Jesus Christ - God of the Old Testament
Telecast Date: December 12, 1978
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   Why were humans put here on the Earth? How did we come to be here? We're not on Mars; there isn't anybody on Mars. We've had men on the moon, but they didn't stay there very long, because when the oxygen they took with them wore out, they would die if they hadn't gotten back to the Earth. They had to take air, water, and food from the Earth on that whole journey up and back, or they would not have endured. But why were people put on the Earth? Was there purpose to life on the Earth? Were we put here for a purpose? What about the evils, the unsolvable problems?

The World Tomorrow the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
   Where is humanity, or why is it here, and what is the way? Where are we going? Where is humanity going? What is the way, and why is we've lost our way? Why do we have all of the troubles? Now those are the very basic questions, the most important questions, that could come in our lives. Science has no answer. Education can't teach it.
   All of the doctors of philosophy, all of those with their Masters degrees who often make better teachers than the Ph.D.'s (I know because I've hired a great many), all of the great educators they cannot give the answer. They don't know what man is, they don't know who or what God is, they don't know why we're here, they don't know what the cause of all of our troubles; they don't know the way out. And sometimes I wonder, "What do they know?" Very, very little, I'm afraid.

Who And What Is God?

   No religion knows, and no religion has revealed it and is telling the world. Let's get back to this who and what God is. I've been talking on it in this series of telecasts now for some little time. And God is that great spirit, that spirit being that is the creator of all that is. Creation is the proof of God. You ask me how can I prove that God is? I just show you the creation. Look up at the stars at night. Who put them there? How did this Earth get here? Where did your life come from?
   The greatest thing that you know is your own mind. You don't know of anything greater than your own mind, unless it'd be somebody else's mind that is greater than yours, and has thought out things that you have not been able to think of. But your mind remains greater than anything your mind can design, and make, and put together. Therefore, your mind had to be created by a greater mind than yours. It could not be something less than your mind, who created you and your mind, could it?
   Take the human body and the marvelous human body, and all of the different systems, and how they work and they coordinate together. Most of them are sort of interrelated: the digestive system, the circulatory system, the eliminative system, the nervous system, and all of the various systems in the body. And it's a marvelous thing. Try to think if you could create something, if you could create anything like a human man. Now we see metal things on television every now and then, supposed to be a sort of metal being, and talks in a monotone, never changing the voice, it's supposed to talk. Of course, it's all an invention. It isn't real, but it doesn't have arms and legs and joints like we do.
   And it couldn't do, like if you have ever watched this little girl from Romania who won in the Olympics; she had to start when she was a very little girl. And she happened to be willing, I guess, to work very hard, as her instructors caused her to work hard, in developing the skills that she has. Now we're developing American girls that may win in the next Olympics. They're hoping to win. And we have had some meets with foreign girls, where the American girls are now even beating them. But some of the things that, for example, that some people can do with their arms and legs, and with the human body, is just almost incredible, in how remarkably synchronized and graceful it is.
   Now if you were to start to make something, and anything man makes, you put joints. You know what an elbow is? It's just a hinge, it's a joint. Seems like men like to watch women's knees. I don't know why, it's only a hinge, that's all, in her legs, so she can walk. And I get to thinking of those things once in a while. I think that most people don't think very much. You agree with me? I think so.

[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?]

   Well, God is the one who created man and put him on the Earth. God is the one who created all that is. God is the one who created our sun that is what is it, I don't know, thousands of times larger than our Earth. He created the sun and the stars that are just little twinkling things to us. They're so far away, and yet they are much, much larger than our sun. They're so far away, but God created them all. Now, I've already shown you two, how God has always existed, and from all eternity. There never was a time when God did not exist, and in two persons, not three, not a trinity.

In the beginning was the Word

   But there were two, and you read of it in John, in the New Testament. John 1, verse 1 (John 1:1). I've read this many times recently. "In the beginning was the Word." Now "the Word" comes from the Greek word logos. It was written in the Greek language originally. We just have an English translation now. And it means "spokesman," or it is the one of the Godhead who did the speaking. Now I'm going to show you, that later he became Jesus Christ, and he said that he spoke whatever the Father told him to speak. But only God was not his father yet at the time, here in John 1, verse 1. "The Word was with God, and the Word was God."
   Now the Word was also God, and God was also God. Now I've had two sons, and I'm going to mention one who is not now living, but who died in harness on the way to baptize people, and we called him Dick. His real name was Richard, Richard David. And I see two people sitting over here that I know remember my son Dick very well. And someone might say, "Well, I saw Richard David, and Richard David with Armstrong, and Richard David is also Armstrong." Now that doesn't mean we're both the same person; they're two persons, but we're both Armstrong. In other words, that's the family name.
   Now God was not the father of Christ until Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary. It took me a long time to be absolutely assured of that; I used to wonder. Now maybe you have wondered. Well, I can assure you. Christ has always existed, and if he had been the son of God, he would have to have had a father.
   Now if we turn over to Hebrews the 7th chapter and verse 3 (Hebrews 7:3), you read about Christ here, that he was "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but was made like unto the son of God, abiding a priest continually." And that can be no one but Christ, although there is Melchisedek, but if you want to know who is Melchisedek, write for a booklet we have: Who is Melchisedek? and you will find, and it will come prove to you that it could be no other than Christ. We don't have two high priests that exist continually, competing with one another, an abiding high priest continually. So it is the same, the one and the same person.
   In Ephesians 3 and verse 9 (Ephesians 3:9), we read that God created all things by Jesus Christ. Now back here in John 1:1, it says that "The same," the Word, "was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by him. Without him, there was not anything made that was made." Now we get a little farther in verse 14 (John 1:14): "The Word," the logos, the spokesman, "was made flesh." He was born of the virgin Mary, and he was human, called himself the son of man, but he also was the son of God. He had no human father. God was his Father, and he was born in a way, and begotten, the only one who ever was begotten of God prior to human birth.

