Mars Landing: A Preview of Your Incredible Potential!
America has just landed its Perseverance rover on Mars. Soon it will send back some of the best pictures and data we have ever had from that planet. The mission also includes the first helicopter designed to be flown on another planet, and the rover will even gather up rocks and soil that scientists hope to bring to Earth later this decade! It’s easy to be stunned by this amazing achievement.
However, we already know enough to see that Mars is in a state of decay. The rover will likely find that it is dead, just as we found the moon to be.
Earth is full of life, yet the other planets are decayed wastelands. Their condition has everything to do with your incredible human potential. This subject is surely a million times more exciting and inspiring than the Mars landing. Let me to tell you why.
Cause of Decay
What caused the state of decay on that planet? When God created it, He said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). God is perfect (Matthew 5:48), so He would only create something perfect.
I am going to have to use some Bible scriptures, because it is the only way to answer the questions about Mars. Anybody can prove that the Bible is God’s Word if they are willing.
God created angels, and they were there when He created the Earth and the universe (Job 38:4-7). But Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 and Revelation 12:4-7 record that Lucifer and one third of the angels rebelled against their Creator and launched a war against Him.
This was the most destructive war ever, and it left the moon, Mars, the other planets and apparently the rest of the universe that God had created “very good” in a state of desolation!
But here is something cosmically shocking and inspiring: That war is the very reason you were created!
God created mankind with the destiny to remove the decay from Mars and the entire universe! You have a direct connection to the universe! God created us to help make the universe look like Earth, like the beautiful Garden of Eden in fact! That is man’s destiny, and you can prove it from the Bible.
When nasa landed its Spirit rover on Mars in 2004, its website received 1.5 billion hits in just five days. Many other websites carrying the news also received enormous traffic. When the Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, about 5 million people watched it live. People are intrigued and inspired by the Mars landings. But most of those people will have only a few fleeting moments of inspiration, then the hope will fade away. Please don’t let that happen to you. Your potential beyond those pictures is breathtaking and inspiring beyond anything you have ever known. See those Mars pictures for what they truly are: a window into to the greatest hope you can ever imagine!
Why do our scientists want to reach Mars? It keeps getting back to one overall question: “Is there life there?” But they are asking the wrong question! They should ask, “Why is Mars and the rest of the universe there?” This question leads us to the Creator first of all. Scientists are focused on the creation, not the Creator. And although it may be done in ignorance, it amounts to an exercise in futility and rebellion against God.
The Apostle Paul encountered scholars who were asking the wrong question and whose focus was warped. He wrote about them in Romans 1:24-25 (Revised Standard Version): “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.” The word creature means things or beings. Those ancient scholars and our modern scientists do not worship God, so they worship themselves or other human beings and the rest of God’s creation, like Mars. Most people—including most religious people—worship science, scientists and the universe, not God.
How disgusting and shallow men are when they worship things and beings—the creation—and not the Creator of those things and beings. We ask, “Is there life on Mars?” But we should ask, “Is there a creator of Mars?”
In The Incredible Human Potential, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
Apparently all such planets in the entire universe now are waste and empty—decayed (tohu and bohu)—like the Earth was, as described in Genesis 1:2. But God did not create them in such conditions of decay—like our moon. Decay is not an original created condition—it is a condition resulting from a process of deterioration. Evidently if the now-fallen angels had maintained the Earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God’s instructions, and obeyed His government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe. When they turned traitor on Earth, their sin must have also brought simultaneously physical destruction to the other planets throughout the universe, which were potentially and conditionally put in subjection to them.
As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy, He must have realized that since the highest, most perfect being within His almighty power to create had turned to rebellion, it left God Himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin.
This is a profound statement. You need to read the book to fully understand. It will show you that these statements fit perfectly into the master plan of the Bible. This is a subject that requires study, and you will find that study richly rewarding. The Bible admonishes us, “Study to show yourself approved.”
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:18-19; rsv). Why are Mars and the creation waiting eagerly for the sons of God? Because a decaying universe (including Earth) yearns for the decay to be removed—decay that was produced by breaking God’s law.
The Creator sent Lucifer and one third of the angels to Earth to administer His law and beautify and build. But they failed, and they destroyed the surface of the Earth. You can read more about this in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Then God renewed the face of the Earth (Psalm 104:30). That is when God decided that only sons of God with God’s own character could rule the Earth and the universe. Only those sons who obey God before Christ’s Second Coming will qualify to be Christ’s bride and help Him rule Earth and the universe forever.
