Why So Many Religions?
Telecast Date: February 5, 1979
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   We can send men to the moon and back. We can invent the most intricate machines; man can almost perform miracles. He's made rivers run backward. And still, we can't solve our problems. We have not learned how to live with one another.

   Nations cannot get along or live with one another. Nations. The governments of nations are being overthrown at the rate of one a month and have been for the last 2, 3, 4 years. And you know, it just doesn't make sense.

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

   You live in a world not only of science and of education, philosophy, technology, and all of that, but you live also in a world filled with religious confusion.

   We have in this world, for example, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Muslim religion, and the Christian religion. Now, the Christian religion is the largest, believe it or not. And in the Christian religion, there are 250 denominations and sects in the United States alone beside many small groups and smaller sects, but more or less larger denominations, 250 in the United States alone, and they certainly don't all speak the same thing.

   Why do we have this kind of confusion? Why do we have this kind of trouble in the world? It's time someone comes up with the answer, and I will be very frank in saying I cannot understand why so many people are not concerned at all. They're not concerned about why they had to happen to be on the earth. How did we get here? Were we put here and put here for a purpose or did we just happen? Where are we going? And what is the way? And why haven't we found it?

   Why do we have violence, crime, families breaking up in divorce, home life broken up, and we don't know how to live? And if we want to get at the answers to things like that, the other average person says, don't bother me with that. I want to see this football game on television. I want to go to the dance tonight. I wanna enjoy myself. It's like a man that's in a dream. He's asleep, and someone wakes him up, and he says, don't, don't wake me up, don't wake me up, go away. And I guess that's just about it. We are in, we are asleep and we don't want to be awakened for some reason.

   Why should there be all this religious confusion? I want to speak a little about that in this program. Religion is generally defined as the worship of the creator or of the supernatural. Now, of course, you might say that religion is the entire antithesis of that. In Russia, we have atheism and the belief that all religion is wrong anyway, the opium of the people, and yet of all of these religions and of all of the denominations and sects and groups and Christianity, there is only one original true church, which is not a large church but a small and persecuted church.

   And the only one on the face of the earth that can answer these questions. I ask you, does that make sense? The people are not interested in a thing like that, and they're not. Do you know that of all of the religions including Christianity and all of its sex and denominations, except the one original true church, not one of them knows who or what God is. And yet religion is the worship of God.

   It was like the Apostle Paul who was taken up to Mars Hill, the court of Areopagus, the Greek scholars way back in his day in the first century. And they were so scholarly and yet they knew so little and they sort of mock Paul as he came up, they looked on him as an ignorant something. He didn't have the Polish, the education of the something they did. He probably had a lot more. But they said, well, we're always looking for some new thing. Now, we understand you have a kind of a strange religion, and it's funny, but the truth seems strange to most people because they never heard it before and they don't understand what it is. And so, it does seem strange to them.

   Paul said, "Well, I have observed that you are too ignorant, absolutely ignorant. Religion is the worship of God. And yet as I came along, I saw on one of your idols, you worship a sign saying to the unknown God, you worship a God, but you have no idea who that God is. You don't know who you're worshiping. You are superstitious of all people. He says, I'll tell you who God is, God that made the worlds and all that exists. Everything you see up in the sky, this earth, everything in it, all people. And he said, made human beings to all breathe the same breath and He gives us all the same breath. God is the creator, but none except the one original church that Jesus Christ founded, as I said, knows who and what He is.

   Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.

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   Now, I have shown you the, the beginning of God. We find a very prehistoric beginning in the New Testament in the book of John, first chapter. And the first verse (John 1:1): 'In the beginning was the Word.' Now the Word 'Word,' and it is the capital 'W,' and it is a name here. It means spokesman, revelatory thought, but revealer or spokesman. And the one who speaks, and the Word was with God. Now the Word was one person; He was the spokesman, and He was with God, and God is another person. The same was in the beginning with God. Now, there you have two persons. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

   Now you read over in verse 14 of the same chapter (John 1:14) that the word, and this was much, much, much later, maybe millions or billions of years. We don't know. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And John bear witness of him. And we come on down to see that, that speaking of Jesus Christ, the Word is one who maybe millions of years after the time spoken of in the first verse here became Jesus Christ and was born as a human being as a little baby and grew up from babyhood.

   And it says, 'dwelt among us and have taken on the likeness of humanity and the flesh and blood and for the purpose of death because we can die.' And he came down and became a man and called himself the Son of Man. But he was also the Son of God. He was born of a human woman, but he was fathered by the divine almighty God.

