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Satan and the Occult - by Bruce Pringle

Satan and the Occult
- Chapter Three

by Bruce Pringle

The Nature of Satan and Demons

In order to portray how effective Satan and his emissaries, demons or evil spirits are, their character will be revealed. A discussion of possession, oppression or Satan worship, which will come in chapter seven, will not be clear or perhaps unbelievable without this section.

I like killing people because it is more fun than killing wild game in the forest, because man is the most dangerous animal of all. To kill something gives me the most thrilling experiences...the best part of it is that when I die, I will be reborn in paradise, and all that I have killed will become my slaves. I will not give you my name because you will try to slow me down or stop my collecting slaves for my after-life (The Zodiac).

It is inconceivable that a human being in his right mind would state anything as hideous as the above. As the end of time comes near and the rapture of the church of Jesus Christ is imminent, God's Word indicates that men will give themselves over to seducing spirits. The Bible teaches that Satan and his demonic emissaries are filthy, evil, unclean and will attempt to control the destiny of mankind.

The nature or character of Satan is unlike any other being that was ever created. It is interesting, but sad to note how many Christians attempt to play down the reality of Satan. Perhaps they believe if Satan is ignored, he will go away. This wishful thinking or blindness to reality, shows an ignorance of Biblical teaching. In the Old Testament, Satan is referred to by the authors of Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah. The Old Testament authors use different names to refer to Satan. In the New Testament he is referred to by all the writers in nineteen different books. Would the above writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writing over a period of sixteen hundred years be deceived and perpetrate a lie? Absolutely not!

Peter, the apostle wrote, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Paul wrote, "If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny himself." Those verses indicate that God's Holy Spirit led the men to pen the words of Holy Scriptures and that God would have to deny His divinity, if the Bible was in error. As one saint succinctly stated: God said it, I read it, I believe it and that settles it. Satan is alive and well, God said it and our world proves it.

"Diabolis" (devil) is the Greek word for slanderer or false accuser. It is interesting that it is used only in the singular and appears more than thirty times in the New Testament as a descriptive title for Satan. "Daimonion" and "daimon", however, are both translated demon.* These two words are used both in the singular and plural in the New Testament but never interchangeably with "diabolis."

(*Unfortunately the King James Version confuses this by translating these Greek words by "devils").

Personal characteristics of personality are ascribed to Satan. He has: intelligence; memory; emotion or desire: pride and wrath; knowledge; executive and organizing ability and will. Several Biblical examples will be given to portray his characteristics. Jesus had been led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit wherein He had fasted and prayed for forty days and nights. Hunger was the natural outcome of Jesus' lengthy fast. The Bible records that Satan chose this particular time to tempt Jesus. During the dialogue both used God's Word. Satan had the ability of memory powers as did Jesus. Memory is a product of the personality. An observant reader of the temptation of Jesus in Matthew four realized that the Son of God used His authority as well as the Word of God to drive Satan away. However, we must realize that Satan can use, or should one say misuse, Scripture to confuse the unsuspecting.

The second example has been alluded to earlier. Will or power of choice was shown by the devil during his confrontation with God as is recorded in the book of Isaiah. His pompous claims of "I will", indicates another product of the personality. A third example refers to Satan's executive and organizing ability. John's prophecy reads:

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Following the millennial reign of Christ, Satan will be loosed for the purpose of gathering an army to go against God. The Greek word "Kosmokrator" is used only once in the Scriptures, that place being Ephesians 6:12. "Kosmakrator" refers to a world ruler who will control demonic powers and evil spirits. The ruler with the organizing ability is Satan.

