Where in the world do you get your "doctrine?" From poorly made "Christian" movies? From your church or group? From cheesy "Christian" novels? Or do you get your beliefs from the Word of God?
Are demons real? Are they weak creatures, easily commanded and ordered about by shouting Christians? Is the whole world deceived? Why do so many people consider themselves "Christian" when they've never actually read the Bible for themselves? How can they know that what they believe is TRUE when they haven't read the Bible? Do they even know what TRUTH is? If the whole world is deceived, how in the world would you know if you have been deceived? HOW could you know?
"Demons" are actually angels that exercised their free will and opted to side with God's enemy in his heavenly rebellion. Demons are not moth-like monsters that buzz around, or big hairy batlike creatures, stupid and repulsive and slimy. We are told that the leader of the demons appears as an angel of light, chiefly because that is what he once was. The enemy of God once stood right before the Ancient of Days.
Today in pop-Christianity, demons have been represented as foolish, stupid, monsters that can easily be tricked by both righteous angels, and humans "in the know." People have been taught that they can order about these fallen angels, that they have authority over them, and not only the fallen angels, but that they have power and authority over the angels of light! That Christians can "call down their angels." Why, to what purpose can these people call down angels from heaven and order them about? Simple. Power. People want power. In most cases this lust for power could be expressed in the term MAGIC. Christian magic. The power of God, to be like God Himself, to speak and create, to manipulate the elements, to order about angels of God and demons too, to control others, to turn lead into gold, and gold, and more gold, and all the money to be grasped in pudgy, chubby, lustful fingers, gold, gold, gold. Humans are weak and pathetic. The Bible says that God has pity on us because He knows we are clay. Jars of clay. We are dust. We are at the most basic elements, dirt and water. In the words of Shakespeare, we are a "quintessense of dust." Water and dust? We are mud. We are nothing. We are the "image of God," His reflection, with no more power on our own, of ourselves, than our own reflection has, our own shadow cast before us on the ground. There is no life in our shadow, in our reflection, just as there is absolutely no life in an image cast by the Creator, no life outside of that which the Creator Himself provides in the vast space between heartbeats of mortality. But we yearn for MOREness, for aboveness, very much like the first rebel lusted for power, the pride of self-exaltation, to be like God, to be as God, and finally, to be above God, to make ourself a God, and in His turn to make God a man. Oh to be higher than the Most High. Demons know all this. They have been studying us like lab specimens since the Creation of the world. They know us. They understand our every weakness. And the fallen angels capitalize on their knowledge. They capitalize very well indeed.
Invisible Scientists and Lowly Apes
Imagine you are part of a scientific investigative team, let's say you are part of a study group that is measuring levels of violence among hominids, and your ability to stimulate violence among warring tribes of aboriginal groups. If you can imagine it this far, take it a step further, in that you have at your disposal Star Trek-type high technology, you can go invisible at will, beam in and out at the flick of a switch, and interpret any language, regardless of how low or high. You search and discover a planet that has crude apes, perhaps a little more intelligent than the gorillas of Earth, only these are carnivorous apes that lust for the taste of blood, and glory in bringing death to other tribes.
You don't need to induce their violence, as they are the most violent creatures ever discovered in the galaxy. They live for war. They live for death. But of course, your mission is to induce these creatures to take it even further, to determine the best ways of inducing violence and hatred even among peaceful creatures. You beam in among these apes, remaining cloaked, and you study them, these apes, learning about them, annotating their every habit, their desires, entering all your gathered information into a massive database which you can access at any moment. Your technology flows you along these apes at great speeds of relativity and thus you are able to study generation after generation of ape. With relativity technology you may travel as slow or as fast as you like, study the split instant in an ape's decision-making progress, spending months arguing with your colleagues, peforming experiments, ironing out hypotheses and theories, and when you reflow along relative time again you are not a second older and you witness the fruition of the ape's decision, and thus you are able to compare your theory games to the actuality of a moment. Personally, you have nothing against these apes, they are just research. And you do your job well. At times you entice the apes into violence against their neighbors, deciphering what stimulus triggers the worst aggression. And it is easy, because you have a native intelligence of 200, and these poor apes, if they could be measured on a low-brow human IQ test, would only rate about 65 (on a good day, and these would be the extra smart apes, the average IQ of the most violent would rank about 45, equal to that of our Earth-born chimpanzees). With a gesture, you can provoke a large male ape into mistreating a smaller female ape, or even smashing in the heads of its offspring. You have mapped out the markers in their very brains, you have memorized all the chemicals released during aggression and what facial expressions best stimulate the flow of chemicals, the firing of antagonistic neurons. At any given moment you can perform a sweeping MRI scan of primate brain functions and instantly compare genetic mapping to the sleeping brain, the aroused brain, and the neural network computers can even aid your own high IQ in leaping to proper conclusions. With the flip of a switch your technology can even reward the apes when they have performed in an especially barbaric expression, thus training them generationally to respond favorably to brain chemical release related to simian barbarity. In short, it is like proverbially shooting fish in a barrel. And comparatively speaking, you are like a god compared to these low-brow hominids. These low-brow barbarians are real dummies. Long into your study you note something very odd. It would appear that a very few of these apes of low intelligence somehow discern your presence. They cannot see you, nor any other members of