We find angels portrayed in pictures, as ornaments in jewelry, and on U.S. postage stamps. They are young and chubby; they are, in a vague way, friendly; and some even care about us. Angels, it seems, are today’s fascination.
But we should ask what are these beings really like?
From the Bible (God’s Word) we know what they are not like. It will come as no surprise that they do not need wings; nor are they the romance-inspiring cupids of fable.
Angels are serious. They do serious, real work. The nature of these fascinating beings, and the work they do—good and bad—are explored in the following article. We trust the reader will be left with a new understanding for these remarkable creatures, and a fresh appreciation of the God who created them. “The angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1: 6).
We have many thoughts given in our writings about the test or trial which came to the angels of God through the fall of man. Such a testing of the loyalty of the angels of God was appropriate, yet would have been, we may say, impossible, had it not been for man’s creation under conditions practically what they were. This testing of these perfect beings existing under perfect conditions should have found them all loyal to the Lord and to His various arrangements, realizing that they were every way beneficial, the wisest and the best.
We have seen how sin as a disease is figuratively represented in the Scriptures by leprosy; and that the temptation came along the lines by which humanity was different from angels: in that humanity possessed the power of propagating its own species. This power was seductive, and the Scriptures show us that many of the angels preferred to leave their own estate or habitation that they might associate with humanity and participate in this fleshly power of propagation (Jude 7). Research Nephilim who are the result of angels fornicating with man produced Giants.
They should, of course, have settled it in their own minds that the Divine program for them was far better than they could have devised for themselves. They should have relied upon God’s assurance that their plane of being was still higher than that of humanity; in short, they should have been contented, happy in the exercise of the powers and qualities and blessings already given them by the Father richly to enjoy. And this was true of many of them, but not of all.
The fall of these angels is also referred to by the Apostle Peter: “For if God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2 Pet. 2: 4) and still more particularly in Gen. 6: 1-5. Reviewing what we have elsewhere presented: the angels who fell from favor were restrained in Tartarus, the atmosphere of our earth. A thin veil between our world and where the fallen angels reside.
—it has separated them from the holy angels; they have been bound in “chains of darkness” which, since the Flood, have hindered them from materializing in human form so now we cannot see them but they can see us, and obliged them— if they would have anything to do with humanity—to do so secretly or through agents, mediums, witches, etc..
These fallen angels, then, also known Biblically as “wicked spirits,” “demons,” and “lying spirits,” have been operating since Noah’s Flood under restraints of darkness for some long time, however the fallen angels now accomplish the ensnarement of the human family by the propagation of false doctrine—notably, by the teaching that the dead are not dead, but are alive as spirit beings; by so-called communications with the “dead”— actually a clever fraud. They attempt to corroborate their own claim, that the “dead” are “alive”! This, of course, was Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden—“Ye shall not surely die,” the very reverse of God’s plain declaration, “Ye shall surely die” (Gen. 3: 3, 4).
HOW DO ANGELS ENSNARE THEIR VICTIMS?
We feel it our duty to tell Christians and remind all the consecrated brethren, within the reach of our influence, to be on their guard against the dangers of Spiritism, Occultism (including hypnotism), etc., and the subtle trickeries and deceptions of the evil angels as practiced today. We have learned from time to time of people who have had experiences with “flying saucers,” with spirit mediums, with spirit “messages” (some directly and some indirectly), with Ouija boards, with visions and even with spirit materializations. These demons can materalize, carry on conversations and be very convincing; they can assume the appearance, manner and sound of the voice of the one whom they are impersonating.
It seems that with the progressive binding of Satan, “the prince of devils,” “the prince of the power of the air” (Matt. 12: 24; Eph. 2: 2), there is a progressive releasing of the demons from their “chains of darkness” (2 Pet. 2: 4; Jude 6). Their communications with mankind and their subtle practices and deceptions seem to be far more general and successful today than 106 years ago.
More and more, human society is being demoralized and corrupted under their evil influence. Note, e.g., the low and immoral standards (if we may call them standards) now prevailing in music, art, sculpture, dancing, literature, film, radio, television, social proprieties, etc.
