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
Bridging the Gap Between Human Man and the Ultimate Spirit-composed Sons of God
A human manufacturer sends along with the instrument or device he
manufactures an INSTRUCTION BOOKLET describing what his product
is intended to do with full directions for accomplishing its
purpose. The most perfect mechanism ever designed and made is the
marvelous mind and body that is MAN. And it is also only natural
that our Maker sent along His INSTRUCTION BOOK -- revealing for our
good what we ARE, WHY we are, where we are going, and what is the
That instruction book is the Holy Bible. Yet man has made
this the most MISunderstood, misinterpreted and maligned book
that ever came into human hands.
Nevertheless, the MISSING DIMENSION IN KNOWLEDGE is all
there revealed. The incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL is there revealed
and made plain -- if MAN would only read it -- and BELIEVE WHAT IT
That is our source book. It covers pre-history, history,
instruction for the present, and prophecy revealing the future.
It reveals, as we have seen in preceding chapters, that
originally from eternity, there existed GOD and with Him there
coexisted, also from eternity, "THE WORD," a second PERSON who
also is God. God created all things by and through this
coexisting SPIRIT BEING called "THE WORD" (John 1:1-4).
In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word translated "God," is Elohim,
a uniplural name meaning ONE GOD who is composed of more than one
person. In other words, a Divine FAMILY, of which the GOD
mentioned in John 1:1 is HEAD.
We have seen how the Bible reveals that God first created
angels -- also composed of Spirit, though lesser beings than God,
and lacking in creative power.
Next, God created -- brought into existence -- the physical
universe, including the earth. At earth's creation, a third of
the angels were placed here. They were put under rule of the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD, administered by the great archangel Lucifer, a
cherub. Under the GOVERNMENT OF GOD the earth was filled with
wonderful PEACE, HAPPINESS and JOY. But ultimately Lucifer led
his angels into rebellion. The GOVERNMENT OF GOD was rejected, no
longer enforced. The earth as a result, became waste and empty,
in confusion and utter darkness.
Then in six days God renewed the face of the earth. During
this "creation week" of Genesis 1, God formed the first life
forms that reproduced themselves -- the flora and then the
fauna -- without the thinking, reasoning, decision-making process,
and without ethical, moral or spiritual capabilities.
Finally came the creation of MAN -- created in God's own image
and likeness -- form and shape -- but like animals composed of
physical MATTER from the earth. MAN, to be born ultimately into
the very GOD FAMILY, was designed to have GODLY-type
MIND -- ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions,
capable of forming ethical, moral and spiritual attitudes.
Remember, God's PURPOSE in creating man is to reproduce
Himself -- with such perfect spiritual CHARACTER as ONLY GOD
possesses -- who WILL NOT and therefore CANNOT ever SIN! (I John
Such perfect spiritual and holy character cannot be created
by fiat. It must be developed, and that requires TIME and
Such character -- I repeat -- is the ability in a single entity
to come to comprehend and distinguish the true values from the
false, the right way from the wrong, to choose the right and
reject the wrong, and, with power of WILL, to DO the right and
resist the evil.
Animals are equipped with BRAIN and instinct. But they do
not have power to understand and choose moral and spiritual
values or to develop perfect spiritual CHARACTER. Animals have
BRAIN, but no intellect -- instinct, but no ability to develop HOLY
and GODLY CHARACTER.
And that pictures the transcendental DIFFERENCE between
animal BRAIN and human MIND.
But WHAT CAUSES that vast difference?
There is virtually no difference in shape and construction
between animal brain and human brain. The brains of elephants,
whales, and dolphins are larger than human brain, and the chimp's
brain is slightly smaller. Qualitatively the human brain may be
very slightly superior, but not enough to remotely account for
the difference in output.
What, then, can account for the vast difference? Science
cannot adequately answer. Some scientists, in the field of brain
research, conclude that, of necessity, there has to be some
nonphysical component in human brain that does not exist in
animal brain. But most scientists will not admit the possibility
of the existence of the nonphysical.
What other explanation is there? Actually, outside of the
very slight degree of physical superiority of human brain,
science has NO explanation, due to unwillingness to concede even
the possibility of the spiritual.
When man refuses to admit even the very existence of his own
Maker, he shuts out of his mind vast oceans of basic true
knowledge, fact, and UNDERSTANDING. When he substitutes FABLE for
truth, he is, of all men, MOST IGNORANT, though he professes
himself to be wise.