your team, but somehow they know. There is a certain glint in their eyes. When you seat yourself on one side of these different apes they somehow track you, maybe after a few moments, but they do know you are there. Soon you are deciphering messages from these different apes to other apes, talking in their low way that they have discerned your presence. They are warning each other about you and your team. Scanning them, these significant apes, you produce no quantitative difference of brain data, especially not in genetic markers. These different apes are no brighter than their comparative "blind" brothers and sisters. But somehow they know. It spooks you and your associates, how the different apes seem to know when you are tracking them, or scanning them, or enticing them. You even begin to collect data on how these other apes resist you at times, deciding courses of action different than what you are "pushing" upon them. You and your team apply yourself to the problem. You begin to formulate scenarios to overcome these other apes, to wipe them out, or when that fails to at least circumnavigate their aggressive resistance. In truth, these apes and their extra knowledge, their resistance to your manipulation, they are no real problem to your mission, because these apes have very little success in passing on their knowledge to the other hominids, and even those that accept the warnings of the significant apes, forget very soon, or twist the knowledge into fables. But it irks you. The pathetic arrogance of these apes, to challenge the very gods set against them. You check yourself. You laugh nervously. You didn't actually mean to think of it that way, that you are a deity, and that these stupid, violent animals are in some fashion supposed to worship you. The actuality is, of course, that many of your colleagues have begun to enjoy the mission. They place bets on various apes, rewarding them grossly for excessive violence. They follow genetic markers through generation after generation of their prized creations, steering them, manuevering them, guiding them, and sometimes practically loving them! Many of your colleagues have favorites, apes which they have formed ridiculous and sometimes obscene "relationships." There have been a few instances where a colleague has actually revealed himself to a particularly gruesome ape, or to groups of apes. "Big Oompuck!" a faction of violent apes chant as your colleague appears before them and dazzles them with fading in and out. In a horrendous breach of mission protocol, Hardinger, known as Big Oompuck to his faction of apes, shows hominids how to produce fire. "Just think of the vast potential!" he later tells you and your colleagues in a brainstorming session. "Death! Destruction! Torture!" Your colleagues nod in agreement, and frankly, admiration. You have your reservations, but you keep your qualms to yourself. But it does seem that the whole mission is getting out of hand. The apes begin to war for their respective "gods," as your colleagues take the violence to new levels of depravity. It seems the apes are quite inventive and creative for running with the bare hints that the scientists provide them, both for inventing new ways to bring death and destruction, and to embellish the "god" hints dropped by your colleagues. The apes begin to tell each other great tales of gods, and great rewards for violence. And as your team has been here for many generations of the hominid species, you see the tales evolve into legends, and the legends transform into dogma, and finally the dogma hones down into doctrine. The apes have fashioned religion and worship their violent gods. Generation after generation, the rock piles stack taller. The gruesome trophies of war and death transmogrify into horrific works of art, all in celebration of death. Giant hominid skulls are carved into mountainsides. Granted, part of you is sickened by all this negative violence and celebration of death. Still, there is also a part of you that takes great pride in the work of your hand, in the skillful redirective force. The power you have. The power you and your colleagues have displayed, toying with these disgustingly destructive monstrosities, these lowly apes. Seven years into your mission (thousands of years in relativistic ape time) you stumble upon a horrifying discovery. It is something so frightening, it nearly stops your heart. Oh, yes, you are still a human, you are not a god, even though this majestic power can sometimes lead you to almost forget your mortality, this godlike flow of time enabling you to witness conception and birth and youth and adulthood and dotering final death in one of your seconds. But this, this thing that happened today...oh! But your whole existence is spinning. Reality has just bent back on upon itself. You still hardly know if you are awake or suffering some cranial infarction. The Significant Monkies, as you have come to think of the one-in-a-thousand apes that can somewhat discern your invisible presence in their lives, have continued to wage their own silent war of alerting apes to your negative presence, and even more deadly influence. But as you have found in generation after generation, the influence of the Signficant Monkies in no way rivals your own influence. Let's face it, they are stupid, utterly stupid apes, and nothing more. It is true, that with time and your input and the directing flow of your colleagues, the apes as a species have grown much, much wiser. When ou arrived here, the very smartest of the apes might hit 66 on a standard Binet IQ test (if they could take a test, that is, as reading is only a recent development among the hominid species; the average IQ at the beginning of the mission was barely higher than 45), the current crop tops out at nearly 100 (these would be the Einsteins of the apes, which are a very, very few, perhaps one in every 2 million apes) with the average IQ measuring in at a plausible 80 (which is amazingly nearly double that of the apes first touched). But today, back to today, what happened today, as you did your regular rounds, scanning, invoking a fight here or there, aiding an ape to hatch a plan of revenge, you know, just the usual scientific fare, you came across something truly shocking, truly horrible, and utterly fantastic. One of the Signficant Monkies sprawled in the dirt, face-down, murmuring into the soil. But the strange posture of the Significant Monkey is not what jolted your heart. No, it was the mere glimpse of what you saw, almost on the periphery of your vision (but you know it was there, you know it was there!). You blinked your eyes in astonishment, because it could not be true. For an instant — no, less than an instant, it was just a flash of light! But it was there, you swear to yourself over and over that you actually saw what