Lawlessness is rapidly increasing on every hand and in every respect. We have reasons to believe that as the continued relaxation of restraints upon the fallen angels and human society progresses, demonic materializations and human licentiousness will correspondingly increase and conditions will become more and more like those recorded in Gen. 6: 1-5.
These wicked spirits—not content with operating through humanity as their mediums—seek to “possess” or “obsess” people so as to use their bodies as if they were their own; this succeeds only if the subjects yield their minds to the influence brought to bear upon them.
If one’s will, by yielding, becomes broken down, a number of these fallen spirits can get possession of an individual, resulting in the victim’s insanity or improve performance.
In one incident the Lord inquired the name of the unclean spirit and got the answer “legion,” (Mark 5: 9) for there did many possess the afflicted one. When the Lord released the demons they entered a whole herd of swine which became so crazed that they ran into the sea and drowned. Our present inquiry is particularly respecting the judgment of these fallen spirits, concerning which we read, “Do you not know that we (the saints) shall judge angels?” (1 Cor. 6: 3).
CHRIST’S SERMON TO THE FALLEN ANGELS
We have already studied the hope of these angels, and have seen the manner in which Christ preached to them by His death and resurrection—preached to the spirits in prison which were disobedient in the days of Noah—the angels which kept not their first estate. Our Lord could not preach orally during the time He was dead, but He preached by His sufferings, death, and resurrection. An old proverb puts it succinctly, “actions speak louder than words.”
We may be sure that Satan and all these fallen angels knew the Lord and observed closely everything pertaining to His early life, death and resurrection. Did they not declare, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God”—the Messiah (Mark 1: 24). While the holy angels watched every procedure,
these fallen angels had a special interest in this manifestation of God’s love for humanity, which brought the Redeemer from the heavenly plane to the earthly one, and then cost His death to redeem Adam and his race, because the penalty was death.
The angels knew God’s reputation for justice; their own experience was an illustration of it, and the experience of mankind likewise testified to it. But here was taught a manifestation of Divine love and compassion, bringing aid to the degraded race of Adam. They perceived, too, in our Lord’s resurrection that His obedience had brought Him a great reward and high exaltation, so that He arose from the tomb a mighty God, a partaker of the Divine nature. They watched in amazement.
Let us now seek thoughts on justice, “sometimes Christian people see the doctrine of love in the Bible and forget there is a lesson which precedes love. It is the lesson of justice—righteousness. Justice first, love afterwards, should be the rule governing all our dealings with others. Whosoever is not disposed to justice to such an extent as to be willing to suffer loss rather than do an injustice will not have a share in the Kingdom.” Yes, the Bible always pictures God as the great Representative of Justice!
Can we doubt that these circumstances, as the Apostle suggests, were a great sermon, a great lesson to them? Bright, intelligent, wise, they doubtless reasoned that if God had done so much for Adam and his race in their degradation, He might not be unwilling also to show them some favor at some future time. Indeed, we may reasonably suppose that some of those fallen angels, inspired by hope of reconciliation to God at some time in the future, began to mend their ways and to seek to live more in accord with righteousness. We may assume that these no longer exercised deception and wiles against humanity, but that, though still restrained, they are hoping and waiting for some leniency of the Lord in the judgment of the great day.
SO WE ASK—WHAT WILL THEIR JUDGMENT BE?
With the facts of the case before our minds—that there is to be a judgment, and that this implies a trial— we inquire what kind of a trial or judgment will it be. The word translated judgment in Jude 6 is in the Greek, krisis, its primary signification being decision, determination—was a trial in order to reach a decision. Th is implies that the decision in the case of these fallen angels is not yet rendered, and that some test or trial must come to them that will determine the results.
The Word of the Lord shows clearly that, whatever God’s dealings may be in the interim, the finality of His judgment is that none shall have eternal life except those who are fully in accord with the principles of righteousness; all others shall be destroyed utterly, without hope of recovery. There can be no doubt, then, as to the result of the trial. Both the Apostolic statement that the fallen angels are reserved unto judgment, krisis, testing, and the further statement that the saints shall judge angels, show that the matter is not yet settled as respects all of these—there is yet hope for such of these fallen ones as may heartily recognize their wrong course and return to obedience to the Lord.