When man, in the name of science, denies -- or by
indifference, ignores -- his Maker, he blinds his mind to what he
is, why he is, where he is going, and what is THE WAY! No wonder
this world is filled with evils! There has to be a CAUSE for
But when our minds are opened to the knowledge of our GOD
and His purposes, then we have glorious access to the vast
MISSING DIMENSION OF KNOWLEDGE: the very knowledge that God is
the Divine FAMILY -- that God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF -- that He is
using MATTER in the process, and that He opens our understanding
to vast vistas of new knowledge.
So now CONSIDER. God is composed of SPIRIT. God is CREATOR,
DESIGNER, RULER, EDUCATOR. God has SUPREME MIND. He IS the
PERFECT HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER!
But He is using material substance from this physical earth
with which to REPRODUCE HIMSELF. Out of physical EARTH He has
formed MAN in His image and likeness (form and shape).
But if man is to BECOME God, in the process of God
reproducing Himself, then the CHARACTER that is to be built in
him MUST emanate from God -- and the Spirit LIFE that is to be his
also must emanate from GOD.
In other words, God has had to plan to bridge the gap
between MATTER (of which MAN is now wholly composed) and SPIRIT
(which God now is, and man must become).
Matter is NOT Spirit -- cannot be converted into Spirit. HOW,
then, can God change mortal material MAN into immortal,
Man is composed wholly of MATTER. God says: "And the
[Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living
soul" (Gen. 2:7). MAN was made out of the dust of the ground. He
receives his temporary human life from air, breathed in and out
of his nostrils. His life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4, 6). But the
lifeblood is oxidized by breathing air, even as gasoline in the
carburetor of an automobile. Therefore breath is the "breath of
life" even as the life is in the blood.
Notice carefully that MAN, made wholly of matter, BECAME a
living soul as soon as the BREATH gave him his temporary physical
life. The scripture does NOT say "immortal" soul. Man does not
have an "immortal" soul. He IS a soul as soon as physical LIFE
The Hebrew word for "soul" is nephesh. In Genesis 1:20-24,
animals are called nephesh three times -- only the translators
translated the Hebrew word there "creature." Animals have the
same temporary physic-chemical existence as man. Both die the
same death (Eccl. 3:19-20).
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). Again,
God's Word says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek.
18:20). Adam was a soul, and God said to him, in regard to the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "... in the day that
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). But Satan
denied this, and Adam and Eve believed Satan, as most of humanity
has done ever since.
So let us UNDERSTAND! Man is FLESH and BLOOD -- composed
wholly of MATTER -- and that living matter IS a living soul.
The SOUL is composed of physical MATTER, not Spirit.
I have explained that human brain is almost identical to
animal brain. But man was made in the form and shape of God, to
have a special relationship with God -- to have the potential of
being born into the FAMILY of God. And God is SPIRIT (John 4:24).
To make it possible to bridge the gap -- or to make the
transition of MANKIND, composed wholly of MATTER, into SPIRIT
beings in God's Kingdom, then to be composed wholly of Spirit,
and at the same time to give MAN a MIND like God's -- God put a
spirit in each human.
In Job 32:8, we read, "There is a spirit in man: and the
inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
This is a great TRUTH, understood by but very few.
I call this spirit the HUMAN spirit, for it is IN each
human, even though it is SPIRIT ESSENCE and not matter. It is NOT
a spirit person or being. It is not the MAN, but spirit essence
IN the man. It is NOT a soul -- the physical human is a soul. The
human spirit imparts the power of INTELLECT to the human brain.
The human spirit does not supply human LIFE -- the human LIFE is in
the physical BLOOD, oxidized by the BREATH of life.
It is that nonphysical component in the human brain that
does not exist in the brain of animals. It is the ingredient that
makes possible the transition from human to divine, without
changing matter into spirit, at the time of resurrection. That I
will explain a little later.
Let me make clear a few essential points about this spirit
in man. It is spirit essence, just as in matter air is essence,
and so is water. This human spirit cannot see. The physical BRAIN
sees, through the eyes. The human spirit IN a person cannot hear.
The brain hears through the ears. This human spirit cannot think.
The brain thinks -- although the spirit imparts the power to think,
whereas brute animal brains without such spirit cannot, except in
the most elementary manner.
A scripture often used by believers in an "immortal soul"
explains. In I Corinthians 2, the apostle Paul is explaining to
the Corinthians that he did not come to them using hard to
understand speech as many do to exalt their own vanity. He came
to them with plain and simple speech, in humility. And yet none
of the princes, the elite, the highly educated -- the rulers -- of
this world could understand.
WHY couldn't the more highly learned understand? Because he
was preaching Christ's message of the Kingdom of God. This is
spiritual knowledge. This kind of knowledge cannot be seen by the
physical eye, nor heard with the physical ear. Spiritual
knowledge cannot enter the human mind by natural means -- for
spirit cannot be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled.
