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1 Corinthians Chapters 1 and 2
1 Corinthians Chapters 1 and 2

Bible Study – Tucson (July 26, 1980)

by Herbert W Armstrong

I thought it would be good if we started in the Book of I Corinthians. First, I would like to preface it with a few notes, which I came across last night. The next chapter to appear in the October number of the Plain Truth on this new book “A Voice Cries Out” will be ‘What and Why is the Church?’ What is the purpose and why should there be a church? I ran across a few things and made a few notes.

The “Church” in the Old Testament

I had a chapter on the Old Testament. I think that will be in the August issue. Why did God raise up Israel of the Old Testament? They were called God’s church in the 7th chapter of Acts – called the church in the wilderness. However, in the Old Testament the word is called congregation, which really means the same thing as church except usually you think of a congregation today as one local church group whereas the word church can include the entire church. However, if you look in Webster’s Dictionary, you will see that we are all wrong. A church is a building. It is a building with a very steep roof and a steeple pointing up to heaven and a cross on the face of it. It is a building where people go on a Sunday morning to hear between a 12 and 15-minute sermon and a lot of beautiful music and to be entertained and amused.

I find in the Bible it is a different thing. In the Bible, it comes from the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which means a congregation or a called out body of people. It also means a crowd or a group of people gathered together. In one case, it meant the political assembly that ruled over a city. Old Testament Israel did not ‘have the Holy Spirit. Most people don’t realize that. In fact, they don’t even think whether they had the Holy Spirit or whether they didn’t.

I was just thinking of a few scriptures that I’m going to get into about the Church. Jesus said in John 7:39 that the Holy Spirit was not yet given. That was on the Last Great Day of the festival in, I think the last year of his ministry on the earth. The Holy Spirit could not be given until Jesus himself had gone to heaven and been glorified. Another time he said it is expedient for you that I go away, and he meant go to heaven, because he said if I go not, the other comforter, the Holy Spirit will not come. So there was not Holy Spirit given to the people generally. I’m going to do a little further surveying of the scriptures to see if there is anything that will reveal the truth, whether the prophets of the Old Testament merely had the Holy Spirit externally guiding them and leading them or whether they really had the Holy Spirit internally – in other words, with the Holy Spirit of God co-mingling with the human spirit already in every human being.

In one place, David, in praying said ‘thou art with me’. But does that mean that the. Holy Spirit was only with him and not in him? I have to do a little further research before I can be sure what God reveals. I cannot decide that in my own mind. I have to see what God has said.

But the Holy Spirit did not come until the day of Pentecost 31 A.D. – 40 days after Jesus ascended to heaven. Even the gospel could not be proclaimed to the world (until Jesus sent the Holy Spirit). The Old Testament (Church) did not preach the gospel. The congregation of Old Testament Israel was both a national government and also a church. As a Church it was the congregation of Israel and as a political nation it was the Kingdom of Israel or the House of Israel. But it did not proclaim any gospel to the world.

The Jews Rejected the Gospel

Now in the Court case against God’s church by the Attorney General of California that is being waged and has been waged up until now, in the State Courts of California, those judges are a clique of Jewish judges. They’ve been brought up in the religion of Judaism. Judaism knows nothing at all about a gospel or preaching a gospel or carrying a gospel to the world. Judaism has no gospel. The gospel is the message Christ brought from God and (the Jews) rejected Christ and so rejected that message. When I say that I travel over the world to preach the gospel, they say there is no gospel. It was the smallest appropriation of any appropriation in the Work of God. The biggest appropriation is the payroll. Salaries paid for ministers and others employed in the Work. Next to that will come broadcasting and publishing The Plain truth, The Good News, the Worldwide News, the Pastor General’s Report and other booklets and books. Those are the big expenditures. There are other expenditures in the Work. We have to have a business office. We have to have a mail-processing center to receive mail and classify it as it comes in and answer such letters (that) ask questions (and) send out requested literature. All of these departments come next, but least of all was the appropriation made every year for my travels over the world.

Jesus Christ’s commission says, “Go ye into all the world.” They say I shouldn’t do that. Jesus said do it! Jesus opened the doors for me to see kings, prime ministers, emperors, of which there were only two in the world, and I knew them both privately and personally, and spent time in private with them. (Also) Presidents (and) heads of government. He sent me to kings, he sent me to big audiences of other nations all over the world.

