Why is evil here? How do we control it? Is it a creation of God, or self existing? Does Satan exist? If so, is he organized with a goal in mind? These are a few of the questions that have plagued the minds of philosophers, and theologians throughout history, not to mention the common individual. The answers to these questions are found, in the scriptures, and the revealed word of God to modern day prophets.
John the Revelator learns in the midst of his vision of evil and destruction surrounding the last days, that there was a "war in heaven" and Satan was cast out with one third of the hosts of heaven (Rev. 12:4-9). Perhaps, questions of John about the origin of evil, the dragon, and the overall destruction of the wicked, prompted his vision about the war in heaven. The Apostle learned that because of this 'war' and the fall of Satan, evil exists on the earth, and the justice of God will require its' destruction. Following the apostasy of the early church many "plain and precious" truths were taken from the scriptures. (1 Nephi 13:26-29). One important truth that was lost, was the doctrine of the "war in heaven." Consequently, there are few clear references in the Bible of this doctrine, however, modern day scriptures (The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenant, and Pearl of Great Price) add many of the doctrinal insights, and details that are missing in the Old and New Testaments.
In fulfillment of prophecy about ancient records coming forth in the last-days, (Articles of Faith #9; D&C 107:57; Ether 3:22-28; 4:5-7; 2 Ne. 29:13; 2 Ne. 27:7-8; 3 Ne. 26:6-11; D&C 93:18; D&C 8:1,11; D&C 121 26-32) there are many early texts that have been discovered containing truths consistent with modern scripture and revelation. "For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times." (D&C 124:41.) Elder McConkie writes: Many biblical books have been lost. Even that portion of the divine word that we are qualified to receive has not been preserved for us within the covers of the Bible. The holy book itself makes repeated references to other prophetic books, other inspired historical accounts, and other apostolic epistles, none of which are now extant. And even within the accounts we now have there are references and allusions, by the thousands, to sermons preached, prophecies made, visions seen, and miracles performed that are not there recorded and of which we know nothing. The Bible is what it is, for which we praise the Lord, but someday in his eternal providences it will become, by the addition of the lost and withheld portions and books, what it might have been had men in general been prepared to receive more of heaven's light. Bruce R. Mcconkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.397.
There is an awful "wo" pronounced in scripture upon those who cry 'I have enough' for "a Bible, a Bible I have a Bible." Could we expand that "wo" to include "a quad, a quad I have a quad" or to those who seek out of the best books, as long as they come only, from "Deseret Book." The "Thirteenth Article of Faith" declares that we should, intellectually, and energetically "seek" after those things that are "virtuous, lovely" and of "good report or praiseworthy." Latter-day Saints must be careful not to: "deny . . . the spirit of revelation" and "the spirit of prophecy." (D&C 11:25.) "Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:29-30.) We like to think that statements like these, found in the Book of Mormon, are for those who do not believe in this scripture, and those who will never read the words written in this inspired book. If this were true, the prophet Mormon wasted a lot of time and gold, to make sure these records were preserved for our day.
The attitude that separates the prophets like Moses, Abraham, and Joseph Smith, from the natural man, is that they continue to search for further light and truth, wherever they can find it. Abraham journeyed to Egypt, not only to impart his knowledge but to obtain it, from the ancient seat of civilization and knowledge. There are many ancient texts, that at one time were considered valuable and true. The "restoration" has truly opened the earth, and the ancient records are "speaking out of the dust" as prophesied. The question remains: Who is listening? The Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants declared: "How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints." (D&C 121:33). The only dam that will stop the Lord from "pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints," are the saints themselves. Knowledge and revelation will come only by desire, preparation and questions. Every Section in the Doctrine and Covenants came because the prophet was seeking an answer to a question. Revelation and knowledge can come no faster than does the preparation for further light and truth. The "Talmud" makes the statement that there cannot be a "stirring above until there is a stirring below." You don't ask for a blessing on the food, until the food is prepared. Likewise, with knowledge, and revelation.
Many of these ancient texts discuss the fall of Lucifer, and the origin of evil on the earth. Before reviewing the scriptures, and modern revelation about the war in heaven, a portion of these discovered texts are presented below, as they discuss the origin of evil, and Satan's onslaught against mankind. Below non-textual commentary will be in italics, that it might be evident where the actual text begins and ends.
Vita Adae et Evae
The "Life of Adam and Eve" contains elements about the War in Heaven doctrine, similar to the "Discourse" below.
The text will begin after Satan has just appeared as an angel of light to Eve, in order to stop her repentance. Eve, and Satan (as the angel of light) come to Adam, who, immediately recognizes that Satan is not a true messenger from God. Adam begins to question Satan.
" . . . 'Woe unto thee, thou devil. Why dost thou attack us for no cause? What hast thou to do with us? What have we done to thee? For thou pursuest us with craft? Or why doth thy malice assail us? Have we taken away thy glory and caused thee to be without honour? Why dost thou harry us, thou enemy (and persecute us) to the death in wickedness and envy?'
And with a heavy sigh, the devil spake: 'O Adam! All my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the heavens in the midst of the angels and for thee was I cast out in the earth.' Adam answered, 'What dost thou tell me? What have I done to thee or what is my fault against thee? Seeing that thou hast received no harm or injury from us, why dost thou pursue us?'
The devil replied, 'Adam, what dost thou tell me? It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place. When thou wast formed, I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness."
And Michael went out and called all the angels saying:
'Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.'
And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: 'Worship the image of God the Lord.' And I answered, 'I have no (need) to worship Adam.' And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, 'Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.'
When the angels, who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him. And Michael saith, 'Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee.' And I said, 'If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest.'
And God the Lord was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory; and on thy account were we expelled from our abodes into this world and hurled on the earth. And straightway we were overcome with grief, since we had been spoiled of so great glory. And we were grieved when we saw thee in such joy and luxury. And with guile I cheated thy wife and caused thee to be expelled through her (doing) from thy joy and luxury, as I have been driven out of my glory.'
When Adam heard the devil say this, he cried out and wept and spake: 'O Lord my God, my life is in thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul, and give me his glory which he himself hath lost.' And at that moment, the devil vanished before him. . . ."
(R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol 2, Oxford, 1977, pp.136-137).
This text is described as the Savior's answers to these questions asked by the Apostles:
"The Apostles asked the Savior about [Abbaton] so that they might be able to preach about him to all mankind, for they knew that men would ask them questions about everything. And the Savior, who did not wish to disappoint them about any matter concerning which they asked Him questions, informed them saying "The day on which my Father created Abbaton . . . He made him king over all creation which he had made, because of the transgression of Adam and Eve"
This document speaks of the "Council in Heaven," the "War in Heaven," the fall of Satan and his angels. These doctrines are some of the "plain and precious things" that have been taken out of the Bible, as Nephi reveals. There exists other ancient documents and records that teach these things, however, the Discourse on Abbaton is most complete and of a most ancient date, and may have been included in the scriptures at one time. The italicized comments below are personal thoughts and commentary giving some insight into the text.
