Chapter 4. Teaching about angels and satan

Autor's: Włodzimierz Bednarski
Szymon Matusiak

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Chapter 4. Teaching about angels and satan

 

Archangels and fallen angels

 

Archangels

 

Many archangels

 

These Scriptures being decisive authority on the subject, we may know beyond peradventure that men, angels, archangels, or even the Son of God, before and during the time he "was made flesh and dwelt among us" were not immortal all were mortal. (The At-one-ment Between God and Man 1910 p. 389).

 

One archangel

 

To speak of Archangels (plural) would be contrary to the Scriptures. (The Watchtower June 15, 1912 p. 5050, reprints).

 

Many archangels

 

Some were given positions and service as seraphim, others as cherubim, and others as archangels, and others as angels, which last name means “messengers”. (The New World 1942 p. 18).

 

One archangel

 

God’s Word mentions only one archangel, and it speaks of that angel in reference to the resurrected Lord Jesus... (The Watchtower April 15, 1991 p. 28).

 

Interesting excerpt:

 

For many years Jehovah’s Witnesses have taught that Michael is a heavenly name for the only-begotten Son of God, who was named Jesus while on earth. However, most other religions view Michael as one of several archangels, as if there were more than one archangel. In view of this, Is the teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses correct? (The Watchtower December 15, 1984 p. 26).

 

Fallen angels

 

Will be tried

 

The liberties of the fallen angels – demons – were restrained. They are unable to use deceptions in the light – unable to materialize as formerly. Note, however, that the limitation “unto” implies that when the “great Day of Wrath” shall come, these fallen angels will be permitted to materialize and become potent factors in the strife. Other Scriptures indicate that these fallen angels will have much to do with the great "time of trouble" with which this Age will close, and in which Messiah's Kingdom will be inaugurated. (Scenario of the Photo-Drama of Creation 1914 p. 17).

 

Will be destroyed

 

God imprisoned many of such angels. (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4) God declared that in his own due time "all the wicked will he destroy". (Ps. 145:20) The chief amongst these wicked ones is the Devil, that angel of great light and power. The fact that these wicked angels will be destroyed is conclusive proof that they are not immortal. (Reconciliation 1928 p. 77).

 

Will be tried

 

“The sons of God” who became disobedient and left God's organization in the days of Noah have been imprisoned for a long time. (1 Peter 3:19,20) They are yet alive, and it seems that their punishment may end approximately at Armageddon. Such of that company as turn to righteousness may be saved and recovered. (Riches 1936 p. 104).

 

Will be destroyed

 

When the Deluge compelled those angels to return to the spirit realm, they were thrown into Tartarus, a condition of utter debasement. (2 Peter 2:4) The resurrected Jesus preached to them. But was that a message of salvation? Definitely not! Rather, Jesus condemned their wickedness as being the very antithesis of godly devotion. Any of God’s people who toy with sexual immorality today should take warning from the judgment pronounced upon those angels! (The Watchtower January 15, 1990 p. 13).

 

Satan

 

The binding of satan

 

Satan is “tied” or “bound”

 

We have seen that though the result of this change will be a great blessing; yet the time of the transfer, while the present prince, the ‘strong man,’ is being bound and his household driven out of power (Matt 12:29), will be a time of intense trouble (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 pp. 300-301).

 

Prior to 1924 many of the Lord’s anointed understood that Satan was bound, and not until the autumn of that year was the proof clearly brought forth showing that Satan is not bound. (See The Watchtower, 1924, page 307.) (The Watchtower April  1, 1933 p. 103).

 

Satan is not bound

 

Not until 1924 was it made clear from the Scriptural evidence that Satan is not bound, and it was after that date that Satan's mighty organization was first recognized by God's faithful people. (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 308).

 

Satan will be killed at Armageddon

 

(...) Christ Jesus, the great executive officer, will crush and kill Satan, and that in this manner Satan will be bound. (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 189).

 

Satan will be bound in Armageddon

 

Christ’s reign of a thousand years begins with the binding of Satan and his abyssing. (The Watchtower May 1, 2005 p. 19).

