Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.
Well, greetings everybody, once again. I might announce, now, I do not plan to be with you next Sabbath. I'm planning to be in Oklahoma City to speak to the brethren of the combined Churches in that area of the country. But I'm here when I can be. THE ANCIENT ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS SELF LOVE THE TWO WAYS ONE GOD - TWO PERSONS YOUTH 81 MATERIAL SOUL & THE SPIRIT IN MAN MAN LIMITED TO PHYSICAL KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE STORED IN SPIRIT OF MAN THE TWO TREES PRINCIPLE OF WHAT SIN IS RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN EDUCATION IN THIS WORLD IS PHYSICAL GOD IS NOT CALLING THE WORLD NOW THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT MAKE UP WHAT IS SIN? PHYSICAL SIN - SPIRITUAL SIN LETTER OF LAW VS SPIRIT OF LAW SMOKING MAJORING IN THE MINORS
There are newspaper headlines at this time of the year that say that there's a great increase in crime. There's a great increase in shoplifting in stores, just stealing, running into hundreds of millions of dollars, all over the nation. There's an increase in murders, in the home, other places. Christmas is a time of merry-making but they usually use alcohol and other stimulants to make themselves merry, and it leaves them rather dead after it's over. Why do they do it? They don't know. Why does it influence such a great portion of the people?
A lot of people think that Christmas started with the early Church, or that it's in the Bible. There's not a word in the Bible about it. In fact, the Bible is very careful to conceal the date of the birthday of Christ. No one knows when He was born. We do know this much about it. It was before the winter season. It was while the sheep were still out in the pasture; and they were always corralled, oh, from six to eight weeks before Christmas and brought in, and were not out with the shepherds watching over them. It was not observed by the first century Church. It was not observed by the apostles. People don't understand where the Church got it! The Church didn't get it for 300 years, in the fourth century before it came into the Church. And it came from an ancient pagan custom. They got it from the ancient pagan customs back as far as ancient Egypt.
There's an ancient Egyptian sculpture. We have a picture of it in our booklet, What do you mean Christmas? (and Why do People Observe Christmas?). Now if you haven't read that recently, and most of us have not… We've been taking this thing for granted. We've understood the truth about Christmas in this Church; and we suppose, well, we understand it. Perhaps we ought to read it all over again. You ought to get that booklet and read it once again. And in it, there is a picture of an ancient Egyptian sculpture of a Madonna and Child. In other words, it is the Sun god of Horus and his mother-god Semiramis. And Horus actually was the Nimrod of the Bible. So the ancient Egyptians got it clear back from the time of Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis.
The first time I ever visited in Cairo, Egypt, I think it was in 1956; and my wife and I stayed in the Semiramis Hotel. I think it's been torn down now, and they're building a new Semiramis Hotel there. (And even the Hilton Hotel where we stayed this year, and I've stayed a number of times before, is beginning to look a little bit old now. It isn't new any longer. But it's been built since our first visit there.) There are hotels named after Semiramis in a number of Middle Eastern cities. There's one as I remember in Damascus, The Semiramis Hotel. Semiramis was the famous mother-wife, the goddess who was the sun-goddess. And it goes clear back in your Bible to the tenth chapter of Genesis.
Now the tenth chapter of Genesis gives us the genealogy of the sons of Noah, and I'd like to read you just a little bit of it.
Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham…
Ham was one of the sons of Noah. He had Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Genesis 10:6 ..the sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, and Phut and Canaan.
Genesis 10:8-9 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. (9) He was a mighty hunter before the [ETERNAL]: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the [ETERNAL]:
That is, he put himself before God, the Creator. He put himself as Number One on the Earth, as the greatest man. But he was more or less ruled by his mother-wife, Semiramis.
Genesis 10:10-11 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, [the tower of Babel and later the city of Babylon, which was the first capital of the first real empire in the world] and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (11) Out of that land went forth Asshur, and [he] builded Nineveh…
Now, of course, Assyria is named after Asshur or Assyria. "He builded Nineveh," which is probably the oldest city still remaining in the world today. I've been there.
Genesis 10:11-12 …[He] builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, (12) And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. [It was at the time this was written, when Moses wrote it.] and Misraim begat Ludim and…
Well, it gives a few more that were children.
Genesis 10:15-16 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, (16) And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
the Jebusites were the first settlers in what is now called Jerusalem; and David went up among the Jebusites and started building Jerusalem. The Jebusites were there in the days of Abraham. So it goes clear back to that time, just after the Flood.
Now you would think that people would have learned their lesson in the Flood, but there's a reason why they didn't. They didn't learn any lesson at all about God. But some knowledge of God had been passed on. We read in the New Testament that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain from the foundation of the world. Now they knew something about that. It was sort of known that the Messiah would ultimately come from a virgin mother. That he would be both man and God. That he would be born of a human virgin, a human mother.
Semiramis claimed that she was that mother; and she married her own son, Nimrod. He became great. He built cities, but he was a ruler. He wanted to be the big "I Am." He wanted to be the "Big Boss." But he had more skill and more ability than most others. He was the first one, when they were driven to fear of animals, to start building a city with a wall surrounding it. And originally, walls around cities were built to protect the people from the wild animals when there weren't very many people on the Earth back in the early days of mankind. But Semiramis is a type of evil. And she called her son "the sun god," and she developed a religion. She claimed to be the virgin; and Nimrod became a sun god and was worshipped. And then it got in to the ancient Egyptian worship of Isis and Osiris and the ancient gods of ancient Egypt.
Well, if you've ever studied a type of psychology that I remember studying when I was into my early twenties: there was a book of psychology that came out at that time, and it really had a lot of psychology that the modern psychologists are not teaching in the universities today. It taught about self and what self is. It taught about an empire-ical self. Now, there's no such word in the dictionary. There's a word "empirical." That's a different word with a different meaning. But he meant "empire-ical" from the sense of an empire.
Your self is a sort of an empire. Now it includes, first, whatever is yours, whatever is closest to you—your clothes; the house you live in (if it's yours), then your children, maybe even your mother and father (you call them yours—your mother, your father), whatever you call yours. Then it extends on to even your relatives. Then, as you grow up in your teens, you get interested in sports. Your team is part of self, and your team is against the other team. It's always competitive. Self is against whatever is not self. Your team is self; and therefore you love that to that extent, instead of loving the one that it's in competition against. Now, you can carry that on; and you see, in the case of war, your country is part of self. That's why people are willing to go to war and even die; for their country. It's dying for self-love; and self-love is the very essence of sin, and it started from the very, very beginning.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.
And Elohim means more than one Person, but only one God. God was like a family. You read of it in the New Testament, the Word and God—"And the Word was with God;" and the Word was a Person, and God was another Person. They were two Persons, but They formed God. They formed Elohim; and, in
Genesis 1:26 And [Elohim] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
God was going to reproduce Himself. Now God, we find, is a Spirit. He is composed of spirit. He has immortal, everlasting life. He doesn't have physical life that comes from the Earth. He has Spirit-life that is life inherent. He could not be killed; He cannot die; He is everlastingly alive. And even of Christ—who was the Word, made flesh and born of the virgin Mary—we read in Hebrews that He was "without father, without mother, without descent having neither beginning of days, nor end of life," [Hebrews 7:3]; but has ALWAYS existed. And your mind won't conceive of that. Neither does mine, for that matter. We just have to accept it. Life had to always exist. Where did life come from?
I remember when I was just a teenager there was a magazine called Youth Home Companion; I don't think any of you remember of that—only be some of the real oldest ones of you, if any of you do. It was a little larger magazine. It had been going for some time, and it probably had even a bigger circulation than ours which is just distributed among the youth of our own Church. But it's going to go bigger.
I know the thing just came up recently: in a letter that I was writing to the entire subscription list of The Plain Truth (and the entire subscription list runs into about 4 million, it's only—However it's over 2 million just in the United States alone and Canada). And in offering them a booklet, I just mentioned Youth 81; and, if they have a youth or a teenager that would like to see a good magazine for young people, "Why don't you write in for a sample copy?" You know the question came up: "Should we offer it to the youth of the world?" And I said "Why not?" Why not? It'll teach them some of the good things that they ought to know. It'll teach even young people and kids something about the Sabbath. It's a most interesting magazine. But it's going to get better and better and bigger and bigger; and I hope that it will become a really big magazine, like The Plain Truth is among adults.
Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …
But He didn't make man of the same immortal spirit that God was composed of, because God formed man of the dust of the ground as you read in
Genesis 2:7 And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man [from the dust of the ground] became a living soul.
And so the soul came out of the ground: the soul is material; the soul is not spirit. And yet God did put a spirit in man! The spirit in man works with the brain in man.
Animals have brains, and just as good as human brains. And some of them even larger: elephants and dolphins and whales have larger brains; others slightly smaller, some of the monkey family, the anthropoid ape and so on. But they can't use their brains like a human can because there's no spirit in them—to give them instant recall of knowledge, and to record and file it, and to be like a computer; to keep it recorded and give instant recall, so you can put this and that and the other fact of acquired knowledge together with other facts and in a process we call reasoning and thinking.
Man thinks. At least he thinks he thinks. But do animals really think? They can't think and reason like we do, come to conclusions and make decisions, think creatively, plan. God has given us a mind like God. Now God has a mind, but man's mind is limited in a way that God's mind is not. Now I'm going back to this original teaching again, but every time God may give me another little part of this story that I didn't get over to you before. For example, a part of what God has given man is to comprehend things that animals cannot. Now man has a mind that can acquire knowledge of the physical and the material, things that he can see. Now he can only see matter.
Matter can be present in three forms: (1) the solid form—like wood, like stone, iron or ice; (2) the liquid form—like water; (3) the gaseous form—like air. Water below 32 degrees Fahrenheit becomes solid, ice. Above 212 degrees Fahrenheit it evaporates and becomes vapor or air, a gaseous form. And so the Earth even includes all the Earth's atmosphere, up including the clouds. That's part of the Earth. The Bible speaks about "on the Earth" and "in the Earth" and uses such terms. We sometimes don't realize that the Bible really does distinguish on those things.
And most of the great progress in even physical, material areas has been in this twentieth century, since many of us were born. And I was born before this century, eight years before this century even started. I very well remember the midnight when the old century passed out and the new one came in and I was sitting in a Methodist Church and they kept me awake. It was the church that my Grandpa and Grandfather belonged to. They were having a watch-night service to see the old century out and the new century in. I couldn't see any sense to that century in and out. I was seven and a half years old; and I wanted to doze off and go to sleep, and my father would shake me and wake me up, or he would thump me right beside the ear to keep me awake, and I didn't see any sense in that at all. But finally midnight came, and I was able to let them take me home and put me to bed. But I do remember it very well. I don't think very many of you here remember that because you've all been born in this century; I mean, most of you have, certainly.
Now the Tree of Life was also a tree of knowledge. So each was a tree of knowledge. One of revealed spiritual knowledge. The other of self-acquired human knowledge—physical, limited to the physical and material. The one revealed by God, spiritual. One was a Tree of Life, the other a Tree of Death. Very few people have ever understood that. Adam had to make a decision. The one tree represented the Way of Life, which was the way of righteousness, God's revealed spiritual law, the way of righteousness. The other represented the way of sin. And, brethren, I say to you that today EVEN SOME OF THE MINISTERS IN THIS CHURCH DON'T KNOW WHAT SIN IS!! IT'S TIME FOR US TO WAKE UP! I am absolutely astounded that some of us still don't know what sin is!
Now, it all started back there. Christmas has something to do with it. I'll try to explain that as I go along. But one of those trees represented righteousness, a way of life, and the other a way of life that was sin and would result in death. The way of righteousness would result in eternal life; the way of sin would result in death. Is that plain? They were both trees of knowledge. One was life; the other was death. But even we in this Church seem not fully to know what sin is.
The Tree of Life was a Way of Life, but it's a way. Humans do not come equipped with instinct like animals. For example, you see a little calf born. In less than two or three minutes, it's on its four legs walking. A human baby born cannot learn to walk until about one year of age. Close to twelve months before, and some even longer than that perhaps. But a little baby calf knows how to walk immediately in the first two or three minutes of its birth, of its life. And it knows where to go. It goes for its dinner; and it knows how to suck milk; and it knows where to find it. A human baby doesn't. A human baby can't take care of itself at all. Someone has to feed it and has to teach it how to suck milk even. You have to take care of everything with a baby until its old enough to be taught how to take care of itself. Eliminative processes. Everything else. That's why we have to have diapers for babies until they're old enough to learn to take care of themselves.
