May 23rd, 1973 @ 7:30 PM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
5-23-73 7:30 p.m.
In our study of demonology we have, last week, looked at the subject of demons themselves. And could I review just a little word to bring us along about the king of demons, the one who rules over them? The demons are fallen angels [Matthew 25:41]. They are not disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race; they are fallen angels. Fallen angels are of two kinds: some of them are chained in the abyss [1 Peter 3:19], awaiting the awesome day of God’s almighty judgment. Why some of them are in the abyss the Scriptures do not say. But some of them are chained; some of them, legions of them, are free [Matthew 12:43-45]. And these are the ones with whom we have to do.
Now they create false religions [1 Corinthians 10:20-21], they corrupt the doctrine of Christ, they are instruments of divination; that is why the Bible, without exception, from the beginning of it to the end of it, forcibly denounces all kinds of spiritualists, mediums, astrologers, sorcerers, necromancers, witches, just name it [Leviticus 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, 12, 14; Isaiah 8:19]. Whenever people have to do with anything that savors of that, they are violating the spirit and the express commandment of God. Now, if a youngster who is ten years, or twelve years, or sixteen years of age wanted to pull off some fool thing just for the craziness of it, and went to a witch or one of these fortunetellers just for fun, why, I would not say that’s a mortal sin. But for people who are grown to take seriously all of the stuff that enters into astrology, spiritism, witchcraft, necromancing, talking with the dead—all of that the Bible says is of the evil one and the Bible is very forceful in that.
They oppress humanity [Matthew 4:24, 8:16, 10:8, 12:22; Mark 9:17-22; Luke 13:11-17]. They are in the high councils of government, leading governments and nations to destruction. And our hope against them is that we have Christ in our hearts so that there is no room for the spirit of evil, of—then just name the kind of evil spirits that are in the world: greed, avarice, anger, lust, fornication, adultery, division, gossip, character assassination. Oh, there’s no end, there’s absolutely no end to what the human heart can be possessed of.
Now we talked, at the end of it, about whether a Christian could be a receptacle for an evil spirit. And I told you that I thought, yes. I think that a Christian—and here is a word of semantics. Several people have talked to me since last Wednesday night, and they said, “Pastor, we don’t think that you ought to use that word ‘possessed.’ If you will use the word ‘influenced by,’ why, it’d be all right.” So we’ll just strike out “possessed” then and put “influenced by.” But I, I said in reply, I said, “Actually you’re just juggling words; you’re just talking about nomenclature.” Whether you use the word “possess” or whether you use the word “influenced by,” the end result is always the same: there’s a demon, there’s an evil spirit in the human heart. And the only way against that—and I think literally that’s true—the only way against that is to have God’s Holy Spirit in your heart, so that that cannot get in; or if he gets in, that he is squeezed out, pushed out by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart [Matthew 12:43-45; Ephesians 5:18].
One of the reasons that I believe that is, after the years—and there are over forty-five now—of working with God’s people, God’s people can be capable of the most unbelievable things in this earth. Why, I have seen godly deacons, godly deacons, stand up—now, I grew up in a little church, remember—I’ve seen godly deacons stand up in the church, point to the preacher, accuse him of every abominable thing in the earth, talk to him as though he were a dog, call the church in conference, fire him on the spot, and divide the church asunder. Just decimate it: all of that in the name of God. Now, I was a little boy seeing those things, and even as a little boy without theological training at all, I felt ashamed in the presence of the Lord.
Now where does that come from? That comes from an evil spirit. “Six things does God hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him.” One, two, three, four, five, six: and do you remember the seventh? “And he that sows discord among his brethren” [Proverbs 6:16-19]. Oh, there’s no need to expatiate on these things. You know them as well as I do—the possibility of a Christian man entertaining in his heart an evil spirit.
Well, now we have come to the leader of the demoniacal world, Satan, Lucifer, the serpent, the devil, the dragon. Many deny his existence. They say that Satan is, quote, “only a principle of evil,” unquote, or in my words, a sort of malaria that just floats around and attacks people. They say that. But the Scriptures have a decided denial and a firm negative to any such characterization of Satan. The Scriptures always present him as a somebody: he is a person. For example, in 1 Peter 5:8, “Satan, as a roaring lion, goes around, seeking whom he may devour.” And in Revelation 20:1-3 an angel from heaven binds him for a thousand years. Always in the Bible, he is presented as somebody; he is a person.
All right, the Scriptures say, John 14:30, that he is “the prince of this world.” That’s what the Lord said about him; Jesus said that. He is the prince of this world. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul calls him “the god of this world,” and in Ephesians 2:2, he is called “the prince of the power of the air.”
