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What Are Demons and What Are They Capable Of?

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What are Demons and What are They Capable of?

English 12

Elena M. Douville

Lake Michigan Catholic High School

 Catholics hold belief in one almighty God. He shows the path to greatness and is always there for all of mankind no matter what. The world is full of light that He has created for us; but since we believe that God has created the light, we must also believe that He has created the darkness (Is. 45:7). This world holds angels that keep humans protected and safe, but along with the angels, demons are here as well. Demons are the darkness that shades the world. They are always watching and waiting, and they are capable of more than anybody could imagine.

A demon is a bodiless spirit who seeks the body of a living creature. They are sentient creatures who are able to have names and identify themselves, and are more than happy to cause harm in multiple ways. Many explanations for the origins of demons are that they are fallen angels, Nephilim, or another creature created on their own. Each theory has their strengths and their faults, but some are more believable and factual than the others.

 While many believe the idea that demons are fallen angels, there are some faults to it. All angels, including the fallen, have a spiritual body. (Mark 5:12-13). There would be no need for them to take the body of another such as demons do. Another idea of the demon origin is that they are a species called the Nephilim. The Nephilim are the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Mentioned in Genesis chapter six, the Nephilim were destroyed in the flood but their spirits still remained on the Earth. Many say that these souls became the demons known today. But this cannot be the case because there is no biblical support for this idea. The idea of fallen angels holds the most scriptural support, so it is the idea that most people fall back to.  Jesus describes hell as “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). John also describes Satan’s fall in a way that shows how to he took a third of heaven’s angels with him. “His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it” (Revelation 12:4). Even though nobody fully knows where the demons came from, there is knowledge that they are here to take people away from God.

Specific demons are mentioned in the bible, but not often. Even if the demon is not specifically seen, they still are told about in scripture. They were written in because their impact on the lives of others warranted their presence in scripture. These demons brought terror and fear wherever they were talked about. Some of them were leaders of armies, and others were a focus of worship. Each demon has a different purpose to bring humans away from God.

 Molech, while never specifically mentioned as a demon, is mentioned as an issue in Israel throughout the Old Testament. “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18:21) It is mentioned that many worshiped Molech as a false god, and there were documented practices of human sacrifice towards him.  Another demon in the bible is Legion. But Legion is not only one demon, he is many. He was an example of demons congregating together inside one person. Jesus encountered Legion when he was traveling to the country of Gerasenes. Outside of a cemetery he came across a possessed man.

“And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.” (Mark 5:2-10).

 A third demon mentioned would be one of the most frightening known in the bible, Abaddon. John sees a vast horde of demonic horsemen arriving out of the abyss as the fifth trumpet blows. They were sent not to kill those on Earth, but to torment. The demons who arrived had a king who led them. Abaddon is one of the rulers of the underworld, who leads demons to torment the world. In Hebrew the name of the king is Abaddon, while in Greek it is Apollyon. Both versions of the name mean destroyer or destruction. The demons mentioned in the bible each had their own jobs and purposes. Molech was a center of satanic worship, Legion was a group of demons possessing one man and giving terrible power, and Abbadon was a king of the abyss. Each brought terror and torment, and pulled all of the world farther away from God.

Demonic worship is another way that demons try to allow themselves into people's lives. Whenever somebody starts trailing down the path of worshiping a demon, it becomes harder to find God. Use of occult practices, such as magic, bring people closer to what the devil wants. Some items, such as a ouija board, are thought to be simple toys. But it truly is a gateway to an area that humans are not meant to explore or contact. It gives people false ways of contacting God, and seeing the truth of his word.

 One of the practices would be divination. Divination is a practice specifically named by Moses during his prohibition on occult worship. The process of divination was killing a creature to find out the truth about the future. This idea lead anyone who used it away from God because it is humans trying to follow a path that God hasn’t allowed. Another worship is necromancy,the practice of trying to speak with the dead. But the bible claims that it is not possible for the living to be able to communicate with the dead (Luke 15:27-31). So it is believed that whoever says that it is possible to speak with the dead are either lying, or are being deceived by a different force.  Magic formulas and incantations are another forbidden practice. Many people believe that there is a difference between white and black magic. White magic being about light and more relaxed practices, while black magic is the practice of curses and destruction. But the truth is that they are the same. They both are illegitimate means of worship, and neither is acceptable. Closely related to magic, there is sorcery. Sorcery falls under the category of calling demons to create situations around people. These practices have also been known to have used mood and mind altering drugs. This lead to the denouncement of such drugs because of their use for demonic worship (Elmer Towns, College Professor and Pastor). This issue has not only occurred during the past. Many people today claim to be able to use witchcraft. Witchcraft is directly opposed to God (Deut. 18:10). When Saul became the new Israelite king, one of his first acts was to ban the practice of witchcraft (1 Sam 28:9). The use of witchcraft allows demons to come closer to and have those in this practice keep using it. A final demonic worship is astrology. Astrological cults were formed in many different areas, focusing on different practices. In Canaan, child sacrifices to the demon Molech and worship of the golden bull were all part of their astrology. (Leviticus 20:2) The Old Testament clearly states that sacrifices towards a false god, or any other place of false worship, is forbidden. All of these worships go against the will of God, and follow the will of demons. Whether it be the use of magic, or attempts to speak with the dead, each is forbidden. And each is doing the will of a demon.

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