The World Tomorrow

Religious Confusion

by Herbert W Armstrong


" I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man [he didn't get it from other men, he got it direct from Christ]. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:10-12)

Now Paul said that he had been with Christ, he said he had seen Christ. And there is a period of three years that is not accounted for in the history you find in the New Testament, in the book of Acts, and the writings of Paul, when he was down in Arabia. Well undoubtedly then there's just no other way to put it together. He was there alone with Christ, and Christ after He'd ascended to heaven, in person, some way. And I don't know how He manifested Himself, because it isn't explained at all, but had taught Paul direct.

Now Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, the Bible is the printed Word of God. The only difference is one was a person talking, and the other is in writing, but it's the same truth exactly. Now later he said here in verse 15:

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me [into] his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:" (Galatians 1:15-16)

Alright, he went to receive this from Christ direct. Now let me say the same thing. Immediately, when God had called me from this challenge, I did not go to man to find out what to believe! I didn't go to a theological seminary! If I had, I would have been taught what men had written in men's books, that their particular church, or denomination, had decided to believe. And I had already found by my study, that what they believe, is almost the opposite of what the Bible says.

I had the Bible as my - now I went then, just like Paul did, to God. I was not taught by God in person. He didn't come and appear to me in the flesh, in person, because He wasn't in the flesh any longer anyway, but in spirit. But here is the same Word of God, but it's in writing. I had to eat crow. I was brought to have to realize that I had to let my mind be swept clean of everything I had previously believed.

I've looked into the lives of leaders of world religions, and I can't find one of them that ever came to what he believed that way. Now many of the religions are merely philosophies. I don't mean Christianity, I mean other Oriental religions. But those men, they had nothing to base it on; they had no instruction, no contact with God, there was no Word of God available to them at that time. And they would just sit down and think and meditate and imagine in their own minds. And they just made up their philosophies in their own minds. There was no basis, no authority.

Well, as I said, God reveals Himself in the Bible. And He taught me through this Word the same as He taught Paul in person. But I had the teaching direct from the same One exactly. Christ is the living Word, He is the One who inspired every word in this book. And of course we have translations, but, as I say, I studied many translations. Now I have used a great deal the Revised Standard that has corrected a certain number of mistakes. There are a few mistakes, very few, in the King James translation, and the Revised Standard translation corrects most of those.

And then one of the later translations in modern English is the - well there's the Ferrar Fenton translation, and also the Moffatt translation. I think Moffatt makes it more plain and clear and understandable. But I don't think that Moffatt is as reliable, because he translated it the way he thought it was, and usually he didn't transliterate. That is literally word-for-word, but what he thought the idiom expression of the original language, what it would mean in our idiom in the English language. But wherever - check him with the King James, and with the Revised Standard, and with Fenton, and with others, and wherever Moffatt is right he makes it more understandable because of the more modern English.

The Wages Of Sin (PLAY FROM 05:22)

Well, now at last I had a firm foundation under me. Now it was a case of what was revealed. I found that the Bible is the revealed Word of that Creator God to mankind that He has created. I found that it is the source of basic knowledge . That is, the origin and the source of basic knowledge is the revelation that you find in the Bible.

But to my dismay, as I said awhile ago, I did have to eat crow, and I found that my wife was right. And I found that all these churches not only could be wrong; I found that the churches that go by the name of Christian, and the so-called traditional Christianity are, in most fundamental cases, teaching precisely the opposite of what the Bible says! Why, I was dumbfounded at that! I read in Romans 6, the sixth chapter and verse 23 that:

"...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)

Now wages is what you get paid for what you do, you know. So sin is what you do, and the wages that you get for that sin is death. Well I said, "That can't be." At first, I said; "I've been taught, from a little boy in Sunday school, that I'm an immortal soul." And this says that "...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). "Well," I said, "No, the wages of sin is immortal life, eternal life but of course, in hell fire." Now that's what I'd been taught from a boy. Then I looked at the last half of that same sentence. It said:

"...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

"Well," I said, "How can that be? If I already am an immortal soul, I already have eternal life? How then do I need to get it as a gift from God?" So I began to delve into that. I found how God said to Adam and Eve that if they took of the forbidden fruit they would "...surely die" (Genesis 2:17). I saw that it said in Genesis 2:7 that:

