Demons

Justin Martyr (A.D. 160):

And neither do we honor with many sacrifices and garlands of flowers such deities as men have formed and set in shrines and called gods; since we see that these are soulless and dead, and have not the form of God (for we do not consider that God has such a form as some say that they imitate to His honor), but have the names and forms of those wicked demons which have appeared.

For we forewarn you to be on your guard, lest those demons whom we have been accusing should deceive you, and keep you from reading and understanding what we say. For they strive to hold you their slaves and servants;….. and sometimes by magical impositions, they subdue all who make no strong opposing effort for their own salvation. -ibid

For they who are called devils attempt nothing else than to seduce men from God who made them, and from Christ His first-begotten; and those who are unable to raise themselves above the earth they have riveted, and do now rivet, to things earthly, and to the works of their own hands; but those who devote themselves to the contemplation of things divine, they secretly beat back; and if they have not a wise sober-mindedness, and a pure and passionless life, they drive them into godlessness. -ibid

He evidently made for man – committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves… -ibid

For numberless demoniacs throughout the whole world, and in your city, many of our Christian men exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the possessing devils out of the men, though they could not be cured by all the other exorcists, and those who used incantations and drugs. -ibid

Origen:

“And Christians have nothing to fear, even if demons should not be well-disposed to them; for they are protected by the Supreme God, who is well pleased with their piety, and who sets His divine angels to watch over those who are worthy of such guardianship, so that they can suffer nothing from demons. He who by his piety possesses the favor of the Most High, who has accepted the guidance of Jesus, the Angel of the great counsel, being well contented with the favor of God through Christ Jesus, may say with confidence that he has nothing to suffer from the whole host of demons”

“We do not, then, deny that there are many demons upon earth, but we maintain that they exist and exercise power among the wicked, as a punishment of their wickedness. But they have no power over those who have put on the whole armor of God, who have received strength to withstand the wiles of the devil, and who are ever engaged in contests with them, knowing that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places- ibid

“But the angels, who are the true rulers and generals and ministers of God, do not, as Celsus supposes, injure those who offend them; and if certain demons, whom Celsus had in mind, do inflict evils, they show that they are wicked, and that they have received no office of the kind from God. And they even do injury to those who are under them, and who have acknowledged them as their masters; and accordingly, as it would seem that those who break through the regulations which prevail in any country in regard to matters of food, suffer for it if they are under the demons of that place, while those who are not under them, and have not submitted to their power, are free from all harm, and bid defiance to such spirits; although if, in ignorance of certain things, they have come under the power of other demons, they may suffer punishment from them. But the Christian— the true Christian, I mean— who has submitted to God alone and His Word, will suffer nothing from demons, for He is mightier than demons. And the Christian will suffer nothing, for the angel of the Lord will encamp about them that fear Him, and will deliver them, and his angel, who always beholds the face of his Father in heaven, offers up his prayers through the one High Priest to the God of all, and also joins his own prayers with those of the man who is committed to his keeping. Let not, then, Celsus try to scare us with threats of mischief from demons, for we despise them. And the demons, when despised, can do no harm to those who are under the protection of Him who can alone help all who deserve His aid; and He does no less than set His own angels over His devout servants, so that none of the hostile angels, nor even he who is called the prince of this world, can effect anything against those who have given themselves to God”- ibid

Tatian (A.D.160):

Such are the demons; these are they who laid down the doctrine of Fate.

For, as the inhuman robber is wont to overpower those like himself by daring; so the demons, going to great lengths in wickedness, have utterly deceived the souls among you which are left to themselves by ignorance and false appearances. These beings do not indeed die easily, for they do not partake of flesh. -ibid

And do not fewer kinds of sin break out among men owing to the brevity of their lives, while on the part of these demons transgression is more abundant owing to their boundless existence? -ibid

Sometimes they themselves disturb the habit of the body by a tempest of folly; but, being smitten by the word of God, they depart in terror, and the sick man is healed. -ibid

The demons do not cure, but by their art make men their captives. And the most admirable Justin has rightly denounced them as robbers. For, as it is the practice of some to capture persons and then to restore them to their friends for a ransom, so those who are esteemed gods, invading the bodies of certain persons, and producing a sense of their presence by dreams, command them to come forth into public, and in the sight of all, when they have taken their fill of the things of this world, fly away from the sick, and, destroying the disease which they had produced, restore men to their former state. -ibid

Athenagorus (A.D. 137):

These angels, then, who have fallen from heaven, and haunt the air and the earth, and are no longer able to rise to heavenly things, and the souls of the giants, which are the demons who wander about the world, perform actions similar, the one (that is, the demons) to the natures they have received, the other (that is, the angels) to the appetites they have indulged.

They who draw men to idols, then, are the aforesaid demons, who are eager for the blood of the sacrifices, and lick them. -ibid

The demons who hover about matter, greedy of sacrificial odors and the blood of victims, and ever ready to lead men into error, avail themselves of these delusive movements of the souls of the multitude; and, taking possession of their thoughts, cause to flow into the mind empty visions as if coming from the idols and the statues; and when, too, a soul of itself, as being immortal, moves conformably to reason, either predicting the future or healing the present, the demons claim the glory for themselves. -ibid

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195):

But those who bend around inflammatory tables, nourishing their own diseases, are ruled by a most gluttonous demon, whom I shall not blush to call the Belly-demon, and the worst and most abandoned of demons. He is therefore exactly like the one who is called the Ventriloquist-demon. It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 160):

But, yielding to unreasoning passion, and to the instigation of evil demons, you punish us without consideration or judgment. For the truth shall be spoken; since of old these evil demons, effecting apparitions of themselves, both defiled women and corrupted boys, and showed such fearful sights to men, that those who did not use their reason in judging of the actions that were done, were struck with terror; and being carried away by fear, and not knowing that these were demons, they called them gods, and gave to each the name which each of the demons chose for himself. And when Socrates endeavored, by true reason and examination, to bring these things to light, and deliver men from the demons, then the demons themselves, by means of men who rejoiced in iniquity, compassed his death, as an atheist and a profane person, on the charge that “he was introducing new divinities;” and in our case they [make the same accusation].

Tertullian:

“Do you fear man, O Christian?— you who ought to be feared by the angels, since you are to judge angels; who ought to be feared by evil spirits, since you have received power also over evil spirits” –

“Let a person be brought before your tribunals who is plainly under demoniacal possession. The wicked spirit, bidden speak by the followers of Christ will as readily make the truthful confession that he is a demon as elsewhere he has falsely asserted that he is a god” -ibid

Cyprian:

“The obstinate wickedness of the devil prevails even up to the saving water, but that in baptism it loses all the poison of his wickedness…when, however, they come to the water of salvation and to the sanctification of baptism, we ought to know and to trust that there the devil is beaten down, and the man, dedicated to God, is set free by the divine mercy. For as scorpions and serpents, which prevail on the dry ground, when cast into water, cannot prevail nor retain their venom; so also the wicked spirits, which are called scorpions and serpents, and yet are trodden under foot by us, by the power given by the Lord, cannot remain any longer in the body of a man in whom, baptized and sanctified, the Holy Spirit is beginning to dwell”

Apostolic Constitutions:

“An exorcist is not ordained. For it is a trial of voluntary goodness, and of the grace of God through Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For he who has received the gift of healing is declared by revelation from God, the grace which is in him being manifest to all. But if there be occasion for him, he must be ordained a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon”

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *