Bible Study given 20 July 1980

I Corinthians 1 and 2

by Herbert W Armstrong


We had finished the Books of Romans and Galatians and they have been recorded so that they could go out to various Churches and I thought it would be good if we would start now at this time, in the Book of Corinthians; starting I Corinthians.

First, I would like to preface it with a few notes, that I just came across last night. Now the next chapter it will appear - well it will be in the September number - no the October number of the 'Plain Truth', on this new book of 'A Voice Cries Out', will be 'What and Why is the Church?' What is the purpose of the Church and why should there be a Church? I ran across a few things, I made a few notes.

Now I had a chapter on the Old Testament. I think that is the one that will be in the coming August number. It is not out yet, I don't think you have seen it yet. But why did God raise up Israel of the Old Testament? Now they were God's Church. They were called in the seventh chapter of the book of Acts; they are called the 'Church in the wilderness.' However, in the Old Testament you find the word, that comes from the equivalent Hebrew word, but it is called 'congregation,' and congregation really means the same thing as Church except usually you think of a congregation today as one local church group, whereas the word 'Church' can include the entire Church.

However, if you look in Webster's Dictionary, you will see that we are all wrong;. a Church is a building, it is a building with a very steep roof and a steeple pointing up toward heaven and a cross on the face of it. It is a building where people go Sunday mornings to hear somewhere between a 12 and 15 minute sermon and a lot of beautiful music and to be entertained and amused.

But I find in the Bible it is a different thing. And in the Bible, it comes from the Greek word 'ekklesia.' 'Ekklesia,' means a congregation, or a called out body of people. Now it also means a crowd or a group of people gathered together, an assembly gathered together. In one case, it meant the political assembly that ruled over a city – that was Ephesus and had nothing to do with God at all.

Old Testament Israel did not have the Holy Spirit. Now most people don't realize that. In fact, they never think whether they had the Holy Spirit or whether they didn't. Never enters their minds one way or the other. But, I was just thinking of a few scriptures that I'm going to get into this about the Church.

The Holy Spirit was not yet given Jesus said in John 7:39. {1} That was on the Last Great Day of the Festival in one of the years, I think it was the last year of His ministry on earth. The Holy Spirit could not be given until Jesus Himself had gone to heaven and been glorified. And another time He said; "...It is expedient for you that I go away [and He meant go to heaven, because He said] for if I go not, the other comforter, the Holy Spirit, will not come..." (John 16:7). So there was no Holy Spirit given to people generally.

Now the prophets didn't have, apparently, didn't have the Holy Spirit. I think it is not absolutely clear and I'm going to do a little further surveying of the scriptures on this point, if there is anything that will reveal the truth, whether the prophets of the Old Testament merely had the Holy Spirit externally guiding them and leading them; or whether they really had the Holy Spirit internally – in other words, with the Spirit of God co-mingling with the human spirit that is already in every human being from the time of birth.

In one place, David, in praying said; "...thou art with me..." (Psalm 23:4). Did he mean, of course God was with him, even though the Holy Spirit was in him? But does that mean that Holy Spirit was only with him and not in him? I have to do a little further research before I can be sure what God reveals because I cannot decide that in my own mind. I have to see what God has said.

The Gospel Not Preached Until Pentecost 31AD (PLAY FROM 04:50)

But the Holy Spirit did not come until the Day of Pentecost in 31 AD, 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven. Now even the gospel could not be proclaimed to the world. The Old Testament did not preach the gospel and the congregation of Israel, or the Old Testament Israel, which was both a nation, a national government, and it was also a Church. Because as a Church it was the congregation of Israel and as a political nation it was the Kingdom of Israel or the House of Israel. But they did not proclaim any gospel to the world.

Now in the Court case against God's Church by the Attorney General of California it is being waged, and has been waged up until now, in the State Courts of California, and those judges are a clique of Jewish judges. Now they've been brought up in the religion of Judaism. Judaism knows nothing at all about a gospel, or preaching a gospel, or carrying a gospel to the world. Judaism has no gospel. The gospel is the message Christ brought from God and they rejected Christ and they rejected that message. When I say that I traveled over the world to preach the gospel, they say there isn't any gospel.

Now it was the smallest appropriation of any appropriation in the Work of God. The biggest appropriation is the payroll, salaries paid for ministers and others employed in the Work. And next to that will come broadcasting and the publishing of 'The Plain Truth,' 'The Good News,' and the 'Worldwide News,' and the 'Pastor General's Report' weekly and other booklets and books. Those are the big expenditures. Now there are other expenditures in the Work. We have to have a business office. We have to have a mail-processing centre to receive the mail and classify it as it comes in, answer such letters that ask questions or send out requested literature to those asking. All of these departments come next, but least of all was the appropriation made every year for my travels over the world.

Jesus Christ's commission is; "...Go ye into all the world..." (Mark 16:15). They say I shouldn't do that. Jesus said do it! Jesus opened the doors for me to see Kings, Prime Ministers, Emperors, of which there were only two in the world, and I knew them both privately and personally, and spent time in private with them. Presidents, heads of government. He sent me to Kings, he sent me to big audiences of the common people in other nations all over the world.

