Personal from Herbert W Armstrong - THE BIG QUESTION IS WHAT, after all, does it mean? The incredible, unbelievable epic feat accomplished! Two men put on the moon — cavorting about in sprightly style on its powdery-coated surface — and then returned safely to earth! And all this in the sight of 600 million onlookers! Does anyone grasp the real significance? We need an awakening to what this now portends! Perhaps the principle fruitage of the achievement is what it has done to human THINKING! Suddenly man's outlook on his world and his future has radically changed! Suddenly man envisions not merely a new world, but many NEW WORLDS... TO CONQUER! Ever since President Kennedy made the commitment to go for the moon before 1970, this feat had become the national GOAL. With Russia already in the race it was tantamount to a WORLD GOAL! Few realize the enormity of the mass effort. It involved virtually the entire resources — and resourcefulness — of the greatest, richest nation of world history. To leave the footprints of Neil Armstrong (no relation to me) and Buzz Aldrin on the moon surface required 300,000 technicians and scientists, eight years, and 24 BILLION dollars. It became a race between the U.S. and the USSR. The United States won not only the race but a needed upsurge in world prestige. But with the goal of the nation — and the world — accomplished, it was suddenly like the END OF THE WORLD — as men had viewed it in outlook! Suddenly there had to be a NEW GOAL — a NEW WORLD — else what had man, now, to look forward to? The very moment the two astronauts descended cautiously down the ladder of the Lunar Module and put a first foot on the moon, man's thinking CHANGED! Human minds began to envision NEW WORLDS TO CONQUER! Suddenly MAN began to think of CONQUERING THE HEAVENS! If human effort, en masse, could accomplish this moon feat, NOTHING is now impossible! Grasp, if you can, the overwhelming implications of the words spoken by President Nixon at that moment. He spoke via radio-telephone to the astronauts standing on the moon. The whole world was listening in by radio and television. These were his astounding history-weighted words: "THE HEAVENS HAVE BECOME PART OF MAN'S WORLD!" The implications of these words are catastrophic! Equally significant are the words transmitted to earth by Neil Armstrong after taking one or two steps on the lunar surface: "That's one small step for a man... one GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND!" "Giant leap" — toward what? Going WHERE? Immediately Vice-President Agnew was urging that the new goal be a landing on Mars. The very day the astronauts were walking and cavorting about on the moon, startling predictions were filling the air-waves by radio and television — worldwide! THIS, earth's inhabitants were being told, IS ONLY THE BEGINNING! Now man will make it to the distant stars, even other galaxies! The HEAVENS! "They will now BELONG TO MAN!" On their return flight to earth, during one of the transmissions for television release, astronaut Edwin Aldrin summed up his impression of the entire mission. He expressed his own feelings in the great adventure by quoting from the words of the ancient King David in the Psalms, thus: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?" He was reading, in outer space, the Biblical words of the 8th Psalm, verses 3 and 4. Add to this the words of President Nixon, Neil Armstrong, and the historic reading from the creation chapter of the Bible from moon-orbit on Apollo 10, and what have you? You have a sharply controversial PARADOX! Just as man seems to be preparing to take over the heavens as HIS expanded world — just as, in human thinking in the realms of science and education, man had almost succeeded in shoving the idea of God out of existence, suddenly right in the MIDST of MAN'S most exalted accomplishment of history, the star performers have now brought GOD back into the picture! Whether or not it conforms to what had become the trend of modern scientific and philosophical thinking — whether or not these modern schools of thought like it — these words combined with the facts of space flight have suddenly brought GOD forcibly into public consciousness! As science developed in our time, and rationalism took over Education, belief in God gradually became the stigma of ignorance and superstition. Belief in a God, men were thinking, may have served a purpose back in the dark ages. But now MAN had advanced beyond the need of that crutch. Now he could safely throw off the swaddling clothes of superstition. Man had become sufficient unto himself. The "God is dead" slogan had voiced the intellectual trend. Science and Higher Education had shoved God outside the structure of knowledge being disseminated. The question now arises: Is man about to attempt to shove God out of His own High Heaven too? It is doubtful, of course, that Mr. Nixon intended by his statement to be saying: "GOD, Go HOME! We humans are taking over — shoving you out of your Heaven!" Still he did say: "THE HEAVENS HAVE BECOME PART OF MAN'S WORLD." True, not all scientists or educators disbelieve in God. And the Bible remains the world's best seller. This book, which ad-man Bruce Barton called "the book that nobody knows," purports within itself to be "the Word of God" — the Creator's revelation to mankind — His instruction book. Of course neither Science nor Education accepts revelation. Nonetheless, the President's words and those from space make it pertinent at this time of man's invasion of the heavens to take a look into this best seller. In it one is quoted, saying He is GOD — that He created the heaven and the earth — that the heavens belong to Him. Could He even say something about man's current invasion of space? We might ask whether this is merely the writing of an ancient unlearned and