The Tree of Life represented a way, or an attitude of mind. Now humans are not led by instinct. They are led by the mind. And the Tree of Life is a state of mind, or an attitude of mind, that leads to an action that is the Way of Life—the way of righteousness. Now it all originates in the attitude of mind. It finally conceives into an action, which is sin. James will tell you what sin is. When you're tempted, and if you retain the thought and the temptation, finally it turns into the action that finally is sin. But it starts first in the mental attitude, or the mind, which decides what to do. Now, the way of righteousness is one way, and the other way is sin; and we need to learn the difference between those two ways in a way we don't seem to understand even yet.
It's an attitude of mind and heart, and it is the attitude of out-flowing love. Now let me say this. The law of God can be expressed in one word only—love. But love is never incoming. That is not love. That is lust. Love is always flowing out, toward God first of all. That's more important than toward neighbor, but also toward your fellow man. That is the very essence of righteousness and sin. It is an attitude of mind that leads to an action. Now let's get that straight because it seems that we haven't gotten it straight yet. And it's out-flowing love, first of all to God, that is more important—but the world doesn't think that's of any importance.
Now the world started off with Adam; and he chose the way of get, the way of vanity and of self. Now I explained self a while ago. It includes everything you call self. But it's self in self-love.: "I love me, I don't care about you. I'm, well, I'm bigger than you are." "My old man can lick your old man." You ever hear a young kid say that? "My old man's bigger than yours." Well it's mine! It's part of self—his old man—isn't it? (I hope we teach our kids to not call their fathers "old man." You ever think about that? You ever teach your children?)
Now, we've had too many men and MINISTERS in this Church; they've gone through Ambassador College. I guess it's all my fault, brethren. I should have taught all of the students better in the first year of College. I couldn't think of all of these things. I haven't done a perfect job. I'm just an ordinary human being. I felt, when I was converted, I was a burned out hunk of human junk not worthy to be thrown on a junk pile. But I learned that giving is better than getting, and that that's God's way. And I gave myself to Jesus Christ who bought and paid for me. I told Him I couldn't see what He could ever do with me and how He could ever use me; but, if He could, I would give myself to Him.
I've tried to do that, and I have not done it perfectly. I haven't given myself to Him perfectly. I've retained a little bit of self along the way, I'm ashamed to say. But I will say this: So have you, every one of you. Not one of you can say you haven't. So we've all done that. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"—every one of us! Oh, yes, I'm a sinner saved by grace the same as everybody else. So actually it gets down to the attitude. And the attitude is that you really want to give yourself to God. You want to serve Him. You want to give rather than get, GIVE yourself to Him. And that was my attitude, and I haven't changed that as a basic attitude.
There were already many habits that had developed that I didn't overcome right away. Some of them I overcame right away. Others took a little longer. Perhaps some of them haven't been totally overcome yet! I hope that before I die, that I shall have overcome every habit. I can only do that through the help, the grace and the power of the Living God. Of myself, alone, I cannot do it. Of yourself, alone, you cannot do it. But we can WILL to do the right thing; we can PRAY to God and, in enough prayer and enough submission and enough keeping in constant contact with God, He will put His Spirit in us and, through His Spirit, He will make us righteous. And we can't do it by ourselves. We need to get into this sin question. Actually, in Hebrews, we learn that we shouldn't have to begin back at these elementary things.
But you have to give, and there's a great responsibility that accompanies it. So the average family neglects the teaching of their child until he's seven years old; and then they send him to school, and let the schools teach him. And what do the schools teach? Just whatever is come from the way of Adam, only materialistic and physical knowledge, the way of get as against the way of give; and they don't know of any other way. "The way of righteousness they know not." And they don't teach the way of righteousness in first grade, second grade, third grade in school; or in high school, or in college, or in universities. They don't know anything about it.
It isn't true that all, whosoever will, may come. That is NOT true. You know, that occurs in the Bible in one place; and that's over in the last book of your Bible—after the Millennium, after Judgment, after the Day of Judgment, after judgment has come to the world. It hasn't come to the world yet! It is not true now that "whosoever will" may come to Christ. They cannot.
Now, the world doesn't know that. The churches in the world don't know that. The Methodist Church doesn't know it; the Roman Catholic Church doesn't know it; the Baptists don't know it; the Church of Christ doesn't know it; the Pentecostal people don't know it. They just know how to yell, "Glory, hallelujah! I'm better than you are; and when you get the spirit, like I got it, then you'll be as good as I am. I exalt me! I debase you!" And that is not the Holy Spirit, brethren. It just isn't.
Love to God is to exalt God (not yourself). And love, first of all, is to God, and secondly to neighbor. That is the law of God, and sin is the transgression of that law. Now what is the world that we must come out of? God tells us to come out of the world and be separate; and we're a separate people altogether. What developed from the forbidden fruit that Adam took? This world is what developed. This world developed.
Now, what is the world and what developed? And along in the world they developed this thing of merrymaking at Christmas time, but it has no meaning whatsoever when you get down to it; no meaning that is going to mean anything immortal or eternal to you, or that is everlasting. It's just merrymaking for this night. Wake up with a headache tomorrow morning—maybe in jail, if you're caught with drunk driving. And that's all the world knows. But just what do we mean? If you'll notice now
1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world [That's the teaching of the New Testament that God tells us, and we have to come out of this world and be separate. Love not the world], neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world…
What is worldliness? What is in the world? What is it? What is the way the world has gone?
1 John 2:16 …the lust of the flesh…
That is, desires of the flesh, to have things to please the different senses—the sense of sight; the sense of feel, sex; the sense of the exhilaration that you get from alcohol or you get high on drugs. Lust of the flesh, what is it? Even the taste of food. Many foods that taste good are bad for your health, and people wonder why their health is not good. They don't think about eating food that's good for their health and will keep their minds clear and their bodies in good shape. They only think of what tastes good to the palate, lust of the flesh. Brethren, I tell you, we're just simply LOADED with that; and we don't realize it.
