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2 Corinthians Chapters 6 and 7
2 Corinthians Chapters 6 and 7

Bible Study – Tucson (November 15, 1980)

by Herbert W Armstrong


I’ve been using the Revised Standard Translation a great deal in these books. Let’s begin with Chapter 6.

Chapter 6

II Corinthians 6:1: “Working together with him (Christ) then, we entrust you not to accept the grace of God in vain.”

Verse 2: “For he says ‘At the accountable time I have listened to you and help you on the day of salvation’ behold this is the day of salvation.” There are some Protestant churches that lay great stress on that. But this is quoted from the Old Testament. In Isaiah 49:8 this doesn’t say THE day of salvation – it says ‘A day of salvation.’ We will all have A day of salvation, but this isn’t the only day of salvation. Jesus said no man can come to me except the Father, which sent me, draws him – the protestant idea of trying to GET everyone saved is wrong!

I am writing an article now on this very subject. When I am traveling and speaking to other governments, I am still working. I don’t go out sightseeing. I set my typewriter up in my hotel room and I work! Others would like to say l’m only on an autograph seeking binge. Nonsense. When I was with Mr. Sadat there were a group of American Congressmen there. They could see us going in with our television crew and they wanted to know who we were. That same night we were on the air for at least a minute and a half. It was in the newspapers in all the languages. Nothing was’ said about the United States Congressmen.

This article that I am writing is very important. I’m going to make it into a booklet and it must be read before someone is baptized. There are a number of these things that must be studied before baptism and I am going to get them together one by one.

This last trip with Mr. Sadat and then Mr. Begin was one of the best we have ever had. When we got there, Mr. Begin was away in Tel Aviv – an hour’s car ride away. We got there for the meeting and he wasn’t there. They were shocked when he walked in for the meeting with me. We told him how grateful we were – and he said that he would get up at 2:00 in the morning to meet with me. That isn’t autograph hunting! I go for a purpose and I do explain to these people about the Good News of the Kingdom. I do show the law of God. I explain it in their language, that’s true, but I show that the law is the way of love and that the transgression of that spiritual law is the way of selfishness and get.

At the banquet in Cairo, there were about 300 people – about half of them were from the Egyptian American league. There were two men there from New York in the financial field and they disagreed with one thing I said. They disagreed that this is a bad, sick world. They have been on the getting side and they are pretty happy with the life they lead. They don’t like to think about the millions who are starving.

Verse 3: “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry.”

Verse 4: “But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way through great endurance in afflictions, in hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger,”

Verse 6: “By purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, by the Holy Spirit, genuine love.”

The Sufferings of Paul

Verse 7: “By truthful speech, the power of God,” When I read the things the apostle Paul went through, I think I haven’t suffered anything. I’ve been persecuted ever since I started preaching Christ and I have been at first by other ministers. Now the whole Church is being persecuted by the State. But look at the things Paul went through. “By the armor of righteousness on the right and on the left.” I’ve had opposition that I think has been very tough, but maybe we couldn’t bear the trials the apostle Paul went through. I think we are too degenerate. What would I do if I had just two of the stripes Paul had?

Verse 8: “By honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute, we are treated as imposters and yet are true.” That is what they are trying to say about me.

Verse 9: “As unknown and yet well known, as dying and behold we live; as chastened and not killed.” People say I’m old and senile do I act like I’m old and senile? I work hard! I feel that I have had a kind of a new human birth since my heart failure. Things have opened up – bigger doors have been opened. New opportunities have come to get the gospel out in more ways. One of the biggest doors ever opened was The Wall Street Journa1. I don’t expect these men to believe what I say, but I’m going to give them something to think about! The men who were in Cairo from New York had read my articles in The Wall Street Journa1. We are reaching these people.

I don’t expect to get anything from them, but some day when they say to Christ why didn’t you let us know, they will be told that they were told – through the ads, my servant Herbert Armstrong wrote. They just didn’t want to change – they didn’t want people laughing at them. That was the first thing I thought when the truth was put to me. I didn’t want to be laughed at by my business associates. I don’t look to these people for money. God will send the money. God knows who is humble enough and who is wil1ing to back the work of God and finance it.

Verse 10: “As in sorrow, yet always rejoicing, as if poor, yet making many rich (notice he didn’t say rich himself) as having nothing and yet possessing everything.” It is al1 that counts.

Verse 11: “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians, our heart is wide.”

Verse 12: “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.”