And it came to pass that when our Savior, Who is the Root of all good, had finished everything, when the days of his Apocalypse were completed, and he was to ascend up to his Father, he laid His hands upon each one of His holy Apostles, and he prayed over them, and sent them forth into all the world to preach His holy Resurrection to all the heathen, and He filled them with power and with His Holy spirit, and He spake unto them, saying, 'The mighty deeds and miracles which I have performed, ye yourselves also shall do. Ye shall lay your hands upon the sick and they shall have rest (or, relief). Ye shall tread upon serpents and scorpions. Ye shall take up serpents in your hands. And when ye drink deadly poisons they shall have no evil effect upon you. Baptize those who believe in Me, and in My Good Father, and the Holy Spirit, and I will forgive them [their sins]. Those who do not believe shall be condemned to the second death. Depart in peace. The peace which is Mine shall be with you. And I will never cease to walk with you even to the end of this world.'
Then the Lord answered and said unto Peter, the greatest of the Apostles, the pillar of the Church, the steward of the kingdom which is in the heavens, 'Him that thou wishest to take into it, take; and him that thou wishest to reject, reject.' [And Peter] said unto the savior, 'My Lord and my God. Behold, Thou hast informed us concerning everything about which we have asked Thee, and Thou hast hidden nothing from us. And now, O my Lord and my God, behold, Thou hast sent us out into the whole world to preach Thy Holy Resurrection to all the nations, and the mighty deeds and miracles which Thou hast done, the which we have seen with our eyes, and concerning which we have heard, and Thou hast explained them all to us, even [the matter of ] Thy Mother, and Thy Birth. And, O my Lord, Thou knowest that there are very many contentious and unbelieving people who will ask questions of us concerning everything, and we wish to be able to explain unto them everything. Now therefore, O my Lord, we wish Thee to inform us concerning the day wherein Thou didst establish Abbaton, the Angel of Death, and didst make him to be awful and disturbing, and to pursue all souls until they yield up their spirits, so that we may preach concerning him to all mankind, even as we preach concerning all his fellow angels whom Thou hast created, and whom Thou hast shewn us the days of their establishing, and also that when men hear of [him on] the day of his establishing they may be afraid, and my repent, and may give charities and gifts on the day of his commemoration, just as they do to Michael and Gabriel, so that their souls may find mercy and respite on the day of Thy Holy Resurrection.'
And the Savior, the Storehouse that is filled with mercy and compassion of every kind, who loveth everything which is good in respect of His day, Who wisheth not to cause us disappointment about anything concerning which we are asked, and said unto them, 'O ye whom I have chosen from out of the whole world, I will hide nothing from you, but I will inform you how My Father established him (i.e. Abbaton) over all the created things which He had made. For I and My Father are one, according to what Philip said unto me, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." And I said unto him, "O Philip, in all the time which thou hast been with Me, hast thou not known Me? He who hath seen Me hath seen My Father, Believe thou that I am in My Father, and My Father is in Me. If it be impossible [for thee], believe His works." And now, O my holy members, whom I have chosen from out of the whole world, I will hide nothing from you.
This is the creation and the council in heaven, which each and every world created by our Father must have. The spiritual offspring must all have a chance to approve of the plan or reject it. "Without agency there is no existence."
It came to pass that when My Father was creating the heavens, and the earth, and the things which are therein, He spake the word, and they all came into being, angel, and Archangel, and cherubim, and Seraphim, and Thrones, and divine Governors, and Dominions, and all the Powers that are in the heavens, and all the army of heaven. And he made the earth also, [and] the wild animals, and the reptiles, and the cattle, and the birds, and everything which moveth upon it. And He planted also a paradise in the eastern part of the earth. And My Father saw that the whole world was a desert, and that there was no one to work it. And My Father said, "Let us make a man in Our image and likeness, that he may continue to praise us by day and by night, and that [every one] may know that it is the hand of the Lord that hath made all these things; for I existed before these things were." And My Father commanded and angel saying, "By My wish and by My command get thee to the land of Edem (i.e. "kerem," the East land), and bring to Me some virgin earth in order that I may make a man in Our image and likeness therewith, so that he may ascribe blessing unto Us by day and by night."
Abraham 3:24-26; states that the Gods created this earth to see if we will be obedient, and show our love to our Father in Heaven, by this obedience with the promise that if we keep our first estate we will be added upon in the second estate, which if we are obedient here on this earth (the second estate) we will receive glory upon our "heads for ever and ever."
And the angel went to the land of Edem, according to My Father's command. And he stood upon the earth, and he reached out his hand to gather together some of it and take it to My Father. And straightway the earth cried out with a loud voice, saying, "I swear unto thee by Him Who sent thee to Me, that if thou takest me to Him, He will mold me into a form, and I shall become a man, and a living soul. And very many sins shall come forth from my heart (or, body), and many fornications, and slanderous abuse, and jealousy, and hatred and contention shall come forth from his hand, and many murders and sheddings of blood shall come forth from his hand. And they shall cast me out to the dogs, and to the cats, and into pits and holes in the ground, and into streams of water before my time, and after all these things they will finally cast me into punishment, and they will punish me by day and by night. Let me stay here, and go back to the ground and be quiet."
And when the Angel of God had heard these things he was afraid of My father's name, and he returned and came to My Father, and said, "My Lord, when I heard Thy awful Name I did not wish to bring the earth unto Thee." And straightway My Father commanded an angel a second time to go to it, and then a third angel, and so on even unto seven angels, and not one of them wished to approach the earth because it took awful oaths by mighty [names]. And when My Father saw that none of the angels wished to bring the earth to him, He sent the angel Mouriel to the earth, saying unto him, "Go thou by My command to the land of Edem, and bring unto me some virgin earth so that I may fashion a man therefrom, after Mine own image and likeness, that he may ascribe blessing unto Us by day and by night."
And when the Angel of God had departed to the earth he stood upon it in great power and might, and in the commandment of God. And he reached out his hand to take some of it, and straightway the dust (or, clay) cried out with a loud voice, saying, "I swear unto thee by the name of Him that created the heavens, and the earth, and the things that are therein, that thou shalt not approach me to take me unto God." And the angel Mouriel was not afraid at [the mention of ] the Name of My Father when he heard it, and he paid no heed thereto, but he went to it, and he laid hold of it with firmness and determination, and he brought it to My Father [Who] rejoiced over it.
Mankind must be made of the dust of this earth, at least those who will be, or have had temporal bodies on this earth. This is so, because, in order to be governed by "natural law" our physical bodies must be made from the elements from the "sphere in which God has placed it" (D&C 93:28) Other worlds may not have the same elements as ours therefore, the physical bodies there must be made from those other elements in order to have natural law (death, disease, pain, sickness, etc. etc.) govern them.
And He took the clay from the hand of the angel, and made Adam according to Our image and likeness, and He left him lying for forty days and forty nights without putting breath into him. And he heaved sighs over him daily, saying, "If I put breath into this [man], he must suffer many pains."
The plan of salvation is presented, and the Savior accepts the responsibility to become the redeemer of the offspring of the Father.
