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
THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL AT LAST REVEALED!
Does it make sense to you -- when humanity has been endowed with
such tremendous mental power -- that more than HALF of all people
on earth should be illiterate, living in abject poverty, near
starvation, in filth and squalor; that in one country of 26
million people, only 3 percent can read and write and per capita
income is only $69 per year?
Does it make sense to you that human civilization has
developed modern science, higher education, the world's religions
and its great governments, yet all these are in total ignorance
of the way to world peace? None of these can tell us what man is,
whether he was put on earth for a purpose, what that PURPOSE IS,
where he is going or how to get there.
Does it make sense to you -- with man endowed with such great
powers -- that the world should be filled with so much unhappiness,
troubles and evils?
Did God Almighty the Creator purpose and ordain all of this?
We may blame it all on human nature, but did God create man
with this evil to harass him?
It's time to clear up this mystery. It's time we understand.
It's time we come to the answer of these supposedly unanswerable
questions that seem to baffle all human thought.
Man Has Rejected This Knowledge
What is the most necessary of all knowledge to know?
It is the knowledge of what man is; the knowledge of why he
is -- the PURPOSE for which humanity was put on earth; the
knowledge of the way to achieve that purpose -- of the way to world
peace, peace between individuals, groups and nations; the
knowledge of the cause of all the world's troubles and evils; the
knowledge of the solution to all these problems; the knowledge of
the true values -- what is important and what is worthless.
That is the missing dimension in knowledge.
Look at the situation as it is now -- our present, pulsating
twentieth century. Supposedly this is the day of enlightenment
and mass production of knowledge. But both modern science and
higher education have rejected the sole source of this basic
knowledge -- revelation -- and no religion has given us this
most-needed knowledge, though it is all contained in the book
generally supposed to be the source of belief of at least three
of the world's great religions.
Look at the situation as it was more than 1900 years ago.
Jesus Christ came from heaven with a message from God containing
this knowledge. But even most of those who believed on Him
disbelieved the message He brought and demanded His crucifixion
for declaring it. His apostles went forth proclaiming the
message; they too, with one possible exception, were martyred.
Before the end of the first century, Christ's gospel message was
suppressed and a spurious "gospel" proclaimed.
Go now all the way back to the beginning of humanity on the
earth. Our very first parents rejected this same revealed
knowledge imparted to them by their Maker in person. They
disbelieved what He said. Yet they did believe Satan's lies. They
disobeyed by stealing the forbidden fruit. They took to
themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. All
humanity has followed their example ever since.
The Eternal God nevertheless has made this vital revealed
knowledge and truth available to any willing to BELIEVE what He
says -- in His inspired book, the Book of books -- the Holy Bible.
This book has actually become the world's best seller. But this
precious book has been interpreted and misinterpreted, distorted,
twisted, misrepresented, misunderstood, and maligned as no other
book ever has.
Humans have written uncounted millions of books. People
BELIEVE what these books say, though they may be partly, mostly,
or totally in error and devoid of truth.
People take these books literally to mean what they say. Yet
of the Bible they will say, "You surely don't take the Bible
literally, do you?" They will not believe this book means what it
says. It is the very Word of the living God, but they refuse to
believe what God says.
And thus disbelieving humanity continues stumbling on its
way, piling up the mountains of human woes, discontent,
unhappiness, sorrow, pain, suffering and death.
Yet the Eternal God of truth and mercy makes available even
today -- in this end-time of the present evil world -- vital,
exciting, new knowledge to those willing to believe what He says
and to obey it.
More than fifty years ago ON PROOF, I came to BELIEVE and
And in His Word the living God has opened my mind to the
awesome human potential -- to the missing dimension in knowledge;
to the CAUSES of all humanity's evils and to the WAY to world
peace and how it finally is going to come. And the same God of
all creation is now opening before me the doors to unusual favor
in the eyes of heads of state all over the world as an ambassador
without human portfolio for world peace and a builder of bridges
for peace between nations.
The Vast Universe -- and Man
In this Book of all books, God reveals Himself as Creator of all,
not merely the earth and man, but the entire limitless universe.
