Origin of angels and demons

According to the Scripture, demons are fallen angels but their names often reveal that they derive from pre-christian Gods demonized by the early fathers of the Church.

In Christian writings demons in the strictest sense — those fallen angels who remained loyal to Lucifer in hell — were continually being confused with pagan deities and with nature spirits.

Thus we find mention of the demon Satyr who incites men and women to lust, and the demon Theutus, who induces the urge to gamble for money with cards or dice. The satyr is a nature spirit of Greek mythology, and Theutus is a degenerate variation on the name of the Egyptian god Thoth, who was associated by the Greeks with numbers, and by extension with money. In dealing with the pagan system of idolatry, the apostle Paul declared by inspiration of God that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice to idols

“they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of the demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the table of demons” (1 Cor. 10:10-21).

The Bible thus clearly reveals that behind every pagan idol there is a demon and that the sacrifices offered to such idols are offered to demons and not the the one and only true God. There was the table of demons and the table of the Lord, and expressed fellowship with one or the other. Associated with the whole satanic, pagan system of idolatry were many other demon activities about which Moses of old warned the children of Israel. In the book of Deuteronomy we read:

“When thou art come in the land which the Lord they God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all who do such things are an abomination unto the Lord” (Deut. 18:9-12).

Gustave Doré, Paradise Lost, Book I (1866)