Triumphing over Wicked Spirit Forces
“We have a fight, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.”—Eph. 6:12, NW.
1, 2. What Scripturally predicted manifestations of demon power are now seen to have occurred during the time of the first world war?
“DEMONS TO WRECK SOCIETY—Psychic phenomena are attracting the attention of some of the greatest men of the land. These men claim that they are able to communicate with the dead. That they receive messages from some hidden source cannot be questioned. This psychic science is called Immortalism. In truth and fact it is demonism. And these demons, exercising greater power over the human mind, will, as the Scriptures foreshow, soon wreck all society.”
2 With this spine-tingling introduction the magazine The Watch Tower in its issue of March 1, 1918, proceeded to advise its readers to examine what the Holy Scriptures had to say on the subject of spiritism. During those dark days of World War I it did appear to Bible students that the demons, the enemies of mankind, were about ready to wreck all human society. Little did the world then realize that invisible, superhuman forces had operated to plunge human society into its first world war in 1914. Amid the throes of war, revolution had broken out in Russia, the Bolsheviks had seized control of the government and the former Russian czar, Nicholas II, was under arrest and shortly to be executed on July 17, 1918, in Siberia. Whether general revolution was to spread all over the earth, to be followed in a chain reaction by society-wrecking anarchy, was not certain. For long many had understood the Bible prophecies to read that way, and now events seemed working in that direction, with mankind helpless in the vicelike grip of the demons. It was a time to inform oneself on the long-range purpose of the demons. But more months of 1918 passed. Suddenly in November World War I came to a halt, an armistice was signed between the warring sides, leading to a peace, an uncertain peace indeed that was to last only ten months more than twenty years. Still it left human society, although bleeding and crippled, far from a total wreck. What had happened? Had the demons’ plans miscalculated or had they been misinterpreted?
3. Biblically speaking, what are demons?
3 By “demons” we mean wicked spirits of the invisible realm. To peoples of the Orient the subject of “demons” is nothing strange, for demons play a large part in their religions. But by “demons” we mean malicious spirit creatures, not those grotesque creatures described by these Orientals, but the powerful, superhuman spirit creatures of which the scriptures of the Holy Bible speak.
4, 5. Why is a serious attitude regarding the demons necessary and Scriptural?
4 True believers in God, true, informed Christians, take the subject of the demons very seriously. The outstanding champion of Christianity, the apostle Paul, warned us to be most serious about the demons, for when we are in a life-and-death fight with those stronger than we are we have to be serious. In one of the fourteen books of the Bible that he wrote he said: “You at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience. . . . Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil; because we have a fight, not against blood and flesh, but against the [non-blood-and-flesh] governments, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.”—Eph. 2:2; 6:10-12, NW.
5 Paul wrote those words directly to Christians at Ephesus. Quite a number of them had practiced magical arts and, after accepting the “word of Jehovah” preached by Paul, they “brought their books together and burned them up before everybody.” Others of them had worshiped the demons at the world-famous temple of the goddess “Artemis [Diana] of the Ephesians.” (Acts 19:13-20, 27, 28, NW) So those Christians at Ephesus felt the full force of the apostle Paul’s words; they had had experience with the demons.
6-8. What is spiritualism? How has it affected learned men and others?
6 More and more people of Christendom are becoming aware of the existence of these spirits, such as the demons are. How? Through the spread of the religion generally known as “spiritualism.” As defined by the dictionary, spiritualism is the belief or the religious movement based on the belief that departed spirits hold intercourse with mortal humans by means of physical phenomena, as by rapping, or during abnormal mental states, as in trances or the like, commonly manifested through a medium; it is the theory that mediumistic phenomena are caused by spirits of the dead.
