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The Plain Truth – September 1978
The Plain Truth – September 1978
The Deadly Leaven Of Higher Education

from Herbert W. Armstrong

I was never called to engage in the college business. But by 1947 the need had become imperative to establish an educational arm of the Church on the college level. It definitely was NOT because this world needed another college. There were too many of this world’s institutions of higher education already!

But the living God had caused me to realize the serious need for a college to educate a ministry for His Church and to train other personnel to fill the increasing number of administrative offices. For this purpose it had to be God’s kind of college – utterly unique in the world. No college or theological seminary extant filled this purpose.

Jesus Christ had called His people out of this world – to live in, but not be of it.

What, then, was lacking in existing institutions? I quote from a section entitled “The Missing Dimension in Education” that appeared for many years in the Ambassador College annual catalog:

“It is generally recognized by educators that dangerous evils have leavened the educational system. Curricula, generally, have become wholly materialistic. Demands in scientific, technological, industrial, commercial and professional fields have put the emphasis on the purely technical and intellectual, at sacrifice of spiritual, moral, and cultural development; on curriculum rather than on character; on earning a living at the neglect of learning how to live!

“Universities have grown so large, students lose their identity, moving along a huge academic conveyor belt. Personality development is sacrificed. Personal contact between student and instructor becomes nonexistent.

“The most essential knowledge is the purpose and meaning of life – the true values as distinguished from the false – and THE WAY to peace, happiness, and abundant well-being. But this basic and most important dimension in education is entirely missing from traditional curricula.”

What had gone wrong in the educational system of this world? I have never explained that explicitly. True, I have covered this same material in dealing with other questions. But now I repeat, in this context, what I have written in relation to other subjects.

I have PROVED the existence of God, the Creator of all. I have PROVED the infallible authority of the Holy Bible, in its original writings, as the inspired Word of God.

The first humans created on earth were a male and a female named Adam and Eve. God explained fully to them about His government – that it had been taken from the earth by prehistoric angels. The Creator explained to the first human pair His PURPOSE in producing humanity on earth – to REPRODUCE Himself after His own image; to create in humans God’s own holy and righteous CHARACTER.

But this perfection of holy character CANNOT be instantaneously created by fiat. It must be DEVELOPED, and humans must make the CHOICE themselves!

This was revealed clearly to Adam. But Adam also listened to – and believed – Satan, through his wife Eve.

Adam had made the decision, saying, in effect: “Almighty God, I REJECT you as Lord and Ruler – I reject your government, I reject you as my spiritual Savior, and I reject you as the Source of basic KNOWLEDGE. I want you to keep yourself out of my affairs. I will TAKE TO MYSELF the KNOWLEDGE of what is good and what is evil. I will govern myself; I will take care of my own spiritual needs.”

And, in effect, God replied: “You have decided – for yourself and your descendants. Therefore I SENTENCE YOU and the WORLD that shall be born from you to 6,000 years of being cut off from me – except those few during that 6,000 years whom I shall call OUT of your world for my own purposes.

“Therefore GO – and form your own governments over nations that shall come from you. Devise your own religions. Develop your own system of KNOWLEDGE and means of disseminating it. Of course, in all this, without realizing it, your descendants will be influenced, led, and subtly deceived by Satan the devil. But YOU have made the decision. Those of your children who are thus deceived will not be judged during their mortal lives in this 6,000 years – they will be neither ‘lost’ nor ‘saved’ spiritually.

“But after 6,000 years I MYSELF [Christ] will return to earth and re­store the government of God on earth for 1,000 years. And then, with Satan banished, I will call all still then living to spiritual salvation and eternal life which you, Adam, have rejected.

“And further, after that thousand-year reign of MY GOVERNMENT over humanity, I will bring back by a resurrection from the dead to mortal, human, fleshly life ALL whom I shall not have previously called to my salvation. Then, with Satan banished, they shall view the evils, the heartaches, the troubles and frightful sufferings which Satan’s influence shall have brought on all during this 6,000 years. And then they shall CHOOSE life in my Kingdom, or DEATH.”

This world descended from Adam has formed its own governments. And look at them! They are torn by strife, wars, and human anguish and death. This world has devised, under Satan’s influence, ITS OWN RELIGIONS! What a hodgepodge of ridiculous foolishness! This world (subtly influenced and deceived by Satan) has formed its OWN fund of KNOWLEDGE – and its own educational structure for the dissemination of that false knowledge!


This evil world’s system of education, with the MOST VITAL dimensions missing!

