Creation has endowed man with unfathomable mysteries. Some of which are explainable while few others find their way into religious explanations which finally forms or becomes the credo which is believed without questioning. One of such phenomenon is the concept of demon.
There are various religious, esoteric cum philosophical explanations associated with the concept of demons. As a student of sacred mystery, I am interested in seeing things properly explained in the light of reality than watch and sing emotional doxology to a creator who desires to emancipate mankind from the cocoon of ignorance. The creator through one of his servants lamented thus; “…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge “Hos. 4:6
Today, in the light of the unseen forces masquerading as real humans, the need to property reposition our understanding in line with biblical principles cum civilization is necessary. Civilization, wars, attacks in the physical world, killing and maiming of all sorts, occult manipulation and much more have made the study of demonology a hot topic. When I read the well researched book of Nick Redferm titled, “Final Events” which focuses on a Possible Government cover up of what the author regards as “Demonic UFO activity for decades.” But the book did not properly explain the mystery of UFO and how same is associated with the Un-identified Flying Objects (UFO); though he linked them to diabolic ethereal forces.
Let me at this point emphasize that my prime intension is not to burg my readers with mind boggling information about psychic entities hitherto referred to as demons; rather my ultimate intension is to unearth the esoteric cum psycho-philosophical manipulations and how demons truly possess the human mind and thus use same as a total tool of devastation and destruction. The reader shall therefore find the explanation to certain things that have bamboozled scholars in Philosophy of Religion as it relates to psychic entities – demons.
What are demons? How do they become humans? How possible could it be for a demon to put on the human flesh and be born in the sphere of matter, energy, space and time? What actually are their missions on earth? Can UFOs truly be called demons? Can demon possess the human spirit? These and much more shall the reader find answers to.
I shall attempt to look at the topic historically, theologically and practically in all the series that shall feature in my column. Let us at this point x-ray the etymological meaning of the term demon in order to consolidate the historical perspective. The Hellenistic etymology of the word daimon or demon in antiquity was far different from its conventional meaning today. Its overall meaning according to its first use in the Homeric Epics is “a power that accompanies men and dispenses destiny.” However, Homer the great philosopher sees it as an impersonal power or one of a divinity that shares events in individuals’ life.
The term then becomes personified as Hesiod includes demons in his classification of rational beings in which he categorized them as men who have passed on into an immortal afterlife. Plato later expanded the meaning of the term – demon in many ways. He called demons the offspring’s of gods and other beings who became interpreters between man and gods, he also classified them as spirits akin to guardian angels that watch over cities and individuals, finally Plato describe them as the highest and divine element in man.
It should be noted however, that Xenocrates who was one of the students of Plato and other philosophers helped to expound this concept further by suggesting that there were three classes of demons, those that were eternally disembodied spirits, the disembodied souls of the dead and the souls or sentient force that abides in man.
By the 4th century the term became associated with evil or unlucky events and the demons became a kind of escape goat for gods. They became the major source of woe and troubles to the human race. It should not be forgotten here that good and evil demons still remain in the philosophical debate. Philosophers like Plutarch and Apuleius further developed demonology by stating that humans were constantly surrounded by these unseen forces and they affect them day by day. They developed demonology of early Christian era, and Plutarch posited that the gods of the polytheists were in fact demonic spirits.
It is of note that Judaism in the pre-Christian era had adopted the ideology that demons were evil intermediate beings, and the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian Church also attests that pagan gods are in fact demonic entities as is evident in 1 Cor. 10:10.
In line with the evolution of the concept of demons, it is interesting to see how analogous the original and primary concept of the term is with our modern notion of spirit. Being an ethereal but manifest force is of today the primary characteristics of demons as we view them today. According to the New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology, Empedocles believed that “demon was a separate spiritual being, not the psyche which accompanied a man from birth (Brown, 1979, Vol. I P. 450. This idea destroys demonic possession.
It is also fascinating to see that Plato’s students classified some demons as the disembodied spirits of the dead. Many Christians believe that ghosts are demonic entities and this will support that theory. In one of my books titled, “Comparative Philosophy of the New Age,” I did mention how ghosts and demons can interact but not of the category. There are demons and they are interested in manifesting pain in the lives of those who profess Christ.
It is also fascinating to see that Plato’s students classified some demons as the disembodied spirits of the dead. Many Christians believe that “ghosts” if real are demonic entities and this will support that theory. From profound spiritual cum theological research, I came to the full conviction that demons are not disembodied spirits of the pre-adamite race.
The notion that influenced the above school of thought is pure mental conjecture. The only created beings revealed to have existed before the creation of man are angels. Though the rigid distinction between “angel and spirit” which this theory demands is questionable since scripture refers to angels as spirits as is evident in psalm 104:4; Heb. 1:14. The bible sometimes uses the term “angel” for the spirit of man as you can see in matt.18:10 and Acts 12:15.
The classical Greek meaning of the term “demons” denoting “the good spirit of the departed men of the golden age” as in Hesiod, philosophy is at variance with the constant cum uniform New Testament of the word. In the words of Merill Funger, “The word “demon” like other distinctive biblical words in Greek, was divinely molded through the pre-Christian centuries for its unique New Testament usage. To use its originally pagan concepts as the basis of a theory is totally unwarranted”.
The great Jewish historian Josephus was of the view that demons “are the spirit of the wicked that enter into men that are alive”. Demons are not the spirits of the deceased men this theory is apparently a reflection of the Greek philosophy and not in profound tandem with the bible.
On the other hand, demons are not the unnatural offspring of angels and ante-diluvian women. The reasons are obvious base on two premises. Premise one is that “the sons of God” of Genesis 6:2 are fallen angels who had intercourse with mortal women, producing a mongrel race, partly human and partly angelic, called Nephilim in Hebrew (fallen one) rendered “giants”.
The above refers “not so much on human size and strength, but to the Greek gegeness (earth born) and is used for the mythical titans, who were partly of celestial and partly of terrestrial origin. That these “sons of God” were angels and not “godly Sethites”, as some scholars maintain, is supported by the uniform use of the term in the Old Testament, where it appears restricted to angelic beings (Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7)”.
The first premise of the above theory seems established; the second is mere supposition in the face of the silence of the revelation. It is mere speculation to imagine that the monstrous offspring of fallen angels and corrupt pre-flood women became disembodied spirits or demons after their bodies were destroyed in the deluge. “That the fallen angels who thus sinned were consigned to Tartarus is revealed in the new Testament (2peter 2:4-9, Jude 1:6,7), but the fate of their mongrel offspring is not told in scripture.
To say demon possession is merely a superstitious explanation of certain diseases is to say the least an abomination in the entire spectrum of my spiritual voyage. Such illusory concept does not and cannot be true. There are demons and they are unconfined fallen angels. In view of the Bible’s silence regarding the origin of demons, the best supported deduction from biblical hints, is that demons are fallen angels.
PROF PROTUS NATHAN UZORMA
SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (opinions)