Ad Showing Where the “millions” went!

There is an ad, I don’t think it has been printed yet, where 1 go into detail of what 1 said to big audiences in Tokyo. I was called on to speak before a congress that was meeting to found a new nation in South west Africa, which became a new nation, and they were there drawing up a constitution. I was invited to come and address them on how they should draw up the constitution – the very foundation of a whole nation. I’ll tell -you what I said to those gentlemen that night. I gave the very date on which I spoke. Then I spoke to an audience in Northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea and showed what I said that night. Then I showed what I said in China, as the first religious head from the world of Christianity ever to be invited by the government of the People’s Republic of China – a communist government that does not believe in God. They don’t believe in God, yet I had to tell them about God and the Kingdom of God. I just couldn’t use those words. I used words they understood, however. Then I told them about speaking to audiences up to 14,000 people in the Philippines with the blessing of President Marcos and (in) the presence right on the platform of the mother of the President of the nation. And, of course, that whole ad is addressed to Mr. Attorney General of California. That is the way I siphon off millions of dollars a year. The appropriation was around one million a year or less. We spent less than a million a year and yet they say I siphoned off seven million a year, and Mr. Rader siphoned off another seven! I don’t know where it went.

Now I’ve run another ad showing how much I have in the world. I’ve got a checking account in the bank, but I can tell you it is under six figures. And you have got to get to seven figures before you get to a million. I don’t have anything like that. I’ve got a little interest in this home. I’ve got the clothes on my back. Most of them don’t fit me any longer. I’ve shrunk! I weigh 30 pounds less than I did. My tailor won’t see me and do anything about it until October after I have been one of his best customers. I don’t like that. I think I will have to find another tailor. All my clothes are too big. I’ve never liked the idea of a man wearing suspenders, but I think I’m going to have to go to them, to keep my trousers up.

So there was no gospel before the Holy Spirit came. Jesus said to the disciples to wait in Jerusalem before the Holy Spirit came – until they received it. Even the gospel could not be proclaimed to the world until Mark 1:14 – Jesus had conquered the world as you read in Matthew 4:1-14. Old Testament Israel had a function preparatory to the establishing of the Kingdom of God. But they couldn’t proclaim the Kingdom of God to the world, and (they) couldn’t and didn’t. It couldn’t be done until the Holy Spirit came, and (that) didn’t come until 31 A.D. People couldn’t have the Holy Spirit until then. They couldn’t until Jesus had overcome Satan. Jesus could not proclaim gospel until he first had overcome Satan.

Now Adam had the chance to overcome Satan and to have taken his place at the head of God’s government on the earth. But, Adam didn’t overcome Satan, he fell under Satan and rejected God. It had to take the second Adam – Jesus Christ – to overcome Satan. You find that in Matthew 4:1. Then the Holy Spirit had to be given to those that were called of God. Third, Jesus said no man can come to me except the Father, which sent me draw him. Even then mankind (was cut off from God) because of what Adam did. Adam made the decision and God said all right, you’ve cut yourself off from me, all your posterity that will form the whole population of the whole world will be cut off from me for six thousand years. That six thousand years is not yet quite up, but we are almost on it right now.

Now the prophets and the law were proclaimed until John, not the gospel. But since that time, the gospel and the Kingdom of God have been proclaimed. Jerusalem was to be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles were fulfilled (Luke 21: 14 and Romans 11:25). The fullness of the Gentiles coming in Romans 11:25 is the same as the fulfilling of the times of the Gentiles. In Luke 24:49 they couldn’t go out and preach the gospel until they were embued with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Why No Accreditation

So many people don’t understand what all that has to do with the proclaiming of the gospel. Only a few are called to God. If you keep the annual Holy Days, you should understand that this is not God’s world; this is Satan’s world. Man has turned to his own governments as influenced by Satan. Man has turned to his own religion as influenced by Satan. Man has made up in his own mind his own gods. Man has formed his own educational system, and his own schools, colleges and universities and they are not God’s kind at all. God used me to start God’s kind of college. But some of our professors got around my son and influenced him and they wanted to have the accreditation of Satan’s world, and Satan’s kind of education. I said that it wouldn’t be God’s college any longer. They said, ‘Oh yes, we can get accreditation and still keep it God’s college.’ I depended a great deal on Dr. Hoeh. I finally asked him if we could-get accreditation and still keep this God’s college. He said he thought we could. I said we could then go ahead. So, they were applying for accreditation.