unscientific man, groping for a superstitious concept of God. Or whether it could actually be the Mastermind of creation revealing Himself? Listen to these words: "Thus saith God the Eternal, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein... I am the ETERNAL: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isaiah 42:59). That is quite a claim — to foretell important future events. Are those words fiction, or is there GOD who inspired them? Then WHO is authoring these further words? "To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host [the stars] by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.... Behold the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance... All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity" (Isaiah 40:25-26, 15, 17). Fiction? — Or true revelation? Which? I think it should be interesting to notice a few things in this best seller "that nobody knows" — statements that have definite reference to man's efforts to "get to heaven." The very first words in this misunderstood Book claim that God IS — and that God created the heaven and the earth. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Then it says God also created man, and gave him certain dominion. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the SEA, and over the fowl of the AIR, and over the cattle, and over all the EARTH, and over every creeping thing that creepeth UPON THE EARTH" (Gen. 1:26). (Emphasis mine) This says man was given dominion over the land surface of the earth, over the seas and oceans, and over the AIR — the earth's atmosphere. But man is now invading space beyond the layer of AIR surrounding the earth. So this is one point that is pertinent to space flight. We find another pertinent passage in the 11th chapter of Genesis. Reaching a land called Shinar, ancient men said, "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven" (Gen. 11:4). They hadn't invented spacecraft then. But the human mind was working on a tower, possibly planned to go higher than anything existing on earth now. But, the account continues, God saw what they were doing, and said: "Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the ETERNAL scattered them abroad from there upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city" (Gen. 11:6-8). These words, quoted as coming from God, are significant. Once again, one wonders, is God now seeing what men are doing? And is He again saying, "This they BEGIN to do, and now nothing will be restrained from them" — unless, once again, God intervenes to STOP humans from invading further into outer space? At least it is written in this Book that God is looking, and well aware of everything mankind is doing. "The Eternal looks from heaven, beholding all mankind; from where He sits, He scans all who inhabit the world; He who alone made their minds, He notes all they do." (Psalm 33:13-15, Moffat Translation) But God is quoted as saying, "This they BEGIN to do; and now NOTHING will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." The Book states that God did intervene at Babel. Will He intervene now? The human mind is capable of imagination that is almost staggering. Certainly the human mind is capable of sending men much farther than the moon. But is there a God to intervene and put a stop to it? The answer to that question can be PROVED, one way or the other. (You might read our free booklet, Does God Exist?) Doesn't it seem a little strange that Science has never disproved the existence of God, yet most scientists accept, on unproved faith, the idea of nonexistence? And, just as unscientific, most believers in God have never seen PROOF of His existence, yet accept on unproved faith the belief that He does! What a commentary on man's careless proclivity of believing! A man believes, in the main, whatever has been funneled into his mind — whatever he has been taught, told, or has read — whatever those he chooses to "belong" with accept — and whatever he wants to believe! Most refuse to accept, even on proof, that which they do not want to believe! But this "Book Nobody Knows" has its own answer to the question quoted from space by astronaut Aldrin. In the passage he quoted from the Psalms, the question is posed: "What is man, that thou art mindful of Him?" It is pertinent now, that we consider the answer given in the same Bible to that question. It is found in the New Testament Book of Hebrews. There, beginning verse 6 in the 2nd chapter, the question asked in the Psalms is cited: "What is man, that thou [God] art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet." Thus far quoting from Psalm 8:4-6. Then, in this Book of Hebrews, comes the further complete answer: "Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control" (Heb. 2:8 — RSV). This has a direct connection with the passage quoted above from Genesis 1:26. There it is stated that God gave mankind jurisdiction over the solid earth surface, the seas, and the atmosphere. But now in the Hebrews passage man's dominion becomes ALL-inclusive. I quoted above from the Revised Standard Version in modern English. The old Authorized Version (1611 — King James), has it "Thou hast put ALL things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put ALL in subjection under him [man], He left NOTHING that is not put under him [man]." (Emphasis mine) This prophetic revelation is so staggering that I wish to make plain what is here claimed to be the true destiny of man. In the Moffat translation in modern English, the "ALL THINGS" and the "everything" are translated to mean THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE (compare Heb. 2:8 and 1:2-3) — including all our solar system, our Milky Way, all the galaxies in limitless space! This is a staggering, almost unbelievable statement. I am not interpreting it — but stating