Origin of Demons
by Tom Brown
Many people assume that fallen angels are the same as demons. I don't believe this is true for several reasons.
First, fallen angels are much more powerful than demons. We're told by Jesus to cast out demons. Yet, Jude cautions us in our confrontations with fallen angels. He says,
In the very same way, these dreamers...slander celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 8-9)
Michael, instead of rebuking Satan himself, said, "The Lord rebuke you." It is proper to rebuke demons but not fallen angels. (Read my book, The Heaven's Gate Suicide, for a more thorough explanation of the work of demons and fallen angels.)
Second, fallen angels have their own celestial bodies, therefore they have no need to inhabit bodies. Yet demons seek bodies desperately; and, if need be, they will settle for the bodies of animals (Mark 5:12-13).
Third, fallen angels have the ability to fly, but demons can only walk. Jesus says concerning demons, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none" (Matthew 12:43, KJV). Demons walk, fallen angels fly.
Paul differentiates between these two classes of beings:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12).
Demons are the powers of this dark world, while fallen angels are the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
From the facts of the Bible concerning demons, they are disembodied spirits—that is, they once had bodies but lost them. This explains why they hunt for bodies. They crave bodies to inhabit.
Many ministers have understood the difference between fallen angels and demons, but they haven’t figured out where they came from. Most of them have speculated that demons are the disembodied spirits of a pre-adamic race, although they can't prove this from the Bible or from tradition.
I believe since demons are evil spirits that we must confront, God must have told us about them. Surely, He doesn't leave us without telling us where they come from. I believe the Bible definitely informs us as to the origins of demon spirits.
So what are demons? Demons are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim who are mentioned in Genesis chapter six. The Nephilim are the offspring of fallen angels and humans. The Nephilim were destroyed in the flood, yet their spirits remained on the earth.
This view is the oldest belief among the Jewish people. It is a belief that the apostles held to as well. Let me prove why I believe this.
Several years back, I came across the book of Enoch. The book claims to have been written by Enoch himself. I'm always suspicious of any non-canonical book. This book was no exception. I read it with deep cynicism. However, I did not read anything that would not be in accord with sound doctrine. It confirmed all the basic doctrines that Christians and Jews believe today. (There are other books which claim to have been written by Enoch. I found these books to be unscriptural.)
What I found most interesting was that the book claims that the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6:2 were fallen angels, something that many Christians believe today. It also teaches that they produced a race of beings that were half angelic and half humans called the Nephilim. And when they were destroyed by the flood, they remained on the earth as demons. Let me share with you a portion of the book of Enoch:
But now the giants who are born from the [union of] the spirits and the flesh shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, because their dwelling shall be upon the earth and inside the earth. Evil spirits have come out of their bodies. Because from the day that they were created from the sons of God they became Watchers: their first origin is the spiritual foundation. They will become evil upon the earth and shall be called evil spirits. The dwelling of the spiritual beings of heaven is heaven; but the dwelling of the spirits of the earth, which are born upon the earth, is in the earth. (1 Enoch 15:8-10)
It is clear from the book of Enoch that evil spirits are the giants who were born from the union of spirits and flesh. This passage sounds like it came from Greek mythology. But this should not surprise us because another name for evil spirits is demon, and the word "demon" comes from Greek mythology. E.W. Vines will confirm this. He writes concerning the Greek word daimon, which is translated demon in the New Testament as being derived "among pagan Greeks, an inferior deity..." [Vines, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words].
This word was used by the Greeks to describe their mythological gods, like Zeus and Hermes. Do you remember that’s what the people of Lystra thought Paul and Barnabus were (Acts 14:12)?
You might remember studying Greek mythology in school; this was their religion. The Greeks worshipped many gods. Most believed their gods were superhuman beings. Basically they believed that these gods came down to earth and intermingled with humans, thus were born their heroes.
I believe that this mythology is rooted in a real, dramatic event in the past. This event, after centuries, was clouded in mystery. The Bible, however, unclouded Greek mythology. It describes it accurately in Genesis. It tells us exactly what happened.
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
The name "Nephilim" means giants. The union of the sons of God and the daughters of men produced a race of giants. This fact disproves the theory that the term "sons of God" refer to the righteous line of Seth. This theory surmises that Seth’s line had intermarried a pagan line. However, why would this union produce giants and heroes? If believers married unbelievers, this would not produce giants and heroes.
I can understand why the term sons of God could be construed to mean believers; after all, that's what we are called. However, it is important to understand a term by seeing how it was used in its particular time.
