Table of Contents
- 1 Epp The Devil Exposed
- 2 CONTENTS of Epp The Devil Exposed
- 3 Sample Chapter CHAPTER 5.
- 4 More Works on Satan and Demons
- 5 Theodore Epp
- 6 More works by Theodore H. Epp
- 7 Angels
- 8 Download package of Módules on Angels
- 9 Satan and Demons
Epp-The Devil Exposed is 12 chapters on different aspects of the Devil, demons, Satan, and man. Temptation, trials.
See our Knowledge Base Articles: Angelology / Satan. (links to more works and short, clear declarations and verses on the subject). Origin and Existence of Satan.
Epp The Devil Exposed
By John Epps
THE DEVIL: A BIBLICAL EXPOSITION OF THE TRUTH
“THAT OLD SERPENT, THE
DEVIL AND SATAN”
A REFUTATION OF THE BELIEFS OBTAINING IN THE
SIN AND ITS SOURCE
Sherwood & Co.,
23 Paternoster Row,
Carelinks, PO Box 152 Menai NSW 2234 AUSTRALIA
CONTENTS of Epp The Devil Exposed
CHAPTER 1. The rule in the investigation of truth.
The rule in the investigation of truth. Successful application in natural science. Why should not equal success attend its application to other truths? The method for establishing uniformity of opinion. The rule applied in the investigation of the Devil. The book of creation affords no knowledge of the Devil. The importance of a knowledge of the Devil. Great number of passages where the word ―devil occurs in the Common Version, in which it is not in the original. No two words can mean the same thing. The true meaning of the word Diabolos. Proofs from the Common Version of this meaning. The substitution of the true meaning for the untrue much more useful and instructive. p1
CHAPTER 2 Man possesses a threefold nature.
Man possesses a threefold nature. The opposition between the institutions of society and the commands of Christ. Submission of self. Means to obtain this submission. False-accusation state of mind. Passages illustrative. Parable of the tares. Parable of the sower of the seed. The misintroduction of the Devil into theOld Testament. p11
CHAPTER 3 The term SATAN.
The term SATAN. Who Satan is must be learned from Revelation. Satan applied to express ―adversary. No badness of meaning essentially connected with the word Satan. The Satan in the Book of job an idolator. Peter, the apostle, a Satan. p16
CHAPTER 4 The term SATAN any state or condition adverse
―Satan indicates any state or condition adverse. Adverse to health – adverse incircumstances – adverse in state of mind. The ―Satan in the Revelations. p22
CHAPTER 5 Jesus never cast out devils
Jesus is never said, in the original Scriptures, to have cast out ―devils. God, the author of language, must know its right use. The universal extension of the Greek language. Daimon, as understood by the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews — a ―departed human ‗spirit‘, Natural gods of the heathens. The Cerriti and the Larvati. BeeIzebub. Paul‘s speech at Athens. Demons believe. The worship of demons.Paul‘s answer to the expediency, sham charity men of his day. p30
CHAPTER 6 Possession indicated by certain signs.
Possession indicated by certain signs. Madness an indication. The Pythia. Unusual bodily contortions. The Gadarene and Gergesene demoniacs were madmen.Lunatics. Epileptics. p38
CHAPTER 7. The Gadarene and Gergesene demoniacs.
The Gadarene and Gergesene demoniacs. Their dispossession, and the madness of the swine examined and explained. The language of our Saviour and of his Apostles correspond to the opinions of men. How the demoniacs confessed Christ. p43
CHAPTER 8. Temptation, its nature.
Temptation, its nature. Trial. The source of temptation. The erroneousness of many notions on this subject. p49
CHAPTER 9. The source of trial.
The source of trial. The lust (epithumia). The misapplication of the word. The steps in the production of a sin. Desire, its nature. Numerous passagesin which epithumia is applied to a desire, decidedly good. p52
CHAPTER 10. The history of the trial of our Lord.
The history of the trial of our Lord. The rule to guide as to a passage of Scripture being interpreted literally or figuratively. This rule applied to the three trials ofChrist, and the impossibility of the account being literally true. p55
CHAPTER 11. The peculiar work which Christ had to perform.