   Now, God and the Word primarily or originally before everything else were alone in space. I can't say in the universe because it wasn't in the universe yet. In Ephesians, the third chapter, in verse nine (Ephesians 3:9), you will read that God has created all things by Jesus Christ. And now we turn to Genesis one and verse one (Genesis 1:1): 'In the beginning, God created the heavens,' and that is plural as Moses wrote it in the original Hebrew language and in most translations into English, 'and the Earth.' In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

   Now, I have reason to believe and I believe it just as if God had revealed it, that he created the entire physical creation at the same time he created this earth. If you notice in the second chapter of Genesis and verse four (Genesis 2:4), it says, 'These are the generations of the heavens,' plural heavens 'and of the earth when they see all the vast universe, including the earth, were created in the day that the Eternal God made the earth and the heavens.' So apparently in the same day, whatever the length day that is, but he's been speaking of days in Genesis, we don't have any trouble proving to you unless you want to speculate and have a lot of theories and believe your theory and will not believe plain proofs and plain language that the days, the seven days in Genesis one are seven literal 24-hour days and each day is from sunset to sunset the way God calculates time.

   And so, in the same day, now, there is the expression in the Bible elsewhere of the day, the day of the Lord. And we're getting very close to that now, we've been for 6000 years in the day of man. And that's a pretty long-lasting day, the day of man. It's been about 6000 years. But anyway, in whatever space of time is indicated in that same day, he created the heavens, that's the whole universe and the earth.

   Now, there is a point in how God creates, and science can't tell you this, and there is no church and no religion that will tell you because they gloss over and they have access to the same book where you can get this knowledge, and it's all here, but they have glossed over it all these years and centuries, and you will never hear it from any religious denomination.

   The method of God in creating: God creates by a principle of duality. There is a first stage of creation, but it isn't complete. Then there is a second phase that completes the creation.

   And now we come to the creation of man and how does God create man? He's creating man to reproduce himself. And the first is the physical phase. And that began with the physical Adam. And you read of him back in the 26th verse in the first chapter of Genesis and in Genesis two and three, and Adam started off wrong. Adam had the chance to resist the way the angels had been going and to accept God's kingdom, God's government. God talked to Adam and explained. Adam knew it was his own maker, his own creator talking to him. Yeah, no excuse at all. He didn't let Satan get near him until after God had given him all the real knowledge, but also God intended that Adam must reject Satan's way as well as accept his in order to qualify. And he could have replaced this Lucifer who became Satan.

   Lucifer who was once created as a perfect archangel perfect in all of his ways from the day he was created, you read in Ezekiel 28. And but he came to be Satan the devil and that was all his own doing because the characters, I say God can't build that alone. You have everything to do yourself.

   I mean, primarily to do with the, the building of your own character. Now you alone can't do it either. You have to have God's help, but God will give you the help if you want to do it. That's why you were put on earth. The purpose of angel life was to build that character. The purpose of human life is to build that kind of holy and righteous character. And that is simply going the way of the law of God. And the law of God is the foundation and the basis of the government of God.

   And because of what the angels had done, the government of God was removed from this earth. And so, the government of God is not on earth. God said to Adam, 'You have rejected me, you have turned down my way. You have decided to go the way that Satan went to destroy instead of to build. So, therefore, you've made the decision, and you've made it for your posterity and the whole world that will be born from you.'

   And God sentenced all humanity for 6000 years. That is the Children of Adam and Eve, to being cut off from God and said, 'You don't want me, you don't want my knowledge. You don't believe, what I say, people say I, oh, I believe in God. And I say, but you don't believe God, do you? Well, they don't quite get it. What I mean? Don't believe God. You have to know what God says before you know, whether you believe it or not.

   Adam and Eve believed in God. They knew that God was our maker. Wasn't any question about that in the New Testament. They believed many of them believed in Christ. There were the Jews you read of the, let me see the eighth chapter of John beginning with verse 30 (John 8:30), the Jews that believed on Jesus and to those Jews that believed on Him, he said, if you read through good many verses there, 'you seek to kill me and put me to death because you don't believe what I say. My word has no place in you. You don't believe my word.' Yet, they claim to believe on Him. Today, they just believe on Christ. Oh yes, millions do. But Jesus said in vain, do they worship me teaching for doctrines, the, the ideas and every commandment of men and making the law of God of none effect by your human traditions. And that's what's going on all over this world.

   Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.

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   There's a reason for all of the troubles we're having in this world. Let me tell you, my friends, and we don't have to have it. We bring suffering on ourselves, and the trouble is you bring suffering on others along with your own self, and you suffer every one of you from what others are doing that you didn't even bring on yourself.

   Now, you don't hear anything of the government of God in any religion that I know anything about. But let me tell you the one church that originates from this campus where I sit right now not only believes in the government of God, but it is administered. But it's a voluntary government, and it's only administered over those who voluntarily come and put themselves under it. And to accept it, there's no force or duress of any kind in it.

