Editor’s Note: Here is an except from an article by Mr., Herbert W. Armstrong regarding true Spirituality that we should all take to heart. Notice how he relates the material to the Knock Message of Rev. 3:20.
Now let us turn to God’s Word, and reverently and humbly seek to learn what Is GOD’S standard of spirituality. Of the true spiritual mind, God says to us, thru Paul, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:5). But HOW can you have the mind that was in Christ Jesus in YOU? Jesus says: “Behold. I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock: if any man hear my voice, and OPEN the door, I will come in to him.” (Rev. 3:30) .””And Jesus meant exactly what He said I He will come In, thru His Spirit, and literally LIVE His life of true righteousness in you, if only you will surrender all of SELF and let the blessed Savior IN. “For to be carnally-minded is death.” That is, naturally-minded, actuated by selfish impulses and a love of self. “But to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace . . . But ye 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, HE IS NONE OF HIS.” Unless His Spirit abides within you, living HIS life of true righteousness in you, you are not even saved!(Editor: This was changed to: [Unless His Spirit abides within you, living His life of true righteousness in you, you are not a real Christian!] in the 1984 version of the article. Just an interesting side note) “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:6-10). When God first takes us as His children, He takes us who have been earthly, worldly, sensual, and disobedient. His ultimate aim is to make us like unto Himself. This transformation (not reformation) is a tremendous undertaking. It requires a miracle. But God stands pledged, upon real thorough repentance, and faith in Christ (Acts 2:38) to start the performance of this tremendous miracle by putting His Holy Spirit literally WITHIN you. But God will work the complete change in your life ONLY if you are willing to SUBMIT to the process. The FIRST condition is real, deep, thorough repentance. You will have to be willing to accept correction and repeated chastisements at His loving hands, for “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” (Heb. 12:6). The Spiritual mind is the surrendered mind. It is the yielded mind. It is the mind that has given up all wanting its own way. It is the mind that has been thoroughly CONQUERED in its rebellion against God. It is the mind that, henceforth, is willing to obey God, no matter what the cost, and which continually studies God’s Word, not to argue and strive and corner folks, but to learn more of God’s will, and to WALK in it? It is a mind FILLED to overflowing with real LOVE for God and all fellow men—even one’s enemies—and which has sympathy, patience, and kindness for others in their faults and mistakes; which speaks softly, gently, kindly, which seeks only to help and to serve. It is the mind that has DIED to SELF.
Christ IN You
The real spiritual mind can say with the Apostle Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live’ yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME” Galatians 2:20. When you can say that, then you have the mind that was in Christ Jesus. The real spiritual mind is a SOUND mind: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of A SOUND MIND.” (II Tim. 1:7). To those being carried away with a false and pseudo-spirituality, where real manifestations of the Spirit were being counterfeited by DEMONSTRATIONS of SELF in a fanatical emotionalism, Paul, correcting -them, said: “Brethren, be not children in understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:20) How, then, about emotionalism, manifestations, etc.? Some people are naturally emotional, and others are not. Let not the emotional one Judge him who is not emotional. And let not the unemotional condemn as a fanatic him whose emotions express themselves more freely. God looks on the HEART, not the outward show of emotion. And the manifestations? Just leave them to God. If’ and when, the Holy Spirit is the real author, let us not criticize, but praise God for it. But do not attempt to work up a demonstration of SELF, which is only to impersonate the Holy Spirit. Neither “quench the Spirit.” Seek God with an honest heart. Seek the GIVER of the gifts, not the blessings. If this is done we believe there will be but an infinitesimal part of the so-called “manifestations” so common today, but there will be a great deal more of the real Spirit of God.
The Four Substitutes
REAL Spiritual-mindedness is the mind of LOVE, for God is LOVE. So let us review our four SUBSTITUTES for spirituality in the light of God’s Word.
- “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not LOVE, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (I Cor. 13:1). Did you ever hear one speak with the tongues of ANGELS? Spiritual TALK, “tongues”, or “manifestations,” are only a lot of sounds or a noise like beating old tin pans, If you have not LOVE.
- And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and ALL KNOWLEDGE:” and,
- “though I have ALL FAITH so that I oouid remove mountains, and have not LOVE, I, am NOTHING.” (v.2).
- “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not LOVE, it profiteth me NOTHING.” (v.3).
What is it to have LOVE? The next four verses tell. Here is TRUE spiritual-mindedness: “LOVE is very patient, very kind.” Are YOU? “LOVE knows no jealousy; love makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish, never irritated, never resentful; love is never gladdened when others go wrong; love is gladdened by goodness, always slow to expose, always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient (I Cor. 13:4-7; Moffatt’s translation. ) Read those three verses again, substituting your own name wherever “Love” appears. Try it as a test on yourself, it will tell you how truly SPIRITUAL you are. Let us seek more real, genuine SPIRITUAL-MINDEDNESS!
Excerpt from an article in the February 1934 Plain Truth and repeated in the June 1984 Good News by Mr. Herbert Armstrong