When will this judgment take place?— at the beginning of the great day or at its further end, or throughout the day of Christ? We answer that the judgment of mankind requires and God has appointed to it the entire period of 1,000 years—the Millennium. Because man is ignorant and deluded and impaired by his experiences under the reign of sin and death and, too, by the machinations of these evil spirits, he will need to have special counsel and help. God has provided the agents—the Church, Head and Body—for man’s social, mental, moral and physical uplifting during the Millennium and his trial or testing will be throughout that period. God will determine for each one as to their willingness to accept and profit by the various blessed agencies which will then be in operation. So, then, the entire Millennial day is scripturally called man’s Day of Judgment. As the Apostle declares, “because He (God) hath appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17: 31).
As for the fallen angels—the Scriptures do not say that the whole Millennial epoch is set apart as their judgment day; indeed, we can surmise that this would not be necessary or proper, because, never having come under the sentence of death, they are as much alive and perfect in their organization as they ever were—that all the change possible to them has been in their mentality, their wills. Their knowledge is great, and not, like man’s, confined to a knowledge of sin and evil things, for they had previously a knowledge of goodness, holiness and purity.
Additionally, they have seen the Divine dealings through all the various epochs of human history: first, with Israel under the typical mediator, Moses and the typical covenant, the Law; second, they have seen Christ, the antitypical Moses, and have been witnesses of the proclamation of the Gospel throughout this age and of its influence upon those who are rightly exercised thereby, leading them to sacrifice and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
It would appear, then, that these fallen spirits have little to learn of either good or evil, and that any judgment or trial coming upon them would not need to be long-drawn-out, as with humanity. Their judgment would signify the bringing of them to a decision, a crucial testing of their hearts, their wills, as respects righteousness and sin—harmony with God or with Satan. In order to have such a testing, such a krisis, a peculiar condition of things would be necessary—a condition in which they would have an opportunity to do the evil or to resist the temptation and to do good.
As we have suggested, no doubt some of them have already acted upon the sermon of Christ’s death and resurrection, and its manifestation of God’s loving character and the hope that it inspires respecting their future. Such might be said to be in a condition of trial all through this Gospel Age—whether or not they would stand firm in their opposition to sin and to those around them, or succumb and yield and participate in the sins. But evidently, according to the Scriptures, some crucial point of testing will be reached which will decide matters for all these fallen spirits—the “krisis of the great day.”
WE ARE NOW LIVING IN THE “KRISIS” TIME
In view of all these conditions and considerations, we hold that we are now living in this krisis time—that the restraint of darkness placed upon these fallen angels was to last only until the crisis or judgment of “the great day.” Our understanding is that this great day of the Lord began chronologically in October, 1874, and from what we can learn it is since that date that “materializations” have become more and more common. Admitting that there are many frauds along this line, we consider that the evidence is too strong to be disputed that there have been numerous genuine manifestations— materializations—in which the spirit personating the dead has assumed a material body, possessing weight and various qualities similar to a human.
A consecrated sister—who had at one time been a spirit medium—related that in the parlor of her own home, the door being shut, a spirit materialized before her in the form of a man who advanced toward her. With a fi rm grasp he caught her by the arm—just then, her brother opened the parlor door and the materialization instantly dissolved.
In another incident, a brother who also had fl irted with Spiritism, saw an apparition masquerading as his dead wife, hand held out. He refused to take the hand, and instead turned his heart to the Lord in prayer for deliverance from the Adversary’s power. Th e apparition vanished.
In February, an interview with The Daily Item newspaper in Sunbury, PA., reported that a 19 year old recently married woman and her husband, confessed and were charged with murder for killing a man when he replied to a Craig’s List newspaper advertisement. In the confession she stated that she had also murdered at least 22 people, maybe more over the past six years as part of her involvement in a Satanic Cult. Authorities have been investigating her claims.
With the ability to go online with our computers and search for Spiritualist Materialism we can fi nd many reports on this kind of work of the angelic host. We need only turn the television on and many programs can be found about how ghosts inhabit old homes or hotels. We hear of ghost hunters with modern cameras and infrared lighting spending great effort to catch the image of a ghost. Th e correct action from God’s Word is to refrain from watching these programs on television.
