Did Satan Really Fall from Heaven?

In short, no. Let’s consider a few glaring issues with the premise of this teaching. 

1. God created both good and evil.

There’s a false idea or teaching that God did not create evil. The belief that Satan started off “good” and then became “bad” implies that God was taken off guard or surprised by evil. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and intentional. He created both good and evil with purpose.

If God created only good, without evil (or temptation), we would have no ability to choose between right and wrong. God created mankind with a free will that gives us the ability to choose. We can choose to serve God, or we can choose to serve the devil. If God didn’t create good and evil there would be no other option but to do good. God did not create us like robots.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Isaiah 45:7

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Proverbs 16:4

2. Heavenly angels do not have free will like humans.

Angels, unlike humans, do not have a free will and are therefore subject only to God’s will. The Word of God makes a clear distinction between Heavenly angels and humans. Because Heavenly angels do not have free will, they aren’t subject to temptation or sin like we are.

Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

Luke 20:36

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Hebrews 2:16

It is also important to mention here that not every reference to “angel” in the Bible refers to Heavenly angels. The Bible also uses the term “angel” symbolically in some instances to reference humans—often pastors/ministry—who proclaim God’s message. Examples such as this can be found in the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:20 & Rev. 2:1). In these instances, the term “angel” does not refer to Heavenly angels.

3. Satan (the devil) was never an angel.

The devil was not a Heavenly angel whose sin overtook him. The Word of God tells us that Satan (the devil) has always been evil.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:44

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

4. The name “Lucifer” does not refer to the devil.

The incorrect idea or teaching that the devil was a Heavenly angel cast down from God’s holy Heaven for sinning against God likely comes from a couple of scriptures that have been commonly misunderstood and misrepresented over the years. So, let’s break these scriptures down and get to the truth of the matter.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…”

Isaiah 14:12 - 13

These scriptures are found in the Old Testament and were translated from the original Hebrew. If you look up Lucifer in the Hebrew language (we used Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance), you will see Lucifer means “the morning star.” The prophet Isaiah is referring here to the former king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzer. The king had become very powerful as shown in Daniel 4:22 where it says, “thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven…” and he thought very highly of himself because of it. If you look up Lucifer in Latin, it does mean “devil.” This is undoubtedly what caused confusion and perpetuated the false teaching about the devil being in heaven, since the Roman Catholic church came along during a time when much of Europe spoke the Latin language.

5. The word “heaven” in the Bible has more than one meaning.

The other commonly misrepresented scripture that is incorrectly used to say that the devil was once in God’s holy Heaven is this:

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

Luke 10:17 - 18

It is very important to understand that the term “heaven” in the Bible has several different meanings. First, it can refer to the literal sky (Gen. 1:1). Second, it can refer to the home of God (Psa. 11:4). Third, (as we see it in the scripture above from Luke) it can refer to an exalted place in a person’s heart. Here, Jesus used figurative language to explain that because many men and women were saved, the devil was defeated and cast down in people’s hearts and lives.

It is clear that Jesus is using figurative language by reading up a few verses in Luke 10:15, as well.

6. There is no sin in God’s holy Heaven.

Heaven is a holy place. Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828) defines the word “holy” as the following:

HO’LY, a.

1. Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections.

There are many scriptural references to the holiness of Heaven and the importance of holiness to God. Even on earth, “filthiness” was not permitted in the places set aside for the worship and dwelling of God.

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Psalm 11:4

For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Deuteronomy 23:14

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:4

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Matthew 6:19 - 20

If sin is possible in Heaven, then Heaven couldn’t possibly be a holy place. Consider what type of place Heaven would truly be if sin were allowed there. If a Heavenly angel can sin and revolt against God, then what else would be possible? What would prevent other Heavenly angels from doing the same? And if Heavenly angels have free will and can be tempted, then what would stop the Heavenly angels from committing other sins such as fornication, unnatural affection, idolatry, and so on? Would Heaven even be a spiritually safe place for us, or can we fall after we enter Heaven, too? This picture of Heaven is completely absurd! Heaven is and has always been, a holy place, a safe place, an eternal reward promised to those who choose good over evil here in this present life on earth and follow Jesus’ example of living holy.

Dear friend, we hope this brief article has shed some light on the fallacy of this teaching. If you have any questions or would like us to send you a more in-depth study guide on why the devil was never in Heaven please contact us – we’d love to hear from you.