"...God formed man of the dust of the ground [now man is made of the dust of the ground - get that], and breathed into his nostrils [what had been made of the dust of the ground] the breath of life; and man [the dust of the ground] became [an immortal - oh no], became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

Became a living soul, nothing about an immortal soul. Now three places in the book of Genesis, the first chapter, you find that fish and birds and land animals are called the same Hebrew word, which is 'nephesh.' Only the translators into English took that same word and put the English word, 'creature,' there. But when they came to man they put, 'soul,' because it was the English translation that I'm using here, which was translated in the year 1611, the King James translation. And at that time they believed in the immortality of the soul. So they said, they called man, 'a soul'. Well a man is a soul, but man is made of the dust of the ground, and the dust of the ground is a soul. So a soul is mortal and is from the dust of the ground.

Now twice then - not only did God say to that soul, Adam, you will surely die, but twice in two other places in the Bible it says:

"...the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4,20)

Well I was flabbergasted. Then I was going to believe that if I died, that if I didn't go to this hell fire, I would go to heaven. And then I happened to notice, right there in the very third chapter of the book of John, that Jesus had said that: " man [has] ascended up to heaven, but he [who had come] down from heaven...[as God]" (John 3:13)

And He was God before He was born in the human flesh as man. And then again how Peter had said, on the day of Pentecost, that even David, a man after God's own heart has: "...not ascended into the heavens..." (Acts 2:34) "...but his grave is here with us yet today." (Acts 2:29 paraphrased)

And it just sort of knocked me for a loop! It was just plain language. It wasn't a case of interpretation. I found the Bible interprets itself. You don't have to interpret it, it interprets itself. I began to find these churches are all wrong.

Where Is The True Church Today? (PLAY FROM 10:22)

Now I did find, though, that Jesus Christ started His Church in 31 AD and that He said:

"...the gates of the grave will never prevail against this Church." (Matthew 16:18 paraphrased)

In other words this Church would go on existing through the generations, every generation, and it must exist somewhere today. And I began to say, "Well now where then is that one true Church that is the result of the original Church – where?" You know I noticed, in the book of Revelation, prophecies of two different churches that were to come, in all these years, from the time of Christ on down to now. And one is pictured as a very great church, and it's given a name:

"...BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. [But that church is called a great whore, and] ...[drunk] with the blood of...the martyrs of Jesus..." (Revelation 17:5-6)

Of having killed the saints who really believed God. Then I found, in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation, about another church that was a persecuted, little church. And I noticed how Jesus had called the Church a "...little flock..." (Luke 12:32), not a great church ruling over many nations, but a little church, persecuted. Jesus had said: "...If they have persecuted me, they will [persecute you also]..." (John 15:20)

You are not greater than your Creator. And He came in the likeness of human flesh, and He was persecuted. He was spit on. He was crucified for preaching the truth, because they didn't like what He said. It wasn't because they didn't like His looks, or because He had halitosis or something, because He didn't. And it was what He said. And they thought that, I guess, He was coming to overthrow the Roman Empire, or something, at that time. And of course they entirely misunderstood what He was saying. He was proclaiming the coming kingdom of God, and that hasn't even come yet in our day, and this is already two thousand years later.

But I found that that was a little, small, and a persecuted Church, that that was the true Church. And that Satan was very angry with that Church. Well that began to give me a few keys. So I found the Bible reveals what the churches do not. I found that the Bible reveals what science doesn't know. I found that in the Bible is the revelation of knowledge, and of truth, that education doesn't know and can't teach. Such as what and why is human life? Why were human beings ever put on this earth? If there is a God, He must have put us here, why? I wanted to know why. Where are we going, and what's the way?

There is a cause for every effect. Look at all the evils and troubles in the world today, troubles everywhere. Troubles in religion, troubles in politics, and in government, troubles in society, troubles everywhere, and we're in nothing but confusion. There had to be a cause. What caused all this? Then what are the true values? Here I find that people are very busy seeking false values, and not finding the true values of life at all. Well what then are the true values?

Well all of that led me to find the one and the only true Church, the same Church that was founded in 31 AD by Jesus Christ. Now in this present series that I am engaging in now, I want to show you seven proofs of that one original true Church. How are you going to identify it? The Bible gives you the seven points that identify which is the true Church, and there's only one Church that can qualify in all these seven. As a matter of fact, many of them, there's only one that believes in anyway, in just one.

