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   Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce Garner Ted Armstrong of Ambassador College with the World Tomorrow. In this series of programs, we will tell you something of the problems of the world today, how they will affect you, and their solution in the World Tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Garner Ted Armstrong.

   Was God mad at you just because you were born? I mean, does he have instant anger? So, the minute you were there in the crib in the hospital, and your expectant parents were counting your toes and your fingers, maybe Dad had his nose pressed up against the glass, and he was looking at the nurse who had the mask on her face, and there you were. You. They even told you how told your parents how long you were then. They probably even took up in those days. They did when I was born.

   I remember because I remember the day I was born. No, I don't really. But they took a footprint, and it was on my birth certificate. Now, I don't know if police ever tracked you down with your footprints, but I knew that all of my toes were there because they put this black kind of inky pad against my little old foot, which was at that time only about that long, and put it on this little thing and it became a part of my birth certificate later. And parents are counting these fingers and toes. There's a little tiny squalling repro to themselves. "Oh, it looks just like you, honey."

   And already the Christian theologians arrive on the scene. I suppose if they showed up right then and there, they would make a few funny little signs and then they'd say, "Repent!" to this little tiny child because the idea is that God is consistent, that the minute you're born, he's mad at you. He doesn't like you. He doesn't like human beings the way they seem to tell it with all these breathings of fire and brimstone, is that there's an angry God.

   You've heard a lot about God's wrath. Now, you've heard about God's love too, but not in the same proportion or the direct harmony or the ratio that maybe you would like to hear. You hear about this angry God and that he is sitting up there in his heavenly armchair, that there is an automatic switch that is thrown from the instant you are born. You are going to be plummeted over a brink. You're going to become absolutely falling through the air at the end of the line when you die, and you're going straight down to hell.

   And unless at some time in your life, you either are in this order, I guess: christened, sprinkled, baptized, confirmed, rededicated, maybe backslid and rescued. You do something, you go down the aisle, you join, you get your letter in the church. Now, people told me about having a letter, and I don't know what that is exactly, but I guess they write this letter or something and then tell me about that. Would you please, folks? Somebody write in and tell me what does that mean? You have a favorite letter, like Z is your letter? That's your thing, and the church knows about it? No, I'm just kidding. But people have their letter in a church. I can't find that in the Bible. Now, Paul wrote letters, but I mean, they weren't his letters in a church, but people have that for church membership.

   So, the idea is that sometime in your life, from the time you're that little squirming baby, you have got to go through some very embarrassing public experience in which you say that you are a sinner, that you have incurred God's wrath, that you are sorry about that, that you do now receive Jesus as your savior. And then automatically, somebody up in heaven pulls this lever. And so, at the end of your experience in life, instead of going down to the other place, you are wang, on your way up there above.

   Now, it isn't quite that simple. Actually, it's simpler than that the way they make it sound because they don't get around to the throwing the switch thing or the analogy that you're on a railroad trip or that there's an automatic consignment to hellfire at the time you're a squirming little baby.

   When, so far as you can remember, you never did a thing that was dirty, evil, or bad. It took an hour or so before you committed your first sin, whatever that might have been. Is it true, this business of the so-called mainstream of Christian theology? You know, it's remarkable, as I showed you last time, at how very similar some of the beliefs of ancient Babylon, Greece, Rome were with modern-day Christianity and some of the beliefs of even some of the oriental religions of today.

   That belief in doing fantastic penances, one of which was just revolting beyond belief to hear about, eating the products that come from a cow. And I'm not talking of milk only. That in Hinduism, they do it today, believe it or not. A horrible thing to contemplate, all based upon the idea that God is a harsh God. That the God up there in the heavens is sitting there with his heavenly armchair and his lightning bolts waiting to kill people. That he's mad at you from the day of your birth, and that all you can do is to hope to at some time or another expiate some of that wrath, to placate that God, to get him to smile at you instead of thundering and lightning at you all the time.

   And you do this by various deeds or acts as you go through life. Most religions tend to take a rather negative view of life. Religion is going without. It's living a drab, dull, gray, uninteresting, repressive life.

   Now, the Christian religion of the Western world has brought about many feelings of guilt, of repressiveness, of futility, of frustrations, of thwarted and frustrated desires in the minds and the hearts of many people. They have heard about an unpardonable sin. We get letters from people time and time again who speculate that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. They read a scripture somewhere, or they were in a church service or a campaign, and someone talked about the unpardonable sin and told them there is a sin against the Holy Spirit when God will never forgive you.

