Now I've showed you before, and I want to just repeat a little bit to bring you up to date, because I want you to have this background in mind in the present program. Before God had created matter, there was no physical matter, just outer space. God is composed of spirit, not matter. The Word was composed of spirit, not matter. At that time, the Word was not the son of God, he became the son of God when he was born a human being of the virgin Mary.
Now we have to begin at the beginning, because the whole creation is the handiwork of the Creator God, and the whole story is revealed in the Bible, not only history, but prehistory clear back to before the history of mankind, and as I've told you before, the first place that we find the beginning in the Bible, farther back than Genesis 1:1, is in the New Testament, in John 1:1.
"In the beginning," it says, "was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God." Now the Word is a different person than God, a separate personage, and was with God, but the Word also was God. And the Word there comes from the Greek word 'logos' which just means 'spokesman.' There were two co-equals, but the one called God was supreme in authority, otherwise they were equal. But the one called the Word was the spokesman.
"The same was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by him, without him there was not anything made which was made." In Ephesians the third chapter (Ephesians 3:9), we read that God created all things by Jesus Christ. Now in the 14th verse of the first chapter of John (John 1:14), we read that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, in other words, was born as Jesus Christ, born as no other man ever had been as a son of God, begotten only by God.
"And we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father." he was the only one ever begotten in that manner, before his physical, human birth. Every other human that has ever lived has been begotten by a human father, and not by the divine Father, Almighty God.
Now I said before, if we begin with Genesis the first chapter and the first verse (Genesis 1:1), it's like coming into a motion picture theater, and, or seeing one on television, and you come in when it's about three-fourths over, and you don't know what went on before, you don't know what led up to the place where you are, and so you're confused, and you don't understand. You don't know what it means, you don't get the story at all.
And that is the trouble in this world today. Most preaching that's supposed to be gospel preaching has begun way down here about three-fourths of the way through. And they don't understand what went before, they don't understand why human beings came to be on the Earth, they don't understand what has caused all of the evils in this world. They don't understand why we have so much pain and suffering and so many of those things.
God First Created Angels Well, it begins in John 1, as I said, but God first created angels, and he created angels before he created the material universe. And we find the beginning of the creation of the material universe in the first chapter of Genesis, in verse 1 (Genesis 1:1), where it says: "In the beginning God created the heavens," and it should be plural heavens, as Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language, and as most translations render it, "and the Earth."
Now the word for 'God´ here originally was written by Moses, of course, and Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language. The word for 'God' was Elohim. That is a uniplural, in other words, it includes more than one person forming one God, not two Gods. But the God who later became the Father of Christ, and the Word, were one God.
God is a family, in other words, and the uniplural word 'Elohim' which Moses used for the word 'God' in writing this originally, is a word like the word 'family,' like the word 'church.' Many people, or many of us in this congregation before me here right now as I speak, and yet it's only one church. It's not many different churches.
"And in the beginning," then, "God created the heavens and the Earth." Now, I showed you before how the angels were already here, and how they shouted for joy because it was first to be their abode, their home. And God placed the angels on the Earth. I went all through that in the preceding programs, and how the angels that were on this Earth sinned. And I read it to you out of II Peter the second chapter and verse 4 (II Peter 2:4).
And it was before the period between Adam and Noah, so it was prior to Genesis 1:1. Then I showed you how God had put his government over those angels, because they had a great job for them to do. The great original purpose of God is the creation of character, because only those of righteous, holy, and perfect character can do the work that God wants done throughout the whole vast universe.
This type of perfect character is something that even God cannot create. It can't be created instantaneously by fiat. It is something that the individual, or the personage who comes to have that type of character, must make his own decision. What that character is, I would define it as the ability of one who is a separate entity altogether from God, to come to the knowledge of the right as opposed to the wrong, and even though in its own nature he might want to do the wrong he resists that, and he actually does the right instead of the wrong, as I used to teach my children when they were little, to do what they ought to do and not what they want to do.
Lucifer's Rebellion From Government Well, that is character, and I think that's a very simple way of putting it. God had instructed these angels, and he put over them his government, and so there was a throne. And the one on that throne was a super-archangel called Lucifer, and I read to you about that in the preceding program. Lucifer was a super-archangel, the greatest type of being that even God could create, but character as I said, is something that has to be developed, and by the consent and by the decision of the one in whom it is created.
Now, this Lucifer, along with all of the angels that were under him, had been instructed in the ways of God, and in God's government. But Lucifer led them into rebellion, rebellion against God. Now we need to go clear back to that part, to understand how we came down to today, to today's conditions, and what is going to happen tomorrow, which is the good news of the coming kingdom of God, when we're going to have a world filled with peace, one world government, one world ruler, only one nation.
Nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nation will not learn war anymore. There'll be so many things that will be different, because it will be the government of God restored to this Earth.
[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?] Now the way of God let me say this there cannot be a government without a law, a constitution and a law. There is no government, city government, county government, state government, national government. Every type of government is based on a constitution and a law, or laws. And the law of God is different from laws made by men the law of God is a spiritual law, and the law of God is a way of life. It is the perfect way of life. In other words, the law of God is the way, which when accepted and lived, does develop that holy, righteous, and perfect character.
God has that character. Now God just is love. God is the fountain source of love. Now that means that love is an outgoing concern, away from self. God is the great giver. God doesn't need something from you. He isn't trying to get something out of you. God is a giver, not a getter. Now that whole trouble, and I have told this before kings and prime ministers, and presidents of nations all around this world, that this law of God, this way of God, this character of God, is giving instead of getting.
All of the troubles in this world today have been caused, and there has to be a cause for every result, and the cause has been turning to the way of getting instead of giving, and sharing, and helping, and serving, and cooperating. Now if we're going to have peace, we go the way of life, that is the way of giving let me say it again of helping, of serving, of cooperating, and of sharing with others, of loving others as you love your own self.
Now it's all right to love your own self. I guess a lot of people might not realize that. It's all right to love your own self if you love others as much as yourself. I doubt if very many do. Anyhow, we find now that the angels rebelled. The government of God over them was based on the law of God, which is as I said, the law of love and the way of giving, and they rejected that way and the government of God was no longer on the Earth.
Now I read to you in the preceding program how in Psalms 104, God had renewed the face of the Earth (Psalms 104:30). Now we come to Genesis the first chapter, and the second verse (Genesis 1:2), and it says "the earth was," or became, "without form and void." The Hebrew words there are 'tohu' and 'bohu', and they mean 'waste and empty', or chaotic and confusion, and decayed. And decay is not, nothing is ever created in the state of decay, it becomes in the state of decay long after it has been created.
"And darkness was upon the face of the deep." Now we find that the whole Earth was covered with water at that time. It was all dark. Satan had brought darkness where God had put light. And at that time, that was the state of the physical Earth. But as I say, in the 104th Psalm, God spoke of sending forth his Spirit, and renewing the face of the Earth.
God Renews the Face of the Earth Now here in Genesis, we find: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters." God had sent forth his Spirit to renew the face of the Earth, "and God said," verse 3 in Genesis 1 (Genesis 1:3), "let there be light, and there was light." There had been light. Satan was the author of darkness, God is the author of light. Now light is something that will enhance beauty. It shines on beauty so that you can see it and enjoy it. But light also exposes evil.
Darkness hides evil, and also hides beauty. Satan is not the author of beauty, but of ugliness, of destruction and not construction. Actually, what happened when the angels all rebelled, and the government of God was taken away from the Earth, it left God as the only being, or type of being, and there was the God and the Word which later became the divine Father and Son, and they alone had this holy, righteous character.
So God said, 'There just are not enough of me to do the job I want done throughout this whole vast universe,' which now he had created the physical universe, and as a result of the sins of the angels, it had all become chaotic and in confusion. In other words, it had all become waste and empty, or decayed. And I mentioned before how before, the first time the cameras were sent and set down on the planet Mars, that the first pictures came right into the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena...
And the first pictures in Mars came by an arrangement by the government offices in conjunction with California Institute of Technology, and it was just about 5,6,7 minutes after 5:00 in the morning, as they came through. And the Auditorium was pretty well filled with people, many of whom had been sitting there all night waiting for it. And it just exactly as I knew from what I find revealed in the Bible. It was absolute decay.
No life could be there in this present condition. Now God has a purpose, and his purpose was for the angels to first build up and finish this Earth, and then later to go ahead and refinish and beautify the rest of the whole universe. But they failed. Now, God said, 'I am the only one left, but there are not enough of me.' Or should we say, 'us,' because in Genesis 1:1, Elohim speaks of 'us', and not 'me.' Later he said, "Let us make man in our image," not 'let me.'
You see, there's more than one person involved in Elohim, in the God that's spoken of in the Hebrew word used in Genesis 1, is Elohim. God said, 'I will have to reproduce myself. There are not enough of me, and it is going to take those of my character, with the very purpose emanating out from them of love, of helpfulness, of giving and sharing, instead of this way of vanity, of greed and lust, and of envy and jealousy, of competition which leads to strife and war and destruction.'
That is the way that this Lucifer, this super-archangel turned to, and turned his angels into. This Lucifer, which was perfect in all of his ways from the day God created him, until finally the day that lawlessness was found in him. God did not create a devil, God created a bright, shining star of the dawn, because the word "Lucifer" means "shining star of the dawn."
