The Upside-Down World
From the August 2010 Trumpet Print Edition »
Excerpt from The Trumpet by Joel Hilliker
Little Green Men
The Apostle Paul recorded a scathing rebuke that has shown itself to be remarkably prophetic: He described scholars and academics “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25).
These are hallmarks of the Upside-Down World: truths changed to lies; material things exalted above the God who made them; plain, clear, scriptural understanding scorned and irrational human reasoning worshiped.
These traits represent a fundamental hostility to reason. Yet they are manifestly present in the supposedly irreproachable, objective realm of science: Consider the evidence-defying, data-manipulating commitment to the man-made global warming doctrine and the impassioned vilification of skeptics; or the blacklisting and excommunication of scientists who so much as acknowledge the possibility that the elegance and predictability of the material world suggests intelligent design. The scientific establishment brusquely closes the curtain on anything that challenges the ridiculous notion that there are no answers whatsoever beyond matter itself—what Democritus called “atoms and the void.”
As a result, the establishment must turn its back on a great many facts—and simultaneously embrace some ludicrous fictions. Befuddled by the majesty of life, and the impossible perfection of the Earth to support it, scientists have entered the realm of fantasy in order to sustain their belief in a godless universe. They have suggested, with nothing to offer as proof but their own ideologically driven imaginations, that perhaps there are an infinite number of universes—magically making statistical impossibilities possible. Famous atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins—who delights in ridiculing religious believers and calling faith “a virus of the mind”—says he believes life may have been deposited on Earth by beings from outer space.
That’s right. In the Upside-Down World, superintelligent little green men from some great beyond (whose origin also must require an explanation, we might add) are easier to believe in than God. “[F]or scientific triumphalists mere facts apparently cannot compete with the doctrines laid down by the scientific priesthood,” Phillips explains.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (verse 22).
Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin made this self-condemning admission in 1997: “We take the side of science [as opposed to the supernatural] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. … Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door” (emphasis mine).
That is the crux of it: God must be kept out. Why?
These trends all contravene or undermine the truth as defined in Scripture. Yet it is this widely dismissed and disparaged Book that exposes and explains the cause for society’s violent departure from logic and sense.
It reveals the very real existence of a spirit realm, invisible to us. “[W]e wrestle not against flesh and blood,” wrote Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Yes, the Bible speaks of a benevolent and omnipotent God. But it also tells of a malevolent spiritual force that we must be on guard against.
As Paul worked to spread the truth of the gospel throughout hostile, Gentile cultures, he encountered resistance that he explained this way: “[I]f our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not …” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
The “god of this world” to which he referred was not the Creator. It was the same “god” the Apostle John described as “the great dragon … that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
Is it possible? The fact is, the volatile and deteriorating state of the world today—and the descent into ever more mad and crazy reasoning—cannot be fully comprehended without this understanding.
Read “Who Is the God of This World?” on page 28 for a scriptural explanation of how this “great dragon” came to have such a stranglehold on society. Herbert W. Armstrong described this biblically revealed reality as “the colossal kidnapping of all time”—in which the captives have been brainwashed into preferring and embracing the life and evil philosophy of the archkidnapper. “The willing victim … is the world that inhabits this planet Earth!” he wrote. “Yet this world has been so completely deceived that it cannot realize what actually has happened to it” (A World Held Captive).
The devil’s Upside-Down thinking is everywhere on display. He is a master at cloaking his motives, dressing up his destructive ambitions, making them appear noble and upright. “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light,” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:14. But when his lies are compared against the right-side-up revelation in Scripture, the truth becomes clear.
The Upside-Down Mind
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” God wrote through Isaiah of this once-great angelic being who became the devil. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Satan believes he knows better than God. He has his own ideas about what is good, what is evil, how the universe should operate.
God created human beings in His own image and likeness, and placed them in dominion over the rest of the material creation on Earth (Genesis 1:26-30). He created them male and female and instituted marriage and family as a wonderful means of preparing them for life in His eternal Family. (These profound truths are thoroughly explained in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The Incredible Human Potential, which we will send you for free upon request.)
Satan hates human beings and is trying to destroy us. “He was a murderer from the beginning”; he is father of lies, Jesus explained (John 8:44). Satan inspired the notion that human beings are just like animals, less valuable than earthworms. He loves terrorism, violence and bloodshed. He promotes sterilization and abortion.
The Upside-Down attack on marriage and family is authored by this miserable being. He hates marriage and family because they are so central to God’s master plan for man! Angels were never offered that potential (e.g. Matthew 22:30; Hebrews 1:4-5). Satan has trampled on God’s laws about sex—laws against fornication and adultery, pornography, homosexuality, gender confusion and so on, all intended to safeguard the family—because angels cannot have sex, and sex produces more human beings.
This great dragon has flipped government within families Upside-Down because he hates authority and loves anarchy. God tells children to obey their parents and to honor old people—so Satan encourages them to rebel against their parents and mock the aged. The devil wants emotion-driven, unbalanced young people to dominate society so we lose our perspective, our heritage and our memory.
Satan pushes the impression that the whole of the mind-bogglingly impressive material creation exists by mere happenstance—that there is no order or purpose for any of it. He has befogged people’s understanding of evil because he is the epitome of evil and yet doesn’t believe it! He disagrees with God’s assessment of him.
In fact, that old serpent disagrees with everything God thinks, because he has allowed his thinking to become so twisted up with hate. Of all the Upside-Down reasoning he has fobbed off on this world, at the root of it all is that satanic idea: God is wrong—I am right.
As Paul expressed it, “For they [the self-professed scholarly, under the influence of satanic thinking] being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). As Lucifer said in his heart, I will exalt my throne—I will be like the most High.
This world is hoodwinked. So many of the people feverishly turning the world on its head are going about to establish what they think is right! “All are united by the common desire to bring about through human agency the perfection of the world,” Phillips writes, “an agenda which history teaches us leads invariably—and paradoxically—to tyranny, terror and crimes against humanity. Remarkably, all happen to be united also by a common and fundamental hostility to the central precepts of [biblical] religious belief …” (op. cit.).
The longer that people fail to submit themselves to the righteousness of God—who is the one and only true Lawgiver, who alone determines right from wrong—and the harder they work to establish their own righteousness, the more haywire this Upside-Down world will grow.
Thankfully, the sure Word of God promises that Jesus Christ will return and set this world right-side up. The Apostle Peter called this “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). Christ Himself called it “the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28). You can read more about that wonderful Upside-Up World in the article on page 8.