And I said unto My Father, "Put breath into him; I will be an advocate for him." And My Father said unto Me, "If I put breath into him, My beloved son, Thou wilt be obliged to go down into the world, and to suffer many pains for him before Thou shalt have redeemed him, and made him to come back to primal state." And I said unto My Father, "Put breath into him; I will be his advocate, and I will go down into the world, and will fulfill Thy command."
And whilst He was wishing to put breath into him He took a book, and wrote therein [the names of] those who should come forth from him and who should enter into the kingdom which is in the heavens, according to what is written, "These are they whose names are written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the World."
The names of the righteous are written in the "Lambs Book of Life" before the foundation of this world.
And He put breath into him in this way; He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life three times, saying, "Live! Live! Live! According to the type of My Divinity." And the man lived straightway, and became a living soul, according to the image and likeness of God. And when Adam had risen up he cast himself down before [My] father, saying, "My Lord and my God! Thou hast made me to come into being [from a state in which] I did not exist."
The spirit of Adam (Michael) is placed into the created body now that the plan of salvation was accepted and the redeemer is made known. Adam is excited above stating that he can feel the difference that a body makes, saying "My Lord and My God! Thou hast made me to come into being [from a state in which] I did not exist."
Thereupon My Father set him upon a great throne, and he placed on his head a crown of glory, and he put a royal scepter [in his hand], Adam is given the priesthood, this is the "wa'as" scepter in Egypt that represents the priesthood, and authority of god to be a prophet, priest, and king, or in the Case of Adam the first man "a patriarch.") and My Father made every order [of angels] in the heavens to come and worship him, whether angel or archangel. And all the hosts of heaven worshiped God first of all, and then they worshiped Adam, saying, "Hail, thou image and likeness of God!"
This perhaps, is the doctrine behind the origin of the "Adam God Theory" and is more complete once it is understood in the correct context. The Father has all worship Him first, as their God and Father of their spirits, He then has all of heaven (those coming to this earth) worship (bad translation, should be 'give homage' honor or respect) to Adam the god and father of their physical bodies. Adam, or Michael, because of his righteousness and valiancy in the pre-earth life (see Alma 13:3-5) was chosen to become the first physical man (patriarch) on the newly created earth, and to hold all the keys, rights, and powers and privileges of the priesthood, under the direction of Christ, and our Father in Heaven. This places Adam as the "Ancient of Days" the "Grand Patriarch" the "Prophet, Priest, and King" of all the Father's spiritual offspring that will come to this earth. This choice of Michael, a younger but more righteous spirit doesn't set well with the "Son of the Morning" an older spirit child. (Christ is the Firstborn of all our Father's spiritual offspring. Could Satan be the firstborn of the spirit children that were to come to "THIS EARTH", but Adam or Michael was more righteous and received the honor of being the first patriarch, and "Ancient of Days" for this world? The Doctrine and Covenants teach that "the devil was before Adam" (D&C 29:36). Could Abraham 3:27 be speaking of the one who would be the first patriarch? "Michael" means "like unto God." in Hebrew. (This would account for the assumed discrepancy between Moses 4, and Abraham 3.) This is a pattern seen throughout biblical history: Cain/Abel, Ishmael/Isaac, Esau/Jacob, Reuben/Joseph, Laman/Nephi, and Satan/Adam. The pattern is there for a reason.
And He intended that the order of the angels who were fashioned [before Adam] should worship him, and My Father said unto him (i.e. their chief), "Come, thou thyself shalt worship my image and likeness." And he, a being of great pride, drew himself up in a shameless manner, and said, "It is meet that this [man Adam] should come and worship me, for I existed before he came into being."
The pride of Satan cannot allow a being younger than himself to rule over him. This same pride turns Cain against Abel, producing murder for gain, secret oaths and combinations, Master Mahan, and the first 'son of Satan, (perdition). D&C 29:36-37 states: "And it came to pass that Adam, Being tempted of the devil--for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency; and they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels."
And when My Father saw his great pride, and that his wickedness and his evil-doing were complete, (had reached their highest pitch)
The Father gave Satan every chance. Agency would require Satan to know, and understand completely what the consequences would be for the exercise of his agency, or the consequence would unjust and unrighteous. Satan chose his path, his "pride was complete" he would never turn back. He rebelled against God and was cast out.
He commanded all the armies of heaven, saying, "Remove the writing [which is] in the hand of the proud one, strip ye off his armor, and cast ye him down upon the earth, for his time hath come. For he is the greatest of them all, (the rebellious angels) he is the head over them and is like a king, and he commandeth them as the general of an army [commandeth his] soldiers; he is the head over them, and their names are written in his hand."
"The writing in his hand" is the priesthood authority that he had been give before his fall to perdition. This is the same writing in Pharaoh's hand, depicted in the statues in Egypt. This "writing" is his "line of authority," the right to rule as "son of god" on earth. Anciently only the king could claim the right, and rite, of the king of kings, that of the son of god. This "writing" proved that the king or pharaoh came with authority and power. The conflict between Abraham and Nimrod, Abimelech, and Pharaoh was that Abraham had the "right" and true priesthood authority for the "rites" to be the patriarch, and theocratic ruler on earth. Abraham had participated in the "rites of the firstborn" (the endowment of power) and became a "rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers." (Abr. 1:2-4).
Thus is it with this cunning one, and the [names of the] angels were written in his hand. And all the angels gathered together to him, and they did not wish to remove the writing from his hand. And my Father commanded them to bring a sharp reaping-knife, and to stab him therewith on this side and that, right through his body to the vertebrae of his shoulders, and he was unable to hold himself up. And straightway My Father commanded a mighty Cherubim, and he smote him, and cast him down from heaven upon the earth, because of his pride, and he broke his wings and his ribs and made helpless, and those whom he had brought with him became devils with him.
The "reaping-knife" is the ancient sign of Satan, as his middle finger is arched in the shape of the reaping-knife. This reaping-knife is used to perform the oath which he had taken in the pre-earth existence. He was stabbed from his shoulder, and cut to the vertebrae, across the body to his other shoulder. This completes the loss of his powers and priesthoods, as he had "altogether turned therefrom" his oath and covenant of the priesthood which he had made with the Father. The braking of his wings symbolize that his power to move about was taken, he was on the earth to stay, his limits were set. This lone and dreary world became his kingdom, and he became, in name only, "the god of this world." seeking the 'misery of all mankind.'
In 2 Enoch 29:4-6, Enoch is viewing the creation with angelic assistance, much like Abraham, and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. Enoch seeing the orders of angels is told, by God, that:
"One from the order of the archangels deviated, together with the division that was under his authority. He thought up the impossible idea, that he might place his throne higher than the clouds which are above the earth, and that he might become equal to my power.
And I hurled him out from the height, together with his angels." (p.148).
In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 76, the prophet Joseph Smith receives a number of visions. The first, a vision of Christ on the right hand of the Father, the second vision, was the fall of Satan. The third vision was the punishments of the wicked. Likewise, in 2 Enoch, the same pattern exists. First the vision of God, and His kingdom, then the punishments of the wicked, followed by a vision of the glories of the righteous. The vision of punishments that Enoch sees, provokes Enoch to question his guide:
This text is found in: M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980 ed. Pp. 175, 178.
