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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PART ONE—ANGELS: Their Nature and Ministry

    §1. TRUTH AND ERROR

    The enemy of God and the human family has left no means untried by which he could pervert the truth, and draw away men from a knowledge of the true God and of His law. It seems to be his invariable plan to lead men first to forget or disbelieve what God has taught them concerning any truth, and then, as a substitute, to instill into their minds some error which, in its main features, closely resembles the truth, but which is, nevertheless, opposed to it.ATNM 5.1

    Thus when he had led men to forget God, Satan turned their minds to worship the sun and the host of heaven. When they had forgotten the word of God, given through His prophets, he introduced in its stead the pagan oracles and priests. So it is with the truth in regard to the ministration of angels. They are the divinely-commissioned messengers sent to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. But this glorious Bible truth has been so far lost from sight that many, even of those who call themselves Christians, have no clear ideas concerning it, and little practical faith in it. Yet the need of some ministering spirit, some heavenly visitant from the world of light, to instruct us in the things of God, is widely felt.ATNM 5.2

    Satan sees that this necessity must be met. A substitute must be invented. What shall it be? To answer this we have only to look at the history of those nations who have forgotten God. Psalm 9:17. From the Egyptian priests to the modern spirit mediums, we find them teaching that the spirits of the dead return to minister to their friends in this world. But while the Bible often speaks of the visits of holy angels to our world, to minister to the children of God, it is entirely silent concerning the return of the spirits of the dead for that purpose. Go to the heathen who know nothing about God and His word, and we find them extolling the souls of their dead friends as gods, demi-gods, and protecting spirits. Come down to the last generation, even in so-called Christian lands, and we find an extensive unbelief in the existence of either good or bad angels, or but vague and indefinite ideas of their character and office.ATNM 6.1

    Thus far Satan has well succeeded. A vacuum has been formed, which, as both reason and revelation teach, must be filled. As a substitute, he has introduced the supposed souls of the dead, as ministering spirits from the other world. To uphold his counterfeit work he cunningly uses all the arguments, both from the Scriptures and from nature, which prove that there are, or ought to be, messengers to communicate between this and the other world. If he can convince men that they are spirits that communicate, he has gained his point, inasmuch as the people in general have no definite faith in the existence of either good or evil angels, except as they learn it from this source.ATNM 6.2

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