Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
A World Held Captive - Part Two
Plain Truth Magazine
June 1984
Volume: Vol 49, No.6
QR Code
A World Held Captive - Part Two
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

World violence heats up. WHY? Few realize it's a world held captive, deceived into loving the way of the archkidnapper, but with deliverance and freedom imminent.

   Now a United States President talks of Armageddon. The atomic scientists warn of doomsday. They have set the doomsday clock one more minute forward — from four to only three minutes to midnight!
   The angry crescendo of world violence heats up furiously, as the archkidnapper, in a rage, perceives the fast-approaching END of the captivity.
   Deliverance from kidnap in deception, human discontent, suffering and death hastens daily nearer. World PEACE, happiness and joy are just around the corner. The satanic kidnapper is stirred to furious wrath, for he knows now he has but a very short time left to hold a whole world captive.

Setting the Master Plan

   People do not enjoy being told they are deceived. Though it wounds human vanity, being told that one is ignorant of the knowledge of the truth is less painful than suffering the results of the deception.
   We all are members of the human family. We need to be awakened to the fact that this human family was, and still is, the potential family of the living God. Yet this family was kidnapped at its very inception, and has remained willingly held captive for 6,000 years to this very day.
   But remember, one who is deceived would not be deceived if he were aware of the deception.
   The potential Father of the kidnapped family has paid the ransom price to free this world held captive, but humanity has loved the way of life of the kidnapper. That WAY is the root CAUSE of all the world's troubles, evils and sufferings. Humanity has been blinded to the WAY of peace, happiness and joyful accomplishment.
   Since writing part one of this series, world violence and agonies have been heating up. With increasing momentum. We are being violently hurled into the world crisis at the END OF THIS WORLD!
   You need to UNDERSTAND what is prophesied soon to happen — and WHY! You were born into the panorama of world events that started 6,000 years ago. A divine PURPOSE is being worked out here below. The catastrophic archkidnapping of 6,000 years ago shall not prevent the working out of that supreme PURPOSE. An optimist turns the lemons thrown at him into lemonade. The supreme Creator GOD is turning the evil of the kidnapping into the supreme GLORY of ALL eternity!
   Six thousand years ago, God set his MASTER PLAN of 7,000 years, for the accomplishment of the most glorious PURPOSE OF ALL TIME AND ETERNITY.
   False scholarly hypotheses notwithstanding, this world had its origin in the creation of one man, named Adam. He and the wife God created for him, named Eve, were humanity's first parents. This world is the human family that sprang from them. Decisions and actions by our first parents were the CAUSES that have brought the world to its present state.
   Part one of this series revealed origins that led to their human creation. Of all the religions in this world, none understands who and what God the Creator actually is. How shameful, when God reveals himself in the Scriptures that have been available to man since the days of Moses — and even before, by direct personal revelation.
   God is neither one single supernatural Person nor a Trinity. In John 1:1-5, 14, God is revealed as a divine FAMILY, originating with two Persons — the "WORD" who later became Jesus Christ, and God, who, upon Jesus' birth, became the Father. Genesis 1:1 speaks of God as the origin of all, and creator of all. There, the English name God is translated from the Hebrew Elohim — a plural, meaning more than one person — that is, God and the "Word."
   Part one revealed God's PURPOSE to be the reproduction of the GOD FAMILY through humans. God creates by dual stages. First he created the human family, out of which by spiritual reproduction shall be created the GOD FAMILY.
   Bear in mind these basic truths: Two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Neither can two or more proceed in harmony and peace except one leads. God and the Word, both immortal, composed of spirit, had always lived the WAY of outflowing LOVE, with God supreme head. Their way of life — outflowing love, cooperation, harmony — constituted a LAW, the LAW OF GOD. It is a spiritual law. With God as supreme head and ruler, it became a GOVERNMENT over all they created.
   First of all God created angels. Next God created the material universe, including the earth. On the earth was set a THRONE. On that throne God placed the super archangel Lucifer, a cherub, to administer the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over earth's inhabitants. A third of the angels were placed on the earth. Lucifer had been created with dazzling beauty. This went to his head and he became vain, self-centered, hostile to God's LAW as a way of life. He later sought to overthrow the throne of God in heaven but was cast back down to earth. His way of life, VANITY, self-glory, competition, HOSTILITY, self-centeredness, every person doing his own thing, became the basic LAW administered over the earth.
   Next, God created MAN in God's own image — form and shape. Man was mortal like animals, but differing as to form and shape, and in MIND. To human brain was added human spirit, empowering human brain with intellect, thus making possible a relationship between man and God.
