Aversion Therapy

By Herbert W Armstrong

16 October 1982


Well brethren, it’s hard to realize that another Feast has come and gone but I am sure you were all elated. All reports that I have had from all Feast sites were simply wonderful, and everybody says “the best Feast ever.” And we hope that next year will be, and I think it did slightly excel the year before. We must keep excelling every year.

I spent three days over at the Big Sandy site. Spoke there once and then up to Lake of the Ozarks and then back here for the remainder of the Feast. But that doesn’t mean that everything is all accomplished. Now it’s just time to start all over again and realize that time is short and we don’t have much time to go.


I did and recorded two television programs this week and in both cases the subject was on the Flood in Noah’s day. That was inspired by a documentary that I had seen as to whether there ever was a Flood, which of course, if it was in the Bible, science says it just couldn’t have happened. The Bible’s got to be wrong—nothing in the Bible could ever be right! But now they’re beginning to find some kind of scientific evidence that perhaps there really was a Flood after all. Now I didn’t speak on that phase of the subject at all. What I was concerned with on the television program was the question: Why, if there is a God of Love and mercy (since there’s so much question today going back and forth over the United States about the death penalty and whether it’s right for the State to put guilty criminals that are a menace to society to death), why would a God of mercy put millions of people to death—all at once and by drowning, in fact all of the people on the face of the earth except Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives? Just eight people left alive to start the world all over again. Why would God do that?

I think it will be three weeks or four, I don’t know, it’ll be certainly two, I think three or four weeks before you see the first of those programs.

But I want to get back to that. Why would God have put all of the people to death, in the days of Noah, except for Noah and his family?

I’ve been discussing for a great deal for the last year about the two trees and some really very important new knowledge has been revealed to this Church during the past year and now I wonder if this afternoon you can bear a little more new light that throws still more new light on all this subject, if we can take a little more new knowledge. It seems like that’s difficult for God’s people to do.


I remember that when God revealed to me about the annual Sabbaths – and He didn’t reveal the whole Feast of Tabernacles – just the annual Sabbath Days to me at the beginning back in 1927 in the spring, and my wife and I kept that first Passover in the spring of 1927. Immediately I began to preach about the Holy Days as “new light” and “new knowledge” to the people in the Sardis church in the Willamette Valley in the state of Oregon. They wouldn’t hear of it. Now they believed in the Sabbath; they had the name Church of God; they didn’t know yet what the Gospel is—they didn’t preach the Gospel because they didn’t know what it is. The Gospel had been lost. Seventh Day Adventists don’t know what it is; no church on earth knew what it was. It just had not been proclaimed for over 1900 years. But the thing I found is that they had gone so far and the people in the Sardis church had accepted the Sabbath; they had accepted the Name of God; they knew there would be a Millennium but they had no idea what would happen. They didn’t know that it meant ruling the whole earth and that we would be ruling under Christ. As a matter of fact they didn’t have the Gospel in any way really. But they would not accept any knowledge in addition to what they already had.

Then the Church was raised up that was the beginning of this Philadelphia era of the Church – in a country schoolhouse out west of Eugene, Oregon. Now those were my new converts that God gave to me, and so I taught them and among the new knowledge (it was all new to them, they were newly converted) were the seven annual Holy Days. So they accepted all of that. Seven years later God revealed to me about the Feast of Tabernacles and the real meaning of the annual festivals, which I had never known. All I knew was God said “Do it”.

I had read how God said to Abram, who became Abraham, He said “Get out of your country and go to a place I will show you.” He didn’t quibble about it; he didn’t say “Well, do I have to?” He didn’t say, “Well, can’t I go later?” Or “can’t I go to some other place?” or “I would rather stay here!” It just says “Abraham went” – and I had learned that lesson in my conversion. And when I saw that God had made the annual Sabbaths holy the same as the weekly Sabbath – that they were commanded forever – I didn’t know why. I didn’t say “Well, I won’t do it until I know why!” I said, “Well, God says, ‘Do it.’ I will do it!”

My wife and I did it and we had to observe those seven annual Sabbath Days seven years alone by ourselves. When I proclaimed it to the Church, they laughed me to scorn. Now, as I say, the new Church learned it, and for seven more years, they would keep the annual Sabbath Days and then I learned that we should keep the Feast of Tabernacles and arranged for us to keep the Feast of Tabernacles at Belknap Springs in Oregon. Do you know that half or more of those who had come in to the beginning of this very Church would not come out except on the annual Sabbaths?! Oh, no sir, they would not learn anything new! They’d go just where they are and they won’t go a step further. Brethren, how about you? GOD IS REVEALING NEW KNOWLEDGE STILL.


I used to admire a gentleman who was past 80 years of age (I think about 81, 82) when I was preaching in those years back there over 50 years ago. Because every night he would say, as he left the hall where we were holding the meetings, he’d say “Mr Armstrong, I learned something new tonight.” You know, later I made him an elder in the Church because he had been an elder in the Christian church but he came out of that when he learned God’s Truth. He was able to advance, to admit he had been wrong. He was able to learn new Truth.

Now I have said the hardest thing in the world for anyone to do is to admit you are wrong. And the next hardest thing is to believe God. Well along with that, it’s a most difficult thing for anyone to do is to accept some new knowledge you never had before, especially if it’s spiritual knowledge out of the Bible. People just don’t want any more knowledge out of the Bible than they already have, and most people haven’t got any and that’s where they want to stop right there. They don’t want to hear any. Like our advertising agency, the head of it from New York was out this week and we had a little meeting and he had mentioned that there’s one thing. We can’t have any thing about the Bible on any of the networks on television. They won’t have the Bible preached on the networks! They don’t want any of it. Well, I wonder if we can open our ears and our minds to additional light on what we’ve had and go a little further because God is revealing new knowledge all of the time.


