Comments on the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians

By COGwriter

This article consists of scriptures and notes related to a series of sermons on the Book of 1 Corinthians.

THIS IS A DRAFT ARTICLE EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED IN THE FALL OF 2022

There are a some comments from Bible studies that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught in 1980 Comments within {} were added by me within other quotes for clarification.

He did a series on the Apostle Paul's letters to the Corinthians, a few weeks after doing a series on the Book of Romans (for information on the Book of Romans, check out the article Comments on the Book of Romans).

So, for an introduction on Corinthians, let's start out by stating that Corinth was a city in Greece.

My wife Joyce, our son Michael, and I visited it as part of a Worldwide Church of God Feast of Tabernacles tour in 1990. We visited the ancient ruins and went through the isthmus of Corinth--which was a canal started and stopped in the 7th century BC and 1st century AD to cut ship travel time. It was finally not completed until the 19th century. In ancient times, sometimes boats were hauled over land to reduce travel time.

Anciently, Corinth was a wealthy and cosmopolitan type of place at the time and known for its immorality. It had a reputation, somewhat similar today that the USA city of Las Vegas has.

But there were Christians there and the Apostle Paul wrote to them around 56 and 57 A.D. One of 1 Corinthian's last verses, 16:29, points to it being written in Asia Minor. The Ryrie Study Bible concluded it was probably written in Ephesus of Asia Minor.

Here are some comments from Herbert W. Armstrong's Bible Study on July 18, 1980 related to the first two chapters of the book:

I thought it would be good if we would start now at this time, in the Book of Corinthians; starting I Corinthians. ...

THE CHURCH IS FOUNDED ON THE APOSTLES AND THE PROPHETS (Ephesians 2:20}

Paul is speaking to the Church. Now the Church of God was raised up primarily for two purposes: that God could call to lead the Church, apostles, the Church is founded on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, ... The writings of the prophets, beginning with Isaiah and even other prophets - no you could say with Moses for that matter, and with David in the Psalms. All were for the New Testament Church, believe it or not, and yet today they {various Protestants}want to say that we are a New Testament Church; and we don't want anything to do with that Old Testament.

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

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

Now notice what Paul says and how he addresses the Church. Some things had been wrong and he starts to correct them.

Chapter 1 verse 1, the book of 1 Corinthians:

Verse 1: " Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,” (Scriptural quotes from the NKJV unless in a quote from Herbert Armstrong or otherwise noted)

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now notice this. Jesus said; "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him...”  (John 6:44). God had drawn Paul. Knocked him down blind. Opened his eyes. And he is one of the called; "For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14). Paul was one of the called. So he says, in  Corinthians 1:1:

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

Sosthenes was with Paul. This is a letter from me, Paul, and from Sosthenes. But Paul doesn't say Sosthenes was an apostle because he wasn't.

As far as calling goes, we have a free online booklet titled: Is God Calling You?

Now to verse 2:

Verse 2: "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, but it was the Church of God, not the church of the people, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus. Sanctified means set apart for a separate use of God, for God's special purpose and use; "...to those who are sanctified..."  It doesn't mean made righteous or holy. It just means you are called out as a special group for a special purpose. "...called to be saints” now they are all also called to be saints, to be filled with God's Holy Spirit and children of God, “with all who in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's”

Called to be part of God's loving kingdom.

Continuing:

Verse 3: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Grace to you. Now this is all part of the opening salutation, he hasn't started his message yet, this is just an introduction; Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father..." Now notice; he has the authority to tell them that God is sending them grace and peace. He is speaking for God, he is God's spokesman. When he says grace to you and peace from God Our Father he is speaking for God as God's representative. If I am God's apostle, that is the way I speak to you - as His representative. You know, a man might come to your door and he represents a certain vacuum cleaner corporation. Now he is a representative of that company, but he has authority to speak for that company, he represents that company. Now in the same way, Paul represented God and I represent God "...and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

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

Next verse:

Verse 4: “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Grace means undeserved pardon for your sins. Instead of trying to get revenge on you and punish you and to hurt you, God has given His only begotten Son to pay the price for you so He can pardon you, and acquit you of what you did that's wrong. You know when Christ Himself speaks to people in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation - to everyone one of the Churches first, He says I know your works and says something nice about them. Then He comes finally and tells them what is wrong about them. That is what Paul is doing. Now Paul doesn't say very much nice about this Church, but he says right here, in verse 4, "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,” It isn't anything they did themselves, that is what God did; given you by Jesus Christ.

Grace is favour and includes unmerited pardon--God forgiving us. Grace is needed for humans, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Back to 1 Corinthians 1;

Verse 5: “that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

That in every thing you are enriched by Him, you see that is what He did, not what they did, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.

We are enriched by Him to make ourselves, and everyone else who will accept Jesus, have a better eternity. Details are in our free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Continuing:

Verse 6: “even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,”

It is confirmed in us if we lead our lives in proper obedience to His word.

Next verse:

Verse 7: “so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

“Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift...” I think he means there, not that they do come short in no gift, that you shall not come short in any gift. ...

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

Next verse:

Verse 8: “who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

“Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” Now he wants us to be so confirmed as His Church today that we will be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means after Christ really comes.

Next verse:

Verse 9: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

CHURCH BEHAVIOR

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

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

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

Now this is a corrective letter I'm reading here, so I'll give a little correction while I'm in it.

Next verse:

Verse 10: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

"Now I plead with you, brethren [I beg of you], by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Now he is speaking for Christ, this is Christ saying this, not just Paul. When he says by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is now exercising his power of attorney to speak for Christ. "...that you all speak the same thing..." Christ wants us all to speak the same thing. Let's just stop there a moment. If I don't go any further all day than that, that is very important. Christ wants His Church to all speak the same thing. Now he goes on why; let's just read a little more while we are on that and then come back to what I was going to say. "... and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” All believing the same thing - all speaking the same thing. ...

Well, in thi Laodicean time, most end time Christians do not speak the same thing.

However, we strive to in the Continuing Church of God. That does not mean that we will agree on all points, but that we will on the major points as well as agreeing on support the work, and the commissions laid out by Jesus and others in the New Testament.

Next verse:

Verse 12: “Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

We've got to speak the same thing. How can it be? How did the first early Church all speak the same thing? And they did at first. God blessed it and it grew and multiplied for a little while. Not very long, persecution was too rampant. It spoke the same thing because it spoke what Christ gave it. Christ didn't tell it to send Sam Jones and John Smith and Jacob Brown. How did Sam Jones and John Smith and Jacob Brown get the knowledge from Christ? They got it from Peter and the other apostles. How did Peter and the other apostles get it? Christ taught them. They put it in the Church and what they believed came through apostles, but it came from Christ.

Now what are the fruits of today's Church? It has survived all the opposition. If this is the Church of God, is Satan going to try and honor and bless it, or is he going to fight it? How does Satan do it? He'll fight it from without or he'll try to get within. He'll bore within - fifth column tactics. He has done it, and we have had to put some out.

We had to put some out for wrong behaviour as well as insisting on and spreading wrong doctrines about the Bible and Godhead (for information on one of those, check out the article Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?).

Next verse:

Verse 13: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

Christ was killed for all of us.

Verse 14: “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Did I baptize all of you? No, thank God, I didn't. I had to baptize the first of them when I was a local pastor preaching in a local Church, I've been through that too. I have had a local pastorate.

While I have baptized around the world, most baptisms in the CCOG are by local men. The Apostle John reported that Jesus did not baptize (John 4:2).

Paul said he had a reason he did not:

Verse 15: “lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.”

Verse 16: “Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.”

Verse 17: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

He didn't come preaching with great swelling words,

Next verse:

Verse 18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

And what we were preaching was foolishness to those intellectuals. I know I've got it right here {from some who were at Ambassador College who took the worldly, anti-biblical approach--this is a problem from most who are considered to be theologians today}. ...

I want to get this point. Are you already saved?

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

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”You see there it is correct, those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God; let us read on a little.

The above heckler was not an intellectual, but had more of a Laodicean, I know something better than you do, attitude, and that is why I will be independent or only be distantly connected to a COG. This attitude is something I have encountered a lot during this Laodicean time.

Next verse:

Verse 19: “For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

God says, and He will, all the wisdom of this world is just a lot of foolish material wisdom.

Our free booklet, Is God’s Existence Logical?, helps demonstrate that the world's so-called scientists and intellectuals are pushing foolishness on the creation of the universe and the origin of life.

Next verse:

Verse 20: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

The wisdom of the world, the intellectuals, the great scholars, to God that is a lot of foolishness.

Not only their false ideas about the origin of the universe and life, but many pandemic reactions and policies were also foolishness pushed by some consdering themselves scholars.

Next verse:

Verse 21: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

Verse 22: “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;”

The Greeks thought they were full of wisdom and sought more wisdom.

Verse 23: “but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,”

Verse 24: “but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Verse 25: “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

There is no comparision between what God knows and people think they know. God probably knows more about the differences between any two leaves than all the humanity knows about everything together.

There is no comparision between God's strength and those of humans.

Now to verse 26:

26: “26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”

Now, related to verse 26, Herbert Armstrong commented:

MOST ARE NOT CALLED AT THIS TIME

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

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

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

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

As far as calling goes, we do have a free online booklet: Is God Calling You?

Herbert Armstrong further commented:

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

He was referring to people who were Ph.D.s first and then came into the Church. Many of those who became Ph.D.s after coming in, have stayed in the various COG groups. There is a place for education. However, with the quality of education diminishing, that might not be the case in the future.

Verse 27:

27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

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

If we have any royalty in the CCOG--other than distant connections, we are unaware--though there probably are some tribal ones in Africa.

Next verses:

28 “and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,”

29: “that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

You were not called because you were better than anyone else. You were called in this age because God knows you can make it if you are willing to endure and He has a plan for you in His kingdom.

Dibar Apartian wrote:

Satan wants you to be puffed up. God wants you to be humble. Satan will do everything in his power to make you feel that you are better than others. But God wants you to count others better than yourself. That's the difference between God's teaching and the teaching of the world under Satan's influence.

Related to some of that, the Apostle Paul also wrote:

3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

People like to look out for themselves and hope others will look out for them too.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

THE SOURCE OF OUR LIVES

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

I said to a woman, who is not in the Church; "You don't believe in God."

Boy, did she get angry! She said; "Mr. Armstrong don't you ever dare say that to me again, Don't you dare say I don't believe in God! I do believe in God."

"Well," I said; "Let me re-word that, you don't believe God. You don't believe what He says. You don't believe you even know what He says."

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

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

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

Or as the Apostle Paul worded it:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5)

Jesus was focused on the work His Father gave Him to do (John 9:4). We should as well.

Verse 30:

30 “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Righteousness and sanctification, that is setting us apart not making us holy.

Verse 31:

31 “that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

We should glory in God's plan, how He has helped mold and shape us, and how we can better serve.

I CORINTHIANS 2

Now let's cover second chapter:

2: Verse 1:

1 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

He did not come proclaiming the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. He didn't come like a scholar and he didn't use the language of scholarship, to exalt his own vanity.

No, Paul was not great speaker according to himself or apparently others who listened to him. But he focused on accurately teaching the truths of God.

Evangelist Evans Ochieng once told me that his experience was that the best speakers tended to not have the true faith. Though there are some exceptions to that, sadly, that does seem to be the case.

2 Verse 2:

2 “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

That is about Christ, and the things of Christ and what that means, in the spiritual sense.

Some Protestants have suggested that the Apostle Paul is basically saying that is all that should be preached.

But that is not the case.

Paul covered more in this Epistle than that, plus he also taught about the kingdom of God (see our free online booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).

Here are the next verses:

Verse 3: “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.”

Verse 4: “4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of [b]human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

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

Paul was cautious as he strove not to be a flashy speaker, but to teach the way of God accurately.

2 Verse 5:

5 “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

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

Yes, false intellectualism is a problem.

Currently most of academia, the media, and government officials have taken this false and worldly approach. So much so now, that many professors do not want to admit obvious facts, like women can naturally become mothers but men cannot.

And as far as CCOG goes, the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18 are there (see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?). Yet, Laodicean Christians will not accept that. They are relying on their own false intellectualism.

2:6:

Verse 6: “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”

Worldly wisdom, that is in conflict with scripture, is not wisdom--it is wrong.

Verse 7: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now it's secret because it can only be revealed through the Holy Spirit of God and the natural mind doesn't have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand these spiritual things.

Now, those in the world, if they would read and believe the Bible could know about a lot of mysteries. We have a free booklet titled
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?. While those in the world may be able to understand aspects of God's plan that are laid out for them, they fail to properly act on it or believe enough of it.

Verse 8: “Which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Yes, rulers of this world are ignorant of God's plan. The uncalled in the world are influenced by Satan.

Paul also wrote:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (Ephesians 2:1-5)

Back to 1 Corinthians 2:

Verse 9: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

What God has planned for us is beyond what we think it is. Here are some things we know from the Book of Revelation:

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:1-7)

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:1-7)

The curses and problems associated with sin will be gone.

But it will be better than we understand the biblical passages.

All who accept God's offer will make eternity better for themselves and everyone else.

And then there is what the Father and Son will do.

The Kingdom of God will be vaslty better than you think.

As far as issues you are facing in your life, the Apostle Paul also wrote:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:18-25)

Yes, if you do not give up, all called will make it. But yes, we often must persevere.

Verse 10: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

The only way you can get that understanding {of the spiritual} is through the Spirit of God. Now how are you going to get the Spirit of God? You've got to come down off your high horse and your high perch. You have got to humble yourself. You've got to repent of the way you have lived. You have got to turn 'away' from that way and you have got to be conquered by God you have got to surrender, to Him and give yourself to Him. How many have gone through that? How many have just said;

"Oh, I see you have got some truth, I'm so good, Mr. Armstrong, I want to accept all that truth and I want to come into your Church. I am a candidate for baptism." We've got to be careful not to accept people on just that, until there is something a lot more than that.

It is deeper knowledge. ...

The natural mind of man can understand physical, material knowledge, but an animal can't. An elephant can't, a horse can't, a cow can't.

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

Scripture says:

8 But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)

Back to Herbert Armstrong's comments:

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

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

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

2:11:

Verse 11: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

What person can think like a man can, except the spirit of the man which is in him? The spirit enables you to think and get into the thinking process of thinking and reasoning and coming to conclusions and making decisions.

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

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

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

2:12:

Verse 12: Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; (A Faithful Version)

Herbert Armstrong commented:

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

You, if you have been called and are converted and faithful can attain more spiritual knowledge by living as a Christian (we have a free online book on that Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian). By studying God's word, which our booklets and sermons also assist with, and prayer (we have a free online book on that Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?). Fasting and proper biblical meditation can also help.

Paul also wrote:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

2:13:

Verse 13: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

There are many things, that, no matter how smart someone thinks they are, cannot be understood without God's Spirit. God uses His Spirit to draw people He is calling and to begin the process of opening up spiritual understanding. Then, upon repentance, conversion, and baptism, more of His Spirit is given.

2:14:

Verse 14: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

In the world, they tend to think that if you hold a position the world does not respect they think you are foolish or an extremist. But, we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) and not be carried off by every crafty wind of nonsense teaching the world has (Ephesus 4:14).

2:15:

Verse 15: “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

The carnally-minded, and even other Christians often, cannot properly judge us.

Be careful on relying on the improper judgments of others. There is an anti-COG site that probably averges misjudging me publicly almost every day.

Of course Jesus said:

22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man's sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23)

2:16

Verse 16: “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Notice that we are to have the mind of Christ. Paul also wrote:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5)

That is the standard scripture has set.

Paul wrote the following:

12 Not that I already obtained, or have already been perfected, but I pursue, if I also may lay hold of that for which I was also laid hold of by Christ Jesus; 13 brothers, I do not reckon myself to have laid hold [of it], but one thing [I do]—indeed forgetting the things behind, and stretching forth to the things before— 14 I pursue to the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 As many, therefore, as [are] perfect—let us think this, and if [in] anything you think otherwise, this also will God reveal to you, 16 but to what we have attained—walk by the same rule, think the same thing; (Philippians 3:12-16, Literal Standard Version)

We have a high calling, it is a spiritual calling, and yes, God has very high standards.

So, we should have high standards--not our own supposedly high standards--as that often leads to vanity and improper judgments--to God's standard of perfection.

We have not attained it yet, but are to strive to do so.

Here is a link to a related sermon: 1 Corinthians 1-2: God's Spirit & the Ways of the World.

I Corinthians Chapter 3

Now to chapter 3.

Herbert Armstrong commented about judging and punishment as his introduction to chapter 3:

Now remember Corinth was a city in what we know as Greece today and they were having trouble in the Church, and Paul told them right away that they should all speak the same thing {1 Corinthians 1:10}. Remember ... one of them wanted to follow Paul and another wanted to follow Cephas or Peter, another wanted to follow Barnabas or someone else. And he comes to that again we find in this third chapter.

{We have some today who wish to follow one or the other--the problem still exists}

But he is correcting them, and that reminds me also of another thing; and that is about the system of punishment and how God's punishment is so different from punishment in this world. Now the world has the idea that if you have done evil, you must be punished, that the punishment must impose as much pain and suffering on you that is enough to equal whatever your sin or your crime or your trouble. In other words, punishment to them is revenge. It's getting even. You did something wrong, now I want to hurt you, I want to see you suffer. Now that is not the kind of punishment God has. God doesn't know that kind of punishment at all. God's punishment is always corrective. God only punishes to bring us to the place to correct us and no more than we need — just to correct us. That's all.

Instead of prisons, they should be institutions of correction, but we don't know how to correct. We would not know how to put up such an institution in the world. The world doesn't know those things. God never punishes because He wants to see anyone suffer. As a matter of fact, I think God suffers with us when we suffer. He doesn't get any pleasure whatever out of our suffering. (Ezekiel 33:11) Men look on it in a different way.

Now capital punishment, God did impose in ancient Israel, but that was simply to remove them from this life and they will come up in the final Great White Throne Judgment. And there is another life after this life, and most people don't seem to realize that. And that kind of punishment was just removing them from hurting other people now and they will be corrected when they come up in that life, and they will be straightened out and they will receive the gifts of God and the good things if they are willing.

If they are willing to, in other words, turn from the way that was wrong and that is causing pain and suffering to them and pain and suffering to others. It's just that simple. That is the way of God.

Now to the beginning of 1 Corinthians 3:

Verse 1: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words, they're supposed to have come out of the world. They're supposed to have received the Holy Spirit and to have therefore a different kind of a mind -- a spiritual mind. Now we have to go back now and understand some things that come way back in other parts of the Bible. And one thing is the one thing we went through last Sabbath about the natural man knows things that the brute animals cannot know or understand, but he could not except for the spirit of man that is in him. (I Corinthians 2:11) There is a spirit in man that is not in the brute animals.

That spirit opens up the mind to comprehension. It acts as a computer and stores knowledge and gives you instant recall of knowledge that has come into your mind through the years, and accumulated through the years. Knowledge that has come primarily through the eyes and through the ears. However, the spirit in us does not see and it doesn't hear. It's the physical brain that sees through the physical eye. It is the physical brain that hears through the physical ear. We also get a little bit of knowledge from the sense of feel and touch and from the sense of smell and the sense of tasting. But most of the knowledge comes into our minds either what we hear or what we see; from those two channels.

Now this gets us into the matter of conversion. And we need to understand that before we go to another verse in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. ...

It's the thing that people in what they call Christianity, which is merely a religion of this world, it is a religion made up of people that have only the human spirit. They are not converted at all, they don't know what conversion is, they don't have God's Holy Spirit, they don't understand. They think they are quote 'saved' unquote, and they don't know what salvation is. They don't know how it operates. They don't know how you receive it. The world doesn't know that. The Baptist Church doesn't know that. The Catholic Church doesn't know it, the Methodist Church doesn't know it, the Lutheran Church doesn't know any of those things. They don't understand. It's all in the Bible, but I had to learn and be shocked when I first began to look into the Bible to learn that what Christianity teaches today is just the opposite of the Bible!

If the Bible says "go", they say "No no, stay — don't go". If the Bible says "up", well they say "down". They say just the opposite. Now in the world they think well, for example, you know a Billy Graham crusade and you see them on television, every once in a while. They give you a full hour telecast which will incorporate a good portion of one night's so called 'crusade.' And Billy Graham will tell you that life is so uncertain that by tomorrow morning there are some people somewhere in the world that are going to die between now and tomorrow morning. You don't know but you might be one of those persons. Now where are they going to be at this time tomorrow? Will they be in 'Hell' or will they be in 'Heaven?' "You don't know. You have no assurance of what will happen, but if you come up here, and you receive Christ tonight..." Receive — that is, you get — you appropriate, you, you have, you take, you get. Now the devil's way is get. The devil wants you to get, to take, to receive. So he says you receive Christ.

Now I don't know, maybe my conversion was all wrong, but it was quite different. I did receive Christ but that's only part of it. The principle thing was I had to give. I gave myself to Christ and the rest of my life. He bought it and paid for it, didn't He? When He died on the cross, He had taken my life because I've committed sins. So have all of you. So has everybody who has ever lived except Jesus Christ. And that means that the law claimed the death penalty. When Christ took that death penalty off of me, He bought and paid for my life. I owed it to Him. I thought it was time to pay up what I owe. I gave my life to Him. I've been giving, giving, giving, giving ever since. That's why I say ‘you give’ to people and they will get mad at me. People don't like you for that.

How Are We 'Saved?'

But the {Protestant} world thinks if you say you receive Christ — and Billy Graham's contention is that you come up and receive Christ and it is all settled.

There is a song they sing in the churches of this world, It was all settled long ago. Maybe some of you know of that song, you've heard it. That's all there was to it. It was settled, you were converted, you were saved.

But they overlook scriptures such as the following:

31 Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel. 32 And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:31-32, A Faithful Version)

9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (Hebrews 5:9, NKJV)

Back to Herbert Armstrong's comments:

Now they {the Protestants and Greco-Roman Catholics} think you are an immortal soul and once you are saved, when you die you go straight to heaven, you are already saved right now. Now if you are not saved, well you see it is like this, you are on a railroad train and at the end of the journey, at the end of the track, there is a switch in the track and the switch is set to send you straight down into hell. Now if along that journey some time in your life you accept Christ; what that does it changes that switch at the end of the line and then when you get to the end of the line, you see, you have already been saved, so the switch shoots you right up to heaven instead. But the time when it is all decided is not at the end or any time, it is the second you accept Christ, and if you don't you are a lost soul. Poor soul!

Now there is a great dispute. Are you saved all at once when you say, "I accept Christ?" In the first place, the Bible doesn't say that just accepting Christ is what saves you. And accepting the blood of Christ doesn't save anybody. That's a shocker to a lot of people. They think we are saved by the blood of Christ. Oh, no we're not. We're saved by His resurrection, by His life. Not by His death. (Romans 5:9, 10)

Let's look at that:

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:8-10)

Herbert Armstrong commented:

The death of Christ will reconcile you to the Father and the world overlooks the Father all together. They leave God out of it. They just have Christ in the picture, they don't even have God in the picture. What Christ does is reconcile you to God. But now just accepting Christ is not it at all. Billy Graham overlooks that. So do all the rest of the preachers and so do all of the churches in this world. The churches of this world.

You see, the first thing is repent. Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. This is "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..." (Mark 1:1), and verse 14-15  "(14) Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (15) and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” He didn't say just believe on me. He said believe this message, believe the gospel. They don't even preach the message today. They only preach about the messenger and say, if you believe in the person of the messenger you will be saved. What Jesus taught was you have to believe the message, but before that you have to repent of the way you have been living!

As far as only believing that God exists goes, James wrote:

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? (James 2:19-22)

Protestants do not usually understand that -- they do not truly understand God's plan of salvation. We also have a related free online book of related interest:Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now repentance is toward God and you have to get straight toward God first, and then receiving Christ only reconciles you toward God and that puts you in contact with God the Father and it is God the Father who has eternal life to give you. Christ is the door. (John 10:7) He is the Shepherd of the sheep. But He isthe door, you have to enter through that door to get to God. He is the door by which you can approach God the Father. Do the {Protestant} evangelists in the world preach that? No, they don't understand that. They just do not have understanding. So there is a lot more than just receiving Christ.

Now then, is salvation something that happens just like that, at one clap all at once, or is it gradual? Well the answer is that in a sense it's both. There is a second, an instant in which you receive the Holy Spirit of God. But there are two things that have to precede that. First is, you have to have had enough knowledge and God seems to have had to have called you because Jesus said, " No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;" (John 6:44)

You have to be chosen as one that God has chosen to call and God has to call you, or draw you through the Holy Spirit toward Him.

As far as God's calling goes,Is God Calling You?

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now, how does He do that {call you}? The Holy Spirit from outside of you, not in you, will begin to convict you of sin. It takes a little bit of knowledge to start with. You have to come to realize how wrong you have been. And God then begins to grant you repentance. And that, you have to do. Billy Graham doesn't say anything about having to go through this thing of repentance first.

Then you have to believe -- not only believing in Christ but believe the message that God sent by Christ. Believe, He said, the Gospel, the Good News, the message. Now then, if you do, we find that in the Bible, you are to be baptized and after baptism, we find that they did laying on of hands -- the apostles or the elders would lay on hands {and pray} for the receiving of the Holy Spirit {from God}. Now that is the way it happens.

That is not the way it is in a Billy Graham crusade at all. I'm talking about the way it is in the Bible, that's something else again. I will say this; Billy Graham said to one of our lawyers that Herbert Armstrong does have a marvelous understanding of the Bible. Billy Graham knows that. But apparently, Billy Graham doesn't think that is very necessary. But I disagree with him there. I think that it is quite necessary. And I wish he had a better understanding, and I wish I could help him to that better understanding, and I would be glad to. But I don't think he would quite agree or would desire it at all.

However, there is an instant in which you do receive the Holy Spirit of God. Now here is the point that I want to make plain and Paul is bringing out in this letter right here. You only receive the Holy Spirit in a very small degree to start. Now you can receive a little bit of the Holy Spirit, but that isn't all. Christ had all -- He was completely filled with the Holy Spirit. We are not, and we are not at the time of conversion or what we call conversion.

Now let's go back a little further. We have what we call human nature. We were not born with that human nature. When we were born, we were as innocent as innocence can be.

Many Protestants, and officially all Roman Catholics, believe we are born sinners. But the Bible teaches:

29 Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

After Adam and Eve were made, God said what He made was very good (Genesis 1:31).

Herbert Armstrong continued with:

We didn't know anything one way or the other. We had minds which were capable of receiving and absorbing knowledge but there wasn't any knowledge in those minds yet. Unless there is some kind of knowledge that could have gotten there before birth, while we were still in the condition of being an unborn fetus. However, Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Now I can tune in on the television right here and there are sounds in this room and there are pictures in this room that you and I are not seeing right now. However, if we tune them in and get on the right channel, the right wave length, we get the sound or the picture. It's here only we can't see it yet, it takes certain type of machine tuned a certain way to bring it in, or to make it visible before us. Satan broadcasts through the air. He surcharges the air. Now he does not broadcast in pictures or in words. He broadcasts in attitudes. He broadcasts in what we call a spirit, a right or wrong spirit or an attitude. He broadcasts also in impulses, and you don't know how it got in your mind. There is no word connected with it, just an impulse to do this or that, and it is just an impulse to covet something, an impulse toward vanity.

Now you take a little baby six or seven months old that can crawl and creep but can't walk yet. You bring another baby and put him down in the same room and you put a toy out there and each baby is probably going to try to get that toy. Already there is a little bit of self and a little bit of selfishness, and the baby will probably try to keep that toy away from the other baby. Already Satan has been starting to put in a little bit of self-centeredness.

Now that also includes jealousy and envy, it includes a spirit of competition, wanting to compete and wanting to take away from the other, wanting to get the best of the other. It includes a spirit of resentment and bitterness; it includes also resentment of authority and rebellion against the authority over you. You don't want anyone else ordering you around or having authority over you.