The peculiar work which Christ had to perform. The character, his humanity in which he had to perform that work. Te difference between the first Adam and the second Adam. The trials of the Lord shown to be mere mental states, through which his mind passed. p60
CHAPTER 12. The atheism of believing in a being called the Devil.
The atheism of believing in a being called the Devil. The absurdity of such belief. The obstacles to the removal of the belief in such a being. p65
Sample Chapter CHAPTER 5.
Jesus is never said, in the original Scriptures, to have cast out ―devils. God, the author of language, must know its right use. The universal extension of the Greek language, Daimon, as understood by the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews — a ―departed human ‗spirit‘, Natural gods of the heathens. The Cerriti and the Larvati. Beelzebub. Paul‘s speech at Athens. Demons believe. The worship of demons. Paul‘s answer to the expediency, sham charity men of his day.
IT is a common opinion that Jesus and his disciples cast out ―devils. Such a statement is very frequently recorded in the Common Version of the New Testament; and, yet it is a fact, astounding in relation to a translated work (the very words of which translation are regarded with a peculiar reverence) that, not once, in the original Greek Scriptures, is Christ said, or are his disciples said, to have cast out either ―a devil or ―devils.
It was noticed that the words ―devil or ―devils occur over one hundred times in the Common Version of the Scriptures, and that in 77 of the number where these so occur, the word is not diabolos at all, but a word altogether distinct therefrom in its meaning.
What, then, is the word which is mistranslated ―devil or ―devils in these passages? What is the word that the Divine Mind used as conveying a meaning distinct from diabolos, and which the translators have dared, in the Common Version, to translate by the same word as that which they have used to translate diabolos; thereby practically insinuating that the Divine Mind did not know the use of language; thereby virtually asserting, that though the Divine Instructor uses two words to express his instruction, the English people shall be content with one?
The words used in the seventy-seven passages referred to are three – viz., daimon, daimonion, daimonizomai. These are found in the following passages:-
Daimon occurs but once in the New Testament, viz., in Matt. 8:31.
Daimonion (63 occ.) (bold underlined references have 2 usages)
Matt 7:22; 9:33-34; 10:8; 11:18; 12:24, 27-28; 17:18
Mark 1:34, 39; 3:15, 22; 6:13; 7:26, 29-30; 9:38; 16:9, 17
Luke 4:33, 35, 41; 7:33, 8:2, 27,29,30, 33,35,38; 9:1, 42, 49; 10:17; 11:14, 15, 18, 19, 20; 13:32
John 7:20; 8:48,49, 52, 10:20, 21;
1Cor 10:20; 21
Rev 9:20; 16:14; 18:2
daimonizomai (13 occ.)
Mat 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22;
Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18;
Here are three distinct words, daimonion, daimonizomai, and daimon, the two former being formed from the root-form daimon. As words, distinct from diabolos, they must have distinct meanings; they cannot mean one and the same being or thing. The Divine Instructor, whatever we may do, never uses vain repetitions; if, therefore, he uses a distinct word, it is to convey to us information which a previously used word would not convey; indeed, which no other word but the one used could convey.
What, then, is that which the Divine Mind intended, to convey to us by the use of the words daimon, daimonion, and daimonizomai? It may he noticed here that the Greek language in which the New Testament is written was, at the time of our Saviour and of his apostles, the fashionable language of the day, ―being very generally spoken in all the cultivated parts of the world, not only by the Gentiles, but by the Jews also who were dispersed among them, and even by the inhabitants of Judea (Farmer on the Demoniacs, p. 26) – an extension of the language so great that Cicero himself confesses, that notwithstanding Rome had extended her power over almost the whole earth, the Greek language had spread further than the Latin – (See his Orat., proArchia Poeta). The word daimon is a word which existed in that language from a very early period; and, as so existing, the true meaning of the word must and can be obtained from the writings of the Greek authors that have come down to us; just in the same manner as we should try to discover the true meaning of any English word by ascertaining its use by the best extant English writers.