Now WHY has this world spawned a system of education shot through with materialism, false values, ridiculous philosophies and vain theories (such as evolution)? WHY do we find missing the knowledge of WHY we are; what we are; what our human potential is; and what THE WAY to happiness, peace, universal prosperity and JOY is?

To understand this, we need again to discern the nature of the human mind!

We need to understand, once again, the vital difference between animal brain and human mind. And we need to understand the INCOMPLETENESS of the human mind, and what is lacking!

Scientists have dissected both animal brains and human brains. The brains of whales, elephants, and dolphins are larger than the human brain – those of chimps and similar vertebrates somewhat smaller. But in construction qualitatively they are virtually EQUAL. Yet the human brain has an output thousands of times greater than any animal brain.


Scientists who are willing to admit it have found, in the new science of brain research, that there is a nonphysical component of the human brain that is nonexistent in animal brains.

This nonphysical component is SPIRIT ESSENCE, present from birth in humans but not in animals. This “human spirit” imparts the power of intellect to the physical brain!

This is definitely revealed in the Bible. Job spoke of the spirit in man. In I Corinthians 2:11 it is revealed that no man could possess KNOWLEDGE of the human mind except by “the spirit of man which is in him.”

But this same verse – and its entire context – reveals that just as no man could KNOW human knowledge except by the “spirit of man which is in him,” likewise no man can know the things of GOD – spiritual principles and spiritual knowledge – unless the Holy Spirit of God is also in him.

This human spirit in every human is not the human person – is not an immortal soul – is NOT the LIFE of the man. Technically it is no part of the man himself. It is something ADDED – something that is IN the man (or woman).

“God formed MAN of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and MAN [physical matter] BECAME a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). What was composed of the material dust of the ground – the wholly MATERIAL man – became a living soul. The “soul” therefore is physical matter – not spirit!

Yet within that PHYSICAL man sprung from the earth – earthy – is a spirit in each human. That spirit is NOT a spirit BEING or PERSON, but mere spirit ESSENCE, just as air or water may be called essence. The spirit in man cannot see or hear. The physical BRAIN sees through the eyes and hears through the ears. The spirit in MAN cannot THINK – the brain does the thinking.

Then HOW does this spirit within each human impart the power of intellect to the physical BRAIN? It is like a “human computer.”

Nearly all KNOWLEDGE comes to the human mind through the eye or the ear – some by the senses of smell, taste, and feel. But the eye cannot SEE spirit nor the ear HEAR spirit or spiritual knowledge or the THINGS OF GOD! Neither can a human smell, taste or feel SPIRITUAL things or knowledge.

This is clearly explained in this second chapter of I Corinthians. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart [mind] of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (verse 9).

But what the eye does see, and the ear hear, is merely the physical and material – matter that occupies space and has weight – whether organic or inert. As knowledge, limited to the physical and material, enters the brain through the five senses, it automatically is “programmed” into the human SPIRIT. This spirit is the chief depository of memory. This material knowledge is STORED, FILED, “programmed” into the spirit that is IN the man.

Thus the physical BRAIN of humans is given instant recall. It is supplied instantly with whatever knowledge stored in the human spirit is needed at the moment for the REASONING PROCESS.

The physical human brain puts this recalled knowledge together in the process of REASONING or THINKING. The animals do not possess such a spirit. Their memory quotient is limited, and much of it is temporary. This limits the ability of the animal to THINK, compared to human thinking, to virtually nil.

But all this is thinking and reasoning with physical and material knowledge SOLELY.

Then how may a human come to know – to have the KNOWLEDGE of – the things of God? The very next verse in I Corinthians 2 explains: “But God hath REVEALED them unto us [converted Christians] BY HIS SPIRIT” – the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.

Spiritual knowledge, the knowledge of the things of God, simply cannot be known by a natural-born human mind – cannot be known except as REVEALED to those who have and are being led by the Holy Spirit of God!

God gave one “human spirit” to be within man at birth. He freely offered to Adam another Spirit through the symbolic “tree of life” – the same Spirit He offers to those whom He calls out of this world to His spiritual salvation.

To those who through real repentance and faith do receive the Holy Spirit, God says: “The Spirit [of God] itself beareth witness with OUR spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

Verse 14 of I Corinthians 2 says: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they [spiritual knowledge] are FOOLISHNESS unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” God says plainly that the things of GOD – God’s spiritual KNOWLEDGE – are foolishness to the natural carnal mind.