 

Lucifer

 

The name Lucifer not used

 

In books published in times of C. T. Russell the name Lucifer is used only then when he quotes someone who used that term or when he cites Isaiah 14:12, see the volume New Creation (1910 pp. 610, 618).

 

Lucifer’s name used

 

Covetousness and lawlessness entered the heart of the “anointed cherub”, and since then he has been known by such names as the Devil, Satan, Dragon, Serpent and Lucifer. (The Watchtower June 1, 1950 p. 173).

 

Next, Isaiah’s prophecy tells us the form this expression of iniquity took in Satan’s (Lucifer’s) mind and heart thousands of years later when Babylon became the third world power: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will be like [match, Ro] the Most High.” (Isa. 14:13, 14) (The Watchtower March 15, 1954 p. 186).

 

Lucifer’s name rejected

 

Jehovah’s people, too, need to be cautious in the applying of scriptures so that they correctly present God’s Word in their preaching and teaching activity. As an example, take the statement that is sometimes made that one of the names given to Satan the Devil is Lucifer. Reference may be made by some to Isaiah 14:12-16. According to the Authorized Version (King James), verse twelve says: “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!” The word “Lucifer” is a translation of the Hebrew word heh·lel′, “shining one.” Heh·lel′, as here used, is not a personal name or a title, but, rather, a term describing the brilliant position taken by Babylon’s dynasty of kings in the line of Nebuchadnezzar. It would not be correct to say that Satan the Devil is the one here called Lucifer as though it were one of his names. (The Watchtower April  1, 1973 p. 209).

 

Serpent with legs

 

Serpent without legs

 

The Watchtower Society in its publication of 1914, Scenario of the Photo-Drama of Creation, on pages 10 and 11 showed a serpent without legs.

 

Serpent with legs

 

Did the serpent lose legs or feet as means of movement as a result of the divine curse recorded at Genesis 3:14? (...) It, therefore, is reasonable to conclude that before God cursed it the serpent possessed legs that elevated it above the ground. (The Watchtower June 1, 1964 p. 352).

 

E.g. see a picture from Vindication 1932 Vol. 2, p. 97.

 

Serpent without legs

 

Did the serpent that spoke to Eve have legs? (...) The Bible does not specifically state that the animal used in tempting Eve had previously had legs but lost them. (The Watchtower June 15, 2007 p. 31).

 

The expulsion of satan

 

The expulsion of satan after the creation of man

 

Thus we see that Satan had an ambitious desire to be like the Most High. God manifested his justice toward Lucifer by expelling him from his presence and has decreed that he shall be ultimately destroyed.(Ezekiel 28:14-18; Hebrews 2:14) When Lucifer was expelled from the presence of Jehovah because of his wickedness, he thereafter was and is known by the names of dragon, that old serpent, the devil, and Satan. (Revelation 12:9) (The Harp of God 1921 p. 37).

 

According to the interpretation set out in The Finished Mystery, the woman of Revelation chapter 12 was “the early Church,” the dragon was “the Pagan Roman Empire,” and the man child was “the papacy.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom 1993 p. 79).

 

Moment of announcement that satan had been cast out of heaven

 

It was about 1925 that the faithful discerned the fact that the kingdom had begun and that Satan had been cast out of heaven and must now confine his operations to the earth. (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 309).

 

The expulsion in 1914

 

The time must come when Satan's world must end, and when he is ousted from heaven; and the Scriptural proof is that the beginning of such ousting took place in 1914. (Creation 1927 p. 310).

 

The expulsion in 1914-1918

 

The exact time of Satan's falling from heaven is not stated, but manifestly it was between 1914 and 1918, and was afterwards revealed to God's people. (Light 1930, Vol. 1, p. 127).

 

The expulsion in 1914

 

(...) that the time has come, ' as God declares, when Satan's rule shall for ever end; that in 1914 Satan was cast out of heaven down to the earth; (The Kingdom, the Hope of the World 1931 p. 23).