It seems clear that the book of Genesis is a compilation of the writings of the patriarchs. This will explain why Genesis contains so many different writing styles; this has unfortunately gave way to an unfair attack on the authorship of Moses. However, Moses simply used the writings of the patriarchs to put together his book. He often keeps the same exact words that the patriarchs used.
This means that if we are to understand the term sons of God it would be best to compare this term with a similar term from a book that was written during the same period, in this case, during the times of the patriarchs. Fortunately, we have such a book. It's the book of Job. The book of Job was written during the patriarchal period. The term sons of God is mentioned in Job 1:6:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
Here we find that the sons of God were angels, and Satan is numbered among them. The sons of God are mentioned also in chapter 38:7 (KJV):
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
This scripture is written in a literary technique called Hebrew Parallelism, which means that the identical thing is said in two different ways. This means morning stars are the same as sons of God. Satan once was called the morning star (Lucifer), which identifies him with the angels. He was among the morning stars that sang for joy when God created the universe. All the angels are also called the sons of God.
It seems clear then that the term sons of God as used in Genesis would mean angels, since Job uses this term in that way.
So Genesis chapter six is saying that angels came and had sexual union with human beings.
Someone might object by saying, "But Jesus said that angels do not have sex, so how could the term sons of God be referring to angels?"
Let's look at the passage carefully where Jesus discussed this:
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can never die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-37)
The way Luke puts the words of Christ, humans will be like the angels because they can never die, not because they can never marry. However, the way Matthew constructs the sentence, it appears different:
At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)
"You see," someone may argue, "angels can’t marry, so the sons of God could not refer to angels because the sons of God married."
Before someone debates this point, they should take note that only the angels in heaven don’t marry. There is no mentioned about the angels who were cast out of heaven.
We know from Genesis chapter three that Satan (he’s called a snake) had already been cast out of heaven. So the Fall of the devil and his angels came before the sons of God came to the daughters of men. I don't believe that the angels in heaven were the ones who intermarried with humans. I believe the sons of God were the fallen angels. Fallen angels are already evil, so fornication would not be out of the question for fallen beings.
So I don't think that Jesus' teaching about marriage and the angels in heaven have any bearing with the incident in Genesis chapter six.
Angels Bound with Chains
This teaching finally answers the question about who were the angels that were bound with chains in hell. They are mentioned in Jude verse 6:
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
Some teach that these angels are the third of the angels which were cast out of heaven during the war in heaven. If this is true, then they are no longer on the earth, because according to this scripture they are bound with chains and kept in darkness. According to Peter, they are in "hell" (2 Peter 2:4). The word hell as found in this passage is the Greek word tartarus, which means prison. If these fallen angels went to prison then who are the evil spirits that we are fighting with today?
According to Jude these angels abandoned their own home. There is a big difference between abandoning one’s home and being kicked out of one’s home. The war in heaven depicts Satan's angels as being kicked out of heaven. They did not voluntarily abandon heaven. No, they were expelled against their wishes. So this scripture could not be referring to the war in heaven.
The phrase abandoned their own home could also mean "disrobed themselves." The angels that Jude refers to are certain fallen angels who had committed the sin of disrobing themselves of their celestial bodies and taking upon themselves the bodies of corrupted flesh so that they could have sex with the daughters of men.
Jude obviously had these angels in mind, because he associates these angels with the perverted people of Sodom and Gomorrah:
...these [angels] he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion... (verses 6-7)
Notice that Jude says, In a similar way. Then he goes on to describe the sexual perversion of Sodom and Gomorrah. In other words, he says that Sodom and Gomorrah committed the similar, sexual sins of these fallen angels. He clearly links the fallen angels with sexual perversion.
Peter, when writing about these same angels, associates them with the times of Noah, which is the time when the sons of God came to the daughters of men.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven other; (2 Peter 2:4-5)
In Peter's first letter he writes about these angels, whom he calls spirits:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built... (3:18-20)
Jesus preached, or literally proclaimed to the spirits in prison who disobeyed during the days of Noah. Many Christians erroneously assume that the spirits refer to the dead humans of Noah's day. But the word spirits more commonly refer to angels, not humans, although humans are spiritual beings. Besides, why would Jesus single out the group of deceased humans in Noah’s day to proclaim to them whatever message He gave? Why not give the message to all the dead?
Some say, "Because those people in Noah’s day didn’t have a chance to hear the gospel, so Jesus gave them another chance."
But that doesn't agree with the Word of God. 2 Peter 2:5 describes Noah as a "preacher of righteousness." Those people did hear the gospel through Noah.