1 John 2:16 All that is in the world, lust of the flesh…
That is, desires. Just selfish, self-centered desires of your own flesh, of the five senses. The sense of hearing. Now there's good music and bad music. And Satan has got bad music going and got all of the younger generation today on bad music. Rock and pure rock, like it's finally come, is having a very bad effect on the mind and the spirit.
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It pleases them, so they want to do it. They just want to go the way that seems to please the woman.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes [what looks pretty to the eyes], and the pride of life[vanity]...
But you tell me any reason that anyone wants to use makeup. Men don't seem to need to want to use it except in certain rare occasions, like certain men on television or on the stage. But, in general, men don't use it or even think about it. Why do women do it? They think it makes them more pretty. Lust of the eyes, because they like to see themselves in the mirror, and they think other people are going to think they look more beautiful than God made them. VANITY, pure and simple! Wanting to be like the world; because the world does it; and they want to go along. TELL ME ANY OTHER REASON and I'll begin to consider it.
Of course if someone's going to say "Well, Mr. Armstrong, I, you know, I don't do it to look more pretty-pretty. I just, I'm doing it for righteous reasons!" Don't kid yourself, please, because you'll never get into the Kingdom of God doing that. You just won't get into the Kingdom of God. Now this thing, it all has to do with an ATTITUDE! SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF, THE WRONG ATTITUDE of, love toward God (exalting God instead of the person; it means humbling the self and exalting God). A woman paints up to exalt herself. Don't tell me she doesn't. She does it because she struggles; she wants to be like the world; she wants to go along. Sheep instinct!
I don't need to say that to you people here. I think you already know it. I have heard of not one example of criticism of our women in this Church, let me say that. I'm not criticizing you people here at all. But I'm telling the way it is in general. And it has been that way in a case of the few women in a few other Churches, not in general. As a matter of fact, in the Churches of God all over the world as a whole, we've had no problem on this issue whatsoever. But there is a problem in one or two cases—one or two women, even one or two ministers—that are going to have to be dealt with; and God Almighty is going to deal with them, believe you me! But now, now get this:
1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life[vanity],is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: …
And the paint on a woman's face is going to pass away. It isn't going to last. You'll never get into God's Kingdom with it. No one in God's Kingdom's going to have to paint a face. I'll tell you why. Your face is going to shine like the very sun. Why dull it with a lot of paint? No, they won't do it. No one's going to want to!
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth…
It gets down to doing, but it starts with an attitude of mind that inspires the doing; and then you act on it. We have to think, and we have to act according to the thinking. And the mind must direct what we do, our actions. And sin is when that action, that thought, conceives into a wrong action. I'm trying to get down to the biblical definition of sin and just what is sin. It is a spiritual thing.
1 John 2:17-19 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. [I might read a little more right here.] (18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come [Now it says "the last time." We're in the last days now. We're in the very last days.], even now are there many antichrists [Why the world's full of them! All of false religions.] whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us…
Now, many went out on this very question of "What is sin?" Not necessarily just on make-up alone (that's only one), but on the whole thing in general. It just threatened to split up the Church back in 1974, and a liberalism that was coming in to God's Church.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been OF us, they would no doubt have continued WITH US.
I can't understand why some that I love so much have gone out from us. And I have to read this and say, "Well, they just probably were not really with us, or they wouldn't have gone out." That's what God said. Can I say. "Well, God. You're wrong! That's not true"? Well, God says (He says here in plain language):
1 John 2:19 [Therefore] if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us ["altogether of us"—They just were not!].
I was in Springfield, Oregon. Now, that's a little town that just adjoins Eugene, Oregon. And I believe it's across the river. Anyway, it just adjoins Eugene. I'd gone over to see someone that had asked a question for a Bible Study or something. At that time there was an evangelist from Los Angeles that drove with certain cars. They bought second-hand Cadillacs, I believe they were. They had painted in Old-English type that looked religious, you know. Made it look 'churchified' and religious, certain things that either were scriptures, or looked like it was scriptures, looked very religious. He had a tent pitched there in Springfield, and he was trying to get men to come to his meeting.
He had about five or six young men of college age. I'd say 21 or 22 years of age. Each one of them had a Bible. They were going by on the street and accosting everyone on the street. One of them accosted me and stopped me and wanted me to come to the meeting that night.
I said "Well," I said, "does your minister preach repentance from sin?"
"Oh, yes, sir. Yes, sir!" he said.
"Uh huh. Well, what does it mean? What do you repent of? What is it you quit doing? What is sin?"
"Well, Christ died for our sins."
I said, "Well, yes. I know that. I've heard that before. But" I said, "I want a definition. Is there somewhere in the Bible that says 'Sin is…' and then, just like a dictionary, gives you the definition of what it is?"
"Well," he says, "Christ died for our sins."
"Well," I said, "that's not giving me the definition."
Well, a crowd began to gather around us. And pretty soon another one of the young fellows, a half a block away, he came running over. He couldn't give me an answer. And then another one came, and he couldn't give an answer; and he ran and brought the evangelist himself there. And I said to the evangelist "I won't come to your meeting unless you know what it is—what sin is, and what I have to quit doing. WHAT IS SIN? What have I got to repent of? What have I got to turn away from? I want a Bible definition. Now," I said, "Mister, I know that you know; and I don't think you want to tell me!" He just got angry and turned and told all of his men to "Come on away from this man!"
By this time there was quite a crowd around there, and they all laughed. I said, "Well." I said, "He wouldn't give me the Bible definition." I knew that he knew, but he wouldn't tell me because he doesn't believe it! He preaches just the opposite from what the Bible says. I said, "Would you like to know what the Bible says?" "Oh, yes." they said they would. "Well," I said, "you know I just happen to have a Bible here with me in my briefcase!" [Audience laughs.] So I got out the Bible, and I turned to I John 3:4.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
He said, "Christ nailed the law to the cross, so you don't have to obey the law." "So Christ did away with sin?" I said. That's why that man wouldn't answer me. And they all looked. Well, that man didn't have a very big crowd that night because it spread all over the town. And people just didn't go to see him. But I just showed them right there in the Bible. And they said "Well, when someone knows what's in the Bible" I said, "Those fellows, they start to run don't they?" Well, he certainly did. He certainly did.