 

The expulsion in 1918

 

This resulted in Satan’s complete defeat by 1918, when he and his wicked forces were ejected from the heavenly realm to be cast downward into the vicinity of the earth. (The Watchtower September 15, 1966 p. 553).

 

The expulsion in 1914

 

So Satan the Devil is the guilty troublemaker, and his ouster from heaven in 1914 has meant “woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” (The Watchtower February 1, 2004 p. 20).

 

 

After 1914

 

So, then, the Bible does not reveal the exact time when Satan and his demons were expelled from heaven. Nevertheless, it is evident that this event closely followed the enthronement of Jesus Christ in heaven in 1914. (The Watchtower May 15, 2009 p. 18).

 

Where satan was thrown down?

 

Thrown down to the vicinity of the earth

 

After the establishment of God’s Kingdom in 1914, Satan was ousted from heaven and confined to the vicinity of the earth, having “great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” (Rev. 12:7-9, 12) (The Watchtower August 15, 2013 p. 18).

 

Thrown down to earth

 

Jesus became King in 1914. Shortly afterward, he threw Satan and his demons down to the earth. (The Watchtower July 1, 2011 p. 17).

 

The end of satan’s rule

 

The end of rule from 1914

 

All three show that “the times of the Gentiles”, or period of the Gentiles, ended with 1914 A. D. That date therefore fixes the time of the end of Satan's rule, and from that time forward interference with his rule is to be expected. (Government 1928 p. 164).

 

The end of rule in the future

 

(...) God at Armageddon. Satan’s rulership of the world is one that is merely tolerated by God until His appointed time arrives for settling the issue of universal sovereignty (Reasoning From the Scriptures 1989 p. 437).

 

When satan was released?

 

At the close of that thousand-year rule

 

The Bible states that at the close of that thousand-year rule Satan and his demons will be released from their restraint for a brief time. (True Peace and Security—How Can You Find It? 1986 p. 53).

 

After the thousand years

 

But those perfected humans who do not faithfully pass the test of godly loyalty during the “little while” that Satan is released after the thousand years are ended will be everlastingly destroyed... (The Watchtower January 1, 1974 p. 7).

 

Former, exact date of release of satan

 

A little season: Perhaps a period of nine years from 2874 to 2883 A. D. (Z.’05-186). (The Revelation of Jesus Christ – According to the Sinaitic Text 1918 p. 171).

 

Fate of satan during Armageddon and the end of the Millennium

 

Satan will be incarcerated in prison during Armageddon

 

During the entire time of the progress of the human race upon the great highway, Satan the enemy will be incarcerated in prison so that he cannot deceive any one. (Revelation 20:1-3) (Deliverance 1926 p. 339).

 

Satan will be revived and resuscitated during Armageddon

 

Apparently Satan will be temporarily revived or resuscitated after the thousand years, for the Bible says that he will “be let loose for a little while.” He will not be resurrected as if he had a potential to act righteously and live forever. To the contrary, the Scriptures indicate that after he is allowed to test mankind briefly he will be eternally destroyed by being cast into the lake of fire, which “means the second death.”—Rev. 20:10, 14. (The Watchtower February 15, 1969 p. 128).

 

Satan will be imprisoned during Armageddon

 

At the battle of Armageddon, God’s angels will destroy all who oppose God. Satan will be imprisoned for 1,000 years... (The Watchtower April  1, 2011 p. 16).

 

Who is the dragon in Revelation 12:7?

 

The dragon of Revelation 12:7 is the Pagan Roman Empire

 

According to the interpretation set out in The Finished Mystery, the woman of Revelation chapter 12 was “the early Church,” the dragon was “the Pagan Roman Empire,” and the man child was “the papacy.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom 1993 p. 79).

 

The dragon of Revelation 12:7 is satan the devil

 

The Bible tells us: “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled.” (Revelation 12:7) “Michael the archangel” is Jesus Christ in his heavenly position. (Jude 9; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) The dragon is Satan the Devil. (The Watchtower September 15, 2006 p. 3).

 

Who is the angel of the abyss?