   In all this world's learning and recorded knowledge the one most basic and all — important dimension has been missing. That great super-colossal, yet unknown TRUTH, is the one supreme PURPOSE of the great Creator God, and his master plan for working out that overall PURPOSE.
   This supreme duality of knowledge is 1) God purposes to REPRODUCE HIMSELF through mankind created from the dust of the ground of the earth and 2) his MASTER PLAN of 7,000 years for its accomplishment.
   Neither the grand and glorious PURPOSE, nor the MASTER PLAN for its supreme achievement, are known, understood or taught by any religion. They are totally unknown to modern science. They are neither known nor taught by education or any university of higher learning.
   This is REVEALED knowledge, and its revelation is contained in the world's most widely distributed, best-selling book. Yet that book is the most totally misunderstood, most distorted, falsely interpreted, misrepresented of books. That book is an enigma. It is a coded book, and the one instrument of decoding into plain and simple UNDERSTANDING is the very tree of life that the father of all humanity — Adam — rejected; and that is today opened ONLY to those called and drawn by God to come to him through Jesus Christ — those called to be the one true original Church of God. Without the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit none can understand that book.
   God's PURPOSE is to reproduce himself through man — reproduce the GOD FAMILY from the human family. It is vital to bear in mind that God is perfect spiritual CHARACTER. Character is ability to choose the true values from the false, right from wrong, and to WILL to do the right — even against self-desire.
   The first man Adam had only temporary animal existence. To become begotten and then born into the GOD family, he first, with human mind, had to make that choice — develop with God's help that godly CHARACTER.
   Adam did not possess eternal life. But it was offered to him through the symbolic "tree of LIFE" in the garden of Eden.
   Lucifer, now named Satan because of sin, deceived Eve into taking the forbidden symbolic fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
   The first human, Adam, took to himself the production of knowledge of good and evil.
   In this episode, revealed in Genesis 3, man and his human family, potentially God's children, were kidnapped — became the property of Satan. They chose Satan's WAY — self-centeredness — instead of God's will. They chose the law of Satan instead of the spiritual law of God. Sin is the transgression of Goo's law.
   Thus the first human parent of the human family rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. In choosing the forbidden tree, he yielded to the basic law of Satan's government over the earth. Adam and Eve were, in real fact, kidnapped by Satan into his way of life. They chose to follow the way of life of the kidnapper.
   Adam could have qualified to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth. Instead, he and his human family — this world — have to this very day been HELD CAPTIVE by Satan, who still sits on earth's throne.
   Out of Adam and Eve developed human civilization. Had Adam chosen the tree of LIFE, he would have been brought into direct relationship with God — begotten as God's own son. Through God's Spirit joined with his human spirit, he would have had the ability to understand God's spiritual purposes and knowledge, and been able to develop the very mind of God. He would have been led by God in building GOD'S WORLD. Instead, he was led by Satan, and the whole world family, started through Adam, was DECEIVED into building a civilization that became SATAN'S WORLD — A WORLD HELD CAPTIVE.
   It has developed systems of government over cities and nations, an economic system, a social system — all based on the principle of "GET" rather than outflowing love, cooperation, harmony and peace. It has developed into a competitive world, based on Satan's law — every man for himself, vanity, coveting, strife.
   It might well appear that Satan struck his master stroke in kidnapping Adam, the first human, by whom God purposed to reproduce himself millions of times over. But God's PURPOSE cannot be thwarted.
   That is the reason God then, at the very time of Adam's disobedience and kidnapping, decreed that Jesus, the second Adam, should come. He would be God's means of paying for the ransom to reclaim his potential children. Further, Jesus would be the SECOND ADAM. To use a modern slang term, it would be " a whole new ball game." The very begotten FAMILY OF GOD, for which Adam had been created, would now be started in and through the SECOND ADAM.
   Jesus, unlike the first Adam, did choose the tree of LIFE. He did obey God. He met, conquered and qualified to replace Satan on the throne of the earth. At the same time, God decreed that as in Adam all would pay the penalty of DEATH, so in Christ, the second Adam, the SAME ALL would in God's due time be resurrected again to physical life, brought to judgment, sentenced to eternal death, but then learn that their death penalty had been paid for them by Jesus Christ and the tree of LIFE reopened to them, in the Great White Throne resurrection (Rev. 20:11-12).
   After some 4,000 years of the world that developed into a world of human good and satanic evils, Jesus came.
   He came as the SECOND ADAM, to found GOD'S WORLD, which the first Adam failed to start.
   Jesus' coming BEGAN the SPIRITUAL PHASE of God's creation of humans. Jesus did not come to reform or save this world — Satan's world. He came to start a DIFFERENT WORLD. It was God's plan to start it through his CHURCH.