The Word Was Made Flesh

   We can be begotten of God, but that's not prior to human birth, but after our human birth, and before our second birth of when we will be born again. Now, "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 or grace and truth." Well now, I have already shown you from back in Genesis the 1st chapter, in the 1st verse let's just go over that once again. It's some of these things you need to have fresh on your mind. Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God created."
   Now in the beginning "God" the word for "God" there is, in our language an English word, but it's translated from the word that Moses wrote when he wrote the word Elohim. That is a Hebrew name, or word. In Elohim, the "im" on the end pluralizes it, just like you take a boy and put an "s" on the end of it. "Boys" means more than one boy. And "im" on the end of a word in the Hebrew language makes it more than one, pluralizes it. God then... It's like the word "family," or like the word "church," or like the word "team," or "group," or whatever. It is more than one person making one group, more than one person making one family. There's only one church, but many members, as you read in the 12th chapter of I Corinthians (I Corinthians 12:14).
   Now "in the beginning God," and that includes God and the Word, and nobody else. At that time, there were no others in the Godhead but those two, not three, not a trinity. "Created the heavens," and it should be plural, heavens, "and the Earth." Now then, as I say, it is a uniplural. And we come down to verse 26 in this first chapter of Genesis (Genesis 1:26), "And God said." He didn't say "let me do something," he said "Let us," because it was the Word and God together. Elohim is a uniplural that includes more than one person, but only one God. There can be more than one person in a family.

Let Us Make Man In Our Image

   Now it can be the Jones family, the Smith family, or the Anderson family, or whatever. But it's only the one family, even though there may be two, or five, or eight in the family. "God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness." He didn't say, "Let me." It's more than one. Now all the way through, and I think I explained that in a recent program, all the way through the 1st chapter of Genesis, the word "God" always appears as Elohim. There were many Hebrew words, or names, for God. One was Yahweh Rapha, which means "God our healer," or "Our God Healer" shows God in his healing capacity.
   But we come to the 2nd chapter of Genesis, in verse 4 (Genesis 2:4), and for the first time, another name appears in the Hebrew language. "These are the generations of the heavens and the Earth, when they were created in the day that the..." It says "Lord God" in the King James version. Now if you have a Moffatt translation, it'll say "the Eternal God," and if you have a Fenton translation, it will say "the ever-living God." Actually, the Hebrew word there was Y-H-W-H. Now in the Hebrew language, they only spelled out the consonants. The vowels were added in pronouncing. So we, I think nobody is absolutely sure, but everybody seems to assume, and all of the so-called experts assume, that is Yahweh. And how they pronounce it, we don't even know.
   The thing is, there is no one word or name in the English language that exactly corresponds to it, and that translates it. It means "the self-existent one, the one who is ever-living, who has existed and lived from eternity and will until eternity, without father, mother, or descent." It also means "the creator," and it means "the great ruler," and it just, it simply means all of those things. Now, there's no one word in the English language that will do it. The Moffatt translation seems to think that the closest, to use one word, would be "Eternal," and that's what I prefer, and I nearly always say, "Eternal."
   So I would read this: "These are the generations of the heavens and the Earth when they were created in the day that the Eternal God." Now the word for "God" here is Elohim again, and, but "the Lord" where it's spelled in capital letters in your King James translation of the Bible, which most people use, simply means that it came from the Hebrew word Yahweh. That was the personal God of Israel. In other words, that is the one that was called "the Word" in John 1, verse 1 (John 1:1), that was with God and had been for eternity. And he was the spokesman. So wherever you find God speaking, now, from here on, it is the Yahweh Elohim.
   "In the day that the Lord God," Eternal God, "made the Earth and the heavens. And the Eternal God," which means the one who became Christ, but he was not Christ yet at the time it's speaking of here in Genesis 2 and verse 7 (Genesis 2:7). "The Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." I breathe air, just like animals do, into my lungs and out through the nostrils. "And man, made of the dust of the ground, became a living soul."
   A soul is what came from the ground, and therefore a soul is not spirit, it is matter. And God said to the first soul, Adam, he said, "In the day that you take of the forbidden fruit, you shall surely die. You are mortal and you can die. You're not an immortal soul." Twice, the Bible says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek.18:20) Now that's one of the first things that I ran across, that showed me how my Sunday School teaching had been just the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine]

