Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“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”
(Ephesians 6: 12).
OUR previous study mentioned Satan as the leader of the fallen angels, who together, form the
spiritual, invisible and controlling phase of his empire. So, what caused the fall of these angels
who came under Satan’s headship? Genesis 6: 1-4 briefly describes their fall. After man’s fall
into sin, God commissioned some of the angels to supervise mankind in an attempt to lift
mankind out of sin. Because human beings cannot see spirit beings, God permitted them to
materialize (Note the case of the angels who materialized and visited Abraham on the plains of
Mamre – Genesis 18.). They looked like men, so Abraham thought they were men. They shared
a meal and talked with Abraham, who learned later that they were angels. Such materializations
also occurred to others, such a Lot, Jacob, Balaam, Gideon, David, Zechariah, Mary, Peter, etc.
These angels desired to reform mankind, but Satan deceived some of them, suggesting that they
materialize human bodies, marry women and propagate a race that would inherit their perfection,
thereby securing the race’s reformation. But by carrying out this unauthorized arrangement, they
fell into sin.
Verse 2 shows that some of the angels became lustful, and preferring to live as men (Jude 6),
married women and bore children. The children of this forbidden union, according to verse 4,
were giants, physically and intellectually, compared with the ordinary members of the race.
Unable to compete with this illicit race resulted in strife, contention and lustful, sinful practices
until God declared that every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually
(Genesis 6: 5).
Noah – “A Just Man”
God, however, had foreknown and had previously planned how to deal with these circumstances.
The great flood destroyed sinful men and the human offspring of the angels. Only Noah and his
family were preserved, to give humanity a new start on this side of the flood.
The fallen angels were not destroyed in the flood, but merely dematerialized. These disobedient
angels were put “in everlasting chains under darkness” (Jude 6) – placed under restraints by not
being able to materialize in the light until “the judgment of the great day.” They were also
confined to the earth’s atmosphere, wherein they roam at will. The Scriptures intimate that now,
at the extreme end of the Gospel Age, just prior to the inauguration of the New Dispensation,
these evil angels are allowed to break their chains to some extent, and to manifest themselves in
the light as human beings. Their present activities undoubtedly have a large influence upon this
present great time of trouble which will inaugurate the change of dispensation.
Activities of the Fallen Angels
These fallen angels, alienated from God, separated from the holy angels and unable to assume
human bodies have probably had unhappy experiences for the past 4,500 years. Anger, malice,
hatred, strife and other works of the devil are incompatible with the love, joy and peace which
alone belong to a condition of holiness (Galatians 5: 19-23).
It is therefore not surprising that the fallen angels would seek association with humanity. Under
the control of Satan, their chief, and the prince of devils (Matthew 9: 34), they have followed his
course by propagating his first falsehood – “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3: 4). They are
responsible for the various heathen beliefs of the afterlife, the purgatory and hell of the
Catholics, and worst of all, the Protestant belief that all except the saintly few are doomed to an
eternity of awful torture. These doctrines of demons have caused a great separation between God
and the human family, and have made the Bible, the message of His love, a book of terrors
which supposedly teaches the erroneous creeds of the “Dark Ages.”
Thank God that the light of the New Dispensation is beginning to release us from some of the
darkness – that the true wages of sin is death, cessation of life, and not eternal torment
(Romans 6: 23). When we learn that the dead are really dead, and do not know anything
(Ecclesiastes 9: 5) until the resurrection, we begin to see the beauty of God’s plan – the need for
Christ’s death, the need for His Second Coming, the need of His Kingdom, the need of a
resurrection and the need of an opportunity for all mankind to come to a clear knowledge of the
great truth of redemption through the precious blood of Christ and to the opportunity, by God’s
grace, of attaining eternal life.
Our Lord cast out many demons from those who had become possessed, and He also gave His
Apostles power to cast out unclean spirits, and to heal all manner of sickness and disease
(Matthew 10: 1). There is the case of the man who was possessed by a legion of these spirits, but
after Jesus had cast them out, the man was clothed, in his right mind and he became a disciple
(Luke 8: 26-36). There is also the case of a young woman who practiced fortune telling by the
power of the evil spirit which possessed her, which St. Paul cast out (Acts 16: 16-18).
Our Lord foretold that there would be a great deal of activity among the fallen angels at the end
of the Gospel Age (Matthew 24: 24), but that His people would be safe from their deceptions
through the power of God’s Word (Ephesians 6: 13).
