The World Tomorrow

Who And What Is God? - Part 1

by Herbert W Armstrong


And greetings everybody. Could anything be more incredible than the fact that of all the world's religions, of all of the hundreds of different denominations in a so-called Christianity today, only one church, and that a small one - that Jesus Christ called 'the little flock' - a persecuted church that is the only one true Church on earth today, and that is the only one that knows who and what God is?

All the religions are supposed to be organized for the worship of God, or for the worship of the Creator, or the supernatural, or whatever they think of as the deity. And yet none of them knows who or what God is. Now I've been asking recently 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?

The World's Unsolvable Problems (PLAY FROM 02:03)

What about the evils, the unsolvable problems? When I talk with kings and presidents, and also there were two emperors, only one is left, and one of them, just before he was taken, and he died in that captivity, was sending me a telegram congratulating me on my, I think it was my eighty-third birthday. And his birthday was just eight days ahead of mine so he knew when it was and we knew each other fairly well. And when I see kings and prime ministers and heads of government, I discuss with them the problems that they have to face.

They have problems to face that no man can handle and they know it, they know they can't handle the problems that are before them. The world is full of evils but most of them don't know why. Now my purpose in seeing heads of governments isn't to try to get them converted. Jesus Christ didn't come on a soul-saving mission at all and I speak to them just as Christ would if He were here today. How did He speak to people?

In some cases He told them about the kingdom of God but to some others He didn't. It all depended on who it was and what the circumstances of the occasion were. But where are we going? Where is humanity going? What is the way and why is it we have 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 the doctors of philosophy, all of those with their master's degrees, who often make better teachers than PhDs. I know because I have 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 and they don't know the way out. And sometimes I wonder what do they know? Very, very little I'm afraid.

No religion knows and no religion has revealed it and is telling the world, and the religions all seem to be part of this world and they all assume it's God's world. Now one mistake that it seems that all the religions in what is called Christianity seem to make, is the assumption that everybody on earth is automatically lost unless we get saved by accepting Christ. And consequently the purpose of the gospel is to preach Christ and to get people to accept Christ.

And usually it's pictured I think, in their minds. I haven't heard anyone say it this way, I'm only saying it for them, but I believe I can express what is really in their minds. And that is it is like life is a one-way journey on, shall we say, a railroad train. That's a little out of date just now because a lot of people have never ridden on a railroad, the airplanes have taken over. But a railroad is a better illustration and analogy in this case. And, in other words, at the end of the line the switch is automatically turned downward to send you on to hell.

Now then if sometime on that journey of your whole life you get the password and say, "I accept Christ" or, like the young man that told me once about - oh this was forty-five years ago - my just think that young man, and he was about eighteen then, he must be fifty-eight, almost sixty by now. Anyway he told me he had given his heart to the Lord the night before and when I questioned him how he did that, if he took his heart out and if Christ was there and all that sort of thing.

He said, "No." And I said, "Well, now just what did you do?" "Well" he said, "I guess I just don't know." He didn't know what he had done, but the preacher told him he'd given his heart to the Lord, whatever that meant. And that's the trouble in religion today, so many things are just ethereal, they are just a pack of words that don't mean anything, absolutely meaningless.

I've been asking the question what is God? Anyway I didn't finish my little story there about the one way ride on the railroad train. Now if at some time you in that journey you say "I accept and I profess Christ," that turns the switch at the end of the line so that now it'll shoot you straight up to heaven when you get to the end.

Now once that's done you can go on ahead on your way whatever you want to do, live the way you want to live, indulge in all that you want to indulge in because it's all set. And you sing that hymn, "It was all settled long ago." I think you've heard of that hymn. I never sing it and I hope you don't, because it's not true. But it's "...he that endureth unto the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22). I hope I shall be saved and I hope you will if you endure till the end.

God Is Creator (PLAY FROM 07:35)

Anyway, as I was saying, let's get back to this who and what God is. I've been talking on it in this series now for some little time and God is that great Spirit, that Spirit being who 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 be somebody elses mind that is greater than yours and has brought out things that you have not been able to think out. 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 and 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 anything like a human man. 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 thousands of times larger than our earth. He created some of 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 too how God has always existed and from eternity, there never was a time when God did not exist, and in two persons not three, not a trinity. But there were two and you read of it in John in the New Testament, John 1:1, I've read this so many times recently.

"In the beginning was the Word." (John 1:1)

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 1:1.

"The Word was with God and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Now the Word was also God, and God was also God. Now I've had two sons, I'm gonna 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 someone might say, "Well I saw Richard David, and Richard David was with Armstrong. And Richard David is also Armstrong. Now that doesn't mean we're both the same person, there are 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 sure to 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 seventh chapter and verse three, 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." (Hebrews 7:3)

And that can be no-one but Christ, although there is Melchizedek, but if you want to know who was Melchizedek, write for a booklet we have, "Who is Melchizedek?" 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 and abiding High Priests continually. So it is the same, the one and the same person.

