Ephesians 6:12: Satan, Fallen Angels, & Demons — the Real Enemies of Our Faith

This article is on the bizarre side, but I ask for your patience and to please give it some serious thought. What I present is in your Bible and there is supporting evidence in other religious and academic texts that are all referenced. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, think outside the box, and use your own logic concerning it’s reality and implications.

Also, the images used for this article are artistic representations created over the centuries. They are not intended to be accurate depictions. The Bible indicates that angels, fallen or holy, can materialize as humans and there are plenty of examples.1 If one takes Hebrews 13:2 literally, we see that they may not even be recognized as angels. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (NRSV). Belief in angels is difficult only for those who do not believe in God or the truthfulness of Scripture.2 Demons, however, are of a different breed, which will be described later.

Our study will be about a mysterious verse within the Epistle to the Ephesians, the tenth book of the New Testament. Paul the Apostle probably wrote this letter in Rome, during his first imprisonment, some thirty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is addressed to the Messianic community in Ephesus and urges the church to embrace a specific view of salvation, which the author explains. The scripture we will specifically examine is in Ephesians 6, which is the closing chapter of the book.

Most pastors, in explaining chapter 6, only mention using the ‘armor of God’ to deflect the devil. They neither explain the proper context in which it was written, nor quote the full scripture describing the reason for this suggestion. What they do mention is Ephesians 6:10–11 which states: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (ESV).3

They leave out verse 12 which says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” I especially like the wording for those verses (10 through 12) taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, as follows.

“Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm” (Ephesians 6:10-12, CJB).4

Hmmm! So, we must protect ourselves from invisible nonhuman evil rulers and authorities, who are attacking us. They have cosmic powers from another realm or dimension or universe, and they are using malicious tactics to deceive us mere humans here on earth. They govern not the light (good), but only the darkness (evil). Wow!

This is important information given to us in God’s word, so why isn’t it preached in all Christian churches as reality? The best that most preachers do is mention slight nudges from the devil and tell us, “Be careful or Satan will deceive you.” That is quite different from the Apostle Paul’s strong and detailed warning to all of God’s people about a massive sneak attack from beyond our reality.

We are not just talking about fleeting or random bad thoughts or personal decisions about fidelity and social relationships, or drinking, drugs, pornography, gambling, or money. Those are important, but they are just the avenues of entry into a larger addictive spiritual world of truly universal evil that results in death. We need to take into consideration the full meaning of Paul’s words that our own obligation on earth is to separate ourselves from Satan and all the soldiers in his evil army, who are in a spiritual war against God’s righteousness.

Ignoring the random bad thoughts that are irritating to our lives is important, but what Paul is writing about is much bigger. So, why is the enormity of this knowledge being repressed? This information is right there in all Bibles. It may be worded a little different in various versions, but it is all there. Check it out in whatever Bible translation may be in your home.

The idea of other realms and spiritual beings and cosmic war may be “far out” as to being believable, but it is part of God’s word. Not only did Jesus believe in a real Satan and his abilities and powers, but knew that this invisible creature was the ruler of this world. Paul’s beliefs in satanic powers are identical with that of Jesus Christ. The two doctrines stand together.5

When Jesus was in the Judean Desert for forty days, he was tempted by Satan. He was brought to a high place and shown all the majesty and kingdoms of the world. Satan said, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:6-7). God’s word says that this world is in the possession of Satan; one cannot give away control of something, if one doesn’t already have it.

While there is now much evil found within the human population today, these vile and wicked people are influenced and controlled by real spiritual entities. Having the armor of God at your disposal will keep you from being recruited as an evil villain by injurious forces, but Paul wanted us to know exactly what it was that we were up against.

There is a great article detailing the ‘armor of God’ and how we can wear it for protection and it is listed in References & Notes.6 But this current treatise is only about the invisible spiritual forces that attack us and try to win us over to the dark side.

Satan and his warriors, as well as the places from which they came and those places they currently inhabit, are invisible to us, but just because they are unseen does not mean that they are not real. Radio broadcasts and wi-fi signals are all invisible, but real. Many colors, which other animals can see (e.g., infrared, ultraviolet) are invisible to humans, but they are still real. Gravity and electricity are invisible, but real. You get the idea.

Likewise, the following things are real, but invisible, too: Satan and his angels, demons or unclean spirits, evil authorities, and evil cosmic powers. And these locations are real and invisible as well: other principalities, other habitations, other dominions, and other realms or dimensions.7 All these are what Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:12.

