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RELIGION

CHAPTER I

men around the table

DISTINGUISHED and honored men, representing the nations of the earth, sat at the round-table conference. Men of high rank representing the great religious, commercial and political institutions of earth were there. Seated in an obscure corner of the room was a stranger, and no one appeared to know how he came there, since no invitation had been issued to him.

The chairman of the conference said: "Gentlemen, a momentous question for our consideration here is: How can our respective nations continue to exist? how can we put an end to war and dwell in peace and safety? The nations are torn with strife. There is great fear and perplexity among the rulers and the people. I note that some statesmen advocate more religion as the means to security. Leading men of commerce have concurred in that opinion. We have with us here the ranking representative of the great-

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est religions institution on earth. We are here to consider our peace and safety. I ask you, gentlemen, therefore, to fully discuss the question: Do we need more religion to guide the troubled world into the haven of peace and safety?"

STRANGER: "Mr. Chairman, will you permit me to suggest that before the discussion of this very important question begins you have your secretary here read before this distinguished assembly a statement of facts relating to the origin of religion, the use to which it has been put, and what has been its effect? I have such a statement, which I ask permission to hand to you."

It was so ordered; and the secretary read:

RELIGION

IS religion the means of securing international peace and safety? Before the proper conclusion can be reached the origin of religion and its influence upon humanity throughout the centuries past should be considered. Religion had its origin in Eden, many centuries ago. It has been practiced by the peoples of all nations since. That which is called "the Christian religion" is today the most prominent amongst the nations. It is assumed that the so-called "Christian religion" finds support in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Therefore the words of Jesus Christ should be received by the nations as importing absolute authority.

Jehovah, the Almighty God, sent Jesus to the earth to proclaim the truth, and this is made certain by his words, to wit: 'To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,

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to declare the truth.' (John 18: 37) Furthermore Jesus said that the time would come when there would be "upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth". (Luke 21:25,26) The physical facts show that this prophecy of Jesus is now being fulfilled.

Ignorance of impending danger and the cause thereof prevents men from finding the way of escape to the place of safety. All the nations and all the people are now in the gravest danger from an unseen power, and from which there is only one possible means of escape. Publication of the truth, which discloses the identity of this unseen power and the cause of present-day woes upon the nation, necessarily exposes the workers of iniquity and their influence upon the nations and peoples of the earth. Never within the memory of man has it been so necessary for human creatures to know the truth as now, because this is the time of peril and it is "the last time". — 2 Timothy 3:1; 1 John 2:18.

The disciples of Jesus propounded to him the important question as to what conditions would be existent at the time of his second coming and the setting up of the great THEOCRACY. The answer of Jesus, uttered in response to the question propounded, is the truth, which truth was spoken by him with full authority from Jehovah God. Among the things uttered by Jesus in answer to that question propounded by his disciples he said: "And as it was in the days of No´e, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." — Luke 17: 26.

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In Noah's day that which stood out in the most marked degree was the influence and power of the demons over the peoples then on the earth. The words of Jesus prove that exactly a like condition would be existent at the time of his second coming and would prevail in the earth until God's due time to destroy the wicked. As shown by the Scriptures and the physical facts, Christ Jesus was enthroned as King in the year 1914, and he came to the temple of God in 1918 and there began the assembling and judging of the consecrated ones. Since that time the woes upon the people have continuously increased, and today the peoples of the earth are in the most deplorable condition that anyone on earth has ever known. (Revelation 12:12) Scriptural testimony proving why such terrible conditions exist on the earth is submitted and also points out the provisions Jehovah God made for the protection and salvation of men from such terrors, and which protection can be had only by those who seek meekness and righteousness.

ORIGIN OF DEMONS

It behooves every person on earth to lay aside prejudice and preconceived opinions and earnestly seek the truth as recorded in God's Word. In doing so, it will be found that the chief amongst the demons is Satan, "that old serpent," the Devil. When he was one of the trusted officers in the organization of Jehovah God his name was Lucifer, meaning "bright-shining one", one with authority. He rebelled against God, and in that time of rebellion he became that wicked one who is known in the Scriptures

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as "the prince of the devils", that is, the ruling one amongst the devils or demons. (Matthew 12:24) Jehovah changed his name to Dragon, Satan, Serpent, and Devil. A number of the angels joined Satan in his rebellion against God, and they also became demons, or wicked ones, or devils, and are designated in the Scriptures as "giants", "Nephilim." (Genesis 6:4; Revised Version) The name "Nephilim" means bullies or tyrants, who are willfully wicked and bent on doing mischief in defiance of God's law. The Watchtower, issues of September 1 and 15, 1934, gives the detailed Scriptural proof concerning these demons and their operations in the days of Noah.