Now just for a moment, let us look at that characterization of Lucifer. He is the prince of this world; Jesus called him that [John 14:30]. All of us are familiar with the story of the fourth chapter of Matthew, in the three temptations of our Lord [Matthew 4:1-11]. And in that story, Satan is as definitely presented, described, delineated, as a somebody as the Son of God whom he was trying. They are two people there; the story reads that way. And for us to deny the person of Lucifer who is trying to undo the incarnation, is no more logical than trying to undo the fact of the presence of Jesus Christ. They are both there. They are very decidedly there; and one is a somebody and the other one is a somebody [Matthew 4:1-11].
Now I have another observation to make about that, and it is this: people say that Satan is not the prince of this world, even though Christ calls him that [John 14:30], and even though Paul calls him “the god of this world” [2 Corinthians 4:4]. They say that is not so, “This world is not presided over by Satan.” Well, my comment: when Satan said to the Lord Jesus, “You bow down and worship me, and all of the glory of these kingdoms that You have seen pass before You, I will give it all to You, all of it, if You will just bow down before me” [Matthew 4:8-9]. Now that is called a trial. In Greek, a “trial,” a “temptation,” as it is translated in English. If Satan did not have that power to give the glory of the world to Christ, how could it have been a trial? Well, you might say, “Jesus was ignorant, and He did not know that Satan did not have that power. So it could still have been a trial to Jesus because of Jesus’ ignorance; because He thought Satan had it. So therefore it was a trial. But Satan really didn’t have it.”
Now I want to ask you something. If the Bible is correct, Jesus knew Satan, and Satan knew Jesus way back there in the beginning of the beginnings. Those two people that you see together in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew are people who were antagonists from millions and maybe billions and billions of years before. Long time ago, before the world was created, those two knew each other, and the confrontation they have in the fourth chapter of Matthew is not the introduction of strangers, and it is not as though Jesus did not know all about him. But when Satan said to the Lord, “All of this glory will I give to You, if You will just bow down before me” [Matthew 4:8-9], don’t say Jesus didn’t know he had that power, nor did Jesus deny that he had it, He just refused to bow down. So, when Jesus says he is the prince of this world [John 14:30], and when Satan offered Jesus the glory of the world if He would just bow down [Matthew 4:8-9], that means what it says: the prince of this world is Satan, and he offered Jesus the glory of all the kingdoms of the earth. He is somebody.
All right, let’s study about his origin. I wish we had time for these Scriptures. I don’t know what to do in discussing them when we don’t have time to read them. In Isaiah 14:12-15, and in Ezekiel 28:12-17, in my humble judgment and in my firm opinion, you have the origin of evil and you have the origin of Satan. Now, just to summarize of those two passages in Isaiah and in Ezekiel, in Isaiah 14 and in Ezekiel 28, in those passages we are told that God created an anointed covering cherub, and that he walked in the stones of fire, and that he had the charge of all the angels and all the creation of the Lord [Ezekiel 28:13-14]. And sin was born in him [Ezekiel 28:15-16]—he is called Lucifer, the son of the morning [Isaiah 14:12]—sin was born in him when he thought, when he was lifted up, and said, “I will take the place of God” [Isaiah 14:13-14]. Is that an unusual thing?
Why, we experience that all the time. “Not Him, but me. Not His will, but my will. Not what He wants, but what I want.” All of us are a part of that fall; all of us experience it. And that’s where it came from: when Satan, Lucifer, lifted himself up and thought to take the place of God [Ezekiel 28:17]. “Not what God wills, but what I will.” So effective was that, that according to the twelfth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, one-third of the angels of heaven defected with Satan [Revelation 12:4]. Isn’t that astonishing? And that brought the ruin of God’s creation [Genesis 1:2]. Sin will ruin anything. It’ll ruin a marriage, it’ll ruin a home, it will ruin a child, it will ruin a state, it will ruin a government, it will ruin a church, it will ruin a business; sin will ruin anything.