Now Satan begins getting that into you from the time you're, I don't know, whether it's one or two or three months old; a few months old. I know that by six months, a baby has already absorbed a little bit of it. But you didn't get it all at once and we don't all get it in the same degree and we don't all get it in the same quantity or quality. By age 16 some kids are docile and they're nice and easygoing. Other kids are rowdies and they're troublemakers and they just want to fight and give trouble all the time. Some kids of age 16, some males, are already hardened criminals and already have a police record. Others don't - they don't get in trouble with the law. So, we don't all receive or assimilate the same degree of the carnal nature from Satan.

How God Calls

Now then we come to the place where later in life God opens our minds and we begin to see a little bit about the gospel and gospel preaching is supposed to lead to repentance. It was on the Day of Pentecost when Peter preached that sermon that it says the people were pricked in their hearts and they said, "...what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) And Peter said, "Repent and [then] be baptized...." (Acts 2:38)

And "be baptized" meant believe in Christ and believe His message. Now it was Peter's message that he had given them that pricked them in their hearts. In other words, he gave them a little bit of God's knowledge. Otherwise, they would never even want to. Now you can't do it unless God Himself opens your mind to receive a little bit of that because no man can come to Jesus. Now there is only one way you can get to God and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). But you can't even come to Jesus, and get started on the way to get to God the Father unless God the Father calls or draws you. Jesus said so. Now was Jesus a liar? Was He telling a lie when he said, "No man can come to me" (John 6:44). Even if he wants to, he can't do it. He can't come to Christ, unless the Father has picked him out as one He has chosen to call now.

Now what does that mean? If He doesn't call you now, that is His responsibility, not yours. Therefore you are not to blame for that. Neither is God — He is just responsible, but He is going to bring you back in the second life after this life in the Great White Throne Judgment and He will call you then. Sooner or later, God is going to call everyone who has ever been born. But He doesn't call them all at once.

Now then, when we have been converted, God has called us — somehow it is like the sower and the seed. Seed has been sown and some of it took root in our minds and brought us to the place of repenting and being baptized and we received the Holy Spirit. Now when we receive the Holy Spirit we are partakers of the nature of God.

Over here in II Peter first chapter, verse 4: "By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

We begin to receive a little of the divine nature. Now before that you began to receive from the time you were maybe two or three or four months old, you began to receive some of the Satan nature. You didn't get it all at once. And when you begin to receive the divine nature, you were filled with Satan's nature already. That is what you are full of. You can take a quart milk bottle. It's already filled with air whether you know it or not. Now if you want to get that air out, you can put something else in and that will crowd the air out. You might put a drop of water in. That will push a drop of air out, but you won't even see that. But if you only get a drop of water in, you only get a drop of the air out, and if you only get a little of God's Spirit, you only get a little bit of Satan's meanness and devilry out of you. And remember that you have been filled about 100% with the nature of Satan. And when the Holy Spirit first comes to you, that's a little bit of the divine nature, and you only get a little bit of it to start. You have been what we call carnal, fleshly minded, in other words, Satan-minded.

Again:

Verse 1: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

He could not speak to them as if their minds were filled with the Spirit of God, and as if they were wholly filled with the divine nature, filled with the Holy Spirit because their minds had been stuffed with the attitudes, and the ways of Satan. Now a baby can only receive a little of any nature at once. But now he is speaking of a baby as a physical being and growing up physically. And a baby has to drink milk before it can take strong meat. In other words it can start out on pablum, but it can't get the Porterhouse for some little time yet.

3:2

Verse 2: “ I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

They only have a little bit of God's Spirit. Spiritually they're just infants, two or three months old — they're like physical being, two or three months old is not very big yet. And when you are spiritually newly begotten, or newly converted, you're not spiritually very big yet. And he is comparing it with the physical child who is not physically very big, he's little and you have to feed him on milk at first. As I say, he can't take a big Porterhouse steak yet.

3:3

Verse 3: “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that's not because they are mean, and he's not saying you aren't ready because you haven't been fully converted. They couldn't be fully converted yet, but already they have to begin to learn, and they weren't learning rightly, and they were in contention, ...

3:4

Verse 4: “For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”

In other words, you are men that are filled with Satan's attitudes and you haven't changed - you've got the nature of Satan and you haven't come yet to the divine nature.

3:5

Verse 5: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

What is Paul? He points to himself, what am I then and he answered, "Ministers through whom you believed as the Lord gave to each one." Now the Lord assigned that each one should believe and accept that God the Father has called them and drawn them, they could not have come to Christ. God the Father had to decide that and that is what he says here. You think that the Lord gave to the preacher, and that is not what he is talking about, it's as the Lord gave to the one who is converted. As the Lord assigned to each of you who believe, in other words, as God calls you,

3:6

Verse 6: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Alright now, Paul went out and planted. Here we see it is talking about planting in a garden or in a field. Paul took the seed. The seed is the word of God. And Paul planted some of that word of God. However you don't just plant. If a farmer plants corn in Iowa and he just left it alone, he is not going to have a very big crop of corn. Now I've had uncles and aunts, uncles rather, that were farmers in Iowa and I would go down as a boy and I'd watch them. And I know they would plant their corn in the Spring. But boy believe me, they had to plow and harrow and they had to even water, or the rain had to come and water but in a lot of countries they have to use irrigation, and they have to humanly water it, and see there is enough water, and do all that — but that doesn't cause it to grow. That doesn't make the corn grow. Now notice how he says it here.

"...Apollos watered [or maybe he harrowed it, plowed a little bit] but God gives the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, “but God gave the increase." He causes it to grow. God is the one who is really doing the big thing. We're not doing much. Who do we think we are?

In the CCOG, I have planted with the website, literature, videos, and answering emails. I have also traveled and visited.

But most of our membership growth has been in Africa.

Individuals and leaders tend to contact me first (though not always because of radio in Africa), I email them and if I think they may be sincere, I usually pass them on to evangelist Evans Ochieng who "waters" and we have seen major growth.

Also, back here I manage the finances and give some direction to various ones as to what to do with them. It may be spreading the gospel, travel, radio, printing literature, supporting the poor, orphans, and widows, support the African ministery or to support the festivals.

In Africa, Samuel Ofosu handles that for Ghana and Evans Ochieng oversees that for most of the rest of Africa.

That being said, 3:7:

Verse 7: “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

Yes, it is God that gives the increase and Jesus, according to Revelation 3:7-13 who opens the doors for Philadelphians to go through.

3:8:

Verse 8: “Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now we are to be rewarded according to our works. Now here is another thing that quite a few people understand. The general teaching {among Protestants} is that there is no works whatever. In other words, 'works' means obedience to the spiritual law to them and they are all wrong. This is not what it means at all. 'Works of the law', as we saw ongoing through Galatians, means the physical ritual of the law, that are physical hard work.

But, where is says we are rewarded according to our works, that is not works of the law. That is our good deeds, or obedience to the spiritual law. Now according to our own effort in going in God's direction and living God's way we will be rewarded according to how much we have worked and how much we have accomplished. But that isn't what gives you salvation. Salvation is God's gift and you don't earn that at all.

Now the people in the other religions of 'Christianity' {Protestants} they say “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8).

But they don't understand that the one who lives a better life and the one who does works more in the work of God, and works harder on himself even, as well as in the work of God, and working towards helping others, will get a bigger reward in the Kingdom. But it has nothing to do with getting into the Kingdom in the first place -- it only has to do with what you earn once you are in there. Now the one who doesn't do as much work may get into the Kingdom, but he won't have as big a reward once he gets there. We are rewarded according to our works.

Let's now quote some words of Jesus:

27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)

3:9

Verse 9: “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.“

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now there again - God's building. The Church is compared to a building. That is the temple that Christ is coming to at His Second Coming. He is not coming to a physical building. He is coming to a spiritual building which is the Church. You are His building.

In the church era, from Acts 2 until Jesus returns, the Jews cannot build the temple of God, That temple is spiritual now and consists of Christians. We have an article about that as well: Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? 

3:10:

Verse 10: “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now He {Jesus} knows that the first thing is laying a foundation. Jesus Christ came to build the Church. And He knew — He had been a carpenter, but He probably -- a carpenter to us means saws and nails and wood. Well I think that Christ was a carpenter building with stone, and not with wood and nails and so on {unless perhaps He built boats}. But however, the principle is the same. He had to lay a foundation first and build on that foundation and Christ knew that when He started. ...

Jesus, when He started to build the Church, He started by calling His apostles first and they are the foundation. The Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:20). Now since He is the chief cornerstone, He is the real foundation, you might say. But in a sense, the apostles and the prophets are part of the foundation along with Christ. That is what Paul is speaking of here. Now before he said, "I planted and Apollos watered." (I Corninthians 3:6) But what is the foundation for a corn crop in Iowa? Planting the seed {in good soil}. That's where it starts. That is only the start, it is only the foundation. Now he says, "I laid the foundation," but that's the foundation of the building, and now the building is the church. And Christ is the foundation for building the church. He is the Head of it (Ephesians 5:23).

"And another man is building upon it" (I Corninthians 3:10 paraphrased) Now Paul went out and preached first and other men have come later and they have built on it.

All right, I laid the foundation by broadcasting, by articles that are written, by this way and the other way — and people come in and they write and finally they get into a local church. Now we have local ministers and they build further. They give them still more. I couldn't give them all of it. The local minister now takes over. He does the watering, but it is God that gives the increase and gives the real character. Now others are building upon it

That is similar to what we now do in the CCOG. I put out most of the videos, do some of the radio broadcasting, and write most of the literature. Some others translate the literature. In Asia and Africa we have deacons and ministers who do the local watering; in Europe we have an elder who does that.

In many areas outside of Africa and India, people normally watch our sermon and sermonette videos, most of which I make. And I also answer questions, but obviously need help as there are close to 8,000 currently claiming to be with us.

3:11

Verse 11:  “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

He {Jesus} is the main foundation. But the foundation of the church according to Ephesians 2:20 is also the apostles and the prophets. The prophets were the Old Testament prophets because their writings become part of the foundation of the church and the apostles' preaching and the apostles' writing. The apostles wrote most of the New Testament, and the prophets wrote the words of the Old Testament.

Most of the New Testament was written by apostles who were also prophets: Peter, Paul, and John, come to immediate mind.

3:12-13:

Verse 12: “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,”

Verse 13:  “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”

Yes, our work will be tested.

Our lives are tested regularly.

The wife of an elder who lived in this area before they both died once told me that every decision builds or destroys character. And that may be correct.

In a sense, everything we experience is a test, and how we lead our lives helps show if we are building the purest character of gold, the weakest character of straw, or something in between.

We all should strive for golden character. Here is some of what Jesus told the Laodiceans:

15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:15-19)

You need to be more than an 'okay' Christian. We all need to change and recognize the need to do so. Most end time Christians are Laodicean and we are to repent from their self-focused attitudes of righteousness.

Jesus also said:

26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:26-27)

As James pointed out:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)

We have to do and continue.

3:14:

Verse 14: “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.”

Having the right foundation helps us to be able to endure. And as Jesus said:

22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:22-23)

3:15

Verse 15: “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now take this, he's comparing a physical building. If you build of gold, now get this here; gold, silver, precious stones, the fire is only going to make them come out better (well in the smelting sense as that is how, for example, gold is purified). They will not burn up. Wood, hay and straw or stubble, the straw or stubble and the hay will just burn like nothing, wood would burn but a little slower, but it is not likely to burn. It shows then if you build with a more precious stone you are building a better building, and one that will endure and last.

He shows with this illustration that God's way would be for us to build with the better materials. And I thought of that when we were building the Auditorium in Pasadena. There are precious stones in that, and one of the precious stones is onyx and there is more onyx in that building than any other building on the face of the earth today. There is also gold in it and I guess there is some silver and bronze, but there is very fine hard wood, which is much harder to burn, then there is iron and steel that will not burn.

And you know, one of the city inspectors that had to come over and pass inspection on the building as we went along. I saw one of the inspectors one day when I was over there and he said, "Mr. Armstrong," he says, "You're building a very strong edifice here." He said, "I want to tell you just how strong this building is." He said, "I don't think you understand how strong it is, I'm here to see and inspect it and see if it is strong enough — that's my business." He said, "If an earthquake comes, this is the safest place you can get — right into this building. Or if a fire breaks out, this building is going to be pretty safe."

You know, I thought of that, I have always believed in building with the finer materials.

My wife and I have visited the old Auditorium many times and attended church services there as well. There, however, have been changes to it. To see some relatively recent photos, check out: Joyce's Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God.

3:16

Verse 16: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now here we're a building. You are a temple. He is not speaking of the individual body being the temple of the Holy Spirit here. That is spoken of in another place in the Bible (I Corinthians 6:19). But here he is speaking collectively of the Church. You, you people, he is writing not to one person, but to the whole Church. You, the whole church are God's temple. That's the temple that Christ is coming to, He is not coming to a physical temple that the Jews are going to have to build over in Jerusalem! God wouldn't have the Jews building, they reject Him and He wouldn't have them reject Him and build His temple.

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yet, many Protestants and even some in the COGs do not understand that at least of the the basic ways that ties in with prophecy (for some details, check out the article Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).

3:17

Verse 17: “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now, he is not speaking there of destroying the body, he is speaking there of destroying the Church. What about these people that are trying to destroy God's Church? They make up things. Here is a book written and already the two worst chapters have been circulated. The things that they made up in their own imagination.

Much of the nonsense and false statements about myself and the CCOG are made up--even though one anti-COG website falsely claims that they do not make anything up. Furthermore, many Laodiceans have passed on wrong ideas and false information about the CCOG.

Many believe things that various ones made up in their own imagination.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

What about these people that have gone out of the Church and want to say bad things? ... They'd do anything they could to hurt, to destroy the Church and all that they think of, the former members, is their mind is still on the Church. That's all they think of, morning, noon and night, is the Church. They think what is wrong with the Church. ...

That shows an attitude and a spirit and that is what Paul is bringing out here. Why is it Paul says as he said in the book of Romans (Romans 16:17) and as it says over in Thessalonians, I believe it is, (II Thessalonians 3:6,14) that for those who are causing trouble in the church and throwing up division — put them out. Get rid of them; put them out of the church. And people say, "Oh, that wouldn't be right. You mustn't put anyone out!" Well, you've got a crate of apples here and there is one rotten apple. You mustn't put that apple out — leave it in and let it rot the ones next to it! Pretty soon that will rot the ones next to them and the whole crate will be rotten. They're all destroyed. If the one that is rotten is already destroyed — get rid of it and save all the rest.

That's what God says we must do and I do it because God says do it. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corninthians 3:16). Is God's Spirit in this church or is God's Spirit in these churches that are so angry at us that all they can think about is what's wrong in this church?

“If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (I Corinthians 3:17 RSV). He doesn't mean not each one here, he means you, collectively, the church.

We have rarely had to put anyone out. It is not something we take lightly. But we have put out a couple of deceptive leaders in Africa and a couple of deceived people promoting lies in Canada.

3:18

Verse 18: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words, let him become what the world thinks is a fool because the world thinks we are foolish - we believe in God.

But I will also add that the Laodiceans have deceived themselves and think that they are wise in this age--but they have ignored and/or discounted various scriptures.

3:19:

Verse 19:  “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”

The Laodicean Christians will be hounded by Satan during the time God protects the Philadelphians as Jesus said He would in Revelation 3:10. Let's look at what happens to the protected and those that will not be:

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:13-17)

3:20:

Verse 20: “and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Their foolishness or their wonderful thoughts. The great scientists, the great philosophers of this world.

But again, remember that Paul was writing Christians and there is some of this attitude today.

3:21:

Verse 21: “Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:”

Verse 22: “whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours.”

The Laodiceans boast and often think because certain men were ordained in a certain way by other men, that they can rely on that. But they overlook how God does things as well as what God had recorded for the end times.

3:23:

Verse 23: “And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

I think that this is one of the most important chapters in all the Bible, is that very third chapter of first Corinthians. There is so much there to get that is important.

There is much of importance in the third and other chapters of 1 Corinthians.

I Corinthians 4

Now to the 4th chapter.

Verse 1: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Why are they mysteries of God? Because the natural carnal mind can't understand or comprehend a bit of it. A mystery is ... "Something not understood or beyond understanding." Well it is something that the carnal mind cannot understand, that can be reveled only through the spirit of God. That is where you see 'mystery' in the Bible that is what it is talking about. The mysteries of God.

We go over many of the mysteries of God that are revealed in the Bible in our free online book:The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Such as:

The mystery of God’s plan.

the mystery of the kingdom of God (Mark 4:11)

the mystery of grace (Ephesians 3:1-5)

the mystery of faith (1 Timothy 3:9)

the mystery of the marriage relationship (Ephesians 5:28-33),

the mystery of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-54),

the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4)

the mystery of the Father (Colossians 2:2),

the mystery of God (Colossians 2:2; Revelation 10:7)

Mystery of His will

Mystery of Humans Compared to Animals

Mystery of Satan and His Demons

Mystery of Truth

Mystery of Rest

Mystery of Sin

“mystery of lawlessness” (“mystery of iniquity” DRB)

A mystery of real love

the “mystery of faith”

The mystery of the passover

The mystery of prophecy

Mystery of Race

and even Mystery Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5).

4:2:

Verse 2:  “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now we have in the Church employees or stewards. I am a steward. I am a steward of God's money. ... We are not a charitable trust. Our funds don't come from the public. We don't solicit the public for money. We don't receive our money from the public. Our money, our tithes {and offerings} that are God's money. And they come mostly about 80% from our own members. About 20% from people that are not members, but have voluntarily started becoming regular contributors and we call them Co-Workers. But they are regular, there a lot of them that are regular contributors and I know their hearts have got to be in this Work because their money is in it. But we don't call them members. ...

I am a steward of God's money and I had to be very careful how that money was handled and I was at the beginning. And I have been all the way along. ...

Well anyway, as stewards, we have to give account and I have always had to give account for my stewardship in the Work of God.

Jesus taught about stewarts and servants:

42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. (Luke 12:42-44)

12 Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'

15 "And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' 19 Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.'

20 "Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. (Luke 19:12-22)

The last servant knew what the Master wanted. But he reasoned around it--he was a hearer and not a doer, deceiving himself. There are, sadly, people associated with the CCOG like that. If there were not professed servants of Jesus like that, Jesus would not have given that warning.

Anyway, be a proper steward of what God gives you, and that includes in tithes and offerings.

Also, pray for me that I will wisely oversee the funds the CCOG receives as I strive to be a good steward.

4:3:

Verse 3: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

I'm being judged by a human court right now. And I'm being judged by many of the membership in the Church. And as I was saying before we started this Bible Study, there is a tendency of God's own people in the Church to want to judge their own leaders. They want to sit in judgment and they want to decide.

You see, who is the one to judge whether I should continue in my job or not? I'm not elected by the people! None of you in this room, none of you listening to me that will be hearing this tape later, voted to put me into the office where I am. I am not responsible to you. I'm responsible to the One who put me here -- it was Jesus Christ! Now is He on the job or do you think He needs your help? Maybe you say, "Well Jesus Christ I don't think you are doing your job very well. I'm going to take it over and do it in your place. I don't think you are judging Mr. Herbert Armstrong; I'm going to judge him!"

You see, some of them came to Moses back there. God -- it was the same one who became Jesus Christ, He's God. And He'd selected Moses and he'd put Moses in the job where he was. But this Korah and his people came up and they said, "Moses why do you set yourself up and put yourself up on such a high seat. Who do you think you are?" And so they questioned him. They were going to sit in judgment (Numbers 16).

Well, God just had the earth open up and swallow them. God was full of, well God was -- what's the word I want? He was angry and He just simply did away with them! Now they had been given a fairly high position in the Work. They were men of renown, you know, you go back and read of it, but they weren't satisfied. They wanted a higher seat and they wanted to blame Moses. So, God took care of them. Well God is my judge. And I tell you, I'm going to be judged with a whole lot greater judgment than the rest of the brethren because God has given me a greater responsibility. He is going to hold me more strictly accountable than He is the other brethren. If the other brethren want to sit back and judge, some of them, well that is not what God has called the brethren to do.

And, of course, in the CCOG, no one voted me into office. The former presiding evangelist of my prior COG statated that God may consider me a prophet, said he would so ordain me if he took on the title of apostle--but since he never did, God had a minister who unexpectedly prayed that I would be given a double-portion of God's Spirit and that minister told me that was reminiscient of the passing of the mantle and years later stated that he believed God answered his prayer (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Does that mean I am perfect and make no mistakes.

No.

But, despite my flaws, I strive to do what I believe God wants me to do.

4:4:

Verse 4: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Here were people who would sit in the church were sitting in judgment of the apostle Paul. I know what Paul meant because I suffered the same thing.

Truly, God is my judge. But there are people who have never even met me that judge me falsely and spread lies about me, as well as others in the CCOG, on the internet.

4:5:

Verse 5: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

God looks on the heart. Now when the Lord comes, is He going to disclose the old King David of ancient Israel, saw Bathsheba taking a bath and had her brought in and committed adultery with her? Got her pregnant and then had her husband killed so he could marry her. Is He going to bring up the fact that God told him, don't take a census and don't number Israel and knowing that God had said don't do it, that David went ahead and did it anyway? No, I don't think when Christ comes in the judgment He is going to bring that up against David at all.

Do you know why? Because David has already repented of that and Christ has already forgiven it! And Christ has come and took that penalty on Himself and died and paid the price for David. And it's all paid for! And there is no penalty hanging over David any longer from those two things. And God said David is a man after my own heart.

I won't say I've never committed sin. I'm human. I've committed sins and so have everyone of you. But when I have repented and when God has forgiven it and when Jesus came and bled to death to pay for it, I don't have to pay for it all over again. So, who is going to sit in judgment of me and say, "Well I haven't done anything as bad as David did. I've never murdered anyone. I never got some other woman pregnant in my life either. I never did those things. I never did what God came and told me personally to my own face, don't do and then I went ahead and did it." And David told his Army General, go ahead and make this census and his General said, "Oh David please don't do that, God said don't do it, and you're disobeying God. And David said, "I know, but you go and do it anyhow."

Who can do anything worse than that? I never have. Well now who is going to sit in judgment on me?

What about that woman caught in adultery? Jesus forgave her. Now are some of us going to condemn her when she's resurrected in the judgment? I'm not. I'm not. She must have repented or Jesus wouldn't have forgiven her. Jesus said just go and sin no more (John 8:11). I tell you, we need to realize these things.

4:6:

Verse 6: “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

And we've had some of that in the Church too, with one all kind of puffed up with one against another within the Church and we should not have any of that.

4:7:

Verse 7: “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

God called you and has shared His word so you can know. God has also made that available to others.

4:8:

Verse 8: “You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us--and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!”

The Corinthians thought they were fine and spiritually richer than they were.

This is like what Jesus told the Laodiceans:

15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:15-19)

4:9:

Verse 9: “For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Makes me think that back in the days when I was with the Sardis church back in Oregon. Their ministers persecuted me, they considered that I was the least of the ministers {many of the Laodicean ministers view, me, Bob Thiel that way}-- I was the little tail end. They were ignorant men with practically no education, only one among them had ever had any College education and he only had one year. And I know that I had more than the equivalent of a complete college education. I didn't get it that way; nevertheless I got it the hard way. And I had it. I was the least of the ministers. I've never considered, I have never boasted of myself. Who of you has heard me say "I built this great Work. I did this"? ... Jesus Christ built it. Remember some of us can do some planting and some watering but we don't give the increase. We don't produce the growth, God does and we must remember that.

That is they appeared fools before the world because the truth of God is like foolishness to the world. And we who are ministers, and we who have worked and sweated the hard way and let God give us the truth and have gradually got that truth out to you and all of the truth you have has come through — well directly or indirectly, it all came through me, and then indirectly from me but directly through some of the local ministers and pastors - you've received it through the minister, but don't boast against the ministry as if the members are superior, because they are not

4:10:

Verse 10: “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Paul is getting a little sarcastic right here because he is suffering the sting. And I've suffered it and I tell you I know what it is -- you labor for the people and they are so willing to believe the false rumor. They are so willing to believe something that someone makes up in their own mind to accuse you. And it is Satan who does the accusing -- not Christ.

Despite being a prophet and apostle and getting Divine messages, Paul was dishonored. At least part of it was for not being a captivating speaker, another part was his physical appearance, and there were probably also other reasons--like not always agreeing with everything he taught.

These type of things still happen in the 21st century.

Verse 11: “To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.”

Verse 12: “And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now I've had to do that. I have had to live with a whole lot less than the members of the Church, when I and my family had to live on less and the less income and couldn't wear as good clothes than the members of the Church. That's the way it was when this Church started and the raising up of this very church. For a long time, I went down to three days at one time, two or three days and worked long hours all day long out in the woods and I fell down one great tree and it was about 150 years old because I could count the rings on the tree after I had sawn through it. It was a very large tree and it was a whole winter's wood supply. Now we burned wood up in Oregon. And we had very little electricity or anything like that. We even had a wood stove in the kitchen to cook by and we had to heat the house with wood heat. And I had to chop up all that wood and I had to chop up wood every morning and every day at home.

I've gone with what I call 'righteous shoes' because they had holey soles! I've had to come to the place where the brethren took pity on me because my one suit I had, the only suit I had to my name, was getting so shabby it wasn't fit. And one of the brethren went around, and I didn't know it was being done, and took up an offering from the other brethren and got me another suit of clothes. Those things are a little humiliating for one who had been making what in today's money would be $175,000 a year {more than $600,000 now}, before I was converted.

But I've gone through all of that. So I know how Paul felt. At this time, Paul was working with his hands rather than take the tithes of the people although he was entitled to take their tithes. But they didn't want to even pay what God had said was His.

In my wife and my case, we do not take a salary from the church. And I still work with my hands to provide support for our family as well as with tithes and offerings to support the work.

4:13:

Verse 13: “being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.”

Yes, myself and the CCOG are oftern reviled and defamed. Paul was often defended himself and what he was doing. We in the CCOG often do so as well, though some, not understanding that Paul and others had to deal with that, do not understand why.

4:14

Verse 14: “I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.”

Yes, in this time, people need to be warned to not believe lies about the CCOG and me.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

And I say that to all that will hear this Bible Study. You are all one way or another, directly or indirectly my children in the Lord, just as these people were Paul's children.

The woman who represents the church who will flee has both Philadelphian offspring who do flee, and the rest of the Christians that do not:

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17)

Paul considered the Christians in Corinth as his children and those who are in a real COG are the children of the woman, the faithful church.

4:15-16:

Verse 15: “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

Verse 16: “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”

Paul expands on how to imitate him in 1 Corithians 11:1 which says to imitate him as he imitates Christ.

4:17:

Verse 17: “For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.”

Timothy was sent to teach those in Corinth basically how to try to imitate Jesus. How to live as a Christian. We have a free online summary booklet to assist with some of that: Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian.

4:18:

Verse 18: “Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now some of them in the Church were arrogant and we may have some like that. I don't think there are too many of that kind in God's Church today. I really think we have been getting back on the track; we really have, in the last two years. But there might be one or two yet somewhere around the world.

There were many who were puffed up that became more obvious after Herbert Armstrong's death--two thirds fell away--which is consistent with a prophetic warning in Zechariah 13:8 (see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

4:19-20:

Verse 19: “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.”

Verse 20: “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”

Let's read from Zechariah:

6 So he answered and said to me:

"This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,'
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

God's Spirit was prophesied to be poured out in the last days with prophetic dreams (Acts 2:17-18). But although we have them in the CCOG (see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?), most end time Christians will not believe--they do not believe God is doing with His Spirit what His word says it would do.

And we are now proclaiming the The Gospel of the Kingdom of God in 160 languages and sublanguages.

