Now that brings up the question — just what is a true, real Christian? You know, I don't think one person out of — I was going to say 1,000, I think I can say out of 100,000. I don't think one person out of 100,000 knows what a real Christian is.
The World Tomorrow — the Worldwide Church of God presents the World Tomorrow with Herbert W Armstrong... ladies and gentlemen Herbert W Armstrong.
Millions are professing to be Christians today, who have merely been deceived, and who have a false conversion, millions. Satan is a great deceiver. Now I'm not saying anything against those people, I want you to understand that. A person who's deceived can be just as honest as the undeceived person. He can be utterly sincere. If he knows he's deceived, he's isn't deceived at all, is he? If he knows he is wrong? A deceived person thinks he is right, and he can be ever so sincere, and this world is deceived. Satan is so cunning that he has been able to do that, and to deceive this whole world. Well, what then is a real Christian? What is real conversion? Is it joining a church? There are thousands and millions that are members of churches that are called Christian churches, in traditional Christianity, that don't even know what real conversion is. Just saying, "I accept Christ as my savior" does not get anyone really converted. No, there are many who join a church, many who have said, "I accept Christ," but there's much more to it than that. Now let me give you a Bible definition. Turn to the 8th chapter of the book of Romans. Romans 8, and beginning with verse 6 (Romans 8:6): "For to be carnally minded is death," and will lead to death, "but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, because the carnal mind..."
Carnal Mind Is Enmity Against God
That's the natural mind we're born with. A carnal mind isn't necessarily an evil mind, necessarily. It often is, but there are people we think are good people in the world too, and they still have carnal minds. "...is enmity," that is, hostile, "against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can be." You know that one of the tests of the churches that call themselves traditional Christianity is that they are hostile against the law of God? And they talk against it, and they all have nothing to do with it? They say, "It's all done away, Christ came and did it away." Well, they are not true. I won't say they're liars, because I think they don't know any better. But Jesus said, "I have kept my Father's commandments," and he said, "I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done." So then, "They that are in the flesh," that's this normal flesh, the way we're born, and to the kind of mind we're born with, "cannot please God. But he," you, "are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ," which is the same as the spirit of God, it's the same spirit, "he is none of his." Every human being is born with a spirit within him. Now that spirit is mere spirit essence, just like water or air is essence, it's not a person, it's not a ghost. It isn't anything of the kind; it's just some spirit that is in. It can't see, it can't hear, it can't think, but it imparts the power of intellect to the human brain. The human brain is really no different from an animal brain. You take the brains out and examine them, look at them, and of course the brains of elephants, of whales, and of dolphins are larger than the brain of a human being. The brain of a chimpanzee is almost as large, and they're just about as good in every way. There's not really very much difference, and yet the human mind has thousands of times the output of an animal brain. That is because this spirit acts as a computer. It is your brain that sees through the eye, it is your brain that hears through the ear. I've said this time and time again, and I need to say it more and more, because you're not hearing it from anybody else. And the knowledge that comes to your, into your brain, comes through the eyes, the ears, or some of it through the sense of smell or taste or feel. But as fast as that knowledge enters the brain, it is automatically programmed into, or recorded, in that spirit. And the spirit acts like a computer, and gives you automatic recall. Now, the point I want you to get is this — that the spirit itself can't see or hear, and all the knowledge has to be knowledge that comes through the sense of sight or feel or hearing or taste or smell. Now you can't see spirit. You can't hear spirit, it doesn't vibrate or make noise. You can't smell or taste or feel spirit. How are you going to know anything about spirit? The answer is: you don't, normally and naturally. You just don't. But that spirit in man, then, brings instant recall of whatever you have seen, and it's all physical knowledge. Now with that, and that alone, you can't know anything, and pretty soon I'm going to show you what the Bible says about it, the things of God you can't understand. That's the carnal mind that is hostile against God, is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. I don't know, it's like Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 17 and verse 9 (Jeremiah 17:9), that "the heart of man," or the human mind, "is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Now we're born with a mind that takes on that type of character. Now we're not born with that character, I hasten to add that.
