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   Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God presents Garner Ted Armstrong. All literature offered on this program will be sent free of cost to anyone requesting it.

   Wait a minute, don't adjust your home set, please. There's probably nothing wrong with the focus there at home. It's just that this book remains almost entirely out of focus to most people because they never get around to reading it. This is called the Bible and almost everybody has one and almost no one really understands it or brings it sharply into focus.

   The only way you can bring a Bible sharply into focus is to do what we've been trying to tell people in a series of programs, Read the Book.

   Biblical illiteracy is almost like a disease in our country except the symptoms aren't readily ascertainable to other people.

   Some years ago, a group of 11th graders in New York State were given a simple little survey by a teacher who wanted to find out what is the level of understanding of children of that age. Some of the things they came up with are rather humorous. Some of the kids said Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers now that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John. That Eve was created from an apple and the Jezebel who is actually Ahab's donkey. At the last supper, some of them said, Christ told his disciples that the bread was poisoned. The stories by which Jesus taught, some of them thought were called parodies and Interim freshmen at a Christian college. He went now to a Christian college.

   Many of them for the purposes of becoming ministers were given a similar test and with similar results, the story of Abraham, some said is found in the book of Ruth, for example, the 10 commandments they said were given by Christ on the mount of Olives. Christ was born in Rome. Later he was betrayed by Samson and died in Bethlehem. Moses turned the Red Sea blue, during the Exodus. 80% of these students said they believed the Bible was revealed word of God, but 53% of them couldn't name the four gospels. Can you?

   Now, maybe you don't see anything wrong with some of these things. It's like the guy that was getting his haircut and talking about his kid in the English class who said the teacher asked a question just recently about who was it? Who wrote Hamlet? And his own son chuckled. The fella getting his hair cut, talking to the barber as is the habit of many people in the barber shop, raised his hand and said, please, teacher, I didn't do it. And the barber chuckled and he said, you know, and the little sinker was probably guilty all the time, wasn't he? Well, how would you be doing on similar tests if you were asked about where to find the story about Abraham? Or what Sodom and Gamora really were or where and when and by whom were the 10 commandments given? The wealth of biblical illiteracy in our country is somewhat astounding.

   Over 7 million of those books sold every single year. About 1400 languages represented in the number of tongues into which it is translated. It is sold and distributed and mailed around the world as no other book ever has been, perhaps ever will be. It occupies lonely places in bureaus and shelves in motels and hotels by the hundreds of thousands and the millions all around the country, small additions can be found in reading racks, even on aircraft, in trains with a few trains still going and people who still ride on them and in public places, especially places such as forest shops, funeral parlors and the like where people are bereaved because of some terrible tragedy.

   I don't know. Maybe they even got Bibles in hospitals for people to read when they're having troubles and maybe Bibles in fathers waiting rooms at maternity wards. But the trouble is while there are lots of Bibles lying around, almost no one ever gets around to use them except to hold an ashtray or maybe to put a doily at top of and a little red bud in a vase and lots of people have them in trunks. Brides, carry them down the altar. The white cover variety is best I understand for weddings and kind of tape a little bouquet to them. There are Bibles that are opened up in church and sometimes they almost creak and a little dust comes out. But there are big Bibles that are opened up and then some of them are about this big and about, you know, yea wide, huge ones. And then the preacher says, my text fall this morning is and then he reads a few words and then now let us concentrate on this word faith. And then that's the end of the Bible. He goes on talking about the positive experiences in life that can engender and create faith in us and make us stalwart businessmen and fine housewives and mothers and so on. And goes on talking about this one word in this one text.

   Now, this isn't true everywhere. In many places, you can probably go into the church and find people actually teaching from the Bible, going from one scripture to another expounding and explaining or at least claiming to what those scriptures say. But how many times have you yourself ever sat down to look up certain scriptures or thoughts or concepts, precepts, theological arguments, doctrines and the like philosophies approaches to life about heaven, hell, death, burial, resurrection.

