Chapter 4 - They Are Evil Angels
AS the Bible plainly shows what the spirits which communicate are not, it just as clearly reveals also what they are; so that in no particular is one left to conjecture or guesswork. There is an order of beings brought to view in the Scriptures, above man but lower than God or Christ, called "angels." No Bible believer questions the existence of such beings. It is sometimes asserted that angels are departed human spirits; but this cannot be; for they appear upon the stage of action before a single human being had died, or a disembodied spirit could have existed. When the world was created, Job declares that "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." These are two of the names applied to these beings, but they are also known by a number of others. They are 167 times called angels; 61 times, angel of the Lord; 8 times, angel of God; 17 times, his angels; 41 times, cherub and cherubim. There are also such names as seraphim, chariots, God''s hosts, watchers, holy ones, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, -- all referring to the different orders of these heavenly beings.
A part of this host fell into sin, and thereby became evil, or fallen, angels. A reasonable statement of how this came about can be given, but no reason for the act itself. Sin cannot be explained. To explain it would be to give a reason for it; and to give a reason for it would be to excuse it; and then it would cease to be sin. In the beginning a condition existed which was in itself right and essential; but which nevertheless made sin possible. It is one of the inevitable conditions of the highest glory of God, that all his creatures should serve him from choice, under the law of love, and not by compulsion, as a machine, under the law of necessity. To secure this end, they must be made free moral agents. Thus to angels was given the freedom of the will, the same as to man. They were in a state of purity and happiness, with every condition favorable for a continuance in that condition; but in the free choices of their free wills, they of course had the power, if they should unaccountably see fit so to use it, to turn away from truth and right, and rebel against God. This some of them did. So we find Jude speaking of "the angels that kept not their first estate" (Jude 6), and Peter, of "the angels that sinned" (2 Peter 2: 4); and these they further declare, were cast down to Tartarus, and are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.
There must have been to this rebellion an instigator and leader; and we accordingly find the Bible speaking of such a personage; the whole company being described as "the Devil and his angels." Our Lord pointed out this leader in evil, and his work, in John 8: 44: "Ye are of your Father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it." This reveals the great facts in his case. He abode not in the truth. Then he was once in the truth; and as he is a liar, and the father of it, he was the first one to depart from truth and introduce falsehood and evil into the universe of God.
In Isaiah (14: 12-14) this being is addressed as Lucifer, or the day-star; and the prophet exclaims, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" The following verses indicate that the nature of his transgression was self-exaltation and pride of heart: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." Paul, in 1 Tim. 3: 6, intimates that it was this pride that caused the ruin of this once holy being. Of an elder he says that he must not be a novice, "lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the Devil," or that sin for which the Devil was condemned.
In Ezekiel 28, Satan is again spoken of under the pseudonym of "the prince of Tyrus." Verse 2 shows his pride: "Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God," etc. Verses 12-15 describe his beauty, wisdom, and apparel, and his exalted office as a high cherub, before his sin and fall. Verse 15 reads: "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
These passages give us a sufficient idea of the origin of Satan and how such an incarnation of evil has come to exist. The Tartarus into which he and his angels were cast, according to Peter, is defined by leading lexicographers, as meaning the dark, void, interplanetary spaces, surrounding the world. Using the serpent as a medium, this apostate angel., thus cast out, plied our first parents with his temptation by preaching to them the immortality of the soul, "Thou shalt not surely die," and alas! seduced them also into rebellion. The dominion which was given to Adam (Gen. 1: 28), Adam thus alienated to Satan, by becoming his servant; for Paul says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" Rom. 6: 116. Now, consequently, such titles as "prince of this world," "prince of the power of the air," "god of this world," etc., are applied to him, because he has by fraud usurped that place. John 14: 30; Eph. 2: 2; 2 Cor. 4: 4. He, of course, employs "his angels" to co-operate with him in his nefarious work.
