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Are demons the same as fallen angels?

Are demons the same as fallen angels?

I have received a number of comments from readers pointing out to me that demons and fallen angels are not one and the same. I am open to the discussion but in general I feel that the supposed distinction that many are trying to make is not based on any careful exegesis of the Bible. Below is the series of conversations I had with a good brother on this topic. His comments are in blue.

Doug, you are wrong concerning what Demons are –The Book of Enoch, The Book of Giants (both dead sea scrolls)and all the Early Church Fathers differentiated between Fallen Angels and Demons .The Greek word for Demon is dis-embodied Spirit. Fallen Angels can Shape Shift but your understanding is not accurate. The progeny of the Union between fallen angels and the daughters of men would produce a Hybrid entity and when the Giants died their Spirits became demons upon the Earth–The Word Nephilim is Different than Rephaim which translates the” dead” in the Old Testament. The Translations can read those who issued from the Nephilim versus those that are the children of the Nephilim– the “Rephaim” or Giants.

Hmm – those are some good points. I am of course aware that that the church fathers thought of the demons as the spirits of the giants – it is possible. My only concern is that I don’t clearly see that in Scripture. What I like to do is to demonstrate how passages and words are used in Scripture were interpreted by the ancients. Here is the thing – Ps 106:36 speaks of the people sacrificing their children to demons which in Hebrew is sheddim – that translated into Greek is daimonion. Liddell and Scott Classical Greek define it as such:

δαιμόνιον , τό , divine Power, Divinity, Hdt. 5.87 , E. Ba. 894 (lyr.), Isoc. 1.13 , Pl. R. 382e , etc.; τὸ δαιμόνιον ἄρ’ ἢ θεὸς ἢ θεοῦ ἔργον Arist. Rh. 1398a15 , cf. 1419a9 ; οἱ θεοὶ εἴσονται καὶ τὸ δ. D. 19.239 ; φοβεῖσθαι μή τι δ. πράγματ’ ἐλαύνῃ some fatality, Id. 9.54 ; τὰ τοῦ δ. the favours of forlune, Pl. Epin. 992d . II inferior divine being, μεταξὺ θεοῦ τε καὶ θνητοῦ Id. Smp. 202e ; καινὰ δ. εἰσφέρειν X. Mem. 1.1.2 , Pl. Ap. 24c , cf. Vett. Val. 67.5 , etc.; applied to the ‘genius’ of Socrates, X. Mem. 1.1.2 , Pl. Ap. 40a , Tht. 151a , Euthphr. 3b .

2. evil spirit, δ. φαῦλα Chrysipp.Stoic. 2.338 , cf. LXX De. 32.17 , To. 3.8 , Ev.Matt. 7.22 , al., PMag.Lond. 1.46.120 (iv A. D.).

The Hebrew word sheddim basically means: 1.  havoc, violence, destruction, devastation, ruin

a.  violence, havoc (as social sin)

b.  devastation, ruin

This definition squares quite well with the meaning of Abaddon and Apollyon – destroyer.

As for the relationship between the Nephilim and the Rephaim – I don’t think that you can make such a stark contrast between them – the data seem to suggest that they are different names for the same creatures. Here is a list I made up showing all of the biblical references to them – they look like the same creatures to me – Click here to see table

Would you agree that the Demons Jesus cast out desired to inhabit the Pigs –and that Jesus always spoke of Demons in his Teachings as seeking to re inhabit the House they left? Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus speak about casting out Fallen Angels–Just as the Fathers of the Giants were a different order then the Giants having inserted themselves into the seed of woman so did a new and Bastardized entity come into being–Therefore the Giants would be denoted differently than their fathers–The Valley of the Rapha differentiates the placement of the specific tribes of Giants. Again, the word “Rephaim” are referred to as the dead –a term not used for Fallen Angels at all. Your point that the psalm 106:36 makes gives my argument more credibility–The Giants in their earthly form desired human flesh –as the statement in Numbers that the Land devours its inhabitants as in eats up–Therefore the appetite of dis-embodied spirits seek to satisfy their former incarnate lusts is noted by all reports worldwide of Giants being cannibals. Fallen Angels are the Principalities and Powers and spiritual wickedness in the Heavenly places until  the Fallen Angels become visible on the Earth due to being kicked out of the part of the heavens they now occupy along with their bound counterparts that are released from their imprisoned state as the Gates of Hell are opened.

