Demons. A name known in many religions, including Christianity. What does the Bible say about them?
Books on the occult fly off the shelves. Most Christians know them as fallen angels who can possess people. That’s all they know.
Biblical scholar Dr. Michael S. Heiser worked for Logos Bible software and now teaches at a college. His degrees are in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages along with Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania (major fields: Ancient Israel and Egyptology).
He writes on an accessible level as well as academic (Supernatural compared to The Unseen Realm). The following book is a blend of both.
Demons: What the Bible Really Says about the Powers of Darkness
“The truth about demons is far stranger–and even more fascinating–than what’s commonly believed.
Are demons real? Are they red creatures with goatees holding pitchforks and sitting on people’s shoulders while whispering bad things? Did a third of the angels really rebel with Satan? Are demons and “principalities and powers” just terms for the same entities, or are they different members of the kingdom of darkness? Is the world a chaotic mess because of what happened in Eden, or is there more to the story of evil?
What people believed about evil spiritual forces in ancient biblical times is often very different than what people have been led to believe about them today. And this ancient worldview is missing from most attempts to treat the topic.
In Demons, Michael Heiser debunks popular presuppositions about the very real powers of darkness. Rather than traditions, stories, speculations, or myths, Demons is grounded in what ancient people of both the Old and New Testament eras believed about evil spiritual forces and in what the Bible actually says. You’ll come away with a sound, biblical understanding of demons, supernatural rebellion, evil spirits, and spiritual warfare.”
A lot of what we know is from popular culture or John Milton’s Paradise Lost or Dante’s Inferno.
It’s broken up into four sections:
- Biblical Vocabulary For The Powers of Darkness (more interesting than it sounds
- , The Powers of Darkness In the Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism
- “The Devil and His Angels” The Powers of Darkness In the New Testament
- Common Questions and Misconceptions.
The FAQ in the back is worth the price of the book since it answered a question I had for a while. If every nation had a member of the divine council appointed to it, then what is America’s spirit being that is its administrator?
In the book, Michael writes about three rebellions against God. The original one that we all know of in the Garden. Then in Genesis 6, there’s a passage that has had scholars debating for years, where spiritual beings had sex with human women and procreated. That’s the second rebellion.
I told you the Bible isn’t boring.
The third rebellion is when spirit beings that God appointed over the nations after humans tried to build the Tower of Babel decided they would like to do their own thing instead of God’s thing. It’s a whole thing.
Cliff notes version is God created a lot of supernatural spirit beings and some he has on a divine council. They’re his administrators. The church is the human equivalent.
They have free will, and some decided to do whatever they want. Three times.
Demons are a product of the second rebellion. Except not how you think. I won’t spoil it.
I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. For my review, I wrote:
“It makes the Bible make more sense with a better interconnectedness. The world feels alive and vibrant with the contrasting perspective of evil supernatural beings and good ones from his previous book, Angels (which I also recommend).
Whatever Heiser writes will make you think.”
The Bible Project’s Spiritual Being video series