The World Held Hostage

By John J. Blanchard

January 4, 2003

Today we are going to look into the extension of the subject we talked about the last time. We left off with the earth going into captivity under Satan so the title of this lesson is “The World Held Hostage”.

We look at all the nations around the world today and aren’t they in a pitiable state? There was a recent poll taken by the Pugh Research Center. They interviewed 38,000 people in 44 countries. Their conclusion, I quote, “As 2002 draws to a close, the world is not a happy place!” They found that there is a “discontent the people of the planet feel concerning the world at large.” Their view is that “the fortunes of the world are drifting downward.”

It is as if the world is being sucked into a vortex that they cannot get out of. Problems are getting worse around the world. They seem insoluble. The world is full of fear and apprehension. What is next? Just what is going to happen next? On top of that there is a plethora of bad news along with bad predictions. There are predictions that things are only going to deteriorate further and get far, far worse.

In the national publications of the United States one that is probably foremost is Time magazine. On July 1, 2002 on the very cover was a striking picture that looked like flames of fire (perhaps a nuclear explosion) with these words, “The Bible and the Apocalypse” with a subheading of “Why More Americans Are Reading and Talking About the End of the World.”

Time magazine did a very good job exploring how people are feeling. Within the section on this subject, which was quite extensive, there was a small block or subarticle in there. It said, “The End, and How It Got That Way. This is true as millions of Americans, many rattled into an end-time frame of mindset, by September 11.”

September 11 seems to be an event that is kind of a watershed event. It marked a turning point in which the world feels helpless. It feels helpless not only at the hands of terrorists, but incapable of handling so many problems whether it is AIDs, HIV infection, problems with drought and famine around the world and an increasing number of terrorists and despots holding their nations hostage and threatening their neighbors. It seems as if this has evolved into a situation nobody can handle. People are feeling the anxiety, the worry, the fear.

In this article Time magazine said this feeling started really with the American Civil War. Prior to the Civil War, the United States had this feeling of manifest destiny where we could solve every problem and that the United States was truly almost the “promised land”. It was such a wonderful place! We were going to help the entire world lift itself out of its depression, out of its funk, out of its problems, trials and tribulations. The Civil War dashed all of those hopes! It brought about a tremendous despair in much of the United States. Amongst that despair, much like today, are prophets, teachers, self-proclaimed ministers and Bible scholars who started preaching death and destruction. Predictions of end time scenarios grew. We had fire, blood and brimstone preachers stomping across the United States telling people of damnation if they did not repent. Time did a great job showing how this has built and built and built.

Each of the World Wars in the last century brought us closer to a feeling of doom. I remember reading articles about Douglas MacArthur after the Second World War and the explosions of the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Once the nuclear age had hit he said, “The crucible of war is no longer an option.” War has become too terrible. Yet here we are at the dawn, not only of a new century but a new millennium, the year 2003. What do we find? The earth staring possibly nuclear destruction in the face! We feel helpless to stop it. Terrorists are active around the world. The United States is trying to put fires out. Britain and other allies such as Australia are trying to put the fires out. Israel is trying to keep the lid on things in the Middle East. Everything seems to be coming to a boil. Indeed, predictions of a horrible end time catastrophe for mankind are at a fever pitch right now!

This was a national progression of thinking that started in the Civil War. It is unbelievable, but it is true. For a hundred and fifty years practically, these thoughts have been getting deeper and deeper into the American psyche. Even around the world, as people look and see there is no one left who can help us.

With this thinking going on (the preaching, the articles that we have out in the world today espousing this viewpoint), we have a lot of factors coming together to make people feel really worried. You have a lot of special effects in movies today. These special effects portray end-time scenarios and horrible wars and plagues hitting the earth with devastating effect. People by the millions go and sit in front of theater screens and get their minds filled with all kinds of graphic details to scare you right out of your wits! Many of them are based on potential reality. They are very close to showing things that could really happen.

On top of that we have the printed media putting out books by the millions that are scary books! There are all kinds of war stories, horror stories and crime stories getting published constantly. On top of that you have your regular media such as the newspapers and magazines. Just as we saw here with Time magazine. Some of them are based on fact and others are based on fiction but putting a constant torrent out of hopelessness, of mankind on the ropes and of the world being a horrible place.

