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How, why, and when did Satan fall from heaven?

Question:

How, why, and when did Satan fall from heaven?

Answer:

Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18  symbolically describe Satan’s fall from heaven. While these two passages are referring specifically to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, they also reference the spiritual power behind those kings, namely, Satan. These passages describe why Satan fell, but they do not specifically say when the fall occurred. What we do know is this: God created the angels before the earth (Job 38:4-7). Satan fell before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-14).

Satan’s fall, therefore, must have occurred somewhere after the time the angels were created and before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Whether Satan’s fall occurred a few minutes, hours, or days before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, Scripture does not specifically say.

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The book of Job tells us, at least at that time, Satan still had access to heaven and to the throne of God. “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, ’Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it’” (Job 1:6-7). Apparently, at that time, Satan was still moving freely between heaven and earth, speaking to God directly and answering for his activities. At what point God discontinued this access is unknown.

Why did Satan fall from heaven? Satan fell because of pride. He desired to be God, not to be a servant of God. Notice the many “I will…” statements in Isaiah 14:12-15. Ezekiel 28:12-15 describes Satan as an exceedingly beautiful angel. Satan was likely the highest of all angels, the most beautiful of all of God’s creations, but he was not content in his position. Instead, Satan desired to be God, to essentially “kick God off His throne” and take over the rule of the universe.

Satan wanted to be God, and interestingly enough, that is what Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5). How did Satan fall from heaven? Actually, a fall is not an accurate description. It would be far more accurate to say God cast Satan out of heaven (Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 28:16-17). Satan did not fall from heaven; rather, Satan was pushed out of heaven.

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Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

33 Comments

  1. God created the angels equally but one of them become greedy and wants more than what God given Him,,and as you can see on earth now so many greed jealous that satan trying to cast to those human who don’t believe God or too weak to believe that God is real! And there is Heaven and Hell..ony yourself can choose by doing good deeds..not to be greedy not to be jealous or tempted……

  2. I believe God needed angels to seek out Satan in thus doing so made themselves desirable by Satan’s standards appearing as sinful human beings. This would involve incorporating themselves into a seemingly sinful world until the time was right to reveal their wisdom and his identity and over power Satan.

  3. For a good and entertaining book about Hell and its inhabitants, read C.S. Lewis’s, “The Screwtape Letters”. It’s a series of letters written by an uncle who is in charge of teaching his young nephew the art of temptation. It’s very funny and we can see ourselves in many of his suggestions to his nephew.
    There’s an old lady who drives hostesses to drink by her incessant demands to get exactly what she wants. When her guardian angel suggests that she is being too demanding, her tempter assures her that she, “Doesn’t mind for herself what she has, but she does like to have things nice for her boy” so she is really just being a caring mom.

  4. But Jesus said clearly that He saw Satan fall like lightning from the sky. I think that was the fall of Satan when St. Michael cast him out and down to hell. Am I right?

  5. Usually I find the articles reposted on this site to be interesting and enlightening. This is neither. The claim that Satan was pushed out of heaven seems to contradict God’s omni-benevolence. God loves all of His creatures and wills that they all join Him in eternal communion, but He also gives them the free will to choose for themselves. For a more preferable treatment of Job, see http://catholicsay.com/how-could-satan-re-enter-heaven-to-talk-to-god-about-job-in-job-16-12/

    1. God gave all the angels and man freewill and loves us all, but Satan’s freewill may have been not to leave heaven even after he had sinned with pride. So, thus he had to be cast out. Our Lord could have aborted Satan and the demons, but since HE loves all creatures, he merely just cast them down to earth, until judgement day comes.

  6. Thanks for the response. As far as I’m concerned, I am at a lost as to why Angels that God created himself had bad sides that would lead them to desire God’s throne. Any answers?

    1. It’s not about Good and Bad.
      Angels were created with free will as we are.
      Briefly: God created the Angels and revealed that he was their creator and all the Angels believed because the opposite was impossible.
      he then revealed his decree to create mankind an inferior being to that of the Angels from which he would choose a Woman to take flesh from and become Man. He would then be praised as God and Man (hypostatic Union ~ Jesus Christ) the Woman (Mary) would then be honoured as his Mother and Queen of Heaven.
      Lucifer because of his pride and being one of the highest of the Angels could not accept bowing down to an inferior being and therefore he rebelled and threatened to destroy mankind and that Woman.
      St Michael on the other hand argued that it was Gods right since he created the Angels and his wisdom was infinitely greater than theirs. His battle cry was “who is there like unto God who dwells on high”?
      Note that none of the Angels at this point had received the beatific vision and once lucifer was cast out with his followers, the remaining good Angels received the beatific vision and can never sin/go against God!
      Read the Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda and it will give you a more detailed occurrence.

