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The Plain Truth – August 1982
The Plain Truth – August 1982
In Which World Are You?

from Herbert W. Armstrong

I HAD just turned on television. Johnny Carson was chitchatting with a “show-biz” guest. Suddenly the thought flashed through my mind, Who else, pray tell, but a “show-biz” person could Johnny interview? Who else was of any importance or interest to the viewing public?

Johnny, I realized, must have only IMPORTANT people – CELEBRITIES – on the show. Show business is his world, and he could not be expected to “descend to a lower level.”

I began to think of how many different worlds exist within this world on the planet Earth. And even smaller subworlds within those worlds. We speak of the Free World in contrast to the Communist World, the Arab World and the Third World. Suddenly I was more interested in this new train of thought than in Johnny’s show, and snapped off the television that I might continue this line of thinking.

It began to become apparent that certain attributes are shared in common by all these worlds. Vanity, for example – a feeling of superiority over those outside one’s own little world, disdain toward other occupations, or professions, or worlds.

Take show business. An actor or entertainer is in THE ONLY world that counts! All others are beneath him – or her – and women often steal that show, anyhow. Show business people have their own journals and publications, just like other worlds. They speak their own language, have their own terminology. They are all-knowledgeable about their own world and its personalities, though they may or may not know much or anything outside their all-important world. That would be like knowing something of the civilization on Mars. Why be concerned about a world so far away?

There’s one world in which all of us have lived, prior to emerging into our present world – the TEEN world. Some have never grown out of it. The primary thing to know in that world was simple – spelled in three letters – F-U-N! Nothing else much counted. We had our own language, our own “shoptalk” or slang. We didn’t have much interest in anything outside our teen world. We were much more important than our elders, though all too often they acted as if they knew more than we – but we knew better, and listened more attentively to the counsel and advice of our peers. Some of us ultimately grew out of that world.

Then I thought of the Arab World. I was over in that world quite recently. Many people in that world know as much about the outside world as they know of some world such as Jupiter or Saturn. Of course they have their own Arabic language, their own newspapers and publications, their own culture. But to nearly all, except the leaders and educators, they are a world unto themselves.

The leaders, however, may be in the international political world. They know, or know about the leaders of other nations. In a sense, political leaders of all nations are also a world unto themselves. I have come into personal contact with many of them on all continents. They are a sort of private club.

Then the world of higher education, or the academic world, came to mind. I first experienced an inside look into this world in the autumn of 1947, when I founded Ambassador College. You see, I had not gone to college or university. At age 18 I had put myself through a self-analysis and survey of professions, occupations and jobs to determine where I belonged – to avoid fitting the proverbial square peg into the round hole. This research indicated I belonged in advertising and journalism. I was advised by my wise Ben Franklin-minded Uncle Frank Armstrong, who then was the leading advertising man in my state, that no college or university had a course in advertising or result-getting journalism worth the time of day. Also that if I would apply myself, STUDY diligently of nights, choose carefully the texts to be studied, then I could acquire a better education than in college. He had done so, and, in those days, so had many bank presidents or board chairmen in the greatest banks in New York and Chicago, or executive heads of major industrial corporations.

I had entered the business world. And indeed that, too, was a world unto itself. In those days we in the business world held college-professors more or less in contempt, as impractical theoretical idealists without real knowledge based on EXPERIENCE.

But in October, 1947, starting Ambassador College with a faculty of eight and student body of four, I began for the first time to rub shoulders with college professors. Six had either PhDs or MAs, and two had BAs, but were taking special courses toward higher degrees. The faculty members prepared their own luncheon in a kitchen in our one-building college, and frequently I joined them. I observed they carried a specially developed professional manner, used the language of scholarship, and yes, like other worlds – were a superior world unto themselves.

This was becoming interesting as I meditated on. More and more worlds continued flashing to mind. I thought of the sports world. It’s even divided into worlds within the sports world – the world of baseball, football (U.S.), soccer (Britain and many other countries), tennis, basketball, ice hockey, track and field and many others. Each with its own language and terminology, its own printed media. How many wives pick out the sports section of the morning newspaper and place it at their husbands’ plate with breakfast?

