Getting Back on Track

By Herbert W Armstrong

December 1981


It has been almost a year since I have been here, around 11 months; and since then this Church has really been getting back on the track. At that time I said something about Satan being ready to strike at this Church, and he is always ready to strike at this Church. He wants to destroy this Church. He’s not interested in destroying the churches of this world, the churches of traditional Christianity. He wants to destroy the Church of God.

I know that what I said evoked a little bit of comment, and some rumors spread around as a result. People wondered what I was talking about. I didn’t divulge that. I will just say that the specific thing that was threatening at that time, which I couldn’t reveal to you, Christ has since solved, at least up to now. We hope it is permanently solved. You know, whenever we are in trouble, the solution lies in the Head of this Church—Jesus Christ. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He never has, He never will. And He has pulled us through this year; and this has been the most eventful year, and the year of the best progress spiritually, in the history of this Church. This Church has begun to please Jesus Christ! And when we please Him, then He blesses us.

I wish you could have heard the sermonette last night down at Pasadena. It was showing what is going on in the first arm of the Work: on radio, television, and the Plain Truth, and getting the gospel out to the world. It was most inspiring, believe me, on how God has been working this year, the doors that He has opened up—television stations all over Australia, all over Canada, and now opening up very strong stations throughout the United States in a manner they have not opened up in years. The Plain Truth was running a little under two million copies in subscribers a year ago. Now it’s over four million.

The Work is going forward as it never did before. As we begin to please God, He will push His Work through. This is the Work of God! It has to be based on the Word of God. You have heard what it means to get back on the track. It’s the Word that came from God through Christ. He spoke only the words God gave Him. The apostles spoke only the words that Christ gave them. Jesus Christ is the Word of God in person. I have here the Word of God, the same Word of God exactly, in writing. It’s no different; it’s the same Word of God that taught the original apostles. No difference whatsoever, same Word of God. So God taught His apostle of this day and age through the same Word that He taught the original apostles, precisely.

Now, in the meantime, it’s a lot like a whispering game and to quite an extent. The people had gotten off the track. I wonder if you ever played that whispering game. I remember I did many, many, many years ago when I was a very young man. Well, if we’d start with Mr. Luker down here at the beginning; and he would whisper to the lady next to him a certain sentence of a few words (five or six words, seven or eight); she would listen, “Yes, I understood.” Now then, she whispers what she heard to the lady next to her; and she listens till she gets it; then she whispers the same sentence to the gentleman next to her; and he whispers it to the gentleman next to him; and he to the lady next to him; and so on until we get to the end of the first row here. And then the man at the end stands up and tells the group of us what he heard—what had come from the beginning; from one person to another, till it got to the end. And then Mr. Luker would stand up and say, “Here’s the word that started.” And we’d have a big laugh. It is so different! It got so mixed up on the way that you can’t recognize it. It isn’t the same word any more.

Brethren, that is what happened to the Church. The original Church of the first century received their doctrines—their beliefs, the truth they had—from the apostles. They didn’t receive it from Christ. Christ had been crucified, resurrected and gone to heaven ten days before the Church had started. Christ wasn’t there any longer. He had taught the apostles, the people had got it from the apostles.

Now the Word of God, they only had the Old Testament at that time (The New Testament had not yet been written.), and few people had a copy of the books of the Old Testament; and they were in single books. Some people might have had a copy, a very few copies extant, of the book of Isaiah. Someone else might have had the book of Hosea, and someone else the book of Jeremiah. Someone else had Genesis, and someone else had Deuteronomy. Not very many knew very much, and they only had the Old Testament at that. The people had to take the apostles’ word for it! The original apostles, however, did not deviate from the truth. But by the second or third generation, inside of twenty to thirty years, the gospel was suppressed. The truth was beginning to be altered. It had been watered down, it had been changed; and the people didn’t have the truth that came from God, through Christ, through the apostles. It became changed. Do you understand that brethren? It became changed.


TODAY it is a little bit different. The printing press was invented along about three or four hundred years ago. TODAY we have the Word of God in print. We have the New Testament. We have the Old Testament. Jesus Christ called the representative He wanted for this day and age. He called a very poor piece of human junk. He didn’t call one of the most brilliant. He called a man who has known scores of other men of better mind, of better personality, of better posture, of better appearance. God didn’t choose any of them. And He doesn’t always choose the great of this world, does He? He chooses the meek of the world. He had to choose one that He had been able to BEAT DOWN INTO SURRENDER. He beat ME into surrender. He knocked Saul down and turned him into the apostle Paul.

Well He knocked ME down too, but in a different manner. I had been very successful in business. By age 28 I was making what in today’s dollar value would be about a quarter of a million dollars a year. How many young men of 28 today are making a quarter of a million? I was quite successful. I was dealing with the great and the near great. I was dealing with the presidents and board chairmen of the greatest corporations in the Middle West and the East Coast, New York and Chicago. I had built quite a business in Chicago. God took it all away. I built another business in Portland, Oregon. I was in the advertising business. I started an advertising service for laundries. Every laundry from Eugene, Oregon up to Seattle here and up to Vancouver and across the State of Washington had become my client; and I was doubling the business of every one of my clients. And, all of a sudden, it just taken away by the national association; and my laundry older clients couldn’t change it. And I couldn’t, and I WAS DOWN AND OUT.