4:21:

Verse 21: “What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Paul was coming to them. Now he meant if he come with a rod, or to whip you, to beat you, or do you want me to come with gentleness? He was telling them, now he wouldn't have used a rod of iron or anything against them, but he's using that figuratively to show that he had power — and the power of Christ.

The power of God is manifested in various ways--and one is to lay out the words and truths of the Bible.

Here is a link to a sermon related to chapters 3 and 4: 1 Corinthians 3-4: Christianity Requires Repentance.

Chapter 5

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now we come on next, that takes us up to the fifth chapter, and then he launches right in, in the fifth chapter to one that had to be put out of the church. And that shows the example ... when someone is wrong, it is not wrong to put them out of the church. It's just like I say if you have a crate of apples, fine juicy apples, just ripe, just ripe enough, just right. But one of them somehow got rotten; you are not harming the crate by throwing that one rotten apple out, you're saving it. But yet some people think if we put someone who is hindering the church out that we are doing wrong. Oh no, that is what God says we must do. And so we will obey God and not man. ...

We’re starting the 5th chapter of the book of 1 Corinthians and I just thought there was something I was writing a little on this morning that I think would make a very good preface. ... The world is in religious confusion. It doesn’t know that, and it doesn’t know why. It is a very much mixed up world. It only knows that the people in this world love this world. They don’t want to be moved out of it, they want to stay in it, and yet it is causing them nothing but agony and trouble. It’s total violence. Full of everything wrong - contention and upset and everything wrong. Every unhappiness, every misery, every whoa that can come on human beings, and the world doesn’t know why. Actually the world doesn’t want to be disturbed, it doesn’t want anything else. It wants to go right on. ...

Most of the western world has simply taken the existence of Churches for granted. It never seems to occur to people to question where did the Church come from? What is its purpose? Why should there be a Church? Why do they exist? Well, ever since you were born you’ve known there were Churches. You supposed they just always have been here. You never seem to be interested in why are they here and is there any reason? Is there any purpose?

Now to continue this, to the average mind, I suppose a Church is a building with a steeple atop and a cross on its façade. People, at least some of them, go to this building every Sunday morning as a place of worship together. Indeed Webster defines it thus. You look in Webster’s dictionary, what is a Church? It says it’s a building where people congregate for worship. Whatever worship is, I don’t know what they mean by worship because I don’t think they know what they mean. To many, probably most, the Church plays no part in their lives. Indeed, God plays no part consciously in their lives. God is not consciously in their world, just people and material things, and that’s all that ever enters their mind. That’s their whole mind. Their whole thoughts, attentions and interests are on those physical, material things and people. Yet the Church does exist. But why? What is it really? What purpose does it serve, if any? Just what and why the Church? In this volume we have seen that there is indeed a purpose being worked out here below. There is a reason for the presence of humanity here on the earth.  And for the working-out of that purpose, there is a supreme master plan. Never lose sight of the setting that led to the raising up from the Church. Of course that’s all gone before, in other chapters in this book, and this is chapter nine, and there are eight other whole chapters now before this. We have seen in this volume that God is the creator, that all things were brought into existence by Him. We have seen what and why God is and even what, basically, He is still creating -- holy, righteous, perfect, spiritual character. We’ve seen that He first placed angels, apparently a third of them, on the earth before the creation of man. That He placed His government over them with the super Archangel Lucifer on earth’s throne. Lucifer led his angels in the rebellion, and the government of God became inoperative.

So once again, what and why is the Church? The Church is the called-out (that is from this world) begotten children of God. It is the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 1:23. It is the organized, spiritual organism that shall be the bride of Christ, after the Church’s is resurrection to immortality married to Christ. It is the spiritual temple to which Christ shall come at His second appearing. He is not coming to a temple built of stone like He did the first time. The temple He is coming to this time is the Church, and nobody seems to know that. In fact we haven’t known it. I’ve only been proclaiming that within last year or two. The Church could not be actually founded until Jesus had ascended and been glorified. John 7: 37-39. ...

The average person has no conception whatsoever of the tremendous, supreme, supernatural achievement that Almighty God has undertaken in reproducing Himself, ultimately into billions of spiritual god-beings. And every human being, every child can become one of those god-beings, absolutely supreme, so far above what any human being on earth is now. It’s like a billion times more important, more powerful, more knowledgeable. They have no conception of the many faceted stages of development necessitated in this pinnacle of divine accomplishment. You see this is the pinnacle of even the accomplishment that God Himself could do. That’s how great it is! God could not hurry. It required a master plan, which must proceed a step at a time. It required patience and never-deviating determination on the part of the Divine Creator Himself. Few understand this. From a child only five years old, God put it in my mind and heart to desire to literally crave understanding. Solomon desired wisdom and God gave him wisdom above all who have ever lived.

What then is the necessary prerequisite to receiving understanding? Well that’s what I wanted. I prayed that ever since I was five years old. But of course I just wanted understanding in the physical and material realm of things at that time. “A good understanding have all they that do His Commandments” {Psalm 111:1}. The one ‘test commandment’ is the 4th. The keeping of God’s Sabbath. My conversion resulted from a struggle to resist that commandment. But when a merciful God conquered me, brought me to surrender to Him on that point, He revealed also the necessity of observing His annual Sabbaths and festivals. These pictured major spiritual steps in God’s great master plan. Through this revealed knowledge and through the revealed knowledge of the Holy Bible, God has through these many years - now at age 88 – revealed to me understanding of the working-out of His grand purpose and the necessary part of His Church in that purpose.

After Adam’s rejection, with Satan still active, God knew as only He could know, how cautiously, gradually, a step at a time, must be the procedure. He is going to turn what He created in that physical Adam, and Adam who rejected him just spit right back in God’s face, and turn them into god-beings. Now that’s going to take over 7000 years and it’s going to take many different steps, one at a time, and people have no understanding of that. Now why and what is the Church is one of the great steps in that plan. It is so very necessary. Such righteous men such as Abel, Enoch, and Noah undoubtedly were used to play some part in the ultimate creation and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But the Eternal began laying the actual foundation through mortal humans, of that ultimate God family, through the Prophet Abraham. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph formed a part of that foundation. Then through Moses, God raised up the nation Israel.  God’s first congregation or Church. They were given God’s government but not the spiritual mind of the Holy Spirit. They were not begotten as future god-beings. Not the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Yet ancient Israel was a necessary part of God’s supreme program, though not a spiritual part.

Nevertheless during those years, God continued to call, to beget, and to prepare individual Prophets as part of the foundation for the future Church. And what then was to be the Church? As pictured by the third of God’s annual Holy Days or festivals, it was to be the first actual harvest of mortal humans- being translated into the spirit-composed, god-beings. However the Church is the begotten and not-yet-born children of God, but the Church shall be the first born or harvest. Christ being the foregoing pioneer. The Church, when it is finally changed from mortal to immortal at Christ’s coming, will be the first fruits the first harvest. And we in a sense are. We get an earnest payment of that now. We get the Holy Spirit which begets us, but we’re not yet born into the Kingdom of God.

Through the years from Abraham until Christ, God had called out of Satan’s world begotten and prepared Prophets, as the preliminary sub-foundation of God’s Church. Jesus Himself is the main foundation. During Jesus’ 3.5 years, earthly ministry He called out, chose and trained the second sub-foundation - His Church. His original 12 Apostles starting with Peter as the chief original Apostle. During His human, earthly ministry, Jesus announced publicly the future Kingdom of God. He taught and trained His apostles as He proceeded. But He did not call to salvation the public to whom He preached. He didn’t  call them to salvation. He didn’t try to convert a one of them. Rather, He said in John 6:44, ‘No man can come to me except the father which sent me draws him.’ And God hasn’t picked them out, and God hasn’t chosen them. God hasn’t decided to draw them. It’s only a few that God likes, here and there, that has a chance to come now.

Those called now have to battle against Satan. We have to overcome Satan. We’re called to a much harder time to gain salvation than others. Others will get it in either the Millennium or in the resurrection in the life to come, and there won’t be any Satan around. Every external influence they’ll have will be a God-ordained influence. They’ll have everything going for them. We have everything going against us. We have to fight the world because it’s Satan’s world. We have to fight Satan. But there’s one difference, if we overcome we shall sit with Christ in His throne. We shall reign with Him. We shall be kings and priests. We shall be given power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron, in the time when God is beginning to save them. We get a greater reward, but we have a much harder time. It’s much harder to be saved and converted now than then. For them, God is choosing us to have to go through this so we can help them when their time comes. No one understands this truth. No one is preaching it. Billy Graham knows nothing about it. The Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in Rome know nothing about it. They have people in the Methodist Church, and their top bishops, they know nothing about this. Just think of the responsibility of our small Church, small in number, that God has given us such great power that we should have such knowledge.

Jesus did not call to salvation the public to whom He preached. He preached a message to them but He did not call them to salvation. He spoke to them frequently in parables. And why in parables? To cloud  and hide the meaning. Matthew 13:10-16

{Matthew 13:10-17

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"

11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.'

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.}

Heal them spiritually--convert them. But that was not the plan.

That may be easier for some to see with Mark's rendering of this as translated by the old KJV:

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (Mark 4:11-12, KJV)

So, converting all through parables that supposedly were done to help the all common people understand simply was not Jesus' plan.

But, notice what He taught after His resurrection:

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

It is the plan for the church to help and train those called to be converted.

Paul affirmed that:

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Yes, the church has positions to help teach those that are called.

But the true Church of God realizes that converting the whole world now is not the plan.

Back to Herbert Armstrong's comments:

Jesus devoted His 3 ½ years largely to teaching His Apostles His Gospel message and God’s spiritual way of life, contrary to the lifestyles of this world swayed by Satan. When He had finished the work that He, in the human flesh was appointed to do, He submitted to being put to death by crucifixion, shedding his life’s blood. Thus He took on Himself our human guilt for our human sins. He paid for us, in our stead conditioned of course on real repentance and faith, the supreme death penalty that all humans have incurred. He did not take on Himself Satan’s primary share in our human guilt. I wonder how many understand that. Christ only took the sins of humans who can repent and be forgiven on Himself. When He paid, He paid our penalty. He did not take on Himself Satan's guilt and did not pay the penalty of Satan. Satan has to suffer his own penalty. That’s brought out by another one of the annual festivals, the Day of Atonement.

The foundation for God’s Church had been laid. That consisted of Christ, the basic foundation, and the original Apostles who with the Prophets form the sub-structure foundation. Because the Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. Didn’t we read a week ago of how the foundation that Paul had laid was Christ, and there can be no other real foundation. Christ is the one main foundation. The Apostles were chafing at the bit to get started. They wanted to get out and start proclaiming this message right off the bat. To go out proclaiming that Gospel message, but God knew how do use restraint. To be patient. To take a proper step, one at a time. So because He’s dealing with people and you can’t just change these people all at once. It’s a long process. So Jesus cautioned his Apostles, ‘wait’ He said ‘or tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you’re be indued with the power from on high’. Luke 24. Ten days later came the annual day of Pentecost or the Feast of First Fruits. ...

There were 120 that were present when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. And the Church started with that 120. Then Peter preached a sermon. Now if you will notice, read Peter’s sermon all over again in the second chapter of the book of Acts. He did not urge people to come and hit the sawdust trail. He did not ask them to come up and kneel and pray with him and he would pray for them. He did not urge them to get converted. He did not urge them to receive Christ. You can’t find a bit of high-pressure salesmanship and trying to get people converted in that great sermon of Peter, and yet that first sermon inspired by the Holy Spirit, resulted in 3000 being converted that day and baptized. And a day or so later 2000 more were added, but God was adding to the Church such as might be saved.

Now understand the Church is the body of Christ. It is a spiritual organism. Ephesians 2 and Ephesians 4 and other places in the New Testament. It is the household or the family of God. It is compacted and organized, compacted in every joint. It is so well organized and put together. God has set certain ones in the Church until we all come to a spiritual adulthood and ready to go into the Kingdom of God. And there is a system of teaching starting with the Apostle. . ... There are many different offices of administration in the Church. The Church has a work to do, and there are different ones to be appointed to those offices. Now others only back them up with their prayers and with their tithes and offerings, and and their encouragement in every way like that. But the Church is organized and compacted into every joint and it’s like a building all put together. Now pieces of lumber, pieces of stone out somewhere that will be taken off of the building, are no longer part of the building are they? They that go out from the Church are no longer part of it. The Church is going to marry Christ. It is the Church that is going to be resurrected, not individual Christians.

Now as we saw already in 1 Corinthians {1:10} there’s to be no division. 1 Corinthians 5 shows the organization of the Church which will be covered. The Church must put out any so-called rotten apples that turn sour and turn the wrong way. Romans:16 and 2 Thessalonians 3 shows that we are not even eat with any of those that are turned sour and going the wrong way. We must put them out and we’re going to come to some of that in today’s lesson.

Now the past sins are forgiven and forgotten. It is present sins that we must put out. Those that are presently sinning. Not because of something they did last year or last month, if they’ve repented of it. There is not a one among us that hasn’t sinned. In Ephesians 2:2 where Satan is called the prince of the power of the air, it’s working the children in disobedience. It says that that we were walking out in the world and sinners just like the rest of the world until God brought us in and we repented and turned away from that way, and we’re forgiven through the blood of Christ. But its present sin that is to be put out of the Church, not those who did sin and have been forgiven. The Church is the mother of us. And we are like a fetus in the womb of the mother, as yet unborn, being fed by the mother, being protected physically by the mother. The Church is the mother feeding Christians and protecting them from spiritual harm, and feeding them on spiritual food. Now what about abortions? About individual Christians? Well if you could have an individual fetus by artificial insemination, and the fetus I think they’re experimenting now or trying to produce a human being outside of a mother’s uterus. And try to do it by wholly artificial means. I don’t think they’ll be able and if they are that is not a normal child birth.

What about other Churches? Revelation 17:5 shows that there is the great harlot and her daughter Churches, or the Pagan religions. They are no part of the Church whatsoever. Those put out, as we’re going to see right away in this study, are put back into Satan’s world. Given back to Satan again, to be saved in the judgment - not to be condemned forever - but ultimately be saved in the final Great White Throne judgment. The purpose then of the Church is to back the Apostle getting the Gospel to the world, as a means of and preparing for, the second great purpose - perfect in character with their needs individual in order to reign and rule when the Church, under Christ, is going to compose the Kingdom of God and to then save the rest of the world. And that’s when there will be billions of people finally converted. Absolutely billions.

Now I think that ought to give you a little insight into what and why the Church is?  The Church is that body of people that finally have received the Kingdom of God. It had to be prepared, that God had to first have the Prophets of the Old Testament, and much of their writings form a foundation of the New Testament Church. Then the Apostles, then the Church organization to teach those in the Church, and to bring the Church along. The Church is then to become the Kingdom of God. The Church will become the Kingdom of God. The rest of the world then, we'll turn to the rest of world and begin to bring them in to the body and into the conversion. And how that will be done, well I want to tell you there will be a Church after Christ comes in the Millennium. And there will be but one Church. And people will either be in it or they will be out of it. But they won’t be belonging to Satan because Satan won’t be around anymore. Then in the Great White Throne judgment, all that are converted during the Millennium will be part of the Kingdom of God, teaching and ruling when billions upon billions of other people beginning clear back with Cain and Seth, the sons of Adam, are going to be resurrected. The people of Nineveh are going to be resurrected as Jesus plainly said. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected in that judgment and the Book of Life will be open and they will have their chance to repent and receive what Christ has done for them and come in with the rest of us, and come in to become actual god-beings after all. That is a wonderful purpose of the Eternal God.

Now I thought that would be good right at this point, in going through this book of the 1 Corinthians to get a little bit of an insight in the what is the Church and how God has prepared for the Church from the very beginning of everything. We’re beginning our chapter 5, 1 Corinthians and remember that this letter to the Corinthians is corrective. That things were wrong in the Church. They were not all believing the same thing. They were getting into factionalism. One was a Paul man, I am a Paul man. Another was a Cephas man or one of the other men, and another was an individual Christian. Paul showed Christ is not divided. There is one Church and that Church is organized. It is compacted and it is all together. Now in the Church today we’ve had the same thing, and we’ve had to put some out. Now the Church at Corinth to be corrected. Things were wrong and we’ve been seeing some of the things and now we’re going into something else that was wrong. So Paul continues here:

As far as which church, please check out our free online booklet :Where is the True Christian Church Today?

Now to 1 Corinthians 5:

Verse 1: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

I want you to know this is not a man that did do that some years ago and is now been forgiven and repented of it. It isn’t a man who did do it and has turned away from it.

No, the man claimed to be Christian, apparently showed up a Sabbath services each week, and seemingly had 'pride' in the way he lived in sin.

5:2:

Verse 2: “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

Paul was confronting their tolerant attitude toward a serious sin. There are groups in the 21st century who want Christians to do that now.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words they were watering down the truth. They were doing what some ministers have done in the Church today. They were saying, ‘well that’s alright, we gotta be a little bit liberal. We got allow for a few of these and after all we’re all human you know?’ Well I know there was an ad about the Volkswagen. It was about if something happened to it in Paducah. It said if it poops out in Paducah that there were plenty of parts to repair there, no matter where it happens in any kind of a town or city. And it said if something possibly could go wrong, but after all it’s a Volkswagen, if it does there are plenty of spare parts around to fix it right away, after all Volkswagen is only human something could go wrong, that’s the way they want to say it. They’re only human so it’s alright to sin.

That’s the way they want to say it.

It’s alright to sin. No it isn’t.

Sin is something I know, we do it. But we must repent and ask God’s help to turn away from it and take the blood of Christ to pay for it up to this point, and don’t do it again from this point on. Now sometimes you do do it again.

What about the man who swears off of smoking and I have known of men who swore all smoking 40 times a day. Two whole packs of cigarettes every day and every time, after every cigarette, they swore off they’re never going to smoke again. Well I know a man who was always filled with remorse, but tomorrow was always another day and he was right back at the same thing again tomorrow.

That is not repentance. Repentance is remorse and is being sorry, but it goes a lot farther than that. It’s being sorry enough that you turned away from it. Now then, what about someone that is planning to break that habit of smoking and he does swear off but he goes back and smokes again? Well he’s got to pray harder and he’s got to get divine help, and he’s got to work on himself. And God will have patience with him if he doesn’t overcome it, if he does take the next cigarette, or two, or even the next 15 or 20, if he’s trying.

And if he’s really gaining ground and is really overcoming and is finally going to get rid of it entirely. You don’t always overcome every sin or every habit all at once, bang - just like that! But God looks on the attitude. God looks on the heart. Where is your heart? Where is your attitude? Are you trying to overcome? You know that nearly always when anyone accuses someone else, they’re the ones themselves who were guilty the very thing they’re accusing. And the one they accused probably never did it at all. That’s going on in the Church today. We’re still human. Satan is still around and Satan is getting to people today just as he did back in the days of the apostle Paul nearly 2000 years ago.

Now Paul says you’re arrogant, you know? You’re a liberal. You’re arrogant because you think well wme’re good enough, we can be merciful. We could overlook at thing or two like that. We’re merciful to this guy and we can’t put a brother out of the Church you know.

God will work with you if you will sincerely persist.

5:3:

Verse 3: “For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now I want you to notice something there. The Apostle can pronounce judgment. The Apostle has authority, and that authority is to act in the name of Christ. In other words he has been given the authority of Jesus Christ and it is Christ that backs his order - when he said here, I have already judged. It was in the name of Jesus Christ. When a man comes banging on your door and says open up in the name of the law. What does he mean in the name of the law? He himself is not the law. The law is something was passed by a state legislature or by Congress or some lawmaking body. He is a representative of the law. He is the same or has the same as a power of attorney, to act for the law. It’s just like I gave an attorney representing me, the power of attorney to act for me and he does it in my name - it’s just as if I did it. And it just an authority. So I want you to notice there’s authority in the Church and the Apostle bears that authority. Now some of them don’t like that today in the Church either. We’ve got them in the Church today, and they don’t like that.

One does not have to be an apostle to judge. But many people are too judgmental.

There are facts like sexual immorality and drunkeness which are easy to judge.

But, many lifestyle matters, are personal or cultural choices which normally do not have to be judged.

Also, people need to be careful about judging motivations, why they THINK somebody said or did something.

5:4-5:

Verse 4: “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Verse 5: “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words, when the Pharisees came to Jesus and they were accusing Christ of having been a bastard. They wouldn’t admit that He was fathered by God, through the Holy Spirit. They claim that He was an illegitimate child. They were guilty of what they accused him of. They said ‘we are Abraham’s children’ and he said ‘if you were Abraham’s children you would do the works of Abraham. But you are the children of Satan, your father and its his work you do. He was a liar from the beginning and you’re liars. You are the children of Satan.’

... Jesus Christ Himself says that the unconverted people in this world are the children of Satan. Now the people in the Church today, directly or indirectly -- but mostly indirectly - are my children in the Lord. But those that are unconverted, whether they realize it or not, are actually the children of Satan. So were all of us until we were brought in.

Now notice what Paul is saying here, when you are gathered together, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now that is, he will die in this life but then he is going to be resurrected. He’d be down in Satan’s world. That’s what it means. Put him out of the Church. And when he’s put out of the Church, I don’t care what he professes. He can say ‘I’m a private Christian’ or ‘I’m joining another Church’. Maybe he joined the Associated Church of God or this or that or the other. And they have no right to take the name of God in such Churches of men. The Lutherans at least named their Church after Luther and not tried to name it after God.

But he says why are they to do this to his spirit? Then his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. And that day is the the Day of the Lord Jesus, which begins just before Christ coming goes all the way through the Millennium and extends on through the Great White Throne judgment. So the part of the day of the Lord that this is talking about is the Great White Throne judgment after the Millennium.  In that day he will die and then maybe he can be saved then. But he should not contaminate the Church. In other words if you got rotten apple in the crate get rid of that rotten apple, don’t think you’re saving a lot of apples to save the rotten one. Its not a good apple. You’re boasting is not good. They were boasting on their own righteousness and being so broad-minded that they could be compassionate, and they were more compassionate than God. God says put this man out, through Paul. But they said we must be kind, you know, we must be loving. People misunderstand love, compassion, and mercy.

5:6:

Verse 6: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

You got a rotten apple in the crate and 11 of the ones next to it will rot, and the ones next to them. Pretty soon the whole crate is rotten.

5:7:

Verse 7:  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now he goes to a little bit of a analogy here which correlates to one of the feast days.

5:8:

Verse 8: “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Yes, we are to keep God's Holy Days like the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. We have a free online booklet, with more information on that: Should You Keep God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

5:9

Verse 9: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that is not to associate with men who used to be immoral but have changed, that is not what he said. It’s men that are now immoral and continuing in their immorality. Let’s get that distinction.

Obviously, also, we are not to keep pagan holidays that encourage sexual immorality as well.

5:10:

Verse 10: “Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Not all the immoral of this world because you have to do business in this world with some of the people. But that's not a fellowship that’s not a Christian fellowship. That’s a different type of association. Or the greedy and robbers or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. You couldn’t even live on the face of the earth. And where would you go? I don’t know maybe go to the moon or Mars or someplace.

5:11:

Verse 11: “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now I could go to lunch and have a lunch with some man in the world and there’s a reason in my work for Christ to do it. I’ve done that quite often. Jesus went to dinner and and had dinner with sinners. Jesus Himself did do that. But that was not to have fellowship with them and even then He only told them truth. I have had to have certain business dealings with men in this world, and I can tell you men who have quit smoking and quit other things by their association with me and I never mentioned a word about it to them. I didn’t need to. I didn’t try to talk them out of smoking, and yet they just gradually had to clean this up and that up, and they didn’t drag me down to their level. I didn’t let it happen that way. We don’t need to, however don’t go into any unnecessary fellowship with that. If it’s part of your business, if it’s part of your job, if it’s something you have to do you can do it without it becoming the fellowship that is going to influence you their way. Rather influence them in God’s way with you.

5:12:

Verse 12: “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

So you see he had a lunch or dinner or something with an outsider once in a while. So did Jesus, but he doesn’t judge them whereas in the Church we have to appraise one another. Not necessarily judge in the sense of condemning, but sometimes we do have to make a judgment about capacity and ability to handle this, that, or the other thing.

5:13:

Verse 13: “But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.””

This is one of the reasons why we do not seek revenge--because God will judge.

But as a church, we are not to tolerate the grossly immoral who are not striving to change.

Chapter 6

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that comes to chapter 6 and there’s quite a lesson in that chapter if we get it.

6:1:

Verse 1: “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now notice that says a brother, not someone outside. Does he dare go to the law before the unrighteous instead of the Saints? No, someone outside of the Church does not have jurisdiction over him. The Church does have jurisdiction over those in the Church.

6:2:

Verse 2: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

That’s why the Church, that reason - for the very foundation of the Church is - it's being taught so that when the time comes, we can convert the world. Satan will be put away. We’re going to judge the world and we’re going to save the world. Not to condemn the world. In this case it does not mean condemn but make a judgment as to their merits or demerits, and make a wise decision.

6:3:

Verse 3: “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?”

Yes, Christians will judge angels. This indicates that there will be differences in angels as well as the judgments. Perhaps there will be some 'fallen angels' who have repented. We will see.

6:4:

Verse 4: “If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the Church to judge?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now I want you notice something there. When you go to law, you’re going before those that are least esteemed by the Church. The Church is supposed to know that there is no justice in the legal courts of this world. We do not esteem the legal courts. They are not honest. Now there was something in the news that I believe is just last night, about a judge guilty of immorality of that kind. You ever hear the old saying that all lawyers are liars? I almost believe that sometimes. Maybe not all lawyers, but a great many of them are. No, but the judges in this world are the least esteemed by the Church.

6:5-7

Verse 5: “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?”

Verse 6: “But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!”

Verse 7: “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Wayne Cole brought that up to me when the state of California launched this unconstitutional fight against God’s Church. They said we should suffer wrong and let them take over the Church, and try to run and rule the Church. Now if you’ve read my coworker letter that went out within the last week, you saw that in that letter I use the illustration about the work. I decided to go on on radio to get the gospel out. I would have to have gone, if the attorney general was running it, I would have to go to his appointed receiver and he would have to decide whether I could spend the money to preach the Gospel on radio. There were people to be baptized and I had to go down to San Antonio, TX and have a meeting before people and I was to baptize a few, and to speak before a bunch of so-called Christian businessmen at the morning brunch meeting. And he would have to decide whether I could go and baptize those people. He would have to have decided whether I could obey Christ and go to all the world and preach the Gospel. I talked to Mr. Raider just this morning and he just got back from Boston, New York, and Washington and he found that that impressed many people back there. He let one of them read that whole coworker letter. And they said that makes sense. They said an ex-judge can’t decide whether someone could do this or that or the other thing in the Church. They don’t know anything about such things. So why not suffer wrong at the hands of a brother rather than going to all outside? In other words, Wayne Cole was misapplying this scripture just like Satan misapplied the scripture when he was tempting Christ. Satan misquoted scripture too. We’re not trying to harm them. We’re not trying to overthrow or destroy the office of state’s attorney. We’re just trying to prevent him from destroying the Church. We’re not trying to harm the state’s attorney in any way.

6:8:

Verse 8: “No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!”

Well, doing wrong and cheating is not something brethren should do, or do to other brethren. However in the old WCG there were some who partially mastered being pretenders and they did do wrong and cheat other brethren. We have also encountered versions of this in the CCOG in Africa.

6:9-11:

Verse 9: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,”

Verse 10: “nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Yes, God has standards. No, you cannot "come as you are" and remain that way as various Protestant preachers have claimed. Furthermore, the above shows that homosexuals and others can change. This is one reason many in the LGBTQ+ community want the Bible minimized or even banned.

