The Origin Of Demons

The serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
–Revelation 12:9

Where do demons come from? Some people say that demons were the spirits of another race of people that existed before Adam and Eve. Some people say that demons are the spirits of non-Christians who have died. Some people say that demons are the result of an unholy union between the sons of God and the daughters of men, as found in Genesis 6. But I think the most logical explanation for demons is that they were one-time angels who joined Lucifer in his rebellion against God. The fact is, there is no passage of Scripture that explicitly tells us that Satan, when he fell, was joined by a group of angels. Some people point to Revelation 12:9, which says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Many people think this verse refers to Lucifer’s original fall, but given the context of Revelation 12, this is about a future event. Revelation 12 describes the seven-year period of tribulation, which is still to come. According to John, halfway through that seven-year period, Satan is going to be cast out of heaven down to Earth and begin an unprecedented time of attack against God’s people.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. I thought Satan was already cast down from heaven. What is he doing up there during the tribulation?” He will be doing the same thing he is doing right now. Verse 10 calls him “the accuser of our brethren . . . who accuses them before our God day and night.” Right now, Satan is up in heaven slandering Christians. He is pointing at you and me, saying, “Look at them. Why in the world would You want to spend eternity with those sorry creatures? Let me take care of them for all eternity.” Does that bother you, that Satan is doing everything he can to get God to revoke the eternal life He has promised you? The good news is you have the best lawyer money can buy: Jesus Christ. John wrote, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2). Right now He is seated by God the Father and He is countering the threats of Satan by reminding God of the price He paid for our sins.

So if Satan is slandering us in heaven right now, and the events of Revelation 12:9 are yet to come, where do we get the idea that there are fallen angels? It is because of the way the Bible uses the words “angels” and “demons.” Revelation 12:9 refers to Satan’s followers as angels, but Matthew 12:24 says, “When the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of demons.’” In other words, the Bible uses “angels” and “demons” interchangeably. Here is a good way to remember it: not all angels are demons, but all demons were at one time angels. Demons are fallen angels that work to help Satan fulfill his purpose.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The World Of Demons” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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