The Paradox of Mankind
Telecast Date: September 5, 1984
QR Code

   The next issue of The Plain Truth magazine will contain, on the cover, a picture of the Doomsday Clock of the Atomic Scientists, showing that the atomic scientists have already turned that clock from four up to three minutes before midnight, and all systems are go and counting. We are that near to what they call the end of this world.

   The World Tomorrow. The Worldwide Church of God presents Herbert W. Armstrong, internationally recognized ambassador for world peace, visiting prominent leaders around the globe, discussing the cause of world problems, and proclaiming the good news of the World Tomorrow.

   Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   You know, Jesus Christ was asked about the end of the world, and he gave a prophecy about it. And He said that this gospel of the kingdom, which is being proclaimed for the first time in 1950 years on this program and has been proclaimed on this program for the last 50 years, when it is proclaimed, then that is the sign of the end of the world, that it is very, very near.

   And then Jesus Christ went on to say, a time of trouble such as never happened in all the history of the world up to this time and never will again just before the end of the world. And the second coming of Jesus Christ in all power and glory to rule all nations and to bring us world peace at last - peace and happiness and joy and salvation for all who are willing.

   How do we account for the fact that we are living today in a time of absolutely amazing progress, at the same time of appalling evils? Minds that can produce such marvelous inventions and marvelous things that we have in the world today. Such great progress as we've been making in the 20th century, and yet those same minds cannot solve their problems, and the world is in trouble everywhere. Individuals are in trouble, groups are in trouble, nations are in trouble - everywhere, there is trouble in the world. How do you account for it?

   You and I have all been born in this world when it is near the end of the world. And here we find that tremendous paradox, and we're unable to account for it. And we have to go back and see what led up to it. We have to go back to origins; we have to see how it started and what has happened.

   Some of you might have read H.G. Wells' Outline of History. It's been a quite famous book. He wrote that we do not know how life began on the earth. Then he went on and said that some of the scientists suppose that this may have happened. We may well suppose that that might have been, and some have suggested that this would be a possibility, but they speak in such indefinite terms.

   Now, when we come to the Word of God, the Holy Bible, it tells us how humanity began, it tells how the world began, and gives us a statement of origins. It doesn't say possibly, it doesn't say some may well suppose. It gives us absolute facts. It speaks with positive truth, and it says Genesis 1:1 - first words in all the Bible - not, "We don't know." It says, "In the beginning, God," and the word God comes from the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural word, meaning Gods - more than one. More than one person created the heavens and the earth. And in verse 26, it says that God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." And in the second chapter, verse 7, of Genesis, the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground. It doesn't say some may well suppose or there is evidence to support the theory or something of that kind. It just gives a statement right out dogmatically as a fact, the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man, the dust of the ground, became a living soul.

   So a soul came from the dust of the ground and is not from spirit, is not spirit, is not immortal but is a mortal soul. And to that mortal soul, God led him into the Garden of Eden. And there, in the midst of that garden, were two very special symbolic trees. One was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And God said to that man, the first man created out of the dust of the ground, that if he took of that tree, he would surely die. It was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

   Now, the other tree was the Tree of Life. Now, if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the tree of death because he would truly die if he took of it, then the Tree of Life also was a tree of knowledge. That would be a tree of knowledge imparted by God as well as life. Now, God is a spirit (John 4:24). It doesn't say maybe or we might well suppose; it just says definitely and dogmatically, God is composed of spirit, but it does say that man was composed of flesh of matter, out of the ground material substance, and man, therefore, was given only a temporary mechanical life, not eternal life at all. Now, the man did choose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

   Now, as God had created this man, he had a mind, and we find in other parts of the Bible that it is revealed that there is a spirit in man. It doesn't say perhaps or some theorize or some suppose; it says there is a spirit in man, and it said that no man could know the things that a man knows and have human knowledge except by the spirit of man, which is in him.

   Now, that is a human spirit with a physical brain. The modern science of brain research has developed the truth that the human brain is just precisely like an animal brain and no better. But the human brain can think and the animal brain cannot. And the difference is the human spirit that is in connection with the human brain. The human spirit doesn't think; it can't see. The brain sees through the eye and hears through the ear. The brain does the thinking, but the spirit imparts the power of intellect to it, the psyche, so that it can see and think and hear.

   Now, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, good and evil, is a spiritual quality. It doesn't have anything to do with a man's connection with matter, with the perhaps making a boat or an airplane or an automobile or building a house, dealing with material substance, dealing with other minds. That is a spiritual character. Now, good and evil are spiritual qualities, and man was made to be able to choose between good and evil. But that was the power of this human spirit within him that made that possible.

