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 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.
This book brings clarity and coherence to what the Bible is and is not trying to tell us about the nature and origins of spiritual evil. Reading Heiser's work has a way of exposing just how much we have unconsciously rewritten the Bible to fit our modern sensibilities, and how we've muddled the Biblical storyline by underestimating the themes explored in this book. Get ready for many lightbulb moments, and for a whole new appreciation of biblical texts you thought you already understood. This book is highly recommended!
–Tim Mackie, co-creator of BibleProject
Dr. Michael Heiser is a master guide into the unseen realm of angels and demons, making accessible to a wider audience the findings of top Hebrew and Semitic scholars. And his newest book focusing on demons—in keeping with his recent bestselling books—will challenge you to rethink many of your common assumptions. Let all things be tested by the truth of the Word! You are in for an enlightening read.
–Dr. Michael Brown, host of the Line of Fire radio broadcast, president of FIRE School of Ministry, and author of Jezebel’s War with America
Is it right to say that you love a book about demons? If so, I love this book about demons! Dr. Michael Heiser brilliantly unveils more of the Unseen Realm, this time the mysterious and misunderstood forces of darkness that made the death and Resurrection of Christ necessary. Demons will not only answer your most difficult questions about the underworld, but it will help you realize why your role in the Great Commission is so important. Get this book now!
–Dr. Frank Turek, CrossExamined.org and co-author, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
Michael Heiser has done a great service to all who want to understand the biblical theology of demons, the supernatural powers in rebellion against God. He gives a detailed exploration of the biblical materials as well as the best of the literature of ancient Jewish writers. He correctly believes that we must read the biblical accounts in the context of their ancient worldview. Reviewing all this material, helpfully gathered into this book, will challenge most everyone’s understanding of demons. His work is controversial so he brings the work of those who differ with him into his discussions. The study will correct widely-held errors in modern demonology and make us more faithful followers of the One who has won the decisive victory over the Devil.
–Gerry Breshears, Professor of Theology, Western Seminary, Portland
“To be blunt, Christians embrace a number of unbiblical ideas about the powers of darkness. The reasons are twofold and are related. First, most of what we claim to know about the powers of darkness does not derive from close study of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. Second, much of what we think we know is filtered through and guided by church tradition—not the original, ancient contexts of the Old and New Testaments.” (Page xv)
“In Scripture, darkness is a metaphor for negative, fearful human experiences. There are roughly two hundred references to darkness in Scripture, nearly all of which are used as a contrast to the God of the Bible—the source of love and life. It is no surprise, then, that death, the threat of death, and the realm of the dead itself are linked to supernatural entities expelled from God’s presence and service.” (Pages xvi–xvii)
“Old Testament writers linked the rebellion of supernatural beings to the hazards and calamities they experienced. The life God desired for human beings on earth had been diverted and corrupted. The fears and threats of the natural world were consequences of divine rebellions, from which death and chaos overspread the world of humanity. For this reason most of the terms we find in the Old Testament can be categorized as either (1) terms that are associated with the realm of the dead and its inhabitants, with fearful places associated with that realm, or with the threat of death itself, or (2) terms associated with geographical dominion by supernatural powers in rebellion against Yahweh, the God of Israel.” (Page 6)
Michael S. Heiser (1963–2023) was a popular Bible teacher, author, and the founding executive director of AWKNG School of Theology. An expert in the Bible and ancient Semitic languages, he wrote numerous books, including The Unseen Realm, Angels, and Demons. For many years, he was scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software. He earned a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.