The Maker of mankind is also the Creator of all. On a clear,
cloudless night one may behold the star-studded sky. Is it
possible there is an unrealized connection between the galaxies
with their mighty suns, their planets -- and man?
In this true story of the incredible human potential, I deem
it well to look first to the Creator's overall purpose.
Prepare yourself for exciting new knowledge -- the incredible
awesome potential for which humanity was created and put here on
Winston Churchill said before the United States Congress
that there is a purpose being worked out here below. Few indeed
know what that purpose is; yet it is plainly revealed.
And it's the most exciting, most wonderful, hope-inspiring
truth that could ever be revealed.
God -- Creator of the Universe
Did you ever wonder about the countless millions of shining stars
you have seen on an otherwise black, cloudless night? Sometimes
they appear like a stupendous skyrocket which has just burst out
into a glittering cluster.
Many of them are tremendous suns incredibly larger than our
sun. Probably most of them are surrounded by planets, like our
sun is surrounded by Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the other
planets of our solar system.
Haven't you wondered about them? Are any of them inhabited?
Did they evolve, as most scientists -- astronomers, biologists,
geologists -- theorize? Or were they created by an all-intelligent,
all-powerful Creator Being? Were they created and set in space
FOR A PURPOSE? Do any of the planets contain any kind of life, or
are all like our moon -- dead, decayed, lifeless, wasted, empty,
uninhabitable? And if they are in a dead state of decay and
lifeless, WHY would an intelligent creator have created them
Or did He?
These are indeed intriguing questions. Scientists are
extremely interested in knowing more about these uncountable
gigantic bodies out there in space. Science does not know much
about the origin of all these mighty bodies. There are many
theories -- many guesses -- many hypotheses -- as to how they were
formed -- but not based on actual revealed fact.
Science generally rejects REVELATION as a basic source of
knowledge. Although astronomers for hundreds of years have been
curious about the stars in the sky, many devoting their lifetimes
to this study through constantly improved telescopes, they knew
nothing about the purpose -- or whether there is a purpose.
In Pasadena, California, a short distance from Ambassador
College is the world-famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (known as
JPL), operated by California Institute of Technology, devoted
primarily to U.S. government and space projects. There they
design and produce unmanned spacecraft to be sent into outer
space to photograph and send back pictures of other planets in
our solar system. In December 1974 one came comparatively close
(26,000 miles) to Jupiter. It sent back photographs that revealed
additional knowledge about this largest of our planets. They did
not give any proof of existing life or of conditions capable of
Then on February 9, 1975 astronomers at the University of
Arizona claimed to have discovered through a telescope evidence
of water on Jupiter. This I consider highly improbable.
Of course, the planet Mars has attracted the widest
attention. Haven't you wondered if Mars is inhabited -- what kind
of life might exist there? This very question has supplied the
theme for science-fiction movies and a television series viewed
But does human life or some other form -- either much superior
to man, or much inferior -- exist on Mars or any other planet?
Science does not have these answers. But the many photographs
sent back to Earth from spacecraft on the surface of Mars, and
hence being much nearer Jupiter and Saturn than our planet Earth,
at least INDICATE a total absence of life on any of these
planets -- or conditions capable of sustaining life. So, too, do
photographs of the surface of Venus indicate a total absence of
It had been planned to try to land the unmanned spacecraft
Viking on Mars on the 200th anniversary of the United States as a
nation. Actually, this spacecraft, in appearance something like a
huge, ungainly Tinkertoy, had been created at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The Viking was equipped to send
back photographs from the very surface of the planet Mars.
Actually it did land on July 20, 1976. The Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, operated as a government project, but a division of
the California Institute of Technology, is located a short
distance from our Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The JPL
scientists had arranged to transmit the very first photographs
ever taken on the surface of Mars to the Ambassador Auditorium so
that a public audience might view the transmission of these
Naturally this transmission of the first actual photographs
from a planet farther than our moon was of very special interest
to me -- not only because of the importance of the first pictures,
but also because the Ambassador Auditorium had been designed and
built under my personal direction.
Several people had been sitting in the Auditorium throughout
the night. I personally, in communication with the JPL
scientists, arrived at the Auditorium about 4:50 a.m. The first
pictures began coming in on the large motion picture screen at
about 5:10 a.m.
