A Bible scholar who specializes in the “spiritual realm” has some clarifications he’d like to make for those who have been taught that demons are simply fallen angels who abandoned God.
Theologian Michael Heiser, author of “The Unseen Realm,” has tackled this topic in-depth over the years, telling me back in 2015 that he has an entirely different theory about the nature of demons — and he’s not alone.
Heiser believes that demons are actually the spirits of the Nephilim, creatures (or human beings, depending on whom you’re debating with) that are discussed briefly in the Old Testament, as TheBlaze reported.
“It might surprise a lot of people who are familiar with the Bible … to know that the Bible never offers a point-blank explanation for where demons come from,” Heiser once told “The Church Boys” podcast. “A lot of what we think about that is really filtered through church tradition.”
So, Heiser believes that people who claim to have experiences with demons are actually contenting with Nephilim, arguing that they are “disembodied spirits.” Listen to Heiser break this all down below:
The Nephilim are only mentioned twice in the Old Testament in Genesis and Numbers.
Genesis 6:4 reads, “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.”
Of course, not everyone believes Heiser’s theory. Many, in fact, still embrace the fallen angel paradigm, which GotQuestions.com explains in detail:
The most common alternate explanation for the origin of the demons is that when the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were destroyed in the Flood, their disembodied souls became the demons. While the Bible does not specifically say what happened to the souls of the Nephilim when they were killed, it is unlikely that God would destroy the Nephilim in the Flood only to allow their souls to cause even greater evil as the demons. The most biblically consistent explanation for the origin of the demons is that they are the fallen angels, the angels who rebelled against God with Satan.
There are other interpretations as well, including the notion that Nephilim were simply a people group and nothing more.