Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.
Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow. Worldly Ideas Enter Satan We Must Choose to Obey God Allows and Expects Us to Choose God's Purpose
My friends, what's going to happen in this world? What's the real meaning of this world chaos? Of the upset conditions that we find all about us in the world? What's the real meaning of the fact that it is now possible to lay waste an entire continent in one night without warning? That means that our enemies have that power and that ability. We are not very much concerned here in the United States, we don't dream of our danger. We have gotten so accustom to it now, we have become calloused. We seem to think that it has just always been like this. It never has been. There is a meaning for present world conditions, what is it?
I've mentioned a good many times, my friends, that there is a purpose being worked out here below. And it certainly is true and very few people know what it is. Now Bible prophecy tells us exactly what's going to happen. And the Bible explains the meaning of it all and why we are in the stage of conditions that this world is in now. What does it mean? My friends, it is a part of the purpose being worked out here below. But what's it all about?
What's brought about that purpose? Why are are we in such a time now? Why is God allowing it? He could stop it, you know. God has the power to stop it — God is love. Why doesn't He stop it? Why does He allow world war? Why does He allow all this human suffering? We need to know the answer.
Why is it that we are interested in everything else, except why we are? Why were we put on this earth? What's the purpose of life? Where are we going? Where are we going to end up? What's it all about? What are we? Why are we? What are the laws that regulate it? Why don't we have world peace? What is the way to peace? We don't seem to know. Why don't our world leaders know how to bring us world peace? They don't know, they don't bring it to us.
It all gets back to a false religious concept and that is why this world is in such ignorance. It seems that we are willing to look into everything else, but the truth, the things that are most vital, that are closest to our own personal well being, our own lives; yes our own future. It's about time we were concerned about it, because you're living in this world, my friends, and you're going to go right on living in the times that are coming. It's about time we knew what they are; and why and whether there's a way of escape from some of the horrifying things that are coming. What is the conception of this world about it all, about life, about how we came to be here, about God, about religion?
That God is a Creator, if we believe in God at all. Yes, we don't know much about God. We don't know what God looks like, we haven't seen Him. As the astronomer said; "He swept the heavens with his telescope, but somehow he has never found God." He, he just didn't see Him. God wasn't visible. But, most people believe that God is a person, or a trinity, or something, if they believe in God. Their conception is very vague and of course a good many people devote a lot of time trying to hatch out some conception from their own human imaginations of what they suppose God is like. In other words, it's the god they are creating themselves. They would like God to be just what they made Him and He isn't, of course.
But, they believe that, if they believe in God, that He did create things, once upon a time in the long ago. But creation is a finished work, 6000 years ago and God's work was finished; and He was all through, He had nothing more to do. God merely created the earth and man upon it; but He left it for mankind to work out and to establish their own society, their own form, or forms of government, and civilization and all that sort of thing. Of course, God created the earth and the ground and left it for man to find out how to grow food and things that he would need and to develop a system of agriculture. A system of commerce and of industry and of government and the regulating of things. And most people think that God, of course, had finished His work when He created man.
And so therefore God has gone way off. He hasn't been concerned about us since, at all. And even though this world may not have been directly set in motion by God, and it certainly isn't God's world. But, then most people seem to somehow think, if they think at all, they probably don't think much on it. But, they sort of take for granted that God intended for man to just work out his own pattern, the way that would seem right to a man; that's what God intended. Then that God is not in any sense, of course, a direct Ruler. Well that would never occur to the average person. That God is a direct Ruler in the affairs of mankind now. Why, why no, God, God's business was creating and He went off; He finished His work. He was all through, and He left it for man to do everything else. And, of course, He gave us intelligence — we ought to know how, and man's way should be the right way.
But God was concerned only with, well now, with getting man saved. And how did that come about? Well the general idea, or a very popular idea, it's not the only one, you may not believe this, but a lot of people do; that God created man perfect. Now man was created in God's image; he was a spiritual immortal soul, he was perfect and God intended him to be perfect and remain that way forever, so that is why God went way off, you know.