    2. In all my search for this, and thoughts upon it, the creator of all knowing all, in omnipotence, saw all prior to their creation, knew the binding of existence, meaning our flaw, and may room for redemption, for his mercy, all the old testament was a prophecy of what his own son would have to go through, but also given the will to choose. In all the script, all he ever got angry for was when vendors set up shop, that he actually acted, if you can call that aggression, at ours father’s house. He never actually fought, or submitted any except calling demons out, and nature.
      Alas, think of it as going to the movies, which movie you choose, is a product of your own will. He who is forever, allowed that but you chose. The price paid! A quote from I don’t know, but military, the price of freedom is only known by those who have fought for it. Happy 4th brother

    3. The answer is simple. God created Angels and People. They both have free will. God destroyed everything on the Earth during the Great Flood, because the ranks of Angels had ‘fallen’ into Sin, through their own choice and free will. These Angels took humans and had children with them. Its fascinating if you have the time to research it. I did a paper on it recently…

    4. The answer is simple as with us God gave them free will, and the ability to choose. To commit sin;especially serious ones, requires 3 things..1.) Knowledge that it is a grave matter. 2.) Action on the same subject matter(or lack of action in cases of sins of omission) 3.) Full consent of the will. The Angels who rebelled, allegedly, could not conceive that the second person of the Holy Trinity would become a mere human, and that His (Jesus’) mother would be their queen, and they would have to bow to her and obey her. That would be like asking one of us, in comparison between Angels and men, to bow to a frog!

    5. One theory is that Satan became aware of the eventual Incarnation of Christ, who the angels would then adore as they adore God the Father. Since a human being was lower than an angel, being flesh and blood rather than pure spirit, Satan felt this was unjust and rebelled against God.
      Basically, all we have are theories. We don’t really know.

      1. I have always heard that theory you just described and I honestly feel it is accurate. I think our souls are being judged daily and I believe that satan is freely roaming our world collecting those lost souls. I also feel that there are Angel’s amongst us here on earth.

    6. When God created the Angels, He gave them free WILL. Just like Man, they have the freedom to choose to be good or to be bad. They are different from Man in the sense that once they choose to be bad they are not capable of repentance. Once they choose to be an enemy of
      God they remain forever the enemy of God. Man on the other hand, can choose to repent of their sinfulness and will themselves to be good and be reconciled with God.

    7. Free will i believe God gave freewill to some of His creation satan knew what is right and wrong .so for that satan was able to desire himself as one with God. Because he knew he will be gaving great power over all Gods creation.

    8. Everyone has a gift of free will from God. Angels have perfect angelic will and perfect angelic minds far from of humans. Because of that, Angel’s cannot be tempted unlike humans.
      This is simply why humans can be forgiven because Adam and Eve were tempted unlike the sinning Angels cannot be forgiven because they acted on their own free will with their pride and rebellion. That’s why even the infinite mercy of God cannot forgive the sinning Angels.

    9. I read one reference ‘Friends with Angels”. One of the topic was “the test of the Angels”. When God gathered His Angels announcing a prelude that He will become a man and worship Him. Lucifer, who by the way wanted to be a god, with his pride he rebel against God, “we will not serve!” fleeing with his legion. With his knowledge, wisdom and beauty Lucifer wanted to be a god to rule heaven and what more when God announced that He will descend to earth as a man, Lucifer and his legion could not accept as the highest angel to worship a man. So Saint Daniel and his legion attack his legion but a draw, then came Saint Michael and his legion charging to finish the job.
      Merciful God did not take away his powers, knowledge, wisdom and cunningness as he was pushed out of heaven, but one – the Grace of God was taken away from lucifer. That forevermore he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.
      As Adam and Eve sinned against God through temptation by satan, Adam and Eve can receive forgiveness but not for satan and his legion. Because angels have perfect angelic minds and perfect angelic wills no one can tempt the angels. Even the infinite mercy of God cannot forgive the sinning angels.

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