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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
3. "The Satan:" and Demons.
SATAN is a Hebrew word from the root !hebrew! sahtan, which signifies, 1. To lie in wait, to be an adversary, to persecute; as in Psal. 109:29, where the Spirit says, "Those persecuting me (sotnai, satanizing me) shall be clothed with shame." It signifies, 2. To oppose, to resist in the forum; as in Zech. 3:1, "he showed me the Satan, (!hebrew!) has-Sahtahn, standing at Joshua's right hand, (!hebrew!) le-sitno, for to oppose (or satanize) him."
The noun (!hebrew!) Saktahn, signifies an adversary, e.g., in war, an enemy, as in 1 Sam. 29:4, where the lords of the Philistines say, "lest in the battle David shall become, le-sahtahn, for a Satan, or enemy, against us." It is also used for one who in any way opposes another, as in Numb. 22:22, "the angel of Yahweh stood in the way, le-sahtahn FOR A SATAN, or opponent, to Balaam."
In 2 Sam. 19:22, David inquires of certain retainers who counselled him to put Shimei the traitor to death, "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be to me, le-sahtahn, for (a Satan, or) adversary?"
In the New Testament the use of the word is the same as in the Old. We have seen that Moses styles an angel of Yahweh a Satan; we need not therefore be surprised at Jesus styling Peter one. "And he said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matt. 16:23). Peter was a Satan in this instance in offering evil counsel to Jesus, who would have been as effectually ruined if he had followed it, as Judas; and the purpose of the Deity in the redemption of the race through him completely frustrated.
Any counsel that would have persuaded Jesus to stop short of obedience unto death, although it might have emanated from the kindest personal feelings, was satanic; and constituted the counsellor a Satan to him, and to all interested in his welfare. The reply of Jesus to Peter gives us a hint of what constitutes a Satan in a moral, or spiritual sense. It is this -- that, whatsoever savours of the things of men in opposition to the things of the Deity, is Satan. Thus, if the Gospel of the Kingdom be stated and proved, to a man, or to a company of men and women, and they oppose it as contrary to their views and feelings, by so doing they evince that they savour not of the things of God, and are therefore Satans. On this principle, those who emigrated from the fellowship of the apostles, and made a new settlement upon the Nikolaitan basis, for themselves; seeing that their teaching was opposed to and subversive of "the truth as it is in Jesus," became Satan. This was the case with the faction in Smyrna. They pretended to be Christians, but were opposed to the doctrine of Christ, and opposed those who were faithful to it; thereby constituting themselves "the Satan" in Smyrna.
The Lydian, or Proconsular, Asia in which the Seven Ecclesias were situated was the arena upon which is apocalyptically represented "the Satan" in antagonism to the One Body. Pergamos, in verse 12, is given as the capital and throne of the rising power, where it flourished in the midst of Balaamism and Nikolaitanism; while in Thyatira the Satan's Woman Jezebel, the False Prophetess in embryo, works diligently "according to the working of the Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all the deceivableness of the unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved." The Satan and Jezebel are the apocalyptic types of what afterwards was manifested in the Church and State developments of the Constantinian Era, and the subsequent era of Charlemagne, when the Ecclesiastical Prophetess of Rome acquired dominion "according to the working of the Satan."
