Truth - The Greatest Quest
Telecast Date: March 9, 1979
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   Now, we need to be conscious of the Babylon of religious confusion that exists in the world today. Beside more than 250 sects and denominations of the Christian religion today in the world, we have Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islamism, or the Islamic religion, Shintoism, Taoism, agnosticism, atheism, and evolution. And even the latter two are religions and religious beliefs. How could the world ever have become so mixed up? One person believes this, and another person believes that. Where did the truth go? How did it escape? It seems that no one knows it anymore.

   The World Tomorrow, the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong, ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Now, what is religion? Religion is defined as the worship of God or the supernatural, the worship of and service to God or the supernatural. It has to do with man's relation to his creator. It has to do with what happens in the hereafter; that is the function of religion. And not one knows who and what God is. How can you worship something you don't even know what it is? You know what the Apostle Paul said in the 17th chapter of the Book of Acts when he came to the court of the Areopagus, and he said to them (Acts 17:23), 'Whom you ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you.' One of their idols outside that they worshiped was marked 'to the unknown God.' They did not know whom they were worshiping.

   Now, not only that, not one of these churches or religions knows what and why mankind is. You know, this is absolutely amazing. It's astonishing. They don't know this. Are we an immortal soul? Are we just flesh when we die? Is that the end of everything? Do we go to heaven or go to hell when we die? Or is there any such thing? Not one knows what happens in the hereafter except this one persecuted beleaguered Church of God. Not one knows. What is the gospel message that God sent to the whole world by Jesus Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God? Not one knows what that Kingdom is, not one of them knows what salvation is. What is it going to heaven? Is it going to some place? Is it being changed to a certain condition? What, why all this ignorance? Not one knows why humans were placed on the earth. How did we come to be here?

   Now, I would like you to consider, how could anyone come to know these truths? How could anyone come to know those things? How could someone in Thailand come to know the truth that the Buddhist religion doesn't have and doesn't teach? Why does a Buddhist believe what he does? Because he had been taught it from the time he was a child as they grew up. All of the people they associated with were Buddhist. How are they ever going to come out of it and know the truth? They assume it, they take it for granted, they go along with it, and they're not disturbed about it. And they're not considering anything else.

   I'll tell you one man who knew a great deal. He wrote more of the Bible than any other man. And that was Moses, Moses did not seek God. He wasn't trying to find God. Moses wasn't seeking for these truths that I've been telling you about. Moses didn't know any of these things I've been mentioning, and he wasn't just hungry to know and seeking to know, not anything of the kind, but he was coming back from his father-in-law's place, Jethro, and there was that burning bush, and he wondered why doesn't it burn up? You know that's interesting. I would like to find something that burns and burns and burns and never burns up. If you could give me something like that, I can make trillions of dollars because we would have our energy and our heat problems solved in a hurry. Anything that burns, burns up. Did you ever stop to think of that? If you know a little bit of chemistry, you'd know that it isn't possible that this hellfire teaching, I'm not a screech of hellfire, but the incident, the burning bush. So, Moses turned back to see what keeps it burning.

   Well, now, the Bible says God was in that bush and spoke to him, at least the voice of God. He said, 'Moses, you will do what I say.' And Moses did. And so, this knowledge was revealed to Moses. How did Moses know what's in these first five books of the Bible? Moses didn't dream it up, it will reveal to Him by God. And God talked directly to Moses. That's the only way; otherwise, he never would have found out.

   Now, take the Apostle Paul who wrote the next largest portion of the Bible, a great many books in the New Testament. Paul wasn't seeking God necessarily, and he certainly wasn't seeking Christ or Christianity. He was out seeking Christians to haul him in to be persecuted and even put to death. But God caused him to fall down, temporarily blinded. And God spoke in a voice that he heard, and the people with him didn't even hear it. And Paul said, 'Well, well, who, who, who are you?' And he said, 'I am Jesus that you are persecuting. Why do you persecute me?' Well, he said, 'Well, Lord, what do you want me to do?' And so, God had arranged for a man by the name of Ananias to show him what he was to do, and Paul did. Now, then Paul had three years that are unaccounted for down in Arabia. But later, Paul said, 'Have I not seen Christ? Have I not been with Christ?' How did the Apostle Paul get the knowledge that he wrote in the New Testament? He got it direct from Christ. How did the original Apostles get what they did? They got it directly from Christ.

   Now, Christ in person is the personal word of God. He is the spokesman of God who is the logos in the Greek language of the New Testament, who was with God, the one who does the speaking of the Godhead. But the Bible is the word of God in writing, the word of God in print.

   How could anyone today come to know the truth in all this religious Bible and this confusion of so many religions? I think that's something for you to think about.

   Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.

   Plain Truth clears up the issue. Plain Truth brightens your understanding. Plain Truth sharpens your outlook. In today's world, you need the Plain Truth magazine. For your free subscription to Plain Truth, call this toll-free number: 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444. See for yourself, Plain Truth magazine.

