THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
by Herbert W. Armstrong
This is the eye-opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus
Christ -- of how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole
It's positively astounding! It has remained undiscovered by
science! No religion has revealed it! Higher education has never
taught it! Is it possible the whole world has been
deceived -- regarding the awesome purpose of human life -- about the
WAY to world peace and how it will come? And could it be true
that the real gospel message Christ brought from heaven revealed
this missing dimension -- but was suppressed? This is the
eye -- opening story of the real gospel message of Jesus Christ -- of
how this missing dimension was withheld, and the whole world
Table of Contents
..... CHRIST'S GOSPEL WAS SUPPRESSED -- NOT HEARD FROM THE FIRST CENTURY UNTIL
..... THE STARTLING REVELATION OF WHAT WAS CHRIST'S GOSPEL
..... THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL AT LAST REVEALED
..... PRE-EXISTENCE BEFORE THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE
..... WHAT LED TO THE CREATION OF
..... HOW GOD PLANNED TO REPRODUCE HIMSELF
..... BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HUMAN MAN AND THE ULTIMATE SPIRIT -- COMPOSED
SONS OF GOD
..... WHY TODAY'S WORLD EVILS?
..... WHY THE CHURCH?
..... JUST WHAT DO YOU MEAN -- CONVERSION?
..... HUMAN NATURE -- AND HOW A WHOLE WORLD IS DECEIVED ABOUT ITS ORIGIN
..... IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?
..... WORLD PEACE -- HOW IT WILL COME
Why Today's World Evils?
It's time, now, to stop a moment and get our bearings. We live in
a world whose number one problem is threat of HUMAN EXTINCTION! A
world gripped in the clutch of immorality, crime and violence. A
world fraught with suffering, both physical and mental, a
frustrated world staring at only hopelessness ahead!
But WHY? Why are nations being overthrown at the rate of one
a month? What has gone wrong with government, with religion, with
higher education? -- and WHY are more than half the world's people
illiterate, poverty-stricken -- many actually starving -- living in
filth and squalor?
I mentioned earlier the confusion and inability to
understand what one sees in a motion picture when he begins
viewing at a point more than halfway through.
If one's approach to understanding today's chaotic world
starts from the vantage point of what we see today, he is,
indeed, confused, bewildered!
We must view the motion picture of REALITY from the
beginning. That's why we have started this revelation of TRUTH at
its farthermost prehistoric beginning.
We have covered the actual beginning of all things, before
the material universe was, with only the two SUPREME SPIRIT
PERSONAGES -- one called "the Word," who was with God. The
Personage called "The Word" created all things, under direction
Their first feat of creation was the angels -- individually
created Spirit beings -- apparently many millions in number. All
these were existing in physically empty space.
Then came the creation of our planet Earth and the entire
physical UNIVERSE -- created, apparently, simultaneously.
The earth was populated by a third of all the angels! They
were assigned to utilize the physical properties of earth -- to
produce from the earth -- to enhance its beauty. In other words, to
improve and finish, as it were, earth's creation.
And now, a vital NEW TRUTH!
What God had created was perfect in quality -- but, like
unfinished raw furniture, the earth's creation was to be
completed by the angels. Thus the angels were to participate in
acts of creation!
Actually this earth was the proving ground -- even as God
endowed it to be for man today -- to qualify the angels to perform
the same creative finishing of the planets of the entire endless
universe! And that has now become the transcendent potential of
It was imperative that the angels work together, in peaceful
and harmonious unison. For this purpose God placed over them HIS
GOVERNMENT -- based on the spiritual Law of God. That law is a way
of life -- the way of LOVE -- of outgoing love to God and concern for
the welfare of others. It is the way of GIVING -- of helping,
serving, sharing -- of kindness, consideration and mercy.
On the throne of God's government God had placed the supreme
masterpiece of His creation -- the super archangel Lucifer. This
Lucifer, even as his angels, was endowed with an independent
MIND -- to think, reason, make choices and decisions. God's
intention was to create within Lucifer and the angels, upon their
decision, God's own holy and righteous character.
But Lucifer led his angels into rebellion. Instead of God's
way of LOVE -- of GIVING -- they had turned to GETTING -- to vanity,
sin, corruption, perversion of mind! From creation to
Now to another point of NEW TRUTH! Haven't you wondered WHY
Satan is still here, now subtilely swaying mankind into his ways
of GETTING, seeking false values, and perversion of mind?