Now you remember I’ve shown that God gave Adam a choice. He was made mortal and he had to make a choice – between the two trees. One was the Tree of Revealed Spiritual Knowledge, revealed by God that would result, if he took it and followed it, in eternal life. The other was Self-Acquired Spiritual Knowledge—and spiritual attitude, you might add—that he would acquire by himself—but just the life that he had. And it would result in death. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, if he took it, he would surely die. The other tree was a Tree of Life, but it also was a tree of knowledge. Revealed spiritual knowledge, revealed by God, and also revealed attitude—meaning your intention, your purpose, your objective in life. And it’s just as if God had said to him, “Do you want to sit on the throne of the world? Do you want to produce a whole world that will be your own children and then rule over them? Or would you rather go along with Satan who is now ruling, sitting on the throne?” Adam chose to stay with Satan. He rebelled against God, just as Satan had when he was Lucifer the archangel before him.

And so God closed up the Tree of Life. That is, He made it inaccessible to man unless God Himself offered it. Unless God had a reason for choosing someone and giving it to them, no one had access to the Tree of Life from that time on (as you read in Genesis 3:22-24, the last three verses of the third chapter of Genesis).


Now the question is this: Man was mortal. He did not gain immortal life. He had a carnal mind. Why did God leave people here on the earth with a temporary existence? They didn’t have life, only a temporary existence. Now they lived, most of them lived 900 years and over. Adam lived 930 and Methuselah lived a little longer. (Methuselah apparently died in the Flood.) But why did God leave them on earth?


We need to know God’s purpose. And once again I would like to get back to what I have said again and again and again and again—how Winston Churchill, the last of the so-called great men of the world, had said before the United States Congress that “there is a purpose and design being worked out here below”.

Now what is that purpose—God’s purpose? First of all, what is God? He is Creator, and God is a Spirit. He is composed of spirit, and God is Creator. And as Creator, God first created spirit beings, angels. And there were three types of angels in three grades, three levels you might say: (1) ordinary angels; (2) seraphs, a little higher in rank or in kind; and (3) cherubs, which were the highest and were next to God so far as any created being is concerned. So God is creating.


Now what is God creating? God is creating character. And character is the ability of a separate created entity, separate, independent, individual of itself, having mind power and free moral agency or the right of free choice to come to see the right way and the right attitude as opposed to the wrong. The True as opposed to the false. And even against own, even against self-desire, to choose the right, and to have the will to go the Way of the right and resist the wrong and to do it permanently. That is perfect, righteous, spiritual character. And that is what God is creating.


Now God finally said, after the angels had sinned (I’ll come to that in a minute), but in Genesis 1:26 we read how God said “Let us make man in our image.” Now the first place you find God mentioned, as far as time is concerned—not the first place in the Bible, but going back the farthest in pre-history—is in John the first chapter and the first five verses, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.” Now there are two persons. The Word was a Person. God was a Person. The Word was God. The Two formed One God. Two different Persons, (I don’t need to go into that again. I’ve gone into that so many, many times). The Word, however, became flesh (perhaps billions and trillions of years later, whenever it was). That was about 1950 some years ago, or 1980 some years ago; and He became flesh and dwelt among us and became Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He was God-With-Us, God in the human flesh. Now God created all things by Jesus Christ. He was the Word; He spoke nothing except what the Father told Him to speak. But God told Him what to do, and God created all things by Jesus Christ. He would speak. The Power that did it was the Holy Spirit that would respond as Christ spoke and whatever has been created – everything—was created by that process.

Now God said in 1:26, not “let me,” but it was Elohim and in the first chapter of Genesis we read the beginning of the physical creation. The beginning of the spiritual creation is in John 1, in the New Testament; but the beginning of the physical creation is in Genesis 1. You see the Old Testament is pretty much concerned about the physical creation, and the New Testament of the spiritual creation. Now in the beginning Elohim, because it was written in the Hebrew language and Moses used the term Elohim, which is a uni-plural (like the word, church or family—several people maybe, but only one church or one family, one team, or whatever. We heard something about a baseball team in the sermon this morning—in the Sermonette this morning. But it can be nine players out there on the field at a time and I think the average baseball team carries about 25 players altogether, or perhaps one or two more. However, it’s only one team. And God is one God, but more than one person and God said, “Let us make man after our image.” He had made cattle after the cattle-kind, and animals after their kind, but now He said, “Let us make man after the God-kind – after Our kind.” God was now going to—God was going to reproduce Himself!


Now get back to it again. What is God? Of course, God is composed of spirit, John 4:24. God is composed of spirit – but what is God, what it is His occupation? It said that the Word and God lived, in Them was life. They lived. If They lived, what did They do? They had an occupation. What They did was creating. They were Creators. They designed and then They brought into being what They designed. They produced it. They were Creators.

At first They created angel-beings out of spirit, but finally They created matter. The angels were already created; and the archangels were singing and the ordinary angels were shouting for joy on the creation of the earth at the time it was first created. So God, finally, had created matter. Now why did God create matter? Why did He make man out of matter instead of out of spirit? I haven’t gone into that very much in past sermons, but I’d like to go into that this afternoon.


Man was formed and shaped physically out of matter, but he was formed and shaped in the same form and shape as God. In other words, God has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears. He has arms and legs. He has hands and feet. Animals aren’t made quite like that. They are made in a little different form and shape. But God formed and shaped man out of matter; and He made him out of matter so that later that matter could be converted into spirit, and he could become spirit.