Now there is an ad, I don't believe it has been printed yet, where I go into detail of what I said to public audiences in Tokyo. I was called on to speak before a congress that was meeting to found a new nation in South West Africa, which became a new nation, and they were there drawing up a constitution. And I was invited to come and address them on how they should draw up the constitution – the very foundation of a whole nation.

But there was no gospel until the Holy Spirit came. Jesus said to the disciples, wait in Jerusalem until you received the Holy Spirit. Even the gospel could not be proclaimed to the world until Mark 1:14, Jesus had conquered Satan as you read in Matthew 4:1 on to 10,12, and 14 verses. Old Testament Israel had a function preparatory to the establishing of the Kingdom of God, but they couldn't proclaim the Kingdom of God to the world and didn't and it couldn't be done until the Holy Spirit came. And the Holy Spirit didn't come until 31 AD on the Day of Pentecost. And God's own called people couldn't have the Holy Spirit until then. They couldn't do it until after Jesus had overcome Satan. Jesus could not proclaim the gospel until He first had overcome Satan.

This is Not God's World (PLAY FROM 10:14)

Now Adam had the chance to overcome Satan and to have taken his place at the head of God's Government on the earth. But, Adam didn't overcome Satan, he fell under Satan and rejected God. It had to take the second Adam – Jesus Christ, to overcome Satan. You find that in Matthew the fourth chapter beginning verse one. Then the Holy Spirit had to be given to those that were called of God. Now third, Jesus said; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44). Even then mankind because of what Adam did, Adam made the decision; and God said all right, you've made the decision, you've cut yourself off from me, all your posterity, all your family that will form the whole population of the whole world, will be cut off from me for six thousand years. That six thousand years is not yet quite up, but we are almost on it right now.

Now the prophets and the Law were proclaimed until John, not the gospel. But since that time, the gospel and the Kingdom of God have been proclaimed. Jerusalem was to be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles were fulfilled, Luke 21:14 and Romans 11:25. The fullness of the Gentiles coming in Romans 11:25 is the same as the fulfilling of the times of the Gentiles. In Luke 24:49 they couldn't go out and preach the gospel until they were imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit. Well those things will be a part of it. And so many people don't understand what all that has to do with the proclaiming of the gospel.

And still only a few are called to God. Now if you keep the annual Holy Days, you should understand; that this is not God's world, this is Satan's world. Man has turned to his own governments as influenced by Satan. Man has turned to his own religions as influenced by Satan. Man has designed and made up in his mind his own gods and his own religions. Man has formed his own educational system, and his own schools, colleges and universities and they are not God's kind at all.

God used me to start God's kind of college. But some of our professors got around my son and influenced him and they wanted to have the accreditation of Satan's world, and Satan's kind of education. I said, that it wouldn't be God's college any longer. They kept saying; "Oh yes, we can get accreditation and still keep it God's college." Well I depended a great deal on Dr Herman Hoeh. I finally said; "Herman, do you think we could get accreditation and still keep this God's college?" He said; "Well I think we could, Mr Armstrong." Well, I said if you can do that, they were applying so much pressure, I finally said; "Go ahead." So they were applying for accreditation.

Do you know why we got turned down? It was all set. And, thank God it got turned down before it was too late. I don't want the endorsement of Satan; " Woe unto you, when [Satan and] all men shall speak well of you!..." (Luke 6:26). So says the Bible. The man who was to make the decision, who is from Brigham Young University up in Utah, and he was very favorable to us and he was favourable to helping us to keep our Church doctrines in.

But they all felt - by that time, I had made my son President of the College, and I was just Chairman of the Board, and they thought, well, they ought to have one interview with the President. So he came in to interview with my son, and my son wanted to be sure to get it and he thought that they were against religion and against everything like that, so he spent his whole time saying; "Well look I want to tell you this. I want you to understand this. I have never agreed with his father about anything. I do not agree with the kind of College my father built here. I want to build the kind of college that you people want to build here. I don't want to build the kind of college my father wants. And I want you to know that if we get accreditation what we are going to build. I don't agree with anything my father had ever done."

That ended it. They said that if the President of the College feels that way about his own father, the Founder of the College and Chairman of the board, we can't accredit that kind of an Institution. That was some boomerang, wasn't it? But that came from God. God didn't want us accredited by Satan. Now it is God's College again. We've got REAL accreditation now. I don't want the accreditation of the world. Well, that is just a lot of preface information.

The Church is Founded on the Apostles and the Prophets (PLAY FROM 15:57)

Paul is speaking to the Church. Now the Church of God was raised up primarily for two purposes: that God could call to lead the Church, apostles, the Church is founded on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, the prophets of the Old Testament; because no prophet in the New Testament has anything to do with infusing doctrine into the Church or with an administrative position in the Work of the Church. No prophet had anything to do with any of that; so, the prophets mean, the prophets of the Old Testament. They did not preach to Israel. Israel rejected their writings, ancient Israel. The writings of the prophets, beginning with Isaiah and even other prophets - no you could say with Moses for that matter, and with David in the Psalms. All were for the New Testament Church, believe it or not, and yet today they want to say that we are a New Testament Church; and we don't want anything to do with that Old Testament.

