Is there a purpose in human beings being here? Were we put here, or did we just evolve from a spineless amoeba—single-celled amoeba? Where are we going? Is there purpose to life, and what is the way? And let me say here that I bring you absolutely certain hope, a hope that is absolutely sure, and that is that there is coming, in this generation, in the generation in which you live, world peace, prosperity, universal prosperity, happiness, brimful and running over, and salvation to mankind!
The World Tomorrow—the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
All you read in the newspapers, all you hear in newscasts, is bad news. You hear the evils of the world, and it seems that there is nothing good. What was the cause? Is there a devil? And if there is a devil, how did and where did he come from? I'm going to answer all of those things, but to answer, let me say it's a good deal like going into a motion picture show, and you go in about 3/4 of the way along in the movie, and you don't know what went before, you didn't see what led up to what you're seeing near the end, and you can't understand it. It doesn't make sense if you don't know what went before.
In order to answer the questions that I put to you, that are the most important things in this world to know, I must begin at the beginning, and the beginning is not history, it's prehistory. It's before there was any history. It's before Jesus Christ. Now I suppose that most people would say that the beginning, if you're going to begin at the beginning in the Bible, would be Genesis 1 verse 1 (Genesis 1:1). That's the first verse in all the Bible. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." But that is not the beginning. There is a prehistory considerably, and it might even be millions or billions of years before that, because the number of years, the amount of time, is not revealed at all. And the beginning, then, is John the first chapter, the first three verses (John 1:1-3). "In the beginning was the Word." And that word "Word" is translated into the English language from the original Greek. It means "the one who speaks" and is the spokesman of the Godhead. "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Now the Word was one personage. That personage was with God, another personage, but the first personage of the Word was also God, and so they were both God. That is the real beginning. And that is before there was any Earth. That is actually before there was any such thing as a physical universe. There was no Earth, there was no sun, there were no planets, there were no galaxies. All that had come later. The second verse says, "And the same was in the beginning with God," that is, the spokesman, the Word, "all things were made by him, and without him was nothing made which was made." In the third chapter of Ephesians there's a verse that says God created all things by and through Jesus Christ. (Eph.3:9) Now in the 14th verse of this first chapter of John (John 1:14), you will read that "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." That Word then became Jesus Christ. Now there is no evidence of any physical universe of any kind at the time. They were just in outer space, if you can think about that. I can understand how this God and the Word, who were alone in space, and no other living creatures of any kind in existence anywhere, and how they must have thought, and thought out what to do, and planned. And they might have taken millions of years doing it, the amount of time is not revealed at all in the Bible, we don't know.
Satan Accuser of God's People
But we do know this, that they created angels first. Angels are made out of spirit. They're not made out of matter. Now angels were created before the Earth. You know, Job was a man who lived long, long ago in most ancient times, and Job apparently had built a great building. And I feel that it is certain that Job was the actual designer and builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Job was a man of great ability, great knowledge, great mind. Job was so near-perfect that even Satan the Devil couldn't find anything wrong with him. Satan is the accuser of God's people, but Satan wanted to accuse Job and had nothing to accuse him of. And Satan argued with God that if you take away from him all he has, then you'll find he'll turn against you and he will begin to commit sin. So God allowed it, and Satan took away all of his sons, his children, all of his great vast wealth—he was the wealthiest man in the East—and left just Job and his wife, penniless. And still Job did not sin. Satan then came to God and says, well he said that man will do anything to save his own life. Let me touch him, and then see if he doesn't turn against you. And God says, All right, I'll let you touch him, but spare his life. I will not give you any right to take his life. So Satan thought of the most painful thing that he could inflict on Job short of death, and that was to fill him with boils from head to foot. Then Job's three friends came and they began a discussion. That's what the book of Job is all about, is three friends thought all that happened to Job was Job's own fault, and he'd brought it on himself, and Job insisted on his own righteousness and that it was not a result of any sins on his part. And in the 38th chapter, it says then the Eternal answered Job out of a whirlwind and said, (verse 4 - Job 38:4) "Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the Earth?" Now this doesn't make sense if Job had not built a great building, the greatest building on Earth, the tallest and the highest building until the Woolworth Tower was built down on Wall Street in New York, or just off of Wall Street. So Job had built some great building. "Declare if thou hast understanding. Who have laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest, or who has stretched the line upon it?" Talking in the language of one that would build a great master building. "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened, or who hath laid the cornerstone thereof when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" In that case, that is long before man was created. Therefore "the sons of God" therefore are, and all the way from the first chapter of Genesis, referred to as the angels.