What is sin? Sin is the way Adam chose, and he rejected the law of God and the whole Law of God It is an attitude of mind that goes into the action, following that attitude, and doing the wrong way. It is a way of life; it is self; it is vanity; it is the way of get. "I love me, but I want to have and I want to acquire and I want to exalt myself. I want to glorify myself." Or a woman says "I want to make myself more beautiful than God did." Or "I want to look good in right, in the sense of others." Or maybe "I don't want to appear better than others."
You know, it's a funny thing. I know a man that I knew very, very well many, many years ago. And, you know, I'd never heard him swear or say anything like that in my life; and I had known him for many, many years. One Sunday I was over his place, and he was doing his own work on his car. He had a lot of things apart on the car and was doing his own mechanical work. A couple of other neighbors came by, and they started using slang and profanity. And this man, for the first time in my life, I heard him use profanity. He was ashamed not to use it. He knew that I stood for God's way and that that was, well, very unpleasant to me; but he did not want to have those fellows think he was better than they were.
It's just the same thing as some people say, "Well, I'm no angel!" They brag about it! See, they want the world to think, "Well, I'm just as bad as you are!" What gets into people—that is human nature—that "I want the world to think I'm like they are"? And this man began swearing a blue streak, and I never heard him swear before in my life! He was ashamed not to in front of the other guys, who did use profanity. Why is it that some people will brag about how evil they are? But you don't hear any of these teenagers, growing up, brag about how they are righteous and that they don't do those things in front of other kids. They just don't do it.
There is a law that works in your body. There are a number of systems in the body—the digestive system; the eliminative system; the nervous system (many different systems in the human body); and God devised them all and designed them. It's a marvelous mechanism. No machine that man ever designed and made is as marvelous. But something could go wrong with them.
It isn't always that you have committed a sin. You haven't always done it intentionally, and maybe you didn't know it. Or maybe you caught a germ that brought a transgression of the physical laws of your body. Maybe it was a contagious something from someone else. It might have been in the water you drink. I think that's what happened to me when I was nineteen years old, and I had typhoid fever. The only time in my life I ever went to a hospital. But it is a physical sin, and the penalty is physical suffering. And, of course, it could result finally in this physical death too—or the cessation of this physical existence.
Now there is spiritual sin. And the penalty of spiritual sin is not the first death even, but the second death. The first death—
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die…
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam ALL DIE [Not because of your own sin, but "as in Adam" all die.], so in Christ shall all be made alive [by a resurrection]."
But that's speaking of the Great White Throne Judgment resurrection. The penalty of physical sin is physical suffering. It's a physical penalty. The penalty of spiritual sin is death—or the loss of spiritual life. Now you don't have spiritual life; and the penalty is that you will die, even the second time, because you finally will just expire. But most people think of sin in the spiritual sense. So, it is the transgression of the spiritual law of God that we think of sin. I'm thinking of it from a spiritual point of view. Now spiritual sin is the violation of the PRINCIPLE. I want you to get this, brethren. We have never seemed to get it!
I tried to bring it out in the article. I believe it's come out now in The Worldwide News. The principle of love, of out-flowing love, first to God and then to neighbor! A woman, for example, who exalts herself—the lust of the eyes and what she sees in the mirror, and what she thinks others are going to see, and the desire to be like the world and to go along with the world. That is spiritual SIN! S-I-N. AND THE PENALTY IS ETERNAL DEATH—THE SECOND DEATH. Did I say that loud enough so you got it? I hope I did.
The spiritual law is applied by the principle of the law. Not by so many laws that said this specific thing is wrong, that specific thing is wrong. Now there again, they want to say, "Well…" They want to look at a specific law. I explained, in the article that I wrote, that every policeman is required to enforce six times as many laws—specific laws of do's and don'ts—as he's able to even memorize and keep in his mind. Man's law gets down to every little detail.
I mentioned that I was reminded of the cartoon of many years ago, "There Ought To Be A Law." And every day someone would come out with "There ought to be a law about this." Or they'd make another law for every little specific thing. No. God gets His one general word, love; and from there on He goes on, and you apply the principle. You apply that principle of sin.
Now it is II Corinthians. I'd like to go to that for just a moment. Now here I finally find I have it here. "The law is spiritual." But II Corinthians… (I thought I had a marker for that, and I guess I didn't. So it takes a little longer to turn to it, if I don't have it already marked.) II Corinthians, chapter 3 and beginning with verse 1, where Paul says:
II Corinthians 3:1-3 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you [That is, recommendations or some certificate or something of the kind.], or letters of commendation from you? (2) Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (3) Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink [Now, notice it's not by the letter written in ink, by a certain word.], but with the Spirit of the living God [This is the Spirit—getting down to the really, the principle of the thing involved.]; not in tables of stone [where every little detail was written out]…
And the "tables of stone" there referred to the tables that were written on stones. Not the Ten Commandments written on the two carved tables of stone, but written on whole stones—the physical laws, the ritual laws of ancient Israel, if you'd turn back to it and read it.
II Corinthians 3:3-8 …but in fleshy tables of the heart (4) And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: (5) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (6) Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, [not of the letter] but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit [maketh alive]. (7) But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones [on whole stones] was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: (8) How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
And so we come to the ministration of the spirit. In other words, we go by the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law. I want to explain that.
Now I had an example of that, and I've used it time and again. Many of you have heard this two or three times maybe, and some of you have not heard it all before. But when my daughters were in junior high, (or it might have been about eighth grade, I don't know), my elder daughter, Beverly, was inclined to read a great deal; and she was reading a lot of fiction books. And I received a letter from her teacher that she was reading so much fiction. She'd read late at night, read a whole book through. It was hurting her eyes, and her mind also; and was interfering with her schoolwork. So she was getting all those books from the school library. And I said, "Beverly, you'll just have to quit taking any more of those books home from the library. I don't want you to read them; and all this reading is hurting your eyes, and it's hurting you. You've got to stop reading so much."
Well, she was the daughter that my wife used to always say didn't need punishment. That you could just reason with her. So she didn't get any punishment for it. But the very next day, in the evening, I noticed her reading a book! I looked, and she was halfway through that book already!
