Satan, Satanism, Demonism, and Exorcism
Chapter 1: How Lucifer Became Satan
THE world's great "Time of Trouble," "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21), is witnessing, as prophesied, the greatest tide of fear and distress that the world in general has ever experienced. The structure of the old order, once considered so substantial and indestructible, has been shaking, disintegrating and falling to pieces, preparatory to the establishment of God's new order on earth (Matt. 6:10; Heb. 12:26-28; 2 Pet. 3:13). This shaking and dissolution has been in progress ever since the breaking out of the first phase of the great World War, in 1914, the date the Bible indicated for it and the ending of "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24; see The Time is at Hand, pp. 76-80, 99, 101, par. 1).
And what is the general attitude of the people as they see the old order, so unloving, so unjust and so unsatisfactory, falling apart governmentally, politically, financially, socially, morally and religiously, and the prophecy in Isa. 24:19, 20 fulfilling: "The earth [the old social structure] is utterly broken down … clean dissolved … moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard [vainly endeavoring to right itself, maintain a footing and re-establish itself] and shall be removed like a cottage [a temporary frail structure]; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again"?
The Bible, as well as the general news media, answers our question: "And there shall be … upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity: the sea and the waves [the unstable, restless and lawless elements] roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:25-32; compare Psa. 107:23-30; Jer. 30:5-9; Joel 2:1-3, 30-32; Zeph. 1:18; 1 Thes. 5:1-11; James 5:1-7).
Right after this Time of Trouble has done its works of humbling mankind and preparing the way for the ushering in of Christ's reign of truth and righteousness, God, who loves the world, will "make wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he … will be exalted among the heathen" (Psa. 46:8-10); and "the desire of all nations [God's righteous rule on earth] shall come" (Haggai 2:7; compare Heb. 12:25-29; Zeph. 3:8, 9; Mal. 4:1-3; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1-6). What a joy it is to know this!
This great time of transition, the casting off of the old order, and the coming in of the new order, should be a time of great rejoicing for people in general also, but instead we find among them selfishness, insecurity, confusion, sorrow, discontent, rebellion and lawlessness on every hand. People are surrounded by frustration and confusion, no matter where they turn. Those of even the most enlightened nations are rapidly losing faith in their governmental and other leaders. Many clamor for and obtain higher wages, profits and benefits, only to be frustrated by runaway inflation. Those who saved money find it becoming worth less and less. Those who are on fixed incomes are having a very difficult time. Pollution is met on every hand: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, education, what we see, what we hear and what is generally believed, secularly and religiously. Many are filled with doubts and forebodings and are frightened and distressed, as they flounder in bewilderment, not knowing which way to turn.
On every hand we find such questions as: Is there a God? Is God dead, or inactive? Is He a great personality, or is He merely a good principle? If there is a personal God, doesn't He care? Why does He allow such great evils in the world? Are there angels—good spirit beings—under His control? And is there a Devil? Does he really exist as a personality, or is the Devil merely an evil principle? Are there demons—evil spirit beings—under his control? Are our dead friends and relatives really dead, or are they alive in the spirit world and able to communicate with us? If there is a Devil, why did God ever create him? These and many similar questions arise from people's confused minds.
Everyone should know that there really are supernatural powers operating in the affairs of men. God, our great Creator, and His angels are real. And Satan, the Devil, God's great Adversary, and his demons are real. Despite opposition from Satan and his demons, God is steadily working out His great and benevolent plan for the blessing of all mankind (Gen. 12:1-3; 22:15-18; Gal. 3:8). And Jesus, God's "only begotten Son" (John 3:16), really died as "a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2:3-6; Heb. 2:9), and "in due time" will really "draw all men" to Himself and will enlighten "every man that cometh into the world" (John 12:32; 1:9).
But in this day of infidelity, with the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures generally denied, even by many religious leaders, with the Bible largely ignored, its teachings set aside in favor of human wisdom, and the younger generation raised in ignorance as to its teachings, the people, surrounded by the uncertainties of our day, are groping in confusion, reaching out for something—they know not what.