This isn’t unusual. And when I point out that I believe between Genesis 1:1, when God created the heaven and the earth, and Genesis 1:2, “And the whole creation was chaos and void,” to me, what happened between those two verses was the fall of Satan, Lucifer [Isaiah 14:12]. When sin was found in him [Ezekiel 28:15], the whole creation fell [Genesis 1:2]. Lucifer presided over it, Lucifer was responsible for it unto God, it was Lucifer who made report to God about all that the Lord had made—the angelic hosts, the creation of matter, planets, the suns, the whole solar systems [Ezekiel 28:14]—and Satan fell, which is the origin of sin [Ezekiel 28:15]. Why, even a child would know that sin did not begin in the garden of Eden, because outside of the gate of the garden of Eden is this sinister, subtle beast [Genesis 3:1]. Isn’t that right? It didn’t start in Eden; it didn’t start with Adam, didn’t start with Eve. It started outside of the gate [Genesis 4:7]. When you read the story of the garden of Eden, outside the gate there is that subtle beast. Where did he come from? That is sin. Denying the word of God, that’s the first lie. “Yea, did God say . . ..” [Genesis 3:1], a question about God’s word, then an outright denial: “Thou shalt not surely die” [Genesis 3:4]. “You go ahead and eat this fruit, forbidden [Genesis 2:7, 3:3-4]. You go ahead and eat it; make you wise” [Genesis 3:5]. Oh, so many things does Satan say. So sin did not begin in the garden. Well, where did it begin? It began up there in heaven with Satan, when he thought to take the place of God and to be God himself [Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17], and he brought the ruin of the whole world [Genesis 1:2].
All right, his sphere of activity: his sphere of activity now is both in heaven and in earth. In heaven, when the sons of God came before the Lord in Job 1:6, Satan is among them. Isn’t that right? He’s there standing among the archangels and the seraphim and the cherubim and the angelic hosts. He’s right there among them. All right, his sphere is not only in heaven, it’s in earth. In Job 1:7 and the next verse, God said, “Where did you come from?” And what did Satan say? “From walking up and down in the world, and going to and fro in it.” Isn’t that what the book says? It’s exactly what it says. He’s down here in the earth, and when the sons of God appeared before the Lord, he came with them. And the Lord said, “Where’d you come from?” and that’s what he said, “From walking up and down in this earth, going to and fro in it” [Job 1:7].
Revelation 12:9, when Satan is cast out of heaven, that is future. And you know where we get our ideas about Satan? Is from John Milton, though we haven’t read. There’s not one in a thousand that has read Paradise Lost. If I had nerve, I’d ask all of you to hold up your hands who’d ever read Paradise Lost. The reason I’d like for you to hold up your hands is because I have read it, so I get to hold up my hand. But very few people have ever read Paradise Lost, but most of our ideas about Satan, even though we haven’t read it—Paradise Lost is such a tremendous poem and John Milton was such a gigantic stature in poetry that his ideas have infiltrated the whole world’s conception of Satan. “Better reign in hell,” he says, “than serve in heaven. Him, the Almighty hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky.” Brother, that’s language.
Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe . . .
Sing, Heavenly Muse.
[Paradise Lost, John Milton, Book I, l. 1-6]
Brother, that’s eloquence. Well, that’s Milton’s Paradise Lost. Anyway, Milton took the story in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation and placed it over there in Genesis, in the beginning. Actually, Revelation 12:9, to me, is future, for Satan still has access to heaven. He’s not thrown out of heaven yet, but he will be.
All right, number three—number one is origin [Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17], number two is sphere of activity [Job 1:6-7; Revelation 12:9]—number three: his kingdom. Jesus spoke of Satan’s kingdom in Matthew 12:26. He has a kingdom. Paul spoke of his kingdom in Ephesians 6:11-12. Satan has a kingdom. Now could I illustrate that with us?
Upon a day, I was a guest in the home of Dr. Black, who was the president of Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. Dr. Black had married a Bulgarian, and he had lived, was living in Bulgaria, when the communists took it over. He was describing to me the communists. He said, “Children will turn informers against their parents, when they know that their informing leads to the death of their own fathers and mothers.” So as he expatiated on it, talked to me about it, he finally said, as I was interested in communism and its power, he said, “There is no way in this world to explain communism except that there is a kingdom of darkness presided over by Satan [Matthew 4:9; Ephesians 6:12], just as there is a kingdom of light presided over by Jesus the Christ” [Colossians 1:13]. He said, “Outside of that there is no way that you can explain the power of communism in seizing the human mind and the human heart.” Now that is a man who lived in Bulgaria when the communists took it over.
I think he’s correct. As there is a kingdom of light [Colossians 1:13], there is also a kingdom of evil, a kingdom of darkness [Colossians 1:12-13]. And as the Lord Jesus presides over the kingdom of light [Colossians 1:13], Satan presides over the kingdom of darkness [2 Corinthians 4:4]. He has a kingdom. His subjects are of two kinds: his subjects are fallen angels, the demons that we spoke about in the first lecture [Matthew 25:41].
- These are referred to in Matthew 25:41: “the devil and his angels,” the fallen angels.