Well now, one of two things had to happen about that time. Either Satan came in when God wasn't looking, and God didn't intend the devil to ever come in. And God certainly couldn't have intended man to fall, could He? No, they say we can't hold God responsible for that. Why, why God is good, God couldn't have planned that.
So therefore, the only way left is that the devil got in somehow when God wasn't looking. And for the minute, the devil was more powerful than God. Because, God, although He says; "His purpose stands forever..." (Psalm 33:11 paraphrased) nevertheless; if it was God's purpose that the man should be perfect and He had made him perfect and that he should go along perfect in this world, why, the devil upset that.
Now you have no alternative, my friends, if the devil did come in and do this thing and God didn't intend it; then the devil did upset God's purpose and he was more powerful than God. And the only alternative is to just lay the responsibility right at God's doorstep. Then God understood it was going to happen and, and certainly permitted it, even though He might not of directly caused it. And anyway, the common idea is that finally God looked down and saw what the devil had done in this fall of man. And here was man all lost and cut off from God. Now God had to do something about that.
Of course, God had not intended, apparently to ever have anything more to do with running of the world. He created it and left if for man to set up government and authority and all that sort of thing, but, but God did become interested in trying to repair the damage, now that the damage had been done. And now that man had fallen, God had to think out some plan to repair the damage. And to restore man back to a condition as good as Adam was before the fall. As good as God had created Adam in the first place. Because now man had fallen; there had been a big wreck here in what God had created, or in modern language, what He had manufactured. And like an automobile manufacturer that had manufactured a very beautiful car and got in a wreck just outside the factory door. The man taking factory delivery of his car and the factory says; "Well let's have it towed back in here. If we were able to manufacture and make the car in the first place, maybe we can repair the damage."
Now a lot of people think that redemption is merely God's pitiful effort, and it must be a pitiful effort, according to the common conception, to repair the damage that Satan did; and restore man back to a condition as good as he was, as good as God had made him in the Garden of Eden before the fall. And, of course, they look out over the world, they feel that God, of course, uses all of the various churches.
And some people think He uses, not only just the Christian churches, but all of the religions. There are some that feel that these are all God's religions, all of the religions of the world and all of the various branches and denominations and segments and divisions and Christian religion. And just, of course, doesn't make much difference. Join the one of your choice; doesn't make any difference; all going to the same place anyhow — and indeed they are. But the world doesn't look on God as having any concern whatsoever in the direct rule of this world.
Listen, a 'lord' is a master, a ruler. A lord is one who rules over the one he is lord of. How can you call Jesus Lord, and do not the things He says? Today there are millions of people that use the word 'lord' all the time and often they use it where they should not use it.
Because, in the Old Testament sense, where you find the word LORD, it it comes from the Hebrew consonants YHWH, which no one knows, I guess, exactly how to pronounce it. The name has been virtually lost. But, translated into the English language, it has meaning. And it's the name of the One who became Jesus Christ. Not the meaning of the name of the Father alone. Except that the Son did come in His Father's name. And then one or two places in the New Testament you find the word referred to where it does refer to the Father. But, in most cases it refers to the one that was born of the human virgin Mary and became the Lord Jesus Christ, believe it or not. Just check up in your New Testament where it mentions quotations of the Old Testament where that word occurred and it is applied to Jesus Christ in so many places. You'll be shocked, if you will just make a little examination in your own Bible. Of course, most of us have been too busy with the pleasures and the concerns of this world to have much time for the things of God.
