Time or Eternity? ™

Principalities and Powers in Heavenly Places

In Angels, Principalities and powers on April 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

A race of invisible beings, not burdened with flesh, possessed of faculties and powers that give them a vast advantage over us are busily employed about us. The number of these mysterious beings is immensely great.

They are divided into two classes: the “elect angels, “holy angels,” who are God’s obedient ministers and do his pleasure; and “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation,” (Jude 6,) who are rebels against God, and implacable enemies to man. These last are marshaled under one superior chief, who directs their operations, and maintains, with their assistance, a kingdom upon earth, directly opposed to the government of Christ the rightful King.  To extend and to strengthen this usurped dominion, to seduce all whom he can, to terrify others, and to thwart, harass, and distress every child of God while sojourning here, is the object of the adversary. His very name, Satan, expresses it; and the superior power which as a spirit he possesses, becomes effectual in carrying out his most malevolent designs, whenever the omnipotence of God does not interpose to restrain it.

There is nothing he dreads so much as our being “not ignorant of his devices,” because he knows that , ” We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places.” (Eph. 4: 12) In the preceding verse we are  told  defense, and exhorted to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.” And despite the express declarations of God’s word, despite its reiterated warnings, despite even our own sore personal experience of his craft and subtlety, we are prone to overlook not only such testimony to his continual activity and abundant means of warning against us, but the very fact of his existence, as it concerns the daily experience, collectively and individually, of the Body of Christ.  Strange as this may sound, it is undeniable.  Satan,the god of this world, hath blinded the minds of them which believe not...” (2 Cor. 4:4)

He has stealthily thrown the bandage across the unbelievers eyes from behind, so that they don’t know who performed the operation or that such an operation is performed; but it is wonderful that he can prevail upon Christians to banish his name, as they generally do, from their daily converse, and Christian pastors to make only, a slight incidental reference to it in the pulpit; and in these days, too, while in every department of our households, in every city, at home and abroad, he is incessantly manifesting his hateful presence, perplexing, seducing, embroiling, dismaying, uprooting, and disorganizing, till the whole framework of society is loosened, and ready upon the first shock to crumble about us.   God has seen fit to sound a warning to all Christians “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8) But in treating of a matter so exceedingly solemn and awful, care must be taken not to run into the opposite danger of saying too much. We must ” not go beyond the word of the Lord to speak more nor less.” Scripture alone must speak, in declaring the existence, personality, characters, offices, and positive actings of those spiritual creatures, which constantly surround us, beginning with Satan and his angels. May He, who by death destroyed him that had the power of death; He, the seed of the woman, who came to bruise the serpent’s head; He, who led captivity captive, and who will bruise Satan under our feet shortly: may He, even the Lord Jesus Christ, bless this humble attempt, preserving both the writer and the reader from all presumptuous sin!

Before proceeding to examine the truth concerning Satan, we must notice the false impressions.  We are taught from the nursery to regard him as a hideous, disgusting, and almost ludicrously contemptible object. A black, mis-shapen, an excessively frightful, grinning face; and, in short, a preposterous compound of all that is ugly and incongruous, supply the general idea of the“Prince of this world.” This fabulous image bears the marks of his own creation, for it is calculated to throw us off our guard by masking his real importance, so that we grow up ashamed of having once been frightened by these pictures of the devil, and count it a mark of matured reason to laugh at the hobgoblin of our childhood. His name, too, is linked with mean and ridiculous associations ; it is denounced as a vulgarism.  As regards his works, a still more dangerous mistake seems to prevail: he is looked on by the professing world, in general, as little more than a chimerical personage ; one who, when our Lord was on earth, proved busy, and troublesome to him, but who is mostly in hell, and rarely, if ever, interfering with the course of this world.

The following direct testimonies from the scriptures to the existence and character of evil spirits, of whom one distinct chief or leader controls a number of subordinate devils, will establish our first point:—

” And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev. 12:9.

” 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.” John 8:44.

” But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chiefof the devils.’^ Luke 11:15.

” If Satan be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand ? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.” 11:18.

” Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe and tremble.” James 2:19.

” He said unto him, come out of the man, thou unclean spirit; and he asked him, what is thy name; and he answered, saying, my name is Legion ; for we are many.” Mark 5:8, 9.

” Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. 25:41.

” God spared. not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell.” 2 Peter 2:4. 

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