What are demons? There are three main theories, the most common of which is that they are the fallen angels that were banished from heaven, but scholarly experts now say this is what demons most likely are…
The Bible doesn’t specifically spell out what demons are, but it certainly provides numerous clues from which to form a picture. There are three leading theories as to what demons actually are, let’s explore each one…
“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
– Revelation 12:9
The Bible tells us that there was a war in heaven, a rebellion led by Satan and a third of the angels, who lost the battle and were cast down to earth. Thus, these angels were thereafter known as “fallen angels.” Because angels can communicate with human beings through their minds, it is believed these are the so-called “demons” that tempt humankind to sin and rebel against God.
This is the idea that there existed a race of entities before humans were on the Earth before God created Adam and Eve. There is no biblical support for this, but the theory is still out there, and so it is mentioned here.
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”
The Nephilim are the offspring of the angels (called Watchers in the book of Enoch) that came down to earth and procreated with human women as described in Genesis 6.
“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.”
As you can see from this verse, it appears that fallen angels are not free to go roaming about. That means it is unlikely they could harass or possess anyone.
This idea is reiterated here…
“For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them deep into hell, placing them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;”
–2 Peter 2:4
These both are verses that seem to speak of events prior to Revelation, which means these fallen angels are bound up right now.
And there is one more argument…Angels have a celestial body. The Bible indicates through various examples within the Bible that angels can appear in different forms, such as in a human body. Therefore, it is unlikely that they would possess a body already occupied by a human.
The Nephilim were considered an abomination to God. They were a hybrid of falling angels and humans. The King James Version of the Bible describes them as “giants.” The book of Enoch goes into significant detail on the Nephilim.
Many scholars believe the reason for the biblical flood was to rid the earth of the Nephilim.
Some believe that because these beings or not created of God, but were an abomination, they have no spiritual bodies, and this is the reason they seek to possess human ones.
In the pseudopigraphical text The Testament of Solomon, the demon Asmodeus explains he is the son of an angel and human mother.
The book of Enoch contains an explanation on the origin of both demons and the Nephilim, and although not part of the biblical canon, it is referenced in Jude and Deuteronomy, and fragments of this text were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book was most certainly known to the authors of the New Testament.