Jdgs. 2:19 π 1 Ki. 14:22-24 π 2 Chr. 33:2-5 π 2 Chr. 34:2-7
The reality of the existence of wicked spirits by whom Satan, their prince, carried out his work in the fallen world of men, cannot be more strongly proved, than by the fact that the statutes given by Jehovah to Moses in the fiery mount, embodied stringent measures for dealing with the attempts of evil spirit beings to find entry to the people of God. Moses was instructed by Jehovah to keep the camp of Israel free from their inroads, by the drastic penalty of death for all who had dealings with them. The very fact of Jehovah thus giving statutes in connection with such a subject, and the extreme penalty enforced for disobedience to His law, shows in itself
(1) the existence of evil spirits,
(2) their wickedness,
(3) their ability to communicate with, and influence human beings, and
(4) the necessity for uncompromising hostility to them, and their works.
God would not legislate for dangers which had no real existence, nor would He command the extreme penalty of death, if the contact of the people with evil spirit beings of the unseen world, did not necessitate such drastic dealing.
The severity of the penalty obviously implies, also, that the leaders of Israel must have been given acute "discerning of spirits," so sure and so clear, that they could have no doubt in deciding cases brought before them.
Whilst Moses and Joshua lived, and enforced the strong measures decreed by God to keep His people free from the inroads of Satanic power, Israel remained in allegiance to God, at the highest point of its history; but when these leaders died, the nation sank into darkness, brought about by evil spirit powers, drawing the people into idolatry and sin; the condition of the nation in after years, rising and falling (see Jdgs. 2:19 , 1 Ki. 14:22-24 ; compare 2 Chr. 33:2-5 , 34:2-7; top ) into
1) allegiance to God, or
2) idolatrous worship of idols,
and all the sins resulting from the substitution of the worship of Satan - which idolatry really meant - in the place of Jehovah.
When the new dispensation opens with the advent of Christ, we find Him - the God-Man - recognising the existence of the Satanic powers of evil, and manifesting uncompromising hostility toward them, and their works - Moses in the Old Testament, Christ in the New. Moses, the man who knew God face to face. Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, sent from God to the world of men. Each recognizing the existence of Satan and the evil spirit beings; each drastically dealing with them as entering and possessing men, and each waging war against them, as actively opposed to God.
Taking a perspective view, from the time of Christ on throughout the early history of the Church, up to the giving of the Apocalypse, and the death of the Apostle John, the manifested power of God wrought (in varying degrees) among His people, and the leaders recognized and dealt with the spirits of evil - a period corresponding to the Mosaic period in the old dispensation.
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