A World Held Captive
by Herbert W. Armstrong
You live in a world of awesome progress, but paradoxically, of appalling evils. WHY? It's a world held captive, deceived into loving its captivity. Deliverance from kidnap in deception, human discontent, suffering and death hastens nearer. World peace, happiness and joy are just around the corner.
THE NEWS has been replete with stories of kidnappings and aircraft hijackings. Bizarre among them was the Patty Hearst kidnapping, in which the victim was brainwashed into preferring the criminal life of the kidnappers to the respectable status of her parents. Happily, Patty's mind later became cleared of the delusion.
But most astonishing of all is the actual fact of the colossal kidnapping of all time-in which the captive for 6,000 years has willed to pursue the life and evil philosophy of the archkidnapper -- Satan the devil. The willing victim in this case is the world that inhabits this planet earth! Yet this world has been so completely deceived that it cannot realize what actually has happened to it.
In this 20th century, a world of awesome progress and material development is so blinded by the deceptions of the super kidnapper that it cannot understand the paradoxical fact that its progress is accompanied with appalling and still escalating evils, which are inflicting indescribable suffering, frustration and death.
I have enjoyed private conversations with many kings, presidents, prime ministers, the great and near great of industry and education. I have discussed with them national and world problems, personal, social, economic troubles. They are faced with crises, fears and worries completely beyond their human abilities to solve. There seem to be no solutions to the human dilemma.
In a famous law school, a professor of law devoted 30 minutes of a speech explaining that lawmaking bodies, judges and supreme courts are unable to determine right from wrong on many knotty problems before the courts. WHY?
You live in a world almost 6,000 years along on its course of history. You see the world as it is today at this advanced stage of civilization, with its systems of organized society.
It's like coming in on a motion picture already far along on its sequence
of events. Not understanding what led up to the present sequence of the
story, you find yourself perplexed to understand what you are viewing.
If we are to UNDERSTAND what is happening in this world -- and WHY -- we
must backtrack 6,000 and more years. We must bring into view the origins,
the causes, the events that went before and led up to the perplexities
of our day. In no other way can we understand the present and look into
Overview in Retrospect
We look back far into prehistory, at the beginning of life and all things.
There can be no understanding of the present without a right knowledge of origins. There is no greater cause to present-day perplexity than the false premise now holding universal acceptance in modern education -- the theory of evolution.
I have learned, in a lifetime now in its 92nd year, that errors all too frequently arise from a false premise, carelessly assumed. The eyeglasses through which all modern thought is viewed is this theory of evolution. To my satisfaction, after in-depth study and research, the theory has been proven false. If you prefer to believe this illusion because it is presently the educational "IN" thing, you can have no rational understanding or explanation of the conditions of the world in which you live.
I have learned that basic original truth is revealed truth. Without it you are left devoid of the knowledge of reality. Evolution cannot explain the problems and frightening state of humanity. You cannot understand any purpose for human life. Your very existence is without meaning.
So I give you here the only rational approach and comprehension of conditions
as they exist.
In the Beginning
In the very beginning, before all else, there existed two living Beings composed of Spirit, possessing supreme mind, intelligence and power, and of perfect righteous character. They are revealed in the biblical book of John, chapter one. One was named the Word (the spokesman -- the revelatory thought). The other was named God. The Word ultimately -- almost 2,000 years ago -- was born as Jesus. The Word also was God -- the second personage of the God family. As a human, Jesus was "God with us" -- or God in human flesh, born of a virgin woman, but sired by God.
"All things" were made by him. In Ephesians 3:9 it is revealed that God created all things BY Jesus Christ.
The Word and God LIVED. What did they do? They created. How did they live -- what was their "life style"? They lived the way of their perfect character -- the way of outflowing LOVE. When Christ was baptized, God the Father said, "You are my beLOVED Son." God LOVED the Word. And the Word LOVED God -- obeyed him completely.
Two can't walk together except they be agreed. They were in total agreement and cooperation. Also two can't walk together in continuous peace except one be the head, or leader, in control. God was leader.
Their way of life produced perfect peace, cooperation, happiness, accomplishment. This WAY of life became a LAW. Law is a code of conduct, or relationship, between two or more. One might call the rules of a sports contest the "law" of the game. The presence of law requires a penalty for infraction. There can be no law without a penalty for its violation.
The very fact of law presupposes GOVERNMENT. Government is the administration and enforcement of law by one in authority over the law. This necessitates authoritative leadership -- one in command.