   I want to get to another point right now. Jesus said, and I wonder if you ever realize how important this is. And if I were to tell you, you would ask me what is the most prevalent misbelief or disbelief that is extant in the world today? And the most universal, I would say it is the belief that God is trying to call everyone to salvation today of religious belief. And that is not true. And all churches seem to believe that. They believe God is trying to get everybody saved.

   Now, then if you will turn to John 6 and verse 44 (John 6:44), Jesus said, 'No man can come to me. He just can't do it. No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw Him. If God doesn't draw you, if God, God doesn't call you, you can't come. And if God had not called you, none of you could have come to Him. God is not trying to save the world now.

   Let me go just a little bit further. One more scripture, Romans 3:11, where it says, 'There is none that understandeth. There is none that seeketh after God.' People are not seeking after God really. And they had not been seeking after God. Abraham did not seek for God. God just called Abraham. Now, Abraham is a little bit different from most other men when God called him, and oh, I don't know, God just count me out. When God was calling me, I didn't want to come either. I would just like these other fellows. I wanted to be in the advertising business. That's what I chose. Peter wanted to be a fisherman. Most people have always wanted to do something else.

   Now, as I said, I didn't seek God. He called and chose me, and I tried to run the other way. If you chose Him, you don't really belong here. God must call him. No man can come to Jesus Christ except God, the Father calls him. So, I would assume that God has called all of you.

   Now, I know how I was called as God struck the apostle Paul down and blinded temporarily, although it was restored after he woke up and decided he would serve Jesus Christ. God struck me down in a different way altogether, and I think you all know about it. At age 34, I, God brought two dual challenges to me. One through my wife. She became a religious fanatic, I thought. She had taken up with the Jewish Sabbath seventh day Saturday for the Sabbath. Oh boy, how terrible that was. And here I had, I had known the presidents of most of the big manufacturing corporations in the Middle East and the Chicago area. I had an office in Chicago for seven years in Chicago's Loop at 123 West Madison Street.

   And I began to think, what all my former business associates think. And about the same time, a sister-in-law just fresh out of college, said to me very insultingly, 'Herbert Armstrong, you are just ignorant.' Well, you know, I'm pretty proud in those days. I had to lose that. But I was proud then and full of vanity. I thought I was pretty good. I had been quite successful. When I was still in my twenties, I was making the equivalent of what, today's dollar value would be a $150,000 a year. So, I, I was proud in those days. I had to get rid of it.

   But nevertheless, she said anyone who has any education at all knows evolution is true. Well, now I thought I had looked into evolution but I had never made an in-depth study of it. And I, said, 'Hertha, I'm, I, I, I'm going to make you eat those words, because I, I don't think you're right.' So, I started my study of evolution first because I had to prove whether there was a God or not. And for a while and reading all of the works on evolution, my head was swimming and I, I said, 'Well, I never proved that there is a God. I was brought up to believe there's a God like everybody, I've just brought up to believe it.'

   Now, I said, 'I'm going to prove it.' And I had an in-depth study for six months. I went into an intensive study as if my life depended on it. And I proved that evolution was false, and I, have proved to some atheists and others that, and made them admit it back in those days. And of course, that's 52 years ago now.

   Well, the next thing I had to do is prove whether the Bible was the word of God. And I proved that absolutely. Now, I had that, I didn't have to go any further. I had intended to go into the Koran, to go into the, what were the major spiritual, books of, all of these oriental religions and all religion to see if any of them had the truth when I found the Bible was the exact word of God. And there was just the one God. I didn't have to go any further. This was it.

   Now, I began to believe what God said. Adam and Eve didn't. The people didn't believe Christ. Almost no one believes what God says today. They don't believe this word. The word says the wages of sin is death. They don't believe that. I didn't believe it. I thought like the world does, the wages of sin is eternal life, burning up in hellfire but never getting burned up. And then the last part of that same sentence says, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

   Well, I said, I'm, I'm an immortal soul. I don't need to gain eternal life as a gift. And it didn't begin to make sense. And then I learned just a little ways from there in the Bible, how Jesus had said, no man has ascended up to heaven, but that he himself would come down from there. No one has ever gone to heaven. And then I learned where the Apostle Peter said on the day of Pentecost, when the day the church was founded, the day this church was founded, where he said that David, a man after God's own heart has not ascended up to heaven, but he's dead and buried. And his sepulcher is still here with us to this day.

   And I began, I just began to see that everything I believed was wrong. The thing is my mind was swept clear of what I had believed. And I want to tell you that God conquered me. And I knew I'd taken a beating and I knew that what I believed before was not true. And I found here what is true. And I decided I would believe what God says. And I have proved that the Bible is the exact authoritative word of God. I approved it and I believe it and I know it. I not only believe it, I know it.

   Yeah, I don't very often say, well, I think you, I believe you haven't heard me say that or my opinion is. I don't speak that way. If I don't know, I keep silent. If I do know, I speak with authority.

   Herbert W Armstrong will return right after this message.

   Well, life's been pretty good. Summer home, yacht, vacation when I want it. Mhm, some of the kids should spend a lot of time with that. Too bad they never last. Yeah, a lot of things are like that. The kids are grown now. Mhm. Sandy and I aren't getting any younger. Mhm. Is this all there is?