Think on this! Think of it as GOD viewed it! I have
previously explained how ONLY GOD, of all living beings,
possessed this holy and righteous character -- only GOD could be
positively relied on never to depart from His way of LOVE.
But God also knew there were not enough of Him! He wanted
millions -- even billions -- of personages endowed with His holy and
That is why God had purposed to REPRODUCE HIMSELF, through
So, (Psalm 104:30) God in six days RENEWED THE FACE OF THE
EARTH -- restoring it from the wasteness and decay caused by
sinning angels -- preparing it to become the proving ground of MAN
to develop in man God's righteous character, and prepare him for
the same transcendent potential that had been that of the angels!
Genesis 1, we have seen, records the six days of renewing
the face of the earth, preparing it for MAN.
Come now to Genesis 1:25-26:
"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and
cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the
earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said,
Let us [not me] make man in our image, after our likeness [form
and shape]...." In other words, AFTER THE GOD KIND! For a very
special relationship with God!
But "God formed man of the dust of the ground ..." (Gen.
2:7) -- not out of Spirit as angels had been formed.
Now CONSIDER CAREFULLY!
The first man, Adam, was given the opportunity to QUALIFY to
replace the former Lucifer on the THRONE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF
But -- note carefully this! -- to qualify, Adam had to not only
accept God's GOVERNMENT and way of life -- it was imperative that
he also HAD TO REJECT AND TURN FROM the way of Satan.
He had to OVERCOME Satan and his way!
Let me remind the reader at this point that the first eleven
chapters of Genesis are an exceedingly BRIEF synopsis of events
of the first more than two thousand years of human life on
earth -- up to the time of Abraham. Details must be filled in
either by what is obviously implied, or by records found
elsewhere in the Bible.
God fully explained to Adam and Eve His GOVERNMENT His
spiritual LAW and way of life -- and that, upon Adam's right
CHOICE, he could qualify, receive the Holy Spirit of God,
begetting him as a SON OF GOD. Also God explained to Adam and Eve
the CONSEQUENCES of rejection and disobedience:
This was symbolized by the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil. For, warned God, "in the day that thou eatest thereof, THOU
SHALT SURELY DIE" (Gen. 2:17).
Then God allowed Adam and Eve to be tested by Satan. But
Satan was subtile. He got to Adam through his wife Eve. Eve was
deceived -- but Adam was not.
Eve "took of the fruit" of the forbidden tree, "and did eat,
and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat" (Gen.
So, "Now," said God, "lest he put forth his hand, and take
also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; There fore
the [Eternal] God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till
the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and
he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a
flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree
of life" -- LEST he and his children go back and take of the tree
symbolizing God's Holy Spirit (Gen. 3:22-24).
In other words, when Adam deliberately took of the forbidden
tree, to put it in modern twentieth century language, Adam said
to God, "God, my Maker, I reject you as my God, I REJECT your way
of life. I REJECT your GOVERNMENT over me. I elect to continue in
the way I choose, I want you to keep your nose out of my affairs.
I reject you as the source of basic knowledge -- I have taken to
myself the determination of the knowledge of what is right and
what is wrong."
And God replied, "I have set clearly before you the way of
truth. YOU HAVE DECIDED -- therefore I SENTENCE YOU and the world
that shall come from you to 6,000 years of being CUT OFF FROM ME.
Go, form your own governments. Form your own religions. Produce
your own knowledge, cut off from revealed truth, and devise your
own system of disseminating such false knowledge. Live according
to your own distorted sense of values. But, during this 6,000
years I shall call into my service such as I shall choose, for
the fulfillment of MY PURPOSE."
Now WHY was it necessary to leave Satan on earth, free to
sway and deceive all mankind for 6,000 years? There were TWO
1)Those God called to His service and to salvation during
this 6,000 years, were required, as had been Adam, to QUALIFY to
reign in the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. And how? By rejecting and
overcoming Satan and his way -- as well as by voluntarily choosing
2)God's GOVERNMENT requires that the throne never be
vacated. The former Lucifer must remain until a successor both
qualifies and also is inducted into the office.
And we might add a third reason. God ordained that 6,000
years of sinning human existence PROVE, for ALL TIME, that
Satan's way can result only in evils, suffering, frustration,
hopelessness, and death. God is allowing Satan to deceive and
sway mankind for 6,000 years to PROVE this truth, not only to the
human race, but to the other two-thirds of the angels.