The pictures showed clearly to us precisely what is revealed
in the Word of God -- Romans 8:19-23, Revised Standard Version. All
is waste, deterioration, a condition of decay. There appeared no
evidence of any sign of life of any sort, or of conditions that
could sustain life.
All indications are that only our planet Earth is a
life-supporting planet. Others appear to be like our moon -- dead,
decayed, wasted and empty. Our earth is part of the solar system
which is part of a single galaxy called the Milky Way. There are
many other galaxies on beyond ours. They extend in space
distances so vast the human mind cannot conceive of them in terms
of miles, meters, or any measure of distance except light years.
So even though science knows comparatively little about the
limitless universe, revelation tells us something amazing beyond
words about them.
The first verse in the revealed Word of God says: "In the
beginning God created the heavens and earth." The word "heaven"
in the King James should be translated "heavens," since the
original Hebrew is in the plural.
The ancient King David of Israel wondered about the stars
and was inspired to tell us God created them.
Created -- But Why?
David was inspired to write, "Oh Lord our Lord, how excellent is
thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the
heavens.... When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy
fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what
is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalms 8:1, 3-4).
It may be that King David was not given the revelation of
the real connection between man and the stars of outer space, for
he continues: "For thou hast made him a little lower than the
angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest
him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put
all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the
beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the
sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord
our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" (Psalm
David here limits man's dominion to the present -- that which
God gave mankind in the creation of man -- the solid earth, the
earth's atmosphere, and the waters and sea (as in Gen. 1:26-28).
That is the dominion man has now.
In the New Testament, written much later, far more is
Incredible Human Potential Revealed
In the book of Hebrews we read: "For unto the angels hath he (God
) not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak"
(Heb. 2:5). The theme of the context here is "the world to come."
There is but one earth, but the Bible speaks of three
worlds, ages, or civilizations on the earth -- the "world that then
was" (the antediluvian world from Adam to Noah); this "present
evil world" (from the Flood until Christ's return, yet future);
and "the world to come" (which starts when Christ comes and sets
up the Kingdom of God).
This verse speaks of angels as if the world had been put in
subjection to angels; in fact, in the very beginning of this book
of Hebrews, the first chapter, it is speaking of Christ and
angels and the relation of angels to humans. This must be
explained a little later.
But bear in mind the general theme here, or context, is "the
world to come, whereof we speak" -- not this present age, now
coming rapidly to its end! Continue on in verse 6: "But one in a
certain place testified, saying ..." Then follows a quotation
from the first six verses only of the eighth psalm.
In this psalm, David continued showing specifically that God
has now placed in subjection under man the solid earth, the
earth's atmosphere or air, and the sea. But now the writer of the
book of Hebrews is inspired to follow with something radically
different -- something to happen in the world to come!
This revealed knowledge of God's purpose for mankind -- of
man's incredible awesome potential -- staggers the imagination.
Science knows nothing of it -- no religion reveals it, so far as I
know -- and certainly higher education is in utter ignorance of it.
Nevertheless, it is what God says He has prepared for them
that love Him (I Cor. 2:9-10).
I have said before that God revealed necessary knowledge to
our first parents, but they didn't believe what He said! Some
4,000 years later, Jesus Christ appeared on earth with a message
direct from God the Father in heaven, revealing the same
necessary knowledge -- but only a handful -- a hundred and
twenty -- believed what He said, though many professed to "believe
on him" (as in John 8:30-31, 37-38, 40, 45-46).
Today science, religion, and education still do not believe
WHAT HE SAID.
I will explain this -- and why -- a bit later. But so many of
these interrelated points cannot be explained all at once.
But now let's see what is said in this passage in Hebrews,
beginning where Hebrews leaves off quoting the eighth psalm:
"Thou hast put all things in subjection under his [man's] feet.
For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he
[God] left NOTHING that is not put under him" (Heb. 2:8).
Is it possible God could mean what He says ("all things")?
In the first chapter, the Moffatt translation of the Bible
renders the Greek word translated "all things" as "the universe."