   Now, there are different levels of spirit that is revealed in the Bible too. That's not, maybe, that is definite. God is the highest spirit. God is the creator. God created all things by Jesus Christ. And when it says God in the plural said, "Let us make man in our image," the other as you read in John, the first chapter in the first four verses, there was the Logos, which is called the Word or a Spokesman, and the Spokesman was with God and was God. Now, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and became Jesus Christ. So, Jesus Christ existed prior to his human birth eternally with God. Now, God created all things by and through Him.

   The first thing that God created was angels. Now, angels are spirit beings, spirit persons, but they are spirit on a lower level than God. God is composed of spirit, but on a higher level of spirit, of greater mind, of greater power, of greater intelligence. Then the human spirit in man is on a still lower spirit than angel spirit. And so, the man was made a little lower than the angels.

   So now the man chose to take to himself the qualities of good and evil. Now, he did take some good. And there are many people that have high aspirations, and they have a sense of high ideals and ethics. And there is good in human nature. And perhaps one of the highest things in human nature is mother love - the way a mother loves her child. But you see, as high as that can go, it is innately selfish because the human spirit is a self spirit and it is selfish. A mother loves her own child because it's hers. It's part of her; it came out of her. She does not love other children in the same way she loves her own. Now, don't misunderstand me. That is good; it is not evil. Mother love is beautiful, but it is not on the same high level as the spirit of God. And God loves even His enemies. A woman doesn't love her enemy; she loves her own child. So, God's spirit is a higher spirit, and man could have had that spirit to join with his spirit if he had taken another tree of life, but he did not.

   And thereupon when he made that decision, God closed up the tree of life so that no man could approach or take of the tree of life, which means the spirit of God. That would be the spirit from God, coming from God right into him and joining him, in a sense, to God. And the mind of God would have come into him, the power of God, the love of God, and the higher quality of good of God would have come into him. But it didn't.

   Now I have to explain right there. Something else I said that one of the first things that God created was angels, about a third of the angels were placed on the earth before human beings were, and he placed a super archangel a Cherub called his name was Lucifer on a throne on the earth to administer the government of God.

   Now, the government of God was based on a definite law. The way God and the Word live together, and the Word was also God. And they were both on the same level, as you might say, a family because they were a family, and they intended man to be born into that family. God is a family, and they intended man to come into that family. So, the way they lived together was the way of love.

   You know, when Jesus was being baptized, God said, "You are my beloved Son." He loved the Son, and Jesus loved the Father - God, the Father. They loved one another. They cooperated fully. They were of one mind. They agreed perfectly. Now, here was an angel on a little lower level of spirit. And this super archangel on a throne ruling over a third of all the angels on the earth was so beautiful that his beauty went to his head, and vanity seized him. And so, he became rebellious, and he rebelled against the government of God. He rebelled against the way of love and cooperation and obedience. And he came into the way of competition and strife. And he believed in the way of "get" instead of "give" and love and cooperate.

   And so, the government of God was no longer operative on the earth. Now, Adam was created into a world still occupied by the angels. And this Satan got to Eve and deceived her in the taking of the forbidden fruit. She was deceived, but she gave also to her husband, and he was not deceived, and he deliberately took it along with her. And in so doing, he rejected the spirit of God. He rejected, receiving the mind of God, the love of God, and rejected immortal life. He rejected all of those things.

   Now, when God closed up the tree of life, that was the foundation of a world started by this Adam. But this Adam had been, so to speak, kidnapped by this Satan the devil, a former great archangel. And you'll find in the book of Ephesians in the sixth chapter in the New Testament of the Bible that all of the struggles of humanity against one another and all the troubles in the world. They're not fighting against other people but against evil spirits in high places. And the rulers of this world that are in the air and in high places - Satan and his demons, and they still hold the world kidnapped, and the world has come to love the way of the kidnapper, which is the way of competition and strife. And self-gain and vanity and self-glory much more than the way of God, which is humility and love and cooperation and helping and serving and cooperating. And so, an entire civilization has been built.

   Now, at that time, the foundation of the world, God appointed that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would come born as a human being, that as a human being, he would come as the second Adam, and that he would give His life after living a perfect life, and He would never sin, but He would give His life in payment for the sins of all humanity. He would pay the ransom price to ransom us back from the Satan who had kidnapped the human race. And He came. Now I'm coming to that just a moment later. But to give you a little outline of history or a synopsis of history. Now, we started on a world cut off from God, but a world that was pretty well not realizing it was ruled by this Satan, the devil, and his demons who were former angels.

   And so, we come now to about 14, 1500 years later, the time of the flood. Satan had influenced people into evil because the human mind could go either to good or to evil, and it had gone so much to evil. There was just one man on earth who still was somewhat righteous before God, and that was Noah. And so, God saved Noah and his family. That was his three sons and their wives and Noah's wife - eight people all together. And He brought a flood on the world and drowned them because God had decreed at the foundation of the world that it was appointed for Christ to come and pay the penalty. That's the second Adam; it was also appointed that men would die. But after this would be a judgment that as in Adam, all would die, and all have died in Adam, there is no one a 150 years old on earth. In every human being that was ever born up to under 150 years of age has died already. But as in Adam, all die, so in Christ, shall all be made alive. All those people that died in the flood are all going to be resurrected. That will be really 1000 years or more from now. But that's not maybe that's not we may well suppose that is definite, and that will happen. Now, just a very few four or five generations after the flood, there was a man named Abraham, and God picked this man out, and He said, "If you will obey Me, I'll make some very great promises to you and to your descendants.