7 Spiritualism is about four thousand years old, but it has staged a vigorous modern reappearance in the West. The American spiritualistic movement had its beginning in 1848 with the young Fox sisters of Hydeville, New York, who later moved to Rochester, New York, to continue with their mediumship there, attracting nation-wide attention. However, for about a hundred years before the start of the American phase of spiritualism, Germany and Switzerland had their spiritualists who developed or believed in psychic phenomena almost identical with those connected with the American movement. They had spirit vision, spirit writing, foreknowledge of coming events from the spirit realm, and daily direct communication with inhabitants of the spirit realm. From America the movement spread into England, the two most active spiritualists there being D. D. Home, a remarkable medium, and W. Stainton Moses, an Episcopal minister and an Oxford man. For years these two startled England. At seances Mr. Home used to pick up live coals from the fire by the handful and carry them around without being burned. He trained many of his pupils to do the same thing, and he himself was even known to wash his face in fiery flames unharmed. The phenomena of spiritualism became so notorious that they led to investigation, serious, scientific investigation. Many came away from these investigations convinced—clergymen, philosophers and other men of learning and of science. As to their conclusions regarding spiritualism The Encyclopedia Americana (volume 25, 1929 ed.) says:
8 “The conclusions of the higher intelligences who have expressed themselves as being convinced of the reality of Spiritualism may be summed up as follows: Through mediumship is proved the continuity of life beyond the grave; it is no longer a religious dogma but a living fact. Spiritual intelligences are as anxious to communicate with us as we with them, but the lower and grosser intelligence seem to be the nearest to us, and most likely to be heard from in communication, and they like to impersonate great individuals and personal deceased friends of those present. This is held to account for much of the ‘information’ that comes through, and is valueless. For many years the Banner of Light, published in Boston, was the leading organ of this cult. In common with other Spiritualist papers it has disappeared. They have apparently given way to Psychological publications and New Thought periodicals. While the great public includes a vast number who are virtually Spiritualists, they are less and less known by that name, but are affiliated with New Thought, Mental Science, Theosophy, Oriental cults, Psychical Research and other modern movements. Spiritualistic teaching is largely in accord with the writings in the Bible.”
9, 10. (a) How is the widely held doctrine of the ‘immortality of the human soul’ related to spiritualism?
9 In harmony with this last statement of the Americana, it is the claim of many spiritualists that this psychic religion is based on the Bible or that the Bible supports and agrees with spiritualism. Especially is this true of Catholic and Protestant clergymen who have become spiritualists. They claim that the Bible teaches survival after death or the immortality of the human soul, which is the teaching upon which spiritualism rests. For this reason it is also called Immortalism, and was first called so by a Protestant clergyman. In 1909 the New York World published an interview with this clergyman, namely, Bishop Samuel Fallows of the Reformed Episcopal church, Chicago, Illinois, in which he said: “There are great truths in Spiritualism. Many Spiritualistic phenomena we cannot understand, but we have to admit them. I have called the new science ‘Immortalism’ because it depends for its existence upon the immortality of the soul, in which we all believe, and the preservation of identity beyond the grave. Immortalism is simply Spiritualism with all the fraud and trickery eliminated. On account of these frauds Spiritualism has been shunned by many right thinking people, but immortalism will claim their most earnest attention.” Four years earlier he said: “As a Christian and a believer in the Bible, I must believe in communication between the two worlds—that in which we live and that to which our friends have gone. . . . I believe in apparitions, however, and think it possible that there are persons possessed of a certain mysterious psychic power which enables them to make of their spirits a channel, as it were, through which the earth-bound spirit can communicate with the friend from the other side.”—The Watch Tower, June 1, 1905; December 1, 1909.
10 Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his translation of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: “I myself was a Catholic priest, and until I was forty-eight years old had never as much as believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God’s spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication, and experienced things that shook me to the depths of my soul. . . . My experiences are related in a book that has appeared in both German and English and bears the title, Communication with the Spirit-World: Its Laws and Its Purpose.” (Page 15, ¶ 2, 3) In keeping with his Roman Catholic extraction Greber’s translation is bound with a gold-leaf cross on its stiff front cover. In the Foreword of his aforementioned book ex-priest Greber says: “The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible.” Under this impression Greber endeavors to make his New Testament translation read very spiritualistic.
11, 12. (a) What is a questionable translation of 1 John 4:1-3? (b) What right understanding of this passage is derived from its accurate translation?
11 Spiritualism claims that there are good spirits and bad spirits and that it does not want to have anything to do with the bad spirits but tries to communicate only with the good spirits. At 1 John 4:1-3 the Bible says: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” Greber’s translation of these verses reads: “My dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to learn whether they come from God. For many false spirits have emerged from the abyss and gone out into the world, and are speaking through human mediums. This is how you can find out whether a spirit comes from God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ appeared on earth as a man, comes from God. While every spirit who seeks to destroy belief in Jesus as our Lord incarnated does not come from God, but is sent by the adversary of Christ. You have been told that such spirits would come, and they are already appearing in the world.” Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation.
“TRY THE SPIRITS”
12 However, when the apostle John says, “Try the spirits,” or, “Test the spirits,” he does not mean for us to dabble in spiritualism and get in touch with the spirits by means of spirit mediums, ouija boards or planchettes or other spiritistic paraphernalia and try out which is a good spirit and which is a bad one. By “spirits” here John is referring, not to invisible spirit creatures, but to the purpose, the intent or the motivation of the prophesying or public declaration made by men respecting God and Christ. Hence An American Translation reads: “Do not believe every inspired utterance, but test the utterances to see whether they come from God, for many false prophets have come out into the world.” And the New World Translation reads: “Do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” To test these inspired utterances or inspired expressions of the prophets or mouthpieces of various religions to see whether they are inspired by God’s spirit or not, we do not have to go to spiritualist séances or mediums. Long ago Jehovah God inspired his prophet Isaiah to say: “Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. And when they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the wizards who chirp and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! Surely for this word which they speak there is no dawn. They will . . . be thrust into thick darkness.” (Isa. 8:16, 19-22, RS) Obediently those who seek true, reliable information concerning the human dead and future events go to Jehovah’s teaching and testimony as found in the Bible.
