Fallen Angels are not discussed in the Bible too much, seeing that the majority of angels in heaven have never “fallen from grace” and gone to the dark side. And yet, some have.
So, when discussing what the Bible says about fallen angels, we have to first cover the idea that “angel free will” exists because angels are not human (they’re divine beings). Yet, since we know that God has free will and chose to create the world and the angels in a way that He saw fit, we know that it’s not beneath logic that angelic beings could have free will as well.
Fallen Angels Have Free Will
Before we can discuss what the Bible says about fallen angels, we have to tackle the idea that “fallen angels” exists. After all, how can angels fall when they’ve been created by God and lived in heaven? Heaven was the place of their eternal abode in the beginning, but now they’ve “fallen” from heaven and now are chained and imprisoned in Hell, awaiting divine judgment. How did all of this happen?
Well, that’s what this study of fallen angels is all about. And yet, we have to affirm that angels have free will. Free will is what explains their “fallenness.” We see this in the Book of Jude:
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; (Jude 5-6)
The angels “did not keep their proper domain,” Jude says. The phrase “proper domain” in the Greek is ἀρχὴν, meaning “rule” or “beginning.” The fallen angels “did not keep their beginning,” meaning that they did not keep the path in which they were created. In the beginning, the angels were created to be in Heaven with God, praising Him, and doing His bidding. They were made to glorify Him, as were humans, but humans were made to dwell on the earth — not angels. And yet, these angels “left their beginning,” or left their starting position (in heaven). They used the free will God gave them and made a decision to abandon God’s purpose for them.
Scripture says that these angels are fallen angels because they left Heaven. Where are these angels now? In Hell, according to Scripture:
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (2 Peter 2:4)
If fallen angels were once in Heaven, but are now expelled from Heaven, then there was a change in their place or abode that explains why they are called “fallen” angels. These fallen angels are now in Hell, awaiting their eternal judgment that will consign them to Hell for all eternity. Of course, the leader of the fallen angels, Satan himself, gets to appear before the angels as they meet in Heaven despite the fall from Heaven. We find this tidbit of detail out in the Book of Job:
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. (Job 1:6)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. (Job 2:1)
From this, we know that “the sons of God,” a phrase that refers to angels, were meeting regularly (if not daily), and that Satan is also allowed to assemble with the angels. Satan? Assembling with the angels? It’s not far-fetched when you remember that Satan was an angel of light at one point in time. As the apostle Paul speaks of him:
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)
Paul’s statement about Satan shows just what Satan once was, which is why Paul says that “Satan himself transforms himself.” It’s too easy for Satan to disguise himself because at one point, he was on God’s side. He was created as an angel like, all other angels, but defected and took other angels with him.
How did this abandonment of their proper domain start? This is where we need to know about The Great Rebellion in Heaven.
Fallen Angels and The Great Rebellion
The Great Rebellion, as some call it, is an event that saw Satan and one-third of the angelic hosts of Heaven war against God and His angels in an attempt to overthrow God’s reign in the eternal sphere:
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-12)
Revelation 12 tells us that “the dragon,” (verse 7), who’s referred to in the same passage as “the Devil and Satan” in verse 9, fought against Michael, the archangel (the chief of the angels) and God’s angels. The Devil and his angels battled God’s angels and lost: “So the great dragon was cast out…and his angels were cast out with him,” Revelation 12:9 says. This is as much information on The Great Rebellion or the Satanic Rebellion that we have recorded in the pages of Scripture, but this is enough to inform us that the Devil plotted against God, his Maker, and that he and the angels that followed him lost the battle. We know that a third of the heavenly angelic host followed him because of the earlier verses in Revelation 12, verses 1-6:
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Revelation 12:1-6)
The woman who bears the Child here is Israel (not Mary, though it’s easy to believe that), because the woman “fled into the wilderness” after bearing the Child. Israel is currently in the wilderness, scattered among the nations, though God is bringing back Jews into their land even as I write this sentence. The Child is Jesus, who is born of the virgin Mary and is a son of David (a reference to Jesus’ Jewishness). In Revelation 12:4, we read that “His tail,” the tail of the dragon who is the Devil and Satan, “drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” The “stars of heaven” is also a reference to the angels, as Jesus describes Satan as a “falling star”:
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
The disciples, here the seventy (70), are out teaching, preaching, and healing, and then they tell Jesus “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name” — as though that is the most shocking thing (Jesus is Lord, so we’re not surprised to see His power over even the demons). And yet, in the midst of it all, Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” What does this statement mean? Let’s remember that Satan has already fallen at this point. He’s already been expelled to earth from Heaven along with the one-third of the angelic hosts. So when Jesus says this, He’s not referring to Satan’s literal fall as if He’s seeing it happen at that moment; instead, He’s referring to the Kingdom of Satan, Satan’s agenda, evil, the fall of Satan’s demonic stronghold on the world. And Satan has been terrorizing humans ever since his fall from Heaven: this explains the birth of giants (Goliath’s 9’9” tall frame tells you just how terrifying giants must have been) as well as the increase in demon possession. Jesus met a lot of demon possession during His ministry, and even the demons knew who Jesus was!