Thanks for the response – I am open to the discussion, by the way…that demons are looking for a new home I agree. However, didn’t Satan himself possess Judas? The other thing to consider is that in Ezekiel 28 God said that He destroyed Satan and brought fire from within him.  I see a clue in that – namely that he lost something and I have to wonder if that something was his spiritual body in some sense. Thus it could be that the fallen angels have in some way lost their spiritual body that they were created with and now are “body-less” beings – just a thought.

The word Rephaim actually means healers – though of course it is referring to the giants. These beings apparently are waiting for the coming of Satan in Isaiah 13.  I thought Tom Horn’s idea of the Nephilim as essentially being soul-less beings that were filled with other beings fascinating. Could it be that the production of the Nephilim created a body for the fallen angels to inhabit?

As for the NT not speaking of fallen angels – that is a term that we have made up. The term doesn’t appear anywhere in Scripture. Thus, we are simply attempting to define what a demon is – they were not created as such but they began as angels (Rev 12) and then fell with Satan and became “fallen angels”.  We find the terms malakhim, watchers (Irin), benei Elohim, and sheddim used in the OT.  The first two seems to always point to “good” angels, the third to either good or bad and the fourth only to bad. Of course we find the term stars as well which is neutral. In the NT we don’t find “fallen angels” either. We find the terms angels (for good and bad), stars, and demons. The fathers of the giants were the sons of God who were angels, which were of course bad angels, hence fallen.

I don’t consider the conversation over and I welcome all comments regarding the subject. However,  I would ask that people give solid biblical proof of their position.


About Douglas


  1. Hi Doug
    Greetings from here in Sweden. Boy, are your clear sharp teachings a real breath of fresh air, thank God for you brother.
    But I would like to suggest what I believe is the actually origin of demons, and it can be found in that same chapter of Jeremiah you used in your teachings to disprove the Gap theory, which I quite honestly do not feel you actually did, not at all, simply because in this 4th chapter what Jeremiah is seeing is not some yet unformed earth, but one that was destroyed, but not completely to a full end.

    He reported seeing cities and towns but no adams, and the birds which were already created had fled. Now what are to think of this passage except that it is an account of the earth when it was formerly inhabited by a race pre-adamic race ruled by Satan?
    And he was ruling not just on this planet but others in our solar system too. For we are also told in Ezekiel 28 that Satan walked up and down amidst the stones of fire.
    While I might not be a Hebrew scholar, I am a Hebrew speaker who learned it living in Israel, so to my way of thinking the phrase in question can be simply translated as build-up balls of rock reflecting light, i,e,. Planets which Satan walked up and down upon.

    I’m in a very big hurry writing this comment so I can’t get into this right now, but I think its pretty clear that the Hebrew also gives a reason for this, in the phrased ” Lucifer,The son of the morning which can just as early be translated not just as the bright shining one but the Loud, boastful, bragging son from the beginning.

    I will also give you the benefit of the doubt in answering such complex question when you stated that angels somehow lost their bodies. and so, as with demons, hunger and long to be incarnate again? what? Angels never were discarnate to begin with, but have kept their own celestial bodies except for those who were fallen, and they are in the bottomless pit. And aren’t all the other angels including Satan still in their own original bodies?

    So the origin of demons could only properly be explained by their having been a pre-adamic civilization of non human beings who later lost their bodies and thus became what we know today as demons.
    Please check it out for yourself and see if this might more properl fit what Jeremiah saw in his vision.


    Yeshua come quickly


  2. in the same way Jesus died and left his holy spirit, he was half god and half man. the gaints, half angel and man, when the flood came and they died, left their spirit behind. Angeles in some way are physical, the grey aliens are in some way satanic, they might be fallen angels or a pre adamic race that sided. with Satan,, but they have bodies. demons do not and Enoch is clear in that saying they still have desires and must obtain a body to live them out. that’s one reason Jesus had to leave his spirit behind to counter the demon spirits of the earth.

  3. Jesus made a sweeping statement in Luke 24:39 that has bearing on the discussion: “…a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”  No flesh and bones, no DNA to procreate with.  Sons of God in Gen 6:4 did the same thing as Satan did with the beast of the field to deceive Eve.  Most people call it demon possession.  The sons of God in Gen 6:4 possessed the bodies of hominids that were not descendants of Adam and Eve, and thus were able to produce abominable hybrids – the corruption of flesh that resulted in judgment of the Deluge.