When the only conscious life-Beings existed, God was leader--in authoritative
command. Thus, even when the only conscious life-Beings were God and the
Word, there was GOVERNMENT, with God in supreme command. Since they created
other conscious thinking life-beings, this very fact of necessity put the
GOVERNMENT of God over all creation, with God supreme ruler. Bear in mind
the government of God is based on the LAW of God, which is the way of life
of outflowing LOVE, cooperation, concern for the good of the governed.
And this law of God produces peace, happiness, cooperation through obedience.
Very First Creation: Angels
First, before all else, the God family created angels. Angels are spirit beings, immortal, with power of mind superior to human.
God creates in dual stages. Angel life was not completed until CHARACTER had been formed within them. Character may be defined as the ability of a conscious thinking entity to choose the way of life of outflowing LOVE -- God's law -- and to will to live that way of life, even under outside contrary pressure or contrary self-desire. Once CHARACTER had been formed and lived, angels, composed of spirit, could never change. I compare it to the pouring of cement or concrete. When first poured its form and shape changes -- but once "set," it is hardened and cannot be reshaped or formed.
Scriptures indicate a third of the angels were placed on the earth prior to final formation of their character.
Following the initial creation of angels, God created the physical UNIVERSE. Chapters one and two of Genesis state that the earth and the heavens -- the physical universe with galaxies -- were all created in the same day. In this instance "day" does not necessarily mean a 24-hour day, but a general period of time.
Job 38 says plainly the earth was created when angels had been previously created. God placed a throne of GOVERNMENT on the earth. Both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 reveal the cherub Lucifer being placed on the throne of the earth. II Peter 2:4 reveals that angels SINNED. Lucifer was a super archangel. Lucifer had been trained in the administration of God's government on the very throne of God in heaven. He was supremely beautiful, dazzling in brightness. Vanity seized him. Vanity is self-glory, self-centeredness, concern for self even to the point of hostility toward others. He became jealous, envious, resentful and hostile against God his Creator. He turned hostile to the law of God. He turned to a way of life of vanity, covetousness, envy, rivalry, competition, violence and destruction. And this hostile way of life is itself a LAW. It is the law of vanity, self- concern, "do your own thing," rebel against the authority of God. That, then, became the basic LAW of the GOVERNMENT of Lucifer, whose name was changed to Satan the devil. The name Satan means "adversary."
So the government of God on the earth had been replaced by the government of Satan.
This sin of the angels, now called demons, brought on them the PENALTY
of perversion of mind, bitterness, anger, wrath -- but they had been created
immortal. Their character now "set" as evil, being spirit beings, they
can never change. Forever they must suffer the torture of such perverted
and unhappy minds. Their sin brought physical chaos, decay, ruin and darkness
to the physical earth.
Man Is Created
In Psalm 104:30 it is revealed that God sent forth his Spirit, and RENEWED the face of the earth for MAN.
In Genesis 1:1 God (Hebrew: Elohim -- "Gods," meaning God and the Word) is revealed as the Creator of the universe, including the earth. The earth was -- BECAME (resulting from angelic sin) -- tohu and bohu, Hebrew words meaning "chaotic and in physical confusion, waste and empty."
Under Satan, darkness replaced light. Later the Word spoke, "Let there be light," and physical light appeared on earth, dividing day from the darkness of night. In six 24-hour days God renewed the face of the earth for men, creating plant, fowl, fish and mammalian life. On the sixth day, God said: "Let us [God is speaking to the Word] make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). The Eternal (who became Jesus Christ some 4,000 years later) formed man of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7), and upon breath of life entering, man became a living (not immortal) soul.
This MAN was given temporary physical existence, like animals. But man differed from animals, being in the form and shape of God. Also, as many scriptures reveal, man differed also in possessing MIND, although animals have brain precisely like human brain.
MAN was created to have a personal relationship with God -- to be begotten
as children of God, finally born into the GOD FAMILY.
Grand Purpose for Humanity
Precisely at this point we come to the very root of the world in which you live today. This is where it all started. This is the point in time where today's world was started on a course still continuing in our time. All that had gone before -- the existence of the God family from eternity -- the creation of angels -- the creation of matter and the material universe, the presence of angels on the earth, the THRONE and GOVERNMENT placed on earth -- the SIN of Lucifer and earth's angels, the replacing of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD by that of Satan over the earth -- all this was the backdrop to the creation of MAN on the earth.
What, then, was the divine PURPOSE for the creation of MAN on the earth?
The very first chapter in all the Bible reveals it, if we have the wit to comprehend. God -- that is, God and the Word -- created MAN in God's own image, form and shape. The word image is used in Hebrews chapter one to designate spiritual CHARACTER.
God created the physical man in dual stages. First, he created one man
-- a male human. It was in God's supreme PURPOSE that the man reproduce
his kind. But the man was unable to do that -- UNTIL God completed the
human creation physically by the addition of a woman, made from the man.
