by Epiphany Bible Students

Doubtless many have been much surprised when told that Satan is not in some far-off place stoking fires and torturing human or other victims, but that he is present amongst men, an invisible angel of evil, ably supported in his work as an Adversary of God by legions of other fallen angels (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30), of whom he is master -"Prince of Demons," either because of his superiority of nature, or because of belonging to a higher rank or grade than the ordinary angel. It's a surprise to many to learn that Satan, so far from being ill-favored, is beautiful, according to the Scriptures, and is supervising the work directly and through the fallen angels, his servants, to mislead and to deceive humanity -putting light for darkness and darkness for light, error for truth, etc.

The time was not long ago when intelligent people made light of everything in the Scriptures respecting invisible spirit beings, good and bad -the messengers of God and the messengers of Satan. This, however, can no longer be done. Under the increasing light of the New Dispensation man himself today can do things which but a short time ago would have been considered impossible. We can speak with our friends over hundreds of miles with a telephone and recognize each other's voices. Still more marvelous is wireless telegraphy, the cellular phone, computers, fax machines, etc... whereby we can communicate with others with great ease. If man can accomplish these things, what can not the Almighty accomplish? Who can deny the possibility of the invisible presence of spirit beings and yet admit the possibility of wireless telegraphy? We are safe, dear friends, in guiding our judgments directly by the Word of God and reasoning inside and not outside of its boundaries.


The Bible, and it alone, explains certain phenomena, and all of the Bible explana­tions, although written by some of the writers centuries apart they are in perfect accord. Thus in Genesis .the Bible tells us respecting Satan's deflection, and the book of Revelation, written more than three thousand years later, tells us of his being bound for a thousand years (Rev. 20:2) of Messiah's reign and Satan's ultimate destruction. Isaiah and Ezekiel tell us of his being at one time in full harmony with God, and that then he was the "covering cherub" (Ezek. 28: 14,16), glorious, grand, beautiful, and that his name was Lucifer.

All of the angelic, heavenly hosts are termed stars, bright ones; but Lucifer, being of a higher order, was styled the "son of the morning" (Isa. 14: 12). It was at that time, while in Divine favor, that Satan permitted the lodgment in his mind of a disloyal thought of how, indirectly, by being of higher responsibility he could work some wonders and do some things better than the Almighty. Satan craved the opportunity to make a demonstra­tion of what he could do. But the Scriptures declare that first of all he said this merely in his heart and uttered it not. "He said in his heart, I will ascend into heaven: I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [still farther above his angelic associates]. I will be as the Most High [a ruler]." (Isa. 14: 13, 14)


Never had there been sin in heaven (Spirit world). Satan was the first of all its inhabitants to cherish and to entertain a rebellious thought, and to bring it to a consummation. He held the thought in abeyance until the opportunity was afforded him, and God Himself afforded the opportunity, with full knowledge of the consequences, and with the desire that this test of the entire heavenly host, and of a human race as well, should be effected, because God seeketh not the worship of constraint, but seeketh such as "worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), voluntarily, joyfully.  

It was when Satan beheld our first parents, in the image and likeness of God, yet not spirit but flesh, earthly, that he perceived the opportunity of gaining the coveted power for an empire, separate from that of Jehovah. In the first pair the Adversary beheld a new thing, a creature of Godlike qualities and possessed of the power to propagate his own species. Satan realized that the conquest of this pair and the bringing of them into subjection to himself would signify the capture of a world full of people eventually -that the enslavement of the parents would signify the enslavement of the race.


We cannot deny that Satan's plans were logical and that he has carried them out with great success -so that the Scriptures declare him "the Prince of this world" (John 14:30). and again, "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). Nevertheless, his victory was not so great as he doubtless expected it to be. No doubt he expected that he was capturing an immortal race. Quite probably he believed the falsehood he told mother Eve, when he contradicted the Word of God -that sin, that disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit, would bring upon them the penalty of death, "dying thou shalt die."

Satan's charge was that God had misrepresented the facts for the purpose of holding His creatures in mental slavery to Himself: that He did not wish them to be wise. therefore He forbade the eating of this particular kind of fruit and declared the penalty of death for the transgression of His law. "I, Satan, assure you that you need not be afraid of the fruit; I assure you that it will do you good, and that you will not surely die from the eating of it."

