Article of the Month

 

April 2007

Release of the Spirits in Prison 

 

Spiritism, in its myriad forms and faces, is more and more a part of the daily experience of mankind.  It has been around as long as mankind has, but it has had periodically varying opportunities to intrude itself into our lives.  It is the testimony of the Bible that spiritism in our day would not only become all-pervasive, but that it would also become a major factor in the events leading to the collapse of our old civilization and, thus, to the ushering in of the new civilization of Christ’s Kingdom.  To put it plainly, the UNSEEN world is having a great effect on the world of the VISIBLE.

THE FIRST LIE 

From the very beginning (Genesis 3:4; 2:17; 3:19), Satan has rather successfully been convincing man that he doesn’t die.  Nearly every religion that has sprung up, pagan or pseudo-Christian, has been supportive of this lie.  Nearly all of mankind believes that we don’t really die—that at death something remains alive and “goes somewhere.” 

This first and very basic lie was a grand masterpiece of deception.  It has allowed the devil and his companions to foist all kinds of evil, irrational, frightening and truth-repelling doctrines upon us all—keeping us from understanding and appreciating the grand plan and character of God.  God’s plan relies on resurrection, not on an inherent immortal soul (a term which, by the way, never appears in the Bible).

This lie and a few others have made it possible for Satan and his demonic hosts to work in secret with great deceptive success.  If, for example, “Divine Healing” is “sold” to an unsuspecting group of sincere believers, those believers consider themselves to be heaven’s favorites, justifiably looking down at all others as not being the favored class.  Speaking in tongues and other misunderstood and misapplied “gifts of the spirit” create the same attitudes of exclusivity and disdain.  It all makes God look small—a God of the very fewest of His creation.  The irrationality of it all does not seem to be a factor!But it all supports Satanic concepts because it diminishes God.

The most serious deception, of course, is in believing that the conscious “souls” of our departed loved (and hated!) ones still flitter around—and (to those who believe it) can be contacted through an appropriate “medium.”  Do not misunderstand!  We are not saying that people do not make contact with the spirit world.  What we are saying is that their contact is not with “souls” of human beings who have died.  They are, unfortunately, contacting demons posing as departed humans.

A LITTLE HISTORY

Lucifer (who is later known as Satan) was a glorious angel who was put in charge as the administrator of the Garden of Eden.  (Ezekiel 28:11-19 details this.  In this account, Lucifer has the symbolic title of “King of Tyre.”)  We all know the story of how Lucifer succumbed to the temptation of wanting to supplant God in the lives of mankind.  Eventually, Satan managed to seduce other angels into his rebellion.  It probably was through offering them a sense of being helpful to “poor mankind” who, because of God’s sentence, were dying ever since being expelled from Eden.  Thus we read in Genesis 6:1-9 that these angels (called “sons of God”) decided to materialize and marry human wives.  The account shows that their offspring were “giants in the earth.”  These offspring probably did not die as they were not the descendants of Adam and were, thus, not under the death sentence imposed on him and his children. No doubt Satan and these “fallen angels” reveled in their “solution” to the problem of death begun in Eden.  But the account shows that their society was corrupt.  God destroyed this hybrid race in the flood and saved the race through Noah.  (Note that Genesis 6:9 shows that Noah was “perfect in his generations.”  This means that he was yet uncontaminated with the genetics of the hybrid race.  He was fully human—a direct descendant of Adam.)  The angels who had fathered the hybrid offspring simply dematerialized when the flood came.  They had lost their families, but they retained their lives because they could dematerialize.  This is brought to our attention in Jude 6 and in I Peter 3:18-20.

Jude says that these angels “kept not their first estate.”  In other words, God did not make angels in order to have them materialize and live as men.  They were supported to REMAIN IN THE SPIRIT WORLD despite their powers of materialization—no doubt given to them for special assignments.

Jude continues his information.  He points out that when the angels dematerialized at the time of the flood, God TOOK AWAY their powers of materialization.  They were “chained to operate in obscurity (“darkness”)” UNTIL the judgment of the great day.”  In other words, this restraint was TEMPORARY.  (The King James says “everlasting,” but the Greek means “age-lasting.”)  We have, in our day, now entered the beginnings of the “great day” in which God judges and does away with our old corrupt civilization and replaces it with His perfect government in answer to the age-old prayer, “Thy Kingdom come.”

These fallen angels, even during the period of their restraint, have been formidable enemies—even of the most sincere of Christians.  Thus Paul admonishes (Ephesians 6:12) that “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.”

In Jesus’ day, the most notable manifestation of these demons was when they decided to “possess” a man.  Because the angels were forbidden to materialize, one of their few ways to function in the open (“in the light”) was to take over the brain functions of humans and use each human’s body as if it were their own.  If was a terrible thing; it may yet be manifest in some cases of mental illnesses.  Jesus CAST OUT these demons—an act which gave them great frustration as shown in Matthew 8:29.