Fallen Angels given greater Liberty
We should not be surprised if here in the end of the Age the fallen angels are measurably
released from their Divine restraints and permitted to materialize in broad daylight –
impersonating not only the dead, but at times impersonating the living. Though God’s people
may rest securely under His care, they must be vigilant to resist anything like Spiritism,
Occultism, Hypnotism, Christian Science, Theosophy, etc. Many intelligent people are being
entrapped by these lying spirits, whom they are investigating under the name of Psychic
Phenomena, and whom they have been told are dead humans. Though our knowledge of
Spiritism comes mainly from the Bible, it is well supported by the testimony of many who have
been rescued from the bondage of Spiritism – a considerable number of these having been
mediums. Thank God that we are nearing the time when Satan shall be fully bound and every
evil influence fully restrained (Revelation 20: 1-3), including freedom from the horrible
doctrines of demons.
How the Fallen Angels Blaspheme God
The Bible refers to the fallen angels as demons, rendered devils in the King James Version. It is
these demons, not our forefathers, who are really responsible for perverting the true Gospel
message. St. Paul refers to their teachings as “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4: 1). They
constantly seek to put darkness for light and light for darkness. In the Dark Ages, these demons
blasphemed God by teaching that He had prepared a fiery torture chamber and was overseeing
the everlasting torture of all mankind, except for the Elect, at the hands of fire-proof devils with
pitchforks. Mankind therefore learned to dread God, and thought of Satan and his associates as
in some far-off place.
The greater illumination of our day is leading mankind to reject the theory of a great torture
place as a fraud, yet these demons now lead many truth-seekers in an opposite direction,
convincing them not only that there is no such torture chamber, neither are there any demons.
But the Bible warns us that these evil spirits are near us, and that they have power over us in
proportion to the degree that we yield our wills to their suggestions and our minds to sin. St.
Peter, rather than saying that Satan is far off, declares that he goes about the earth, seeking whom
he may devour (1 Peter 5: 8), and St. Paul indicates that his host of fallen angels are a present
power for evil throughout the world (Ephesians 2: 2).
Through the supposition that the dead become more alive when they appear to die, the demons
advance their deceptions. It is easy to see how they can impersonate the dead, for as invisible
they are fully informed respecting all human affairs. They seek to use as channels of
communication such individuals as they can deceive into being their servants – mediums. Some
of their dupes are noble and many of them the reverse, but the demons use such as they can
control. Working on the credulity of these individuals, they use lips or the pencil of the medium
to describe the dead one who is supposedly anxious to communicate with the living. The
description generally fits well to the dupes’ last knowledge of the person – age, sex, clothing,
etc. The deluded one, anxious for communication from their dead loved one, fail to reason that if
several years had passed, their loved one would look older, and they would surely not be content
to wear the same clothing in a spirit world as they wore when last seen by the dupe; but the
demons’ power to discuss matters known only to the dupe and the deceased carries conviction.
The demons frequently give visions to captivate and impress those who are susceptible. Many
are convinced that their visions are direct revelations from God, forgetting that we have “a more
sure word of prophecy,” whereunto we do well that we take heed (2 Peter 1: 19). True, before the
Scriptures were fully given, God sent certain visions to instruct His people, but now the man of
God is thoroughly furnished unto all good works, and therefore needs no more visions
(2 Timothy 3: 16, 17).
But the demons, who operate through ignorance and superstition, give many visions, usually to
bolster up Satan’s lie – “Ye shall not surely die.” They may appear as the Virgin Mary, or some
saint, or a dead spouse, friend or relative. They impress their victim’s mind with beautiful
visions of their loved ones, of heavenly glory, etc. They even take advantage of the weakened
minds of the dying and give them visions, therefore seeking to impress upon others that the dead
are not really dead, but continue to live, either in heavenly bliss, or in eternal torment.
The teachings of the denominations, that the dead are not dead, help to perpetuate the deception.
The respected, but deceived minister, tells his hearers at the funeral that their deceased friend is
hovering over them, and that if he could speak, he would say, “Weep not for me.” The medium
and the clairvoyant announce that they are under spirit control, and that the departed one can
speak through them. Many spirit mediums, however, recognize the demonic character of the
spirits who communicate through them; they dread them and even warn each other against the
danger of allowing their wills to come fully under their influence, knowing that the end result
will be possession. Is it any wonder that the deception is powerful with many? The antidote for
all these doctrines of demons is the message of God’s Word: (1) the dead are really dead; (2)
Christ died on our behalf; and (3) at His Second Coming and Kingdom “there shall be a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24: 15).
Suggestion – Diversion – Impression – Obsession – Possession
Above are the five progressive steps that the demons use to gain complete control of individuals.
All not under the Lord’s guidance are in danger of being led by the demons, but even Christians
need to constantly use their will power to “be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil” (Ephesians 6: 11), to escape being ensnared. The unoccupied mind is more open to
demonic suggestions (Matthew 12: 43-45), whereas the active mind provides a natural
protection. But once suggestions or imaginations have been entertained, the second step may
soon follow – diversion. The mind will become diverted from its usual lines of thought, such as
prayer, study, etc. The power of suggestion eventually becomes so strong as to interfere with
proper thinking and reasoning. This leads on to the third step – impression. Some, more naturally
impressionable than others, receive suggestions from evil spirits easily, not recognizing the
outside power that is impressing them, bringing them more and more under occult influence.