Who is Satan? — What are Fallen Angels and Demons?

Satan, the devil, is a creature that seduces humans into sin. He is an angel who rebelled against God, who allows him temporary power in this world. The Hebrew word śātān means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’ and is “essentially the prosecuting attorney of the divine court of YHWH8.” But this prosecutor will also set you up and take advantage of you for his own use, by using your weaknesses to entrap you.9

The term ‘fallen angel’ is used to describe unrighteous angels who were cast out of heaven and help Satan tempt humans to sin. This idea is derived from the ‘sons of God’ mentioned in Genesis 6:1 and Jude 1:6. “Christian doctrine states that the sins of fallen angels started before the beginning of human history. Accordingly, fallen angels became identified with angels who were led by Satan in rebellion against God.”10 Revelation describes a war in heaven in which the archangel Michael hurls Satan and his followers from heaven to earth.

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 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 12:7-9).

Okay, but what are demons? This term is a bit more complicated to explain. When Satan fell and rebelled against God, one-third of the angels in heaven, by their own free will, followed him. These fallen angels are still part of his entourage today. But during the time before Noah, some of the fallen angels mated with human women on earth, thereby producing the Nephilim, a human-angel hybrid creature.

“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose . . . The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them.” (Genesis 6:1-2, 4a).

So, the Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angels that mated with human women. They were half-breed creatures produced through sexual union (maybe also with genetic engineering); they were half-angel and half-human. But when the human part died (as every human does), the spirit of the angel part continued to live, because angels do not die. Demons, therefore, are the departed spirits of dead Nephilim killed before and during the flood. They now roam the earth harassing humans and seek re-embodiment. Many academics and other intellectuals, lean to this belief.11

“Apparently their first choice is a human body, but rather than remain in a disembodied condition, they are willing to enter even the body of an animal”12 (see Luke 8:32–33). See an article on this subject listed in References & Notes.13 One author adds, “Demons seek to possess bodies and seem rather uncomfortable being outside of them.”14

Scripture shows that both fallen angels and holy angels can materialize bodies, but this is not so for demons. Although they desire bodies, they cannot materialize them. “Demons are clingy, needy, angry, tormented creatures. That is the first distinction between fallen angels and demons.”15 Many evil people in power, today, are possessed by these demonic creatures. You probably have seen them manipulating world events. You can tell who they are by the consequences of their actions. If they aren’t actually possessed, they are at least being manipulated by Satan or his associated evil angels.

Supporting Evidence from Other Scripture

Are sexual relations between angels and humans a thought too far-fetched for your mind to wrap around? There is confirming evidence found in two apocryphal books that are used by many Jews and Christian churches today, as well as academics and commentators. These resources are the books of Enoch and Jubilees.

The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who would have been a witness to the Nephilim situation. A translation, by biblical scholar Robert Charles, describes the fallen angels as follows.

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’

“And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.” (Enoch 6:1-6)16

The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called the ‘Lesser Genesis’, is considered canonical by some Jews and Christians, as well as by Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches.17 This book states the following.

“And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants.

“And lawlessness increased on the earth and all flesh corrupted its way, alike men and cattle and beasts and birds and everything that walks on the earth – all of them corrupted their ways and their orders, and they began to devour each other, and lawlessness increased on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of all men (was) thus evil continually.

“And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt, and all flesh had corrupted its orders, and all that were upon the earth had wrought all manner of evil before His eyes” (Jubilees 5:1-3).18

A more detailed study of this subject can be found in a previous article titled “What are Demons and the Nephilim? — and that Mayhem before the Flood of Noah?” That discourse is listed in the References & Notes at the end of this article.19

Conclusion

Understand that we are not expected to physically fight these evil spirits — this is Christ’s battle. He only expects us to stand our ground in righteousness and not be deceived by the evil forces that surround us.20 But he wants us to know what is happening and how important it is to not take part through Satan’s deception.

God wants you to have this knowledge, but many churches refuse to preach it. They should at least preach the story as told in Genesis, which is the foundation book in both the Jewish and Christian faiths.

I believe time is short. Pray for discernment and have faith in God’s overall plan. Keep your attention upon world events. To get the truth about what is going on, you must gather your news from various outside sources, because Satan has embedded his soldiers throughout the principal news organizations, as well as the global governments and corporations — and yes, even within the churches, too.