DEATH SENTENCE

The sentence of death was entered against Satan at the time of his rebellion, and which judgment of death appears at Ezekiel 28:18,19. Likewise those angels that joined with the Devil in rebellion against God were sentenced to death. The execution of such sentence or judgment of death, however, God deferred until his own due time to execute the same, at which time 'all the wicked shall be destroyed'. (Psalms 145:20; 37:20) Satan challenged God to put on earth men that would maintain their integrity toward God, Satan at the time declaring that he could cause all men to curse God to His face. (Job 2:5) That boast was based upon the theory that he had influence and power over creation to turn them all against the Creator. In order to give Satan and his cohorts full opportunity to put forth their best endeavors to

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prove that wicked challenge, God deferred the execution of the judgment of death against them until his own due time to destroy all such wicked ones. Satan's failure to make good his boastful challenge will prove to all creation the supremacy of Jehovah, the fountain of life, and the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

In proof of His purpose in deferring the execution of the judgment of death against Satan, Jehovah said to him, as set forth in the Scriptures: 'And for this cause have I permitted thee to remain, for to shew thee my power: and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.' (Exodus 9:16, Leeser) The Scriptures prove that the suspension of the execution of the death sentence applied likewise to the other rebels called "demons"; and concerning which it is written: "And those angels who kept not their own principality, but left their own habitation, he has kept in perpetual chains, under thick darkness, for the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6, Emphatic Diaglott) "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." — 2 Peter 2: 4.

From the time of the rebellion and entering of judgment of death against those wicked ones God has permitted them to operate to the extent of their ability in support of Satan's wicked challenge. God caused his servants to record in the Bible that, at the coming of the Lord Jesus and the setting up of the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT with Jesus as King, the end of Satan's rule without interference will come and then the

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wicked angels, together with Satan, shall be destroyed. Concerning this it is written: "Whose judgment of old does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber." (2 Peter 2:3, Diaglott) No longer then shall there be any suspension of judgment. The execution shall then take place. Since the time of entering the judgment or sentence against Satan and his wicked associates those wicked ones have acted against God in their endeavor to make good the challenge of the Devil, and to this end they have deceived the masses of the people upon the earth and turned them away from God, but at all times there have been some who have maintained their integrity toward Jehovah.

NOAH'S DAY

Noah was a servant of Almighty God and one who preached righteousness. (2 Peter 2:5) In Noah's day the Devil and other demons had exercised power and influence over mankind to such a degree that all the peoples of earth were corrupted, save Noah and his immediate family. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them: and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." — Genesis 6: 5, 8,11,13.

Because of such wickedness and violence God sent the deluge of waters, or great flood, in

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which all humankind except Noah and his immediate family were destroyed. (Genesis chapters 6 and 7) The words of Jesus, quoted in the foregoing text (Matthew 24: 37), together with the physical facts well known, prove that exactly a like condition now exists on the earth and that such condition becomes prominent immediately preceding the battle of the great day of God Almighty, in which battle the wicked ones will be executed.

DEMONS AND BABYLON

Follow now the Scriptural account of the activity of Satan and his horde of wicked demons from the day of Noah and the flood even to this present day. God's Word, recorded in the Bible, is the truth and alone can enlighten men, show-

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ing them the right way. (Psalm 119:105; John 17:17) God's Word of truth must be the guide of all who will now find the right way and escape the impending disaster. "God is light, and in him [there] is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) "Light is sown for the righteous." (Psalm 97:11) That means that one must seek righteousness in order to see and appreciate and benefit from the light of God's Word. The enemies of God walk on in darkness, and Satan, the chief one of the devils or demons, is deceiving them and leading them in darkness. All the demons associated with the Devil are in darkness and all are workers of iniquity or wickedness. They all work against Jehovah God and against those who serve him. Mark, then, the means employed by the workers of iniquity to keep mankind in the darkness and away from God. The purpose of the Devil and his agents in keeping men blind to the truth is to bring about the destruction of mankind.

