I think it was President Benson who once said something to the effect of;
“You cannot protect yourself from the enemy if you don’t know who he is and how he operates”
Again, I am paraphrasing and going by memory. I may have that a little wrong. Nevertheless, I think it is true whether he said it or not.
Now, speaking of needing to know who the enemy is in order to protect yourself from them… I am going to challenge a long standing doctrine that has been taught.
It has to do with the war in heaven. What I am about to show you might just scare the bageebies out of you, but it will also help you to understand better just who the enemy is and how close he is to you. Hopefully in understanding this, you will be able to protect yourself with the aid of the Spirit and the grace of God.
Here is a direct quote from the LDS Bible Dictionary regarding the WAR IN HEAVEN;
“This term arises out of Rev. 12: 7 and refers to the conflict that took place in the premortal existence among the spirit children of God. The war was primarily over how and in what manner the plan of salvation would be administered to the forthcoming human family upon the earth. The issues involved such things as agency, how to gain salvation, and who should be the Redeemer. The war broke out because one-third of the spirits refused to accept the appointment of Jesus Christ as the Savior. Such a refusal was a rebellion against the Father’s plan of redemption. It was evident that if given agency, some persons would fall short of complete salvation; Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication (see Isa. 14: 12-20; Luke 10: 18; Rev. 12: 4-13; D&C 29: 36-38; Moses 4: 1-4). The spirits who thus rebelled and persisted were thrust out of heaven and cast down to the earth without mortal bodies, “and thus came the devil and his angels” (D&C 29: 37; see also Rev. 12: 9; Abr. 3: 24-28).
The warfare is continued in mortality in the conflict between right and wrong; between the gospel and false principles, etc. The same contestants and the same issues are doing battle, and the same salvation is at stake.
Although one-third of the spirits became devils, the remaining two-thirds were not all equally valiant, there being every degree of devotion to Christ and the Father among them. The most diligent were chosen to be rulers in the kingdom (Abr. 3: 22-23). The nature of the conflict, however, is such that there could be no neutrals, then or now (Matt. 12: 30; 1 Ne. 14: 10; Alma 5: 38-40).
Ok, that all seems pretty straight forward and well documented… right? It is a very warm and comforting doctrine right to know that the evil people that followed Satan didnt get to come down here to earth with all of the valiant spirits... right?
It is often taught in the Church that;
“We know that all of us on earth chose to support the plan of redemption by virtue of the fact that we are on earth enjoying a mortal body”
It is very comforting to know that those evil wicked spirits who rebelled against the Gospel Plan and against Christ as the Savior and against that concept of atonement are not rubbing shoulders with us in the flesh… right?
Sorry, but I don’t buy it…
I don’t think the wicked ruler that had all of the male infants killed when Moses was born or the Pharaoh that Moses dealt with, or Hitler or thousands of other leaders who have ruled with blood and horror on this earth or the droves of people who plunder and kill were supportive of the plan of salvation in the pre-existence.
I just don’t think so!
Let me ask you this. If those who chose to follow Satan in the pre-existence were in fact, mingled among us, during this probationary life, don’t you think we should be aware of it, so that we would be a little more sober and alert in protecting ourselves against those who truly hate Christ and reject the atonement and want to destroy his children?
Wouldn’t we be a little more protective if we thought the third portion of spirits that followed Satan were also going through this probationary experience with us instead of thinking of Satan and his minions as being in the background somewhere in spirit form?
I am not saying that there are not evil seducing spirits that we must contend with in this life.. there certainly are.
However, there may be spirits in flesh and blood that are just as dangerous. It is very helpful to know who and where the enemy is. Yes the war in heaven is being continued on earth just as the church teaches but the literal reality of this war needs to be understood..
All of the evil spirits involved in the War in Heaven that followed Satan had to take upon themselves physical bodies and come down to earth and go through mortal probation with us… the laws of eternity require it.
I am now going to address each of the scriptures provided in the LDS Dictionary to see if in fact they really prove that old Scratch and his followers were not allowed to take on a physical body and come to probation with us.
First lets look at Rev. 12: 7 I am actually going to post the entire chapter for you to read for yourself. Remember that the angel told John that the vision was going to show him things which must shortly come to pass… it is a vision about the FUTURE… not the past.
As you read this chapter you will see that the war in heaven spoken of in the 12th chapter of Revelation was not the pre-existent war for this particular earth and the generation of spirits that came to it… rather it is a war that takes place during this probation!
Notice that it is when the kingdom of God comes forth upon this earth that Satan is cast down to persecute the woman that brings forth the “man child”.
[Note the changed sequence of verses in the JST.]
Ok. As you can see, that chapter is not speaking about the pre-existence and it says nothing about Satan and his followers not getting to have a body.