Now let me explain a little about how that can happen. We have a very beautiful piece of sculpture just out this side of the Auditorium, and, in front, well, right in front of the Auditorium. I think it’s to the left. I’m thinking of my own office and it is the left of my office, but it’s out in front of us here now. And that sculpture was made by a very famous sculptor, David Wynn, of England; and I think that he now has become the recognized number one sculptor of the world. But I saw a part of this bird sculpture out in front, the Egret sculpture. First he made it out of something. I think it may have been like plastic-clay or what material, some kind of material that was soft enough it could be formed and shaped. But it would sort-of hold its shape if you didn’t push it too hard, squeeze it too hard, or something. Anyway, he converted that into bronze, which is very hard and permanent. Now what he made was only temporary because, if something comes up against it hard enough, it would squeeze it all out of shape or destroy it. So a mould was made, and it was made in pieces for the various parts and they had to be put together right here on campus. And then into those moulds of the various pieces was poured molten bronze. Now as soon as that bronze cooled off, it hardened, and now it is just like rock or stone; it’s very hard and very enduring.

Now I knew Elbert Hubbard, a great philosopher, in this world. He didn’t know anything about God. He only knew something about matter and the world. But he said “nothing is permanent, but change.” Now in the material world that is true. Matter never remains constant as it is. Matter is constantly changing. Now here I have a microphone. Here’s a desk in front of me. And, you know, these things if you take a hundred years, a thousand years from now, they’re not going to look like they do now. Even metal, even stone – one of the most enduring things there is in matter – stone itself will corrode and look different after a few thousand years. I’ve seen a lot of stone that is a few thousand years old, and it doesn’t look now like it once did. Matter changes! Matter is not permanent! SPIRIT DOES NOT CHANGE! Jesus Christ was made SPIRIT, and He said—it says in the Bible—that Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will NEVER change. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE! Spirit does not and cannot change! But matter is changeable.


Now let’s go back to the angels. God created angels first. He created them out of spirit, and remember that spirit does not change. Now I have to come to something that you have to realize. You’ve heard me say more than once that God has created in dual stages. There’s so much duality in God’s plan, the way He works out His purpose. For example, there was the first Adam, Christ was the second Adam; the first was wholly matter, the second was matter plus spirit and has become wholly spirit. There was the Old Testament and the New Testament, duality. I have said, recently, a great many times, that God’s form of duality in His creation is a great deal like a woman baking a cake. But she bakes it in two stages. Now in one sense her cake is baked, but not yet finished – because the icing has not yet been put on. Until the icing is put on it is not complete. As far as it’s gone it’s complete; as far as it’s gone it’s as good as it’s going to be. It’s not going to be changed – until she puts the icing on. Of course, that just finishes, it doesn’t change it.

Now God creates in dual stages. I am convinced myself—and I think there is enough evidence in the Bible to substantiate it (although there is nothing in the Bible that says this just in so many words, but I am certain that it is implied and indicated)—that God created the earth in stages, like a woman baking a cake. When He first created the earth it was not finished. He intended the surface to be finished and have a finish put on the outside surface. And when He put angels on the earth, I am certain He intended the angels to work in the matter. Inside of the earth there is not only dead matter, there is living matter in the earth too – life, living matter. And there is energy within the earth, in oil, gas, other forms of energy. He intended the angels to finish the earth by putting more beauty on the outside of it. And instead of that, they ruined it; and you find the ruin in the first chapter of Genesis, in verse two. The earth had become, well, chaotic and in a state of decay, waste and empty, as a result of the angels.


Now in six days God renewed the surface of the earth as you read in Psalms 104 and verse 30. And God renewed the surface of the earth for man; and that’s what you find in what we call “the creation chapter”—in Genesis 1. It is not a first, original creation. That’s where God changed and renewed the surface of the earth for man, but He intended man to put the icing on the cake, so to speak. He intended man to beautify the surface of the earth. What has man done to this earth? EVERYTHING THAT MAN’S HAND HAS TOUCHED, HE HAS BESMIRCHED, HE HAS RUINED, HE HAS POLLUTED, HE HAS BEFOULED. Look what we’ve done to the air; look what we’ve done to the water; look what we’ve done to the soil. Man has ruined every part of God’s earth that God gave man to work on. Instead of beautifying it, man has gone the other way.


Well, I will say this, brethren, this is the Work of God. And this is God’s little temporary headquarters here on the earth, until Christ comes and moves it back over to Jerusalem. And we have tried to let God work in us, and do things God’s way as He would do it. And we have tried to beautify what is here. Now the very ground on which this Auditorium stands was the nearest thing to a, well, the most ugly part of Pasadena—slum area—that you could possibly think of. We had to buy up each little 40-foot wide lot; and most of them had two houses, one in front and another in the back. And we had to buy them all, wreck the houses, take them off and beautify it with this jewel, this Auditorium, which is a jewel – and much real jewels in it. There is more onyx and the beautiful sort of creamy-pink onyx than any other building in the world. And I don’t think you could possibly get that much more – I don’t think that much more exists now that men know about. We have tried to do it God’s Way and make it beautiful. And three times this campus has won the award at being the most beautiful, the best landscaped, and the best maintained campus of any college or university in the United States. Because this is God’s Headquarters and we’ve tried to do it God’s Way.


Now God’s object, however, ultimately was (1) in angels to create character and (2) in humans to do something more – to reproduce Himself – but also the creation of character because that’s what God is. And when God reproduces Himself in man that means God’s character—holy, righteous, spiritual, perfect character, spiritual character – must be formed in us. And then by a resurrection from the dead, we can be made, what we shall be, wholly spirit, if we receive God’s spirit; if we grow in grace and knowledge; if we continue to obey and be doers and not only hearers of God’s Will and God’s Law; and if we endure unto the end. We shall be beautiful.


Now, angel creation was dual. It, of necessity, had to be. Because angels, we think of as being holy and righteous, but in II Peter 2:4 we read, “For if God spared not the angels that SINNED” – you know that ought to stagger anyone to read that, that angels sinned! What? Holy, righteous angels they sinned! How could they sin? Now if God had made them holy and righteous to begin with, and their creation was complete, they had to stay the way they were made. They couldn’t change, because spirit does not change. But they did change some way; they became sin, sinners.

