Demonology Of The New Testament -- By: John J. Owen

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 016:61 (Jan 1859)
Article: Demonology Of The New Testament
Author: John J. Owen


Demonology Of The New Testament

Rev. John J. Owen

The difficulties which invest this subject, all will admit; its importance cannot be over estimated. If it be true that the great adversary of our race is surrounded by an innumerable band of wicked spirits, to whose wiles and machinations we are constantly exposed, we ought to acquaint ourselves, as far as possible, with this great agency of evil.

Of the existence of a great and mighty intelligence, the impersonation of evil, and in a special sense its author arid promoter, no one can doubt who reads and believes the Bible. Satan, the adversary of the Old Testament, and διάβολος, the accuser and calumniator of the New, from the opening to the closing chapters of revelation, from his triumph over man’s integrity in the garden of Eden, to the awful overthrow predicted of him in the close of the sacred canon, is made the prime actor in all that is bad and subversive of God’s authority among men. With those who can see no evidence, in the Bible, of the existence of such a malig-

nant and powerful being, we have at this time no controversy. We are to look at this subject in an aspect which has perplexed many good men who have no doubt of the existence of the wicked one. We refer to the inferior agents of evil, spoken of in Scripture under the terms devil and his angels, the angels who kept not their first estate, demons, Beelzebub, the prince of demons, and the like. These varied forms of expression refer, we believe, to the same order of wicked beings, viz. the angels who fell with Satan from their state of holiness and happiness in heaven, and who are declared by Jude to be “reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” In this same class of evil spirits are to be reckoned the demons of the New Testament, the ejection of whom from the persons they had been permitted to enter, constituted some of the most stupendous miracles wrought by our Lord while on earth.

The existence of evil angels has been a matter of doubt with some who are staunch believers in the existence of evil spirits, the agents of Satan, in leading men astray. These evil spirits they suppose to be those of wicked men, who after death are employed, as the ministers of the great adversary, to afflict men, tempt them from the path of duty, and oppose the progress of truth on earth. To this class they refer the demons of the New Testament, who are to be regarded as the spirits of the wicked dead, commissioned by Satan, their lord and master, to enter into and afflict the bodies of men. As the sources of proof, by which they endeavor to maintain this view, are much the same as those reso...

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