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Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Christian Demons" Faithology, LLC. Last modified February 28, 2013.
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- Last Updated: February 28, 2013
- Originally Published: July 18, 2012
Christians interpret the Bible to indicate that the goal of Satan and his demons is the creation of human misery through separation from God. Christians believe that these beings are deceivers, appearing or acting like angels or ministers of righteousness, but really function as tempters, enticing people to violate God's law. Some Christians also hold that demons are possessors, occupying and controlling human bodies.
However present and powerful demons are said to be, it is taught that they are not unaware of God’s presence and power. In the New Testament, it is said that even the demons believe in Jesus and are afraid of this reality.
Theteaching on demons was set by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215 CE), which stated that the Devil and demons were originally made to be good creatures, but they became evil because of their own doings. Similar declarations by many in the and Independent traditions were made as answers to the troubling question as to where evil comes from:
I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.
Christians hold that God created everyone with the capability of choosing the path of good or evil. Saints and angels chose the path of goodness, while devils and demons chose the ways of evil.
Non-biblical teachings about demons abound. Many of these teachings were adapted from earlier religions and promoted in later literature. For example, a devil named Asmodeus is featured prominently in the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Lilith, a child-killer, a symbol of lust, and the first wife to, is a from the Jewish Talmud. She also appears in Goethe's Faust. Like Satan, devils and demons are often depicted in art and literature as hideous man-beasts with horns, wings, tails, and/or hooves.