Satan initiated the rebellion against God with the evil intention to overthrow God’s authority (Ezek. 28:15-18; Isa. 14:13-14).
Not only he rebelled, but a great part of the angels who were under his hand also rebelled. In Revelation 12:4, 9 we see that one-third of the heavenly stars, that is one-third of the angels, followed him. (In Revelation stars represent angels.) In Matthew 25:41 the Lord Jesus said, “The Devil and his angels.” Ephesians 2:2 describes Satan as “the ruler of the authority of the air,” and Ephesians 6:12 tells us that the principalities and powers are in the air. These principalities and powers were the angels under Satan’s hand, ruling over the pre-Adamic universe. So, they are the powers of the air. When Satan rebelled against God, most of his angels followed him in his rebellion, becoming the fallen angels, the evil spirits. Today, in the universe there are two categories of angels, good angels and bad angels. The good angels stand with God; the bad ones are allied with Satan against God.
The living creatures which were on the earth at that time, and later became the demons on the earth, also joined Satan in his rebellion.
If we read the four Gospels we will see that on the earth there is another kind of spirit—the demons. Who and what are demons? Most Christians think that demons are identical with the fallen angels, but, according to Ephesians, the fallen angels live in the air, not on the earth. The four Gospels reveal that, strictly speaking, demons never enter the air, but either move upon the earth or else go into the water which is their lodging place. Remember the incident of the men possessed with many demons (Matt. 8:28-32). When the Lord Jesus cast out the demons, they begged Him for permission to enter into a herd of swine. After the demons entered the swine, the swine rushed into the water, where the demons like to stay.
Matthew 12:22-27 and 43-45 are quite meaningful in this regard. In this portion of the Word, we can see that Satan has his devilish kingdom and that he is “the ruler of the demons.” Verse 43 says, “When the unclean spirit [the demon] goes out from a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it.” The demon that was cast out of the blind and dumb man was seeking rest which he could not find in the waterless places. This shows that the resting place, the lodging place of the demons, is in the water. Verse 44 tells us what happens if they can’t find water. “Then it says, I will return into my house…” This “house” is the physical body of human beings. The lodging place of the demons is the water, and their temporary dwelling place is the human body.
Acts 23:8-9 proves that the demons are not fallen angels. In these two verses we see that angels and spirits are classified as two different kinds of beings. Even the ancient Jewish Pharisees put demons and angels into separate categories. If we read the four Gospels carefully, we will discover that the demons are also called evil spirits. Not only the angels are spirits; demons also are spirits.
Who are the demons? Why do demons like to get into water or into a human body?
In his famous book, Earth’s Earliest Ages, G. H. Pember has made a scholarly and thorough study of this matter. Geology and archaeology have discovered that the earth is not only six thousand years old, but much older. Because of the concept that the earth is just six thousand years old according to the age of Adam, some atheists and modernistic Christians said that there was an error in Genesis 1. Archaeologists have discovered fossil remains of bones which are thousands and thousands of years old. But Mr. Pember found the answer. Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there was a period of time which he called the interval. No one can say how long this interval was. At any rate, it must have been a very long period of time. After studying this matter thoroughly, Pember inferred that at a certain time after the original creation, Satan and his angels rebelled. Moreover, Pember inferred from the biblical record that in this pre-Adamic age there existed on the earth some living beings with spirits and that these beings also joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Thus, Satan, his fallen angels, and these living beings were all judged by God. After they were judged by God, these beings lost their bodies and became disembodied spirits. This is the reason that demons want to enter a physical body.
The water with which God judged them became the deep where the demons must live. Pember even proved that under this deep water there is the so-called abyss. The Greek translation of Genesis 1:2 uses the word “abyss” to translate the word “deep.” The deep water is the demons’ dwelling place.
One day, while Jesus was sailing across the sea, a strong wind blew and a great storm arose. The Lord Jesus didn’t pray; He commanded the wind to stop and the storm to be silent (Matt. 8:23-27). Why did the air become windy and the water stormy? Because there were the fallen angels in the air and demons in the water. They knew that Jesus was going over to the other shore to cast out demons (Matt. 8:28-32). Today the air is still full of fallen angels and the earth full of demons.
As the children of God, we should know something of these points concerning the universe and, especially, the earth. The bad angels followed Satan in rebellion against God. The demons, another kind of being, are disembodied spirits who live in the water and work on the earth. Satan is the prince of this world which includes the earth and the air. In Satan’s kingdom there are the fallen angels in the air, the demons in the water, and the fallen human beings on the earth.