“Who Sups with the Devil?”
Part II

“The Angels that Sinned”

THAT there are evil spirits is undeniable, for the Bible amply testifies to their existence. Their origin is recorded in the sixth chapter of Genesis. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his day shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth of those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, and the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”—Gen. 6:1-4

This contamination of the human race, was an abomination to the Lord, and he not only destroyed the people, excepting Noah and his family, but he punished the angels who had brought this terrible condition about. Jude tells us that “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he [God] hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”—Jude 6

The Apostle Peter also speaks of this awful calamity. He says, “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but having confined them in Tartarus with chains of thick darkness, delivered them over into custody for judgment; and did not spare the old world, but kept in safety Noah, the eighth a herald of righteousness, bringing a deluge on a world of impious men.” (II Pet. 2:4,5 Diaglott) The Revised Standard Version tells us that “God … committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment.”

It would appear that these fallen angels were placed in restraint about the time of the Flood, and at his first advent Jesus “preached” to them by providing an example of one who was wholly dedicated to doing the Heavenly Father’s will—an example of sacrifice and obedience, rather than of self-gratification. (I Pet. 3:17-20) Doubtless it is these fallen angels, or demons, who, through the agency of human mediums, impersonate the dead, thus deluding the living, who believe they are actually communicating with those who have died.

“The Prince of Devils”

These evil spirits are under the direct control of Satan, who was himself cast out of heaven for aspiring to be equal with God. (Phil. 2:6; Isa. 14:12-14) In various places in the Scriptures, Satan is called “the prince of this world,” “the god of this world,” and “the prince of the power of the air,” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2) All this implies that he has subjects, and his subjects are identified for us as the fallen angels, the evil spirits, for we read further that he is “the prince of devils.” (Matt. 9:34; Mark 3:22) And the Devil and his cohorts, the evil spirits, are together “the rulers of the darkness of this world” against whom the Lord’s people must put on the whole armor of God, if they hope to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.—Eph. 6:11,13

Apparently these fallen angels have power to inflict various forms and degrees of distress upon their victims. But Jesus had power over them, and on many occasions cast out these evil influences. (Mark 1:23-25; 3:11,12; Luke 10:17-20) The apostles also possessed this power. Mark records that “he [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” (Mark 3:14) And evidently other of the early disciples also were able to exercise this power, for we read that “the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”—Luke 10:17

But the Pharisees questioned the source of Jesus’ power to cast out devils, suggesting that it was of Satan himself. “Then was brought unto him [Jesus] one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb; and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”—Matt. 12:22-28

The account tells us that Jesus knew their thoughts, and reasoned that it would be illogical for Satan to assist him, Jesus, in thwarting the Devil’s own cohorts, for Satan would thus be casting out himself. “If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself,” said Jesus; “how shall then his kingdom stand?” He then went on to say that he cast out devils by the Spirit, or power, of God.

Evidence of a Decaying Society

One does not have to be more than a casual observer of the present-day scene to have become distressingly aware of the fact that the quality of “entertainment,” viewed from any reasonable standard of decency, has rapidly deteriorated in latter years. A cursory scanning of the reviews of the current crop of books, plays, and motion pictures reveals the extent to which the moral fabric of the nation and of the world has rotted.

Motion pictures have led the way in this moral decay; but a fairly recent film, “The Exorcist,” explores the very depths of decadence and nausea. It is purportedly a story about demonic possession and exorcism, but in reality is but a vehicle for parading before its viewers, for the price of admission, the vilest form of filth the Devil can muster. The Christian Century denounced it as hard-core pornography.

It is mentioned here only to point out how now neatly the various pieces of the evil mosaic that delineates the current scene fit together, and complement one another, as was shrewdly observed by one reporter. “‘The Exorcist’” he writes, “dramatically orchestrates current interests in the occult, psychic phenomena, Satanism and man’s more fundamental yearning for some kind of reckoning with his destructive inclinations.”—Newsweek, February 11, 1974.

As for the ability to exorcise evil spirits, it is true that Jesus and the apostles did possess and use such power. They also healed the sick, made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and raised the dead. But these special powers of the Holy Spirit were used by Jesus and the apostles at the beginning of the Gospel Age to foreshow the blessings and glories of the promised kingdom, and they passed away with the death of Jesus and the apostles.—Luke 4:18; 8:2

No Spoon Long Enough!

There is an adage that says, “He who sups with the Devil had best use a long spoon.” But to attempt to partake of the Devil’s brew, be it ever so lightly, and yet hope to escape the grasp of his clutches, in a dangerous course. No spoon, however long, is long enough! The only safe course is not to sup with the Devil at all.