Thus clearly do we have set before us just the agencies, -- the Devil and his angels, -- which are adapted, both by nature and inclination, to carry on just such a work as is seen in Spiritualism. But how do we know, some one may ask, but that Spiritualism is the work of the good angels? -- We know that it is not, because good angels do not lie. They never would come to men, professing to be the spirits of their dead friends, and imitate and person-ate them to deceive, knowing that the mediums did not know, and could not ascertain that they were altogether another and different order of beings. But the evil angels, led by the father of lies, and cradled, and drilled, and skilled, and polished, in the school of lying, would be delighted to deceive men in this very way, by pretending to be their dead friends, and then by working upon their affections and love for the ones they could skilfully personate, bring them under their influence and lead them captive at their will.
These evil angels are experts in deception. They have had more than six thousand years'' experience. They are well acquainted with the human family. They can read character. They study temperament. They acquaint themselves minutely with personal history. They know a thousand things which only they and the individual they are trying to ensnare, are aware of. They know many things beyond the knowledge of men. They can easily carry the news of the decease of a friend, and the description of a deathbed scene, to other friends thousands of miles away, and months before the truth through ordinary channels can reach them, so that when it is verified, their influence over them may be increased.
There is nothing that has yet taken place, of however inexplicable a nature, and nothing which even the imagination may anticipate, which is not, and will not be, easily attributable to these unseen angels. They are lying spirits; for the fundamental principle on which they are acting is a lie; but they tell enough truth to sway and captivate the minds of men. It matters not how sacred the field in which they tread, nor how hallowed the associations which they invade, they press into every spot where it is possible, by spinning another thread, to strengthen their web of deception.
And in what dulcet and siren tones they woo their victims to lay aside all resistance to their influence, to become receptive and passive, and yield themselves to their control; and when they have them thus helpless in their arms, they deliberately and cruelly instil into their minds the virus of ungovernable lust, the leprosy of inconquerable rebellion against the government of heaven. That this language does not misrepresent nor slander them, will be shown from their own testimony, before the close of this book.
The thought is not overlooked that many even of those who do not profess to be Spiritualists, deny the existence of any such being as a personal Devil, or of personal evil angels, his agents, He is no doubt well pleased with this, as such people can the more easily be made the victims of his wiles. But these same persons would no doubt acknowledge time existence, as real beings, of God, Christ, and the good angels. This fact being established, by parity of reasoning the Devil and his angels become real beings also. The same arguments which show that God and Christ exist as personal beings may be used to show that the Devil and his angels are personal beings also. He who denies that there is a personal Devil, must be prepared also to deny that there is a personal Christ. So far as the argument for personal existence is concerned, Christ and good angels stand on one side of the equation, and the Devil and his angels on the ''other; and whoever would rub out the one, must rub out the other also.
Christ said that he "beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Luke 10: 18. John in the Revelation (12: 7) beheld a war in heaven. "Michael [Christ] and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan]; and the dragon fought, and his angels." On the ground that there is no Devil, this would be a wonderful battle -- Christ and his angels, who are real beings, fighting furiously against myths and nonentities which have not even the substance of a phantom.
To endorse the doctrine of a personal Devil, is not to endorse time grossly absurd caricatures conjured up by morbid imaginations, amid popular theology, -- a being with bat''s wings, horns, hoofs, and a dart-pointed tail. Yet upon such pictorial fables he doubtless looks with complacency; as they are calculated still further to destroy faith in his existence, and enable him the better to cover his tracks and carry on his work among men. Nevertheless the only rational hypothesis on which to account for the present condition of this world (which every one must admit is full of devilishness), the existence of evil, and the presence of sickness, suffering, and death, is the account the Bible gives us of fallen angels and fallen men. Unfallen angels are beings of mighty power. One of them slew in one night 185,000 Assyrians (2 Kings 19: 35); and the one who appeared at the time of Christ''s resurrection had a countenance like the lightning, and raiment white as snow, and before him the keepers of the tomb fell like dead men. Matt. 28: 3, 4. A fall from their high estate, though it would impair their strength and power, cannot be supposed to have wholly deprived them of these qualities; therefore the fallen angels still have capabilities far superior to those of men. The only defense mankind has against them is found in Christ, who circumscribes their power (for they are kept in chains, 2 Peter 2: 4), and makes provision by which we may resist them. Eph. 6: 11; James 4: 6-8; 1 John 5: 18. The question why they are permitted to continue finds solution in the thought that God is consistently giving to sin time and opportunity to develop itself, fully show its nature, and manifest its works, to all created intelligences, so that when it shall finally be wiped out of existence, with all its originators, aiders, and abetters, as in God''s purpose it is to be (Rev. 20:14, l5; 2 Peter 3: 7, 13; Rev. 5:13), there will ever after remain an object-lesson sufficient to safeguard the universe against a repetition of the evil.