   What is man? What is God? How many members of the Godhead are there? What are God's attitudes toward humankind? Does science and the Bible really conflict? Is there a God? You prove it? Does archaeology disprove the Bible or doesn't the archaeologists fade? Always tend to corroborate what the Bible says? Does profane history, the history of encyclopedias and history books match with what the Bible says? Or is the Bible a never, never world like The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland Land or Gulliver's travels that has nothing to do with real history.

   When the Bible mentions ancient kings, have those kings been found in archaeology? Do you know who they might be? Or a Bible writer might have said something about a king about a nation, a city state or an empire hundreds of years before it occurred to that empire, nation or city state. Did it happen just exactly the way a man like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel might have said or predicted in the Bible.

   And you know, and do you know that you know about prophecy, about history, about archaeology? Do the footprints of humankind lead away from the Middle East since the Bible is written geographically historically and spiritually from the point of view of the Middle East is the Bible accurate about some of the nations around the Middle East even today?

   Does the Bible mention such nations as Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt and Israel? Oh yes, it does. Would it then ignore, if the Bible is a book of God written of a God who is supposed to know what's going on in the world here below. Would the Bible ignore nations such as Soviet Russia and Red China and Japan and Europe and the United States? And does the Bible ignore these portions of the world as if the writers of the Bible didn't have the remotest conception that any such thing could happen. But they weren't really inspired men, prophets of God that just misled Jewish SAGES and scholars, maybe some of the musicians and poets and have tried to aggrandize their own race who were status conscious, who were conscious of the need for social reforms and whose task it was to breast beat and hair pull about real or imagined conditions in the nation at that time and try to bring about various social reforms by all sorts of smarting and ravings about what God was going to do to the nation. If it didn't repent.

   Many people believe that practically everything in the Old Testament is exaggeration. Actually, a group of slaves escaped at night and tippytoed to a little book of some kind later on, blew it all out of proportion and called it an Exodus of Moses parting the Red Sea. They believe that Moses sat down one day and developed a kind of a system or a code of ethics. And later on claimed that God gave it to him on the mountain. People have impugned and ridiculed every miracle Jesus ever did. They can be absolutely glandular and emotional and sometimes rather obnoxious in their opinions about what they think the Bible says. And of course, you can always be guaranteed that in such an argument when somebody says, well, I know that the Bible says this, that nobody else is going to be able to disagree because they don't know any more about the Bible than the first guy knows about the Bible.

   Well, what about you? These and a dozen and 100 more questions some of them will cover again. Does God hate the rich, for example? And what does the Bible say about that? You're going to be amazed at the incredible numbers of misconceptions there are when you open up that book and begin to read it for yourself, the important thing you need to do is to read the book.

   The Bible is the most widely distributed and misunderstood book in the world. Can you imagine the following discussion taking place over the literary classic Gone With The Wind? They say it's pretty good. It looks awfully dull to me. I never read it and I don't like books about foreign countries. I wonder what it's all about. Well, I saw the movie, hey, hey, wait a minute, read the book. That's all it would take to understand. Gone with the Wind. The same solution works equally well with the Bible. If you just read the book, we can't send you a Bible, but we can help you understand it with the keys explained in this free booklet, Read the Book. For your free copy of, Read the Book, write to Ambassador College Box 345 GPO Sydney.

   There are two very interesting segments of that little booklet we'd like to send you that I have here in my hand. I'd like to tell you about briefly. One of them is the section here that says the Bible says, and then the Bible nowhere says it's just a fill-out intersection in the little booklet. It says the following, I can read it to you. The Bible says the soul that sins it shall die. The Bible nowhere says the soul is immortal. The words immortal soul are not found in the Bible. The Bible says, if a man has long hair, it is a shame unto him. I bet you didn't know that was in the Bible that you shall not surely die. That was Satan talking to Eve and most of these children who believe the Bible recorded satanic lie about an immortal soul ever since. Here's what the Bible doesn't say. You can read this when you get the booklet that the heavens and the earth are only 6000 years old. That heaven is the reward of the saved, that Sunday is the Lord's Day, that Adam fell. That birthday should be observed. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, spare the rod and spoil the child. None of those things are in the Bible, believe it or not. If you write for the booklet, Read the Book, you'll see these and others.