13-15. (a) Does the Bible’s teaching as summarized by Paul justify the claims of spiritualists? (b) How does a recognized writer on spiritualism inform and counsel his readers regarding the Bible?
13 But, someone will protest, the spiritualists themselves claim to go to the Bible also. Yes, but this is all as a bait, as a disguise, to calm the conscience and to entice one into spiritualism as something Biblical, Scriptural, having God’s approval and being thoroughly Christian. It follows the tactics of false apostles of Christ, of whom the true apostle Paul wrote: “Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.” (2 Cor. 11:13-15, NW) So the hidden aim is to get you to believe less and less in the Bible and to rely more and more on your experiences with observed phenomena of spiritualism, to get you to perverting the Bible and believing just the opposite of what it teaches, yes, to destroy your faith in the Bible. This is illustrated in the case of the prominent British spiritualist Arthur Findlay. In his book The Rock of Truth or Spiritualism The Coming World Religion (thirteenth impression, 1949) he says:
14 “All impartial students of the past can come to no other conclusion than that the belief in the inspiration of The Holy Bible, though it has given strength and help to millions, has nevertheless been one of the greatest hindrances to the progress of humanity. This being so, is it not strange that this book is still called ‘Holy’ and ‘The Word of God’ in any civilized place of worship? . . . How different indeed would much of the world have been had the Bible never been considered inspired, and how much happier Christendom will be when all come to look on it as they do other books, admiring its beauties, but ignoring its mistakes and falsities. In view of past mistakes, and the crimes and atrocities it has committed in the name of its founder, the Church today should be humble and penitent instead of arrogant and reactionary.”—Pages 120, 131.
15 In the index of this book we read these references under the heading “Bible”: “Advocates barbaric cruelties; evidence of divine inspiration lacking; not Word of God; now taken less seriously; of no historical value; other faiths just as efficacious; stories cannot be verified; stories preached as if true; study of, waste of time; stumbling block to Spiritualism; to be read as other books,” etc. We also read under the heading “Jehovah”: “Not the creator; ordered war”; and under the heading “Jesus”: “Many lived similar lives; no historical evidence that he lived; resurrection of, doubtful tradition; The Talmud, account of; virgin birth, death and resurrection copied from other saviour-gods; virgin birth thought of later,” etc. Page references accompany such topical entries.
16. Is it rightly said that the Bible is a “stumbling block to spiritualism,” and why?
16 The evidence is clear that the spirits with whom this leading spiritualist communicates are against the Bible and its Author Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ. Why so? Because the Bible and Jehovah and Jesus Christ are against those spirits; which Mr. Findlay admits, when he says the Bible is a “stumbling block to Spiritualism.” We do not have to dabble in spiritualism to find out whether those spirits with which this religion communicates are good or bad spirits. They are all bad spirits, for they are all acting out a lie, the way the “ruler of the demons,” Satan the Devil, did at his beginning in Eden. As admitted by Bishop Fallows, who coined the word “Immortalism” to take away the reproach upon mediumistic communication with spirits, spiritualism rests upon the teaching of the immortality of the human soul, hence of survival after death of the human body.
17, 18. (a) Scripturally, how are “immortality” and the human “soul” accurately defined? (b) Spiritualism’s basic claims are how affected by those Bible definitions?
17 Only one writer of the Bible, the apostle Paul, mentions immortality, and his three mentions of it do not refer to the human soul at all, but refer to the resurrected Jesus Christ and to the resurrected faithful followers of Christ. The apostle Paul himself states that the human soul is the human creature himself, not some unseen, untouchable, spiritual something that resides inside the human body, in it but not of it, and able at the body’s death to depart and take up separate residence in the spirit realm. Paul quotes the inspired description of the creating of the first human soul, at Genesis 2:7, by saying: “The first man Adam became a living soul.” (1 Cor. 15:45, 53, 54, NW; 1 Tim. 6:14-16) The human soul is not immortal and therefore cannot survive the death of its body.
