A World Held Captive
Telecast Date: August 20, 1984
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   The end of the world, the end of civilization as we know it, is that a false alarm, or is it reality? And is it imminent?

   I mentioned before that the atomic scientists, several months ago, moved the doomsday clock forward by one more minute, from four to only three minutes before midnight, and midnight is the date they set for the end of this civilization, as we know it - the end of the world.

   You've heard a lot about the end of the world. It's an expression that comes out of the Bible from the 24th chapter of Matthew, where disciples asked Jesus about the end of the world and when it would come, and I will give you the answer.

   The World Tomorrow, The Worldwide Church of God presents Herbert W. Armstrong, an internationally recognized ambassador for World Peace, visiting prominent leaders around the globe, discussing the cause of world problems, and proclaiming the good news of the world tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Only the Bible can tell us whether we're near the end of this world. No scientist can really know, no one can prognosticate the future and what is going to happen. But Bible prophecies have been coming to pass precisely on schedule, and they're going to continue to do that very thing.

   Now, the one greatest book of prophecy in all the Bible probably is the book of Revelation. It is the revealing of Jesus Christ, and he is the revelator, the one who does the actual revealing. It is a message that was given to the prophet John in a vision. He was on this earth on the Isle of Patmos, but he said that invasion, he was taken into the Lord's Day.

   Now you find the theme of the Book of Revelation in the 10th verse of the very first chapter (Revelation 1:10) where he said he was in the spirit or in vision on the Lord's Day or into the Lord's Day. And the Lord's Day is the day of the Lord. That is a period of time that I'm going to explain to you.

   Now, at the end of this present world of this present civilization, and what is going to take place from that time on. Now, just what is the day of the Lord then this civilization that we are in? Now, you might call the day of man. The word day here is just, um, well, an indefinite period or space of time in that day. Such and such a thing happens. Now, you can use the word "day," and you can mean a specific day dated down to a calendar day or a day of the week. But this is speaking of just the general time, the period or the era, the general time of man.

   But is this really the day of man? Few seem to know that the Bible shows that this actually has been the day of one called Satan. Now, it isn't very fashionable to believe today in a devil called Satan. But the Bible is full of talk about one called Satan. And if you don't believe in Satan, I don't know how you're going to explain a lot of things that are going on in this world.

   And you know, you came into this world, you were born into this world when it's about 6000 years long, and you don't know how it started. You don't know how it got this way. How did it all start? How did it develop? If you don't know, you can't understand why you were living today in a world of awesome progress? Absolutely awesome in the accomplishment and the progress of this 20th century, perhaps the greatest accomplishment, the most awesome of all was when we started sending men to the moon and back, to go up and jump up and down and, and just take a sort of a skip and a run on the surface of the moon.

   I don't need to mention the other things, the mechanical things, the things of technology. Absolutely awesome. But at the same time, we are living in a world of appalling evils, such evils as this world never knew - that is the kind of world we're in.

   Now, this whole earth and humanity on it were created by the great God, the Creator, the one who designed, who brought matter into existence from nonexistence, who created the heavens and the earth, who created the first man and put him on this earth, and for a purpose. And people born today never give a thought that there might be a reason why we were put on this earth, that there might be a purpose for our life on this earth.

   But He put one man on the earth. And so, in the beginning, you find in the very first words in the Bible, Genesis one and verse one (Genesis 1:1), the very beginning, the first words in all the Bible, it says, "In the beginning, God." And the word "God" was written originally in the Hebrew language. Moses wrote it about 3500 years ago, but he was writing in the Hebrew language, and the word he used was "Elohim," and "Elohim" is a plural, and it should be pronounced "Gods," and it should have been written "Gods" - more than one - created the heavens and the earth. And then in verse 26 (Genesis 1:26), God or God's said, "Let Us" - not one person, not "let Me" - "let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." That is Genesis one and verse 26.