In this text the Apostles are seeking answers to questions about evil and the origin of Satan. Bartholomew asks the Lord the questions, and to his surprise, the resurrected Savior shows him how to control Satan then tells Bartholomew to ask Satan himself.
And Bartholomew saith unto him: Tell me who thou art and what is thy name. And he said to him: lighten me a little, and I will tell thee who I am and how I came higher, and what my work is and what my power is. 24. And he lightened him and saith to him: Say all that thou has done and all that thou doest. 25. And Beliar answered and said: If you wilt know my name, at the first I was called Satanael, which is interpreted a messenger of God, but when I rejected the image of God my name was called Satanas, that is an angel the keepeth hell (Tartarus). 26. And again Bartholomew saith unto him: Reveal unto me all things and hide nothing from me. 27. And he said unto him: I swear unto thee by the power of the glory of God that even if I would have aught, I cannot, for he is near that would convict me. For if I were able I would have destroyed you like one of them that were before you. 28. For, indeed, I was formed (al. called) the first angel: for when God made the heavens, he took a handful of fire and formed me first, Michael second [Vienna MS. Here has these sentences: "for he had his Son before the heavens and the earth and we were formed (for when he took thought to create all things, his Son spake a word), so that we also were created by the will of the Son and the consent of the Father. He formed I say, first me, next Michael the chief captain of the hosts that are above], Gabriel third, Uriel fourth, Raphael fifth, Nathanael sixth, and other angels of whom I cannot tell the names.
This doctrine -- alluded to in the scriptures that we have -- should be discussed here. Satan reveals to Bartholomew that he was the first born, or first spirit offspring of the Father for this earth, with Michael being the second. ("for, behold, the devil was before Adam" D&C 29:36.). Satan is not the first born of the spirit, just the first born that would come to "this earth" but his pride negated his elder position to the next righteous born, Michael (This according to the "law of inheritance" found in Genesis, the "Patriarchal Priesthood Manual"). This is the paradigm that comes not by coincidence, but, by setting a purposeful pattern, discovered in the scriptures, of: Satanael and Michael, Satan and Adam, Cain and Abel, Japheth and Shem, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Ruben and Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, Aaron and Moses, Adonijah and Solomon, Laman and Nephi, and others. Understanding this makes it clear that Abraham 3:27-28 is speaking of who shall become the "first flesh" (Moses 3:7) and primal patriarch for this earth. Satan could not usurp the authority and place of Christ, as the "firstborn of the spirit," but, by claiming that the Son of God, and the atonement, was not needed on this earth, because he (Satan) would redeem mankind, "that one soul shall not be lost." This he could do by destroying the agency of man (Moses 4:1-4), demanding the "honor" of God, which is His "power" (D&C 29:36; Moses 4:1, 3). By this evil, and prideful plan he could "exalt (his) throne above the stars of God" ascending "above the heights of the clouds" claiming that he, "will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:13-14) and "exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thess.2:4). Thus, Satan thought that he could rise, even above the Father and the Son, by saving all mankind, doing away with the need of a Savior, seeking then the "honor" and "glory" that would belong to the Father through the power of the salvation, and exaltation of His offspring. (See D&C 132:30-31).
Satan has two goals now that he has been cast out of his former glory. He fights against God, and the divine Sonship of Christ by (1) destroying the necessity of the Atonement, (faith and repentance, or the redemption of man) and (2) the nature of God the Father, ("that the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" D&C 130:22, which is the doctrine of the exaltation of man). Satan's pre-earth plan for "this world" was to do away with the need of Jesus Christ, by forcing the salvation, or exaltation of all. Thus, the atonement, faith, repentance, or the "gospel of Jesus Christ" would not be required for salvation. Satan knew that he could not take the place of Christ in power, position, or authority as the "firstborn" of all the spirit children the Father. Consequently, his plan was to do away with the need of Christ. With the guarantee of salvation and exaltation of all the spirits that were to come to this earth, then demand the glory that would be the Father's by the guaranteed exaltation of God's offspring. Because he was cast out from the presence of God, for rebellion ( for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of god) Satan retains the same goals in this world. The "gospel of Satan" is: that (1) there is no need of the atonement (the exercise of "faith unto repentance") required for salvation. (2) Destroy the true nature of God. The "church of the devil teaches the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, promising salvation to those that say only, that they "believe" being saved by grace and nothing else. This does away with righteousness, ordinance and authority, faith unto repentance, and the "Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God." The ambassadors of Babylon require: no authority from God, (because they don't have it) no ordinances of salvation (because that would require authority) and being saved by grace alone, saves the sinner "in his sins." Salvation by grace alone seeks "to destroy the agency of man" and the power of choice, which power, can exalt, or damn mankind. The second goal of Satan: 'to destroy the true nature of God' (which falls into two categories: the physical nature, and the separate nature of the godhead) is successful in doing away with the doctrine of exaltation. Because Satan lost his first estate, and his right to a physical body, his gospel proclaims that God must be like him. A God without body or parts, a body of spirit, every where, but no where. If God is a spirit there is no exaltation, God then, could not be an exalted man, and man cannot be exalted. Coupled with this concept is the separateness of the Godhead. Satan declares, that the Father is the Son, one and the same, and they are the same as the Holy Ghost. Thus, Christ becomes the Father "incarnate" Satan's success is seen in the "Apostles Creed" or the "Nicean Creed." In this one document Satan destroyed the individual and divine nature of the "Son of God", and the physical nature of the Father." This is called in modern "Christian" religions as "historical Christianity." Satan is successful in becoming the "God of this world" as the world accepts his definition of deity (which is himself), doing away with guilt, and repentance, teaching that you can have anything in this world for money.
Every world will have its' own "council in heaven," and in every council will stand the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the spirit, for they existed before all creation. ( Before the heavens and earths were created, before mankind and angels existed.)
In regard to the battle in heaven, that brother Truman O. Angel referred to, how much of a battle it was I have forgotten. I cannot relate the principal circumstances, it is so long since it happened: but I do not think it lasted very long; for when Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, claimed the privilege of having the control of this earth and redeeming it, a contention rose; but I do not think it took long to cast down one-third of the hosts of heaven, as it is written in the Bible. But let me tell you that it was one-third part of the spirits who were prepared to take tabernacles upon this earth, and who rebelled against the other two thirds of the heavenly host; and they were cast down to this world. It is written that they were cast down to the earth. They were cast down to this globe--to this terra firma that you and I walk upon, and whose atmosphere we breathe. One-third part of the spirits that were prepared for this earth rebelled against Jesus Christ, and were cast down to the earth, and they have been opposed to him from that day to this, with Lucifer at their head. He is their great General--Lucifer, the Son of the Morning. He was once a brilliant and influential character in heaven, and we will know more about him hereafter. (Brigham Young, J.D. 5:55)
Satan and one-third of the spirit hosts destined for life on this earth came out in open rebellion against the Father. The rebels "sought to destroy the agency of man" and to modify the Father's plan so that salvation would come automatically to all who passed through mortality. (Moses 4:1-4; Abr. 3:24-28; D. & C. 29:36-38; Isa. 14:12-20; Luke 10:18.) (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, Pg.828 WAR IN HEAVEN)
Devils are the spirit beings who followed Lucifer in his war of rebellion in pre-existence. They comprise one-third of those spirit children of the Father who were destined to pass through a mortal probation on this earth. (D. & C. 29:36-41; Rev. 12:3-9.) They were cast down to earth, and have been forever denied physical bodies, a fact which causes them to seek habitation in the bodies of other persons. By the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood, devils are frequently cast out of such afflicted persons. (Mark 1:23-34; 16:15-17.) (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, Pg.195, DEVILS)
Every council in heaven, and every world created, will have a first born spirit for that particular world, and a "first flesh" (the first flesh that is the offspring of God) for that earth. (In the Old Testament these concepts appear as the "firstborn" [first of all] and the "firstfruits" [first of the season, or world]). Satan declares that he is the first spirit for this world, and was created before Michael, or Adam, (who will be the first flesh) and that he, (Satan) should be the "Grand Patriarch," the "Ancient of Days," holding the authority, honor and glory of the Father (the Patriarchal Priesthood), and the power of the Son of God (the Melchizedek Priesthood).