The sons of God is a biblical reference that confirms the angels in other places, too:
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
How Many Angels Make up One-Third of the Angelic Host? Putting a Number to the Fraction
How many angels is “one-third” of the angelic host? The word for “a third” in the Greek text of Revelation 12 is τρίτον (triton; pronounced “tree-taun”), with “tri” referring to “three.” A third of the “stars of heaven” or angels, refers to 33.333% of the angelic hosts. The next question in the minds of many is, “how many angels actually rebelled against God and followed Satan?” That’s a question to which we may never have a definitive answer, but we can figure it out by examining what Scripture tells us about just how many angels we’re dealing with here.
We’ve met a few angels in Scripture such as Gabriel, Michael, the two angels that come down to Sodom, the angels that come down to roll the stone away at Jesus’ resurrection, and so on. We read of many angels in heaven in Genesis 28 when we read of God’s promise to bless Jacob and fulfill the promise the Lord God made to his grandfather, Abraham:
10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 28:10-17)
Jacob’s dream, in the place he calls Bethel (Hebrew for house of God), is where he sees the angels climbing up and down the ladder of Heaven. We know from Jacob’s dream that there are many, many angels. This is a good starting ground to answer the question of how many angels exist approximately, and how many would one-third comprise.
Matthew 26:53 puts us closer to an approximate number, though it still leaves us with more questions. Let’s read what Jesus says:
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26:47-54)
In Matthew 26:53, Jesus mentions “more than twelve legions of angels” with which He could be equipped by God the Father, though the word “more” tells us that this number is but a foretaste of the exact number. Yet and still, we’re left wondering, “what is a legion?”
A legion, according to that day and time, is 6,826 men. So, when you factor in that Jesus mentions twelve legions of angels, you can figure out a number by taking the number of legion soldiers and multiply it by 12:
6,826 (men in a legion) x 12 (legions of angels) = 81,912 soldiers
We’ve come to see that Jesus says the Father could command at least nearly 82,000 angels to come to His aid that night on which He was arrested. This is the only place in Scripture where we read of so many angels, but it tells us that there are more than 81,000 angels in Heaven. And keep in mind, this is 81,912 angels of the total — there were one-third of the total angels that rebelled against God and was expelled from Heaven.
So, with this in mind, let’s try to factor in the one-third of the rebellious angels:
81,912 (angels, 12 legions) = x – 1/3x
81,912 = 2/3X
81,912 x 3/2 = x
122,868 = x
This number tells us that there were at least 122,868 angels prior to The Great Rebellion, not counting Satan. If you subtract 1/3 of the angels, you’ll find that the number comes out to the 12 legions of angels Jesus said the Father would release. Of course, this is only true if the number for “legion” is that which Jesus speaks about (the legion could be greater than the assumed number, in which case the number would be higher).
How Many Angels Followed Satan? Putting a Number to the 1/3 Fraction
We’ve seen that one-third of the angelic host rebelled against God, but again, one-third is not as approximate a number as say, 122,868 angels. So, taking the number (“122,868”) as the finite number we’re given, let’s see how many angels comprise one-third of that number:
? (fraction of rebellious angels) x 122,868 (total number of angels from 12 legions) = number of rebellious angels
Number of rebellious angels = 40,956
The number of angels here that rebelled in The Great Rebellion is 40,956. That is, there were at least 41,000 rebellious angels in The Great Rebellion who followed after Satan and warred against God and His angels.
From the research we’ve done above, we can say that there are at least 122,000 angels available in the heavenly arsenal, though this number is limited and finite in nature — and this number isn’t all of them, just a number based on what Jesus gives us. Still, though, we can say that there are at least 122,000 angels that are in existence, which tells us that there are tons and tons of angels that exist.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says that children have angels in Heaven:
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:10-11)
Children have “their angels” in Heaven, Jesus says, so this could prove helpful to just how many angels exist in humanity. Some have said with these verses above that every child has an angel (no matter their final eternal destiny), and that there have been between 107 billion and 108 billion people who’ve ever lived on the earth (as of 2015) — so there could be billions of angels that exist in Heaven. The one-third of the angelic hosts could be a much larger number than 40,000.