  4. It seems to me that the imagery of the origin of demons and that of Satan (unquestionably a fallen angel) is intrinsically linked in Scripture. Revelation 12 describes the dragon taking one third of the stars to the earth, n’est-ce pas? This is a clear reference to the host of Heaven. Furthermore, there are the angels being chained in the abyss, just as Satan will be chained during the thousand years.
    If those who Satan took with him are angels and the demons which Jesus cast out are part of Satan’s horde, then exegetically, (hearing hoofbeats and looking for horses rather than zebras), I would posit they are one in the same.
    The discussion of Rephaim versus Nephilim (versus Anakim versus Emim…) and what their spiritual make-up consisted of seems to be one which can’t be answered in detail exegetically speaking. When left with silence from Scripture, I think that speculating on the ancient ideas is slippery, as they were left to speculate just as we are.

    The most concrete conclusion from the passages describing these creatures is the following: Giants is giants.
    They may have had six fingers on each hand or been exceptionally tall, but the Bible still describes them as beings of flesh and bone. And we are reminded in Ephesians that we “werestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities…” Note also, that there is a hierarchy here that is remniscent of the hierarchy of angels. The idea, then, that they are disembodied spirits of dead giants belies the kind of orderliness seen in their attempts to overthrow God’s kingdom plans.

    Also, I would humbly add that I think it is dangerous to refer to the celestial bodies in 1 Cor. 15 in any theories about ‘disembodied’ demonic spirits. This is my reasoning:

    1. If the bodies of the Nephilim were fleshly, and subject to expiration, that means that their spirits would be separated from the flesh. The celestial nature of angels, who would be fathering these bodies, is not seen in scripture as being separated between flesh and spirit – they are simply spiritual bodies (not commenting here on their ability to materialize). The nature of angels and demons is such that they are moving about on the earth, able to possess men, (as you cited with Judas), and can have an impact on the affairs of men. Celestial bodies do not die, which the Nephilim did, and human spirits do not haunt the earth with a will to overthrow, which demons do – humans go to judgment or reward. But there is simply no scriptural basis for speculating that demons had a human body of flesh and a spirit of angels. I think lack of scriptural support causes an eisegetical breakdown of this hypothesis.

    2. The celestial body that we will receive in Heaven is imperishable. To equate it as being on the order of the bodies of the fallen angels would mean that it will be capable of sin, just as the fallen angels did. The resulting abomination from their breeding with humans would then be plausible within our celestial bodies in Heaven. If they lost their standing in celestial bodies and ours are going to be of the same order, we could potentially lose our state of grace once in those bodies. This violates the eternality of God’s promises of salvation and life with Him in Heaven. That is dangerous theology.

    So, I conclude, their relationship to any distinction between fallen angels and demons, I would argue, is incidental to their origin only. I agree wholeheartedly that the sons of God who mated with the daughters of men were fallen angels, and the Nephilim were the unholy result. However, I don’t see scripturally where this would lend itself to drawing a distinction between the demons and the fallen angels.