Satan makes it clear to Bartholomew that the "Son" existed before any and all creation (Col. 1:15), and all creation was by the "will of the Son and the consent of the Father" and created by the "word of power" (Moses 1:32-33). It must be understood and clear that Christ is the firstborn of all the spiritual offspring, of our Father in Heaven. The Savior is the "first born of the spirit, and the only begotten in the flesh." Christ, "was, is and shall be," because He is the first born of all spirits, the firstborn and firstfruits of our God and Father, and stands next to Elohim in all creation. As the First Born, under the "Patriarchal" rule and order, the Savior becomes responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of all His Father's children. (The concept of "prophet, priest, and king") Thus, Joseph declares: "we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." (D&C 76:23-24). It is the "firstborn" that must become the "Savior" and "Redeemer" of his Father's offspring. Because of this position in creation and responsibility of spiritual birth, there is an inherent power that lies within Jesus Christ. Not the power of the Father, (that is patriarchal) but, the power and authority of the firstborn unto God, known as "the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God." (D&C 107:3). This "power" inherent in Jesus Christ, gives Him the right, and authority to become the "Savior" of all God's children, who are as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them" (D&C 130:30.). These are they, who, live on "worlds with out number," created by the "Only Begotten Son." (Moses 1:32-33).
The "lamb prepared before the foundation of the world," (Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:19-20, that is "before the foundation" of this world and worlds without number) is Jesus Christ, who "was, is, and shall be" an "infinite and eternal sacrifice" (Alma 34:10); a sacrifice that "will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal." (Alma 34:14). The atonement of the Creator, the Son of a God, will "bring about the bowels of mercy which overpowereth justice . . . and thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice" (Alma 34:14-15). The "wages of sin are death" (Rom. 6:23) and the demands of justice can only be satisfied by the death (physical, and spiritual) of the sinner, or by the death of the sinless lawgiver. (The demands of justice require (from man or god), the physical death of the body and also the spiritual death, or separation from God. It was only because Christ was "sinless" that the spiritual death could have no power over him, and the fact that he is a God gave him power over the physical death, thus, the demands of justice were satisfied, and overcome without prejudice. This makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ infinite and eternal, a sacrifice that will suffice for all eternity, (2 Ne 9:6-7) for all the spiritual offspring that the Father has had or ever will have, spirits that will populate the worlds without number, worlds that have passed away, or have yet to be created (Moses 1:38). The resurrected body is required to stand before God to be judged, (2 Ne. 2:10; Mormon 9:13), and to stand before the veil for exaltation. The Savior had to present himself to the Father, at the veil after the resurrection, having been true and faithful in all things, and free from sin, [not because he was washed and pronounced clean, but because he was perfectly clean and sinless], and without the earthly and bloody blemishes of mortality, and the wickedness of the natural man. The "presentation" of Christ to the Father took place after he appeared to Mary in the Garden, for this reason the Savior said "touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father in Heaven." The "presentation" must be done in all cleanliness, without the stains of mortality "in or on" the resurrected body. [it is because of this event, and the mortality of the blood, that there were laws of cleanliness in the Mosaic law, especially those of women, and the issue of blood (mortality)]) These doctrines and elements in the life of Christ, cannot be separated from our own endowment and presentation at the veil. We must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb, to be pronounced clean and free from sin (3 Ne. 27:19). We must be resurrected to the celestial glory, (D&C 88:28-29) by the "power of the resurrection" which can only come by the power of an "infinite atonement" (2 Ne. 9:7). The cleansing and resurrection are provided by Jesus Christ. This is the essence of "His Gospel" (3 Ne. 27:13-21) or "His Doctrine" (3 Ne. 11:31-40), the purpose for which he came to earth is to provide the infinite "atonement" that is required for us to approach God. There is one "mediator between God and man" (1 Tim. 2:5) Jesus Christ is the mediator. The 'doctrine of mediation' is that mankind cannot approach the Father, in any way, without the power and authority, of Jesus Christ. This is the power of the "gospel of Jesus Christ:" to be cleansed, and resurrected, and prepared for our presentation at the veil. These are the initiatory ordinances, which are preparatory to our endowment of power. The initiatory ordinances, are the "washings and anointings" (D&C 124:37, 39). Worthy members are washed with water and pronounced clean, through the "blood of the Lamb," and then parts of the body are anointed with oil to function properly as they come forth in the first resurrection. These initiatory ordinances, are the priesthood ordinances of cleansing (washing), and resurrection (anointing), that come only by the power of the infinite atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus, Christ is the "mediator" between man and God. We cannot present ourselves at the veil until we worthily participate in the initiatory ordinances of the mediating Gospel of Jesus Christ, for there is no "other name given whereby salvation cometh" (Mosiah 5:8) and as the Savior said, that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
We must then be presented to the Father, as was Christ, to be "encircled" in his arms ( 2 Ne. 1:15; Alma 5:33; Alma 34:16), in a sinless and celestial body, with the "spirit and element, inseparably connected" to "receive a fullness of joy" (D&C 93:33) and to be endowed with the power that makes God, God, entering into his "rest, which rest is a fullness of his glory" (D&C 84:24), now prepared to "receive the Father's kingdom, and all that the Father hath" (D&C 84:38) as he declares "Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons." (Moses 6:68). By the mercy and grace of the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the lawgiver, and God, may the demands of justice be satisfied.
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. (Alma 34:14-16)
enough for the "gee whiz" file,-- back to the text --
Following the Devil's explanation of the "war in heaven," and the "fall of Satan," Bartholomew asks:
This response is similar to the Lord's instruction to the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the opening verses of the Book of Moses, which contains the same information on the "war in heaven." (These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount, the name of which shall not be known among the children of men. And now they are spoken unto you. Show them not unto any except them that believe. Even so. Amen.) (Moses 1:42). Likewise, Alma teaches that "it is given unto many to know the mysteries of god; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men" (Alma 12:9).
This text is found in: M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980 ed. Pp. 188-189
This text is in response to the questions of John, about evil, and the fall of Satan.