18 Yes, indeed, the Bible is a “stumbling block to Spiritualism,” for from its first book to its last it teaches that the human soul is mortal and dies, ceasing to exist. (Gen. 12:13; 17:14; 19:19, 20; 37:21 and Rev. 8:9; 12:11; 16:3, NW) The Bible teaching concerning the mortality of the human soul reaches its most pointed expression in Jehovah God’s own warning: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezek. 18:4, 20) This plain-spoken, unchanging teaching of all the Scriptures blasts the very foundation from under the spiritualist movement. It proves that the spiritualists do not communicate with the immortal souls of the human dead in a spirit world but do communicate with the demons, bad spirits, and that spiritualism is simply a deceptive misnaming of demonism. When spirits take on a false identity, pretending to be spirits of the human dead in order to support the lie that the dead are not dead, but their souls are immortal and have survived after death, as the spirit did who impersonated the prophet Samuel to King Saul by the spirit medium of Endor, then they are all bad. They are lying spirits, even if they do make some correct predictions of the future, for they are acting under a false identity, doubly deceitful. (1 Sam. 28:3-20) They are denying the need of the resurrection under God’s kingdom for the human dead to live again.
19, 20. (a) As for spiritistic practices, Jehovah’s people of the past and present are given what mandatory advice by his authorized spokesmen? (b) What penalty is now applicable for one’s failure to listen to Jehovah’s Chief Spokesman, and why?
19 Jesus Christ once said: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24, NW) Since he himself dwells in the spirit realm, he knows full well who these spirits are and he warns his people against having anything to do with them. He forbade his theocratic people to let those who practiced spiritism of any kind live among them, saying: “As for a man or woman in whom there should prove to be a mediumistic spirit or spirit of prediction, they should be put to death without fail. They should pelt them to death with stones. Their own blood is upon them.”—Lev. 20:27, NW.
20 Instead of using these spirits as channels of prophecy, Jehovah God raised up his prophets, particularly the great Prophet Jesus Christ. Hence he said to his people: “There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. . . . For these nations whom you are dispossessing used to listen to those practicing magic and to those who divine, but, as for you, Jehovah your God has not given you anything like this. A prophet from your own midst, from your brothers, like me [Moses], is what Jehovah your God will raise up for you—to him you people should listen.” (Deut. 18:10-15, NW) And since the apostle Peter said that Jehovah had raised up his Son Jesus Christ as that great Prophet, to whom to listen, the choice is one of either listening to him or listening to the demon spirits by means of spirit mediums. (Acts 3:20-23, NW) The true Christians are obliged to shun spiritualism and listen to Jehovah’s Chief Prophet Jesus Christ, for the apostle Peter said: “Indeed, any soul that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.”—Deut. 18:18, 19, NW.
21. What other Bible testimony reveals the true position of Jesus on spiritistic practices?
21 Jesus showed where he stood respecting the demons by casting out more than a legion of them who possessed people. He empowered his twelve apostles and the seventy evangelists to cast out demons by use of his name, and in the last book of the Bible he pictured his glorified congregation in heaven as a glorious city and said: “Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone liking and carrying on a lie [as spiritists do].”—Rev. 22:14, 15, NW; Matt. 4:24; 8:28-33; 10:1, 8; Luke 8:1, 2; 9:1; 10:1, 17-20.
22. How did Paul classify the practice of spiritism?
22 Spiritualism is not spiritual, but is one of the works of the flesh, having nothing to do with God’s kingdom, for the apostle Paul said: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, . . . and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning you, the same way as I did forewarn you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.”—Gal. 5:19-21, NW.
INSANITY THROUGH OBSESSION
23. Is or is not humans’ insanity possible through control by demons, and why?
23 The purpose of the demons through spiritualism is not merely to destroy your faith in God’s Word the Bible but, more than that, to gain possession of your mind and body, to control you completely, thus leading you to insanity. Even the East Indian spiritualist V. D. Rishi, in his book Spiritualism in India, admits the danger of obsession with resulting insanity and refers to cases. Under the subheading “Pit-Falls of Communications” he says: “During our stay in Delhi we could once witness a tragic case of obsession which clearly brings home the pit-falls of spirit-communication. . . . This is a warning and an eye-opener to those who try these methods unsystematically without caring to have some preparatory knowledge. It reflects no discredit on the subject [?] but on the persons who practise it in an unscientific manner.” (Pages 175-178) Under the subheading “How the Table Tilts?” Rishi says: “Regarding the qualifications necessary for good mediumship a spirit said: ‘ . . . Spirit communication does not cause any derangement in the medium’s brain if practised moderately.’” (Page 180) But the Bible furnishes cases showing that spiritism does cause derangement of the obsessed person’s mind, especially where a number of demons control a man.
24-26. What pertinent points in the testimony of physicians and other observers link insanity and the practice of spiritism?