Now lets look closely at D&C 29: 36-38
36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the adevil—for, behold, the bdevil was before Adam, for he crebelled against me, saying, Give me thine dhonor, which is my epower; and also a fthird part of the ghosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their hagency;
Chronologically speaking, the “third part” of the hosts of heaven appears to turn away from Christ AFTER the Devil tempts Adam. And again, there is nothing that says that those who follow Satan don’t get to come to probation just like the rest of us.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, the term “third part” does not mean 1/3.
In theory, you could have three groups of people with one portion that equals 90% one portion that equals 9% and one portion that equals 1%.
The scriptures don’t reveal what percentage followed Satan.. they only tell us that there appears to have been three groups. The scriptures indicate that perhaps the three groups might have been composed of those who come forth in the first resurrection, those who are redeemed after the space of 1,000 years and finally those who cannot be redeemed.
1 And I, the aLord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That bSatan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the cbeginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will dredeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely eI will do it; wherefore fgive me thine honor.
3 Wherefore, because that aSatan brebelled against me, and sought to destroy the cagency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be dcast down;
The above passages indicate that it was in the pre-existence that Satan requested to be the one sent down however, it does not indicate that it was immediately at that time that he was cast down… in fact, you will notice in verse three that it is not after he presents himself to be the one to go down that he is cast out of heaven, but rather it is after he rebelled that he is cast down. I would suggest that it was at a later time that he rebels.
The story of Job supports that fact that Satan remained in heaven during Old Testament Times.
“And he said unto them, I beheld aSatan as lightning fall from heaven.”
That comment was made by Christ in the meridian of time when he was instructing the Seventy to go forth on their missions.
There is just as much chance that Christ beheld Satan cast down at that time, in the meridian of time, or even in a vision of a future event as there is that he was looking back into the pre-existence!
Ok, now this is where it really gets interesting.
I am not quite sure why they included this chapter in the dictionary because it does not support the theory that Satan and his followers were not allowed to come to probation and take upon themselves physical bodies;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the amost High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to ahell, to the sides of the pit.
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like aan abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to bthe stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
Isaiah 14 is a prophecy about the future! The verses leading up to verse 12 are speaking about the fall of Babylon, the Golden City and how the staff (right to rule) is taken away from Satan and his wicked minions that have been ruling the world for 6,000 years.
According to Isaiah, Satan is cast down in the last days!
It would have been sometime between the meridian of time and the end of probation that Satan is cast down from heaven according to Isaiah… and ... Are you sitting down?
Verse 19 is still speaking directly to Satan! It is Satan that is “cast out of thy grave”
“But thou (Satan) art cast out of thy grave like aan abominable branch…”
Read it again very carefully and don’t get distracted by the interim verses.
Why is Satan cast out of the grave if he never came to probation to get a body?
How is he cast out of the grave if he never died a physical death?
Another reference provided in the LDS Dictionary is Alma 5: 38-40).
Behold, I say unto you, that the good ashepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not bhearken unto the voice of the cgood shepherd, to the dname by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
39 And now if ye are not the asheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the bdevil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a cliar and a dchild of the devil.
This verse informs us that those who hearken to the voice of the good shepherd in this life are of his fold. He who doesn’t is a child of the devil!
The Children of the Devil did not accept and follow Christ in the pre-existence.
Ah Ha! Now we are starting to get somewhere. Those who know the voice of Christ in this life are his children. They obviously followed him in the pre-existence.
Those who don’t know his voice are the children of the devil. They obviously followed Satan in the pre-existence.
Ok.. those are the scriptures the LDS Dictionary uses to support the theory that the children of hell that followed Scratch did not get to come down here and take on bodies and go through probation with us.
If you read those scriptures closely, then you probably realize that those scriptures may be saying something quite different than what is commonly taught.
The reason I feel this is very important to understand is because we need to be aware that there are those in our midst who hated Christ and the Atonement based Gospel that was chosen by the Father in the pre-existence.
Here are some additional scriptures and teaching of LDS leaders to augment the scriptures provided by the LDS Bible Dictionary.
1- The Lord has told us that both the literal seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent would co-exist on this earth together; “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman , between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise thy heel…” (Moses 4:21 gen 3:15)
2- Cain was a son of perdition in the pre-existence because he was one of the ones that chose to follow Satan in the pre-existence; “…thou shalt be called the father of lies; thou shalt be called perdition; for thou was also before the world.” (Moses:5:24)
3- It appears that some of the early leaders had been taught by JS that the seed of Cain provided tabernacles for the pre-existent followers of Satan; “A descendant of Cain was allowed to come through the flood in order that the devil might be properly represented upon the earth” (John Taylor JD 23:336 No I am not a bigot. I do not have an issue with blacks, I am simply quoting Taylor to show that there is some reason to believe that you can trace the seed of Cain coming through the blood.)
