How could Satan have fallen? And do some fallen angels oppose Satan as well as God?

Q. How, in the perfect environment of heaven and constant presence of God, did Satan fall? Eve was deceived by an already fallen Satan and influenced Adam in the book of Genesis. The fall of Satan is complicated to me as he, like Adam, was created perfect and given free will….his fall is a deep mystery to me.

Related to this, and I believe the answer has something to do with free will, does Satan have perfect control over the fallen angels? I.e., are some of them fallen from God and rebels from Satan, and do their own thing in opposition to both God and Satan?

The fall of Satan is indeed a deep mystery, but I share some thoughts about it in this post: Why did God create Satan? In that post I suggest, as you do, that the explanation for Satan’s fall lies in “the radical nature of the freedom that God has endowed each of His intelligent creatures with.”

As for whether some of the fallen angels are rebellious both to God and to Satan, I think they are all generally opposed to God, but that nevertheless there is much chaos and disorder among their ranks, so that they may often work at cross-purposes. God’s kingdom is one of order and harmony. Satan’s sphere is one of disorder and confusion.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the New International Version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He was also a consultant to Tyndale House for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) that similarly presents the Scriptures in their natural literary forms, without chapters and verses or section headings. He has a B.A. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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