The Potential of Mankind
Telecast Date: June 24, 1978
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The World Tomorrow the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
   David, you know, was a man who was given to contemplation, and to deep thought, and he was looking up into the sky one clear night and saw all of the stars up there, and some nights if the clouds are wafted away, you can see many, many I have seen the skies when it's just loaded with stars, it seems and David was saying here, as you read in the 8th Psalm.
   Well, let's begin with the 1st verse (Psalms 8:1). "O Eternal our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens? Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, and that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers..." You see, he knew that God made the heavens. "The work of thy fingers," so God has fingers. "The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man?"
   He asked himself: "What is puny, little insignificant man, compared to a God so great, so mighty, that he can make all of those things?" "And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels," that is, made him for a while lower than the angels, "and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion," but he goes on and just shows the dominion that we have now, whereas, in the, if we get time to get into it, we'll find in the 2nd chapter of Hebrews, it goes on to show that we will have dominion over the entire, vast universe ultimately.
   That is the ultimate potential. I talk about the human potential, and nobody seems to get it. I find others, even ministers, who will come out and talk about man's potential like Thomas A. Edison, or like men that invented things, and that is the potential that we had. Why, the potential of man is so much greater than just making a few mechanical things. The potential of man is to become very God!

Made In The Image Of God

   We're made in the image of God. We're made with a spirit inside of us that we can have a contact and a connection with God, that no animal can have. We're given minds that are like God, only just not as perfect and not as complete. And incidentally, we misuse our minds a great deal. Now I'd like to have you notice in Isaiah the 40th chapter. This is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible.
   I remember up in Eugene, Oregon.... Oh, this is at least 40 years ago. I took the whole church one time, and we went out way up the McKenzie Highway into the mountains, where we could see the mountains. I think there are two people here that may have been along that very day. And I remember I read to them out of the 40th chapter of Isaiah while we were out in the open air looking at the great, lofty mountains there, the Cascade Mountains.
   Anyway, let me read a little of it, beginning with verse 12 (Isaiah 40:12). It would be nice if I had time to read the entire 40th chapter of Isaiah. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand," that is, the oceans, "and measured them in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the host of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales?" Now, can you do that? Can you think of a man taking great mountains, and weighing them in scales? It shows you how puny we are, but God can do things like that. "And the hills in a balance?" A balance, that you weigh things on.
   "Who hath directed the spirit of the Eternal, or being his counselor, hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations," all the nations of the Earth now, "are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance," the little dust that would be on the balance of the scales that you weigh things on, dust that you probably can't see if you don't take your dustcloth and dust it off. They probably don't even tip the scales because they don't weigh that much.
   "The dust of the balance, behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations are before him as nothing, and are counted to him less than nothing and vanity." Now that is showing you the comparison between man and God, and yet what David was saying back there, and what I will read to you if I have time on this program, in the 2nd chapter of Hebrews: man has the potential of becoming very God, and as great as God is! Except God will always be supreme in authority.

God The Father Supreme

   God is supreme in authority over the Word, who became Christ. And Christ said the Father that sent me, and gave me a commandment what I should do and what I should speak, and he said, "As the Father taught me, I have spoken." Christ was always absolutely, absolutely obedient to his Father. Now he's showing how great God is compared to nations, the way nations are now. And yet, we in the nations can, we have such a potential, we can become as great as God, until we're in the very family of God!
   You never heard a man speak like this before in your life. Nobody else, no church, no religion on Earth knows these things. I'm giving you things such as man never spoke in your hearing before! And you better open your ears. You better understand that you're hearing things that are tremendous, and tremendously important. Well, let's see. Let's go on a little further over here in verse 25, and verse 26 (Isaiah 40:25-26). "To whom then will you liken me, or shall I be equal, says the Holy One?" That is, of course, Yahweh, or the one who became Christ.
   "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these things, that bringeth out thy host by number? He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power, not one faileth. Why speakest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is hid from the Lord." Now he goes on in verse 28 (Isaiah 40:28): "Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Eternal, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" He never gets tired.
   He rested on the first Sabbath day, and was refreshed, but it wasn't because he was tired. He rested and put his own presence in that day, and it's been there ever since on the holy Sabbath day. You know, I've told you before how, way back in the autumn of 1926, my wife turned to religious fanaticism. She began keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. "Why," I said, "that's crazy!" And I really thought it was. I thought that was, of all things, fanaticism.
   So I had to dig into the Bible. She said, "Well, you show me where it says to keep Sunday, and I'll do it." Well, I was just sure the Bible said you must observe Sunday. But I had to eat crow, and that's where I took a licking. I mention that, time and time again, and I think not many ever took the beating that I did, in being converted and having their minds swept as clean as mine was, of everything you had ever believed before.
   And I saw that here was the word of God, here was the words of truth, and now I had a firm foundation. I could believe what's here. And as Jesus Christ in person taught the apostles and taught Paul, even though he had already ascended to heaven, he must have in some way have appeared to Paul. It doesn't explain how, but Paul mentioned he had seen Christ. He had been with Christ. But the Bible is the word of God in writing. Jesus Christ is the word of God in person, and the only difference is that one's in person, and the other's in writing, but they all say the same thing exactly.
   I was taught by the word of God in writing, and everything else was swept clean out of my mind, and is to this day. I tell you, some people say, "Where do you get all your energy?" And I've said that I have more power and energy that most men 40 or 50, and I'll show you. Let's just read a little more right here in this 40th chapter of Isaiah, and I'll tell you where I get it (Isaiah 40:29). "He," God, "giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, he increaseth strength." When I lack strength, I ask God to increase my strength, and he does.
   "He increaseth strength, even the youths shall faint and grow weary." You know, they can get very tired and worn out. "And the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Eternal shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint." That is where I get my strength. That is the source of it. It's not within myself. And some people can't understand that.

