This article in the Catholic press: 19 Points of Advice for Fighting the Devil by Patti Armstrong, caught my eye. Urantia Book readers/students have a different view of the devil than Catholics, so it seems a good point of discussion for our blog.
Below, we will expand on the idea of the devil using Urantia Book revelation about this being for the edification of the reader, but first, let me share some snippets from this article with you. Keep in mind that Catholics believe that the devil is capable of possession of the human mind, and they employ modern-day exorcists to rid the afflicted mind of this evil influence:
"The exorcists I consult occasionally for articles have personally seen a lot of the devil's theatrics: levitation, room temperature suddenly and drastically dropping, people knowing foreign languages they never studied, foul odors, objects flying and other antics intended to intimidate the exorcist. Yet, we are told not to fear evil. The exorcists do, however, strongly warn us to stay away from it and use the protection God gives us.
"I put together advice on how to guard against evil taken from two recent interviews with Msgr. John Esseff, a priest in the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania for 64 years and an exorcist for over 40 years, and also Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois."
The author goes on to list 19 ways to avoid contamination by the evil one.
Click to read the article.
Remember the movie: The Exorcist from back in the 1970s? I sure do; it scared me pretty bad and gave me nightmares for days. I was raised Catholic, and being possessed by the devil was about as bad as it could get, spiritually. That movie felt all too real to me. The feelings of evil were terrible, and the horrible sufferings of the child who was possessed awakened every primal fear I ever had.
Fast forward to that time when I found The Urantia Book, and discovered the real truth about this being called the devil. What I discovered, and hope to share with you, helped put this being into some sane and reasonable perspective.
As a preamble, it is important to understand that the teachings of The Urantia Book do not deny evil, sin, or iniquity and their potential for devastating influences on a soul; the book does not deny the existence of the devil. But rather than frightening us, the teachings of the book and the teachings of Jesus put a greater emphasis on the lures of goodness and the role of personal responsibility in overcoming evil and sin.
Once one's mind and will are dedicated to seeking and doing God's will, evil becomes far less important as a frightening or threatening influence. Sin fades into irrelevance, and goodness becomes the greatest lure because it alone provides happiness, peace, and joy.
A scary being? To begin, let's name him
People have been frightened of the devil for time out of mind. Sometimes, it seems as though many of us fear that there's an opposite force of darkness that is nearly equal to the forces of good. And that's pretty scary. But, is it true?
The Urantia Book identifies this being - he has a name that is largely unknown to us: Caligastia. And he has other more well-known cohorts who are in league with him and his evil purposes: Satan and Lucifer. But, who are these beings and where did they come from?
The Urantia Book supplies the reader with important information about many things, and the truth about the devil is no exception.
NOTE: This blog is a bit unusual, in that it is more lengthy than usual; however, I hope you'll persevere and enjoy it to the end. Throughout this blog, there will be underlined links that will greatly expand the stories and the events...just click to be taken to the text.
Let me tell you a story...
In order to fully appreciate the origins of this evildoing being, we have to go way back in earth's history - back to a time about 500,000 years ago, when the very first epochal revelation of God to man took place. A delegation of superhuman beings was sent to earth in order to assist the then-evolving beings (about one-half billion) who were then living here - our distant ancestors. Theirs was a primitive society, and yet they were true humans, having developed the ability of making moral choices. And it was decided by celestial government that the time was right to fellowship them and bring them the good news that they were children of God. This is normal procedure for planets such as ours.
The delegation sent to earth was commissioned to build a great city and a great civilization - to organize the inhabitants of earth into orderly societies and teach them their spiritual origins and also to teach them civilization arts through education. Accordingly, a city was built whose name was Dalamatia, and it was located in Mesopotamia. Its leader (Caligastia) was designated as the Planetary Prince of Urantia.
Please see Paper 66, The Planetary Prince of Urantia
About the city of Dalamatia (from Paper 66)
66:3.3 The headquarters of the Planetary Prince on Urantia was typical of such stations on a young and developing sphere. The nucleus of the Prince's settlement was a very simple but beautiful city, enclosed within a wall forty feet high. This world center of culture was named Dalamatia in honor of Daligastia [the associate/assistant of Caligastia: ed.].
66:3.4 The city was laid out in ten subdivisions with the headquarters mansions of the ten councils of the corporeal staff situated at the centers of these subdivisions. Centermost in the city was the temple of the unseen Father. The administrative headquarters of the Prince and his associates was arranged in twelve chambers immediately grouped about the temple itself.
