It can be either or both. When Adam sinned and was cast out of Eden, the Lord told him: “Cursed is the ground because of you,” Genesis 3:11. God had specially prepared the garden for man and man could have had everlasting life. The area outside the garden, on the other hand, contained possibilities for both good and evil. These possibilities included: joy, pain, health, sickness, etc., and eventually death. Hence, when man was cast out, the curse in all its forms was imposed on him and his descendants.

In Eden, Lucifer (or Satan) was placed as the covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:13,14) to watch over the first human pair. This angel rebelled against God, and lied to Eve, claiming that she would not die upon eating the forbidden fruit. We also know that this angel, along with other rebellious angels, was cast out of heaven. “You (Lucifer) were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub,” Ezekiel 28:16 (NIV). See also Luke 10:17-18.

The devil does prowl about like a roaring lion seeking to devour people (1 Peter 5:8). The fallen angels with Satan as their leader exert a powerful influence on the affairs of men. They are capable of communicating with people in various ways.  But this communication was and still is strictly forbidden by God: “There shall not be found among you anyone…who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead,” Deuteronomy 18:10,11.  

Some foolishly choose to delve into spiritism and Satan worship – not recognizing they are endangering themselves. Angels are more powerful than human beings. When sorcerers align themselves with demons to cast spells, demons can attempt to hurt people. However, a person must be willing to submit to demonic influences before they can afflict you

Satan certainly wanted to stop the Apostles and the early church from spreading the gospel. Yet, there is no record in the New Testament of any Christian being hurt by demons. Simply stated, they would not submit to the demons. Remember: “submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” James 4:7.

Perhaps the greatest victory of Satan and his fallen angels, today, is that due to widespread atheism, few believe in the existence of spirit forces. Such blindness makes the unguarded easy prey to be influenced and manipulated by evil. Our modern world with its social chaos, its rampant mass murders and abject cruelty to man, even in the name of religion, testifies that evil forces are still influencing mankind.