24 On January 23, 1906, the London Daily Mail devoted nearly a page to the subject “Are the Dead Really Communicating?” and, among other things, said: “As far back as 1877 Dr. L. S. Forbes Winslow wrote on ‘spiritualistic madness.’ ‘Ten thousand unfortunate people are at the present time confined in lunatic asylums on account of having tampered with the supernatural. . . . I could quote many instances where men of the highest ability have, so to speak, neglected all and followed the doctrines of spiritualism only to end their days in a lunatic asylum.’” (The Watch Tower, March 15, 1906, pages 87, 88) In a pamphlet entitled “The Nature of Insanity; Its Cause and Cure,” J. D. Rhymus shows that in many cases insanity is merely demoniacal possession or obsession and quotes a letter from a Philadelphia physician, dated November 12, 1884, in which he says: “Judge Edmonds of New York [a noted spiritist] has recently expressed the opinion that many so-called lunatics in asylums are only under the influence of spirits.” The Judge himself said,—‘Some fifteen cases of insanity, or rather obsession, I have been instrumental in curing. This I said to the Academy of Science, in New York.’ “The Judge has had Catholic priests, after a thorough trial of their ‘holy water and prayers,’ send [to him] their mediumistic members when wickedly disordered, to be demagnetized and released from the grasp of obsessional spirits.”—The Watch Tower, July 15, 1897, pages 210, 211.
25 Dr. Edgar M. Webster, member of the mental section of the American Medical Association at the beginning of this century, said: “I often see the spirits who cause insanity in my patients and at times I even hear their voices. Persons who are spoken of as helplessly insane are frequently simply lost under the overwhelming control of a spirit or, at times, a crowd of spirits. . . . A large percentage of the insane are persons who have attempted to become spiritualistic mediums and who, by laying themselves open to spirit influence, have found the wrong or an evil spirit taking advantage of their susceptibility for the purpose of giving vent to spiritual desires and ideas through an earthly medium.”—The Watch Tower, August 1, 1905, page 229.
26 The percentage of inmates of insane asylums or mental hospitals who were victims of demon obsession was once estimated as half their population. Testifying to demon possession of present-day inmates of mental hospitals, in the Autumn Edition, 1952, of the Official Quarterly Newsletter of the International Spiritualist Federation entitled “Yours Fraternally,” Mrs. Rita Barki of Leeds, England, tells of her visit with her husband and daughter to Brazil: “Our first call was made at a modern hospital, situated in beautiful grounds overlooking the hills of Rio. The hospital is divided into two wings, one being for general cases including a maternity section and a surgical section. . . . The other wing is for mental diseases. When a mental case is admitted, a medium is in attendance as well as a psychiatrist to determine whether the case is one of obsession or of mental unbalance. If the case is decidedly an obsession, it is treated by the medium and after the obsessing entity is excluded the case is handed over for rehabilitation by trained psychiatrists. . . . Spiritualism in Brazil has complete constitutional freedom of action and expression although the Church, which is mainly Catholic, is, of course, opposed on principle. A most important point is that no medium or healer can charge for services or demonstrations.”—Pages 5-7.
WHEN IS SATAN DIVIDED AGAINST HIMSELF?
27. Can the exorcising of demons by any of Christendom’s clergy or even by spirit mediums be Scripturally justified, and why?
27 Here we have published cases of where spirit mediums are used to exorcise or cast out demons. Since these demons belong to Satan “the ruler of the demons,” does this mean that Jehovah God is using these spirit mediums or priests or other clergymen of Christendom who may expel demons? Never! For spirit mediums and those who represent religions that teach the basic lie of spiritualism, immortalism or the immortality of the human soul are detestable to God. He would not touch them except to destroy them at the coming battle of Armageddon, as he destroyed King Saul of Israel at the battle of Mount Gilboa for “asking of a spirit medium to make inquiry” of the dead.—Deut. 18:12; 1 Chron. 10:13, 14, NW.
28, 29. Why was Jesus’ reply to his accusers, on how he expelled demons, unanswerable?
28 Well, then, if Satan is doing the casting out, has he become divided against himself? This question reminds us of how the religious Jewish Pharisees accused Jesus, saying: “This fellow does not expel the demons except by means of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” Then Jesus, showing that God’s kingdom has nothing in common with the demons, replied: “If Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand? Moreover, if I expel the demons by means of Beelzebub, by means of whom do your sons expel them? This is why they will be judges of you. But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the kingdom of God has really overtaken you.”—Matt. 12:22-28, NW.