I said, "Is this another book of fiction?"
"Well, yes Daddy."
"Well, I thought I told you not to read anymore of these books, Beverly."
"Well, but Daddy, you said 'Don't bring any more books home from the library.' I didn't get this book at the library. I borrowed this book from Helen. That makes it alright."
She was going by the letter of the law—not the spirit. The spirit is the obvious meaning and intent, the principle involved. You get the idea?
Now, at that time, women didn't smoke yet. Today women have a harder time getting rid of smoking than men, but at that time women hadn't started it yet. They hadn't started the advertising campaign. First they started the advertising with women right with a man who was smoking, and the woman would begin to say she enjoyed that second-hand smoke. She seemed to approve of him smoking it. And they get a little later, you know, and they show a woman just taking one puff of his cigarette; and she enjoyed it. And then the first thing you know they were having pictures of women smoking, and all the women began to do it. That's how subtly the advertising men changed the habits of women and led them into something that is, again, harmful to their bodies, harmful to their minds. That's the way of the world, leading you into it.
Well, I began to say, "What is the principle? Does the Bible say, 'Thou shalt not smoke'?" Now we've had ministers in the Church, they've gone out from among us now. They've said, "Well, if the Bible doesn't say 'Thou shalt not smoke', then it's alright. But they apply the same principle to makeup, for example. "The Bible must say specifically 'Thou shalt not use makeup'—that makeup is a sin!" The Bible isn't going to say anything of the sort.
It doesn't say anything about smoking. I said, "Why do I do it? What is the principle?" WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF GOD'S LAW? IT'S LOVE TOWARD GOD AND LOVE TOWARD NEIGHBOR. IT'S AWAY FROM SELF. It is loving God; and you have love toward neighbor, or concern for the neighbor's welfare.
Now, do I smoke to please God? No, I don't. Do I smoke to please other people? No, I don't. I do it because of habit; and other people do, and I want to be like them! Maybe some people enjoy smoke second-hand, but a lot of others don't. What about self? You love your neighbor as yourself. You want to love yourself enough to take care of this self. It's the temple of the Holy Spirit. God says, "Do ye not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?" And the Spirit of God dwells in you. And we must take care of it. That's why we love ourselves even, in the righteous manner.
And, well, I didn't know that it would bring on lung-cancer. I don't think anybody knew it back in 1927. But I did know something of the function of the lungs, and I knew that smoke going into the lungs is harmful. Now some might say, "But I don't inhale." But you still get some of it in the lungs, and I did inhale. I didn't smoke very much. I averaged three cigarettes, not three packs, a day—just only three little cigarettes. So I didn't have any problem in quitting, but I had to decide what to do. So I quit smoking.
And that's why there's no smoking in the Church. God put it in the Church through me in that manner. I applied the PRINCIPLE OF THE LAW OF GOD. That's the way we decide WHAT IS SIN? But some people want to say, "Well, isn't it alright, isn't it OK, under this circumstance? Can't we get away with it? How close can we go to Satan's way? Isn't Satan's way better after all than God's way?"
Now painting your face is Satan's way, brethren. No getting around it. Don't tell me it's God's Way. God never told anyone to do it. You think Satan's way is better? (Well, I'm wasting my breath on this Church because you don't need that here; but most Churches do. And I, I want you to get the principle just the same.)
Jesus magnified the Law. The Law is a principle. You don't have to get down to every specific thing. You know the principle of law and apply it to the circumstance. Now let's take one example that Jesus had, back in The Beatitudes.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
"The law and the prophets" meant the Old Testament writings. To verse 21, now He takes the literal law. Under the old covenant they were under THE LETTER OF THE LAW; but they had these specific things to do morning, noon and night that were only a temporary substitute for the Holy Spirit. Today we have the Holy Spirit, and we don't need the substitute. So that law of physical things is done away, but the spiritual law is not. Now He said:
Matthew 5:21-22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill [Now that's one of the spiritual laws.]; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: [Now notice how Christ magnified that law—how He applied the PRINCIPLE, not just the letter](22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
He magnified the law. It went a lot farther than just the letter of actually killing a man until his life had stopped. It went a lot farther. Now in verse 27:
Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time [Going back when they had the letter of the law.], Thou shalt not commit adultery [Unless you're caught in the very act, then it wasn't adultery; but look how He applied the principle]; (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
He magnified that law and expanded the principle. You don't have to get down to the literal letter. And people want to get to the letter; and if they can't get a single simple letter, they say, "Well, then it's okay." Well, would you rather go Satan's way? Do you think that's the better way to live for all eternity? Satan's going to live with it for all eternity; and he's the most unhappy, uncomfortable, mixed-up mind in all the universe.
This term began to be used about the time of the 1973-74 blow-up in the Church. Apparently it was a reaction to yardstick-religion which had prevailed in the skirt length, hair length, bell-bottom jeans, music controversies, and Talmudic approach to drawing a line, or spelling it out in these issues. [That is, getting down to every little detail of the "you can" and "you can't" and getting every shade of meaning.] But, true to human habit some went into the ditch on the other side from the previous ditch on the ultra-legalism. "Majoring in the minors" began to be used to refer to those in the so-called 'Old School' [which meant my teaching, on which the Church was founded, that God used to build this Church] who were strict about birthday...
Now, I found in the Bible that God's people did not observe birthdays, but the world did. And the Bible gives us an example to follow. So I set in the Church that we do not observe birthdays. Now we don't have to get down to every little picky thing. It's just a general principle. There is a general rule why the world observes your birthdays and why we don't. We don't observe the birthday of Christ. The Bible nowhere tells us to, or gives us the date of His birth. But it does give us the date of His death, and we celebrate His death! Why? Because His death cleared up our record and wiped our sins clean and reconciled us to God so we can have eternal life. And God wants us to remember that, and remember the price that was paid—that was His death.
…the second and third tithe being an absolute law for all [It is God's way; and, if we want to do God's Will, we will do it. And so it is a doctrine of the Church]; healing being an absolute promise and law of God . . .