Well now, my friends, people today say; "Lord this..." and they serve the Lord, they say. But, they serve the Lord doing what they think is right. They don't forsake their ways. Now, the Word of God says that if you want to know how to find the Eternal:
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts..." (Isaiah 55:7)
But, people today, don't want to do that. They want to profess Jesus. They want to exalt Him. They want to call Him; "Lord, Lord"; but they do not want to do the things He says. Jesus rebuked people for that. He says:
"...in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 7:7)
"Making the [Law] of God of [no] effect through your tradition..." (Mark 7:13)
God has a Law, God rules by His Law. God is the Supreme Ruler of the universe. And God Almighty has ruled that, at the present time, you must choose between right and wrong. God has set it before us, He says here, in the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy, He says here, in the first verse:
"...it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee..." (Deuteronomy 30:1)
God has set curses before us as well as blessings. Now listen, verse 15 He says:
"See, I have set before thee this day life [on the one hand] and good, and death and evil [on the other]; In that I command thee this day to love the [Eternal] thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments..." (Deuteronomy 30:15-16)
Isn't He a Ruler then? Isn't God the one who does the ruling? Is He not a Sovereign? Is He not a divine King if He has given us laws and says we should do it? That we should obey Him and keep His commandments, His statutes, His Judgments. "...that thou mayest live and multiply..." (Deuteronomy 30:15-16). Why should we keep His laws? Why, they aren't good for us are they? Why God says here that you should do it:
"...that thou mayest live and multiply: and the [Eternal] thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear..." (Deuteronomy 30: 16-17)
Now that certainly means He made us in such a manner that He allows us to turn away. He commands us to go His way, but He allows us to go the other way, that's all explained here in verse 19, He says:
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I [now, notice what God — God has authority, God is the Creator and God is also Ruler, and God says that; I] have set before you life and death [God set the two before us, not one, God does not force you to do right, God has set life and death before you, today, my friends], blessing and cursing: therefore choose..." (Deuteronomy 30:19)
He will not allow anyone to. You know you can — they say that you can lead an old mule to water, but you can't make him drink. Well now, there are a lot of things that perhaps pressure groups, or perhaps if we had a wrong government today like some nations have had back in time past; when they would haul you before some court, or some judging body, because of your religion. And they would say; "Look you've got to believe what we tell you to believe, or we'll start going to work on you. And we will torture you, and we'll keep on torturing you till you die." Yes, someone might have the power to take our bodies and begin to torture them. They might have the power to kill you. But they haven't the power to control your mind. And if you're willing to take the punishment, there is no power on earth and no power in heaven that can or will, or that has the power to make you believe their way.
There were millions, millions, yes millions of real Christians that believed the same things that you find in your Bible today. And there were powers of the secret police of a government, a pagan government that tried to force them to give up the belief of God and the Bible. And tried to force them to believe the pagan religions of the time. They wouldn't do it; and they never were able to make them do it either. Yes they killed them, they died. You read about them over there in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. They are the martyrs of Jesus. You read of them also in the sixteenth chapter, they are the martyrs who paid with their lives, rather than believe anything false.
There is no power in heaven or earth than can make you believe anything you don't want to believe. The inner workings of your mind, as God set your mind, my friends, are under your own control; and nobody else does, or can control your mind. Do you remember the broadcast I had here, it was about Job? The meaning of the Book of Job. There was the devil coming before God about Job. And God deliberately put the thought in the devil's consciousness to try to do something to Job. So God gave the devil permission, direct deliberate permission to go down and afflict Job. But he couldn't lay hand on his person.
The devil had argued that Job was loyal to God and was the most righteous man on earth, because it paid him to be righteous, because he had a lot of wealth. The devil always does argue that material wealth and possession, money and that sort of thing is the main thing that will make you happy. And he has most people around the United States today believing it. And so God gave the devil permission, but the devil could only do what God permitted. He gave him permission to strip Job of all his wealth, even his children. But, Job still maintained his own righteousness and his integrity. So when the devil came back, God said; "Well have you noticed Job? I, I let you take away his wealth. You argued that was all there was to it; that kept him righteous. Because it paid him. It it was selfish, it paid him to be righteous. I let you take away everything he had, but you didn't control his mind, did you?"
