How could an ANGEL fall?

edited December 2010 in Coptic Orthodox Church


  • Ok there's a whole story behind the "pride" of satan.

    Before creation, God put all angels to a test. They had to freely give their will to God. Satan however, had pride. He not only wanted his will, but he wanted to be greater than the Lord. With this, he was kicked out of heaven. All the other angels that also refused to give their will to God were also condemned with Satan to hell. Anyone feel free to correct me...

    Hope I helped :D
  • Well, I can't literally say it was a test since no one can know the intention of God... I guess my mind just used that word since certain angels failed and others didn't. But the point was that some did fail, which I guess in some way makes it a test...
  • By refusing to give their will to God. That was the point in the first place remember?
  • Don't they have free will like humans. If they do then this will make sense why they would think of pride and trying to be more than God.
  • Well they did, but they gave it up to God. I guess thats what lead satan to think of pride caused the fall.
  • You have to remember that angels are just spirits, just like it says in Psalm 104:4 "Who makes His angel's spirits, is ministers a flame of fire" and it's possible for spirits to sin and to fall. I.E. The Lord gives the disciples to cast out "unclean spirits." (Matthew 10:1)

    Satan's sin was indeed pride as is shown in Isaiah 14:12-14 "12 “ How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Lucifer, son of the morning!
    How you are cut down to the ground,
    You who weakened the nations!
    13 For you have said in your heart:

    ‘ I will ascend into heaven,
    I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
    I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
    On the farthest sides of the north;
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
    I will be like the Most High.’

    But it was later, also envy (i.e. we say in the Holy Liturgy "The death which entered into the world through the envy of Satan, You destroyed.) And as we all know, he continues to sin by lying and tempting others (i.e. Adam and Eve.)

    If you need any more proof though, just look as Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

    To your first question though, how could he have done it, the physical answer is above but emotionally, or spiritually speaking, I cannot comprehend how, like you said:

    somone so close to God, sitting besides Him in heaven.. how how how, could an evil thought enter his mind? I mean, i can't understand it. It makes no sense. He was so Holy and pure and just.. i mean, he was an ANGEL.. not only he was one of the besttt and highest.

    But like they say, pride is the greatest of all sins.
  • how could somone so close to God, sitting besides Him in heaven..

    Also I just wanted to add remember Judas was also very close to Jesus...he was 1 of the 12 disciples,..yet he still betrayed him.

    I guess some things are hard for us to understand.....why would satan think of himself better than God, even though God is the One who created him, how could the creature think he is greater than the creator? Its hard to understand why they did this but the sin of pride just entered their heart and caused them to think they were greater than God,...and so they fell
  • I agree with PrincessMary, some things just can't be comprehended or understood because they are so irrational. I suppose in a sense, that is why we sin because if you think about it, if we could literally see and understand the consequences of our sins their would be no way we would commit them, but then the devil blinds us and tells us lies, just like he lied to Eve and so, we sin thinkning we'll get something out of it.

    All we can do is pray that God have mercy and compassion upon us.
  • I am sort of confused in this topic too.
    If it was possible for one of the highest ranked angels to fall from heaven, is it possible for us to go to hell even after entering heaven?
    And, if it is possible for an angel from heaven to go to hell, why is it not be possible for an angel from hell to go to heaven?

    Someone once told me that before Jesus came and died on the cross, it was possible to sin in heaven. But after dying on the cross, sin was no longer possible in heaven. This just didn't make too much sense to me.
  • During the Liturgy, the altar is also related to heaven, and the deacons as angels. But do all deacons act in the proper way, although they also are supposed to be serving and praising the Lord's name.
  • What my Abouna said was that before satan and the other angels fell out of heaven, the angels were given a free will like humans. Now that satan has fallen, god changed that and mafe angels like perfect always pure andd all that.

  • I'm pretty sure that satan was the first to fall, but other angels also followed satan. So although he was the first to fall, he wasnt the only angel to fall. Also, i think satan was the highest ranked angel to fall, and that is why all the other angels who fell with him now follow him and are satan's angels now.

    i wish i could find some Bible reference to back all of this up, but i don't memorize the Bible, so i'm not 100% sure about what happened. if i'm wrong, someone please correct me.
  • Nene, God gave them a free will, they can think whatever they want. but if they think something bad god will punish them. But after satan fell god made them think pure and perfect. this is exactly what we humans go through. I am going to give u an example. if ure in church, it's bad to think bad things, but some people still do think bad in church, make bad desicions, and say bad things, because god gave us a free will and will punish us later for our acts. does thin answer ure question?
  • Hey all,

    Really interesting responses.... and i dont think i have anything to add that you guys already didnt mention, but i'll just throw in my thoughts....

    First of all, we have to remember that as of now, we are technically "better" than the angels... DONT PANIC... i have a reson for my comment....hear me out....

    As humans, we are allowed to participate in the Holy Sacraments, especially the Eucharist (the Precious Body and True Blood of Christ)...
    The angels dont have that privallege (i read somewhere, dont remember where exactly, that they sort of "envy" us [not taken in a negative way] because we can consume Him and abide in Him, while they cant)....