It was a great civilization and it flourished for nearly 300,000 years. Please see the whole of Paper 66 to read the details of the city, its inhabitants, and the fascinating corps of celestial beings that were entrusted to bring the truth of God to mankind.
What went wrong?
66:8.3 From the arrival of Prince Caligastia, planetary civilization progressed in a fairly normal manner for almost three hundred thousand years. Aside from being a life-modification sphere and therefore subject to numerous irregularities and unusual episodes of evolutionary fluctuation, Urantia progressed very satisfactorily in its planetary career up to the times of the Lucifer rebellion and the concurrent Caligastia betrayal. All subsequent history has been definitely modified by this catastrophic blunder as well as by the later failure of Adam and Eve to fulfill their planetary mission.
66:8.4 The Prince of Urantia went into darkness at the time of the Lucifer rebellion, thus precipitating the long confusion of the planet. He was subsequently deprived of sovereign authority by the co-ordinate action of the constellation rulers and other universe authorities. He shared the inevitable vicissitudes of isolated Urantia down to the time of Adam's sojourn on the planet and contributed something to the miscarriage of the plan to uplift the mortal races through the infusion of the lifeblood of the new violet race—the descendants of Adam and Eve.
66:8.5 The power of the fallen Prince to disturb human affairs was enormously curtailed by the mortal incarnation of Machiventa Melchizedek in the days of Abraham; and subsequently, during the life of Michael in the flesh, this traitorous Prince was finally shorn of all authority on Urantia.
How did it happen? Enter Lucifer...
To understand the situation with Caligastia and the downfall of Dalamatia, one must also become familiar with another evil being, whose name is well-known: Lucifer.
After all those years of harmony in Dalamatia, Lucifer, a high Son of God, a Lanonandek Son, whose sacred duty it was to administer God's affairs in the universe, became rebellious and self-serving. He created a manifesto decrying the rule of heaven and declaring that God really did not exist. He and his lieutenant, Satan, convinced the Planetary Prince Caligastia to join him in his rebellion, and they organized a rebel government. Many personalities - angels and others - were led astray by this manifesto and its author. This disastrous rebellion encompassed not only our world, but about one-third of all the inhabited planets in Nebadon, the universe of Michael's making in which our planet resides.
About the importance of understanding the events of this time, the revelators tell us:
67:0.1 The problems associated with human existence on Urantia are impossible of understanding without a knowledge of certain great epochs of the past, notably the occurrence and consequences of the planetary rebellion. Although this upheaval did not seriously interfere with the progress of organic evolution, it did markedly modify the course of social evolution and of spiritual development. The entire superphysical history of the planet was profoundly influenced by this devastating calamity.
Read more about the villains - and the heroes -of the Planetary Rebellion
War in Heaven - Gabriel Does Battle
When the rebellion was formally launched, our world, which up to that time had been in open communication with all of the celestial circuits, was quarantined from all further communication with celestial government in order to minimize the damage and contain the outbreak. This plunged our world and its inhabitants into devastating confusion and distress. War broke out in heaven.
Michael of Nebadon, the Paradise Creator Son who created this universe (and who later incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth), decided on an attitude of non-interference. This may seem surprising, considering the gravity of the situation, but as is true with all created beings, free will is deemed sacred; no personality is ever coerced into doing the right thing, even when their acts are as devastating as those of Lucifer and his cohorts. But Michael's chief executive, Gabriel, gathered the forces of good - the angels and others who had resisted joining the rebellion - and the war in heaven was joined. The war in heaven lasted for seven years; during which time all personalities involved had to choose which side they would be on.
NOTE: If you have ever wondered about the Urantian symbol of the three concentric blue circles, the following passages will explain its significance:
53:5.4 Since Michael elected to remain aloof from the actual warfare of the Lucifer rebellion, Gabriel called his personal staff together on Edentia and, in counsel with the Most Highs, elected to assume command of the loyal hosts of Satania. Michael remained on Salvington while Gabriel proceeded to Jerusem, and establishing himself on the sphere dedicated to the Father—the same Universal Father whose personality Lucifer and Satan had questioned—in the presence of the forgathered hosts of loyal personalities, he displayed the banner of Michael, the material emblem of the Trinity government of all creation, the three azure blue concentric circles on a white background.
The Lucifer emblem was a banner of white with one red circle, in the center of which a black solid circle appeared.