Then there’s the labor world, the domestic political world, the social world and now surfacing, reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah, the emboldened and defiant “gay” world, flaunting their shame as though they were righteous and superior, asserting their “rights.” They recognize one another instantly and form their own inner world.

Also now emerging in force is a world actually founded by the original mother Eve, organizing to demand “their rights” in the United States under the banner of the ERA. The prophet Isaiah broke the original news story of their world for these last days. Speaking of “in that day” – our time now – “children are their oppressors, and women rule over them” (Isa. 3:12). I have known personally three women rulers, Mrs. Golda Meir, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and Mrs. Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. And now we have the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, leading Britain, and Queen Elizabeth on the throne.

I have been in the advertising world and the newspaper world, and each is, indeed, a world of itself, with the common characteristics of a feeling of superiority and a certain disdain for those outside their worlds.

Then we must not overlook the exclusive professional military world – those making military service their profession, a closed world in itself. They, too, are lofty and superior, high above us ordinary civilians.

There are, too, the various religious worlds, each with its own personality and culture, and each esteeming itself loftier than other religions, sects or worlds.

All these many worlds, all loftier in their own minds than the others, nevertheless amalgamate into one overall world collectively inhabiting this planet Earth.

Actually, the earth and all in it was designed and created by the Almighty Ever-living God, purposed to be HIS world, in close association with and guided by him. But the world with all its subworlds actually is cut off from him, living separately and independent of him, virtually unaware of him as if he were nonexistent. Even to those who have some consciousness of him, to most of them he seems unreal – a sort of phantom or imaginary being.

Most people know little of other worlds outside their subworld let alone a consciousness of any connection, association with or real knowledge of the supreme overall God who gives life, sustains the universe and is the direct Source of all!

But WHY? How did things get this way?

What was the origin – the source – of this amalgamated world with its many inner worlds collectively? They do all have certain things in common, despite the differences and imagined respective superiorities.

It all originated in a very superior being – a superhuman – on the highest level of the feats of creation of the Almighty Creator. He was the super archangel, the cherub Lucifer – immortal, high above ordinary angels or even seraphs. Of this superbeing, God said,, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth” the very throne of Almighty God. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee.” But why the rebellious lawlessness in such a mighty and perfect superbeing? God reveals: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy BEAUTY, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness…” (Ezek. 28:14-15, 17).

This superior created being was utterly BEAUTIFUL. He was exceedingly brilliant in mind. It went to his head. He, superior though he was, still was inferior to his Maker. But his brilliance, brightness, intellect, beauty, went to his head. He exaggerated even his exceeding brilliance and magnified himself above even his Creator. He became excessively vain in self-esteem. To elevate himself above his own Creator, he allowed VANITY to seize him – to pervert his mind into an attitude of extreme hostility. He inoculated the angels under him with this same attitude of hostile rebellion against their Creator. He attempted a spiritual military invasion and coup to seize the heavenly throne of the universe from God. He was cast back down to earth. Thus he became Satan the devil, and his angels became demons.

In the form of a serpent, he deceived mother Eve in the garden of Eden. In initiating the original ERA movement, she led the first Adam into a rebellious attitude of taking to himself the spiritual knowledge of good and evil. Thus the first human imbibed the ATTITUDE of hostility against the Creator God and against God’s way of life.

But HOW have all succeeding humanity imbibed this attitude of self-centered motivation? The human mind is composed of human brain plus the human spirit. There is a spirit in man (Job 32:8) that imparts comprehension of materialistic knowledge. This human spirit constrains (verse 18), influences, motivates, the human mind. Satan is a superpowered spirit being – the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2). As such he “broadcasts” through the air we breathe. He thus works IN the natural mind of humans (same verse). In the early months of infancy of children Satan injects the attitude of self-centeredness. We call it human nature. This attitude is not parentally inherited from birth, but is injected spiritually through the human spirit from infancy by Satan. This has happened to all humans born from Adam and Eve.

Just what does this actually mean? God had – upon Adam’s rebellion – shut up the tree of life – symbolic of the Holy Spirit and God’s LOVE as a way of life. Mankind was left in an attitude of self-vanity, hostility against his Maker and others outside his “empireical” SELF. The spirit or attitude that motivated mankind was one of self-centeredness, covetousness, envy and jealousy toward others, competition leading to strife and violence, resentment of authority – all with self-esteem. God had closed off his Holy Spirit from man UNTIL the appearing of Christ, the second Adam.