BABYLON

Within a short time after the flood Babylon was organized, with Nimrod as the earthly dictator. (Genesis 10: 8-11) That was the first human government organized. From the Babylon stem all political governments of earth, past and present, have sprung. Even though the original city of Babylon has disappeared, all governments on the earth bear the name of their mother, "Babylon," and the Devil and his associate demons have exercised and continue to exercise influence, power and control over such governments. The organization of Babylon by

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Nimrod united religion, commerce and politics as the means of keeping the people in subjection and ruling them. Today all governments, including what is called "Christendom", keep alive and carry on these same three elements composing Babylon, to wit, religion, commerce, and politics. The thousands of languages that originated at the time of the confusion of the people on the plains of Shinar, in the land of Babylon, and spoken by the peoples in the different parts of the earth, have kept alive and have been under the control of these three elements, to wit, religion, politics, and commerce.

Babylon was demon-controlled, and the people worshiped demons. Its religion was demonism. That chief demon, Satan, from then till now claims Babylon (including all the governments of the earth) as his own, and this Jesus did not deny, but admitted, when he was on the earth. (Matthew 4: 8, 9) The Scriptures show that organized religion originated with the Devil, who created and brought into action religion for the very purpose of turning mankind away from God. The Scriptures also clearly prove that all the nations, including so-called "Christendom" at the present time, constitute "Babylon" and all such practice religion because the Devil has deceived men and carried on his religious practice, even in the name of God and Christ. Concerning such Jehovah says through his prophet to the modern-day "Christendom" or "Babylon": "Come down, and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground: there is no throne, 0 daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.

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Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble: the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it." — Isaiah 47:1,12-14.

Satan, who is the arch demon, is designated in the Scriptures as "the god of this world" or "prince of this world", meaning that the world is ruled and influenced by him. (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 14: 30) All governments of the earth constitute a part of Satan's visible organization, and such are under the power and influence and control of the invisible demons; and few, if any, of them know this fact. The organization is united to Satan, like as a woman or wife is united to a man, and Satan's organization is designated by the Scriptures under the symbol of an unclean woman, that is, a Devil-worshiping, sorcery-practicing woman. (Isaiah 47:1-15; Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51; Revelation 17:1-18) Satan's world organization is generally known as "Babylon", and all parts thereof practice some kind of religion brought into action by the Devil for the purpose of turning men away from the true and almighty God. For this reason the apostle and servant of Jesus Christ specifically warned the Christians, that is, the

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true followers of Christ Jesus, that this world is ruled and controlled by the demons and that all Christians must avoid religion. He informs them that their enemies, the demons, fight against all who serve God and Christ. "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." —Ephesians 6:12.

Before the confusion of human speech at the tower of Babel the name "Babylon" had the meaning of "gate of god". That was a religious name, without designating to which god it referred, but which in fact had reference to the

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mimic god Satan, that is to say, the god or mighty invisible ruler of this wicked world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) In Babylon religion took the most prominent part. Nimrod set up religion, with himself as the visible representative of god, that is, Satan, and demanded that the people worship him, Nimrod; and for this reason he became a "mighty one", and it is written of him in the Scriptures: 'Nimrod, the mighty one in the earth; the mighty hunter before, that is, superior to, the Lord Jehovah.' (Genesis 10: 8-10) — See, for further consideration, McClintock & Strong's Cyclopaedia, under the subtitle "Nimrod".

Bible prophecy has much to say about Babylon and its destruction. The book of The Revelation tells that the destruction of Babylon is the coming event of surpassing interest both in heaven and in earth, the destruction of which refers to the complete fall of Satan's organization, and not to the literal earth. The destruction of Babylon, as the Scriptures disclose, means the final end of the wicked world over which Satan and his demons have ruled, and which destruction will immediately follow the completion of the proclamation of Jehovah's name and his kingdom, which work is now in progress in the earth. That witness work is now designated God's "strange work", to be followed by God's "act, his strange act". — Isaiah 28: 21.

