The Devil and his Angels

Fallen angel.

“But”, say some, “wasn’t Satan a fallen angel, tossed out of heaven before the time of Adam and Eve, and wasn’t it Satan who actually tempted Eve in order that he could get back at God for what He had done to him?”

There are several passages in the Bible that appear to give support to this idea, but when each is examined it is clearly evident that the Bible does not support such a contention.

The book of the prophet Isaiah is one such source, where the prophet has been discussing the future of the king of Babylon.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star {KJV: Lucifer}, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of my God;…’ Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble…?” Isaiah 14: 12, 13, 16

This passage is clearly not referring to a pre-Adam fall from heaven, since his fall is after he has laid low the nations. He is also not invisible, for he is consequently stared at after his fall. The passage logically applies to the person whom the prophet is addressing; namely, the king of Babylon.

A second passage used to support a pre-Adamic fall of Satan is found in the last book of the Bible:

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12: 7–9

The context of the passage, particularly with the verse that follows, makes it clear that this passage is not dealing with a situation that was before the creation of Adam, but one that was even much later than the birth of Jesus Christ. For the Book of Revelation carries the following explanation in its opening verse:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” Revelation 1: 1
Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1

Whatever this passage may mean, it does not support a pre-Adam fall of Satan. What it actually does mean will be considered a little later, when we have gained a better understanding of what is referred to by the terms devil or Satan.

What is sin?

A simple question we need answered is the identification of what sin actually is. The Bible gives us several brief descriptions of what constitutes sin.
All wrong doing is sin.” 1 John 5: 17
Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14: 23
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3: 4

It is an interesting point, that with these definitions of sin, not one refers to a devil or Satan. The writer James describes the sin process in detail, and yet leaves out any reference to a devil or Satan having any input to the process:

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 12–15

James here presents a logical process that begins with one’s own evil desire, and finishes up with one’s death. If there was a devil to blame, then certainly James did not mention it, although he had opportunity to mention it when he rejected all possibility of the original temptation step as coming from God.

The apostle Paul spoke of a similar situation from his experience. Note carefully his argument.

For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7: 19, 20

Paul, in effect, states that there is something in the make-up of his flesh, that makes him sin. He refers to it as a ‘sinful nature’. In the previous chapter, Paul had stated:
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all have sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world.” Romans 5: 12, 13

It is clear from this passage, that Paul states that sin entered the world through one man, Adam. He does not say that sin entered the world through the devil or through Satan. In fact, throughout his letter to the Romans (in which he forcibly argues the nature of sin and its end result) he mentions ‘sin’ or ‘sins’ 48 times, but makes absolutely no mention at all of Satan, or of any devil. It would be well to reflect on this factor as we consider the subject of sin. The principal book of the Bible that deals with the subject of temptation and sin, Romans, does not mention the devil or Satan within its pages.

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    Lea
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    Lea

    Hi Jason, thank you for this information, it clears lots of things up for me. However I was wondering the same question Lisa had back in June. Who is Lucifer?

    Jason
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    Jason

    Hi Lea, The origin of Lucifer was from the Latin word “lucifer” which meant “light-bringing” and was the word used in the Latin Vulgate translation of Isaiah 14:12. In the Latin language it referred to such things as the moon and the brightest stars. In this instance, the translators of the KJV chose to transfer the word from the Vulgate to their English translation without translating it into English. All modern versions translate it correctly as “Day star” or “morning star”. The Latin Vulgate also used the word “lucifer” in Job 11:17 (the meaning there being “the light of the… Read more »

    Robert
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    Robert

    In regard to whom the Serpent is in Genesis, and alluded to in God’s taunt against the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:1ff (v.13) is described in full within John’s Revelation (12:9), in revealing the Dragon. The Serpent of old was a created “”beast of the field”” endowed with special beauty, abilities and status “”until iniquity was found in him.”” The Serpent of old (i.e., the devil, the Satan) was not created as an angel, but was allowed to appear before the “”sons of God”” regarding Job, and tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4. The Evil One has… Read more »

    Taught
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    Taught

    The reason Satan isnt responsible for introducing sin is simply because Adam ate the forbidden fruit- or more importantly- disobeyed God. Sin and Death would not have entered the world if he had refused his wife’s invitation to eat. However, the REAL personage of Satan has been denounced and is reserved for judgement. Satan is in many of the O;d Testament scriptures: Gen (obvious); Job (Jehovah spoke right to him and he responded as a person talking boldly about his strolls in the earth and being up to no-good); Psalms (refers many times to the “”wicked one””); Ezekiel (Takes care… Read more »

    Mia
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    Mia

    That is absolutely correct..

    Lisa
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    Lisa

    Hi Jason. Thanks for your detail explanations. but there’s one more thing i still need to know and understand.. If Satan is a formed of human dark thoughts because we are on the low level of existences..So who is the Lucifer that is being called as the Fallen Angel and what is the relation between him and sin. Jesus died and resurrected and then destroyed death. and who is the AntiChrist who’ll come to the world and will be destroyed killed by Jesus in His 2nd Coming? is Lucifer the AntiChrist, what makes him dangerous towards human, if human himself… Read more »

    KB
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    KB

    Oh Yeah, I almost forgot…Who is the God of this world if Satan is just a word that describes adversary? Certainly not our thoughts…please explain..

    KB
    Guest
    KB

    Also, back to Eden. Who or what was the reptile who seduced Eve into trangressing the law? If it was only Eve’s thoughts that tempted her, then why give a reptilian being credit by way of analogy at all? Why not just say SHE had an epiphany and decided to eat the fruit to prove to Adam that nothing would happen to them? Thank you in advance for your consideration.I will post more questions as they come to me.

    KB
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    KB

    “And also, just to be clear, you are saying that there is nor has there ever been an evil being who tempts mankind into sin…there is only God and our minds at war here. when I say mind, I mean our thoughts and nature. Please explain the scripture that states, Woe unto the inhabitants of the earth for the devil has come down among you..Im terrible with quoting scriptures by chapter and verse as well as verbatim, Im paraphrasing here, but I know that’s scriptural. Who is HE? And why is time of the essence to him as he “”knows… Read more »

    KB
    Guest
    KB

    Hi Jason. Thank you for the article..I have a question or two and would appreciate your thoughts or understanding regarding the matter of Noah and the flood. I think I may already know the answer to this, but just for clarification, please explain to me the PURPOSE of the flood. Then explain to me How could Noah (a known sinner in the form of a drunkard) be spared from destruction when Jesus Christ had not yet been born or sacrificed as the ultimate atonement for the sins of all Mankind. In other words, If Noah and his offspring were sinful,… Read more »