During this 6,000 years there have been three epochs, as
differentiated from the two worlds of the antediluvian world
culminating with the Noachian Flood, and this present evil world,
which shall culminate with Christ's coming to usher in the WORLD
These three epochs are: 1) all the time from the Adamic
creation of MAN to the Old Covenant made at Mount Sinai with
Israel; 2) the epoch of the "Old Testament Church" (Congregation
of Israel); 3) the Church of God of the New Testament. These will
be discussed in chapter 9.
But it should be clear, at this point, what is the CAUSE of
today's world evils. The presence of Satan, and his invisible,
subtile, yet super-powerful sway (see chapter 11 on human nature)
over mankind is the basic CAUSE. The WAY OF LIFE Satan has
injected into human minds -- the way of vanity, lust and greed -- of
jealousy and envy -- of competition and strife -- of rebellion and
deceit -- these things we generally term "human nature" are the
direct and specific cause. And all humanity has suffered the
Remember though, God had made an exception. He purposed to
call those few HE would choose to do what He required.
Some 1900 years went by. Apparently Adam's second son, Abel,
had been called, for Christ called him "righteous Abel" (Matt.
23:35). Enoch "walked with God." Then God called Noah. He was
perfect in his physical descent or generations, and also walked
with God. God called him in order to save humans alive during the
God called Abraham to forsake the life of Babylon -- to come
out, as it were, from Satan's civilization -- and turn to God's
way. Abraham had not sought God -- yet he was a rare exception, in
that he obeyed without question or excuse.
Four hundred and thirty years after Abraham, God called
Moses. Moses had been prepared for his calling, having been
reared as a prince in the palace of Pharaoh. But Moses, humanly,
protested. He had never sought God or the commission to which God
called him. He protested, saying in effect, "Oh I can't do it,
Lord. I have an impediment of speech -- I stutter." So then God
told Moses He had appointed his brother Aaron to be his
God said to Moses, in effect, "You WILL do what I command
you!" And thereupon, he did.
God had called Moses to lead the descendants of Abraham -- by
then numbering some two or three million -- out of Egyptian
slavery. To these "children of Israel" at Mount Sinai God made a
proposition: If they would become HIS NATION, governed by His
laws and statutes, He would make them the head-most nation on
earth -- with the tremendous national and temporal blessings (this
life only) of becoming the most prosperous, most powerful, most
peaceful nation on earth. The people agreed.
Thereupon God entered into a COVENANT with them -- later
called "the Old Covenant," mediated by Moses. It was a marriage
agreement, by which Israel agreed to obey her Husband (God), and
God agreed to make them, on obedience, earth's number one nation.
But Satan was still on earth, and busy. The Israelites turned to
spiritual adultery, worse than a human harlot.
God called Jonah for a special mission to warn the city of
Nineveh of impending destruction. Jonah tried to run away from
God on a ship. But when God calls one for a special mission, God
sees to it that the mission is performed!
God called the prophet Isaiah. He protested he was a man of
unclean lips. But God cleansed his lips. Then Isaiah answered,
"Here I am. Send me."
God called the prophet Jeremiah. Indeed he was, like Jesus
later, sanctified before he was born. Yet he held up his hands
and protested, "But I am too young." God said sternly, "Thou
shalt go to all that I shall send thee." Jeremiah went!
The apostle Paul, originally named Saul, burned up energy
and zeal persecuting the Church of God. But God struck him down,
brought him to his senses, and he then became one of the greatest
of the men of God since Adam.
I, myself, certainly did not choose God. I chose the
profession of advertising and journalism. When I was 25, an
angel, in an intensive dream to my wife of a few days, revealed
that God was calling me to His service. I was merely embarrassed.
Becoming a minister of Jesus Christ was the last thing I should
have wanted to do.
"I don't know whether that dream had any meaning," I said.
"Why not tell it to the minister of the church on the
corner -- maybe he can tell you whether it means anything." As
Jonah, Paul and others had been allowed to go their own way for a
while, this unusual dream was soon forgotten -- for the time. One
decade went by. Then God stirred me to the most intensive, almost
day-and-night, study and research of my life, resulting from dual
challenges that struck at my vanity.