   Now, you turn over, and in my Bible, it's just across the page, the second chapter in verse seven (Genesis 2:7), and it says, "The Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground." So, he's made right out of the dust of the ground and formed and shaped in the same form and shape as God. But he was given life like an animal. In verse 25 of the first chapter (Genesis 1:25), it says that cattle were made after the cattle kind. Well, dogs were made after the dog kind, horses after the horse kind, and elephants after the elephant kind. But man was made after the God kind, in the form and shape of God and image, sometimes. And in this case, does mean character, the character of God. Now, animals don't have character. Humans were made to have and to develop character, and the very character of God.

   But he was made from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man, the dust of the ground, became a soul. Man is a living soul. Animals are living souls, but he lives by the breath of life. He has to breathe air. If you don't breathe air, you won't be alive in five minutes. And you also live with the circulation of blood, you bleed to death, and you won't be alive either. You live by those things, and you have to be fueled. And I think most of us about three times a day by food and water, and it all comes from the ground. So, we come from the ground, we are literally of it.

   Now, this man did not have life. God is life. God has life. And in John 4:24 in the Bible, it says that God is a spirit. Now, spirit is not matter, and spirit does not need to breathe air. It doesn't have any circulation of blood, but it is immortal, and it never changes. And God is immortal. In other words, he has eternal, immortal life. He did not make man with eternal life. But now, listen, he offered man eternal life. It was offered to him. There were two trees in the Garden of Eden. You've heard about Adam swallowing an apple. Well, that's when they're ridiculing the idea that there was one tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was the wrong tree. God forbade Adam to take of it, but he did take of it, to take himself and to himself, the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. But God offered him the tree of life. If he had taken that tree, he would have had God's immortal life. He would have had that which comes by spirit, the spirit of God. Well, man rejected that. He would have been made one with God if he had taken that. But Adam and Eve rejected that. And while he was not looking, Eve was stealing away and encountered Satan, the devil, in the form of a serpent. And Satan deceived her and influenced her to take of the forbidden fruit. It was not an apple, and the Bible doesn't tell you what it was. It just says it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

   Well, in the day they took it, God said they would die. It was a tree of death. The other was a tree of life. The tree of death was also a tree of knowledge, but it was man's own knowledge of what is good and what is evil. The tree of life was God's knowledge and God-inspired knowledge of the difference between good and evil.

   Now, Eve took of the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband, and then he went along with her, and he did take and eat. And upon doing that, God closed-up the tree of life, and it was closed to Adam and to all of his family, to Adam and Eve, to their children after them. And men have been dying ever since. When Eve followed the direction of this Satan, in a sense, she was kidnapped by him, kidnapped by him. He didn't say to her, "Come worship me instead of God." He said, "No, go do your own thing." And that's what people have been doing ever since - trying to do their own thing, doing that which seems right to them. They're using their own knowledge of what is good and what is evil.

   Now, don't misunderstand me. There is good in this world, there's a great deal of good in this world. Perhaps one of the highest parts of, or the highest principles of good, we might say, is mother love - the way a mother loves her child. But did you ever stop to think that is a self-centered and selfish good? It is not good on God's higher level. God loves the enemy as well as the friend. God loves everybody. God is a different kind of love, and man does not have that kind of love. Man is innately selfish. He's born selfish. He remains selfish and self-centered.

   Now, the Bible does reveal that all of Adam's children, which have come to be the population of the world today, have followed in Satan's way and been influenced by him without realizing it. He has deceived the whole world. He not only deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, but in the fourth chapter in verse nine, in the book of Revelation (Revelation 12:9), you will read how all nations have been deceived by Satan the devil. Today, we're living in a world of Satan, as the Bible itself explains that.

