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This free study is part of a 10 part series called "War Against Satan and Demons". To view more free studies in this series, click here.

4. The Fallen Angels

The War Against Satan and His Angels


In our series so far, we have looked into the unseen world beyond the five senses. Then, we talked about the victory won on behalf of the believer in Christ by the Lord Jesus. In our previous study, we began to expose how our enemy works against the Kingdom of God, looking at the four categories of evil beings that Paul lists in Ephesians 6:12. The apostle Peter wrote that we must be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus spoke of the enemy's strategy when He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Today, our study focuses on understanding how Satan and the fallen angels have tried to corrupt humanity and how Christ has provided restoration. Until Christ comes again, we are in a spiritual battle and will have difficulty fighting an enemy we don't understand. We must fight our enemy with weapons God has given us to overcome evil with good. This war between Light and Darkness has been fought from the very beginning.


The Corruption from the Beginning


When John the Apostle wrote that Satan has been sinning from the beginning (1 John 3:8), what did he mean by the “beginning?” In his book, The Depravity of Man, A.W. Pink writes about how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Man. He has an interesting view concerning the King James translation of Psalm 49:12, “Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not:"


In Psalm 49:12, the Hebrew word for "man" is Adam – the same as in Genesis 2 and 3 and Job 31:33, while that for "abode" signifies "to stay or lodge for a night." Manton rendered it "Adam being in honor abideth not for a night." And Thomas Watson, in his book, Body of Divinity, said, "Adam, then, it seems, did not take up one night’s lodging in Paradise." Fourth, the devil "was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44)—not from the beginning of time, for there was no man to slay during the first five days, but from the beginning of human history. In the morning, man was holy; by night, he was a sinner![1]


Satan was quick to corrupt our forefather and mother, even before having any progeny conceived in absolute purity with whom he would also have to deal. The war was on! There in the Garden of Eden, God pronounced the gospel in advance to Adam and Eve with these words:


14So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).


Appearing in the form of a serpent, Satan, a fallen angel, tempted Adam to obey him rather than hold to God's instructions. Immediately, God pronounced the sentence against the enemy. God will not allow this dominion of Satan over Man to go on for eternity. He spoke of One whom He would send to break man's servitude to Satan. God spoke of enmity between the seed of the woman (The Messiah) and those given over to serve Satan: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means God with Us. This incarnation of God into the Earth is one of the reasons why the eternal Son of God had to become a man—because it was the offspring of the woman who would crush Satan. The Seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Book of Revelation, those brought into oneness with Christ (John 17:21-23) will be victorious over Satan. “They triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11). Although Satan would strike the heel of Christ, speaking of what would happen at the cross, the head of Satan would be crushed by the Lord Jesus.


Question 1). Why would the enemy try to corrupt and deceive man? What kind of kingdom does Satan want to build?


When God pronounced the sentence against Satan, the enemy began to strategize how he would hinder the Seed of the Woman's coming. There is a limit to the authority that Satan has. In the Garden of Eden, the enemy gained access by deceiving Adam and Eve into an agreement to listen and obey Satan's word rather than God's. He sought to corrupt and blemish the human species from ever being a fit temple for the Holy Son of God to be born of flesh. After the first initial attack by Satan in the Garden of Eden, not knowing when the Son of God was to be born of a virgin, Satan sent evil angels to corrupt the seed of the woman and thereby interfere with the birth of Christ through an innocent virgin. As we read the below passage, be especially aware of the result of the evil incursion by fallen angels:


1When human beings began to increase in number on the Earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4The 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 (Genesis 6:1-4).


The Hebrew term translated as "sons of God" is B’nai HaElohim, widely used in the Old Testament for angels. This Hebrew phrase is what is used in the Book of Job when the B’nai HaElohim, translated as angels (NIV), or sons of God (KJV), presented themselves before God with Satan being among them accusing Job of wrong motives in his righteousness (Job 1:6-10, 2:1). It is worth remembering that Adam, as a created being, was also called a son of God (Luke 3:38).