Let me tell you this is the book of God. Now the Old Testament Church couldn't proclaim the gospel. The Old Testament Church did not have the Holy Spirit, that's true; but the prophets did and they were writing for the doctrines of the Church and much of Church doctrine comes from the writings of the prophets; Christ being the chief cornerstone and the Head of the Church. Now just keep that in the background as we begin to read what Paul is writing to one of the Churches.

Now this Church had been established some time when Paul wrote to it and they had gotten into trouble. One thing you need to remember is that the writings of Paul, beginning with the Book of Romans and I and II Corinthians and then Galatians and then Ephesians and well the other books that follow, Philippians and so on - Colossians; they all were written by Paul to New Testament Churches after they were founded. But all Paul's writings are corrective. They are correcting things that were wrong in the Church and giving instruction to the Church. Paul is one of the apostles who formed the foundation of the Church, and the Church is on the foundation of the apostles.

Now you say I am Christ's apostle for our time now today. The first time I ever heard that was Dr Herman Hoeh speaking before the Feast of Tabernacles up at Belknap Springs, and the year was 1951 and I never dreamed anything about being an apostle. He rang up and said there before this small group, we weren't very big yet. He said; "Mr Armstrong is not a prophet; Mr Armstrong is an apostle." An apostle! Well I never thought I was an apostle, where did he get that? Immediately afterward, I called him and I said; "Look Herman, don't you ever say that again. Don't you tell anyone I am an apostle. I never claimed to be an apostle!"

Now it wasn't until some years later that I look back and see by the fruits of what had happened, and I now have to say that if Christ has not made me an apostle, there is none. I don't see anyone who could be an apostle in the Methodist Church. I don't see anyone who could be an apostle in the Baptist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church, the Lutheran Church. Now the Catholic Church has a Pope, but he is not God's apostle - and I think that is enough said there. I can just add that he doesn't even claim to be God's apostle, maybe he does, I don't know, but he doesn't use that title.

Now notice what Paul says and how he addresses the Church. Some things had been wrong and he starts to correct them. Chapter 1 verse 1, the book of I Corinthians:

"Paul called to be an apostle... " (I Corinthians 1:1)

Now notice this. Jesus said; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44). God had drawn Paul. Knocked him down blind. Opened his eyes. And he is one of the called; "...many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14). Paul was one of the called. So he says, I Corinthians 1:1:

"Paul called [and what was he called?] to be an apostle of Jesus Christ [he didn't call himself, God did] through the will of God [you see not through his own will, through the will of God], and [now this means] Sosthenes our brother, (I Corinthians 1:1)

Sosthenes, in other words, Sosthenes was with Paul. This is a letter from me, Paul, and from Sosthenes. But Paul doesn't say Sosthenes was an apostle because he wasn't. Now he is writing I Corinthians 1:2:

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth [but it was the Church of God, not the church of the people], to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus..." (I Corinthians 1:2)

Sanctified means set apart for a separate use of God, for God's special purpose and use; " them that are sanctified..." (I Corinthians 1:2). It doesn't mean made righteous or holy. It just means you are called out as a special group for a special purpose. I Corinthians 1:2:

"...called to be saints [now they are all also called to be saints, to be filled with God's Holy Spirit and children of God], with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's: Grace be unto you [now this is all part of the opening salutation, he hasn't started his message yet, this is just an introduction; Grace be unto you], and peace, from God our Father..." (I Corinthians 1:2-3)" (I Corinthians 1:2-3)

Now notice; he has the authority to tell them that God is sending them grace and peace. He is speaking for God, he is God's spokesman. When he says grace and peace unto you from God Our Father he is speaking for God as God's representative. If I am God's apostle that is the way I speak to you – as His representative. You know, a man might come to your door and he represents a certain vacuum cleaner corporation. Now he is a representative of that company, but he has authority to speak for that company, he represents that company. Now in the same way, Paul represented God and I represent God. I Corinthians 1:3:

"...and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 1:3)

Now he has told who he is writing to, it's the people in the Church at Corinth who are sanctified and set apart in Christ and called to be saints. I Corinthians 1:4:

"I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;" (I Corinthians 1:4)

Grace means undeserved pardon for your sins. Instead of trying to get revenge on you and punish you and to hurt you, God has given His only begotten Son to pay the price for you so He can pardon you, and acquit you of what you did that's wrong. You know when Christ Himself speaks to people in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation – to everyone one of the Churches first, He says I know your works and says something nice about them. Then He comes finally and tells them what is wrong about them. That is what Paul is doing. Now Paul doesn't say very much nice about this Church, but he says right here, I Corinthians 1:4:

"I thank God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you [it isn't anything they did themselves, that is what God did; given you by Jesus Christ]; That in every thing ye are enriched by him [you see that is what He did, not what they did], in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift..." (I Corinthians 1:4-7)

