What Is Mankind’s Purpose?
Have you ever wondered why you are on Earth? How did humankind come about—and why? This is truly a mystery to this world—even to leaders, philosophers, intellectuals and many religious people.
Science has examined deeply into human physiology, psychology, anatomy and anthropology. Higher education studies every particle and atom of man. But they cannot explain what the human mind is. It is a mystery to them.
Human beings can reason and reflect, enjoy culture and art. Yet animals, whose brains are physically similar to human brains, cannot. What accounts for the colossal difference? The answer is key to understanding why we are here, who and what we are.
In today’s world, virtually all education presupposes that evolution is true. This means that we and everything we see came about by blind, arbitrary material processes. That theory strips life of all possible meaning. It cannot explain the awesome accomplishments of man throughout history. Nor can it teach how to solve man’s problems.
The broad gulf between animals and humans is materially inexplicable. Its cause is, in fact, spiritual. This cause is plainly revealed in a source that science and higher education contemptuously reject—that is, the Bible. But even if you disregard the Bible, the undeniable fact remains that human beings’ immense intellectual, cultural and moral capacity compared to animals is one of the greatest proofs that the theory of evolution cannot possibly be true. It is simply impossible for evolution to account for the faculty of the human mind. This is a crucial truth.
And beyond its being false, and thus powerless to truly explain our world, evolution supplies no hope! Anyone who believes it will never understand the mystery of man.
Do you realize that your own vanity can cut you off from understanding?
Think seriously about these words from Jesus Christ: “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). Not all truth is self-evident. Some truth must be revealed by God. And God hides certain truths from self-impressed intellectuals! He reveals them to those who are humble and childlike in spirit.
Of all the truths God can reveal, nothing is more important than for man to understand his purpose! But you will not find this truth in higher education. They do not have the answers because they lack humble, teachable attitudes. They have closed their minds, rejected God’s teaching, and scrubbed God out of the picture. God cannot teach them.
Our world today supplies abundant proof of the catastrophic effects of this approach. It is governed by leaders who are graduates of higher education and are doing their utmost to carry out their best ideas. Yet the nations they lead are plagued by political turmoil and economic instability. Serious threats are causing people to become restive and to embrace extremism. Relations between nations are eroding. After a long period of a world led by Britain and America, a new, far less stable and predictable world is emerging.
Meanwhile, nuclear weapons are becoming more sophisticated and spreading to unstable nations. Any one of these weapons could vaporize thousands of people in a single blinding moment! One of the Bible’s most chilling prophecies says that if Jesus Christ didn’t return and prevent it, there would be no flesh saved alive! (Matthew 24:21-22). We are on the verge of this nightmare being fulfilled! Just three generations ago, mankind lacked the capability to destroy human life. Today, the most pressing question mankind faces is human survival!
This is an inescapable reality that man is powerless to solve. We don’t know what to do. The evolutionary theory certainly offers no guidance. The solution is a mystery to mankind. But if we fail to resolve it soon, there won’t be anyone left!
If ever there was a time when we should look to God and pay attention to what He prophesies, it is now! If we were thinking properly, our disastrous failures would be making us very humble and childlike! We should recognize our inadequacy and helplessness, and our urgent need for God’s help.
This is what our educational institutions should be teaching us! Sadly, they are only embracing godless materialism and flawed human reasoning all the more.
Jesus Christ, however, has a plan. He promises to step in and prevent our self-annihilation (verse 22). Why? For the most inspiring reason you could ever imagine: a reason that tells you the transcendent purpose of mankind—and reveals the mystery of man.
Whom Will He Teach?
The Prophet Isaiah wrote extensively about the problems mankind faces today. In one prophecy, he asked, “Whom shall [God] teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? …” (Isaiah 28:9). This is the most important question in education: Whom will God teach? The verse continues: “[T]hem that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” These are the ones who will listen to God. They don’t follow human beings who can lead them astray. They’re not like nursing infants who unquestioningly accept whatever they are taught, whether from academia, science, religion or anywhere else!
But they will heed the Bible. They have a childlike spirit that listens to God, and are willing to learn “precept upon precept; line upon line … here a little and there a little” (verse 10).
What if you lack this attitude? Then God will speak to you “with stammering lips and another tongue” so you won’t understand! (verse 11). This is a coded message within a coded book, the Bible. The intellectuals of this world have closed their minds to it (Matthew 13:15). They don’t want the Bible in their universities. They have contempt for that book! And they force their views on students and on society, demanding compliance and silencing dissent!
Will you let God teach you? Most people will not. But for those who are teachable, the truth of the Bible is being decoded in this end time. God is in the final stages of preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and He is working through a small group of teachable people to do that. The best single volume that decodes the Bible is one that you can have free: Herbert W. Armstrong’s Mystery of the Ages. This book puts the Bible together like a jigsaw puzzle. It is a unique book for our unique age. There is nothing on Earth like it.
If you are childlike, listening to God and allowing Him to teach you, then you will be astounded by the revelation He will give you! With the right attitude, you can understand and fulfill God’s purpose for you!
The Spirit in Man
Let’s examine what the Bible reveals about the difference between human mind and animal brain. As I said, this is one of the greatest proofs against evolution.
“The physical brain of the higher vertebrates in the animal kingdom is essentially the same in physical form, design, constituency, as human brain,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. “The brains of whales, elephants, dolphins are larger—and chimp almost as large. Yet the output of the human brain is indescribably greater. Few indeed know why!” Something gives man the power of intellect—the ability to reason, make judgments and decisions—which animals cannot. What is it?
Here is the answer: “Many passages of Scripture show that there is a spirit in man,” Mr. Armstrong continued (emphasis mine).