 

The angel of the abyss is satan

 

[Which is] the angel of the [bottomless pit] ABYSS. — “The prince of the power of the air.” — Eph. 2:2.

Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon. — And he is “a bad one,” sure enough. — 2 Cor. 4:4.

But in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. — That is, Destroyer. But in plain English his name is Satan, the Devil. (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 159).

 

Angel of the abyss is Jesus

 

Revelation 9:1-12 also speaks of a plague of locusts, sent forth by Jehovah under “a king, the angel of the abyss,” who is none other than Christ Jesus. His names Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek) mean “Destruction” and “Destroyer.” (The Watchtower May 1, 1992 p. 11).

 

Who is the avenger of blood?

 

The justice of God is the avenger

 

We are all under sentence of death: justice is the avenger; and only those in Christ are shielded. (The Watchtower October 15, 1907 p. 4079, reprints).

 

Satan is the avenger of blood

 

Satan, now having the power of death and being the avenger of blood, attempts to kill the new creature. (The Watchtower June 15, 1925 p. 183).

 

Jesus is the avenger of blood

 

JEHOVAH’S Avenger of blood, Jesus Christ, is about to strike. (The Watchtower November 15, 1995 p. 15).

 

Who is the sower of the mustard?

 

Sower of the mustard from Matthew 13:31 is satan

 

In the parable, the “man” that sowed the mustard grain pictures the “wicked one,” Satan the Devil. Outstandingly in the fourth century C.E. Satan the Devil planted or specially cultivated this symbolic “mustard grain” of contaminated, adulterated, imitation Christianity. (Man’s Salvation out of World Distress at Hand! 1975 p. 208).

 

Sower of the mustard from Matthew 13:31 is Jesus

 

How could Jesus as the Sower of the parable plant the symbolic mustard grain and yet have it become a tree of a foreign kind, the corrupt counterfeit called Christendom? (...) Jesus Christ, with his prophetic foresight, could foreknow the outcome for the symbolic mustard grain that he planted in the first century. (The Watchtower October 1, 1975 p. 600).

 

Who is the rider on the white horse?

 

The rider on the horse is the representative of satan

 

And he that sat on him. [Rev. 6:2] — The Bishop of Rome, the embryo Pope, the personal representative of Satan. (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 106).

 

The rider on the horse is Jesus

 

Who is the Rider of this horse? He has a bow, an offensive weapon of war, but he is also given a crown. (...) Hence, this lone horseman must be Jesus Christ and no other. (Revelation—Its Grand Climax At Hand! 1988, 2006 p. 90).

 

What does the tree of Daniel 4 illustrate?

 

This tree is the first dominion of earth given to the human race

 

This remarkable tree, in its glory and beauty, represented the first dominion of earth given to the human race in its representative and head, Adam... (The Time is at Hand 1902, 1927 p. 94).

 

The tree depicts Lucifer’s heavenly office

 

Therefore the great tree reaching unto heaven that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon saw pictured Lucifer's heavenly office... (“The Truth Shall Make You Free” 1943 p. 235).

 

The tree is the supreme rulership of God

 

The tree therefore represents the supreme rulership of God, particularly in its relationship to the earth. This rulership was expressed for a time through the kingdom that Jehovah set up over the nation of Israel. (The Watchtower July 15, 2006 p. 6).

 

Who is Gog of Magog (Ezekiel 38-39; Revelation 20:8)?

 

Israel will be besieged by hordes of merciless plunderers of Gog of Magog

 

The New World society has long been associated with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which has been interested in the subject of Gog for years and has sought to understand it. Back in 1897 the Watch Tower Society published the fourth volume of the Studies in the Scriptures, first entitled “The Day of Vengeance” and later given a change of title to “The Battle of Armageddon.” In chapter eleven this book set forth that the nation of Israel restored to the land of Palestine would be the object of Gog’s attack, and, on page 554, it said: “Israel will finally be besieged by hosts of merciless plunderers, designated by the prophet as the hosts of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38), and great will be the distress of defenceless Israel.” Over thirty years later the Bible prophecies were examined further in the light... (The Watchtower October 1, 1953 p. 580-581).