That being said, Herbert Armstrong commented:

By the way we’ve got some drunkards in the Church and no drunkard is going to get into the Kingdom of God. You know in the world they’ve got help for that. They can go to Alcoholics Anonymous and it seems to be successful for them. We got a far greater help, if you’ll go to God for help, but you’ve got to mean it.  A man whose a drunkard has got to acknowledge that’s what he is, and they won’t acknowledge it. A man who is drinking too much, the last thing the world he’s willing to do is acknowledge it. He doesn’t want to admit it, but he’s got to admit. He’s got to acknowledge it. He’s gotta take it to Christ. He’s  gotta get down on his knees and ask God for help. I need help I can’t do it alone. But he’s got to try to the limit of his own ability. God isn’t going to do it all for him. God is going to do what He can’t do, but he’s gotta try to the very limit of his own ability. And not short. Remember that all of those things are things that can be forgiven and can be overcome through Christ.  And such were some of you. Now here it is, they were forgiven. But they’ve now been forgiven don’t you see? They’re not anymore. The word is past tense. They’re not those things any longer.

Now but you were washed. After that you were sanctified - and that’s set apart. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean justified to continue doing it either. Doesn’t mean it made it alright. It meant that Christ paid the penalty for you.

6:12-13:

Verse 12: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Verse 13: “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Contrary to the views of the sexually immoral, no they are not supposed to be. This includes fornicators, adulterers, and the LGBTQ crowd. Paul was NOT saying such things were lawful.

We are to glorify God with our bodies, which means we should "eat what is good" as Isaiah 55:2 teaches, and avoid sins such as sexual immorality and drunkeness. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16).

6:14-15:

Verse 14: “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”

Verse 15: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!”

We are to be faithful and not try to join with false churches.

6:16:

Verse 16: “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.””

The above is talking about marriage where a husband and wife become one flesh as well as warning against physical harlotry and spiritual harlotry--we are not to try to merge with the world's churches.

6:17:

Verse 17: “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. He who is united to a wife becomes one flesh with her and she with him. When we’re united to the Lord, we are one spirit with Him

We are united with Jesus if we have the Spirit of God.

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:9)

6:18:

Verse 18: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now one thing I want you to notice there it does not say, and this might mislead some people, some people might think that says that immorality is the worst sin. It’s worse than the other sin. It does not say that. As a matter of fact it is my judgment, and I think I have the mind of Christ, and it is my judgment that fleshly, immorality is a far lesser sin than rebellion against Christ, and disloyalty against Christ and things like that. I think that sins of that kind are far worse in God sight. Now you go back and take examples that we find in the Bible, and like in the Old Testament. Look at the sins and some of the ancient men and how God continually forgave them. He called David a man after his own heart but David had not only the case with Bathsheba but David also had many wives and many concubines. However, if you will read through - and you just have to read through chapter after chapter all in one sitting to really get it -  David finally put away all of the concubines. David finally put away all wives except Bathsheba. And God finally approved that after David had repented, the affair with Bathsheba, and she became his wife. She was his wife right until death but at the end of David’s life he was the husband of one wife only. He had gotten rid of all the others. At one time, Christ said ‘look you had all these concubines and these wives and I would gladly have allowed you to have more.’ God was trying to show him that some of his spiritual sins and rebellions were a whole lot worse. And they are worse than just the physical sin. I think I have to say that right at this point that physical sin is sin and it’s bad enough certainly. But spiritual sins are worse.

As far as sinning against one's body goes, sexual immorality brings the risk of STDs including HIV and Monkeypox. Plus, sodomy causes bodily damage to males. Females involved in lesbianism risk bodily damage and females involved in adultery or fornication risk unwanted pregnancy. There are other affects, but those are among the most obvious.

6:19:

Verse 19: WHAT! Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which you have within you from God, and you are not your own? (A Faithful Version)

Yes, those who have God's Holy Spirit need to realize that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit--the true temple of God in this, the, church age.

6:20:

Verse 20: “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

People do not realize the tremendous cost the Father and Son paid for us.

They had everything and were companions for eternity.

But risked it all.

Jesus, not only had physical pain, He also risked being blotted out for eternity it He had sinned.

The Father, not only risked not having His faithful companion for eternity, He also suffered when Jesus suffered.

And both suffered from seeing the sins and consequences from human beings.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

You don’t own your own self. Christ bought and paid for you when he died on the {stake}. Now in my conversion, instead of receiving Christ, I gave myself to him. And that is exactly what went on in my mind and what I did and what I said and what I prayed. I said I am no better now than an old worn out hunk of junk that isn’t even worth being thrown in the junk pile. I said Christ has bought and paid for me. He can use this worthless self of mine, I’m giving it to him. I can’t see how even God can use anyone as worthless as I am. That’s the way I felt. So I gave it to Him to find out what could he do with such a worthless self. For now I’ve got some detractors that still like to tell people about how worthless this self is, but God has done quite a little with this worthless self. I haven’t done it. Jesus Christ has done it. But He did use me as an instrument and He made me go through just as much, and work just as hard, and suffer persecution, in fact even more than as if I was doing it all in Christ. If Christ hadn’t been in it, I wouldn’t have been persecuted. I just wouldn’t have. And that’s the way it is today. Now we’ve come to a very important chapter - the 7th chapter - and we’re up to that now and that has to do with the very important decision that has been made recently in the Church. But perhaps we better leave that for next time and I hit that fresh from the beginning - instead of I took time to read a pages of the manuscript there - there so we’ll let it go for that for this time.

Here is a link to a sermon related to the chapters 5 and 6: 1 Corinthians 5-6: The Church and Bad Apples.

1 Corinthians Chapter 7

Herbert Armstrong commented:

We're going to start today in the seventh chapter of I Corinthians. ... I might just remind you once again that Paul's letter to the Corinthians, as were his letters to the Galatians and also the Ephesians, and to a lesser extent, the Philippians, Colossians and so on, they were corrective epistles. There were troubles in the Church. There were some things that were wrong. Now we've had troubles in the Church today. ...

We're not here to clamor everyone for his own way, for his own rights, with a lot of women clamoring for women's rights. They want the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment. And they sort of forget I think, that most people today don't realize at all, which woman really started the Equal Rights Amendment. Do you know who started it? You do? It was mother Eve. You see God has created Adam and Eve, and God had created them so that Adam should head the family and wear the pants, and should be the head of the woman. But the woman wanted equal rights.

Now equal rights never means equal. Equal rights means I want to go up above. It reminds me of a movie. I've mentioned this before. It was oh, this must have been more than ten years ago, maybe twenty years ago, but anyway, it was a movie depicting Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini and, I think it was Charlie Chaplin playing Hitler and Jack Oakey was playing the part of Mussolini. I think that Mussolini was visiting Hitler in Berlin at the time and they both had gone into Hitler's barber shop for a shave. And like our barber shop on the campus in Pasadena, it was a barber shop with two chairs. So, they occupied the two chairs and after a while, Mussolini reached down at the little lever, and jacked it up a notch, which raised him up just a little bit higher than Hitler. Hitler looked at that, he wasn't going to have that, so he jacked his up four notches and that made him two notches higher than Mussolini. Well, Mussolini got jacked up back even again or a little ahead. Now Hitler had to jack himself up a little higher. Equal didn't mean equal. Equal meant each one wanted to be a little ahead of the other.

Now, I don't know what women have really in their minds and hearts, but I know how these things always wind up. Fifty-fifty marriages are never fifty-fifty. A fifty-fifty marriage means the wife wears the pants every time. That's what they mean. If the husband is willing to sacrifice his leadership, someone is going to lead. I don't care what you have, someone has to lead in God's Church. Someone has to lead in government. Someone has to lead in the home. Someone leads in the whole universe and that's Almighty God. But God and Christ are exactly one in mind and purpose and spirit, and so God has delegated the administrative function to Jesus Christ, knowing that He will not try to make the laws and usurp His Father's place. The Father makes the laws and Christ just administers them according to the will of the Father, every time.

Now I've tried that in the Church, and it didn't work. The one who was supposed to administer the policies, the doctrines set by Christ's apostle, tried to take over all of the doctrine-making and the policy-making processes, and just blank out the apostle of Christ's choosing. It's always that way. If someone doesn't lead, and someone else is supposed to be equal, they want to go on ahead.

So, old mother Eve decided she ought to wear the pants. So, she's the one who contacted Satan. She's the one who decided on the experiment. She's the one who took of the fruit that was forbidden and gave to her husband, and meekly he gave in. In his weakness he took of the fruit and ate also with her. And he let the woman lead him. And in this world Adam, therefore, followed his wife and rejected God and rebelled against the government of God and the rulership of God.

What they took to themselves was the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. In other words, to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. Not what God says is right and what God says is wrong. Now, God does not give us the prerogative of deciding what is right and what is wrong. God decides that. God pronounces what is sin. He gives man the choice of whether he will sin or not. God will allow us to sin, but if we do there is a penalty. Now we make that choice. Either we obey, or we accept the penalty, because whether we accept it or not, we're going to get it. And a lot of people are going to get it, as they say, to use the vernacular modern slang, 'they'll get it in the neck', or wherever they get it, and they are sure going to get it!

Notice the following about the UK:

Health officials say Christian beliefs ‘incompatible with human dignity’

December 5, 2021

Officials for the North Bristol National Health Service Trust in the United Kingdom are claiming the Christian beliefs of a former employee are “incompatible with human dignity,” especially when they touch on Islam and marriage.

The claims arise as part of their defense against a lawsuit brought on behalf of Brian Walker, 66, who has alleged discrimination, victimization and harassment on the part of NHS officials who say his Christian faith fails to qualify as religious or philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act. …

A full employment tribunal now is pending and NHS lawyers are arguing Walker’s Christian beliefs are “not worthy of respect in democratic society.”

Christian Concern, noted, however, that, “in a landmark judgment in June 2021, an Employment Appeal Tribunal overturned a ruling from the Employment Tribunal that Maya Forstater’s beliefs in biological sex were unworthy of protection, with the judge ruling that: ‘only beliefs akin to Nazism or espousing totalitarianism would fail to qualify for protection,’ and that, ‘It is only in extreme cases involving the gravest violation of other Convention rights that the belief would fail to qualify for protection.'” …

Walker charged that he was being treated “like a terrorist and an extremist.”

“Christian beliefs, and especially any expressing of them, are being suppressed in the NHS. The argument that my beliefs, which I believe are shared by many, are not worthy of protection under the law must end,” he explained. https://www.wnd.com/2021/12/health-officials-say-christian-beliefs-incompatible-human-dignity/

Some believe this type of thing cannot affect the USA because, in order to protect the rights of the citizens of the USA nation to speak even against the government, the Bill of Rights came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791. Here is the first amendment:

But now we see laws that do respect secular religion as well as those against freedom of speech and even religious speech (e.g. watch: Biden-Harris & Hate Speech).

The USA has a bill passed by its House of Representative earlier this year (on February 18, 2021) called the “Equality Act.” Note that is the same title as the UK law.

Although most in the USA say they support freedom of religion, yet that  proposed law would not respect that constitutional right:

Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Religious Freedom

A new national poll … shows that 82% of Americans say freedom of religion is important to a healthy American society … Results showed that support for freedom of religion stretches across the political spectrum, with 86% of Republicans, 79% of Democrats and 83% of Independents agreeing that religious liberty is “very important or somewhat important.”

The poll also revealed strong bipartisan agreement that churches and faith-based charities should not be required by law to hire people who oppose their religious beliefs. Only 20% of those surveyed suggested religious entities should be required to hire employees who disagree with their core beliefs.

“This research affirms that the American people overwhelmingly support the continued protection of the Constitutional right of freedom of religion, and oppose policies requiring churches and faith-based charities and organizations to compromise their deeply held religious beliefs,” said Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit.org. “Yet, leaders in Washington, D.C., are aggressively pushing forward on legislative measures such as the mislabeled Equality Act, which specifically strips away religious freedom protections. In an era of hyper-partisanship, freedom of religion retains broad, bipartisan support among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.” 06/24/21 https://harbingersdaily.com/poll-overwhelming-majority-of-americans-support-religious-freedom/

While many in the USA claim to support religious freedom, government actions and proposals have limited it and many believe, correctly, that the proposed ‘Equality Act’ is a real threat to religious rights.

Here is something from the Protestant Franklin Graham:

The message to the church from certain influential, high-level people in government is loud and clear: Fully embrace the sexual revolution and redefine marriage and gender—or else! The Equality Act is moving our nation in a direction that elevates government above God. They want to make the moral decisions, usurping His authority.

Under its broad reach, the Equality Act will:

This legislation would massively change our moral landscape and silence people of faith who do not agree with the secular values of the Left. But more than muzzling us, they want to force us to pivot—to change direction—instead of trusting God and standing on His Word. If we begin compromising on basic Biblical truths, it will lead to the end of Christianity in this country. 03/24/21 https://billygraham.org/story/franklin-graham-do-not-surrender-and-do-not-pivot/

Despite hopes and views of many, the end of religious freedom will hit the USA.

World Net Daily (WND) posted comments from a Jewish group who believes that the so-called Equality Act will essentially result in a banning of the Bible:

Holy Bible blasted as ‘bigoted document’: Equality Act ‘explicitly targets’ Scripture

… warns Yaakov Menken, the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values. … the bill classifies virtually all venues, from restaurants to catering halls and funeral homes as “public accommodations,” subjecting them to a mandatory ban on division by sex.

“This directly forbids traditional Jewish practice in any such location,” he said.

“Lest you imagine that such a Jewish event would be protected by its religious nature, the act goes out of its way — for the first time in history — to prohibit recourse to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). That law was specifically to shield religious practice from ‘laws ‘neutral’ toward religion [which] may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise,’” Menken said.

“Stripping this protection from religious practice cannot be described as incidental. The Equality Act claims the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman is merely a ‘sex stereotype,’ and that opposition to same-sex marriage is inherently discriminatory. Any ‘discrimination’ on the basis of ‘gender identity’ is likewise prohibited, even in the private sector,” said Menken.

“Thus, the Equality Act explicitly targets the Bible, calling it a bigoted document filled with discriminatory stereotypes. These include the idea that male and female sexes are biological, not psychological (Genesis 1:27), created with procreation in mind (1:28), and that marriage is the unique, holy contract between man and woman forming the environment in which that procreation is intended to take place (2:24). And one cannot forget that which the Bible proscribes as an ‘abomination’ in Leviticus 18:22. …” 03/22/21 https://www.wnd.com/2021/03/holy-bible-blasted-bigoted-document-equality-act-explicitly-targets-scripture/

I have repeatedly warned about the Equality Act.

Here are some more comments from Yaakov Menken:

The Equality Act explicitly targets the Bible, calling it a bigoted document filled with discriminatory stereotypes. It would also ban observant Jews from religious ceremonies.

The Founding Fathers recognized freedom of expression and religious liberty as core elements of diversity and tolerance. Now, nearly 250 years later, Congress is acting to stamp them out, ushering in a new era of government-sanctioned anti-religious bigotry. …

With the Equality Act, Congress is waging a legislative effort to prohibit the next Siyum, scheduled to take place in June 2027, and other such “discriminatory” violations of human rights. Under the Act, observant Jews will no longer be legally permitted to gather to celebrate religious education, or any other occasion, in accordance with their beliefs.

The reason is simple: not only prayer services, but family lifecycle events of all kinds — from circumcisions to bar mitzvahs to weddings to funerals — are commonly divided by biological sex in traditional Orthodox Judaism. This is true whether or not ceremonies are held in synagogues. …

The Siyum held on New Year’s Day 2020 brought a level of decorum unheard of in a sports stadium: an absence of fights, drunkenness, and disorderly conduct. Police, who maintained a high level of security, said they never felt such appreciation from the public as they did then. Combined with its educational focus, the celebration exhibited values that America has long cherished.

Congress, to the contrary, would now grant antisemites a powerful legal tool with which to prevent such public displays in the future. Yet President Biden has committed to putting his name to it. If bigots were bent on eliminating Orthodox Judaism from American soil, it is difficult to imagine a more ruthlessly efficient tool than the Equality Act. https://thefederalist.com/2021/03/23/the-equality-act-would-legalize-religious-bigotry/

The Equality Act is anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-Bible.

Here is something from my book Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction:

Here is what the Biden-Harris Administration’s top priority is:

The Equality Act is the best vehicle for ensuring equal rights under the law for LGBTQ+ Americans, and will guarantee that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under existing civil rights laws. Biden will make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority. Biden will also direct his Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies. … End the misuse of broad exemptions to discriminate. Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. But states have inappropriately used broad exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, state and local government officials, and others to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. Guaranteeing transgender students have access to facilities based on their gender identity… Biden will reverse Trump’s policies misusing these broad exemptions and fight so that no one is turned away from a business or refused service by a government official just because of who they are or who they love. ( The Biden Plan to Advance LGBTQ+ Equality in America and Around the World. JoeBiden.com accessed 10/16/20)

The above is a concern to many people who believe that they will be discriminated against if they hold to various religious and/or biblical beliefs on sexuality. Claiming religious freedom is “a fundamental American value” (which is clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution) while at the same time saying it must be not allowed for certain matters is wrong, insincere, and hypocritical.

The Bible, KJV translation, predicts the end of “an hypocritical nation” (Isaiah 10:5-11).

Furthermore, because the Bible teaches that homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:23; 20:13) and that homosexuals can change (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and the current LGBTQ+ propaganda does not want that to be considered, about three years ago a bill was introduced in California that, if taken to its logical conclusion, would ban the Bible.

Back to Herbert Armstrong's comments:

And so, in the politics of this world, there are the different factions. Everyone out for their little faction and what they want to get. Everything is get, get, get! There's no give, you don't find anything of the law of God, or the Spirit of God, or the way of God. Oh, I tell you, we'd better get the interest of our own selves out. Because we will never qualify to rule the world with, and under Jesus Christ, until we are concerned about the people we're going to rule more than we are concerned about ourselves, and the job we're going to get. It's a totally different thing and there won't be any elections. Christ Himself, who can read minds and hearts, is going to decide whether I, whether you, or whether any one of us qualify for a position to rule with Him and in His throne. And He's coming soon! And now we're in the process, in the final, or coming in on the home stretch, to see if we qualify. Because we are to be the bride of Christ, that must be ready without spot or blemish or any such thing. And we've still got spots and blemishes on us in the Church, and we've got to get rid of them.

So there have been things wrong in the Church. There were things wrong in Corinth and the apostle Paul was correcting some of those things. Now we saw last Sabbath how there was one there, and the people were so liberal minded, that a man was sinning by living with a stepmother. Actually, it probably was his father's wife, and it couldn't have been his own mother.

But the people, they were all puffed up, and probably because they thought how good they were that they could be so broad-minded that they could just overlook a thing like that. And God wasn't going to overlook it. We get so broad-minded we want to over look sin, and condone sin, and approve sin and God doesn't do that. God is love. God's mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above the earth, but God is a God of justice. God didn't compromise with His law one iota. He gave His only Son to pay for our transgressions, rather than compromise and let the bars down. We have had members in the Church that have wanted to cut the bars down, wanted to let the bars down. I have never done that, brethren, and I will not. We're going to try to hold those bars up where Christ put them and not bring them down the way Satan would bring them down.

So as we come now to the seventh chapter of I Corinthians. Paul had written here, there was a sex problem that he was talking about in the fifth chapter. And he went on a little bit about that in the sixth and now he gets on to it, and answering one of their letters on a question about it when we come to the seventh. So he writes to them now;

7:1:

Verse 1: “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words, Paul himself was unmarried ... Now God said; "... It is not good that a man should be alone; I will make a wife for him" (Genesis 2:18 paraphrased). And so God did. I have always believed that God was right there and I have never believed, going along with Paul, that it is better for a man to be alone. God said that "it is not good that a man should be alone". But Paul said it would be good if a man would keep separate, but he said…

Anyway, "it is not good" for a single man to start touching a woman in various places. This can tend to lead to physical or mental fornication. Obviously, this is not talking about a married man touching his wife.

Notice also the following:

4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

7:2:

Verse 2: “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now why did Paul say you should marry? Paul's only reason is to avoid immorality. Did he say you should marry in order to have children? No, he didn't say anything about having children. In other words, when God created sex, He created sex for more than just having children. And Paul plainly shows that. The reason he says you should have a wife, is to avoid temptation, and to avoid immorality. Because sex prior to marriage, in other words pre-marital fornication, is a sin. And to avoid that he said a man better have a wife. So the purpose that he gives for marriage here, is to avoid fornication. In other words, so you can have a sex relationship with God's blessing, instead of in sin, that's plain language.

7:3:

Verse 3: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now some husbands get the idea that they have all authority over the wife's body, and they can do what they please. And some wives are virtually raped right off, because husbands overlook the fact God says; "Husbands,love your wives..." (Ephesians 5:25). And that love making is part of the sexual relationship, they overlook that entirely.

Married couples are to love each other.

7:4

Verse 4: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now then, a wife does not have control or the right of her own body and must submit to her husband in the same way a husband does not have a right to do what he wants to do, and what he wishes with his body. And he does not have the right then to virtually rape his wife. And he does not have a right to plough on ahead when his wife is in no condition, or is unready, or unwilling. In other words, he must still have consideration for his wife. He must still love her, they must love each other. Each must be considerate of the other, and that works both ways, just as much one way as the other.

Now I hope all of our people will get it. Because I am now receiving reports that in this Church of God, there are cases now of where husbands are inconsiderate, and wives are practically raped just to please the husband's lust. And it's time that's cleaned up in God's Church. ...

Although we have not had those complaints in the CCOG, that does not mean there could not be problems or misunderstandings. Additional information on marital sex is in the article: Why sex and marriage? What are each spouse’s responsibilities regarding sex in the marriage? What is not allowed according to God’s word? 

Herbert Armstrong commented:

And another thing that I find is that the children are coming, now that we're having a program for children, and many children are saying, "Well, my parents don't tell me anything about sex. Oh, they're too embarrassed." Well, if they are like parents used to be a generation ago, the parents don't know anything to teach anyway. And secondly, if they did, they'd be too embarrassed. It's time they get over that. That's not the kind of embarrassment a parent ought to have. A parent has no right to become a parent unless they are willing to teach their children the things they need to know about themselves and their own body. And children should get that teaching from their parents and they should get it as God teaches it. In the right manner, and not the way they get it dirty, from other kids.

When I was married, how much teaching do you think I had? I had what teaching I got from other kids, and it was not from girls. I didn't get any. It was from other boys and there were a lot of things I didn't know because the boys didn't know all of it. And when I was married, I found my wife didn't know anything about it. She had never been taught anything except that sex is the greatest sin there is. It's worse than murder. And she'd been taught that the second worse sin was dancing because her father said, "Dancing always leads to sex." One time I got a little impudent and I asked him, I said, "Well how do you know dancing always leads to sex? Have you known by experience? Have you danced?" He replied, "Well, I should say not." "Well," I said then, "How do you know?" And he didn't have any answer. Well, I shouldn't have ever asked him that, but I did. I wasn't converted yet, I'll alibi it that way.

But you see, my wife's mother was dead, and her father had two girls and he wanted to keep them chaste and pure. And so he thought the best way to keep them pure was to teach them how evil sex is, so they would never let it begin to get started. And the result was that while my wife wanted babies and just loved babies, I never knew a woman who loved babies like she did. You'd be surprised how many other people's babies she named for them. She always wanted to name babies. A lot of people would give their babies the names she selected. But her conscience hurt her to have anything to do with sex. It didn't seem like that was the right way to have children. But that's the way God ordained and there wasn't any other way.

But God ordained sex for a lot more than just having children, and that's what a lot of people don't know. That's what the Catholic Church never taught them. And that's what the Protestant churches have  not taught them. The Protestant churches have followed the Catholic teaching, but they haven't followed the Catholic practice. In other words, they have been very lax in practice and they've been just like other people with no restraints whatever, but in general more or less. But there has not been teaching and it is a duty. And people have no right to become parents, if they are not willing to teach their children, what their children need to know to keep their children in a right mind and attitude, about what God has created and what God intended. ...

For more on that, we have an article Why sex and marriage? What are each spouse’s responsibilities regarding sex in the marriage? What is not allowed according to God’s word?  and a related sermon is available: Sex and Marriage

Herbert Armstrong commented:

People think, oh, you mustn't mention that subject. You can't avoid it today. Everybody talks about it today. I don't think you can find a ten year old girl today that doesn't know all about sex. But they didn't get it from their parents. All the kids talk about it and they talk freely in a way they didn't two generations ago. They didn't really begin talking freely about it until about two decades ago. They began talking very freely about it between two and three decades ago. That's all, just within the last twenty to thirty years, but they talk about it dirty.

In the 21st century, schools teach about sex, and at a very early age. And, in California and many other states, they push sexaul perversion and abominations.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

You see Satan was made without sex, and he's very envious and jealous of the human beings who do have sex. Now people don't understand. Why did God make us with sex? Because God is reproducing Himself, that's what it means for us to be born again. But that is a spiritual reproduction. And God made us and He made physical reproduction the exact picture and type of spiritual reproduction. That's why He made us to have sex. It's something very pure, and very holy, and very sacred. But Satan has to besmirch it and besmear it. And Satan doesn't have sex and he's very envious and very jealous. And so he tries to do one of two things. He tries to make us either be so liberal that we go clear overboard and make sex as filthy and dirty as we can make it, or he's tried to make the Catholic Church so they practically forbid sex, and say the only purpose of it is childbirth, and that is not God's teaching at all.

Now you will notice right here, notice the next words. And remember now that the husband doesn't have power of his body, and he is not allowed to use his body the way he pleases against the wishes and the will of his wife. There must be love and each has to give consent to the other.

7:5:

Verse 5: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that's very plain teaching.

Yes, married couples are supposed to have sex. Sex is not to be used as a weapon or to be refused as some type of punishment.

And as Herbert Armstrong implied, it is almost always the husband in a marriage that will initiate that--and that is something that science used to teach decades ago. Wise wives will attempt to satisfy their husbands' sexual desires (but that does not include perversion like sodomy or acts that would intentionally cause harm) and wise husband's will pay attention to their wives' concerns and desires.

Refeerring to 1 Corinthians 7:1 as 7:7, Paul wrote:

7:6:

Verse 6: “But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

He didn't say that as a command, but God allowed him to say that, in other words that they'd remain single.

7:7:

Verse 7: “For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.”

Going to verse 8, Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now notice, "To the unmarried..." (I Corinthians 7:8), notice he's going to speak to three classes. First is to the unmarried, notice what he says;

7:8-9:

Verse 8: “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am”

Verse 9: “but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now secondly to the married. Now first he talks to the unmarried, now he talks to the married;

7:10-12:

Verse 10: “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.”

Verse 11: “But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”

Verse 12: “But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now first there was to the unmarried, and now there is to the married, now who can the rest be? Everybody is either married or unmarried, and this troubled me quite a little until I found out what it really means.

Well, "the rest" were those who were married to non-Christians. The rest also looks to have included the divorced.

Anyway, Paul wrote:

7:13:

Verse 13: “And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Then he is not a member of the Church. She's in the Church but her husband is not. If he will live at peace with her and her religion she is not supposed to leave him. She must stay with him if their marriage is still in love and harmonious, as we'll see later.

In the CCOG, we do not break up families, consistent with what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:13..

7:14:

Verse 14: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Sanctified, that only means set apart. That doesn't mean your mate is righteous or anything of the kind. It just means, you are set apart. In other words, here's what that means. Adam cut himself off from God. Adam rebelled against God, and God made that absolutely binding not only on Adam, but all of Adam's family for the next 6,000 years until Christ comes with the Kingdom of God. Now we're almost at the end of that 6,000 years right now, but not quite, and man is cut off from God. ...