Do you know why we got turned down? It was all set. I am so thankful that we got turned down. I don’t want the accreditation of Satan. Woe to you when Satan speaks well of you, and when men speak well of you – so says the Bible. The man who was to make the decision (who is from Brigham Young University in Utah) is very favorable to us and to helping us keep our church doctrines in. By that time, I had made my son President of the College, and I was just Chairman of the Board, and they thought they ought to have one interview with the President. So he came in to interview with my son, and my son wanted to be sure to get (accreditation) and he thought that they were against religion and things like that, so he spent his whole time telling them that he had never agreed with his father about anything. He did not agree with the kind of College his father built and he wanted to build the kind of college that you people want to build here. He said he wanted them to know that if they got accreditation, what kind of college they were going to build. He said he didn’t agree with anything his father had ever done. That ended it. They said that if the President of the college feels that way about his own father, the Founder and Chairman of the board they couldn’t accredit that kind of an institution. That was some boomerang, wasn’t it? That came from God. God didn’t want us accredited by Satan. Now it is God’s College again. We’ve got REAL accreditation now. I don’t want the accreditation of the world.

Well, that is just a lot of preface information. Paul is speaking to the church. Now the Church of God was raised up primarily for two purposes. The church is founded on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets (Eph. 2:20). (It is talking about) the prophets of the Old Testament, because no prophet in the New Testament had anything to do with infusing doctrine into the Church or with an administrative position in the Work and the church. So, the prophets mean the prophets beginning with Isaiah or with Moses for that matter and with David in the Psalms. All (of these prophets) were (ultimately) for the New Testament Church, believe it or not. But today they want to say that we are a New Testament church, and we don’t want anything to do with that Old Testament.

Let me tell you this is the book of God. The Old Testament Church couldn’t proclaim the gospel. The Old Testament Church did not have the Holy Spirit. That’s true. But the prophets did and they were writing for the doctrines of the (New Testament) Church and much of Church doctrine comes from the writings of the prophets –Christ being the chief cornerstone and the Head of the church. Just keep that in the background as we begin to read what Paul is writing to one of the churches.

This Church had been established (for) some time when Paul wrote to it. They had gotten into trouble. One thing you need to remember is that the writings of Paul beginning with the book of Romans and I and II Corinthians and then Galatians and Ephesians, then the other books that follow, they all were written by Paul correcting things that were wrong in the church and giving instruction to the Church. Paul is one of the apostles who formed the foundation of the Church, and the church is based on-the foundation of the apostles.

You say I am Christ’s apostle for our time today. The first time I ever heard that was (when) Dr. Hoeh (was) speaking (at) the Feast of Tabernacles in Belknap Springs in 1951. I never dreamed anything about being an apostle. He (said) before this small group, (that) Mr. Armstrong is not a prophet; Mr. Armstrong is an apostle. I said now where did he get that. Immediately after that, I called him and said, look Herman, don’t ever say that again. Don’t tell anyone I am an apostle. I never claimed to be an apostle. It wasn’t until some years later that I look back and see by the fruit of what has happened, and I have to say that if Christ has not made me an apostle, there is none. I don’t see anyone who could be an apostle in the Methodist Church. I don’t see anyone who could be an apostle in the Baptist Church, the Presbyterian Church, etc. The Catholic Church has a Pope, but he is not God’s apostle. I think that is enough said there. I can just add that he doesn’t even claim to be God’s apostle. Maybe he does, but he doesn’t use that title.

1 Corinthians 1

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

Chapter 1:1 “Paul, called to be an apostle…” Now notice this. Jesus said, no man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draws him. God had drawn Paul. Knocked him down blind Opened his eyes. And he is one of the called. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Paul was called. And why was he called? To be an apostle of Jesus Christ. He didn’t call himself. God called him. “Through the will of God,” not through the will of himself, “and Sosthenes our brother.” So, in other words, this was a letter from Paul and from Sosthenes But Paul doesn’t say Sosthenes was an apostle because he wasn’t.