"CHRISTENDOM" IS "BABYLON"

The Scriptures disclose that the name "Serpent" is given to Satan the Devil to denote him as the arch deceiver, the one who practices fraud

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and deception upon mankind. One of his chief means of deception is to keep the people always in ignorance of the truth concerning his organization, and particularly concerning Babylon. The Scriptures definitely state that Babylon must be in existence at the end of Satan's world, at which time it must be and shall be destroyed. "Babylon" is not merely "heathendom" and its religion, but also applies to "Christendom"; and it is in "Christendom" in particular that religion, commerce and politics unite to control the nations. So-called "Christendom", by means of fraud and deception, employs the name of Christ, and that name was so chosen and applied by the Devil for the manifest purpose of defrauding and deceiving the people and turning them away from God. "Christendom" is the highest development of and the most seductive form of Satan's visible organization.

The basic doctrine of ancient Babylon was the religious teaching or doctrine of "immortality", first of the Devil and all his demons, and also including all human souls that come under the control of demons. Such doctrine is contrary to and taught in defiance of the truth of Almighty God and his announced decree that the wicked shall be destroyed. That doctrine of human immortality was the first lie ever told, and which was told by Satan to deceive and mislead Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:4,5) Such lie resulted in the death of man, thus making Satan both a liar and a murderer. "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

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truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." — John 8:44.

That same devil-religion doctrine of "immortality of all human souls" is today the fundamental doctrine or religious teaching of so-called "Christendom", and which proves that "Christendom" is modern-day Babylon. That false doctrine of "human immortality" was obtained from the doctrine taught by the mother, or ancient Babylon, the Devil's "woman" or organization, and the religious system of "Christendom" is plainly described in the Scriptures as "the daughter of Babylon". (Revelation 17:5) By this false doctrine religionists forming "Christendom" have been deceived and are still being deceived into yielding to the influence and power of the demons and thus they lay themselves open to complete demon control. "Christendom," so called, offers no protection whatever to the people against demonism, but rather leads the people right into the trap of Satan and his associate demons, and for this reason becomes one of the chief means of hurrying the nations of earth into destruction. The Devil practices all manner of fraud and deception. He organized the chief religious system on earth, now under the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and falsely designates that as "the Christian religion". Even the so-called "Protestant" systems of religion claim to be opposed to Romanism, but, in fact, they all work together. The Devil then organizes and brings into action Communism, which openly fights the so-called "Christian religion" and also true Christianity. He

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uses atheists likewise to fight against those who serve God, and thus the Devil uses all these means and organizations to fight against God and against God's faithful servants on the earth, and to deceive men.

EXISTENCE OF DEMONS

Modern-day religious leaders claim that the Nephilim were all destroyed at the time of the flood, and hence by thus teaching they lure the people into the trap of the Devil. The people are thus deceived; and being deceived they easily become the victims of the Devil. The people are made to fear their religious leaders, and the fear of man leads them into the Devil's snare. All the scriptures bearing upon the point show beyond any question of doubt that the demons, otherwise designated in the Scriptures as "Nephilim" (Genesis 6:4, Revised Version), were not destroyed at the time of the flood, but continued their operations after the flood and are operating with the Devil even to this very day. To avoid confusion it must be clearly observed that the "Nephilim", or wicked demon giants, and "the spirits in prison" to which Jesus preached (1 Peter 3:19,20) are entirely separate and distinct from each other. The Devil and the Nephilim deceived the spiritual creatures designated "the sons of God" and induced them to materialize as men and take human women for wives, and to raise an offspring by such union, and all such offspring were destroyed in the flood. (See The Watchtower, 1934, pages 263-266.) Those "sons of God", who materialized as humans, were imprisoned by the

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Devil at the time of the flood. — See proof, The Watchtower, 1934, page 275.

As to the Nephilim, the wicked spirit creatures or demons that joined Lucifer in his rebellion, they survived the flood and are yet alive, and are the ones that, together with the Devil, now exercise power and control over the people and the nations of the earth. That the Nephilim were not destroyed in the flood, but were degraded, together with the Devil, the chief demon, and have been permitted to continue actively in their endeavors to turn men against God, mark the Scriptural evidence that follows, to wit: "The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown." — Genesis 6: 4, American Revised Version.

Another authoritative translation of this text reads: "The fallen ones were in the earth in those days and even afterwards when sons of God came in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them, they are the heroes, who, from of old, are the men of name." (Young's) It was the offspring of the spirit creatures who materialized as men and of human women that were known in the earth as "men of renown". The demons, "the fallen ones," that is, the wicked spirit rebels and bullies, were in the earth then and afterwards, and it is the same wicked Nephilim or demons concerning which the following scripture is written, to wit: "For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell [(Greek) Tartarus], and

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committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly."  — 2 Peter 2:4,5, A.R.V.