Many, realizing the hopeless condition in the present order—called by some "the establishment"—and the inability of human leaders to solve mankind's problems, are turning to supernatural evil powers. Ignorant of how God condemns such practices, or not caring, many indulge in occult practices, such as playing with ouija boards, tarot cards, etc., using astrology and fetishism, consulting with Satan's demons through fortune tellers, clairvoyants, clairaudients, spirit writers, spirit mediums (a polite term for "witches"), etc. Witchcraft is openly and increasingly practiced, with many covens of witches holding regular meetings.
A member of the House of Commons recently said that he believes that one-fifth of Britain's school children are in contact with witches; and it is said that about 30,000 witches in England traffic with familiar spirits. In America also the Satanic practices of witchcraft, divination, sorcery, etc., are carried on increasingly, often under the less objectionable terms of psychic research, ESP, telepathy, psychometry, etc. While this method of deceit is captivating many who would not be attracted by these evils under the plainer terms, nevertheless thousands of others are knowingly selling themselves to the Devil, and covertly or openly worshiping him, and thus practicing Satanism in various forms. But more on this later. Let us first examine whether or not there is a personal Devil, and, if so, how he came into existence.
IS THERE A PERSONAL DEVIL?
There are many who, repulsed by some nonsensical teachings of the creeds on Satan, have concluded not only to reject those creedal teachings, but with them the Biblical teachings on Satan, as being in their opinion identical with those of the creeds, and who as a result deny altogether that such a being as Satan exists. However, to do this is to fly into the teeth of reason as well as of experience and Scripture; for reason suggests, as the Bible teaches, that sinful acts, like righteous acts and the universe, must have been originated by some first cause. And this first cause of sinful acts, in originating them, must have been sinful; and since sinful acts imply purpose as well as cause, their originator must have been a being endowed with mind and will, hence a person. Thus reason demonstrates the personality of the first cause, or source, of sin, who, the Bible assures us, is Satan.
Experience also suggests that there are a number of invisible evil beings—evil spirits; for on no other ground can we explain a frequent happening: the sudden injection of irrelevant, unfamiliar, foreign and repulsive evil thoughts into the minds of human beings—thoughts which are not suggested by the cogitation, activities, circumstances and experiences of those into whose minds they are injected.
However, coming to the Bible, we find the personality of Satan expressed and implied in many passages and incidents. Certainly the dealings between God and Satan and the latter's connected acts respecting Job imply Satan's personality (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). The angel contending against Satan and calling upon God to rebuke him, as Satan resisted the high priest, Joshua, is in line with the thought that Satan is a personal being (Zech. 3:1, 2). Jesus' statement respecting Satan's adopting policies foreign to his usual proceedings to bolster up his waning cause strongly implies Satan's personality (Matt. 12:24-26). No less strongly is this taught by Jesus in His statement that Satan was once in the Truth, that he later originated falsehoods and murdered the human family, when he introduced sin into the world (John 8:44; Gen. 3:1-7).
But if Satan were the evil principle, as some claim, how could he ever have been in the Truth? If Satan were the evil principle and not an evil person who works through evil principles, how contrary to St. Paul's stated purpose would it have been to deliver the erring Corinthian brother to Satan for corrective stripes (1 Cor. 5:5)! How could the Bible speak of his devices, unless he could think and plan, as making devices implies thought and purpose and thus personality (2 Cor. 2:11)? Certainly in transforming himself into an angel of light from an angel of darkness, he must have thought and reasoned, which of course implies personality (2 Cor. 11:14).
That devils believe and tremble—and so think and feel—proves that Satan, their leader, thinks and feels, and therefore is a personal being (Jas. 2:19). His walking about as a roaring lion, seeking especially Christians as his prey, proves his personality (1 Pet. 5:8, 9). Michael's contending with him over Moses' body, which Satan seemed to want for use as an object of worship in Israel, is in line with his being a real, personal being, and not the abstract evil principle (Jude 9). Accordingly, reason, facts and Scripture prove Satan's personality.