   Now, Abraham obeyed God. He was put to the test, and he obeyed God. Now, 430 years later after Abraham, his children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and so on had become, well, perhaps about 3 million people or four. There were 600,000 men, not counting women and children. They were a very prolific race, and God took them and delivered them from Egyptian slavery and made them into a nation that was God's nation called Israel. The Bible is concerned with one nation, that nation, Israel, and in the sense of nations, the Bible is concerned only with Israel and other nations as they come into contact with Israel.

   Now, Israel did not obey God. Now, in the meantime, there was another man raised up. Let's see. Oh, that was far more than 100 years later. And it was only 600 years before Christ. His name was Nebuchadnezzar, and he organized a number of nations into an empire. The world's first empire was called the Chaldean Empire, and it was named after its capital city Babylon, which Nimrod had originally founded.

   God spoke to this Nebuchadnezzar, to give him a chance to obey God, and he sent Daniel as a prophet. And now there was the dream. And the second chapter of Daniel, Daniel interpreted the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had. He'd seen a great image but had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron. And Daniel was given the interpretation by God, and Daniel was a prophet of God, and the head represented Nebuchadnezzar. And after him would rise up another empire which proved to be the Persian Empire, inferior, but of greater physical strength, inferior spiritually, but stronger physically. And after that, a third empire, which proved to be the Greco-Macedonian Empire, which was stronger still, but was inferior spiritually and morally. And then 4th one with the legs of iron. And that was going to be the Roman Empire. They had two capitals, one at Constantinople in the east, one at Rome in the west, come down to the toes of the feet, and that brings it down to our day.

   And part of that empire was to finally rise up here in our day in the 20th century A.D. And it shows a great stone supernaturally, not in human hands but supernaturally by the power of God coming down from heaven and striking the feet which were part of iron and part of miry clay on the toes of the feet and destroying the whole image. And that was going to be the kingdom of God to rule the whole world.

   Now, then in the meantime, here came Jesus Christ as the second Adam, and Jesus said, "I will build my church," and the church was to be the first fruits. Now church comes from the Greek word, ecclesia, all the New Testaments written in the Greek language, and ecclesia means "come out" or "called out." They were people to be called out. He came to do what the first Adam could have done if he had taken the tree of life but did not. Jesus had the tree of life. He was born with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was tempted at all points like we are. He could have sinned, but He didn't, and He knew that He never would. He had determined in advance that he never would, and He was strong enough to avoid it and never to sin once. Although He's tempted probably far greater than you or I have ever been.

   Jesus qualified to replace Satan. He met him head-on and conquered him to sit on the throne of the earth and to rule the earth. And He called His church out to learn the way of God and to rule in the kingdom with God. Now, we've come down to the 20th century, and we're waiting for that stone to come down on the second coming of Christ.

   I can't give you more right now. I wish I could finish it. But there isn't time. I'm out of time, but I want to offer you also the latest book that we have: "A World Held Captive." You need to read this. The world doesn't understand this, how this whole world. It explains how a world of such great accomplishment could also be a world of such troubles that seem absolutely unsolvable, no prices, no obligation. And we don't beg you for money, but "A World Held Captive" like to send it to you. And also, the booklet that we've been announcing now for 50 years on the air: "The United States and Britain in Prophecy." What is prophesied for the United States? What's going to happen to these United States in the next few years? You need to read this. Where is the United States mentioned in the biblical prophecies? Over three and one-half million people have requested and received this booklet. 3 1/2 million people have written in or telephoned in for this booklet. So, I'd like to have you do it, and we'll send you a year's subscription to the world's greatest and finest magazine: "The Plain Truth," and no subscription price, no obligation, and no one's gonna call on you. We want to serve, we want to help, we want to give. Now all you need to do is send your request to me, Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California. That's all the address you need, and the zip code is 91123. Or, it's much quicker. Just go to the telephone right now. Call now, a toll-free call. You dial 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444. So, until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong. Goodbye, friends.

   For the free literature offered on this program, write: Herbert W Armstrong, Pasadena, California 91123. In Canada, box 44, Vancouver BC. Or in the Continental United States, including California, you may call this toll-free number: 1-800-423-4444. In Alaska and Hawaii, only call collect: 1-818-304-6111. If the lines are busy, please try again in 10 to 15 minutes.

   The preceding program and all literature were produced and sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Telecast Date: September 5, 1984
Back To Top