Verse 2: “Unto the church of God, which is at Corinth”- it was the Church of God, not of the people “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus.” Sanctified means set apart for a separate use of God. For God’s special purpose and use. It doesn’t mean that you are made righteous or holy. It just means you are set out for a special purpose. “Called to be saints” -they were also called to be children of God with the Holy Spirit – “with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”

Verse 3: This is all part of the opening salutation. He hasn’t started his message yet. This is just an introduction. “Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father.” Now notice. He has the authority to tell them that God is sending them grace and peace. He is speaking for God. He is God’s spokesman. When he says grace and peace unto you from God our father he is speaking for God as God’s representative. If I am God’s apostle that is the way I speak to you – as His representative.

You know, a man might come to your door and he represents a certain vacuum cleaner corporation. He is a representative of that company, but he has authority to speak for that company. He represents that company. In the same way, Paul represented God and I represent Cod. “And from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now he has told who he is writing to, the people in the church at Corinth who are sanctified and set apart in Christ and called to be saints.

Verse 4: “Now I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.” Grace means undeserved pardon for your sins. Instead of trying to get revenge on you and punish you and hurt you, God has given his only begotten son to pay the price for you so He can pardon you, and acquit you of what you did wrong. You know when Christ Himself speaks to people in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation – to everyone of the churches, He says I know your works and says something nice about them. Then he comes finally and tells them what is wrong about them. That is what Paul is doing. Now Paul doesn’t say very much nice about this church, but he says right here, I thank God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you. It isn’t anything they did themselves. God did it.

Verse 5: “That in every thing you are enriched by him.” You see that is what he did, not what they did. In all utterance and in all knowledge.”

Verse 6: “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.”

Verse 7: “So that you come behind in no gift.” You put that up to the 12th Chapter that we come to later, you will see that is really his intended meaning – that he doesn’t want them to come behind in any gift that comes through the, Holy Spirit. “Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let me say here that when Paul wrote this letter and other internal evidence in the New Testament shows that Paul thought at that time that the end of the age was going to come right then in his lifetime. I am still making that mistake today, if it is a mistake. I think it is going to come in my lifetime if God extends my life for long enough. I don’t know how long that will be. But nearly all of the early apostles thought that the end of this age and the second coming of Christ was going to come right then 1900 years ago. And it didn’t. But it’s coming.

Verse 8: “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He wants us to be so confirmed as his church today that we will be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means after Christ comes.

Verse 9: “God is faithful by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Now in 1 John 1: you read that our fellowship is (not only) with our brothers in the church but-also with God the Father, and with Christ. When we come together on the Sabbath in a meeting, we are coming into a meeting with Christ. And even with God the Father in Spirit and they are here by the Spirit that is here.

Some of you come to other meetings on week days and you will notice that I won’t have a necktie (on) and I’ll have on a sport shirt and wear a sports jackets or house jacket. But on the Sabbath, you’ll notice that I have a white shirt, a tie and suit. That’s because I’m coming into the presence of Jesus Christ. Out of respect to Him, I must be dressed up. I’ve had to correct the church on that a few times. The first time was over in Big Sandy many years ago. People were coming to church in the sloppiest clothes you can imagine, old patched dirty overalls not washed or pressed. They thought was good enough. If you were going into the presence of the President of the United States, you would be dressed up. Have you ever stopped to think of that? Why? Because you have respect for that office. (Some of us) come into the presence of Christ and of God, and we have no respect for his presence at all – anything is good enough for him. So, we come sloppily dressed. This is a corrective letter 1’m reading here, so I’ll give you a little correction.

Verse 10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” – he is speaking for Christ, this is Christ saying this, not just Paul. When he says by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is now exercising his power of attorney to speak for Christ. “That you all speak the same thing.” Christ wants us all to speak the same thing. Let’s just stop there a moment. If I don’t go any further all day than that, it is very important. Christ wants his Church to all speak the same thing. Why? Let’s just read a little further and then come back to that point. “And that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” All believing the same thing – all speaking the same thing.

My son has said publicly, and it has been published in the newspapers over this country. ‘I have never agreed with my father about anything.’ I didn’t realize that. If I had, I would be guilty before God forever having let him be Executive Vice President. I thought he did agree with me. I talked for a long time about he and I standing back to back with each other. But you know you can stand with your back to someone and he can stab you in the back when you’re not looking. And he was trying to not literally crucify (me), but figuratively crucify me and he didn’t care whether I died or whether he got me to resign or retire or something in order that he could take over and be the whole cheese himself.

