What are fallen angels? Are fallen angels demons? Where did they go after they fell? Where are they now? Answers to these questions and more as we explore fallen angels.
In a general sense, fallen angels refer to spiritual beings that were expelled from being within the presence of God in heaven. There are two passages in the Bible that speak about situations that led to the fall of a number of angels. However, it is difficult to determine which event came first.
The first mention is in Genesis 6. We are told that “the sons of God” saw that the daughters of man were attractive. Any time the phrase “the sons of God” is used in the Old Testament, it is referring to angels. Humans are “the sons of Adam.”
These angels are called the watchers, in the apocryphal books of Enoch, referring to their duty, and it includes both good and bad (fallen) angels.
In Genesis, we are told that these angels impregnated human women and had children by them. The King James translation calls their offspring “Giants,” while other translations refer to them as the Nephilim. In either case, these offspring are angel-human hybrids that God considered an abomination.
Many believe that these fallen watchers are the fallen angels.
The second theory regarding fallen angels comes from a war that is described in Revelation 12:7-9, in which the Archangel Michael and other angels fight a battle against Satan and rebellious angels aligned with the devil, who lose and are expelled from heaven.
Many take the passage Revelation 12:4 to mean that a third of all the angels were ejected from heaven.
There is a split between scholars when it comes to what demons are. Some believe that all fallen angels are demons. However, another group of scholars takes the position that only the offspring of the fallen watchers, the Nephilim, are demons – not all fallen angels.
One idea is that the Nephilim, as human-angel hybrids, were an abomination that could never enter heaven, not having proper spiritual bodies. Therefore, after they die a physical death, they roam the earth seeking to possess human beings as a dwelling place.
Another reason many feel Nephilim are demons and not fallen angels has to do with some Bible verses we will review next.
“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
“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—”
In terms of the place, some translations use the original Greek word Tartarus, instead of the English word hell used in translation. Tartarus is a Greek name for the underworld or netherworld.
These verses demonstrate that the fallen angels are “chained” (meaning restrained in some way) by God until the day of judgment. If such is the case, then the fallen angels could not be angels who are demons, as they are not free. Those who feel that the Nephilim are demons use the above verses as proof.
However, some scholars think that perhaps not all the fallen angels were put in chains and, therefore, those who aren’t restrained are demons. Nonetheless, the Bible doesn’t specify this theory and appears to indicate that all the fallen angels are imprisoned by God until Judgment Day.