The Common Greek Text, besides having daimon in Matt. 8:31, has it also in Mark 5:12; Luke 8:29; Rev. 16:14; 18:2; but if we are to be guided by what the New Testament writers really wrote, instead of what the ―Received Text makes them seem to have written, there is the occurrence of the term daimon in scripture, Matthew using it in ch. 8:31. In Mark 5:12, Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles and Westcott & Hort read ―they instead of ―demons, while in Luke 8:29, Rev. 16:14, and 18:2 daimonion takes the place of daimon.
In what sense, then, was the word daimon used by the Greek writers? A most extended inquiry by Mr. Farmer has established that the Greek writers used this word to express human ―spirits of departed people. Many such ―spirits of departed human beings the ancients deified and worshipped: and hence the word daimon meant to the Greeks, and those who used their language, human departed ―spirits raised to the rank of gods and deities. ―Homer calleth all his gods, daimones, and Hesoid the worthies of the golden age. Leigh‘s Critica Sacra, article Daimon. Hesoid maintains, indeed, that whenever a good man dies he becomes a demon: and Plato praises him for the sentiment.
The heathens had two classes of gods: the world, together with all its constituent, parts and principles, and the demons. ―They conceived the world to be pervaded and animated by a vital and intelligent substance; they regarded it as a divinity which contained, framed, and governed all things. Farmer on Miracles, p. 107. Cicero expressly asserts – ―There is nothing more perfect than the world – it is wise, and, on this account, a god. He further adds, ―that, although a Stoic, he acknowledges that this world is wise, has a mind, which has fabricated both itself and the world, and regulates, moves, and rules all things. Balbus, the Stoic maintains that ―the world is a god, and the habitation of the gods. These were designated as the natural gods. Besides these, the heathens maintained that certain ―spirits existed which held a middle rank between the gods and men on earth; and, because they were regarded as carrying on all intercourse between the gods and men, as conveying the addresses of men to the gods, and distributing the benefits of the gods to men, they were called, from daio, to distribute, daimones. The opinion further prevailed that the celestial gods did not themselves interpose in human affairs, but committed the whole management to these daimones and on this account these demons became the great object of religious hope, of fear, of dependence, and of worship.
A further consideration affording very strong evidence that these ―demons meant the ―spirits of departed men is that the parentage and, consequently, the human origin of almost all the heathen deities were known and recorded. Philo Biblyus, the translator of Sanchoniathen‘s History of the Gods, expressly asserts ―That the Phoenicians and Egyptians, from whom other people derived this custom, reckoned those amongst the greatest gods who had been benefactors to the human race, and that, to them, they erected pillars and statues, and dedicated sacred festivals. – Apud Euseb. Praep. Evangelica, lib. 1, c. 9., p. 32. Diodorus Siculus states, ―That there were two classes of gods, the one eternal and immortal, the other such as were born on the earth and arrived at the titles and honours of divinity on account of the blessings, they bestowed on mankind.-Lib. 1. and 5. This writer describes Saturn, Jupiter, Apollo, and others (the primary gods of Paganism) as illustrious men. Plato remarks, ―All those who die valiantly in war are of Hesiod‘s golden generation, and become demons; and we ought for ever to worship and adore their sepulchres, as the sepulchres of demons. Plato deRepublica, c. v. 468, tom. ii., editio Serrani. This transference of warlike heroes into gods, and the worship of them, many regard as belonging peculiarly and solely to paganism: but have we not the same things in our day? Do we not see statues erected in our streets to those chargeable with legal murder which are raised for the mental worship of our children? – the Wellingtons, the Nelsons, and hosts of others. And with what is the cathedral of our metropolis filled? Is it with the ministers of peace, with the Fenelons, the Oberlins, the Whitfields, the
Nihil mundo perfectius, sapiens est et propterea deus, Cicero Natura deorum, lib. ii. C. 14.
Hunc mundum esse sapientem, habere mentem, quae et se et ipsum fabricata sit, et omnia moderetur, moveat, regat. Cicero Acad. Quest. lib. ii. c. 37.
Esse mundum deum et deorum domum. Cicero deNat. Deorum, lib. 2.