   But the government of God is based on the law of God. But you see the churches that call themselves Christians, the main tenet, if there is any, that is a belief that they have is that God's law is done away. That God and that Christ came to abolish the law. And a lot of people believe that God of the Old Testament is a harsh, stern God. That Christ was a loving God and he came to do away with that law of God and let us do any old thing we please and bring curses and troubles and everything on ourselves. Well, we're sure doing it.

   But now we put humans on earth to build that character and we have the chance just as the angels did, but we're not doing it. We're going the same way they did. And, but, I said a while ago, that God pronounced this sentence of being cut off from him for 6000 years. Now that 6000 years is just about up. It's gonna end in our present living generation. And I would guess that 2/3 to 3/4 of all of you people listening to me now are going to live through this time when this present world is going to be over. That doesn't mean the destruction of the earth. The world is one thing, and the earth is something else. The earth is the planet we live on. The world is the system of society that man has built on that planet, and that system of society is rotten. It's filthy, it's damnable, and it's going to go.

   And so, we're told to pray 'thy kingdom come,' God's kingdom, God's government. 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' And not until then will we have any peace, any hope, or any truth on earth.

   Well, now let me just say finally, the book that I am now completing, I have not decided yet on the exact name of it, but it will have to do with the religious confusion in the world. And it will give you seven major proofs which really put to shame such confusion as we have in this world, in a battle of religious ideas. And if you get together, no two people can agree if you're going to have truth in a church, to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul was inspired to write that you must all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you. No schism in the body. There's only one way that can be because you can't get a group of people, and if they vote on what they want to believe and what they don't want to believe they're not going to agree.

   There's only one case in the Bible, only one case and one illustration where there was a council, and they came together to decide a doctrinal matter. And that's on the 15th chapter of the book of Acts. There were probably only three or four of the apostles there, but there was Paul and Barnabas. So that would have made it the very least, at least five of the apostles and other elders. And there was much disputing and much wrangling until Peter stood up who did have primacy, and he laid down the law of what it was and gave the decision. Then John, I mean, James, who was the pastor of the local church. And for that reason was acting what we would call today, the chairman of the meeting, a matter of diplomacy, he just said, now Peter has spoken and so we just make this official what Peter has said.

   You'll find that everything that was believed in the original church had come from one source, not what the people believed, not what ministers wanted to get together and decide among themselves, what we think ought to be the true doctrine. It all came from Christ, and Christ got it to the church through the apostles that he had chosen. And in no other way, now, I'll just give you $1000 if you show me where it ever got into the Church of God in Bible times any other way, because it just didn't. And as long as men are going to decide, and ministers want to get together and decide on what to believe and what not to believe. You're going to have confusion of tongues. That's why we have it in the world today. The truth must come from God. He's the author of truth. And Christ is the spokesman of God and the Word and it must come from there. And if he is, he chose the apostles, they didn't choose him, they didn't choose themselves.

   Jesus said to his apostles. He said, you have not called me or chosen me, but I have chosen you. You see Peter wanted to be a fisherman and Andrew his brother and one of them wanted to be a tax collector. And but, but Jesus said, no, you come and follow me. I've called you into my mission. And so, they followed him and they got their teaching directly from him. Now, the Apostle Paul, he spent three years with Christ in Arabia. He said, I have seen Christ, I have been with Christ. He got it and he went to Jerusalem to be sure that what he was preaching was exactly the same as they were preaching, that there wouldn't be any division. And he found that what he had gotten from Christ was precisely the same thing that Peter and James and John and those other apostles of Jerusalem as they were at that time, had also received from the same head of the church who is Christ, that's where it must come from. And if it comes in any other way, you're going to have confusion, and you're going to have trouble, and you're going to get into the same trouble. It will damn the church as the whole world has damned itself by the way, they have done, and the suffering and the sorrow and everything that we have in this world.

   So, I hope that here we come out of all of that and come into the way that God will show us. And I'll tell you, an apostle of God always keeps the door open. And if someone thinks he's, he's human and if he's made a mistake, someone can come to him and his mind will be open enough that if you are right and he's wrong, he'll find it and make the change. You know if, if anyone would never, if, if he can't ever change when he's wrong, he can never really be right. I haven't had to change very many times, but I have, when I've had to, I've done it and I would do it again. And that's the only way you can be sure you've got to be in the hands of God. And so that you see, we're only the clay and he's the master potter. We got to let him form and shape us his way. You've got to let him give us his doctrines, his beliefs, his teaching of what we ought to do, what we ought to believe. And any other way you're going into the confusion of tongues and the religious confusion that is now engulfing this world.

   Well, I hope this book will be out by next spring. And I hope that you all, you, I'll be mentioning it on this program, on television and also it will be announced in many ways, and it will be in bookstores everywhere. So, until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying 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. 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.

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Telecast Date: February 5, 1979
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