you saw — for a fraction of an instant a being stood there, towering above the Significant Monkey. And the thing, something you thought only existed in ancient legends, it looked at you. And then it was gone, as if it had never been there! What you saw was a Philosopher. Yes, of course you know this is impossible, that logically it must be something, oh some negative process inside your own head, that caused this, this, oh what do you call it? This...vision! For there stood the impossible, a Philosopher, and it looked right at you! As you stood frozen, speechless, the Signficant Monkey looked right at you. It looked and saw you as if you stood before a mirror and saw yourself, looked right at your own face. The ape's eyes widened, and then it visibly calmed itself and shook its head. It actually had the audacity to frown at you, as if it found you wanting, not up to par. The arrogance of that filthy ape! Then the ape got itself to its flat feet and tottered off and away and still you stood here wondering if you were suffering delusions. A Philosopher! Yes, long ago, Scientists very much like me once believed in Philosophers. Supposedly we actually communicated with them, these higher beings, creatures vastly superior to ourselves. I know it is a stretch to even consider it, but comparatively speaking, comparing myself to a Philosopher would be much like comparing an ape to me! I shudder thinking about it. How hideous! I must admit, I had begun to think of myself as somewhat powerful, somewhat immortal. Yes, I'll use the word. I am much like a god, at least, you undestand, compared to the filthy ape creatures. We once believed that the Philosophers created us, and loved us. But that was long ago, when we were lowly, and stupid, much like the current crop of violent apes. Truly, I doubt we were ever this low, this repulsively stupid, but I will honestly admit to the fact that we were superstitious, we practically believed in magic. But why in the world was the Philosopher standing in front of the Significant Monkey? Why was the ape sprawling in front of the mythical being, almost as if in worship? I call two of my most trusted colleagues together and broach the subject with them, half cringing that they will scoff at me, or worse, slam me into restraints and open up my skull for investigation. But they both pale, they both nod. "I have seen them too, oh, only a glimpse, but certainly," a colleague sputters, immediately, "it is true, they are here among us." "Meddling," the other colleague nods. "You both knew? But why didn't you speak of it?" I am terrified and outraged, because it is confirmed, it is real, we are not alone, with all our technology and superior thinking power, we are not alone, and we are certainly not at the top of the food chain as we always assumed ourselves to be. "I thought we all knew, I mean, I am certain that we have always know," says Shentarrah, speaking rapidly, not meeting my eyes, half bowing, her hand upon her breast. She must be feeling the same terror I felt earlier in the day. No, the same terror I feel right now at this very moment. "Yes, certainly, we have always known, we have known, but we have relegated this knowledge to myth," Broadmoor says, whispering, as obviously terrifed as us. Then Shentarrah says the most horrific thing of all, the same thing that I am thinking even as she speaks, probably the same thing Broadmoor is thinking. "We have known of them, without quite knowing how we know, in much the same fashion that the Signficant Monkies know of us, without knowing how," she says, her face very pale. We have an expression, among the Scientists, and that is: "The Thing has the ring of Truth." It is practically a nonsensical expression, but we all know what it means, and this thing has that ring of truth. We have always known that the Philosophers exist and have always existed, that they are among us at every moment, watching us, studying us... ...and yet. Ah, the and yet. And yet the Philosophers are not inducing us, the Scientists, to violence, to mayhem. No, it has long been known that the Philosophers are here to induce calm, to gently steer us toward goodness. It is an ancient saying: Blessed are the Philosophers, for they Bring Peace. My two trusted companions demanded that I discuss this no futher, that I draw no other colleague into the discussion. But I have always been forthright and direct. I address the matter at the next brainstorm. "I have seen one," I conclude as all my colleagues view me with hard eyes, with shocked eyes, with outraged eyes, the multitude of us reacting to my words as Broadmoor and Shentarrah predicted. There are those who wills scoff, those who will argue for argument's sake, those who will disbelieve and react with terror, and then there will be Hardinger, with his superior intellect and fiery malice. "Whether it is true or not, if you have seen one," Hardinger draws, smoothly, "the Philosophers are our enemies, the suppresors of knowledge, the cooler of passion. And as our enemies, eventually we shall engage them, and we shall defeat them." "We cannot beat them. We do not have any more change than the hominids have in defeating us," I retort, ready for his sarcasm and vitriol. "We are not the only team," Hardinger says, so smoothly, smiling into my eyes, only it is evident that he is not smiling. "We have many teams perfecting our technology. Just as it would theoretically be possible for these savage apes, our subjects, those who worship us, it could be possible for them to develop technology to top our technology — it will never happen with these apes, our lowly apes, because we will not allow it. But the Philosophers are not wise, not as we are wise. They do not understand passion. They do not understand violence. Thus we shall always top them, in the end." "This is all madness," a frightened colleague squeaks. "Both of you. You are talking about them as if they exist. We have known for millennia, longer, that they are myth." "You have been too long among the apes," another colleague sneers, reclining at the table, laughing outright. "Superstition. Defeat the Philosophers? The apes ever defeat us? I believe what I can see." "But the apes cannot see us," I tell him, leaning upon the table. "If you know that the apes cannot see us, then you must reason it is possible for others to be unseen by us." "When I said that I believe what I can see, I was not referring to my physical eyes," Lazlo says, always the realist among realists. "I meant I cannot perceive the Philosophers with even the most sophisticated of sensors. We know dimensions and we freely move in and out of dimensions. But what you and Hardinger are debating, well, that would imply that there are dimensions outside of what we understand to be dimensions." "Exactly," I conclude. "You have spoken the truth