Then comes the fourth stage, obsession. Here the victim gives way to a partial control of himself
and his will to the demons. Finally comes the last stage – possession – when the evil spirit gains
full control of the will, completely ignoring the human will.
Often this is accomplished with more or less of a struggle, sometimes covering years. In the
struggle, sometimes by clairaudient powers, sometimes through mediums, the spirits will more
and more seek the confidence of the dupe. If he be inclined toward evil, the leadings will be that
way. If he has a religious tendency, he will be counseled to pray or read the Bible, then be
chided, the object always being to bring his mind into full submission – something that none
should yield himself except to the Lord, whom the evil spirits sometimes even impersonate.
Many dismiss the stories of witchcraft from the past. Quite likely, some that were executed as
witches were good people, misunderstood by their neighbors; but this does not alter the fact that
witches, wizards and necromancers are not merely myths. The Bible testifies to their reality, and
explains the demon power operating through them. In olden times the Divine Law forbade any
witch, wizard or necromancer (one claiming to have communications from the dead) to live in
Israel, or to practice their black arts (Deuteronomy 18: 9-14). Through the Prophet, the Lord asks
the people why the living should seek those who peep and mutter and claim to communicate
with the dead, and not unto the living God: “Should not a people seek unto their God?”
(Isaiah 8: 19, 20).
We have the story of King Saul and the Witch of Endor: The Lord would not communicate with
Saul, so Saul desired to communicate with the Prophet Samuel, who was dead. Although he
neither saw nor heard anything, the witch described an old man with a mantle, and Saul
recognized the description as corresponding with that of the Prophet. The witch, guided by the
demons, might have supposed that the visions she saw and the words she heard were from the
dead prophet (1 Samuel 28: 7-19).
1 Peter 3: 18, 19: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he
might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also
he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”
These verses have generally been misunderstood. Some believe they teach an intermediate state
between death and the resurrection. Others claim that they prove the doctrine of Purgatory. But
the Bible teaches that the dead are really dead, and that it would be impossible to do any
preaching to dead humans. On the contrary, these “spirits in prison” refer to the fallen angels
who sinned prior to the flood, and whose liberties God restrained, imprisoning them in “chains
of darkness” (2 Peter 2: 4, 5) (Jude 6).
Very likely some of these fallen angels have repented of their wrong course, which has caused
them terrible experiences. Being unavoidably in close contact with the evil ones, the repentant
ones have perhaps suffered severe persecution from the rebellious ones, and have been obliged
to restrain themselves and not render evil for evil.
Our Lord’s example, in connection with His death and resurrection, undoubtedly had a good
influence upon some of the fallen angels. St. Paul remarks, “Know ye not that we [the saints]
shall judge angels” (1 Corinthians 6: 3). The holy angels need no judging, so the Apostle must be
referring to a trial, judgment, testing of these “spirits in prison” who were disobedient in the days
of Noah. This implies hope for them.
Now another question arises: If Jesus was really dead after His crucifixion, and was not raised
until almost three days passed, how could He in the meantime preach to these “spirits in prison”?
We reply that He could preach in the same way that the Apostle refers to, saying, “He being dead
yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11: 4). The blood of Abel is here said to have cried to God figuratively.
Jesus could not have given an oral address while He was dead, but He preached in the way we
sometimes refer to when we say, “Actions speak louder than words.”
The fallen angels had known Jesus long ago, when, as the Only Begotten of the Father, and His
Representative, He had created them and all things that are made, and was also the Mouthpiece
for all Divine orders and regulations. They realized that He had come into the world to be its
Redeemer. They perceived the great stoop that He had made from His lofty position on the
heavenly plane to the servant position on the human plane. They admired His loyalty and
faithfulness to God, yet doubtless never expected Him to rise from the dead. But witnessing His
resurrection on the third day, to glory, honor and immortality, “far above all principality, and
power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named,” His sermon to them was
complete. Realizing the power and love of God for His human creatures became a Great Sermon
of Hope to them – that if they were to show full contrition, God would eventually have mercy
upon them, even as He had mercy upon, and had provided for humanity.
The lesson to God’s people is that full loyalty to God and strict adherence to His inspired words
are the only protection against the wiles of the adversary. The lessons to angels and to men under
God’s permission of a reign of sin and death for over six thousand years will soon be finished!
How happy to know that the end will justify the permission of all the evil which has come to
pass! And how happy to know that eventually all the blinded ones will be enlightened, and that
all the willfully wicked will be destroyed!
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