"The Satan" of these writings to the Ecclesias, is a noun of multitude. It does not stand for one person, man or devil; but for many deep, and crafty teachers, all pretending to be ministers of righteousness and preachers of the gospel. This is evident from verse 24, where it is written, "as many as have not known the depths of the Satan as THEY speak; I will put upon you none other burden." Here "Satan" stands for many; and is comprehensive of the Nikolaitanes, Balaamites, false apostles, spurious Jews, and Jezebel-seducers. They are all aggregately "the Satan;" and when ecclesiastically considered, the same adversaries are symbolised by Jezebel, the idolatrous and cruel
wife of Ahab, the widowed queen of the ten tribes, a king's daughter, and accursed. Paul speaks of this Satan in 2 Cor. 11:13, saying, "Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for the same Satan is transformed into an angel of light. It is no great thing then if also the ministers of the same be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works". The apocalyptic Satan accordingly in all outward appearance is very sanctimonious. Their tone is peculiar. They do not speak like "the laity;" but have a drawling, nasal, twang, with which all men are familiar who attend their ministrations. It is known as "the holy tone," a phrase which when pronounced through the nose, will give the reader some idea of the sound of Satan's utterances. Besides the tone, the grimace of Satan's countenance is very peculiar. It is long-faced, and smoothfaced, suffused, not with blushes, but with downcast and pale-faced humility, his utterances are stereotyped formulas current with all "miserable sinners" of highly mesmerized piety. They talk much about "grace," "experience," "regeneration," "immortal souls," "the devil," "hell," "fire and brimstone," "eternal torment," "burning up of the world," "kingdoms in the skies," "infant salvation," "baby-damnation," "sprinkling in the room of circumcision," "baptismal regeneration," "purgatory," "sabbath," and so forth: but for Moses and the prophets they have particular disrelish. They praise the Scriptures, however, and circulate them widely; having previously with great diligence made them unintelligible by indoctrinating the laity with their vain and gospel nullifying traditions. So popular is Satan's piety and religion that the Devil himself has at length become a member of his synagogues. Thus Church and World are hand in glove; and Naboth's vineyard is their holding, until the avenger comes; and then "great will be the day of jezreel," when "I will make them," saith the Spirit, "of the synagogue of the Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, to come and do homage at the feet of them who have kept my word, and have not denied my name" (Apoc. 3:9,8).
In Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Philadelphia, "the Satan" was in the formative state. He occupied a position between the One Body of Christ and the unbelieving Jews and Pagans. He was opposed to both, as at this day. He is neither a Jesus-rejecting Jew, nor a Mohammedan or Pagan; and while he repudiates and persecutes these, he more cordially hates the truth than either of them. He is Greek in Turkey and Russia; Papist in Rome and its dependencies; Protestant in Canterbury and Edinburgh; Dissenter and Sectarian, where the Devil declines to divide the spoils. In the days of John, "the Devil
and Satan" had not united their fortunes. On the contrary, the Devil persecuted "the Satan," and slew him by thousands. This antagonism lasted until the Devil was cast out of the heaven (Apoc. 12:12). But, as "the Devil" whose capital was Rome, was equally opposed to "the Satan" enthroned and dwelling in the capital of the old kingdom of Pergamos, as to the Saints, he is styled "Satan" in chap. 12:9. While the Devil was a pagan he was "a great red dragon-Satan;" but when he became a saint of "the Holy Catholic Church," his Satanism was that of the blasphemers, who say they are christians, but do lie (Apoc. 2:2). Hence, the Pagan Satan and the Catholic Satan are both apocalyptic Satans, and equally enemies to the truth. The pagan Roman Emperors and their priests were of the former; while the pseudo-Christian Origen, Athanasius, Arius, Eusebius, Chrysostom, and such like, were of the latter; "men of corrupt minds, and of no judgment concerning the faith; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;" mere sacramentarians from such turn away (2 Tim. 3:8,5).
Though "the Satan" whose synagogue was in Smyrna and elsewhere, has gained the ascendancy; and now possesses the glory, honor, and riches of this world, or Order of things, in Church and State; and by his representatives the bishops, priests, ministers and deacons of the Apostasy, administers in human affairs; yet the same Satan is doomed to a disruption and scattering after the type of Jezebel, whose carcase was so dispersed and devoured that "none could say, this is Jezebel." Hence, when the Seventy returned to Jesus, and informed him that the demoniacs were subject to them through his name; he said to them, "I saw the Satan as lightning fall out of the heaven" (Luke 10:17). This was a prevision of that event literally and typically accomplished in the expulsion of the Pagan Satan by the typical Michael and his Angels; and hereafter to be as literally, but nti-typically, fulfilled in the expulsion of the Pseudo-Christian Satan from the heaven of the Four Beasts of Daniel, styled "the whole heaven," by the real Michael, which is Jesus and his Brethren, "the Saints."