Alas!  Mother Eve believed the Adversary and disbelieved her God, and then enticed her husband, still thinking no doubt, that she would not die and that the serpent had told her the truth and that God had been the deceiver. St. Paul tells us that father Adam knew better and ate the fruit, knowing that it would cause his death, willing thus to disobey in order to maintain the fellowship of his wife, whose life, he realized was already forfeited (1 Tim. 2:14).

When the Divine sentence began to go into execution was when our first parents were driven out of Ede~ to battle with the thorns and thistles until they should return to dust. No doubt Satan was disappointed. He would rather be the Prince of a noble, living family of angels or of a perfect human race than the Emperor of a weak and dying race. However, from that day to the present time he has been fighting upon the same line; he has been contending with mankind that the Word of God is false when it declares that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), and that "the soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezek. 18:4) From that day to this he has been using this falsehood to the injury of our race, and he surely has succeeded wonderfully.

Today, not only in heathen lands, but amongst the most civilized, it is freely believed (and many Christians consider it Scriptural to believe the nonsensical) that the dead is more alive than he was before he died. People of good, sound reasoning faculties on ordinary subjects seem to be "hoodooed" by this falsehood of Satan, "ye shall not surely die." So true is this, that it seems consistent to them to say that a man hit over the head with a stick and knocked senseless knows nothing, but a man hit over the head harder and killed, knows everything.


It was sometime after the fall of Satan and the fall of man that the Lord permitted the great test to come upon the angels of heaven, under which test a host of them fell into sin, disobedience, etc., and since then are known in the Scriptures as the fallen angels, and as devils -more properly demons. These fallen angels, demons, are under Satan as their great Prince and they have been his active agents for long centuries in deceiving mankind and opposing the Divine Program.


No less an authority than our great Lord and Redeemer tells us that Satan is a murderer and a liar. He declares that "He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth; when he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is the father of lies." (John 8: 44) It is well that we keep this Divine testimony in our minds. It is well that we note just what the first great lie was, namely, Satan's misrepresentation saying, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4) It is important that we notice this, because so thoroughly has Satan accomplished his deceptive work that practically everybody, the heathen as well as the civilized, accept Satan's version of the matter and discredits that of the Almighty.

Let us notice that Satan is a murderer; that he murdered Father Adam and Mother Eve, and that his lie is still murdering our race, under the just laws of heredity. The error of believing Satan instead of God has gotten many into the confused situation of disclaiming that God proposed that man should live forever on earth in a Paradise, and, as his family would increase and continue in harmony with His wise regulation, the boundaries of his Paradise would be enlarged and be a Paradise filled with the knowledge of God and home of a perfect humanity, in accord with God, privileged to maintain everlasting life here. And, says this theory, by Satan's lie and our first parent's fall, we die and by dying become more alive and some of us go to heaven and the mass to some eternal, fiery hell, of which we have no knowledge.


But in another sense Satan is prince of the air power -literally. When Job was given into his hand to be tried, he manifested his power of death. He caused fire to fall from heaven (probably a bolt of lightening), and destroyed several of Job's servants and his sheep. He caused a great wind (a cyclone or tornado) to come upon Job's house and thus killed Job's sons and daughters.

Satan's object evidently was to make Job suppose that God caused those calamities, and to thus cause Job to feel bitter and resentful against God, and to "curse God and die"; or to shake his faith in there being any God. Indeed, that such was Satan' s object is implied in the narrative; and Job's friends, although God fearing men, were deceived into this view, and tried for days to convince Job that his afflictions were the work of the Lord. But of Job it is written, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly [with being the author of his calamities]." (Job 1:22)

Again, notice that when our Lord and His disciples were in the little boat on the Sea of Galilee and our Lord was asleep, a storm suddenly arose, which appalled the hearts of those old and expert fishermen accustomed to the storms, until they awakened the Master, saying, Lord, save us; we perish! We cannot presume that, if the heavenly Father had willed or caused that storm, our Lord Jesus would have commanded it to subside, or that it would have obeyed Him. On the contrary, rather we may suppose that the same Satan who used his power against Job's household sought to destroy the Lord and the infant Church. But that Satan had no power over the life of Christ, until "his hour had come," is evident from our Lord's words upon this occasion, "0 ye of little faith, why are ye fearful?"

