spokesman, revelatory thought, but revealer or spokesman, and the One who speaks. "...and the Word was with God, " (John 1:1) Now the Word was one person. He was the Spokesman and He was with God. And God is another person. " The same was in the beginning with God. "(John 1:2) Now there you have two persons. "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:3)
Now you read over in verse 14 of this same chapter that:
"The Word [this was much, much, much later, maybe millions or billions of years, we don't know... the Word] was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And John bare witness of him." (John 1:14-15)
And we come on down to see that that's speaking of Jesus Christ. The Word is One who, maybe millions of years after the time spoken of in the first verse here, became Jesus Christ, and was born as a human being — as a little baby — and grew up from babyhood. And it says, "Dwelt among us," and had taken on the likeness of humanity and of flesh and blood, and for the purpose of death, because we can die and He came down and became a man, and called Himself, 'the Son of man.' But He was also the Son of God. He was born of a human woman, but He was fathered by the Divine, Almighty God.
Now God and the Word, originally before everything else, were alone in space. I can't say in the universe, because there wasn't any universe yet. God is the Creator. In Ephesians the third chapter and verse nine, you will read that, "God has created all things by Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 3:9) When Jesus Christ was on earth He said He had spoken nothing of Himself, but the Father, or God, who dwelled in Him in spirit, He did the works and He told Him what to speak. (John 14:10)
Now in creating, Christ is the One who just speaks. But there is the Spirit of God that emanates from the Father and from the Word, who finally became Christ, and which emanates from them outward all over the universe.
It's just like something — if I could have something like God's Spirit that I could just project it over into China, down into South Africa, South America, anywhere and I would just instantly see and know what's going on there. I would hear as well as see. And I would have conscious knowledge of it.
For example there is a scripture in the Bible, in one of the Psalms, that God looks down upon the nations, and upon us poor humans down here, and He sees everything that we do; He knows what we do. He makes and unmakes nations; He gives nations the existence that they have. (Psalm 33:13-17)
And people don't really — they think, you know, that things just happened as they are and there isn't any power that could change it, so we could go ahead and do anything we want. They don't realize that God is real, and that Jesus Christ, Himself, has been resurrected, and is the first born of many brethren (Romans 8:29). And that that becomes our potential — to be born of God. And His face, again now, shines like the very sun (Revelation 1:16). He is now wholly composed of spirit. He is again very God, and He, by the power of His might that had been turned over to Him, sustains and upholds the entire vast universe. (Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 28:18)
Before the Beginning But now I'm getting way ahead of myself, because in the time that I was mentioning here, in the first chapter and first verse of John, there was no universe. There was no matter. There was just empty space. There were two Spirit Beings and they had within themselves the power to bring matter into existence!
Now the laws of radioactivity, if you have seen them as I have, you would know that radioactivity is a process of disintegration. And I've seen it in a mirror and a magnifying glass. And as the radium, which is one of the elements, and as it is disintegrating, it is constantly throwing off little sparks. It looks just like millions of stars shooting down at you — if you look into the tube that I did — and with the radium on a mirror at the other end, and a magnifying glass at the end near your eye. And it is a process of disintegration.
Ultimately radium will become lead. But you won't still be living by that time, unless you are immortal and in the Kingdom of God.
But getting back now to the Creator: there was no physical universe, but God did create us; and He gave us minds to think with. And consequently God made us in His form and shape and likeness. He made us for a special purpose: to have a special relationship with Him. And that is really to become His begotten children, and to be born of Him, and to be born into His Family — to be like He is; to do like He does.
Of course we don't want to do that; we want to do just the opposite. "That's human nature," we say. Only most of us don't know what human nature is, or how we got it, or where it came from. That's something else people don't understand.
Now, God planned what to do. And the first thing that He planned was to create angels. And He decided to create angels pretty much in His own form and shape. But He went a little further. He created three kinds of angels. Ordinary angels are more or less, we assume, like men, because where they appear in the Bible they appeared like men. And unless there was some change made in the way they were manifested to human eyes, they would be of the same form and shape.
And then there are seraphs and cherubs. Cherubs are the highest of all. They are super angels. They have greater mind power, greater powers, greater strength and knowledge than ordinary angels. Ordinary angels do not have wings. But the seraphs and the cherubs do have wings.
Now, as I say there was no physical universe. So God began to plan. And He planned to create angels first that He also was planning the physical universe. And I think He had it all planned before He even started the creation of the angels. But He created angels first and there was still no physical universe. There was spirit beings made, created, composed of spirit. That was before the physical universe.
In the Beginning Now we come down to the time when God created matter. And now we turn to Genesis 1:1, in the first verse in the Bible — back in Genesis 1:1.