- It’s referred to in [Revelation 12:7], when “there was war in heaven, and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, against Lucifer and his angels.”
- An example of their power, these angels over whom Satan reigns [Matthew 25:41], an example of their power is in Daniel 10:13, when the prince, when the evil spirit that was presiding over the government of Persia, hindered the coming of the Lord to answer Daniel’s prayers.
Now can you imagine power like that? Oh, little old you and little me, little old me—brother, we’re not even the beginning of ableness to stand against them. If God doesn’t help us, we are lost. We have to depend upon God to see us through. That’s why you have to pray every day, beseech God’s mercies every day, ask God’s help every day. So powerful that demon spirit, the one that presided over the kingdom of Persia prevented the Lord Himself from coming to Daniel [Daniel 10:13]. That’s a strange story; I tell you it’s just one of the most unusual revelations in the Bible. Well, we go on. His subjects are these demons, these fallen angels [Matthew 25:41].
Second: the other part of his kingdom, he presides over unregenerated human beings. In the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, the thirty-eighth verse, people who are unregenerated are called “tares,” they are the children of the evil one [Matthew 13:38]. In John 8:44, He refers to those who were opposing His message of light and life, He referred to them as being children of the devil: “your father the devil.” These are the subjects of Satan’s kingdom: fallen angels and unregenerated human beings.
Now we study his methods: the satanic system. One, first: he deceives the world. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; in 1 John 5:19, in Matthew 24:24, the Lord says, “If it were possible, he could deceive the very elect.” This is the satanic system; it is one of deception. All we need to do is just to read any newspaper, any day, to see the subtlety of the ableness of this archenemy to deceive people in high government places, people in great civic responsibilities. And now we’re going to come to the pulpit and the church: to deceive those in the very church itself, he perverts the gospel. In Galatians 1:6-9, in 2 Peter 2:1-2, in 1 Timothy 1:4, you have there a picture of Satan perverting the gospel itself.
Well, is that true? Why, some of the things that you hear preached in the name of Christ are almost unbelievable, and you say to yourself, “How does a man stand in the pulpit and do that?” He is deceived. He is perverting the gospel, being deceived. Oh, I want to illustrate that so bad, but I ought not.
What does he do? He not only deceives the world [2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:19; Matthew 24:24], he not only perverts the gospel [Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:4], but he accuses God’s people day and night. In Revelation 12:10 he is called the “great accuser of God’s people, our brethren.” That’s what his name means, “adversary, slanderer, accuser,” and from Genesis 3:15-Revelation 20:10, that’s what he’s doing: he is accusing God’s people.
I’m going to take time for you to read one verse. This will say it more eloquently than any way that I could do in expatiating upon it: turn to Zechariah, Zechariah 3:1. Zechariah, the prophet Zechariah, almost toward the end of the Bible, chapter 3, verse 1. We’re talking about what Satan does, what Satan does. Do you have it? Zechariah, Zechariah, Malachi, and that’s the end of it. Now do you have it? Zechariah 3:1. Now you look at those words: “And He,” God, “He showed me Joshua the high priest.” Remember, when they came back, Zerubbabel was the civic leader and Joshua was the spiritual leader? [Zechariah 3:1-4:14]. “And He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him,” to accuse him [Zechariah 3:1]. “Joshua”—look at the third verse—”Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel” [Zechariah 3:3].
What does Satan do before God? Day and night, we are told, day and night Satan stands before God [Revelation 12:10], and he points his finger at—and then I’m just going to use myself for an illustration, because when I use myself as an illustration, I’m talking about all of us. He points his finger at me, and he says, “Look, look, look at him! Look at the imaginations of his heart. Look at the weaknesses of his flesh. Look at all of those things.” And goodness, dear people! I could stand up here and, in all good conscience, confess to you a thousand weaknesses in my life. I have been envious; I have been envious. I have been envious where it hurt, hurt. I’ve seen, in these years past, people exalted; it just killed me. I have been envious. I have been covetous. “Oh, I wish I had a marvelous place like that, and all of these things that go with it.” I have known what it is to covet. I have in so many instances, I have been unsympathetic and hasty and volatile. Why, there’s not a deacon, an old deacon here, but that would say to you, “I’ve seen the pastor stand up before the deacon board and ask us to forgive him. He’d just blow his top; he’d just bust on the inside. He’d just get so infuriated.”
