It is written:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”. (1 Timothy 4:1)
The Bible teaches that in our spiritual war, we are at war with “demons.” In a previous lesson, we learned that this word includes the spirits of the wicked Nephilim who were killed in Noah’s flood, but who are still left to roam the Earth and fight against mankind. While the word “demon” includes the spirits of the Nephilim, it is not limited to that. Indeed, the word “demon” in the first century was also used to have reference to the spirits of unsaved humans who had died and not gone to Hades (or who had gone there but had somehow been released).
“We have, from a careful survey of the history of the term demon, concluded that the demons of Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity were the ghosts of dead men…1. All the Pagan authors of note, whose works have survived the wreck of ages, affirm the opinion that demons were the spirits or ghosts of dead men….2….Josephus says, “Demons are the spirits of wicked men, who enter into living men and destroy them, unless they are so happy as to meet with speedy relief. Philo says, “The souls of dead men are called demons.” 3. The Christian Fathers, Justin Martyr, Ireneus, Origen, &c. depose to the same effect. Justin, when arguing for a future state, alleges, “Those who are seized and tormented by the souls of the dead, whom all call demons, and madmen.” Lardner, after examining with the most laborious care the works of these, and all the Fathers of the first two centuries, says, “The notion of demons, or the souls of dead men, having power over living men, was universally prevalent among the heathen of these times, and believed by many Christians. 4. The Evangelists and Apostles of Jesus Christ so understood the matter. …(Quotation from Alexander Campbell, Lextures On Demonology, http:// www.mun.ca/ rels/ restmov/ texts/ acampbell/ mh1841/ DEMON1. HTM)
Another scholar who has spent years studying the topic concurs:
“But despite the evil that they bring, these spirits are mostly called ‘unclean spirits’. They are ‘unclean’ because they are from the underworld, bringing with them all of its uncleanness, its miasma, pollution, impurity, filth and corruption—the rottenness of the grave. These spirits are also called demons, which is simply an English rendering of the original Greek word daimon. Across the years an elaborate picture of these beings has grown up around this term, so much so that they have often been explained as a fourth species of being in the universe—so that alongside God, his angels and human beings, there is this fourth class known as ‘demons’. With this kind of thinking in the background, it comes as a surprise to most English-speakers that the Greek word daimon was regularly and frequently used to refer to the spirits of the dead. That’s right: daimon was just another word for ghost.” (Peter Bolt, Living With The Underworld, 580-585 (Kindle Edition); Kingsford NSW, Australia; Matthias Media)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.