The word Tartarus means a degraded condition, that is, a condition of darkness with no further hope or opportunity of understanding God's purpose as revealed in the Scriptures and no hope of life everlasting. Being in darkness or degraded, they are wholly unable to understand God's purpose concerning the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. A similar condition is that of the "evil servant" class described by the Lord Jesus, and which persons are cast out from the light and into outer darkness. (Matthew 25:30; 13:41,42) As soon as one turns against the organization of Jehovah God he becomes blind beyond any possible hope of recovery. Although denied the favor of light or understanding of God's purpose, those wicked spirits or demons have been permitted to exist and to work with their chief, the Devil, to carry out his original wicked challenge made to Jehovah, to wit: That he, the Devil, could turn all men against God. This and other supporting scriptures which follow show that God has reserved or deferred the execution of the judgment of death against these wicked ones until Armageddon, the day of his vindication, and that until that time he keeps the wicked ones under surveillance and protects his faithful people from them. Jehovah declares that at Armageddon he will show the Devil and all his supporters that He, Jehovah God, is the

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Supreme One. That day of final conclusion of the matter rapidly approaches. — Exodus 9:16.

The Devil himself, that is, the chief amongst the demons, is debased and degraded beyond any possibility of recovery. He is totally depraved. He maintains his organization only by means of fraud, deception and other wicked machinations. That the Devil has and does maintain an organization which operates against God and against all who serve Jehovah God is shown by the Scriptures and the facts, beyond any doubt whatsoever. As an example, there appears in the prophecy (Daniel 2: 30-34) the description of a terrible image, disclosing that the Devil is the head of a great and wicked organization, and that next to the Devil are princes or rulers subordinate to Satan the Devil. At Daniel 10:13, 20 is the record concerning some of these demons designated under the titles "prince of Persia" and "prince of Grecia". Among these princes is Gog, the demon officer next to Satan. (Ezekiel 38:3,16) Next to the princes, according to the prophecy of Daniel, is another order or class, the wicked officers which "bear rule over all the earth". (Daniel 2:39) This shows three separate divisions of Satan's invisible organization: "principalities," that is, the principal ruler exercising supremacy among the wicked ones; "powers," that is, officers among the wicked ones that exercise power and control; and, third, "rulers," invisible wicked creatures who have immediate power or influence over the nations of the earth under the supervision of the principal power, that is, the Devil.

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The apostle Paul, under inspiration and direction of Almighty God through Christ Jesus, recorded testimony concerning the foregoing wicked ones, and therefore his testimony is authoritative. Without doubt he knew of the wicked spirit creatures because he was familiar with the Scriptures written by the holy prophets of old. Note, then, that the apostle tells of these wicked invisible rulers that exercise power and control over the nations of the earth, and he divides them exactly as the prophet does, into three classes, to wit: "principalities," "powers," and "rulers"; all of which fight against God and against those who serve God. (Ephesians 6:12) Also have this in mind: that the Devil has declared his purpose to be "like the Most High". (Isaiah 14:13,14) He therefore sets up an organization, which is a mimic of Jehovah God's invisible organization. Satan exalts himself to the position of supremacy like unto that of the Most High, Jehovah. Gog, the chief officer of Satan, takes the place similar to that occupied by Jesus Christ, the Prince or Ruler or King of the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. The wicked angels, that have direct influence and power over the nations of the earth, are made to correspond to the angels of Christ Jesus that always serve him and are under his immediate command. — Matthew 25: 31.

As this invisible organization of the Lord Jehovah is provided with earthly representatives, so the Devil has provided his organization with earthly representatives, as the facts following will show. The purpose of the wicked organization of the Devil is to operate in defiance of Je-

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hovah God in his attempt to turn all creation against Almighty God and plunge them into destruction.