I didn’t aspire to be the human head of this church. I started out in a country schoolhouse with 36 seats. I had an average attendance of about 40, which meant that there were on the average night, some standing up. Sometimes it would be a dozen or 15 standing up all through the sermon. Sometimes there might have been two or three seats empty. But it averaged for six weeks, six nights a week about 40 in attendance. I had to go around on foot in a sparsely settled farming community inviting people to come. On a borrowed typewriter I wrote out the topics I’d be speaking about. We ended up with a church of 19 members. I had one member and his family that had come from the Church of God down in California that lived there. Another family – a man and his wife -and the wife had been converted by a private Bible study that I had had with them. Otherwise, they were all new people I never knew before – new converts. Naturally, I was their pastor. I held another meeting in downtown Eugene and that brought in a few more. I then had a third meeting in a school called Alvadore and there were 15 new converts I baptized. We were beginning to have a church and we had to buy the church property in Eugene, Oregon. I didn’t try to knock someone else off the seat to be the minister there. I just simply was the one under whom they were all converted and it has continued from there on.

I went to other meetings and I found that without ministers who were educated and ordained they just didn’t continue as a church. The sheep will be scattered if there isn’t a shepherd. Finally, by 1946 I came to see that we had to have a college. But I didn’t have any money to start a college with. I knew God wanted a college and I prayed about it and told God that I would have to rely on Him and we would have to start it in faith. Every dime of money coming was already obligated for broadcasting and getting out The Plain Truth, such as it was in those days. It didn’t cost much then because it was pretty small. But there was nothing for a college. And that first year was a hell on earth, believe me. We almost went under. No one gave me any encouragement. Everyone was talking about when this thing folds up, speaking contemptuously of it. But I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. So we started out with four students. And I had to hire 12 professors. I think 2 or 3 had PhD’s, 2 or 3 had Masters and the rest had Bachelor’s degrees. But by the end of that year, we were (even) beginning to get behind in paying their salaries. But I didn’t quit. And by the end of the second year, all of a sudden God sent enough money, which paid for everything. And we saved the property that we almost lost and somehow the college was saved. But it took resourcefulness, it took faith, it took sticking with it, when everybody else said it was lost and gone. It took determination. It took suffering, persecution and opposition. Did I make myself the leader? Did I make myself an apostle? Never!

Verse 11: “For it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.”

Verse 12: “Now this I say, that everyone of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.”- I’m just loner, that I worship Christ all by myself.

How to Speak the Same Thing

Verse 13: “Is Christ divided?” Christ is not divided. There is only one church. That one church must all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions. That church can’t be divided. God only had one ancient nation, Israel, a type of the New Testament Church. It got divided into two nations, one called Israel and one Called Judah (Because of Solomon’s sins). They departed from God. Israel departed first and then later Judah departed. When others try to go out and start another church and divide the church that is not of God. If it is the true church, then any other is not. If this was the true church when those ministers who have gone out left, it is still the true church. Christ said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. He hasn’t left or forsaken this church. We still speak the same thing we spoke then. What do they speak? They want to speak something different. Is Christ divided? Do they all speak the same thing? “No, they don’t. No two of them speak the same thing! Christ wants us all to speak the same thing.

How are we all going to speak the same thing? If you make up your mind what you want to speak and you say that, and (someone else) makes up (his) mind what, (he) wants to speak, but that is a little different, and (he) speaks that and you Mr. Dean have something else you want to speak, then we already have quite a division. We are all divided and that is not the Church of God. The Church of God is not divided. The minute you get into that, it is no longer the Church of God. We’ve (all) got to speak the same thing. How can it be? How did the early Church all speak the same thing? They did at first. God blessed it and it grew and multiplied for a little while. (But) not very long. Persecution was too rampant. It spoke the same thing because it spoke what Christ gave it. Christ didn’t tell it to each individual. How did they get it from Christ? They got it from Peter and the other apostles. How did they get it? Christ taught them. They put it in the church. What they believed came by apostles, but it came from Christ.