Then you throw in the mix for the young children. Not only are they watching television, movies and reading things, but have you ever taken a look at children’s video games? Many of them should not be allowed out there for the sale of young people. There is all manner of horrible things going on in the video games. Children are taken to them as if it is a game! Killing people and destroying cities, towns and counties and committing heinous crimes and acts of violence and they call these games. So even our entertainment and games have become violent. No wonder people feel depressed! Even when you turn on the evening news at night, we get a constant steady diet including its modern special effects, you might say, with cameras rolling.

We can see action violence as it takes place anywhere in the world. The event we just mentioned, September 11th, is emblazoned in everyone’s minds. Why? Because of television, everyone saw it hundreds of times if you cared to watch the news. There you have it, a depressed world, a worried world.

The good news is that mankind’s past (his history) does not accurately predict the final outcome for man. The good news is that God will not allow mankind to destroy himself! We have to understand this so that we can get out of the funk the world is in so people can feel hope and feel we are going to be okay in the long run. Our God did not create us to watch us incinerate ourselves or one another! He did not create us for that purpose.

Man is completely capable, of course, of using any weapon he has ever invented and history does prove that. No matter how terrible the weapon, mankind has used it on his fellow man. We can see as these weapons proliferate it would appear that if mankind was left to his own devices the world would simply destroy itself. God will not allow that to happen! The only way we can see the proper prediction for what will happen is to understand God’s word and His promises. We need to take those promises to heart. When He says My arm is not short, He means it! When He says He is a Deliverer, He means it!

The lessons we are going through will systematically prove this and give us the hope that we need. Before we can actually get to the point where we fully understand the hope, we have to understand why we got in the fix we are in. As we learn to understand what has happened and how God is going to protect mankind and save us, we will realize the fear mongers are wrong! We do not have to worry when we watch the nightly news or when we hear of the latest movie scare or the latest book that terrorizes people. We do not have to fear. In the short term, yes, there are still some bad things happening in the world but everything will end up okay. Mankind has an awesome future and God promises that in His word. Before we can get into that, though, we have to understand what happened. Why things turned out the way they have. How did we get into this mess in the first place?

The last time we looked into the scriptures and we studied, we saw that in the garden of Eden there were two trees. Of those two trees mankind, unfortunately, ended up taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since partaking of that forbidden fruit, what has happened to mankind? He has developed a dark side to his nature. There is a dark side to mankind. This is what we fear because mankind seems capable of any form of inhumanity! It is awful what mankind is often willing to do to his brother.

I would like to read at this time a quotation from Imprimis magazine that is put out by Hillsdale College. This quotation is taken from a speech that Margaret Thatcher gave. “Human nature by definition does not change. That isn’t to minimize the effects of culture, circumstance or individual differences, but the basic instincts of the human being are constant. On one level, this is cause for optimism. No matter how complicated our domestic problems are, no matter how tense our relations with other nations are, we can be sure deep down there is some spark of humanity, some urge to do what is right to which we can always appeal.

“On another level, there is an equally important and equally unchanging darker side of human nature. Without law, without the institutions of civil society, without religion, without the values that promote self restraint, that darker side will prevail. Half the countries of the world claim to be democratic, but being democratic is not enough for a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law.”

Margaret Thatcher is very, very good here at picking up what is wrong with mankind. Mankind has a darker side that will prevail if cooler heads do not prevail first. She said over history we have always been able to appeal to that level, that spark in mankind, that wants to do right. But what usually happens? Mankind, whether it is in a nation, a city or a race, has to come to the brink don’t we? We always have to get ourselves in a fix, a World War I, a World War II, a Civil War, a war with terrorism. We always have to come to that brink before we back up and we say, “Wait a minute!” “Isn’t a peace accord better than us destroying each other totally?”

Mankind always pushes it to the limit. Why? Why is this? It is because there is a darker side to mankind. Mankind struggles to do what is right but is always under some gravitational pull to do what is evil. It is almost like that vortex I spoke of at the beginning. It is like a vortex pulling us down, down, down to do the worst things to one another! The question is, and we asked this in the last lesson: whose image are we going to reflect, that image of good that comes from God or that image of evil that comes from Satan? It is up to us but we seem incapable of staying good for very long. Whether it is an individual or a nation, we always seem to portray that image of evil at some point. Some people, unfortunately, take it on to such an extent they embody evil! Every so often a tyrant rises up in the world that would literally destroy it in spite of themselves. They would destroy it with them in the world! They are that evil. Where did they get this? There is only one answer and that is Satan.