Satan Broadcasts Is Attitude Of Get
What Satan broadcasts is merely in the sense of attitudes, or feelings, or impulses. And he broadcasts in the attitude of get, the attitude of selfishness, of vanity, exalting the self, having, saying, "Well, I'm going to look after Number One, who else will if I don't?" But now, if you don't have the Holy Spirit, you are none of Christ's. Let's get back to that, and I'll come to these other things in due time. "You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ," which is the same as the spirit of God, "he is none of his." He is not Christ's, he is not a Christian without the Holy Spirit, which is another spirit. Adam was made with one spirit. He was made to need another spirit. Have you ever read how there were the two trees in the Garden of Eden, and one was the Tree of Life? But Adam never took of that tree. He decided to take to himself of the other tree, of the knowledge of what is good and what is evil, instead of listening to God and believing what God said is good and what is evil.
Now there's a duality to everything. There's the carnal spirit in man, there's the Holy Spirit of God. And we need the Holy Spirit of God added to the one spirit that we were given at birth. You need both. The spirit of man in itself is not wrong, but as I say, Satan begins pumping into it, through the human eyes, and through the human spirit, into the consciousness, that attitude of get and selfishness and greed. Now there is a definite time, get that, when you first receive the Holy Spirit. And yet, that is only a start. From that point on, conversion is a gradual process. Now when people hear me say that conversion is a gradual process, they get angry, and they say, "Well, there is a time when you're converted." If you have received the Holy Spirit, you are definitely already a Christian, but you're not going to remain a Christian very long if you don't do as Peter said in II Peter 3:18, "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." That spirit is given to you to use. Why does almost nobody understand the very purpose of the Christian life? I said the purpose was to develop in us God's holy and righteous character, that God is reproducing himself, and it can't be developed all at one bound. We start when we receive the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus proclaimed in parables, the message of the kingdom of God, and I'd like to turn to one of them, because this illustrates what I mean when I say there's a duality now, to salvation.
Receiving The Holy Spirit Is Only The Beginning
First is a time when you first receive the Holy Spirit, but that's only the beginning. Let me show you, it is exactly like human reproduction. Every human being has been born in this way. In the ovary of the one who became the mother of the child, was an ovum. That ovum was given life to, impregnated, by the sperm cell from the one who became the father. Now that ovum, of itself, had no life in it until the life was imparted by the male sperm cell from the father. And when it did, a life was started, just like when we first receive the Holy Spirit, a spiritual life has been started within you. But that's all, it's only a start. It's not the finish. And consequently, we call it at that stage, in physical gestation you might say, we call it an embryo. It doesn't have a form and shape; it doesn't look like a human being yet. But after about three months, then it begins to take on a human form, and you find that a human head begins to be formed, and a body, and arms and legs and so on. And that time on, it is called a fetus. Now then, there is a nine-month period during which it must grow, and must be fed. Now before I go further, let me go back now to Luke 19, one of the parables of Jesus, beginning with verse 11 (Luke 19:11). "And as they heard these things, Jesus added and spake unto them a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." Now they thought the kingdom of God was going to come right then in their lifetime. Well, it wasn't. It is going to come in our lifetime now, however, because all the signs in the world are there. "And he said therefore, a certain nobleman," which represented him, himself, "went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom." In other words, the far country was Christ going to heaven, to the throne of God. "And he called his ten servants and delivered them ten pounds," that's a pound for each one, "and said unto them, Occupy till I come. And it came to pass, when he was returned..." He'd gone to heaven. Now when he returns, it's picturing the Second Coming of Christ. "Having received the kingdom," which he will have received when he comes. "Then he commanded the servants to be called unto him," to whom he had given the money. Now he gave a pound to each one. A pound is the unit of English money, and what it represents then, is a unit of the Holy Spirit of God, that he gave