By Kelly Marshall
Chapter Three - The Mystery of Man
"It seems incredible indeed!…They [higher education, universities] do not know WHAT man is or WHY he came to be! That is the great Mystery Number 3 that has never been understood by humanity." (p. 96)
Thus begins this lengthy third chapter of MOA. HWA begins his usual bombardment of questions about this mystery of man, which "has baffled higher education." I hope our readers are beginning to see the pattern and can guess what is coming next—the discrediting of all authorities!
Right from the outset, HWA's book begins to date itself. He states that, "higher education…with virtual unanimity…no longer considers the possibility of a designed and planned creation by a God of supreme mind, perfect intelligence, and limitless power." Untrue. Not all scientists are atheists. Many, in fact, are Christians. Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have unlocked the code of life. Scientists are awed by the complexity and design of the gene, and there are scientists who are considering the "intelligent design" theory. Even some secular scientists are abandoning the theory of evolution, stating that there hasn't been any clear evidence to support this theory over the last 150 years. Although they do not acknowledge God, they are at least honest enough to admit that evolution is inconclusive, and that they need to start looking in other directions for answers. So in spite of HWA's dour observations, humanity has considered the possibility of a designed creation, and Creation Science believes in a "designed and planned creation" by a Creator. But this matters little to HWA. His goal is to paint the world in black and white, draw a line of demarcation, and push the reader to stand on one side or the other. This is the method used by HWA to sift out his sheep.
HWA continues to trash education for being "utterly helpless to solve its problems of mounting and continually escalating evils." Education can "give no purpose for human existence." It has become "entirely materialistic," a "combination of agnosticism of evolution, the politics of Karl Marx1, and the morals and social patterns of Sigmund Freud." HWA intentionally selects what he considers the dregs of society to represent the evil empire that he is constructing in the minds of his principled readers. While it may be true that education gives no purpose for human existence, it certainly does give human existence a purpose! Where would the world be without doctors, inventors, engineers, etc. who have made our lives more enjoyable? How many of us have broadened our lives through education? God has given us all gifts and talents, and it is not sinful to use them nor is it sinful to want to improve upon them through further education. There is an underlying purpose for HWA to stain "education" as we will later see. But HWA must stir up feelings of discontent and helplessness over a "society gone wrong." He can't introduce a better product if the reader is already satisfied.
Amusingly, the politics of Karl Marx do not match the politics of capitalism (i.e., "the civilized world today" as HWA claims), but they certainly bear a close resemblance to the government of HWA's church!2 Although HWA's doctrines seem specific, many of them are very vague, but he does promise prosperity living for following his tithing doctrines. He claims sole, authoritative command in his organization, which he insinuates is for the good of all. He gives the illusion that there are no class distinctions in his church, making members address each other as "brethren" and ministers as "Mister" (the Communists addressed each other as "comrade"), but in reality there was a social caste system in his top down government. The individual was unimportant, and members were all expected to "give all" to the Work.
HWA doesn't stop at demonizing higher education. Not only have the "custodians of KNOWLEDGE" failed to know the mystery of man, but:
"Religion does not reveal, for it also doesn't know! Yes, incredible—but TRUE!" (p. 98) [emp. mine].
Once again, another profound statement by HWA that has been declared by his own mouth as "truth." HWA will spend an inordinate amount of time hammering away at religion and education in this chapter. It is imperative that he destroys all vestiges of credibility before he can begin to construct a whole new belief system in the minds of his readers.
Even though he wants the reader to think that he is revealing the mystery of man, in reality he will continue to use this opportunity to induce fear, doubt and mistrust toward respected establishments, namely education and religion. He fully understands these institutions influence the hearts and minds of men.
In this third chapter of MOA, HWA will continue to magnify Satan's sway, and most notably, he will bring his church into the forefront as a net to catch those who are fleeing the corrupt society he has designed. He will also use this chapter to draw sharp lines through traditional Christian doctrines, forcing the reader to stand on one side or the other, thus sifting out his "sheep." Also of note is his usual modus operandi of calculated confusion. This consists of topic introduction, discrediting, reiterating past doctrine, irrelevant arguments, reintroduction of the original topic several pages later, and ending with a faulty conclusion.
