Fallen Angel
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People’s thoughts about Satan range from silly to abstract, from a little red man with horns who sits on your shoulder telling you to sin to an expression used to depict the personification of evil. However, the Bible defines Satan as an angel who fell from heaven due to sin and is now completely opposed to God, doing everything in his power to ruin God’s purposes. Satan was constructed as a holy angel. In Isaiah 14:12, we see Satan’s possibly pre-fall name as Lucifer. Ezekiel 28:12-14 says Satan was created as a cherub, the highest created angel.

However, he became arrogant in his status and beauty and decided that he wanted to sit on a throne above God, as detailed in 1 Timothy 3:6. Unfortunately, Satan’s pride led to his fall and due to his sin, God permanently removed Satan from his exalted role and position. John 12:31 tells us that Satan became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air. His name means “one who opposes” or “adversary.” The devil, another one of his titles, means “slanderer.” Even though Satan was cast out of heaven, he still seeks to raise his throne above God.

He counterfeits everything that God does, hoping to gain the worship of the world and persuade the opposition to God’s kingdom. Satan is the most significant source behind every false world religion and cult. Satan will do any and everything in his power to fight God and those who follow Him. However, Satan’s fate is sealed: an eternity in the lake of fire, as detailed in Revelations 20:10.

How did Satan and other angels sin if heaven is sinless?

The Bible says that Satan was made in perfection and given an important position in heaven. Ezekiel 28:12 says that he was filled with wisdom and perfect in beauty. God appointed him the highest-ranking angel, and from his place of great privilege, Satan led almost one-third of heaven’s angels in a rebellion against God. As a result, Ezekiel 28:16-18 tells us that God expelled him from heaven and cast him down to the earth. First Timothy 3:6 tells us that the sin that caused Satan to fall from heaven was pride, and Isaiah 14:12-15 describes how it happened.

Displaying the epitome of self-importance and arrogance, Satan wanted to be like God and used his high position for self-promotion and personal gain, as described in Ezekiel 28:16. Instead of submitting to God, Satan rebelled and refused to obey and worship His Creator. He wanted to be his own god. Satan’s sin was incredibly offensive because it was a massive abuse of power and privilege. It also affected other angels, people, and all nations of the world. Satan’s “I will” statements give a clue to how he and other angels could sin in heaven even though heaven is a sinless place. God gave Satan a choice, a free will, and he applied it. God gave both humans and angels free will.

They were presented with a choice: obey God or not. Satan was made in perfection, and Adam and Eve were made in God’s image and put in a perfect paradise. Like the angels, humans were given a choice to obey God, but they used their will to disobey God. Their sin created the fall of humanity, and Adam and Eve were removed from paradise. Satan and the other angels used their free will, and those who rebelled were expelled from heaven. God didn’t influence the angels to rebel or force them to obey. The angels who sinned did so freely and knowingly and, therefore, are deserving of God’s wrath. God had graciously made a way for humans to repent from sin and be forgiven, but the Bible doesn’t present any opportunity for Satan and the fallen angels.

The decision to revolt against God or remain faithful to Him appears to have been an eternal choice for angels. Christian theology suggests that some angels, the elect angels, are those who remained loyal to God. Other angels exercised their free will by revolting and sinning against God. The Bible also indicates that it’s no longer possible for more of the angels to sin. It’s as if all angels went through a probationary trial, and those who stayed are now qualified to stay in their original state of perfect holiness. The elect angels successfully passed the faithfulness test and are confirmed in holiness forever. The angels who failed and fell became demons or unclean spirits and are now eternally confirmed in their rebellious, evil state.

In God’s eyes, all sin is grievous and impacts others. However, these consequences are even more far-reaching for those who sin in high places. Satan and the angels experienced God in all His heavenly glory, and those who sinned did so of their own will and in full knowledge of their crime. Such a dreadful revolution is unforgivable. Satan’s sin cost him his influential place in heaven. His example is a compelling reminder of the dangers of rebellion and pride. We have a choice to obey God and love Him. Still, when we don’t, our decisions can have a significantly detrimental influence on us and those around us.

Is it possible that more angels could sin?

First Timothy 5:21 tells us that in the sight of God, Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, we must keep these instructions and do nothing out of favoritism. No matter what your view is on election, the Bible clearly states that God was somewhat involved in who would be saved or which of the angels wouldn’t’ sin. God’s sovereign choices are seen several times throughout the Bible. For example, He chose Abraham to father many nations and chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother. In the same way, He’s chosen people from every tribe, language, people, and nation to come to faith in Christ. The ones He chooses will come to Him, and He’ll never cast them out.

Seemingly, God also chose regarding the angels. His holy angels are elect, meaning He’s chosen them. Maybe God gave all of the angels a one-time choice to obey Him or not. In any case, those who sinned and followed Satan are condemned and lost. Those who remained loyal to God are secure in their decision. The Bible gives us no reason to think that more of the angels can sin any more than it gives us reason to think that the elect will fall away and be lost for eternity.

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