The Ultimate Choice
Telecast Date: March 2, 1979
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   The question is, do you believe God? Not just believing He exists. A lot of people say, 'Oh, I believe in God.' All right. Well, you mean you believe there is such a person, don't you? Yes, of course. But do you believe God? No, they don't. That's a horse of another color altogether, isn't it? No, they don't. They just don't.

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

   God created Adam, and Adam had to make a choice, in the Garden of Eden there were two trees. One was called the Tree of Life, which if he took would give him the Holy Spirit of God. Now, let me stop right here for just a moment and explain that as God created man, he made him quite different from the animals.

   Man is like animals in the sense that he breathes air, that he has a heart that pumps blood, and he has lungs that breathe air and oxidize the blood on the way back to the heart all the time as it circulates. And that when he dies, he dies the same kind of death that animals do. But that's about as far as it goes; there is every difference in the world between an animal brain and the human mind. And hardly anybody knows what it is. Man is wholly mortal, wholly made of matter. And yet man was made to have a relationship with God. Now, that is made possible by the fact that God put within the first man and woman a spirit. Now, that spirit is not an immortal soul; man made of the dust of the ground became a living soul, not an immortal soul (Genesis 2:7). But when we get it, as God reveals it, man was made to need another spirit, the Holy Spirit of God.

   Now, the one spirit that God gave man powers the physical brain with intellect. The physical brain of man is exactly, precisely like the physical brain of animals. For example, the elephant, the whale, the dolphin, all have brains just like the human brain but larger, still larger, still more of it. Do they know more than man? Is their mental output greater than man? It won't even compare, not a millionth part as great as man's. What is the difference?

   Scientists have taken the brains of these animals and of chimps whose brains are just slightly smaller than the human brain and examined them. Now, they try to say that the physical brain of man is slightly superior. It is so slight that I think they're kidding themselves when they say it's even superior at all in any manner, shape, or form. The animal brain is the same; we breathe the same kind of air that they do. We get our life from the circulation of blood like animals. But there's one thing, this spirit in man imparts the power of intellect, and no animal has it.

   But man was only half there; God creates in a system of duality, and God was created man with one spirit, needing another spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. And when the Holy Spirit of God comes, that opens his mind to understand the things of God and to understand spiritual knowledge.

   Now, as {1} God made us with the spirit we have, which is nothing but so much essence, just like air is not a ghost, it's not a person, it's not a being, it's merely something inside of man that is not even part of the man that empowers the physical brain with intellect. It's the physical brain that does the seeing through the eyes. It is the physical brain that does the hearing through the ears. It is the physical brain that does the thinking and not the spirit. The spirit does not impart life to us. The Bible says the life is in the blood and it calls the breath the breath of life. So, it is the blood circulating and breathing oxygen and air and oxidizing the blood as it flows through our lungs on the way back to the heart as it goes through the veins. And of course, animals have all of that, but they don't have mind power.

   Now, there was another tree in the Garden of Eden called the knowledge of good and evil. And God told Adam and Eve that they could have everything in that wonderful, beautiful garden in Eden that he had made and where he had put them after he created them except in one tree, the knowledge of good and evil because that meant taking to themselves the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, the knowledge of what is good and the knowledge of what is evil. And God says, 'I am telling you what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil?' And it was a question. Would they believe what God said?

   Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.

   Well, life's been pretty good. Summer home, yacht vacation when I want it. Hm. Some little kids sure 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 and 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: 800-423-44444. That's 800-423-44444.

   Now, I say that God creates by a system of duality as He created man first physical, but he is to become spiritual. He created us with the one spirit. We must have the other spirit, the Holy Spirit, before we can become spiritual and before we can become what God intended us to be. How many know that God is reproducing himself? How many know that? It isn't known. I don't know any church that knows it, that calls itself a Christian church and goes by the label of Christianity. And yet your Bible is full of it, and the Bible reveals it. I didn't make it up in my mind. I got it hear, God gave it to me.