In The Beginning (PLAY FROM 14:49)

Now first of all is the nature of God and the nature of Christ, and He is the great giver. Very few people know that. They don't realize that all good things really come from God. I found the churches don't even know about God. Now isn't that strange? They don't know who and what God is. They don't know who and what Jesus Christ is, or was.

Oh that sounds like I'm crazy! Oh no, don't you believe it. I think there must be a lot of others that are crazy, and that's the way some people are. Well, I tell you, anyway, I learned that the Bible says things about God that I had not been taught in church, entirely different. Now many profess Christianity who do not know who and what God is, and who and what Jesus Christ was and is.

Well, now Jesus had existed with God, I find revealed, from eternity. The beginning of the Bible, and I've said this before in this series, is not Genesis 1:1. Actually if you, in time sequence, you go clear back, even antedating that, is what is revealed here in the New Testament in the book of John, John 1, verses one, oh, to three or four here:

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

Now 'Word,' is a name, and it comes from the Greek word, as this was written in Greek originally, 'logos.' Logos merely means, 'spokesman,' or the one who does the speaking, the mouthpiece.

"...and the Word was with God [now the Word was a person and that person, that Word, was with God], and [it says] the Word was God [now how in the world can that be?]. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3)

Now I found that - well let's have a look in verse fourteen before I go away from this:

"And the Word [now this is much, much later, this is in the time of about 4 BC, 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)

That was Jesus Christ. The Word, then, is what became Jesus Christ. He was one of the Personages, and there were the two, there were two people there, two Personages, both spirit, composed of spirit, both having almighty minds. Now as to Christ, He was not a Son of God then, because you read that:

"He had no beginning; no father and no mother, without any ancestry or beginning of days or end of life." (Hebrews 7:3 paraphrased)

"The first and the last [the A and the Z, and so on, or] the Alpha and the Omega." (Revelation 22:13 paraphrased)

And Christ had always existed. "All things were made by him..." (John 1:3). In Ephesians the third chapter you will read that - I won't turn to it right now, that God "...created all things by Jesus Christ:" (Ephesians 3:9)

Now God, then, was superior in authority, but they had one mind. When Jesus came as the living Christ, He said that:

"...I have not spoken of myself; ...the Father [that] sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say; and what I should speak." (John 12:49)

And there was no difference at all, there was no controversy, they were one hundred percent together. There was no matter whatsoever at that time. And they created angels before the material universe was created. And there was no earth, and none of the planets that we know of, made of matter, existed. But now we come to Genesis 1:1 and here is the beginning of the physical creation:

"In the beginning God created the [heavens, and it should be plural as Moses wrote it in the plural in the Hebrew, the heavens] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Now I am convinced, from the study of the Bible all the way through, and many other passages going with it, that at that time He created all of the physical, material universe, and all the planets, not only of our solar system like Jupiter, and Venus, and Saturn, and Mars, and all of the planets, and then some of them have moons, like our moon around them. But our solar system around our sun, is only one little solar system in a great galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of many galaxies. So it just gets so endless your mind can't conceive of it. Astronomers have learned a great many things like that. God has left it to man to discover what man can discover. But God reveals what man cannot find out or learn or discover for himself.

Now I want you to notice something here: "In the beginning God... " (Genesis 1:1) The word 'God' is an English word and is translated from the word that Moses wrote in Hebrew. And Moses used the word, 'elohim.' Now elohim is a uni-plural noun, or word, or name. It is like the word, I'll give you a comparison, like the word, 'family,' like the word, 'church'. Many members, you will read in I Corinthians 12 that there are many members in the Church, but only the one Church, the one true Church. That's what we're trying to locate now. And it is a word like that. In other words God is more than one person. And Jesus came to reveal the Father, and until Jesus came, they had not known about the Father.

The Role Of Jesus Christ (PLAY FROM 21:12)

Now we come to the second chapter of Genesis, and a new name for God is introduced. Here it says; "...LORD God..." (Genesis 2:4) Now if you notice, if you have a King James translation, the word, 'LORD' is in capital letters, small caps, but it's all caps. That word, originally, in Hebrew was, 'YHWH' and it is translated, 'LORD' and that is a mistranslation. It means, 'one who is self-existent', who, like as Christ said, "I am the beginning and the end". Has always existed, and always will, everliving, always living, eternal. I like to use the word, 'Eternal', and usually where I see it in caps here, in the Bible, I usually read the word, 'Eternal':

"And the 'LORD God [I read it the Eternal God] formed man of the dust of the ground...[and in verse eight] And the [Eternal] God..." (Genesis 2:7-8)

Or LORD God now, that's YHWH - Elohim. Now then from there on, all through the Old Testament, it's always this YHWH, or the one called, LORD. And that is the One who became Christ. There are many passages in the New Testament, quoting the Old Testament, that prove, absolutely prove, that the God of the Old Testament was not the Father, but was the one who became Jesus Christ.