Do we want to bear the fruits of God’s Spirit or the fruits of Satan’s spirit? All of us (any sane person) would say we want to bear the fruits of good. Then why don’t we? That is where we come to today’s subject. The world is now held hostage! We are captives to this darkness, to this gravitational pull that we feel. It pulls at every human being to do what is wrong!

The negative pulls that we feel come from its source and that is Satan. He is the source of this gravitational pull downward. He is the one who holds the earth hostage. He is the source of evil. He attacks us, each human being, where we are weakest. He is very good at finding our weak points, the flaws in our character. Because we all have flaws, by giving an environment to dwell in that is evil, he knows it will pull us down. Hence, we have all the afflictions you see out there, not only the wars but people succumbing to all manner of weaknesses: drug abuse and smoking to destroy their own body. Whatever the case maybe, there is something to pull each one of us down. We have to fight it. If we do not, we literally destroy ourselves. Don’t we? It is the same with nations. It is the same with the world itself.

Turn, if you would, to I John chapter 1, starting in verse 4: “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

It is a given, we live in a world of darkness. We have to choose to live in the light. We have to choose to allow God to help us fight those pulls that would pull us down.

Continuing in I John chapter 2, verse 15: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

The way of the world is slowly dissolving. What does this mean here, the way of the world, do not love the world? We have learned that creation is good. God created all things good. When the world is mentioned here, we are talking about the orderly arrangement of things we see on the earth. If you were to look up the term “world” here, you would find it as “cosmos”, which means the orderly arrangement, the decoration of the world. It comes from the word “costmecator”, which means “world ruler and Satan”. Therefore, we see the world held hostage and arranged and influenced by the world ruler, Satan the devil. This explains that downward pull in mankind. God says do not love that. Do not love the lust of the flesh, the pride of life. These are the things that Satan uses, these weaknesses in our character, to pull us down to harm one another. Therefore, do not love the current way the world is arranged by the one who seized it, by the one who is holding it captive or hostage.

This is going to end. This is what we are told here. This system is passing away. Light will overtake it. Christ will return! That system will be done away. That is the hope we all look forward to. That is the way things will turn out. God guarantees it! However, the world is currently arranged to promote what? We find war and conflict, hatred, division and confusion, intense competition, greed, lust for power and covetousness. These are the evidence of the darkness out there. It is the darkness we cannot see yet it pulls on us all.

Mankind lives under this darkness and it is a form of tyranny. We cannot escape it! We dwell in is environment. It is pulling on our friends, our neighbors, our families. It is pulling on other nations in the world. It pulls on the terrorists. It has everyone deceived and hating each other. Mankind has been trying for six thousand years to overcome this with better forms of government, with people preaching good ideas, with people saying we need more philanthropy, what the world needs now is love. We know these things but we seem powerless to accomplish them, at least for very long. There is always another tyrant. There is always another criminal. There is always something else out there to promote racism and hatred. That is because Satan has arranged things according to his own desires.

Turn, if you would, to II Corinthians chapter 4, starting in verse 3. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded…” The King James says “the god of this world”. “…who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” Right now Satan has the world cast in darkness so they cannot see the light of Christ properly. He is the god of this world and has the authority to do those things!

Turn, if you would, to Ephesians chapter 2, starting in verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” At one time we all conducted ourselves in this environment, we lived in this environment and it was pulling on us constantly. People following these lustful desires, these pulls of the flesh are children of wrath. Whose wrath? Satan’s wrath. As we discussed in an earlier lesson, he hates mankind and he hates God! So he is constantly pulling on us, and we cannot get out of his environment! We dwell on this planet, and he is the ruler over this planet currently. He is what is called here “the prince of the power of the air”.

Remember we discussed how his thinking works like a television or radio constantly pumping things into our minds, thoughts to pull us down, to depress, to cause anxiety, to cause hatred and bitterness. These thoughts are his wave lengths. The human mind can tune into those wave lengths and pull them in just like a receiver can pull in radio waves or a television set can pull in television waves. These are out there constantly pulling on each and every human being and we cannot get away from it because we dwell in his environment. He is the god of this world. Therefore, mankind is held hostage from God! We are held hostage away from Him. His broadcasts would be those of love, concern, compassion and outgoing love for our fellow man. Satan’s environment keeps pumping out this hatred constantly, this wrath and it is to that environment that we are held captive.

