What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About...Fallen Angels?

I am trying to find out more about the war between the fallen angels and the hosts of heaven. I don't believe there are many references in the bible, but if you could help I would be very appreciative.


At the risk of sounding flippant, I have to tell you that the only real information about "the war between the fallen angels and the hosts of heaven" can be found in Milton's Paradise Lost, rather than in the Bible. The Bible makes reference to Satan and his angels, but doesn't really tell how they fell. It basically just tells what will happen to them.

First, I want to address a scripture that many mistakenly relate to the fall of Satan. Isaiah 14:12-16 reads: "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: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?" Many say that Lucifer in this passage is the devil, Satan. This can not be. In verse 4 the prophecy is addressed directly to the king of Babylon. Verse 16 refers to Lucifer as a man. So this can not be one of the scriptures you are looking for.

The Devil and his angels were probably originally heavenly beings. We know that Satan has had direct access to God, because he came before God in Job, chapters 1 and 2. Jesus said in Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." In 2 Peter 2:4 the punishment of the unjust is compared to that of angels who sinned. Likewise, Jude used them as an example, in verse 6 of his book. Job 4:18 says some were foolish. Matt 25:41 says that the eternal fire that will be used to punish evildoers was not reserved for men, but for the Devil and his angels. Still no reference to any war between them and the heavenly host.

The only scriptural reference to such a war is in the book of the Revelation (12:7-11), and is possibly more symbolic than actual, therefore. Most of the book of the Revelation can be viewed from one of three outlooks: premillennial, postmillennial, or amillennial. The premillennial view says this war is yet to come, in spite of John saying the things in the book were "soon to come to pass." The postmillennial view says most of the book is past history, and this war and "the millennium" are behind us. The amillennial (non-millennial) view is that the book is symbolic of things that happened during the first century of the church. By this view, the war between Satan and his angels is symbolic of the Roman persecution of Christians. This is further emphasized by John's description of the dragon earlier in the chapter (seven heads, ten horns, seven crowns). When he refers to the dragon as the devil and Satan, he may have been referring to the caesars as representatives of Satan, in much the same way that we say "the White House said today" to represent the President. We are engaged in a spiritual, not physical warfare, as Christians. Thus, the early church's spiritual victory "by the blood of the lamb" can be viewed as a war in heaven. This passage can not be talking about the same event as the fall of Satan and his angels in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, because here Satan is sent into the earth, rather than hell.

Note: The questioner responded to my answer as follows.

First, let me thank you for your time, and the swift reply.

Second, let me inform you that I happen to be reading Milton, so that's kind of why I asked the question, I wanted to see if there was any biblical equivalent.

Third, I read the passage from Revelation, and did not think it was relevant. I would also like to thank you for the additional information about the Book of Revelation that you provided.

Fourth, you did not sound flippant.

Finally, let me say thank you again.