to each one. Now Christ had the Holy Spirit, wholly, completely, not by measure, but we receive the Holy Spirit by measure. When you receive the Holy Spirit, you'd don't receive all, a full measure of the Holy Spirit all at once, but you increase in the spirit of God as you grow and develop. It's just like the unborn child, as the embryo and the fetus that I explained in the womb of the mother, is not ready to be born until it grows up a little bit. And they call that growing period the period of gestation. And the Christian is in the period, spiritually, of gestation. Now notice this: "When he returned, having received the kingdom," then he called these various ones to him to see what they had done with that pound he gave them. And "then came the first, and said, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds." He had multiplied the pound up to ten pounds. In other words, what it is representing is it's an analogy, or a parable, and it means that the amount of the Holy Spirit God starts you with, the unit of the Holy Spirit, this man had multiplied it ten times over. He had developed. He had been growing in grace and knowledge, and he had more of God's Holy Spirit now, because he'd been giving, he'd been helping, he'd been doing. He was one that was backing the apostles in the church. He was giving out, he was praying, he was close to God. Well, "he said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. Be thou over ten cities." Now, we're not saved by our works, but we're rewarded according to our works. If he had only gained one pound, he would get into the kingdom, but he would only be put over one city. He wouldn't get as great a reward, but he probably would get his salvation. But I want you to notice, he said, "You have been faithful over a little, now I'll put you over a whole lot in the kingdom. You'll be over ten cities." He, by this life, by giving, by developing the Christian character within him, had qualified in the resurrection, when he will be born as God, to be a ruler over ten cities. Now he called for the second one. Well, he said, "Lord, I didn't do as well as he did, but I have gained five pounds." He multiplied what he had five times over. Well, that's growing, it just wasn't growing as much. So the Lord said, "You'll rule over five cities." Well then, he finally called for the other one, and he said, "Well, Lord, I didn't gain anything. I just thought when I received the Holy Spirit, I was saved, and that's all there is to it, and I didn't grow spiritually. I didn't develop spiritually. I didn't develop character or anything." And the Lord says, "Take away from him the pound he has, and give it to the one who has the ten pounds." And that is the parable that explains how we must grow in this Christian life.
Now back to the Holy Spirit again. Just what is the Holy Spirit? Well, first of all, the Holy Spirit is the impregnation of immortal life, or the life of God. Now it is just like each one of us is an ovum. I told you that our life, the life of every one of us, started from an ovum in our mothers. But it had to have life imparted to it by a sperm cell from the one who is our father, in every case. Now each of us is an ovum, and to be born spiritually, we must have life imparted to us by the spiritual father, who is God. And when the Holy Spirit comes, that joins with our spirit, and then we are begotten of God. It is only a begettal, just the same as the begettal in the physical sense of a human child. Now let's turn next to I Corinthians the 2nd chapter, and beginning with verse 9 (I Corinthians 2:9). "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." In other words, it hasn't entered into your brain, and then into the spirit through the eye, or through the ear, or through the sense of smell or taste or any way, the things that God has prepared. Because that'll be the spiritual things, and you can't see them, you can't smell them, or taste them, or feel them. Then it says, "But God has revealed them unto us." How? "By his spirit," and you can't know the things of God without the spirit of God. Now let's read on right here. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit." One of the first things the Holy Spirit will do, when it comes into you, is to reveal the spiritual knowledge. Now first of all, it begets you as a child of God. But then it's more than that. "For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him?" That's that one spirit I told you about, we all have it, that we're born with. "Even so, in the same manner," it's an exact parallel, or type, "the things of God," the spiritual knowledge, the things of God, no man can know without the Holy Spirit. Now the greatest minds in the world don't know those things, and that's the way it is. Now we have to be fed on that spirit with food through the word of God, to grow spiritually. Now what is the Holy Spirit? First, it is the impregnation of