[NOTE: Through the rest of this chapter all capitalized headings are by the author in order to organize the subject matter better.]
IGNORANCE DUE TO SATAN BEING GOD OF THIS WORLD
Now let's take a look at something called an "inconsequential argument." On page 98, HWA tells us that Satan sits on the throne of the earth and has "blinded the minds of intellectuals as well as other levels of society." His proof? Let's follow this colorful illustration:
Consider for a moment, the most highly trained mind with several letters of advanced degrees following his name. He is highly trained in certain specific areas in which he has extensive, complicated and intricate knowledge. But ask him about some area of knowledge outside his specialized field and he is as much in ignorance as those who are lacking in the more advanced labyrinths of education." (p. 98)
According to HWA, a man who spends his whole life learning about and performing intricate brain surgeries is absolutely clueless when it comes to piloting a 747 Jumbo jet. And the professional airline pilot who spent countless hours in training doesn't know a hill of beans about gene mapping. Why, all this ignorance absolutely proves that Satan sits on the throne of this world!
All sarcasm aside, can you begin to see these inconsequential arguments are nothing more than smokescreens designed to bring the reader to HWA's faulty conclusions? Carefully examine the closing statement by HWA following this smokescreen:
This ignorance cannot be explained except by the invisible and unaware influence of the supernatural evil power of Satan the devil and the unseen demoniacal spirit beings. (p. 98)
Is this true? Shouldn't God's apostle also be measured by the same standards he is willing to dole out on others? Let's try it: God's man knows the Bible like the back of his hand—he's the only expert on earth today that can decode the Bible—but he can't pilot his own Gulfstream III Lear Jet. What ignorance! And this ignorance cannot be explained except by the invisible and evil power of Satan! But wait a minute! Let's back up and rethink this using HWA's own logic. Since HWA isn't blinded by the devil, then he should know how to do everything from brain surgeries to gene mapping! Can you begin to see the fallacy in HWA's empty arguments?
Come to think of it, why does HWA spend so much time illuminating the devil? All Bible-based cults know that in order to unify members toward a common purpose or goal, there must be an "enemy" to fight against. This keeps the members distracted so they can't focus on the actions of the leadership. Yes, the Bible says that the devil does influence the world, but he has no hold over the saved believer. HWA made members believe that if they weren't careful to follow all the rules of the government of God, the devil would blindside them, and cause them to be "disqualified," thus terminating their salvation process. The member's salvation was conditional upon obedience and total submission to the organization.
Here's another interesting blunder in HWA's vast arsenal of knowledge:
The primary divisions of this world's civilization—government, religion, education and science, technology, industry—all shy away from God. …The mention of God embarrasses them. (p. 98)
HWA carefully lumps "religion" in with the different sectors of the world's civilizations, stating that, "the mention of God embarrasses them." Religion embarrassed by the mention of God? Perish the thought! How would they stay in business? In his zeal to mix religion in with everything else gone wrong in society, God's apostle plainly goofed.
Even though HWA says God isn't judging mankind, let's examine some of the judgmental remarks he has made concerning the learned of the world:
They are smugly ignorant and unaware of the TRUE VALUES and the incredible but real human potential. (p. 105)
Real truth is revealed. Unless revealed it remains a mystery, utterly unknown to the deceived and vain intellectuals. (p. 105) [emp. mine]
But why all this contempt toward intellectuals? Could it be that HWA is leading the reader to another calculated destination of wrong conclusions?