“Science and advanced education today almost universally assume nothing exists but matter,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “They deny the existence of spirit. Which is to say, whether admitted or not, they deny the existence of God.” Leading intellectuals teach that man is completely physical. Evolution would have you believe that nothing exists beyond the physical. But that is wrong! The Bible makes clear that in reality, man has a human spirit—a spiritual component that animals do not have.
Take, for example, Romans 8:16: “The Spirit [God’s Spirit] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” The Apostle Paul mentions two different spirits in this verse: God’s Spirit, with a capital S, and “our spirit,” referring to the spirit in man.
So this spirit is not the Holy Spirit of God. It is a human spirit, which imparts the power of intellect to the brain. “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8). “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11). We understand so much because the human spirit gives the brain this understanding.
This spirit actually provides the capacity for godly reasoning! In fact, the human mind is a type of God’s very own mind.
God gave us this spirit for a number of reasons that help fulfill His very purpose for man. It is by this spirit that God can work with us and build His character within us. This spirit combines with and interacts with the Holy Spirit to facilitate a family relationship with God, which no animal can have. The human spirit makes possible the incredible human potential—something God planned and wants to help each one of us fulfill, something that should be inspiring and stunning to mankind!
If you want to understand the human mind and why it is so superior to the animal brain, read our booklet What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind. We will send one to you free of charge.
But, necessary as it is, that spirit alone is not enough! Until we receive God’s Holy Spirit, as a gift from God, we are spiritually incomplete. It is only by that Spirit that we can understand the fullness of spiritual truth. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (verses 9-10). It is by that Spirit that God reveals His truth to us.
This world lacks that Spirit. Most people, then, not only lack spiritual understanding, but they have a natural hostility toward the truth of God. “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 discerned” (verse 14). Even with the human spirit, man does not and cannot receive the things of God’s Spirit.
Mankind rejects God’s knowledge and tries to straighten out its problems without God. This is a fool’s task! You will never find solutions in the evolutionary theory or any other theory outside of the truth of God!
The Purpose for Man
The understanding of the spirit in man gives you a strong clue about God’s purpose for mankind. But to truly understand that purpose, you must study some important history recorded in the Bible.
Scripture shows that God’s first creation was the angelic realm. He then created the material universe and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). The angels were commissioned to establish God’s government and beautify the Earth. This was God’s means of developing the angels’ character through productive activity (e.g. Job 38:4-7).
Sadly, the great archangel Lucifer—the most impressive achievement of God’s creative powers—rebelled, and persuaded one third of the angels to follow him. They rose up and attempted to cast God off His throne! (Isaiah 14:12-14). In this rebellion, they wrecked the Earth that they were ruling over (as is described in the second verse of the Bible—after a great time lapse from verse 1), and damaged the universe in the process. (For more explanation and scriptural proof, please read my article in last month’s issue, “The Mystery of the Spirit Realm.”)
Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages: “And now, of all living beings in the universe, only God could be certainly relied upon never to depart from the way of His law. No higher, more perfect being could be created than the cherub Lucifer, who rebelled.” The angels had proved untrustworthy. God knew that, to accomplish His great ambitions, He needed more God beings. He needed to reproduce Himself. And He devised a spectacular way to do so in a plan even greater than that of the angels.
“Character cannot be automatically created by fiat,” Mr. Armstrong continued. “Godly spiritual character is the habitual action and conduct of the person or created entity to come to a knowledge of the true ways of God, and to exercise the will to follow those ways even against opposition, temptation or self-desire to the contrary. Character must be developed with the assent, will and action of the separately created entity. It is imparted by God and must be willingly received by that entity. So God now determined, or had predetermined, to accomplish the supreme creative feat—by reproducing Himself! That was to be accomplished through man!”
With the universe in a state of decay and ruin, God had to begin by renewing the face of the Earth (Psalm 104:30). Genesis 1, beginning in verse 2, describes this re-creation—not the original creation, as many believe.
The first thing God did in the re-creation was turn darkness into light (Genesis 1:3). Lucifer was a “light-bringer”—that is what his name means, and that was his purpose. But with his rebellion, he brought darkness. God turned the darkness back into the light He had originally made.
What God did on the sixth day of re-creation begins to reveal why mankind is here: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion … over all the earth …” (verse 26). There is a lot revealed in this verse!
God created man after His own likeness. Human beings look like God. (The angels do not.) This alone points to God’s plan to re-create Himself in man. We look like God because we have the potential to become God!
Man was to improve this physical Earth, making it beautiful with all the necessary finishing touches. The planet was like unfinished furniture, or a cake without icing—it needed to be dressed and made beautiful. It still has to be finished. And only individuals who become members of the God Family, as God beings, can be trusted to do that.
That is why man! It’s all about finishing the creation of God. But that creation isn’t purely physical; it is about building God’s character as well. We look like God in our features, but we were also created in the “image” of God—which means the character and very mind of God! We can be in the very Family of God if we build His character. That is why we are here. God wants us to have a special family relationship with Him forever. That is our purpose.
This is truth about our purpose that this world’s education can never teach, and that you cannot understand without revelation from God. What an amazing, incredible purpose for which God made man! What potential mankind has!
Ultimately, God will use us to beautify not only the Earth, but the entire universe that was damaged by Satan’s rebellion. Throughout the cosmos you see pockmarks and decay because of what Satan and his demons did. But that is about to change! The universe is mourning and waiting for the glorification of the sons of God (Romans 8:22-23). The universe is crying out for help, just as mankind is today. But we are already in the advance stages of God’s eternal plan—a plan for mankind to aid Him in rebuilding and populating the universe!