I believe we have free will and that God has free will. It would seem Lucifer also had free will. Do all angels have free will as we do?
Lucifer and his angels do indeed appear to have independent will. Revelation 12 describes the fall of the angels:
It seems to my limited reasoning faculty, that it would not be possible for the "dragon" and his angels to make war on God and be cast out of heaven without them exercising their will independently of God's.
Furthermore, Isaiah describes self-will as the cause of the devil's fall:
That's a lot of "I will" statements, for someone without one.
Why some of the angels rebelled and others did not (and do not), is a mystery. But you must be careful not to conflate independent will with a natural inclination to sin - for example, God has perfectly independent will, but it's not within his perfect nature to sin (indeed, since sin is fundamentally asserting your will over God's it's not possible by very definition for him to sin).
I've quoted this from the King James Version, since that's the version most people know this passage from. Jesus says in His prayer that God's will is done in Heaven. This would imply to me that nothing outside God's will is done in Heaven, and that therefore the angels do not have free will.
This position stems a larger debate, though, because if it was God's will for Lucifer to rebel, which led to the fall of man, then ultimately the fall of man was by God's design. I recognize that many disagree with that theory. Ultimately, I believe that one can only reasonably state that man has free will if you agree that the angels also have free will, otherwise you must agree that neither have free will. I do not see a meshing point where angels have free will and man does not, nor do I see a point where man has free will and angels do not.
Angels do, or at least did have free will. Some have taken up a misconception that angels are like God's robots and do only what He wants them to. However, if that was the case, Lucifer could not have rebelled against God, nor could 1/3 of the angels of Heaven rebel with him. It was not God's desire for them to rebel anymore than it is His desire for us to rebel. It was not God's desire for angels to mate with humans, but they did(Genesis 6:1-8). Furthermore, what is commonly known as "the Lord's prayer" isn't a very good reference for God's will always being done in Heaven. When Jesus gave that outline for prayer, sure. Now, sure. But always from the beginning? No. God is the same and changes not, but that doesn't mean Heaven doesn't change, nor does it mean His angels don't. In fact, we know Heaven was created(Genesis 1:1), and we know it will pass away(Matthew 5:18), and will be re-created(2 Peter 3:13). While, this is an interesting topic, it is yet trivial compared to the importance of man's salvation. Many times we get cought up on a subject like this, rather than focusing on the souls of men.
The answer to this question is simple, at least part of it. Lucifer is not an angel, and neither is satan (or more properly "the satan" (a title for the accuser), according to the Hebrew tradition of the word, the same traditional understanding to which Jesus subscribed; see "Do Jews Believe in Satan?" ; also Wikipedia.) As for Lucifer, Strong's concordance defines the word thus: Lucifer = "light-bearer"
The only mention of Lucifer in the Bible (a hapax legomenon), is in Isaiah 14:*
But according to Wikipedia, 'The term appears in the context of an oracle against a dead king of Babylon, who is addressed as הילל בן שחר (hêlêl ben šāḥar), rendered by the King James Version as "O Lucifer, son of the morning!" and by others as "morning star, son of the dawn".' [emphasis mine]
Thus Isaiah 14:4-6 sets the stage:
Here it is plain that Lucifer is the King of Babylon, the bright and morning star, who has fallen from heaven. Note also that Strong defines "heaven" as the sky, the visible universe, the atmosphere, etc. In the context of Isaiah's famous words it is quite apparent that heaven is metaphorical, as the King of Babylon could never have been in the sky. In addition you will note that Strong's reference lists "the abode of God" alone in a subordinate position at the end of the entry, while the many previous definitions specifically point to the sky, not God's home.
All in all, I believe the above is good evidence that the common traditional conception of (the) satan and Lucifer, at least from the position of the Hebrews, is mistaken. From the evidence offered, how anyone could put together an entire theology of the Devil as a rebellious angel based on this one scripture seems, if you will pardon the pun, beyond belief.
Thomas Kemper, Austin, Texas
*all quotes KJV
protected by Community♦ Dec 10 '12 at 15:04
This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.