The Interlinear Hebrew Bible (IHN) gives us an interesting translation. Where the King James Bible says, “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair,” the IHN translation words it in this way, “The [b’nai ha Elohim] saw the daughters of Adam, that they were fit extensions" (emphasis added). It is possible that Moses (the writer of the Book of Genesis), under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is explaining that the watching fallen angelic beings saw that they could enter our plane of existence. Their attack consisted of mixing their genetic material with pure human stock to corrupt the human race with hybrid genetic material, knowing that the Lord had spoken that:


And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15 New International Version).


Perhaps, these evil fallen angels thought that if they could corrupt the genetic makeup of Man, then the Messiah, the Seed of the woman, would not be able to be born into the world. “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me” (Hebrews 10:5). If Christ could not come, the fallen human race would stay under the dark bondage of Satan.


The apocryphal Book of Enoch also clearly speaks of evil angels coming and manifesting into the earth sphere. This book was not considered part of the canon of Scripture. Still, both rabbis and early Christian pastors, scholars, and teachers from about 200 B.C. to 200 A.D. venerated it to study the accepted beliefs of the period. The Ethiopian Coptic Church holds the Book of Enoch as part of its official spiritual canon. Second and third-century church fathers, such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origin, and Clement of Alexandria, all seemed to have accepted Enoch as authentic. Tertullian (160-230 A.D.) even called the Book of Enoch “Holy Scripture.”[2]Enoch gives a name to the angels that descended onto the Earth, calling them "Watchers." Here's what Enoch wrote:


And I Enoch was blessing the Lord of majesty and the King of the ages, and lo! the Watchers called me—Enoch the scribe—and said to me: “Enoch, thou scribe of righteousness, go, declare to the Watchers of the heaven who have left the high heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women, and done as the children of earth do, and have taken unto themselves wives: Ye have wrought great destruction on the earth: And ye shall have no peace nor forgiveness of sin: and inasmuch as they delight themselves in their children [the Nephilim], the murder of their beloved ones shall they see, and over the destruction of their children shall they lament, and shall make supplication unto eternity, but mercy and peace shall you not attain” (Enoch 12:3-6).[3]


The Book of Daniel also has three references to “watcher angels” (Daniel 4:13, 17, 23 KJV and ESV). Strong’s Concordance defines a watcher as a “guardian angel” (Strong’s 5894). In two of the occasions that Daniel mentions the watchers, he was careful to note that it was a “holy one,” suggesting that some watcher angels are not holy ones. The NIV translates it as a messenger. Enoch mentions that two hundred[4] of these powerful angels departed "high heaven" and used women to extend into the plane of existence of humanity.


Why Would Satan and Fallen Angels Want to Corrupt the Human Race?


At this point, there is a question one is forced to ask—why would Satan and a band of angels with him depart heaven and rebel against God? It is a possibility that they did not like being tasked by God with the job of taking care of God’s crowning creation—Man. Satan seemed acutely aware of the Scripture that he quoted to Christ in the third temptation in the wilderness:


9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone’” (Luke 4:9-11).


Was this promise from Psalm 91:11 for the human race or just for the Messiah? I believe it to be a promise that angels in the unseen realm will watch over the people of God, those who have entered into a blood covenant with God. The fallen angel, Satan, perhaps did not like that all angels were to serve the heirs of salvation:


Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14).


Instead of serving humanity, Satan decided to bring about a rebellion and tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden into rebelling against God and obeying Satan rather than God. Satan knew of the principle Paul wrote in the book of Romans:


Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).


In the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, Satan could legitimately show Christ all the kingdoms of the world and say, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to (Luke 4:6). It is worth noting that Jesus did not deny Satan’s claim of dominion over the kingdoms and the people of Earth. If Satan had been incorrect, don't you think Jesus would have responded? Instead, Jesus quoted the Word of God, saying, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’” (Luke 4:8).