29 Jesus was opposed to Satan the Devil, “the ruler of the demons.” At the end of the third temptation in the wilderness Jesus told Satan to get away from him. At the close of his earthly life, just before he was betrayed by Satan’s agent Judas Iscariot, Jesus said to his faithful apostles: “The ruler of the world is coming. And yet he has no hold on me.” (Matt. 4:10; John 14:30, NW) Jesus died for preaching the kingdom of God, which is destined to destroy the kingdom of Satan at the battle of Armageddon shortly, and what Jesus taught upheld God’s side of the controversy over universal sovereignty. His casting out unclean spirits or demons supported the truth and prophecy of God’s Word. If, now, Jesus cast out demons by means of Satan their ruler, then Satan was indeed divided against himself, for he was using his worst enemy on earth to cast out demons, not in support of the Devil’s side, but in support of God’s side.
30, 31. Demon expulsion by false religionists and spirit mediums differs in what essential ways from such expelling as done by Jesus?
30 The case is different, however, when spirit mediums and other false religionists cast out demons or perform other kinds of healing by means of the ruler of the demons. In that case Satan is using those who are on his side and teaching his doctrines, and his use of them to cast out demons works to the support of his false teachings and demonic kingdom. By using them he is not divided against himself, but by this seemingly good work of undoing the case of demon obsession for which he himself is responsible “Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light,” to advance his power and influence over the deceived.
31 To warn us that the expelling of demons in his name and the performing of many other wonderful works in this day of his second presence, invisibly, in God’s kingdom, was not God’s will, Jesus said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Master, Master,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me IN THAT DAY: ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you at all. Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”—Matt. 7:21-23, NW.
32. Why is casting out of demons, as done by apostles and evangelists Jesus himself sent forth, not proper practice for today’s Christian witnesses of Jehovah?
32 In the first century of the Christian era the apostles and seventy evangelists of Jesus Christ did cast out demons miraculously in his name. But the miraculous gift of the holy spirit to cast out demons has ceased being imparted, since the death of all those “twelve apostles of the Lamb,” as Paul foretold it would. (1 Cor. 13:8-11) Today the witnesses of Jehovah God are not empowered to cast out demons as a sign of their being Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Neither are Jehovah’s witnesses authorized to do as they were commanded in the days of the typical theocracy of Israel, to kill off all spirit mediums and those who inquired of them or practiced occult arts, as King Saul did. (1 Sam. 28:3) They may not imitate the action reported in the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Press of June 16, 1946, believe it or not: “WITCHERY IN 1515! 500 Swiss women were burned as witches in 2 months—600 women were burned in one German town, and during the year one judge alone condemned 15,000 witches.” But Jehovah’s witnesses are under divine command to keep all spiritism, which is demonism, out of the theocratic organization, keeping on the “full suit of armor from God” as a defense against the assaults of the wicked spirit forces. They must also preach the message of the Kingdom, the truth, which Jesus said “will set you free,” and this will drive away all influence of the demons from all victims who seek to be freed from the enticements or the tightening grip of the demons.
33. What are wrong and right ways for breaking demon power now?
33 Teaching those who are the targets of assault by the demons to pray to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ is also a powerful means to keep the demons at a distance and to rout them. Deuteronomy 18:11 speaks of “one who binds others with a spell.” (NW) The mistake is oftentimes made of thinking God’s power insufficient to break the spell that a voodooist or other demonist may cast upon one and hence going to another agent of the demons, a witch doctor, to break the power of the spell. Thus the relieved person is obliged to thank the Devil and his demons rather than God Almighty for his deliverance. This glorifies the Devil’s organization rather than Jehovah God; it gains, not divine favor but disfavor, and indebts one to the Devil and weakens one’s defense against him. Prayer, keeping one’s mind filled with the things of God and keeping regularly active in Jehovah’s service will break the enemy’s power and fortify one to resist his further assaults.
34. In this time what unlawful works should be avoided and what lawful work should we clearly understand and do?
34 Inasmuch as the miraculous gifts of the spirit have passed away, we do not attempt to do miraculous works such as those religious workers of lawlessness perform whom the Master Jesus Christ will tell to get away from him because they do not act according to God’s law. We remember the apostle Paul’s words, “If anyone contends even in the games, he is not crowned unless he has contended according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5, NW) So in order to be crowned with God’s approval through Christ we want to do what He has made lawful. The work that he has legalized for this time of the world’s end is that foretold by Jesus Christ: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:14, NW) By doing this work till the end of this world comes at Armageddon we are sure to have the enthroned King Jesus Christ class us as ‘workers of lawfulness’ and tell us to come near to him as those approved by his heavenly Father and worthy of being spared through Armageddon into God’s new world.