LUCIFER CREATED PERFECT
Originally that being was good whom we call Satan (1 Chron. 21:1; Job 1:6; John 13:27; Acts 5:3; 26:18; Rom. 16:20), which name in Hebrew, like its Greek equivalent — diabolos, whence comes our English word devil — means adversary, opponent. But Satan was not his original name. Until he sinned and led the race into sin his name was Lucifer — light-bearer (Isa. 14:12). In nature and rank he was a cherub, one of the highest of all angels (Ezek. 28:14, 16).
Ezek. 28:12-19, calling him the king of Tyre, for Tyre symbolizes the present evil world, whose ruler is Satan, gives us a fairly detailed description of Lucifer before he sinned and after he sinned and of his final end—annihilation. In both literal and symbolic language his physical, mental, moral and religious perfection is set forth in vs. 12-15. The expression, thou sealest up the sum, refers to the fullness of his perfection, intellectually (full of wisdom) and physically, morally and religiously, since the word beauty refers to his physical, moral and religious qualities. He was such even for a while after he was made guardian angel to Adam and Eve in Eden (vs. 13, 14). More particularly are his pre-fallen moral and religious qualities brought to our attention by the figure of his being covered with precious stones (v. 13); for these and other precious stones are used to symbolize the moral and religious perfections of the glorified Church, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, as New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:11-21), as they are also among the stones that were set in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 39:10-13). V. 14 first describes his work in Eden as guardian of Adam and Eve and later describes his position and work among the heavenly hosts. V. 15 shows that he had been perfectly righteous and good from the time of his creation for probably millions of years later, even until he in Eden fell into sin. His subsequently corrupting himself is graphically described in vs. 16-18, while his final influence and annihilation in the Little Season following the Millennium are described in v. 19. Thus this Scripture gives us a comprehensive description of this cherub's history.
VARIOUS NAMES FOR SATAN
Thus so far we see him called Lucifer, the covering (protecting) cherub and Satan; but he is also called by other names than these in the Bible. It would be profitable for us to consider these, which refer to him from the standpoint of his qualities and activities subsequent to his fall. Thus he is called: Beelzebub (lord of the fly), the god of Ekron (destruction; 2 Kings 1:3-6; symbolic of his plaguesomeness through errors [flies] on militarism, leading to war and destruction; Matt. 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15); Belial, or Beliar (wickedness, descriptive of his character; 2 Cor. 6:15); devil (adversary, descriptive of his opposing God, the Truth, righteousness, mankind in general and the good in particular; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:2, 6; Rev. 20:2); enemy (descriptive of his despiteful course and hating attitude; Matt. 13:39); liar, and father of lies (descriptive of his deceitfulness and originating error; John 8:44); murderer (because by sin be murdered the whole human family; John 8:44; Rom. 5:12); serpent, and old serpent (because of his cunning and poisonousness; Gen. 3:4, 14; Rev. 20:2; 2 Cor. 11:3); prince of this world (because he is by usurpation the ruler of the present evil order of affairs among mankind; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); prince of devils (because he is the ruler over the fallen angels; Matt. 12:24); prince of the power of the air (descriptive of his headship over the fallen angels as the invisible spirits organized as a kingdom over humanity; Eph. 2:2); spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience (because he uses the wicked and disobedient as his servants and tools; Eph. 2:2); tempter (because he entices to sin, error, selfishness and worldliness; Matt. 4:3; 1 Thes. 3:5); the god of this world (descriptive of him as the ruler of the present evil order of affairs; 2 Cor. 4:4); and wicked one (whose character has been rightly described by the words Milton puts into his mouth: "evil, be thou my good; good, be thou my evil"; Matt. 13:19, 38). Thus we see that his Biblically given names accurately describe his character, works and office. And surely a being correctly characterized by such names must be the supreme of all sinners and evil doers.