Angels Created Before Earth
The angels then were in existence before the Earth. They shouted for joy at the completion of the Earth. Why did they shout? Because this Earth was created to become their abode. Angels occupied this Earth before any human man. Now how many know that? How many ministers, how many evangelists ever tell you that? They don't begin way back there at the beginning, and if you don't get that beginning you can't understand the present, unless you know what has led up to it. Now, God created angels out of spirit, still no matter until we come to the first chapter of Genesis, which comes next. "In the beginning, God created the heavens" (and it should be plural as Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language) "and the Earth." In other words, God created the Earth and the whole universe. But he created angels first. Now he created the physical, material universe. He created it at first for the angels. He had a most important job for them to do. That is the way God created the Earth, that's the way he created the entire vase universe. He did not finish it. He put angels on the Earth, and their job was to finish it! God had a great job for them to do, and that's why they were put on the Earth. But now, what is the most important thing that God can create? The most important thing that could be created is something that God cannot create directly by fiat at all, and that is wholly righteous, perfect character. If God made the angels so that they had to do just the right, perfect thing, and they never could do anything else, they would be like a machine that does what its makers intended, but it has no mind, it can't think, and there's no character. That isn't what God wanted. So he created the angels with minds. He gave the angels knowledge. He showed the angels his way of living, and when he put them on the Earth, in order that they would work together in accomplishing his purpose, and this was the trying ground, and if they could succeed in finishing what he wanted finished on this Earth, then they would go to the other planets of our solar system, like Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the others. And after they'd finished our solar system, which is only part of a great galaxy, then they would go to the other planets in our galaxy, and after they'd finished that, to the other myriad galaxies, as far as outer space goes. Now I'm going to show you that instead of building up and finishing it, they destroyed the Earth and tore it down, and started wrecking what God had created, instead of adding beauty and other things to it. Now God is the author of beauty. God is the author of light. Satan is the author of chaos, of confusion, and of darkness, but I want to show a little bit more about Satan and his origin.
God put over those angels a super-archangel, the most perfect, the most powerful being that God could create. But remember I told you, the one thing God cannot instantly create without taking away the right of free choice, the right of any character whatsoever, is character—wholly righteous, perfect character. And so God did not create the angels with that. God showed them and taught them the right way, but He did not force them to go the right way. They had to make their own decision, even as you and I, and ultimately the whole world will have to, but most of the world is not called to judgement as yet. Now in the 14th chapter of Isaiah, you begin reading about the king of Babylon, who was a type of sin on Earth, the ancient King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and then it comes to the 12th verse (Isaiah 14:12) and speaks of someone not human at all, someone far greater of whom the king of Babylon was only an earthly servant or type, and so on. He says here: "How are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer..." That's the great antitype. Just as Nebuchadnezzar was the first ruler of an empire, the ruler over the world, so this is someone who was put as ruler over the whole Earth in the time of angels. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer." His name was Lucifer. The name "Lucifer" means "shining star of the dawn, a light-bringer, a bringer of light and truth." "Son of the morning." Well, that's another word that even describes the meaning, "son of the morning," light-bringer. He had fallen from heaven. "How are thou cut down to the ground, which does weaken the nations," or a better translation "How art thou who did weaken the nations, cut down to the ground. For thou hast said in thine heart 'I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.'"
Satan Has a Throne
Now he had a throne. I want you to notice that. He was a king. He was over the angels, he had a throne, his throne was on the Earth because he was going to, it was under the clouds, he was going to ascend to heaven above the clouds. "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north." That is the only description in the Bible of the place of the throne of God, in the far north. The astronomers find very little in the far north. He continued and said: "I will ascend above the height of the clouds," so he was on the Earth. "I will be," it says here, "like the Most High," but a better translation is: "I will become the Most High myself." 'I'm going to take away the throne from God. I'm going to sit as the ruler myself. "Yet thou shalt be brought down" here "to hell" which in the Hebrew language, and it's sheol which means 'the grave.' Now I'd like you to turn next to Ezekiel the 28th chapter, and here again we find something mentioned of him. Now here it starts out talking about the prince of Tyre in the second verse (Ezekiel 28:2), then finally it comes to the great antitype that he represented, actually. "Moreover, the word of the Eternal came unto me saying: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre." Now it started out talking about the prince of Tyre, it was the human ruler, now it talks of the king of Tyre who is not human. "And say unto him, thus says the Lord Eternal: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." Never can you find a place where God says that of any human man—perfect in beauty. The only one that could possibly be said of would be Jesus Christ. "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God." So he was here on the Earth, and that's where his throne was. "Every precious stone was thy covering," then it goes on to mention many of them, and continuing now in verse 14 (Ezekiel 28:14): "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth." Now that takes us immediately back to the 24th and 25th chapters of Exodus where God was revealing to Moses something about the throne of God in heaven. "Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God, thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." Now get this, listen. "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created." He was not a born being, like we are. He was a created being, and he was perfect in his ways from the day he was created till iniquity was found in him.
