December 12, 2017

Satan, Demons, and World Chaos (2)

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 Two • Part One • Part Three • Part Four


What follows is part 2 of 4.

In Part 1, William Ward Ayre introduces the theme and begins presenting Satan as the ruler of this world. We pick up the same theme now.

From the days of Adam and Eve until now, Satan has deceived the human race. In faith-for-the-familythese last days his vicious system is super-active and (apparently) highly successful. But its defeat is certain, because Christ defeated it on the Cross and through the open tomb. Satan is allowed to operate — temporarily and under divine limitations — until his imprisonment which takes place at the second coming of Christ.

It must be borne in mind that Satan is a religionist. He believes in God and trembles. He even acknowledges Christ to be God’s Son. Satan is also a psychologist, for psychology is the science of the mind. In the Garden of Eden his methods were psychological. He appealed to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. By means of this method the Devil captured the mind of Eve, causing her to disobey her Maker and disobedience is the basis of all sin.

Satan is also an angel of light. We often blame him for the sins of the flesh, for drunkards, for dope fiends, and for harlots; but he is more interested in creating cultured and clever people who in their pride deny their need of God or their need of personal redemption through the blood of Christ. Paul, in II Corinthians 11:13-15, says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” Our Lord told the Pharisees (John 8:44), “Ye are of your father the’ devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him …” The Devil is powerful; he cannot be dismissed as a religious joke.

Satan is powerful, but not all-powerful. His power and comparative broad knowledge is obtained through demon forces —myriads of them. These demons are a reality, though science generally denies their existence, attributing to other forces and conditions that which Bible students believe to be definite manifestations of demon powers. Strangely enough, many modern pulpiteers either do not believe in demonic forces or they lack courage to preach about them lest they be considered unscientific. The Rev. Alfred Hough many years ago answered this in a catchy bit of verse:

“Men don’t believe in the devil now
as their fathers used to do,
They’ve forced the door of the
broadest creed
to let his majesty through;
There isn’t a print of his cloven foot
or a fiery dart from his bow
To be found in earth or air today,
for the world has voted so.

“Won’t somebody step to the front
and make his bow, and show
How the frauds and crimes of a
single day
spring up? We want to know.
The devil was fairly voted out,
and of course the devil’s gone
But simple people would like to know
who carries his business on.”

The Old Testament says little about demons and demon activity, though Old Testament characters were conscious of them and gave warnings concerning the teachings and actions of the servants of Satan’s evil empire. God gave His ancient people specific warnings against consulting mediums and soothsayers who had access to demonic evils. The death penalty was often meted to triflers with the occult.

Jesus himself believed in the demon world. He excoriated and exorcised them. Paul, as we have seen, instructed Christians to put on the whole armour of God that they might be protected against the onslaughts of these evil forces. In I Timothy 4:1 he warns of increased demon activity in the last days. This is the Holy Spirit’s warning through Paul: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed (attention) to seducing (deceitful) spirits, and doctrines of demons.”

Revelation 16:12-16 records that when John was given the revelation of the last days — the time when the kings of the east are marching toward Armageddon — he saw unclean spirits working miracles and deceiving the national leaders, leading them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Armageddon). As our age closes, demon activity will be greatly increased. It seems that the Devil, knowing that he has but a short time, has come down unto us having great wrath (Revelation 12:12).

Satan now has two vital instruments to do his bidding. He is functioning in both the secular and spiritual worlds. For nearly a century he has used materialistic evolution to destroy the knowledge of Christ and the supernatural, and he has spawned and propagated the atheistic communist (Marxist) philosophy to capture the economic, social and religious life of millions. Beginning with Russia more than half a century ago, this force now controls more than a third of the world’s population, and other nations are rapidly tumbling into the red madness. The solemn word of Christ to the Satan-deceived and Satan-directed Jewish leaders in Gethsemane — “This is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53) — seems at this hour to be applicable to the entire world situation.

The Devil has directed world civilization as a great lie which he presented to our first parents in Eden when he said, “Ye shall be as gods.” He caused mankind to disobey God, and men ever since have been trying to be godlike in power while remaining unregenerated sinners.

Mankind boasts of its tremendous achievements — its speed of intercontinental travel, its space exploration. Supposedly we are seeking out the “mysteries of the universe.” We wonder if Satan has some nefarious interplanetary conquest in the offing. Millions are stunned by the present world chaos. It will help us to remember that Satan’s world order operates in disorder. Having sought to destroy the divine order of Heaven, Satan now, “cast out,” seeks the destruction of world order. Isaiah 14:17 says that the Devil made the world as a wilderness. Only the returned Christ can restore the world to its pristine perfection.

This world of nations soon could be locked in a bloody struggle that might not cease until the end of Armageddon. The Devil seems to have launched his finalized program, and the nations, with few exceptions, are swallowing “the whole thing.”

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.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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