I think he means there, not that they do come behind in no gift, that you shall not come behind in any gift. You put that up to the twelfth chapter that we will come to later, you will see that is really his intended meaning – that he doesn't want them to come behind in any gift that comes through the Holy Spirit. But it is a gift from God, spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 1:7:

"...waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:" (I Corinthians 1:7)

Let me say here, that when Paul wrote this letter and other internal evidence in the New Testament shows that at that time Paul thought the end of this age was going to come right there in his lifetime. I am still making that mistake today, if it is a mistake. I think it is going to come in my lifetime if God extends my life for long enough. I don't know how long that will be. But it doesn't seem to have come as soon as many people have thought. But nearly all of the early apostles thought that the end of this age and the Second Coming of Christ was going to come right then 1900 years or more ago. And it didn't and hasn't come yet. But it's coming. I Corinthians 1:7:

"...waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ [now he wants us to be so confirmed as his Church today that we will be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, that means after Christ really comes]. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (I Corinthians 1:7-9)

Church Behaviour (PLAY FROM 27:13)

Now in I John the first chapter you read that our fellowship is with one another in the Church, but also with God the Father, and our fellowship is with Christ. When we come together on the Sabbath in a meeting, we are coming into a meeting with Christ; and even with God the Father in Spirit. And they are here by the Spirit, that is here.

Now some of you come to other meetings on week days and if you ever notice, I won't wear any neck-tie and I'll have on a sport shirt and I'll wear either a sports jacket or house jacket. But on the Sabbath, you'll notice that I have a white shirt, a neck-tie and a suit on, a formal business suit. That's because I'm coming into the presence of Jesus Christ. Out of respect to Him, I must be dressed up.

Now I've had to correct the Church on that a few times. The first time was over in Big Sandy many, many years ago. People were coming to Church in the sloppiest clothes you can imagine; old patched dirty overalls, wrinkled that had never been washed, pressed or laundered. Just any old way was good enough to come into the presence of Christ. If you were going into the presence of the President of the United States, you would be dressed up. Have you ever stopped to think of that? Why? Because you have respect for that office. We come into the presence of Christ and of God, and we have no respect for His presence at all – anything is good enough for Him. So, we come sloppily and slouchy dressed. Now this is a corrective letter I'm reading here, so I'll give a little correction while I'm in it. I Corinthians 1:10:

"Now I beseech you, brethren [I beg of you], by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (I Corinthians 1:10)

Now he is speaking for Christ, this is Christ saying this, not just Paul. When he says by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is now exercising his power of attorney to speak for Christ. I Corinthians 1:10:

"...that ye all speak the same thing..." (I Corinthians 1:10)

Christ wants us all to speak the same thing. Let's just stop there a moment. If I don't go any further all day than that, that is very important. Christ wants His Church to all speak the same thing. Now he goes on why; let's just read a little more while we are on that and then come back to what I was going to say. I Corinthians 1:10:

"...and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind..." (I Corinthians 1:10)

All believing the same thing – all speaking the same thing. My son has said publicly, and it has been published in the newspapers over this country; "I have never agreed with my father about anything." I didn't realize that. If I had, I would be guilty before God for ever having let him be Executive Vice President. I thought he did agree with me. I talked for a long time about he and me standing back to back with each other. But you know you can stand with your back to someone and he can stab you in the back when you're not looking. And he was trying to; not literally crucify, but figuratively crucify me. And he didn't care whether I died, or whether he got me to resign, or to retire, or something in order that he could take over and be the whole cheese and run everything himself.

I didn't aspire to be the human head of this Church. I started out in a country schoolhouse with 36 seats. So I had an average attendance of about 40, which meant that there were on the average night, four standing up. Now some nights it would be a dozen or 15 standing up all through the sermon. Other times there might have been even a couple or three seats empty. But it averaged for six weeks, six nights a week, it averaged about 40 in attendance - a little country school. I had to go around afoot in a sparsely settled country community inviting people to come.

On a borrowed typewriter I wrote out the topics I'd be speaking about. We ended up with a Church of 19 members. I had one family that had come from the Church of God down in California that lived there. Another family, that invited me there, a man and his wife, and the wife had been converted by a private Bible Study that I had had with them. Otherwise, they were all new people, I never knew before and new converts. Well naturally, I was their pastor. I held another meeting in down-town Eugene and that brought in a few more. Then I had a third meeting out 15 miles in a school called Alvadore and there were 15 new converts who I baptized. Now we were beginning to have a Church and we had to buy the Church property in Eugene, Oregon.

Now I didn't try to knock someone else off the seat in order to be the minister there. I just simply was the one under whom they were all converted and it has continued from there on. I held other meetings and I found that without ministers that were educated and ordained that to try to have them to continue the Church, they just didn't do it. The sheep will be scattered if there isn't a shepherd.