"In the beginning God created the heavens [and that is plural, as Moses wrote it in the original Hebrew language, and in most translations into English] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now I have reason to believe, and I believe it just as if God had revealed it, that He created the entire physical creation at the same time He created this earth. If you'll notice in the second chapter of Genesis, and verse four, it says:
"These are the generations of the heavens [plural — heavens] and of the earth when they [see...all the vast universe including the earth] were created, in the day that the Eternal God made the earth and the heavens." (Genesis 2:4)
So apparently in the same day, whatever length day that is, but he'd been speaking of days in Genesis. We don't have any trouble proving to you — unless you want to speculate, and have a lot of theories, and believe your theory, and will not believe plain truth and plain language — that the days, the seven days in Genesis one, are seven literal twenty-four hour days! And each day is from sunset to sunset the way God calculates time — so "in the same day."
Now there is the expression in the Bible, elsewhere, of days, the day of the Lord, and we're getting very close to that now. We've been, for six thousand years in the day of man. And that's a pretty long-lasting day — the day of man — it's been about six thousand years. But anyway — in whatever space of time is indicated — in that same day, He created the heavens — that's that whole universe — and the earth.
Principle of Duality Now there is a point in how God creates. And science can't tell you this. And there is no church and no religion that will tell you, because they gloss over; and they have access to the same book where you can get this knowledge. And it's all here, but they have glossed over it all these years and centuries. And you will never hear it from any religious denomination.
The method of God in creating; God creates by a principle of duality. There is a first stage of creation, but it isn't complete. Then there is the second phase that completes the creation.
Now I compare that, quite often, to unfinished furniture. I have a few pieces in my home and they're very nice pieces. But they were just plain raw wood when I bought them in an unfinished furniture store. Now sometimes you can get very high quality, very fine furniture. But it isn't finished and, consequently, you buy it there for a great deal less. But you have to finish it yourself.
And God created the earth. He did not create it in its completeness, but He created it with all the facility for creating. But He created matter!
Now the matter in the earth consists of so many different components and elements. For example there is living matter that we would call 'organic matter,' inorganic or 'dead matter,' that is not living, like rock and stone and so on. But there is a certain life in soil, else how would it be that when you plant seeds that something springs up and grows when it gets rain or water and it grows out of the ground? And everything we have comes out of the ground. And it was all put here in the first place.
Now there are so many things. We even have nuclear energy and that comes under...it was in the earth, but it wasn't formed yet into the form of nuclear fission — as science has done — at the original creation.
So the creation of the earth and of the other planets of our solar system, like Mars and Jupiter and Saturn and so on in our own comparatively little solar system — and yet so vast that it almost breaks your imagination to try to understand it — they were all unfinished at the beginning. And this earth was not finished.
Now as I say God had created angels first — and the creation of angels was not finished! Wherever God creates it's the principle of duality.
Now the one thing, as I mentioned awhile ago, that God is trying to create above all — He's not trying; He's doing it — is holy and righteous character. As I say that's something that God alone, by Himself, cannot create. And it's something that cannot be created instantaneously by fiat — simply cannot be.
And the angels were not created complete. In other words that character was not formed in them and until that character was formed in angels, their creation was not complete! God created them all but that!
Now He gave them minds; He gave them knowledge. He gave them minds that could contain knowledge — that could think, and could reason with that knowledge, and minds that could come to conclusions and make decisions. God also instructed them and gave them the way of life — that is His law! So He gave them a government.
So God set this super archangel, Lucifer, on as the king over the earth to rule the angels with the government of God, so they could produce and do what they were to do in working with the materials on this earth to make it more beautiful and, really, to complete the creation. The angels were finishing their own creation by developing character, either good or evil, while they were finishing the creation of the earth.
Chaos and Confusion Now what happened? We turn back here, as I've read so many times to you, second Peter, the second chapter, and verse four.
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned!" (II Peter 2:4)
Now these angels are not holy angels. Apparently this is one-third of all the angels. The other two-thirds are holy angels. But these angels sinned. They could've been holy, but they never went on to create that character to make them holy. They could not be holy until they had the holiness of God within them. And that they had to take of their own knowledge and consent.
After they had done this what happened? Instead of beautifying and improving the earth, they polluted everything in it and on it. So that deterioration, decay, and chaos came to the face, the surface of the earth. And you find that described back here in Genesis.
Now because they had done this, God now determined to create man and to reproduce Himself, because in man He knew He could reproduce Himself into millions and millions — even billions of beings — human beings that will become divine beings that can have His character. And it's the most marvelous thing you ever heard of — just such a program, such a plan as God has made to do it.
And I think that's a good place to close right there. And let me say that here I have once again this booklet, 'Just What Do You Mean - Born Again?.' I'd spoken somewhat on that today and I think you'd like to see it in print, and also the booklet on, 'Just What Do You Mean The Kingdom of God?.' That was the gospel that Jesus preached — the Kingdom of God. Let me tell you the Kingdom of God is the Family of God into which we can be born. But it also is the ruling, governing Family restoring the government of God. It is a kingdom, a government, a nation — a ruling nation — and not just some ethereal nothing stirred up in men's hearts.
So now remember these things that we have offered — no charge whatsoever — and glad to send it to you if you will write in for it. So until next time this is Herbert W Armstrong saying goodbye friends.