Then he explains that in this manner (verse 11) no MAN could
have the knowledge a man possesses, except by "the spirit of man
which is in him." The brute animal has a brain virtually
identical to human brain -- and some even larger. But their brains
cannot KNOW -- comprehend -- what man knows. Neither could man
without the spirit of man which is in him. In other words, this
spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human brain.
Yet this human MIND is limited to knowledge of the physical.
It cannot KNOW -- comprehend -- the spiritual things of God. WHY?
Because even the human MIND only can know, naturally, what
knowledge comes to it through the senses of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, feeling. A brute animal also may see, hear,
smell, taste or feel what a man does, and still be unable to
utilize what enters his brain in thought or knowledge. The reason
for this will be explained later.
Now the second half of I Corinthians 2:11: "EVEN SO" (in
like manner) no man can know -- have knowledge of, understand or
comprehend -- the things of GOD, except by ANOTHER spirit, the Holy
Spirit of GOD.
Just as no dumb animal can know the things of man's
knowledge, neither could man, by brain alone, except by the
spirit of man -- the human spirit -- that is in man. So also, in the
same manner, even a man cannot know -- comprehend -- the things of
God, unless or until he receives another spirit -- the Holy Spirit
Stated still another way, all humans have from birth a
spirit called "the spirit of man" which is IN THEM. Notice
carefully that this spirit is NOT the man. It is something IN THE
MAN. A man might swallow a small marble. It is then something in
the man, but it is not the man or any part of him as a man. The
man was made of the dust of the ground -- mortal. This human spirit
is not the soul. It is something IN the soul which itself IS the
Notice, further, verse 14: "But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
So, from birth, God gives us one spirit, which for lack of a
better term I call a human spirit. It gives us MIND power which
is not in animal BRAIN. Yet that MIND power is limited to
knowledge of the physical universe. WHY? Because knowledge enters
the human mind ONLY through the five physical senses.
But notice that God had not completed the creation of MAN at
the creation of Adam and Eve. The physical creation was
completed. They had this "human" spirit at their creation.
But now must follow the spiritual creation. This required a
second spirit in man -- the HOLY SPIRIT of God.
"And the [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground
man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the [Eternal]
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good
for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and
the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:7-9).
Actually and literally, Adam, as yet, was "not all there."
The spirit of man was in him -- but not the Spirit of God. God
offered him freely the fruit of the TREE OF LIFE -- which
symbolized God's HOLY SPIRIT. Taking of the tree of LIFE would
have done two things: (1) opened his MIND to comprehend spiritual
knowledge, and (2) imparted within him the GIFT of God's Holy
Spirit, leading to ETERNAL LIFE. But, when God explained to him
the KINGDOM OF GOD, Adam disbelieved what God said and
disobeyed -- SINNED. Then what?
"And the [Eternal] God said, ... and now, lest he put
forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and
live for ever: Therefore 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" (Gen. 3:22-24).
Now GRASP THIS, please!
Do not forget God's great PURPOSE! Through human man,
composed of material substance, God is reproducing
Himself -- adding to His own holy, righteous, sinless GOD FAMILY.
But God is composed of SPIRIT. How does God bridge the gap
between mortal physical MAN and immortal SPIRIT-composed God?
The very first human had made the wrong choice, and by SIN
rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. God then drove him out of the
garden of Eden and blocked all possible reentry to the tree of
life. But of course God anticipated the probability of this.
God's PURPOSE must STAND! But HOW?
It now required the "second Adam" -- Jesus Christ. He had
offered Himself before the world was. But He was not to come,
born human for the purpose of death, for about another 4,000
God had marked out a 7,000-year period -- the first 6,000 for
mankind, cut off from God (With a few exceptions), to go his own
way -- to write the lesson in human suffering and anguish of living
contrary to GOD'S WAY OF LIFE, commanded by THE GOVERNMENT OF
GOD -- which Adam rejected.
This 6,000 years, with Satan still here, would be followed
by a single 1,000 years, during which CHRIST would rule, having
qualified to restore THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth. Satan would
be totally restrained during the seventh millennium.
During that seventh millennium, the KINGDOM OF GOD -- the
RULING FAMILY OF GOD -- would be established on earth.