But notice here;"The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife..." (I Corinthians 7:14 RSV). Now God is not calling many. No one can come to Christ except God draws them. The average person in China can't come to Christ. I can go over and preach till — till I shout at myself, and my lungs are hoarse, my voice. I can't talk them into coming to Christ. They can't do it unless God the Father draws them, and He's not picking them out. I could not have come, but God the Father was drawing me and He had a reason for it, and it wasn't very pleasant for me at first either, for a while. So remember, the world in general, most people, are not being judged now. God is not calling them. They can't be converted now, but they're not lost and they can be saved. Their time has not come. It will come in the Great White Throne Judgment, and that's what we hear about on the Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

It's the day after the Feast itself is over, that Last Great Day. There will be a resurrection of all these people. They are not being called now. They will be resurrected at the end of the millennium, and there won't be any devil around. And then God will call them, and I tell you I think nearly all of them are going to answer when God calls them, because there won't be any Satan to draw them the other way. And there will be Christ and God drawing them that way and we are going to be there helping to draw them. Oh God isn't unfair. Adam cut all of his family off and they are cut off.

But look here now, the husband of a believing wife, or the wife of a believing husband are not cut off. I want you to notice; "The unbelieving husband is sanctified by [the] wife..." (I Corinthians 7:14 RSV). In other words, he is not cut off. That doesn't mean God is calling — that does not mean God is calling. But that means he is set apart, as one who could come to God if he wants to himself.

“…otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.”

Now when I go up to Orr, Minnesota, I preach to those kids up there. I say, your parents are members of the Church, and I quote right from this scripture. And you therefore are sanctified or set apart. And when you are going to come to the age, and some of you aren't quite to that age yet, but when you come to the right age, you can come to Christ if you want to. Now God may not just call you, He may not draw you, but at least you are not cut off. And I tell those young kids up there, you are the ones that God is going to use at the very beginning of the Millennium in the world tomorrow, and you are going to have very important jobs. And you'd better pay attention to the things of the Church you've been brought up in. And you know, they begin to see something they never saw before, and that's what I want our ministers to teach the children in the Churches.

Well, it says 'holy' in but it only means that they are subject to being called. That's true with the young people right here; Mr. and Mrs. Olinger's children. Maybe they are not quite of the age yet of being called for conversion, but they are not cut off from God and other children they meet at school are cut off. Now that's what I tell our young people up at Orr. And that is a wonderful thing, and that's just something that our people ought to teach their children.

7:15:

Verse 15: “But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that is the whole thing. For God has called us to peace! If the unbelieving husband is not going to live with his wife's religion, and that is upsetting the whole marriage and there's not peace in the marriage because of her religion, she can divorce him. But if he's willing to live with her in peace, she must not leave him or divorce him.

You are supposed to try to get along with your spouse even if he or she is not in the Church of God. You are not to act in some way to unnecessarily provoke your non-member spouse in order to divorce and possibly remarry.

7:16:

Verse 16: “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”

Jesus taught:

13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

You are not to give up and be overwhelmed by pressures from the world. And yes, your example counts.

It may take many years, and it may not happen at all, but your right example can be a factor in your spouse being called now or how your spouse will respond in the age to come.

7:17:

Verse 17: “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I [a]ordain in all the churches.”

We are not all the same. Be careful in how you judge others as they most likely have a different background, as well as numerous experiences that are different than your.

7:18-20:

Verse 18: “Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.”

Verse 19: “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”

Verse 20: “Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.”

The above is one reason why we do not require males who come into the CCOG to be circumsized.

7:21:

Verse 21: “Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.”

Paul does not want us to be slaves of humans, but if we cannot get out of such entanglements, he is saying not to be worried about it.

7:22:

Verse 22: “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.”

Even in less than ideal circumstances we should look to God.

7:23:

Verse 23: “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”

So, again, Paul does not want us to be slaves of men.

7:24:

Verse 24: “Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.”

Basically, Paul is saying if you are somehow enslaved, you can still function as a Christian. And if you are not so enslaved, we are not to get ourselves enslaved.

7:25:

Verse 25: “Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.”

7:26-31: Notice says Paul is about to give an opinion:

Verse 26: “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress--that it is good for a man to remain as he is:”

Verse 27: “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.”

Verse 28: “But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.”

Verse 29: “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,”

Verse 30: “those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,”

Verse 31: “and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.”

Paul's opinion on the shortness of time was in error.

There are times when the circumstances in the world point to wisdom in not marrying. But, people still are allowed to marry--and no they are not to divorce.

7:32:

Verse 32: “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord--how he may please the Lord.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Well now, I don't think, I don't quite agree with Paul there, that every unmarried man is. Of course he's talking about the unmarried man who is converted and has the Holy Spirit in the Church is what he means. Paul is pretty much talking about the way a man ought to be, not the way he really is.

7:33:

Verse 33: “But he who is married cares about the things of the world--how he may please his wife.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

A married man ought to be concerned about his wife and about pleasing her, yes. But that should not take his mind away from the things of the Lord. It just should not! So Paul has not been married, he has not experienced that, and he is simply telling what his opinion is.

7:34:

Verse 34: “There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world--how she may please her husband.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now by experience, I've ... had a wife who was already interested in the things of the Lord before we were married in my first marriage when I was just a young man, 25 years of age. And she was still concerned about me, and about the things of God after we were married. Now I was not, I was not converted. But God used her in a challenge to make me pretty angry and to study, which converted me. She didn't convert me at all. I was converted trying to prove how wrong she was and I had to find she was right because she had what she found in the Bible. But now once I was converted she was fifty-fifty with me right in the Work of God and getting it started all the time. And I don't know how I could have done what I did without her help.

It isn't good for a man to be alone, he needs the help of a wife, and I had that help all those years. Let's see, how long had we been married when I was converted? I was 34 and I was married when I was 25, that's only nine years and all the rest you see, it was over forty years of our marriage that we were both converted. And it didn't put my mind on the things of the world, and her mind on the things of the world because we were married. Now I'm speaking from experience. Paul was speaking his opinion and I'm just going to have to say that experience disagrees with Paul's opinion right there. I say that a married man should not be any less concerned about the things of God than he was before he was married if he was concerned about them before he was married. Now he says;

7:35:

Verse 35: “And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.”

Another admission of an opinion by Paul.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Well, the marriage only helped bring our undivided devotion to the Lord, and so has this marriage.

7:36:

Verse 36: “But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words, having sexual intercourse in marriage is not a sin, and that's the reason he gave at the beginning of this chapter for getting married, is that you can have sexual intercourse without sin.

7:37-38:

Verse 37: “Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.”

Verse 38: “So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Again, that's his opinion. And I can't quite agree with that, and I'm basing what I say on experience.

Now, Paul leaves the opinion part by bringing in the law of God:

7:39

Verse 39: “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

In the CCOG we tell people that we only will perform weddings when both the man and woman are in the Church of God. Christians are not to marry outside the COG. Like others, widows and widowers are not to marry someone outside of the faith.

Christians are only to marry other Christians--Paul makes that clear--and this is more than an opinion as other scriptures confirm it (e.g. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

7:40:

Verse 40: “But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment--and I think I also have the Spirit of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Well, I'm an apostle of God in the twentieth century, and I think I have the will of God. And I really think, we are living in a different time and a different age when circumstances surrounding us in the world are a little different today. Let me just say that.

It is not required for widows or widowers to re-marry.

As far as being happy, that would depend on the two people.

And that is one reason why one should get to learn more about one's potential spouse before one get's engaged. More on dating, including for those who were once married, is in the free online book:Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians.

1 Corinthians Chapter 8

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Remember that 1 Corinthians is a corrective letter that Paul was writing. There were things wrong up at Corinth, in the Church and we saw in the 5th chapter that there was a man there that was doing wrong. Yet the Church was glorifying themselves on however they were. They were so broad-minded that they could overlook a thing like that. They water down the truth of God and compromise with it, but you know brethren, God himself won’t compromise with the truth. ...

That’s why I won’t compromise. I’ve found that men have come to important positions in the Church. They’ve been vice presidents. They shouldn’t have had that title. I’m sorry now, I repent that I ever gave them that title so I’m not doing it anymore. Titles seem to go to men’s heads. I don’t know why they do, and everybody wants to get into the chief seat of power. Now the women want to get there. And the ERA. They call it women rights - there’s no rights at all. Who made it right? God never did, but women want to. Now if women will just do what God wants them to do, that’s where they will be much higher than that. They are trying to do what they want to do. I’m telling you there’s a wonderful glory waiting ahead for women, just as great as God has reserved for men. If they’re going to try to get it their own way and climb up some other way than by Christ and Christ’s way, then they’ll never get there. They’re like a thief and the robber and they’re not going to ever achieve what they’re after.

But Paul was correcting them for that and Paul wouldn’t compromise. He said throw that man out. Give him over to Satan that he may be saved in the Day of the Lord. Now the only time, the Day of the Lord, that he'll have that chance is in the Great White Throne judgment. I was just writing a little bit on that this morning.

What about someone that is kicked out of the Church? Or that goes out? It is a direct comparison, in a way, because I’ve just been writing that in this. The Church is the mother of us all, and the mother of the unborn child has to feed that child and it receives all of his nourishment and food physically through her, but she also has to protect it from physical injury or harm. Now that’s the exact type. The Church is the mother of us all, but the Church is spiritual. And the Church is to feed the unborn, people that are are heirs of God within the Church, to feed them on spiritual food, and also to protect them from spiritual harm, from spiritual misleaders, Satan, and false doctrines, and things of that sort.

Now if one is put out of the Church or one leaves the Church can they ever come back? ...

If one goes out of the Church or one is put out of the Church on proper repentance, and comes back to believe God’s way, they could be received back. And I wish they could be. They could be received back. But usually when they start off they go farther and farther away. And the longer time goes off, the farther they get and the harder to do and the repentant never come back. So I don’t know if I know of any who did. I think maybe there are some that have come back into the Church, but I’m sure you’ll find that’s very few. Thankfully it is possible. But that’s up to them and God leaves that decision to them and God doesn’t make that decision for them.

So we’ve seen that Paul is correcting them. There were things going wrong in the Church and they were not all speaking the same thing. Now we’ve had men in the Church in important positions. They didn’t want to speak all the same thing. They wanted a committee to decide and to vote. They're not in the Church any longer. They're on the outside.

What has happened since Herbert Armstrong's death in 1986 is that those ministers who remained faithful to much of the truth have become Laodicean in terms of governance.

Several groups are ran by committees. And even many who claim to have biblical governance, have corporate boards who can vote leaders out.

CCOG is the largest (and perhaps the only) COG that uses the legal form known as a corporation sole (see501(c)(3)? Why the Continuing Church of God chose a better option and/or watch  CCOG, a corporation sole, not a 501(c)(3)).

I learned about a corporation sole from Herbert W. Armstrong once he learned about the dangers of other corporate forms in the USA back in 1979/1980.

Anyway, if other COG leaders in the USA fully accepted and learned proper church governance (see The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government), and wanted to apply it, they would be with a group structured as a corporation sole.

Herbert Armstrong continued:

This Church is God’s Church now and how much better is it now than it was two or three years ago?

Well now we come onto the 8th chapter and now concerning food offered to idols. We know, now there was some having trouble on this question of food that had been offered to idols. You see there was a lot of that idolatry and people would offer food to idols. The Christians knew that idolatry is wrong and therefore there was some who had been converted, but now they got to reasoning in their own minds, if a food is offered to an idol it’s wrong and I can’t eat it. If you eat it you’re wrong and I’m going to condemn you for eating food offered to idols. Now they wrote Paul about that - some of our people are condemning others because they condemn people who eat food offered to idols. Now Paul has to settle that question. You see, the Apostle was the supervisor over everything in the Church. The Apostle is one set forth. The Apostle is the one that carries the Gospel  to the world, also evangelist to some extent carried the Gospel  out. The evangelist was not always located in a stationary way, just settled in a certain town or city. But pastors, and elders, and preachers, and local Churches are stationary in one Church. Well maybe in our practice today we do move them after a certain number of years, depending on circumstances and conditions. So far as week by week and even year by year they are stationary, but Evangelists are not necessarily stationary. They can be at headquarters or they can be traveling all the time and we have some that are traveling.

Now here is this question about food offered to idols that was causing problems in the Church. Paul says

8:1:

Verse 1: “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Knowledge, he says, puffs up. It goes to your head and you get to thinking you’re somebody if you think you’ve got some knowledge. Now we’ve had some in the Church like that. ... Now concerning food offered to idols, we know that all of us possess knowledge. If you didn’t have some knowledge you wouldn’t have come into the Church in the first place, and had to have knowledge of your sins, and repent of it. Knowledge puffs up or leads to vanity, but love builds up. Love is usually humble.

8:2:

Verse 2: “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”

Paul is basically warning against people who think they are so spiritual that their line of reasoning is better than his or the church.

8:3:

Verse 3: “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”

Instead of thinking they hold special knowledge they should focus on love to be known of God. Being known of men in one's mind as brighter than them, does not make it so--nor is it as important as love.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Hence as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that now an idol has no real existence. In other words, and idol is not a god. Idols were usually carved wood or something of the kind - and then no life in them - and in other words there was no God-life in them, certainly.

8:4:

Verse 4: “Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.”

Idols are nothing. No matter how big they are. No matter how jeweled or otherwise expensive they are. No matter how many people venerate them.

8:5:

Verse 5: “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),”

The world is full of false gods.

8:6:

Verse 6: “yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”

The unitarian types like to focus on the above and some other scriptures to support their claim that Jesus is not God. However, in order to do so, they also claim certain scriptures--like the ones that say Jesus is God (like in the first chapter of John's Gospel) are not to be considered as scripturre (see also Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church?). Instead of realizing that their understanding of how God is one is wrong, they discount scriptures.

As far as the Father goes, Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now you notice the {Protestant} ministers today want to overlook the Father as far as they can. They don’t talk about God, or God’s Commandments, or repentance toward God, or being reconciled to God the Father. It’s only Christ - receive Christ and your saved. That’s all, you just go to Christ! But no one can come to Christ until the Father draws him {John 6:44} and the Father’s gotta be in it or you don’t even come to Christ. So where are they, that kind of people?

8:7:

Verse 7: “However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now what he means is that knowing that an idol is not anything, and therefore the food that is someone’s sacrifice to an idol hasn’t contaminated the food, that’s what he means.

8:8:

Verse 8: “But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Food will not commend us to God. ... In other words it’s alright for you to eat food if it was offered to an idol. That hasn’t contaminated the food because the idol is not a god. It isn’t really some other competitive god at all. 

8:9:

Verse 9: “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

So you must not set a stumbling block before others. You mustn’t even have the appearance of the evil. We have to watch that, and I have to watch it, as a minister. In spite of that, if anyone can find even an appearance of evil about me in any way, they want to stretch it, twist it, exaggerate it, add along to it, magnify it, and tell it to everybody. Look at Armstrong. He is not fit to be a leader in this Church. Well neither is the man who says that, let me tell you. And if I’m not fit to be a leader in this Church, you’re criticizing Jesus Christ. You’re saying ‘Jesus Christ you put a man in the Church whose not fit to be there! What’s the matter with you Jesus Christ? Don’t you know enough to put that man Armstrong out of there?’ Who are you to sit and judge the one that Christ has chosen? Christ is the one who judges me. You people in this room are not my judge. You people who will be listening to me, in your various Churches around the country, you’re not my judge. Christ is my judge. And if Christ has chosen me and if I teach you, believe the truth for truth’s sake, not for my sake. It’s your lives that you’re concerned about - getting into the Kingdom of God. God hasn’t set you to be the judge of whether I’m going to get into the Kingdom or not. But believe me, I’m concerned about it. Very much concerned and I want to be there, and I want to have you with me.

Now there’s a man who is weak in knowledge and doesn’t know any better. Now the law of God does not go into every detail of everything that is right and everything that is wrong. The law of God is an overall principle. It’s the overall principle of love. Now love is always outflowing not incoming. Toward God it’s completely outflowing, loving God more than your own self. Toward neighbor it’s equal, as loving neighbor equal to yourself. That’ll be a lot of love. What I wanted to say, here we have some people that see that they ought to believe in healing when they’re sick, instead of going to a doctor. They say that God heals. Some of the ministers are not sure that there is an absolute promise of healing. Now I turn in the Bible over here to James, the 5th chapter of James, [Kristy inserted the NKJV] “14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” That is a promise! Anyone who says that isn’t a promise as a liar! You can’t find anything that is a more direct promise anywhere in the Bible than that.

And we have had ministers, I think they’re all outside of the Church today, who say ‘oh that’s not a promise’. A man like that doesn’t belong in Church of God and thank God we’ve been able to clean up God’s house. This Church has been cleaned up here in the last couple of years. But I’ll tell you about our doctrine about healing. We have some people, but they can’t see the truth about healing. Then we can’t  live with that kind of teaching by some ministers, that would like to water down the truth and would like to compromise – where God, I said a little while ago, does not compromise at all. But they are weak in faith. They say ‘well Mr. Armstrong I just can't work up the faith somehow.’ You see, faith is not something you work up. Faith is something God gives you, if you’re willing to accept it. Faith is something God had to work up and He was giving part of it to you. It’s the faith of Christ not our faith in Christ that finally saves us. Of course we have to have our own faith in Christ to start with. That would lead to receiving the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirit the faith of Christ was put into us, so then we receive the same faith that Christ had.

Now when you get that faith, you’ve got an awful lot of faith. That was the faith by which Jesus could walk on water. That’s the faith by which He could turn water into wine. That’s the faith which He healed and restored the dead back to life. That, of course is the faith in which He created everything that has been created, as God directed Him to do. But now we have people that sell, they should have faith, and maybe they will. You see we don’t all grow up completely, all at once. When you’re converted you only receive a little of the Holy Spirit. You haven’t got the Holy Spirit in all of its fullness. We have to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, you grow in faith. So here are some that haven’t grown very much yet, but they’re on their way. They’ve really repented. They’ve received God’s Spirit. They just haven’t got as much as someone that’s received a lot more because he’s been in the Church longer. ...

Here is an example in this 8th chapter of 1 Corinthians when one is weak in regards to eating foods offered to idols. Don’t put him out of the Church, but don’t put a stumbling block in front of him. Don’t eat in front of idols in his presence and don’t do it in front of him because that would be bad for him.

Now when one is weak in faith about healing, what do you do? Put him right out of the Church? No. We try to teach them that they can go to the doctor in the meantime. Now it’s not God’s way, not at all. But let them, until they regain strength let them go to a doctor. Don’t put them out of the Church because they’re just weak in faith. They’ve got a little faith they just don’t have faith in that direction and they don’t have much of it yet. Because the Christian life is a life of growing. The unborn embryo or the fetus in the mother’s womb is the exact picture of a person who is a Christian in the Church. And the Church is the mother and we’re in the Church. As that fetus had to grow from a little embryo that wasn’t as big as a pinpoint as it started, it had to grow little by little. And while it’s an embryo it’s still pretty little and when it’s first a fetus it’s still pretty little. And it’s still not big, even after nine months when its ready to be born. So now we in the Church are the same way. We have to grow up unto the Lord. What is this in Ephesians, let me read this for a second. Ephesians 4:11 [Kristy inserted NKJV] “And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints...” They’re not perfect yet. “for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”

We don’t all have that much faith at the start. We’re not all there all at once. That’s why I have made it a policy, and that policy is bound in heaven let me tell you. We should try to teach people to rely on God. They must have the faith in God to be healed, but that doesn’t mean if you don’t have that faith, go ahead and just die because you don’t want to take what help a physician can give you. If you got more faith in the doctor, and you’re still weak in faith to believe in God, work on your faith. And as soon as you know you’ve got it, then quit going to the doctor. You shouldn’t be going to him. But I don’t say it’s a sin if you do, if your faith is weak. It’s about time we get a balance on that question. You see, the law of God is something to apply. Now here’s an example we apply even the healing, though it’s talking here about eating food or meats that are sacrificed to idols.

Now eating food sacrificed to idols, and they did that back in the first century when Paul wrote this. The principle is there. Don’t destroy the ones that are weak in faith because you know better and they haven’t gained that faith yet.

We are not to go around telling people that seeing the medical profession proves lack of faith or such things.

That being said, I personally have massive disagreements with the medical profession, particular with the use of most of their medicines. For optimal health, we should "eat what is good" (Isaiah 55:2), and thus be careful about ingesting substances that do not truly promote good health.

Back to Paul's writings:

8:10:

Verse 10: “For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?”

Verse 11: “And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?”

Herbert Armstrong again brings his comments on healing here:

So let’s not destroy a brother who’s just weak in faith, because he doesn’t believe enough in God to be healed. He hasn’t got that much faith yet. He hasn’t grown that much yet. Well then let’s not kill him off before he grows, let’s help him grow. In the meantime, let him go to the doctor now and maybe next month or next year, maybe he’ll have enough faith that he won’t have to to the doctor anymore.  Because in the Kingdom of God, we’re not going to need doctors, there won’t be any hospitals, and we won’t be using medicines and drugs. This is the world that Satan has designed and made, and man has been cut off from God. Medical science, falsely so-called, is what man -- cut off from God - has developed as influenced by Satan. But do I say that medical doctors never do any good? Do I say they’re 100% a fraud and fake? No I don’t. There are many things they do do. It’s not done God’s way, it’s not done the right way, and there’s many things we can’t do, that God can. It’s not God’s way, but until we can learn… I tell ya. Here’s a little child and he can’t walk, he isn’t old enough yet. What are you going to do, kick him out or kill him because he’s not old enough to walk yet? Or will will we try to give him time and teach him, until he can walk? I think that’s what we have to do. And some can’t walk with God when it comes to relying on God to heal them if they’re sick.

Do not be confused as there are two phases of the The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is in the post millennial kingdom of God we will not have doctors or hospitals. But with physical beings in the millennial kingdom, such will still be around--at minimum to deal with injuries, which are NOT promised not to occur then. Plus, there would also seem to be other health matters.

8:12:

Verse 12: “But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”

We need to be careful what we say to people, how we act, and how we may judge.

8:13:

Verse 13: “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

Yes, sometimes we need to deprive ourselves of something we are allowed to have or do in order to help the brethren.

Remember we are to love God and neighbor.

Here is a link to a sermon: 1 Corinthians 7-8: Sex, Remarriage, and Christian Love.

Chapter 9

Now to chapter 9:

Verse 1: “Am I not an Apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now Paul is an Apostle. He had the oversight, was in charge of all of the Churches in the gentile area, under Christ. He was quite a leader.  ...

Paul says he had seen Jesus. He wasn’t converted in any way. It didn’t mean he saw Jesus one time when he was going the wrong way. He saw Jesus and was with Jesus personally over in Arabia, right after his initial conversion. So he was taught privately and personally by Jesus, just like the other Apostles were.

Paul, often and repeatedly, mentioned his position.

Why?

To brag?

No.

But because he was not like the original apostles, many felt he could not be an apostle or should not have the authority he would try to exercise. The same problem exists today as the Laodicean churches mostly seem to feel that if God does not put someone in an office in a particular way, that the man could not have the office.

This may be part of why Paul wrote in chapter 12:

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)

9:2:

Verse 2: “If I am not an Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my Apostleship in the Lord.”

Again, Paul is defending his apostleship--this time saying it does not matter what others who claim to be Christian think. Those he was writing should have already proven/realized Paul's role, so he is telling them to stop having doubts about it.

9:3:

Verse 3: “My defense to those who examine me is this:”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

You see Paul was being accused. Paul had detractors just as I have today. Are you going to be the detractors? Are you going to go out of God’s Church because the detractors would like to manufacture lies and have a vivid imagination and think up things that supposedly I did and accuse me of it and when I didn’t do at all and never heard of it? There’s a rumor going around that I have a lot of illegitimate children around the world. Now that’s about as big a lie as anyone could manufacture. There could not be remotely any truth in anything like that. But I don’t know, maybe some people would like to believe that. If you get any satisfaction out it, believe it, go along with Satan, inherit Satan’s doom -- he’s already paying his penalty and he’ll go on paying it for all eternity -- you won’t have to pay it that long because you’ll probably end in death. But, I say instead of condemning one another, let’s get ourselves right with God. Paul had people condemning him and accusing him.

There are false statements and accusations about me, nearly everyday, posted on the internet. Mainly by liars calling me a liar or indicating I said or did something I did not do.

9:4:

Verse 4: “Do we have no right to eat and drink?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

People want to think I’m in it for the money and that’s why I ran ads in the newspapers around the country. Am I in it for the money? And I showed just what I had. I don’t have anything now to leave to my wife if I die. I’m still trying to work some way out, that if something happens to me before it does to her, that there would be something for her. But even this home that we’re buying is not paid for. It’s the only thing I own. I don’t own another home. I don’t own and automobile. I just own the clothes on my back and a little checking account in the bank, and I publish that in the newspapers in a full page ad! And those ads are reaching people. They are reaching a category of people we never reached before. What we never did before. The Wall Street Journal has very carefully examined the ads we’ve been running in the NYT and other newspapers and they now have accepted these ads. And that will give me an audience. A full page ad will stand way out. They will reach the board chairman and the presidents and all the top officials of the corporations of the USA. They will reach the presidents and vice presidents of banks of NY, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit and all over. They’re going to accept these full page ads. I am going to reach people we have never been able to reach. And they have never run anything like these ads. Mr. Rader was in Denver. He was on KOA in Denver. It was one of the talk shows where people telephone in and Mr. Rader was there with the host of the show. They asked Mr. Rader questions and he would answer them. A Catholic priest called in and said, “I wanted to tell you I’m a Catholic priest and my church is 100% behind you in this lawsuit.” That doesn’t mean they’re behind us in what we believe. They have their beliefs and we have ours but they still want the right to stay alive and so do we. And he said that I am becoming recognized as a world religious leader. The Catholic Church is recognizing that. If that is so and can be used to the honor of God, and to get God’s message out, I will use it. But with this newspaper campaign, no one has ever read ads like that before. So all of my experience from I was 18 until 30 years of age, I learned how to write the kind of ads that nobody today knows how to write. [he continued on about the attorney general in CA but I didn’t think it was relevant so I didn’t transcribe it.]

Of course, since my wife Joyce and I are tithe payers and do not take a salary from the CCOG, we clearly are not in it for the money. And actually, that is one reason that a particular website devotes a lot of improper coverage to me as I disprove his frequent contention that COG ministers want people to tithe, not becuase it is biblicaly, but so they can get their salaries.

9:5:

Verse 5: “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other Apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”

Paul is clearly teaching that the apostles were married. Celibacy was not required for presbyters or pastors/bishop (see Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters?).

Celibacy was not a belief of the original catholic church (see also Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church).

9:6:

Verse 6: “Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?”

Paul and Barnabas did do carnal work to get paid, but Paul is pointing out that the other apostles really did not do that.

9:7-10:

Verse 7: “Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?”

Verse 8: “Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?”

Verse 9: “For it is written in the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 25:4}, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?”

Verse 10: “Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.”

Paul is clearly teaching that ministers are entitled to be paid. Some will say he pulled that ox muzzling out of context and misapplied it. But since this is in the Bible, that is not the case.

9:11:

Verse 11: “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?”

Yes, the ministry, including my wife and I are entitled to compensation. But, no, we are not planning to take any. But, if there were not such pressing needs around the world, we would consider it.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

This is what the people should do, the tithes should support the minister for his work. But you see you’re not paying it to the minister. You don’t hire the minister to do what you want him to do. You pay God. God hires the minister. God is the one that chooses the minister and hires him.

9:12:

Verse 12: “If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?” Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the Gospel  of Christ.

Many of you have been part of other COGs and sent tithes which supported the leading ministers. That said, we do provide financial support for ministers outside of the Western Hemisphere--doing it that we are not hindering, but promoting, the Gospel of Christ.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now in Corinth, Paul worked. He should have taken the tithes of the people and that’s what he tells them here, but he did not do that because of their weakness {remember 1 Corinthians 8:13 about not causing a brother to stumble--Paul practices what he preached}. They were stingy. They wanted to criticize him. They were afraid if he got any of their money, he was in it for what he could get. So he worked with his hands, in order to support himself, and preached to them on the Sabbath.