   And they have cited such scriptures as I'm going to show you in a few moments from the book of Hebrews, from the book of Matthew, the 12th chapter, and other places where the unpardonable sin is pointed out and it's specified as exactly what that might be. I'll show you that in just a few moments.

   And people get the idea then that God is almost human-like. The Greeks thought that, they described human appetites, human love affairs, various human, well, deeds and misdeeds, a canary, lying, cheating, the gods, as they called them, could fall in and out of love with each other. They could go traipsing across the heavens half naked with pieces of gauze flying off in all directions. They were half horse and half animal. They drove chariots, they rode around in boats. They mysteriously disappeared, they wrote letters, they sat around and cried, they played on harps, etc.

   Now, if you were a Greek, you were really in trouble from the word go in those days because there were so many gods that they had. There was a god of the corner and a god in the middle of the block, and a god of drink and fire and wood and hay and brimstone and wheat and the harvest of melons, of rain and snow. As a matter of fact, you know where we get the word snow? It came from a Norwegian, an ancient Norwegian word, fyno, which is the son of Jack Frost, believe it or not. The pagan idea of God is from which we take the English word snow.

   So, they had all these gods, and you couldn't hope to get through one day of a normal human existence without at least incurring the wrath of two or six of them. And so, you went around placating them all the time. So, the entire action in life that you did, whether it's throwing salt over your shoulder, setting your face—no, we do this these days, we do things to placate God. The Greeks did. It's amazing how much spin-off there is, how much residue there is, how much there remains over in modern so-called Christianity from ancient pagan Babylon, Greece, and Rome.

   There's a time to be born, a time of youth with its lessons to be learned and its carefree moments, a time to raise a family, to watch your children grow and teach them of life. A time for work, for productivity, and doing your part for mankind. There's a time to grow old and enjoy your grandchildren, and there's a time for death at the end of a full exciting life. But then what? Heaven, hell, reincarnation, transmigration? What is the answer to this question that has long bothered man? You need to know.

   Read the free booklet "What is the Reward of the Saved?" It answers this question in a unique and surprising manner. The Bible nowhere promises what you've always assumed. Be sure to read this informative booklet, "What is the Reward of the Saved?" Send your request to Ambassador College, Box 345, GPO, Sydney, New South Wales. That's Ambassador College, Box 345, GPO, New South Wales.

   You can't divorce religion from geopolitics, from finance, from business, industry, technology, and from the conditions in which this world finds itself right now because much of our modern world in which we live, its entire history and its social structure is the outgrowth of either the ancient pagan religions, the present modern-day Oriental, African, and other religions of animism, a belief in polytheism, and all sorts of weird and pagan ideas about God. To which these people are, of course, completely welcome, just as we are welcome in our professing world of Christianity to either reject or deny what the Bible says, to twist or wrest or distort, or to misinterpret or misapply or ignore what the Bible says, or to claim we believe it and then not practice it. We're completely at liberty to do any one or several of these things, but religion is not just a subject reserved for religious people.

   There is a God, and you can prove it. I have proved it time and again on a series of programs. When I've gone to the subject of evolution, I have shown the tremendous loopholes there are in the theory of evolution. I have shown time and again on the radio program before the TV series, and I have shown on television, the fantastic missing links. I can't go back into that now. We've done a series of as many as twenty-some odd programs on that one subject alone. We have many booklets and articles. The one on the tail—what is it? The fishy tail is one. Yeah, I was gonna say the tail of the whale. Well, it has to do with the tail of the whale and how the tail got to be that way. There's one about a story or tale for the birds, and both of those have to do with evolution. There are a number of others that have to do with the same subject.

   There is a God, and that God has given his word to mankind, which tells us what we are, why we are the way we are. What are our drives, desires, compunctions? What are our fears and worries? What is the total spectrum or the range of human emotions? Why are we the kinds of creatures we are? And it shows what is sin and what is righteousness and why all of this. Why any parent wants to say that a kid is good or a kid is bad.

   Now, we're God's kids. God is our parent, our Father, our provider, our protector, the one who made the first parents and who put them on this earth for a purpose. And it's not unlike the very same purpose that a really thinking and planning family would devise if they intend to marry, set up a home, and have children. They're talking about recreating themselves. They're going to reproduce after their own kind.