Meanwhile, during the first 6,000 years, a FEW would be
offered opportunity to enter into the spiritual creation, Which
begins with the receiving of the SECOND SPIRIT -- that is, the gift
of the HOLY SPIRIT of God. Outside of this comparative few, God
adopted a "hands-off" policy toward the human race. Abel, Adam's
second son, apparently followed God's way, for Christ called him
"righteous Abel." Enoch "walked with God." Noah found favor with
God -- but apparently that was all during the first 1,900 years or
After the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Joseph lived
God's way. Then God called and formed the nation of Israel, but
they were offered no spiritual salvation or eternal life -- only
material and national blessings. God called and used a few
prophets. Then Christ came and made spiritual salvation possible
for all. Yet only the first comparatively very small spiritual
harvest has been called to spiritual salvation during the nearly
2,000 years since Christ.
Human Reproduction the Type of God's Reproducing Himself
Few people realize that human reproduction has a sacred and
GOD-PLANE MEANING NOT APPLICABLE TO ANY OTHER KIND OF LIFE.
Human reproduction pictures spiritual salvation -- which is
actually God the Father reproducing Himself in the GOD FAMILY.
Now see the ASTOUNDING COMPARISON!
MAN, remember, is composed wholly of MATTER from the ground
(Gen. 2:7 and 3:19). But HOW can God bridge the gap, in
reproducing Himself, of converting a wholly physical man into a
wholly Spirit-composed member of the GOD FAMILY?
It starts with a spirit (a portion of spirit essence) IN the
wholly physical man. Remember, this spirit is NOT the man -- only
something IN the man. Remember, too, this spirit cannot see,
hear, or think. The MAN sees, hears, and thinks through his
physical brain and the five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting,
smelling and feeling. The spirit in man imparts the power of
PHYSICAL INTELLECT to the physical brain, thus forming human
This spirit acts, among other things, as a COMPUTER, adding
to the brain the psychic and intellectual power. Knowledge
received in the brain through the eye, ear, and the senses is
immediately "programmed' into the spirit computer. All memory is
stored in this spirit computer. This "computer" gives the brain
instant recall of whatever portion of millions of bits of
knowledge may be needed in the reasoning process. That is to say
that MEMORY is recorded in the human spirit, whether or not it
also is recorded in the "gray matter" of BRAIN.
This human spirit also adds to man a spiritual and moral
faculty not possessed by animals.
God had made the needed second spirit -- the HOLY
SPIRIT -- available to Adam. But on Adam's rebellion and taking the
forbidden fruit, God had driven Adam out and closed all access to
the tree of LIFE -- symbolic of His Holy Spirit.
Yet through Christ, a repentant humanity may yet receive
God's GIFT of His Holy Spirit. To Nicodemus Christ said, "Except
a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Of course
Nicodemus could not quite understand that. Almost nobody today
understands it. Jesus explained, "That which is born of the flesh
IS FLESH, and that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT" (John
3:6). Man came from the ground. He IS flesh. Jesus was not
talking about another physical birth or experience of conversion
in this life -- but about a spiritual birth -- when man shall BE
Spirit, no longer composed of matter, but composed wholly of
SPIRIT! Yes, LITERALLY! Then he shall have been born of God. God
is Spirit (John 4:24, RSV).
Now to become human, each of us had to be begotten by his
human father. Likewise, to be born again -- of THE SPIRIT which is
of GOD the Father, one must first be begotten of the SPIRITUAL
FATHER -- of GOD.
This is explained in Romans 8:16-17: "The Spirit (of God)
itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
[begotten] children of God: and if children, then heirs [not yet
inheritors or possessors]; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
And God's Holy Spirit, now combined with our human spirit in
the human MIND, does two things: (1) begets the human with divine
eternal life to be later BORN into the GOD FAMILY as a Divine
Being, then composed wholly of Spirit; (2) imparts to the human
mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE -- to understand the
things of God (I Cor. 2:11). Also God's Holy Spirit imparts
divine LOVE, FAITH, and POWER to overcome Satan and sin.
This Spirit-begotten Christian now has, conditionally, the
PRESENCE OF ETERNAL LIFE -- GOD LIFE -- within him (or her), but He
is NOT YET an immortal SPIRIT BEING -- not yet composed wholly of
He is now an heir of God as the son of a wealthy man is the
heir of his father -- but NOT YET "born again," -- NOT YET an
inheritor or a possessor. But IF His Holy Spirit dwells in us,
God will, at Christ's coming back to earth as King of kings,
"quicken" to immortality our mortal bodies BY His Spirit that
dwells in us (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:49-53).