DEMONS DRIVING HUMAN SOCIETY TO ARMAGEDDON
35. Today’s spread of spiritism makes necessary what protective practices by us?
35 We are living in the “wicked day.” It is especially in this day that we are ordered to “stand firm” in the full suit of armor against the onslaughts of the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places and to use the “sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,” against these unseen, superhuman forces by obeying God’s law and preaching “this good news of the kingdom” in all the inhabited earth. We are not surprised at the spread of spiritism, which is demonism, even into the highest places of political government.
36. What do Biblical and secular records show regarding spiritistic practices of political and religious leaders?
36 We take it as only a further evidence that the political governments of Christendom are no part of God’s kingdom when the magazine People, in its issue of March 10, 1954, comes out with the announcement “CAPITAL ASTROLOGERS: Top Leaders Seek Her Advice—Jeanne’s Callers Include Mamie Eisenhower, Washington Officials.—In a Washington that constantly scans the horizon for what’s ahead, Jeanne Dixon stands out like a beacon. Using a crystal ball, she has looked into the future, come up with so many astoundingly accurate predictions that today some of the capital’s top leaders and businessmen call on her regularly.” This news confirmed the well-known Drew Pearson’s column published throughout America August 22 to 24, 1953, and carrying headings in different newspapers, such as “The First Lady Enjoys Having Her Fortune Told” and “Eisenhowers Peek into Future.” The Bible as well as ancient secular history shows that kings and emperors as well as the religious leaders engaged in spiritism, seeking information, guidance and help from the demons. Today the wicked spirit forces are making victims of persons high in political and religious circles even in Christendom. History, Biblical and secular, shows that this practice always led to destruction of kingdoms and empires. It will lead to the same result now, at the battle of Armageddon.
37. Scripturally, who today constitute the principal target of enraged wicked spirit forces, and why?
37 The wicked spirit forces are now closer to all mankind than ever before. This is because God’s kingdom by Christ was established in the heavens in 1914. War broke out in heaven immediately and the high heavens were forever cleared of the presence of Satan and all his demon angels. Defeated in that war with God’s newborn kingdom, those demons and their ruler were hurled down here to the earth. Being in a Tartarean darkness as to the details of God’s purpose, they may have thought that Armageddon was immediately at hand and that their being imprisoned in an abyss for a thousand years was therefore near. So they might then have been bent on wrecking human society in order to destroy especially Jehovah’s people who were then in a captive condition to human society. The policy of Satan and his demons who have been the gods and invisible governors of this world is, “Rule or ruin,” but particularly with the ruin of Jehovah’s witnesses in mind.—2 Pet. 2:4, NW; Rev. 12:17.
38. Why have Jehovah’s people of our day kept on successfully withstanding assaults of those wicked spirit forces?
38 However, Almighty God prevented this and foiled the demons’ reckless plan. It was not his purpose to abyss the demons in 1918 or to let them wreck human society as a climax to World War I. He did not let his victorious King Jesus Christ press the war in heaven as far as the Armageddon feature of the “great tribulation” upon Satan’s organization invisible and visible. Jehovah halted that “war in heaven” with the casting of them out of heaven and down to this earth in order that he might let Satan and his demons remain here in their debasement of defeat for a “short period of time” before Armageddon. Thus he cut short the “great tribulation” upon Satan’s world. (Matt. 24:21, 22) He did this, not for the sake of the demons, but for the sake of his “chosen ones,” to enable them to escape destruction with human society of this world. This has meant a constant fight by Jehovah’s witnesses with these wicked spirit forces at specially close range. Yet till now they have been able to “stand firm against the machinations of the Devil.”—Eph. 6:11; Rev. 12:13-17, NW.
39. What Scripturally foretold conditions have prevailed on earth since the recent debasement of the Devil and his spirit allies?
39 The ‘full suit of the armor of God’ and the wielding of the “sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,” and the offering of prayer and supplication on every occasion have enabled Jehovah’s witnesses to make this unyielding stand and so to remain unhurt by the heavy concentration of demons now at this earth. But for humanity in general it has meant their being urged on in the way that leads to destruction at Armageddon. Concerning this Revelation 12:10-12 (NW) cries out: “The accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! And [our brothers] conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even despite the danger of death. On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” Little wonder, then, that the scientific men of the Devil’s world have eventually invented the atom bomb and the hydrogen bomb and other terrifying means of wholesale slaughter. It was war for world domination that speeded up the application of the discovery of splitting the atom, and not the benefits of peace. How demonic that was!
