Did you ever visit a king on his throne? The actual throne on which a king sits today, and where he rules over the nation, is actually his private office where he works. For example, in the United States, it is the Oval Room in the White House. There is no other throne ruling over the people of the United States.
Now I have visited privately many kings and emperors, presidents and prime ministers, heads of governments of many nations, in almost all parts of this world: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, all around this world, but I wonder if you know that there is a super-throne that is ruling over all nations of the world, and that there on that throne is Satan the devil, deceiving the entire world (Revelation 12 and verse 9; Revelation 12:9). Satan, who is that invisible serpent, Satan the devil, who deceived all nations, deceiving the entire world.
Now, it isn't fashionable to believe in a devil today, because the devil is an invisible, immortal, spirit being, and he can't be seen. No one has ever seen Satan the devil, unless it was Mother Eve when she saw him in the guise of a serpent in the Garden of Eden. But he has not been seen. You haven't seen him today, and yet you have been influenced by him without realizing it.
Well, I have both good news and bad news for you. Now, the bad news is that the one ruling on the throne, ruling all over this Earth incidentally, and not sitting in a private office, is Satan the devil, and deceiving the entire world. But the good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ is soon going to come back to this Earth, take over the throne of the entire Earth, and rule from the city of Jerusalem (in today's modern nation of Israel) and rule over all the nations of the Earth and banish the invisible Satan from mankind and from this Earth.
Now the president of one nation said to me, not too long ago, "Mr. Armstrong, our nation is in a terrible state. In a recent war, the enemy sought out and killed almost all of the educated people in our country. Our people are poverty-stricken, and we who have to rule them feel helpless. What can we do?" You know, all I could tell that man was, "Just have faith, and in the end, Jesus Christ will soon come and rule all the nations of the Earth and bring prosperity to your people and all of the people on the face of the Earth."
That man couldn't solve the problems in his nation, and I couldn't solve them now, or tell him what to do now. I could point him to the hope for the future, and to try to keep his people in hope, until that time. Now another king said to me, a king of a very prominent nation, "Mr. Armstrong, I need your help, and it's a kind of help no one else can give me." And I did try to help that king in the only way that I could, but the point is, these government heads are helpless to solve the problems in their nations.
People want to blame the president of the United States if things go wrong. The president of the United States can't always help what is going wrong. He is not always to blame for the things that are going wrong, and he doesn't always have credit if things go right, either. I believe most rulers over nations are sincere in trying to do the best they can, but they themselves don't know what to do. It's the kind of a world that we live in. Now why can't they solve their problems? Why can't humanity solve their problems? The god of this world is on a throne of the Earth and is swaying the people of this Earth, all of them, and that even includes the men sitting on the thrones or the chiefs of governments sitting in their offices wherever they are today.
There Was War In Heaven You read in Revelation the 12th chapter in your Bible, and in verse 7 we read of the time that is just about this time now, that (Revelation 12:7) "there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels," now Michael is a great super-archangel, "and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not, and neither was their place found anymore in heaven, and that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out in to the Earth, and his angels," now demons, "were cast out with him."
We're living in just about that time now. This is just about the time. That is a prophecy that will be fulfilled in an invisible way that human beings are not going to see. We're going to see the result of it, and in fact, we're beginning to feel the result of it right now.
But next, I'd like to read to you from II Corinthians the 4th chapter, verses 3 and 4 (II Corinthians 4:3-4). The Apostle Paul is writing: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." And incidentally, "lost" does not mean necessarily condemned to a hell. Jesus came to save those that were lost, and those that are saved had been lost. I think a lot of people don't understand that. "In whom the god of this world," who is Satan the devil. He poses as God, and he is the god of this world. "Hath blinded them, the minds of them that believe not."
And so the minds of people have been blinded by one called Satan the devil. But now, there is good news. Revelation 11 and verse 15 (Revelation 11:15), a prophecy for the future, and this is just ahead of us. "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 of his Christ, and he shall reign forever." The kingdoms, that is all the nations, and the thrones, the governments of these nations.
And now, in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation, and beginning with verse 6 (Revelation 19:6): "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude..." The Apostle John is writing here the things that he saw and heard in a vision. "And as the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready."
His wife will be the church who will be ready, and will be made ready, to meet Christ when he comes. But I want to tell you — that doesn't mean every person in the church is going to be ready. The church as a whole will be, but every individual needs to ask, "Am I ready?" Now notice what happens after the coming of Christ as the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Verse 16 of the 19th chapter (Revelation 19:16): "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords." He is coming as the world ruler to replace that Satan on his throne.
Satan Bound For A Thousand Years Now, coming to the 20th chapter, reading right on (Revelation 20:1): "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." And so, there is a time coming when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come in supreme power and glory, his face shining as the very sun, his eyes like flames of fire, not as an ordinary human being as he was when he was here 1900 years ago, but now coming in the supreme power and glory of the mighty God, to rule over all the nations of all of this Earth.