Now see how the astonishing analogy continues:
Just as in human reproduction, the impregnated embryo, which
later becomes the fetus, is not yet BORN, but still being
nourished through the human mother; so the begotten Christian is
not yet BORN into the God Family. The divine life has merely been
Satan has managed to deceive most of fundamentalist
Christianity into believing they already are "born again" on
But just as in human reproduction when the HUMAN
characteristics of form and shape and the human body and brain
gradually begin to form during the period of gestation, so now
the RIGHTEOUS and HOLY CHARACTER of God begins to take form and
GROW. Actually in many, this Divine CHARACTER may form so slowly
it seems hardly in evidence at first, except that in some there
will appear the glow of that ecstasy of spiritual "romance
" -- which may radiate in that "first love" of spiritual
conversion. But, so far as growing in SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (II
Pet. 3:18) and spiritual CHARACTER goes, most of that is still to
be learned and developed.
When newly converted, one is now a spiritual "EMBRYO." Now
he must be nourished and fed on SPIRITUAL FOOD. Jesus said man
must not live by bread (physical food) alone, but by EVERY WORD
OF GOD. The BIBLE is the written Word of God, just as Christ is
the personal Word of God. This growth is the character
development that REQUIRES TIME and comes largely by EXPERIENCE.
Above all, it requires continual BIBLE STUDY to show ONE'S
SELF approved of God, as well as much continual and earnest
PRAYER. When you study the Bible, GOD is TALKING TO YOU. When you
PRAY, you are TALKING TO HIM. You get to really KNOW God in this
manner, just as you become better acquainted with people by
Yet much of this spiritual character development comes
through Christian fellowship with other spiritually begotten
people in God's Church.
Further, just as the human physical embryo and fetus are
given physical nourishment through the human mother, God's CHURCH
is the spiritual MOTHER of its members. God's Church is called
"Jerusalem above, which is the MOTHER of us all" (Gal. 4:26).
Notice the exact parallel. God has set called and chosen
ministers in His Church to feed the flock, "for the perfecting of
the saints, for THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY [proclaiming Christ's
gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world] for the edifying
of the body [Church] of Christ: till we all come in the unity of
the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect
man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"
It is the duty of Christ's true ministers (and how few
today) to PROTECT the begotten but yet unborn saints from false
doctrines and from false ministers!
What a wonderful picture of God's reproducing Himself is
And remember God intended human reproduction to be a FAMILY
matter. It adds human children to the human FAMILY. The HUMAN
FAMILY is the exact TYPE of the GOD FAMILY. God has bestowed
MARRIAGE and FAMILY life on NO OTHER form of life except on
HUMANS, whose potential it is to enter the FAMILY OF GOD!
But consider further! As the physical human fetus must grow
physically large enough to be born, so the begotten Christian
must grow spiritually in grace and knowledge of Christ (II Pet.
3:18) -- must overcome, develop in spiritual character, during this
life, to be born into the Kingdom of God!
That is well illustrated by the parables of the pounds and
the talents. In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus
pictured Himself as a nobleman going to a far country (heaven) to
receive a kingdom and later to return. He called his ten servants
and gave each a pound. While He was gone, one of the ten traded
with the money and gained ten pounds. He was commended and made
ruler over ten cities in the Kingdom of God. A second gained only
five pounds -- he did half as well, starting with EQUAL ability. He
was given reign over five cities. A third gained NOTHING -- and had
even that pound taken from him.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), one was
given five talents, another two talents, and another one -- each
according to his own ability (like handicap golf). On Christ's
return, the one who had been given five talents had gained five
more (representing spiritual growth and overcoming in this life).
He was commended as a good and faithful servant and given
responsibilities accordingly in God's Kingdom. The one who had
gained another two accomplished just as much in proportion to
ability. He, too, received an equal reward. But the one who had
been given the one did NOTHING WITH IT. In other words, in his
Christian life here and now, he did not overcome, he did not grow
spiritually -- he developed no character. The pounds or talents in
these two parables represent the initial measure of God's Holy
Spirit given at conversion. But as the Spirit-begotten person is
continually led by the Holy Spirit -- following where God's Spirit
opens his understanding, growing in spiritual knowledge and
overcoming -- the measure of God's Spirit in him increases. But
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit -- not by measure (John
3:34). The parables show that the convert who does not GROW in
Spirit and character development will lose out! He represents one
who "RECEIVED CHRIST" and considered he was already "born again"
but did not think he needed to overcome, grow spiritually, or
develop spiritual character. He thought he was "already saved."
He said he didn't believe in salvation by "works." What he didn't
realize is that while salvation is a FREE GIFT, we are REWARDED
according to our works (Matt. 16:27). But by doing NOTHING, he
lost not ONLY the reward, but he lost out on the free GIFT of
Christ's answer to such, when He returns with the KINGDOM OF
GOD, is, "Thou wicked and slothful servant.... Take therefore
the talent from him.... And cast ye the unprofitable servant
into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth." He failed utterly in God's real PURPOSE -- reproducing in
us the holy, righteous CHARACTER that we may receive from God.