ACTIVITIES OF THE WICKED

After the flood, or deluge of waters, which destroyed all flesh except Noah and his family, and after human creatures had multiplied and greatly increased in the earth, devil-worship, that is to say, devil religion, was set up with Nimrod as the chief visible one, and religion was used or employed by the Devil through Nimrod to deceive the people and cause them to 'worship the creature instead of the Creator'. (Romans 1: 25, 30) That was the beginning of organized religion. (Genesis 10:8-10) Demon-worship, or devil religion, was thereafter adopted and practiced in Egypt, where "magicians", or Devil agents, operated before the people in the practice of devil-worship to deceive both the ruler and the ruled of that land. "And it came to pass in the morning, that his [Pharaoh's] spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh." (Genesis 41:8) — Exodus 7:11; 8:7,19; 9:11.

ISRAEL INVADED

Jehovah, by the act of Moses his servant, led the descendants of Israel out of Egypt, and at Mount Sinai God affirmed his covenant and declared to them his statutes and laws. The Israelites had journeyed but a short distance when

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the Devil, with his religion, invaded their ranks in his endeavor to turn them away from God in violation of their covenant. (Exodus 32:1-10) When the Israelites reached the land of Moab they again fell under demon power and influence and practiced demon religion known and designated as "Baal-peor", a grossly immoral ceremony. (Numbers 25:1-18) Time and again the Israelites fell away from God in violation of their covenant, and in every instance this they did under the influence of religion, which the Devil introduced amongst them. "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." — Deuteronomy 32:16,17.

Jehovah specifically warned the Israelites that the religion of the demons would be a snare unto them. All the Canaanites and the people round about practiced devil religion, and the warning against such peoples and their practices was a warning against demon religion. God had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites for their inheritance and, as that land was inhabited by people who practiced demon or devil religion, God commanded that the Israelites should drive out these demon religionists. "And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daugh-

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ter shalt thou take unto thy son. And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them; neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that [devil religion] will be a snare unto thee." — Deuteronomy 7: 2, 3, 16.

The Israelites were clearly warned that religion would constitute a snare into which the Devil would entrap them. It was the Devil and the Nephilim that ensnared the Israelites and induced them to practice devil religion in defiance of God's law and their covenant. "And they served their idols; which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood."  — Psalm 106:36-38.

As further evidence that the demons overreached the Israelites, note this in the Scriptures: "Jeroboam and his sons had cast them [the Levites] off from executing the priest's office unto the Lord: and he ordained him [Jeroboam] priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made."  — 2 Chronicles 11:14,15.

The apostle Paul, who was entirely familiar with the Divine Record concerning the activities of the demons and concerning their inducing the people to practice devil religion in defiance of Almighty God, wrote: "What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles [non-covenant peo-

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ples] sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils [(A.R.V.) to demons], and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils [demons]. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils [demons]; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils [demons]." — 1 Corinthians 10:19-21.

When the child Jesus was born at Bethlehem it was the Devil and his associate demons who put the wicked Herod wise to that event in order that he could carry out the Devil's scheme to destroy the babe Jesus: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise-men [(Greek) Magi] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him." "Then Herod privily called the Wise-men [magicians, religionists], and learned of them exactly what time the star appeared." — Matthew 2:1,2, 7, A.R.V.

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The magi, or "wise men", so called, were clearly the servants of the Devil. This should serve as a warning to all who profess to be the followers of Christ Jesus and who have been deceived by clergymen and led to ignore the existence and power of the demons. Instead of following the admonition of the Scriptures, the religionists known as "leaders" and the principal ones of their flock exalt these devil-worshipers or magicians by the ceremonies performed at what is called "Christmas time". Each one of the magi was of the same class as those otherwise designated in the Scriptures as "the sorcerers", and which the apostle Paul named as frauds, such as Elymas the Magus, who opposed the gospel preached by the apostle and whom Paul designated as a "son of the devil". — Acts 13: 8-10, A.R.V., margin.

DEMONISM FORBIDDEN

If men were righteous by nature, they would not need the law of God, because they would do righteousness, which is in harmony with God. "The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." (1 Timothy 1: 9) Jehovah God selected the Israelites as his typical people and led them out of the land of Egypt. Those people were imperfect, and therefore needed a law to guide them and keep them in and define to them the right way. Hence God gave to them his law prescribing what is right and prohibiting what is wrong. The law of God was given for that purpose, as shown by the words recorded, to wit: "The law was our school-

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master [pedagogue, or teacher] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." — Galatians 3: 24.