We would not be understood to question God's ability to cause st9rms, cyclones, etc.; but from our Lord's teachings we know that such would not be His spirit; for when the disciples were incensed against the Samaritans who did not welcome the Redeemer and asked, "Lord wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" Our Lord's answer was, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of [your spirit is not mine, nor the Father's]." (Luke 9:55)

Remembering the deluge and the destruction of Sodom, we can only understand, in the light of the account in Job, that God may at times use storms and fires as His servants to execute His decrees against the wicked; or that Satan is ever ready as an executioner, taking pleasure in evil, to destroy life whenever permitted to do so.

In thinking of how Satan has the power of death, let us not forget that in healing the diseases of the people, at His First Advent, our Lord expressly stated that they were "afflicted of [or by] the devil." If God had directly caused the diseases, our Redeemer in healing the sick would have been opposing the Father, and not doing His will. Since disease is death at work, devouring the sick, to have the power of disease is to have the power of death.

Satan is permitted to have such a power of disease and death because of sin; and because men are under the Divine and just sentence of death, as culprits. The Scriptures represent that mankind had sold itself. under sin and death, and to him that has this power, Satan.

The foregoing being true, it seems more than possible, yes, probable, that Satan's power for evil and death finds exercise in the development of new diseases which for a time successfully baffle the skill of all except Satan's own physicians -Christian Scientists, etc. Many new diseases have arisen in recent years, as well as the resurgence of some old ones thought to be eradicated. Some of these are: Aids, Eco1i, Hunta virus, Encephalitis, Tuberculosis, Chicken flu and Strep A, a very virulent invasive, sometimes fatal strain of Strep.

Knowing that God is resting from His creative work, since the creation of man, we are bound to attribute these new creations to other sources. Satan is knowledgeable, and no doubt merely takes advantage of natural laws in propagation of the evils mentioned; and no doubt if mankind possessed the powers with which his Creator endowed him, when he gave him dominion over every creature, he would have equal knowledge of the laws governing the start and propagation of bacteria and virus, and could use his knowledge and powers to prevent such formations or to destroy them. But man is fallen, and has "lost" (Luke 19: 10) much that he once possessed. Satan is now his master and prince; he "now worketh in the children of disobedience"; under his misrule "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together." (Eph. 2:2; Rom. 8:19-23; 1 John 5:19, Dia.)

We may safely say that Satan's object in using his "power of death" over his subjects is not merely to, gratify a fiendish delight in their sufferings. Quite probably his special object is to oppose the true light, which is now more and more breaking over the world as the Sun of Righteousness rises into place and influence. He is still striving to prevent the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God from shining into men's hearts and chasing away the dark shadows of doubt and fear which he has deeply engraved thereon for centuries by "doctrines of devils" -by which he has made God to appear as mercilessly cruel, unjust and unkind, and the author of evil, calamities, diseases, plagues, storms, etc.

Satan may think that he is unrestrainab1e, but we know that "all power in heaven and in earth" was given unto Christ, when, having finished His course, He was raised from death by the Father's power, and highly exalted.

By the ransom which He gave, by which God's sentence against the sinner-race was legally met and paid, once for all, our Lord became the owner of the race which had by sin sold itself to Satan and came under his control, but without any Divine sanction of the transaction. Christ, the legal purchaser now holds the destinies of all men. His purpose, as he explains it, is the very reverse of Satan's policy. He will set them free to act for themselves, by increasing their knowledge -opening the sin-blinded eyes of all –to see the goodness and love and justice of God. Those who then choose righteous­ness He will bless and help and heal, restoring them to perfection lost through Adam. Those who will not hear, obey, after the knowledge of the Lord fills the whole earth, will He cut off from among the people -in the Second Death. Then Satan, too, who for six thousand years has had the power of death and exercised it so relentlessly, shall be destroyed. (Heb. 2:14)

The permission of Satan's policy and power as "prince of this world," since the ransom-price was paid, and since all power over man passed legally into the hands of Christ, is not from lack of power to destroy Satan  and release his blinded slaves, nor from lack of loving sympathy and interest in them, but because God's due time for this world (age) to end, and for the world ("age) to come to begin has not arrived; and all of God's dealings are upon lines of strictest order. God's plan provided a work for Christ to do before the setting up of His Kingdom, and taking to Himself His great power and beginning His reign. (Rev. 15:14,17) The Gospel Age was needful for the call, selection and discipline of this class; and its work is almost completed.