See The Watchtower September 1879 p. 26, reprints.

 

Gog of Magog is a horde of enemies of God and the Kingdom (teaching since 1930)

The names “Gog and Magog”, before the Millennial age or reign of Christ begins, are applied to all that is anti-God and anti-kingdom. (...) These wicked ones go into death at or before Armageddon, and doubtless there will be a tremendous number of them who will die in Armageddon. (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 212).

 

These seem to be the hordes described by the prophet as "Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal". (Ezek. 38:2) (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 178).

 

Gog of Magog is one of the princes of satan’s organization (teaching from 1932)

 

Over thirty years later [after 1897] the Bible prophecies were examined further in the light of events since A.D. 1914, to reveal that, not the Israelites according to the flesh, but the Christians who are Israelites inwardly, spiritual Israelites, are the people destined to be the target of Gog’s attack from the far north. In 1932 the Watch Tower Society published Book Two of a series entitled “Vindication.” This book took up part of Ezekiel’s prophecy and, without wanting to be dogmatic on Gog’s identity, page 311 set forth this conclusion about him: “Gog is one of the princes in Satan’s organization, invisible, of course, to human eyes, with a possibility of the power to materialize in human form. The land of Magog pictures the spiritual or invisible realm of Satan, and includes Gog and all the wicked angels within his division of Satan’s organization, and which ‘bear rule over all the earth’.” Since then twenty-one years have passed and much prophecy clarifying the Holy Scriptures has been fulfilled meantime; and is our conclusion today the same as the above? For a factual and Scriptural answer the following article should be read. (The Watchtower October 1, 1953 p. 581).

 

The prophecy of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, supply a vivid account of the final, all-out warfare of Satan's organization under his chief spirit-prince Gog against Jehovah's faithful remnant of spiritual Israelites and their companions at Armageddon. (“The Truth Shall Make You Free” 1943 p. 361).

 

Gog of Magog is satan (teaching since 1953)

 

Truly, an alarm was sounded on that Thursday evening, July 23, 1953. The Society’s vice-president, F. W. Franz, painted a graphic picture of the coming attack upon Jehovah’s people by Gog of Magog and his hordes. Gog, the prophecy’s principal character, was identified as Satan. And, Franz showed, the land of Magog is the location of the wicked spirit forces in a limited spiritual realm near earth’s vicinity following their expulsion from heaven by 1918 (C.E.). (Rev. 12:7-9) The speaker showed that the present prosperity, unity and security of Jehovah’s people would cause Gog and his forces to attack. (1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses pp. 215-213).

 

Such hatred will reach a climax in the worldwide attack of Satan the Devil in his role as Gog of Magog. (The Watchtower March 15, 2009 p. 28).

 

However, havoc is also to come Satan’s way. Jehovah states: “Fire and sulphur I shall rain down upon [Gog] and upon his bands and upon the many peoples that will be with him.” (Ezek. 38:21, 22) (The Watchtower September 15, 2012 p. 6).

See God’s Kingdom Rules! 2014 p. 227.

 

Gog of Magog is a “coalition of nations” (Ezekiel 38-39) and rebels (Revelation 20:8) (teaching since 2015)

 

For a number of years, our publications have explained that Gog of Magog is the name given to Satan the Devil after his ouster from heaven. This explanation was based on the fact that the book of Revelation identifies Satan the Devil as the leader of the worldwide attack on God’s people.(Rev. 12:1-17) So it was thought that Gog must be another prophetic name for Satan. (The Watchtower May 15, 2015 p. 29).

 

Gog of Ezekiel 38-39: When we compare all these Scriptural references about the final attack on God’s people, it becomes evident that the name Gog of Magog refers, not to Satan, but to a coalition of nations. (The Watchtower May 15, 2015 p. 30).

 

Gog of Revelation 20:8: It seems fitting, then, that all those rebels at the end of the Millennium be called “Gog and Magog.” (The Watchtower May 15, 2015 p. 30).

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