9:13

Verse 13: “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

That’s a direct reference to tithing. How do they get it? He’s talking about the Old Testament there. They got it through the tithing system. In the same way, likewise in the same manner, those who proclaim the Gospel should get their living by the Gospel. That’s plain language. And how do they get it? The tithing system. That’s how they got it in the Old Testament. You also find in the 8th chapter of Hebrews that tithing is absolutely a law of God.

Yes, the Corinthians realized that the Levitical priesthood was supported by tithes and offerings.

9:14-15:

Verse 14: “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel  should live from the Gospel .” Verse 15: “But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.”

Paul was entitled but was willing to go without to try to help them. That is basically my wife and my attitude. Yet, we lost a couple of prospective members because with myself and wife not taking a salary, the man felt we were using too much tithe money to support the poor and hungry and not enough for proclaiming the gospel. He erred not knowing the scripture or the power of God as Jesus told the Sadducees in Mark 12:24.

His complaint reminds me of Jesus' words in a parable:

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?' 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen. (Matthew 20:15-16)

Most end time Christians are Laodicean and misjudge many matters.

9:16

Verse 16: “For if I preach the Gospel , I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel !”

Yes, I feel a necessity to proclaim the gospel and all Philadelphian Christians should support that necessity, as that is needed for the end of this age to come.

Jesus said:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Because Jesus said to reach all the world as a witness with the gospel of the kingdom, we have our free online book The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, translated into over 160 languages. And we expect to increase that number in the future.

9:17-18:

Verse 17: “For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.”

Verse 18: “What is my reward then? That when I preach the Gospel, I may present the Gospel  of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the Gospel .”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

We give the Gospel to the world free and we do not solicit the world for money. That’s why God’s people send in tithes that we give the Gospel to the whole world at no charge. We give them the Plain Truth, no subscription price, no advertising in it. We preach the Gospel but we don’t ask them for any money back. But God’s people are backing us in part of preaching that Gospel. Their part is partly supplying the money to carry it on. My part is going here and there and supervising the work and the things I have to write, that God shows me needs to be written. I’m making full use of my right in the Gospel. Others who preach on radio are always hammering at the public for contributions. They’re out for money and all they can get. Now the Gospel, they only give as means for getting money for themselves. We don’t do that -- just the opposite. We give the Gospel and we don’t ask for anything back from the public.

While that Plain Truth magazine is not like that anymore, our Bible News Prophecy magazine is produced regularly and with no paid advertising and it is still free. As are our video sermons and sermonettes, books, booklets, etc.

9:19-23

Verse 19: “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;”

Verse 20: “and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;”

Verse 21: “to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;”

Verse 22: “to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Verse 23: “Now this I do for the Gospel ’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now brethren I have done the same thing. In other words I have talked to other men in their own language, as if I were like one of them. I don’t do the things that are wrong. I don’t mean that. That isn’t what Paul did. That isn’t what he said. When I talk to people I have to know what it on their minds and talk to them from their point of view knowing their point of view. If their point of view is wrong, I’ve got to talk to them from the point of view so that I change their point of view. That’s why these ads are different. I know that the public is thinking, and there’s more psychology than you would ever dream in those ads. I know how they think and how to reach them. I have to reach them from the point of view of how they look at it. It doesn’t mean I’m going to try to change the way they look at it, but I’ve got to approach them from that point of view. When I preach a sermon, I try to think what does this particular audience need at this particular time?

Trying to reach everyone their way is one of the reasons that we have materials in multiple languages.

We have had Africans who had been part of the COGs for decades cry when they saw literature that the CCOG produced in their own language as other COGs would not do that.

To try to be all things to all people is also why we have materials by different authors and on different topics.

Some people relate more to some topics and some styles than others.

9:24:

Verse 24: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

Yes, you have to strive to be a Christian.

30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, (Romans 15:30)

9:25:

Verse 25: “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”

11 times Christians are promised a crown in the New Testament. And it is an ETERNAL crown. It much more valuable that human crowns of royality or medals given for athletic perforance at the Olympics.

9:26:

Verse 26: “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”

No, we are not supposed to waste our time or simply play church.

9:27:

Verse 27: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Even we ministers have to realize that we still have to qualify. We still have to get into God’s kingdom just as much as all you laymen do. And we have to be very careful too.

One of the problems my previous COG had/has is that it told me that the ministry was above aspects of scripture, such as Matthew 18:15-17.

Chapter 10

Now to chapter 10.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

This is part of a long letter. Paul didn’t write a lot of letters. At that time a letter had to be carried by hand. They had to walk, or ride their mule, or maybe they had horses or something. It took a long time to get it to them. It’s a letter written to the Church in Corinth. Now he didn’t divide it into chapters, man divided it into verses and chapters.

As it turned out, Paul did write more of the New Testament than anyone else.

Now to 10:1:

Verse 1: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,”

This is a reference to crossing the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now he’s going back to ancient Israel and the time under Moses. And they did pass through the sea, through the Red Sea, and there was a cloud that covered them and guided them, remember.

10:2:

Verse 2: “all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that was not a little baptizing like John the Baptist. John’s baptism was only a baptism of repentance. The baptism today is a baptism into the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a public expression of your faith in Christ after you’ve repented. Baptism here refers to being plunged into water, that’s what this was, in the cloud and in the sea. They walked on the dry ground and the water was held back like a wall. Now that was really a miracle.

10:3:

Verse 3: “all ate the same spiritual food,”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Because God rained manna down from Heaven.

10:4:

Verse 4: “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Because the water came out of the rock that Moses struck with his staff. And that Rock was Christ ...

10:5-6:

Verse 5: “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.”

They were scattered in the wilderness because they walked by sight and not faith.

You can read about it in Numbers chapter 13 and 14.

Verse 6: “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

In other words they were given as examples for us today. The teaching of the Church is partly based on the Old Testament, and that’s one teaching right there.

As Christians, we are to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

As far as the children of Israel do, they got worse.

10:7:

Verse 7: “And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Sometimes we sit down to eat and rise up to dance and it is done in a perfectly righteous manner, such as a Church social or something like that. But they were doing it in an evil way.

10:8:

Verse 8: “Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

See that’s what they were doing – immorality.

10:9-10:

Verse 9: “nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;”

Verse 10: “nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.”

We are to be careful about complaining. And while it is easy to judge others we read about in the Bible, the reality is that they had major problems that they felt were insurrmountable, and they complained. Many still do that today.

I suspect that if we choose the route of complaining without turning back, that Jesus may conclude that we have lived long enough, that we built all the character that we could, and thus somewhat 'tempt' Jesus to end our lives.

That said, we do not want to cause problems so Jesus will eliminate us. We want to strive to be faithful and obedient--not for the purpose of prolonging our lives, but so that eternity will be better for ourselves and everyone else who accepts God's ways.

10:11:

Verse 11: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

See it is New Testament teaching. I remember the time I wanted to get permission to use the baptistery in the Baptist Church up in Eugene, OR to baptize some new converts. It was in the middle of winter and pretty cold to go out into the icy water of the river, and in the summer, spring and fall we did do that. I wanted to use the indoor baptistery, and there was a new minister. So I came in to ask him. He was very polite and asked me to wait a minute and he left. He went upstairs to his office. He came back down and he was a little different now.

He said, ‘I should say not Mr. Armstrong! We cannot let you use our baptistery!’ Well that astonished me a little and I tried to laugh a little. I asked him why. He said ‘I will just ask you one question – on what day do you hold your service?’
I said, ‘On the same day Jesus Christ did. What day do you use?’

He didn’t want to engage in any argument but he said, ‘We are a New Testament Church. We don’t have anything to do with that Old Testament.’

He made a mistake when he asked us which day we observed, I said the same day that Jesus did, what day do you observe? And that kind of ruffled him a little. Anyway, I didn’t get to use the baptistery. You see they just throw the Old Testament away. You see, these things in the Old Testament were written for us, today. These things happened as a warning for them but they were written down for our instruction. A lot people don’t realize that. They never got any real teaching of what was in the Old Testament.

Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley, son of the famous Protestant televangelist Charles Stanley has discounted Old Testament prophecies related to Jesus as well as the Ten Commandments.

In a podcast, I heard Andy Stanley say:

“I’m convinced that we make a better case for Jesus if we leave the Old Testament or the old covenant out of the argument … you don’t need ancient prophs when somebody rises from the dead” (Jonathan Merritt interview of Andy Stanley. Seekers & Speakers, podcast. August 9, 2018).

By “prophs” he meant biblical prophecies from the Old Testament. That position is contrary to what Christians did.

The reality is that Jesus, the Gospel writers, and the Apostles frequently referred to the Old Testament to demonstrate that Jesus was the Christ. While there are too many references in the New Testament to list directly in this post, some may wish to read our free online book: Proof Jesus is the Messiah.

Furthermore, notice what the Book of Revelation states:

10 … Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

Plus the Apostle Paul wrote:

20 Do not despise prophecies. (1 Thessalonians 5:20)

Andy Stanley, and many others, despise prophecies. And related to the commandments, notice:

“Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles,” Stanley wrote.

“Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Is that what Jesus said? Did He ever suggest the Ten Commandments were irrelevant, outdated and replaced by a single new one?

You won’t find that suggestion anywhere in the words of Jesus, the Gospels or the rest of the New Testament no matter how hard you search for it.

Instead, here’s what you will find:

Jesus did say in John 13:34-35 that He had a new commandment to give His disciples – that they love one another as He loved them. Remember how He loved them. He gave His life for them so that they might receive eternal life as His children. That’s how He expected them to love each other. It was a higher calling, not a lower one. 01/12/19 https://www.wnd.com/2019/01/mega-pastor-to-christians-10-commandments-dont-apply-to-you/#tYv8WK3LKMXSuIdt.99

10:12:

Verse 12: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

The Protestants and Greco-Roman Catholics think they are standing, but they lack proper foundation. People in the COGs realize that. However, many in the COGs, including the CCOG, think their standing on certain personality matters--like how they do or do not get along with others in the COG--are fine, when they are not.

10:13:

Verse 13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

While it may seem to you that no one has gone through anything similar to you, that is not the case (though there may be unique specifics). Something else to add here is to think about. Notice:

12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

Precious stones can make it through normal fire.

Now let's think about one stone: diamonds.

Diamonds are the hardest known material to date.

But they do not start out that way.

They start out as fairly weak. Here is what Wikipedia reports:

Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are used in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools. ...

Because the arrangement of atoms in diamond is extremely rigid, few types of impurity can contaminate it (two exceptions are boron and nitrogen). ...

Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometres (93 and 155 mi) in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometres (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved various minerals and replaced them with diamonds. (Diamonds. Wikipedia, accessed 08/08/22)

Diamonds are formed under a great deal of pressure. Once formed they become impervious to almost any type of contamination.

Jesus said Christians are to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). It is not easy to get there, and yes, we all face a lot of pressures.

Now, since each of us has our own unique body and upbringing, we all need to face pressures of various sorts. Notice the following from the Apostle Paul:

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6)

13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. (Psalm 33:11-15)

This is where faith comes in.

It is not faith to believe that there is a God--even the demons believe and fear God (James 2:19). God's existence is logical (and we have a free online book about that Is God’s Existence Logical?). It takes faith to obey when facing various tests and trials and believe that He really is looking out for you.

But remember, Jesus will not leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), nor will you be tempted above your ability--even if you think you may be. God is faithful to not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.

Herbert Armstrong commented:

But you may have to suffer a little bit and endure and enduring isn’t always pleasant. Now that enduring and that struggle is one of the things that builds character in us, just like hard, physical exercise of pulling and pushing against and object develops muscle. It doesn’t come easy.

Sometimes we will suffer a lot and for a very long time.

Jesus taught:

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:12)

Don't let you love grow cold and miss out.

Don't let your love grow lukewarm so Jesus could spue you out.

Believe God, endure, obey, support the Philadelphian work, and do not give up.

Now to:

Verse 14: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Idolatry was a big problem in Greece back then.

And actually, it was the Greek Orthodox that pushed the Roman Catholics to accept things we consider to be idols.

Here are some quotes:

"...one will not find in the early Church any clear exposition of the current Eastern Orthodox theology of icons" (Cleenewerck L. His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism Between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches (An Orthodox Perspective). Euclid University Consortium Press, Washington (DC), 2007, p. 43)

"...within Christianity itself there had always existed a 'puritan' outlook, which condemned icons because it saw in all images a latent idolatry...The final victory of the Holy Images in 843 is known as 'the Triumph of Orthodoxy'...One of the distinctive features of Orthodoxy is the place which it assigns to icons. An Orthodox church today is filled with them...An Orthodox prostrates himself before these icons, he kisses them and burns candles in front of them...Because icons are only symbols, Orthodox do not worship them, but reverence or venerate them...icons form a part of Holy Tradition...The Iconoclasts, by repudiating all representations of God, failed to take to full account the Incarnation" (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, pp. 31-33).

The first Sunday in Lent, commemorating the definitive restoration of holy ikons in 843 at the end of the iconoclast controversy, is known as the 'Sunday of Orthodoxy' or the 'Triumph of Orthodoxy' (The Philokalia, Volume 4: The Complete Text; Compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain & St. Markarios of Corinth. G.E.H. Palmer (Translator), Philip Sherrard (Translator), Kallistos Ware (Translator). Faber & Faber, January 31, 1999, p. 287).

"The Orthodox Church uses icons for veneration with the understanding that the respect is paid not to the material icon but to the person represented "in spirit and truth"...The Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 and 843) decreed the use of icons, following in the main the teaching of St. John of Damascus" (Litsas FK. A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology - Part 2. http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article9152.asp 8/27/05) .

Jesus warned about following the traditions of men to violate the Ten Commandments (Matthew 15:1-9)--yet the Eastern Orthodox basically admit that is what they have done. Furthermore:

Icons are absolutely central to Orthodoxy, distinguishing it from both Catholicism and Protestantism. In the Orthodox calendar, the first Sunday of Lent celebrates the Triumph of Orthodoxy, a commemoration of the final triumph of icons in the long and bitter battle with the iconoclasts (literally, "image-smashers") on March 11, 843. Included in this liturgy is an anathema on all those who reject icons. (Clendenin D. Christianity Today, January 6, 1997. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1997/january6/7t1032.html?start=8 accessed 03/15/17)

Icons are not merely sacred art. Rather, they are a source of revelation. According to the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 787, icons are of equal benefit as Scripture in presenting the gospel message. What Scripture proclaims by word, the icon proclaims by color. Thus, when an Orthodox believer once asked why his church did not do more doctrinal teaching, his priest responded, "Icons teach us all that we need to know." Icons are, quite literally, a "theology in color." (Clendenin D. Christianity Today, January 6, 1997. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1997/january6/7t1032.html?start=8 accessed 03/15/17)

Putting icons as equal to the actual inspired word of God is wrong.

Obviously, the Orthodox should avoid icons. Despite the Orthodox claiming to represent original Christianity, they changed on icons and other matter. And they got Rome to change on icons. More on their changes can be found in the free online book: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

10:15

Verse 15: “I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.”

So, those in Corinth obviously should have know to avoid idols and icons.

Now, Paul starts to discuss Passover 10:16-17:

Verse 16: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

Verse 17: “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”

All Christians should partake of basically the same Passover service.

Paul then seems to shift gears in 10:18:.

Verse 18: “Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?”

Paul is saying that those who worked in God's service were able to have food provided for them. Then Paul shifts gears again in 10:19-21.

Verse 19: “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?”

Verse 20: “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.”

Verse 21: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.”

The above are flat-out telling us not to combine pagan practices with Christian ones. Yet, that is what most who profess the world's versions of 'Christianity' do.

We have a free online booklet available: Should You Keep God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? The back cover, of which, features some images that people have wrongly incorporated into their version of 'Christianity.' 

Idols, venerated icons, and pagan holidays are of the devil.

10:22:

Verse 22: “Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”

Believe it or not, many who incorporate pagan practices do act like they are stronger. The changed WCG and various Protestants have basically written things to the effect of, "is your faith so weak that observing Halloween/Christmas/Easter will harm you?"

So they, like Satan, appeal to false pride.

We are not to provoke the Lord to anger, God is stronger than we are, and we are not to incorporate pagan worship practices.

10:23:

Verse 23: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”

He does not mean he is allowed to sin. He means, as he wrote earlier, it is okay to for him to eat foods that happen to have been sacrificed to idols as he wrote about in chapter 8--but not that he should do that in any celebration of the idols.

10:24:

Verse 24: “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”

Herbert Armstrong said:

In other words give and not get. There it is. God’s way is always give and not get.

It is a command that we are to be concerned about others and not just ourselves.

It also reminds me of something else that Paul wrote:

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

We are not just to not sin, we are to do good.

10:25:

Verse 25: “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;”

Verse 26: “for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now a lot of people will use that to say you can eat all the ham and pork and oysters, lobsters and things like that you want. That is not what it is really saying or meaning.

It should be understood that early Christians did not eat pork or other biblically unclean meats (see also The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats).

While the allegorists in Alexandria, Egypt ate it from an early time, the Church of Rome claims that it changed to allow this from a decree from its Bishop Eleutherius.

This did not stop the faithful, as Pionius of Smyrna.refused what seemed like unclean meat in the 3rd century, and the faithful in Jerusalem refused to in the 4th century. Emperor Constantine ate unclean meat and ordered the death penalty to the faithful in Jerusalem if they would not eat pork.

That said, it shows that no early faithful Christian thought 1 Corinthians 10:25-26 was doing away with unclean meats like some Protestant teachers have claimed. The historical reality is that there was nothing resembling modern Protestantism in early Christian history--that is also detailed in our free online book Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

10:27:

Verse 27: “If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.”

We do not say, oh, it was part of Christmas leftovers or part of some other non-biblical religious observance, so we cannot eat it. This is not a discussion of unclean meat as Paul confirms in 10:27:

Verse 28: “But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

Idols are nothing as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:4.

10:29:

Verse 29: “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?”

So, yes, there are times we should refrain, even if we can eat or do something, if that will cause offense.

10:30:

Verse 30: “But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now I’ll tell you what I have done. At one time I was at dinner with the President of Sri Lanka. There was some ham or pork served. So I just ate the other items on the plate and the host came and took it away. The President never even noticed that I didn’t eat it. Now there’s been many times I’ve been able to do that. ...

But Paul is making out here that the big thing is to not harm the other fellow. See what I mean? Now let me give you another example. There was a woman attending the services I was holding in Oregon one time. She was quite interested but not yet baptized. I was teaching her and she was coming along. She invited me to dinner. And she spent a great deal of time around preparing creating a pork roast. And she brought it out proudly from the kitchen and I could see she did a lot of work on it. Now what was I going to do? What would you do? She had not yet been baptized but I was teaching her. She was a student of mine, wasn’t she? She was a prospect to be baptized. I looked at her, and I hesitated and she saw I was hesitating. And she said, ‘well Mr. Armstrong is something wrong?’

And I said ‘Yes. I am teaching you God’s truth. I certainly hate to do this, and you made that so beautiful and you’ve gone to all that work and you tried to please me and I do appreciate that. I know what your intentions were and you’re trying to do what is right. And I’m here to teach you what is right. Let us have a little Bible lesson and it will be brief.’

I opened it to the Old Testament, Leviticus 11, and I showed her what God says about clean and unclean meats ...

She said, ‘Mr. Armstrong I just thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not have had the teaching about that in a more convincing manner. I know now and I will never again consume unclean food.’ And I think she never did.

Now I had to consider her in the light of a believer. Where I’ve been with a non-believer, who had servants, and didn’t believe like the President and didn’t himself notice if I ate it or not, I did not eat it. Mr. Rader was with me and he did the same thing. We just carefully not eat it and try not to let anyone notice, and cause offense to anyone else. We try to obey God and not eat it, but at the same time not offend the other person. Now let that be a little expounding on how to handle a thing like that in the light of this scripture.

10:31:

Verse 31: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

The first consideration is whether you harm the other fellow. The second consideration is whether you harm yourself.

10:32:

Verse 32: “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,”

We need to try to not offend. And, my wife Joyce and I have done that many times when we have been faced with biblically unclean meat at a home or a restaurant.

10:33:

Verse 33: “just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

Herbert Armstrong commented:

What he means is not so much to please other men as to not harm or give offense to them.

Notice the following:

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"

29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

32 So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:28-34)

Eight times, the Bible (NKJV) states to " love your neighbor as yourself." Sometimes YOU have to DO something different in order to accomplish that.

Consider the other person. If someone brings you unclean meat, they problem are doing so with proper motives--but they do not understand. Don't make a scene, but calmly explain that you do not believe you can eat it for religous reasons--that works for most.

If some Protestant or Greco-Roman Catholic tries to argue with you about that, simply tell them that no early faithful Christian ate unclean meat and that the Church of Rome says it did not change on that until about 150 years after Jesus was resurrected.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11, verse 1:

Verse 1: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Jesus and Paul kept the biblical Holy Days, the seventh-day Sabbath, did not eat unclean meats, etc.

Anyway, regarding this verse, Herbert Armstrong commented:

Now that brings to mind an incident. After the meetings, at which converts were made but started to visit the Worldwide Church of God back in 1933, just outside of Eugene OR, I was holding services three nights a week. We held a regular Sabbath service and we also had two weeknight services and some that were not members continued to come to those weeknight services. There was this old man, past 80 years of age, but quite a Bible scholar, he thought. He was the one that heckled me in the meetings. At the end of a meeting, just as the people were beginning to leave he said to me in a fairly loud voice, ‘Mr. Armstrong may I ask you a question?’ Instantly every ear picked up and and people who were out the door rushed back in. Here he was trying to ask me another question. He was always trying to ask me another question like the Pharisees and Sadducees tried to ask Christ questions and trap him.

‘Mr. Armstrong, have you not said that the Apostle Paul did not shun to declare to the gentiles all of the truth?’

‘Yes sir, I have said that. That is true.’

‘Alright Mr. Armstrong. Have you not said that the Apostle Paul did not hold back anything that was possible to the gentiles?’

‘Yep I said that too.’

‘Ah ha, I’ve gotcha. Now can you show me where the Apostle Paul ever taught the gentiles to keep the Sabbath – to keep Saturday instead of Sunday?’

He thought he really had me then. I said, ‘Yes I can.’

He looked at me kind of funny and said ‘You can?’ He thought he knew the Bible pretty well, but he didn’t know any place that the Bible said that.

I said, ‘You’ve asked me so many questions. You’ve tried to trap me. You’ve tried to trick me with your questions and you’ve never been able to have you? Now this time, I’m gonna ask you a question. I can answer it alright but before I answer, I’m gonna ask you this. If I show you where Paul commanded the gentiles to keep the Sabbath, that means you’ve got to keep it, because your whole argument is that we have to do what Paul taught the gentiles. Now, will you keep the Sabbath if I show you?’ He thought for a minute and didn’t know what to say.

‘No I won’t!’ And he turned around and walked right on out. The whole crowd laughed. I said to them maybe they thought I was wrong and I shouldn’t show them where Paul commanded them to keep the Sabbath. So I think I better show you. I turned to this verse - verse 1: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Now I turn to Acts {17:2} to show that Paul went into the synagogue every Sabbath to preach to the Jews and the Gentiles. Did he follow Christ in that? Then I turn to Luke, chapter 4, where Jesus said His custom was to sit on the Sabbath day in the synagogue and read. So it was Jesus’ custom, Paul’s manner, and Paul followed Christ and Paul commanded them to be a follower of him as he followed Christ.

You can also turn to Hebrews 4 using six Protestant (including three 'literal'), one Eastern Orthodox, and three Roman Catholic translations:

3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience...9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NIV).

3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; 5 and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,.. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NASB)

3 for we do enter into the rest — we who did believe, as He said, ‘So I sware in My anger, If they shall enter into My rest — ;’ and yet the works were done from the foundation of the world, 4 for He spake in a certain place concerning the seventh [day] thus: ‘And God did rest in the seventh day from all His works;’ 5 and in this [place] again, ‘If they shall enter into My rest — ;’ 6 since then, it remaineth for certain to enter into it, and those who did first hear good news entered not in because of unbelief ... 9 there doth remain, then, a sabbatic rest to the people of God, 10 for he who did enter into his rest, he also rested from his works, as God from His own. 11 May we be diligent, then, to enter into that rest, that no one in the same example of the unbelief may fall, (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, Young's Literal Translation)

3 For those having believed enter into the rest, as He has said: “So I swore in my wrath, ‘they shall not enter into My rest.’” And yet the works have been finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken somewhere concerning the seventh day in this way, “And on the seventh day God rested from all His works.” 5 And again in this passage. “They shall not enter into My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter into it, and those having received the good news formerly did not enter in because of disobedience, ... 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one having entered into His rest, he also rested from his works, as God did from the own. 11 Therefore we should be diligent to enter into that rest, so that no one should fall by the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, Berean Literal Bible)

3 for we enter into the rest—we who believed, as He said, “So I swore in My anger, They will [not] enter into My rest”; and yet the works were done from the foundation of the world, 4 for He spoke in a certain place concerning the seventh [day] thus: “And God rested in the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and in this [place] again, “They will [not] enter into My rest”; 6 since then, it remains for some to enter into it, and those who first heard good news did not enter in because of unbelief ... 9 there remains, then, a Sabbath rest to the people of God, 10 for he who entered into His rest, he also rested from his works, as God from His own. 11 May we be diligent, then, to enter into that rest, that no one may fall in the same example of the unbelief, (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, Literal Standard Bible)

3 However, we who have faith are entering into that rest, even as God said: As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest. And yet, the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 Somewhere [else], God said this about the seventh day: God rested on the seventh day from all his works. ... 9 There must still be, then, a Sabbath rest for God’s people, 10 and anyone who has entered into his rest has also rested from his [own] works, just as God did. 11 Therefore, let us do our utmost to enter into that rest, for fear that anyone should fall according to the same pattern of disobedience. ((Hebrews 4:3-4, 9-11. THE EASTERN / GREEK ORTHODOX BIBLE NEW TESTAMENT. The EOB New Testament is presented in memory of Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos  † 2007 https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/assets/uploads/books/18204/Eastern_Orthodox_Bible-New_Testament.pdf)

3 We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Now God's work was all finished at the beginning of the world; 4 as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. 5 And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. 6 It remains the case, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the good news were prevented from entering by their refusal to believe … 9 There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest reserved for God's people, 10 since to enter the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his.  11 Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NJB)

3 For we, that have believed, shall enter into their rest; as he said: As I sware in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: and truly the works from the foundation of the world being perfected. 4 For he said in a certain place of the seventh day thus: And God rested the seventh day from all his works … 9 Therefore there is left a sabbatisme for the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God did from his. 11 Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest; lest any man fall into the same example of incredulity. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, The Original and True Rheims New Testament of Anno Domini 1582)

3 For we who believed enter into [that] rest, just as he has said: “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest,’” and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. 4For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works”; 5 and again, in the previously mentioned place, “They shall not enter into my rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains that some will enter into it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience,... 9 Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. 10And whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.(Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, New American Bible)

Thus, the New Testament clearly shows that the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that only those who will not observe it because of their disobedience argue otherwise. And that is why Paul observed it.

Even Origen understood some of this as he wrote:

But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, "There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism," that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God...let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from...give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction...this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen's Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).

As it turns out, at least 20 Protestant translations make it clear that Hebrews 4:9 is pointing to the weekly seventh-day Sabbath (ASV, BLB, BSB, CSB, DBT, ERV, ESV, GNT, HCSB, ILB, ISV, JMNT, Jubilee 2000, NASB, NETB, NHEB, NIV, WEB, WNT, YLT).

Yet, one reason that many today do not understand this is that certain translators have intentionally mistranslated the Greek term sabbatismos (ςαββατισμóς) which is actually found in Hebrews 4:9 (Green JP. The Interlinear Bible, 2nd edition. Hendrickson Publishers, 1986, p. 930).

