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Author Topic: Abilities of demons.  (Read 2437 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ninjaly Awesome
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« on: August 29, 2011, 07:07:28 PM »

Can demons transform themselves into physical forms? I've read some things in the Philokalia where it seems to say that they can do this. Does the Orthodox Church affirm this or say that the stuff is legendary? Also, did a demon really unravel a monk's prayer rope until he found out how to tie specific knots so it couldn't?
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 07:16:06 PM »

Also, did a demon really unravel a monk's prayer rope until he found out how to tie specific knots so it couldn't?

Yes, Pasadi has a video of it.  Wink

I think if angels can take physical form then it makes sense that demons can. In the life of St. John of Novgorod there's a part where he is attacked by a demon in his cell. He turns the tables on the demon and forces it to take the form of a horse and carry him to Jerusalem.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 07:34:44 PM »

To answer your question, I think a better understanding of angels, in general, would help.

Real angels aren't the pretty lady or fat baby that has been popularized in art. They are spiritual entities of immense power who carry out God's work. An angel, instead of small, is a 'being' that would hold the Earth in it's "hand". It can cause natural disasters, kill, heal, and help.

Take Michael (מִיכָאֵל), a name that means "who is like God". If Michael, the strongest of God's Angel's is as powerful as he with power like God, then he is a powerful force is God's host of Angels. Yet, at the same time, his name is as a question, "who is like God?". Because, of course even Michael pales next to God Himself.

Angels obviously have taken human form previously, and demons are fallen angels. Therefore, to your question, yes it can happen.

Also, looking at demons in this way, it can help bring some perspective. Demons aren't little horned men with pitchforks. They are angels who've lived since before creation, and do not have the heart of God within them.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 08:11:59 PM »

There are no 'dogmatic' teachings on this topic, nor a universally-recognized source on the matter.

There is a difference between demons changing their appearance (often attested to in the lives of the Saints) versus creating real physical objects.

Demons usually steal objects that they present to others, but their transformations are neither real nor complete.  Animals have been known to be 'possessed' by demonic spirits (remember the pigs in the Gospel), which could be mistaken for a transformation.

Demons can exhibit unusual strength, which is why the Testament of Solomon attributes the construction of the original Temple to demonic labor.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 12:57:28 AM »

Can demons transform themselves into physical forms?
I think they can create false visions and affect our world. But actually incarnate themselves? No.
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 07:00:28 AM »

Don't get me started. Smiley

They can materialize (not incarnate) like ringing bells and hitting people and such. They can take any form and dimension see aliens and OZN and such. They are sick, will lose power after last judgement and can be saved if they repent which is hard because of sickness. A woman has made a sick angel repent (Hurrrrayyyyy for woman and angel ) and this transformed itself in angel of light. After death they do not give judgement, God does judegment  so being close to sick angels usually assure a very hard treatment after death maybe in Tartarus with fire so this is what I don't want for worst enemy. So no Tartarus means no sorcery, yoga, Eastern religion, tarot, magic, rei ki, tai ki, and such and not going to ask sorceres and people like this. If you did any of these, go to confession so these sins are erased.

Baptism drive them away as prayer. If have problems with them, psalm 26, the most popwerfull psalm, 3 times a day and God will take you out from any danger that day. If you are warrior and want offensive psalms 26,45,69, 90. About the last one I am not sure 100%.
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 07:21:16 AM »

Quote
In the life of St. John of Novgorod there's a part where he is attacked by a demon in his cell. He turns the tables on the demon and forces it to take the form of a horse and carry him to Jerusalem.


Demon owned. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 01:35:13 PM »

Demons can repent? I've never heard of this. Does anyone have more info on this concept?
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 01:38:03 PM »

Don't get me started. Smiley

They can materialize (not incarnate) like ringing bells and hitting people and such. They can take any form and dimension see aliens and OZN and such. They are sick, will lose power after last judgement and can be saved if they repent which is hard because of sickness. A woman has made a sick angel repent (Hurrrrayyyyy for woman and angel ) and this transformed itself in angel of light.
Baptism drive them away as prayer. If have problems with them, psalm 26, the most popwerfull psalm, 3 times a day and God will take you out from any danger that day. If you are warrior and want offensive psalms 26,45,69, 90. About the last one I am not sure 100%.
Ummm....what?

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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 02:40:29 PM »

Demons can repent? I've never heard of this. Does anyone have more info on this concept?

No, the demons cannot repent, yet out of great love for all of God’s creation, out of a desire to see the salvation of all, and in an attempt to follow the Lord’s command to pray for our enemies and for those who persecute us, some have dared to pray even for the demons and for their repentance. 

Regarding the inability of the demons to repent, see the below words of St. John Damascene, St. Jerome, and St. Cyril of Jerusalem.  It is worth clicking the link in the quote by St. John especially, to read his entire chapter “Concerning the devil and demons”.


Quote
St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, Ch IV
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.ii.iv.html

Note, further, that what in the case of man is death is a fall in the case of angels. For after the fall there is no possibility of repentance for them, just as after death there is for men no repentance.

Quote
St. Jerome, Letter to Vigilantius
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.v.LXI.html

Origen is a heretic, true; but what does that take from me who do not deny that on very many points he is heretical? He has erred concerning the resurrection of the body, he has erred concerning the condition of souls, he has erred by supposing it possible that the devil may repent, and—an error more important than these—he has declared in his commentary upon Isaiah that the Seraphim mentioned by the prophet are the divine Son and the Holy Ghost. If I did not allow that he has erred or if I did not daily anathematize his errors I should be partaker of his fault. For while we receive what is good in his writings we must on no account bind ourselves to accept also what is evil.


Quote
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Lecture IV: On The Ten Points Of Doctrine
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207.ii.viii.html

The devil also transfigures himself into an angel of light; not that he may reascend to where he was, for having made his heart hard as an anvil, he has henceforth a will that cannot repent; but in order that he may envelope those who are living an Angelic life in a mist of blindness, and a pestilent condition of unbelief.

Concerning the ability of the demons to harm us physically, this probably happens only very rarely, and to those whom the demons are unable to influence in any other way (through thought, imagination, etc.).  Most of us are not at such a degree of purity that the demons are unable to tempt us in any way, but for those saints who have come to such a degree, the demons in their frustration may appear in physical form and either depart, attack, or attempt to delude the saint by appearing in the form of Christ, the saints, etc.  It is always important to realize, however, that the demons can only act to the extent that God permits it (read Job for instance), and the demons can have no more power over us than what we give them by submitting to their enticements and disobeying God’s commands. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 02:45:25 PM »

In my opinion, the best text concerning the demons and their abilities with respect to man, is found in Conference VII of the Conferences of St. John Cassian:

http://www.osb.org/lectio/cassian/conf/book1/conf8.html#8.0
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