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?

  • I know of no scripture that would suggest that angels have free will. But we do know that nothing is as righteous as God is righteous, thus even angels will fall short of God's righteousness and fall. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 18:46
  • If angels didn't have free will, why would 1/3 of the angels be cast out of heaven. Because they chose to follow satan, no? Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 4:08

3 Answers 3


Lucifer and his angels do indeed appear to have independent will. Revelation 12 describes the fall of the angels:

Revelation 12

7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

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:

Isaiah 14:12 ff

12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

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).


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.

  • Why do you say "1/3"? Is there any biblical reference to that?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:16

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

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.

  • 2
    But Satan and the rest of the fallen angels were tossed out of heaven.
    – user32
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 5:34
  • 1
    Yes, but how could they have rebelled in the first place if God's will IS done in Heaven? Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 14:17
  • 3
    @Nathan Wheeler. Maybe the prayer means it is done now (wasn't at the time of the rebellion).
    – Chelonian
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 3:00
  • @NathanWheeler, Chelonian: and anyone who wouldn't would be cast out from heaven... like Satan Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 15:39

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