At the close of the Gospel Age and the introduction of the Millennial Age our Lord in wisdom has purposed a great time of trouble, which shall not only be a just recompense upon the world for sins against light and opportunity, but also a time of breaking up present imperfect institutions preparatory to the better ones of Christ's Kingdom; and the breaking of the hard hearts of the ungodly -plowing and harrowing them, and getting ready many (we trust) for the good seed of righteousness, which the glorified Church will sow unsparingly during the Millennium.

As a part of that coming trouble, "such as was not since there was a nation" (Dan. 12:1), in addition to its financial, social, political and religious features, we believe that Satan's "power of death" will be permitted to a remarkable degree -increasingly and along the lines already indicated -storms, hail, droughts, pests, germs and diseases. Building upon the false doctrines he has already inculcated, he will be zealous in the exercise of his power of death, that thus to some he may represent God as being of devilish disposition, while to others the effect may be to destroy all faith in a Divine power. For none, except those instructed in the Scriptures respecting the cause and object of the permission of evil, calamities, etc., could suppose any reason why God should either inflict such calamities or permit them to come upon men from other causes.

And Satan's power of death makes it quite possible his relief of sickness, etc., through agencies of his choice for the purpose of enforcing their false teachings. This deception will, we believe, be employed by him more and more as the Time of Trouble advances. This is another sign of Satan's desperation, and indicates the near approach of the dissolution of his kingdom and power of death. So says our Lord in Matthew 12:25,26.

Satan no doubt has been permitted to gain increasing knowledge since 1799 just as have men; and no doubt like them he takes the credit to himself, and supposes that he is daily growing wiser, and through his wisdom he has greater "power of death." Christ, the new King, according to the Scriptures, will permit Satan to use his knowledge and powers increasingly, and thus cause the wrath of Satan to praise God, and to work out features of His plan, as He so often has done with the wrath of man. (Psa. 76:10)

Sickness, disease, accidents and other mysterious dispensations of Providence (so-called) are but the instruments of Satan; and the messengers -not of light but of darkness -by which he gathers in his harvest.

Can anyone look calmly at the misery of the past six thousand years and not discern who has been the ruler of this world? Surely they would exclaim with Job, "The earth is given unto the hand of the wicked one; he covereth the faces of [deceives] the judges thereof; if not where and who is he [the rightful ruler]?" Let those who have the truth stand up for the character and glory of the Father and of His Son, who is about to take up His great power and reign.

When the Time of Trouble is over we shall see a different order of things; when earth's sons may each sit fearlessly and peacefully under his own vine and fig-tree, rejoicing in the fruit of their own planting (Micah 4:4). Now death is everywhere. Carelessness, recklessness, covetousness, drunkenness, or devilishness may each be the instrumentality, but Satan is the director of all. Let us give the devil his due in the fullest sense and bravely stand for the honor of the Name of the Lord, praying, "THY KINGDOM COME."


God, while permitting Satan and sin and depravity and death to take their course, has not been idle. He has had, and still has a great plan for human salvation -a plan for recovering man from sin and from death and from all of his fallen conditions, a plan of restitution to human perfection, a plan by which the Seed of the woman shall yet, literally, crush the Serpent's head (Gen. 3:15), and undo Satan's great original misdeed -recover man from his murdered condition and from his fallen estate to all that he had at first plus the knowledge and experiences of the present life and plus the experience incidental to his uplift, during the reign of Messiah, for which we pray, "THY KINGDOM COME."