All Things Created By Christ (PLAY FROM 12:43)

Well now in Ephesians 3:9 we read that God "...created all things by Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9). Now back here in John {1} 1:2 it says that "The same [the Word] was in the beginning with God. And all things were made by him; ...without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:2-3)

Now we get a little further in verse 14:

"...the Word [the Logos, the spokesman] was made flesh." (John 1:14)

He was born of the virgin Mary and He was human and 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 was ever begotten of God prior to human birth. We can be begotten of God but that's not prior to human birth, but after our human birth and before our second birth, 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 of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

Well now I've already shown you from back in Genesis the first chapter and the first 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..." (Genesis 1:1).

Now in the beginning God – the word for 'God' there is in our language, an English word that is translated from the word that Moses wrote when he wrote the word 'Elohim.' That is a Hebrew name, or word. And '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, it makes it more than one, it pluralizes it.

So 'God' then is 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 twelfth chapter of I Corinthians. 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 [it should be plural, heavens] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Now then, as I say it is a uni-plural, and we come down to verse twenty-six in this first chapter of Genesis;

"And God said;" He didn't say "let me" do something, He said, "Let US" because there was the Word and God together. Elohim is a uni-plural that includes more than one person but only one God. There can be more than one person in a family. 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:" (Genesis 1:26)

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 first chapter of Genesis the word God always appears as Elohim. There were many Hebrew words, names for God. One was Yahweh Rafah, which means God our healer or our God-healer, shows God in His healing capacity.

But we come to the second chapter of Genesis and verse four, and for the first time another name appears in the Hebrew language.

The Names Of God (PLAY FROM 16:49)

"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] (Genesis 2:4).

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 it 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 till 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..." (Genesis 2:4).

Now the word for God here is Elohim again, 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 John1:1, 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.

" 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 2:7.] 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" (Genesis 2:4;7).

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" (Genesis 2:17 paraphrased). You are mortal and you can die, you are not an immortal soul. Twice the Bible says "the soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4,20) 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.

Christ Came To Reveal The Father (PLAY FROM 20:22)

Well now, Jesus came and was born of the virgin Mary, the 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!

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 was the Word, the Word who spoke to them. It was Yahweh who spoke to Moses. It is from this time on, beginning with verse four of Genesis two, you will find that nearly all the way through the Old Testament, the word 'LORD' is coming from the word Yahweh (and sometimes pronounced Yahveh) sometimes a '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 is the one person 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, God is composed of Spirit but He formed man of matter, so we're not composed of spirit like God. 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, 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 thing that God has prepared for us, and that's why so much of the Bible with its spiritual knowledge is just like so much foolishness. Well now how great is God? How great is God? First, however, let me ask you something about the form and shape of God. Man was made in God's image. I just read that, Genesis 1:26. Now I'd like to have you notice, if you would for a moment, over in John 14:8-9:

"Philip said unto [Christ, he said] Lord, shew us the Father, and it will sufficeth us. [He said what does the Father look like? We'd like to know what does God look like. And] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:8-9)

In other words Christ looked exactly like the Father. Man was made in the image of God. And God has two eyes, a mouth, a nose, two ears. He has arms and legs. He has fingers and toes. He doesn't have paws or hoofs. He isn't made like a dumb animal.

Man is made in the image of God but animals are not. And man has a spirit so that he can have contact with the great Spirit GOD, the Holy Spirit of God. And that's a wonderful, wonderful thing. But God put, from birth, a spirit in us, although man is not a spirit, there is a spirit inside of man. And that spirit empowers the physical brain with intellect.

The Human Potential (PLAY FROM 24:35)

Now how great is God, just how great is God? 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 had wafted away, you can see many, many....I have seen the sky when it is just loaded with stars it seems. And David was saying here, as you read in the eighth Psalm – well, let's begin at the first verse:

"Oh [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 has 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 asks 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 has has made him a little lower than the angels [that is has made him for a while lower than the angels], and has crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion..." (Psalm 8:1-6).

But he goes on to show that the dominion we have now, whereas if we get time to get into it we'll find in the second 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 will come out and talk about man's potential like Thomas A Edison, or like men that invented things and that that is the potential that we have.

Why the potential in man is so much GREATER than just making a few mechanical things. The potential of MAN is to become VERY GOD. It's a wonderful thing. But oh, what a mighty God we have. Well that's it until next time. This is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends until next time."


{1} Mr Armstrong said John 1:1 but quoted from John 1:2-3