Well, Satan stands before God, and he says, “Look at him. Look at him. Look at him.” That’s what it means here when it says, “Joshua was clothed with filthy garments” [Zechariah 3:3]; a sinner-man, a sinner-man. Satan accuses him, accuses him, accuses him; he does all of God’s people that way, and he’ll do you that way. Well, how is it that a man then stands in the presence of God? Because Satan’s not lying to the Lord: Lord knows, Lord knows all these sins, and God knows all these weaknesses we have, and God knows all of the imaginations of our heart; God knows them all. Well, how do we stand before the Lord?
That’s this passage here that we won’t follow through. God does it for us. God said, “Take away those filthy garments, and clothe him with beautiful garments of My righteousness, and put a fair mitre on his head, and let him stand in My presence as a true servant of God” [Zechariah 3:4-5]. That’s what the Lord does for us.
That’s why, when a man stands up, always it ought to be, “Bless the name of God; by His grace, here I am [Ephesians 2:8]. Bless the name of Jesus; washed in His blood [1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5], I have hope of heaven,” just praising Jesus all the time because in ourselves we are nothing. Satan oppresses us and Satan accuses us. In the twelfth chapter of the Book of 2 Corinthians, Paul calls that “thorn in the flesh” a “messenger of Satan to buffet me” [2 Corinthians 12:7]. That’s what Satan does to God’s people.
Now we must hasten. Number five, his expulsion from heaven is in Revelation 12:7-12.
Number six: he is incarnate in the Antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.
And number 7: last, his final doom is in Matthew 25:41. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for us; it was prepared for him. And the only people that fall into hell are those who choose to go with Satan, and that’s in Revelation 20:1-3; his doom in Revelation 20:7-10.
Now I mentioned here that he’s incarnate in the Antichrist, and I thought we would take a little time next Wednesday and we would look at the Antichrist [2 Thessalonians 2:3-12], which will be Satan incarnate. Just like Jesus is the God-deity, Jehovah incarnate [Matthew 1:23], the Antichrist is going to be Satan incarnate, and we will look at that next Wednesday night.
Well, sweet people, where do the tempus fugit? Now let’s get to our Book of Numbers. We concluded Exodus last Wednesday night. We’re going to go to Leviticus, Leviticus. Let’s turn to Leviticus, and we’re going to do Leviticus in this little moment that’s left, and our first one will be Leviticus 6, Leviticus 6. The first part of Leviticus concerns the offerings. And this is just something that appealed to me, something I preached on one time. Leviticus 6:12-13: “The fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out.” Verse 13: “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” [Leviticus 6:13]. I underscored that. That ought to be a picture of the church. It ought to be a picture of our hearts. It ought to be a picture of the church. It ought to be a picture of the pulpit. It ought to be a picture of the heart of the preacher. “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” [Leviticus 6:13].
Now Leviticus 16, Leviticus 16; this is Yom Kippur. This is the Day of Atonement. This is absolutely one of the most meaningful and beautiful typologies to be found in the entire Word of God. Leviticus 16:7:
the priest Aaron—
shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle . . .
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
Now, number 15, verse 15:
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, beyond the veil, on the mercy seat, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, on the hilastērion, and before the mercy seat.
Now verse 21:
And Aaron shall lay both hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, all their transgressions and all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
Could you imagine a more beautiful type than that? One goat is slain and the blood is sprinkled on the mercy seat, and the other goat, on that one is confessed all the sins of the people, and he is sent out, driven away; a picture of how in the blood of Christ all of our sins are borne away [1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5].
All right, now Yom Kippur, 29 to 31:
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger:
For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
In a targum, which is a translation of the Hebrew, they will use, instead of “afflict” there, they are to “fast.” The Jew may not pay any attention in the entire year to a single service of any kind, in the synagogue or any other kind of a service, but if he is a Jew, he will observe Yom Kippur—if he is a Jew, the Day of Atonement. Verse 34, “This shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year” [Leviticus 16:34], and once a year they try to do that.
All right, in Leviticus 17:11 is one of the great verses of the Bible. Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” That’s one of the tremendous verses of the Bible, Leviticus 17:11.
Now Leviticus 25:23, Leviticus 25:23: I underscore that, because who owns the land of Palestine? If somebody answered knowing God’s Word, he’ll always say, “The Lord.” Look at Leviticus 25:23: “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine; and ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.” Now, that is a great verse. The land of Palestine belongs to the Lord God, and the children of Israel are strangers and sojourners in it [Leviticus 25:23].
Now one other: Leviticus 27:32, Leviticus 27:32. Everybody will recognize that:
The tenth shall be holy unto the Lord…
and concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock,
or whatsoever passeth under the rod—
that’s a shepherd counting his sheep—
the tenth, every tenth one, shall be holy unto the Lord.
The tithe is holy unto the Lord.
Well our time is completely gone.