A World Held Captive: Soon to Be Set Free!

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A World Held Captive

Soon to Be Set Free!

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A World Held Captive: Soon to Be Set Free!

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Kidnapping or hostage cases grab our attention, probably because the crime itself is so horrendous and the victims so helpless. But they also intrigue and puzzle us because of the unusual relationships that sometimes develop between the victims and their abductors. 

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who in 1991 was snatched at a bus stop at age 11 and kept in captivity for the next 18 years, apparently did not try to escape and, over time, developed a close relationship with her captor. About her kidnapper, her stepfather said that she “has strong feelings with this guy” and “feels it’s almost like a marriage” (Laura Fitzpatrick, “A Brief History of Stockholm Syndrome,” Time, Aug. 31, 2009).

Natascha Kampusch, kidnapped at age 10 while on her way to school, was held captive in a cellar for eight years before finally escaping. Yet she is reported to have cried after her abductor then committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. “All I can say is that, bit by bit, I feel more sorry for him,” she said. She later called her captor a “poor soul—lost and misguided” (ibid.).

Shawn Hornbeck, after 10 months of captivity at the hands of a kidnapper, called the police to report his stolen bike, giving them his first name, Shawn, and as his last name the surname of his abductor, Devlin (ibid.). He stayed with his captor another three years, never escaping even while the man was away working at his two jobs.

Then there’s the infamous case of Patty Hearst, daughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who not only acquiesced to the Symbionese Liberation Army’s criminal leader after her kidnapping, but also adopted a new name and joined his group in robbing a bank (ibid.).

Stockholm syndrome at work

All of these hostages identified with and supported their kidnappers, even for a time after gaining their freedom. Mental health experts have a particular term for this irrational bonding between kidnapper and victim. They call it Stockholm syndrome.It refers to victims becoming bonded to and even feeling compassion for and loyalty to their captors.

Stockholm syndrome gets its name from a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in which two thieves held four bank employees hostage at gunpoint in the bank’s vault for six days. “When the victims were released, their reaction shocked the world: They hugged and kissed their captors, declaring their loyalty even as the kidnappers were carted off to jail” (ibid.).

Psychologists are still largely at a loss to explain such bizarre bonding. At its core it seems to stem from the victim coming to perceive the perpetrator as the one controlling one’s survival and life itself. Thus the victim aligns himself or herself with the captor out of pure self-interest.

Paradoxical? Yes. Uncommon and remote from everyday experience? Surprisingly no—at least not in a broader sense, which the majority of psychologists are woefully ignorant of. Indeed, they and everyone else, including you yourself, have certainly succumbed to this disorder to some extent.

This is because our whole world has been held captive for several thousand years—and mankind has fallen victim to Stockholm syndrome, identifying with our malevolent captor more than our loving Creator!  

The story is strange, but true—and spelled out in the pages of your Bible!

What’s your worldview?

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is simply the view we have of the world. Overall, a worldview can be predominantly good or bad, depending on how it affects our thinking and what we do.

How is our worldview shaped?

Human beings aren’t born with a worldview; it’s developed over time. From infancy up we acquire all kinds of knowledge through our five senses—hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. We are immersed in the world surrounding us,  absorbing some of what we encounter without much consideration and evaluating other input in light of earlier impressions or conclusions we’ve been led to.

Our parents, siblings, education, media, jobs and other life experiences all help shape our accumulated worldview. Most people do not question their worldview, assuming that what they think and practice is simply the way it is.

When challenged, they often defend themselves. The core values of religion and politics are among the most sacred to us. We guard such values with our lives; they are our lives. Nations go to war over real or imagined threats, sometimes over the sanctity of their core beliefs. To challenge one’s core values is like threatening one’s life.

Our accumulated values make up our worldview, which is a rich garden bed for seedling ideas, good and bad. These grow into weeds or wheat, through external influence, holding us captive to our thinking—which we don’t realize is often seriously off track.  

A wrong worldview can give rise to a host of societal problems, such as crime, violence, warfare, oppression, corruption, thievery, bad government, sexual sins and perversity, drug and alcohol abuse, broken marriages and homes, widespread religious deception, poverty and many other social ills.

Darkened hearts through an unseen kidnapper

Is this a world in which people are open to God’s thinking? Notice Jesus Christ’s answer in Matthew 13:15 Matthew 13:15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
American King James Version×
: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed” (emphasis added throughout). Human beings gullibly close their eyes and ears to God’s truth, which leaves them open to the influence of unrecognized spiritual forces.

The apostle Paul also writes: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21 Romans 1:20-21 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

What is the unseen force that has darkened human beings’ foolish hearts, keeping humanity in captivity to corrupt thinking? Satan the devil, a great fallen angel, is the culprit! Paul also wrote of the need for people to learn God’s truth so “they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26 2 Timothy 2:26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
American King James Version×
).