In other words, for those willing to believe what God says,
He says that He has decreed the entire universe -- with all its
galaxies, its countless suns and planets -- everything -- will be put
under man's subjection.
But wait a moment! Before you disbelieve, read the next
words in the same eighth verse: "But now we see not yet all
things [the endless universe] put under him [man]." Remember
(verse 5), this is speaking of the "world to come" -- not today's
world. But what do we see now, today? "But we see Jesus, who was
made a little lower than the angels [or, "for a little while
lower"] for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and
honour." Man, other than Christ, is NOT YET "crowned with glory
But see how Christ is already crowned with glory and honor.
Continue: "For it became him, for whom are all things [the entire
universe] and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto
glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
sufferings ... for which cause he [Christ] is not ashamed to
call them brethren" (verses 10-11).
In other words, Christians having God's Spirit are
joint-heirs with Christ to INHERIT all that Christ already has
inherited. He is now in glory! He has already inherited the
entire universe. He sustains it by His power. Man, if he is
converted, having God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9), is now only an
HEIR -- not yet a possessor.
But see now how Christ already has been crowned with glory
and honor -- and is already in possession -- has already inherited.
Begin with Hebrews, chapter 1:
"God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his
Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things [the entire
universe], by whom also he made the worlds; who being the
brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and
upholding [sustaining] all things [the entire universe] by the
word of his power ..." (Heb. 1:1-3).
The living Christ already sustains the entire universe by
His limitless divine power. The passage continues to show His
superiority over the angels -- He is the begotten and born Son of
God -- angels are merely individually created beings. Angels are
now administering spirits (invisible to us), ministering to
us -- to us who are now in lower status than angels -- but who are
heirs of salvation, when we, like Christ, shall become born Sons
of God (Heb. 1:4-14).
Outer Space -- Planets Now Dead
Now put this together with what is revealed in the eighth chapter
Here it speaks of Christ as God's Son: "... that he might
be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29). Humans, having
God's Holy Spirit are heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ -- who, alone of all humans, has already been born as God's
Son by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). He is the FIRST
of the human family to be born into the Family of God -- the
Kingdom of God. He is our pioneer who has gone on before. We
shall follow at the resurrection of the just at Christ's return
to earth in supreme power and glory.
This eighth chapter of Romans, verse 9, says if we have
within us the Holy Spirit of God we are His begotten sons, but if
we do not have His Spirit we are none of His -- not Christians at
all. But verse 11 says that if we have God's Holy Spirit growing
within and leading us we shall be raised from the dead by His
Spirit -- (or if living when Christ comes we shall be changed from
mortal to immortal).
Now continue: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God.... The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,
if so be that we [in this life] suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which
shall be revealed in us..." (Romans 8:14-18).
Continue, Revised Standard Version: "For the creation waits
with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the
creation [all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to
futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who
subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set
free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of
the children of God. We know that the whole creation [stars,
suns, and moons now in decay and futility] has been groaning in
travail together until now; and not only the creation but we
ourselves [we Spirit-begotten humans], who have the first fruits
of the Spirit [the very FEW now being called to salvation -- the
"firstfruits"] groan inwardly as we wait for the [birth] as sons"
What an amazing marvelous revelation of knowledge!
No more amazing, awesome, eye-opening passage could be
It is so astonishingly revealing, one doesn't fully grasp it
just reading quickly through.
First I quoted from verse 29 of Romans 8 stating Christ WAS
the firstborn of MANY BRETHREN.
In Hebrews 1, we see that Christ, the first human to be born
by a resurrection from the dead, has been glorified and now
sustains the entire universe. He is our pioneer who has gone on
ahead. At His return to earth in power and glory those who have
been converted and received God's Holy Spirit shall be born into
the God Family by a resurrection. Then the entire universe will
be put into subjection UNDER them!
Then, from Romans 8, if we have and are led by the Holy
Spirit of God, we shall be raised to Spirit composition and
immortality in the God Family even as Christ was in A.D. 31 upon
Now once again from verse 19, "For the creation waits with
eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (RSV). This
shall happen at the time of the resurrection, when those who are
human actually become -- by a resurrection or instantaneous change
from mortal flesh to Spirit immortality -- Sons of God.