James 5:14-15 Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Is that a definite promise? YES! And yet someone said, "There's no definite promise, so we can go to the world's way of doctors and medicines." Brethren, I want to get as far away from Satan as I can get! But we've had ministers in this Church who wanted to get as close to Satan as they could get and as far away from God as they can get, and still think they're going to kid themselves of getting into the Kingdom of God. You'll never do it in that way.
Healing being an absolute promise [I read that] of God… without trust in doctors, except in limited areas; children staying totally out of Christmas artwork and activities; makeup, etcetera; the knowledge about identity of Israel was not the key to understanding Bible prophecy
They wanted… In other words, there was there for a while ministers who wanted to do away with every booklet that I wrote, that established this Church, that BUILT this Church on a solid foundation! They wanted to knock out that solid foundation, and put a foundation of sand under the Church, and destroy the Church. Now most of them went out in 1974, and they haven't been in the Church since. There's been a liberal movement in the Church even since that, and we've been getting away from that and back onto the track since.
You were "majoring in the minors" if you spoke on health foods; prohibited anything to do with birthday parties; insisted on modest apparel among the women [You mean, instead of extra-ordinary Hollywood stuff that is unseemly?] and no long hair among the boys or men…
The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair…?
So it is A DOCTRINE OF THIS CHURCH THAT OUR MEN MUST NOT HAVE LONG HAIR. Do I have to SPELL IT OUT? Or do we want, in our hearts, to have the spirit of wanting to obey God? Do we want to "Oh No, God, I, I, I don't want to go any further than have to!" Well, I want to read one or two scriptures in closing. (I'm going to have to close. I won't have a chance to go on as far as I wanted to.) They want to partially obey God. You turn back here to I Kings 11:6 about King Solomon, the son of David.
1 Kings 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
David went FULLY after the Eternal! Today they say, "Well, I don't want to go fully after God's Way. I just want to go as far as I have to!" Brethren, God's way is to go wholly after God's way spiritually. It's an attitude. Where is your attitude? What do you really want in your heart?
Now then, God says in Revelation 18:4 to us, "Come out of Babylon." That's this world and this world's religion.
Revelation 18:4 …Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
I don't want to see you people be partakers of the plagues that God is going to visit on Babylon because of her sins, if you get into them. Now then, here's what God tells me. God says to you, "Come out of Babylon!" What does He say to me and to our preachers?
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, [Why should I lift up my voice now and then, brethren? I do.] and shew my people [God says, their sins or] their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
And we are the house of Jacob, and we have found that out.
I wanted to read a letter that I have received from a lady in South Africa; but there isn't time, so I will close it with that. I received a very nice letter from a lady in South Africa, and how her mind was opened; and she sees that it is the right way, the spirit of wanting to please God and do the things that are pleasing to Him.
Some say "Well, but, what is a husband going to think? If an unconverted husband, we have to consider what he thinks. Maybe the wife should wear makeup if he wants her to." I can't understand why any man would want his wife to wear make up, but some do. I don't understand it, I never did. I never did. I don't see how paint on a face makes that face any more beautiful. And when I kiss, I don't want to kiss a lot of paint or lipstick, either one. I just don't.
Brethren, I want to keep getting back on the track, and getting to God's way, and realize that sin is the attitude of wanting to please God. And what about… I have a letter here. I'd like to have read it. What about teenage girls coming to Church? Should we put them out because they have a little lipstick on? "We must think of them! What about them?" But we mustn't think about God, and what does He think! Oh no. We mustn't think about that, must we? Let's think about what concerns God and Christ, and what does He think about it.
I put my daughter out of Church when she came with lipstick on one day, years ago. I tried to set you an example, brethren. I've tried to set an example. I say again, "Be ye followers of me, even as I follow Christ." They always want to consider the unconverted husband, the unconverted child. Let's rear a child up in the way he ought to go, and when he's old he won't depart from it. Let's look at God's Way. Too many ministers are only concerned about "What will people say?" and "I don't want to offend people." They don't think about "What does God say?" and "We don't want to offend God." Let's look at what God says about it and go His way. Are you with me? I think you are, brethren.
Thank you very much.
THE ANCIENT ORIGINS OF CHRISTMASAt this season of the year a phenomenon is playing a very great part in the lives of almost everybody all over the world. Of course, you know, that phenomenon is Christmas. But why? You know the average person looks forward to Christmas. It's a big thing in their lives. Many people are looking forward to it throughout the year. Many people have savings plans to save up money to do some shopping, to buy presents, to trade and exchange back and forth with other people. They don't know themselves why they do it. Some people think they do it because it celebrates Christ's birthday. But even they don't look into it, and they don't really understand, or they don't know. Actually it doesn't celebrate Christ's birthday at all.
SELF LOVESo Nimrod was the ruler. He was on the principle of get: "I love me; I want to get; I want to rule over others; I want to take away from others." Now he was willing to protect others as long as he could take from them. He wanted to protect.
THE TWO WAYSSo Christmas sort of sprouted out of this Nimrod-Semiramis situation, but the origin of it all was even a great deal earlier than that. Now this world began with the first Adam. I've had a lot to say, recently, about the Two Trees and Adam. And someone will say "Well, now here goes Mr. Armstrong once again." I'm going to go back to it again and again and again, as Franklin Roosevelt used to say, because everything started at that time. This world! We need to know what this world is, because God is calling us out of this world to be separate, and we should not be part of this world. Well, what's wrong with this world? Why isn't it alright? Most people seem to think it is alright. So we get back to those Two Trees, once again, that were symbolic trees. Now I don't question that there were two actual, literal trees that really grew out of the ground in that garden, but the fact of being literal trees is not the point: it is what they symbolized, what they meant, what they represented. And they did represent something. They represented the Two Ways of Existence.
ONE GOD - TWO PERSONSNow we find in…
YOUTH 81There's a good story in the new issue (Just came out… At least I think it just came out yesterday. That's the first I saw of it) of our new magazine for youth. Well, as a matter of fact, The Plain Truth and The Good News all came out yesterday. At least, they were all delivered to my office yesterday. The new Good News, I mean the new Youth 81, (and that will be the last Youth 81, by the way. That doesn't mean we're going to discontinue the magazine either. But the next issue will be called Youth 82, and a year later it will be Youth 83, and I hope that by Youth eighty…during Youth 82 it will be ultimately twice as many pages as it is now); but this last issue is much, much better than it was six or seven months ago. It is becoming very, very good; and I'm very well pleased with it. I'm just more than pleased with it, to have a magazine like that for young people!