Jesus Christ thanked God that the real truths are hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed to those who are babes in materialistic knowledge. (p. 105)
The pattern is repeated over and over. Nobody knows anything, everyone is ignorant, but "real truths" that are "hidden" are "only revealed" to HWA and his church. His proof? Because they are "babes in materialistic knowledge." But HWA has a deeper reason for trashing education and the worldly "educated." He wants his readers to believe that "experts" are Satan's puppets, perpetuating worldly "lies" and they should never be listened to unless they want to fall into deception. Once in the church, pursuit of higher education will be discouraged, under the guise of positioning oneself in the continual influence of Satan through these "worldly" institutions. Of course, HWA leads his members into believing that Ambassador College is God's divine institution and members need to send their children to AC for a "godly education" to recapture "true values." The next generation will be further indoctrinated in HWA's faulty doctrines and sent out into the world to support his growing empire. This is how a sly and calculating religious cult leader isolates his members and dominates their lives.
And if the reader had any dreams of furthering his education, HWA will stamp that out in a hurry:
The psychology taught in our day is self-reliance. Rely on the innate powers within you, they teach. An atmosphere of self-reliant professionalism pervades most modern university campuses. It is the spirit of vanity. The university student is induced to think of himself as becoming a professional—that is, he considers himself elevated above those who have not had his brand of education. Through basic concept of evolutionary theory, he feels himself completely above those who believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He regards them with disdain. (p. 122)
There are some interesting comments made in this paragraph. It's clear that HWA is bearing some kind of grudge toward anyone who pursues an education. Could it be because he never completed an education? The university student is training to become a professional in the field of his choice. He is deserving of the title of "professional" because of the years of training he must undergo to become an expert in his field. You wouldn't want a surgeon with three months of training to operate on your loved one, would you? All unbelievers regard believers with disdain, but HWA wants us to believe that this attitude exists exclusively with the "educated." Of course, I've already covered HWA's true purpose for perpetuating this idea.
BIBLE A HIGHLY CODED BOOK
Under the subtitle "Earth's Face in Devastation," (p. 99) HWA quickly jumps to the sinning angels and reiterates his version of the gap theory. He then introduces a "biblical principle" and quotes Isaiah 28:9-10 "…precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little." Now let's observe another clever set up. HWA states:
But most who try to apply this principle in biblical understanding take each "little" verse out of its context, to "interpret" their own ideas into it.
The very fact that its truths are revealed here a little, there a little means it is a coded book, not to be understood until our present time of the end…
…the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle. Until the various pieces of a jigsaw are put properly together, the true picture does not emerge. (p. 100)
Need I point out the hypocrisy in HWA's first statement? The next two statements confirm the hypocrisy of the first statement. We are not to "interpret our own ideas" into Scripture, but HWA tells us that only he can put Scripture together properly in order for a "true picture" to emerge (after all, he is special). One can see, over and over again in MOA, how HWA interpreted his own ideas into Scripture, and how he plainly lies and deceives through misquoting, misrepresenting, and grossly omitting information so the "true picture" of what he wants you to believe emerges—and now he wants you to take his word for it that everybody else "interprets their own ideas into Scripture and takes the Bible out of context"! HWA claims that the "educated" and "those of advanced intellect" are willfully ignorant. If anyone was willfully ignorant, it was HWA—he willfully ignored what the Bible taught! And for all his scorn toward education, why did he want to represent himself as "highly educated," buying himself a "doctorate" from Angeles University of the Philippines?3 How many old timers remember hearing HWA being addressed as "Dr. Armstrong"? Isn't this absolute hypocrisy?
Another line of demarcation has been drawn by HWA. Those who challenge this exclusive claim will cease to go any further, no longer buying into the idea of blindly following this man's self-proclaimed authority to interpret Scripture properly. The rest who didn't notice the shift in final authority accepted this claim because they didn't perceive or recognize this transfer of power. They were too inexperienced and trusting, believing that this man, who seemed to hold the Word of God with such high esteem, would ever take advantage of them. They felt he had taught them more about the Bible than they ever knew, so they begin to put their trust and belief in him, and his claims of "being sent by God" to reveal hidden Scriptures. Quite frankly, they were intrigued by what he had to say and wholeheartedly wanted to gain "UNDERSTANDING." They were so mired in this mystery that they entirely missed the wolf in sheep's clothing.