As Lucifer came from the creative hand of God he was good, and God did not make him so that he had to sin. God on the contrary gave him a disposition favorable to righteousness and averse to sin. This naturally raises the question, How, then, could he have sinned, if there were no sin in the world, and no sinful propensities in his make-up as he came from the creative hand of God? The possibility of his sinning lay in the fact that he was endowed with liberty of choice. As one of the highest of the angels (Isa. 14:12), he had as his subordinates some of the other angels, from whom by Divine arrangement he received the honor and obedience due to his station in relation to them.
It was proper for Lucifer to desire and to receive such honor and obedience in harmony with God's order. But it seems that Lucifer permitted his mind to dwell overweeningly on the desirability of receiving such honor and obedience, and thus he failed to keep such desires in proper subjection to higher sentiments, like the desire to please God above all things and the desire not to receive honor and obedience from others unless it should be according to God's arrangement. Failing to keep the desire of receiving obedience and honor subject to the two desires just mentioned, the more he kept the desirability of receiving honor and obedience from others in his heart, the stronger by exercise this desire became, and the more it reached out for exercise toward some who were not, to the extent that he craved them to be, put by God into his charge.
SATAN'S GRADUAL DEFLECTION
Thus a craving for more honor and power than God arranged for him to have gradually grew in him (1) by a failure properly to subordinate the desire for honor and obedience to certain higher qualities, and (2) by extending such a desire toward persons and things beyond the limits of their Divinely arranged relations to him. As he contemplated the race of mankind and its possibilities, such growing ambition began to see in the human family a possible dominion from which he could gain further honor and obedience than God offered him.
We have already mentioned in the foregoing that as "the covering [protecting] cherub" he had been given a limited guardianship over the human family in Eden (Ezek. 28:13-15). The limits of this guardianship were too confined for that degree of exercise of his desire for honor and obedience to which his ambition by this time had grown. Therefore to gain more power over the race than God had commissioned him to exercise, his ambition, by now the controlling quality of his heart, prompted him to lead unfallen mankind into sin, as the only way by which his ambition could be gratified. (For a more detailed description of his fall and his temptation of Adam and Eve into sin, please see Creation, pages 102-106.) Thus externally he rebelled against God through his inordinate ambition grasping for the exercise of Divinely unsanctioned power and rulership, as the growth of the seed of an improperly controlled desire for honor and obedience from others. This is the way the Prophet describes his gradual fall into sin: "Thou hast said in thine heart [desires], I will ascend," etc. (Isa. 14:12-14). Unholy ambition brought it about.
We may reasonably assume that at the outstart Lucifer did not intend to go so far as he has gone; for his course gradually turned him into an implacable enemy—Satan, i.e., enemy, opponent—of God and man. There is a proverb to the effect that whoever says A must in time say B, i.e., whoever concedes an inch to wrong for advantage will have to go further in wrong to secure his ends. Satan has gone further than B. He has now proceeded as far as Y, and at the end of the Millennium he will go to Z, the full limit of evil, whereupon his destruction will ensue (Heb. 2:14). The course that he has taken has wrought fearful havoc with his own once holy character and fellowship with God and all in harmony with Him, and as well has involved many angels in sin with its evil results, and has brought sin and ruin upon the human family. His course has made him most cunning instead of wise, most unjust instead of just, most selfish instead of loving, and most obstinate in evil instead of powerful in good. As a result he is the most conspicuous example of depraved character in the universe—almost the synonym of sin itself. It is true that he has attained his ambition for rulership over the human family under the present evil world (Gal. 1:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1, 2), and for princeship over the fallen angels (Matt. 12:24; Eph. 2:2; 6:11, 12), yet at what a terrible cost to himself and to all his underlings! Surely his is the chief example of "vaunting ambition overleaping itself"! Let us avoid imitating him.
The following is from Satan's advice to "his nearest mate," as conjectured by John Milton in "Paradise Lost":
Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend replied:
"Fall'n cherub! to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to His high will
Whom we resist. If then His providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve Him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim."
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