Finally, by 1946 I came to see that we had to have a college. But I didn't have any money to start a college with. I knew God wanted a college and I prayed about it and told God that I would have to rely on Him and we would have to start it in faith. Every dime of money coming was already obligated for broadcasting and getting out 'The Plain Truth,' such as it was in those days. It didn't cost much then because that was pretty small. But there was nothing for a college. And that first year was a hell on earth, believe me. We almost went under; everyone around me. No one gave me any encouragement. Everyone was talking about; "When this thing folds up." Speaking contemptuously of it; but I wouldn't quit, I didn't give up.

So we started out with four students and I had to hire 12 professors. I think 2 or 3 had PhD's, 2 or 3 had Masters and the rest, one or two or three, whatever it was, had Bachelor's degrees. But by the end of that year, we were beginning to get behind in paying their salaries even. But I didn't quit. And by the end of the second year, all of a sudden God started sending enough money, which caught up with everything. And we saved the property that we almost lost and somehow the college was saved.

But it took resourcefulness, it took faith, it took sticking with it, when everybody else said it was lost and gone. It took determination. It took suffering persecution and opposition. Did I make myself the leader? Did I make myself an apostle? Never! Never!

Christ Is Not Divided (PLAY FROM 36:00)

But now he [Paul] said, I Corinthians 1:12:

"Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and [another] I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ [I'm just one of these loners, that I worship Christ alone, all by myself; now he says]. Is Christ divided?..."(I Corinthians 1:12-13)

Christ is not divided. There is only One Church and that One Church must all speak the same thing. Why? That there be no division. That Church can't be divided. God only had one ancient nation, Israel, a type of the New Testament Church. It got divided into two nations, one called Israel and one called Judah. But God wasn't in that. They departed from God. Israel departed first and then later Judah departed. When others go out and try to start another church and try to divide the Church, that is not of God.

If it is the True Church that is not. If this was the True Church when those ministers who have gone out were in it, it is still the True Church of God. Christ said; "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5). And He hasn't left or forsaken this Church, we still speak the same thing we spoke then. What do they speak? They want to speak something different. Is Christ divided? Do they all speak the same thing? No, they don't. No two of them speak the same thing! Christ wants us all to speak the same thing.

Let me ask you now, How are we all going to speak the same thing? If you Don Kessler make up your mind what you want to speak and you say that, and you Mr Tkach make up your mind what you want but that is a little different than Don Kessler, and you speak that; and you Mr Dean have something else in your mind you want to speak, then we already have quite a division. I don't need to go around the rest of you. We are all divided and that is not the Church of God.

The Church of God is not divided. The minute you get into that, it is no longer the Church of God. We've got to speak the same thing. How can it be? How did the first early Church all speak the same thing? And they did at first. God blessed it and it grew and multiplied for a little while. Not very long, persecution was too rampant. It spoke the same thing because it spoke what Christ gave it. Christ didn't tell it to send Sam Jones and John Smith and Jacob Brown. How did Sam Jones and John Smith and Jacob Brown get the knowledge from Christ? They got it from Peter and the other apostles. How did Peter and the other apostles get it? Christ taught them. They put it in the Church and what they believed came through apostles, but it came from Christ.

Now what are the fruits of today's Church? It has survived all the opposition. If this is the Church of God, is Satan going to try and honor and bless it, or is he going to fight it? How does Satan do it? He'll fight it from without or he'll try to get within. He'll bore within – fifth column tactics. He has done it, and we have had to put some out. Once they get out they fight, but they don't get anywhere any longer do they?. The only way we can speak the same thing is if we speak what Christ put into the Church through an apostle. That's the way he did it to start. Does Christ change or is He doing it differently today? If He doing it still today? If; "...Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). Then the only way the Church today can speak the same thing to speak what Christ put into the Church through His chosen apostle. Now if I'm not that chosen apostle, you go find the one who is. And then follow what he says. I invite you to do that.

So you see there is only the one way we can all speak the same thing. Now they tried having a doctrinal committee, and one man on the doctrinal committee saw it this way, and another saw it another way. They were all divided. Finally, I just abolished the whole thing except the doctrine which Christ gave me. And that is the official doctrine of the Church today. I Corinthians 1:13:

"Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (I Corinthians 1:13)

Let me say, was Herbert Armstrong crucified for you? No, I haven't had to be crucified – Christ did that for all of us. Did I baptize all of you? No, thank God, I didn't. I had to baptize the first of them when I was a local pastor preaching in a local Church, I've been through that too. I have had a local pastorate. How many men who have been looked upon as great leaders in Pasadena ever were pastors of a local Church? I've been pastor of a local Church and I've had that experience too. I Corinthians 1:15:

"Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other [he didn't remember]. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect [He didn't come preaching with great swelling words, we get more of that when we come to the second chapter]. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness..." (I Corinthians 1:15-18)

The Gospel is Foolishness to the World (PLAY FROM 42:21)

To those in the world and that is just the thing. What I was trying to put into Ambassador College was foolishness to the intellectuals. And so some of our so called intellectuals in the College, and my son was swayed with them, and by them, and along with them; they wanted intellectual doctrines and wanted to get the intellectuals into the College. It cost us about two or three million dollars to pay off those intellectuals and get rid of them. These are ones they hired on contract. I don't know what their names were. They were never members of the Church or students in Ambassador College. They were only students in other colleges and got everything they knew from other colleges and believed something different. So they couldn't all speak the same thing. I Corinthians 1:18:

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness [and what we were preaching was foolishness to those intellectuals]; but unto us which are saved [or being saved if you take the Revised Standard]..." (I Corinthians 1:18)

I know I've got it right here. Let me just prove it to you. It's a big Bible and heavy too, believe me, big type and it is not Indian paper, but this is the Revised Standard Translation. It is a very fine Bible. Now let's see, it says; " us who are being saved..." (I Corinthians 1:18 RSV). I want to get this point. Are you already saved?

