A New Truth about Abortion
By: Herbert W. Armstrong
(Plain Truth Personal - September 1985)
WHEN does human life start?
WHY human life?
It's time we knew this TRUTH that has remained a mystery.
Is abortion murder? Is it a crime? Is it a SIN? A crime is a violation of a man-made law. Sin is transgression of GOD'S LAW. God's law defines right as opposed to wrong.
Humanly legislated laws do not always do that. Some things can be sin that are not a crime in man-made laws. But man-made laws have even made obedience to the higher law of God a crime, punishable by death. For example, the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 363, enacted a law enforced by the Roman government: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day."
If any were found to be Judaizing by "resting on the Sabbath," they were to be declared "anathema from Christ." This was interpreted by the government as a crime and often was punishable by death. Yet the law of God commands: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
But in the final judgment every individual will be judged and sentenced according to the law of God, regardless of what has received general human acceptance or what has been made into a human law.
The whole controversy on abortion revolves around the question: When does human life start? Where did human life first begin? It began when God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). God had said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." God is composed of spirit. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). But man was made out of the ground—matter.
God's purpose is to reproduce himself through man, who is formed of matter or substance. God creates in a system of duality. Man was, made first of material, the ground. The second stage of man's creation calls for making him into a holy, righteous spirit being as a child of God. Thus God's ultimate purpose is to reproduce himself—and God not only is formed and composed of spirit, but God is perfect righteous spiritual character. God's spiritual creation involves the development, with man's own assent in this physical life, of God's righteous character. To reproduce himself, God purposed that man should reproduce himself physically, even as God is reproducing himself spiritually. The one is the type of the other.
Human life first began with the creation of the first man Adam by a process of reproduction. The human life has continued from that original life and is transmitted from generation to generation.
God said to the first man Adam, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). Man was to reproduce himself physically—in other words, continue that human life from generation to generation. But the man was unable to do that. No man has ever been able to reproduce himself all by himself. So God performed an operation. He put man into a "deep sleep," which today we would call anesthesia, and operated, removing one of the man's ribs, out of which he made a woman.
The woman was not made from the dust of the ground. Woman was first made from man. The two—the man and the woman—became one. How did the two become one? They became one human family. A family is composed of two or more. They reproduced, had children, and the family increased. That original family, by the process of human reproduction, has been increasing for 6,000 years until today there are about 4 billion of us humans populating the earth.
The human life in every human being started from the human life God created in Adam. Even Eve's life came from Adam. Every human life since is a continuation of that same kind of human life continually reproduced after its kind. This human reproduction was the exact type of divine reproduction by which God is reproducing himself.
Human reproduction started with the first human, the man Adam. Divine reproduction has started with the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Jesus was begotten and born as a human being, just as all humans have been, except that God was his Father, and therefore, one of his names is Emmanuel, which means "God with us," or, "God in the human flesh," Therefore, Jesus Christ was human, born of the human virgin Mary, but he was also God, sired by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God actually fertilized or imparted life to an ovum in the womb of the virgin Mary.
Now examine human reproduction. Human life starts from an egg, or an ovum, produced through an ovary in the human mother-to-be. This ovum, of itself, has only a very temporary life—a matter of days. Unless fertilized by a sperm cell from the body of the male, it will soon die.
The female ovum is about the size of a pinpoint—not the head, but the tiny point of a pin, barely large enough to be seen through the naked eye. The male sperm cell that will fertilize it is the smallest cell in the human body, only one fiftieth the size of the ovum. In the female ovum is a still more tiny nucleus. Once the male sperm cell penetrates and enters the ovum, it joins immediately with the nucleus. At that instant, human life has begun.
This very start of human life is the exact type of the beginning of the divine life. Jesus said he had come that we "might have life, and that [we] might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He was talking about the fact he had come that we might have immortal, divine life, which would be a much more abundant life than this frail human life. Jesus said, at the beginning of his ministry on earth, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). Jesus chose and called 12 disciples to be taught the good news or gospel of the kingdom of God—the kingdom of God beings that shall reign over all the nations of this earth, beginning with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Now consider carefully this fact: Human reproduction is the exact type of divine reproduction. In every human there is human spirit. The human brain, as scientists have learned in the new science of brain research, differs little from animal brain. Yet we learn from many scriptures in the Bible that in every human brain resides a human spirit. This spirit empowers the physical brain with intellect, which makes the vast difference between human ability to think, to reason, to acquire knowledge, to have a sense of spiritual values, which animals do not possess.
A factor that has greatly puzzled and mystified human scientists—especially in the new science of brain research—is what constitutes the incredible difference between the vast output of the human brain as compared to the animal brain. They cannot account for it on physical grounds, and most all stubbornly refuse to accept the truth as it is on spiritual grounds.
Most scientists, it seems, refuse to accept the existence of spirit. That very refusal caused the development in human imagination of the theory of evolution. Evolution is the atheist's and the agnostic's explanation of the presence of the physical creation without the preexistence of the great supernatural spirit Creator who is God.
The Holy Bible is the word of the Creator God. In it, God, who knows the rationalizations and reasonings of the natural mind cut off from him, says of these unbelieving skeptics, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:14).
The God-rejecting mind, therefore, will be incapable of understanding what is to follow in this Personal.