Watts, the Arkwrights, the Townshends, the Benthams, the Adam Smiths, the Raikes‘s? No: The interior of Saint Paul‘s presents, as Mr. Peter Stuart, of Liverpool, after a visit he paid recently to that splendid edifice, remarked, ―an assembly of gladiators. Add to the look of imitative admiration a mental worship (bestowed by the young on these gladiators), some regular ceremonies, and then there would be no difference between the worship of Hercules and Mars of old, and of the Wellingtons and the Nelsons now.
To return from this digression on modern hero worship, it is apparent that among the Greeks the term daimon expressed a ―departed human ‗spirit‘. Deified The Greeks held further that these daimones, or ―departed human ‗spirits‘, had the power of taking possession of other human beings, and that they could be expelled from these beings so possessed. Hence Lucian, writing respecting an exorcist, one who so dispossessed the possessed, remarks: ekselaunei ton diamona = ―he expelled the demon (Lucian‘s Philospeudes, p. 338, vol. 2., edit. Amstelodami). Lucian affords, in a dialogue in the works from which the above is a quotation, the view entertained in his day regarding demons. Four parties are introduced in the dialogue: three, Ion, Eucrates, and Diognotus, being believers in demons, and the fourth, Tychiades, who is not a believer therein. Ion, after he had given an account of the person who cast out demons, adds that he himself had seen one (that is, a demon) so ejected, ―Many others as well as you, said Eucrates, ―have met with demons (daimosin). I have a thousand times seen such things. In proof of this assertion, he assures the company that he and his family had often seen the statue of Pelichus descending from his pedestal, and walking round the house – pp: 338-339. In the sequel of the dialogue, Eucrates, who had been defending the doctrine of apparitions, says, ―We have been endeavouring to persuade Tychiades (who sustains the character of an unbeliever in these points) that there are demons (daimons tinas einai), and that the phantasms and souls of the dead wander upon the earth, and appear to whom they please, p.
To confirm this sentiment, Diognotus, the Pythagorean, bids Tychiades go to Corinth, where he might see the very house from which he himself expelled the demon (daimona) that disturbed it, which was the ghost of a dead man, p. 348. Hippocrates expressly states that the Greeks referred possession to the gods and the heroes, all of whom were human spirits. He wrote an essay on epilepsy, which was called hiereus nosos, ―the sacred disease, because the people believed what the priests taught, that epileptics were possessed: and the priests, the magicians, and the impostors derived a considerable revenue from attempting to cure this disease by expiations and charms. The essay was written to expose this delusion of his countrymen, he attempting to prove that this disease was neither more divine nor sacred than any other.
The Latins also entertained the idea that ―departed human ‗spirits‘ sometimes possessed the living. Those so possessed among them were called the Cerriti and the Larvati; the Cerriti from the goddess Ceres, Who was supposed to possess them; the Larvati from the Lares, gods, who were supposed to be the possessing, the departed.§ And Crito, a learned writer, wrote: ―the larvati are demoniacs Cicero testifies –‗They whom the Greeks consider daimones, we, I consider [call] lares.† Littleton, in his valuable dictionary defines the larvae as the souls of the dead, which
A dissenting minister at Bermondsey was preaching one Sunday, in 1841, to his people, and a young lady was seized with an epileptic attack. He declared it was the devil, and that he had affected her to interrupt him in declaring the truths which he was then preaching!
§ Arnobious, says Varro, Nunc antiquorum sententais sequens larvas esse dicit lares, quasi quosdom genios et functorum anima morturoum. Adv. Gentes. lib. iii. p. 124.
† Quos Graeci doimones, nostri, opinor, lares. Cicero in Timae 3.
they elsewhere called shades.‡ And Arnobius relates that Varro asserts that the larvae are lares, being, as it were, certain genii and the souls of the departed. And again Crito, a learned writer, thus writes: ―the larvati are demoniacs; and larvae, by which they are possessed, are human ghost‘s (De Crito, vol. i., p. 238). Strabo, who flourished in the time of the Emperor Augustus, calls the goddess Feronia (who was born in Italy) a demon; and says that those who were possessed with this demon walked barefoot over burning coals: and Philostratus, who was contemporary with our Saviour, relates ―that a demon, who possessed a young man, confessed himself to be the ghost of a person slain in battle (Strabo, lib. v., p. 364).