Many have been deceived into a FALSE "salvation."
To conclude the parallel: As the physical fetus gradually
develops the physical features, organs and characteristics one by
one, even so the begotten Christian must develop the SPIRITUAL
ATTRIBUTES during this life, one by one, love, faith, Spiritual
knowledge, patience, gentleness, kindness, and temperance. He
must be a DOER of the Word of God. The fetus that fails to grow
would die and never be born!
Bridging the Gap
Finally, HOW has God planned to "bridge the gap" from physical to
spiritual composition -- to reproduce Himself out of PHYSICAL
HUMANS THAT COME FROM THE PHYSICAL GROUND?
First, God put IN the physical MAN a "human" spirit. It is
NOT, however, the human spirit that makes the decisions, comes to
repentance, or builds the character. As I have emphasized, this
spirit does not impart life, cannot see, hear, feel or think. It
empowers the PHYSICAL MAN, through his BRAIN, to do these things.
But this spirit RECORDS every thought -- every bit of knowledge
received through the five senses and it records whatever
character -- good or bad -- that is developed in human life.
The human MAN is made literally from CLAY. God is like the
master potter forming and shaping a vessel out of clay. But if
the clay is too hard, it will not bend into the form and shape he
wants. If it is too soft and moist, it lacks firmness to "STAY
PUT" where the potter bends it.
Notice in Isaiah 64:8: "But now, O [Eternal], thou art our
father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the
work of thy hand."
Yet God has given each of us a MIND OF HIS OWN. If one
REFUSES to acknowledge God or God's ways -- refuses to repent of
the wrong and turn to the right, God cannot take him and create
Godly character in him. But the human CLAY must be pliable, must
yield willingly. If the human stiffens up and resists, he is like
clay that is too dry and stiff. The potter can do nothing with
it. It will not give and bend. Also, if he is so lacking in will,
purpose, and determination that he won't "stay put" when God
molds him partly into what God wants him to be -- too wishy-washy,
weak, lacking root of character, he will never endure to the end.
He will lose out.
We are, in truth, the WORK OF HIS HANDS. Yet WE ourselves
must do our part in this spiritual development. If we lazily
neglect Bible study and prayer -- or if we let other material
interests become more important and we NEGLECT such great
salvation, we lose out.
But if we have the strength of character to YIELD, OF OUR
OWN WILL to put ourselves in God's hands, HE will instill within
us His SPIRIT and by it His righteousness -- His character -- open
our minds to His spiritual knowledge. We have to WANT IT! We have
to WORK AT IT! We have to PUT IT FIRST, above all else.
It must be GOD'S righteousness, for all of OURS is like
filthy rags to Him. He continually instills His knowledge, His
righteousness, His character within us -- IF we diligently seek it
and want it. BUT WE HAVE OUR VERY IMPORTANT PART IN IT. Then all
credit goes to GOD.
As we receive the CHARACTER OF GOD through the Holy Spirit
of God, more and more God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF IN US.
Finally, in the resurrection, we shall be as God -- in a
position where we cannot sin, because we ourselves have set it so
and have turned FROM sin and have struggled and struggled AGAINST
sin and overcome sin.
God's PURPOSE WILL be accomplished!
WHY Made From Material Substance?
Once again, STOP AND THINK!
WHY did God choose to make MAN out of physical matter
instead of Spirit? He made angels out of Spirit.
Remember God's PURPOSE is to reproduce Himself! His Divine
children are to be begotten of Him and then BORN into His God
Family. Christ, our pioneer, was begotten by the Father in a
manner no one else ever was, when conceived by the Holy Spirit in
the virgin Mary. He was the begotten (the ONLY begotten, in that
manner) Son of God from human conception and birth. He is already
the FIRSTBORN of many brethren (Rom. 8:29), born a Son of God by
a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4), as we may be later.
To show the preeminence above angels that is already
Christ's and also is our potential, remember we are joint-heirs
with Christ, and God says of Christ, "being made so much better
than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more
excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at
any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" (Heb.
1:4-5.) In the book of Job angels are spoken of as sons of God in
chapters 1,2, and 7, but only as created "sons." Still, as in
Hebrews 1, God never said to them, "You are my own begotten sons.
But when we humans receive the Holy Spirit of God, we do become
His begotten sons and His heirs, to receive by inheritance His
NAME -- just as my begotten sons inherited my name.