Now we read back here, in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel {1}, speaking of Lucifer, who became Satan the Devil, in verse 14, “thou art the anointed cherub that covereth.” He had been on the very throne of God in heaven; he had known the way of God; he knew the government of God; he had been there observing and having a part in the administration of the government of God at the throne of the whole universe, and then God had put him on the earth. And then verse 15,

Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways, from the day that thou wast created, TILL INIQUITY was found in thee.

Now that can mean one thing only. SINCE SPIRIT DOES NOT CHANGE, it can mean only one thing—that when God first created Lucifer and his angels, their creation was not completed. HE CREATED THEM IN DUAL STAGES. The icing on the cake had not been put on. CHARACTER HAD NOT BEEN FORMED IN THEM. Now, of necessity, it COULD NOT have been formed in them because character is the ability of a separate entity with free moral agency to make up ITS OWN DECISION, independent of God. And, in other words, the separate entity that becomes perfected, and completed, has a part in its own creation.

Now you and I have a part in our creation as we ultimately are to become, brethren. We have a great part in it. But don’t forget that we are a work of God’s hands. His creation is going on in us, but WE HAVE OUR PART IN IT. And yet the character that is to come into us comes from God. It’s God’s character which must come into us, but it must come with our consent, with our desire, with our will and willingness. And we have to will ourselves and have the willpower to GO THAT WAY and go that way constantly. That’s why we were put here; that’s the purpose of life.

Now angels had minds. But angel creation could not be complete, since they were to have CHARACTER, until the CHARACTER had been formed in them. So angels were made out of spirit, but UNFINISHED. They were given minds; they were given free moral agency. They could have knowledge; they could weigh it; they could think about it, because they had independent minds. Each angel had an independent mind, all his own, just as you and I have. But angels, finally, had sinned. They made their own decision. Now you explain that from Ezekiel 28, where he was perfect as God formed him, but was like the cake is perfect – but it isn’t finished till the icing is put on it, now let’s get that! “Till iniquity was found in thee,” now that iniquity didn’t come from God. God DIDN’T CREATE THAT IN HIM. But God CAN’T CREATE PERFECT CHARACTER BY FIAT. The independent entity, the created entity, has to make a decision and have its own part in that creation and in that decision, or there can be no character. Now in verse 17, “thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” God made him so beautiful it went to his head.

You know I’ve seen so many humans. They suddenly are promoted and they get a higher office in the Work of God—it goes to their head. And do you know that half of those that have been raised and elevated to the highest rank in God’s Church – to that of evangelist – half of them have either gone out, or been put out of God’s Church! They couldn’t take it! They didn’t endure to the end. In fact I think some of them had never admitted they were wrong in the first place. Of course, God knows; I don’t.


But the very fact of what you read here in Ezekiel 28 means God had NOT completed the creation of the angels UNTIL THEY THEMSELVES had decided. And this Lucifer let this brightness go to his head. He let envy and jealousy come into him. Now all of his angels followed him, and that was a third of the angels. Now they didn’t each one independently think of it; because we find that, when he had turned, Lucifer became Satan—and Satan is a deceiver. He deceived all of the world; well, he deceived his own angels. And I feel that he could not have done that just in one 24-hour day. He probably—he’s very cunning, very subtle—so he came to them as an angel of light, as he always pretends to be. Little by little he got them to thinking that maybe God wasn’t quite fair. God had given Lucifer and these angels only this little Earth down here, and the whole Universe is a pretty big place! Even in our own solar system, look at the larger planets, Jupiter, Saturn, other planets bigger than the earth—and a lot of other planets. And God was still ruling all of that and all of the other galaxies, millions and millions of times more of them. And the very fact that he said to Eve “Didn’t God hold something back? He didn’t give you all of the trees in the garden, did He?” Well, you see, he’d been using that same psychology on his angels. “God didn’t give you everything; He held something back!” He got them to be a little bit envious, a little bit jealous, and finally a little resentful—until they turned against God and were willing to be formed into an army to swoop up into heaven and try a coup and take over the Throne of the whole universe from God and rule the whole universe. But they got cast back down to earth; and Lucifer became Satan the Devil, and his angels became demons.

Now they’re immortal. Now once their character was complete and they had to have their part in it, and once they had made their part of the decision, their character was complete. And once their character was complete, well, I tell you what it makes me think of. It’s like our pouring cement. At first, it’s sort of unfinished. When we pour it, it’s fairly thick; but it’s still somewhat liquid. Men can walk down in it and splash it around, but in a few hours it hardens. It dries and hardens. And once it hardens, it becomes very hard; and maybe it’s not permanent. Over enough thousands of years, cement wears. But, for the time being, it is very hard. Now once angels made their DECISION – once their creation was complete – THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEIR SPIRIT IS COMPLETE! THEY ARE COMPLETED SPIRITS AND THEY CANNOT CHANGE. SATAN CAN NEVER CHANGE. And God can’t be born as an angel, and redeem the angels and redeem Satan. Or, if He can, it certainly is not revealed that I’ve found any place in the Bible. And apparently they’re going to have to go on in their own wretched minds—that they have set themselves to, that they have chosen of their own free will — knowing the other side and knowing better. They had never sinned in the first place. They just went into sin deliberately. They knew (they had great minds) and they had the knowledge. (How long they had existed before they sinned we aren’t told; but apparently it was a long, long time.)


Now then, after they had sinned, God formed man after His own image. But how did He form man? Go back again to Genesis and in verse

Genesis 1:26 [God said], Let us make man after our image, after our likeness,

But what did He form man of? Not spirit like angels.

Genesis 2:7 [just across the page in my Bible] And the [Eternal] God formed man of the dust of the ground [not out of spirit like He had angels, but of the dust of the ground] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man [the dust of the ground] became a soul.