Then will be as effectually abolished all ranks, orders and degrees of "the Clergy," as were the pagan priests by Constantine and his successors. The "Reverend Divines" of all the schools, colleges, pulpits, and platforms of Satan's Christendom, whom Paul styles prophetically !greek!, DAIMONIA; men, whose vocation is to seduce from the faith, and to draw disciples after themselves; "speaking lies in hypocrisy, having had their own conscience cauterized; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats" (1 Tim. 4:1-3), all these "reverends" and "D.D.'s," and "divines," will be taken and
abolished. A daimon in Paul's day, was a god, deity, or divine, that occupied a middle station between the "Dii Superiores," the gods of the first rank, !greek! theoi, and the people who worshipped them. In the mythology of the idol-worshippers daimones were "the souls of men of the golden age hovering between heaven and earth, and acting as tutelary deities: they formed the connecting link between gods and men, and so Aeschylus (Aesch. Pers. 620) calls the deified Darius (!greek!) a daemon: hence when daimones and theoi are joined, the daimones are gods of lower rank."
Now, according to the theology of the Satan, the theoi, or Supreme Gods, are what they call "the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;" that is, really their Father the Devil, his Son Antichrist, and the Ghost of the Flesh. These are their "Holy Trinity" in whom they delight, and after whom they go wondering (Apoc. 13:3). Next in rank below these are "the angels" whom they also worship in praying to them and dedicating to their honor the temples in which they perform their rites (Col. 2:18). With these also may be ranked what Satan styles, the immortal disembodied souls of dead men, women, and babes, which, being furnished with wings on their arrival "beyond the skies," become angels.
These "Saints and Angels" are "the ministers of grace" between the "Holy Trinity" of the Devil, Antichrist, and their Spirit, and their Heritage on earth, "the Clergy," who are the hierophants of their mysteries in the world. These imaginary saints and angels of Skyana are the daemones of the Satan's theology; the internuncios, or mediators, between his Trinity and men; the Guardians and Protectors of nations, tribes, and peoples; and the Patrons of their bazaars of spiritual merchandize, their benefit societies, holy days, and benevolent institutions. These mythological orders of Theoi and Daimones constitute "the providence" of the Satan's theology. As a whole, it is nothing but "the Old Serpent" heathenism in a new skin -- Bible names applied to devilish things.
The "First Person" in the Satan's Trinity, is a ferocious, inaccessible, and implacable divinity. He is represented by his priests as having created myriads of human beings with the certainty of no other destiny than eternal torture in fire and burning brimstone. That he has made "faith alone" the condition of escape from this; but that none of his creatures can have this faith unless he works it in them by the operation of his spirit, bestowed in answer to the prayers of his priests, clergy, or ministers; and even then he only grants it reluctantly in special cases, at the instigation of the combined supplications of "ministers," the Virgin and her Son, and the Saints and angels of the system. Read the liturgies of Rome and Canterbury; and listen
to the random outpourings of the pulpit; and witness the tumults, uproars, and bawlings of the religion-gettings of the Satan; and the character of the gods and demons of their theology may be accurately inferred from their words, and works, in conventicle.
This implacability and ferocity of the "First Person" of the Satan's Trinity necessitated the institution of a mediator, whose function should be to make "the First Person" willing to save a soul, -- in other words, to make him placable. This mediation introduces "the Second Person" as a mild, inoffensive, amiable, and benevolent Eternal God -- the milk of all kindness compared with "the First Person," whose disposition is illustrated by the fabled Saturn, who is said to have devoured his own offspring. These two incompatible personages the Satan teaches are One God -- the one in a rage; and the other, expostulating, and soothing him, and affectionately interceding with him to spare certain miserable and guilty wretches whose thefts, adulteries, murders, covetousness, and other abominations, "have found them out:" but pleading for them in vain, until he promises to go and die on a cross in their stead. With this he is hardly restrained tin the sacrifice is accomplished; but being performed, he accepts it only in behalf of the few he may send "the Third Person" to mesmerize into "feeling good," and "experiencing a hope." But it would occupy too much of our space to unveil all "the DEPTHS of the Satan, as THEY speak." I have adduced the foregoing as the extreme necessity created dogmatically by the Satan, to impress upon mankind the indispensability of their ministrations. Whose prayers are so effectual as the Satan's, in bringing down "the Third Person," "God the Holy Ghost," into the unclean, and infidel, evil hearts of the wicked, to convert them, and to give them a feeling? -- A feeling of hope that they are forgiven? Whose "consolations of religion" are more comforting than the Satan's, to the wretch about to be swung off by the neck for rape, arson, and murder? -- or to the exhausted debauchee fast sinking into a drunkard's grave? Whose prayers so availing as the Satan's for the bringing down of the Holy Ghost into the hearts of tyrannic kings and governors, inflated senators, and muddle-headed legislative assemblies, that they may be anointed with a wise and knowing unction? This being the general conviction inwrought by the working of the Satan for centuries past, we find them in the order of things visible occupying the position of the Demons of their theology. They are the internuncios between their three eternal persons in one eternal person, on the one part; and "their people," on the other. Because, therefore, of this, they share in the Official character of their imaginary Demons. Hence Paul selected the adjective, daimonion, "of, or belonging to, a daimon,"