   I don't know exactly where you can go to church to hear this, but it's true. The Bible does reveal that there is a Father-Son relationship, that we are his children, that Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren, and the people who are Christian people, who are converted, baptized, who do repent of their sins, are then sons of God.

   Now, being the son of God is not just a nice Christian label. You won the chrysanthemum, you know, or bang, you hit the gong, you get the teddy bear. You're one of the good guys. God is up there in his own chair. You came down the aisle. The evangelist said, "right now, just as the choir is singing," you got carried away, you did it. So, you're one of the good guys. God has all these people, the bad guys, the good guys, there's a mafia, and then all the Christian people, Christian endeavor. And it's just something you do in life. And now you know that when you die, zoom, you're going to go up to heaven.

   It's not quite just that unconnected, it's not quite that simple. It's a little more involved than that. The Bible is a legal book. It's a document like a suitor, you might say, to a young lady with whom he is deeply in love, and he proposes to her. He says, "I love you dearly with all my heart and being. I'd like to become your provider, your champion, your protector, the one who is your husband, the father of your children, the one who establishes and protects your home. If you will, and then be faithful, obedient, etc., to me." Now, I know that that doesn't sound much like many marriages today. We've kind of gotten away from that. But really, the Bible shows that what God proposed to Ancient Israel was like a marital agreement and that the New Testament or the New Covenant, or the New Will, as it could be like a legal document—God saying, "If you'll do this, I'll do such and such for you"—is a New Testament spiritual reapplication, basically, of those promises of eternal possession, eternal inheritance, eternal life, for certain actions on your part.

   Now, the whole thing of sin and righteousness is not just a bad-good struggle. It's not the forces of evil against the forces of righteousness, like something out of poetry. Here is a divine being, a God, one God, the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, who give you every breath of air you breathe. They put you on the earth for a purpose. And you can only uncover and discover what that purpose is by reading the handbook that that divine family of beings have left to humankind to explain to us what we are all about.

   I know that I'm sort of getting off the subject of the unpardonable sin, but I can't help myself because, to me, it doesn't fall into any context or fit anywhere unless we go back to say, "Look, God is up there in the heavens above. He made the universe, the earth, and all that is upon it. And there's a purpose in us drawing this breath and living this life. And it's not just to be good or be bad, it's to fulfill the total purpose and the reason for our being in the first place."

   Now, the Greeks ascribed certain humanistic characteristics to God. They thought you can finally just limit God's patience apparently. And people had misapplied, misinterpreted what Jesus said, what the Apostle Paul said in the Bible about an unpardonable sin.

   Let's see how that squares briefly with the statements that are repeated literally hundreds of times. And here we have just a very few short samples about God's characteristics of goodness, of mercy, and truth. Here is Psalm 100, verse five (Psalm 100:5): "The Eternal is good; his mercy is everlasting." That means eternal, goes on forever and ever. He's a merciful God.

   Psalm 136, and verse one (Psalm 136:1): "Give thanks unto the Eternal, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever." And you'll see also in one of the more lengthy passages, but there are whole chapters that repeat it over and over again. Here's the 103rd Psalm, verses 8 through 13 (Psalm 103:8-13): "The Eternal is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger forever. He has not dealt with us after or according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Because if he had, we would all be dead—dead as a doornail.

   "But as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him." That doesn't mean tremble, gnashing their teeth, bits and pieces flying out of their mouth like popcorn as they're doing all sorts of things, making gestures with their hands and crawling around on their knees for about 500 yards or five miles, cutting their knees to shreds, ruining their clothes, thinking, "God is mad at me. How do I make him not quite so mad at me?" No, it says that he loves us so much. His mercy is so great. It's just as high as the heaven is removed from the earth, which is infinite. "As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a Father pities his children, so the Eternal pities them that fear him."

   That's the story of the Bible. And how do you square that with what it says about an unpardonable sin? Does that mean it says here that his mercy is absolutely not limited? Now, if you're not careful, you would tend to think that this scripture in Matthew 12, which is a personal statement from Jesus Christ, limits or in some way contradicts these scriptures. It says that his mercy endures forever. It's unlimited. It's absolutely infinite.