The Scriptures clearly show us that all of this recovery is to be accomplished through the merit of Jesus' sacrifice -the just for the unjust. That the work has not yet begun is evident. We are still living under the reign of sin and death. The Messianic Kingdom must come in power and great glory and be established, the Scriptures tell us, in a great time of trouble. Then the earth will be made to blossom as the rose, and the wilderness and the solitary places will be made glad, and all mankind will receive Divine blessing and opportunity to return to Divine favor and eternal life as human beings. And the willfully disobedient and the negligent of those opportunities will die the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery, no resurrection, no hope.

"The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." (Rom. 16: 20) The Church is the Body of Christ, Messiah. Hence the Apostle's words in this text apply to the Church in glory.



Israel's Defense Minister, the popular and well-liked Moshe Arens, has been urged to correct some of the serious mistakes made by his predecessors to offset President Clinton's pro-Arafat and negative postures vis-a-vis the Jewish State.

The urgent call, made by Herbert Zweibon in a recent issue of "Outpost" of which he is editor, is fully consistent with the position of those who believe the time has come for the Netanyahu Government to show its mettle and act in the spirit of the Maccabees and the ancient prophets of our people, respecting the boundaries of the "Promised" Land as delineated in the Book of Books.

Your correspondent believes Arens will heed this call to the satisfaction of the majority of Israelis on the very eve of the scheduled elections:

  1. Adjust the open-fire orders: For years, Israeli soldiers have had their hands tied when responding to Arab violence. A soldier facing a mob of Arabs hurling deadly rocks and firebombs is bound by impossible restrictive orders that prevent him from adequately defending himself. The open-fire orders need to be adjusted to reality: anybody throwing a rock or a firebomb is trying to kill and anyone who is the target of such an attempted murder should be allowed -indeed required to -respond with appropriate force.
  2. Make the roads safe: For too long, the Jewish residents of Judea-Samaria-Gaza have traveled in fear every time they go to work or send their children off to school. The Israeli army needs to be assigned the mission of forcefully securing the safety of the roads. Just as it wiped out terrorist nests, house by house, in Gaza in 1969, the army today can get the job done -if the Defense Minister has the political courage to give the order and stand by it.
  3. Military preparations for Jewish residents of the territories: The Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza should not be excessively dependent on the Israeli Army for day-to-day protection. It puts the residents at a military disadvantage, diverts the Army's resources, and could create unjustified public resentment of the Jewish residents of the territories. They should be given training courses in military preparedness and counter-terror tactics for repelling intruders so that they can assume the major share of their own defense requirements.
  4. Change the Hebron double-standard: The Israeli legal authorities have been using a double standard against the Jewish residents of Hebron, harassing and intimidating them with trivial or even trumped-up charges, while Arab rioters and inciters walk free -a rule of law must be restored in Hebron.
  5. Make Syria pay a price: Syria must not be allowed to continue the sponsorship of Hezbollah’s rocket terrorism without consequences. The Syrians must pay a price for their proxy war against Israel.
  6. End the Lebanon rumors: The constant rumors of an imminent withdrawal from Lebanon demoralize soldiers stationed there and embolden the Hezbollah terrorists. Those rumors must be stopped, once and for all.
  7. Assert Israel's Authority in Gaza: In the Gaza Strip the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been allowed to quietly expand its authority and powers that endanger local Jewish communities. The Israeli army should reassert its status at the sovereign power in the region.
  8. Confiscate illegal PA weapons: Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon recently revealed that the PA is amassing huge stockpiles of weapons prohibited by the Oslo accords, including missiles and anti-tank weapons. If the PA will not surrender them, the Israeli army should seize them. Otherwise they will one day be used against Israel.
  9. Pursue terrorist everywhere: Terrorists who attack Israelis and then flee into PA territory should be chased into PA territory whether Arafat likes it or not. Subcontracting the fight against terror to Arafat has never worked. Even the Oslo accords themselves authorize Israel to engage in "hot pursuit" of fleeing terrorist.
  10. Protect Arab allies: Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, local Arabs who assisted Israel in the past have in some cases, been left without adequate protection by the Israeli security forces. Pressure from the PA should not be allowed to compromise Israel's moral responsibility to defend those who risked their lives to aid Israel in various ways.