"There was war in heaven; Michael's commander and his angels fought against the dragon (Lucifer, Satan, and the apostate princes); and the dragon and his rebellious angels fought but prevailed not." This "war in heaven" was not a physical battle as such a conflict might be conceived on Urantia. In the early days of the struggle Lucifer held forth continuously in the planetary amphitheater. Gabriel conducted an unceasing exposure of the rebel sophistries from his headquarters taken up near at hand. The various personalities present on the sphere who were in doubt as to their attitude would journey back and forth between these discussions until they arrived at a final decision.
But this war in heaven was very terrible and very real. While displaying none of the barbarities so characteristic of physical warfare on the immature worlds, this conflict was far more deadly; material life is in jeopardy in material combat, but the war in heaven was fought in terms of life eternal.
Click to read all the fascinating details about The Lucifer rebellion, from which the above passages were taken.
After thousands of years of continued evolution of the human races of earth, and in spite of the rebellion, the decision was made to send Adam and Eve to upstep and improve the lot of our distant ancestors. The Garden of Eden was prepared by certain loyalists of celestial government, and about 40,000 years ago, the Material Son and Daughter - Adam and Eve - arrived on earth. This visitation constituted the second epochal revelation of God to mankind.
This story is well-known in allegorical form from the Bible. There were definitely two beings called Adam and Eve, but unlike Biblical teaching, The Urantia Book informs us that, rather than being the first human beings, this amazing pair were celestial beings who had as their mission the job of uplifting the races of humanity, which were still languishing in planetary isolation.
As in the Bible, they failed in their mission. And here's where the devil once again makes his evil presence known. Of all the dark beings who were involved with the Lucifer rebellion, Caligastia, our apostate Planetary Prince, was still free to roam the planet. It was he who tempted Eve to alter the plans that she and Adam were to follow in their mission; worse, he succeeded. It was he who used slyness and cunning to bring the downfall of this, the second revelation of God to mankind. And it is for this reason that Caligastia has rightly earned the name of "the devil."
Should We Fear the Devil? What about Lucifer and Satan?
53:8.1 Lucifer and Satan freely roamed the Satania system until the completion of the bestowal mission of Michael on Urantia. They were last on your world together during the time of their combined assault upon the Son of Man.
The incarnation of the Son of God on Urantia constituted the fourth epochal revelation of God to mankind; one of his missions was to take back the sovereignty of this world and this universe from the apostate and wayward Prince Caligastia and his cohorts. This monumental task was accomplished on Mt Hermon during what has come to be known as the "great temptation." At that time Jesus, the mortal hero, the incarnated Son of God, confronted Satan and Caligastia (who also pleaded the case of Lucifer), and our Sovereign Son emerged victorious over them. He thereby earned and assumed the title of Planetary Prince of Urantia forevermore.
Read about the great temptation and what really happened HERE. Most importantly:
53:8.6 The last act of Michael before leaving Urantia was to offer mercy to Caligastia and Daligastia, but they spurned his tender proffer. Caligastia, your apostate Planetary Prince, is still free on Urantia to prosecute his nefarious designs, but he has absolutely no power to enter the minds of men, neither can he draw near to their souls to tempt or corrupt them unless they really desire to be cursed with his wicked presence.
Where are the rebels now?
This next passage tells us that in a time to come, when we mortals traverse the Father's "many mansions," we will be able to visit the prison world where the archrebels are detained, pending adjudication of their crimes of betrayal of trust:
45:1.11 As a sojourner on the seventh mansion world, you have access to the seventh transition world, the sphere of the Universal Father, and are also permitted to visit the Satania prison worlds surrounding this planet, whereon are now confined Lucifer and the majority of those personalities who followed him in rebellion against Michael. And this sad spectacle has been observable during these recent ages and will continue to serve as a solemn warning to all Nebadon until the Ancients of Days shall adjudicate the sin of Lucifer and his fallen associates who rejected the salvation proffered by Michael, their universe Father.
Is spirit possession still possible?
In Jesus' times, there certainly were instances of spirit possession of some the weaker-minded people of those times. These cases of possession occurred because there were still rebel spirit beings present here - beings who had participated in the rebellion. One of Jesus' miracles had to do with casting out of one of these rebellious spirits.