In the comparison of human reproduction to divine reproduction, each human being is an ovum. Each of us might be called a spiritual ovum. Each has a limited life span on average of approximately 72 or 73 years at present. Unless fertilized within a life span by the spiritual male sperm, which is the Holy Spirit from the very body of God the Father, each of us will perish. How, then, does divine life start?
The original apostles had been taught and trained for some three and one half years by Jesus. They were, as it were, spiritual ova. They did not receive the spiritual sperm cell from God the Father until after Christ's sacrifice and resurrection and ascension to heaven. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and entered into the disciples gathered together, all in one accord. This divine sperm cell from the body of God the Father was the Holy Spirit—the very divine, life-imparting Spirit of God. Naturally, on entering the apostles, this Spirit went immediately to the nucleus of the human, which is the mind. There it joined with the human spirit that had been a part of the human being from human conception. Thus the humans who received the Holy Spirit of God had the divine life of God imparted into them. They thus became the begotten children of God. When the Holy Spirit enters the human mind, it unites the human mind with the mind of God.
The human spirit imparts capacity to acquire physical and material knowledge infinitely superior to that acquired by the animal brain. It also imparts to the physical brain limited spiritual concepts of good as opposed to evil, albeit on the human spiritual level. However, with the addition of the divine Spirit of God to this human spirit, the human mind is capable of acquiring the spiritual knowledge of the purposes, ways and objectives of God.
The human spirit cannot see, think, hear or indulge in the process of reasoning. It is the brain that sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and does the thinking and reasoning as it is empowered in the reasoning and thinking process by the human spirit.
However, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Cor. 2:9). This further and deeper and more profound spiritual knowledge of God's purposes and plans and of God's righteousness is acquirable only by the addition of the Holy Spirit of God uniting with the human spirit of man.
On that day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, at the very founding of the Church of God, this divine Spirit of God entered into the believers there assembled in Jerusalem.
The point I want to make at this juncture is that at this moment of divine conception—the receiving of the Holy Spirit—they became the children of God, though as yet unborn. The divine "sperm" of the Holy Spirit had entered the human "ovum" as it were, and divine conception had taken place. The human sperm cell entering the human ovum constitutes human conception.
The then-fertilized human ovum from that instant is medically called an embryo. After some weeks, as it grows gradually into a human form, it is called a fetus. This growing and developing stage is called gestation. This is the precise type of spiritual conception and the Christian period of growing spiritually in grace and spiritual knowledge (II Pet. 3:18).
The Bible calls the Church of God "the mother of us all" who are the begotten children of God. The Church, as the spiritual mother, feeds spiritually the converted Christians within her, protects them from false teachings and ways, and brings them along in a spiritual period of gestation, ready to be born spiritually by a resurrection (at Christ's coming), an instantaneous change from mortal human to divine God in the kingdom of God. Reproduction of human life is the exact type of spiritual reproduction. Our question is, When does human life start?
Human life in general started with the creation of Adam. He alone was specially created. All other humans have been reproduced from Adam. This reproductive process was designed by the same God who designed the spiritual reproductive process by which God is reproducing himself. A human life first starts in each individual human; so divine life starts by a spiritual conception—when the Holy Spirit first enters the human.
God purposed that man should reproduce himself physically, even as God is reproducing himself spiritually. Reproduction of human life is the exact type of spiritual reproduction. Our question is, When does human life start?
Now when does divine life start? When does one become a Christian—one of Christ's? In Romans 8:9, one who has received the Holy Spirit is Christ's. One who has not the Spirit of God is "none of his"— not a Christian. And, verse 11, if the Holy Spirit dwells in one, he shall be born immortal. In verse 14, as many as are led by the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, are, already, during this Christian life—this spiritual gestation period—the sons of God, though as yet unborn spiritually. They are begotten children of God.
In I John 3:1-2: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
Already now in this human Christian life, as yet unborn, in gestation stage, we are the children of God. Yet we do not yet "appear" visibly as we shall be when born.
At the instant of physical conception, the embryo, and weeks later the fetus, is, already, the child of its parents. It is not just and only a piece of "fetal tissue," as abortionists argue, in their attempt to justify human murder.
From the instant of conception, a human life is in existence. To deliberately kill or destroy that human life, the GREAT LAWGIVER and SUPREME JUDGE says, is MURDER, punishable by eternal and final DEATH!
Regardless of human lawyers, human courts, human judges, or even supreme court justices, abortion is an act of murder, in defiance of the supreme Almighty GOD. And those who commit it, and order it, or "legally" by man's law authorize it, will be held in contempt of this SUPREME COURT OF HEAVEN, and answerable to that great Supreme Judge!
God Almighty has called and authorized me to "CRY ALOUD, AND SPARE NOT, AND SHOW OUR PEOPLE THEIR SINS!"
If we obeyed the laws of God we would avoid a world filled with suffering, anguish and helpless frustration. God's laws are the way to PEACE, to HAPPINESS, to JOY, to accomplishments that make life full, enjoyable and abundant.
God says, "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Ps. 127:3). Human family relationship is one of the supreme blessings God has given mankind. What a tragedy that a rebellious mankind has spurned, forsaken and deprived itself of the wonderful blessings and happiness a loving God has made possible.
However, the final conclusion of the whole story of human life is this: When mankind has succeeded in spurning and repudiating every blessing, and has brought itself to the very brink of the total extinction of the human race through man's own nuclear and other life-destroying inventions, the merciful Eternal God will intervene and at last usher in the happy, peaceful and overwhelmingly satisfying eternal life in the glorious kingdom of God.