And then God challenged me on something that, to me, I didn’t want to believe. He caused my wife to see His truth about the Sabbath. To me that was religious fanaticism. I said to my wife, “You can’t live with me and keep that ‘Jewish’ Sabbath.” If my wife had gone along with me, you wouldn’t be here today, brethren! This Church wouldn’t be here today! But my wife stood FIRM. She loved her husband, but she said she had to love God more. I said, “But the Bible says ‘Thou shalt keep Sunday.’” She said, “Well, where does it?” Well I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know anything about the Bible.” And I didn’t then, 55 years ago. Most of you have been born since that. “Well, see if you find it. If you show me where God says that, I’ll believe it; but I’m going to believe what God says.”

You know I had to eat crow, so to speak. You know many husbands are turned by their wives, and many wives are turned by their husbands. I had a wife that stood firm for God. He came first. I had to begin to search the Bible when she said, “Prove it to me, and I’ll go back to Sunday.” I tried. I had to study evolution. I was challenged on that too. I had to prove whether or not God exists. God PROVED to me His existence, an irrefutable proof. I didn’t have to prove it to anybody else, but He proved it to me.


Next I said, “Has God communicated with man? I will look into the religious writings of the world.” All of the religions have their religious writings. For example, Islam has the Koran. Christians have the Bible. I said, “Well, this is a Christian country. I will look into the Bible first. Then I will go to the Koran, and then I’ll go to the writings of all these other pagan religions. I’ll see if any of them is really the Word of God, if God is speaking. I found God is speaking through the Bible. I found the Bible says, “PROVE ME NOW HEREWITH.” PROVE ALL THINGS. I HAVE PROVED IT! I have found irrefutable evidence that this is the Word of God speaking. The same Word that was speaking to the apostles in person 1950 some years ago (about nineteen hundred fifty or fifty-one years ago). I proved it. God had BEATEN ME DOWN.

I saw in the Bible things that were just the opposite of what I believed. I saw that “the wages of sin is death.” I said, “That’s not true. Why the wages of sin is eternal life, not death. It may be down in hell instead of up in heaven, but it is eternal life just the same.” So I didn’t agree with God. If this was God speaking, I didn’t agree with that. Then the next part of that same sentence in Romans 6:23 said, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” GIFT of God? Why, I said, “I already have eternal life. I don’t need it as a gift. I am an immortal soul. Or else I’ve got one, or something.” (I didn’t know.) Then I began to realize, “Well now, how do I know? Where did I get the idea that I am an immortal soul? Well I don’t know, I just always supposed so.” I began to realize that people don’t know why they believe what they do believe. They don’t know how they came to believe it. You don’t know why you came to believe most of the things you believe.


I had to come out recently on something, women, trying to get the church back on the track of cosmetics. Oh boy, did that strike fire with some women. But you ought to see the scores and hundreds of letters that have poured in from women that have had their eyes opened since. God’s women are beginning to be willing to see God’s truth and come God’s way. Oh, I tell you, most of us have wanted our own way; and we don’t know why we believe what we believe. Some women wrote me, “Well, Mr. Armstrong, I want to show you the women’s point of view on this.” Yup, well I am interested in the women’s point of view; but let me tell you something. I am far more interested IN GOD’S POINT OF VIEW. WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT IT? They didn’t care about that. They just wanted me to know what women think about it. It’s about time we wake up, brethren.

It’s about time we get this Church back on the TRACK, because it has gotten WAY OFF. Now this Church was getting on the track, and back here some years ago liberals began to get it off again. Satan will always come and try to get you off the track if you will let him. Yes, this has been a year of getting the Church back on the track again. I started that about three, three and a half years ago. And we had to start getting the Plain Truth back on the track; we had to start getting Ambassador College back on the track. I had to start with some of those things. Then we had to begin to get the Church itself cleaned up and back on the track. We had to come to this doctrine on healing that it had gotten clear off on. We had to come to other things.

My conscience was hurting me about this thing of makeup. But I couldn’t get to everything at once, so I came to it as soon as God made it possible. But it wasn’t I getting to it. It was CHRIST IN ME. CHRIST IN ME is the hope of glory—not me. I don’t speak to you; it is Christ speaking IN and FROM me. This is the voice of CHRIST speaking to one who has yielded to let Christ take over his speech. I haven’t built the Work. Jesus Christ has built it, and don’t you ever forget it! I am just a hunk of nothing, but CHRIST IS EVERYTHING, GOD IS EVERYTHING. And God the Father is all in all. I think we lose sight of that. We want to be like the world. We look at “Well, this is the way it looks to me.” But God says, There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Now I didn’t intend to say any of those things when I came up here.


Since I was here last year, I have spoken to groups like this of people coming in from all surrounding Churches, down at Salem, Oregon; at… I can never think of the name of it, west of San Francisco in California (I may mean east of) in Stockton, California, we had quite a group coming; but we had over 5,500 (nearly 6,000) at Pasadena; at Big Sandy; at New York; at Chicago; at Denver; at Lake of the Ozarks; at Cincinnati; at North Carolina, one of the main cities in North Carolina—many other places all over the United States. When I spoke here, I gave it late January, early February; I had just come back from speaking in the Philippines. Now we are planning to go back there again, in the middle of next month; and we are almost to next month now.

And I’ve spoken to the churches all over Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Germany; and other countries coming. And there were three languages; and some of them had earphones, and they were hearing in their language and watching me. Some were hearing me in English, who could understand English. Others in German, and others in… Let me see, the third language I believe might have been French. Anyway, there were three languages. The very next day I spoke in Paris to a big group; and there again some of them heard it in French (It was translated, some with earphones), and others heard me in English. And I have spoken all over the world; and I am now in my 90th year, and I am not ready to quit yet. The Work of God must go on!