   God made man in such a way that He's made in the image and the form of God to have a special relationship with God. So, we can receive the spirit of God, which impregnates us with the very life of God. And when we have that life of God within us, if the spirit of God dwells in us, then we will be made immortal and made like God at the time of the resurrection. And we'll be changed from mortal to immortal, and we will no longer be flesh and blood. We won't have blood circulating in our veins anymore. We'll have life inherent. We'll be like God, composed wholly of spirit.

   Now, the difference between us and God right now is this: God is made and composed wholly of spirit. Man is made of flesh from the dust of the ground. Man has a spirit. I call it a human spirit, though it's not flesh and blood; it's not matter; it's not material; it's spirit, but it's just like so much spirit essence, and it's in us to empower us with mind power. But God made us to need another spirit.

   Now, there are two ways of living. One, and I have said this before, Kings and Emperors, Prime Ministers and Presidents of nations. I've said this before to the top people in many nations where I have spoken and where I have been welcomed. That there are two philosophies of life, just two ways to live, generally speaking, broadly speaking, and they travel in opposite directions. One, I call the way of get, that is incoming. That is the way of vanity. 'I love me. I don't care about you.' That is the way of Western greed. That is the way of an attitude toward others of jealousy and envy. It is the way of hate. It is the way of violence and destruction instead of construction.

   The other way is the way I call give because it's opposite to get. I like to put this in language that even a little child can understand. Because when I speak in other nations, I'm speaking to people many times who have learned the English language, but it isn't their native language, and I have to speak in simple terms to be sure they understand me. And so, I use the simple terms of give and get. Now, a better word for give would be love. That is the other way of life, love or give, and that is outflowing, not incoming, selfishness and greed. Selfishness and the incoming way shrinks up one all. Well, he just shrinks into nothing, but the other expands your horizons, and your mind, and your mental powers, your outlook, and everything else.

   The way of love is outflowing. It is the way of love toward others, equal to your concern for your own welfare and your own self. It is love, first of all, to the God who's your maker and creator and realizing He is the great giver, and that His whole principle, He is love. And He gives love. And He is the giver of every precious and good gift and everything that we might want.

   Well, this Lucifer turned the angels into the getaway, and there he was, and his name had been changed to Satan, the devil, and his angels had been changed into demons.

   Now, thank God. About two-thirds of the angels are holy. God creates even angels in a system of duality. First, they were created, all except one thing. They weren't complete; character had not been formed in them. God had instructed them in the right way of give, but he left it for them to decide, and they had to decide themselves which way they would go. And Lucifer caused them to decide to go the evil way of getting, of self, of rebellion against authority over them. And so, their character is now set, and their creation is now complete. Once the spirit creation is complete, it can never change. Spirit does not change.

   I used to know one of the world's great philosophers, and it'll take some of the older of you people to remember even who he was. But he was quite famous in his day. Albert Hubbard was a great lecturer, a great writer, and an author and editor. And Albert Hubbard said, 'Nothing is permanent except change.' Now, he knew of nothing but this physical material universe because he only had the one spirit. Albert Hubbard didn't have the Holy Spirit, and he didn't know anything about God, but he was a great philosopher as they go in this world. I knew him. I had met him a number of times. I spent one day with him at his place in East Aurora, New York, way back in the year of January, and it was in January in 1914, by the way, that's quite a while back. And he went down with the Lusitania before World War I, and that was one of the events that plunged the United States into that first World War.

   Well, in the physical life, it is always changing. It never stays put. Here I am with a desk in front of me. I'll tell you, 1,000 years from now, I don't care how careful we try to keep this looking the way it is, it isn't going to look the same in 1,000 years. It's going to deteriorate because the elements get to it, and the air and everything are going to have an effect on it. In physical life, nothing stays the same. Everything keeps changing. We were made out of matter, but spirit does not change and once the angel creation was complete, they can't change. But God made man so that if we go the wrong way, we can repent and can turn around and go the other way, and being made of matter, we can change.