  5. Doug:
    In ‘Strongs’ Exhaustive Concordance’ RAPHA or raw-faw (7495) is defined thus:”a prim. root; prop. to mend (by stitching), i.e. (fig.) to cure:- cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, x thoroughly, make whole.”
    Then, in 7496, RAPHA is also defined as “From 7495 in the sense of 7503; prop. lax, i.e. (fig.) a ghost (as dead, in plur. only):- dead, deceased.”
    And, finally; In 7497 RAPHA is further defined as “from 7495 in the sense of invigorating; a giant:- giant, Raphs, Rephaim (-s).
    The only uses I find of the word RAPHA (singular) are in Numbers 13:9; “Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.” ; And in 1Chronicles 8:2 & 7, ALL being descendants of Benjamin.
    All of the uses of the word REPHAIM refer to giants and are plural i.e.”dead-deceased”.Ungers’ Bible Dictionary” states that; “…Rephaim is also used of the dead in Job 26:5, Psalms 88:10, Proverbs 2:18; 9:18; 21:16; Isaiah 14:9; 26:14,19…”
    Of these verses which refer to the dead, or Rephaim, the following 2 verses seem to speak very clearly of the ‘earthborn’ sons of the Nephilim/fallen ones: Isaiah 14:9, “…Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations…” and Isaiah 26:14, “…They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish…”
    “Ungers’ Bible Dictionary” defines NEPHILIM as; “…(nef i-lim; Gen. 6:4; Numbers 13:33. See Giant. The Nephilim are considered by many as giant demigods, the unnatural offspring of the ‘daughters of men” (mortal women) in cohabitation with the “sons of God” (angels).This utterly unnatural union, violating Gods’ created orders of being, was such a shocking abnormality as to necessitate the world-wide judgement of the Flood.”
    And, under Giant, Ungers’ says this; 1. “Nephilim (…Hebrew nephilim). The form of the Hebrew word denotes a plural verbal adjective or noun of passive signification, certainly from ‘naphal’, “to fall”, so that the connotation is “the fallen ones,” clearly meaning the unnatural offspring which were in the earth in the years before the Flood, “and also after that” (Numbers 13:33), “when the sons of God came in unto the dughters of men” (Gen. 6:4). The mention of the great stature of the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, in the evil report which the ten spies brought of the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:33) together with the Septuagint rendering, ‘gigantes’, suggested the translation ‘giants’. The real idea of the word must have been “fallen ones” or monsters of mixed human and angelic birth, like the rebellious Titans. They were exceedingly wicked and violent…
    2. Rephaim (ref a-im; Hebrew rephaim), shades, ghosts). The aboriginal (sic) giants who inhabited Canaan, Edom, Moab and Ammon. In Abrahams’ time, ca. 1950 B.C., Chedorlaomer defeated them. At the period of the Conquest, ca. 1440 B.C., Og, King of Bashan, is said to have alone remained of this race (Deut. 3:11; Josh. 12:4; 13:12)…”
    From the available material on the subject, it would appear that the NEPHILIM and the REPHAIM are, in fact, one and the same group.
    In his excellent book “The Omega Conspiracy”, I.D.E. Thomas says; “…Most scholars… trace the word “Nephilim” to the Hebrew root “Naphal” meaning “to fall”. The Nephilim are “the fallen ones”. A direct reference to the fallen angels who sired them…”
    And therein seems to lie the answer, the word “Nephilim” is applied to both the ‘progenitors’ (the Sons of God) and to their offspring (the Giants), with the most obvious meaning being the offspring/giants.
    Perhaps the reason that Rephaim is derived from “Rapha”, meaning “healer”, is simply that healing was connected to magic in the minds of ancient, and modern pagans. And, certainly the Nephilim, being the descendants of fallen angels, themselves, were utter heathens, and connected with all forms of pagan ritual and magic.
    However, the Sons of God, who sired the Giants of Gensis 6 & Numbers 13 were still angelic beings, and, as such, I believe they were, and are, possessed of a ‘celestial body’, as descibed in 1Corinthians15:35-54. And the descendants of these Sons of God, who were exterminated in the Flood, and the Conquest of Canaan, are the ‘demonic beings’ that plague mankind, since their ‘mortal’ bodies have died, yet the portion of their being which they inherited from their ‘angelic’ fathers lives on, in the form of a disembodied ‘spirit’.

  6. One more thought: It would appear, from the context, of Ezekiel 28:17-18, that this “fire from the midst of thee” which is pronounced upon the “covering cherub” of verse 16, is an event which has yet to be fulfilled: “…I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee…therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be anymore…”
    In fact, this final sentence upon Satan does not appear to be carried out until the end of Christs’ Millenial Reign, Revelation 20:1-3 & 7-10; “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season…And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. and they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
    The “forever and ever” of Revelation 20:9 carries the same finality as the “and never shalt thou be anymore” of Ezekiel 28:19.

