Supreme Opportunity
Telecast Date: June 17, 1978
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   Well, greetings everybody. In this current series of telecasts, I am speaking as no man in our time has spoken to the public. We're in a very confused world today, a very upset world. Why the violence everywhere? Why the rampant crime and increasing so rapidly that the police staffs in various cities can't keep up with it? Why are families breaking down, the divorce rate going up? Every kind of immorality, every kind of everything that is wrong, is taking peace away from the Earth.
   It seems that no man has been able to explain this. But I not only intend to explain it, as I have been doing in this series, of which I believe this is the 7th of this present series of telecasts, and I am going to show you that soon these troubles are going to be over. And very soon, we're going to have world peace! I bring you the one and only possible message of world peace!

The World Tomorrow — the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
   Now we need to understand what has been causing the troubles. We need to understand what is back of all of this. We need to understand what is going to bring peace to this world. This world has lost sight of its creator, of its God. He reveals to us, because it's in his word, which we call the Holy Bible, and it's very plain. It's very easy to read, it's plain and simple and clear. And it seems however that almost nobody understands the Bible.
   I know I was brought up in one of the very respected Protestant denominations as a boy. And when I was challenged, and began to open up the Bible and look into it for myself for the first time at age 35, I believe I was, I was simply dumbfounded. I found things that I read, things that Jesus taught, things that the Bible teaches, that were contrary to what I had believed.
   I found that what I had been taught was just contrary to what the Bible says. I had always supposed that the churches in this world get their religion out of the Bible. The first thing, 50 years ago, that opened my eyes, that dumbfounded me, was to learn that that is not true. The churches of this world do not get their religion out of the Bible, they try to read into it.

Where Does It All Begin?

   My friends, where does it all begin? If we start trying to understand today's events and where we're leading, and what's going to happen, from today's vantage point — I repeat once again, as I've said so many times, it's just like going into a motion picture show or seeing a motion picture on your television set, and beginning when it's about three-fourths over.
   You don't know what went on before, you don't know what led up to what you're now seeing, and consequently, you're confused. You don't understand. You can't get the drift of what you're seeing, because you don't know what led up to it. Now I've been beginning at the very beginning in the Bible. And as I have said before, most people would suppose the Bible begins in Genesis 1, verse 1, but it doesn't.
   The event there described happened quite a while after the events described in John the first chapter in the New Testament. Now I don't know how much before, I don't know it was just a year or two or three, or a few years, or whether it was millions of years, because the Bible doesn't tell us that. But it all begins in John 1, verses 1 to 3 (John 1:1-3), in the New Testament.
   This goes back in prehistory. This begins before anything that we have in history on this Earth. "In the beginning," it says here, verse 1, John 1 (John 1:1), in the New Testament, "
   "In the beginning was the Word." Now I've explained before that word "Word" comes from the Greek word "logos" and it means the spokesman, the one who does the speaking.
   "and the Word was with God, and Word was God." Now the Word is a personage. That personage was with God, and God is a personage, so there you have two personages together. "The same was in the beginning with God." My friends, that was way back before there was any material or physical universe. That was before there was any human being, that was before even this thing of evolution was supposed to have begun, which of course is a great fake anyway if you understand the truth.
   It says "all things were made by him," that is, the Word, the logos, the spokesman, and "without him there was not anything made which was made." And I've quoted before how in the 3rd chapter of Ephesians it says God created all things by Jesus Christ. Now let me read a little further.
   In verse 14 (Ephesians 3:14), "the Word," the one that had been the Word with God way back there in prehistory, "was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." That then was Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ did not come until about approximately 4,000 years after the first humans were placed on this Earth.
   Now I've shown you, first God and the Word were back there alone, two great, supernatural spirit beings of supreme power, of supreme mind. Do you know that man has been made in the image of God? And God has given us a mind a great deal like his, only we have, as the Bible reveals, a human spirit that empowers the physical brain with intellect which no animal has. It is this human spirit that gives us knowledge of physical things, but not of spiritual things.
   God first, and the Word, must have been thinking — and I've explained that before — and how they planned before they created. And the first thing they created were angels, and angels were made out of spirit, and still there was no physical universe. They were out in just in space. Spirit beings don't need to be on a planet like we are, with gravity that pulls us down to the Earth all the time, and they were not.
   But God then, we come next to the first chapter of Genesis, after the angels had been created, and God had formed a great plan for what he had in the future. Now we come back to Genesis 1, verse 1 (Genesis 1:1). "In the beginning God created the heavens..." And it should be plural, and is in most modern translations, and was the way Moses wrote it, but Moses wrote that in the Hebrew language.

