Leading Into Captivity
Pastor Wm. Doyal Thomas
202 Mill Road Decatur, Alabama (256) 773-1474
“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity” (Revelation. l3:l0).
When I was a boy, I used to read this text of Scripture in great wonder as to what it meant. Years later, it pleased my Lord to give me Spiritual light upon this prophetic and apocalyptic Word of our God, that liveth and abideth forever.
Having preached therefore in different places on this subject, witnessing the rebellion of Satan to the truth in this message, demonstrated by some professed Christians, and having been asked by others to put this sermon in printed form, this reaction moved me to seek the will of my Lord about writing on this subject. I am now fully resolved to send you this message, by His grace, in His name and for His glory, trusting Him to do His good will with this witness of truth.
None who understand the Scriptural teaching of Eschatology will deny that this Scripture is speaking of the time of anarchy and the rule of the man of sin, the lawless one. (II Thessalonians 2:3)
Who then is this that He speaks of leading into captivity, and what is this captivity? With these two things in view, we now proceed by the Grace of God, with this message.
In almost every channel and avenue of life today, people are leading into captivity. While freedom is the greatest blessing that can come to human beings, on the other hand, captivity is the greatest curse that can befall the sons of men. This is true whether we consider it from the standpoint of Spiritual or natural life. Why then all of this leading into bondage and captivity?
Just recently I read an article in the paper, Christian Economics, edited by Howard E. Kershner, written by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, Millard F. Caldwell, entitled, “Will We Follow the Trail to Oblivion?” In this article he says, “Let me ask you, in the light of the political policies of this nation of ours, the quality of our leadership, the attitude of the people, what lesson should we learn from the history of all that’s gone before us? It seems to me the sum and substance of what history teaches is that no civilization and no nation beset by the destructive forces of inflation, paternalism and internal dissension survived.”
Will anyone question that many of the leaders of our nation for some time have been leading into Socialism, the philosophy of the Anti-Christ? There is now a leading in this direction of almost all the nations of the world. While many of the nations are already in captivity, most of the others are headed that way. Are we not today in America following down the road that Rome traveled to her downfall?
As one has said, “There was a rapid increase in divorce, which undermined the home as a basis of Roman society. Destructive extravagance, and the mad craze for pleasure and brutalized amusement had infected the entire population like some fearful plague. There were gigantic armament programs against external foes when the real enemy was the decaying spirit and corruption of the people, and the decline of vital religion, which had become powerless in human lives and impotent in government policy.”
Macaulay, the English historian, prophesied more than a hundred years ago saying, “Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor. Either Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by the Barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth with this difference; that the Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions.”
Friends, this prediction is now being fulfilled in America, and the whole world, with the exception of God’s elect people, is experiencing the fulfillment in large measure the strong delusion written of in II Thessalonians 2:11, which says, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
But someone says, “Our nation here in America is a Christian nation.” Just how Christian are we as a nation? Some recent statistics might give us a slight idea.
There are one hundred and sixteen million church goers in the United States, more than ever before. That’s an increase of thirty percent in ten years. But illegitimacy has increased three hundred percent. Pornography has become a five hundred million dollar a year business. Venereal disease has increased seventy-two percent in one year! Our crime bill is thirty billion dollars a year, and crime is increasing seven times faster than our population is increasing. For every dollar we spend on churches, we spend twelve thousand on crime. The divorce rate is now one in three, and our nation has five million alcoholics and three and one-half million problem drinkers.
Forty years ago, fifty percent of professing Christians had daily devotions in their homes; today, there are only five percent. Doubtless, with exception of a small minority, professed Christians by the millions are but little more than hypocrites and deceivers, “who have turned their ears from the truth and are turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:4).
This apostasy is well described in II Timothy chapter three, which says in the following words. “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
The world is full of false prophets today. When our Lord was talking about conditions that would prevail upon earth nearing the time of His return, He said, “And many false prophets shall arise, and deceive many, and because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:11, 12).
The spiritual deadness in the churches throughout America is alarming. Somebody said recently, “When the clock strikes twelve at noon on Sunday, the church gives up her dead.”
Protestantism is going back to Rome so fast, the wheels are flying; and apostate Baptists are going with them. Ever since the leaders of our nation have been visiting the Pope, our nation has been on the down grade. “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god” (Psalm
The cry for a one world church is being sounded from the house tops by false teachers and deceitful workers, and the Laodicean Church conditions abound throughout the world. Liberalism in both religion and politics is a destructive element to our American heritage that our God mercifully gave to us through the blood of our forefathers, as Woodrow Wilson once said, so truly.