This is just mere speculation because we don’t know, but it goes to show us in no uncertain terms that the Bible gives sufficient information about God, not exhaustive. Even the Bible says of itself that “there are other things Jesus said and did” that were not recorded (see John 21:25). The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve had “sons and daughters” beyond Cain, Abel, and Seth (Genesis 5:4), though it doesn’t tell us their names or anything about them. How about Cain’s wife: if Cain belonged to the first family, where does his wife come from if she marries and lives with him in the Land of Nod (Genesis 4:17)? We’re never told.
Paul has a nephew, his sister’s son (Acts 23:16); but who is his sister? What’s her name? Does his sister ever marry? We presume she does if she’s raised as a Jewish woman, but we don’t ever know. Another question: how is it that the Holy Spirit conceives Jesus in the womb of Mary? Gabriel tells Mary that “the Holy Spirit will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35), but what does this mean, exactly? We are told nothing more than that the Holy Spirit passes by Mary and she becomes pregnant, then bears Jesus after 9 months. That’s it. Nothing more are we told.
The Lucifer Reference in Isaiah 14
Within the Christian church, there is a great discussion regarding Satan and references to him in the Bible. When it comes to Isaiah 14, many stop and stare because the passage mentions “Lucifer,” what many believe to be another name of Satan:
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
18 “All the kings of the nations,
All of them, sleep in glory,
Everyone in his own house;
19 But you are cast out of your grave
Like an abominable branch,
Like the garment of those who are slain,
Thrust through with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit,
Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people.
The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.” (Isaiah 14:12-21)
Isaiah 14 is a passage with elements that argue for Satan being Lucifer and against Satan being Lucifer. First, in Isaiah 14:12, it says that Lucifer has “fallen from heaven,” which is a phrase that accounts for Satan’s own expulsion from Heaven: he and his angels (fallen angels) have “fallen from grace,” so to speak, with no hope for them to be redeemed. In verses 13 and 14, Lucifer makes statements such as “I will ascend into heaven,” though, which doesn’t sound like Satan; Satan was already in Heaven when The Great Rebellion of Revelation 12 took place — so he wouldn’t qualify for this phrase. “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” in Isaiah 14:13 implies that “Lucifer” has a kingdom and a throne. Yes, Satan is called “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and yes, Satan did offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5), but did Satan ever have a throne? I find that hard to believe. “I will be like the Most High” is a statement that it’s likely Satan said in his heart, but again, nowhere in Scripture do we ever read of this statement from Satan. It seems plausible when you consider that Satan used the idea of power and Godhood to move Adam and Eve to rebel against God:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-4)
Satan told Adam and Eve that they would be “like God,” which matches the statement made by Lucifer in Isaiah 14: “I will be like the Most High.”
And yet, there are the references to “graves” and death that make one see that this reference is not directed at Satan but instead, at a king of sorts. First, the king has a throne (Isaiah 14:13). Next, he will be brought down to “Sheol” and “the Pit” (v.15), which implies that he can die (Satan is a spiritual being who will never die). In Isaiah 14:16, the person to whom the statements are directed is “a man,” another reference to the idea that a human is being addressed here and not a spiritual being. Satan is not a man; he’s a spiritual being, a spirit who can enter people (Judas, anyone?).
In Isaiah 14:18-21, we see more references to a human king than we see a reference to God’s spiritual foe, Satan:
18 “All the kings of the nations,
All of them, sleep in glory,
Everyone in his own house;
19 But you are cast out of your grave
Like an abominable branch,
Like the garment of those who are slain,
Thrust through with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit,
Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people.
The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.” (Isaiah 14:18-21)
In verses 18-19, we see that the man in question is compared to “all the kings of the nations,” and he is told that he wouldn’t have a peaceful rest in the grave. “A corpse trodden underfoot” in verse 19 refers to a human death, a dead human, not a spiritual being such as Satan. In verse 20, the wicked human king “will not be joined with them in burial,” again, a reference to death and a peaceful rest and decent end in a cemetery or mausoleum. This evil king wouldn’t have that. The writer also says to “prepare slaughter for his children,” again, showing that a human king is here in question — not Satan.
With all of this said, this doesn’t mean that the writer, presumably Isaiah, isn’t referencing Satan in the beginning: for, true to what we know, Satan is a “son of the morning.” He is an angel, a star of Heaven, a star that “falls from Heaven.” Jesus says this in Luke 10:18 when He says “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” Satan falls from heaven like a falling star.