   And also this segment that I think is absolutely important historically speaking, how the fact is that men died to bring you the book. It's a brief synopsis of the history of how the Bible was preserved, how it's been transmitted, translated how it's been sometimes at the cost of many multiple lives to bring down to us today in modern English and all of the many, many hundreds, even thousands or 1400 languages that we have the Bible in today. So write for this little booklet, Read the Book. These other features are there plus a very careful analysis of exactly how you ought to approach the study of the Bible to find out for yourself, what it says and not be caught flat-footed continually in discussions about what it is supposed to say and even what the preacher says that it says. And sometimes he can even be mistaken as a matter of fact.

   The more I see about what many pastors by actual surveys that I was talking about as supposed to about the Bible. The more shocked I am at biblical illiteracy even in theological seminaries. And among those who occupy the pulpit of the United States of America and Canada. Here's another favorite Bible misconception. The idea seems to be that God loves the poor and hates the rich. If there is any state of being that God really does identify with its bare feet, dirt, penniless, absolute poverty, squalor, misery and that is Godliness. Now, that doesn't seem to square with cleanliness is next to Godliness, which is not in the Bible, but the principle is there. And the idea that the poorer, you are the more righteous you can be. We hear of God's poor or the poor in spirit. And this seems to imply poor in the pocketbook. The question is then, does God hate the rich? Let's go through the scriptures just like adding up an arithmetic problem and find out what they say.

   Beginning in Matthew 19:24. It says Jesus is speaking, and again, I say unto you, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter in the kingdom of God. Luke 6:24 says, but woe unto you that are rich for you have received your consolation. That's it for you. You've got every prize that's coming to you. Luke 25 and 15 (Luke 12:15). He said, take , he and beware of covetousness for a man's life consists in the abundance of the things which he possesses. In Genesis 13:2 though, it says, Abraham was very rich in cattle and in silver and in gold. And in Genesis 39 verse two, it says the Eternal the Lord was with Joseph and he was a prosperous man and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. In the case of Job, two interesting things. One it says in the first chapter that Job had for substance, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 she asses and a very great household. He was the greatest of all the men of the East after the great tragedy that occurred to him. And finally, when he came to his senses repented and was right in God's sight, it says the Eternal, the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends. Also, the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. How do we square the two? A statement seemingly in contradiction. Woe be to those that are rich and that a man's life doesn't consist in the abundance of things that he possesses. Yet in the Old Testament, one rich man after another. And you could cite many other kings, David who was the king of Israel, who lived in absolute splendor. Solomon whose kingdom came to a reign of splendor far beyond David's. David was a man after God's own heart. You can even talk about New Testament examples where it is absolutely true. Just think of this briefly that Jesus wore clothing of such fine quality that they were gambled over by Roman soldiers upon his death. Remember that it talked about parting his garments and they cast lots.

   Not only the outer cloak or coat was of very fine quality and was seamless and hand done, but even inner garments were so quality, not necessarily over expensive, but quality, that Roman soldiers were gambling over it at Jesus' death. It also says that he paid his way. It is stated Jesus, and we'll prove that a little later on, that he paid taxes. It's possible Jesus was a homeowner. It's possible he owned at least two homes and part of a business that was left to the family by Joseph, his father who was really like a general contractor, not just a carpenter, in the sense of having a pocket full of nails and a hammer in his hand. As many people like to think carpenters are, which they are not. Any professional carpenter would tell you that it involves a great deal more than that.