The Protestant KJV and NKJV mistranslate it as does the CHANGED version of the Rheims New Testament, also known as the Challoner version (changes in the 18th century)--all three mistranslate the word as 'rest,' whereas there is a different Greek term (katapausin), translated as 'rest' in the New Testament. Sabbatismos clearly refers to a 'sabbath-rest' and honest scholars will all admit that. Because of the mistranslations, most today do not realize that the seventh-day Sabbath was specifically enjoined for Christians in the New Testament.

11:2:

Verse 2: “Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.”

Now, some claim that this is proof that there were traditions not written in scripture that Christians are to follow. And at that time there probably were.

But in time, all we were required to know was written in scripture as the Apostle Paul wrote Timothy:

One could not be complete if scripture missed unwritten traditions.

Furthermore, those that tend to push most towards what they call traditions are NOT traditions that align with scripture, but traditions that relate to changes that their church adopted.

Verse 3: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

How could the Bible say that? That the head of woman is man? What about the 50/50 deal? What about equal rights for women? Can a man be the head of his wife? What a woman wants when she says 50/50 is she wants to wear the pants. Someone has to wear the pants; 50/50 will never work out. One or the other is going to take the lead every time. In the Church I’ve been challenged if I’m going to take the lead. Sometimes I don’t want to assert myself. I don’t want to be brash about it, but when I had to do I’ve done it and if I have to do it again I will do it. I know I’m looked down on by some because I don’t have a university education so I’m not educated. Thank God. I don’t have that kind of brainwashing. I’m not addicted to the materialism of this world.

Eve took the initiative and she led her husband in taking the wrong fruit. And women have been trying to lead men ever since. And that is not what God made a woman for. And when a woman does what God didn’t make her for, she’s only destroying herself. A man and a woman spiritually are equal in God’s sight, but physically they are not made equal and their husband was made to the boss. That’s all there is to it. When you don’t agree with that you don’t agree with God. Satan doesn’t agree with God either.

Nowadays people want government from the bottom up. They want to rule over their minister. Then the ministers rule over the head of the Church, then they rule over Christ and He will rule over God the Father. That means the lowest of the people are going to rule over God. No that’s not God’s kind of government. God’s government is hierarchy. God is on top. Christ is under God. Man is under Christ. Next under Christ is the Apostle. Now whether the brethren like it or not God has made me the Apostle. I never claimed that until I could look back and see that the fruits themselves had proved that. God didn’t just speak to me that He made me an Apostle. Jesus Christ said by their fruits you’ll know. That’s how you know.

Now I don’t want to rule harshly. I want to rule in love and in all the kindness. And the chief ruler in God’s rule is the servant of all and I want to be a servant of the brethren. But in things spiritual, I’m going to rule. And there’s some that challenge that rule and they aren’t in the Church any longer. The government of God is in the Church of God. One woman said ‘Oh thank goodness I am now out from under that terrible government of God. I don’t want any more of that kind of government.’ Well she was never converted. She hated the government of God. Satan hates the government of God. If we don’t love that government of God, we’d better begin to love it because we’re all going to be under it in the Millennium or you’re going to burn up and you won’t be any longer.

Verse 4: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.”

By prophesy he means teaches. I’ve always wondered, of course the Jews don’t believe in the New Testament, but when you go into the Jewish synagogue you have to keep your hat on your head or put on one of their little skull caps on the back of your head. Men have to have their heads covered and women can have their heads uncovered. Just the opposite of what God says. But a man that does that dishonors his head – his head is Christ.

Verse 5: “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.”

Verse 6: “For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.”

Verse 7: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.”

Verse 8: “For man is not from woman, but woman from man.”

Verse 9: “Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.”

Verse 10: “For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

Verse 11: “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.”

Verse 12: “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.”

Verse 13: “Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”

Verse 14: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?”

Look at the men today all with long hair! If God don’t do it men will do it and if God says do it, men won’t do it. Why is that?

Verse 15: “But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.”

Verse 16: “But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.”

Verse 17: “Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.”

So now he’s correcting the Church there a little bit.

Verse 18: “For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.”

Verse 19: “For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.”

Verse 20: “Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.”

Verse 21: “For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.”

Verse 22: “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”

In the Church today we call it the Passover and not the Lord’s Supper.

Verse 23: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;”

Verse 24: “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

This is when He was beaten for us.

Verse 25: “In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

That doesn’t say as often as you want to. In other places we find out how often that is and its once a year on the 14th day of the first month of God’s sacred calendar. It is a memorial serve of His death.

Verse 26: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

Verse 27: “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

Verse 28: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”

Verse 29: “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Verse 30: “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”

Verse 31: “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”

Verse 32: “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

Verse 33: “Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.”

Verse 34: “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.”

Now we come to this wonderful chapter on spiritual gifts. That’s another very important chapter.

1 Corinthians Chapter 12

We’ve been coming through this book and as I said before, it is corrective. Some things were wrong in the Corinthian Church and Paul is setting them straight. Now in the Church of God in our time, there were some things that had gone wrong in our Church. There was a time when God put a super archangel, a cherub on a throne to administer the government of God over this earth. His name was Lucifer. But he was disloyal. He resented the authority of God over him. He disagreed with God in just about everything. He had been trained at the headquarters of the whole universe, on the throne of God in God’s heaven. God believed in love which is giving and outgoing concern for the good and the welfare of others. He [Lucifer] believed in getting. God believed in love and kindness, he [Lucifer] believed in hostility and violence and trying to harm others. He believed in trying get for himself - not to help others, share, and cooperate.

Now the government he was set on this earth to operate was based on the law of God and the law of God is based on the word love, which is outgoing concern, outflowing toward others, for the good and the welfare of others and to have concern for them. But he [Lucifer] said ‘What do I care about anyone else, I only care about myself. If I don’t look after me who’s going to? I’m number one. To get all I can get. If someone else gets hurt, that’s their fault. What do I care? I don’t love them; I don’t love anybody but me.’

Now Satan has been on this earth for a long, long time. We don’t know how long. The earth became shambles and we don’t know how long ago God renewed the face of the earth to begin reproducing Himself through man. He put man on the earth. But the government of God was not operating any longer. Satan had turned clear away from it and yet Satan was sitting on that throne. And the government of God requires that the one sitting on the throne must remain there until his successor comes to take his place. Even in the government of the US we have a principle like that. For example, president Warren Harding died suddenly in San Francisco. They kept the news from the public until they could get the news to Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

Anyway, God created the first man, Adam. And His physical creation was the first stage of God’s spiritual creation of reproducing Himself. Now God’s purpose of recreating or reproducing Himself began the creation of a physical man made out of the dust of the ground – the first Adam. But the spiritual phase begins with the second Adam, Jesus Christ. And the spiritual reproduction begins with Christ not Adam. The way God creates is in dual stages, not bang - all at once.

Some people, like my sister, says to me “Herbert, you don’t really try to understand the Bible, do you?“

I said “Certainly, don’t you? Don’t you believe in reading the Bible?“

She said “Yes I must read it but we don’t read it to understand it.”

So I asked her why does she read it then and she said for inspiration. It is the word of God to man. We are supposed to understand it. Here it says that God came in the form of man, in flesh, and He preached a message and people were supposed to listen. And here were people who believed on Him, like my sister does. She believes on Him. She’s very sincere. She has been blinded. She has been deceived. She can’t see that. She’s honest. She’s sincere. She’s a very good woman, and she means well, but she’s been taught that we can’t understand the Bible. Well here were people you read of in John 8:30. I don’t have time to get into it now but jot that down. Read a good 15-20 verses. And in there Jesus said, “To those Jews that believed on me, you don’t believe what I say. You seek to kill me, to put me to death. You hate me. You want to kill me. You believe on me but you want to see me dead because you don’t believe what I say.”

Now Jesus is the living Word of God. The Bible is the printed word of God. It’s the same identical message, it’s the same truth, it’s the same thing. Jesus rebuked them because they didn’t believe what He said. My sister doesn’t believe what the Bible says. She should. Now there are people in the Church of God, and you listening in all over the world, do you read the Bible just for inspiration or do you read to understand? Now it’s true, we read back in 1 Corinthians 1 that we have to speak the same thing. So if you find in the Bible something that the Church does not believe and that had not been given as a belief in the Church, you better get ahold of a minister and ask ‘how come?’ When we go on radio, people in the local churches don’t like our program and they want us to get off the air. I learned that the first time I was on the air. The station manager called me in and said we’re getting a lot of mail because your message is peaking a lot of interest and people are writing in. And he said to create a 30 min program and he’d put it on, on Saturday, for free. He said I have a good radio voice and I have a good delivery and I’d put on a good program. He wanted to put it on as a public service. So I said I will.

The next day he called me back into his office and said he couldn’t do it for free. There was a ministerial meeting and they say their members are coming to the ministers and saying that the Bible says something but Mr. Armstrong says the opposite. And they asked questions and the ministers were embarrassed because they couldn’t answer. So the station manager said the ministers are against him and he couldn’t give me the time for free. But he said he’d sell me the time at half price, because he really believed in what I was saying. But ministers don’t like it because we teach what the Bible says and they don’t. Their people have never known what the Bible says. And when they do, they wake up.

I am reminded of one member. She wasn’t really converted but she was in the Church. I wonder how many we have in the Church that are not converted. You’re not converted unless you receive the spirit of God. Romans 8:9. And I wonder how many have just seen that we have the truth. Other churches don’t. They they preach exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. Now I agree with other churches as  long as they agree with the Bible, but where they present the opposite of the Bible, I’m gonna go with the Bible. So I’m all for other churches believing in the Bible if they would. I would like to cooperate with that if they wanted to do that, and we’d all be in the same place in the end.

Anyway this woman, she went out of the church. She was bitter and some ex-members have become very bitter. They’re just embittered and that’s the one thing they think of, and the thing that’s on their mind. Their mind is not on the church any longer - they’re out. They’re not members any longer. But do you know the one thing that fills their minds all the time, every day, is this church and they’re thinking about what’s wrong with the church. I don’t like that church. I’m trying to think of everything I can that is wrong about that church. Well you see they’re thinking of things they think are wrong. When I found something wrong about the church I began to try to straighten it out. I think if some of our members are finding the things wrong, they ought to get it to me, and let's get together. Let's get everything wrong about and it clear it up so we’re not wrong anymore. We don’t want to be wrong.

There is a woman. She married one of our young men and he became a minister graduate of ambassador college, and he went out in 1974. One thing she was saying around Jesus is  ‘OK you don’t know what a relief it is to me I’m out from under that terrible government of God. I just hate that government of God. I know I hate that government in the church.’ A lot of people think there should not be any government in the church. That’s why I say I wonder if they’ve ever read this 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. It shows us there is government in the church. It shows what kind of government it is. It shows what officers God put in to run the government. It shows what we’re to do now. Of course a lot of what we’re to do is in other parts of the Bible too, not just 1 Corinthians 12. Nevertheless, this is a basic chapter showing of the basic foundation of the church and it shows that as an organized, spiritual organism now. It’s not a secular organization. We’re not a club. We are the Church of God, which is the body of Christ - a spiritual organism; the spiritual body of Christ. It is a spiritual organism not a secular organization, but it is highly organized. Now, let’s get into the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians and let’s see why don’t our people read it. How can they say there is no government and never ever read the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians? Paul is straightening out the church at Corinth. They were wrong in some things and Paul is straightening them out. So let’s begin.

Verse 1: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:”

See, God is the great giver. Here you just showed me this wonderful little placard that a lot of the ministers who were on the refresher course in Pasadena have sent me, thanking me for giving. Well the greatest giver of all is God - God the Father. I guess the second greatest giver is Christ, but the Father gave even Christ for us. God is the giver of every good and precious gift. As another scripture says.

Now these are gifts that God has given, but these are spiritual gifts, not just physical gifts. These are not physical buildings that He has given us. These are not gifts of money. Now He gave ancient Israel some physical gifts. He gave them manna to eat on. He rained it down from from Heaven so they had food. That was all physical. He gave them physical water, out of the rock. When Moses would strike the rock with his staff the water would come gushing out, because they were in a kind of a desert where there was no water to drink. God gave them physical gifts, but these are spiritual gifts that He gives to His church.

Verse 2: “You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.

Verse 3: “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

Lord means Master. Jesus is my Master.

Verse 4: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”

Now, there are varieties of gifts. He’s talking about spiritual, not physical or material gifts. There are varieties - that is a number of different gifts and they they vary in form. A variety of gifts but the same spirit. It all comes from the same spirit, which is God’s spirit of love.

Verse 5: “There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.”

Now I prefer the way it is in the King James right there. There are diversities of gifts – a variety of gifts but the same spirit. And there are differences of administrations. In the church there are administrations. Now in the government of the United states there are administrations as well. Often we call the four-year term of a president, his administration. We speak of, for instance right now, we speak of president Carter’s administration. He administers the government. That means that he administers or enforces the law,  administers what the the law regulates over the people. It means both enforcing laws where people break them but enforcing certain regulations. It’s an administration which is a form of government. That is the executive form of government. Now in the United States government, which is not God’s form of government at all, it’s patterned after God’s government but there are some things in principle that are similar in principle. Congress makes the laws, and in the United States we have two senators from every state in the Congress and we have one congressman from every so-many people who are a certain district. They are representatives of the population of the United States, elected by the people. They make the laws. Not only the laws that are criminal laws but also laws that regulate. Now they regulate businesses. They regulate us by saying that we must pay a certain percentage of income and they get out the percentage and the way it’s figured you might need an income tax lawyer to figure it out for you. It’s not just a straight 10%. They’ve got a complicated way of doing it. God does it in simple way - 10%, but they do it in a very complicated manner. There’s a lawmaking body and they decide what regulations and what laws shall be administered. Now we also have the judiciary headed by the Supreme Court of the United States. Then there are various federal courts all over the United States and there are the state courts and all of the states have their own courts. I suppose that every state has its own state Supreme Court and other local district or local courts under that. I will just say in passing that man’s system of government is not very good. We have so many laws that the president of the United States could never get in his mind all the laws he supposed to enforce or regulate in a million years. Local laws, the policeman is supposed to enforce certain laws. With so many laws, no policeman could ever know all the laws he supposed to know and enforce. That’s the clumsy way, where we try to create government. Man doesn’t know how to create a government. He rejected God’s government. So God is told man go ahead and make up your own governments, and that’s what we’ve got, and they are just a little bit crazy you know. [He continues on but it’s about government with democrats and republicans and doesn’t have to do with the Bible.]

Anyway there are different administrations that God has set in the church. Now look at the different operations we have in the Church of God today. Now just for the moment, just hold the place there and turn over here to Ephesians and for just a moment, in the second chapter of the Ephesians, verse 19 of chapter 2. Paul is saying that the Ephesians are no more strangers and foreigners. They were gentiles. They were born gentiles. They were then strangers or foreigners. They were not Jews and they were not Israelites, but he says you’re no more strangers or foreigners but fellow citizens with the Saints in the household of God. A household is a family, so you see the Church is the unborn family of God. The begotten family of God, as you read in Romans 8 - if we have the Holy Spirit of God, His spirit witnesses with our spirit,  we are now already the children of God. In 1 John 3, you will read in the first two or three verses, ‘brethren behold what wonderful things God has bestowed upon us, that we are now already the sons of God’, but were not yet born, we’re begotten. We’re heirs but we’re not yet inheritors. A lot of people don’t get the distinction. An heir of a wealthy man does not own his father’s fortune yet. But if his father dies, and he is the heir, and the father has made a will and he bequeaths everything to that son, then the son will possess it - but he doesn’t possess it yet. We are heirs of everything God has, but we are co-heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Now Christ has inherited everything that God has. Jesus said before he was crucified, He said all power in heaven and in earth is given to Me. All the power, physical, spiritual, every kind of power has been given to Jesus Christ. Now He has already inherited that, and you read in the first chapter and the first several verses of the book of Hebrews that Jesus now is sustaining or upholding the whole universe by the word of his power. All things, the whole universe. Now He is the first born of many brethren. He is a pioneer who’s already been born of God and already has inherited these things, but He went on ahead - ahead of us. He is the first born of many brethren. We are to be born later at the second coming of Christ. Let’s get all that straight, but notice here was some that had been gentiles, but now they’re in the household, the family of God, already children of God and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Now they’re in the church, and the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, ...Showing that those things that were written by the prophets, were written for us today. Now you’ve read that. I’m not going into that - that’s in one of the other books of Corinthians and some of the other writings of Paul, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. That’s where the truth comes from. The church gets its truth from the apostles and the prophets. And Christ is the chief cornerstone.

The Church is the spiritual temple of Christ. Jesus, the human Jesus, came to a physical temple built out of stone, and there was some wood and some gold and some other fine stones in it. When Christ comes the second time He’s coming in great spiritual power and He’s coming to a spiritual temple and that spiritual temple is the Church. The Church grows into that spiritual temple in the Lord. God comes and dwells in each of us but he also dwells in the Church. Now He doesn’t dwell in two or three churches. I’m going to show you that when we get back here to 1st Corinthians 12. There is only one church. God is not dwelling partly in the Methodist Church, partly in the Baptist Church, partly in the Congregational Church, partly in the Methodist Church, partly in the Lutheran Church, partly in the Roman Catholic Church. Christ is not dividing Himself into a lot of different churches, but we are together and organized. In the 4th chapter it speaks about the Church, and Christ is the head of it.

Now notice that there are different administrations and there are diversities or differences and varieties of operations. We have one operation of local churches and we have local pastors and elders and ministers to pastor local churches. We have an operation of getting the gospel to the world by radio. We have another operation that sends the truth out by television, and here I have many of the television men and our technicians of the television studio here in the room with us this afternoon. That’s another operation. And we have also quite a publication operation, and we have a whole staff of administrators administering that operation. We have The Plain Truth going out to the world. We have the Bible correspondence course and that’s in another department altogether. They all report to me as the apostle that God has put at the head, and we’ll be coming to that a later. Maybe I’m all wrong. Maybe I’m not. Maybe the apostle’s not supposed to be the head. But we’ll come to that a little farther along in this 12th chapter.

Now then, to minister to the people we also have many, many booklets that go out on request and we even have books and I’m writing another book now. Many books that we have given out, whole big books of a few hundred pages and we’ve given them free. All those books, and the publication of them, is an operation. Now besides that, we have Ambassador College - an operation to educate personnel for the church, to educate people to be local ministers, to educate girls to be secretaries and different things, to educate people and in accounting and certain business management, and other things that they’re educated in. To help in educating them for living a useful and enjoyable life. [He continues on with types of music and coffee – again, doesn’t apply to the scripture message]

Verse 6: “And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”

Verse 7: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”

Verse 8: “for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,”

Verse 9: “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,”

Some have the gift of faith more than others. I think you have all heard of the gift of healing, and I believe God does give certain ones a special gift, by which people are healed when they anoint and pray over them. I’ll give you a little illustration. My wife was gravely ill. She was not expected to live another 24 hours. She had taken aback set from tonsillitis and she had now Quinsy, with a lump in her throat that blocked her throat and she couldn’t get any water or food down. There was a big lump that just blocked everything in her throat. She had lockjaw and couldn’t move, and she couldn’t drink water and she couldn’t eat food, and she couldn’t sleep. For three days and three nights she had not had a wink of sleep. She had not had a drop of water or a bit of food. Now you can go a lot more than three days without water or food, but you can’t go much more than three days without sleep. At the same time she had blood poisoning from a rose thorn, coming up one arm and you could see the streak, whatever color it is, it is coming on her right arm and was already coming across the shoulder and on over toward the heart. In another 24 hours that would have reached the heart. And she had a dog bite, and altogether the doctor said she wouldn’t live another 24 hours. 

A neighbor woman came over to see, and she was very kind. She has said she knew of a people that had the gift of healing – a couple. I had never heard of that and that was new to me. I had not been converted but you see a few months. Would I mind if she asked this couple to come and pray for my wife? She said that my wife will be healed if they do. I never heard of anything like that. That was new to me, but I was embarrassed and I hated to say no, so she was kind of pressuring me and I said OK. I think that was sometime mid-morning or a little after. Anyway in the middle of the afternoon she came back and told me that they would be there about 7:00 o’clock that evening.

I said “Well I’ve been thinking this over and I think you better tell him not to come. I think I’d rather they didn’t come.”

Well she said she’d go back and tell him if I wanted her to. Then I learned that she had to walk a mile and it was the hottest day of the year – it was August. You know they have so much rain up in Oregon that when you get a hot day there’s so much moisture in the air that you really got humidity, and I thought of her walking and part of the way was up hill and all the way down there.

I said “I hate to have you do that but I’m just afraid maybe there’s some of these wild fire people that will go shouting and I’m wondering what our neighbors will say. I don’t wanna be embarrassed with our neighbors thinking a lot of fanaticism is going on around here.”

“Oh they’re very quiet, they aren’t going to do a lot of shouting.”

I said, “Well you better let him come then. I don’t want to have you have to walk all that distance to call it off.”

So they came that evening. I questioned them like a prosecuting attorney on cross-examination. I really asked a lot of questions. This thing about divine healing, that was something new to me. And he just opened the Bible and he answered every question by reading it right out of the Bible. I’d been studying the Bible you know, very seriously now for 10 or 11 months. I know every text he read, but I’ve never understood it before. I never put them together that way before.

I said,  “I never realized, I never put them together that way. I never realized - that does say that God promises to heal. Well OK. That sounds ok.”

He knelt at her bedside and I knelt with him. He got out a little bottle of oil and I never heard anyone talk to God like he did. He says “Almighty God, you have promised to heal her. You said if anyone is sick let them call the elders of the church and let them pray over the sick and anoint them with oil, and you have promised the prayer of faith shall save the sick! The Lord shall heal them! Oh my God you promised that and I hold you to that promise! Jesus Christ took our infirmities and our sicknesses, and by His stripes we are healed! He was beaten for our healing before he was crucified! He already paid the penalty of this sickness! So you remove it from her, and I claim that promise, and I hold You to it Almighty God! I hold You to it. You promised and You can’t break a promise. Thank you for keeping it.”

And that’s about all there was to it. He got up and his wife came over and kind of patted my wife on her forehead and said “You’ll sleep well tonight, and you’ll be alright now.” And nobody said a word. They walked out. I never said word, I was too awestruck. And that’s the first I ever knew about healing.

I have to go a little further. That man had the gift of healing but he didn’t know where the true church was. He was not in the true church. You see God might have some that are not in the true church but He will lead them to it.

I had discovered that Jesus was three days and three nights in the grave and that He was not crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning. I had written a paper that the foundation of Sunday sacredness crumbles. I showed that the only foundation they had for observing Sunday instead of Saturday was to claim that the resurrection was on Sunday, and I proved the resurrection was not on Sunday morning at all, but Sabbathly afternoon. I thought to myself, well this man brought me into the truth, and he doesn’t know about the Sabbath. I just wanted to give and share and I didn’t have any idea of anything of any harm. I wanted to help him. My motive was giving and my motive was love. So I walked down there to his place, about a mile.

I said this man “I have written this. I’ve been studying the Bible and I found something that I think not many people understand or know is in the Bible, and I would like to have you go through it because I am pretty green. I’m pretty new in the knowledge of the Bible. I think you are a man of God and God has given you the spirit of faith for healing; the the gift of healing. I would like to have you read this and tell me if I’m right or if I’m wrong. Would you do it if I leave this with you?“ He said he would so I left the manuscript with him.

I went back about a week later to see him. He began to talk about other things and finally I said I came to see about that manuscript and if what I wrote about in that manuscript is is true. I don’t want to believe anything that’s wrong don’t want to use this manuscript unless it’s true.

I said “Have you had a chance to look at it?“ He said yes. He was not a highly-educated man, but he did have a good mind and he did have the gift of healing. Here I had given him a truth he had never seen before but I didn’t know that yet.

“Yes brother I took that to our minister and I went over that with him.”

I asked, “Did he find it right or wrong?“

He replied, “Well, yes, you were right but you’d better tear this up and throw it away right away. This is dangerous. This could mislead you. You’d better stay with what the church has always had, with it’s traditions, and not go with something new just because you found it in the Bible.”

I was too shocked to have any answers. I was just sorry. I walked back home and I was just sorry all over. I read the Bible enough by now to know that he has rejected truth and God is going to reject that man. And I wished I had never given it to him. But I think God sent me to him.

That is not the end of the story. I didn’t see him for 6 weeks. They were having a Pentecostal meeting. People were yelling and screaming and shouting. I looked around and I found him way in the back looking like a whipped dog.

“How come you’re not up with the rest of them?” And he told me he couldn’t do it anymore. Something has happened and he lost the gift of healing. People aren’t healed anymore when he prays for them. He said, “God has left me and I don’t know why.”

I told him why. “I’m sorry to hear that, but God brought me to tell you a truth and you admitted it was truth, and your ministers said it was true, and you rejected it and told me to reject it.” He didn’t believe me. He thought that there was some other reason. And I never saw the man again.

Now if God has given me any gift above any other it’s the gift of understanding. That comes along with wisdom.

Verse 10: “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”

Prophecy can be foretelling like the prophets of the Old Testament but in the New Testament sometimes it means preaching. So this could be the gift of preaching.

For discerning of spirits, we have some people in the church who do not have this. We’re not to judge other people, but in my position I do have to evaluate people in a way. I’ve made mistakes too, putting the wrong man on the job, too many times. I don’t have this as much as I should have but I do have some of it.

Tongues is speaking in different languages. Some have a gift of speaking other languages. They pick it up quick.

Verse 11: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Now notice what God says about it. He puts different abilities in the Church, and you will find from the parable of the talents in the 25th chapter of Matthew, that God gives these things, divides them severally as He wills, each man according to his own natural ability.

Verse 12: “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

Now we begin to notice the body is one church. There’s only the one Christ. There’s not several Christs.

Verse 13: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

Or the one spirit comes into us.

Verse 14: “For in fact the body is not one member but many.”

Verse 15: “If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?”

In other words, because a man says I have had ability to work in the radio studio and to do that kind of work and I don’t like that. I wanted to be a minister. I wanted to be a pastor of a church but because  God didn’t put me there, I’m going to go out of the church. I go be a minister on my own somewhere.

Verse 16: “And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?”

You have a function and some have other functions. Someone has to do this job and some have to do that job. We have men in the mail department. We get a lot of mail. They have a very important function, replying to those letters. That’s important. [he continues about how he traveled, preached]

Verse 17: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?”

Verse 18: “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”

Verse 19: “And if they were all one member, where would the body be?”

Verse 20: “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.”

So many different churches – Catholic, Lutheran, and every other kind of church. There is but one body and one church.

Verse 21: “And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Some may say they don’t have any need for an apostle, they will serve Christ alone. How are you going to serve Christ alone? Christ has set certain work for the Church to do. The Church has been called for two purposes. One is to get the Gospel to the world. And that requires training. God is training us to develop certain spiritual character. We can finally be trained for positions of leadership in the Kingdom of God. We have grown in grace and knowledge. How? The Church is the mother of all of the members. The Church is spiritual. And the purpose of the Church is to feed the members spiritual food, the Bible.

Verse 22: “No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.”

Verse 23: “And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,”

Verse 24: “but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,”

Verse 25: “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”

Schism is division. We must all speak the same thing as he said in the first chapter. Compacted together, like we’re glued together, like we’re welded together in an organization.

Verse 26: “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

Verse 27: “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

Verse 28: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”

Notice people don’t elect them. God sets them in. God appoints them. People didn’t elect me. God used me to build this up from 19 members. Now there are no prophets today. They are all Old Testament prophets but they are quoted again and again.

Verse 29: Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?”

No everybody can’t be an apostle. There’s only one. I can’t make someone an apostle. Now in Ephesians 4 he gives more. Ephesians 4:11-14 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,”

He gives more detail here. Why? What did He put them in the Church for? For the equipping of the Saints. Let’s do it God’s way. You’re never gonna get there man’s way. It takes all of these administrations, all of these different operations. This helps you understand why you need government in the Church. God puts people in the government. It’s not democracy. It’s the government of God. It’s theocracy. And a lot of people don’t like it because the Roman Catholic Church has that kind of government. Satan is just sharp enough that he puts the right kind of government in his church. And that is the hierarchy. In the Catholic Church the Pope speaks and that is authority in the Catholic Church. They don’t claim the Pope is infallible but when he speaks on behalf of the church they say he is infallible. Do you think Satan would take some inferior form of government? Oh no, Satan is too sharp and clear for that. He takes God’s form of government to deceive the people.