   Now Jesus came, and was born of the virgin Mary, one who was called the Yahweh, or the Lord in the Old Testament. He was the God of the Old Testament, and he is the one who became Jesus Christ. Now there are many, many scriptures quoted in the New Testament, quoted from the Old, speaking of God, but in the New, it shows it was speaking of Christ. So that it proves, absolutely proves, that the God of the Old Testament is the one who became Christ, not the Father.
   I think I mentioned recently that I had an aunt, and if I believed in souls going to heaven, I would say, "God bless her soul," because she's not living any longer. But she was a social climber, and joined the church that she thought is in the highest society. She said, "I just can't stand that God of the Old Testament. He was a cruel, stern, cruel God." Well, you know what I read about the God of the Old Testament? That he is a God full of mercy, and his mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above the Earth. (Ps.103:11) And he pities us like a father with his own children (Ps.103:13), a God of such great love and mercy, that's what I find in the God of the Old Testament. She just had never read it. And she'd been told that the Old Testament is just Old Testament stuff, and that we mustn't look at it.
   But you see, Paul told Timothy that the scriptures that he had "known from a child." (II Tim.3:15) The only scriptures Timothy had known from a child were the Old Testament scriptures. And Paul said, "That are able to make thee wise unto salvation, which is in Jesus Christ." So the Old Testament scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, which is in Jesus Christ.

Old Testament For Our Admonitions

   And then again, Paul said to the Corinthians that the things written in the Old Testament were "examples for our admonitions, on whom the ends of the world are come." (I Cor.10:11) And they're written for us in the New Testament. And you know that the church is founded on the very basis, "the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone." (Eph.2:20) You know that there were almost no prophets in the New Testament? Did you know that?
   Well, you go look it up in the concordance, and see how many you can find. There's one prophetess, and one prophet. And their whole, their whole job, was to receive a message direct from God, and take it to the apostle. But they didn't go to the people; they didn't preach, they didn't say anything to the people. Now it's true that in New Testament language, "prophesy" always means not just to foretell, but sometimes it means preaching under inspiration. It doesn't mean just quietly talking, it means preaching with real fire, and full earnestness and power, with your whole heart in it. It sometimes means that.
   But you'll see, much of the New Testament is just the Old Testament scriptures quoted, quoted verbatim in the New Testament. And those things were written for our admonition. So the church is based on the foundation of the prophets of the Old Testament as well as the prophets of the New (I mean, the apostles of the New), and Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father. The people of the Old Testament time had never heard about God the Father that Jesus prayed to in heaven. They knew the God who is the Word, the Word who spoke to them.
   It was Yahweh who spoke to Moses. It is from this time, beginning with verse 4 of Genesis 2 (Genesis 2:4), you'll find that nearly all the way through the Old Testament, the word Lord is coming from the word Yahweh. And sometimes pronounced Yahveh, sometimes the W, and in German it would be pronounced as a V. Anyway, they did not know but one person, and they thought that God was one person only. Now that one person that they knew was the one who became Jesus Christ. And one of the things Christ came for was to reveal the Father, and they had not known that there was a God the Father that was the Father of Christ, and that Christ was the only begotten of the Father, as he was begotten to be born of the virgin Mary. Anyway, Christ came to reveal the Father.
   Now, humans were created in the image of God. God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Man was made in the image, the form and shape of God. But in the 2nd chapter, in verse 7 (Genesis 2:7), which I read a moment ago, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." Now God is composed of spirit, but he formed man of matter. So we're not composed of spirit like God. God creates in the system of duality. He doesn't create everything just all at once. There are two stages, always.
   The creation of man it began with a physical man in Adam. Then there's the spiritual creation of man, and that begins in Christ. Adam was a physical man; Christ was the spiritual man from heaven. And everything that God creates is done in a dual manner. I've explained how God did not create angels complete, all at once. He could not create character in them all at once, and that's what he can't do in man. And the spiritual creation is the installation of the godly, holy, righteous character within us that, of course, we have to make the decision.
   We have to be willing, we have to hunger and thirst for it, but it comes from God. It's not our righteousness. Our righteousness is just like a lot of filthy rags to God. But it is the very righteousness of God which, by his Holy Spirit, he gives or puts into us. Now, humans were created in the form and shape of God, and with one spirit in them which needs another spirit to go with it, and needs the Holy Spirit.
   And the one spirit we have gives us physical and material knowledge only the knowledge that can come through the eyes, through the ears, through the nose and the mouth, or the sense of feel and touch. And you cannot know, naturally, anything else except just what you know through those five senses. Now, you can't know the things of God, and the things that God has prepared for us, and that's why so much of the Bible that is spiritual knowledge is just like so much foolishness.

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Telecast Date: December 12, 1978
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