Do the verses in Isaiah 28 really "prove" that the Bible is a coded book? In Isaiah 28, the major prophet begins the chapter by pronouncing woes to Ephraim and Jerusalem. Verses 7-8 discuss how the priests and prophets became infected with the sin of drunkenness, unable to adequately guide the nation—pathetic leadership indeed. Verse 9 in full context is a rebuke from Isaiah.
Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
Here Isaiah questions the "leaders" ability to teach since he compares them to toddlers "just weaned from milk." HWA discarded this part of the verse between the dot-dot-dots "…", a method he employs throughout his literature. The response to Isaiah from the leaders is in verse 10 (precept upon precept…here a little, there a little). They are scornfully mocking Isaiah by returning a child's "nyah, nyah, nyah!" Transliterated, the Hebrew monosyllables are Sav lasav, sav lasav, Kav lakav, kav lakav, Ze'er sham, ze'er sham. These imitations of a young child's babbling ridicule Isaiah's preaching. In verse 13, God returns their mockery, repeating it back to them. Because of the leaders' obstinacy to heed Isaiah, he continues to prophecy of their coming defeat by the Assyrians. When read in context, this verse does not prove that the Bible is a coded book. When one believes the "coded book" myth, he has unconsciously given HWA permission to be the final authority in Bible interpretation, which is exactly what HWA wants.
HWA was a master at "cookie cutting theology." He would cut out a verse from one chapter, cut out another from another chapter, and present them together to create doctrines that support his beliefs. He would omit portions of Scripture to "prove" whatever he wanted to prove. This is how a religious cult leader is able to deceive his followers into thinking the "truths" in the Bible are hidden and God has given him the ability to properly interpret "confusing" (or hidden) Scriptures. The reader thinks they are "proving" what the Bible says because he tells them to read these Scriptures themselves. But these Scriptures don't make sense unless the person reads them in the order that HWA teaches they should be read, and if you believe his explanations of them. One doesn't see that they are only reading partial Scriptures, jumping around from here to there to piece the Bible together, Armstrong-style, arriving at the conclusions he intended.
Beginning on page 100, HWA introduces the concept of the Bible being a coded book and a jigsaw puzzle. Seven pages later, we find the adjective "highly" added to this "coded book," and stated as "fact." Let's carefully think through this illogical statement. If God "reveals and instructs" with the Bible, why would he code it? When you are given an instruction manual with your new lawn mower or computer, is the manual "coded"? What would be the point? If you give first-time parents an instruction book on newborn baby care, how does it help the parents if the instruction book is highly coded? How can a highly coded book "reveal and instruct"? Why would a loving God do such a thing? Does Scripture support this idea?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Tim. 3:16-17)
Can the reader begin to see that HWA fabricated this false belief so he could place himself as the one who can decipher the Bible? The reader's lack of training in Scriptures is not "proof" that Satan has withheld this knowledge from him. If one opened up an aviation electronics manual, could he fully understand the schematics if he's never been trained in aviation electronics? What about a manual on dentistry or human anatomy? What about industrial chemistry? Like any other profession, one must be trained in order to have better understanding of what he is reading. Lack of thorough understanding in these fields does not point to society suppressing "truth." Acquiring biblical knowledge is no different. The fact is that many people are weak in culture, history, foreign languages, and Bible eschatology, which makes the Bible difficult in many places (especially the Old Testament), but not completely impossible to understand, as HWA would want the reader to believe. This is why we have Bible reference materials to help us have a more in-depth understanding of certain Scriptures, and as we keep on reading the Bible, God will open up our minds and hearts to understand it.
HWA informs us that the "soul is mortal" and quotes Genesis 2:7 which says "man became a living soul." He states that, "this verse does not say ‘man is, or has, an immortal soul.'" True, it doesn't say that, but using his own arguments, this verse doesn't say man is a "mortal soul" either. It simply says that Adam came to life when God breathed the breath of life into him (a living soul). This is another clever, but invalid argument.