Now this year I have come to you in a little different season than I did earlier this year, almost a year ago. We are in a season that is sort of a phenomenon—this Christmas season. Now where did the world get its Christmas? Look what a thing that is in the world, and look how important that is to the world. Why is it so big a portion of the lives of people let themselves be taken up with this thing of Christmas? And for some of them they look forward to it all year; and it occupies most of the thoughts, and the time, of the lives of people for at least a whole month before Christmas. Does it celebrate the birth of Christ? No! He wasn’t born anywhere near that time of the year. Nothing in the Bible tells you when He was born, you can’t find out. Nobody ever did celebrate His birth at that time. It was observed for 2000 years before the birth of Christ, but it wasn’t called Christ’s birthday at that time.

Now why and how did that start? A custom of today that just has THE WHOLE WORLD involved in it. The whole world goes along with it, why? However did it ever get started? You’ve been going along with the world, brethren. How did YOU get into this world? How did YOU come to believe what you believe? Most of you believe what the person next to you said (just like I said a while ago), and it got twisted up a lot along the way. The Word of God has not changed. We still have that just like it was—accurately, like it was from the beginning. “Heaven and earth shall pass away; but,” God says, “my word shall never pass away.” It has not. And it has not changed.

Well now, where did they get this Christmas thing? An ancient Egyptian sculpture of the Madonna and child, with the sun over her head and holding a little child in her arms, long before Christ, was picturing Semiramis and Horus. And Horus was just another name for Nimrod. And you read about Nimrod in the Bible in Genesis; and so that is where it really started. Let’s go back and read a little of that, Genesis chapter 10 and verse 6.

Genesis 10:6-8 Now the sons of Ham; [He is talking about the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth.] {1} Cush, and Miz’raim, and Phut, and Canaan. (7) And the sons of {2} Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raa-mah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raa-mah; Sheba, and Dedan. (8) And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Now notice: “a mighty one.” He was over other people; he became a mighty one.

Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD.

You know the animals were more populous, more than the people at that time. He huddled the people together into cities to escape the animals; and he was the one who started the idea of walled cities, putting a wall around cities. Originally it was to keep the wild animals out. Later on it was to keep armies from other cities out. So we had walled cities way back in those days. Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord.

Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom…

So he ruled with governments of men, he had established governments.

Genesis 10:10-12 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (11) Out of that land went forth Asshur [or building Assyria, Assyria comes from Asshur] and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth and Calah. (12) And Resen between Nineveh and {3}Calah…

And so on. At least he became a mighty man in the world. Now Nimrod was a ruler, he was forming a type of civilization. He was ruling the lives of people; but he was lead by his wife/mother Semiramis, and she married her own son. Semiramis usurped the rule; she is the one who called herself the Queen of Heaven. She knew that a Madonna would come, a virgin would conceive and bear a child. They had a little bit of that tradition, but they got it all mixed up. So she became the mother of Sol, the Sun god; and she called Nimrod that Sun god. And that was the origin of Christmas—celebrating the birth of the Sun god, or Nimrod. That’s where Christmas really originated, as far as Christmas is concerned. But the real origin was even earlier than that.


This world began with Adam; and all of the world’s customs began there, with Adam. Now when God created the first man on the earth, he put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And in the Garden of Eden, in the center, were two special symbolic trees among many other trees, vines, shrubs, everything in the world. Now one was the tree of life. The other was really the tree of death because the other was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but God said if they took of that they would surely DIE, so it was the tree of death, while the opposite one was the tree of life. So one was life and one was death, the tree of death was the tree of the knowledge. The tree of life was also then a tree of knowledge. It was also a tree of knowledge.

There are two kinds of knowledge. Now most people don’t know that. Last night on television in Los Angeles I saw a documentary, I’d like to get a copy of it. I’d like to make a Bible Study of it. I’d like to have it sent out to all of the Churches. I’d like to put it on in Pasadena, and they would simply take it with our cameras; and then you could see it on the screen up here, and they could see it in all of the Churches. The documentary lasted half an hour. It dealt with the problems of psychiatrists, of the police, of the court system; and it said that they absolutely do not know the difference between right and wrong. And they showed how, down through history, psychologists have had different ideas of what is right and what is wrong. It was all from a scientific point of view. There was nothing mentioned about God or the Bible, that wasn’t included. So far as they were concerned, God doesn’t exist. I would like to do that: take half an hour of that commentary and then one more hour in a Bible Study, for my commentary. And I hope I can get that. I am going to try and get it; and, if so, you will see it later.

Now there are two kinds of knowledge. One kind is the kind that God created man to be able to acquire by himself. That is the knowledge of how to have a relationship with things,the matter of the earth. Now some of the matter is organic, and some is inorganic. In matter there is also electricity, there is energy, there is power. Some of it is dead matter, some of it is living matter. Man has been able to acquire the knowledge to deal with things coming out of matter. However, the other kind of knowledge is knowledge of how to live with or to have a contact with God and how to have a contact or association with fellow man.