Verse 13: “In return, I speak as to children, widen your hearts also.”

Being Unequally Yoked

Verse 14: “Do not be mismated with unbelievers.” I’d better expound on that a little bit – that means a lot of things. That is a general principle. You must not team up in any way with an unbeliever. A young man or woman must not marry an unbeliever. You should only marry someone who is really converted if you are a converted person. You should not join a business partnership with some unbeliever. It doesn’t say you shouldn’t work for an unbeliever. That is a different matter. It is talking about an equal partnership. “For what partnership has righteousness with iniquity or what fellowship has light with darkness.”

Verse 15: “What accord has Christ with Belial (Satan) or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” Have you ever noticed that? If you are a believer, you just don’t have anything in common with an unbeliever! It a man or woman marries an unbeliever you’ll find that in your marriage you just don’t have much in common. There is another scripture, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). No, they can’t.

I always think about Enoch who walked with God. He must have had a lot in common with God. You can’t have a fellowship without it. I felt I could have fellowship with the Sardis people – we had things in common – they liked me. We could talk about truth. Their ministers disliked and resented me. But those whose minds are on the things of God fellowship with the Spirit of God and Christ. There is nothing in common with those who don’t believe.

Verse 16: “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” Each individual is a temple of the Holy Spirit. But on the other hand, we speak collectively as the Church- and all of the members as the temple to which Christ is going to come at His second coming. He is not coming to one single body. The temple He is coming to is the collective temple. “As God has said, I will live in them and move among them and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’

Verse 17: “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate from them says the Lord and touch nothing unclean and I will welcome you.” He is talking about coming out from the world.

The Church are the called out ones – called out to be separate. We have to live in the world, and we are told to go to the world with the message, but we must live a different lifestyle from the world.

God Always Learning

Verse 18: “And I will be a father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty.” That reminds me – in last week’s Worldwide News – in Gene Hogberg’s article summarizing the election. This happened the very next day after our meeting with Mr. Begin. We flew to Paris to have lunch with King Leopold and his wife whom I hadn’t seen for 4-5 years. They said I looked better than I did when they last saw me. I need things like that sometimes. I get tired of being called senile and old. I just wish others could keep up with me in the way my mind is continually growing. We don’t need to ever grow old! I think God keeps on learning! Do you think God stands still? I think He has a lot of knowledge He didn’t have 2,000 or 200 years ago. I think we will through all eternity. Look how much there is to know. When we are changed to immortality we will have minds with such capacity that there will be no limit to what we can retain. There is no limit to the mind of God. For example, God didn’t know 55-56 years ago the decision I would make. I think He knew He was going to call me in a few years, but I had to make a decision. He let me make that decision. Therefore, I think God didn’t know what decision I would make. I think He had a pretty good idea or He wouldn’t have called me. How about you? Maybe He felt the same about you and that is why He called you.

There are things God does not know or else we couldn’t have the free choice – we would be machines. Machines don’t have any character. God wants us to have a mind and a personality.

The Woman’s Movement

In Gene Hogberg’s story, I noticed that the women’s movement is coming to the place now that it wants a new Bible. They want to take out every relation to calling God a Father. I presume it would be all right to call God a mother, but not a father, so they want it to say God the parent. And Christ cannot be the Son of God; instead, He is going to be the child of man. He can’t be the son of man. – He has to be the child of man.

Do you know where that comes from? Do you realize that God made us male and female and gave us sex differences? That there are certain differences. Do you know that there is no such difference with angels? One is like another – there is no male and female. Satan the devil does not have sex. He does not have what we do and he hates us for that. He is jealous of us and he is trying to get rid of anything that would put a man ahead of a woman. We’ve got to see the truth about these things. They want to get into unisex – what does that mean?

Young girls often have said that if they get married they are not going to have a husband who bosses them around. They want a marriage that is equal. I say to you that any marriage where the wife says she is equal – I’ll show you a marriage where the wife is the boss. Someone has to be the boss. That doesn’t mean that men should be harsh bosses or anything of the kind. God is the example. He is full of love, kindnesses and graciousness toward us. He is just full of outgoing love. On the other hand, God does punish every son He loves. That is for our good. But He is not a harsh, stern God in any sense whatever.

