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Angels:  Do they have free will? 

Gary Googe Feb 25

The will of both men and angels is an important subject, even if most people wouldn’t think so.  Before the time of Genesis 3 in the Bible, Satan and all the other members of God’s angelic host were in complete harmony with their Creator who was none other than the preincarnate Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16-17  

16 For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist [SUNISTEMI = cohere]. [Emphasis added]

Jesus didn’t begin in Bethlehem.  That was merely the place of His incarnation when He became true humanity. But there was a time when He and all the angels lived in Heaven in complete harmony.  That all changed when Satan rebelled against the authority of God and convinced a third of all the angels to revolt with him.

Revelation 12:3-4

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon [speaking of Satan], having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars [used here to refer to God’s angels] of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman [speaking of Israel] which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child [speaking of Christ] as soon as it was born. [Emphasis added]

Of course there’s a lot of symbolism in the book of Revelation.

It is difficult to read this next passage we’ll note without seeing how Satan expressed his free will in his revolt against God. It is false teaching such as what is known as Calvinism that would have you believe God was responsible for this.

Isaiah 14:12-15

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [Satan’s original name], son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. [Emphasis added]

Here we have what some call Satan’s five I wills.  They all clearly show the manifestation of his free will in his rebellion against the authority of God.  Before he did this, he had been given of God a special position of rulership in Heaven.  Then later after his fall into sin, we see an act by a portion of these angels when they were able to procreate with women on Earth producing the birth of many superhuman creatures, being part human and part angel. God then imprisoned those angels that freely chose to take part in this.

Jude 6

6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. [Emphasis added]

These angels had originally been given unique roles in Heaven, serving God in various positions of authority over certain heavenly realms.  But they chose to be dissatisfied in their roles and rebelled against God [Again, Revelation 12:3-4]. Consequently, they are now residing in a place where many humans who also rebel against God will end up with them to suffer forever.

Matthew 25:41

41 Then shall he say also unto them [all who choose to reject His provision for their salvation] on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting [AIONIOS = never ending or everlasting] fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [Emphasis added]

It was after this revolt and the creation of man that he convinced Eve also to revolt against God’s command.  Here’s the record of how this unfolded.

Genesis 3:1-6

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

As Satan so often does, he promotes the questioning of what God has said.

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Ultimately Satan comes forth with this frontal attack upon the truthfulness of what God has said.

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. [Emphasis added]

In other words, like Adam and Eve would do later, the angels chose to sin of their own free will.  It was certainly not God who caused them to do this.  The apostle Peter fills us in with more of the details on this.

2 Peter 2:4

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; [Emphasis added]

Yes, the angels sinned. They did this of their own free will.  They were coerced by no one. Therefore, like angels, we are all held responsible for the decisions WE make. God did not design Satan or anyone else to be a wicked creature. They became such by their own volition, their free will.  Actually, the term will itself connotes complete freedom of choice. Perhaps the best of all definitions of sin is given in the writings of Isaiah. He then also prophesied about God’s future solution to our sin.

Isaiah 53:6-9

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord [God the Father] hath laid on him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. [Emphasis added]

The apostle Paul writes about this concerning us.

Romans 3:23-24

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

He also then states the solution.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [Emphasis added]

It is faith alone in God’s provision that provides the salvation many so desperately need.

Ezekiel 28:11-19

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

This next section begins with comments about a man but suddenly transitions into speaking of things pertaining to Lucifer/Satan and his future.

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, [speaking of Satan surpassing all other creatures in wisdom and beauty] full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

Then he goes on to describe the features of his beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes [speaking of his voice] was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

As magnificent as he was, he was still a creature of God’s design and making.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth [speaking of his high rank]; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God [speaking of Heaven]; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect [sinless] in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

His sin was not of God but of himself.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise [his many fine attributes] they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God [speaking of Heaven again]: and I will destroy thee [put him in a state of ruin], O covering cherub [speaking of the position of privilege he was once given], from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness [speaking again of his beauty]: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 

This is speaking of the time of the coming period of the Tribulation after the Rapture when he will no longer have access to Heaven and is confined to the Earth.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick [illicit movement]; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee [speaking of the final judgment of Satan].

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. [Emphasis added]

Never again will Satan be able to cause so much harm and to so many.


In answer to our initial question, yes, all the angels have free willGod values the freedom to choose by both mankind and angels. He did not create men or angels as robots as it is taught by certain “religious” groups.  It is God’s desire that they choose to delight in doing His will.  Sin, of course, is the opposite of that.  Let us all learn from the lessons of both history and prophecy the extreme value of choosing to comply with His will, knowing it is always to our advantage to be obedient to Him.

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