   Now, the cause of all the troubles today in the world is that man was led. Our first parents were led by Satan to go the way of get, the way of self, and self-righteousness, the way of self-centeredness, the way of wanting to take and get everything. Success in this world is evaluated according to how much have you been able to get? How much do you have? What have you accumulated? How much have you taken away from everybody else? And the one that has taken away the most and has received the most. He's the greatest. That's the way this world looks at it, but that's not the way the Almighty God looks at it.

   Well now, we come back, and Satan had deceived Eve, so she had taken of this forbidden fruit, and Adam took it with her. Then you'll read here in the third chapter of Genesis, and verse 22 (Genesis 3:22), "And the Eternal God said, Behold, the man has become as one of us to know good and evil. And now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live for ever." That tree of life was still in that garden of Eden. God drove him out from the garden and set angels about to guard it, so that no man could get back in there, lest they would get of the tree of life, which is a symbol for receiving the Holy Spirit of God.

   Now, I said a while ago that God made man with one spirit; you're born with that, but you need another spirit, the spirit of God. And really, in your mind, you're only half there until you get the spirit of God. The spirit of man gives you great knowledge. That's true. But it is knowledge confined to the physical and the material. It's confined to what you can see, it's confined to what you can hear, what you can feel and touch, what you can smell or taste.

   Now, you can't see spirit, you can't hear it, you can't touch it, smell it, taste it, anything. So, I say that the most ignorant people in this world are the highest educated because they have great minds that are confined to the physical realm. They don't know anything about spiritual things, and consequently, they have to ridicule the idea that there is any such thing as spirit. And they say there isn't anything like spirit. There isn't any God. They don't believe God. The great educators don't really believe God. Some of them believe in Him, but they don't believe what He says. I'll guarantee you that. You've shown me one that does. I'd like to meet him very much. I'd like to embrace him more than to shake hands with him.

   But God drove them out, and God, because Adam made the decision for himself and his children, which became the whole world, God sentenced the whole world as a result. He said, 'Adam, you've made the decision, you've made it for your own posterity, and therefore, I sentence you and your world to 6,000 years of being cut off from me, cut off from divine knowledge, cut off from my spirit. You go ahead on, half there, but the human spirit only.' And that's what has happened. Now, that human spirit has continued on the way of Satan, the way of self, the way of get, the way of envy and jealousy, and competition and strife against others. That's what brought all of the world's evils and all of our troubles and all of our unhappiness.

   Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.

   Men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore. When, when will the dreams of man become reality? The whole message of Jesus Christ is about a soon-coming world government that will bring peace to our troubled world. For a full understanding of this message of hope about the Kingdom of God, request 'Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?' Call this toll-free number: 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   Now, I'd like for you to turn over into Ephesians in the New Testament, the second chapter of Ephesians and the second verse (Ephesians 2:2), where Paul says, he breaks right in the middle of the sentence, actually, 'Wherein in time past,' he says to those who had been born Gentile. Paul was saying, 'In times past, you walked according as you lived, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air.' Now, there he's referring to Satan as the prince of the power of the air, the spirit. He is a spirit being, 'the spirit that now works, is now working now in the children of disobedience'.

   Now you read here later in Ephesians in the sixth chapter that we're wrestling with people all the time in this world. In the twelfth verse, it says (Ephesians 6:12), "We wrestle not against flesh and blood." We think we're having to contend against other people and other people are against us. And here it says we're not wrestling against just human beings, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness or wicked spirits in high places, Satan and wicked spirits in high places, and what they are doing to influence human beings.

   And how Satan is getting that idea of 'get,' and he puts the idea of 'you can't do this' instead of 'you can,' negative thoughts. He is the most disconsolate person, that ever, well he isn't a person, but more so than any human being. He knows that there can be no redemption for him, and he knows he is wrong and he can't do anything about it now because his creation is complete, and he's the one who sealed it himself. This Satan was so subtle. He got to Adam by way of his wife, Eve. Eve was deceived, and God doesn't seem to blame her quite so much because she didn't realize how wrong she was doing. But Adam was not deceived, and Adam is said to have committed the first sin, although his wife led him into it.

