December 18, 2017

Satan, Demons, and World Chaos (1)

William Ward Ayer

Few people believe in a personal devil. However, they readily accept the horned, spear-tailed, hoofed caricature which Satan has created to deceive mankind. There is in our day a world-wide surge in satanic activity. Aware that his time is short and his ultimate defeat certain, the Prince of this world has mobilized his forces for what may be his final campaign.

This is Part OnePart Two • Part Three • Part Four

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From a cold and lonely Roman dungeon, God’s apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy, his “dearly beloved son” in the faith, a solemn, God-revealing warning, faith-for-the-familynot only to Timothy’s day but also to the end time in which we now find ourselves. Paul says, “The Spirit speaketh expressly (explicitly), that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” The time of which the Apostle spoke is here, as we shall illustrate with this article.

The Devil is unprecedentedly active; his demons are rampant. Hell with all its corruption seems to be spilling over into our civilization, contaminating every phase of human society and creating today’s terrible chaos. Any religious leader, any child of God who is not aware of this is satanically deceived, made subject to the wiles of the Devil. It is a poignant and inescapable truth: that after the knowledge of Christ as Saviour must come a Biblical knowledge of Satan, his nature and his works. That Satan and his demons are the instigators of today’s international turmoil is a truth revealed by the Word of God and without this knowledge we can neither understand the origin of evil nor God’s world purposes.

Of course few today, even church members, believe in a personal devil. When confronted with this problem, they usually deny the Devil’s identity, even though they may assent to Satan as a mythical personification of evil in general. Along with the unbelieving world, these people easily accept the caricature of the horned, hoofed, spear-tailed monstrosity that Satan has created to deceive the multitude.

The Devil has been highly successful in this disguise, and he is glad that to most people he is a crude joke. He has been equally successful in denying his existence and his world program. In this purpose, he has obtained the help of arrogant university professors and falsely trained, Biblically starved clergymen to keep millions of God’s people in a state against which Paul so clearly warns in II Corinthians 2:11 — that of being “ignorant of his devices.”

As in the days before the flood, so today, we are experiencing a worldwide demonstration of satanic activity. He is deceiving the nations into believing that the world is only temporarily sick and not hopelessly lost.

The world system — that which we are pleased to call civilization is dominated and directed by forces that are vicious, implacable, degenerate, supernatural, militant, anti-God, and anti-Christ. It is a universal organization which controls men and nations, politics, religion, philosophy and world change. The head of this demon-activated world system is Satan. He is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), head of the rulers of this world’s darkness, the deceiver. So says the God-inspired Paul in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”, or as the New American Standard Bible states: “… against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.”

Oh, we have national and international cadres who manipulate things on the world’s chessboard; but higher than earthly manipulators are the Devil’s “spiritual” forces. The Apostle John in I John 2:16, states this clearly: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, .and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Satan — This World’s Ruler

The meaning of today’s happenings is known only by discerning the powers and spirits behind them. The Bible teaches that evil conditions are the work of Satan. Unfortunately, space in this article forbids a detailed study of the Devil, his origin, fall, and present-day activity. Suffice it to say that originally Satan was God’s highest creation, who rebelled against the Almighty. He lost his first estate, but has not yet been deprived of either his title or his power. He is still the “High One” who divides the world into provinces, and who appoints as ruler over each kingdom to direct its energies and bend it to his will, a powerful fallen angel, assisted by countless subordinates.

Thus, we learn the terrible reality of Paul’s affirmation that our basic conflict is not with flesh and blood (human personalities), but against a whole universe of powerful, evil forces who rule the world’s darkness, against an innumerable host of completely wicked beings whose purpose is to thwart God and His people. The Bible seems to indicate that the very atmosphere around our planet is filled with a hostile race of beings superior in knowledge and power to ourselves. They have the advantage of being invisible, and as spiritual intelligences are probably able not merely to judge us by our words but are often able to read the innermost thoughts of our hearts. These beings are directed by a “super-being” of consummate knowledge and evil design.

In a volume entitled, Earth’s Earliest Ages, by G.H. Pember, M.A. (Pickering & Inglis, London), there is a masterful exposition of this world-wide satanic-demonic rule. Strangely, though this volume was published nearly 80 years ago, theologians have ignored its significant exegesis, but it is still up-to-date. Pember writes: “It is a startling fact that the present disposal of the regular spiritual powers of the world seems to be entirely in the hands of Satan.” This is evident from Isaiah 24:21: “It will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high (these are the spiritual forces in the heavenlies), and the kings of the earth, on earth” (NASB). Michael, the archangel, found earth’s “region of the air” inhabited by spiritual principalities and powers . (Revelation 12:7·9).

To be continued…


 

This article was originally published in Faith for the Family, May/June 1973. Used by permission.

The original Faith for the Family bio:

Dr. William Ward Ayer is a well-known evangelist, broadcaster, and author. For 36 years Dr. Ayer has pastored important Baptist churches in Illinois, Indiana, Ontario (Canada), and New York City. His best-known ministry was a 14-year pastorate at the internationally known Calvary Baptist Church of New York City. During the latter days of his New York pastorate a radio poll voted Dr. Ayer to be one of the city’s most influential citizens, Dr. Ayer carries on an evangelistic and Bible-teaching ministry in many churches in this country as well as abroad.


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