I want to show you a little more about Christ now before I close this. By a resurrection from the dead, Jesus, who came in the human flesh, originally had been this Word. Now He became a man called Jesus Christ, and He also had the name of Immanuel which means, 'God with us.' But He was crucified, He died. And after three days and three nights in the tomb, He was resurrected.

Now then, if you will turn to Hebrews the first chapter and verse eight, you read:

"But unto the Son [which is Christ, God said], Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom." (Hebrews 1:8)

There Christ is called, 'God', by God Himself. Now then we turn back to Romans, the first chapter of Romans and verse four; it's speaking of Jesus Christ here:

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:4)

Now let's get all of that in context. Just before it says:

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" (Romans 1:3)

Now David was an ancestor of His, and by flesh birth He was a Son of David, but declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, with a few other words thrown right in between there. He became a Son of God by the resurrection. And in Romans, the eighth chapter in verse 29, it speaks of Christ:

"...the image of his Son, that he [Christ] might be the firstborn [of] many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

He was born as a Son of God by a resurrection. We can be born as a son of God, also by a resurrection.

Just What Do You Mean - Born Again? (PLAY FROM 24:48)

Now that brings me to another booklet that I would like to show you. And this booklet is: 'Just What Do You Mean – Born Again?.' I'll tell you even the heads of government don't know what it is to be born again. And we need to understand what the Bible means, and what God means when He talks about being born again. Now in this little booklet, let me read you just a little bit of it here. I'd like to send it to you, and there's no charge whatsoever. Why did not the Pharisee, Nicodemus, understand when Jesus said to him: "...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) ?

Why? People today don't understand that. Why do people not understand those words today? How many know today, that Jesus' Gospel was a sensational, never before proclaimed news announcement? He came as a newscaster, and very few people know that. Now this booklet will show you what the Bible really means, and what it says about being born again.

Man was made in the form and shape of God. Man was made so that, from birth, there is a spirit in man. Now that spirit is only essence; it's not an immortal soul, or anything of the kind, it's not a ghost, it's only just spirit essence. But it does impart to the physical brain, the power of intellect. And it gives us an intellectual power that animals don't have, because they don't have that spirit. But we need another spirit, and that's the Spirit of God, which impregnates us with immortal life. And when we're born of God Jesus said; in John the third chapter, to this Nicodemus, that you'll get in this booklet that:

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; [we've all been born of the flesh, we are flesh, but] that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

You will be spirit when you're born of the Spirit. And then in the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians you read that:

"...flesh and blood [made of matter here] cannot enter into the kingdom of God..." (I Corinthians 15:50)

And yet people think they've already entered into the kingdom of God, and already been born again. Let me tell you, only One Person has ever been born again yet - and that is Jesus Christ. Now that is a stunner, and some of these things are truely remarkable, because this world had been deceived. Your Bible says that all nations have been deceived (Revelation 12:9). There is a devil that is smarter than all of us put together. But he's invisible, we don't see him, and he's just so clever, he has managed to deceive us into believing that he doesn't even exist. Well he does exist.

So I'd like to have you get this little booklet: 'Just What Do You Mean – Born Again?.' It'll make it very, very plain, very clear. And I think that you will rejoice in the knowledge when you have it.

So now, until the next time, I'm going to leave you there, and I'm going to continue with this series. The first proof was that the true Church of God believes that God is a Family of Persons into which we may be born. More of that will come later. We may be born into that Family and be God as Jesus Christ has become very God. When we are born we'll be like Him. We are co-heirs with Him now, and we will then be co-possessors with Him. There will be a marriage of the Church with Christ. And we will all be the Family of God, the God Family.

That is a wonderful thing! No other church on earth believes that, but that's what the Bible teaches. Why don't they believe the Bible? Well I don't know, but you keep listening and you will learn things, many of you, that you never thought of, or ever heard of, before, but they're absolutely proved.

So until next time, goodbye