Opinions, similar to those held by the Greeks and the Latins, were entertained by the Jews. Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, asserts that those called daimonia are the ―spirits of wicked men who enter the living, and kill those who receive no help (De Bell. Jud., lib. vii., 2, 6, § 3). Very early in the history of the Jews they had become acquainted with the gods of the heathen, and showed a lamentable proneness to adopt the principles and the practices of their superstitious and idolatrous neighbours. The philosophy of the east was greatly studied and admired by the Jews, and they came to regard persons possessed as possessed by the same ―spirit as those which their neighbours regarded as the possessing. So strongly was this opinion rooted in their minds, and so generally diffused among the people, that when the Saviour casts out daimonia, the Pharisees observed, ―He casteth out daimonia by Beelzebub, the Prince of daimonia (Matt. 9:34), a statement at which no astonishment was expressed; which, had not the knowledge of the doctrine of possessions by ―departed human ‗spirits‘ been general among the Jews, would have excited astonishment.
Who, then, was this Beelzebub, the prince, not of devils, as the Common Version renders the word, but of demons? We read in the Old Testament that one of the kings of Israel, namely, Ahaziah, ―sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Beelzebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this disease? (2 Kings 1:2). This Beelzebub was esteemed a god – that is, a daimon: that is, a deified human ―spirit, which ―spirit the Jews, like other nations, believed to possess people. The meaning of the word zebub or zebul is a fly, the god which the Ekronites worshipped. History informs us that those who lived in hot climates, and where the soil is moist (which was the case with the Ekronites, who bordered on the sea), were exceedingly infested with flies. These insects were thought to cause contagious distempers. Pliny makes mention of a people, who stopped a pestilence which these insects occasioned, by sacrificing to the flyhunting god. (Pliny. Nat. Hist. lib. x. c., 28 § 40). Influenced by this prejudice, Ahaziah, instead of applying to the true God, Yahweh, applied to this god of Ekron for deliverance, or for a knowledge of his state in reference to the disease, which he most likely considered to depend upon the influence of these flies; and that, on this ground, Beelzebub could inform him of the result. (Beelzebub was, most likely, Jupiter, who is described by the Greeks as muiodes, the god of flies, and the inuiagros, the fly hunter). The fact of Ahaziah applying to Beelzebub shows at what an early period the Jews were acquainted with the demonology of the surrounding heathen nations, and how they had adopted the notions regarding the power of these demons: a fact which explains the use of the phrase daimonion so frequently in the gospels. The existence of these daimones, as possessing and influencing human beings, was recognised so fully among the Jews, that Josephus, already quoted, who was nearly contemporary with the apostles,
Larvae gentibus errant mortuorum animae, quas aliter umbras vocabant. Littleton‘s Dictionary.
Arnobious, says Varro, Nunc antiquorum sententais sequens larvas esse dicit lares, quasi quosdom genios et functorum anima morturoum. Adv. Gentes. lib. 3 p. 124.
dwells much upon the expulsion of demons: he gives an instance of successful expulsion when tried by a Jew in the presence of Vespasian: and further declares, no doubt with the view of elevating the great monarch of the Jews, Solomon, that God instructed Solomon in the anti-demoniac art.
The use of this term daimon (mistranslated ―devil in the Common Version) among the Greeks, the Romans, and the Jews, having been thus explained, reference has now to be made to its employment by Matthew. Did he use the term in the same sense? Some have asserted ―No. How is the question to be answered? Very simply: if he did not use the word in the sense in which those who used it at their time did use it, he would, without doubt, have defined the sense in which he did use it. If no such definition is given, then every sound-thinking mind will decide, without hesitation, that the narrator used the word in the sense in which it was usually understood.
The word daimon occurs, as we have seen, only in Matt. 8:31, in the narrative of the ―demons that went into the swine, where the daimones are represented as active that is, performing acts through the medium of the party or parties possessed: as, indeed, speaking – ―so the daimones besought him. As, therefore, in this case an active condition was referred to, the supposed actor is brought out, namely, the daimon: a proof that the general belief then was that a human spirit possessed the individual, and spoke through and acted upon him. To this passage a more particular reference will be made when considering the dispossession of demons by the Saviour. In all other passages where possessions are referred to, the words daimonion and daimonizomai are used.