And finally, Mr. Defense Minister, it is vital that you remind the Prime Minister that Israeli policy must be decided in Jerusalem, not in Washington or Gaza. Foreign pressures must not be allowed to dictate what measures Israel takes to protect its security.

Yes, let the spirit of the Maccabees and the Prophets inflame the Yishuv again.

(By David Horowitz, The Jewish Press, April 16, 1999)

PAPAL DECREE: "When the Vatican's head of state visited our country, he apparently forgot that he was our guest. His criticism of capital punishment was uncalled for and a blatant attempt to interfere with and change the laws and customs of a host nation.

"In addition to this, his referring to our death penalties as 'cruel and unusual punishment' is somewhat hypocritical. Compared with the cruelty of his eternal purgatories and hells, our execution gurneys and electric chairs are mere slaps on the wrist.

"A papal decree that abolishes the literal concept of eternal punishment would do a lot more to alleviate suffering in the world than would doing away with secular death penalties." (By C. A. Lousignont, Letter to the Editor, The Orlando Sentinel, April 1999)



Dear Emily,

We are deeply touched by your sharing with us these very trying times. We have your letter of March 6 as well as your lovely card of March 24. Both together  and each one by itself  were such an encouragement. And you yourself don't have it so easy now ­nevertheless you have room in your heart for people you have never seen and who live thousands of miles away. This warmth and humanity is nothing short of astonishing. Too, I am sure, it is Christian to the core, simple and pure!

It pains me to say that Dina's situation has deteriorated: There is more pain. With the help of a variety of medications the pain is kept at bay, less or more. And Dina gets all the food-additions the doctors prescribe, like Royal Jelly - the very concentrated honey. (Remember the "Land that flows with milk and honey"? -Deut. 27:3; Joshua 5:6 and many others, as you so well know!) So, we carry on. The main thing is and remains to keep spirits and hope UP!

Today here is Remembrance Day for the Fallen -which always precedes by one day the Independence Day. More than 19,000 men and women gave their life so that Israel, we all here, can live. And tomorrow it's 51 years that we stand on our own feet.

Be well and do receive our heartfelt gratitude for your support and wishes and Prayers!

Michael Pragai    (ISRAEL)


Dear Emily:

Back home again after my tenth visit at Emek ha Shalom. Despite Herman's 98 years he still makes speeches and Joseph assists him with the translation into Hebrew.

Visitors came to Emek ha Shalom almost every day. One day for instance there were several school-children in buses, and one Sabbath there was a "public walk" in the valley with thousands of people.

The side-walks are now completed. They end up at resting-places with chairs and tables for the visitors.

During my stay we visited settlers in Judea and Samaria. The settlers at Bet Haggai near Karmel in Judea told us that they were prohibited to build houses. But for a long time they have seen the Arabic people building houses in the neighborhood.

In Samaria we visited settlers not far from Siloh, about 25 kilometers north of Jerusalem. There was a rather deep discussion between Joseph and one of the Settlers. The discussion ended up in the comment from the settler to Joseph: "Your spirit strengthens our faith."

On a hill not far from Siloh, Herman and Joseph plan to stay in a caravan for some time to support the settlers. The caravan is now being prepared at Emek ha Shalom. Joseph pointed out the hill for me and told me that the Jews in the neighborhood call the hill "The Voice of Zion."

Joseph told me that he wants people to take care of the visitors at Emek ha Shalom during the time he and Herman will stay in the caravan in Samaria. I enclose a letter from Anders Karlen. Regards from Anders Karlen and from the other friends in Sweden. All the best and many kind regards from your friend.

Leif Malmkvist       (SWEDEN)

PS. The friends here in Sweden are interested to find the book What Say the Scriptures About Spiritism. Do you know where we can find it?


Dear Sister Hoefle.

I have received a copy of your newsletter from a brother of Eugene. Or. It is very interesting and informative and I enjoyed reading it very much. If it would be possible. I would like to start receiving it on a regular basis. Please let me know the price and I will send you a check.

It is very difficult to find good reading material involving truth as presented by Pastor Russell and Pastor Johnson. Please keep up the good work and write me at the above address.

Peace and love in the name of our beloved Lord     ------- (OREGON)