[Commercial break: Why Were You Born?]

   You don't realize that God is the great giver, and he wants to give us such wonderful things! But I want him to give me that which I can use in serving him. I don't ask for it for my own pleasure. I don't ask for it for some selfish reason, but I want it so that I can serve you who are listening to me, and not only the comparatively small audience in front of me right now, but the great audience that is in these cameras here, and will be listening later.
   Well now, why should so great a God, as great as he is, be concerned about man? Now we turn over to the 2nd chapter of Hebrews. And he quotes what David said in the 8th Psalm. Hebrews the 2nd chapter, beginning with verse 5 (Hebrews 2:5). "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak." Now what's he speaking about? The world to come, that's whereof he's speaking here. You want to get the context. What is it speaking about in the context? It's speaking about the world to come, not about the present world. It says, "Unto the angels he has not put in subjection the world to come." That infers, implies, that the angels were in control of that Earth, that it was under subjection to the angels, but it will not be in the world to come.
   "But in a certain place testified, saying, what is man that thou art mindful of him?" Now here we are, all the nations are not a drop in the bucket compared to God. And in one of the psalms, where he sits, he looks down and he beholds all mankind. He observes all that they do. He knows what you're doing. He knows what you're thinking. God is that great. "But one in a certain place, saying, what is man that thou are mindful of him? Or the son of man that thou visitest him?" Why should God be concerned about a puny, insignificant little man?

What is our potential?

   What is our potential? It isn't just to invent an electric light. Thomas Edison was, as physical human beings go, he was one of our great men. But Thomas A. Edison did not know God. Luther Burbank dealt with flowers and shrubs and plants, but Luther Burbank did not know God. And I can't understand that. You would think a man dealing in nature like that would have known something about God. But he couldn't know, he had gone to college or university, and had evolution stuffed into his mind. He'd been brainwashed, in other words.
   Now here: "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels. Thou crownest him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of thy hands." (Hebrews 2:7) Now what are the works of God's hands? David had mentioned in the Psalms: all the stars, all the heavens, all the mighty things, how he can even weigh a mountain in the balance, in the scale. "Thou hast all things in subjection under him," man's, "feet." Now surely he can't mean that all things?
   If you turn to the first chapter, it says here about Christ, and how God in these last days "has spoken to us by his son whom he hath appointed heir of all things." (Hebrews 1:2) That "all things" is translated in the Moffatt translation. In other words, it really means, in the English language: the universe. It means all things, the whole universe! And that's the way it is translated. But not in the King James here. "For in that he," God, "put all in subjection under him," under man, "he," God, "left nothing that is not put under him." Oh, surely he can't mean that. Well, let's read on.
   "But now, we see not yet all things put under man." No, God has made us to have dominion over the surface of the Earth, over the air and the fowl that fly in the air, and over the waters of the ocean. We can go down, pretty deep in the water. We can fly in the air. I often fly at 41-45 thousand feet, in my own airplane, and, although I don't pilot it, you understand. I'm not a pilot.
   And however, God has provided me with what I need, because he has sent me an apostle, as one sent forth, and I have been sent forth with God's message to the kings, and the heads of government, and the nations of this world. And God has provided means, and I try to use them for that purpose, and I never use them for my own personal service in any way.
   "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." Now here: "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, for in that God put all things in subjection under man, he left nothing that is not put under him, but now we see not yet all things," the whole universe, "put under him." Not yet. Now let's read on. But what do we see now? "We see Jesus," who was crucified, who was raised by a resurrection from the dead, and who then ascended on up to heaven, and where he is living the living Jesus Christ today, as our high priest.