Now this particular thing was dealing with man’s contact with man, and they are ALL MIXED UP ABOUT IT. THEY DON’T KNOW what it is right from wrong when it comes to man dealing with man. Science does not know, education does not know, religion does not tell them and doesn’t know. But it’s in this Book, but they don’t know it because they don’t believe this Book; and they teach the exact opposite. Just like I was taught that the wages of sin is eternal life in hell, unless you get the password “Jesus Christ;” and then you can go to heaven. And they didn’t understand anything about it.

One kind of knowledge was self-acquirable knowledge to deal with things, with matter. The other is revealed knowledge of contact with man and contact with God.


Now even we in the Church seem not to know WHAT IS SIN? And sin has to do with your relationship with God, and even WE have not known what is sin. Many women painting their faces have not known “What is sin?” and how to define it. They want to see “Thou shalt not wear makeup.” or “Thou shalt not paint thy face.” In the Bible in plain words, otherwise they say: “Well, isn’t it okay?” Well, I had to face that question 55 years ago (well almost 56 years ago now) when I was first converted.

You know, I used to smoke. Do you believe that? I didn’t smoke heavily, but I did smoke a little. But I said, “Now I have got to decide whether to smoke.” The Bible doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not smoke.” But I had learned in my six-month study before I was converted what sin is. Sin is the transgression of God’s law. Sin is transgression against GOD and the law of God! And the law of God is the way of God—living God’s way of life.

Now I said, “The law (I knew this much.) is love.” Love is out-flowing, not incoming. When it is incoming, it is not love; it’s lust. I said, “Why do I smoke?” I applied THE PRINCIPLE. Do I do it to please God? No! You know I don’t believe God likes the stink of it. I don’t believe it pleases God. Do I do it to please my fellow man, to cooperate with him, to help him, because I am concerned for his welfare? No, it didn’t have anything to do with his welfare; and some of them may object to getting it second-handed. Now we are to love our neighbor as our self; and God has given us the self to take care of. The self is mind and body; and this mind and body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we have a responsibility to take care of it. That’s part of love toward God and toward man of the law of God. Now, am I doing it to take care of this temple of the Holy Spirit? Does it help my health? Does it make me a better man? Does it help my mind? No.

I knew the purpose of the lungs; but I didn’t know anything about lung cancer, and nobody else did either at that time almost 56 years ago. I knew the purpose of the lungs though, and I knew that that prevented the lungs from doing their job of filtering the impurities out of the bloodstream as it goes through and is oxidized going through the lungs back into the heart. I knew it was harmful; and I said, “Therefore, it is SIN!” I quit smoking. As a result ALL of you in the Church have quit smoking. You never knew why, you just know it is a law of the Church. Well, that’s how it got to be. I applied the principal. That’s how you know what sin is. SIN is an ATTITUDE of rebelling against the law of love—love to God and love to neighbor. That didn’t express love to God, or love to neighbor, or even loving myself as my neighbor. It didn’t at all.


The documentary I saw on educational television last night (not on one of the regular channels) it was educational television, an educational scientific program; but they showed how helpless they are. They don’t know right from wrong. Well, you could tell in a second in the Bible! They don’t know when a man is insane. They showed the first time that anyone was acquitted of a murder by reason of insanity, way over a hundred years ago. They cited the case.

MAN IS HELPLESS trying to deal with himself. Deal with God? Well, man just leaves God out of the picture and doesn’t even try to deal with God. Man was made to have a relationship with God and a relationship with his neighbor, and he doesn’t know how to have a relationship with either. Adam had to make a decision. To take revealed knowledge from God meant to live God’s way; it meant God’s kind of life.

Now WHAT IS THAT KIND OF LIFE? Well, let me tell you right at this point. You read in John 1 verses 1 to 4, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. The Word is a personage, and God is another personage; and there you have two personages. “And the Word was [also] God.” They are both God. Yes. Well he can be John, and John is with Smith; but John is also Smith because Smith could be the father of John, or the son of John, or whatever. In other words, God is the Family name, and They are both God; but they are two different persons. And in Him was LIFE.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” and became Jesus Christ.

Now all things were made by Him. But we find that God made all things by Jesus Christ (in Ephesians 3 and verse 9). As you heard in the sermonette, Christ spoke and only did what His Father told Him. He’s the Word of God. God told Him what to speak. The Holy Spirit is the power that did it. And He spoke only what the Father told Him to speak.

Now then, GOD and THE WORD have lived together from eternity. Do you know how long that is? You find in the book of Hebrews that the one who became Christ had been without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but having ALWAYS existed. Trillion times centrillions times of years. Now for TRILLIONS UPON TRILLIONS OF YEARS those Two had been together.


Now listen to me brethren, listen: TWO CANNOT WALK TOGETHER EXCEPT THEY BE AGREED. But They got along, They agreed. You heard in the sermonette that the Word spoke nothing except what the Father told Him. He was in PERFECT harmony and agreement. They got along! Did God love the Word? When the Word was born flesh, the Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Word said, My Father is greater than I.” And He loved the Father, and the Father loved the Son, and there was love outgoing, one for the other.

But listen, not only two can’t walk together except they be agreed, one is going to wear the pants. Two can’t walk together on equal terms. One is the boss. Christ said, My Father is greater than I. There wasn’t any question about it. He didn’t say, “I don’t like it, I’m angry because my Father is greater than I.” He didn’t say, “I want it to be fifty-fifty.” God says the husband is the head of the wife. Today young girls getting married say, “I don’t want any of that in my marriage ceremony. We are going to live fifty-fifty.” Oh yeah? Fifty-fifty? You show me a fifty-fifty marriage, and I’ll show you a marriage where the wife wears the pants every time.