We are living on the interests of the Scriptural investments of our forefathers. Do we not see these interests today being exterminated by Godless infidels in the pulpits, and by wicked political leaders, who are seeking to destroy individual freedom?
Many churches which are supposed to be orthodox and sound in the faith are as Mr. Spurgeon once said, “I need not add, sound asleep.” They are like Jonah, while the storm rages, down in the ship, fast asleep.
The preaching of Arminian heresy and denial of the sovereignty of almighty God has paved the way for liberalism and the so-called advanced theology, which denies the miracles of the Bible, the Virgin Birth of Christ, and the vital truths of God’s blessed Word. I need not add, instead of advanced theology, it is infidelity and apostasy. This liberalism paves the way for Socialism, and Socialism is but the stepping stone from Democracy to Communism, and Communism IS captivity.
Where is America at the present time then in this program? Without hesitation we answer, “Up to her neck in Socialism,” and Socialism is like dope. The addict must have more and more of it until he becomes a captive to the horrible drug. With Socialism, there must be more big spending, more inflation, more tax, and tax upon tax - Federal tax, State tax, County tax, and more and more of it until the poor individual groans under the heavy load. Property is rapidly becoming a burden to the struggling citizen. Two hundred years ago, Americans went to war over taxation without representation.
Powerful labor unions today are pressing the industries of our nation for higher wages. And the industries in order to survive, must raise the prices of their products from time to time, following one strike after another until the consumer finds his dollar so deflated that he wonders, what has gone with his money. This I say with all due regard to the laborer, and with no disrespect to a good labor union, operating within the bounds on reason and good judgment. Finally then, with this kind of a condition constantly on the march, with little or no restraint, captivity can be the only stopping place. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.”
The awful spirit of apathy and unconcernedness manifested by the great majority of people in our country in regards to this sad condition is no doubt the most dangerous factor of it all. If then someone has the moral courage and the Spiritual fortitude to lift a cry of warning, they are branded by the liberal demagogues as extremists. They want to keep the people unaware of their real danger, and “every one that doeth evil hateth the light” (John 3:20), and “whatsoever maketh manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:13). Termites work in the dark. “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
Folk say, I don’t want to be involved in all of this mess; I don’t like to weary my mind; I have too much else to think about. Let me say here - If anyone thinks that they can escape being involved in this matter, they will be greatly surprised to learn how mistaken they are not long from hence.
Too much entertainment, sports and folly, with abundance of sinful pleasure is helping to lull the minds of the masses into the deep slumber of “who cares.” This conditions the mind so as to be led on into the diabolical intrigue.
Politicians promising the people a living without work, and that they will take from the haves and give to the have-nots, are breeding covetousness in the minds and hearts of the masses. This is creating civil strife and clamor for more and more hand-outs of hard working people’s tax money. Encouraging sluggards and slow bellies to eat their bread from the other man’s sweat and labor. The Apostle James wrote by the Holy Spirit, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1).
The underestimation of the danger of the internal enemies is another peril leading to captivity. This idea is to draw the minds of the people away from their real pitfall, to external enemies ten thousand miles away.
Many say, well, there are but a few thousand Communists in America. I say in reply to this, that is all that is needed to bring America into captivity, provided they can influence enough Pro- Communists and sympathizers to do their work for them. When you see the human body in operation, remember it is moving by the direction of an unseen brain. When you see the operations of Communist fronts in America, just remember they are operating by the concoction of the brain of the Communist Party.
If these racial demonstrations go far enough to throw this country into a civil war, then the enemies are standing by to take the reins of our government. Then begins the reign of anarchy and captivity.
Who then is to blame if this happens? Have not American people been warned betimes and so frequently of the period of these internal enemies? Do the leaders of our nation not know that these internal enemies intend to destroy our individual freedom? Why then is there so little opposition and resistance by those in authority to these anarchists and law breakers? Could it be that sin and immorality is destroying the moral courage of those who could do something to help protect the individual rights of the people?
There is so much cowardice and pusillanimity being manifested today, where there should be fortitude and courage exhibited. This is a sickening and disgusting condition that boils the blood of the true Americans and God fearing people that are left in our country.
God’s Word tells us to “resist the Devil and he will flee from us” (James 4:7). We are being destroyed by too much flexibility with the enemy. The very enemies themselves have warned American people of their aspirations to destroy the religious and domestic freedom, so dear and precious to the true citizens of our nation.
Some while ago, I read these words from a paper called Christian Victory, “I dream of the hour when the last Congressman is strangled to death on the guts of the last preacher … and since the Christians seem to love to sing about the blood, why not give them a little of it? Slit the throats of their children and drag them over the mourner’s bench and the pulpit and allow them to drown in their own blood; and then see whether they enjoy singing these hymns.” These words came from the top ranking Communist in America, Gus Hall, according to this paper. Also, this man is now gaining entrance to university campuses in our country.