In the final analysis, then, the writer may have referenced Satan in the beginning, and Isaiah 14:12 may allude to Satan. However, the majority of the passage refers to an evil king who was haughty and was brought down in his pride. He wouldn’t have an honorable burden and his children would be killed to prevent his name from lasting beyond his own death. His corpse, his body, would be trampled underfoot — which is what happens when someone is killed in dishonor. The old Greek gods and goddesses, Achilles as an example, trampled under Hektor when victorious. Trampling underfoot was a sign of honor for the one who trampled, dishonor for the victim being trampled. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He tells the masses that “salt” that loses its savor (i.e., believers who are no longer effective in their testimony) are good for nothing but to be thrown down and trampled under the foot of men (see Matthew 5:13). Those who apostatize from the faith also “trample underfoot the Son of God,” that being Jesus (Hebrews 10:29).
The wicked king in question may have acted similar to Satan, and Satan’s optional name may be “Lucifer,” which refers to him as a “day star” when he was one of God’s most beautiful angels, but the person in question here is not Satan but instead, a wicked king, the King of Babylon to be more specific.
The King of Babylon may be like Satan, but he isn’t Satan. Still, Isaiah 14:12 could be used as a reference to Satan, but 98% of the passage is a reference to the Babylonian King, not the Devil. The chief of the fallen angels is one person, the Babylonian King another. And yet, the Babylonian King may act under the same haughtiness that brought Satan low, but they are two different people. This can best be explained by the following: I am often called Teressa, Jr., in honor of my mother, but one cannot read something I’ve done and say “Teressa did it.” No, I did it, but I’m acting like my mother (or doing something that sounds like something she would’ve done). I may say something that sounds similar to something she said in life, but let’s not confuse what Deidre says with “Teressa said it.” She didn’t; I’m the one who said it. In the same way, the Babylonian King’s fall is addressed here in Isaiah 14, but perhaps he is acting “like Lucifer” instead of Isaiah suddenly bursting into an indictment of Lucifer in the middle of a message for the King of Babylon.
Fallen Angels and Hell as Judgment
What happens to the fallen angels after they leave Heaven? Well, it says that they’re thrown down to the earth in Revelation 12, while 2 Peter 2 says that they’re thrown into Hell. How do we reconcile these two passages? Well, we know that Hell is created for the Devil and his angels:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-43)
Matthew 25:41 tells us that “the everlasting fire,” Hell, was “prepared for the devil and his angels.” In other words, Hell was never prepared for a single person — though Judas and others will go there, unfortunately. In the end, Satan and the fallen angels were the target ones for whom Hell was created. Hell was created as a final punishment for the leaders of The Great Rebellion in Heaven, but the Lord allows others to go there as well (in the nations He judges) because of choice, free will, the God-given responsibility of man to choose his eternal destination, whether Heaven or Hell.
And it is Hell, where Satan and the fallen angels, the one-third who rebelled with him, will go at the end of all things. God will have His vengeance on those who rebelled against Him, and Satan and the fallen angels won’t get away unscathed.
Fallen Angels and the Rise of the Giants
The fallen angels fall from Heaven onto the earth (or some end up being imprisoned in Hell until the end, it is believed). We know that after Satan’s fall, he turns up in the Garden of Eden where he leads Adam and Eve to rebel against God by eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3), but that’s not all. After Adam and Eve rebel against their Maker, we read of Cain’s murder of his brother, Abel, all due to jealousy, a sign that, since man no longer respected his God, he could no longer respect fellow men who were made in the image of God as he. At the end of Genesis 4, Lamech gains two wives (a violation of God’s marriage design) and then claims that he has more protection than Cain because he has killed a man and a boy. Genesis 5 is the graveyard chapter, where we read of Adam’s genealogy. By Genesis 6, though, the created order is now being undermined. Instead of humans and humans having sexual relations, the fallen angels have now decided to go in and be sexually active with human women:
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
Genesis 6 is not about human men going in to have sexual relations with women; if that were the case, we wouldn’t read “daughters of men” in verse 2. The reason why “daughters of men” are distinguished from “sons of God” is to show that the human women are opposed to the heavenly nature of the sons of God. That is, the sons of God are angels and the daughters of men are human women. The end of Genesis 6:2 says “and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose,” a statement that shows that these fallen angels not only married human women but that they also took “of all whom they chose,” a statement that shows that these fallen angels married multiple women instead of just one. Again, Lamech’s bigamy (his marriage to two women) in Genesis 4 paves the way for these fallen angels to go in and marry multiple women and have multiple children by them.
Angels are massive beings, and despite television’s claim that angels are like us in height and appearance, angels are anything but normal in size. So, angels are massive and tall, and towering; their marriages to multiple women is a violation of the created order (God made man and woman, one man and woman in marital covenant, for life), but these violating marriages produced children called “giants.” The word for giants here in Genesis 6:4 is γίγαντες (gigantes), from where we get our English word “gigantic.” Something that’s gigantic is “huge,” so giants are huge creatures, tall, overwhelming and massive. They weigh a ton, have big arms and broad bodies, and are so heavy that they could likely kill a creature if they set on a person.