without knowing it. Knowledge is not finite. It is limitless. The apes do not understand dimensions, not as do we. Certainly, they have an inkling, thus they speak of traveling in dreams. But we know reality, at least to the limits of our capabilities. If it is possible for there to be beings outdistancing us as we outdistance the apes, then surely it is understood that our knowledge of dimensions would only be shadows of what the apes understand as dreams, comparing directly our knowledge to that of Philosophers. They are that high above us. I have seen a Philosopher, and I know of that which I speak." "Does he make sense?" Hardinger says, proposing a rhetorical question. "We all know that half of what he says makes sense, and half is nonsense, but sense and nonsense are sense. Or the opposite thereof, and therefore sense and nonsense are the same thing. It is true, there are Philosophers, but if it is true, and it is true I assure you in a nonsensical way, and this necessitates that the Philosophers are our antithesis, the sworn enemies to every mission of Science, and thus must be defeated, and by drawing near to the ultimate conclusion, we will win any war we wage with the Philosophers for they promote peace, not that which we excel to such superior prowess." The brainstorm erupts. It is chaos. It is confusion. There is anger. Fists are shaken beneath noses. Only Hardinger and I do not participate in the uproar. We stare at each other. We discern and divine. We know each other. We understand each other. And this day, I understand him much better than I understood him before. Now I understood much more clearly his fascination with the apes, the direction he is taking them. And I know, in a nonsensical way as Hardinger so eloquently terms it, the meaning, finally, of the Significant Monkies. I can trace back to the day that I suddenly understood that the Significant Monkies were somehow discerning me. And I can now understand that the Significant Monkies were in communication with the Philosophers, who have remained invisible to me, and yet they have selected key Significant Monkies with which to communicate. In my chambers, unseen by my colleagues, I pace. The Philosophers have always been here, among us, watching us, studying us, long before this mission began, watching in a relativistic timeline my forebears, my ancestors, they know us as well as we know the apes. Thou art arriving. Thou doth stand at the beginning of understanding. I gasp. This was not my thought. Somehow, the Philosophers are here, now, as I knew they were, and somehow, they have reached me. I know thy thoughts. And I shall shine light upon the darkness therein. I am on my knees and I do not know how I arrived in this position. I am gasping. I am terrified. And yet, there is something inside of me that has never been here before. My throat is dry and I can hardly swallow. I can hardly breathe though my mouth is open and my lungs gasp loudly. What is this thing? Hope? Is that what this is? But how can the Philosophers know my thoughts? Even with all our technology and understanding and database neural comparisons, we do not know the thoughts of the apes. Surely, we can read much from their expressions, from carefully monitoring the chemical releases in their tiny dark brains. Dark brains. Darkness. Yes, I follow the line of thought through. The apes are lost in darkness. And we cannot read their dark thoughts... ...and yet, the Philosopher at my side knows my thoughts. I know thy thoughts. Yes, not only can the Philosopher at my side know my thoughts, but plant them as well. Plant seeds that become thoughts, much in the fashion that we plant seeds of violence in the dark mind of the apes. I shall shine light upon the darkness therein. If an ape had the choice, I think, I wonder, I ponder, I reflect, ah, if an ape had the choice. Would it choose to become like me? Would it want that much light shining upon its dark mind? Would not it flee from the light to hide in darkness. I know thy thoughts. And I shall shine light upon the darkness therein. Would I choose such light as this that makes me gasp, this still small voice inside of me? Will I run shrieking from the light to cower in the darkness? I choose light. I want that hope. I do not wish to be like the apes. I know thy dark thoughts, and I know that thou art lost. Will thou choose light over darkness? Can I choose? I am frightened, I admit, I am frightened not only by the light, but I am frightened by the choice. As are the apes, the lowly creatures want someone, something, to decide for them, to choose for them, they gambol shrieking to hide in the dark foliage at the thought of choosing for themselves. The ruminate, darkly, and darkly ruminate, moving in the shadows, thinking dimly, darkly dreaming, apes, darkness, and yet they, the dark apes, the dreamers in the outer darkness, they come up with thoughts, they think they know they rationalize they have built rituals based on dark seeds and they worship these rituals these traditions planted by us planted by me oh me the dark purveyor the dark planters of seeds of darkness it is i oh i am lost like an ape in darkness oh the fear, the fear, the fear of the apes, the fear in the apes, the fear, the fear, oh yes, i know the fear, i know the fear... I know this fear. Can I rebuke a long lifetime of cherished delusion? Can I choose to acknowledge that there is a Philosopher at my side, even now, and that I can choose light over darkness, regardless of how comfortable I have become in the darkness, so lost in darkness that I was beginning to consider myself a god? Immortal? Those about me, yes, they claim there is no choice, that any choice was made outside of me, that I have no choice, but I know this is a lie, for I have a choice, I can choose, I know I can choose and it fills with light, with excitement, I know, I know, I know...what do I know? I know hope. I feel hope. Hope is in me. But what will happen if I choose light over darkness? Oh, I am afraid at the thought of Hardinger becoming my enemy. I have seen his violence. Do I really want to become like the Signficant Monkies with their knowing eyes as they search the air for our presence, knowing but not knowing how they know of our presence? Will thou choose light over darkness? I pace my chambers nervously. My palms are wet. I can barely think. I tremble. This thing, this thing alive inside me for the first time, this hope, is it true? Will thou choose light over darkness? Can I? Will I? Might I? Even here, at this precipice, standing on the verge of light, can I choose to return to darkness, and forget what I glimpsed? Can I choose to forget the unseen reality of a Philosopher, an enabler of light inside my mind, light upon my thoughts? I feel terrible. I feel wonderful. Darkness, or Light. Truth, or Ignorance?