From the time of the promise of God that he would send Christ Jesus the Messiah until the actual coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was a long period of time, and the Israelites were given the law of God to keep them in the right way and shield and protect them from Devil religion until the coming of Christ Jesus. One of the specific things commanded by Jehovah God was that the Israelites were not to indulge in any religious practices or demon worship. Note this part of the law, to wit: "And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations." — Leviticus 17: 7.

The offer of sacrifices unto demons was an act punishable with death. (Leviticus 17: 3,4; Genesis 9: 5, 6) According to the Douay Version (Catholic Bible) Leviticus 19: 31 reads: "Go not aside after wizards [them that have familiar spirits], neither ask any thing of soothsayers, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God." According to the same translation the following is written: "The soul that shall go aside after magicians, and soothsayers, and shall commit fornication with them, I will set my face against that soul, and destroy it out of the midst of its people. A man, or woman, in whom there is a pythonical or divining spirit, dying let them die; they shall stone them; their blood be upon them." — Leviticus 20:6,27, Douay.

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The practice of any sort of witchcraft and the observing of times, such as Hallowe'en, Friday the 13th, the "Holy Year", constitute an abomination in the sight of God, because the same relate to demons. "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) This same text in the Douay Version of the Bible, which Bible is used by the Catholics, reads: "Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire; or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortunetellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead. For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming."

When Jesus was anointed and began to carry out his commission on earth of proclaiming the truth, the demons, led by the chief one, Satan, the Devil, began actively to interfere with his work and to oppose him. The Devil sought to induce Jesus to violate His covenant with Jehovah God and thereby bring about His own destruction. In that he completely failed. — Matthew 4:1-10.

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The other demons, working with the Devil, were active at the same time, which proves conclusively that at that time the judgment against them was not executed, but its execution was deferred from the time it was made until God's due time, Armageddon. Demons are also designated in the Scriptures as "evil spirits" or "wicked spirits"; and at the time of Jesus on earth the demons would seize the mind of a person and control that person, and it is even so today. Early in the time of the activities of Jesus while in the flesh and preaching the gospel, the demons began to show themselves in opposition to him. Jesus was in the synagogue at Capernaum, there teaching the truth to the people, and his teaching was a great astonishment to them. "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him." (Mark 1: 23-26) It was one of the wicked spirits or Nephilim in darkness that thus exhibited his power over the man described in the foregoing text.

There are times when many of the demons, acting together, seize control of a human creature and use that creature to do and perform unusual things. The Scriptural record tells of a poor man dwelling in the tombs, who exhibited unusual and marvelous power. When he was bound with fetters and chains those chains were

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immediately broken. The power required to break those chains was beyond the power of any ordinary man. It was the demons who seized control of that poor man and put forth the power to break the fetters and chains, thus making it appear that the man himself could do it. The demons know that Jesus is the Son of God and they know that God's judgment is written against them and that it declares their ultimate destruction. When the spokesman of those demons that had seized control of the poor man saw Jesus, the Scriptural account thereof says, "When he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; for we are many. And he besought him much, that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there, nigh unto the mountains, a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand,) and were choked in the sea." — Mark 5: 6-13.

The demons work in divers ways to control human creatures. They seize the mind of men and use men to perform strange acts and cause such deluded ones to believe that they hear

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voices of their friends who are dead. There are many instances recorded in the Scriptures of how the demons worked when Jesus was on earth. Only a few of such are here cited, and they are cited to prove the point that the demons, at the time Jesus was on earth, were alive and were not destroyed in the flood as clergymen have represented. One instance follows: A large company of the poor were seeking information at the mouth of Jesus, and the following incident is recorded: "And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son; for he is mine only child. And lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again; and, bruising him, hardly departeth from him." "And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father." — Luke 9: 38, 39, 42.

As further proof that the demons were alive (and are yet alive) and expected a time to come for their final execution, note the following, in which the demons spoke to Jesus: "And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" — Matthew 8:29.

The Devil and his horde of demons employ a more subtle way of gaining control of the higher-ups amongst the people. Fear of men leads into the Devil's trap. The Jews feared that they would not stand as high among the other nations unless they had a king. At their request God permitted them to have Saul for king. Saul

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thereafter fell under the complete influence and control of the demons. (1 Samuel 28:7,8) Furthermore the leaders of the Jews, fearing that they would be ridiculed by reason of not having some formalism called "religion", adopted and practiced the form of worshiping idols and images.