But Christ made all things. But what about the devil? Where did he come from? Did God make him? Did Christ make him? We read in Ephesians 3:9 how God created all things by Jesus Christ. Now what he made was not a devil, but a super-archangel, way back before even man was ever created. And in Ezekiel 28 and verse 15 (Ezekiel 28:15), we read of him: "Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found in thee." He was a super-archangel. He was absolutely perfect as God created him, but he did not have character.
God cannot create character instantaneously, holy, righteous, spiritual character. That is one thing that the separate individual created by God must have his own part in, and that is true of angels the same as it is true of human beings. God created angels, but their character was not completed. And what God had created was perfect, and the super-archangel Lucifer was perfect till iniquity was found in him. He rebelled, he made the wrong choice. He chose the wrong way, the wrong direction, and he became Satan.
Now why is this world today the way it is? I've shown you that it's been influenced by Satan, but how did this all come about? Satan and his angels had sinned. You read in II Peter 2:4 that God spared not the angels that sinned. Angels did sin. That was about a third of the angels. The other two-thirds are supposedly holy and righteous, and will come with Christ at his second coming.
But now, back in Genesis the 1st chapter (Genesis 1:1): "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth." The word for "God" is Elohim, as I've said so many times. It's explained in John, in the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 1, verses 1-4 (John 1:1-4), how there was the Word, the Word was a being, a person called the Word, the Spokesman. And the Word was with God. God is another person. There were the two persons, and the two persons formed God. And when Moses wrote "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth," in Genesis 1, verse 1 (Genesis 1:1), he used the word Elohim for "God." That was the Hebrew word that's translated into our English word "God." But it means more than one person. It was the one who was the Word, the Spokesman, and the one who was God.
Let Us Make Man In Our Image Now, coming down to verse 26 in Genesis 11, we read (Genesis 11:26): "And God said, Let us make man in our image," not "Let me." God was more than one person, but one God, a word like "family"- more than one person in a family, but only one family. Like the word "church" — many people in the church, but only one church, not many churches. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," not "Let me, after my likeness," "Let us, after our likeness."
But God made man "of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," and man, "made of the dust of the ground," Genesis 2 and verse 7 (Genesis 2:7), "became a living soul," not an immortal soul. But he became a temporary living being, not an immortal being. And he does not have eternal life. God has life, we read in John 1:1 (I was just quoting it to you a minute ago). The Word was with God, and the Word was God, and in him was life, L-I-F-E, immortal life, and he gave to this Lucifer to have immortal life. Satan the devil has immortal life.
But man was not made with immortal life. Man was made of the dust of the ground with a temporary, physiochemical existence. And our life is kept up by the breathing of air, and the circulation of blood, and refuelling daily, although sometimes three times a day or usually three times a day by food and water from the ground, the Earth. And so it is, so we are. Now, but why is the world today the way it is? Well before this man that God had created....
You can put in the Garden of Eden that God had prepared, a very beautiful garden, there were many trees, shrubs, flowers, plants, many beautiful things, but in the midst of the garden were two very special trees, symbolic trees. One was called the Tree of Life; the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now these were symbolic and of supreme importance.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, if the man took this knowledge to himself, took to himself the way of living — and there are only two broad ways of living. One is the way of get. The other is the way, I choose to call, of give. Now the Bible would call it the way of the law of God, which is love, outflowing love. It's love toward God and love toward neighbor, love away from yourself, really. But lust and greed, and coveting, and toward others, envy and jealousy, and malice and hatred, and a desire for, well, competition leading to strife and to war, is the way that Adam chose.
He took to himself the knowledge of the way to live, and that was the way that was influenced by this Satan the devil. Satan deceived Adam's wife Eve. Eve wore the pants, so to speak, and she led Adam, and Adam followed her, and took also the Tree of Life, and the penalty was that he would die, and in due time, he did die, just exactly as God had said. Adam made that choice. He took to himself the knowledge of the way of life, the way to live.
The other way would have been the knowledge of life, would have given him the revealed knowledge of the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit of God, which reveals to mankind the law of God, which is outflowing love, love toward God, love toward neighbor, rather than love toward the human being, himself. Man never received that, and he never received the Holy Spirit of God. And then God, as you read in the 3rd chapter of the book of Genesis, and the last three verses (Genesis 3:22-24), drove him out of the Garden of Eden, and shut up the Tree of Life, and closed it to all mankind, and it has been closed ever since.
Lucifer And Adam Rebelled Against God Now then, as Lucifer had made a choice, and rebelled against God and the government of God, now Adam did the same thing. He rebelled against the law of God and the government of God. Now if he had taken of the Tree of Life, he would have come to receive the Holy Spirit, just as you or I. The only way toward life is through Jesus Christ, and if we repent of our sins, Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying "The kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the gospel." The gospel is the kingdom of God, the family of God ruling in the government of God. And Jesus was born to be a king.
He came as the future king, and he came proclaiming his future kingdom and his gospel was the good news, the good news of the kingdom of God, the government of God over the whole Earth by the born family of God, those born into that God family, until they are no longer human, they are God beings in the God family. Very few understand that today. But God shut up the Holy Spirit until Jesus Christ opened it to the church. He said, "I will build my church."