  7. Douglas:
    From the Scripture, in particular 1Corinthians 15:35-54, it would appear that angels do have a ‘body’, although a “celestial” one which differs from a “terrestrial” body, in verses 40 & 44; “…there are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial…”; “…there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body…”
    In Luke 24:36-42, Jesus appeared bodily to a group of his Apostles and disciples, in Jerusalem (after His resurrection). In these verses we are told that “…they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit…And he (Jesus) said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have…And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
    In these verses Jesus seems to be clearly telling them that a “spirit” has no body. That this would also apply to angels does not seem to be the case, since throughout Scripture angels are seen to interact with the worldly environment in the same way that men do, e.g., they eat, they drink, their bodies are apparently capable of becoming soiled, as they are invited to wash their feet by both Abraham and Lot (Genesis 18:4 & 19:2). The angels who are guests of Lot at Sodom also are able to physically exert force on him and members of his family, as in Genesis 19:10 & 16; “…But the men (angels) put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door (sic)…”; “…And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters…” So, angels can eat, drink and interact with the environment in their ‘celestial bodies’, it would also appear that they retain the same body in heaven as seen from Psalms 78:24 & 25; “And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full” (corporeal food for corporeal bodies -i.e., having substance).
    Now, Scripture says that Jesus is the “firstfruits” of the resurrection; “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them slept…But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christs’ at his coming” (1Cor. 15:20 & 23) ; and “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1John 3:2) The “spiritual body” which Paul speaks of in 1Corinthians 15:44, is the ‘resurrection’ body (which all of us who are saved by grace, thru faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) will one day be ‘clothed’ with. And this resurrection body will be like that of Jesus, which He describes as having “flesh and bone.” Our Lord also speaks of our ‘being equal’ (in the resurrection) with the angels in heaven; “The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy (“by grace are ye saved”- Ephesians 2:5-8) to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die anymore: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:34-36). This verse is often quoted to deny that the ‘fallen angels‘ of Genesis 6 could have ‘cohabited’ with women to produce the giants of Noahs’ day, however, Jesus did not say that angels cannot indulge in ‘sexual antics’, as seen from the last part of this verse (in Matthew 22:30) “…but are as the angels OF GOD IN HEAVEN…” If we will be “as the angels of God in heaven”, perhaps this ‘equality’ would extend to the ‘celestial body’ as well. Job also speaks of his faith that he will one day be resurrected in his “flesh”; “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). So, although Paul clearly states in 1Corinthians 15:50, “…that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…”, ‘flesh and bone’ of the celestial ‘kind’ certainly will, as witnessed by both Jesus’ resurrection body and Jobs’ statement of faith. The point being that both “celestial” and “resurrection” bodies, which appear to be much the same, have ‘substance’, and by the Word of Christ, himself, “…a spirit hath not flesh and bones…” These ‘celestial bodies’ are capable of ‘materializing and dematerializing’ at will, as is apparent, e.g, “…when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst…” (John 20:19).
    It would appear that ‘spirits’ are a specific class of being, and that they do not possess bodies. That they came into existence as the result of the death of the ‘earthborn’ sons of the ‘fallen ones’, at the Flood of Noah, fits these ‘spirit beings’ quite well, since they are an aberration, being possessed of the nature of both the angels/celestial and man/terrestrial. That they appear to be almost synonymous with their fathers, in some Scriptures, is not surprising, since descendants are often identified with their progenitors.
    Finally, Jesus described the desire of these ‘disembodied’ spirits to be possessed (pun intended) of a “house” which is equated with a body; “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my HOUSE from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there…” (Matthew 12:43-45). Paul obviously equates the body with a “house” in IICorinthians 5:1-4; “For we know that if our earthly HOUSE of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven…” The ‘spirits’ of these giant offspring of the ‘fallen ones’ have apparently been judged, and will someday be delivered up to the Abyss (Luke 8:31), at the ‘appointed time’ as may be seen from Matthew 8:29; “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (note that the eating of swine flesh was contrary to Jewish law).
    These spirits of the ‘giants’, having once had a ‘house of flesh’, earnestly desire to be once again be ‘clothed’.

  8. I suppose in my opinion, Princes (fallen angels) and Demons (some creation or offshoot of fallen angels) are different, but occupy the same spiritual plane and are in communication with one another.

  9. Being a “Prince” or “King” of anything (as these “fallen ones” are called on occasion) implies a hierarchy or militaristic structure. There is no kingship if no subjects exist. If the subject are oblivious to the rules of these “kings” (as we are for the most part) then there would be no rule at all and no subjection. Therefore their subjects must be of their own. If we take this into consideration there must be at least two levels of these “beings” in some altered dimension or state of being. Just an observation.


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