When Lucifer challenged God's authority and rebelled, a great number of angels that were under his command also rebelled and chose to follow their defiant leader. God punished this insurrection with an entire change of nature. For an unknown amount of time these angels had worshipped, praised and served the Almighty faithfully, but "the die was cast" when they rebelled. Instead of being angels, joyful and contented, serving God, they became enemies of Him. It was sin, the sin of rebellion that made the change from angelic angels to surly, bitter, wrathful demons with an insatiable desire to destroy their Creator. This high treason is punishable by eternal death. Jesus Christ's blood is ineffectual for Satan or demonic spirits. As to the nature of demons, Orr states:

Perhaps the best way to describe demons is to classify them as wicked angels. They seem to partake of the same abilities. As angels are messengers, so are they. As angels seek to do the will of God, so the demons are slaves to the evil will of the Devil. As angels are invisible, so are they. As angels are given the responsibility to fulfill the purpose of God, so are they bound by judgment to serve is understood that demons are wholly depraved. There is no good in them whatsoever. Their nature is base, pernicious and diabolic.

Demons or evil spirits, like their leader, Satan, have a personality. The three elements of a personality are: intelligence, emotion and will. Demons are intelligent; whether their intelligence is from contact with their leader, or a natural endowment from their Creator is not clear. With the high degree of intelligence that they possess, no wonder clairvoyants, fortune tellers and mediums are so accurate in their predictions. A Christian woman who was a client of this counselor was experiencing a great amount of anxiety, sleeplessness and depression. Pharmaceutical drugs from her medical doctor did not remove the symptoms nor the cause of her severe trauma. Two or three hours of sleep were not sufficient to exist on, however, that was the extent of her rest on most days.

Pale, haggard, fearful and depressed this woman arrived for counseling. During counseling it was found that for a good number of years she, although a Christian, was a clairvoyant. She was able to tell her friends and neighbors what they would be doing in several weeks. Uncanny as it may seem, she was correct most of the time. Counseling revealed that she had not been involved in the occult directly, however, her ancestors practiced witchcraft years before in Europe. Somehow demonic forces were able to use her without anyone being aware of this. A prayer of renunciation over the demonic influence took her from bondage to freedom. Within a month, a regular eating and sleeping pattern was evident. This illustrates the intelligence of evil spirits. More examples will be given later to show how demons can affect or influence our lives.

Emotion can be shown by demons. The writer of James wrote that evil spirits believe in God and tremble. As Jesus was ministering to a man who was infested with many demons, they plead with Christ not to send them to the pit, but into the herd of swine. It is not certain why Jesus would grant their request, but the fact remains the spirits were permitted to enter the swine; drowning was the result as they rushed down the slope into the sea. On a number of occasions, when demons were cast out by Jesus, they showed great evidences of emotion both physical and verbal.

Will is the third component of a personality. The commitment to rebel against God along with Satan indicates the will. Freedom of will was given to the angels at their creation and the decision to serve God or Satan was theirs to make. God's Word records that demons had the power and at will could cause blindness and dumbness (Matthew 12:22). They are also capable of bringing about insanity, suicidal tendencies and personal injuries. As spirits, they are very mobile and free of natural laws. Mobility permits demons to cary on their missions with speed and quietness.

Malignant in character, vile, degraded, debased and vicious, demons are beings of a low moral order. Biblical references refer to them as foul or unclean. Several examples are: Matthew 10:1; Mark 1:23; Luke 9:42. The Bible indicates degrees of wickedness among evil spirits. Jesus told the story of a person who was delivered from a demon. The man was cured, clean and empty, a very vulnerable position to be in. Jesus concluded the story by saying, "Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Christ made the statement that the other seven spirits were more wicked than the original occupant of the man. Consequently, demons have degrees in the wickedness of character. The next chapter will give an overview of the work of Satan and demons. It is evident from the preceding that demons are wicked, unclean and vile in nature. Consequently one would expect the work of Satan and demons to be wicked. vile and unclean.

Go on to Chapter Four - The Work of Satan and Demons

Or Intro; The Origin of Satan and Demons; The Fall of Satan and Wicked Angels; The Nature of Satan and Demons; The Work of Satan and Demons; How Demons Enter; Magic or Occult Practices; Demon Oppression and Possession; Can Christians Be Demon Possessed?; Is Deliverance From Demons Possible?; Appendix - Operational Definitions;

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