Now there is living matter; but that doesn’t mean it’s permanent, like spirit. It’s only temporary. And he became a temporarily living piece of matter; he became a living soul. But a soul is material. It came out of the ground. It’s not spiritual; it’s not eternal. And God said to that soul, “If you take of the Tree of Revealed Knowledge and of the Love of God, that will give you the love to fulfill the Law which He will reveal,” then he would become immortal; but he was not made immortal. Again, his creation was complete physically, but his creation was complete only physical, physically. {2}


Now physically he was made incomplete, though, at the start. Let me go back on that. God’s purpose was for him to multiply and replenish the earth—in other words, to reproduce. But the man alone could not reproduce. I’ve mentioned this a number of times. So God had to take a rib from him and make a woman. And now he was complete. The two became one. They became one flesh. And they could reproduce, and they did; and they had a son. His name was Cain. They reproduced again and had another son. His name was Abel. But they didn’t follow God’s Way. They didn’t want to follow God’s Law. They didn’t teach Cain God’s Law or God’s Way. So Cain became the first murderer and perhaps the first human liar, although Satan gave the first lie.

Now they were also mentally incomplete and they were spiritually incomplete. God gave them a mind that animals do not have. In order to do that, God put one spirit—a human spirit—in Adam. And God so formed Adam that, in every human born, a human spirit would come into that human. Now that spirit is no part of the human. It’s just something in him, that leaves him at death, and it is something that imparts the power of intellect to a physical brain. The human physical brain is no better than an animal brain, but it can do a lot of things an animal brain can’t because of that spirit that is there. But mentally it’s only half there. It has only one spirit. To have a full mind it needs another spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. And it can’t receive spiritual knowledge. So it was spiritually incomplete too. It had one spirit all right, and that gave it spirit, so the spirit in it can come to have spiritual attitudes of malice, of resentment, of hatred, of competition and strife, of rebellion, of vanity, of greed, lust. Oh, it can have all of that! But it, of itself, does not know how to have Godly love. It does not know how to have love toward others.


So that gets into the Two Trees, which I’ve spoken on so much now for about a year and a half. Now one of those trees meant God-revealed knowledge and attitude. And, of course, if he took of that, that was the Tree of Life and that would give him God-Life and even that God-Life would come in the dual stages. First in this life, with the Holy Spirit, and secondly through a resurrection he would come into complete spirit being. Now then, the second tree was a tree of Self-devised knowledge and attitude. Now God made him and created him with ability to deal with matter, as I’ve said so many times, and material things. But also he had the ability to come to a certain spiritual attitude, but not the attitude of God’s Love; because it takes the love of God shed abroad in our hearts to pour out from us in that kind of love, and Adam was not made with that. So he was made incomplete. Again, God starts His creation incomplete and then has to be finished later as He goes along.

Now why did God make him mortal? Why did He make him of matter, instead of spirit? Well, if man chose the wrong Way, if he did the wrong Way, he could change; he could repent and MATTER CAN CHANGE! Matter can be changed; it’s always changing any way. Spirit cannot. Once the angels made the wrong choice, and their creation was complete, they can never change. They’re always going to be evil – forever – and they have immortality and will exist for ever.


Now with Adam, it’s just as if He had asked Adam, “Would you like to take over the rulership of this whole universe?” And he could have taken it over from Satan, but he made the wrong decision. He made a decision just like Satan had made, but the decision that man made can be changed because he’s mortal, because he’s made out of matter. Now then, at the time Adam made that decision, four things happened. I’ve taken a lot of time to go over these four things; I’ll just mention it real quickly.

At that time (as you read in Revelation 13:8) Christ, as the Lamb of God, it was decreed then and arranged in God’s plan, that He would be slain in due time, the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. The foundation of the world began when Adam made that decision.

Now it was also decreed at that time, and God decreed it, that it was appointed that man, then, should DIE, but after that the judgment. And that there should be a resurrection and God ordained that man, if he made this mistake, everyone who ever had lived was going to be resurrected or as you read in First Corinthians 15.

I Corinthians 15:22 As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all [the same ALL] be made alive, but every man in his own order. [Now Christ became human, and He was the first to be resurrected, immortal, 1951 years ago.] Afterwards they that are Christ’s [I hope that includes us, brethren] at Christ’s coming

And then after that two more resurrections are to come, as you read in the twentieth chapter of Revelation.

Then, another thing happened, you read in Genesis 3:22-24 {3}, God closed the Holy Spirit so man can’t, just of his own accord, go in and take the Holy Spirit—not unless God decides to give it to him.


Now then, that founded this world – under those conditions. And this world was founded. It started. As I say, the first son born killed his own brother and then lied to God about it, and man started out in violence. Now notice how things continued from then. Chapter 6 in Genesis,

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them [skip down to verse]

Genesis 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And it repented God that he had made him on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart. [Then we read further in verse]

Genesis 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled violence and God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; and all flesh [ALL flesh]had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Now God had given them a temporary existence and, up till that time, they were living about 900 years of life. Now God found Noah; Noah found favour in God’s sight and he was perfect in his physical generations, and God chose Noah to save humanity alive.

So why did God kill all of those people? I want to come on a little further before I answer that question. Man’s temporary existence was cut off of all of them, as I say, except eight people, and He started the world all over again. Why did God allow carnal life for the 6000 years? Why didn’t God cut human life off at the time of Adam? Why has He allowed carnal people to go on and yet the Holy Spirit SHUT OFF FROM THEM SO THEY CAN’T BE CONVERTED? And God’s purpose is the creation of CHARACTER, and God’s purpose is to REPRODUCE HIMSELF OUT OF US, out of man. Why did He allow people to go on, and no salvation was offered to them?


I think my own experience shows a little of the reason. I’ve thought about that a great deal, brethren. Why did God allow people, and give them no chance of salvation, what has that got to do then, what has human life through these 6000 years up to now, what does that have to do with creating righteous, holy, perfect, spiritual character within us?