4- Jesus told some of the Pharisees that they came from beneath and that their father was the devil; “And said unto them, ye are from beneath; I am from above, ye are of this world; I am not of this world… y are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and above not in truth, because there is no truth in him…” John 8:23)
5- The Book of Mormon teaches that those who bring forth evil works are the children of the devil and that they came from the devil; “And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of this fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold I say unto you whosever denieth this is a liar and a child of the Devil.” (alma 5:40-41)
6- The Book of Mormon teaches that after all men have passed through mortality and are brought before the judgment bar, those who are still filthy become the devil and his angels (of this world or the next world?) “And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this fist death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment seat of the Holy one of Israel… they who are righteous shall be righteous still and they who are filthy shall be filthy still wherefore they who are filthy are the devil and his angels.” (2 Nephi 9:15-16)
7- Jesus knew that the war in heaven was taking place here on earth and that both armies are here in the flesh. That is why he said, “think not that I have come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter in law against her mother in law…” Mat 10:34
Now that brings the first part of what I wanted to discuss to an end, namely that the war in heaven is literally being continued right here on earth by the same players. I believe the scriptures clearly prove that Satan and his followers do get physical bodies and they do go through a mortal probation. I believe I have provided adequate scriptural support for this supposition.
Now for the next issue that I want to address. I am openly declaring this part of this post to be speculation on my part.
I believe that one of the reasons, if not the primary reason that Scratch and his followers rejected the Fathers plan to have a Savior and a Gospel predicated on an Atonement is because they could see what would happen to them if the plan of the Father was accepted
Somewhere in my files I have a quote from one of the Nauvoo Discourses wherein Joseph Smith revealed in a sermon that after this earth life and the resurrection we will all ultimately return to the glory from which we were created.
Hence, the children of light that were created from terrestrial and celestial intelligence could see what their outcome would be and they rejoiced!
The children of hell on the other hand, that had been created from outer darkness could see what their final end would be as well. Of course they fought like hell against the plan.
In other words, we all come here with a certain spiritual DNA or potentiality based on what part of the universe God took our unorganized intelligence.
It may seem unfair that God would require the children of outer darkness to go through a probation and then to go through the excruciating pain of having their spirit and tabernacle torn asunder after being resurrected. We simply don’t know all of the details. We do know that there must be opposition in all things (opposing forces) in order for us to be able to have agency and to go through a plan of salvation.
Finally, let me share my theory about how to identify those in this life that seem to have the same doctrinal leanings as those who followed Satan.
We learn two very important things about Satan in the scriptures that carry over to his children.
One is that he did not like the plan of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was not supportive of Christ. I guess he realized that the atonement would not shield him from the law of justice and that it would not ultimately save him from suffering in outer darkness for eternity… therefore he fought against it and wants to do everything in his power to make others miserable like unto his own sorry little personage.
The second thing is that his inner desire and motivation is that he wants to “exalt his own throne above the stars”… he wants to “ascend above the heights of the clouds and be like the most high” but he wants to do it some other way than through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and through the Atonement.
This brings me to the teachings of the new age movement and other anti-Christ movements that you need to be aware of as we enter into the last lap of this probationary experience.
Two things that are very common characteristics of the Children of the Devil that cleave to these seductive teachings is that they;
1- Reject the doctrine of the atonement as taught in the scriptures, often claiming that it is not necessary or that it is impossible for anyone to deny the atonement because it will save everyone. They reject the words of the Savior wherein he warned that those who do not repent and believe on his name must suffer for their own sins despite the suffering that he went through.
2- They usually teach that they are perfect beings just the way they are instead of fallen beings that need to experience a change of heart through the Gospel of Jesus Christ… they tend to exalt themselves and claim the divinity that is within them as being all they need to ascend into the heavens.
I am not saying that everyone who is still stuggling to understand and accept the Atonement is a Child of the Devil. There are many people who, like Saul and Alma the Younger, are still working things out and will be born in due time, I am simply identifying what I believe to be one of the polarizing issues of the Gospel because it is so important to understand.
Beware. The war in heaven is now taking place on earth. There are some very seductive and intoxicating doctrines that teach that the natural man is not an enemy to God, that we don't need an atonement and that we can draw from the divine God within ourselves to ascend into the heavens and be like God without the need to access the Atonement of Christ through faith, repentance, baptism of water, the baptism of fire and the reception of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion..
If the War in Heaven teaches us anything about the events of the 3rd Watch it should be that the God intentionally allows a Son of Perdition to be in a position of authority so that he can lead his own children astray. This should provide context for 2nd Thes.
This is why I have relentlessly stated that it is not enough to follow a prophet, we each must BE a prophet in the sense of taking the Holy Spirit as our Guide to avoid being deceived
How does all of this war in heaven business interrelate with the topic of the 3rd Watch you may be wondering? Well, it is in the 3rd watch that the great war in heave comes to its final fruition in this temporal world. This is where the devil makes his last stand prior to the little season;