These fallen angels went in to human women and bore them children that we call giants. Their unusual height, size, and body weight are all signs that they were not conceived by human beings strictly. When you think of human children, they’re conceived by a human man and human woman and they have human characteristics. However, when you think of giants like Goliath, these children, produced by fallen angels and human women, are extremely tall. Goliath was 9 feet, 9 inches tall. That’s an unheard of height for human men; even the over 7-foot Shaquille O’Neal, among others, can’t jump that high.
Genesis 6 tells us that giants were on the earth in those days. Some of the giants mentioned in Scripture are the people of Anakim (Numbers 13:33), the people of Emim (Deuteronomy 2:11), the people of Zamzummim (Deuteronomy 2:20), King Og of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:11), those defeated by Moses out of the land of Canaan (Joshua 13:12), Ishbi-Benob of the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:16), and sons born to a giant in the territory of Gath: Sippai, Lahmi the brother of Goliath, and a man with 24 fingers and toes (1 Chronicles 20:4-8).
Fallen Angels and Demons
Fallen angels settled on earth, took human wives, and conceived children by human women, but they also plagued humanity by possessing human beings. Fallen angels are known to many as demons, and the case can be made that Satan too, is a demon. Demons are known in Scripture for entering into human beings, possessing them, and making them do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Demons are often thought to have arrived to earth in the New Testament, but it appears that even Israel had some encounter with demons in the Old Testament. The Lord told priests that they were to offer up sacrifices to the Lord, not to the demons Israel had been giving their offerings to:
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 7 They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”’ (Leviticus 17:6-7)
17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear. (Deuteronomy 32:17)
In Deuteronomy 32:17, it appears as though the foreign gods were labeled “demons.”
13 And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him. 14 For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15 Then he appointed for himself priests for the high places, for the demons, and the calf idols which he had made. (2 Chronicles 11:13-15)
Jeroboam “appointed for himself priests for the high places, for the demons, and the calf idols which he had made” (2 Chronicles 11:15). He appointed priests for the demons. No wonder he eliminated the priests that were already in place! He wanted priests who wouldn’t have a conscience to protest what he’d make them do, and his minions would be perfect for the job.
In Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament, fallen angels as demonic spirits entered into people, causing them to foam at the mouth, roll around on the ground, sleep in the cemetery, and even tear their clothes off without the victims being cognizant of their surroundings:
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. (Matthew 4:23-24)
Jesus healed the demon-possessed to show that the kingdom of God brings healing. Demon possession is not a good thing (for, if it was, why would Jesus remove demon possession from human bodies?), but it shows the stronghold that Satan and his fallen angels maintained once they were expelled from heaven and came to earth. And things escalated when Jesus began His ministry because the inauguration of the Kingdom of God brought about healing and deliverance from sickness and disease — elements of Satan’s reign in sin over the earth. What the Fall did in bringing curses and sickness, Jesus came to undo. As the beloved Christmas song Joy to the World says, “He (Jesus) comes to make/His blessings flow/far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found/far as, far as/the curse is found.” As the last Adam, Romans 5 says, Jesus comes to undo the curse that Adam brought on all humanity and all creation.
In Matthew 8, we read that Jesus’ healing the sick and rolling back diseases is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy:
16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17)
Matthew 8:16 tells us that there were “many who were demon-possessed,” a sign that Satan had a stronghold on humanity, but that Jesus “cast out the spirits with a word.” His words had authority, unlike the chief priests and scribes of His day. His authority over unclean spirits is the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4:
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)
Jesus’ healing the sick and demon-possessed was a fulfillment of the Old Testament passage in Isaiah. Isaiah 53:4, quoted by Matthew, was part of the Messianic Prophecy in Isaiah 53.
28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”
32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.