That was the first heckling point put to me when I started that meeting in that little school house with 36 seats. One old fellow said; "Mr Armstrong, can I ask you a question?" I said; "Yes, Mr Belshaw." He said, "Mr Armstrong, I wish you'd tell this congregation – are you saved?" I said; "Mr Belshaw, you ought to know that in Matthew 24 and in verse 13 it says; "...he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Does that answer your question?" He sat down and everybody laughed at him. He was hoping I was going to say; "Yes, I am saved". And then he was going to quote that to me. Now let's see chapter one, wait until I find it here; I Corinthians 1:18 RSV:

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God [you see there it is correct, those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God; let us read on a little in the Revised Standard Translation]. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [God says, and He will, all the wisdom of this world is just a lot of foolish material wisdom], and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart. Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater [as they say]? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (I Corinthians 1:18-20 RSV)

The wisdom of the world, the intellectuals, the great scholars, to God that is a lot of foolishness. Now let me see, that was in the King James; "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? [a more modern translation is 'debater', one who likes to go around debating] hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (I Corinthians 1:20 KJV). I Corinthians 1:21 RSV:

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly [the world calls it folly] of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom [the Greeks thought they were full of wisdom and sought more wisdom], but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called..." (I Corinthians 1:21-24 RSV)

Most Are Not Called At This Time (PLAY FROM 47:03)

Now you see most people are not called, and if you are not called, you cannot come to Christ. Jesus said; "No man can come to me, except the Father...draw him..." (John 6:44). God has cut the world off from Him. The world can't be saved. The world can't come to Christ, they are cut off; and people don't believe it. I say to you people that will be hearing this, later in your other Churches, remember that most people could not be saved if they wanted to be now. It is in God's time.

The first thing when I was converted I wanted to get all my relatives and my best friends all converted. I tried to talk them into it right away but they thought I was crazy. How many of you have done the same thing? You found that they laughed at you, and thought you were crazy and said that was a lot of foolishness that you've got. It does seem like foolishness to them.

You see, when you are converted, you get the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit that opens your mind to comprehend spiritual knowledge. Now until that, you can only comprehend material knowledge. That is all they can see. Anything that is not just physical material knowledge is just foolishness. Now I understand physical material knowledge, but I also understand spiritual knowledge having received God's Holy Spirit. That's no longer foolishness to me, but it is foolishness to the wise and educated people of this world. That's why I say and have said time and again, the most ignorant people in this world are the most highly educated. The most highly educated are the most ignorant. Because their minds are stuffed full of the fables of materialism and they don't have any of the spiritual knowledge to go with it.

Why can't they solve the world's troubles? The problems and troubles of the world are spiritual in nature and without the Holy Spirit they cannot understand it. That's the way it is, and there is where the whole trouble is and the whole problem lies. I Corinthians 1:26 RSV:

"For consider your call [now if you are called], brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards..." (I Corinthians 1:26 RSV)

What have we got in the Church? Not many who are highly educated. We don't have very many PhD's and if we do, they don't stay with us very long. They don't get really converted. They can't give up their so called scholarly vanity. They can't humble themselves and you've got to humble yourself before you are ever really converted. I Corinthians 1:26 RSV:

"...not many [that come into the Church] were powerful [in the world], not many were of noble birth;" (I Corinthians 1:26 RSV)

How many members of the Church have we that were born as Princes or Princesses, or as Dukes or Duchesses, or of high titles of noble birth? Now I have friends of people like that but I can't - I have to talk their language to them. I can't talk about spiritual things to them or they would think I am crazy. But I can speak their language too. I Corinthians 1:27-29 RSV:

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not [that is that are nothing in the world], to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus..." (I Corinthians 1:27-30 RSV)

The Source of Our Lives (PLAY FROM 51:33)

Now get that; God through Christ is the very source of our life. Stop and think about that for a minute. I've been thinking lately of a number of times. What is on the mind of the average person? They go about and they are thinking of the problems of this world. What is on the mind of people that put on television programs? Entertainment, material interests and pleasures, entertainment, politics and things like that. How much do they think about God?

I said to a woman, who is not in the Church; "You don't believe in God." Boy, did she get angry! She said; "Mr Armstrong don't you ever dare say that to me again, Don't you dare say I don't believe in God!" She said; "I do believe in God." "Well," I said; "Let me re-word that, you don't believe God. You don't believe what He says. You don't believe you even know what He says." She didn't have much to say. And God is not on your mind very much of the time. You are not thinking about God. He is not part of your life. He is not even part of it, let alone being the source of it, your whole life.