   Now, when they had {2} committed that sin, in other words, they rejected what God had said, and they took to themselves the knowledge of good and evil from the forbidden fruit of the tree that's forbidden. They took to themselves, which said they did not believe God; they would not receive knowledge from God. God had instructed them, and they said to God, "We don't believe you. We will not let you tell us the way we ought to live. We don't believe anything you say, we will decide for ourselves."

   And you know, when Jesus came, there were many, as you read of in the eighth chapter of the book of John in the New Testament (John 8:37 paraphrased), many who believed on Him. There's a great difference between believing on Him and believing Him. They believed on Him. In other words, they believed He was the promised Messiah sent from God, that He was Himself a divine being. To those who believed on Him, Jesus said, "Why do you not believe what I say? You seek to kill me because you don't believe my word." You don't believe what I am saying. I have brought the word from God, but you won't believe it." That's the trouble in the world today; they won't believe it.

   I tell you that the churches don't know the truth. It's in this book, the Bible, but they won't believe it. Where did the early church get everything they believed, brethren? Where did they get their doctrine? Where did they get what they were supposed to believe? The apostle Paul said to the church, "You must all speak the same thing." Well where were they going to get that thing they're all to believe and speak? They got it from the apostles. Go back and read your Bible; it's all here. But I don't know a church that believes what's here.

   And when I first began to study this book, I came across the sixth chapter of Romans, verse 23 (Romans 6:23): "The wages of sin," it said, "is death." Why, I said that didn't make any sense to me. That must surely be wrong because I had always been taught wages, of course, is what you get paid for what you do. I thought that if sin is what you do and what you get paid for, it is everlasting life in hellfire. But I said, it's everlasting life. And here the Bible said, "The wage of the sin is death." Just the exact, precise opposite. I was flabbergasted. I read the other half of the same verse that said, "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord." Eternal life, a gift. We don't have it if we don't get it as a gift.

   Well, I said, "I'm an immortal soul," or "I have an immortal soul," whichever it is, and I wasn't sure which then, and both were wrong. And I began to realize that the churches and what I had been taught in church from a boy was precisely the opposite of what the Bible says. They don't believe God.

   Now, these Jews that believed on Christ, they didn't believe what He said, and they sought to kill Him. And finally, they did persuade the Roman government to do that very thing, and He finally was crucified by those who did not believe what He said.

   The question is, do you believe God, not just believing He exists? A lot of people say, "Oh, I believe in God." All right. Well, you mean you believe there is such a person, don't you? Yes, of course. But do you believe God? No, they don't. That's a horse of another color altogether, isn't it? No, they don't. They just don't.

   You know, Jesus Christ is coming again to this earth, and this time he's coming with many crowns. A coronation ceremony has taken place up in heaven. And when he comes, he's coming as the king of Kings and the Lord of lords to rule all nations of the earth, and with his people coming to be the kingdom of God.

   Those who have been the despised, the persecuted, the ridiculed for the past 6,000 years are then going to be the ones who do the ruling, and many who have qualified to sit on Christ's throne with him as he's going to sit on the throne of the ancient king, David, ruling all the nations of the world and bringing this world a real utopia.

   Brethren, when I say utopia, don't laugh. That's got to be a joke. Utopia is looked on as a joke. You look into the dictionary for a definition of utopian, it'll say it's an impractical, impossible idea. That's rather ridiculous where everything would be perfect, perfect laws, perfect government. People would be all happy, everything would be beautiful everywhere. And so, they say, well, of course, you could never have anything like that.

   Well, I am here to announce to you the good news. We're going to have it in our generation, we're going to have it. The whole world will be as full of the knowledge of God, and people will begin for the first time to believe what God says as the waters cover the sea, and that is what we're coming to. And that's why we're going to have such a wonderful time and a wonderful millennium that is just ahead of us now in the Kingdom of God.

   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.

{1} Mr. Armstrong said man but meant God.
{2} Mr. Armstrong said created but meant committed.

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Telecast Date: March 2, 1979
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