The first century A.D. Jewish historian Josephus Flavius also represents this view of many angels leaving heaven at the same time, probably when Satan won mastery over humanity when Adam chose obedience to Satan. Josephus writes:


They made God their enemy; for many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.[5]


Josephus also mentions the ancient biblical Amorites that lived around Hebron. “In Hebron, there were still then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight and terrible to the hearing. The bones of these men are still shown to this very day" (Josephus Ant. 5.2.3).


Genesis 6, verse 4, speaks of the Nephilim were on the Earth in those days. The King James Version translated Nephilim as giants. The Nephilim were the children born from the ungodly relationship between angels and the daughters of humans. The word Nephilim is from the Hebrew word nephal, which means “to fall,” so it means "fallen ones." When the Old Testament was translated into Greek (The Septuagint Translation) in the third century before Christ, the Hebrew word Nephilim was translated into Greek with Gigantes, which means “earth-born.”


Question 2). What was the reason for the Great Flood of Noah's day? If it was because of the wickedness of their sin, what makes us any better in our day? Why would God want to wipe out all of His creation except for eight individuals and an ark full of animals?


The Evil Incursion of Genesis Six


Notice what the Bible says about the outcome of the mingling of the seed of fallen angels with the daughters of humans:


5The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the Earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the Earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11Now the Earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12God saw how corrupt the Earth had become, for all the people on Earth had corrupted their ways. 13So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the Earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the Earth (Genesis 6:5-13).


In verse 9, we read that Noah was righteous and blameless. This word translated blameless is the Hebrew word tamiym. It means, “Without blemish, sound, healthful, without spot, unimpaired." It describes a lack of physical blemish. The use of the word suggests that Noah did not have the same genetic difference that the majority of the population of the Earth had. Noah had no tarnished genetic changes brought about by the fallen angels' invasion or incursion into the human species. This passage, I believe, teaches us that the reason for the flood was God’s protection of His creation of pure genetic stock. The only ones not tainted were Noah's family.


Other passages in the Scriptures describe this attack by fallen angels on the creation of God:


19After being made alive, he [Christ] went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water (1 Peter 3:19-20).


6And 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. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire (Jude 6-7).


Writers Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman write about the word translated dwelling in the NIV or habitation in the KJV in the above verses from the Book of Jude:


“It is interesting that the word translated “habitation” [Proper dwelling in the NIV), oiketerion, refers to the heavenly bodies from which they had disrobed. This term appears only twice in the New Testament, each time referring to the body as a dwelling place for the spirit (2 Corinthians 5:2 is the other place). The “giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh” seems to have involved their leaving their earlier “first estate,” that is, the body which they were initially “clothed with.”[6]


Scripture tells us that the Nephilim (the progeny of the illicit relationship, otherwise known as the fallen ones) were on the Earth in the days of Noah, but also after the flood.


The Nephilim were on the Earth in those days—and also afterward (Genesis 6:4).


Question 3). Why do you think Moses (the writer of the Book of Genesis) adds the word, “and also afterward?” To what could he be referring?




It is a thought that, perhaps, the Greek mythological gods, such as Titan, Hercules, Poseidon, Hermes, Europa, Zeus, etc., were these Nephilim that Scripture mentions. From just a biblical point of view, we have many records in the Scriptures of men of extraordinary size. For instance, there was the mention of Og, King of Bashan, the only one left of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and thirteen feet long and six feet wide (Deuteronomy 3:11), suggesting that he was not of standard human size. Then, there is the mention of the man of Gath who “was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha” (2 Samuel 21:20). Of course, there is also the mention of Goliath, the giant Philistine that David slew with a sling. The Scripture mentions that he was also of the city of Gath and that his height was six cubits and a span (1 Samuel 17:4). To correctly calculate his size, we must evaluate what a cubit and a span were at the time. In the time of David’s son, Solomon, the cubit was 25.2 inches, which puts Goliath at 12' 9" feet tall. Most Bible commentators believe that Goliath may have been descended from the Nephilim.


