The Origin of Demons, Part I
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For those who deal with spiritual warfare, and even for many who do not, questions of what exactly demons are often arise. What do they do? What are they like? This particular teaching will provide Biblically-based theories as to the actual origin of demons.
When discussing who demons are and where they come from, we come across three main theories:
- Demons are synonymous with fallen angels.
- Demons are the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race that was both created and destroyed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
- Demons are the disembodied spirits of the Seed of the Serpent, better known as Nephilim.
We will discuss these three theories in detail and breakdown which is the most plausible based on Scripture.
Now some may ask, “Why is this important?” or “Aren’t you giving the devil far too much attention?” To them I would say no. Any worthwhile coach or military general spends a healthy amount of time studying and understanding their opponents. We should do the same. We are are not obsessive, but neither are we ignorant. Ignorance is the dark under which Satan and his imps operate.
For we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:11)
First Things First
This entire piece is based on the premise that demons are disembodied spirits because, according to Scripture, regardless of where they did or did not come from, they are disembodied spirits without question. The question then lies in whether these dark beings were always disembodied or if they had bodies to begin with?
These are THEORIES, not Doctrines
Whether you believe that a demon is a fallen angel, whether you believe demons are the bodiless versions of giants or a pre-Adamic people is not in any way, shape, or form necessary to your salvation. These are NOT doctrines. They do not help you attain salvation, baptism, power, or any other important appropriation in the Christian life (or the lack thereof). You can go to Heaven believing either of the theories. I just believe it may help those who are interested in understanding spiritual warfare.
The problem comes in when you do NOT believe in the devil or demons or fallen angels at all because that is in direct contrast to Scripture and that would cause you to miss Heaven. We must use the Word of God as our foundation for everything we choose to believe or not believe.
Now let’s delve into our three theories.
1) Demons are Synonymous with Fallen Angels.
Most of my “sanctified life,” I believed that the terms “fallen angels” and “demons” were synonymous. Likely, you believe the same as well. It was only recently that I came to believe otherwise. For the sake of general spiritual warfare terminologies, people generally group the two together and use the terms interchangeably. That works best if you’re trying to shoot straight to a particular point. And after all, they’re both on the same fallen, loosing side anyway. Thus, their mission and their intent is the same. I’m sure we could find equally spiritually strong individuals down through the ages who believed and believe that demons are and are not the same as demons. Again, no one’s salvation hinges upon this point. No one’s crown will be bigger or smaller for believing or disbelieving that fallen angels and demons are one and the same or simply partners.
My personal belief is that they are not the same. I believe, based on Scripture, that the fallen angels were 1) those who fell with Satan in the original cosmic coup for heavenly power as well as 2) those [two] delegations of angels who came down, put on flesh, walked among men, and bedded human women as is told us in Genesis 6:1-4. I believed for some time--maybe four or five years--that demons were the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race who once inhabited the earth. The very term “disembodied spirit,” to me, denotes a spirit that once occupied a body. This also explains why they are yet anxious to occupy or “possess” a body today.
The angels in heaven though do not have bodies in the sense that you and I have bodies. They can “put on” flesh just as Christ did when He became the “Word made flesh” Who came down and dwelt among men, Emmanuel (John 1:14).
“Angels are incorporeal and invisible. The word incorporeal means “lacking in material form or substance.” Angels seem to have some sort of bodies, but no the kind you can hold on to. Some of the Jewish scholars in the early church described angels as having “airy” or “fiery” bodies. For the most part, they remain invisible to our human sight. Because their bodies are not composed of a material substance as our are, angels do not know what it is like to get ill, to grow old, or to die.” (Everyone’s Guide to Angels, “The Nature of Angels” by James W. Goll, pg. 22)
“I need to remind you angels are incorporeal--they are spirits; they have no bodies. And yet they are described as if they do.” (Everyone’s Guide to Angels, “The Characteristics of Angels” by James W. Goll, pg. 37)
Despite their “naturally supernatural” incorporeal bodies, angels put on flesh when they appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18), to Lot (Genesis 19), to Manoah and his wife (Judges 13), and to many others. The Apostle Paul even told us that we may even entertain angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2). Yet rarely, I believe, do they possess a body. But if they do, be sure it is for the sake of the mass deception and destruction of man.
Examples of this would be:
Nimrod inhabited by and worshipped as the principality, Baal.
King Ahab inhabited by the Spirit of Ahab.
Absalom inhabited by the Spirit of Jezebel/Absalom.
Haman, Herod the Great, Herodias, and Herod the Tetrarch, all likely inhabited by the Spirit of Jezebel/Herod.
Judas inhabited by Satan himself.
“That woman Jezebel” inhabited by the Spirit of Jezebel.
The AntiChrist inhabited by the Spirit of AntiChrist or Satan himself.
You’ll recall the far-reaching destructions of these habitations by demonic princes which speaks to their pointed intentions. But I think, generally speaking, these princes, spiritual wickedness in high places, and powers, these territorial spirits and strongmen prefer to preside over regions, nations, kingdoms, and empires instead of being restricted to one body unless that body wields great, far-reaching authority. I believe bodily possession is primarily the intent of terrestrial, not celestial (second heaven), agents of darkness. This brings me to my next theory.
Stay tuned for Part II!
For more on this subject, please see this teaching by Perry Stone and my corresponding notes.