When we are BORN of God, we shall BE Spirit. Then why did
God form man in the first place of material substance -- out of the
I have partially answered that question already. Angels,
being spirit, are immortal. Those who sinned shall go on bearing
their punishment forever. Their punishment is NOT death. Their
punishment is loss of the glorious opportunity God gave them to
accomplish His purpose on earth, and to live forever in the
resentment, bitterness, attitude of rebellion, and utter
hopelessness and frustration of mind their own sins brought upon
them. Once they perverted their own minds, they can never regain
balance. Happiness and joy has left them forever.
Whereas, if MAN, composed of matter, sinned and refused to
repent and turn from his sin, he will die the second death -- he
shall utterly PERISH (John 3:16) -- he will be as though he had not
been (Obadiah 16). This reflects God's MERCY.
The Physical Changes, the Spiritual Is Changeless
But there is another all-important reason. As the humanist
philosopher Elbert Hubbard said, "Nothing is permanent but
change." Matter does not remain as it is, unchanged, permanently.
But it continues changing permanently. Perhaps stone or iron is
as unchanging as any element. But after a few thousand years, the
giant stones in the wall around Jerusalem, for instance, have
lost all their newness and show their age. Whatever you see now
on this earth in time will CHANGE.
Spirit however, is CHANGELESS -- except as God instilled in
angel beings the power of mind -- of thinking, reasoning, making
decisions and exercising will to act on decisions or choices. But
Spirit substance apart from the mind power of God or Spirit
beings is CHANGELESS. Once Satan and his demons made the decision
they did, being spirit, they cannot change!
In reproducing Himself God requires righteous CHARACTER
DEVELOPMENT. And that requires CHANGE. If God had made us of
Spirit, once the decision was made to reject God, we could never
have repented -- could not change from Satan's WAY to God's! Man,
composed of matter, is subject to CHANGE. Man, if called by God,
can be made to realize that he has sinned, and he can
REPENT -- CHANGE from his sin -- turn to GOD'S WAY. And once his
course is changed, with God's help he can pursue it. He can GROW
in spiritual knowledge, develop character, overcome wrong habits,
weaknesses, and faults.
And this is all done by the PHYSICAL MAN, through the
The human spirit in man empowers the brain with physical
intellect, and the Spirit of God united with it empowers the
brain with spiritual comprehension, and these spirits RECORD the
knowledge and the character and preserve them, as well as the
physical shape and appearance. These spirits do not develop the
righteous character, but through the Holy Spirit God does give us
HIS faith, HIS righteousness -- as long as we ourselves earnestly
desire it. But once holy and righteous character is developed in
physical man, HOW does God bridge the gap, changing MAN into
The Spirit MOLD
I have shown you that the Scriptures picture man as the
clay -- which he literally is -- and God as our Potter. We might call
God, also, our SCULPTOR, for with our submission and eager
willingness, we are the WORK OF HIS HANDS in spiritual and
character development. As Job said, "If a man die, shall he live
again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my
CHANGE come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee [in the
resurrection]: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine
hands" (Job 14:14-15).
This brings us to the question of death of the physical MAN,
and the resurrection -- Job called it the ''CHANGE" -- into the
Kingdom of God.
Now notice, as quoted before, in Isaiah 64:8: "But now, O
[Eternal], thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our
potter, and we all are the work of thy hand."
God could not form, shape, change, and develop His character
in us -- once we had sinned -- as all have -- had we been made of
Notice further: "Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth
it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" (Isa.
Another passage of scripture so often misapplied says: "For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it [the faith] is the gift of God: not of works" (Eph. 2:8-9). We
do not earn salvation by good works or gain it by works -- BUT when
we receive it as God's GIFT, the degree of reward will be
according to our "works" (Matt. 16:27) -- performance in living
GOD'S WAY -- building character.
But now read the rest of this passage which is nearly always
purposely omitted by those MISleading people on this point:"...
not of works"... WHY?..."lest any man should boast. For we
are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph.
I have tried to point out that we must gain contact with God
and that HE is the potter -- or sculptor -- fashioning, molding, and
shaping our lives and righteous character into His CHARACTER
IMAGE, AS WE DESIRE AND YIELD.
All right. The Godly character in us, I have stated, cannot
be created by fiat. It must be developed. We must yield. We must
desire it, seek it. But it comes from GOD. Thus if we keep a
close daily contact with our Creator, through His Spirit and
through our spirit -- for remember, His Holy Spirit "beareth
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom.
8:16) -- then He is fashioning and shaping our characters. Had God
made us of Spirit, this could not be done once we had sinned.
Now, as Job brought out, we die. Afterlife comes through the
resurrection. When we die, all consciousness ceases. This is
covered in chapter 12. The physical brain becomes unconscious and
With what BODY do we come, in the resurrection? That
question is answered in I Corinthians 15: "But some man will say,
How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? . .
that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat,
or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath
pleased him ..." (I Cor. 15:35-38).