TWO CAN’T WALK TOGETHER EXCEPT FOR TWO THINGS: (1) one is the leader over the other, and (2) they both agree; or they don’t walk together in harmony very long. Now that might be a foundation for a marriage. You might think that one over a little bit. GOD AND THE WORD AGREED; BUT GOD WAS THE BOSS, AND THERE WAS AUTHORITY THERE. AND THE WORD HAD LOVE FIRST TOWARD GOD.


Then, when They began to create, They first created angels. And He had love then toward the angels, but it was first love to God and then to the angels which were the object of His creation. That is the life of God. If we live God’s kind of life, that’s the kind of life They have lived for eternity. AND THAT BECAME A LAW. THE LAW OF GOD IS ONLY THE WAY GOD AND THE WORD LIVED FOR THOUSANDS AND TRILLIONS TIMES BILLIONS OF YEARS, the way that worked. Now They had a job to do. They had minds to think, so They began to think. They had power to create and to bring into existence, the power to make, to fashion, to form, power to design, minds to think with and design. So They began to think; and They designed, and They created angels first of all.

Now we know of at least three kinds of angels: ordinary angels, and seraphim, and cherubim. We don’t know too much about them; but they are spirit beings, and they are immortal. But one of them had been brought up to the very throne of God and was put over the Earth; and he was “perfect in all of [his] ways” in the way God created him through Christ “till iniquity” or rebellion “was found in [him].

The whole thing today is a matter of obedience OR rebellion. That’s the whole principle, brethren. We’ve gotten ourselves all mixed up; and it is time we wake up and get back on the track. Now, how did they ever get off the track? I am coming to that.


So God created man in His own image. God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” Elohim is uni-plural. That means the Word and God—more than one person, but only one God. It is a Family—more than one person, but one Family. Like the word “church;” there are a lot of us here, but one Church, one congregation here this afternoon, one audience but a lot of people—uni-plural. God said, “Let us make man in our image,” same form and shape; but God did not make man of the same composition. God is composed of Spirit.

Now He had composed angels of spirit, and they are immortal. But now He decided, in the meantime, created matter. The angels were created first, because they were here shouting for joy when the Earth was created. [Job 38:7] And the Earth was created in the same day that the rest of all matter and the whole universe was created. You read that in the very beginning of the second chapter of Genesis. So angels were created before matter, there wasn’t even any matter. I don’t think they were on a planet of any kind with gravity drawing them down like we have here. I lift that and let loose of it; and something draws it down—gravity. And inertia hits it when it hits the desk. Those are laws of physics, of matter; and there are laws working even there. And God is the Operator of all law.


Now before Adam there was the decision: revealed knowledge from God, (how to have a relationship with God, how to have a right relationship and cooperate and work in harmony with his wife, with his neighbor, with the whole nation, nation with nation, whatever) or to have the kind of acquirable knowledge that God had already made man able to acquire (to deal with things). Now if man was going to be able to have a relationship with other men, he had to have knowledge that could only come by revelation from God. It had to be revealed knowledge! He didn’t already have it.



I don’t know how to say it any stronger than that. I am a minister of Jesus Christ. I am shouting aloud and sparing not, crying aloud. “Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and tell my people their sins.” That’s what God says to me, and I am telling you your sins. You don’t like me, do you? I love you enough to tell you! But you want to go the way of the world, and you will inherit the way of the world—ashes under the feet of those that are the righteous in the Kingdom of God, burnt up in the Lake of Fire.

God has called us to a wonderful calling, brethren; but it’s not an easy way. He says come out from among them of the world “and beye separate.” We’re “A HOLY NATION.” We’re A DIFFERENT, “A PECULIAR PEOPLE.” You don’t want to be a peculiar people. You want to be like the world! YOU CAN’T BE BOTH! I’D RATHER HAVE ONE OR TWO PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH THAT ARE GOING THE WAY OF GOD AND LIVING GOD’S WAY OF LIFE, THAN ALL GOING AFTER THE DEVIL AND TO HAVE THE WHOLE CHURCH FULL.

We’ve had ministers that say, “Well, you know, we want to keep peace in the Church. And a lot of people don’t want to go God’s way. They want to go the way of the world. We’ve got to compromise, Mr. Armstrong. We’ve got to listen to the people. We’ve got to get the women’s viewpoint. We’ve got to get the men’s viewpoint. We’ve got to say the way that seems right to a man. We want to have peace, you see.” That sounds real good, doesn’t it? Jesus said, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Jesus said, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man.” Jesus said there’s an easy way that leads to destruction. He said also that there is a way that is hard and right that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it. What do you want? Eternal life, God’s way? Or do you want this world for a little while? This is God’s apostle speaking to you, brethren. Are you listening? Make up your mind what you want! You can’t have both. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Now Adam chose one kind of knowledge, self-acquirable knowledge. He rejected God and revealed knowledge. And the world has been doing it ever since! Sin is the transgression of the law. Now what about the Tree of Life? That is revealed knowledge from God, and that is revealed knowledge of the way the Word and God lived together—love. L-O-V-E, love; and it’s always out-flowing: toward God above all, and then toward fellow man, and taking care of your own mind and body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.


Now the world started with Adam. He chose the way of get, of vanity: “I love me. I don’t care about you. Love to God, but I want to exalt myself.” Oh no, love to God is exalting God above all. Christ did. Look how great Christ is. All things were made by Him, the greatest name given among men. All power in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and yet He exalted God above Himself.