I look back at my own experience. It came to me one night, just as I was preparing for bed and for sleep, I was thinking on these things and I began to think that God was somehow dealing into my life and with me, before my conversion. Now my conversion didn’t take place until I was 34 years of age. I had been what I thought was quite successful in this world and then God had taken every bit of that away from me. God had caused, in the flash depression of 1920, my clients, from whom all of my income derived, to go into receivership and those who had any money invested lost what they had and all of the officers of the companies were removed. Now, that included, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. That included the JI Case Plough Works. That included John Deere and Company. They were my clients. They all went. The name went on – the companies still exist today. But I went down and lost everything at the same time those great corporations did, because my income came from them.

But you know, I have thought many times, that the experience I had in those years prior to age 34 when God struck me down into poverty after I had been successful—I had made what today would be a third of a million dollars a year, when I was only 28 years of age, and I don’t think many young men have made that much money in this world. I had an office in the Loop of Chicago for seven years and I was quite successful, if I may say so; I was cocky and conceited and I had to get rid of that. I had to find that I was nothing but a burned out hunk of junk, and I had to find if I was going to ever amount to anything at all or accomplish anything, I had to just yield and let Christ do it in me, not do it myself. I couldn’t take any credit either.

But my experience was a lot like the Apostle Paul’s, in principle (not in kind, but in principle only) and I had found—now the things that I learned then have had a great deal to do with the building of this Church and this Work. A number of things are responsible for the building of this Work of God and this Church. But of them I would say that my writing, and the experience that I had in learning and coming into writing ability—and a certain kind of writing—has had perhaps more to do than any other one thing with the building of this Work. It was—God was preparing me for what I have done after He got hold of my life and after I gave it over to Him. Also, public speaking, I had had quite a little experience in speaking to groups of business men in my earlier life. I had pioneered in making surveys and investigations to determine public opinion – like the Gallup Polls and those today; I was the one who originated all of that. Maybe you didn’t know it, brethren, but the first time that was done appeared in a national magazine in the year of 1915 and it’s all developed since then. One of the largest advertising agencies, and I believe it was the largest in the country, it was NW Ayer and Company, saw that article that was published in this national magazine; and they began making such surveys. And later it’s become a thing. Today we have a Gallup Poll, a Harris Poll, the Los Angeles Times takes polls; the New York Times take their polls, and all kinds of polls are being taken—and really they don’t know as much about it as they think they do!

Then I look at the experience of the Apostle Paul and how God prepared him during his carnal life, when he was going exactly the wrong direction, for what he was going to do later. Now I want to go into that and show you why God has let us be carnal, and let this world go for 6000 years, cut off from His Spirit.

There are alcoholic cures for alcoholics and tobacco cures—that they have a type of treatment that you can call “Aversion Therapy”. In other words, they make you so sick of alcohol that if you take the slightest drop it makes you sick, you can’t stand it. You’re so sick of it, and you’ve come to despise it so much, you don’t ever want to do it again! And, you know, I think that, in a sense, is the same principle that God is using, Aversion Therapy.


Now all in this world is not evil. There is some good in this world, believe it or not. It’s not righteous in God’s sense of the Holy Spirit, and yet there is morality of a certain kind. There’s too much immorality too! But I was reared by honest and completely moral people, and there are morals even in this world’s religions. Now take the Protestant religions, the fundamentalist Protestants. They have a certain amount of God’s Truth of the Bible, but there’s so much they don’t have too. So that they just don’t have God’s Truth. They have a little of it. But some little that they have is good.

I had another broadcast, I don’t know whether it’s been aired or not, of how there is some good. For example, there is singing and there’s been dancing that is good. David sang and danced. He danced to the glory of God, got criticized for it by his wife too. But God didn’t praise her for that; rather He took away the ability of child-bearing from her as a result of it. But David sang so many songs that one whole Book of the Bible is composed of the words of his songs, called Psalms, and most of our songs that we sing are from the Psalms, quoted right out of the Bible. So there’s a kind of singing and there are certain things of taking human talents and abilities and of excelling in them. Now this Auditorium we turn over to share with the whole public of Southern California what they can enjoy. They wouldn’t enjoy coming in to hear this sermon today, I’m sure. They’d say “Oh, no thank you. We don’t want to hear anything about God!” But they will come in here to hear some very beautiful music. Now in just a few days they’re going to hear the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on this stage. Then a few days later they’re going to hear, what I think is generally recognized as the greatest and finest orchestra in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Herbert Carrion. I know him. I’ve met him and met his wife, over in Germany. And I think he’s considered the greatest conductor in the world. Now the choicest seats are being sold for $50 a piece for that and we find that they’re almost sold out, and we could have sold for at least – they’ll be here for four performances – and two of them we could have sold out four or five times, especially when they play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

So there are good things. There are some good things in this world. It’s not all evil and yet man essentially is an evil thing because he is carnal—and the carnal mind is hostile against God, is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. Now take the experiences that did happen. God called a nation. They were carnal; they didn’t have His Holy Spirit. He never gave them His Holy Spirit, but He did show them His Way of Life. He did show them the Way of Righteousness. They didn’t really follow it. They did a lot of things that were wrong. But turn over for the moment to the tenth chapter of First Corinthians and let’s begin now with the first verse.

I Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, of how all our fathers [that’s Ancient Israel] were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea [now dropping down to verse seven]

I Corinthians 10:6-7 Now these things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. (7) Neither be you idolaters, as they were some of them, as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. [And then, let me see let’s continue on with verses 11 and 12]

I Corinthians 10:11-12 Now all these things happened to them for examples and they are written for OUR admonition [that’s in the Church, those of us who are called and are building God’s type of character] for our examples upon whom the ends of the world are come. (12) Therefore let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. [I’d better add that too! We need to know that also.]

