August 5, 2022 Brethren Letter
Many years ago, there was a comedian on television who often used the phrase… “The devil made me do it,” in his comedy routines. Of course, the way he presented his act, his audiences laughed every time, viewing his words as harmless fun. However, Satan the DEVIL is no laughing matter! He’s not a figment of anyone’s imagination and he’s certainly NOT harmless! God’s Word tells us that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air.” “… you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
God did NOT CREATE a DEVIL! What He did create was a super-archangel named Lucifer, who later rebelled against the authority of God and became His adversary. Ezekiel 28 shows how this created being lifted up his heart in vanity, in full opposition to God.
(14) “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
(15) You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
(16) “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
(17) “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground… (Ezekiel 28:14-17).
We can see another description of what took place when Lucifer rebelled against His Creator.
(12) “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
(13) For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
(14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Satan “broadcasts” his negative attitudes to an unsuspecting world, a world where most are not aware of it happening at all. His broadcast of negative attitudes and moods occurs on a continual basis! Here is some additional information regarding Satan in Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages (page 91-92).
God’s law — the basis of God’s government — is the way of LOVE — outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others, love toward God in obedience, humility and worship — the way of giving, sharing, helping, cooperating. He reasoned that competition would be better than cooperation. It would be an incentive to excel, to try harder, to accomplish. There would be more pleasure in serving SELF and more enjoyment.
He turned against God’s law of LOVE. He became jealous of God, envious, and resentful against God. He allowed lust and greed to fill him, and he became bitter. This inspired a spirit of violence!
He deliberately became his Maker’s adversary and enemy. That was his choice, not God’s — yet allowed by God!
God changed the adversary’s NAME to what he became, SATAN the DEVIL — Satan means adversary, competitor, enemy.
Satan directed his supernatural powers henceforth to EVIL. He became bitter not only against God, but against God’s law. He used his subtile wiles of deception to lead the angels under him into disloyalty, rebellion and revolt against the Creator and finally into a WAR of aggression and violence to attempt to depose God and seize the throne of the UNIVERSE.
The spirit in every human being is automatically tuned in on Satan’s wavelength. You don’t hear anything because he does not broadcast in words — nor in sounds, whether music or otherwise. He broadcasts in ATTITUDES. He broadcasts in attitudes of SELF-centeredness, lust, greed, vanity, jealousy, envy, resentment, competition, strife, bitterness, and hate.
We know through the scriptures that Satan led one third of the angels in rebellion against God (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:4). He is actually called the “god of this world.” “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
As Mr. Armstrong wrote, Satan broadcasts in attitudes of self-centeredness, envy, bitterness, resentment and more. The list is quite extensive! He wants you and me to become as bitter of an individual as he is! Now, why would he want that? Because he longs to have you (and me), to completely FAIL, and to lose out on the plan of God! We have the potential of achieving something that Satan the Devil can NEVER have! …to actually be a part of the FAMILY of God (as SPIRIT), for all eternity. “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel [good news] of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). “But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?” (Hebrews 2:6).
I’ll finish tonight’s letter with another quote from Mystery of the Ages (page 95).
You have heard the saying about “good news and bad news.” The latter part of this chapter has given you the bad news [Chapter: Mystery of the Angels and Evil Spirits]. The good news is God’s purpose through mankind and the fact that the two thirds of the angels who are holy and righteous outnumber the demons and remain as God’s invisible agents to minister to and help in the righteous character development of the myriad of humans who shall yet become the sons and heirs of the Supreme God and members of the great God family.
Yes, that is VERY good news!
I plan to continue with this subject next week. Pease have a wonderful Sabbath, everyone!
Your Brother in Christ,