Now the “scholarly” mind of the more highly educated is a natural, carnal mind. Therefore the MOST IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE – the things of GOD – the SPIRITUAL knowledge of WHY God put humanity on earth, what is the true human POTENTIAL, what is THE WAY to peace, happiness, abundant well-being, the knowledge of the TRUE VALUES – is utterly UNKNOWN to such a mind. These things are FOOLISHNESS to the scholarly mind.

But what of this world’s highly educated minds? God says of them: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became FOOLS” (Rom. 1:22). God says: “For the wisdom of this world is FOOLISHNESS with God” (I Cor. 3:19).

God did not call me to found a college based on this world’s “higher education,” which God labels as FOOLISHNESS! But HOW, then, was Christ, the living HEAD of God’s Church, to organize a college that would be GOD’S college? The only personnel available for faculty – for the TEACHING staff – were those indoctrinated with the “wisdom of this world.” These were not people possessing God’s Holy Spirit, skilled in both the art of TEACHING and in the knowledge of the more important SPIRITUAL things.

I did the only thing possible, the only available choice: I staffed the college with, as I remember, three PhDs, three MAs, and two BAs, both of whom were pursuing higher degrees in this world’s universities.

HOW, then, was Ambassador to become GOD’S college? HOW were students to be taught the THINGS of GOD? I recognized clearly that I myself, as the ONLY available faculty member possessing SPIRITUAL knowledge, must DOMINATE the teaching staff and inculcate THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD into the students.

The carnal mind of “higher education” becomes COMPETITIVE. There was inevitably a clash of MINDS! When I was away on a broadcasting mission, just before the opening of the college on October 1, 1947, the “scholarly” faculty members attempted to throw God out of the college! I had left all the academic portion of the first year’s catalog for them to complete. They reduced the course in Bible and theology to a minor two-hour class. I had intended it to be a MAJOR three-hour class.

But in this atmosphere of competition introduced by these carnal academic minds, I compelled all faculty members to ATTEND the Bible and theology class – WHICH I TAUGHT. They became very uncomfortable, to say the least. For God gave me the wisdom and the POWER to back them into a corner with UNANSWERABLE truths. The fact they could not dispute my teaching was galling to them.

As I have said, I fought, bled and died that first three years TO MAKE AMBASSADOR GOD’S COLLEGE. But God was with me. God inspired me. And I WON that battle!

By the fourth year, I was able to place a few senior students (such as Herman Hoeh and Raymond McNair) on the faculty as STUDENT teachers – teaching freshman and sophomore classes. Ambassador BECAME GOD’S COLLEGE.

But these recent years, the persistent urge of my son and of faculty to acquire “accreditation” by the associations of higher education of this world – representatives of what God calls the FOOLISHNESS of this world’s wisdom – began to bring gradually more and more of the “scholarly” academicians of this world into the faculty. Gradually, the invisible Satan managed to maneuver more of that type of professional into the faculty. Men like Dr. Herman Hoeh, Dibar Apartian, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith were DEMOTED into meager preaching positions.

The coup had become complete. Satan’s conspiracy had made Ambassador truly one of THIS WORLD’S educational institutions. Morals relaxed. A new secular and NON-God atmosphere prevailed. Even the Worldwide Church of God was becoming Laodicean, secular. God’s Spirit was on the way out!

And THAT is why God has roused me to TAKE OVER – why the living CHRIST has stepped in to HEAD God’s Church and to set both church and college back on God’s track! Truly Satan had all but WRECKED the Church, the college, and the Work of the living God. It had jumped the track where God through me had set it!

That is WHY I have been led by CHRIST to move swiftly to resume human LEADERSHIP – to put the Church and its work back on God’s track! The professional academicians that had been brought into the college faculty won’t like it! They will RIDICULE what Christ through me has done! To THEM it will be FOOLISHNESS!

I have installed Mr. Raymond McNair, who came to Ambassador in its second year – 1948 – as deputy chancellor. He was deputy chancellor of Ambassador College at Bricket Wood, England, for some 14 years. Under him that campus produced some of our BEST MEN. I have installed Dr. Roderick C. Meredith as dean of the faculty. I have reinstated Dr. Herman L. Hoeh on the faculty.

I have put GOD’S TEAM back into harness!

This will be “FOOLISHNESS” to those brainwashed by Satan’s world’s higher education! It will be ridiculed by them. But God calls their wisdom FOOLISHNESS! And I am NOT accountable to them but to God!

Ambassador is to become once again GOD’S OWN COLLEGE!