Now what are the fruits of today’s church? It has survived all the opposition. If this is the Church of God, is Satan going to honor and bless it, or is he going to destroy it? How does Satan do it? He’ll bore within – using fifth column tactics. He has done it, and we have had to put some out. Once they get out they fight, but they don’t get anywhere any longer. The only way we can speak the same thing is if we speak what Christ put into the Church through an apostle. That’s the way he did it to start. Does Christ change? He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we are to speak the same thing then the only way we can do it is to speak what Christ put into the church through his chosen apostle. Now if I’m not that chosen apostle, you go find the one who is. And then follow what he says. I invite you to do that. So you see there is only the one way we can all speak the same thing.

They tried having a doctrinal committee and each man on it saw things a different way. They were all divided. Finally, I just abolished the whole thing except the doctrine which Christ gave me. And that is the official doctrine of the church today.

Verse 13: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Let me say, was Herbert Armstrong crucified for you? No, I haven’t had to be crucified – Christ did that for all of us. Did I baptize all of you? Thank God, I didn’t. I had to baptize the first of you when I was a local pastor preaching in a local church. I’ve been through that too. I have had a local pastorate. How many men who have been looked upon as great leaders in Pasadena ever were pastors of a local-church? I’ve-been pastor of a local church. I’ve had that experience too.

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

Verse 15: “Lest any of you should say that I had baptized in mine own name.”

Verse 16: “and I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.”

Verse 17: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with the wisdom of words lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” He didn’t come preaching with great swelling words. We get more of this when we come to the second chapter.

Verse 18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness” – to those in the world. And that is just the thing. What I was trying to put into Ambassador College was foolishness to the intellectuals. And so some of the so called intellectuals (were) in the college, and my son was swayed (by) them, and (became) involved with them and went along with them. They wanted intellectual doctrines and wanted to get intellectual (professors) into the college. It cost us about $3 million to pay off those intellectuals and get rid of them. These are ones they hired on contract. I don’t know who they were. They were never members of the church or students in Ambassador College. They got everything they knew from other colleges and believed something different. So they couldn’t all speak the same thing. “But unto us which are saved” – are being saved if you take the Revised Standard. I want to get this point. Are you already saved? That was the first heckling point put to me when I started that meeting in that 36 seat schoolroom. One old fellow said, Mr. Armstrong I wish you’d tell this congregation – are you Saved? I said, Mr. Belshaw, you ought to know that in Mathew 24:13 it says he that endures unto the end (the same) shall then be saved. Does that answer your question? And everybody laughed at him. He was hoping I was going to say, yes, and then he was going to quote that to me. That is verse 18. Let’s read on a little in the Revised Standard translation.

Verse 19: “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” and He will. All the wisdom of this world is just a lot of foolish material wisdom. “And the cleverness of the clever, I will thwart”

Verse 20: “Where is the wise man, where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” The wisdom of the intellectuals and the great scholars is a lot of foolishness.

Verse 21: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world did not know God by wisdom, it pleased God in the folly (the world cal1s what we preach folly) of preaching to save those that believe.”

Verse 22: “For the Jews demand a sign and Greeks seek wisdom.” The Greeks thought they were full of wisdom and sought more wisdom.

Verse 23: “But we preach Christ crucified. A stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles.”

Verse 24: “But to those who are called”- you see most people are not called, and if you are not called, you cannot come to Christ. He said no man come to me except the father draws him. God has cut the world off from Him. The world can’t be saved. The world can’t come to Christ. They’re cut off. People don’t believe it. I say to you people that will be hearing this, remember that most people could not be saved if they wanted to be now. It says in God’s time. The first thing when I was converted I wanted to get all my relatives and friends converted. I tried to talk them into it right away. They thought I was crazy. How many of you have done the same thing? You found that they laughed at you, and thought you were crazy and said you were full of foolishness. It does seem like foolishness to them. When you are converted, you get the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit that opens your mind to comprehend spiritual knowledge. That is all they can see. Anything that is not just material knowledge is just foolishness. I understand physical knowledge, but I also understand spiritual knowledge having received God’s Holy Spirit. That’s no longer foolishness to me, but it is foolishness to the wise and educated people of this world. That’s why I say and have said time and again, the most ignorant people in this world are the highly educated. Because their minds are stuffed full of the fables of materialism and they don’t have any of the spiritual knowledge to go with it. Why can’t they solve the world’s problems? The problems and troubles of the world are spiritual in nature and without the Holy Spirit they cannot understand it. That’s the way it is, and there is where the whole problem lies.