But Jesus, besides his own spiritual army, has picked and is now using human helpers to spread the truth about what will soon happen. Read what Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 and other prophetic scripture, so you will recognize the end time events as they approach.

There is no need to worry about the end of our physical world, for that is not going to happen, but the tribulations predicted before the return of Christ will be soon be evident and they will be devastating. All we need do is look at the world today. See the anger, the anxiety, and the grief. See the greed and selfishness and hate that abounds. We must not choose Satan’s way. We must choose righteousness over evil.

Jesus will soon be separating the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33), so make sure you will be in the right group. Unlike our worldly governments that give us little or no choice and force us to live a certain way, God’s way of righteousness is always a personal choice — your can accept or reject it. There is little time left, so let us all make our choice wisely.

My song selection for this article is “In Jesus’ Name” by Australian Christian singer-songwriter Darlene Zscheck. Selected lyrics are below and the rock music video is listed below in References & Notes.21

God is fighting for us
Pushing back the darkness
Lighting up the Kingdom
That cannot be shaken

In the Name of Jesus
Enemy’s defeated
And we will shout it out
Shout it out

Copyright © 2020, Dr. Ray Hermann
OutlawBibleStudent.org

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Reference & Notes

  1. The Bible has many examples of people being visited by angels; a few are listed here: (Genesis 18:1-2; Judges 6:22; 2 Kings 1:3; 1 Chronicles 21:15-16; Zechariah 3:6, 4:4; Matthew 1:23, 2:13; Luke 1:11-13, 2:8-15; John 20:12-13; Acts 5:19–20).
  2. Wilder, Terry L., CSB Apologetics Study Bible, (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), p. 1535.
  3. Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The text has been used by permission. All rights reserved.
  4. Stern, David H., Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament), 1st ed., (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998), Ephesians 6:10–12.
  5. Findlay, George G., The Expositor’s Bible: Ephesians to Revelation, (1st American edition, N.P., 1903), vol. 6, pp. 99-100.
  6. Hermann, Ray, “Ephesians 6: Evil Cosmic Powers & the Armor of God”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 17 February 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/ephesians-6-evil-cosmic-powers-the-armor-of-god/
  7. Ibid.
  8. YHWH: the Tetragrammaton is the four-letter Hebrew word, יהוה, the name of the biblical God of Israel. The four letters, read from right to left, are yodh, he, waw, and he. While there is no consensus about the structure and etymology of the name, the form Yahweh is now accepted almost universally, [but many still use the older form of Jehovah].
    “Tetragrammaton”, (Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 12 September 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetragrammaton
  9. Drummond, John Gregory, “Who Is Satan?” (Bible History Daily, Biblical Archaeology Society, 9 September 2020), https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/who-is-satan/
  10. “Fallen angel”, (Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 13 September 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallen_angel
  11. Heiser, Michael S., Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, David Lambert (Ed.), (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), pp. 40-41.
  12. Prince, Derek, They Shall Expel Demons, (Christchurch, NZ: Derek Prince Ministries, South Pacific, 1998), p. 97.
  13. Hermann, Ray, “Demons, Jesus, and the Pigs”, (Outlaw Bible Student, (OBS), 13 August 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/demons-jesus-and-the-pigs/
  14. Hernandez, David Diga, “3 Subtle Distinctions Between Demons and Fallen Angels,” (Charisma News, 30 July 2016), https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58898-3-subtle-distinctions-between-demons-and-fallen-angels
  15. Ibid.
  16. Charles, R. H. and Oesterley, W. O. E., The Book of Enoch, (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1917), 1 Enoch 6:1–6.
  17. Book of Jubilees,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 16 November 2018), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jubilees
  18. Charles, R. H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), Book of Jubilees.
  19. Hermann, Ray, “What are Demons and the Nephilim? — and that Mayhem before the Flood of Noah?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 29 October 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/what-are-demons-and-the-nephilim-and-that-mayhem-before-the-flood-of-noah/
  20. Hoehner, Harold W., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, vol. 2, p. 643.
  21. “In Jesus’ Name”, Artist: Darlene Zschech, Album: Revealing Jesus, Authors: Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton, (Copyright © 2013 Integrity’s Praise! Music/Sound of the New Breed/BMI, Integrity Worship Music/ASCAP, EWI, Inc./APRA) – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/TVsRM55_jsE
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