It is further a curious fact appearing from the examination of the list of passages in which the three words occur, that all, except ten, are in the Gospels.
The verb form daimonizomai occurs in the gospels only. Of the ten passages elsewhere than in the gospels in which the word daimonion occurs, one is in the Acts, four in relation to one subject in Paul‘s letter to the Corinthians, one in Timothy, one in James, and three in the Revelations. It is further worthy of remark that not one of the apostles ever used the word daimon, except Matthew, and he only once; and that Paul, James, and John use seldom, and Peter and Jude not at all, the word daimonion. So that it would appear that, in the advanced state of Christian truth (for who, with the facts before him, can avoid allowing that the Christian body had a greater amount of truth when Christ had risen to receive gifts for men, than before the resurrection?) the doctrine of demons and their actual casting out seems to have died away. The light had then begun to dissipate many delusions, and this among the number.
But the probability of this, and, at the same time, the demonstration that no demons really exist, will be afforded by the examination of these passages in which the word daimonion occurs.
The daimon was the departed human ‗spirit’: the daimonion was the person who was supposed to be occupied by the demon – whether that person was a mere image or a human being: in fact, in whatever was the daimon located, that was a ―possession.
―Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him.
See previous footnote, Chapter 5, *The common Greek Text.
And some said, what will this babbler say? Other some, he seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection, Acts 17:16, 17, 18.
The Greeks thought that ―Jesus and the resurrection were two human spirits which Paul had adopted as deified, and offered to them for reception. They called them ―strange gods, xenon daimonion. The translators, who have rendered this word ―devils in every other passage, were obliged in this case to translate the word properly, or nearly so. The Athenians would never have acknowledged that they worshipped devils and the phrase ―strange, prefixed to the daimonion, shows that they did worship daimonia, but that these two Paul preached, namely, ―Jesus and the resurrection, were new, of whom they had never heard before. They would not condemn themselves by calling their daimonia ―devils. Paul, moreover, does not condemn them: ―And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, may we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our cars: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else. but either to tell or to bear some new, thing.) Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars‘ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you, Acts 17:19-23.
The phrase ―too superstitious is deisidaimonesterous, a word, made up of deisis, and daimon: the word deisis being derived from deio, ―to fear. The word has not a bad sense: it means ―pious, in a good sense. The Athenians gloried in the character of being more religious, deisidaimonesteroi, than any other Grecian state. Paul‘s concession on this point in their favour would rather gratify than offend them, and would serve to alleviate the censure of carrying their religion to excess.† This passage therefore demonstrates that Paul makes no reference at all to ―devils, but simply to the ―deified departed human ‗spirits‘, whom the Athenians worshipped.
In the same sense, namely, as referring to the ―deified departed human ‗spirits‘, Paul introduces the word in his epistle to the Corinthians, ―Behold, Israel after the flesh, Are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? I Cor. 10:18. Paul is referring to the impropriety of believers joining in the festivals in honour of the false gods, which were, in the estimation of his contemporaries, ―departed human ‗spirits‘ deified. He meets one of the various objections which such would urge when a man of conscience refused to prostrate himself in adoration of a false god: they, it is likely, would say, ―Oh, it is of no consequence: a daimonion, which is an idol, is nothing, and therefore what matters it, if you do join in these festivals? It can do no harm. Come, be charitable to your neighbour. To such comes Paul‘s answer, ―What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered a sacrifice unto idols is anything? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice unto demons and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with demons. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot be partakers
If our translators had adhered to their method of rendering this word as in every other Instance, and said, ―He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange devils, they would have grossly perverted the sense of the passage. Now this may suggest a suspicion of the impropriety of this version of the word (daimonion, ―devil) anywhere. But especially where it relates to the objects of worship among the pagans, with whom the term, when unaccompanied by any bad epithet, or anything in the context that fixed the application to evil spirits, was always employed in a good sense. (Professor Campbell‘s Preliminary Dissertations, article daimonion, P. 164, 4to edit.)