Turn back to Jeremiah 17. It tells us that the heart of mankind is desperately wicked. We discussed how that means he is sick. Mankind is sick because of this thinking. This thinking permeates humanity. It is everywhere out there. Jeremiah 17, starting in verse 9: “’The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.’”

God says mankind’s heart is desperately wicked. That term there “wicked” means “sick, sick unto death, incurably ill” because of these attitudes from Satan that we cannot seem to root out individually or collectively on the earth. We just cannot seem to root out hatred.

Revelation 12, verse 9. You do not have to turn there. It is a scripture that we have mentioned often. It says that the entire world is deceived, everybody! None of us can point the finger at somebody else and say we are not tricked or deceived. We have all fallen for Satan’s deception. All of us of every walk of life, of every nationality and of every religion, unfortunately.

Turn to Isaiah chapter 14. We will see that Satan is spoken of here. Isaiah chapter 14, starting in verse 12: “’How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!’” He is the one who weakens these nations with these broadcasts. Verse 13: “’For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.’”

He wanted to ascend and take God’s throne. He hates mankind and what God has offered us. But God says you shall lose! Continuing in verse 16 of Isaiah chapter 14: “’Those who see you will gaze at you…’” Eventually, this is what this is saying. “’…and consider you, saying: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”’”

Satan here is portrayed as a man, as a being, who holds the earth captive as if in prison. He will not release us. Not by his choice. He must be forced to release us! That we will see as we go through these lessons is the end result. Satan will be forced to release his grip off of mankind to stop these broadcasts that pull us down, that tear at our thinking, that tear at the very fabric of human beings and making us hate one another. He will be stopped, but we have a little while to go yet. We have to understand what God is doing. That is where we are going in these lessons. We are going to understand when we are done here how God is going to save mankind and what we can do to help facilitate it. In this lesson we are going to stick with how we became captive, how does this happen?

Therefore, as we can see mankind is in a prison of sorts, and it is an environmental prison. We are in a state of the wilderness it says here. That is a wilderness because when God looks down from His throne, the earth is an exceedingly black place, a dark place! It is dark because of Satan’s darkness, as we saw in I John. That darkness permeates everywhere. It effects everybody on the planet. So God sees this darkness, and He is dealing with it. But he has given the darkness six thousand years to have its influence over mankind. We saw that in “Setting the Clock”. Six thousand years Satan will be god of this world and then it will end. When it ends, it will be beautiful!

If you remember, Genesis 1:1-2 when God first brought light to the world what did He see? Under Satan He saw tohu and bohu, waste and void, a dark sea. That is what the earth looks like to God who can see with spiritual lens (spiritual vision). He sees that mankind dwells in an environment that covers the earth like the sea. It is the sea of darkness. Mankind dwells there! Christ is the light.

We can understand that we need Christ and His influence to eventually overcome this and be released. We will see just how in God’s word eventually. But currently we dwell in the sea, the sea of evil thinking, of evil influences, that Satan is constantly pushing towards mankind. He is moving mankind in the direction he wants just like the waves move the water.

Sometimes the best intentions of man is to avoid war and we cannot. We want to do what is right and we just cannot. Sometimes one nation must defend itself against the aggressors of another nation or another people. If you do not, your people will go into tyranny. In the case of the Civil War, we had brother fighting against brother, north against south. Most of them hated the fact that we ended up in that situation, brother against brother, tearing our nation apart. Yet, we were helpless to stop it. It is as if mankind just cannot control his own destiny when it comes to hatred and bitterness. It rises up like an awful thing that grabs us from time to time and seems to compel people to get into these horrible situations where we must destroy our fellow man. What an awful state we dwell in, but the good news is it will not continue forever! It is almost over, for the six thousand years is almost up!

Down through the ages mankind has kept trying to rise above this darkness because he could also take of good if he wanted to. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Each of us has free will so it has constantly been a battle between conqueror and vanquished, between oppressor and down trodden, between criminals and victims, between barbarism and civility.