Apparently these evil spirits have special power and liberty with those who have at any time yielded to curiosity in connection with spirit manifestations. Here we have a fresh reason for our repeated advice that the Lord’s people totally refuse to have anything to do with spirit mediums, séances, hypnotism and clairaudience, or any form of occult divining, by the pendulum, Ouija board, or any such thing. Attempts of the demons to intrude upon us are usually associated with something that excites our curiosity. Our advice is that the Lord’s people restrain their curiosity and resent such intrusions as dangerous beginnings, the end of which we may not be able to control.
“MY SOUL BE ON THY GUARD”
Hymns of Dawn 183
The proper course to pursue, when these evil spirits attempt to intrude upon us, is to look to the Lord with faith and confi dence, and in the name of the Lord Jesus command the evil one to depart. We need have no fear of their power against us so long as we are the Lord’s and are walking in our daily life—not after the will of the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Remember our Lord’s words to Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19: 11); and again the Apostle’s assurance, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8: 28). Greater is He who is on our part than all they that be against us. If the Adversary had power to injure us he would have done so long ago. “Th e angel of the Lord encamps all round those who fear (reverence) Him, and delivers them” (Psa. 34: 7).
SOCIAL CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE
The Apostle declares that one of the delights of these demons is to impersonate the pure, the good, as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11: 14), that they might thereby the more effectually accomplish injury. It is one of the delights of the evil-disposed to entrap others into sin and wrong doing. To this picture we must not forget to add the Apostle’s testimony respecting this very time. He declares that because Christendom has not received the Truth in the love of it, but has preferred a lie—preferred to believe that the dead are alive when the Scriptures declare that they are dead and without hope except in a resurrection from the dead—therefore God will send them strong delusion that they may believe a lie because they had no pleasure in the Truth—that they all may be condemned—shown to be unworthy of a place amongst the Elect of the Kingdom. Respecting this time the Lord also through the Prophet declares that “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men: therefore, behold, I will do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden” (Isa. 29: 13, 14).
Our concluding thought respecting the judgment time for the fallen angels is this—that during the Millennial Age, when righteousness shall be laid to the line and justice to the plummet, when nothing shall be permitted to hurt or to injure in all God’s Holy Kingdom, it would be impossible for those fallen angels to have any special trial in connection with mankind—indeed their trials would then seem to be over—surely they will then have less opportunity and therefore less temptation than at present.
We reason therefore that their judgment in present time is in the immediate present—that the permission for them to fi nd and use means of materialization and communication with mankind will furnish the special trial and testing of these angels, their krisis and their testing time which is called their judgment, and their testing time will prove which of them are sorry for their sins and now are heart loyal to God. And at the same time this matter has been so gauged by God as to bring it within the period of man’s day of trouble—“the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2: 5).
As we examine God’s Word our conclusion is that the loosening and liberating from the chains of darkness of these demons will increase, perhaps very rapidly. Of a certainty there will be an increased interest in society in the occult and the exotic, “mysterious” trends of thought, such conditions provide fertile ground in which the demons can work. We might well tremble when we anticipate the future; where evil infl uence, immorality and general lawlessness will prevail. It is not our thought to awaken needless alarm over present day evil conditions, but rather to call attention to the safeguarding and protecting arrangements which God has provided, in the use of which His consecrated ones may be kept in perfect peace and safety. Our thought is that in some manner there is a protecting infl uence surrounding human beings which safeguards them from the nefarious eff orts and infl uence of Satan and his angels except so far as they shall give a measure of their will or consent. Th is safeguarding infl uence, we believe, is manifold in the case of the consecrated. “Th e angel of the Lord encamped all around those who fear (reverence) him, and delivered them” (Psa. 34: 7; 125: 2). Th is view is supported by the statement of Satan respecting Job; “Have you not made a hedge around him?” (Job 1: 10).
Were it not for God’s promise of a coming Kingdom under Christ, we would despair. But a better day is coming when all things in heaven and earth will be reconciled in Christ (Eph. 1: 10). Praise God from whom all blessings flow!