So God anesthetized the man and extracted a rib out of which he made the
woman, named Eve. Then MAN'S physical creation was complete. Man could
now reproduce his kind. But MAN was not yet spiritually and mentally complete.
Human Mind vs. Animal Brain
Man could not be made into the spiritual and character image of God without the power of MIND -- thinking, reasoning, decision-making intelligence.
The modern science of brain research has demonstrated that the small differences in human brain and animal brain cannot explain the vastly superior functions and output of the human brain. The human brain can acquire knowledge of chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics -- one might say all the vast intricacies of knowledge contained in a many-volumed encyclopedia. Man thence can put many parts of such knowledge together in a thinking and reasoning process. Man has decision-making ability.
Man has the faculty to use judgment and wisdom. Man has an appreciation of music, art and literature. Man formulates attitudes of love, cooperation, sympathy, concern for the good and welfare of others, or, on the other hand, attitudes of envy, jealousy, disgust, hatred, competition, strife, revenge and conspiracy for perpetrating evil. Animal brain is capable of none of these.
It is only by revealed knowledge that this tremendous difference can be known. And the written Word of God reveals it as the presence of human spirit within man that sparks, constrains and empowers the physical brain in humans with intellect. There is no such spirit within any other form of physical life.
But scientists, bound and held captive by the false concept of evolution, cannot admit the existence of any such spirit. Their minds are blinded.
But understand. The human spirit cannot see, hear, taste, smell or feel -- yet all human knowledge enters the brain through one of those five channels. The human spirit cannot think. It is the brain that thinks, as the human spirit empowers it. It is the brain that makes decisions, formulates attitudes, develops character, either good or evil.
Now WHY did the Creator God put human spirit within MAN, while no such spirit is present in animals? The very PURPOSE being worked out here below is God's supreme PURPOSE of REPRODUCING HIMSELF THROUGH MAN. Man was created from the ground of the earth, yet to have a relationship with his Maker. God is composed of Spirit. It is the divine PURPOSE that man, once godly character is developed within him, shall be changed from mortal and physical human to immortal and divine GOD.
As explained in the beginning, God and the Word now form the GOD FAMILY.
Man may be begotten, and then later born as divine GOD. It is the incredible
human potential that each human may become a child of God, one of the very
Families, Kinds and Varieties
The first law of science is the fact that only life can beget life. Life cannot come from the not-living. LIFE could not have gradually come into existence from nothing. God could not have gradually come into existence. God and the Word ALWAYS have coexisted -- without father, without mother, having neither beginning of days nor end of life-but living from eternity through eternity.
Out of matter God created the fauna and the flora -- animal and vegetable life. We might classify all existence in kingdoms. The mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, animal kingdom, human kingdom, angel kingdom and the GOD KINGDOM. Man was created in the human kingdom, and potentially may be born into the GOD KINGDOM. But religionists who boast of being already "born-again Christians" are sadly deceived.
The ultimate creation of man -- to become GOD -- necessitated the development of godly CHARACTER within him.
So at this point notice the system of duality in this ultimate GOD creation. Physically, man was made complete in two stages; first male, then the addition of female. Spiritually and mentally he was to be made complete in two stages; first a human mind empowered by a human spirit. Even as God had supreme MIND, man was made with human mind. But in mind and spirit man was not yet complete.
To complete his physical creation, once the female was added to the
male, they became ONE as a human family. So, in the spiritual creation,
the addition of the HOLY SPIRIT of God must be added to the human spirit.
This makes the man spiritually AT ONE with God. But even at this stage
the principle of duality is still in force. Once the Holy Spirit is joined
with his human spirit his human mind is complete, but he is still a human,
now begotten as a God person. He is only an HEIR of God, not an INHERITOR
of the God kingdom. He is only begotten, not yet born as God. The duality
Human Birth a TYPE
Human birth is the precise type of GOD birth. In the woman is an egg cell called an ovum. It possesses potential life. Yet unless fertilized by the human sperm cell from the body of the father, it has a life span of less than 28 days. The male sperm cell on entering it endows it with the start of human life. But to call it already a BORN human compares to the deceived calling themselves "born-again Christians."
On conception the ovum is called an embryo. It must grow physically, fed through the mother. By four months, when taking on human form, it is called a fetus. It continues through a period of gestation for nine months from conception to parturition, when it is born.
The first human, Adam, was created, as we might say by analogy, a spiritual ovum. He had only a temporary physicochemical existence. If "fertilized" by the male divine sperm of God (his Holy Spirit -- actually God-LIFE), he would have been begotten, but not yet born as God.