   Now, in Second Corinthians four, verses three and four (II Corinthians 4:3-4), "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid from them that are lost, in whom the god of this world, which is Satan the devil - and here he is called the God of this world - has blinded the minds of them which believe not." And beginning with verse one (Ephesians 2:1), you read, "And you, has God quickened or made alive, which before were dead in trespasses and sins wherein in time passed, you walked according to the course of this world." Now, that's this world that is held captive by Satan. He kidnapped it, and he has influenced the whole world. According to the prince of the power of the air, Satan, there is called. He is a spirit being. He is immortal. He has immortal life - a great former archangel, but he is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit. He is the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience or in the people of the world that are disobedient to God and going a way that seems right in their own eyes.

   Now, in Ephesians six (Ephesians 6:12), we read this: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world that are ruling from the air - the prince of the power of the air, which is Satan, the devil - against spiritual wickedness, or a better translation is wicked spirits in high places." This definitely shows that Satan is called the god of this world. He sits on a throne, and God put him on that throne. But I'm going to show you that when God put him on that throne, he was perfect in every way. He was not Satan, the devil. He was a supreme archangel, a Cherub, that had been perfect from the day God created him.

   Now, well, let me go back to that. That's in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel and verse 14 (Ezekiel 28:14), where God said of this Satan, "Now, Satan, the devil, thou art the anointed Cherub that covereth. And you will find that that was one of the two great archangels or Cherubs on either side of the very throne of God in heaven. He was there on the very throne of God, and God had put him there. But God later put him on the throne on this earth to rule over the earth. And he's on that throne even yet today. And the world doesn't understand what gets into people. They don't understand why some people go berserk and do some things that they shouldn't do.

   Now, in verse 15 (Ezekiel 28:15), God says of Him, "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created until iniquity was found in you." So God created a perfect archangel, but he had the right of free moral agency just as God gives it to you and to me, and he made the wrong decision. He turned against God and he started to compete with God.

   Now, in the 14th chapter of Isaiah (Isaiah 14:12-13), speaking of this Satan, it says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning?" Now, Lucifer was his name. He was a Cherub, a Super archangel, and called the Son of the morning or shining star of the dawn. That is the meaning of the name Lucifer. Then, in verse 13, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." So he was below heaven, below the stars, and he said he was going to go up and take over and rule in God's place. That's in Isaiah, the 14th chapter. In the fourth chapter of Matthew (Matthew 4:8-10), the greatest most titanic struggle ever made in the history of the earth or of mankind, when Satan was trying to overthrow Jesus Christ. Again, the devil taketh Jesus up into an exceedingly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and said to him, "All these things will I give to you if you will fall down and worship me?" Satan said he would give all the governments of the world to Jesus if he would fall down and worship Satan. Satan admits here, and the Bible admits, that Satan is the god of the world, the ruler of the world, sitting on the throne, and one of the wicked spirits that are really invisibly ruling the world.

   But Jesus said, "You shall worship God and Him only," and commanded Satan to leave. And so, Jesus overcame Satan and qualified to rule and sit on that throne instead of Satan. And it comes down to a time in the book of Revelation, now in the 11th chapter (Revelation 11:15), getting near the day of the Lord, and that is the day when God is going to take over through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is going to sit on the throne over this whole world. He came as a future ruler, and the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." That is the time when we will come to the day of the Lord. The time when Christ will come and take over this earth and will rule all of the nations of the earth. They have been being ruled by Satan, the devil, and people can't see it. As I say, you can't see Satan or demons. People don't understand why they do the things they do. People don't understand what we're up against and what we're really striving against and the problems we wrestle with - not flesh and blood, not other people, but evil spirits.

   Now, it says here in Matthew 24 (Matthew 24:14), "This gospel of the kingdom, the Kingdom of God," that's the gospel I preach on the air. That's the gospel that was not preached to the world for 1900 years, not for 1900 years, it was not preached, and it has been preached since the very first Sunday in the year of 1934. And it went to the whole world on Radio Luxembourg in the first week of 1953, just one time cycle of 19 years later. And Christ is coming again, and He is coming very, very soon to take over the throne.