Well, Satan says a man will give even everything he has for his own skin. "But, let me afflict him now, and he will turn around and curse You and turn the wrong way." Well God says alright; "I will give you a right, I'll give you permission to go down there and afflict the man, except spare his life. You can't kill him. You can go within a inch of his death, but you can't take his life." The devil could only do what God permitted. And God permitted him to do it. Still Job maintained his righteousness.
The devil could not — no matter what he did — change Job's mind. Now God changed it, by showing Job the truth later. But, Job had to make his own decision and he did. And when Job did, when Job repented; which means change the mind — Job changed his own mind, finally. Because there was one thing wrong with Job, and the devil couldn't find it. If you remember that program, I brought it out. And that was a lot of conceit, a lot of spiritual pride. He thought he was so good, that he was better than anybody else. And that very pride was a colossal sin.
Well now, God says; "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I [God is the Ruler, God is doing this thing; I] have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose [but what God said to choose is] life... " (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Now God has made you so that you have to choose. And by the very fact, my friends, that God made you so you have the ability to choose — not only, but you also are forced to choose, that means that you can choose wrong and that God allows you to go your own way. That God does not force you to go His way. He merely forces you to decide which way you shall go. Now that's what God did to the whole world and, I tell you, we have had this whole thing wrong.
If I'm not sure I'm right, I just keep silent. I don't know everything there is to know, but the things I don't know I don't talk about on the air — I don't tell you. I do speak with authority, but I'm not interested in trying to cram it down anybody's throat. You know the truth of God is so precious that if you don't hunger and thirst for it, if you don't want it, you're not worthy of it and you shouldn't have it. It is too valuable to try to force it on anybody. And God won't do it. And no real servant of God would ever do it. Oh no, it's just like something that's very very valuable. If I were going to give you a billion dollars, you'd think that was really valuable. What would you think of me, if you didn't want it and I tried to force it on you? No, if I'd say; "Here it is, come and get it, do you want it?" And that is what I do say about the truth of God.
But let me remind you of something, my friends. And you've heard me say this so many times. And I repeat it right now; Don't believe me. I'm not trying to get followers. I don't crave any following. There are plenty of men in this world that want a following. They want to exalt themselves, they want to make themselves a leader over others. I certainly do not. I don't seek any following whatsoever. But, God has merely called me to make the truth available. And to make it plain. It has been hidden under a rubbish heap of pagan superstition for eighteen and one half centuries.
And God has prophesied that He would have this truth sent to all the world in these days and it's going. No matter how many scoffers there may be, the truth is going out. And it's a witness against them. And God has said that this truth is to go into all the world as witness unto all nations. Not to cram it down their throats. Not to make them believe it, you make your own decision. I merely make the truth available and I wouldn't move a little finger, I wouldn't move a hair to try to force you to believe it. Couldn't do it if I wanted to.
And God has shown me that I shouldn't — that I shouldn't want to. Now I will confess that, when God had first called me and first brought me to conversion; the first thing I thought was that I wanted to get all of my family, and all of my relatives, and my best friends, I wanted to get them converted. I wanted them to have the truth and I did everything I could to force it on them. And I found that the more I tried to force it on them, the harder they ran away from it. And so I've had to learn a few lessons; and God has shown it to me, both in His Word and also by experience and so I don't try to do that anymore.
If someone wants to get into a contention, a debate, or an argument; I have no time for debates or arguments. I merely preach the truth and, my friends, it's on a take-it or leave-it basis. it's very precious if you want to take it. And for people who are really hungry for the truth, who are willing to let God Almighty rule their lives and let Him correct them where they're wrong. And that's what the Bible will do. The Bible is God's revelation. And it is profitable to correct us and reprove us. And if you're willing to be corrected and reproved where you're wrong, if you're willing to admit it, if you sincerely and honestly seek truth, you want to be taught, you want the truth, I'll give it to you.