Peter’s testimony nicely augments that given by Jude.  In I Peter 3:19, 20 we learn that Jesus, after his resurrection, preached to these chained or imprisoned spirits.  He, no doubt, was explaining their options—perhaps, most particularly, the fact that the time was coming when their restraints would be ended as a test to see how they would use or misuse liberties when granted.  The demons seemed to know that that time was coming.  They made reference to it in Matthew 8:29.  Peter’s testimony confirms Jude’s and that of Genesis 6.  Peter points out that these spirits were imprisoned in the days of Noah because of disobedience.

Peter expands on this subject in his second letter.  In chapter 2, verses 4 and 5, he points out that God not only chained these angels in darkness until the time of judgment, but he tells us where this imprisonment is.  The King James Bible reads, “God…cast them down to hell.”  This translation is dishonestly bad!  The word translated “hell” here is not the word for hell anywhere else in the Bible. It is a word which Peter borrows from Greek mythology relating to the banishment of the gods called Titans.  The word is tartarus.  Peter’s thought is that God banned the fallen angels from heaven.  They were restricted TO EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE—and, as we have seen, without the powers of materialization.  They were allowed to “appear.”  This we call ghosts or apparitions.  But ghosts are intangible—they are not materialized.  These angels could not, as they could before the flood, actually become indistinguishable from humans.  BUT

WHAT CAN WE NOW EXPECT?

As Jude and Peter prophesy, the restraint under “chains of darkness” is ONLY UNTIL the “great day.”  Chronologically, we have entered the time which the Bible calls “the great day.”  [See the March, 2007 “Article of the Month.”]  Therefore, we are justified to think that it is quite possible, even likely, that the fallen angels can now, or will shortly, be able to materialize and appear to be normal human beings.  The concept is frightful except for the knowledge that everything is under God’s control.

The release of these demons will accomplish two things:

                (1)    It will prove to God which of the fallen

                        angels truly are repentant, and which

                        of them are incorrigible.

 

                (2)    It will add to the evil schemes among

                        men the powers of the spirit world,

                        thus bringing man’s corrupt old order

                        to a spectacular conclusion!

Even without the powers of materialization, the demons are able to influence the “creative” minds of men to emphasize the age-old lies.  It is difficult to find television and motion picture scenarios which do not make at least some sort of reference to the supernatural.  It is as if the demons are preparing the minds of mankind to accept supernatural interventions when the demons are ready to launch them.  After all, Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air.”  Perhaps we would be justified in expanding this in our day to “the power of the AIRWAVES.”  (Ephesus 2:2)  The internet also is rife with supernatural connections for all who wish to investigate them.

We can expect supernatural ideas and manifestations to increase.  One of the clearer translations of II Thessalonians 2:9, which speaks in context of the bright shining (increasing knowledge) of the time of Jesus’ secret presence, reads:

                        “whose presence is accompanied by

                        the activity of Satan with all power

                        and signs and false wonders.”

[See the February Article of the Month on Jesus’ Secret Presence.]

Revelation 16 symbolizes the events which from the twentieth into the twenty-first centuries lead to the dissolution of our corrupt civilization.  Verses 12 through 21 (under the symbolisms of the sixth and seventh “plagues”) show the DIRECT INVOLVEMENT of the spirit world. These verses suggest supernatural “signs” from the demons which work upon (or even with) earth’s rulers to gather them into an interdependence which allows God to intervene for the destruction of their corrupt rulerships.  This will be the fabled “ARMAGEDDON” which has been on the minds of men for years.  It is not a war (as we know wars).  It is a disintegration of the social-political-economic-religious structure. 

Verse 17 is very revealing in terms of our subject.  The seventh plague is poured out “upon the air.”  As we have seen, the air symbolizes the invisible world of Satan and his demons.  Apparently the total collapse will come when the world realizes that they have been duped by evil spirit forces.  The exposure of these things will cause the total undermining of man’s confidence in every phase of government, economics, religion, and social standards.

When Jesus’ enemies accused him of doing his good works by the power of the devil, Jesus virtually said that it would be a GOOD SIGN when Satan casts out Satan.  Jesus’ lesson was that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”  This was actually a prophecy.  Jesus was telling us that Satan and the demonic hosts would present themselves as HELPERS to mankind.  They would propose solutions to do away with man’s problems (even though these spirits are in large part the sources of these problems).  Thus we see that Jesus was foretelling the events of the sixth plague when demonic ideas would be presented as saving solutions.  Satan’s house will be divided against itself, AND IT WILL NOT STAND!

WHAT TO DO

Christians should know better than to expose themselves to or to dabble in the things of darkness.  Strangely enough, however, even some Christians have a curiosity which sets them up for tantalizing deceptions.  But even those who are not Christians will be well-advised to avoid anything akin to the occult or the spiritually mysterious.  Even the “simplest” of games (like the Ouija Board) reek of the powers of darkness.  Books, movies, plays, and internet sources which deal with ghosts, spirits, the mysterious, the “other-worldly” things all should be avoided.  WATCH!  The words of prophecy will not be unfulfilled.  There is no way to avoid what is coming.  But to avoid being an active or cooperative party to what will happen will be of great benefit.  The whole world WILL benefit from the coming experiences, but avoiding direct participation will bring a comfort and a more rapid recovery for those who are aware of the dangers.