Satan Goes The Wrong Way
Now as I say, if God had made him perfect, where he couldn't do wrong, there would have been no character whatever. God created him with a mind of his own. God showed him the right way. God showed him the way of holy, righteous, perfect character. God set the example in the Godhead that himself and this Lucifer could see it. But he had gone the wrong way. Now he had made that choice himself. He had chosen the wrong kind of character. Now the next verse here is: "By the multitude of thy merchandise," and of course it was the king of the local prince of Tyre, it was the commercial center of the world. "They have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned. Therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy thee" (or 'remove thee', is a better word) "o covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire." Now this great archangel now became no longer Lucifer, the bringer of light and truth, but now the bringer of darkness and a destroyer instead of a builder, instead of building up and adding to the Earth and making it more glorious and more beautiful, which is the way of God, he now was making it ugly and destroying, and tearing it down. "Thou wast lifted up because of thy beauty. Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of they brightness, and I will cast thee to the ground." Now in the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation, you will find where John, in his vision, saw him and a third of the angels falling to the ground from heaven, when they had tried to ascend up to heaven. Now this great Lucifer now had led his angels into a rebellion that left the Earth in the condition that we find described back here in Genesis the first chapter and beginning with the second verse (Genesis 1:2). "And the Earth was..." And that word 'was' was otherwise, the Hebrew word is translated 'became,' because God didn't create it this way, it had come to be this way. "Without form and void." Now those words in the, that Moses wrote in the Hebrew language, were 'tohu' and 'bohu.' It means chaotic, confusion, waste and empty, and it means corruption and degeneration. It is not the way anything could be created, it is the way things become through evil. And so here the earth had come to be in that kind of condition. "And darkness was upon the face of the deep." Now we find that the whole Earth was covered with water at that time. And it was all dark. Satan had brought darkness where God had put light. Now the first thing then the Word did, who later became Christ, was to say "Let there be light." But I don't want to get ahead of myself again.
God Creates Through Christ
Now I'd like to have you turn to the 104th Psalm for just a moment, and the 30th verse (Psalm 104:30), where it says: " Thou sendest forth thy spirit," that is, God sends forth his spirit, "they are created," and God does his creation by his holy spirit, and through the word of Christ. In other words, the way God creates, he creates through Christ, Christ is the Word, and he speaks, and it is done. How is it done? The spirit of God is the power that does it. Now it says here: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth." When did God renew the face of the Earth? Back in the first chapter of Genesis, you find that. Now after the angels and all that, we come back to Genesis 1, and we find that the Earth had become chaotic and waste and empty, and darkness covered the surface of it. But it was a surface of water, all ocean, no dry land. "And the spirit of God moved up on the waters." Now I just read to you how God first send forth his spirit, and then Christ speaks and it is done. "And God said..." Now the word for 'God', let me go back again. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The word for 'God' there is not the word that means just Christ alone, or God the Father alone. The word is 'Elohim' in the Hebrew language, and it is a uniplural that means God the Father and Jesus who later became the Son by human birth. Now, they had been put on the Earth, and the Earth had come to this state of darkness and chaos and confusion. That is the result of what the angels did instead of adding to it and building it up. So the angels had failed in their great purpose. Now decay is not something created, it is the way something becomes as a result of a better creation, and that's what we found there, that's what was on the Earth. Now here is what I want to show you. At that point, it left only God, the one that's called God and the one that's called the Word at that time—this is before Jesus had been born. So just God and the Word, and they were the only two beings in the whole universe now that had the holy, righteous character that, because they would not, they could not ever commit sin. They could be relied on never to go the wrong way. God wanted billions of people who would finish his great creation. God created man then in his own image, in his likeness, but he created man out of flesh, out of matter. God's purpose now, to reproduce himself, the greatest feat that even God could ever accomplish, and that includes bringing us into righteous and holy and perfect character, required man to be made of physical matter. That's why God had created matter, because he foresaw that. It's like a failsafe plan. Now what is the one thing uppermost in the mind of God now? He has human beings on the Earth, and the things uppermost in the mind of God is to restore the government of God and the character of God in humans. Now until you understand all that background, you can't understand the truth about mankind, beginning with Adam, and coming on up to Christ, and from there on. And until you understand these things, you don't know why you were born, you don't know why things are like they are on this Earth, you don't know what's ahead, and how it's all going to come out finally, with Christ coming back as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to—he's already qualified, and he will come back to take over the reins of government of every nation on Earth. Actually, Satan has been in charge, and has deceived all nations. Now how he has deceived, that has to come in another program later, which I hope to bring you very soon, and should come one week from now, and I will go on and show you what led man into all of the troubles that we have, how we are to be delivered out of them, how God's plan works, what salvation is, why the world is so deceived and doesn't understand the truth of God. You'll have to begin at the beginning. Today I have begun at the beginning, and I brought you up to the time when God restoring and recreating the surface of the Earth for man. Next time, I will begin with the creation of man and what went on from there. So that will be it for this time. Goodbye, friends.
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