Elohim — Uniplural, The God Family

   And the word that Moses wrote for God was the Hebrew name "Elohim." Now "Elohim" is a uniplural. It is name like company, like church, like family. More than one person, but one family, one church, one group or one athletic team, or whatever you might have.
   "and the earth was without form and void." That is, it had become, the Hebrew words there indicate a condition of decay and without form and void, or chaotic and in confusion. Now it was a result of those angels. Very few people understand that God placed angels on Earth before the first humans were put here.
   And if you don't begin back there, if you don't understand all of that, you don't understand what's going on today, you don't understand the reason for the troubles that we have in the world, the troubles that I discuss with kings, and with presidents, and with prime ministers and heads of government all over this world. And they don't understand it. They don't know why.
   Many of them are at war with other governments. We have violence and troubles everywhere in the world. Nevertheless, the word "Elohim" is a uniplural, and it means more than one person that formed one God. Now the one called God in John 1:1 is one personage. The one called the Word is another personage. You have two personages there, but the two form one Elohim, or one God.
   Now when God said he was going to form man, he didn't say "let me," but God said in verse 26 (Genesis 1:26), "Let us make man in our image after our likeness." There was more than one person there. God is a family. Now at that time the Word had not become flesh. The Word was not the son of God at that time, but became the son of God as he was born in the human flesh, as I say, about 4,000 years after Adam. And I'm coming to that in just a moment or two.
   But first God placed angels on Earth. We know the angels were created first, because in Job the 38th chapter (Job 38:7), we find that the angels were already here when the Earth was created, and the angels shouted for joy, because it was to be their abode, it was to be their home.

[Commercial break: The Plain Truth Magazine]

   Now I mentioned before, and I'm going to mention this once again. Some of these things, I think I can't mention too often, because it is new, it's new to most of you. Most have not understood it at all. It is contrary to what you might call the ordinary Christian belief, as it has come up in this world. These angels were put on this Earth, it was to be their home, their abode, and God in creating, it's a good deal like..
   I wonder if you have seen one of these unfinished furniture stores, where they have unfinished furniture. The wood and everything is there, it's made of wood usually, but the final polish or the varnish, and the paint and so on has not been put on. You do that yourself, and of course if you can do the job correctly, you save money. And that is the way God created the Earth.
   It was perfect as far as he went, just as these furniture is supposed to be, the unfinished furniture. What is there is as perfect as it's going to be, you just add something to it to beautify it more. And God intended the angels to add to this Earth. Instead, they destroyed it. Now, God put over those angels a throne with a king, whose name was Lucifer, and Lucifer was a super-archangel, higher than ordinary angels, and he was the king to rule with the government of God over the angels.

Government of God Based on Law

   The government of God is based on a law, a way of living. It is the way of life, it is the way to peace, it is the way to happiness, it is the way to every good thing that anyone could possibly want. Now, this Lucifer — and the name "Lucifer" even means "shining star of the dawn" or a light-bringer — but he turned into darkness instead of light. He turned away from God's way. He turned into rebellion against God, and against the government of God.
   It went to his head. He was perfect in all his ways from the day that God created him, until iniquity was found in him. And then the government of God ceased on this Earth. Now that left God with a great problem. God himself, which then consisted (remember at that time) of only the one who later became the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, or God and the Word (as it originally was), the only beings on Earth that would not go contrary to the law of God, which is the way of righteousness, the way of peace, the way of happiness, the way of everything good, everything that we could want.
   And that government, with that kind of law, was taken away from the Earth. And instead, violence came to the Earth, destruction came. Light was turned into darkness. God knew that he needed millions, or even billions of beings to do the work he wanted done, to (in other words, like the unfinished furniture), to finish the creation that he had made all over the universe.
   Because, as I read in Genesis 1, then he created the heavens and the earth, the whole physical universe, but it was not a finished creation. It was perfect as far as it went, but it was not yet finished. And the angels, instead of finishing it, had destroyed it. Now the only solution that God had was to reproduce himself. That is the greatest thing that God could possibly start out to do, or ever did do.
   And you read in the 104th Psalm, in verse 30 (Psalm 104:30). It says, "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." The face of the Earth had been devastated. It had been brought to ruin and decay, and ugliness instead of beauty, and now God renewed the face of the earth.
   We turn back again now to Genesis 1:1. I've gone through this in previous telecast. Let me just renew your memory on this. And the earth had become in this chaotic form as a result of what the angels did. You read in II Peter the 2nd chapter, of how the angels sinned. You read of this Lucifer in the 12th chapter of Isaiah, and I've read it before on this program, and in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel.
   And the earth became now, in this chaotic form, and in decay, and "darkness was upon the face of the deep," or of the watery surface. There was no land, everything was ocean, it was all water at that time. And it was all dark, and darkness, because this Lucifer, whose name was changed now to Satan, meaning the adversary and the enemy of God, had brought it into darkness.

God Brings Light Out of Darkness

   "And the spirit of God moved upon the waters." Now I read to you how he sends forth his spirit. "And then God said, Let there be light." The first thing he did was to bring light out of darkness, to bring understanding out of confusion, and of error and misconceptions. "And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness." And then he began to form day and night.
   Now what you read in the first chapter of Genesis is not the original creation of the Earth. It is the renewing of the face of the Earth after the angels had been here, and we don't know, perhaps millions of years. But they had violated the laws of God, and the government of God that God had put here to regulate and to keep those angels, all pulling together, to get the big job done.
   That government had been taken away from the Earth. Now God's great motive now was to restore the government of God to the Earth, and then to create character. And I have explained before — the one thing God cannot create instantaneously by fiat is character, holy righteous perfect character.