   Here's what Jesus said: "Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit"—and I say Spirit instead of Ghost because that 1611 translation is not really as accurate as it should be today in our modern English—"shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man," that's Jesus Christ, "it shall be forgiven him. But whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

   The Holy Spirit is not another member of the Godhead. You can't find the word "trinity" anywhere in the Bible. The first chapter of the book of Matthew explains that Jesus Christ was begotten by, that Mary was found to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Yet Jesus came to reveal the Father, talked about the Father. All theologians recognize that there is the Father, the Son, and they see the Holy Spirit. But the word "he," when it is talking about the comforter, "he will come," is the Greek word "ekinos," which is either neuter or masculine in gender, never female. And it is not, in any sense of the word, diminishing the power of God, the mind of God, the nature of God, the exalted office of God to say that that Greek word can be "he" or "it," "that one," "that thing," etc., expressions like this. It can never be "she," and it can be "he" as it is translated. "He will come," sounding as if it might be a member.

   But I remind you that in the Bible, it talks about the eyes of the Father being open to those who cry out to him. His ears are open to us. His arm is not shortened. It describes God as having bodily characteristics. Jesus was made in the exact similitude of God the Father and was the stamp impress of the exact representation of God the Father.

   Christ came unto his own, him whom we have looked upon, touched, and our hands have handled, the word of life, as they spoke. And even after the resurrection, the fact of the plunging into the hand by doubting Thomas of the spear wound in his side—Jesus had a body, head, legs, and arms just exactly like any other man. He was made just like a man. Alright that reveals exactly what God the Father is built like, what he looks like. We are made in God's image.

   Nowhere in the Bible, nowhere in the Bible, does it describe the Holy Spirit bodily. There's only one place where it seems to say that the Holy Spirit, by implication, descended like a form. But it said "like," not that it looked like necessarily, but it descended like, and then it was a dove as a symbol of gentleness, a very harmless, beautiful, little tender bird. And it's not trying to tell you that a member of the God family looks like a bird. It was merely a characteristic of the nature of God.

   So let me just tell you briefly, I don't believe in a trinity. The Bible does not in any sense of the word substantiate the trinity. And this is not talking then about you being able to get away with cursing the air blue where the name of Christ is concerned. But, boy, you better not pronounce one word with this other personage of the God family listening, or else God will just get so angry. You pushed him beyond the limit of his endurance, and he will never forgive you.

   People have misunderstood the unpardonable sin. There is an unpardonable sin, all right, and it does have to do with blasphemy, which is denial and deliberate denial, speaking against, but in the sense of ascribing works of God to being works of Satan the devil and with deliberate and malice of aforethought—not in ignorance, not compulsively, not unintentionally, not being deceived, but knowing better.

   Now, in a few moments, I'll show you a few of these other scriptures that talk about knowing better and deliberately doing something that is wrong after you know better.

   Would you recognize a picture of Jesus Christ? Millions would, but almost nobody knows the man. The Ambassador College publication entitled, The Real Jesus shows how the traditional Renaissance paintings of Jesus are diametrically opposed to the dynamic, masculine, powerful Christ described in your Bible.

   The man from Galilee is shrouded in mystery. Millions disagree on the manner of his birth, his message, his family, why and if he died, his resurrection, and where he is now. The Christian world is confused about the true Jesus. But now you can discover the real Jesus. You can prove what he taught, how he lived, and who he is from the pages of your own Bible. You'll see why the traditional Sunday school picture of Christ is not the real Jesus.

   Write for this surprising booklet. Your copy will be sent free of charge when you request The Real Jesus. Send your request to Ambassador College, Box 345, GPO Sydney, New South Wales. That's Ambassador College, Box 345, GPO Sydney, New South Wales.

   Sin is something according to the Bible. The Bible says sin is the transgression of the law. That's not just a theological tenet. It's the fact that there are divine, hidden, unseen spiritual laws which act upon us whether we want them to, whether we like it or not. And those are living principles defined by God's Ten Commandments. And the Bible says, sin is the transgression, the breaking, of those Ten Commandments.

   That's not just some nice, picky little spiritual state in which you find yourself, like lucky or unlucky. It's not a mythological something. It's not that you are a sinner because that's what God says you are. You can simply take a check, and you can ask yourself, how many of the Ten Commandments have you ever obeyed? Have you ever obeyed one of them consistently?

   "You shall have no other gods before you." Ever disobey that one? Everybody has. Another god can be anything of interest, something your hands have made and worship. It can be another human being. It can be a greater and more vanity and egotistical filled projection of your own self. It can be some other human being. It can be your automobile, a trip you want to take. Anything that gets between you and your creator can become a false god.

