July 24, 2015
Tomorrow, I will be giving part two of my sermon, “The Mystery of the Church.” With that in mind, for tonight’s letter I’m sending the following excerpts taken from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet, What Science Can’t Discover About the HUMAN MIND. There’s excellent information written here that’s worth reviewing time and again.
Please have a good night’s rest!
Your Brother in Christ,
Human Reproduction the Type of God’s Reproducing Himself
Few people realize that human reproduction has a sacred and GOD-PLANE MEANING NOT APPLICABLE TO ANY OTHER KIND OF LIFE.
Human reproduction pictures spiritual salvation — which is actually God the Father reproducing Himself in the GOD FAMILY.
Now see the ASTOUNDING comparison!
MAN, remember, is composed wholly of MATTER from the ground (Gen. 2:7 and 3:19). But HOW can God bridge the gap, in reproducing Himself, of converting a wholly physical man into a wholly Spirit-composed member of the GOD FAMILY?
It starts with a spirit (a portion of spirit essence) IN the wholly physical man. Remember, this spirit is NOT the man — only something IN the man. Remember, too, this spirit cannot see, hear, or think. The MAN sees, hears, and thinks through his physical brain and the five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. The spirit in man imparts the power of PHYSICAL INTELLECT the physical brain, thus forming human MIND.
This spirit acts, among other things, as a computer, adding to the brain the psychic and intellectual power. Knowledge received in the brain through the eye, ear, and the senses is immediately “programmed” into the spirit computer. All memory is stored in this spirit computer. This “computer” gives the brain instant recall of whatever portion of millions of bits of knowledge may be needed in the reasoning process. That is to say that MEMORY is recorded in the human spirit, whether or not it also is recorded in the “gray matter” of BRAIN.
This human spirit also adds to man a spiritual and moral faculty not possessed by animals.
God had made the needed second spirit — the HOLY SPIRIT — available to Adam. But on Adam’s rebellion and taking the forbidden fruit, God had driven Adam out and closed all access to the tree of LIFE — symbolic of His Holy Spirit.
Yet through Christ, a repentant humanity may yet receive God’s GIFT of His Holy Spirit. To Nicodemus Christ said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Of course Nicodemus could not quite understand that. Almost nobody today understands it. Jesus explained, “That which is born of the flesh IS FLESH, and that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT” (John 3:6). Man came from the ground. He IS flesh. Jesus was not talking about another physical birth or experience of conversion in this life — but about a spiritual birth — when man shall BE Spirit, no longer composed of matter, but composed wholly of SPIRIT! Yes, LITERALLY! Then he shall have been born of God. God is Spirit (John 4:24, RSV).
Now to become human, each of us had to be begotten by his human father. Likewise, to be born again — of THE SPIRIT which is of GOD the Father, one must first be begotten of the SPIRITUAL FATHER — of GOD.
This is explained in Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit [of God] itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the [begotten] children of God: and if children, then heirs [not yet inheritors or possessors]; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ ….”
And God’s Holy Spirit, now combined with our human spirit in the human MIND, does two things: (1) begets the human with divine eternal life to be later BORN into the GOD FAMILY as a Divine Being, then composed wholly of Spirit; (2) imparts to the human mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE — to understand the things of God (I Cor. 2:11). Also God’s Holy Spirit imparts divine LOVE, FAITH, and POWER to overcome Satan and sin.
This Spirit-begotten Christian now has, conditionally, the PRESENCE OF ETERNAL LIFE — GOD LIFE — within him (or her), but He is NOT YET an immortal SPIRIT BEING — not yet composed wholly of SPIRIT.
He is now an heir of God as the son of a wealthy man is the heir of his father — but NOT YET “born again,” — NOT YET an inheritor or a possessor. But IF His Holy Spirit dwells in us, God will, at Christ’s coming back to earth as King of kings, “quicken” to immortality our mortal bodies BY His Spirit that dwells in us (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:49-53).
Now see how the astonishing analogy continues:
Just as in human reproduction, the impregnated embryo, which later becomes the fetus, is not yet BORN, but still being nourished through the human mother; so the begotten Christian is not yet BORN into the God Family. The divine life has merely been begotten.
Satan has managed to deceive most of fundamentalist Christianity into believing they already are “born again” on accepting Christ.
But just as in human reproduction when the Human characteristics of form and shape and the human body and brain gradually begin to form during the period of gestation, so now the RIGHTEOUS and HOLY character of God begins to take form and GROW.
Actually in many, this Divine character may form so slowly it seems hardly in evidence at first, except that in some there will appear the glow of that ecstasy of spiritual “romance” — which may radiate in that “first love” of spiritual conversion.
But, so far as growing in SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (II Pet. 3:18) and spiritual CHARACTER goes, most of that is still to be learned and developed.
When newly converted, one is now a spiritual “Emissary.” Now he must be nourished and fed on Spiritual FOOD. Jesus said man must not live by bread (physical food) alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD. The BIBLE is the written Word of God, just as Christ is the personal Word of God. This growth is the character development that REQUIRES TIME and comes largely by EXPERIENCE.
Above all, it requires continual BIBLE STUDY to show ONE’S SELF approved of God, as well as much continual and earnest PRAYER. When you study the Bible, GOD is TALKING TO YOU. When you PRAY, you are TALKING TO HIM. You get to really KNOW God in this manner, just as you become better acquainted with people by conversation.
Yet much of this spiritual character development comes through Christian fellowship with other spiritually begotten people in God’s Church.
Further, just as the human physical embryo and fetus are given physical nourishment through the human mother, God’s CHURCH is the spiritual MOTHER of its members. God’s Church is called “Jerusalem above, which is the MOTHER of us all” (Gal. 4:26).
Notice the exact parallel. God has set called and chosen ministers in His Church to feed the flock, “for the perfecting of the saints, for THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY [proclaiming Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world], for the edifying of the body [Church] of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).
It is the duty of Christ’s true ministers (and how few today) to PROTECT the begotten but yet unborn saints from false doctrines and from false ministers!
What a wonderful picture of God’s reproducing Himself is human reproduction!
And remember God intended human reproduction to be a FAMILY matter. It adds human children to the human FAMILY. The HUMAN FAMILY is the exact TYPE of the GOD FAMILY. God has bestowed MARRIAGE and FAMILY life on NO OTHER form of life except on HUMANS, whose potential it is to enter the FAMILY OF GOD! But consider further! As the physical human fetus must grow physically large enough to be born, so the begotten Christian must grow spiritually in grace and knowledge of Christ (II Pet. 3:18) — must overcome, develop in spiritual character, during this life, to be born into the Kingdom of God!