What is your life? Is your life all of the material things of this world? Your job, your housework if you are a woman? Of course - most women aren't doing housework any more. That lowers the woman to a low status. She's got to be up to a man's status, or rather come down to it. So, she must have a career today, that is the new modern idea. Marriage is all antiquated and out of date. The idea of being a home-maker, why that is a disgrace today. Having children, being a mother – oh no. They've got to be out in the world. They want to eat at a restaurant and not at home. We are a spoiled people – we are people that God needs to spank real good, and he is just about to spank this whole world and what a spanking it is going to be!

The average person, if they think of God at all, and it is only a small minority that go to church any more, they go on Sunday morning as a duty, and it is like joining a club, and their minds are not on God, their mind is not on Christ, their mind is not on the Bible, or the things of the Bible. It never enters their minds all through the week. Sunday morning they go, and get it over with, so they can go out and get into some kind of sport Sunday afternoon. Or see sports broadcasts on television. God isn't part of their life. God never enters their life. But look, if you are converted, let me find that again, He is the very source of your life. He is the very foundation, the source of your life, let me mark that right there [I Corinthians 1:30]. For us in the Church our minds should be filled with God and with Christ from morning 'til night every day.

Now the incidental things in our life, we all have a job of some kind to do, some physical job we have to take care of. All right, take time out to do it, but let the main thing be God and be Christ and the Word of God and the Bible. Try to get back into this again and not see how quick you can get into some sports program or some entertainment or amusement of some kind, which most people want to fill their minds with. I Corinthians 1:30-31 RSV:

"He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification [that is setting us apart not making us holy] and redemption; therefore, as it is written, Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." (I Corinthians 1:30-31 RSV)

I often talk about what great things God has done. You've heard me talk about the great things God has done? How often have you ever heard me boast about the great things I have done? If you ever do, I want you to rebuke me good and say; "Stop right there, Mr Armstrong, I'm going to rebuke you! You told me to."

I Corinthians 2 (PLAY FROM 56:55)

Now that ends the first chapter. Now coming to the second chapter, I Corinthians 2:1:

"When I came to you brethren, And I, brethren; I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom [he didn't come like a scholar and he didn't use the language of scholarship, to exalt his own vanity]. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified [that is about Christ, and the things of Christ and what that means, in the spiritual sense]. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling;" (I Corinthians 2:1-3 RSV)

He was humble, not exalted. He wasn't saying; "Look how great I am, I'm bigger than you are." He didn't say that. I Corinthians 2:4 RSV:

"And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." (I Corinthians 1:4-5 RSV)

There were those in Ambassador College who wanted the wisdom of men in Ambassador College. I had put the power of God in the college and they wanted to get that out. That was a lot of foolishness to them. I'm beginning to think that a lot of those leading men who were leading ministers in the Church were never converted in the first place, because the Word of God and the things of God and the spiritual knowledge was so much foolishness to them. They wanted the lofty words of wisdom of this world. I Corinthians 2:6 RSV:

"Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom [which is real wisdom], although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away [they are not going to last long, any of them, just a little while and they are gone]. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God [now it's secret because it can only be revealed through the Holy Spirit of God and the natural mind doesn't have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand these spiritual things], which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him," (I Corinthians 2:7-9 RSV)

In other words, the knowledge of what God has prepared for those that love us is spiritual. That knowledge doesn't come through the eye and you don't hear it through the ear. That's the only way you get knowledge in your mind is through the eye or through the ear or through the sense of smell, taste, or feel. Tell me any other way that the wise and scholarly in this world ever get any knowledge inside of that physical brain of theirs. There is no other way. They are cut off from any other kind of knowledge. That's why I say, they are ignorant. The whole great, wealth of spiritual knowledge is a mystery to them. It is hidden from them. Their minds can't open up to it.

But they take the physical material knowledge, they dissect it and make it complicated. They get down to - in other words; they take a tree and get down to the tiny little twigs so they can't even see the trunk of the tree. They make it so complicated that it is all-complex and they get all confused themselves. They don't know where they are going or what they are saying. I Corinthians 2:9 RSV:

"But no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived [it never got into man's mind], what God has prepared for those who love him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit... (I Corinthians 2:9-10 RSV)

The only way you can get that understanding is through the Spirit of God. Now how are you going to get the Spirit of God? You've got to come down off your high horse and your high perch. You have got to humble yourself. You've got to repent of the way you have lived. You have got to turn 'away' from that way and you have got to be conquered by God you have got to surrender, to Him and give yourself to Him. How many have gone through that? How many have just said; "Oh, I see you have got some truth, I'm so good, Mr Armstrong, I want to accept all that truth and I want to come into your Church? I am a candidate for baptism." We've got to be careful not to accept people on just that, until there is something a lot more than that. I Corinthians 2:10 RSV:

"God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God." (I Corinthians 2:10 RSV)

It is deeper knowledge. That is why I say this book on; 'The Incredible Human Potential ' is knowledge that is so deep that the average human mind can't even get it. It is clear beyond the average mind. That's why I haven't received very many letters telling how wonderful they thought that book was, and that they thought it was the most important, the best book written since the Bible. Just one of our ministers, and I'm sorry he couldn't be here today but he is preaching a sermon in Pasadena today. I Corinthians 2:10 RSV:

"...For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of man which is in him." (I Corinthians 2:10-11 RSV)

In other words, where is the Deputy Sheriff [pet dog]? Well there is another dog lying down there and dutifully very quiet during the service. Oh yes, there is the Deputy Sheriff, but he can't understand what I am saying. He doesn't understand a word of it. Well alright, if you had some physical, scholarly knowledge in here they wouldn't understand that either.

