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.