Now understand please. Why should the whole universe -- the
creation -- be waiting with eager longing for the actual birth and
appearing of all these Sons of God, to be born into the Family of
God? The following verses portray a universe filled with planets
in decay and futility -- yet as if subjected now to this dead state
in hope! "Because the creation itself [the universe not now
capable of sustaining life] will be set free from its bondage to
decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God."
How did all the planets fall into the bondage of decay?
Surely God did not so create them!
Decay signifies a state or condition caused by degeneration
and decomposition from a previous undecayed state. God, then,
created these planets in a state of non-decay. But something
caused deterioration to set in.
What could have caused all this "bondage to decay"?
It cannot be the state in which God created them! Everything
we read in God's revealed Word about God's creation shows it to
have been a perfect creation. The earth was first created a
perfect creation of glorious beauty. Facts regarding that will
appear in chapter 4.
We shall see that angels inhabited the earth prior to the
creation of man. Angels, who were perfect from the creation until
iniquity or lawlessness was found in them, caused the whole
surface of the earth to turn into a state of decay, confusion and
emptiness, as we shall see.
Could the whole universe have been created capable of
sustaining life? We are not told specifically by revelation in
God's Word whether it was or not, but what we are told throws
additional light on why God decided to create man!
Continue this passage in Romans 8:22: "We know that the
whole creation [universe] has been groaning in travail together
until now." Consider that the creation is compared to a mother
about to be delivered of her child. The creation is pictured as
groaning in travail in hope (verse 20), awaiting the birth by
resurrection to immortality, of the children of God. It is as if
the creation is the mother and God is the father. Anyway the
whole thrust of the passage is that when we (converted humans)
are born of God -- then having the power and glory of God -- we are
going to do as God did when this earth had been laid "waste and
empty" -- Hebrew tohu and bohu (Gen. 1:2). Christ, who renewed "the
face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30), was renewing what had been
destroyed by the rebellion of the sinning angels.
What these wonderful passages imply and indicate goes far
beyond the amount specifically revealed.
To grasp the whole of the message of the Kingdom of God
requires many chapters like this one. It is an all-encompassing
This passage indicates precisely what all astronomers and
scientific evidence indicates -- the suns are as balls of fire,
giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this
earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility -- but not
forever -- waiting until converted humans are BORN the children of
God; born into the very Divine Family of God, forming the Kingdom
Jesus' gospel was the Kingdom of God. What I am showing you
here is that Christ's gospel of the Kingdom actually includes all
this knowledge here revealed -- even the whole universe is to be
ruled by us, who, with God the Father and Christ, become the
Kingdom of God.
God is first of all Creator, but God is also Ruler. And He
is Educator, who reveals knowledge beyond and outside the scope
of human mind of itself to comprehend!
Put together all these scriptures I have used in this
chapter, and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential.
Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total
power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe!
What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we
shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as
life has been imparted to this earth. We shall create, as God
directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity!
Revelation 21 and 22 show there will then be no pain, no
suffering, no evil, because we shall have learned to choose God's
way of good. It will be an eternal life of accomplishment,
constantly looking forward in super-joyous anticipation to new
creative projects, and still looking back also on accomplishments
with happiness and joy over what shall have been already
We shall never grow tired and weary. Always alive -- full of
joyous energy, vitality, exuberant life and strength and power!
What a potential!
But why! Why has God purposed all of this?
There is still much to reveal. With this chapter, added to
the previous ones, we have only started explaining the true
Why was it opposed? What is the cause of all human
wretchedness and suffering?
What is the origin of evil?
What is the origin and source of human nature, and how shall
humans be ridded of it?
Why was man made mortal, of material substance from the
ground? Why does man, who is composed of matter the same as
animals, who dies the same death as animals, have a mind
thousands of times greater in mental output than animals whose
brains are virtually equal to human brain, both quantitatively
and qualitatively? What makes the difference? Why is the human
mind, while able to invent the computer and fly to the moon and
back, helpless in the face of its own problems and relations with
others here on earth?
All these things will be explained.
Science has no answers; religion has failed to tell us;
education is in IGNORANCE on these questions.
But read on, for the PLAIN TRUTH!