153:4.1 In the midst of the discussions of this after meeting, one of the Pharisees from Jerusalem brought to Jesus a distraught youth who was possessed of an unruly and rebellious spirit. Leading this demented lad up to Jesus, he said: "What can you do for such affliction as this? Can you cast out devils?" And when the Master looked upon the youth, he was moved with compassion and, beckoning for the lad to come to him, took him by the hand and said: "You know who I am; come out of him; and I charge one of your loyal fellows to see that you do not return." And immediately the lad was normal and in his right mind. And this is the first case where Jesus really cast an "evil spirit" out of a human being. All of the previous cases were only supposed possession of the devil; but this was a genuine case of demoniac possession, even such as sometimes occurred in those days and right up to the day of Pentecost, when the Master's spirit was poured out upon all flesh, making it forever impossible for these few celestial rebels to take such advantage of certain unstable types of human beings.
It was following this cure that Jesus was accused of being in league with devils; but it was simply a case of his being able to identify them and command them to cease their evil doings.
Even some of the Seventy, the band of evangelists that Jesus sent out, were able to effect some cures of possession:
63:6.2 When the seventy related how "even the devils were subject" to them, they referred to the wonderful cures they had wrought in the cases of victims of nervous disorders. Nevertheless, there had been a few cases of real spirit possession relieved by these ministers, and referring to these, Jesus said: "It is not strange that these disobedient minor spirits should be subject to you, seeing that I beheld Satan falling as lightning from heaven. But rejoice not so much over this, for I declare to you that, as soon as I return to my Father, we will send forth our spirits into the very minds of men so that no more can these few lost spirits enter the minds of unfortunate mortals. I rejoice with you that you have power with men, but be not lifted up because of this experience but the rather rejoice that your names are written on the rolls of heaven, and that you are thus to go forward in an endless career of spiritual conquest."
And so, we see that, since the day of Pentecost, spirit possession of a human being is no longer possible; the pouring out of Jesus' Spirit of Truth and the universal indwelling of the Thought Adjusters in the minds of mankind are forever protective against any further cases of possession. But it was possible, up until that day.
More than just a story
One of the great missions of The Urantia Book is to enlighten the minds of its readers - to explain the true history of this world and the personalities who played such a large part in creating the darkness of the world in which we find ourselves yet today.
When it comes to devils and demons, knowing the stories of Caligastia, the Lucifer rebellion, the evil power-plays of Satan against Jesus and his mission, and the way in which Jesus has triumphed against all of these dark forces should give all of us reason for rejoicing. We can all breathe a sigh of relief when we know that we are not helpless under the thumb of Satan or Lucifer, but that they are "servile before the divine majesty of the Paradise Thought Adjusters and the protective Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Michael, which has been poured out upon all flesh."
True, we are still plagued by the actual presence of the last of these beings - Caligastia, the devil - but as we are assured, he has been shorn of all real power and "he has absolutely no power to enter the minds of men, neither can he draw near to their souls to tempt or corrupt them unless they really desire to be cursed with his wicked presence."
In the cases that were cited in the article above, one might wonder at what the kinds of phenomenon that are witnessed in these cases of "possession" might be...it is difficult to say, but it is not possession by the devil, unless he has been invited to do such things.
53:8.9 In general, when weak and dissolute mortals are supposed to be under the influence of devils and demons, they are merely being dominated by their own inherent and debased tendencies, being led away by their own natural propensities. The devil has been given a great deal of credit for evil which does not belong to him. Caligastia has been comparatively impotent since the cross of Christ.
Why learning our real history is important...
These stories are not allegories, not myths. These events from our history really happened. The beings that participated are real personalities. The repercussions of these events are still being felt on our world to this day, in the 21st century. As of the time of delivery of The Urantia Book, our world remains in quarantine. The celestial circuits remain closed, and Urantia is still isolated from the universal family. The universe trial of the rebels has yet to take place.
46:8.1 The tribunal of the Ancients of Days has not yet finished the adjudication of the affairs of the Lucifer rebellion. Satania [our system] may not come back into the full fellowship of Norlatiadek [our constellation] so long as it harbors archrebels, high created beings who have fallen from light into darkness.
There will come an end for rebels and rebellion. The Supreme Rulers are merciful and patient, but the law of deliberately nourished evil is universally and unerringly executed. "The wages of sin is death"—eternal obliteration.
If you've made it this far and are as fascinated as many Urantia Book readers are to know these amazing details about the devil and his checkered influence on our world, please feel free to follow any link in this piece - check out the papers that are referenced here; take your mind and imagination back to the early days of our world; learn about these pivotal events that have shaped the world as it is even today. Learn the truth of these well-known beings whose stories have been garbled and confused over eons of time. And allow yourself to feel protected and cared-for, too. We are no longer being held captive by evil beings, but are free to chart our own courses in this life - and the most joyous course of all is that course which leads each soul Godward!
Click HERE to access The Urantia Book in its entirety.