God created man to do a spectacular and magnificent work. When will we see our true potential? Once we do, it will galvanize us into action as never before.
“For the creation 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 [sons] of God” (Romans 8:20-21; rsv). The universe must be “set free from its bondage to decay,” and that includes Earth. We don’t have freedom when we break God’s law. We are in bondage to sin. The law gives us true freedom. We must give the whole universe the liberty and glory of the sons of God—members of God’s own Family!
When we see pictures of the moon and Mars, we can see that “bondage to decay”! We can see what Romans 8 is all about. It is obvious that the universe needs desperately to be set free. God created life on Earth—human beings—for that purpose, to make it flourish with new life and beauty!
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verses 22-23; rsv). God personifies the universe. The “whole creation has been groaning in travail” like a woman giving birth to a child. The Earth and universe are in a state of “labor pains” just before God gives birth to the sons of God! The first fruits—those people called before Christ’s Second Coming—are going to remove those groans! That is why we are called now. Those dead planets will be brought to life. The whole surface of the Earth will become like the Garden of Eden. God is inviting you to lead in this magnificent universe-building program!
The word adoption is an absolutely wrong translation. We will not be adopted by God. We are going to be born into His Family. This truth is so incredible that men refuse to believe God! But it’s true, and you can prove it. The translators just would not believe that mankind is going to be born into the Family of God—of which human birth is a type! It is not an adoption!
How awesome this truth is! Can you believe your Bible? You can if you study The Incredible Human Potential with it and let God build your faith.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (verses 24-25; rsv). Notice: “in this hope we were saved.” God views this as having happened already! We should have that same positive vision.
The word hope is used five times in these two verses. Hope should fill our lives. We really are invited to help God remove the groaning from this decaying universe. And the Earth has the biggest groan of all!
In this evil world, we can be filled with hope. Mars is a desert-type place waiting for the sons of God.
Scientists can see that Mars and the universe are waste and in a state of decay. They are looking for life on Mars. And some intellectuals even dream of removing the decay. Can they do that?
Look at what human beings have done to this planet. We are about to destroy all human life on Earth! Even if we found life on Mars, we would just destroy it in the end!
Scientists are looking for life on Mars. They ought to be learning how to save life on Earth! Our number one problem is human survival!
We were given a beautiful Earth, first created and then renewed by the Creator God. And look at what we have done with it. We have done what Satan did to the universe—only worse! Why is that the case? Because he is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). That means the Earth’s inhabitants worship him. Even if human beings could travel to the Mars wasteland, could we make it flourish with beauty and life?
First we must change human nature!
Many leaders see that we have a dark and bleak future ahead and that we need an escape from the trouble. But if we “escaped,” we would be bringing rebellious, destructive human nature with us!
God is going to first change human nature, then make Earth into a place of beauty and rejoicing. Then we will go out into the universe as God’s Family and fulfill our reason for being created!
Scientists and scholars can see that a change needs to be brought to Earth, Mars and the universe. But human beings can only do that if we submit to God. If we submit to God and let Him change us, we can make the Earth and universe blossom as a rose.
The Big Bang
Discover magazine (February 2004) summarized scientists’ theory for the origins of the universe this way:
[E]vidence for the big bang became too powerful to ignore. [Astrophysicists] accepted the notion that the entire observable universe—100 billion galaxies, each stuffed with 100 billion stars, stretching out more than 10 billion light years in all directions—was once squashed into a space far smaller than a single electron. They bought the idea that the cosmos burst into existence precisely 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. But even now, many astrophysicists are still uncomfortable with the implication that the big bang marked the beginning of time itself. And the theory has yet to yield a satisfactory answer to a key question: What made the big bang go bang?
Foolish men make such mind-numbing statements like “the big bang marked the beginning of time itself.” As if all you need is a big bang to begin time and the universe!
Man can’t create time, but an explosion can?
God “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). He is apart from time. He created time and the universe as a gift to mankind for fulfilling our ultimate potential.
Scientists have no theories about the origination of matter and energy and time that produced the big bang. They have no theories as to how an explosion could create a universe that functions a million times better than any of man’s greatest creations, that functions according to incredibly designed laws. Scientists have no theories about why man is here or why the universe is here. Scientists have no theories about the vital issues of human life. But any person can prove the facts—the truth of God—if they stop looking to pathetic humanity to try to understand what only our Creator could possibly understand!