it as it is! I know of no denomination or sect that believes it. Yet your Bible states it! But notice, now, the next words! "As it is, we do not YET see everything in subjection to him" [man]. The AV has: "But NOW we see NOT YET all things put under him" (emphasis mine). But what do we see now? Continue, AV, next verse: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor..." (verse 9). As of NOW, we see not yet the entire universe under the jurisdiction of MAN. No, as of NOW, man is limited to the earth. As of now, while man is human — an EARTH being — he has been given dominion over ONLY the solid earth, the waters of the sea, and the earth's atmosphere. This was explained above (Genesis 1:26). Man is an earth-bound creature. IF he leaves the earth's atmosphere, he must take with him, from the earth, oxygen to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink. He must wear clumsy space suits to protect him from extremes of cold or heat. He must take with him the means of sustaining life from the earth! But this same Bible states that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead — no longer human, but now composed of SPIRIT. And this passage in Hebrews 2:9 says we see NOW, the spirit-composed Jesus crowned with GLORY and HONOR. This is more fully described in the first chapter of the Book of Hebrews: "... in these days at the end He [God] has spoken to us by a Son — a Son whom He has appointed HEIR OF THE UNIVERSE, as it was by Him [Christ] that He [God] created the world. He [Christ], reflecting God's bright GLORY and stamped with God's own character, SUSTAINS THE UNIVERSE with His word of power" (Heb. 1:2-3 Moffat). This entire revelation of the present and future is, perhaps, too staggering for the average mind, unaccustomed to revelation, to accept. But this sums up the Biblical revelation of the POTENTIAL Of MAN. Just as stated in the Book, with no interpretation altering it! It affirms that Jesus was born human of a woman. It affirms that He paid the penalty of all human transgression of the Divine Law by suffering death for mankind — that He was resurrected to spirit-composed life — with life inherent. That God's program calls for giving us humans this same spirit-composed eternal life — with life inherent — through Christ's resurrection, through His LIFE! Of course it also is plainly affirmed that there are CONDITIONS to receiving this gift — this incredible inheritance: total surrender to obedience to God and His WAY of life, plus faith in Jesus Christ. Once receiving God's Spirit — His LIFE — we become His begotten children, His Heirs, and coheirs with Christ who already has INHERITED this potential destiny of mankind. That is what this world's best-selling Book plainly says! And what do these amazing Scriptures reveal to be the appearance of Christ IN GLORY? Is He white, or black, or brown? He is none of those, and the promise is held out that we, when we become INHERITORS, shall be as He is now. You'll find a description of it in the last Book in the Bible — the 1st chapter of the Revelation. There it describes his eyes appearing like flames of fire, his countenance shining as brightly as the sun in full strength. Astronaut Edwin Aldrin opened the subject from space by his quotation. Here is the finish of what he started: It is verse 10 of Hebrews 2: "For it became Him [Christ], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain 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." In other words, Jesus Christ, the "captain" — or PIONEER, who has gone on before, paving the way — calls those who have repented and trusted in Him BRETHREN, coheirs. He has gone on before. He has already INHERITED that to which we may now be heirs. He now upholds, sustains, the entire UNIVERSE. He is now the CHIEF EXECUTIVE administering the Government of God over the entire UNIVERSE. Man's potential is to INHERIT what Jesus now has — to share it with Him — dominion over the UNIVERSE. But NOT YET! Not while human, composed of flesh-and-blood matter! Not while we are EARTH-BOUND mortals, depending on air, food and water for existence. The Biblical teaching, unrealized by virtually all religionists, is that, in a sense, we are all in training, now, as future astronauts. The training is in obedience to the Divine Spiritual Law, submission and obedience to the rule of God, overcoming the evil in human nature. Our flights into space are not for this life, but the life to come — the Biblical promise to mankind through the power of the resurrection. Then we shall not need space suits or space capsules! Astronaut Edwin Aldrin started this chain of Biblical revelation from outer space on the return from the moon. The question posed by his quotation leads to such an amazing answer, following it up in the Scriptures — an answer probably not known or accepted by any denomination or sect — yet an answer plainly stated in the Book from which his question was quoted — that I felt it incumbent on me to give our readers the shocking answer, plainly stated, uninterpreted as stated in the Book! I do not expect many who read it to accept and believe — NOW! The PLAIN TRUTH is a secular publication rather than religious. The astronaut gave his question to the whole secular world — it deserves, I think, the answer from the same Book to the secular world. But if the reader desires a non-sectarian magazine of Biblical understanding — not a "religious magazine" in the ordinary sense at all — but one of scholarly research published by the Graduate School of Theology of Ambassador College, simply request an already-paid FREE (to you) subscription to the TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine. I think you'll be amazed at the grasp and understanding and common-sense treatment of a Book that does make sense, after all — in a way few have realized.