The biggest struggle though that each and every one of us faces is what we battle within ourselves! The battle that rages within ourselves when we are constantly, each of us, individually, resisting the downward pulls of Satan. Whatever our weakness is. Satan knows what it is, and you know what I am talking about. Each and every one of us is familiar with the downward pulls in life. It seems as if we just cannot get out from underneath of them, at least permanently. No matter what it is. It is always pulling, it is always there. We always have to struggle against it.

To mankind’s credit, look how he has risen up and individuals have risen up against evil and stood like a tree for good and said, “No, I will not allow this to move me.” There have been philanthropists, there have been good inventions, there have been better forms of governance over the years that have been tried that promote freedom and justice. There have been better forms of education to help people better themselves. This is character growth. But unfortunately the good character growth is still mixed with the evil. We still dwell in this horrible environment, but it seems as if we are awash with enough evil that the good just cannot overcome it. We are always facing another dictator, another terrible scourge on society, another disease. We conquer one disease and there is another. It is a non-ending struggle, but it is about to end because God is going to end it for us! That is our hope.

I want to quote Abraham Lincoln: “Character is like a tree and the reputation is like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it. The tree is the real thing.” So when we reflect a shadow, our shadow of character, it is only reflecting what we really are. We are trying (many people are trying) to reflect the tree of good, of Jesus Christ. But because we have partaken of the tree of good and evil, it is like we each cast two shadows. There is a good side of us and bad side of us. Each and every one of us struggles with this. If we can overcome, if we can gradually become better people like Abraham Lincoln did, he can stand for something that is known for good.

The shadow Abraham Lincoln cast that brought liberty and justice to the black man in America, freed our nation from a form of tyranny and slavery that we inherited from a system that was corrupt. That was a good thing. He is remembered for that. He is remembered for preserving the unity, the Union, the United states in its whole and not torn in half nation. So the character he is remembered for, his shadow, is good but he had his problems. Abraham Lincoln had his problems. What happened to him in the end? Tyranny got him.

It is as if we can never stay good or fight off evil for very long. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He was too good for this planet in some ways. That is what happens to a lot of good people. You read it in the news. Missionaries shot overseas, killed or taken hostage. Why? They were trying to do good. Satan’s hates good so he moves people like the waves of the sea, inexorably to do evil.

All the cumulative good of mankind has still fallen way short of liberating the planet. The western world today has some of the most free countries that have ever existed and has brought the most amount of good to the greatest number of people, educationally and prosperity-wise. But aren’t we still afflicted with all manner of trials and troubles, diseases and illnesses? We have all kinds of “isms” like alcoholism. We have drug abuse. We have all manner of problems in our society even though we have freedom. It is because we are waiting for the ultimate freedom, the ultimate Liberator to free us from this tyranny. As I keep mentioning, it is coming.

At this point we can remember we all have fallen short (Romans 3:23), “.all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” In Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.” We all deserve to die. We know that. We are all guilty as charged! We have all reflected a bad side of our character. None of us is perfect. But there is hope!

Where does this leave mankind at this point in time. For six thousand years we have been left alone by God to our own devices. We are learning from history we are incapable of freeing ourselves of tyranny, and we are incapable of constantly, permanently reflecting good. We cannot do it on our own. We have these strong downward pulls that always effect us.

We know that we can look for hope, hope beyond ourselves. Hope through God because it is through Jesus Christ that mankind knows with confidence we will ultimately win. Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed into thinking by Satan that ultimately the world will be destroyed and very few people will survive it. God says, no, you do not understand My plan. That may have been your ultimately destiny if I would not intervene, but I promise you I will intervene. I will save you. My arm is not short.

The arch deceiver works overtime causing us to give up hope. One of the ways he does it in his world system is in religion. His thinking that permeates everything also permeates religion. His thinking on this obfuscates the truth, it confuses mankind and deceives mankind. That is why not only do we have all of these physical ailments and hatreds that I spoke of a minute ago, but we also think within ourselves, within humankind, our group is okay. We think our religion is all right. My group that I am a part of, we are okay. It is the others who are bad. It is the others who are evil.