Verse 30: “Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
Verse 31: “But earnestly desire the [i]best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

1 Corinthians Chapters 13-14
Chapter 13
Now we come to the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. I really like the Moffatt translation for this chapter. [I added the NKJV but you’ll note that when he uses the words from the Moffatt translation that it  doesn’t align with the NKJV]
Verse 1: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
Some translations use charity. I think love is better. People often misunderstand love. They think it just means physical affection and sex. But love is an outgoing concern for the good and the welfare of others. Love it outflowing away from you toward others. First of all it’s outflowing toward God in worship and thanksgiving and praise and gratitude - toward all that God has given us and bestowed on us. Toward neighbor it is being as much concerned for his good and his welfare as it is for your own. Now if you’re just as much concerned about your neighbor as you are for your self, you’re doing pretty good. We don’t have to be told to be concerned about our own welfare. We’ve got that to begin with.
I have had experience with people like this. People who said they aren’t interested in obedience to God or keeping His commands or anything like that. They just want to have a good time, shout and babble and it doesn’t mean a thing. And the interpreter would get up and interpret the same thing. Another clanging cymbal. It doesn’t have anything to do with love. They don’t want to have concern for other people at all. I used to have a lot of criticism in Eugene, OR. The largest congregation in Eugene was a pentecostal church. They had a big building, auditorium, and congregation. They didn’t have anything to do with me. They broadcasted their local service every Sunday night. I listened in once in a while. One night I heard the preacher say that he had been asked by some in the congregation if it would be alright for them to visit some other church once in a while. He said they could visit any other church in Eugene, OR except the one of Mr. Armstrong. That is not a church you should have anything to do with whatsoever.
Well sometime after that, I was walking home from a broadcast and a couple of people from their congregation said, “We have people all over the place trying to get ahold of you. Would you come with us immediately? Our pastor’s wife has fallen under the power and we can’t revive her.” Falling under the power to them is falling over backwards. They think that is a wonderful sign from God if they fall over backward. She had passed out and they couldn’t revive her. She had been out for 30 minutes. She was unconscious. They wanted me to raise her up. I said, “Of course I’ll go.”
When I got there they were moaning and yelling and screaming out to God ‘Oh Lord save her’ and ‘Oh Lord raise her up’ and shrieking. I yelled out, “Quiet! All of you be quiet for a minute. I want all of you to go over to the far end of the church, as far away from me as you can get. And I want you to be absolutely quiet! Don’t say a word! And I will raise up your pastor’s wife.” So they all huddled up in the other end of the church. I grabbed her hand and called her by name. I said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, wake up, and rise up, and walk!” And I lifted and she got right up. And they all looked surprised.
They used to say if I could speak in tongues I would be as good as they were. I would be saved and be as close to God as they were. But when they wanted a man who was close to God, why did they come running to me?
Verse 2: “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Love is the fulfilling of the law of God. The law of God is the way of love.
Verse 3: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Verse 4: “ Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;”
Love is very patient, very kind it says in the Moffatt translation. Do we have these things? Let every one of you ask yourselves ‘Am I very patient? Or only just a little bit patient and only patient once in a while? Or am I irritated and impatient?’ I don’t think any of us can say we’re very patient all the time. I can’t.
Love is very kind - I mean to be kind but am I very kind? And am I all of the time? When you read this ask yourself ‘Am I that way?’ Love knows no jealousy. Do I know jealousy? Am I jealous? Do I have envy and jealousy? That’s the way of Satan. Do I make a parade? Do I try to show off? Do I try to attract attention and have people look at me? Do I want people to think I’m beautiful or handsome or great or this and that? Love is never irritated. Do we get irritated once in a while? Well maybe not very often but how about once in a great while?
Verse 5: “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;”
Love is never rude. A man came to my front door one time and he had very egregiously treated me and I was rude to him. I was sorry afterwards but he was gone by that time. I think he deserved it every bit but I should not have been rude should I? We need to watch those things. Here’s a great teaching on Christian living, right in here – love is never rude.
Never selfish. Maybe we can be a little bit selfish or selfish once in a while, but love – the love of God of put in our hearts by the Holy Spirit - is never selfish. Now think of that. That’s the way we’ve got to be in the Kingdom of God, if and when we get there.
Never resentful. I notice how people who go out of the church in a wrong and bitter attitude. They are very resentful. They’re bitter. I’ve said that resentment and bitterness are worse that being hooked on heroine or some strong drug. When people are that way they hardly ever get over it. Don’t ever let your mind get bitter and resentful.
Verse 6: “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”
Love is never glad when others go wrong. They like to accuse me of going wrong and are they glad over that. They want to spread that news. To them that’s good news.
Love is gladdened by goodness. Always eager to believe the best. Are you eager to believe the best? Or do you want to believe what is bad about someone? What is the test?
Verse 7: “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Always hopeful. Are you always hopeful? Or are you skeptical? I have doubts. I’m gonna wait and see. I’m on the fence.
Love never disappears.
Verse 8: “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
I think he means preaching not prophesying.
Verse 9: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.”
You just can’t learn it all at once. You have to get it bit by bit. That’s the way I’ve had to get it. I didn’t get this all at once.
Verse 10: “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”
Verse 11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Do you ever know people who are like little children? They still have childish ways. They’re supposed to be beyond that.
Verse 12: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
In other words, we see darkly or dimly now.
Whether we realize it or not, we are understood by God. He understands us whether we understand ourselves or not.
Verse 13: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 

Chapter 14

Now we come to the 14th chapter which is the tongues chapter.
Verse 1: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
Desire the spiritual gifts of God. I think he means to preach again. It’s better to preach truth and expound that to others, than to just speak in tongues that nobody can understand.
Verse 2: “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”
You see, he’s not talking here about the kind of tongues they spoke about on the day of Pentecost at all, because they understood. What he’s saying is make the truth plain. That’s why I called the magazine the Plain Truth. What is truth? The truth is the word of God. I wanted to make the truth plain so that people could understand it. And that’s what we should do.
Verse 3: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”
Verse 4: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
Verse 5: “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”
Verse 6: “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?”
I want to turn to the 2nd chapter of Acts. The Pentecostal people I know believe that they are doing the same thing that was done on the day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:1 the people were in one accord. These people were not in one accord [he’s speaking of the Pentecostal people he knew back in Eugene, OR]. They were not in one accord at all. They’re against one another and fight back and forth and they’re sarcastic about one another.
The Pentecostal people have tarry meetings. They meet all night long and chant words over and over like glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory or Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! And it doesn’t mean anything after a while. It’s gibberish. And then after doing that all night they say that they are baptized. It took all night. And that’s just like at Pentecost. But look here, ‘suddenly there came a sound from Heaven’ It wasn’t all night long. It was suddenly. This sound came from above. Not from the people. ‘It came from Heaven as the sound of a rushing, mighty wind.’
The Holy Spirit filled all the house where they were sitting. There appeared unto them, tongues like fire and it sat upon each of them. That doesn’t happen in these tarry meetings. They could see the Spirit, but they saw it like divided tongues of fire, sitting on each one. They heard it. It came from Heaven. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Now the Spirit gave them power.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Every man heard them, the whole 120. It doesn’t say that one man heard one of them, and another man heard another one of them. Notice that. Every individual heard, the whole 120, heard them speak in his, that man’s, language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” See each man hears in his own tongue. So the Parthian man, heard them – all 120 – speaking a Parthian language. Notice that. Think about. Don’t just read over that in a hurry. Read it slowly enough to understand it. The Parthian heard all 120 men speaking in the Parthian language. This is not the kind of language of tongues that Paul was speaking to them in the 14th chapter of 1 Corinthians at all. And it certainly is not the kind of language the Pentecostal people were using.

The great miracle was in the hearing rather than in the speaking. That kind of tongues is not going in those churches that claim to be churches of God like the one in TN. Nothing like that has ever happened since.
Verse 7: “Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?”
Have you ever heard anyone whistle when they don’t know how to whistle? You don’t know what song they whistling because you can’t understand a single note.
Verse 8: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?”
They blew the trumpet to call soldiers to get together for battle. So they knew what that sound meant.
Verse 9: “So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.”
You know what I tried to do, and God had me trained in writing from the time I was 18 years old, was writing so plainly that people could understand what I’m saying. That is something I’ve prided myself on, but maybe I shouldn’t pride myself on anything. If you don’t make it easy to understand, how shall you know what is being spoken?
Verse 10: “There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.”
Verse 11: “Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.”
Verse 12: “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it before the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”
Now one of the spiritual gifts is languages. That is so that you can go to another country and speak their language. That is the only kind of spiritual tongue God gives you. It’s for getting His gospel out. For edifying the people.
Verse 13: “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.”
Verse 14: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
If I pray in a language that I don’t understand myself, then I don’t understand. This is speaking in a language that another man may understand, even if you speak it and don’t understand it. It’s for that man to understand.
Verse 15: “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
Verse 16: ‘Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?”
Speak to a man in his own language. Paul was speaking to them in their own language. That’s what I try to do.
Verse 17: “For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.”
Verse 18: “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;”
Paul spoke in more foreign languages than any of them.
Verse 19: “yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
Verse 20: “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.”
Verse 21: “In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,”says the Lord.”
Verse 22: “Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.”
Verse 23: “Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?”
Verse 24: “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.”
Verse 25: “And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
Falling down on his face not his back. People that are struck by God fall on their faces not their back. When people are struck by Satan they fall backward every time. That pastor’s wife fell over backward. And that’s what they call falling under the power.
Verse 26: How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
A psalm is a song to sing.
Verse 27: “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.”
Everything must be done decently and in order. This is God’s instruction through an apostle.
Verse 28: “But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.”
Verse 29: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”
That is, the preachers.
Verse 30: “But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.”
If God reveals something. Maybe God is a little closer to them than He is to us today because you don’t find much of that today.
Verse 31: “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”
Verse 32: “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
Verse 33: “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Notice God is not the author of confusion but in those meetings in Oregon there was confusion.
Verse 34: “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.”
Today women want to ministers and get up and preach. Now there are women preachers in some of Satan’s churches in this world. In the Church of God, let your women keep silent. Now we’ve had some ministers say that times have changed and we can’t go along with that. The word of God is never out of date. You can’t say that’s old. These are instructions that are permanent. They never change. But people don’t want God’s law, they want a law of their own.
Verse 35: “And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.”
Do people want to follow the Bible today? Not much, do they?
Verse 36: “Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?”
In other words are you the ones giving the word of God or are you the ones receiving it? Is it coming to you?
Verse 37: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.”
People don’t believe that today. They think He is a little old fashioned and they know more than the Lord does. Or do they? I don’t believe so.
Verse 38: “But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.”
Verse 39: “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.”
Verses 40: “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
That closes the 14th chapter.

1 Corinthians Chapter 15

 

This is one of the very outstanding chapters of the Bible that might be called the Resurrection Chapter. You know, the only hope that God gives for any life after this life, is the hope of the resurrection. Other people have various ideas. The common idea in the western world is that we are immortal souls. That when one dies, he doesn’t die really he passes on. So they never say that so-and-so died yesterday, they say so-and-so passed away yesterday. They’re afraid to say died, because they don’t really believe that they died. They just think that there was a soul that passed away. Where? Well they don’t know. The general idea though is that if he did good, meaning what he himself thought was good and what people think is good, that he is just automatically going on to heaven. But if he did bad, then the poor soul, he’s gone to hell to roast and burn, and burn, and keep on burning forever but never burn up. Always being tortured and tormented forever and ever.

Now there’s only one place in the Bible that I know about of anyone being tormented and tortured forever and ever and that’s speaking of Satan the devil. Not speaking of a human being. The Bible says that the wicked humans and the incorrigibly bad, they will burn up. Like being in an oven they will burn up. They shall become ashes under the soles of our feet. Nobody believes that. Now over in India many people believe in the transmigration of souls. In other words you die and you pass away into maybe a grasshopper or a bed bug or maybe you become a great big elephant. Or maybe a rose or a rosebush. Or maybe you’ll be a beagle, a horse, or a cow. You’re just going to be something else, some kind of an animal or something. I don’t know where they got that idea. I can’t find a hint of that in the Bible. And neither can I about going to heaven or hell in the sense they’re talking about, because the word hell used in the New Testament is translated from three words. And only one of them talks about a hell of fire, which Jesus did talk about. But He was talking about, He used the Greek word Gehenna. Gehenna was what I call a city dump on the south border of Jerusalem, on a steep bank. That is where they disposed of garbage, refuse, and even dead bodies of criminals they were not worthy of a decent burial. Down below there were men employed continually to keep fires burning to burn all this stuff up. But you have to add fuel to keep in it burning. If you don’t, it burns up. It doesn’t go continuously.

Now I have heard a world famous evangelist say in a televised crusade, “The Bible says when we all get to Heaven.” Now I would just enjoy giving him a check for $10,000 to show me where in the Bible it says that, because the Bible doesn’t say anything of the kind. The Bible does not say we’ll all get to Heaven, but Jesus Christ, whom he apparently does not believe, said ‘No man has ascended up to Heaven’ except Christ Himself who had been there and come back down from there. Psalm 37 “The wicked shall not inherit the earth but the righteous shall inherit the earth and dwell there in forever.” That doesn’t sound like they’re going to go to Heaven. The Bible says nothing of these things they talk about.

The apostle Paul now, with the Pharisees and the Sadducees accusing him, he knew that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection but the Pharisees did. Now Paul never misrepresented, he didn’t have any guile, he was not a deceiver. He was able to use for the good of the gospel, a little bit of psychology, and strategy. He knew that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. He knew that the Pharisees did. And of course he’s teaching the truth of the resurrection. So he yelled out “Of the hope of the resurrection I am being tried here.” And that got the Sadducees and Pharisees fighting against each other. And there was quite a fight over the matter of the resurrection. Even today, you will not hear the great evangelist or the great leaders of the so-called organized Christianity or Evangelical Christianity, you will not hear them talking about a resurrection. They say if you come up here tonight and you let me pray for you tonight, you’ll go to heaven if you die tonight. And you’ll be in heaven tomorrow morning. And that is just a lot of hogwash. That is not the truth of God. That is not what Jesus Christ preached. That is not what Peter preached. That is not what the apostle Paul preached. That is not what I preach. That is not what the Church of God preaches.

So now we come to this resurrection chapter. It is very important that we understand.
Verse 1: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,”
Verse 2: “by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”
It should be being saved because it continues. Let’s read that in the revised standard translation. By which you received in which you stand I wish you were saved if you hold it fast. In other words, it does not mean you are at this minute saved. You are to be saved or it should be you are being saved or shall be saved. Because at another time Christ said in Matthew 24:13 He said, ‘He that endureth until the end shall be saved.’
Often I wondered, why did Jesus Christ choose me and bring me up and frame me to be his apostle, in this church in this day? Now I look at religious leaders, and look at men like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell. Or take Oral Roberts or Pat Robertson. Why are you gonna choose me instead of one of those men? Those men may be greater or smarter or more intelligent than I am. Maybe they have a great deal more ability than I. I wouldn’t want to measure myself or compare myself. God says we shouldn’t do that, but He didn’t choose me because I am superior to them in mind or ability or anything of the kind. I will tell you why He chose me and did not choose them. I have the truth and they do not. There is a difference. They have all accepted what truth they have gotten from other people. They’ve either gotten it from their church denomination or they have gone to a theological seminary or college and they have just taken what was stuffed into their minds. Now then, they have also seen in the Bible some of the things that I see, and I know that they don’t believe. Don’t tell me that the evangelist who says when we die we’ll all go to heaven hasn’t read that ‘no man has ascended into heaven’. I can’t believe he’s never read that in the Bible. I’ll tell you what’s happened, he read right over that. He glossed over it carelessly. He said that’s not what I’ve been taught, maybe I don’t understand that and he just got that out of his mind in a hurry. I know those men believe in the immortality of the soul. You can’t tell me that they never read back in a Ezekiel 18:4 and verse 20, ‘the soul that sinneth shall die.’ Now Adam and Eve were souls and God said they would surely die. Now they must have read that, and yet they don’t believe a soul can die. They believe it’s immortal. They believe Satan’s lie.
Now that’s one difference. There is another difference. I had been brought up and taught by people too. I have been brought up in a church, and I had gone to church as a young man until I was 18 and then I sort of dropped out of Church. I had my mind more on business and commercial things than religion. I was brought up in a regular Protestant denomination. I supposed I was an immortal soul and I had an immortal soul. I supposed they would go to heaven or hell but I hadn’t really much thought about that. I thought when I would die that was a long ways off and I didn’t have to worry about that. I fully believed the people who were good would be saved and the people who are good to go to heaven if they were bad they go to hell and roast. I never really thought that you couldn’t burn forever. A body can’t burn forever. And if it is an immortal spirit soul, a spirit can’t burn up anyway. But I hadn’t even thought of it.
Finally when I was challenged, and I had to prove to my wife that the Bible does not say thou shalt observe Sunday. I thought the Bible said that but I couldn’t find it, because the Bible does not say that. And I began to see that the Bible says the soul that sinneth shall die. Now I said wait a minute, I’ve been taught that I won’t die if I sin, I’ll go to hell and roast forever. The wages for sinning are being tormented forever and ever in hell. I have eternal life in hell. But this says the wages of sin is death. And then I said I already have eternal life and an immortal soul. Romans 6:23 says that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I said, wait a minute. I have always been taught that I already have eternal life in this says it is a gift of God. And if you don’t get the gift of God you’re going to die. Do you know what I did? I began to check. And that’s where I learned that the Bible says the soul that sinneth dies. I learned that God told Adam he was a soul, and that Adam would die if he took the forbidden fruit. I began to see in the Psalms where we are going to inherit the earth and dwell there forever. Not go to heaven. And I saw Jesus said no man has gone to heaven. Now the difference was I didn’t gloss over it. I’m going to look through more scriptures and see if there’s more than that and I found other scriptures that backed that up. And then I got to the very chapter we’re reading now about the resurrection. Well that was all new to me. I didn’t know there was a resurrection. I thought you went immediately to heaven or hell when you died. What we’re studying today is a different teaching than that. I began to believe Christ. Christ is the word of God. Jesus Christ is the living word of God in person. The Bible is the same word of God only in print or in writing. The word is the same. Whether Jesus speaks it or it’s here and print it’s all the same. Christ is the real author and inspirer of every word in the Bible. He inspired it. In other words the men who wrote it were like stenographers taking dictation. These men that wrote the Bible wrote what Christ told them to. This is the word of God. I began to believe it.
Now there is another difference. I preach what God wants preached. They preach what people want to hear. I preach what God wants to proclaim. I don’t care who it hurts, regardless of consequences regardless of persecution, I’m going to preach what Christ gave me. The truth. I’m not going to mislead men. They are going to preach what people want to hear. And I started out on the air preaching the truth. I have believed Christ. Tell me one of those ministers that can say that. They don’t believe God. They don’t believe Christ is the word of God. There’s a difference. They preach the smooth and easy gospel. Sunday worship. A lot of our people get persecuted for keeping the Sabbath.
Verse 3: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”
Now notice, according to the scriptures.
Verse 4: “and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
This is not the third day the way they count. They say he was buried on a Friday, and that’s the first day that he was buried, and then Saturday is the second day, and Sunday is the third day, and that makes three days. They’ve got that all wrong. In Matthew 12:40 Jesus says the only sign he would give that He is the Messiah is that as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, Christ would be three days and three nights in His grave in the heart of the earth. No you can’t get three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday morning. You can’t do it. You see the crucifixion was on Wednesday and he was buried just before sunset on Wednesday. From there until just before sunset on Thursday is one day and one night. Until the same time on Friday is two days and two nights and just until the end of the sunset on the Sabbath is three days in three nights. That is when he rolls, not Sunday morning. The disciples came to the grave and he wasn’t there. He was already busy. He was not there. And they came before it was even daylight, it was dark before sunrise.
Verse 5: “and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.”
Verse 6: “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.”
Fallen asleep means they died. This doesn’t say they passed away does it? They’ve fallen asleep.
Verse 7: “After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.”
Verse 8: “Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.”
At another place in the Bible Paul says, “Have I not seen Christ?” He saw Christ after his resurrection. He appeared to Paul after he had risen. Paul saw him and talked with him.
Verse 9: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
Verse 10: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
I say the same thing. I’m not fit to be an apostle of Christ. I’m only a poor simpleton, so poor I was willing to believe Christ meant what he said right here in this word. And that He wants that preached and not what people want to hear. I always did crave understanding and He has given me understanding.He’s giving me understanding of why the world is in trouble, and what is the cause of all the troubles in the world, what is law means, and the way of give not get. God has given me that understanding and God has blessed and used me. I preach what I know people don’t want to hear, most of them don’t, but here and there someone does.
Verse 11: “Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
Verse 12: “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
How do they say that today? They say today when you die go to heaven. I have heard an evangelist say that somewhere around the world today some people are going to die and you don’t know if that’s going to be you. And you don’t know if you’re going to go to heaven or to hell. You better settle it tonight. You better come up here and get save so that if you die tonight you’ll go to heaven. And if you don’t come up here you could die and be roasting in hell. So he gets people to come up and they think that they’re already saved.
I preached a little bit more about the judgment the last day of the feast. I saw things about the judgment that even I had not seen before. Judgment is on the church now. That does not mean that other people can do anything they please and not be judged by it. Do you see when a man is arrested for murder and brought before the judge and jury for a trial, his crime was committed before judgement came upon him wasn’t it?  Judgment didn’t come upon him until he went into that court and was brought before the judge. Chris talked about the judgment and how it’s going to fare better for some than others. The ones it was not going to fare well with was the Pharisees and scribes that he was talking to. That doesn’t mean that they weren’t being judged or to be judged for what they’re doing, they’re not yet judged. The world is not now being judged. But the world is going to be judged for what they’re doing now. Everything they are doing now is going to come up in the judgment against them.
Verse 13: “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.”
Verse 14: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”
Verse 15: “Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.”
Verse 16: “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.”
Verse 17: “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”
Verse 18: “Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.”
Where are they, in hellfire? In heaven? They are perished if there is no resurrection of the dead because there is no hope.
Verse 19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
We have hope in Christ of the life to come in resurrection
Verse 20: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
In other words he was the first and we can be resurrected too. And those that are already dead. Chris was just resurrected first. Abraham is gonna be resurrected, Isaac and Jacob and Joseph are gonna be resurrected too. And Noah, and David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel and Elijah are going to be resurrected.
Verse 21: “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.”
Verse 22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
That is because of Adam’s sin. What then is the penalty of your sin? Death. But that is not the end to die, the second death is eternal. The first death is not permanent because you will be resurrected. All who ever lived are going to be resurrected. All, good, bad or indifferent. There’s gonna be another life for everyone of them. Some will be resurrected at the coming of Christ into the kingdom of God. The ones that are going to be resurrected at Christ’s coming - the ones that received the Holy Spirit. They will be resurrected to immortality when Christ comes. There will be different positions in the kingdom of God. But they will be resurrected. Then there will be another resurrection at the end of the millennium, and at that time, all who have not heard the truth and have not been called, they will be resurrected – except those who had already been called and rejected it.
Verse 23: “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
There is an order to these resurrections.
Verse 24: “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
Verse 25: “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.”
Verse 26: “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
And then there will be no more death. Everyone will be immortal from that time on and everyone who is not made immortal will be put to death and burned up. Perished. Gone. As if they’d never been born in the first place. Just go back to dirt.
Verse 27: “For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.”
Verse 28: “Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
Verse 29: “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?”
Verse 30: “And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?”
Verse 31: “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
In other words he crucifies himself daily because of what he’s doing.
Verse 32: “ If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Verse 33: “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Verse 34: “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”
Verse 35: “But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 
Some say what are we going to be like in the resurrection? Will the same body come up? Will the same bones come back? The same skin will be back on you? What will you be like. Here’s the answer:
Verse 36: “Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.”
Verse 37: “And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain.”
The grain you bury doesn’t come up from the ground as a new grain or a different grain.
Verse 38: “But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.”
It is the spirit in us that preserves life and those that are resurrected back to moral life, flesh and blood, will have other matter, form and shape but it will not be the same flesh. It will not be the same body at all. I believe we will look like we do now and we will certainly have the same knowledge and character we have now.
Verse 39: “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.”
Verse 40: “There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”
Verse 41: “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.”
Verse 42: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”
Now there apparently will be different glories, different stations and status of life in the resurrection. I think that is what it is saying there. We are to be rewarded according to our works. Now we are not saved according to our works. In other words, you are not to made immortal because of your works, but when get there the position you’ll be doing, your honor, your glory, that will depend on what your works have been in this life.
Verse 43: “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.”
Verse 44: “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
Verse 45: “And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
Verse 46: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”
Verse 47: “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”
Verse 48: “As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.”
Verse 49: “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we[l] shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”
Verse 50: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”
What is the kingdom of God? The Catholic Church will tell you they are the kingdom of God. Flesh and blood! Is the Pope flesh and blood? Are the people in the Catholic Church flesh and blood? This says they have not inherited the kingdom of God. The only way you can inherit the kingdom of God is through a resurrection. No one else gets into the kingdom of God.  
Verse 51: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—“
Verse 52: “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
So the coming of Christ is the feast of trumpets. The last trump.
Verse 53: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Verse 54: “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Verse 55: “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
Verse 56: “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”
Verse 57: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Verse 58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians Chapter 16

Remember this was all just one long letter. There wasn’t different verses and such. Man added that.

Verse 1: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:”
Verse 2: “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
Paul was going to come by with others and pick this stuff up. They didn’t donate money in those days. They had to donate food that they had raised from the ground. And they had the drought and the people in Jerusalem were in trouble and Paul was asking people in Corinth to help.
A lot of people use this to refute God’s Sabbath. They say it says here the first day of the week. There it is. It shows they were observing Sunday. It doesn’t say to come to a worship service? A church service? No it says to go out and labor. Go out and put something aside, and store it up. In other words go and gather the grain. That’s work.
Verse 3: “And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.”
Paul wasn’t going to take it. He was going to ask those people to take it to Jerusalem.
Verse 4: “ But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.”
Verse 5: “Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).”
Verse 6: “And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.”
You notice how different it is there than it is today. He would get there in the fall and would have to stay for the whole winter. He couldn’t travel. Nowadays I just get on a plane and – bang – just like that I get to where I am going in one day. In those days they had to walk or ride an animal or by water in a rowboat. We don’t think of that anymore.
Verse 7: “For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.”
He always says if the Lord wills. He realized God needs to permit.
Verse 8: “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.”
Verse 9: “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
It’s been that way always. I have many adversaries. The devil puts it in their mind to hate me, hate God, hate the way of God, and they do.
Verse 10: “And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.”
Verse 11: “Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.”
Verse 12: “Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.”
Verse 13: “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
Verse 14: “Let all that you do be done with love.”
Verse 15: “I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—“
Verse 16: “That you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.”
Verse 17: “I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.”
Verse 18: “For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.”
Verse 19: “The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”
You see churches were in the homes of private people. Not big cathedrals. That is a Roman Catholic idea. The church isn’t a building or they would have a building inside of their house.
Verse 20: “All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”
There’s been a lot of talk about the holy kiss. That was something they did in those days. Today the customary thing is a handshake. Or in Japan they bow. It’s just an acknowledgment, that’s all. We don’t have to kiss or embrace one another. It’s the means of a greeting. Nowadays they’re slapping hands, reaching up as high as they can. That’s just another way to greet.
Verse 21: “The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.”
Verse 22: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”
Verse 23: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Verse 24: “ My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”