When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, God led this new nation to the border of the land of Canaan, sending out spies to look over the land. Ten of the twelve spies came back with a bad report saying,


31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13:31-33 NIV).


Perhaps, the above Scripture would explain why God instructed Joshua and the Israelites with him to completely wipe out the inhabitants of the land they were entering.


Question 4). What strategies can you see Satan employing today to corrupt the human race, and how can we keep ourselves from being polluted by sin?


Avoiding the Corruption of the World


Satan has not given up on his strategy of trying to corrupt man. Through the cross of Christ, we are delivered from having to serve sin and Satan. Those who are born-again of the Holy Spirit can choose whom we will obey, Satan or God. Our Master kept Himself entirely free of sin so that He could be a willing perfect sacrifice for sin. When He was with the disciples on that last night in the Upper Room, He said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me” (John 14:30). Satan had nothing in Christ, no claim against Him. Having received forgiveness and the Spirit's power, we are to live our lives so that Satan has nothing in us. If you know who you are in Christ, you can confidently say the same. He (our enemy) has no claim on us. We are to live in this present evil world as entirely justified children of the light, which is what we are.


Since we have been set free and restored to live the new life imparted to us in Christ, how do we live as children of the light? Satan has many more means in the 21st century to corrupt through technology. There are so many distractions that it takes a conscious effort to hold fast to spiritual disciplines in our lives. When you are tempted or when you experience difficulty, come before God’s throne of grace. We are to draw grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The enemy will try to intimidate us into walking away from the front lines of the battle. However, we do not need to rely on our resources in the fight. We are not intelligent enough to withstand our enemy without divine help.


I would advise you to be daily in the Word of God. If Jesus the Son of God would only use the Word of God in His wilderness temptation battle with Satan, how much more should we? “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9). The Word of God is like a mirror (James 1:23). When we look in a mirror, we see an accurate representation of ourselves.


In the same way, when we read and meditate on the Scriptures, we know what God says about us, who we were, and who we are now in Christ. Scripture says that the Word of God is living and has creative power. God's Word helps us experience the kingdom of God in our own lives and bring the kingdom of God to others. When we focus on abiding in Christ through His Word, we avoid the distractions and schemes of the enemy. This spiritual warfare is something that is consciously before us through our lives.


Be careful of what you allow to enter the gateways to your spirit. The eye gate, the hearing, and the tongue gate: "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked" (Psalm 39:1). James wrote that man is mature in Christ when they can control their tongue: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26).


Every day, we make decisions that affect our spirit through what we allow to pass through our minds, eyes, and ears. Our thoughts and actions directly impact our own lives and others. To sum up, we overcome by doing the following:


  1. Our enemy, though he is unseen, is a very evil spiritual being, but our God is greater than all and will fight for us. We do not have to rely on our strength, for He offers us His power at all times. He exchanges our life for His divine life.


  1. Abide in Christ by reading the Scriptures, taking control of your thought life, and seeking to live according to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Our thought life is the heart of the battle. Jesus’ central prayer before He went to the Father was that we would be one. Stay in fellowship with others, the body of believers in Christ.


  1. When you are in a struggle, think of all God has done to preserve, deliver, and protect you. Come boldly before His throne of grace because our God is for us! If God the Father was prepared to give up His own Son for our sakes, we know that He can keep us. If you take anything from this teaching series, let it be the knowledge that He is FOR us. Romans 8, verse 38 tells us:


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38).  


Prayer: Father, thank you for your overcoming and overwhelming love, which we cannot comprehend. We ask for your help to live as children of the light. Amen.


Keith Thomas






[1] The quotation is found in the fifth paragraph under the heading of The Mutability of Man.

[2] Dr. Joseph B. Lumpkin, The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers, and The Nephilim. Fifth Estate Publishers, Blountsville, AL 35031. Copyright 2011, page 16.

[3] Ibid, Page 36.

[5]Josephus Flavius, Antiquities, I, 3.1

[6]Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters, Printed by Koinonia House, Page 211.

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