The great cry of many of our weak and spineless leaders in America is “Peaceful Coexistence.” The answer to this kind of talk is found in God’s Word in II Corinthians 6:14, 15. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”
What then is this captivity that the world is leading into? It is a state of anarchy, lawlessness and international confusion. It is the rule of Anti-Christ, “the lawless one, the man of sin” (II Thessalonians 2:3).
Man becomes the property of the state, having no right to own personal property and with no true religious liberty, and so tied up with the fetters of government regulations that there is scarcely time for anything else but to serve the state. The final state of this captivity will be so terrible that unless one has “the mark of the beast in their right hand, or in their foreheads, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name, to identify them with the beast, they can neither buy nor sell” (Revelation 13:16-17).
During this time, the harlot church described in Revelation chapter 17, with all forms of apostate Christendom, will be destroyed by the beast and his kingdom. (Revelation 17:16, 17). Look out, Rome!
When then will this captivity be finished? It will be finished with the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). This battle is described in many places in the Scriptures. I shall refer you to them - Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19.
This battle will be at Christ’s Second Coming in Glory. He will then abolish Gentile dominion once for all (Luke 21:24). Here we desire to elaborate a while, but time and space would fail us to do so, with this exception; to say, in that day, there will be peace on earth, good will toward men, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters that cover the sea. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. These words are Scriptural quotations from divers places in God’s Holy Word, and they are faithful and true. “Then shall the King, our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords reign in righteousness, and the saints shall judge the world. Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).
What then should be done in these times we are now living? Let America break off her great sins, before they destroy her - her sins of dishonesty in government. Let the leaders who cry, “Take from the haves and give to the have nots” - repent of this great evil. Let the people stop voting for such evil minded leaders. For this is the great sin of “covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 5:5).
Moreover, let the leaders of our nation repent of taking the hard working taxpayers’ money and sending it to the nations that are enemies of freedom and democracy, which is helping to fortify them against us. This is an evil and the rankest of confusion; and “behold, the Judge standeth before the door” (James 5:9).
Oh! that America would forsake her great sins of sodomy and immorality, which sins brought on the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:14). Turn, oh! America, from your drunkenness. The prophet Habakkuk cried long ago saying, “Woe unto him that buildeth a town with blood, that stablisheth a city by iniquity. … Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” (Habakkuk 2:12, 15).
Thus! our nation has legalized that which Almighty God prohibits in His Word. Remember the true Proverb, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). “But fools die for the want of wisdom” (Proverbs 10:21).
Let the people of this nation hearken to the preachers of truth, and turn away their ears from the false prophets who have deceived them with their good words and fair speeches, which deceive the simple minded.
May God’s people in America awake from their slumber and lift up the trumpet to warn the ungoldly, and let the New Testament churches put on their strength in the Lord. Sound an alarm of warning of the invading enemies. Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.
Take to all prayer and consecrate their lives to Christ, and be loyal to Him, loving Him supremely and one another fervently, having a burden for lost souls, holding forth the Word of Life to this lost world, being faithful unto death, and He will give us a crown of life.
Now, I point you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to one Scripture verse, which is the answer to the whole problem today, found in II Chronicles 7:14; and if you have an ear to hear, hear this. “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Now my sinner friends, let me have a word with you who are lost and in your sins. I “pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20). You are already in spiritual captivity. You are in “the snare of the Devil”, and “taken captive by him at his will” (II Timothy 2:26). You are “condemned already” (John 3:18). You are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). All of your “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). You are totally depraved, and you “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).
There is deliverance, however, for the prisoners of hope, in Christ. For He came “to preach deliverance to the captives”, and to “set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18). To do this, He Himself “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3, 4). “To Him gave all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
Therefore the only way you can be delivered from condemnation is by faith in Jesus Christ. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though you sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5). God who was manifested in the flesh is the only mediator. “And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16).
Be not indifferent to this good news then, sinner, lest you come “into the lake of fire”, which “is the second death” (Revelation 20:14), to suffer the penalty for your sins, by the righteous judgment of Almighty God.
Better heed the words of our Lord, sinner. “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him.” These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, found in Luke 12:4, 5.
Therefore by the grace of God, put your trust in Christ and Him alone for the salvation of your soul. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:12).
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
Thomas Beverly (T. B.) Freeman (1915-2002) was a sovereign grace preacher, and for many years God used him as an evangelist all across the south.
October 23, 1988 Brother Freeman preached a sermon from Titus
2:11-12 entitled The Grace Of God And
Its Results which
is available for listening or downloading on SermonAudio.com.