   Graven images. What about that? Do we bow down to them today? Not just the household god or the idea of something which reminds you of what God is supposed to be like that you literally bow down to. But what about the things that our hands have made in our modern era of technology?

   Well, you can check all the rest of them. Taking the name of God in vain. Everybody does that, including lots of preachers I know of and who seem to think that it's chic and funny. What about breaking the Sabbath day? Everybody does that. The Congress, leaders of government, lots of religionists, and some of the leaders of great religions, every single week, they break God's Sabbath day. That's the first four.

   So, it's not a matter that you're just unlucky or lucky, and that God says, "Sinner here, sinner there, sinner in the other place." There are living laws. God himself said in Deuteronomy 5:29, "Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them." Because they're put there as safeguards for our good.

   We have it all backward. We think, you know, we're in jail when we're observing laws. We don't say that in society. When you observe law, society lets you go free. When you break laws, you get jailed. Well, it's the same with God's laws. You are protected by God's laws. They're good for you. They're there to protect you, to help you to live a happy, abundant, and full life, and to protect your life and to give you eventually— not because you can earn it by keeping the law, that's just topping on the cake, that's just gravy with the potatoes, that's just something that comes along extra.

   You can't earn salvation by keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly. In a thousand lifetimes, you can't do it. But you can sure enough have a lot better life by keeping them. Now, notice what it says about willful sin. Hebrews 10:26-27: "For if we sin willfully"—that's intentionally, deliberately, and wanting to, with malice aforethought—"after that we have received the knowledge of the truth," and the knowledge of the truth is a pretty rare item these days, "there remains no more sacrifice for sins."

   It doesn't mean you run out of sacrifices. It means that willful attitude means you're not about to repent anymore, and there isn't going to be any sacrifice because the person who is willfully sinning has made up his mind. He is, with forethought, conscious, diligent effort, living deliberately contrary to what he knows.

   Now, that's a far cry from a person who is led by his lust, is tempted, and finally sins in certain circumstances, and then repents of it later. The Bible makes that clear. What is left for those of that attitude? A certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour—not sizzle and burn forever—but devour the adversaries.

   In Hebrews 6:4-8, it says, "It's impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted a heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, to fall away, to renew them again to repentance, because they crucify to themselves the Son of God and put him to an open shame." And so, it shows they are going to be rejected.

   Again, in II Peter 2:20-21, "If, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, they can be temporarily entangled, but overcome, that's something else. The latter end is worse with them than the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after they have known it, to turn from the Holy Commandment delivered unto them."

   Another scripture in Jude talks about virtually the same thing and talks about Cain and Balaam and different men in the past who have had that basic kind of an approach, that kind of an attitude.

   God is merciful. His mercy is forever. It's absolutely limitless. He will forgive sins, and he wants to forgive sins. And he is saying to people, "Why don't you repent?" But it's not just a lot of magic hocus-pocus. Do you acknowledge you're a sinner? And you say, "Oh yes, I'm a sinner, ho hum." And then, do you acknowledge that Jesus Christ is your Savior? "Oh, sure. I'm willing to do that, ho hum." OK. Switch. And then you're automatically going to heaven. Now it's all settled. You can stand around in church and sing, "It was all settled long ago." And when the roll is called up yonder...

   It is a way of life, and repentance has to do with a deep, emotional, and traumatic breakup over the way you have lived and not only what you have done but what you have been, what you have become. God's word now commands all men everywhere to repent. That's what Jesus' message was. His message was, "Repent, you, and believe the gospel." Repentance and belief in that good news that he brought, and the advanced news about the coming world and the way it is going to be when he governs and rules it—that's what the gospel is all about.

   You ought to take a look at some of the books I have for you on these and other subjects. But I want to conclude with one more program in this series because there is a little bit yet that is unexplained about this thing of the unpardonable sin. People have been driven nearly to the point of suicide because of a guilt complex over having heard sermons or from their earlier church experience where they think they have just driven God to the point where God won't forgive them anymore.

   I've got good news for you, and it's in this booklet. You read it because literally, people have gotten so uptight, some of them have literally taken their own lives over worry about having committed the unpardonable sin. The one on "Just What Do You Mean - The Unpardonable Sin?" It is free of charge. There is no price for it.

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

Broadcast Date: 1974