Satan has us all thinking that I am okay and they are the bad ones. They are the evil ones. Because of that way of thinking, we have the mess we are in right now. Some followers of Allah who they say is god blow up innocent people of other nations. Some followers of Allah condemn those actions. Some Christians practice ethnic cleansing. Other Christians hate ethnic cleansing. Some followers of Allah hate Christianity. Some Christians hate followers of Allah. In World War I and World War II priests and ministers on each side blessed young men to go out and kill other young men of the same religion! Is that insane or is that insane? Can God be the author of all of these beliefs? Absolutely not! The author is that one who deceives the whole world. We have all been tricked. We have to beg God to take the blinders off so we can see how we are supposed to treat each other and see what the true God demands of us.

Turn, if you would, to I Corinthians 14, verse 33: “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” There you have it! God authors peace. God did not authorize churches, religions or faiths to kill their fellowman. Remember, mankind is made in the image and likeness of God. So God did not author this religious mess that leads to wars in all of this confusion. How did we fall for this deception?

Satan is a wheeler-dealer extraordinaire. He makes deals with each faith, each race, each religion. He says I am the god of this world, and he comes as an angel of light. He tricks people to think he is god. He tricks each religion, each faith and each race to say you are okay. You guys are special. It is everyone else that is evil! Therefore it is okay to go kill them! It is okay for this brand of Christianity to kill that brand of Christianity! It is even okay in your denomination to kill representatives of your denomination who are on the other side of that line over there. They are bad. You can kill them! It is okay. Go ahead! Each group has fallen for this deception to the point that the whole world is divided. Many, many millions of people think they are acting for God when they destroy mankind who are made in the image and likeness of God. It is a crazy system. It is Satan’s system.

It is his environment that we dwell in. He is the one who encourages this thinking. He is the one who has orderly arranged the world to promote hatred. That orderly arrangement is what we call in the scriptures “the world”. We are told by Jesus Christ through His word that that world is passing away. The earth is not passing away. The ground we walk on is not passing away. Mankind is not going to all pass away either. It is the system. This evil environment that constantly pulls us down and causes us hatred. That is what is passing away. That is about to end. Soon God’s name will be cleared. We are going to talk about that in a future lesson: clearing God’s name. Because His name has been associated with the god of this world for too long. Our God is not a cruel and vicious God. He is a kind, compassionate God.

In the meantime, we have to decide what are we going to do. What image are we going to follow? What image are we going to project? What is going to be the shadow of our character? Let us all choose light. Let us all choose to follow Jesus Christ.

There is a name for this world system that is out there in the scriptures. Its name in the scriptures is an interesting name. We are going to talk about it in detail in the next lesson, but it is called Babylon. If you were to look up that term in your Strong’s Concordance, in the Old Testament, it means “confusion”. Isn’t the world a confused place? Sure, it reflects Babylon. Babylon in the New Testament also means “confusion and a type of tyranny”. Babylon comes from the root word “balla” which means, “to make a way and destroy”.

When Satan took this world captive and pushed us into that sea, the sea of his influence, that downward pull of the vortex that he pulls mankind with, he put us into a situation where we cannot fight the waves. We cannot fight the waves of that sea by ourselves. We need God, and we need Jesus Christ for there is always another tyrant. There is always another dictator. There is always another problem we face in our own lives. The good news is this system will end! With it will come that marvelous government of Jesus Christ that we talked about before.

Let us turn back to Isaiah chapter 11, verse 9. This is speaking of the Millennium about to start here. We are told, “’They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Lord as the waters cover the sea.’” The physical creation out there with the waters that cover most of the earth is just a physical portrayal of Satan’s attitudes covering the earth. Eventually when the Millennium is here and that wonderful government of Jesus Christ is here, the knowledge of God, the knowledge of how to love one another properly and the influence to do it (the upward pull of God) will be everywhere like the waters cover the sea!

Won’t it be wonderful when the water is being pulled up? It will be wonderful when mankind is being pulled up and not down. When the thoughts that come into our minds help us to be good and not evil and when the thoughts actually promote love, kindness and compassion between individuals and between nations. That is what is in store for us and that is not too far off! Stay with these lessons and continue to learn lesson by lesson. You will see how that is going to end up. That is a promise from God!

Right now I want to say good-bye. Continue to study. Continue to study the beautiful thoughts of God, and you will soon learn how the world will no longer be held hostage and how Jesus Christ will set us free into a beautiful Millennium ruled by His perfect government!