33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. (Matthew 8:28-34)
Here in Matthew 8, we see a specific case of two men who are demon-possessed (Greek δαιμονιζόμενοι), the Greek word meaning “demonized.” These demon-possessed men came out of the tombs, a sign that they were demon-possessed (demonic possession drives one to death, not to life, and the cemetary is self-evidently, a place of death; there’s no life at the grave or tomb). In verse 29, they cry out to Jesus, the demons evidencing through the voice of humans who He is: “what have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? You come here to torment us before the time?” First, the demon-possessed men knew He was “Jesus,” “Son of God.” The demons, being fallen angels, would’ve known this, of course, so it’s plausible they would’ve recognized Jesus. Next, the demons mention “torment us before the time,” a phrase that suggests the fallen angels were aware of their very own end — that Jesus would triumph over them and they would end up in a place of torment, Hell. Remember that earlier, we said that Hell was designed for the Devil and his fallen angels (Matthew 25:41), so the fact that the demons are aware of a future torment by Jesus suggests that we’re dealing with fallen angels here who have inhabited the bodies of these two men. In verse 31, the demons beg Jesus to “permit us to go away into the herd of swine,” a sign that they were aware of their bodily inhabitation. They wanted to inhabit bodies, and if they couldn’t inhabit the two human beings because Jesus would cast them out (they were aware He didn’t favor demon possession of humans), He could at least let them inhabit animals. There were some pigs nearby, and Jesus allows these two demons to inhabit the animals. They talk with Jesus and say “if You cast us out,” understanding by their language that Jesus had the power to cast them out of the two men (that it was His sovereign decision). Jesus permits the demons to enter into the pigs (His permission; in the same way that He permitted Satan to tempt Job in the book that bears the victim’s name), and the pigs rush to their death.
Demons not only speak to Jesus, know His power, their future torment, and tremble before Him; they also inhabit bodies, whether animal or human. In Matthew 9, demons are within a man who is mute, who speaks once they are cast out of him:
32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 9:32-34)
Jesus heals a man whose demon possession had him mute and unable to speak. This tells us that demon possession was often characterized by some ailment, disease, or impairment within human beings — a classic symptom of demon possession being some physical or obvious physical weakness or inability. After the demon leaves him, he talks for the first time in a long time (if he ever talked before, that is). The Pharisees respond with the idea that Jesus “casts out demons by the ruler of the demons,” but their response (which we’ll see again in Matthew) makes little sense. If Jesus casts out demons by demons, would He not be undermining the demonic kingdom? If He were of the demons, of Satan, why would He undermine Satan’s kingdom? Thus, if Jesus were from God (which He was), He wouldn’t use the ruler of the demons to cast out the demons; instead, He’d use the power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, by which to deliver the demon-possessed.
22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:22-30)
Matthew 9:34, we just stated, shows the Pharisees claiming Jesus exorcises demons by the ruler of the demons. Here in Matthew 12, just three chapters later, the so-called religious elite of Jesus’ day are making the same illogical claim with regard to Jesus healing another demon-possessed individual. In Matthew 9, the demon-possessed man was mute, but here in Matthew 12, the demon-possessed man was both mute and blind. Demon possession has robbed him of his speech and his sight so that he couldn’t see anything (he likely stumbled from place to place, tripping and falling at any moment). Jesus’ response to the Pharisees is one that Abraham Lincoln used: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” The “house divided” speech isn’t one Abraham Lincoln created on his own, but one with ideas borrowed from Jesus in Holy Scripture. In Matthew 12:28, Jesus gets the Pharisees to entertain the idea that He’s casting out demons “by the Spirit of God,” which would explain why the demons are being cast out rather than staying within the person. By casting out the demon, the victim was given his speech and his sight, a twofold blessing and deliverance.
Men are not the only ones demon-possessed; women are too. Matthew 15 presents to us a case of a Gentile woman, a Canaanite, pleads with Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter:
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:21-28)
Her daughter was demon-possessed, and she was a Gentile who shouldn’t expect a healing. Jesus had sent His disciples to the lost sheep of Israel, to the Jews, and the Canaanite woman wasn’t a Jew. Yet, because of her faith, Jesus healed her daughter without saying a word or laying hands on her.
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:14-21)
This man in Matthew 17 comes to Jesus and requests healing for his son because the “child” (we presume he’s no more than a teenager, if that) is an epileptic and “falls into the fire” and water. What is an epileptic? An epileptic is someone who has seizures due to random brain activity. The word for epileptic in Matthew 17:15 is σεληνιάζεται, which means “to be crazy” or a lunatic. In other words, he’s acting crazy (which is a normal way to describe medical conditions), but he’s doing more than that: he’s falling into fire and water. Jesus rebukes the demon to come out of the son, and the symptoms go away: the child no longer throws himself into fire and water and acts crazy. The demon within the child drove him to nearly kill himself. Any time a person throws themselves into the fire (to burn to death) or water (to drown to death), something is very terribly wrong.
The disciples could not rebuke the demon, and Jesus says that the issue comes down to prayer and fasting (with faith, of course).