Here we see that, yes, humankind has indeed been “taken captive” by the devil “to do his will.” And like those who fall victim to Stockholm syndrome, people have come to identify with their captor more than their Creator!

The apostle Peter similarly warns us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×
).

He devours people through the tool of deception. Satan has taken full advantage of the weaknesses of human nature and exploited them through the greatest deception ever perpetrated. He in fact holds the kingdoms of this world captive under his control and is able to give them to whomever he wishes (Matthew 4:8-9 Matthew 4:8-9 8 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
American King James Version×
).

How did we fall under Satan’s control?

How did we come to this state? How did mankind fall under the control of this evil and deceptive kidnapper? The story begins with our first human parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.

On the sixth day of creation week, God created this first human couple. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’…Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:26-31 Genesis 1:26-31 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps on the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
American King James Version×
).

God’s creation was indeed very good. But it wasn’t long before Satan emerged on the scene in the form of a serpent. Appearing to Eve, he deceived her into disobeying God’s instruction to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He lied to her, contradicting God and telling her she would not die if she ate it. Adam also chose to disobey and took of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-6 Genesis 3:1-6 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
American King James Version×
).

These first human beings chose to dis believe God and believe Satan. They chose to dis obey God and to obey Satan. They chose to dis regard God’s instruction and to follow Satan’s instead. They willingly chose to follow not God, but the devil—into his deception and captivity. They willingly allowed themselves to be taken prisoner by their abductor!

The pattern was set; the die was cast. The entire human race has sprung from these first two people, Adam and Eve. And every man and woman since has followed in their footsteps, choosing to follow the way of sin—of disobedience to God (Romans 5:12 Romans 5:12Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:
American King James Version×
, 19). Only one human being, Jesus Christ, never sinned (Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
American King James Version×
).

Satan’s tools for deception

A classic line from a movie sheds light on the deceptiveness of Satan. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” it goes. Satan has indeed convinced many that he doesn’t exist. And such an approach makes his job that much easier! (See “How Naturalism—Rejection of God—Holds Humanity Captive”.)

But Satan works in other ways as well, including through religion. If you were the devil, how might you go about deceiving humanity into thinking your way was the truth? How about counterfeiting the true God and substituting a big lie for His truth? Can you perhaps envision exploiting humanity’s weaknesses by offering a religious philosophy that says good is bad and bad is good?

Maybe you’d come up with making God out to be harsh, intolerant and untrustworthy, or perhaps just the opposite, painting God as extremely lenient and never imposing judgment. You could in that vein try to convince well-meaning human beings to believe they don’t have to obey Him.

All of this is precisely what Satan has done to human beings. This is how he has led humankind into captivity to sin. Jesus Christ plainly said that “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34 John 8:34Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
American King James Version×
). Paul said that we are all slaves to sin until we are freed by God and become “slaves of righteousness”—which is obedience to God’s law (Romans 6:16-23 Romans 6:16-23 16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity to iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness to holiness. 20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
; Psalms 119:172 Psalms 119:172My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness.
American King James Version×
).

One of Satan’s main strategies for deceiving people throughout the Christian world is to convince them that they don’t need to keep God’s laws, that those laws are obsolete or even harmful, or that Jesus kept them for us so we no longer have to. But Jesus said, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17 Matthew 19:17And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
American King James Version×
). The apostle John tells us, “He who says, ‘I know Him [God],’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4 1 John 2:4He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
American King James Version×
).

This is part of Satan’s major goal of eradicating humankind from this earth through manipulating us into harming one another and eventually destroying ourselves (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×
).

A world under Satan’s rule

Before God created Adam, Satan convinced a third of the angels to rebel with him against God in an attempt to overthrow Him (see Isaiah 14:13-14 Isaiah 14:13-14 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 sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
American King James Version×
; Revelation 12:4 Revelation 12:4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
American King James Version×
, 9). Jesus said that He actually witnessed, long before becoming human, the results of Satan’s rebellion: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18 Luke 10:18And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
American King James Version×
).

God cast Satan back to his originally assigned domain: “And the angels which kept not their first estate [the earth, where they had been stationed], but left their own habitation [again, the earth], he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6, King James Version).

While the earth, along with all who dwell on it, rightfully belongs to God (Psalms 24:1 Psalms 24:1The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
American King James Version×
), He has allowed it, because of man’s choices, to become Satan’s domain for the time being.

The Bible tells us that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×
, KJV), “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version×
) and the one “who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×
). Paul makes it clear that Christians struggle “not against flesh and blood, but against…the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [unseen spirit] realms” (Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

Satan is also behind a great religious deception that presents “another Jesus” with “a different gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4 2 Corinthians 11:4For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.
American King James Version×
). He presents himself as an angel of light, as do his unwitting representatives, who in reality are “deceitful workers” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
American King James Version×
).

Due to this widespread deception, God’s Word warns us that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×
).