Foundation of God's World

   Jesus said: "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). The word church is translated from the Greek and means "called-out ones." He chose and called his 12 original disciples or students, and taught them the ways of the KINGDOM OF GOD.
   It was prophesied of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6-7 that he would be born as a babe, grow up and the GOVERNMENT (of God) would be on his shoulders. He would bring peace to the earth. Satan's world has brought contention, confusion, division, hostility, violence, destruction, war and death. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, would RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to the planet earth.
   Jesus brought the gospel message from God to mankind — not to convert and change Satan's world, but to ANNOUNCE the coming world-ruling GOD kingdom as a witness. Jesus came not on a "soul-saving crusade," nor did he plead with people to "accept him as Savior." When the woman at Jacob's well asked him for the "living waters" of the Holy Spirit (salvation), he merely told her of her sins.
   The word gospel means "good news." Jesus was a newscaster, announcing in advance the NEWS of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD.
   Since God's PURPOSE is to reproduce himself — expand the God FAMILY — and since it shall be the world-ruling family, then the KINGDOM OF GOD is the born family of God ruling the entire world. No RELIGION ON EARTH UNDERSTANDS THIS PIVOTAL TRUTH! It is a DECEIVED world held captive by Satan.
   The Church of God was the embryonic beginning of the soon-to-be world-ruling and world-filling KINGDOM OF GOD.
   The Church began with the ONE man, the second Adam, Jesus Christ. He expanded it to the 12 he himself chose and called and taught. During his ministry God had called a few others to believe his gospel message and follow him. Even among them, several followed only a short time and fell away. By the day of Pentecost, 120 received God's Holy Spirit, were baptized and became BEGOTTEN (but not yet born) children of God.
   After his 3 1/2-year ministry, Jesus gave himself as a ransom to be crucified, paying the penalty for all the sins of all of mankind who would repent, believe, grow in grace and God's knowledge, overcome and endure to the end of their human life.
   Jesus commissioned his apostles to teach others, as many as God should call. The New Testament throughout teaches that ONLY those God chooses and spiritually calls, could come to him through Jesus. Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
   Those so called and chosen by God for his kingdom were called "out from among them [to] be... separate" (II Cor. 6:17). Jesus did not live as part of this world, its ways and customs — nor must those called.
   This present evil world of Satan — the kidnapped world — had its foundation in the first Adam. It was at the FOUNDATION of this world (Rev. 13:8) that God decreed that Jesus, as the Lamb of God, would come to pay the ransom price.
   Jesus, during his earthly ministry, likened this world to a building. In Ephesians 2:20-22 the Church is likened to a building.
   Jesus, in referring to the present evil world, said it is built on a foundation of the sand of Satan's way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition and strife, violence, rebellion, contention, unhappiness, suffering and death. THIS WORLD IS DOOMED TO CRASH! And great shall be the fall thereof.
   Jesus did not come to repair or remodel or make over this building — this world — this civilization. Its foundation is faulty — that of Satan. Its superstructure — its systems of government and legal systems of law and justice, its systems of faulty and materialistic education, its religions, its social systems and customs — all its superstructure — is faulty, producing discontent, unhappiness, contention, competition and strife leading to violence and destruction, anguish, suffering, poverty and death. Those are the supporting columns and beams of the superstructure of the building that is this world. Jesus did not come to reform this world — to bring a "spiritual revival" — to pray for it or to save it or any of its ways.
   The Church is the start — the embryo — of an entirely NEW and DIFFERENT BUILDING.
   Jesus called those God has chosen to draw OUT from among this world and its ways. Those called out must continue to live on the same earth. They are taught even to be subject to its governments over them; not to OBEY when that would mean disobedience to God, but to be subject — if necessary, even to whatever penalties they impose.

Why the Church Age?