immortal life, God life. Second, it is the spirit of knowledge and understanding of spiritual things. It is an attitude; it gives you now the attitude of give, instead of the attitude of get. Instead of the attitude and the way of Satan, it now gives you the attitude and the mind, and the way, of God. What is the Holy Spirit? Thirdly, it is the love of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law, but in Romans 5:5, I think you'll notice the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. The love of God is imparted to us through the Holy Spirit. Now you don't have the kind of love that is required to really love God, but God fills you with his love through the Holy Spirit, and you let part of that go back to God in love toward God, and you let part of it go out in love toward man, and concern for your fellow man and his welfare. Now, the fourth manifestation of the Holy Spirit is the faith of Christ. People say, "Well, you know, I just don't have enough faith to get an answer to prayer. I just can't seem to work up the faith." No, you can't. Faith is something you can't work up. It's something God can give you through the Holy Spirit. You don't have faith, of yourself. God has it, Christ had it when he was here. He had the faith to walk on water; he had the faith to turn water into wine. He had the faith to heal the sick and to cast out demons. That same faith, God will put in you through his Holy Spirit. That's another thing that very few people seem to realize. Notice here in the 2nd chapter of Galatians. Galatians the 2nd chapter, in the 16th and 17th verses (Galatians 2:16-17): "Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law..." Now that word "works" comes from the Greek word "ergon," and it means physical labor, and it's talking about a physical law, and therefore it is talking about the physical rituals that they performed morning, noon, and night in ancient Israel, which was a substitute for the Holy Spirit which had not come to them at all yet. So you're not justified by rituals of the law, "but by the faith of Jesus Christ." Now get it — not your faith in him, but by Christ's own faith put in you through the Holy Spirit. "Even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ." That's a different faith, that's a divine faith that God gives you through his Holy Spirit. Very few people seem to understand that.
Overcomers To Reign And Rule With Christ
Now notice all the things that I've told you the Holy Spirit is. There's so many things here. First, it is the impregnation of immortal life from God, that it begets you as a child of God. Second, it is the spirit of understanding, the attitude of give instead of get. Third, it is love that is put in you, divine love that God gives you, his love. And fourth, it is faith, the faith that was in Christ, that God gives you. And fifth, it is the power to overcome Satan, to overcome the way of get in your own life, and to grow spiritually. Now it is the overcomers who are going to reign and rule with Christ. In Revelation the 3rd chapter and verse 21 (Revelation 3:21), you will read that Jesus said, "He that overcometh," and he means overcoming Satan, "shall sit with me on my throne." But we have to overcome if we're going to reign with Christ. Then in Revelation 2, verses 26 and 27 (Revelation 2:26-27): "He that overcometh will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron" when Christ come to rule all the nations. We are going to rule with him. Daniel said that the kingdom will be given, and the power of government, to the saints of the Most High. And it will be, at that time. The saints are going to rule the whole Earth. Now that, you'll find here in the 5th chapter of Revelation and verse 10 (Revelation 5:10): "Made us kings unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall reign on the Earth," not reign up in heaven as some seem to think, but reign on the Earth for 1,000 years. Now I was going to go on and just answer another question. I'll save that for another time. Do Christians ever commit sin, once they're converted? People will say, "Well, I don't think that person's a Christian. I've seen him do something that is wrong." Well, let me tell you, every Christian does sin, and if you say you don't, you're a liar. That's what God says. I'll show it to you in I John, the 1st chapter (I John 1:8). But, the Christian doesn't mean to sin, and he doesn't want to do it. But maybe Satan has overcome him. Maybe it's some old habit, and he hasn't broken it yet, and maybe that's going to take a little time, and all of that. Well, that's something else, and that's a whole message in itself. So until next time, I will just say, this is Herbert W. Armstrong, and remember, just address your request for the free literature to me: Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California. Until next time, goodbye.
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.