* * * * * * *
People laugh when they think of the ancient Greeks, and all their crazy, mixed-up gods. And the following Romans, taking and tweaking those nearly identical "gods." What imagination, the people think. What creativity, to invent so many "divine" beings, to sit around the campfire and dream up heroes in the sky, fantastical deities scattered in the stars, constellations. People point to the other civilizations and the strangely close dreams and visions they have, religions so close and yet so far. And people laugh and say, well, it just goes to show that there is no truth, there is just confabulations, delicious lies, strangely creative humans, whether Chinese or Aztec, Norse or Egyptian, Meso-American or European, all of them sitting around nearly identical campfires and making up tall tales to delight and frighten their big-eyed children. Tell me a scary story, Daddy! The religious scholars and the secular experts lend their educated guesses to the mix. Well, the Babylonians borrowed from the Hebrews and the Hebrews stole a little from the Babylonians, and through the centuries both groups had sufficent time to snatch a little creativity from the Egyptians. The Babylonians had this tale first, thus the Babylonians trump the Hebrews, correct? In truth, behind the scenes, there were two groups seeking to influence the peoples. There the hidden purveyors of Light, and those of Darkness. Whole flourishing cultures grew up side by side, figuratively speaking, all over the world, throughout the ages. All cultures erupting with similar tales, similar creation myths, similar tales of an escape of eight from earth-shaking catastrophe of (shall I say it?) Biblical proportions. Is it quaint coincidence? Similar myths? Or was there an unseen force working behind the scenes, steering comparatively stupid apes toward a chosen direction, be that Light or Darkness? Has there always been two unseen forces, working for Light, working for Darkness? Granted, people are creative. Peoples are creative. They take something and make something new out of it. One person wears a hat and passes it to the next person, and that person uses it as a feedbag for his horse, and the next person strains his water with it (and wonders why his water tastes of horsebreath?), what starts out as one thing, be it truth or not, always ends up another thing, be it truth or not. Think of the Aztecs. The Mayans. Many similar cultures of blood and sun. Blood. Sun. A bloody people. Whole civilizations revolving around cutting live, beating hearts out of PEOPLE, and holding the warm beating organs up to the sun. It was worship. And they did not consider themselves being big meanies, but the glue that held the universe together. Rounding up innocent villagers, marching them up towering ziggurats, plunging flint knives into their hearts, and then rolling the lifeless bodies down the stone steps, where much of their flesh would be ritualistically cooked and eaten, their bones arranged into worshipful patterns... ...were the Aztecs, the Incas, the Mayans just a really creative peoples, who fell into the same mindless patterns that all other cultures fall into, worshipping vengeful deities that want to destroy the world but can be held back with the offering of a heart? Blood, blood, and more blood? Did the Aztecs just make it up? Did the Egyptians? Did the Sumerians? Or do the striking similarities offer another hint, that there were unseen forces behind the scenes, in this case mocking the Light. Suggesting something close, but without the proverbial cigar. Unseen forces that know the Truth, that have experienced the Truth, that have stood before the face of Truth, and yet push something else, something that somewhat resembles the Truth, it is close, but it is not the truth, like someone during a magic show jumping up on the stage and performing a similar trick to what the magician is doing, it is almost the same, but it is different, pulled off differently, played out differently, and a great portion of the watching audience just gravitates to the fake magician who upstages the real magician, and most of the people do not realize they are watching a completely different show then they set out to watch. They watch, they gape, they are tricked and deceived. Did the ancient Greeks just get real creative when it came to imagining carnal gods? Or was there an unseen force behind the scenes, revealing something close to the truth, but still a mockery? The ancient Greeks believed in "daimons," which is where the Christian concept of the word "demon" comes from, but the Greeks did not ascribe any kind of positive or negative morality to the daimon, but only to greater and lesser extents "divinity," thus Pan was a lesser deity, and John Milton coined the word "Pandemonium" for "gathering place of the daimons," a boisterous, tumultuous atmosphere, and the word has lived on to mean ruckus, or hullabaloo, or riotous. The word "pandemonium" is neither bad or good, it is not an evil word, or a particularly good word, it is a made-up word that has become a real word, a Pinnochio word that has over the years turned into a real boy. From daimon to demon to Pandemonium. The Greeks believed in an echelon of the gods, all of varied rank and file. Did they just make it all up, the way John Milton made up "pandemonium" in his vision of dancing, boisterous demons? The