   Since Jesus founded the Church — the foundation of the coming world of God — more than 1,950 years have passed. One might wonder, WHY these more than 1,950 years of the "church age," before establishing the KINGDOM?
   God's purpose is to choose and call certain ones out from the ways of Satan's world, and train them to become teachers and rulers when God sends Christ back to earth as KING of kings and LORD of lords to rule, teach and convert all who then shall be willing. All who have lived in this world and become set in its wrong and evil ways must be taught the right ways of God.
   Those converted and finally saved in the Church shall be kings and priests and given power to rule and teach all others (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10). For this nearly 2,000 years of training, Jesus has been High Priest and head of the Church, in heaven supervising his Church.
   On Christ's return in supreme power and glory, Satan shall be removed from earth's throne. Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David ruling over Israel and also on the THRONE OF THE EARTH, now still held by Satan.

Church to Be Ready

   The Church shall have been made ready for her stupendous responsibility of rulership under Christ, by the time of his return as KING of kings and LORD of lords.
   What, then, is the real PURPOSE of the Church? WHY did Jesus found the Church? Was it to repair the superstructure of the faulty and decadent BUILDING to which I have likened this present evil world? Was it to "save" by conversion this sinning world of Satan? And was it to become divided into many divisions or branches, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant?
   The whole professing "Christian" world has been deceived. All nations have been deceived. The ninth verse of Revelation 12 states this emphatically and plainly.
   God started his supreme mission and PURPOSE of reproducing himself through the first human, Adam. But to become a begotten child of God, so that he might, on acquiring the spiritual character of God, be BORN into the divine FAMILY OF GOD, Adam was required to make a choice. He chose apostasy, rebellion, self-righteousness mixed with evil — the way of the kidnapper of the potential family of God.
   God said plainly to Adam, that on the disobedience of taking the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. His temporary existence ran out and he died after 930 years.
   Study Ephesians 2:1-2. Satan, as prince of the power of the air, actually works IN — within — the natural born children of Adam. Satan worked within Adam's first son, when he slew his brother Abel. All Adam's children have sinned. All, up to those living today, DIE.
   But, it was decreed at the foundation of this world — at the time of Adam's sin — that as in Adam all should die, so in Christ, the second Adam, the same ALL should be brought back to life through resurrection from the dead.
   The tree of LIFE was closed to all humanity until Christ the SECOND ADAM. He was born of his mother, the virgin Mary, of the Adamic human family. But her son Jesus was fathered, not by MAN, a son of Adam. But by GOD. As a son of GOD, the tree of LIFE was opened to him. But as a son of MAN, he, like the first Adam, was required to make a CHOICE!
   Satan tried to destroy him as an infant, but God moved to prevent that. Then, at about age 30, before he could preach a word of God's message, the gospel, Satan attacked him head — on. In this temptation (Matt. 4:1-11), Jesus made his choice. He rejected Satan's temptation and way of life. He chose God's way, according to the Scriptures. He defeated Satan, commanding him to depart from him, and the defeated Satan slunk away. JESUS HAD QUALIFIED TO REPLACE SATAN ON THE THRONE OF THE EARTH! Thus, as Jesus said in Mark 1:15, the time was fulfilled and the kingdom of God was at hand.
   The SECOND ADAM had passed the test. He had overthrown Satan. He had qualified to replace Satan on earth's throne and to RESTORE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
   Sin and rebellion had started with the one man, Adam. Righteousness and obedience leading to PEACE now started with the one man, Jesus Christ. He was the BEGINNING — THE FOUNDATION of the altogether NEW "building" — the new world — the new civilization — the WORLD TOMORROW!
   He said he would build his Church. His Church was that new building — that new civilization — that new world, in embryo.
   Jesus started it off by calling his 12 disciples. But each of them now had to CHOOSE between the tree of LIFE and the satanic tree of human good and evil. One of the 12 failed. But Jesus said the Church would never die. The rains would fall (Matt. 7:24-27), the floods would come, the hurricanes would blow, but this NEW house built on the solid rock foundation would ALWAYS STAND!
   Jesus did not say "churches." Paul said they would all "speak the same thing" — no divisions. Where is that Church today?

(To be continued)

Back To Top

Plain Truth MagazineJune 1984Vol 49, No.6
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services   |   Video Groups   |   2016 Feast of Tabernacles   |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - Mobile Site
Copyright © 2016 Herbert W Armstrong Library
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church of God dissolved after Mr. Armstrong's death in January 1986.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.