Now there is a prophecy in the book of Joel the 2nd chapter, and in verse 28 (Joel 2:28): "And it shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh." God closed the Tree of Life, the Holy Spirit, to mankind, and it has remained closed to mankind until Jesus Christ came. And it was opened to the church, but I wonder if you know that Jesus Christ said in John the 6th chapter and verse 44 (John 6:44), it is recorded, that Jesus said: "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him." It is no open to everybody even yet. It will be, but it is not yet open, only to those that are predestinated, those whom God has called.
The Firstfruits Now there is no way, back to God the Father, and to eternal life, except through Jesus Christ. No way, except through Jesus Christ. But no man can come to Christ, he said, except the spirit of God the Father draws him, and God the Father is not drawing everybody, only a few now. And those in the church are the firstfruits, the first to be drawn, the first to be converted.
We read of that in the book of Ephesians, and in the very first chapter, that is, beginning with verse 11 (Ephesians 1:11): "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." The church is merely the firstfruits. Everybody is going to be called, because you read in the book of Hebrews, in chapter 9, verse 27 (Hebrews 9:27): "It is appointed to all men once to die, but after this the judgement." And in I Corinthians 15, and in verse 22 (I Corinthians 15:22): "As in Adam all die."
All die in Adam, but also in Christ shall all be made alive. And all who have died, beginning with Adam and Seth, and his sons Cain and Abel, and then all of the others ever since. All are going to be made alive in a resurrection back to judgement. After death the resurrection, the judgement, and in the judgement, they're going to come before the judgement seat of Christ. There's a great deal in the Bible about the judgement, and all will appear before the judgement seat of Christ. And Christ the judge is going to pronounce sentence: "Guilty," and the sentence is death! But then, they may throw themselves upon the mercy of the court, if you please.
And Jesus Christ, who is a Christ of love, even as his Father God is a God of love, will say, "Well now, if you had your life to live over, maybe you would live it a different way. I have paid the penalty of death in your place, by my shed blood. Your sins can be forgiven if only you repent, and if only you will begin to live the other way." But you must, as John the Baptist said, going back to a little King James Bible language, "bring forth fruits meet for repentance." That means, prove your repentance by your performance, by your life, by the way you live.
The Devil Will Be Put Away And in that judgement, they will have a certain amount of time to live. All who ever did live are going to be resurrected back, and if they then will live God's way, and are willing to, without any devil to deceive them, they shall then be given the opportunity to have the gift of eternal life by God's grace. And that can come yet to everyone who ever lived. Now then, when Christ comes, the devil is going to be put away, as I read just a while ago. And Christ will be ruling on Earth, and the devil will be gone, and the spirit of God will then be poured out to everyone who will repent and come.
And everyone else who died before that time, they'll be resurrected in this judgement, a thousand years later. And they will have an opportunity, so that everyone who ever lived will have an opportunity, but only those that are called by God the Father are coming now, and they have to fight against Satan, and against Satan's world, and to fight against persecution, and against every obstacle. Those who are converted in the millennium, in the thousand years ahead, and in the final judgement, will not have that kind of persecution.
My friends, it is a wonderful thing if you can only understand that God has prepared for us. It's a terrible thing, the way humans have been misled, the way they have deceived, been deceived, the way they have been living and bringing all of the woes, the troubles, the suffering on all humanity. But God has called me to tell you about these things, and to call those to repentance now that God is calling.
Now, I've been talking lately a great deal about the book of Revelation, which is, in a sense, the greatest book of prophecy in the Bible, certainly the greatest book of prophecy in the New Testament. But it had been understood by almost nobody. Now I have a booklet that will explain it. I've been explaining certain parts of it in a few programs recently, but this booklet, The Book of Revelation Unveiled At Last, it is the revelation, the revealing, of Jesus Christ, of things that are shortly to come to pass, of prophecy.
You can understand it, and this booklet will open it up to your understanding. The booklet: The Book of Revelation Unveiled At Last. Now all you do is just send in your name and address to me, Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California. Now if you do, also, we will send you a sample copy (if you're not already a subscriber), we will send you a sample copy of a wonderful magazine, The Plain Truth. It has a circulation of nearly four million copies at the present time.
About 12 million or more are reading The Plain Truth Magazine in all parts of the world. It's published in four languages, soon in five languages, and there is no subscription price. But we will send you a sample copy. You cannot have a subscription unless you order it for yourself, you must ask for it for yourself, but we'll gladly send you, if you're not already a subscriber, a sample copy along with this booklet.
Now all you do is send your name and address your request to me, Herbert W. Armstrong, Pasadena, California, 91123. Or, go to the telephone right now and call toll-free: 800-423-4444. That is 800-423-4444. Now, if the lines are busy, please try again and keep calling until you get it. If you live in California, Alaska, or Hawaii, you call collect, area code 213-577-5555. Now that's area code 213, collect, 577-5555. So until next time, this is Herbert W. Armstrong. Goodbye, friends.
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