And I said: Lord, before Satan fell, in what glory abode he with thy Father? And he said unto me: In such glory was he that he commanded the powers of the heavens: but I sat with my Father; and he did order all the followers of the Father, and went down from heaven unto the deep and ascended up out of the deep unto the throne of the invisible Father. And he saw the glory of him that moveth the heavens, and he thought to set his seat above the clouds of heaven and desired to be like unto the Most High.
The text explains how Satan convinced the other angels to follow him, promising them that they "I will reign with you world without end" thus, "seducing the angels of the invisible Father."
Then the Father commanded his angels, saying: Take away their garments. And the angels took away their garments and their thrones and their crowns from all the angels that harkened unto him.
And I asked of the Lord: When Satan fell, in what place dwelt he? And he answered me: My Father changed his appearance because of his pride, and the light was taken from him, and his face became like unto heated iron, and his face became wholly like that of a man: and he dreq with his tail the third part of the angels of God, and was cast out from the seat of God and from the stewardship of the heavens. And Satan came down into this firmament, and he could find (make) no rest for himself nor for them that were with his.
From: R. H. Platt Jr. ed. The Forgotten Books of Eden, Bell Publishing Co., New York, 1980. pp. 36-37.
This particular text discusses the many "conflicts" or confrontations that Adam and Eve have with Satan, who, often appears as an angel of light. We begin after the fall of Adam and Eve, they are visited by the angels sent from the presence of God to give them instruction. Adam, asking about Satan, is given the following information.
Then the angels said unto Adam, "Thou didst harken to Satan, and didst forsake the Word of God who created thee; But now, O Adam, we will make known to thee, what came upon us through him, before his fall from heaven.
He gathered together his hosts, and deceived them, promising them to give them a great kingdom, a divine nature; and other promises he made them.
His hosts believed that his word was true, so they yielded to him, and renounced the glory of God.
He then sent for us -- according to the orders in which we were -- to come under his command, and to hearken to his vain promise. But we would not, and we took not his advice.
Then after he had fought with God, and had dealt forwardly with Him, he gathered together his hosts, and made war with us. And if it had not been for God's strength that was with us, we could not have prevailed against him to hurl him from heaven.
But when he fell from among us, there was great joy in heaven, because of his going down from us. For had he continued in heaven, nothing, not even one angel would have remained in it.
But God in his mercy, drove him from among us to this dark earth; for he had become darkness itself and a worker of unrighteousness.
And he has continued, O Adam, to make war against thee, until he geguiled thee and made thee come out of the garden, to this strange land, where all these trials have come to thee. And death, which god brought upon him he has also brought to thee, O Adam, because thou didst obey him, and didst transgress against god."
The Koran is not considered an ancient text, but, contains excerpts from texts that were considered inspired scripture, within the early Christian, and Jewish communities.
The Koran written by Mohammad between 600-650 c.e. (a.d.) is considered for Muslims the infallible Word of God. Traveling with trading caravans, Mohammed, would have come under the influence of Jewish and Christian scholars and teachings, and may have collected many ancient documents upon which he based some of the teachings of the Koran.
Below are excerpts from different "surahs" or chapters in the Koran, with their corresponding verse or paragraph numbers.
In surah 2:30 The satanic angels claim that Adam is not as intelligent as they, wherein God proves that the chosen patriarch is more intelligent than all the angels.
"And when We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam,' they all prostrated themselves except Satan, who in his pride refused and became and unbeliever."
We created you (Adam) and gave you form. Then We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam.' They all prostrated themselves except Satan, who refused to prostrate himself.
'Why did you not prostrate yourself when I commanded you?' He asked.
'I am nobler than he,' he replied. 'You created me of fire, but You created him of clay.'
He said: 'Off with you hence! This is no place for you contemptuous pride. Away with you! Henceforth you shall be humble.'
He replied: 'Reprieve me (allow me my way) till the Day of Resurrection.'
'You are reprieved,' said He.
'Because You have led me into sin,' he declared, 'I will waylay Your servants as they walk on Your straight path, and spring upon them from the front and from the rear, from their right and from their left. Then you will find the greater part of them ungrateful.'
'Be gone!' He said. 'A despicable outcast you shall henceforth be. As for those that follow you, I shall fill Hell with you all.'
We Created man from dry clay, from black moulded loam, and before him Satan from smokeless fire. Your Lord said to the angels: 'I am creating man from dry clay, from black moulded loam. When I have fashioned him and breathed of My spirit into him, kneel down and prostrate yourselves before him.'
The angels, one and all, prostrated themselves, except Satan. He refused to prostrate himself with the others.
'Satan,' said god, 'why do you not prostrate yourself?'
He replied: 'I will not bow to a mortal whom You created of dry clay, of black moulded loam.'
'Be gone,' said God, 'you are accursed. My curse shall be on you till Judgement-day.'
'Lord,' said Satan, 'reprieve me till the Day of Resurrection.'
He answered: 'You are reprieved till the Appointed Day.'
'Lord,' said Satan, 'since You have thus seduced me, I will tempt mankind on earth: I will seduce them all, except those of them who are your faithful servants.'
See also "surahs" 17:61-63; 18:50; 20:115-124; 38:67-88.
(For other scriptures about the "war in heaven" and the fall of Satan see: 2 Nephi 2:16-18; 2 Nephi 9:8; D&C 29:36-39; D&C 76: 25-28; Moses 4:3-4; Abr. 3:24-28; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-16; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:3-9).
The texts above, show the common thread of the "war in heaven" running throughout. It is evident that this doctrine played an important part in understanding the origin of evil, the existence of Satan or the Devil, and his goal to destroy the work of God. The prophet Lehi, in the Book of Mormon, teaches his son Jacob about the fall of Satan saying: "an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God" (2 Ne. 2:17). Lehi continues to teach about the goal of Satan, stating that after his fall from heaven, he became "miserable forever," therefore, "he sought also the misery of all mankind" (2 Ne. 2:18, 27). To bring about this "misery" Satan "stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness" (2 Nephi 9:9). Moses expands on the goal of Satan, saying, that he became: "the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will." Those that Satan will lead "captive at his will" must be lead voluntarily, for he can only lead, as the Lord states: "as many as would not harken unto my voice" (Moses 4:4). Disobedience to our Father in Heaven places mankind on the precipice of Satan's will. Jacob warns about disobedience to our knowledge of truth: "But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!" (2 Nephi 9:27). "O that cunning plan of the evil one!" declares Jacob, understanding that Satan will use the pride of knowledge: "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they harken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves" (2 Nephi 9:28).
In 2 Nephi Chapter Twenty-eight, the prophet Nephi sees and understands the control that Satan will have over the hearts of men in the last days. This passage of scripture identifies three groups of people, and how Satan will control their "hearts." The groups are: (A) those that are angry because of the truth; (B) those who consider themselves Zion, or members of the true church; and (C) those who believe nothing, (atheists and agnostics). In other words, these groups could be defined, and identified as: (A, verse 20) religions and churches of the world; (B, verse 21) "Mormons" involved in Babylon and (C, verse 22) unbelievers. The end result is the same for all three, and is found in verse 23.