But he not only went wrong, he led his angels. Now those angels became demons, or evil spirits, and the great archangel Lucifer now became Satan.
[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine] Now we come back here to Genesis, and we find that God is beginning to reproduce himself. First, he made over the Earth, he renewed the face of the Earth, to make it ready for man. Now the Earth might have been here for hundreds, thousands, even millions of years before this in Genesis 1. Anyway, the first thing God said, "Let there be light," and all of these things he did, then he created plant life, and then he created various kinds of animal life birds of the air, the fish of the waters and the sea, and then the land animals.
And finally, God said here over in Genesis the 24th verse (Genesis 1:24), "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and the creeping thing, and the beasts of the earth after his kind, and it was so." Now actually the word for "creature" there which is an English translation, Moses used the word "naphesh", and that is the word that is later translated "soul" when it comes to man. In other words, animals then are also souls.
And a soul is simply a breathing, flesh, physical, material being, and not a spirit. So God made "the beasts of the earth after his kind, the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind. And God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us" not "let me," now it's a uniplural and it included the one who later became Christ. "God said, Let us make man in our image." God's now going to reproduce himself.
Character Must Be Built However, that character must be built first. And God had to make in matter, so that if we turned the way of this evil Satan, that there could be a way of yet saving us and developing that character in us, and then translating us into the spirit condition of immortal life. "God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness," and so God created, as you read in the 27th verse (Genesis 1:27), man in his own image, "in the image of God created he him."
Now here it says "he" because you see, it is a family name of more than one person, however, but only one God. "And God blessed him, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." Now "replenish" is to fill up again. The Earth had been filled with angels. Now he said "replenish." After the flood you will find it says to Noah, to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the Earth, which had been filled with humans before the flood.
Now, I want to go on and show you how God began reproducing himself, why he put man on the Earth. He put man on the Earth in order to reproduce himself, in order to build into human beings the holy, righteous, perfect character of the living, eternal, creator God. So we find in the second chapter of Genesis, verse 7 (Genesis 2:7), "The Eternal God formed man..." What out of? Not spirit, but "of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." Breath is air, it's physical.
"And man," which is made now of the ground, "became a living soul," not has an immortal soul. It doesn't say that. But the dust of the ground was made into a man, who became a living soul, as soon as he began breathing, and having the breath of life. And what started out at the beginning, it's so very important to explain why the world is like it is today. Why do we have the troubles in the world that we do today?
Knowledge of Good and Evil "And the Eternal God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man who he had formed. And out of the ground made the Eternal God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Now those were two special symbolic trees. I don't doubt that they were literal trees there, but that's not the main point.
They were symbolic of a very great meaning. And the Tree of Life simply meant that if they would take of that, they would obey God, which he wanted them to take, and they would receive his Holy Spirit, which would be the gift of immortal, or eternal, life. So it was called the Tree of Life.
Now the other tree, the knowledge of good and evil. If they took of that, it would be taking to themselves the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, the knowledge of what is good and what is not good, or what is evil. God taught them first. God did not allow this Satan to come near them until after he had told them all about his government, about the possibility of them coming into his family, being born of him, and that that family of humans born of God ultimately will become the divine kingdom of God.
But we first have to obey God, and God's laws, which is the way of life, as I say, the way of love and sharing, and giving, and helping, and the way of mercy. God is not only Creator, God is also not only Lord, God is also not only ruler over us from a point of view of government, but God also is the revealer of basic knowledge. God is the source by revelation that he would reveal to us, of basic knowledge.
Now when Adam and Eve took of that original tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they took to themselves the knowledge to decide, to form the knowledge of what they thought was right and what they thought was wrong. They took to themselves, in other words, the way of get instead of the way of give! That is the decision that they made.
Let me read that to you, a little further here. "And the Eternal God," verse 15 (Genesis 2:15), "took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, and the Eternal God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it, for in the day that you eat thereof," or 'if you eat thereof', "thou shalt surely die."
Now "in the day you eat" is the day that they eat of it, but it didn't mean they would die that day, but that they would die. Now here is a most important thing. I want you to get this. Adam and Eve did not believe what God said. They believed in God, that is, they believed God was the Creator. They knew God was their maker and their creator. But they did not believe what he said.
I'll have to show you next time how Jesus Christ came and qualified to restore the government of God on this Earth, but has not yet been inducted into office, so Satan is still here to this day. I'll explain all of that, and why. You know, it all makes sense. It all adds up when to come to understand it, why the world's like it is, why humanity is here, where we are going, and God's great master plan of bringing us to that place. So, with that, this is Herbert W. Armstrong saying goodbye, for this time.