WARNINGS AGAINST EVIL SPIRITS
The Scriptures plainly point out the working of these agents of wickedness, and warn us against them. In 1 Tim. 4: 1, we read: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." This shows that these spirits make it an object to seduce, or deceive, to draw men away from the true faith, and cause them to receive, instead, the doctrines they teach, which are called "doctrines of devils;" and this scripture is written to. put men on their guard against them.
Again Paul says: "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 [margin, "wicked spirits"] in high places." Eph. 6: 12. And he adjures his readers to put on the whole armor of God to be able to resist them.
The apostle Peter exhorts to the same purpose: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith." 1 Peter 5: 8, 9. If our ears do not deceive us, a good deal of this roaring is heard in the ranks of Spiritualists, where, by invisible rapping, agitated furniture, clairvoyance, clairaudience, writing, speaking, marvels, and wonders, he seeks to set the world on tiptoe of curiosity and expectation, and bewilder men into a departure from the faith and the acceptance of the doctrines of devils. He is cunning enough not to "roar" in a way to frighten and repel, but only to attract attention, and lead multitudes, through an overweening curiosity and wonder at the marvels, to come thoughtlessly within the sphere of his influence.
The prophet Isaiah also has something to say directly upon this subject: "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" Isa. 8: 19. That is, is it consistent for living people to go to dead ones for their knowledge? The following verse shows where we should go for light and truth: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The time has certainly come when many are saying just what the text points out, and seeking to the dead, to familiar spirits, and wizards, for knowledge. Those practices which in the Bible are enumerated as "charming," "enchantment," "sorcery," "witchcraft," "necromancy," "divination," "consulting with familiar spirits," etc., are more or less related, and are all really from one source. So in modern times different names indicate substantially the same thing. Thus Mr. Hudson, in "Psychic Phenomena," p. v, says: --
"It has, however, long been felt by the ablest thinkers of our time that all psychic manifestations of the human intellect, normal or abnormal, whether designated by the name of mesmerism, hypnotism, somnambulism, trance, spiritism, demonology, miracle, mental therapeutics, genius, or insanity, are in some way related."
Seven, at least, of the foregoing names are no doubt in the warp and woof of Spiritualism; and he might have added mind-reading and Christian Science. And Spiritualists admit that their work is the same as that described by the Bible terms above quoted. Thus, Allen Putnam, a Spiritualistic writer, says: --
"The doctrine that the oracles, soothsaying, and witchcraft of past ages were kindred to these manifestations of our day, I, for one, most fully believe."
In a pamphlet by the same author, entitled, "Mesmerism, Spiritualism, Witchcraft, and Miracle," p. 6, he says:--
"As seen by me now, Mesmerism, Spiritualism, Witchcraft, Miracles, all belong to one family, all have a common root, and are developed by the same laws."
To all these, therefore, the text under notice (Isa. 8: 19, 20) applies. We are to bring them to the standard of "the law and the testimony," and "if they speak not according to this word . . . there is no light in them." The living should not seek to the dead.
In Rev. 16: 13, 14, the same spirits are again brought to view, and called "unclean spirits" and "spirits of devils." Their last work of deception is to go forth to the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Thus all that is revealed of them from beginning to end (and scriptures might be multiplied on the point) furnishes the most cogent reason why all should be keenly awake to their existence and their work, and be ever watchful against their influence and approach.