In Mark’s Gospel, we start to see his fascination with the spiritual realm and spirits, so much so that he tackles demon possession as much if not more than Matthew does in his Gospel. One such example is Mark 1:
32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. (Mark 1:32-34)
Jesus healed the demon-possessed as well as the sick (the whole city came to be healed, Mark 1:33 says), but, unlike Matthew’s Gospel, Mark doesn’t allow the demons to speak in his narrative “because they knew Him.” This suits the goal or agenda of Mark’s Gospel because his entire focus on Jesus’ ministry is mystery, intrigue, silence on Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ identity was suppressed or hidden throughout much of His ministry, and Mark combines this mystery with Jesus’ spiritual authority to create what I’d call something of an early horror story. Jesus walks through walls in Mark’s Gospel, and people are afraid of what they witness here. Even in Mark 16:8, when the women find the tomb empty and are told by the angels that Jesus has risen, “they went out quickly and fled from the tomb…and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Fear is a literary tool used by Mark in his Gospel to portray the idea that Jesus’ supernatural origins and abilities terrified mortal men — which would’ve been a natural response to Jesus’ power in His day. Even in Matthew’s Gospel as said earlier, the town wanted Jesus to leave after He cast out the demons from the two men at the tombs and sent them into the swine. People, human by nature, are terrified of the supernatural or spiritual often because they don’t understand it. Demon possession is a spiritual wickedness that does terrify humans, even to this day.
Mark 5 gives what could be the most detail of any demon-possessed encounter in all of Scripture:
Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” 9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.
18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Mark 5:1-20)
Mark 5 in the NKJV refers to a man who had “an unclean spirit,” the word “unclean” in the Greek being ἀκαθάρτῳ. The word comes from “akathartos,” meaning “unclean,” and the word is the opposite of something being therapeutic or cleansing (hence “unclean”). First, we read that he dwelt among the tombs, which matches accounts of other demon-possessed individuals. Next, he couldn’t be tamed with chains and shackles because he acted as a wild beast (he had broken through chains and shackles before, so those who tried to contain him had likely given up). Then, he was a cutter, “cutting himself with stones” we’re told, so he was also suicidal on top of everything else. This tells us that this man had a demon (who was driving him to kill himself), and that cutting oneself is a sign of something deeply wrong. Those today who think about suicide or contemplate killing themselves may not have a demon as did this man, but their desire for self-harm indicates something of a mental challenge. Suicidal thoughts are not symptomatic of wellness and wholeness.
In verse 6, the man with the demons runs and worships Jesus, begging Jesus not to torment him. This is a typical stance of demons in the Gospels, so we’re not surprised; only the worship catches us off-guard here, but then and again, the demons knew full well who Jesus was (“Jesus, Son of the Most High God,” they say in Mark 5:6).They had no problems affirming that, as long as He didn’t torment them before their coming doom. The demons themselves know that they will be tormented in the end and will end up in Hell fire. Think about that.
Some could easily miss the demonic spirit’s request: “Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country” (verse 10). This statement should give us pause because the subjects don’t add up: “he” begged Jesus, “he” being the demon, but then “He would not send them”? The words “he” and “them” describe two different subjects, and yet, both are referring to the same thing here: unclean spirits. The “unclean spirit” was not one demon, but multiple demons, and this is the first place in the narrative that we see this. Apart from this, the spirit didn’t want to be sent “out of the country,” which means that the spirit must have had a demonic stronghold on the region in question. This tells us that the spirits within this man must’ve locked up with other spirits in the same region. The demonic presence in the “country of the Gadarenes” (Mark 5:1) was all too real, overwhelming, honestly.
Jesus then asks the demon his name: “What is your name?” The demon replies with “Legion; for we are many.” In other words, there are numerous demons, numerous demonic spirits, within the man in question. Now, remember the “Legion” study regarding the twelve legions Jesus mentions in Matthew 26:53? Well, now, we can apply this idea of legion to the legion of demons within this man at the tombs. He could’ve had at least 2,000 demons in him because there were 2000 pigs or swine available, into whom Jesus sends the demons; a legion consists of 6,832 men, however, so the man at the tombs could’ve had as many as nearly 7,000 demons in him. There were numerous demons, is all we’re told, but that’s enough to make anyone afraid of this individual — enough that they’d never come close to him. The fact that he couldn’t stay in shackles and chains didn’t help, either.
In verse 13, “Jesus gave them permission” to enter into the swine after He commanded them to come out of the victim. Isn’t that interesting to note, that the demons (fallen angels) needed Jesus’ approval to enter into the swine? This alone shows us that God is sovereign, more powerful than even the fallen angels. Now, if the fallen angels were sovereign in and of themselves, they’d not need Jesus to approve of them to do anything. They’ve already begged Jesus not to torment them (verse 6), which means that they’re aware of their rebellion, Jesus’ Godhood, and the fact that He will judge them and consign them to Hell in the end. The unclean spirits/demonic spirits are evil, but they aren’t stupid, dumb, or clueless. They know far more than humans know; as spiritual beings, they see the physical realm and the spiritual realm in a way that humans cannot.