   So, here's the seeming contradiction. The idea many people have is that God hates the rich and that Jesus said that the rich are to be despised, that they received everything they're going to get and that probably they're not going to get any kind of a Christian reward. Yet, you're looking at the Old Testament, many, many rich men and others that we have not mentioned. Let's see what the example is in the book of Psalms, Ecclesiastes and elsewhere, just for a moment. "Blessed is the man that walks, not in the council of the Ungodly, no stands in the way of sinners nor sits and he the scornful, his delight is in the law of the Eternal and in his law does, he, meditate day and night." And then it goes on to say he's like a tree that brings forth fruit. His leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper. Then in Ecclesiastes 5:19, it says "every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth and has given him power to eat thereof, to take his portion and to rejoice in his labor. This is the gift of God" implying riches and wealth can be a gift of God, not wrong in God's sight. Psalm 92:12 "the righteous shall flourish like the Palm tree. He shall grow like a Cedar in Lebanon." And in I Timothy 6:17-20, "charge them that are rich."

   The Bible is the most widely distributed and misunderstood book in the world. Can you imagine the following discussion taking place over the literary classic, "Gone With the Wind"? They say it's pretty good. It looks awfully dull to me. I never read it and I don't like books about foreign countries. I wonder what it's all about. Well, I saw the movie, hey, hey, wait a minute. Read The Book. That's all it would take to understand. "Gone with the Wind." The same solution works equally well with the Bible. If you just read the book, we can't send you a Bible, but we can help you understand it with the keys explained in this free booklet. Read the Book. For your free copy of "Read the Book," write to Ambassador College Box 345 GPO Sydney.

[Tape seems spliced here.]

   Now, if your religion does do those three things for you, tell me where you came from and how you got in your present state of being. If you [inaudible] and it gives you a means of grace, and I do people. But by the status move, there is such a thing as being religion materialism theirs a religion revolution. Other religions, bringing by this definition, atheism, and evolution. I believe in no God in the sense of religion. As a matter of fact, in many programs I've done on the subject of evolution, I have quoted evolutionists among them. George Gaylord Simpson and many other famous names and have actually stated that it was Antarctica of faith that there is no God. That the evolutionary idea is as much an acceptance of something which cannot be demonstrated in food, the beginning of a first cause, no matter what name they put to it, they begin with laws, order, a universe, the actual functioning of those laws along lines that are immovable and seemingly unchangeable and so on. But they are not willing to acknowledge that a creation requires a creator. That order requires a great law giver one who maintains that orderliness and that they think that randomness is the author of order, which is ridiculous to the human mind.

   But to some, atheism is a religion based on no God but themselves, their whims fancies in the changing mores and trends of society and the dictates of course, of their own conscience. And the one guy that can say, I don't have a conscience, therefore, I live free is the guy who is said to be a free thinker. All of us really are affected by the religion of materialism though. Its preachers tell us that our armpits are damp, right? That we're getting a little bit too fat. We should be slim. Our breath is foul. Our wash is gray and our car is inadequate and we have to keep up with the standard, not of Christ, but of the Jones next door. That's the religion of Madison Avenue materialism. It's a religion that comes to you in advertising in those fields more consistently than perhaps in any other fashion. It's amazing to me the way people have the attitude they view toward religions as opposed to doctors. It's really unpopular to disagree with anything that a doctor says, especially a doctor of medicine.

   Now, there are all kinds of doctors. There are hundreds of different and thousands of doctors and dozens of different kinds, I guess, or at least 10 or 20. But, once a doctor says he does it or a doctor recommends it or doctors do why Madison Avenue comes on these two babes are talking about it and they're talking about this product. You've seen it. You know, it drives me out of my mind. This one says most doctors do, it says doctors do. That's like saying God does. And so we're going to rush out and buy this product.

   So the idea, the way to achieve saintly excellence is to be good or better than your neighbors to become happy, robust, sexually appreciated being people with dry arms and the right car and of course wet is out either under your arms or on your head. Here's the wet head, here's the dry head, wet head, dry head, wet head, dry head. I think they look better wet sometimes. Anyhow, this is sort of a holy sacrament of buying their product and Madison Avenue religious terminology of buying my product. And it's a kind of a faith. It's faith that if you go to the drugstore, the department store, the grocery store and you buy this product, all will be well, something good is no, I don't want to say that.