This intensive Bible study resulted in sweeping my mind
clean of all previous religious assumptions, then opening my mind
to the UNDERSTANDING of God's Word -- bringing me to a real
repentance -- being CONQUERED by God and His Word in unconditional
surrender -- and, in living FAITH turning over to HIM a life I felt
was worthless. I humbly gave it to Him, if He could use it. And,
like others He has conquered before me, He has used it these
Back, now, to the thread of our story. In His due time, God
sent forth His only begotten Son -- the former "Word" who had been
eternally with God.
He was the "Second Adam."
Like the first Adam, He had not only to BELIEVE and OBEY
God -- but also to reject and overcome Satan and his way!
Oh yes! He was TEMPTED in all points like the rest of us
sinning mortals -- only HE NEVER SINNED!
Satan was still around. He was vehemently aroused at the
appearing of this Second Adam. Jesus was the Messenger of the NEW
Covenant, bearing the Message of that Covenant from God. That
Message was HIS GOSPEL! Satan was deter mined to prevent that
Message from being proclaimed! For it included the abolition of
Satan from earth!
He tried to have the Christ-child killed as an infant. But
God saved His Son Jesus! For some thirty years, Jesus had faced
temptations from Satan, but had safely overcome!
Then came the most severe temptation ever thrown at any man.
Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights without a morsel of
food or a drop of water. But this fasting brought Him even closer
to God His Father. Though physically weak, He was spiritually
STRONG. The story of that temptation is revealed in the first
eleven verses of Matthew 4.
It was the most titanic contest ever fought. Jesus was
tempted as no man had ever been. Yet He resisted and over came
Satan, and remained faithful to GOD'S way!
Satan's very effort to overthrow Jesus resulted in Jesus'
qualification to replace him and restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
More, to establish the KINGDOM OF GOD, which is the FAMILY OF
GOD, ruling with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
Jesus had been required to OVERCOME SATAN -- to resist and
defeat him, in order to QUALIFY to sit on the THRONE OF THE WHOLE
But what about those God has called, from Abel until now?
Notice something that seems to have escaped all churches,
theological seminaries, and students of the Bible.
Notice what Christ Himself said, in Revelation 3:21: "To him
that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as
I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
To him that overcomes -- overcomes WHAT? Notice, over comes
even as I also overcame." What was Jesus required to overcome, to
qualify to sit, first, now, on His Father's throne, and, next on
His own throne -- the throne of David, in Jerusalem!
CONSIDER! Think on this! If Jesus was required to over come
Satan -- the former Lucifer -- who is still on the throne where God
originally placed him -- in order to QUALIFY to succeed the
disqualified Lucifer on that throne -- should we humans be required
to do less, in that we ALSO may sit on that throne with Christ?
Mark well this fact! What Jesus is quoted above as saying
applies ONLY to those called BEFORE Christ's return in ALL POWER
AND GLORY -- to sit with Him when He sits on that throne!
I have said repeatedly, THE WORLD AS A WHOLE is CUT OFF from
all contact with God -- for 6,000 years dating from Adam! Jesus
said plainly, "No man can come to me, except the Father which
hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Unless CALLED -- drawn -- by God
the Father, ALL HUMANITY IS TOTALLY CUT OFF FROM GOD!
What, then? Is there injustice with God? Are all others
LOST? -- condemned without a chance to the ultimate second death in
"the lake of fire"?
I will show you that those NOT CALLED are simply NOT JUDGED.
They are NOT "lost" -- neither are they "saved." What a tragedy
that those professing Christianity have been them selves CUT OFF
from this TRUTH!
But first, notice what Jesus also said, recorded in
Revelation 2:26-27: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works
unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he
shall rule them with a rod of iron...."
Those called and drawn by God must keep on overcoming Satan
"unto the end" of this life! But they not only then shall sit
with Christ in His throne -- they shall, under Him, RULE over all
nations. This shall be the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of
God's Festivals Portray the Master Plan Being Worked Out Here
We now come to an eye-opening revelation, indeed!
God gave His annual Festivals, with their seven annual Holy
Days (Sabbaths) to His "Church" -- then called the Congregation of
Israel -- in the days of Moses!
They were intended to picture to the people of God,
repeatedly every year, His Master Plan of redemption -- leading to
the incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL!
These Festivals were ordained to be kept FOREVER! Jesus, the
apostles, and the early Church of God, ALL OBSERVED THEM! But, so
far as the author knows, only one Church continues to observe
them today -- the Worldwide Church of God!