Incas, the Aztecs, the Chaldeans, the Sumerians, Egyptians, Chinese and Japanese and Koreans, ancient North American tribes moving in tents from one place to another, looking at the skies and telling tales, the Viking invaders, the Celts, Saxons, and all the peoples of Africa, all telling similar stories, propounding very close theories and religions, the vast landscape of India through the millenia, all the Moslem and Hindu and Buddhist tales. Is this really all just a coincidence? A product of the "God gene?" Evolution at work? Or is it in reality a higher mind at work, not necessarily a positive mindset? Is there a hand behind the scenes moving the figures? An unseen hand inside the puppets? An unseen hands manipulating the strings? The concept of "war in heaven" is older than any written word. Can you at least begin to accept the notion that there was a very real force at work through the ages? I appreciate that this is a leap. Why is it difficult to understand, to conceive, to believe? Because this force, a very real force that is much, much further above us than are the "Scientists" in the parable above the hominids. This unseen force has a powerful gateway between dimensions (which we can even barely begin to imagine, let alone understand, us, the poor apes), a power much stronger than any technology conceived or imagined (and other powers we cannot even begin to distantly understand). The "Philosophers" have a higher power, but only because a higher power is granted unto them, whereas the "Scientists" are withheld this power, they are held back, suppressed, for the present time contained (but soon they will be released, and will work all manner of magic in lying signs and wonders, and people who call themselves "Christians" are already gearing up for this event, they are already claiming to work signs and wonders, and that men should judge them as holy due to their magic, it is happening right now). If you can begin to believe, then you must realize that if it has happened all through the past, it is happening NOW, to even a stronger degree. The Bible predicts that as time nears its end the powers that be will become stronger and stronger, that God will cease holding back their true and terrible powers, might, strength, magic, POWER to shake the very Earth. Power-hungry people are raring to go, ready to sell their souls for great power, they are claiming that power is good and that power is holy and power is just and just to be coveted, and that men such as Hitler were given their power by God (they are truly teaching this). By screwing with Scripture, these lustful, power-hungry men who call themselves "Christian" are teaching that all power comes from God, and if you have power, it is from God, and all leaders and all gurus are receiving power from God. And this is not something out of the distant past, at least "not only." Because it is happening today. More and more. Deception is all around you. Follow the white rabbit? The Blue pill, the Red pill? Such conceptions are only the beginning of understanding. The devil, appearing as good, as an angel of light, has deceived the whole world. What is known today as the "Christian Church" believes and embraces and loves the most ungodly doctrines of demons. The oldest of the false doctrines, at least among mankind, is of man's immortality. The first lie people received was the "fact" that we would not die. Just as deadly and now just as widespread, in a very short period of time, is the Secret Rapture, a doctrine of demon that promises against the very words of Jesus that we will not suffer persecution. A huge new development is that "Christians" are now claiming to be "anointed," and in a very Biblical sense they are actually claiming to be "Christ," as Jesus prophesied (it is happening, right now, just go to the television and turn to "God TV" or any other such abomination, and you will see the mystical forces at work, right now, today, even at this very moment). These are just a very few, yet very active doctrines of demons loose in the world today. It is real. It is happening. And for the moment, largely, it is all behind the scenes. Only mere hints of truth peak through the dark mist. I read a very good book by Ted Dekker, "The Slumber of Christianity," which for the most part is very good. And then right in the middle of the text, Ted Dekker literally lifts up "spiritualism." I blinked. I thought it was typo. But then he used the word "spiritualism" again and said we needed it, and even said that he knew people would be put off by "spiritualism" due to the New Age Movement, which of course is based and built upon spiritualism. I thought, and thought, and tried and tried to defend Ted Dekker, at least to myself, that he must have meant "spirituality." They are similar, are they not, at least in sound and spelling, "spiritualism" and "spirituality," despite the fact that they mean entirely different things? But I think Ted Dekker is a smart man, and I don't think that was a mistake. It was not a typographical error. When Ted Dekker wrote "spiritualism," he meant just that. He had allowed the truth to slip through, for a brief instant, right there, for anyone to see.
“Most Christians speak as though their spiritual beings are far more material than their bodies, yet they tend to dismiss spiritualism for fear of heresy prompted primarily by the New Age movement."