A husband shouldn’t be harsh – he should be kind to his wife and speak kindly to her. But God made men to be preachers and in the Word of God He inspired Paul to say that women weren’t allowed to speak in the Church. Men must do the speaking and the preaching and be the ministers and the pastors. Yet, we have Churches today who are making women preachers. Women are getting into every kind of job – so the children are left alone at home and no one brings them up. We have to watch or things like that will happen in the Church. Parents should know what is going on. Children should be handled with love, but they should be cared for and taught.

You put two babies on the floor and you watch them fight for a toy. Satan has got to their little minds that early. Parents don’t think that they need to teach a child anything until they are six years old and then send them to school and let the teacher do it all. You should be teaching your children from the time they are three months old or Satan will!

So, women today don’t want God to be a Father. But God says He is a Father. If you try to change the word of God – I hate to think of what is going to happen to people like that. So, women now want to have abortions and murder unborn children and deny them the right to life. They should have thought of that before the life got started. Who sponsored the great debate that may have changed the whole election while I was in Paris? The women’s league. Women were running the thing. Women are trying to run everything. Who was the first woman to want equal rights? Mother Eve! She wanted to take to herself the right to decide what is good and what is evil and she talked Adam into doing it too. That is when women began to take over.

Satan is behind it. I’ve got a note to write an article on this very thing – “How Satan is working through women.” Satan is very much on the job. We want to let down, but Satan isn’t going to! He is stirring up trouble against male and female, against race and race. We get all emotional – we hate and it causes division. Satan just wants to set one against, the other. At the same time, he works through the amalgamation of one group in order to set the whole group against the other. He wants to join the races together in interracial marriages. Division when it will cause discord and then amalgamation when it will cause discord. Homosexuality, unisex, lesbianism, equal’ rights – anything to set the sexes against each other. He is resentful, that God has given us sexual differences, which we should be thankful for, so he wants to get us to resent them.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7:1: “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.” That is not what Satan is leading this world to do.

Verse 2: “Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one. We have taken advantage of no one.”

Verse 3: “I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.”

Verse 4: “I have great confidence toward you, I have great pride in you, I am filled with comfort, with all our afflictions I am overjoyed.”

Verse 5: “For even when we came into Macedonia our bodies had no rest but we were afflicted at every turn, fighting without and fear within.”

Verse 6: “But God who comforts the downcast comforted us by the coming of Titus.”

Verse 7: “And not only by his coming, but by the comfort with which he was comforted in you as he told us of your longing and your mourning, your zeal for me so that I rejoiced still more.”

Verse 8: “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (this is the book of I Corinthians – his first letter) though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.”

Verse 9: “I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting, for you felt a Godly grief so that you suffered no loss through us.”

Verse 10: “For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works death.” I think that sorrow is a good word in this instance. It means you are sorry that you’ve done something – not grief – grief is not when you’ve done wrong. You are sorry when you’ve done wrong.

Verse 11: “For see what earnestness Godly sorrow had produced in you, what earnestness to clear yourself. What indignation, what fear, what zeal, what longing, what punishment. In every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.”

Verse 12: “Although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, not on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.”

Verse 13: “Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort we rejoice still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all.”

Verse 14: “For if I have expressed to him some pride in you, I was not put to shame, but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true.”

Verse 15: “And his heart goes out all the more to you as he remembers the obedience of you all and the fear and trembling with which you received him.”

Verse 16: “I rejoice because I have perfect confidence in you.”

God’s Inspiration

This shows that Paul was human. There is not as much meat in this as some other chapters. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. But it is a different kind of inspiration than God gives me. I know that I am inspired to write some of the things I do, but I don’t think He inspires every single word. I often re-write many things to get them just right. I have often wondered if I might be writing things in the Kingdom. I seem to have been trained a long time in it.

I think God does put thoughts in my mind, but He does say to try those thoughts and spirits whether they be of God. It seems to me that God will give me things that I can see clearly when I first wake up in the morning that later in the day I don’t see so clearly. That doesn’t mean that everything I write is like scripture. It is still just the writing of Herbert Armstrong. I can still find out later that it was all wrong.

In other words, the scriptural inspiration was like this. The men who wrote it, Paul, Isaiah – was just like a stenographer recording the words of God. Every word is God’s – I think that they wrote just what God inspired them to say. I do find that God used the style and vocabulary of each writer in each case, but it was still God doing the speaking. I don’t mean that every word I write is to be taken as scripture, but I do think God does give me an idea and so on. So, we need to understand. They say it is a wise man who knows his own shortcomings and limitations. That is true. You also have to know your own strengths. But you’ve got to know and not guess at it and misjudge.