What is Christ doing today?

   Now I've been speaking for some time on radio, from the book of Hebrews on: "What is Jesus Christ doing now?" What is Christ doing today? Most people think, "Oh, he's just going way off and maybe he died, and maybe he's just gone way off somewhere." Oh no, Christ is our high priest. I look to Christ every day. I look to him for the strength. He is the one that increased the strength that I was reading to you about, a while ago. And I find that those things are real. I find that God means what he says, and what he says here, he means. He says what he means, and he means what he says.
   "We see now Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." (Hebrews 2:9) He is already crowned. He has gone to heaven, the throne of God, to be given the crown of Earth rule, and when he comes, the coronation ceremony will have already taken place. And he's coming in great power and glory, and great splendor as the king of kings and the lord of lords, to rule all nations and to bring us peace at last! That's the only hope that this world has, the only hope.
   You know, some people, because we preach from the Bible, say that we are preaching hellfire doctrine and doctrine of doom. Well, instead of doom, we preach just the opposite. We preach the most great potential ahead that God has, and nobody else does preach it. Isn't that funny how they take you just the opposite in the public press? "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, he now is crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death as he did for every man." (Hebrews 2:9)
   And "it's appointed to all men once to die, but after that the judgment," or resurrection (Hebrews 9:27). "For it became him," Christ, "for whom are all things and by whom are all things." As I read to you in John 1, verse 1 (John 1:1): all things were created by him. "In bringing many sons into glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Hebrews 2:12)
   Jesus Christ was born very God by resurrection from the dead, and he is called in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans (Romans 8:29), the firstborn of many brethren. And he's not ashamed to call us brethren, and yet in the first chapter here (Hebrews 1:2), if you have the Moffatt translation, it says the whole universe, "appointed heir of the whole universe by whom also he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his," of the Father's glory, Christ is the brightness of the Father's glory, "and the express image of his person..."
   And "image" there, Moffatt translates that as the identical character, the holy, righteous character of God. "And upholding all things," upholding the whole universe, "by the word of his power." That's how great is our Christ now. And he's the firstborn of many brethren. He's gone ahead as the pioneer. We have that potential to follow. Now that is not all. Once we are there, well, we are to rule over the entire universe. Now, there's much more to it that I haven't time for now, because the whole universe... The creation is not yet complete.

[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine]

   Remember, I said that God creates by duality? First man is physical, then he'll be spiritual? First angels were made out of spirit, but their character had to be developed, and their creation was not complete until they had developed that? God created the Earth, as I've said, like unfinished furniture, but it has to be finished later, and he meant for angels, when he put them on Earth, to finish the beautifying of the surface of the Earth, and when they didn't do it, he meant for man to, and instead of beautifying it, we have ruined, we have polluted everything that man's hands have been able to touch of God's Earth.
   That's what man has done. And yet, God has given us this wonderful, great potential. Thank God this is not the day when God is calling everyone, and most people. Jesus Christ said, "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him," (John 6:44) and God is only drawing a few, and to those few of us, he is drawing, he is drawing us for a purpose, and that purpose always is preparing for the kingdom of God that is coming. He isn't calling you just to get salvation. And if you think that you're called just to get salvation, you're going to lose the salvation you think you're going to have. God has called the church to get back of his apostle, in getting the message to the world!
   And that takes constant prayer of the people. God hears and answers prayer, and I need those prayers, and I need that encouragement, and God called the church to support the ministry. He didn't call the church itself to go out and preach the word, although now and then someone from the church is called to go; that could be, like in the early church. There was Philip, and there was, there was Stephen, the first martyr, and they had been just deacons. They were not apostles, but they became men of great power, because they were so filled with the Holy Spirit. Well, anyone in the church could be. It's a wonderful thing.
   But oh, what a mighty God we have. I was just thinking this morning. There is a song, and I hear it some, now and then: How Great Thou Art. Now people love it, but I was just thinking I don't know that I could compose music. I have a brother who's composed all of the music for Worldwide Church of God, and I think he could do it, and sometimes I almost wonder if God could show me.
   I'd like to compose something on "how great thou art," and quote it right from the Bible, all the words of the Bible showing how great God is, with a tune that is not mournful, but one that is just full of majestic greatness and power, and that just lifts you up to a high state of ecstasy. Someone, someday, is going to write that hymn, How Great Thou Art, another one, much greater that the one that is now written, I know that you have all heard. Well, that's it until next time. This is Herbert W. Armstrong, saying goodbye, friends, until next time!

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Telecast Date: June 24, 1978
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