MATERIAL SOUL & THE SPIRIT IN MANBut of these Two Trees that were before the first man, now:
MAN LIMITED TO PHYSICAL KNOWLEDGEBut of those Two Trees before Adam, now he was only given a temporary existence. He did not have immortal life. But he was made like God; and he had a mind like God, but not as good as God's. His mind was limited to what he could see, or hear through his ear, or taste, or smell through his nose, or through the sense of feel and touch. Now, you can't see spirit. You can't feel it. You can't hear it. You can't taste it or smell it. So man was not able to learn anything about spirit. Man was limited to physical knowledge. That's why man has been able to accomplish AWESOME things in progress dealing with matter. And even then, it has taken him 6,000 years to do it.
KNOWLEDGE STORED IN SPIRIT OF MANBut now, here was Adam with a temporary existence; with a mind limited to the physical and the material. A mind that could ACQUIRE, BY ITSELF, physical and material knowledge, with a SPIRIT IN MAN that could STORE-UP that knowledge in the form of memory, could, like a computer, (which we didn't understand until the last fifteen or twenty years, before we even knew anything about such things, when the computer was invented) which would give instant recall of knowledge out of millions and millions of pieces of knowledge that were stored up there — we think in the brain, but they're actually stored up in the spirit. But very few people know that.
THE TWO TREESBut man was not given immortal life. He was only given a temporary existence. But God OFFERED him life. So one of the two trees was the Tree of Life. Those two trees—the other tree was really the way of death. It was called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; but that kind of knowledge alone, without the other kind of spiritual knowledge which could be revealed, would result in death. So it also was the Tree of Death.
PRINCIPLE OF WHAT SIN ISSo the way of love toward God is exalting God. The way of self exalts self; and that is vanity, and vanity is SIN! I'm getting down to the root PRINCIPLE of sin. WHAT IS SIN? IT'S ALL IN ONE WORD!
RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH OUR CHILDRENI said, I think last Sabbath, when a child is born we neglect our child usually. Have you neglected yours, you parents? You that are going to be parents and that are now in College, you'd better be thinking about this thing. When you're married and you begin to have children, you're taking on quite a responsibility. Most people think, well, with children, are just… In other words, well, I want to get. We just want to enjoy. We want to have. We want to enjoy children. Why do people want children? Not because they want the responsibility of taking care of them, but because they want whatever they get from that child—the love, the affection. A lot of things you get from a little child.
EDUCATION IN THIS WORLD IS PHYSICALNow, Adam chose one way—self acquired knowledge, which is materialistic knowledge. Finally, in this twentieth century, we've come to the place where many great awesome accomplishments have been made. But, on the other hand, look at the other side of the story. Look at the APPALLING EVILS in the world today. One half of the world is hungry, ill fed, living in filth and squalor, poverty-stricken. One half of the world is ignorant, illiterate; and they can't even read and write without education. And what is education? EDUCATION IN THIS WORLD IS PHYSICAL, materialistic education; and it doesn't tell you HOW TO LIVE. And it doesn't teach you what is sin. Most people think sin is doing what you think is wrong. And of your own mind you will never realize what is wrong and what is right, because you don't think like God does.
GOD IS NOT CALLING THE WORLD NOWGod's Law is the Way of Love. I'm coming to that a little more as I go along. But this world started with Adam. Adam chose the way of get. He chose the way of self. He chose the way of vanity, exalting the self. He debased God. He says, "God, get out of my life. I don't want a relationship with you!" So God shut up the Tree of Life; and it was shut up until the second Adam, Christ, came. And Christ has opened it to the few that are called, just in the Church. And to all of the others Jesus said, "No man can come to Me except the Father which sent me draws him." (John 6:44) God isn't calling the world to salvation even yet!
THE FORBIDDEN FRUITBut Adam chose the way of get, the way of vanity. I love me. And that's the way the world started out. And the world started acquiring knowledge on that way, and from that attitude of life, and knowledge about material things and how to deal with matter, with the things of the ground and the things that come out of the ground.
MAKE UPWe've have been saying something recently about make-up for women. And women just cannot see it seems… Many of them have not been able to. Well I tell you, I've learned one thing—the women of this Church (I'm just amazed and so thankful to God) it seems that we've not had a problem in this Church here. Women responded immediately as soon they found that we're trying to get back on the track in that regard.
WHAT IS SIN?Now what is sin? Isn't it funny that the world doesn't know? I've said this before and I want to say it once again and just even if I do repeat, we need to. Well, repetition is the strongest form of emphasis and sometimes some of these things need to be emphasized a little so we remember them, or we will seem to forget so easily.
PHYSICAL SIN - SPIRITUAL SINNow, talking about this thing of sin: There is both physical sin and spiritual sin. Many, even of our MINISTERS, don't seem to understand that! And many people in the CHURCH don't seem to understand that. The penalty of physical sin is physical sickness or debility of some kind, and pain and suffering that is physical. Now, physical sin is transgressing the law that normally would operate in a body that God started functioning and working. He started you breathing from your first breath, when you were born. You keep on breathing, and your heart's been pumping ever since. Your heart has not missed. It might miss a half a beat or a beat once in a while, but it goes right on. You've never missed very many, or you wouldn't still be here today.
LETTER OF LAW VS SPIRIT OF LAWNow I want you to notice in Romans 7:14. Well now, I think I have that marked in my Bible. Maybe I didn't? Romans 7:14. Anyway, it says (I won't turn to it), "The law is spiritual." I'm talking about the spiritual law when we talk about spiritual sin. The law is spiritual.
SMOKINGWhen I was first converted, in the spring of 1927 (I don't think any of you were converted prior to that time. Maybe some were. Some may have been, but I doubt it. That are here), I began to think "Is smoking wrong?"
MAJORING IN THE MINORSLet's see how time is going. I don't have enough time for a lot of the things that I wanted to say. But I'd like to read something that Mr. Dean Blackwell gave me just a day or so ago, on "Majoring in the Minors." He said,