[Commercial break: Why Were You Born?]

   God created the angels. They were higher than man. They were superior to man. They were immortal. They were composed of spirit, we are composed of material substance out of the dust of the ground. And however, they had turned the wrong way, and consequently, they couldn't go to all of the other planets of this solar system and of all the other systems far out into outer space and do the job that God wanted done.
   Now God is going to reproduce himself, and to do that, he formed man out of the matter that he had created on this Earth, and he had formed man in his likeness and his image, in other words, of the same form and shape. And he put in us a mind just like the mind of God, except our minds are inferior, and our minds are confined to the physical knowledge of this universe.
   You cannot understand the things of God without another spirit in addition to the human spirit that is in us, and that is the Holy Spirit of God. And so very, very few on Earth have ever had that. So to the first man, God said, in effect, 'If you will obey me and my government, ultimately I will give you immortal life like the angels have, but you have to develop character first.'
   'And you then can succeed this Lucifer, this Satan, who is disqualified, but must stay on the throne until a successor qualifies and is inducted into office. You,' as God said to Adam, and I'm just paraphrasing this in my own words, 'you can take of the Tree of Life which is of my spirit, and receive my life, my mind, my understanding, and my way of life, and restore my government on Earth, and be the father of the human family that is put here to build that kind of character.'
   That is the reason man was put on the Earth. Adam said to God, in effect, 'God, I want you to get your nose out of my affairs. I am going to decide for myself what is right and wrong.' So he took with his wife from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In other words, to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is not.
   And they said, 'We won't let you tell us, Almighty God, what is right and what is wrong. We will decide that for ourselves.' God said, in effect then, to Adam, 'The choice has been yours. You had to decide.' Character is the right of a separate entity, separate from God, of its own free will, to come to see the right way which is God's way, from the wrong, and to choose the right, and then to go the right way instead of the wrong.

Build Character To Control Ourselves

   Even though within ourselves, there is a pull and desire to go the wrong way, character is to control ourself and to decide that we will go the right way, the way of God, regardless. Now once we have done that, that develops character within us, and that is the purpose for which humans were put on Earth. Then we have the great job of going throughout all this universe.
   You read that in the 2nd chapter of Hebrews. You read of it in the 8th of Psalms, and you read of it in the 8th chapter of Romans, of how the ultimate destiny of mankind is to go through all the universe, and to finish the creation. What a wonderful job that is! And to bring peace, to bring happiness, to bring joy, to bring salvation, until there will be no more pain, no more sorrow nor suffering, nothing of that kind, only joy and continual happiness.
   And to be creators and to be thinking of new things that need to be done, right things to be done, and consequently of working at those things under the creator God. Now God, as I said, is a family, and he made man so that man could be born into that family. But the first man, Adam, rejected it. And so God said to him... Let me put it in my own words as a paraphrase, put it in modern language.
   God said to him, 'Okay, you have decided to reject me. You've rebelled against my government. You don't want me to be your Lord, your savior, your God. You don't want my knowledge. I sentence you and your descendants, which will be the whole world that'll come from you, I sentence you to 6,000 years of being cut off from me, until you cannot have access to me, and you cannot gain my knowledge. You'll have to create your own knowledge, whatever way you can.'
   'But remember, this former archangel, now Satan, is here. And he will be getting to you. And he will be getting to your children. And he will pump into them the way of vanity, of lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, of destruction.' In other words, the way of God is the way of giving, it's the way of love, it's outgoing concern.
   And the way of Satan is incoming lust and greed, vanity, exalting the self, jealousy and envy toward others, a spirit of competition against others, wanting to compete, wanting to prevent the other from getting anything, to take it all for yourself.
   When I speak to heads of governments, when I speak to people in capitals of the world, I make it as simple as possible, because in many cases, they haven't had the type of education that we've had in this country. And I say there are the two ways of life, only the two ways of living, when you get down to it from a philosophical point of view.
   One is the way of giving, and the other is the way of getting. Now the whole thing that is wrong in this world, that man is going the way of getting. That's the way that Adam chose. God said, 'All right, you and your followers can go that way.' It is the way of, as I say, getting, of taking, of exalting yourself, but of having jealousy and envy and hatred toward others. And that is the thing that has gripped this world. Now God didn't make us that way, but Satan begins to pump that sort of thing into us very early.
   This Satan has deceived the whole world. It's pretty hard to believe that nations could be deceived. You know, the heads of nations, they don't understand why they're having the wars and the troubles they are. They don't understand why it's all fighting and everyone for selfish advantage. They just do not understand it.
   The kingdom of God is coming in our time. The kingdom of God is going to do away with this Satan. The kingdom of God is going to do away with all of the troubles, and we're going to have peace, and we're going to have it in our time. And that is the hope that I am bringing you!

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Telecast Date: June 17, 1978
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