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the (A) hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And (B) others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, (C) others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
Interestingly, the prophet Moroni views in vision the same latter day groups, but adds one small group of those who are truly righteous, and then expands on the attitudes and sins of the three main groups. Moroni can see the grasp that Satan has upon them, and pleads with each group to repent, and turn again unto God. Unknowingly, these groups have become part of the "Great and Abominable Church" partaking of the financial "delicacies" of Babylon. The most disturbing revelation discloses that the Later-day Saints are not immune from the influence and power of Babylon. Speaking about the restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, Moroni sees our day:
(A) the churches of the world
28 Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches.
31 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.
32 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.
33 O ye wicked and perverse and stiff-necked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.
34 Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.
9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
(B) the Righteous Latter-day Saints
36. . . and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts,
(C) the Latter-day Saints involved in Babylon
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; . . . . unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies--because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
(D) the unbelievers
1 AND now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.
2 Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation--behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God--then will ye say that there is no God?
3 Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws?
4 Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.
5 For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.
6 O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.
The prophet Moroni is allowed to see the attitudes and hearts of the people and of our day, and the sins that will keep them from the presence of God. He views the same three main groups that Nephi saw, but adds one line about those that are truly righteous within the "church of God" saying that "there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts." The prophet Lehi receives a vision of the "Tree of Life" which is recorded and explained by Nephi in the opening chapters of the small plates. The vision of the "Tree of Life" includes the same groups that Moroni discussed above, however, Nephi conveys attitude, while Moroni relates the sins of their attitude. The Savior also referred to these groups of people in his Parable of the Sower. These two allegories are outlined below in parallel form for easier comparison. It will be seen that some people, in Lehi's vision progressed far enough to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life, but then could not refrain from becoming involved in Babylon, and as members of the true church make their way to that great and spacious building.
1 Nephi 8:21-33
1 Nephi 8:Verse 20
And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.
Matthew 13:Verse 3
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Matthew 13:Verse 18
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
|Stony Ground||Stony Ground||Stony Ground|
|1 Nephi 8:Verse 21
And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
1 Nephi 8:Verse 22
And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.
1 Nephi 8:Verse 23
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
|Matthew 13:Verse 5
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
Matthew 13:Verse 6
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
|Matthew 13:Verse 20
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Matthew 13:Verse 21
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
|1 Nephi 8:Verse 24
And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
1 Nephi 8:Verse 25
And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.
1 Nephi 8:Verse 28
And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.
|Matthew 13:Verse 7
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
|Matthew 13:Verse 22
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
|Good Ground||Good Ground||Good Ground|
|1 Nephi 8:Verse 30
But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.
|Matthew 13:Verse 8
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.
|Matthew 13:Verse 23
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
|1 Nephi 8:Verse 31
And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
1 Nephi 8:Verse 32
And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
|Matthew 13:Verse 4
And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
|Matthew 13:Verse 19
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Many may think that it's too critical to state that both, Nephi and Moroni are speaking of the Latter-day Saints. However, who may cry "all is well in Zion?" Only the L.D.S.. What "Zion" is it? The church is Zion, and Zion, is the pure in heart. "And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18, emphasis added). The individual sin of "Zion" is to declare that all is well within the heart of an individual. Like the Zoramites, and their rameumptom proclaiming that there is no need of repentance for they are the chosen. A grosser sin Alma, had never seen. (see Alma 31:13-21). In Moroni's vision, (Chapter Eight of Mormon) he verifies that he is speaking about the restored Church of Jesus Christ (the phrase: "great and marvelous" is a reference to the restored church; Mormon 8:34) posing the question: "Why have ye polluted the holy church of God?" (Mormon 8:38). There is only one "holy church of God." The fact that he speaks about other churches, before these verses, and the unbelievers in the following chapter, leads to only one conclusion; he sees, and speaks to us, to those who read and believe the Book of Mormon, (the Latter-day Saints) in our day: " Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts," (Mormon 8:35, 36, italics added). Could it be possible for some in the church to be caught up in the ways of the world? Trying to serve God and Mammon, declaring "all is well" having one foot in Zion and the other Babylon. Even the prophet Lehi saw that members of the latter-day church, those who had "partaken of the fruit of the tree of life" would fall into clutches of Babylon (1 Nephi 8:24-28). Membership in the true Church of Jesus Christ, does not make one immune from the temptations of Satan, or guarantee that the baptized members of His church, do not belong to the active congregations of the church of the devil, all the while professing the title of, "Latter-day Saints."
When Satan succeeded in giving some of the fruit of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" to Adam and Eve, he, along with our first parents, received a chastisement, cursing and blessing form God. To give mankind a chance in life, where Satan is the god of this world, and the 'natural man is an enemy to God,' a loving Father placed "enmity" between man and Satan. This 'enmity' is a natural revulsion and reaction against evil. Coupled with the "Light of Christ," we have an innate desire to look for another way, something true, and righteous. However, learning to accept wickedness, and participate willfully in sin, man will forfeit that enmity, and "light," for: "that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience (D&C 93:39).
Satan will use this "enmity" between good and evil, to destroy all righteousness, seeking the temporal, and spiritual misery of mankind. Satan fell, because of pride, and he receives his 'powers and priesthoods' by the pride of men, gaining control over the bodies that have been created by God, and 'free spirits' that choose 'darkness rather than light.' With this "power of pride," Satan can then use the wealth of his worldly kingdom, to "purchase" the hearts and minds of world leaders, thereby gaining control of the military, and economic machines, that control of the nations of the earth.
In the Book of Moses, we learn that Cain, Master Mahan, was willing to sell that which was sacred for money and power. He, like his brother Abel held the priesthood, accepted the gospel and participated in their endowment of power. Both, were offering sacrifices (a priesthood ordinance) unto the Lord, however, Cain made his offering under the command of Satan, for he "loved Satan more than God" (Moses 5:18). The Lord had "respect unto Abel, and to his offering" (Moses 5:20) but, the offering of Cain was rejected by God. This rejection made Cain "wroth, and his countenance fell," (vs. 21) which pleased Satan, for now he had an endowed person with which to set up his secret oaths and combinations. The Lord then speaks to Cain, in verse 23, explaining that he can be accepted by being obedient, however, if he does not live up to the covenants that he had made, he would be in Satan's power. Cain is told by the Lord that he would become "perdition" if he continued to listen to Satan. President M. G. Romney, speaking of the "Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood" taught that this Oath and Covenant is the "endowment." Contained in this "oath and covenant" is the definition of Cain and his title of "perdition." In verse 41 of Section 84 we read: "But whoso breaketh this covenant (the oath and covenant of the priesthood) after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come." This is "perdition," and will come upon those who purposefully do not live up to the covenants that they make at the altars of God, after they have received and realized the ordinances and blessings of the endowment. Cain made his choice, and "altogether turneth therefrom" and "listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother" (Moses 5:26). This verse implies that Abel held a position of authority over Cain because of his disobedience. Again the pattern of the younger, but, more righteous becoming the priesthood leader over the wicked elder brother.