† Professor Campbell‘s Preliminary Dissertations, p. 202, 4to edit., vol. i.
of the Lord‘s table, and the table of demons. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 1 Cor. 10:19-22. Here Paul hints nothing at all about ―devils: he is writing respecting the ―deified human spirits worshipped by the heathens: and maintains that the joining in the worship of the one, although they are non-existent, is inconsistent with the joining in the worship of the true God, who is existent: the word daimonion, and not diabolos, occurs throughout. Banish, therefore, from the mind this word ―devils as a mistranslation of daimonia, and fix the idea ―departed human spirit or the word ―possession, and see how clear other passages will become which contain this word rendered ―devils in the Common Version: thus recognising that daimonion means a ―departed human spirit, — resident in a man whom he is supposed to possess, and remembering the fact, that these recognised Christ, and recognised him with fear, from not understanding his character, we can understand well what James says in his masterly denunciation of the absurd speech of those who talk about Faith, and who act not Works. ―What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can (such) faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart, in peace, be ye warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone, James 2:14, 15, 16, 17. These ―faith personages are brass-faced people: they pride themselves upon their ―faith, and boast that they will not have the spotted garments of works: but James adds, ―Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith and I have works: Shew me, thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works, verse 18. But, in an argument that settles the whole matter, he concludes, ―Thou believest that there is one God: Well, this is a good thing; no one denies that, there is virtue in such belief: ―thou dost well; the daimonia, (the possessions not ―devils) believe: but, because faith itself is not enough without there is conjoined with it the appropriate attendant, these possessions, these ―departed human ‗spirits‘ ―tremble, verse 19. Paul, with that far-seeing eye with which he was endowed, foresaw ―the man of sin: he foresaw that the errors and the institutions of idolatrous paganism would hereafter spoil the truth and the simplicity of the Gospel. He therefore warns Timothy against one of the sources, whence these errors would proceed. These ―departed human ‗spirits‘, these daimonia, he saw, would form a fruitful hotbed, out of which cunning reverends, would manufacture delusions to keep the people under their power. ―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 (daimonia) 1 Tim. 4:1. Look at the nonsense taught by the Romish priests in reference to the power of ―departed saints: look at the rotten stuff put forth in the temple of their merchandise, and sold under the name of ―masses for ―departed souls: look at the wasting of knees in kneeling upon the board, chattering gibberish, instead of being usefully employed in cleaning the boards: look at the wearying of fingers in counting beads, instead of using them in healthy, domestic, home sided, family-comforting Christian duties: look at the prayers for the dead, in the Anglican daughter of the Romish whore, the mother of harlots, the English church establishment: where one poor sinner, who surely has enough to do to attend to his own salvation, is made busy in praying for the salvation of someone whose account is already closed: where one man, who is head and ears in debt, is busy trying to pay another‘s debts as well as his own. Oh these men, who have put forth all this nonsense, who have enjoined all this mummery, who have burned people because they would not submit to it, are well described as ―seducing spirits, and equally well have their doctrines been defined as ―doctrines of demons.
To conclude, the great secret of Priestcraft is to attach to the worship of God so many petty accounts, as Milton notes, that ―common men cannot keep a stock going in that trade. Thus the priests have got the trade of religion into their own hands: and
the people will never be free, will never be men, till they take back the great business of life, religion, into their own hands.
Such then are the words daimon, daimonion, daimonizomai: words, not meaning in any case ―devil, but words, everywhere but in the Acts, that have been rendered so in the Common Version. Erase then such word ―devil or ―devils in all these passages, and put in the Greek word itself, in English character, or put in the word ―possession or ―possessed, making the Common Version nearer to the Divine original, and thus far justify the Scriptures against the attacks of infidelity; and strengthen the mind against the absurdities of devil doctrines, and the horrors of devil fear.
More Works on Satan and Demons
- Alsobrook The Accuser
- Aycock-Satan the Prince of this World
- Bounds SATAN: His Personality, Power and Overthrow
- Bragg Angelology Systematic Theology
- Brooks Precious remedies against Satan’s Devices
Epp-The Devil Exposed is 12 chapters on different aspects of the Devil, demons, Satan, and man. Temptation, trials.
|Author:||Theodore H. Epp|
|Date:||July 28, 2020|