Jesus has to give the demons permission, in the same way that God had to give Satan (the chief of the fallen angels) permission to strike Job’s health and wealth. And the mere fact that Satan and these fallen angels/demons needed permission to strike their victims shows that, no matter how evil these spiritual beings are, they aren’t as powerful as God. They cannot exist on their own, but can only do what God allows. God is superior to them because they need His permission to do anything, and they know they need His permission because they ask for it in all situations. Satan is “the ruler of this world,” but he still needs God’s permission to do anything. Without God, not even Satan can do anything! That testifies to just how ultimately powerless Satan and his fallen angels truly are. God has already determined their end, and they’re doing what they do, as the angels said in Revelation 12, “because he has a short time” (Revelation 12:
After the thousands of demons or unclean spirits enter into the swine, the swine fall off a cliff and drown in the sea. Those who fed the swine came closer to see what had happened, and they found the former legion victim “sitting and clothed and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15). He had been standing up, walking around, but now that he’s healed, he’s sitting. He had been naked and wore no clothes (Luke 8:27), but now he’s clothed and “in his right mind.” Whereas he couldn’t be tamed by shackles and chains before, he’s now sitting, unrestrained by any external forces or objects. We see that he is now of himself, healed from his demonic possession, and as cognizant of his surroundings as anyone. His actions: cutting himself, fighting shackles and chains, and living out at the tombs, are all actions of a man that was plagued with demons. Jesus heals him, and for the first time, he knows what it means to be a whole human being who isn’t haunted by the evil spirits anymore.
We’ve seen here in our study on fallen angels that fallen angels do exist, despite the idea that for some of us, “fallen from grace” is a hard concept with which to grapple. We’d like to think that the angels couldn’t fall, but biblical history says otherwise. We know the fallen angels are the one-third of the angelic host that follows Satan in The Great Rebellion and tries to overthrow God and His throne and reign in order to “take over” Heaven. We also know that the attempt failed miserably and that Satan and his rebellious angels are kicked out, expelled from heaven.
Some fallen angels, now in Hell, while others are on the earth, go their separate ways. We see the fallen angels intermarry into humanity according to Genesis 6 and bear children, giants, by human women. We also discover that these giants were more apparent in biblical days than we believed, as the Israelites feared taking possession of the Promised Land because the Anakim, one family of giants, lived there — and the Israelites appeared as grasshoppers before them (Numbers 13:33). Goliath, of course, as is the case with others such as Og, King of Bashan, all stem from the intermarriage and sexual relations of angelic beings with human women. Of course, angelic/human sexual relationships are forbidden by God, who designed human women for human men.
We’ve also discussed Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, and his role in The Great Rebellion in Heaven, as well as the reference to “Lucifer, son of the morning” in Isaiah 14 (which could be a way of labeling the King of Babylon “a Satan” of sorts). Satan, like his fallen angels, is demonic and can enter into humans and animals. Satan enters into the serpent in the Garden, and he is allowed to do so (as we’ve seen from the Gospels, where Jesus permits the demonic spirits to enter into the swine/pigs). Satan leads Adam and Eve into rebellion against God, a way to “recreate the events” of The Great Rebellion in Heaven. The remainder of the fallen angels serve as demonic, evil spirits that do Satan’s bidding. They surface in that they indwell people, particularly in the New Testament. Of course, we do see an evil spirit placed upon Saul in 1 Samuel 16, but outside of that, there are few encounters in the Old Testament that pertain to evil spirits that, as we’ve said above, are demons, fallen angels that report to Satan.
In the New Testament is where we find Satan and his demons, particularly active in Jesus’ ministry (they know who Jesus is, and the torment to which they’ll be sentenced in the end), and they desire to inhabit animals and humans. Satan makes an appearance when he enters into Judas in the betrayal of Jesus, and he’s mentioned in the Pastoral epistles when Paul talks about those who’ve abandoned their faith and heeded false doctrine.
We’ve learned that the evil spirits in the world, the Devil and demonic spirits, all stem from their heavenly beginnings as creatures made by God designed for good and for His glory. The Devil and his followers rebelled against God, which explains why they transferred themselves from the Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Darkness. As the church nears the end of time, we’ll see the Devil play a role in the end times — with the rise of the AntiChrist, who stands in the temple and proclaims himself as God, the rise of the false prophet, and the Beast. Though Satan tries to emulate all that God does, his kingdom will fall and he will come to an end along with his evil demons. They will all have their share in the lake of fire and brimstone, where, as even the demons acknowledged, they will be tormented day and night, forever and ever (Revelation 20:7-10).