Satan will now be able to set up his kingdom based upon pride, and mankind's desire for wealth, power, and the lusts of the flesh. Satan takes the true endowment of power that Cain had received from the Lord, and turns it into his secret oaths, and combinations, establishing his powers and priesthoods, in the "great and abominable church of the devil." Elder McConkie teaches about the plan of Satan in relation to the offering of Cain:
"In relation to the kingdom of God," Joseph Smith said "the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 365.) And since the kingdom of God or true church has been on earth from age to age, so also has the kingdom of the devil or the church of the devil. Adam and Abel had true worship and offered sacrifices in the way the Lord ordained. On the other hand, "Cain loved Satan more than God." That is, he chose to live after the manner of the world, and it was Satan, not the Lord, who told Cain, "Make an offering unto the Lord." (Moses 5:18,) Thus the pattern was set for all ages, Satan tells men to worship the Lord, but the proposed worship that he gives them is false and without saving power. (McConkie, Bruce R. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1985. p..340)
Satan requires Cain to "swear" an oath unto him "by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die," and to "swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die." (Moses 5:29, see also Ether 8:14-20). The ancient "oath" was always a symbol of death or sacrifice. Abraham preformed the oath when he cut the animals into two parts, and some he cut their throats, then passed between them, signifying that, this the Lord may do to him if he failed to live up to the terms of the covenant. (Genesis 15:9-18). The Hebrew word "to make a covenant" is "karat beriyth" which means "to cut a covenant", a covenant could not be made without an oath, which would be a "cutting" symbol of death or sacrifice. When Satan required Cain to swear by his throat, or head, there would have been a symbolic gesture like the finger across the throat. Today we see this ancient oath formulary in the youthful promise to keep a secret: "I cross my heart and hope to die." The crossing of the heart is the oath, the dividing asunder and the cutting in two of the heart that would bind the obedience to a particular promise or covenant. This swearing "by thy throat" would have been the beginning of Satan's secret oaths, and covenants. Satan could only set up his kingdom with someone who had previously participated in the endowment of power by the true priesthood authority. The kingdom of the devil must be set up and patterned after the true priesthood order and organization. The Kingdom of God is powered by love and humility, while the kingdom of the devil propagated by enmity and pride. This then sets the stage for the secret society to "murder and get gain," the Mahan principle. (Moses 5:31). Following the death of Abel, Cain gloried in the murder of his brother, saying: "I am free," free from the priesthood authority of his younger brother, and "surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands." (vs. 33). When questioned by the Lord about Abel, Cain declares the first doctrine of Babylon, "I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" (vs. 34). The followers of Satan, have no responsibility for the welfare of their brethren, claiming "that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime" (Alma 30:17). When Cain realizes the curse that will come upon him, for the murder of his brother he states: "Satan tempted me because of my brother's flock. And I was wroth also; for his offering thou didst accept and not mine" (Moses 5:38). The excuse of Cain becomes the basic tenant of Babylon, and defined by Paul as "the love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Tim. 6:10). The word for "love of money" in the Greek is "philarguria" and means not just "love" of money, but a "desire for money," 'wanting money in the bank.' Many members of the church have a terminal case of philarguria, falsely assuming that the Lord will bless the righteous with financial success, or more adversely, justifying that "I am wealthy, because I am righteous," while Satan "carefully leadeth them down to hell." Wealth is no more a sign of righteousness than poverty is proof of wickedness.
Satan's first article of faith is that "you can have anything in this world for money." This love, or desire for money, works upon the pride of mankind giving Satan his power and control over those who seek for riches. The first commandment given to the church in this dispensation was: "Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich." (D&C 6:7). The elements that caused the downfall of the Nephite nation are explained in Third Nephi: "Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this--Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world." (3 Nephi 6:15). These four elements that lie at the foundation of Babylon are: (1) pride; (2) seeking for power, and authority; (3) seeking for riches; and (4) seeking for the vain things of the world. These are the things that caused the downfall of the Nephite nation, and perhaps the downfall of all the great nations that have existed on the earth. Nephi, speaking of the desires of the Church of the Devil, and those who belong to it, elaborates on the four elements mentioned above, saying: "For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up (1) to get gain, and all those who are built up to (2) get power over the flesh, and those who are built up (3) to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who (4) seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet" (1 Nephi 22:23). These are the concepts that form the philosophies of Babylon. Satan will take the money of the world to buy up and control the leaders of nations, military machines, and, even the religious leaders of the world. All the power that Satan has is given to him, just as Cain gave it, willfully and in open rebellion against God. His power lies in the pride and enmity of the natural man. The control of Satan lies in humility and a "remembrance of our own nothingness before God" (Mosiah 4:5-11) exercising faith unto repentance in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Without pride, Satan loses his power for: "redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered." (2 Nephi 2:6-7; italics added).
The evil of this modern world is "as it was in the days of Noah" (Joseph Smith Matt.1: 41) rampant with wickedness, and the influence of Satan. Enoch describes the great day of Satan's power declaring that, "He beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced" (Moses 7:26, see also 3 Nephi 9:2). He controls the earth's governments and nations, and the religions, and philosophies of the world. This is his Babylon, the "great and abominable" church of the devil that is "upon all the face of the earth" (Moses 7:24; 1 Nephi 14:11).
Understanding the origin of evil, and the goals of Satan since the war in heaven, we are ready to look at those scriptures that discuss the "great and abominable church of the devil," and the concept of "Babylon." Listing these scriptures by topic, and parallel reference will aid in a better understanding of the plans of Satan, as he seeks the misery of mankind, trying to destroy the work and glory of the Father. The scriptures listed below in the parallel correlation, are not the only scriptures that discuss Babylon. The chapters chosen below were chosen because they were more comprehensive as single chapters than other references. This is not an exhaustive study of Babylon, but, only one window for others to view, and pursue their own study into this important topic. Babylon has been destroyed a number of times throughout history, and the patterns of the wickedness that lead up to each eradication of Babylon are important in the understanding of the scriptures that prophecy of the final "fall of Babylon."
Babylon is the same as, the "great and abominable" the "church of the devil" and the "great and spacious building," and is not an individual organization or singular church. Babylon is founded or established by Satan, in the hearts of man, upon the foundation of "enmity and pride." The power that Satan has, he receives from the willful pride of the natural man. Nephi teaches that Satan can be bound by our righteousness, and therefore, loosed by our wickedness, his power over mankind comes by our choice. Zion and Babylon, both come from the heart of man, one by "love and humility" and the other by "enmity and pride." When the heart chooses the love of God and the love of our fellow man, Satan looses his power. This concept contains all the law and the prophets, the war between Zion and Babylon, between good and evil, between exaltation and damnation, between humility and pride.
The Babylonian chapters below, comprise, Chapters Thirteen, Fourteen and Twenty-two, of First Nephi, Revelation Chapters, Seventeen and Eighteen, and Isaiah Chapters, Thirteen and Fourteen. These chapters are divided into topics, then listed in parallel columns with a short discussion following each of the topics and scriptures listed. A complete text of the above mentioned Babylonian Chapters is contained in the appendix, following the topics and discussions.