So there was a reason. They were writing something. We learn by experience. An alcoholic perhaps learns something by his alcoholism. Once he gets sick of it, he never wants to return to it again. And WE’VE GOT TO BECOME SO SICK, SO FED UP WITH THIS WORLD, WE NEVER WANT ANY MORE OF IT AGAIN! That’s God’s purpose. Now that never happened to Lucifer and the angels. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean to say that it was necessary for us to commit sin in order to get righteous – far from that – I didn’t say that at all. But I want you to notice that there has been some purpose in it and we have to make our own decision.


Now if you turn to the ninth chapter of the book of Acts, I want you to notice a little about Paul’s experience. In the first two verses (his name originally was Saul),

Acts 9:1-2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord [and he had actually consented wholly to the stoning to death of Stephen, the martyrdom of Stephen, and] he went unto the high priest (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues that if he found any of this way [that’s Christ’s Way], whether they were men or women that he would bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

He was going after them to make them prisoners, to have them punished, he was fighting, breathing slaughter against God’s people and Christianity and the Work of God. Now come to verses six and seven—well, he was struck down on the way, as he journeyed to Damascus he saw a great light and he was struck down blind

Acts 9:4-5 And he fell to the earth [this is verse 4] fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (5) And he said, [Well] Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

When he heard a voice saying, after he’d been struck down, “I am Jesus” that really hit him; that really shocked him. And then they carried him on to Damascus. But God spoke to a man in Damascus, Ananias, and He said, see,

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way [he was told to meet Saul when he came and to baptize him] Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me.

Now, notice, Saul didn’t choose it himself; he didn’t volunteer. He didn’t just decide he’d get converted. Christ called him; Christ struck him down; Christ said “I have CHOSEN him.”

Do you realize, brethren, that God has chosen each one of you? Or you couldn’t have come, if he hadn’t sent His Holy Spirit to draw you. He chose you and drew you – but there are MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS UPON HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of others in the world He has never drawn; He has not chosen. You’re just one out of many hundreds of thousands, probably, that God has called and that’s the responsibility on you.

Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way for he is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. [And I believe I’ve become a chosen vessel for this time, in the same way, and I, too, have had to go before kings and people all over the world.] (16) For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

And I learned, at my time of conversion, that if I gave myself over to Christ and if I set out to let Him lead my life from now on, that I would suffer much persecution. I didn’t know what or how much; I didn’t dream of how much. But I did count the cost and I said “OK, I will be willing.” And now it comes, I have to be willing. Now I have to be willing. My life has been threatened and there’s been a great deal of persecution.

Now I’d like to turn to the seventh chapter of Romans {4} and verses 12 on, where Paul said,

Romans 7:12-15 Wherefore the law [the law of God, a spiritual law of love] is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might APPEAR sin [so that I’d recognize it and know that it is sin] working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might be exceeding sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under death. (15) For that which I do I allow not: and that which I would, that do I not.

Now he wanted to do the Will of God, the Law of God. He had been converted now. This is Paul after he was converted. First I read you his experience before conversion. Before conversion Paul had become quite a scholar. He was highly educated at the foot of Gamaliel, the greatest teacher of the time. And he had an experience that now God could TURN HIM AROUND TO GO THE OTHER DIRECTION and Paul could be of great service.

So what he learned in his carnality was of great value once God changed his direction, put His Holy Spirit in him, gave him a different attitude altogether.

Romans 7:15-18 That which I do I allow not: for that which I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [Are you like that, brethren? I am.] (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it [the law] is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing [the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in him was good, but not in his flesh] for to will is present with me.

To will, to even do the Way of the Law of God; and still he didn’t always do it! Now this is after Paul was converted! Paul was still committing sin; Paul was still doing that which was wrong. He didn’t want to, he didn’t mean to. With his mind he wanted to go the other way, so he said

Romans 7:18-25 for I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing; but to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would [which I want to do] I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [So do you, brethren, and so do I and so does every Christian.] (20) Now ...it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man [that’s what he wanted to do; he didn’t hate the law of God, he delighted in it]. (23) But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind [which is God’s Law] and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death? (25) I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord [in other words, I am thankful that it is God through Jesus Christ that will deliver me]. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Then he went on.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Then he comes down to the seventh verse,

Romans 8:7-9 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be [and that is the way of all the world and has been for 6000 years] (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit IF so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Sitting in a seat here in this service doesn’t make you a child of God. If the Spirit of God is not in you and guiding your life and your mind and your will and your whole desire and purpose and you’re striving to overcome even though you find you occasionally do go the other way—unless that Spirit is in you and you’re being led by the Spirit of God—you are not a Christian; you are none of His.

Romans 8:11 But, [verse 11] if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from dead in you shall also quicken [or make immortal] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.

Now, let me just see how much time we have left; coming along OK I see. I may want to come back to the eighth chapter of Romans a little later if I have enough time.


Now Lucifer was sitting on God’s throne, remember, before he turned the wrong way. He started out right, but he turned wrong. Lucifer had not sinned until he was given the responsibility and kingship on the throne of the Earth. He’s still on that throne, by the way, even though he now is Satan. Well, man started making the wrong choice at the very beginning. Man started out wrong and let Satan make him make his first decision the wrong way. Once Lucifer had made the decision, his creation was complete; and, being SPIRIT, IT CAN’T BE CHANGED. Once man made the decision, being mortal, HE CAN BE CHANGED because he’s made of matter and matter can be changed. And Christ could come in matter and become human like us and live a perfect life in our stead, and die in our stead to pay the penalty in our stead that we have incurred; we then can be resurrected. And that’s why God made His plan, that it was appointed to all men once to die, but after this the judgment. All will die in Adam, but in Christ they will all be made alive. Brethren, let me tell you, in the churches of this world, of Christianity, you DON’T HEAR MUCH ABOUT THAT. They only talk about going to heaven or hell; they don’t talk about the resurrection. And I believe that I should put on the air now, in the broadcast that goes out over the world, the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians about the resurrection. I tell you the person (the average church-goer) in a so-called Christian church knows practically nothing about the resurrection. They just think that you go either to heaven or hell when you die.