When Jesus came to the Jews he found the leaders teaching and practicing religion, showing that they had fallen under the influence of the demons. These leaders, called "Pharisees", feared they would not be able to hold control over the people and have the people honor them and speak of them as "rabbi" and hail them in public places unless they had some kind of formalism to practice and to thereby induce the people to believe that such leaders were above ordinary men and were clothed with special power or authority from Almighty God. That fear led such leaders to fall into the trap of Satan. (Proverbs 29: 25) They had failed to trust God and obey the covenant God had made with the nation, although they had been frequently warned by Jehovah. For personal gain both of money and of approval of men those clergymen were willing to use the temple of Jerusalem as a place to sell various kinds of merchandise, and thus they made the temple of God a "den of thieves", and this was the result of the machinations of Satan and his associate demons. — Matthew 21:12,13.

Jesus, observing that the leaders of Israel had fallen under the influence of the demons and had adopted and were teaching doctrines contrary to God's Word, denounced them in unparalleled,

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vitriolic language. By yielding to the influence of the demons and teaching the people doctrines contrary to God's Word, those clergymen had brought great reproach upon the temple and upon the name of Jehovah God and made his Word of none effect amongst the people; and therefore Jesus said to them: "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." — Matthew 23:13.

Concerning the senseless formalism employed by the Pharisees in their religious practices Jesus said: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides! which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" — Matthew 23:23,24,33.

Those Pharisees, who were religious leaders, had failed to teach God's Word and had substituted the traditions of men; and this they had done by falling under the influence and power of the demons; and concerning them Jesus said: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of

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God by your tradition? Ye hypocrites! well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." — Matthew 15:1-3, 7-9.

The religious leaders, the Pharisees, were blind to the truth of God's Word because they had yielded to the Devil and adopted his religion, and hence Jesus said to them that they were blind. (Matthew 23:19,24) These Pharisees were not willing to accept the truth as brought to them by the Lord Jesus Christ, and were trying to prevent the people from seeing and understanding it; and this they did under the influence of the demons. They had been made blind by Satan and his horde and thus turned away from God. It was the truth Jesus spoke to them that stung those clergymen and cut them to the quick, and their only answer in defense was attempted violence against Jesus, and that violence was prompted by the demons.

Mark this part of the record, which proves conclusively that those clergymen were under the influence, power and control of the Devil and for that reason they attempted to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ: "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of

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myself, but he sent me. 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." — John 8: 40-44.

After the crucifixion of Jesus his apostles continued to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the demons actively opposed them in their work. The apostles, by the power which the Lord conferred upon them, healed the afflicted, and for their good work the religionists condemned them. (Acts 5:16-18; 8:5-7) Seeing Paul, one of the apostles, exercising power over the demons, some of the commercial Jews tried to do likewise, even as some of the clergymen today pretend to represent the Lord; and concerning this it is written: "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." (Acts 19:13-16) Clearly the proof here is that those men were under the influence of the demons, and this is further proof that the demons were alive. This fraudulent representation of the Lord Je-

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sus by the chief priest of his religious organization finds an exact parallel today amongst many of the priests, who fraudulently claim to represent the Lord, and who may soon expect to have their clothes torn off and go about naked and bare.

In the days of the apostles those wicked demons attempted to deceive and in this present time do deceive some who claim to be servants of God. They were alive and active then, and even in the present day those wicked spirit creatures are alive and active and do likewise deceive many who think that they are serving God. The testimony of the apostles authoritatively written clearly proves that in the end of the world, where we now are, clergymen claiming to serve God would fall under the influence of the demons, and concerning these it is written: "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." — 1 Timothy 4:1,2.

In the days of the apostles the non-Jews as well as some of the Jews were offering sacrifices unto images or idols, and concerning that offering it is written: "What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." — 1 Corinthians 10:19,20.

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This is further and conclusive proof that the Devil uses religion and religious ceremonies as a means of deceiving the people and turning them away from God. Thus the Devil used religion from the days of Nimrod to the days of the apostles, and what follows herein proves beyond all doubt that the demons are in this very day unusually active, employing religion to turn the people away from God. Let those who desire to be on the safe side study and consider carefully what follows. It will be found from the Scriptures that the close-girdling or besetting sin of all who profess to serve God is the influence of demons brought to bear upon them by religion, and that in order to safeguard themselves they must be diligent to avoid religion and for safety they must follow closely the Word of God.



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