I believe that the spirits in Noah’s day, whom Christ preached to, is a clear reference to the fallen angels who fornicated with the daughters of men. This could, in my opinion, be the only logical and scriptural conclusion.
Demons are the Spirits of the Nephilim
Many Christians would agree with me at this point, but they would question my conclusion about demons being the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim, even though the book of Enoch specifically declares this. They may disagree by saying, "You can't prove anything by the book of Enoch. You must prove it by the Bible."
And to that argument, I agree! At the same time, skeptics must understand that the book of Enoch was highly regarded by the Jews in Jesus’ day and by the apostles. The Apostle Jude, in fact, quotes from it:
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (verses 14-15)
How did Jude know what Enoch prophesied? After all, the Bible never mentions one word that Enoch spoke. The only reference to Enoch in the Old Testament is in Genesis 5:18-24. Read it and you’ll find no reference to this prophecy which Jude mentions. The Bible just mentions the fact that Enoch walked with God and was no more, because God took him away. Nothing is mentioned about his prophesying.
So how did Jude know that Enoch had prophesied these words? He knew it because the book of Enoch mentions it. My point is simple: The book of Enoch was widely known during the days of the Apostles, and they freely quoted from it thus giving the book credibility.
This doesn’t mean that the book of Enoch deserves to be part of the canon of Scripture; nevertheless, we should analyze its teaching about demons. And since it teaches that demons are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim, we should consider this view. I know of no other view that is as credible.
What are demons after all? They are tormentors. This is what the name Nephilim means. It not only means giants, but it also carries with it the meaning of tormentors, bullies, and tyrants. So just the name itself implies that these are demon spirits.
There is something else that Genesis 6:4 says which most people simply overlook.
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men...
Notice that the Nephilim were on the earth in those days. Those days were the days preceding the flood. However, Genesis also says that they were on the earth afterward. In other words, they were on the earth after the flood. Genesis 7:21 says that all mankind perished in the flood, so how could they have survived the flood?
There is only one explanation: They remained on the earth in the form of disembodied spirits.
Someone might say, "Wait a minute, there were also giants during the days of David. Goliath was a giant, so Moses was referring to the giants in David’s day." Moses could not be referring to the giants in David’s day because Moses had long died before David. So he could not have been writing about Goliath.
Someone might say, "There were giants in the promise land during the days of Moses."
No there weren’t. It was the rebels who declared that there were giants in the promised land.
"...All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim)... (Numbers 13:32-33)
The people who declared that the Nephilim were in the land were the doubters. Their words were exaggerations and misrepresentations. These doubt-peddlers were trying to evoke fear in the hearts of the Israelites.
The people in the land were not the Nephilim; they were descendants of Anak, not the descendants of the sons of God. These were from a different genealogical line.
Half Human, Half Angel
Let's go back to Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim were on the earth after the flood. Their bodies were destroyed by the flood, but their spirits remained.
You see, these Nephilim were half human and half angel. We know that when a human dies, he goes either to heaven or hell. But what about these beings who are neither fully human or fully angelic? Where would they go when they died?
They went nowhere. They stayed on the earth. They are the demon spirits that walk through the earth, looking for bodies to inhabit. They know that one day they will be cast into the pit when their time comes. Demons cried out to Jesus, "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" (Matthew 8:29).
There is an appointed time for their punishment. It is not now. So we must still deal with demon spirits.
It is important to understand the difference between demons and fallen angels, because you deal with them differently. You cast out demons, but you pray to God for Him to deal with the fallen angels, just like Daniel did in Daniel 10.
In concluding this article, is there anything practical which we can learn from knowing the origin of demons? Is there any down-to-earth benefit in knowing that demons are the offspring of fallen angels who had sex with women? Yes, demons are like their fathers—they gravitate more to sexual sins than to any other kinds of sins.
If you want to open yourself up to demons, then practice sexual immorality, and demons will hang around you. Demons are sex-hungry.
This might explain why the mad man of Gerasenes was naked, and when the demons left him, he clothed himself (Mark 5:15). This why Mary of Magdalene—through being a prostitute—had opened herself to seven demons (Mark 16:9). Sexual perversion opens the door to demons.
Most of the hideous mass murderers were in bondage to sexual perversion. We wonder how in the world could someone kill dozens of people. What could make them do such a thing? Demons could do it. When demons are in control, humans will stoop to anything. Demons can drive people to commit horrible acts that defy human comprehension and sensibility.
Sexual sins can expose people to these demons. When you live free from sexual sins, you close the door to many demons.
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