Man was started on the wrong way. Man is being given a great dose of aversion therapy. You see what I mean? We have got to come to the place where OUR STOMACH’S SO FULL OF THE ROTTENNESS OF THIS WORLD WE DON’T WANT ANY OF IT; WE WANT TO VOMIT IT UP. And I don’t know anyone who wants to go out and swallow up his own vomit again.

Why is God going to allow the Great Tribulation to come? It’s a time of trial and testing, a final trial and testing. And men are going to get so sick of this world and of its way, so fed up with it (just to use a little modern slang) that they never want to return to it again. That they never want to return to it again.

Turn to First John. First, the first chapter, and it’s speaking to us in the Church here,

I John 1:1 That which we have seen and heard declare we [and it speaks of our fellowship being with the Father and with Jesus Christ, speaking of Christians, and later he says]

I John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin [we in the Church] we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [I just read you how the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest Christians that ever lived, was not always doing what he really wanted to do, following the Law of God. He found himself going the wrong way once in a while, but when he did, now here’s what you must do. I found since I was converted that without realizing it I was just letting myself go the wrong way once in a while, caught off-guard.] (8) If we say that we have no sin [we Christians] we deceive ourselves. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS [IF WE ADMIT WE’RE WRONG – THAT’S SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO DO, admit they’re wrong. Brethren you have to admit you’re wrong, whenever you go wrong. I ADMIT I HAVE GONE WRONG SINCE I WAS CONVERTED. Do you? Now, IF WE ADMIT IT.] (9) IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

But to admit it, you have to confess it and want to turn away from it and ask God to help you turn away from it and He will certainly do it, because His mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above the earth. And it’s going to take a great deal of admitting we’re wrong, brethren, before we ever get into God’s Kingdom.

Now then, let’s go right on over to the third chapter,

I John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us [that’s in verse one] that we should be called the sons of God. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of [we already are the sons of] God and it does not appear yet what we shall be [that is, what we shall be can’t be seen yet, it isn’t visible, it doesn’t appear] what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear [at the Second Coming of Christ] we shall be like him, we shall see him as he is.

We won’t look like we do now. We won’t have the same colour of face as we do now. Maybe our eyes will be just like His then, like flames of fire; and our faces like the sun in full strength. And then you read on down to verse nine, “whoever is born of God.” Now that which is born of the flesh IS FLESH, that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT; and, when we are born of God, we will BE Spirit. You won’t be flesh; you won’t have a heart pumping blood any longer; you won’t have to breathe air to live.

I John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for God’s seed [his seed meaning God there, as the antecedent of ‘his’] remaineth in him [in man, the man born again] and he CANNOT SIN because he is born of God.

In other words, once you become spirit, you are no longer flesh; you become spirit, and spirit doesn’t change, and then you won’t be able to sin. Now Satan finished his creation in the wrong way and he can never change. God can never change. He is righteous; it’s impossible for God to sin. It was not impossible for Jesus to sin, because he was in human flesh and he was tempted in all points like we are—yet without sin—just like it’s possible for us to sin. But once we have gone through this experience (once we have learned from our experience and we’ve gone through this aversion therapy and we get fed up enough with this world and we don’t want anymore of it), God will make us in a condition of spirit where we can’t sin. God speed that day!

I am getting so sick of sin that I want to be at the place where I can’t sin anymore. I hope you do too, brethren. I hope you do too.


Finally, just a word here from the eleventh chapter of Romans, in verse 33,

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!

How wonderful are the Ways of God – clear beyond understanding. And the people of the world don’t understand the things I’ve given you today, brethren. It’s a wonderful thing.

But we’re made mortal; we can be changed.

Now I overlooked some very important scriptures. One is how God is the Potter and we are the clay and He can fashion and mold us; we are the work of His hands but we must submit. Now I had to take a little therapy. I had a very bad knee yesterday. And my left knee is heavily wrapped in wrapping today and I think it will be all right in another day or two now. But while the doctor who takes care of that type of thing was working on me, and I had a cartilage a little out of joint and he had to twist and jerk the leg and it was a little painful at the time, but I had to just relax. I had to relax in his hands. And that’s what we must do in God’s hands. We must relax and let God form and shape us His way and He will do it. I, years ago, used to take some osteopath treatments, and I learned that the osteopath couldn’t do what he wanted to, in his twisting of my body and massaging and one thing and another, if I didn’t just completely relax. And that’s what we have to do in God’s hands. And I tell you, what He has in store for us, people in this world have no idea! It is, well, it is not just fantastic; it is awesome and clear beyond any human understanding or realization now—The Awesome Human Potential.

Transcribed by SRD 7 July, 2005

{1} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently said the wrong book of the Bible.

The original reads: “Now we read back here, in the 28th chapter of Hebrews.”

{2} Editorial note: A change has been made to keep Mr. Armstrong’s obvious intent.

The original reads: “And God said to that soul, “If you take of the wrong fruit, instead of taking of the Tree of Revealed Knowledge and of the Love of God, that will give you the love to fulfill the Law which He will reveal,” then he would become immortal; but he was not made immortal.”

{3} Editorial note: At this point, Mr. Armstrong mentioned the wrong Bible book.

The original reads: “Then, another thing happened, you read in Revelation 3 verses 22-24.”

{4} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong corrected himself, and those changes were kept in the transcript.

The original reads: “Now I’d like to turn to the eighth chapter of Acts, the seventh chapter really—the seventh chapter of Roman, I meant; and verses 12 on, where Paul said.”