   Consider the religion of evolution, which is a faith. It teaches us where we all came from, reports to. That's what true religion is supposed to do. Where did we come from? According to evolution, we know where we began with purple polka-dotted bubbles in the sea. We came from cracks in rocks and I know that some wives say husbands you worm and maybe they think that's where you creep. You know, you came out of a crack in a rock. That's what evolution says. It gives us a goal. Nowhere beyond the now, however, the goal is the possession of material accumulations of goods. It tells us what we must do to attain that goal. Nothing a lie cheek scramble over the heads and shoulders of the other people jerk the rug out from one of the boss, knife the boss in the back, whatever.

   Life becomes meaningless without purpose and goals subject only to the changing whims and mores of passing societies with the evolutionary concept. So just as mass media peddles its products and I think it's a good word, recognize Christianity, which I prefer to call sometimes churchianity peddles its own brand of products.

   People today basically are becoming disillusioned with religion. The average person is a little unhappy or dissatisfied with his church. Many people ask preachers, questions and preachers can't answer those questions because increasingly there is a new disease I call biblical illiteracy which afflicts even preachers and practitioners of the Bible. They don't seem to know what the Bible is all about, where to find certain aspects of teaching of the Bible. And they are like guides that get lost 100 yards off the forest trail. As long as you stick to a few cherished verses and passages, some of them are on safe ground. Wander off of that let the Bible fall open to some obscure place in the book of Nahum or Micah, as mine just did and they're lost. What's that? And I don't know what it means and how do you explain it and expound it, it's easy to expound and explain the Bible. I'll take you up on that. I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll show you a verse, it is one of the most cherished of all in the entire Bible if you would like to write quickly and we will see that practically nobody believes this scripture.

   And that is quote; for God so loved the world. John 3:16 that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, right there, all of what I will call organized churchianity jumps the track. They just don't believe that, there it not a question of perishing. You're not going to perish because you got the soul inside you now pears and apples and bananas, they perish but not human beings. They got an immortal soul. No, they haven't either. The Bible doesn't say that there is nowhere in the Bible. The words immortal soul just isn't in the Bible. It says God who only hath immortality. It says the man that he is of the dust into the dust shall return. It says as by the one, speaking of the beast of the earth, so die the other. It says the soul that sinneth, it shall die. It talks about the death of the soukha or the ruach is the Hebrew word. And so it says that whosoever believeth in him should not perish. But on the opposite of that, the other hand, a complete opposite to perishing is, have eternal life.

   Even a simple scripture. Can your minister expound that to you? Can he explain that for you? What does it mean when it says perish? He's going to have to tell you this.

   Well, now dear, don't bother your pointed head. That only means your body. But that doesn't say your soul dies. I agree. It doesn't say your soul dies, not there, but it does say the soul that sinneth it shall die, elsewhere Ezekiel 18:4 and Ezekiel 18 verse 20 (Ezekiel 18:20). If you'd like to look it up.

   No ministers and religionists ought to be preaching and teaching from the Bible. They ought to turn to the Bible and expound it. They ought to be able to turn to the book of Genesis and explain what is man where he came from? Why he, that means you and I are here and where we are going. He ought to turn to the Bible and be able to explain about the Godhead. How many members are there? What does God look like? Where does he dwell? What is his plan and purpose?

   He ought to be able to turn to the Bible and explain who or what was Jesus before his human birth to expound and explain about the virgin birth, about the life, the ministry of preaching gospel according to the disciples, the final crucifixion, and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and expound it from the Bible.

   He ought to be able to show you what is a Christian and what is not, what is the Bible definition of sin and what is not. And unless your a minister can do that and do it repeatedly and answer your questions. Well, I'm not quite sure what the problem would be. If you write for these two booklets, I believe you will be able to open up your Bible, which we feel is the most ancient and most accurate record after all and look into it for yourself, there free of charge. Until next time, Garner Ted Armstrong, goodbye friends. All literature offered on the Garner Ted Armstrong program is sent free of cost to anyone requesting it. For your free copy of these booklets. What is the True Gospel and Read the Book, write to Ambassador College Box 304 5 GPO Sydney. Be sure to watch Garner Ted Armstrong again next week at this time, brought to you by Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Broadcast Date: 1977