Now what is this world that God tells us to come out of? God says (in Revelation 18:4) about Babylon—which is this world’s Christianity—“COME OUT OF HER, MYPEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS,” and shall receive not of her plagues that are soon going to be poured out. Now what developed from that forbidden fruit that Adam took? Well, knowledge that was acquirable by man; and he didn’t know how to get along with his fellows. But he exalted himself. Vanity above all, and vanity makes him want to get from the other fellow. Vanity means, “I love me.” Vanity means, “I want for me.” Vanity goes hand in hand with greed and coveting. And then toward others it’s resentment, and envy, and jealousy, competition, strife, rebellion against authority. And the authority of God is in the Church, brethren. The authority of God is in the Church!

So He says, “Come out of the world.” Now what world had developed from Adam and his way? Remember this: Adam was limited to self-acquirable knowledge, and that is only knowledge of the material—only knowledge that can come into the mind through the eyes, through the ear, through the senses of smell and taste, touch and feel. That’s all. You can’t know anything about spirit.

You know there is quite a controversy right now about whether we can have any teaching about God in certain schools, and they say that this thing of any teaching about Creation is unscientific because that would mean the supernatural; and we know there is no supernatural—there is NO GOD. GOD DOESN’T EXIST. That’s what the great universities are saying today.

I was down at the University of Southern California this week for a meeting with its President. They are establishing a Herbert W. Armstrong Chair in one of their Law School Departments. I went down to see him about it. I saw the Law School; I saw the School of Medicine, the School of Architecture. They have a school of… Oh, what is this word? Aging, you know about people getting older. I could tell them more in a minute than they know with all their science in there. They don’t know, because they don’t know anything about God or the revelation of God. They despise revealed knowledge.

Adam rejected it. Our scientists today reject it—revealed knowledge. They don’t want it. They say, “God get out of my life.” So a certain world developed that started with Adam. Now what is it? In 1st John the second chapter, beginning with verse 15, Love not the world.” I John 2:15 Love not the world.” This world started with Adam. It’s the world that was built from Adam’s acquirable knowledge, and they are still giving that knowledge in our educational systems and our universities today. And there is no revealed knowledge there. They have spurned it. They won’t accept it.

I John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

But a lot of our women have been loving something about the world. You bet your life! They don’t like to admit it. Oh no, you don’t like to agree with me. You don’t want to agree with God then, because I speak from God; and I speak His Word faithfully.


For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, [Aw, oh, the lust of the eyes.] the pride of life…(I John 2:16)

What’s a woman thinking of when she was putting on her makeup, trying to change her face in front of her mirror, at her dressing table or whatever? How beautiful she is. She wants to be more beautiful to the world. I’ll show you a letter. It will be in the Pastor General’s Report. I don’t know if it’s been mailed out. If not, it will be mailed out tomorrow. A letter from a woman, she’d been wearing makeup for 30 some years. She never realized anything wrong about it. She took it right off. Her husband is unconverted. He didn’t even notice the difference. [Laughter in audience.]

But some husbands insist their women wear makeup. I can’t understand that. I lived with my wife for 50 years. I never wanted her to wear makeup. She was very lovely to me without it; and she was lovely to God. Yes…

I John 2:16-17 …the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

If you want to abide forever... Let’s go back for just a second and look at Eve in the Garden of Eden, and look what her daughters are doing today. The third chapter of Genesis beginning with, let me see, verse six.

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food [It was very attractive to her eyes now.] and it was pleasant to the eyes…

She looked at what was pleasing to the eyes. You see God does not look on people as man, on the outward appearance; but He looks on the inner heart. I am going to tell you a good definition of sin in just a minute.

Genesis 3:6 …and that it was pleasant to the eyes, a tree desired to make one wise [pride and vanity, intellectual vanity. She took of the tree and disobeyed God. She didn’t agree with God.] …and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

She led him; and too many wives are leading their husbands today. I always want to consider a minister’s wife when I consider a minister for a position or a post. What kind of a wife has he got? Is she a help, or a hindrance, to him? Some wives are very serious hindrances to their husbands. Shame on them.

Sin is the way that Adam chose. It is an attitude of mind. Now the attitude of mind that is God’s way of life was the attitude of love, and cooperation, and the attitude that God Himself is the Head. That is the attitude of Christ. Self is an attitude of get—an attitude of vanity. If we live God’s way of life, we live like God and Christ did live.


We read in I John 3:4, Sin is the transgression of the law.” Now there is both physical and spiritual sin. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that. The penalty of physical sin so far as man is concerned with his body, a man can get a disease germ of some kind, or a contagious disease, and that does something to his body that prevents the body from working normally according to the law that God set in motion in that body. It has BROKEN THE LAW that would operate naturally in a healthy manner in the body. Therefore it is sin. That is the sin that Jesus forgave when he healed the sick. But that is physical. Spiritual sin is violation of the law of “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God” above all, and then “your neighbor as yourself.” It’s just that simple.

Now I have spoken about the Ten Commandments: the first four tell you how to love God; the last six, how to love man. But listen, the whole thing is letting God come into you (through the Holy Spirit) and live His life in you. I say, I did not build the work; it was Christ in me who built it. Is Christ in you? Is Christ in you going to paint His face? Can you imagine Christ doing that? Spiritual sin is the violation of the spiritual law.