    When Christ died on the cross, He came to abolish death which REIGNED OVER US... He came for US... the humans, not the angels... because they didnt really have the problem we would have had if He didnt come....
    God provides us all with TWO gaurdian angels... He uses them to take care of us... who's guarding them? He's keeping a watchful eye over us through them.... they serve Him by protecting us....

    All that said, i understand that angels stayed in heaven, and worship Christ and see Him and all His glory in heaven..... but, how is what we have much different?

    On the alter EVERY SINGLE TIME Christ is present in all His glory... we're just too blind to see it...
    Every time we confess, Christ Himself is present in our confession and absolves us through the priest....
    When we are baptized, the Holy Spirit comes and descends upon us and is part of us....

    We technically have all that great stuff that the angels have, and more....

    The difference is we dont see it because of the world we live in (althogh many righteous ppl do see and feel these things, so really, its possible to happen in the world)....

    My point is, we both (As in, humans and angels) have the glory of Christ surrounding us all the time, AND we have somthing the angels don't, which is Christ's Body and Blood....
    So if WE, after having, recieving, seeing and enjoying all that, can sin and fall, why cant the angels, who dont really have as much.....

    They have the visual (they can see the glory, Christ, heaven), while we have the internal (we can't SEE it [not always, it depends on how close you are to God], but we can definately feel it since its inside of us through Communion)

    Do you kind of see my point? It's kind of all relative... relative to the angels, we have all that wonderful stuff infront of us.... and we fall.... so, techincally, so can they.

    Some people might argue that we fall b/c satan tempts us, while satan had no one to tempt him when he was an angel....
    I'll tell you what HG Anba Angelaos said.... he said our temptation is external (ie by satan)...when he fell, satan's temptation was INTERNAL... he brought it upon himself... so, basically, he's been tempting ppl since he was created!

    So, angels have all of heaven infront of them and fell, we have all of heaven and Christ Himself IN us and we fall, so..... we can't really say that they are much better off and shouldnt fall....

    i know this was long and tedious, i hope it wasnt too boring

    If i said anything wrong, please, i'm open to correction!!

    Take care and God bless
  • Hey nene0587,

    First of all, you're not slow or anything, this is quite the tricky topic.... its good to be inquiring ;)

    Secondly, i dont think anyone on this forum can give you an answer you're looking for... its quite hard... we'll just have to wait until we get to Heaven (i hope) and ask around... lol

    The way i see it...

    Angels do have free will, but because of the glory that they see, its hard to disobey God and go against Him.... they know they were created by Him and all, so they are very submissive to Him....

    We have as good as they do if not better because we get to participate in the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.... the thing is we dont use any of our 5 senses to recieve all that Goodness, we have to use our hearts and faith....we cant really SEE Christ, we cant exactly HEAR Him, etc.... but we do talk to Him through prayer, we hear His word from the Bible, etc... its not really the 5 senses working for us as they do for the angels, its more complicated in our case, we have to use our faith....

    The reason we have it harder (in my view) is because we face external temptation from satan, we have to fight him (through Christ) in order to get where they are..... we cant rely on our senses to keep us aware of Christ in all His glory..... they "can"...

    They dont have to fight satan anymore.... (before the fall, Lucifer had to fight himself... it was an internal battle.... i bet all the angels had to fight internally...some fell, some didn't... it kinda goes back to falling even though we all have Christ surrounding us)....

    i think i'm going around in circles here, i hope i kinda made sense and didnt confuse anyone...

    again, im open to correction

    Take Care and God bless
  • Hey CrazyCopt,

    you said that "Angels do have free will, but because of the glory that they see, its hard to disobey God and go against Him.... "

    r u talking about before satan fell or after satan fell.
    i thought that right now, angels do not have free will and they cannot sin.

    if you r talking about after satan fell and even right now, then would it be possible for someone to go to hell even after entering heaven?
  • then would it be possible for someone to go to hell even after entering heaven?

    Now that is different. If someone entered heaven, it would mean that they have already been judged by God. Once you are judged, that is it. What's been done is done, and nobody can change that. The angels however, are always in heaven. Concerning they're free will, I am not exactly sure about that...
  • Hey all,

    I agree with Christ4Life

    Unfortunately, i'm not 100% sure on this, so i stand corrected, but from what i understand, angels have free will before and after the fall....

    i guess after the fall, they can see the concequence of disobedience and would definately think twice before doing it....

    As for before the fall, it was an internal battle, and obeying the Creator is obviously somthing that should be done, but they weren't forced to....

    Does that sort of make some sort of sense?

    Take care and God bless
  • Ever heard the old saying, "Best friends are your worst enemy?" It is very similar to this. Satan was comparable to a best friend of God. He knew all the secrets, and he was up there with God all the time. But can a person with your secrets be a good thing or a bad thing? In this case, very bad. Why? Because Satan wanted to become God. The secrets he knew, he used to his advantage; For his pride. Ultimately, this is how he was thrown out of heaven.
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