Dear Sue Bohlin,
My friends and I are doing a Bible project on demons. I read your website and it had a lot of helpful information. But we are having trouble finding information on the origin of demons. We can’t find very many references to when Satan rebelled against God, or where demons came from. Can you help us?
The problem is that the Bible doesn’t give much information about the origin of demons, and that is the ONLY reliable source of truth.
In fact, we’re only given the faintest hint of what happened, in Revelation 12. The writer, the apostle John, uses poetic, symbolic language, and the events are not in chronological order. Here’s what it says:
“. . . a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” (Rev. 12:3-4)
Shortly after these verses, the same event is described again:
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev. 12:7-9)
We are not told exactly when this happened. Sometime between the time God created the earth, and Satan’s temptation of Eve, he and his demons (apparently, a third of the angels) rebelled and were thrown out of heaven. But we don’t know when that was. In Job, when God is doing His wonderful work of creation, we are told that “the morning stars sang together, and ALL the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). That would indicate to me that the angels (also called “the sons of God”) were all still holy at that point.
This is where we run out of information, so I have given you all I have. I hope it helps!