Now you will also read in Romans 7:14... Paul is speaking there spiritually, and he says that the law is spiritual.” He is speaking there of the law of the Ten Commandments, the law of love. And now I want to give you something else in second Corinthians, II Corinthians 3, beginning with verse 6. I should even begin at the 1st to make sense, but you get the meaning beginning right here really in the middle of what Paul was saying:

II Corinthians 3:6 Who [speaking of God] hath made us able ministers of the NEW testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life.

He is speaking of the ministration of death written and engraven on stones [II Corinthians 3:7]—not tablets of stones, but whole stones. That was the Law of Moses. That was the law of physical rituals, a physical law that was given to ancient Israel. It was only a substitute for the Holy Spirit. Today it’s the spiritual. We live according to the spirit. It’s altogether different.

Now there is a little illustration that I have used many years—many, many times. Some of you may have heard it some years before. My elder daughter, when she was just a girl, in probably junior high… I don’t remember now. It’s a long time ago. But I had a note from her teacher. She said, “Mr. Armstrong, your daughter Beverly is an inveterate reader; and she is ruining her eyes. She is reading too much, and it is harming her work in school. She is reading fiction, and she is taking books home from the library and reading fiction too much.”

So I noticed her one evening; and there she was, half way through a book. I said, “Beverly, is that a book of fiction?” “Yes, Daddy.” “Well,” I said, “I had a note from the teacher; and the teacher says you are injuring your eyes, and it’s harming your mind and your school work. Now, Beverly, I don’t want you to bring any more of these books home from the school library; and I want you to stop reading. It is harming you. Do you understand?” “Yes, Daddy.”

You know, the next night I saw her half way through a book. She is a very rapid reader. She can read half way through a book inside two hours. It would have taken me ten hours. Anyway, I said, “Beverly is that another book?” “Well, yes, Daddy.” I said, “I thought I told you not to read any more of this fiction?” “Well, but Daddy, you said don’t bring any more of these books home from the school library; and I didn’t get this from the school library, Daddy. I borrowed this book from Helen.”

SHE WAS LIVING ACCORDING TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW, not according to the spirit. The obvious intent of what I said was quit reading. We can understand plain enough if we want to, the law of God. But we want to quibble; we want to get down to every little case. If God doesn’t say specifically… Well God doesn’t say specifically “Thou shalt not smoke.” and a lot of other things. You cannot apply the law of God that way; and you won’t get into the KINGDOM OF GOD planning to apply it that way, let me tell you, brethren. God has shown me that; and He has called me to preach that to you and to show it to you. We are ministers of the spirit, not of the letter of the law. The law is a spiritual law, and we apply it spiritually as a principle. Now what then is sin? It is a violation of this law of love as it is applied and magnified a way out, as it is put into action in the mind or actual action physically. That is sin.


Now you read that a prophecy said Jesus would come and magnify the law and make it honorable; and He did. We go back to the so-called Sermon on the Mount, and you read here in Matthew the 5th chapter, verse 17.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.

And then in verse 21, He began to magnify one of the laws of the Ten Commandments.

Matthew 5:21-22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: (22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

Just in your mind! You are breaking the spirit of the law without actually killing anyone. He killed that, out in principle. Now in verse 27:

Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time [That’s when they went by the letter But, you see, we are the ministers of the spirit in the New Testament.] Thou shalt not commit adultery: (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Sin then is when you think of a thing and let it conceive into action, and you can let it conceive into action even in your mind. A man who lusts after a woman has already committed adultery. In other words, he’s gone through the act in his mind. He didn’t have to do it in the actual act physically. He did it mentally. And you can sin MENTALLY in vanity, and it has been going on in our Church. They say, “Well, but can’t we compromise a little bit?” We’ve had a lot of LIBERALISM, and we’ve got to weed that out of the Church! Some of the ministers have gone out of the Church because they were liberal, and they were leading their congregations in that direction; and we cannot have that. Jesus Christ will not have it. I am going to have to answer for these things, believe me.

Now back here in I Kings chapter 11. I Kings, and verse 6, about Solomon.

I Kings 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not FULLY after the Lord, as did David his father.

You say, “Well I don’t want to go fully after the Lord. Can’t I fudge a little? And wouldn’t it be okay if it wasn’t some specific thing about it that said I specifically can’t do it?” Poppycock! That isn’t the way. God looks on the heart. You’ve got to have the love of God in your heart, brethren. You’ve got to have the love of God in your heart.


Now, let me see, over here in Revelation 18:4, speaking of Babylon—and that is [this world’s] Christianity really. You find Babylon described in the 17th chapter and verse 5, where she has a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. That is the Roman Catholic Church; and her harlots are the daughters that came out of her in protest, calling themselves Protestant. Now that’s pretty strong, but God labels that. God labels the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, the Quakers that I was brought up in, and all of them, HARLOTS.

Christ spoke out. He called the religious men of His time serpents, and whitened sepulchers, and liars, and hypocrites; but He said it in love. He said: “How often would I have gathered you like a mother hen would gather her chicks, but you just would not.” God corrects and chastens everyone He loves. He says “son” in the Bible. He means daughters, too. It means the same thing. It means daughters too.

To you He says, “Come out of her, my people.” We can’t be like even the religions of this world. We have got to be different. We say, “Well, but in the world they are doing so and so. I have to go along with the world.” But God says, “Come out of the world and be separate.” I don’t know. I just have to tell you what God says, brethren. I am not going to start watering down. We’ve had ministers that did. They are out of the Church now; and tomorrow one or two more are going out; and that’s all that I know of.