And then I'll tell you, don't believe it because I gave it to you; but you go to your Bible and you search the scriptures whether these things are so. And if you find it so, believe it because you see it in your Bible the Word of God. And believe it because God says so, not because Herbert W Armstrong said so. Now I say; listen to me like that, listen to everybody, your own preacher, no matter who you listen to. Listen to them the same way; they should be willing to say the same thing. You shouldn't follow any man — follow God. Follow the Word of God, don't trust any man. The Bible tells you not to put your faith, your trust, your hope in men, but in God.
But to have charity for men. Now what do we want to do? We want to start trusting men and then not having any charity for them. We trust some men, and we get intolerant and bigoted and all that sort of thing against others and want to persecute others and want to hate them. Now God says we should love, even our own enemies. And we should have patience and tolerance with people and you aren't going to find very many that'll agree with you on everything. Can you love them just the same?
Maybe you don't agree with what you hear on this program. Why, my friends, most of you are not going to agree with it at first. And let me say once again, if I preach to you just what you already believe, if I preach just the popular things that everybody already believes, well the most you could say is that I'm amusing and entertaining you. And I doubt very much whether my speaking voice has as much musical quality in it; and is as entertaining to listen to as some beautiful music of some kind. Or if you prefer jazz music, or hillbilly, or western, or what ever you like. You, you might enjoy that a lot more.
And this is not an amusement program. This is a program to stimulate thought, and to make you think, because that's what God wants me to do. Because, you have to make your decision and you should only make it on thought and on knowledge of all the facts. A wise business executive doesn't make decisions on snap judgment. He should get all of the facts and be in possession of all of the factors concerned before he makes a decision. Making decisions is a very important thing, if you are at the helm of a major industry or big business, or let's say; for a President of the United States.
Next time, if you vote for the President of the United States, let me tell you the main factor for you to look at; don't look so much at his politics, or so much at how you like his looks, or things like that. You look to the ability of that man to make wise decisions. Because that's the most important thing the president of the United States has to do. He has to make decisions on which a lot of your welfare and mine depends. And the most necessary thing is to know that you have a man of wisdom that can make wise decisions.
Most of us never think about that. And I don't think you hear the politicians very often telling you that you should look to that in trying to know who who should be the President. Look to his heart too, and whether his spirit and heart and attitude is right, and how sincere he is. And whether he has a mind that can grasp all of the factors and make a level-headed wise decision. And you better look to a man that is looking to God for wisdom, because if he doesn't, he isn't going to have any.
Worldly IdeasA very popular concept, it isn't the only concept, I don't say it's universal at all, but a very common and a very popular concept, which is a basic approach to religion and the ideas of government, of society, and of life in general, and of the relationship of one to the other is something like this:
Enter SatanWell then Satan entered into the Garden of Eden. And he did upset the apple cart, as we say. Satan entered in and what did he do? He caused a great big wreck. He caused a big smash up in this perfect man that God had created and so, they say, there is the fall of man.
We Must Choose to ObeyAnd, my friends, that's where God has been terribly misrepresented. You know, Jesus said: "...why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things [that] I say?" (Luke 6:46)
God Allows and Expects Us to ChooseGod Almighty is the one who has said we have to choose; and He will not choose for you. Listen; I'm not trying to cram anything down your throats. I'm not trying to just force any religion on you and God is not and God will not allow the devil to. God has made you so that you are forced to make your decision. God is the Ruler and God has ruled that you must make the decision. If you try to avoid making it, you automatically make it in the negative. You either make it in the positive, or you have automatically made it in the negative. You will make a decision, you are making your decision right now, my friends. God has made you so you have to make that decision and He will not make it for you. He will not cram His religion down your throat.
God's PurposeGod is working out a purpose here below and the world does not understand that purpose. The religions of this world do not understand the purpose of God! I speak by the authority of Jesus Christ, it's the highest authority in the universe and all power in heaven and in earth has been given to Him. And He has called me and given me authority to represent Him and to speak in His name, by His authority, and I do speak with authority and by that authority.