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

Verse 26: “For consider your calling” – what have we got in the Church? Not many who are highly educated. We don’t have very many PhD’s – and if we do, they don’t stay with us very long. They don’t get really converted. They can’t give up their so called scholarly vanity. They can’t humble themselves. ‘And you’ve got to humble yourself before you are really converted.’ “How that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.” How many do we have who were born as princes or princesses or dukes or duchesses or of high titles of noble birth. I have friends of people like that but I have to talk their language to them. I can’t talk to them about spiritual things or they would think I am crazy. But I can speak their language too.

Verse 27: “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and what is weak in the world to confound the mighty.”

Verse 28: “And the base things of the world and the things which are despised has God chosen, yea and things which are not to bring to naught things that are:”

Verse 29: “So no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

Verse 30: “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus.” Now get that. Christ is the very source of our life. Stop and think about that for a minute. I’ve thought about that lately. What is on the mind of the average person? They go about thinking of the problems of this world. What is on the mind of people that put on television programs? Entertainment, material interests and pleasures, politics and so forth. How much do they think about God? I said to a woman who is not in the church – you don’t believe in God. Boy did she get angry! Don’t you ever say that to me again, she said. I do believe in God. I said, let me re-word that. You don’t believe God. You don’t believe what He says. You don’t even know what He says. (She didn’t have much to say). You don’t think about God much. He is not part of your life. He is not even part of it, let alone being the source of it.

What is your life? Is your life all of the material things of this world? your job, your housework? Of course, most women aren’t doing housework any more. That lowers a woman to a low status. She’s got to be up to a man’s status rather come down to it. So, she must have a career today. That is the new modern idea. Marriage is out of date. The idea of being a homemaker is a disgrace today. Having children, being a mother – no, they’ve got to be out in the world. They want to eat at a restaurant and not at home. We are a spoiled people – we are people that God needs to spank real good, and he is just about to spank this whole world and what a spanking it is going to be!

The average person, if they think of God at all, and it is only a small minority that go to church any more, they go to church on Sunday morning as a duty, and it is like joining a club, and their minds are not on God or Christ, or the Bible, or the things of the Bible. It never enters their minds all through the week. Sunday morning they go, and get it over with, so they can go out and get into some kind of sport Sunday afternoon. God isn’t part of their life. God never enters their life. But if you are converted He is the very source of your life. For us in the church our minds should be filled with God and with Christ from morning ‘til night every day.

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

“Whom God made our wisdom, and sanctification and righteousness and redemption.”

Verse 31: “That as it is written, let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.” I often talk about what great things God has done. You’ve heard me talk-about the great things God has done. How often have you ever heard me boast about the great things 1 have done? If you ever do, I want you to rebuke me good and say, stop right there, Mr. Armstrong, you told me to. That ends the first chapter.

1 Corinthians 2

Coming to the second chapter: “And I, brethren; when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom.” He didn’t come like a scholar and use the language of scholarship, to exalt his own vanity.

Verse 2: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” That is about Christ and spiritual things.

Verse 3: “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” He was humble, not exalted. He wasn’t saying look how great I am. He didn’t say that.

Verse 4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of, man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

Verse 5: “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” There were some in Ambassador College who wanted the wisdom of men in Ambassador College. I had put the power of God in the college and they wanted to get that out. That was a lot of foolishness to them. I’m beginning to think that a lot of those leading men who were leading ministers in the Church were never converted in the first place, because the word of God and the things of God were so much foolishness to them. They wanted the wisdom of this world.

Verse 6: (RSV) “Yet among the mature we do impart real wisdom although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are doomed to pass away.” They are not going to live long, any of them. They just live a little while and they are gone.

Verse 7: “But we impart a secret wisdom and a hidden wisdom of God.” Now it’s secret because it can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit of God and the natural mind doesn’t have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand these things. “Which God decreed before the ages for our glorification.”

Verse 8: “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory, but as it is written what no eye has seen nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those that love him.” In other words, the knowledge of what God has prepared for us is spiritual. That knowledge doesn’t come through the eye and you don’t hear it through the ear. That’s the only way you get knowledge in your mind is through the five senses. Tell me any other way that the wise and ‘scholarly in the world ever get any knowledge into those heads of theirs. There is no other way. They are cut off from any other knowledge. That’s why they are ignorant. The whole great, wealth of spiritual knowledge is a mystery to them. It is hidden to them. Their minds can’t open up to it. But they take the physical material knowledge and dissect it and make it complicated. They get a tree and get down to the little twigs until they can’t even see the trunk of the tree any more. They make it so complicated that it is all-complex and they get all confused themselves. They don’t know where they are going or what they are saying.