Let me tell you, I’m glad to tell you that the Headquarters Church in Pasadena when the rumor went out that I’d said something about… It’s been on my conscience now for a while, but I couldn’t get to every one of these things at once. I’ve had to take them one at a time. And I thought that getting the College straight and getting the Plain Truth going right to millions of people had to come first. As soon as it was heard that I had said something about this thing of cosmetics, and some ministers’ wives have been making big salary selling cosmetics to God’s own people. And, because they were ministers’ wives, the women felt they had to buy them off her. And sometimes it was not only cosmetics, but vitamins and a lot of other junk. They are not in the Church any longer. One of them is suing the Church. A former Evangelist-rank, who was over all of our ministers, suing the Church because he lost money, because his wife can’t sell to the Church people any longer. Of all things, he never should have been even baptized in the first place.

Now look, I am going to tell the truth; I don’t care who it hits. I care, yes. I don’t mean that, but I mean regardless. Let’s put it that way. That’s what I really mean. Regardless of who it hits, I’m going to tell you God’s truth. I’m going to have to give account to God. I want to do God’s will. I want to see you do God’s will, brethren. To me God says, as quoted back here in Isaiah 58 in verse 1:

Isaiah 58:1 CRY ALOUD, SPARE NOT, LIFT UP THY VOICE [I LIFT IT UP! I got a microphone here]. Lift up thy voice, like a trumpet, and SHOW MY PEOPLE THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Well, brethren, that’s what (I’m sorry.) I have to do. I wish I could say something that maybe you’d like better, but that’s what God has commissioned me to do. I want to see this Church cleaned up! Now I am going to continue these meetings. I am going to continue speaking. I don’t know anyone heading a big organization worldwide in his 90th year. I had someone try to look up in the directories of world-famous people to see if there are any of them that lived into the 90th year. No, he didn’t find any. You can look up in the directories; you’ll find it in the back of a big dictionary, the notable persons. Where do I get the strength? You read the 40th chapter of Isaiah, the last three or four verses. I get it from God. He is my strength. He is my strength.

Well, brethren, we’re going on in to glory. I don’t love the pleasures of sin for a little season more than eternal life in the Kingdom of God. I’d rather be with the people of God for all eternity. And you know, I’ll tell you; do you know what your faces are going to be like? You are not going to have paint on them. They are going to shine like the very sun in brightness—in glory.

What a wonderful thing it is, and what a wonderful God we have. I begin all my prayers with thanksgiving, first of all for God Himself—that the One who has more power, more authority, above EVERY power is God who is love, and who loves me, and who will never leave nor forsake me. Then I thank Him for a lot of other things, and for the truth He has given me. I thank Him next, usually, day after day after day, for beating me down; for conquering me; for bringing me to a point of unconditional surrender to Him where I said, “I give my life to you.”

Now, brethren, I have to confess to you I haven’t always left that life in His hands. I am sorry for that. But you read in I John the 1st chapter that if WE in the Church—that is WE, not the outside world—CONFESS OUR SINS, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins; but two can’t walk together except they be agreed. I agree with God, but sometimes I do what I don’t agree with. I have, and I am doing it less and less all the time. Maybe I haven’t overcome 100% yet. I am still working on one or two things. David was a man after God’s own heart. David sinned a great deal of terrible sins, but he never committed those sins again. He repented.

Everybody has sinned, WE ALL HAVE. You know, you don’t have to worry about that. Christ paid the penalty in your place. The penalty is all paid. You are FREE from it. Isn’t that wonderful? But I thank God then for revealing His truth, for conquering me, for revealing His truth, AND THEN, WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, LETTING ME SHARE THAT TRUTH WITH THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.


Now, brethren, tomorrow on television I am going to give you another broadcast; but then I am afraid a lot of the people aren’t going to like it. They are going to be very angry at me. I am going to have to talk about Christmas tomorrow on television. [Laughter in the audience.] I don’t think you people are going to be disappointed, but some people will; and some ministers won’t like that at all. Then I don’t know if I will get to it the very next Sunday, but the second Sunday from tomorrow will be a program of my visit with the successor to Anwar Sadat, President Mubarak of Egypt. It was all on television camera, all recorded on film; and about 12 minutes of it will be put on that program. On the Sunday after that I addressed, in Cairo, the leading people of Egypt. There were present there eight cabinet ministers in the government, clear at the top, the third man in the government, and eight cabinet ministers aside and their wives; and that will occupy the television program on the following Sunday. I will bring those things to you.

Now we are leaving… (I forget, about the middle of January. I forget just exactly. Is it the 22nd?) The 22nd of January we leave on another trip to the Far East. God willing, God will keep my health and keep my heart ticking; keep me going, I hope. And I hope I’ll be back to see you within another year. I hope you’ll pray that God will spare my life. Remember, I had a total heart failure. I still have a little problem with my heart; and I have to be careful with it, probably will as long as I live. But God gives me strength, and I carry on. You carry on here. I love you all. I want you to love me. Let’s pray for one another. Let’s go on into glory with God our Father. God bless you all.

Transcribed by EP October, 2005

{1} Editor’s note: Mr. Armstrong missed this part of verse six, and went onto verse 7 of Genesis 10.

{2} Editor’s note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently used Ham instead of Cush in this verse.

{3} Editor’s note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently said Cush instead of Calah.