   You can know the answer to this age-old question. Why Were You Born? To request your free copy, dial direct: 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   Now, only God knows what is good and what is evil. You know what one man thinks is right and another man thinks is wrong. Human beings don't know right from wrong. They think they do. I've heard ever since I was a little boy that the test of whether you're sane or not, the test of sanity is whether, you know, right from wrong. You don't.

   There are probably millions of people in this country that believe cigarette smoking is wrong, and there are other millions of people that believe cigarette smoking is all right, and they go right on doing it. I don't have to go any further. You can think of a hundred different cases that people don't know right from wrong.

   That is the prerogative of God, and truth comes from God, and truth is revealed. And God is not only creator but God is also the revealer of truth. He is the source of basic knowledge, but the world will not get his knowledge from God. Adam and Eve took to themselves the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. Satan came along and he didn't say, 'Obey me instead of God.' First, he said, 'Look, was God fair? Did he give you all of the fruit, or didn't he keep back one tree for himself?' Well, he said, 'Yes, he kept back that one tree.' He said that if we take of it, we'll surely die. He said, 'Well, now, how do you know you'll surely die? You've only got God's word for it. God knows better than that. You will not surely die.' The devil said, 'Well, after all, Eve began to believe that I've only got God's word for it. How can I be sure if I don't put it to the test and make an experiment and find out?' And then it was, she looked at it and it was good for food, and it was desired to make one wise. And that began to appeal to intellectual vanity. He said, 'You've got a mind like God; you'd be like God?' Yeah, that, that, that sounded pretty good.

   Do you know what are the real tools of modern science to this day? First is the rejection of inspiration as a source of knowledge. In other words, they reject God as the basic source of knowledge. That is the first premise of science. Secondly, it is based on observation and thirdly on experimentation. Oh, they may have all kinds of apparatus for experimentation. And then finally on reason, human reason.

   Now, here was Eve, and the first thing she did was to reject God as a source of knowledge. The second thing she did, she used observation; it was desired, it was beautiful, and it was good to eat. And then she used human reason. And finally, she decided to make an experiment, and she took of the fruit, and her husband just went right along and he deliberately did it. He deliberately, disobeyed God, and the result is, the result of that experiment. They both died. God was right after all.

   Now, then you turn back here in Genesis, the third chapter, and where it says here (Genesis 3:22-24), 'And the Eternal God said, behold, the man has become as one of us to know good and evil. Now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever'. Lest he gain salvation, lest he gain the Holy Spirit of God that will impart God life eternal life to him. 'Therefore, the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he had been taken. So, he drove the man out, and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim with a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life'. Lest anybody could get back and get it. That is where God cut mankind off from Him, and mankind was cut off from God. All except those that God Himself would choose and call, that is the greatest thing that is misunderstood by more professing religionists and churches of anything. I don't say it's the worst thing, I say it is the most prevalent. They all believe that now this is God's world. God is trying to get everyone saved. This is not God's word. The Bible said world. God says this is Satan's world, and God right there, cut humanity off from Him, and the nations have not known about God.

   But now look what God did do, God took Moses and the incident of the burning bush, and He revealed Himself to him. Well, but back before that, there was Noah, and God talked to Noah because Noah had been a righteous man. And I don't know that he was especially seeking God or that he really knew God, but he was a pure generation as to his birth. And now, God came to Abraham, his name first was in Abraham, and Abraham just responded immediately. He is one man who didn't make the excuse, 'Oh God, get someone else.' That's why he's the father of the faithful. That's why all of the promises of the eternity of you and me are the promises that were made to Abraham.

   And in the one sense, spiritually, we become the human children of Abraham through Christ if we have God's salvation. And then came after that, Moses. Now, Moses said, 'Oh God, count me out.' But God made him do it anyway. Then after that, we come to others. Let's see, let come on, there was Samuel. Samuel was, his mother had made a covenant with God and promised that she would give the son to God. So, she took him over to the prophet Eli, and God called him and finally, Eli showed him that it was God calling him, and he learned about God from the beginning. So, he was made God's ruler over Israel.

   Now, God called them, but then he revealed to them a lot of knowledge, but he did not offer them or give them His Holy Spirit. They didn't get back into that Garden of Eden to get to that tree. Nobody has except those God has called for spiritual, the only ones that had the Spirit of God in ancient Israel were the prophets, and they were so God could speak to them and reveal to them knowledge to write the words in this precious Bible. Otherwise, nations have been cut off.

   Now, I think you may have seen pictures many times of the thinker, and there he sits, you see, with his elbows on his knees, holding up his head and just thinking, thinking, thinking. There you are out with no one to reveal anything to you and just think, how could you ever think up truth? You would have no basis to think upon, no basis to think by. The thinker would not. As a matter of fact, I think some of the religions were created just by thinkers of that type. They undoubtedly were. That's why they're not true. Truth is revealed, and it's revealed by God Almighty. And it's about time that mankind begins to understand and believe that.

   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. You may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444 in California dial direct 213-577-5225. The preceding program and all literature were produced 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: March 9, 1979
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