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How, why, and when did Satan fall from heaven?

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Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12–14 and Ezekiel 28:12–18. While these two passages are referring specifically to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, we believe they also reference the spiritual power behind those kings, namely, Satan. These passages describe why Satan fell, but they do not say when the fall occurred. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, witnessed Satan’s fall, and He mentions it in Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” We know that the angels were created before the earth (Job 38:4–7). Satan fell before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1–14). Satan’s fall, therefore, must have occurred somewhere after the time the angels were created and before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Whether Satan’s fall occurred hours, days, or years before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, Scripture does not say.

The book of Job tells us, at least in Job’s time, Satan still had access to heaven and to the throne of God. “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, ’Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it’” (Job 1:6-7). Apparently at that time, Satan was still moving freely between heaven and earth, speaking to God directly and answering for his activities. Whether God has discontinued this access is a matter of debate. Some say Satan’s access to heaven was ended at the death of Christ. Others believe Satan’s access to heaven will be ended at the end-times war in heaven (Revelation 12:7–12).

Why did Satan fall from heaven? Satan fell because of pride. He desired to be God, not to be a servant of God. Notice the many “I will...” statements in Isaiah 14:12-15. Ezekiel 28:12-15 describes Satan as an exceedingly beautiful angel. Satan was likely the highest of all angels, the anointed cherub, the most beautiful of all of God’s creations, but he was not content in his position. Instead, Satan desired to be God, to essentially “kick God off His throne” and take over the rule of the universe. Satan wanted to be God, and interestingly enough, that desire is what Satan tempted Adam and Eve with in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5).

How did Satan fall from heaven? Because of Satan’s sin, God cast him out of heaven (Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 28:16–17). Heaven is no place for the wicked one. Satan fell from heaven because he was pushed.

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How, why, and when did Satan fall from heaven?
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This page last updated: September 1, 2023