They reveal a startling TRUTH, otherwise obscured from human
The human race began with Adam. But spiritual salvation and
qualification for the transcendent HUMAN POTENTIAL begins with
CHRIST. The physical human creation began with Adam -- but the
SPIRITUAL CREATION begins with the Second Adam!
It BEGINS with the forgiveness of sin -- following real
repentance -- being conquered by God -- and the living FAITH that
believes what Christ says!
Therefore the first of these Festivals was the PASSOVER. It
pictures to God's people annually the shed blood of Christ -- the
"Lamb of God" sacrificed to pay the PENALTY of sin we humans have
brought on ourselves, in our stead.
Then followed the Festival of UNLEAVENED BREAD -- seven days
in which no leaven may be eaten, or found in the houses of God's
people. Leaven puffs up -- as does VANITY, the epitome of sin. This
Festival lasts seven days, immediately following the
Passover -- with the first and last of the seven being annual Holy
Days (holy convocations).
These first Festivals come in the spring -- the fourteenth
through the twenty-first days of the first month of God's SACRED
year. They, with the Feast of FlRSTFRUITS, (PENTECOST in the New
Testament) fall in the spring -- representing, as at Jerusalem, the
FIRST, or early, GRAIN HARVEST. The Feast of Firstfruits
(Pentecost) reminds God's people every year that they, prior to
Christ's Second Coming, are merely the comparatively very small
FIRST spiritual harvest -- while all but the few God has called are
CUT OFF from God and His spiritual salvation.
The remaining four Festivals come during the autumnal
harvest time -- picturing the MAIN spiritual harvest. These occur
at the time of the main harvest of foodstuffs, in the fall of the
The fourth Festival, a single Holy Day, is the Feast of
TRUMPETS. It pictures the coming of Christ in supreme POWER and
GLORY to rule all nations -- and to open spiritual salvation to ALL
The fifth annual Festival is another single Holy Day -- a FAST
day. It is called, in the Bible, the DAY OF ATONEMENT. It is
observed by Judaism as "Yom Kippur." This most solemn day
pictures Christ's banishment of Satan, that humanity at last may
be made "AT ONE" with God. Therefore it is called the day of
AT-ONE-MENT, or "Atonement." A humanity CUT OFF from God cannot
be AT ONE with Him -- until Satan is removed, and ALL shall be
called and drawn by God -- IF they will -- to spiritual salvation
Five days later follows the Festival of TABERNACLES for
seven days. This festival pictures the PRINCIPAL spiritual
harvest -- during the thousand years that Christ and those who have
qualified, shall rule all nations. Satan will be banished -- into
the biblically symbolic "bottomless pit." Overcoming Satan
naturally will no longer be a requirement. The first of these
seven days is an annual Sabbath.
Then, the next day following the Feast of Tabernacles is a
one-day Festival -- also the seventh annual Sabbath.
It pictures a resurrection to judgment of all previously
uncalled by God -- all who ever lived -- billions who lived under
Satan's way and died uncalled -- neither then "lost" or "saved"
spiritually. These billions will be resurrected MORTAL -- as they
were -- flesh-and-blood humans. Then they shall look back on the
6,000 years of Satan's sway -- of human wrong-doing, sin, and
consequent suffering, anguish and death. Then, for their first
time, God shall call them. Satan will be banished forever! But
they still shall have to make their own DECISIONS!
With the 6,000-year record of world evils swayed by Satan,
and the 1,000-year record of humanity taught by Christ and
immortal saints, they may look at the record -- and compare.
We may HOPE that virtually all, if not all, will yield
themselves to God's call, and receive spiritual salvation and
But that is not yet all!
There then (Revelation 20:13) shall follow a final
resurrection of those who had been called to spiritual redemption
during all 7,000 years, and who had rejected God's loving mercy,
and rebelled, KNOWING the Truth! They will then be required to
REALIZE FULLY what they have rejected and rebelled against. They
shall all have died once -- and now they shall die the second and
final, eternal DEATH, in the lake of fire -- described in II Peter
But their days of suffering shall be over as revealed in
Malachi 4:1-3. They shall be left neither root nor branch -- they
shall be ashes under the soles of the feet of those living. They
shall be as though they had not been (Obadiah 16-17).
But of the saved immortals, "... there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).