40. What do God’s true worshipers, who obediently follow his Lamb, now see in the invisible realm around our earth?
40 Not through the crystal ball of psychic mediums or spiritism, but by the prophetic symbols of The Revelation we see what goes on in the invisible realm surrounding our earth where Satan and his demons are now held down. We see Satan and his demons not gaining victory over Jehovah’s witnesses, not gathering them like goats to a stubborn final fight against God Almighty at Armageddon. Instead, John the writer of The Revelation “saw, and look! the Lamb [Christ] standing upon the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.” In addition to the 144,000 spiritual conquerors with Christ on the heavenly Mount Zion, John saw the “great crowd” of others from all nations and tongues worshiping and serving God constantly at his spiritual temple.—Rev. 14:1; 7:9-15, NW.
41. Whom did John foresee and whom do we now see as victims of Satan and his earth-confined spirit allies?
41 Whom, then, did John foresee and whom do we now see victimized in the gathering made by Satan and his wicked spirit forces? Says John: “I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon [or, Armageddon].”—Rev. 16:13-16, NW, margin.
42. Observing what God-given formula ensures continuous security and triumph for Jehovah’s witnesses over the wicked spirit forces?
42 Jehovah’s witnesses do not follow the demon-led “kings of the entire inhabited earth” to their battle lines at Armageddon. They follow “the Lamb [Jesus Christ] no matter where he goes.” (Rev. 14:4, NW) He goes to face all of Satan’s world at Armageddon. By our following him to that battle position there we can triumph over the wicked spirit forces even now during this “time of the end.” At Armageddon we shall witness his own triumph over them.
THE FIGHT MUST GO ON!
43. Why is it needful now, as never before, for us to watch, fight and pray?
43 The fight against the wicked spirit forces is not yet over for Jehovah’s witnesses. The adversary, Satan the Devil, is trying to hold his position as a cosmocrat. He and his demons are cosmocrats, “world-rulers,” as the New World Translation calls them at Ephesians 6:12. Particularly since the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C. and the overthrow of God’s typical theocracy then they have exercised a wicked cosmocracy. Now they are opposed to Jehovah’s witnesses because these preach another cosmocracy, the good news of God’s rulership of the new world by Christ. Jehovah’s witnesses need to watch, fight and pray as never before.
44. In what respects are our days like Noah’s, before the flood?
44 It is true that Jesus said concerning this time of his presence in his invisible kingdom: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:37, NW) In the days of Noah before the flood there were disobedient spirit sons of God that materialized in human bodies without the aid of mediumship and married the daughters of men and raised unusual offspring called Nephilim, evidently supernormal giants, who helped to corrupt mankind and fill the earth with violence. (Gen. 6:1-4, 11, 12, NW) However, the likeness of these days of the Son of man’s presence to those of Noah before the flood does not mean we are to expect similar materializations of the demons and their visibly meddling in human affairs. No more this than that they should intermarry with the daughters of men today and raise a new crop of Nephilim for destruction at Armageddon. The demons are now “spirits in prison” restrained by God from directly materializing. But they do not have to materialize in order to accomplish their purpose. It is sufficient that in the practice of spiritualism they seize mainly upon the bodies of women to serve as spirit mediums. (1 Pet. 3:18-20, NW) Already, more than forty years since the Kingdom’s establishment in 1914, the wicked spirit forces have shown their ability to exercise their cosmocratic power, without materializations, to spread spiritualism, to corrupt mankind, to cause the earth to be filled with violence and to lead the worldly rulers of all kinds of political systems to a showdown fight against Almighty God and his Christ at Armageddon. The wicked spirit forces have succeeded in misleading the entire inhabited earth, but not the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses.
45, 46. Triumphing now and final triumph result how for Kingdom-preaching members of God’s New World
45 Instead of being influenced by the religious and political propaganda, policies and movements of the visible rulers of this world, Jehovah’s witnesses have refused to go along with this world and become a part of it. They have kept separate in full dedication to Jehovah God through his Christ. Courageously they have exposed the demon-inspired expressions that have issued from the mouths of the symbolic Dragon and his political wild beast and false prophet; they have warned others against the machinations of the Dragon the Devil; and they have preached the powerful message of true liberation from the power of the wicked spirit forces, “this good news of the kingdom.” Steadily this proclamation of the good news has pushed back the unseen control of the wicked spirit forces, and hundreds of thousands have come into the New World society where the spirit of Jehovah prevails. Here we stand firm, fighting with the spiritual weapons of our theocratic warfare and praying, triumphing constantly in the power of the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength.
46 Final triumph is in sight! Suddenly as in the days of Noah it will be ours, when Jehovah’s day comes as a thief in the night and this world is abandoned to its destruction at Armageddon, all spiritism and the wicked spirit forces are put out of action, and we of the New World society are taken along with the triumphant King Jesus Christ into the demon-free new world of righteousness under God’s universal sovereignty.—2 Pet. 3:10-14, NW.