Why Angels Fell?
The Bible tells us that the angel Lucifer and his followers fell from heaven. Originally, Lucifer, the highest leader of angelic beings, was created perfect (Ezekiel 28:14,15). But he chose to rebel against God. He aspired to be like the God of heaven in position, power, and glory, but not in character. He desired for himself the homage of angels that was due to the Creator alone. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections of the angels, he sought for himself first place in those affections.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about Lucifer, “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; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14).
In this passage, Isaiah primarily, refers to Satan. He had been permitted to see beyond the literal king of Babylon (ch. 14:4) to the rebellious angel, whose character and policies the king of Babylon carried out (verses 12–16). In fact, it would appear that Satan designed to make Babylon the center and agency of his great plan to have full control of the human race, even as God planned to work through Jerusalem.
Lucifer led a great host of angels to join him in the rebellion. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Revelation 12:7,8). A careful examination of the Scripture references to Michael points to the conclusion that He is none other than the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Daniel 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9).
The devil and his angels were defeated and cast out of heaven. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12).
Later on, Satan deceived humans and they disobeyed God. So, he became the ruler of this world (Genesis 3). But through Christ’s loving sacrifice (John 3:16), the Savior triumphed over the devil. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). In spite of His great suffering and pain, Jesus looked forward to when the power of Satan would be finally broken – the time when sin and sinners would be destroyed (Matthew 25:41).
How Many Angels Fell From Heaven?
The apostle John wrote of the great number of the angelic host: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11). Also, Paul affirmed that there are “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22).
John gives us the percentage of the angels that actually fell with Satan, “…an enormous red dragon…His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth…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 12:3–9). From this passage, we can conclude that one third of the angels joined Lucifer in rebellion and were cast out of heaven with him.
In His service,