Sunday, April 21, 2019

Fallen angels

It's striking how little the Bible explicitly has to say about the fall of angels. Just a few scattered, sometimes ambiguous passages. 

Liberals say the theology of fallen angels is a Second Temple development (e.g. 1 Enoch). And because it's a later development, this is legendary embellishment or pious fiction. Tacked on at a later date. But there are basic problems with that characterization: 

i) Even in the NT, reference to the fall of angels is scant. Even in the Gospels, Satan isn't classified as a fallen angel. Yet the theological narrative of fallen angels was already in place by then.

ii) Even if we grant liberal dating for the sake of argument, they also tend to date the Pentateuch to the Exilic period, so on their own dating scheme, the fall of angels isn't an especially late development in relation to the OT narrative.

iii) Although Scripture doesn't say much about the fallen of angels, the OT has a lot to say about angels generally, as well as moral evil generally. This goes all the way back to the Pentateuch, including Genesis in particular. So angels and moral evil already figure in the earliest stages of the OT plot. 

It is, however, a short step from the existence of angels in general to evil angels in particular. Likewise, the origin of moral evil is a natural question to ask. Is that confined to the human realm? Or does it have a parallel in the angelic realm? And given the interaction between men and angels in Scripture, it's a short step to the idea that evil angels as well as good angels intersect with human history. So there's no overriding reason to assume this is a late theological development.


  1. People have long been fascinated by Revelation 12:4. Is this referring to Lucifer causing a third of angels to fall?

    1. It uses civil war in heaven imagery, but the timeframe is the ministry of Christ rather than a primordial fall of angels.

  2. God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden with the warning to partake of the fruit would result in death. The tree of Life (meaning eternal life) was nearby and also in the midst. This proves that evil existed within creation before Adam and Eve. Lucifer was the covering angel, highest rank among divine beings in heaven and the throne of God. When sin is found in Lucifer he becomes satan and God banishes him to the outskirts of Heaven and to sin filled earth. Sin cannot be near the presence of the perfect and pure God. This is what is meant by iniquity was found in him. Satan is the evil of the tree of knowledge. Satan & his followers are 'fallen' from the Throne of God in Heaven due to sin/evil. All are banished to the outskirts of heaven and sin filled earth. When the AC sets up the Abomination that makes desolate, Michael will stand up and throw satan and his follower angels completely out of heaven and down to earth. Jesus said he saw satan fall like lightening. This will be the time. The evil angels fell from God's presence due to sin & banished from the Throne area of heaven (3rd heaven). Then at the rise of AC, they are cast down/fall from heaven to earth. All of this is found in scripture.