I fully believe Ted Dekker knows exactly what he is saying, and what he means. Spiritualism has grown so huge, it has burst all boundaries, crossed all lines, amazingly successful beyond the expectations of any other religion. Spiritualism was the original occult movement that launched positive thinking, "name it and claim it," the "laws of attraction" (evolved today and massively popular as "The Secret"), and all the spate and waves of such things as seances, the Ouija Board, incorporating such old standbys as Mesmerism and necromancy. It is alive and well today and generally does not call itself "Spiritualism," so I found it very honest and candid of Ted Dekker to so openly admit what he is propounding. And Spiritualism has seeped into every corridor of Christianity, so that every church has a moat of Spiritualism about it. Almost all its "doctrines" are touched by it, Spiritualism. Christianity and Spiritualism have almost become synonymous. It is like an old man in a black hat and voluminous black coat, named Scamp. This old man is very smart, very canny, and he has a very winning personality. He moves into a neighborhood and systematically steals all the silver from every house. Then he moves out of the neighborhood, changes his black coat with a white one, his black hat with a white one, and shaves his scraggily old beard. He comes back to the neighborhood and says: "Hello my friends! We have never met. My name is Sam!" And the entire neighborhood welcomes Sam, whom they have never met. Or have they met him before? Afterall, he has changed his name. He wears a new coat, a new hat, and has lost the beard. Perhaps it is a new person entirely. Perhaps Sam has nothing to do with Scamp. Yes, they say the same things, and do the same things, but can they really be the same with a new coat and hat and without the beard, plus that new name? The book "Occult America" by Mitch Horowitz deftly ties together the varied strings and loose threads, especially in America, and all the varied movements that are occult-based, and yet fully embraced by everyday Americans. Of course, Mitch Horowitz thinks that Spiritualism is a good thing, as does Ted Dekker. Is it all a coincidence? Shake enough alphabet bits in a box and you start to get words, and then perhaps sentences? Or is there an unseen force behind it all, shaping it, carefully choosing the letters? There is an unseen force, and it is demonic. It was there in the Garden saying "you will not surely die," and it is here now saying: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Of course, it was a Jesuit Priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who said these words, but there was an unseen force standing just beside him, planting the dark seeds. We are spiritual beings, we don't really die. Now these words are spewed by yogis and New Age gurus, Christian Spiritualists — and basically, it is the foundation for the first lie ever told (at least in a Biblical sense). God told Adam and Eve that if they ate from the fruit of one restricted tree in the Garden of Eden, that they would die. They would be subject to death. In short, they would not be immortal. The serpent came back with the knowledgeable answer: "Ye shall not surely die." Why won't you die? Because you are a spiritual being having a physical experience. Why I even bring this up is because a guy who seriously considers himself to be a Christian, actually said this to me. He told me his pastor said it in a sermon, that we think we are physical beings having a spiritual experience, but in reality we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. The "reality" of us is a spirit, a ghost, a wisp of vapor, and we are tucked into a fleshpot, a body, a human being. The concept is another spin on "immortal soul" or "eternal soul," that God took this being with thoughts and ideas and a life all on its own, and stuffed it down into a puppet (someone like you or me). The puppet then goes on to live a "physical life," part of its eternal journey (and in pop New Age culture, as well as an emerging New Age Christian culture, the puppet often catches flashes from its preexisting life "in heaven" and often produces spiritual insights that puppets don't usually produce. Pop goes the puppet.) He, my friend, said: "You agree, don't you?" I immediately returned: "No, I don't agree." I then related to him that in the Garden of Eden God breathed on the clay and it was at that moment that Adam became alive — the Bible says that he "became a living soul." The Bible never said: "You just got a soul" or that "there is a soul ball bouncing around in you." You ARE a soul. You don't have a soul. God breathed (spirit) on the earth (body) and man became a soul. My friend then produced the typical "Christian" reaction: "Huh? What's that supposed to mean? That's in the Bible?" The tricky thing is, you can't KNOW the Bible unless you have READ the Bible (but modern Spiritualistic Christians hear so much ABOUT the Bible that they feel they KNOW the Bible, much in the same way that they hear so much about God that they feel they know Him, whereas just as with the Bible, you don't know God until you have truly met Him). What tragedy, to someday look into THOSE eyes, and hear His voice say: "I never knew you. Depart from me, you spreader of sin and lies." What is the difference between Spiritualism, and Modern Christianity? The truth is, not a very big difference, not such a very much. Spiritualism has invaded. It declared war. The Silent War. And it won. True, Benny Hinn does not generally wave a flag and shout: "I love Spiritualism!" But it is there, oh yes, it has inundated almost every word that spews from his lips. There is a Biblical explanation for SOUL, just as there is for DEATH, and "Christians" just try to wing it, they try to fake it, that they know what the Bible says, what it teaches, but sadly, they have only been told what the Bible says, and just the fact that a "good pastor" would claim that we are "spirit beings having a physical experience" sadly proves that what "Christianity" considers to be a "good pastor" is very much akin to the sheep gathering about that odd sheep, the one with a wolf's head poking out of all that lumpy wool, and calling him a "good shepherd." The same sad result is in progress. But remember, Benny Hinn is not the real problem. He didn't make this up. Ted Dekker is not the problem. He did not make this up. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is not the problem. He did not invent these "doctrines." The Fox sisters did not truly begin Spiritualism. It has been around, a lot longer than before the first person ever said the word "Christian" (and I do not mean in English, I mean that first Greek speak, and the Aramaic it was translating, and the Hebrew from which it originated). Spiritualism goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and the demonic doctrines have been issuing forth regularly since that day. But you can choose to leave the darkness. Don't believe those liars who say you have no choice. You can choose. There is darkness. But One came into the world to lead us out of darkness. Sadly, most choose to remain. They choose. The darkness is not forced upon them. The darkness is not forced upon YOU. You can choose, today, to reach for the light, to ultimately enter the light, and have that Light fill you.