   Now, I said a while ago that the whole world, through its progenitor, Adam, and we have all come from Adam and Eve, the whole human race were kidnapped. Human beings were intended to be God's potential children. Now, God closed off the tree of life to them. But God decreed that as in Adam, all would die, and everybody has been dying right along ever since Adam. So in Christ, shall the same all be made alive by a resurrection, and the time is coming, and the judgment - you've heard about Judgment Day - well, the Judgment Day is coming. There will be 1000 years of peace on this earth, and then will come a judgment day. But there's going to be a real hell on earth, the greatest time of trial and trouble the world has ever had. And that is the wrath of Satan, the devil, and it's going to come very, very soon. And we're in the first little rumblings of it right now. But of course, the real great tribulation, as many people have talked about because it's in the Bible, has not hit us as yet, but it very soon will. After that, there will be 1000 years of peace.

   But God sent Jesus Christ to pay the ransom price by his own life. He is the one who paid with his own life to ransom us back. But the ransomed people wanted to still go the way of their captor who had kept, taken them captive, and they've continued to go that way and have not turned back to their potential father who is God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. And the world as a whole has not done that. But God is going to send Jesus Christ back to rule the world for 1000 years, and Satan will be taken away and will not be here, and it will not be the day of Satan any longer. It will be the day of the Lord, and that time is coming very, very soon.

   Now, you haven't heard much about that. The preaching that you hear on the air today leaves everything of this kind and biblical prophecy alone. They don't tell you about the times you're living in. They don't tell you about that. They just purr soft and smooth things. It's about time. Some voice rose up and cried out and cried aloud and told you people what really is happening and what are the sins of this world going contrary to the laws of God. But Jesus Christ is going to come and is going to rule the world, and all those who have died, they have died in sin, but they died in Adam. And in I Corinthians 15, beginning with verse 22 (I Corinthians 15:22), all of them are going to be made alive in and through Christ by a resurrection. And in the judgment, I have to say this time what I believe. Usually, I don't say or tell you what I believe, but God doesn't tell us this. I believe the majority are going to accept God and God's truth when the blindness is removed from them and Satan is gone. I believe that you will turn to God. You who are listening now, you're not turning to Him right now, most of you, but you will, and I believe you will be given immortal life in happiness and in peace, and you will live forever. You don't hear much of that message of hope today, and I wish you did, my friends. I wish you did.

   Now, I see that I'm out of time, and I want to offer you the latest book that I have and has been offered on this program before, "A World Held Captive." It goes into the things I've just been explaining here in much more detail, but it will open your eyes to something you never understood and never knew before. Now, it's not for sale. You don't have enough money to buy it. We don't ask for money. We don't solicit money. We don't ask for contributions. Does that shock you? Well, this is one program, maybe the only one as far as I know, that doesn't do that but would like to give it to you. And all you have to do for that and then the finest magazine in the world, and now one of the greatest mass circulation magazines in the world, "The Plain Truth" magazine. It takes world news, the happenings in the world, and where they are leading, what is going to happen from here on as it is explained in the Bible. "The Plain Truth" is a magazine of understanding. There is no magazine like it. The circulation is over 7 million every month. I'd like to send it to you. And this booklet, "A World Held Captive."

   Now, you just simply send your request to me, Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California. All the address you need. Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California. And the zip code is 91123. Or a free call, no charge at all. We have no charge for anything. You just dial 800-423-4444. That is 800-423-4444. If you don't get through it first, jot that number down and call again. So, until next time, this is Herbert W. Armstrong. Goodbye.

   Friends, for the free literature offered on this program, write Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California, 91123. In Canada, Box 44, Vancouver, BC. Or, in the Continental United States, including California, you may call this toll-free number 1-800-423-4444. In Alaska and Hawaii, only call collect 1-818-304-6111. If the lines are busy, please try again in 10 to 15 minutes. The preceding program and all literature were produced and sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Telecast Date: August 20, 1984
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