to designate them. According to him, "those who in later times apostatize from the faith, give heed to seducing spirits, even to the teachings of Daimonia." We look into the scriptures and learn what "the faith" is; we read the history of the past, and there we see the people calling themselves Christians, wholly given to idolatry and all sorts of abomination; in this we see the apostasy from "the faith;" we look around us, and see the same sort continuing in the practices of their predecessors; and in view of all this we inquire, To whom do these people give heed, and whom do they delight to honor? To this there is but one answer to the clergy as they happen to be led. The conclusion, then, is inevitable that the Clergy are the Seducing Spirits and the Daimonia of Paul, whose dogmatic depths are destructive and subversive of the faith he labored so ardently and valiantly to establish, and transmit to posterity uncorrupted by the traditions and foolishness of men.
These Daimonia of the Satan are like the frogs of Egypt, which infested the palace, the mansions of the great, the houses of the people, their ovens, kneading-troughs, and so forth. They fill the heavens of the nations; and there is no place where Mammon requires service, but they are in hungry expectation of employ. The Seventy rejoiced that the demoniacs were subject to them through the name of Jesus. This is typical of what awaits them in regard to the Demoniacs of Satan's synagogue. "They shall come," saith the Spirit, to the Philadelphians, "and do homage at thy feet" -- they shall be subjected to the Saints through the Name of Yahweh. Seeing this great and glorious consummation, Jesus said "I saw the Satan as lightning fall out of the heaven." This fall will be the ruin of the Clerical Demoniacs, who, like Othello, will then find "their occupation gone." Then "they will weep and mourn; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more" (Apoc. 18:). Place, power, position, and wealth will all be dissipated; and the Saints who will have subdued them, will take possession of all their good things, and "send them empty away." Then, woe betide the clergyman or rabbi, who shall attempt to dole out his old foolishness to the people; for "it shall be, when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of Yahweh: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall be in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive" (Zech. 13:3).
When, then, the clergy are abolished, the nations will be emancipated, and not till then; for these are they who aided by the civil power,
"destroy the earth" (Apoc. 11:15). They fill the minds of the people with their soul-destroying traditions; and, even in "free America," and "liberal England," the civil power will not permit their falsehoods to be disputed on the spot before the people they deceive. But the time approaches rapidly when this defence will fail them; and they will become the hated of the people, one and all. When these come to discover how they have been bamboozled and bewitched by their sorceries, they will cause them to "weep and mourn," for the loss of their trade. We can easily conceive what a clerical howl would resound through the world, if in the current year all their salaries were to be cut off, all supplies and sympathy withdrawn, and never to be renewed, on the ground that the people had discovered that they were mere soul-quacks, impostors, and perverters of the people; which they really are! Yet this is only a question of time. It will not come to pass this year; but it will not be long after i866, that their craft will be repudiated by the world; which shall confess to Yahweh, and give thanks to his name for their deliverance; as it is written, in Jer. 16:19, "the Gentiles shall come to thee, O Yahweh, from the ends of the earth and shall say, Of a truth, our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. And at that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it (as the seat of government) -- to the Name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jer. 3:17): and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in Yahweh shall they glory" (4:2). "Then will I turn to them a pure language, that they may all of them call upon the Name of Yahweh, to serve him with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9). "And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem" (Isai. 2:3). This will be a glorious revolution consequent upon the ejection of the Satan from the high places of the earth. The power of the Devil being broken the Satan falls. The clergy being suppressed, the nations become intelligent, justified, and blessed in Abraham and his Seed.