Man was left under the sway of Satan and Satan’s attitude.

Man was left with self-love – self-esteem. But the SELF is empireical. It includes more than the person’s bare body and mind. It includes all he considers his – that is, his possessions, his family, those he is connected with selfishly – even his world!

A person’s individual “world” is like a part of the person’s SELF. That is why those of a subworld within the world as a whole have characteristics in common. They accept their own particular world in an attitude of superiority, yet looking with a sort of disdain upon others outside their world. It is, after all, a sort of self-centeredness. Also the average human mind tends to confine its horizons to narrow limits.

It was into such an amalgamated world of his time that Jesus came as the Christ. He came to initiate an ENTIRELY NEW AND UTTERLY DIFFERENT WORLD. He said, “I will build my Church.” He did, but the world little recognizes it. Its teachings were suppressed within 20 to 40 years, and counterfeits escalated into great religions calling themselves Christian. Jesus called his disciples to “come out from among them” of this world and be separate. For they – God’s true Church – are the future WORLD TOMORROW – the coming KINGDOM OF GOD – in embryo. The Church is made up of disciples (students, learners), just as were the original apostles. They are LEARNING through impregnation of God’s Spirit to overcome the satanic attitude, submitting as little children to GOD’S way of life and government over them.

They are the affianced bride of the coming Christ, glorified as KING of kings and LORD of lords, ruling all nations – bringing to earth world PEACE. Then there shall be love, happiness, joy, and tremendous achievement.

It will be a cooperative world in which each person is as sincerely concerned for the good and wellbeing of others as for his own. It will be a world of happiness and joy, all working together under God and his government in refreshing exuberance toward achievements beyond anything even dreamed of today.

Right now this world is very dark and cataclysmic. Clouds gather but bright dawn is ahead.

Few, indeed, have understood what has actually happened in this world – the PURPOSE being worked out here below – the purpose for which God placed mankind on the earth.

Few, indeed, have known it as yet – but the supreme Creator God is reproducing himself in and through mankind. He made man in his image – after his likeness – form and shape. But man was made, as were the dumb animals, from the dust of the ground – of matter – earthy, with temporary physiochemical existence.

Yet man was made after the GOD kind – ultimately, by personal individual choice to be born into the GOD FAMILY. Unlike animals, man from birth has a human spirit imparting the power of comprehension of materialistic KNOWLEDGE – as in the process of thinking, reasoning, decision making. The first Adam was offered, and rejected, eternal and inherent spirit LIFE. His one human spirit needed another Spirit – the Holy Spirit of GOD – to impregnate him with divine GOD-LIFE. Adam rejected this. He rejected the revelation of spiritual knowledge comprehended only through the Holy Spirit. He chose instead, to acquire by himself the spiritual knowledge of good and evil – although spiritual comprehension cannot enter the human mind except by the Holy Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:11). Thus the first man – and all mankind since – rejected GOD, God’s Spirit, and revealed knowledge from God. He cut himself off from contact and relationship with God. He shut himself off from the spiritual capacity to deal in peaceful and cooperative relationship with fellowman. His one human spirit has been tuned to the spiritual wavelength of Satan, and all mankind has been DECEIVED by Satan.

God shut off the Holy Spirit from all mankind until Christ, and then, even, it was opened ONLY to those specially called by God the Father (John 6:44). But those so called became students (disciples) of Jesus Christ. They embodied the Church of God, today still small but worldwide. They are the FIRST-fruits of God’s salvation.

As for the world as a whole, it was appointed to men once to die, and after this, by resurrection, the judgment (Heb. 9:27) in which the book of LIFE shall be opened to them (Rev. 20:11-12). Preceding this, all still alive during the coming Millennium, when Christ shall rule all nations of the earth, shall be called and be ruled and taught under Christ by those of the Church of God then made immortal children of the GOD FAMILY (Rev. 5:10, 2:26-27, 3:21. See also Matt. 25:31-34).

In the end, ALL humanity shall have learned their lesson, and all willing born into the GOD FAMILY. Truly, God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF! A wonderful PURPOSE is, truly, being worked out here below!