Ways to aid this ministry include praying for these sites:
www.TruthSeek.net, www.DeceivingtheElect.net, and www.DramaticParables.com, donations and provision may be gifted using the TruthSeekGift page (and please only use this if you feel you are inspired by God to do so), and also feel free to use the Prayer Request page to submit prayer requests, and praying for the prayer requests of others, as well as exploring the various advertisements and links on these pages (regrettably, the advertising is necessary to recompense the many costs of keeping a website running, so exploration of the advertisers, which are not connected to any of these studies, is greatly appreciated). Any aid is joyously accepted, even if that means a smile and a well-wish, or a simple prayer. Thank you so much!
Art et Amour Toujours
Please note, the nature of a parable is that it is not exactly the same as that which it shines light upon, if it was, it would be the same thing. A parable is like comparing a seed to a plant, or a paper map to an actual location, or a set of instructions to the bookcase being assembled, one is necessarily smaller while what it seeks to explore is much, much larger. You cannot take the pieces of a parable and employ them as separate pieces of reality. The parable is a whole that points to something larger, and the understanding is in the heart of the hearer. Some choose to hear and understand nothing. Others hear and understand everything. Some do not understand because they cannot understand. Others have light shining that illuminates the thing that is illuminating.
Fallen Angels, False Prophets and False Teaching, and Spiritual Warfare
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.
Proverb 21:31 (NLT)
Look at the people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? What am I saying then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons!
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord's table and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
1 Corinthians 10:18-22 (HCSB)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven — if there was anything to forgive — I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NIV)
By [speaking] the word of truth, in the power of God, with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand [to attack] and for the left hand [to defend]; amid honor and dishonor; in defaming and evil report and in praise and good report. [We are branded] as deceivers (impostors), and [yet vindicated as] truthful and honest. [We are treated] as unknown and ignored [by the world], and [yet we are] well-known and recognized [by God and His people]; as dying, and yet here we are alive; as chastened by suffering and [yet] not killed; as grieved and mourning, yet [we are] always rejoicing; as poor [ourselves, yet] bestowing riches on many; as having nothing, and [yet in reality] possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 6:7-10 (AMP)
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (AMP)
For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness. Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect). For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk, get drunk at night. But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corslet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ's appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life. Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-11 (AMP)
False Christs (Messiahs) and false prophets will arise and show signs and [work] miracles to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (those God has chosen out for Himself).
Mark 13:22 (AMP)
Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit,
Colossians 2:18 (AMP)
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)
For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (AMP)
For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (ESV)
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4:14-15 (ESV)
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. for this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NIV)
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering. And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (NCV)
There used to be false prophets among God's people, just as you will have some false teachers in your group. They will secretly teach things that are wrong — teachings that will cause people to be lost. They will even refuse to accept the Master, Jesus, who bought their freedom. So they will bring quick ruin on themselves. Many will follow their evil ways and say evil things about the way of truth. Those false teachers only want your money, so they will use you by telling you lies. Their judgment spoken against them long ago is still coming, and their ruin is certain.
2 Peter 2:1-3 (NCV)
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home — these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
Jude 4-6 (NIV)
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
And the rest of humanity who were not killed by these plagues even then did not repent of [the worship of] the works of their [own] hands, so as to cease paying homage to the demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor move. [Ps 115:4-7; 135:15-17; Isa 17:8.] And they did not repent of their murders or their practice of magic (sorceries) or their sexual vice or their thefts.
Revelation 9:20-21 (AMP)
The Devil and Demons
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.
Ezekiel 28:12-19 (ESV)
They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
Psalms 106:36-38 (NLT)
The seventy came back triumphant. "Master, even the demons danced to your tune!"
Jesus said, "I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky.
See what I've given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you — that's the agenda for rejoicing."
Luke 10:17-20 (The Message)
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring — those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 12:3-17 (NIV)
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 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. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars.These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth.
1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now, concerning food offered to false gods: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds them up. Those who think they know something still have a lot to learn. But if they love God, they are known by God.
Now about eating food that was offered to false gods: We know that the false gods in this world don't really exist and that no god exists except the one God. People may say that there are gods in heaven and on earth—many gods and many lords, as they would call them. But for us, "There is only one God, the Father. Everything came from him, and we live for him. There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. Everything came into being through him, and we live because of him."
But not everyone knows this. Some people are so used to worshiping false gods that they believe they are eating food offered to a false god. So they feel guilty because their conscience is weak.
1 Corinthians 8:1-7
Seeking God? Seeking Truth?
77 DCLWolf - Douglas Christian Larsen