HWA expounds on the word "nephesh," and states that the soul is physical and can die. He pronounces his teaching as "TRUTH" and "believed by very few denominations." He emphatically pronounces this as "another PROOF that identifies the one true Church of God!" Once again, HWA validates his own doctrines by his own pronouncements! Naturally, he fails to mention that the "very few denominations" are Bible-based cults. The Jehovah's Witnesses use these very same arguments to support their mortal soul doctrine, and since the JW's have been around longer than HWA, then it appears that God has been revealing this "truth" to another denomination, and a cultic one at that! Of course, if we use HWA's own reasoning—that belief in this mortal soul doctrine is "proof that identifies the one true church"—this would qualify the Watchtower Society as part of the one true Church! Interestingly, HWA doesn't trace his church lineage through them!4
It is no secret, even to the present leadership of the various Church of God organizations, that HWA pilfered most of his doctrines.5 It was already observed in the previous chapter, his borrowing from Mormonism (man is God in embryo/future God beings). Here is an interesting little comparison to see whether HWA spent his "research time" ingesting literature from the Watchtower Society. Let's compare the paragraphs in his MOA with paragraphs quoted from a small book published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society entitled, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" (1982, 1989).
HWA says in his MOA:
But God made MAN of MATTER! This was necessary for the supreme accomplishment God willed.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into this nostrils the breath [air] of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7). Man, formed from material dust of the ground, upon breathing air, BECAME a living soul. It does not say man is, or has an immortal soul. What was formed from material ground BECAME a soul.
The word "soul" is translated from the Hebrew in which Moses wrote, from the word nephesh. The Hebrew nephesh here means a breathing animal. Three times in the first chapter of Genesis animals are called nephesh: Gen. 1:20, "moving creature"…, Gen. 1:21, "great whales, and every living creature"…; Gen. 1:24, "living creature"….The translators in translating into the English language used the English "creature," but in Genesis 2:7 they translated the same nephesh into the English word "soul" – man became a "living soul" (nephesh).
Therefore the SOUL is physical, composed of matter, and can die. (pgs. 103-104)
Compare that to the Watchtower Society's publication:
God created man from the earth to live on the earth, as the Bible says: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) From this we can see that man was a direct creation of God. In a special act of creation, God made man a complete, whole person. When God blew into man's nostrils the "breath of life," man's lungs were filled with air. But more than that was accomplished. God thereby gave life to the man's body. This life-force is sustained, or kept going, by breathing.
Notice however, that the Bible does not say that God gave man a soul. Rather, it says that after God started man breathing "the man came to be a living soul." So the man was a soul…(p. 72)
Some persons have said that what makes man different from the animals is that man has a soul but the animals do not. However, Genesis 1:20 and 30 says that God created "living souls" to live in the water, and that the animals have "life as a soul." In these verses some Bibles use the words "creature" and "life" instead of "soul," but their marginal readings agree that the word "soul" is what appears in the original language…
Since animals are souls, when they die their souls die…What about human souls? As we learned in the previous chapter, God did not create man with a soul. Man is a soul. So, as we would expect, when man dies, his soul dies. (pp. 77-78)
HWA continues with this argument:
…Scripture plainly reveals that when you die you are dead. According to the Bible, the dead don't hear anything, see anything, think anything or know anything. The dead have absolutely no awareness of any kind: ‘For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished…'" (Eccl. 9:5-6) (p. 125)
Scripture warns us to make the most of life now while we have the opportunity: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going (Eccl. 9:10 Revised Authorized Version). (p. 126) [Note: The NKJV is known in Great Britain as the Revised Authorized Version]
Notice the similarities with the Watchtower's publication:
Simply stated, death is the opposite of life. The Bible shows this at Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10. According to the Authorized or King James version, these verses say: "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
This means that the dead cannot do anything and cannot feel anything. They no longer have any thoughts…(p. 76-77)
Take special note of what HWA says in the second paragraph, which is repeated in the third paragraph:
I have explained earlier that the spirit in man of itself does not see, cannot hear, cannot think….At death, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Eccl. 12:7)
The departed human spirit at death is in fact a spiritual mold, of itself unconscious, yet in the resurrection bringing into the resurrected body all the memory, knowledge and character as well as form and shape of the person before death. (p. 110)
The spirit is the depository of memory and character. The spirit is like a mold. It retains even the human form and shape of the deceased, so that in the resurrection to judgment those who have died shall look as they did in life, retain whatever character they established in life, remember everything that was stored in their memory. But in the meantime, in death, there is no consciousness – they "know not any thing" (Eccl. 9:5) (p.127)
Now carefully observe the wording in the third paragraph of the Watchtower's book:
As we have seen, the "spirit" is something different from our soul. The spirit is our life-force. This life-force is in each of the body cells of both humans and animals. It is sustained, or kept alive, by breathing. What does it mean, then, when the Bible says that at death "the dust returns to the earth…and the spirit itself returns to the true God who gave it"? (Eccl. 12:7) (p. 79)
At death man's spirit, his life-force, which is sustained by breathing, "goes out." It no longer exists. So man's senses of hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste, which depend upon his being able to think, all stop working. According to the Bible, the dead enter a state of complete unconsciousness. (p. 77)
The resurrection is indeed a wonderful miracle. The person that died may have built up a great amount of experience and knowledge and many memories over a lifetime. He developed a personality that made him different from any other person that ever lived. Yet Jehovah God remembers every detail, and will restore this complete person when He resurrects him….Humans can record voices and pictures of people, and play them back long after the people have died. But Jehovah can, and actually will, bring back to life all persons who are living in his memory! (p. 174)
HWA clearly derived his mortal soul (and other) teachings from the Watchtower Society. More noteworthy though, are HWA's bootlegging of the Watchtower's explanations. These teachings have been around since the early 1900's. It appears that it is actually the Watchtower Society, and not God, that had been revealing these "truths" to HWA all along. It is also interesting to note that Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses), wrote a book entitled Divine Plan of the Ages. His successor, J. F. Rutherford wrote one entitled, The Finished Mystery. The similarity between the titles of those two and HWA's Mystery of the Ages should be evident. [emp. mine]
Now I want our readers to examine another gross misrepresentation by HWA:
Much supposed "Christian" teaching has been that God created the first man a perfect immortal being, but that when God was not looking Satan stole in and wrecked this wonderful handiwork of God. Salvation is then pictured as God's effort to repair the damage, and to restore mankind back to a condition as good as when God first created him. (p. 125)
It seems to me that it was HWA who taught that God created Lucifer a perfect immortal being, but when God wasn't looking for all those millions of years, Lucifer rebelled and wrecked this wonderful handiwork of God and destroyed the whole universe. Salvation is then pictured as God's effort to repair the damage by sending Adam to dethrone Satan and restore the government of God on earth back to the condition as it was before God first created him. You see, HWA engages in gross misrepresentation of the Christian gospel, but will scream "persecution" whenever anyone returns the favor!
Notice how HWA supports his mortal soul teaching using his own writings as a credible source to back up his claims ("I quote now from an article in The Plain Truth March 1985…"). (p. 125). It seems he didn't want to use the Watchtower Society's literature as one of his sources since he derived this teaching from them. He wouldn't want his readers to get suspicious, would he?
Let's continue to examine each of HWA's arguments concerning the immortal soul. He quotes Acts 13:22 and Acts 2:29 to support his beliefs that David, a man after God's own heart, didn't ascend into the heavens. He also quotes John 3:13, stating that Jesus, himself, said that, "no man hath ascended up to heaven." These arguments seems pretty convincing, until the Scriptures are read in context, something that HWA has repeatedly failed to do. Let's examine them:
Beginning in verse 22 of Acts 2, we see Peter, filled with the Spirit, boldly giving his notable sermon to the Jews. He begins by declaring that Jesus of Nazareth, who performed many miracles in their midst, was crucified by their hands, but that God raised him up. Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11, showing from David's own writings that he was speaking of the Messiah and not of David, himself:
"For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption."