Verse 10: “But God has revealed it to us through his spirit.” The only way you can get that understanding is through His Spirit. How are you going to get the spirit of God? You’ve got to come down off your high horse and humble yourself. You’ve got to repent of the way you have lived and turn ‘away ‘from that way and be conquered by God and surrender, to Him and give yourself to Him. How many have gone through that? How many have said, I’m so good, and I love truth and I want to come into your church? We’ve got to be careful not to accept people on just that until there is something a lot more than that. “God has revealed to us through the Spirit for the Spirit searches everything even the depths of God.” It is deeper knowledge. That is why I say this book on The Human Potential is knowledge so deep that the average human mind just can’t get it. It is beyond the average mind. That’s why I haven’t received many letters saying how wonderful they thought that book was and that they thought it was the best book written since the Bible.

Verse 11: “For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of man which is in him.” In other words, where is the dog? There he is lying down quietly during, this service, but he can’t understand, a word of this service. If you had some physical, scholarly intellectual here, he wouldn’t understand it either.

The natural mind of man can understand physical, material knowledge, but an animal can’t. What is the difference? There is a spirit in man, and except for that spirit which is in man, you couldn’t even come to understand physical knowledge and put it into processes of thought and thinking. That spirit in man acts as a computer. It is the repository of your memory. Not many know that. The scholars would all laugh at that. But that happens to be the truth. Your memory is not stored in the physical brain. For if it were an animal would remember everything it ever knew. They can remember some things, but very little and they don’t put it together in processes of thinking. The result is that they don’t think and don’t have a mind like humans. Now the human mind stores it in that spirit and that spirit gives instant recall and so I can recall things when I was three years old. I recall things when I was six years old in the first grade in Marshaltown, Iowa. I remember being called up and being spanked. I tried to make a face for the kids on the way back so they wouldn’t see me crying. That was the only time I was ever spanked in school.

I remember things when I was twenty years old, when I was 34 years old and was converted. You remember things going back in your life the same way. You can think of those things and put them all together in a process of reasoning. An animal can’t do that. So that is made very plain here. “For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of man which is in him.” The spirit enables you to think and reason and come to conclusions and make decisions.

“So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” You can’t understand the spiritual knowledge of God until the Holy Spirit comes in. You can’t understand material knowledge until the human spirit enters you. So far as we know the human spirit enters with the first breath when you’ are born. I don’t know any other time it could be. I can’t conceive of it being in the sperm or the ovum. I can’t conceive of it being during the embryonic stage or the fetal stage prior to birth. But the word spirit is the same in both Greek and Hebrew. It is pneuma in Greek and ruach in Hebrew, and the same word is used for air and breath as is used for spirit. Jesus compares it to air or wind and so I think that it came with the first breath. So there is a spirit in man that is not in animals, but that spirit needs another spirit, it needs the Holy Spirit of God and without that Holy Spirit man cannot have spiritual knowledge. Now when we receive the Holy Spirit of God, we have both spiritual knowledge and physical knowledge. And because we also have spiritual knowledge those who only have physical knowledge think we are crazy. It seems like foolishness to them because the physical is all they know. We should feel sorry for their lack, not exalt them.

Verse 12: “Now we have received not the spirit of the world (that is the spirit of Satan) but the spirit which is from God that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.” Spiritual knowledge is a gift bestowed on us by God.

Verse 13: “And we impart this in words, not taught by human wisdom” You won’t find it in the average college or university. Children aren’t taught it in school. This world is cut off from God, and when you get down to it, they don’t even know God enough to believe Him. They believe there is such a Being, but they don’t know much about who or what He is and they don’t know Him. “But taught by the spirit interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Holy Spirit.” And you can’t teach spiritual truth to those who don’t’ have the Holy Spirit.

Verse 14: “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” You have to have the Holy Spirit to discern them.

Verse 15: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ.”

That concludes the second chapter in the Revised Standard Version. It may make the words a little plainer. That is quite a letter that Paul is writing to the Corinthians. But they were all divided. They were seeking the ways of men and not of God.