The natural mind of man can understand physical, material knowledge, but an animal can't. An elephant can't, a horse can't, a cow can't. What is the difference? There is a spirit in man, and except that spirit which is in man, you could not even come to understand physical knowledge and you couldn't put it together in processes of thought and thinking. That spirit in man acts as a computer. It stores up the knowledge, it is the repository of your memory. Not very many know that. The scholars would all laugh at that. Oh they would; "Ha, Ha", at that but that happens to be the truth.

Your memory is not stored in the physical brain. For if it were, an elephant, a whale, a dolphin; would remember everything it ever knew. They can remember some things they ever knew, but they can remember very little and they can't put it together in processes of thinking. The result is that they don't think and don't have a mind like humans.

Now the human mind stores it in that spirit and that spirit gives instant recall and so I can recall things when I was three years old. I recall things when I was five years old and going to kindergarten. I recall things when I was six years old in the first grade in Marshaltown, Iowa. I remember recall one thing when I was called up I don't remember what I had done but I got spanked and I was six years old. And I was walking back on the aisle and I tried to make a face for the kids to see on the way back so they wouldn't see me bawling or crying. That was the only time I was ever got spanked in school and I was in the first grade.

I remember things when I was twenty years old, I remember things when I was 34 years old when I was converted. You remember things too going back in your life the same way. You can think of those things and put them all together in a process of reasoning. An animal can't do that. So that is made very plain here. I Corinthians 2:11 RSV:

"For what person knows a man’s thoughts [what person can think like a man can] except the spirit of the man which is in him? [the spirit enables you to think and get into the thinking process of thinking and reasoning and coming to conclusions and making decisions] So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (I Corinthians 2:11 RSV)

You can't understand the spiritual knowledge of God until the Holy Spirit comes in. Now you can't understand material knowledge until the human spirit enters you. So far as we know the human spirit enters with the first breath when you are first born. {2} I don't know any other time it could be. I can't conceive of it being in the male sperm or the female ovum. I can't conceive of it entering during the embryonic stage or the fetal stage prior to birth. But the word spirit is the same in both Greek and Hebrew that is used for breath. It is 'pneuma' in Greek and 'ruach' in Hebrew, and the same word is used for air and breath as is used for spirit. Jesus compares it to air or wind and so I think that it came with the first breath.

So there is a spirit in man that is not in animals, but that spirit needs another spirit, it needs the Holy Spirit of God and without that Holy Spirit of God man is not complete. He can have only physical material knowledge only; but he cannot have spiritual knowledge also.

Now when we receive the Holy Spirit of God, we have both spiritual knowledge and physical knowledge. And because we also have spiritual knowledge those who only have physical knowledge think we are crazy. It seems like foolishness to them because that is all they know. They are so simple, so poor, so ignorant. We should feel sorry for them, not exalt them. I Corinthians 2:12:

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world [that is the spirit of Satan], but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God [now spiritual knowledge is a gift bestowed on us by God]

You won't find it in the average college or university. Children aren't taught it in the grades. They are not taught it in high school. This world is cut off from God, the world does not know God. And when you get down to it, they don't even know God enough to really believe in God. They believe there is such a power or cause or Being as God but they don't know much about who or what He is and they don't know Him. I Corinthians 2:13 RSV:

"And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit [and you can't teach it to those who don't have the Holy Spirit]. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the [holy] Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned [you have to have the Holy Spirit to discern them]. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one [now he gives a quote here; quote For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? [unquote]? But we have the mind of Christ." (I Corinthians 2:13-16 RSV)

That concludes the second chapter in the New Revised Standard Version. It is the same thing but it may make the words a more plain. That is quite a letter that Paul is writing to that Church up at Corinth. But they were speaking different things, they were all divided. They were seeking the ways of men and not of God. And so ends another Bible Study and I hope it will be helpful to you people here and hope it will be to the other Churches as they get it.


{1} All scriptures are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.

{2} Mr Armstrong wrote later in 'Mystery of the Ages' "The human spirit enters the human embryo at conception. It is this spirit that may, upon adult conversion, be united with the Holy Spirit from the great Creator God, impregnating that human with God-life as a child of the living God, in a state of gestation, though as yet unborn. To destroy an embryo or a fetus in a mother’s uterus is to MURDER a potential future God Being. Therefore, abortion is murder."