The design of such a massive-size universe should stagger our imaginations. And we can hear from the architect of the Earth (and the universe).
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof” (Job 38:1-6).
Here is a record of how Earth was created, and probably the universe as well. Genesis 1:1 records, “In the beginning, God created the heaven [should be translated heavens] and the earth.” The whole universe, including the Earth, was created at that time.
There was no big bang. But there was an imagination-stirring creation that proves our Creator exists!
Here are some other translations of Job 38:2: “Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words” (Jerusalem Bible). “Who darkens my design with a cloud of thoughtless words” (Moffatt). “Who is this whose ignorant words cloud my design in darkness” (New English Bible).
The word design is used repeatedly in these translations. There is mind-staggering design in the Earth and universe. It was done by the greatest architect and builder ever: God.
Notice verse 3 in other translations: “Brace yourself like a fighter; now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me” (Jerusalem Bible). “Confront me like a man; come, answer these my questions” (Moffatt Bible).
Scientists have questions. Now they need to get ready to answer God’s questions.
Here are other translations from verses 4-6: “From what vantage-point wast thou watching when I laid the foundations of the earth …” (verse 4; Knox Bible). “… Tell me, since you are so well-informed!” (verse 4; Jerusalem Bible). “Who determined its measurements? You surely know! Or who stretched the builder’s line upon it” (verse 5; New Berkeley Version). “Tell me, since thou art so wise, was it thou or I designed earth’s plan, measuring it out with the line” (verse 5; Knox Bible). “Do you know how its dimensions were determined, and who did the surveying” (verse 5; Taylor Paraphrase). “What supports its pillars at their bases” (verse 6; Jerusalem Bible). “How came its base to stand so firm” (verse 6; Knox Bible).
Job had acted like he was a great builder and designer and that God was in the wrong. But can you even fathom the dimensions and surveyings God did to create just this one planet? Do you know what supports the pillars of the Earth at their bases? Some scientists have the same arrogance, and God’s test awaits them!
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
Job 38:7 records that “the sons of God” (angels) “shouted for joy” when God created the Earth and the universe. Why? Certainly they were impressed by the creation. But the shouting came from seeing their potential to rule the Earth and the universe. Sadly, they lacked the character to do so. So God must have decided at that time that only God had the character to rule the Earth and universe. So He began to re-create Himself in man. He is creating sons, a Family of God. The Family of God will succeed where Lucifer failed.
Sons of God
God never said to any of the angels that “you are my son” (Hebrews 1:5). They are not on the God level. God never intended that they be born sons of God, and yet today they have a fiery splendor that would make us faint if we saw them.
And yet our potential is much greater! Are we grateful?
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak” (Hebrews 2:5). God has put the world to come—the Earth and entire universe—in subjection to men and women who enter God’s Family. Only God’s character can rule the universe.
“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (verse 6). This is a quote from Psalm 8:4-6. David looked up at what he could see of the universe and asked God why He was mindful of man.
I believe most of us don’t usually get the deeper meaning from this verse. God is obviously concerned about the universe. But His main focus is on His masterpiece of creation: man!
God’s mind is full—“mindful”—of mankind and our potential, which is to be born into His Family! The universe would be of little value to God without His Family to rule it.
“Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:7-8). The Moffatt Bible translates “all things” as the universe. God is going to put Mars and the universe under man’s rule. No longer is this the potential of angels. It has become the transcendent potential of man!
God is here discussing a higher level of being than the angels. What a jaw-dropping potential God has given to human beings. It’s time we began to see it!
“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (verse 10). God perfects us through suffering. We experience trials to help change our human nature—which prepares us for our mind-boggling future. The Creator became a human being and conquered human nature, never sinning even once. And He will empower you and me to conquer sinful human nature as well. Verse 11 says that He is not ashamed to call human beings who do so His brethren!
The angels were never called the brothers of Christ in this way, because they were never sons in God’s Family.
We are about to enter a very dark age. Actually, you could say that Earth has been in the dark ages throughout man’s history. God is letting the trauma intensify until we finally learn how inept we really are. It’s as if this Earth has a bad case of epilepsy, and we are entering into our worst seizure ever!
In this convulsing world, we need our universe dream. We need to see the stupendous possibility and the eternal majesty God is offering human beings. Nothing can stimulate our imagination like comprehending our universe potential!