In the beginning, Adam and Eve were free to know the truth, being free from Satan and from sin. But sin or lawbreaking separates human beings from God (Isaiah 59:2 Isaiah 59:2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
American King James Version×
). Satan tempted Eve to sin and then, through her, Adam to follow (Genesis 3:1-24 Genesis 3:1-24 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you? 10 And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. 16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. 17 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return. 20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from from where he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
American King James Version×
). Humankind has taken up where our first parents left off, continuing to break God’s laws. Following the way of sin blinds us to God’s truths.

The inhabitants of this world are Satan’s captives, and they unknowingly identify with their kidnapper, preferring to believe his lies and even adopting his cunning, subtle and deceitful ways.

Satan’s attitudes permeate the world

Living under Satan’s rule has brought mankind untold heartache and suffering. Jesus pointed out Satan’s deceitful ways that were evident in those wrongly accusing Him: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44 John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
American King James Version×
).

Since Satan is a murderer, it’s no surprise that we live in a world overflowing with violence and mayhem of every kind. It’s no wonder that human history is written in blood, with the record of human existence being largely a chronicle of war after war after war. War is simply murder on a massive scale! Satan is behind genocide and the fact that technological advancements often lead to more efficient means of killing larger numbers of our fellow human beings more quickly.

Murder, manslaughter, beatings and assaults plague many countries. We’re appalled by the headlines. Even our popular entertainment is often filled with violence! Where does this evil influence come from? It comes from the one who “was a murderer from the beginning”!

Jesus also called Satan “the father” of lies. Again, is it any wonder that we see so much deception of every kind all around us? Should we be surprised that lying is so commonplace? We lie to each other. Our governments lie to us. We lie to our governments. Our various forms of media lie to us. Countries lie to other countries. Again, there is a reason for this—the father of lies who is behind it all.

As we noted earlier, Satan was an angel who, resenting God’s control over him, rebelled against Him. Why do we see so much rebellion and resentment throughout the world? There is a powerful spirit influence behind it all. The very word Satan connotes an “adversary” or “enemy.” And indeed he continually sets us against one another as well as against God.

So why do we see so much evil and suffering? There is a reason for it. The world is imprisoned by an evil, malicious captor whose attitudes permeate society. He has deceived the world, and those who are deceived, of course, do not know they are deceived—or they wouldn’t be deceived.

The coming end of Satan’s reign

With all the bad news we see around us, good news is definitely on the horizon. The time of mankind’s deliverance from its captor is drawing near! Soon the deception, discontent and death that permeate our world will be replaced by peace, prosperity and purpose!

Why does it seem that the world’s problems are increasing, growing worse by the day? One reason is that Satan knows his time is running out (compare Revelation 12:12 Revelation 12:12Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
American King James Version×
), and that God will soon intervene to save the world and set mankind free from Satan’s captivity (Hebrews 8:10-12 Hebrews 8:10-12 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
American King James Version×
).

Few people realize that a primary reason Jesus Christ must return is to save us from ourselves! Jesus Himself said of conditions just before His coming: “It will be a time of great distress, such as there has never been before since the beginning of the world, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive” (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×
, Revised English Bible).

Christ’s return will literally be a matter of life and death! We might also consider that only within recent decades has it been possible —with the creation of modern weapons of mass destruction— to eliminate all human life on earth. And every weapon man has created he has eventually used—even such horrifying creations as nuclear weapons, nerve gas and germ-warfare devices. As mankind stands on the brink of disaster, Jesus Christ must and will intervene.

Revelation 11:15-17 Revelation 11:15-17 15 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 for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned.
American King James Version×
describes the scene: “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world [currently Satan’s kingdom] has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’

“And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign’ ” (NIV).

Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×
tells us what will then happen to the being who has held the world in cruel captivity and deception for so long:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more…”

At last—a world set free!

These events mark the beginning of a thousand-year period known as the Millennium, a time when Satan will “deceive the nations no more.” (You can learn much more about it in the article “Coming Soon: The Magnificent Millennium,” beginning on the next page.)

With Satan at last out of the way, the world will learn the promise of Christ’s statement in John 8:32 John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
American King James Version×
: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” God’s truth includes the Ten Commandments, which summarize the way He wants mankind to live.

Of this new world God says, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×
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Satan’s deceptive influence will be gone. So will his attitude of murdering, lying and rebelling. Instead of war breaking out, peace will break out all over! “He [Jesus Christ] shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×
).

This is the wonderful future God has in store for the world. Yes, the world is shrouded in deception and blindness for now. But this state of affairs is soon coming to an end!

If God is opening your mind, though, you need not wait until then to experience the freedom His truth brings. He eagerly desires to share that message of hope with you and bring you out of Satan’s deception and captivity now.

In Isaiah 55:6-7 Isaiah 55:6-7 6 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
American King James Version×
Scripture urges: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

You can, with God’s help, break free now. He is waiting to hear from you!  GN

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