The Lord’s instructions on this subject are positive and clear from one end of the Bible to the other. “I am the Lord thy God. … Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exod. 20:2,3) “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him.” (Deut. 6:13) “Do not turn to mediums and wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. (Lev. 19:31, RSV) “If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.”—Lev. 20:6, RSV

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of these nations. There shall not be found among you any one who … uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.” (Deut. 18:9-12, Amplified) “Manasseh … did evil in the sight of the Lord. … He used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits [mediums] and wizards; he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord.”—II Kings 21:2,6,11

The Lord make it very clear that it is to him, and him alone, that we are to look for counsel and guidance: “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; and enquired not of the Lord; therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesus.”—I Chron. 10:13,14; Isa. 8:19,20

“They Shall Not Inherit the Kingdom of God”

Coming over to the New Testament we find Paul writing to the church at Galatia, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: … they which do such thing shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19) It should be carefully noted that the apostle here includes among those sins which shall exclude one from a part in the kingdom, the practice of idolatry and witchcraft. These are of “your adversary the Devil, [who] as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” and their practice will deprive one of the privilege and joy and blessing of sharing in the kingdom.—I Pet. 5:8

The Apostle Paul warns us against these powerful evils, and directs us to the source of our defenses. He says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For 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. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil today, and having done all, to stand. … Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”—Eph. 6:10-12

In this warfare, the apostle says, “If God is on our side, who is against us? Who or what can then prevail against us? Nothing! he says. Not even the Devil, or all his evil spirits! “For I am convinced that there is nothing in death or life, in the realm of spirits or superhuman powers, in the world as it is or the world as it shall be, in the forces of the universe, in heights or depths—nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Rom. 8:31,38, NEB

Sign of the End

Students of history say that extreme interest in the occult is indicative of a decaying society. The Scriptures are more explicit, pointing out that increased activity on the part of the evil spirits is a sign that we are in the time of the Lord’s second presence and the end of the age. The Apostle Paul warned that in the last days of this present evil world the fallen angels would draw some away from the truth. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter time some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”—I Tim. 4:1

Paul also points out that at his second advent our Lord will destroy mystic Babylon “with the brightness of his coming [presence],” and that “at the coming [presence] of the Lord there will be great activity on the part of Satan,” (TCNT) with “all lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”—II Thess. 2:8-11

We have already seen that this deluding lie is the old, old one that Satan promulgated from the beginning, to the effect that the dead are not really dead at all. And this false premise is the poisoned spring from which flow so many of the other deadly doctrines, such as the denial of the ransom and the need for a Redeemer; denial of a resurrection of the dead, for the living need no resurrection; the false doctrine of eternal torture, built upon the theory that the dead are really alive, and therefore capable of being subjected to suffering; and that since there is no death, one might as well eat, drink and be merry.

Occultism in the Day of Jehovah

In the 14th chapter of Zechariah we are given a description of some phases of the trouble to come upon the world in the Day of the Lord, or Day of Jehovah, which day we believe we have already entered into. One of the distinguishing features of that time of trouble is given in the 13th verse: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor.”

This last statement by Zechariah in connection with the Day of Jehovah provides a clue to understanding the Prophet Isaiah’s statement in the 19th chapter of his prophecy, where Egypt seems to represent the world of darkness, and the swift cloud the fast-descending trouble to come upon the world in the Day of the Lord. Isaiah continues, “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians; and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.” The prophet goes on to say that the people will lose heart, “and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.” (Isa. 19:1-3) Thus the prophet describes conditions akin to those in which we live, wherein the people lose faith in the old answers and the old institutions, turning to “to the charmers, … and to the wizards.” And these conditions coincide with the second advent of our Lord, and mark the Day of Jehovah, and the end of the age.

Satan to Be Destroyed

We see, then, that the various forms of the occult are an abomination to the Lord. They are inspired of the Devil, and are used by him and the fallen angels to delude and corrupt the human race. They blaspheme the mighty God of love, and contradict the truths of the Bible concerning death as being the wages of sin, and concerning God’s loving plan of redemption of the race through Christ. They offer false comfort and false guidance, and are trifled with only at great spiritual risk.

We believe we are in the last days of this present evil world, and fast approaching the realization of our hope, and the time when Satan and all forms of evil will be destroyed. (II Pet. 3:12,13; Matt. 6:10; Rev. 20:10) In the meantime, to the earnest seeker after truth concerning world and personal problems and the ultimate destiny of man there is only one reliable source of understanding—the Word of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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