But GOD is supreme perfect spiritual CHARACTER. Before Adam could even
qualify to be begotten into the GOD family, he had to CHOOSE between the
WAY of God and the WAY of Satan who still sat on the throne of the earth.
The Two Symbolic Trees
God placed Adam and Eve after creation in the beautiful garden of Eden. In its midst were two special symbolic trees of tremendous significance. Adam did not have immortal God life, but God freely offered it to him through the tree of LIFE.
Adam had to choose between the government of Satan with its self-centered way of life, and the government of GOD with its GOD-centered way of life. Each way of life was the basic LAW of a GOVERNMENT. God could have RESTORED the government of God on earth through Adam, had he chosen that WAY of ETERNAL LIFE.
On creation, late on the sixth day we call Friday, God briefed Adam and Eve on the situation. He continued through the Sabbath eve and on that first Sabbath. He explained that if they adopted the way of SELF-centeredness, symbolized by the tree of "the knowledge of good and evil," they would reject God's gift of LIFE (immortal), and on taking the forbidden fruit they would surely DIE.
After that Sabbath, when Adam neglected looking after his wife, Eve stole out alone away from her husband. She encountered Satan in the form of a serpent. The human family was a direct threat to Satan's continued rule on earth's throne.
Notice, however (Gen. 3), Satan did not say to Eve, "Choose MY government and my law of vanity and self-centeredness, and reject God." He merely tempted her with the beauty of the forbidden tree, appealed to her intellectual vanity, suggested God wasn't fair, and let her succumb to his deception, assuring her she was already an IMMORTAL SOUL. She was deceived into believing Satan, disbelieving God and into TAKING of the forbidden fruit. She gave also to her husband, and Adam willingly disobeyed God. Adam took TO HIMSELF the knowledge -- that is, the production of knowledge -- of what is good and what is evil.
Thus the first created human disbelieved God, disobeyed God, chose to go HIS OWN WAY, do his own thing. Adam did it willingly, but not apparently willfully.
Willingly, Adam was led into captivity by Satan. He had willingly gone
along with Satan, the arch kidnapper of all time.
A World Held Captive
Adam had been created with the potential to be born a son of GOD. Even though not as yet even a begotten son of the GOD FAMILY, he had been created as potentially just that. Once he succumbed to Satan's WAY of choosing to "do his own thing," in rebellion against a deliberate command of God, he became spiritually the property of Satan. He actually had succumbed to the GOVERNMENT of Satan, choosing the LAW of that government, leading automatically into attitudes of self-glory, coveting, competition, desire to GET rather than God's way of GIVE.
All humanity came out of Adam and Eve. The present world was FOUNDED in them. The WORLD has ever since been HELD captive! The world had thus chosen THE WAY of the kidnapper, rather than of the potential Parent!
But God the Father was to pay the ransom price and even yet bring his
potential spiritual children back to him.
At the Foundation of the World
Upon Adam's sin, God closed off the tree of life, until the second Adam, Jesus Christ, should pay the ransom price.
There cannot be a law without a penalty. The penalty of human sin is DEATH. At this very foundation of the world, it was determined that Jesus Christ, as the "Lamb of God," should be slain in payment of the penalty for all human sin (Rev. 13:8), effective upon repentance and faith. It was also determined by God at that time that all Adam's children should die (Heb. 9:27), but as in Adam all must die, so in Christ the same ALL shall be made alive by a resurrection from the dead to be judged (I Cor. 15:22).
But still, none could ever be born of God until God's holy and perfect spiritual character had been instilled within, by individual choice and proof by performance.
God set apart a 7,000-year period to complete his original SUPREME PURPOSE of reproducing himself through man. It was a masterminded MASTER PLAN for working out the PURPOSE here below.
For almost 6,000 years a civilization has developed, which we call the world. But it has been a world held captive. To this day Satan is still on that throne.
Meanwhile Satan has worked IN all humans. He has injected into the world
enormous EVILS. Jesus the second Adam came to start an entire new WORLD
OF GOD through the Church.
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 arch kidnapper, 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 arch kidnapping 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 GOD is turning the evil of this 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, which the father of all humanity -- Adam -- rejected; and which 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 GOD'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 sits still 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 be 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 then 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 will be 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 mankind who would repent, believe, grow in grace and God's knowledge, overcome and endure to the end of each one's 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 that God decreed that Jesus, as the Lamb of God, would come to pay the ransom price (Rev. 13:8).
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 superstructures 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 it 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 then 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!
The Church Still Stands
Jesus said he would build his Church. His Church was that new building -- that new civilization -- that new world, in embryo.
He also 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? Write for our free booklet "Where Is the True Church?" for the enlightening answer.