And God Saw That It Was Good
Be sure to check out my blog post on angels.
Some say that God created both good and bad spirits in the beginning, but the Bible is pretty clear that everything at the beginning was good. In the book of Genesis, God affirms the goodness of all that He created. It wasn’t until the fall of Satan that anything negative was mentioned. There are different opinions on what these foul spirits should be called. Some say demons. Some say fallen angels. Some say Nephilim. Some say a disembodied race of pre-Adomites. I don’t think we can know for sure every type of being that God created, but I believe scripture suggests that they are all one in the same. They are all fallen angels.
Revelation 12:7-8 says that Michael and his angels waged war against Satan and his angels. Jesus even called the foul spirits “Satan’s Angels” in Matt 25:41, when He was talking about the original purpose of hell. From these passages it would also seem that Satan is the leader of all fallen angels.
Names Given to Satan
- Satan — is probably most well known
- Abaddon — Hebrew for “destruction”,
- Angel of the bottomless pit
- Apollyon — Greek for “destroyer”
- King of the Bottomless Pit
- Angel of Light (a being Satan can transform into)
- Evil One
- Father of Lies
- Lawless One
- Power of Darkness
- Prince of the Power of the Air
- Ruler of the Darkness
- Ruler of this World
- Serpent of Old
- Fallen Star
- Wicked One
- Beelzebub — “Prince of the demons“
Demon — שֵׁד shêd, shade; from H7736; a dæmon (as malignant, to spoil):—devil.
So it would seem that Satan is the ruler of all demons and is also himself referred to as a demon. Below are a few other names fallen angels or demons go by:
- evil spirits
- unclean spirits
- Eph 6:12 … (rulers, powers, world forces, spiritual forces)
- Dan 10 – Prince of persia
When did the Angels Fall
Once you dig into the topic of fallen angels, it is apparent that the early Old Testament does not speak much about them. We must remember that God’s revelation of Himself and His spiritual truths to humanity came in stages. We are told that God came down into the garden and had conversations with Adam and Eve. The same is probably true for the Sons of God: Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, and all of the godly line of Seth. After the flood God made a special connection with Abraham. He was the only person in Scripture to be called a friend of God. After Abraham came Moses and the prophets, and then finally the New Testament writers.
So the big question is when did the angels fall? The Bible does not speak much to the topic, but we do know that Satan fell in the garden. He was probably the first and probably alone in the beginning. We can also pull a bit more information from the book of Revelation chapter 12. This passage said that the Dragon swept a 1/3 of the stars away with his tail. Most theologians agree that this is referring to Satan pulling a 1/3 of the angels away from serving God.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was pregnant and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven crowns. And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her Child.Revelation 12:1-4
Some say this battle happened in the beginning in the garden. Others say it happens in the future. I believe it happened near the death, burial, and resurrections of Jesus. The passage implies that just about the time the woman was to give birth is when the Dragon swept the stars away. Israel is the woman and Jesus is the unborn child. So the mass exodus from Heaven was just prior to Jesus birth.
Just Giant Men
There is some mention of false gods in Egypt. We know that there is only One True God, this implies that these false gods were probably fallen angels. There is also mention of demons and strange gods in Deuteronomy 32:16-17. It would seem that the vast majority of angels fell just prior to the time of Moses.
Some would disagree and say the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were fallen angels. I don’t believe this to be true. Nephilim just means giant, either in stature or power. Goliath, who existed after the flood, was also called a Nephilim. This confusion comes from the Masoretic Text (MT) version of the Old Testament, which was written around 600 years after the time of Jesus. If you look to the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek version of the O.T., it does not have this ambiguity between angels and “Sons of God”. The Septuagint we have today is the same version that existed in Jesus day. The LXX lists those in Genesis 6 as Sons of God and in Job the word Nephilim was translated as angel. The Nephilim were just large, powerful, and influential men who were from the unbelieving line of Cain.
- Deut 32:43 – Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people (LXX).
- distinction here: Angles of God are different from Sons of God.
- Angels commanded to worship
- Sons of God commanded to strengthen themselves
- God will avenge the “blood of his sons” Angels don’t have blood
- distinction here: Angles of God are different from Sons of God.
- Job 1:6 (LXX says Angels came and stood)
- Job 2:1 (LXX says Angels came)
- Job 38:7 (LXX says Angels)
- Gen 6:3-5 (LXX says Sons of God)
- Gen 10:8-9 – Nimrod passage (LXX – Nimrod was a giant – same as Gen 6)
- Giant probably a title that means skillful warrior/hunter/leader
Failure of Apocrypha
Some will inevitably turn to the Apocrypha to help support the case for fallen angels coming down from heaven to have relation with the women. But we must remember these books were left out of scripture for a reason. One of the reasons were these books made some outlandish claims. For example the Book of Enoch 7:3 states that the watchers (another name for fallen angels) were 3000 ells tall. That is nearly a mile tall. Other books were left out for other reasons. These books could fill in missing information from the bible, or they could be total frauds, created to mislead others.
Are Demons Still Here Today
Many believe that demons are a thing of the past. Some say they were dealt with by Jesus and His disciples and they no longer exist. This is a lie from the enemy himself. If Satan can deceive the modern world into believing that he is not real then people cannot properly defend themselves from him. Paul tells us that we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Satan is alive and well in America today and he has the kingdoms and powers of this world under his thumb.
This should not cause us to fear. We must educate ourselves about the enemy. We have to learn what methods he uses to make us stumble. We can defend ourselves with the armor of God mentioned in the book of Ephesians 6. Christ has already won the war and we can walk in His authority.
"These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” - Mark 16:17
The Battle Plan
- James 4:7-10 – we all like the phrase, “Resist the devil and he will flee,” but what about the rest of the passage? Below you’ll find the key to defeating any fallen angel.
- submit to God
- come close to God
- Cleanse your hands
- purify your hearts
- be miserable mourn and weep
- humble yourself