The body that dies is NOT the same body that will come up in
Now we come to a MOST IMPORTANT part concerning the SPIRIT
IN MAN -- which I have termed the "human spirit." It does not
impart human life. It does not see, hear or think. The HUMAN MAN
makes his decisions, and it is in the physical MAN that character
must be built. It is the human CLAY that God forms into His
character. The SPIRIT in man RECORDS what the brain comes to
know, even the attitude, the facets of CHARACTER, not only of the
human brain, but also of the whole body. It keeps the imprint
even of the fingerprints.
Compare it to a sculptor's mold. The sculptor may want to
produce a bronze statue of a man. The sculptor might use clay to
form a clay model -- or plaster of paris. Then the sculptor makes a
MOLD of the model he has formed and shaped. The mold is a hollow
form, made from the finished model. Into the mold is poured
molten liquid bronze which then solidifies. The mold is removed,
and the bronze figure is an EXACT copy of the original model.
The spirit that is in every human acts as a MOLD. It
PRESERVES the human's MEMORY, his CHARACTER, his FORM AND SHAPE.
Now I do not conceive, naturally, that the spirit is a
hollow form. But it supplies the same purpose as the sculptor's
mold. If one has received the Holy Spirit, then in the
resurrection, God will provide a SPIRIT BODY, formed and shaped
by the Spirit mold. The resurrected being will be COMPOSED of
SPIRIT, not matter as the human model was. In the resurrected
SPIRIT form he will suddenly come ALIVE. It will seem like the
next flash of a second from his loss of consciousness at time of
death. He will have all his memory intact. He will look as he did
in human life in form and shape. Even his fingerprints will be
The CHARACTER which he allowed God to build within him will
be there. He will be alive FOREVER! And, like God the Father, by
his own will, he will have been made so that he CANNOT sin (I
The body that comes in the resurrection is not the same body
that was flesh and blood in this human lifetime. God does not
turn flesh and blood matter INTO Spirit. The flesh and blood
physical body, after death, decomposes and decays, but the spirit
that was IN that body, like the sculptor's mold, preserves all
the form and shape, the memory, and the character INTACT. And
that mold, being spirit does not change -- even though the
resurrection may take place thousands of years after death.
Notice what happens AT DEATH.
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the
spirit shall return unto God who gave it." After death, whether
buried in the earth, cremated, or what, the physical body returns
to the earth. But the spirit that was IN the man, now having
recorded everything -- the body's form and shape, the facial
identity, the memory and the character -- returns to God. It will
be PRESERVED UNCHANGED.
Such saints as Abraham, Moses, David and Daniel died
thousands of years ago. STOP AND THINK ABOUT THAT! God had to
provide some way to PRESERVE the form, shape, appearance, mind
and character of saints for thousands of years. They were
composed of corruptible flesh and blood. All that was THEM (man
is composed wholly of matter) long since decomposed. Yet in the
resurrection, it will seem to them as the next fraction of a
second since loss of consciousness at death.
In the interim of death, they knew absolutely NOTHING. Says
God's Word, "For the living know that they shall die: but the
dead KNOW NOT ANY THING" (Eccl. 9:5).
The spirit which returns to God is the human spirit that was
in them throughout life. It was not an immortal soul," for the
soul was mortal and corruptible.
Those who died with God's Holy Spirit will be in the first
resurrection (Rev. 20:4-5). They will come forth IMMORTAL, in a
glorious body of SPIRIT composition, their faces aglow as the
All others who have not been called to eternal salvation by
God during their human lifetimes will be resurrected after the
thousand-year reign of the Kingdom of God under Christ, in the
Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-12). They will be
resurrected MORTAL, once again in a flesh and blood physical
body, just as before. In this great judgment they will be
"called" -- their eyes opened to God's truth. Then, finally, there
will be a last resurrection (Rev. 20:13-15) of those who HAD been
called by God in their mortal human life, but had rejected or
turned from the truth. They, with those who reject it in the
Great White Throne Judgment, will be in the lake of fire (II Pet.
3:10-11), which is the second death. They then shall be ashes
under the soles of the feet of the immortals in God's Kingdom
(Mal. 4:3), and will be as though they had never been (Obadiah
Then, ahead of the millions of immortal redeemed, shall lie
the tremendous awesome HUMAN POTENTIAL -- when God the Creator
shall have put THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE under our jurisdiction (Heb.
But there is MUCH MORE yet to be revealed. WHY all the
troubles, sufferings, heartaches and evils in the world these
past 6,000 years? There is of necessity a CAUSE for every EFFECT.
There is yet SO MUCH of this overview of all God's truth to