In verse 29, Peter is reminding the Jews that David's body had never been raised, so this prophecy could not be speaking of him. Peter continues to give proof after proof that Jesus was the Messiah. When Peter spoke that David "did not ascend into the heavens," he was correctly testifying that Jesus, only, was the first who had been bodily resurrected. Remember, Jesus is the Firstfruits—the first One raised with both body and soul together to immortality! [Note from ESN: Also see Matthew 27:52-53 where it says many bodies of the saints "came out of the graves after his resurrection")]. He ascended bodily into the heavens—that's why His body was not found in the tomb. This is precisely what these Scriptures are saying. In context, the focus of these Scriptures is proof that Jesus is the Messiah by His fulfillment of the prophecy uttered by David in Psalm 16—not "proof" that David didn't go to heaven, as HWA tried to make it seem. Read Peter's entire sermon in context and you will easily understand this.
HUMAN SPIRIT IMPARTS INTELLECT TO THE BRAIN
The next area where HWA identifies another "truth" has proven interesting as well.
Now we come to another truth, so far as I know, exclusive to the one true Church. (p.104)
HWA goes through a series of discussions about "how the human mind functions," describing it as superior than that of animals even though they may be equal or greater in size. Of course he must throw in: "Few indeed know WHY!" I hope our readers are beginning to see who those "few" are and the set-up here. Believing what HWA says is how he defines "truth," and those who believe him gain the elite status of being part of the "one true Church."
HWA continues with the question, "What is the real value of human life?" contrasting a newborn babe and an elderly person (p. 106). He asks the reader, "Could you supply the correct answer?" Of course you can't, and HWA knows that. This question was designed to make the reader feel insecure for his inability to answer it, while producing a sense of "awe" toward HWA for knowing the answer. One has to go all the way to pages 110-111, slog through a long and confusing dissertation about the human brain, in order to find the answer to this question proposed on page 106. The true answer is simple: God values ALL human life, but HWA doesn't mention that. Instead, he launches into the word "UNDERSTANDING" deflecting the reader's attention toward his profound wisdom, which he wants you to believe came from God.
It is worthy to note here that HWA also attempted on page 6 to make the reader think that he is "wise" because he agrees with HWA's writings, and now "understands." This is why HWA capitalizes the word "UNDERSTANDING" throughout his literature. By carefully extracting the phrase "none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand" he once again sets up a "reader-can't-win-Herbert-can't-lose" scenario. If the reader chooses to believe him, he is pronounced "wise" for "understanding truth" (HWA's doctrines). If he chooses not to believe him, he is "wicked" and the rejection of HWA's doctrines is "proof" of the reader's lack of understanding. He is immediately cast into Satan's camp of the "blind and deceived" (and he definitely doesn't get invited to church!).
HWA informs the reader that there is a spirit in man, which he dubs the "human spirit." He claims that this human spirit cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or feel, nor can it think. It's supposed to "impart intellect to the brain." He repeats this phrase at least ten times between pages 105-111. Did HWA get this idea from Scripture? Believe it or not, in every instance where he used this phrase, he failed to give a single Scripture to support it! Look this up yourself! Start on page 104, under the subheading, "How Human Mind Functions" and read clear to the fourth paragraph on page 111, where HWA completes his thoughts. There are only two Scriptures quoted, neither of them having to do with the human mind! The first Scripture listed is on page 105 (Matt. 11:25), a repeat quote speaking of Jesus "revealing truth to babes." This is a clear set up for the reader to believe everything that he is told in the following pages. The next Scripture reference is on page 108 (Gen. 2:7), which is about God breathing into man the breath of life. And that's it! Like a good TV commercial, HWA repetitiously chants what he wants the reader to believe, and omits the facts. Say it—repeat it—it's fact—believe it. Advertising experience has served him well.
So one can correctly conclude that this idea that "the human spirit imparts intellect to the brain" did not come from Scripture since the apostle himself could give no Scripture to back it. I hope our readers by now understand that whenever HWA repeats certain words and phrases and uses capital letters, this is a "red flag" that needs to fall under careful scrutiny.