During Bible study of Hebrews and 1 Corinthians I became aware how:

  • When we believers enter our glory we will be given authority over the angels like how Jesus currently IS already, although our status now (before glorification) is still a little lower than angels Heb 2:5-10
  • We will judge angels 1 Cor 6:1-6

I'm reminded how in C.S. Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters the devil so thoroughly despised the biped flesh and blood creature God created in His image that he and his minions are Hell-bent on destroying us (both unbelievers and believers alike) by whatever means necessary. We also learned in the Bible that Lucifer and his followers were thrown by God from heaven to earth. Why does the devil hates us so? Putting all these threads together in light of our destiny to become higher than angels, one plausible theory is that they are jealous.

My question: According to Protestants, why are fallen angels motivated to attack Christians? Is it jealousy, or something else? If there is more than one answer given by Protestants, an overview of common Protestant explanations would be helpful.

Value of the question: Know your enemy. Christians of all stripes need to take the Devil seriously to prepare for defense based on reliable truth.

  • Please read this advice on asking and answering overview questions
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 4:51
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    Sorry for making this over-hard, you worked hard on the other question. We'd much prefer asking multiple questions where there is one correct answer to one question where the traditions have to compete (which is pretty much what you're asking for). (I.e. if you like Lesley's answer, just limit it to Protestants (which is a wide group, but generally signifies sola scriptura)) and flag and we'll reopen it. Or leave it alone if you are satisfied with what's here.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 4:56
  • @curiousdanni you make laugh, why? you put on hold as off-topic your own formulated question. you are the one who revised it remember. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:57
  • @PeterTurner How can a private revelation be considered as Truth.? Catholic Church does not consider a private revelation as Truth. Why deleting my answer? I reference the overview coming from a mystic, while the other answer reference their source from a Jewish or human writer, Where's the Truth aspect on my answer? Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:59
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    @jong ricafort The way I see it, it's my question, my responsibility. I took curiousdannni's suggestion, which was made in the spirit of helping me out to make my originally speculative question more acceptable. But I later changed my mind when I read Lesley's answer realizing that after all, I prefer a solid Biblical answer rather than unrestrained imaginative answer which apocrypha tend to do. I have to consider the site's bigger purpose of preferring falsifiable, objective answer from an established authority source to counter subjective opinion even when it has devotional value. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


From a Protestant perspective, the biblical explanation for why why fallen angels are motivated to attack Christians is simple. Their motivation stems from knowing that their time is short, and they face judgment.

1 Peter 5:8 says: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

2 Peter 2:4 says: “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment”.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says “the saints will judge the world” and “we will judge angels”.

Other Bible verses teach that the fallen angels will be judged by God (Isaiah 24:21-22; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 21:10).

That’s why they are hell-bent on attacking God’s people, even though their efforts are futile.

The Bible tells us that the angels were created before the earth (Job 38:4-7) and that Satan fell before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-14). At some later point, he was cast out of heaven.

Isaiah 14:12-15: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your 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 you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18), and in Revelation Satan is seen as “a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth” (Revelation 9:1). Since Satan is referred to as a star which fell or was cast down to earth and Revelation 12:4 says a third of the stars were cast out with him, then the suggestion is that the stars in Revelation chapter 12 refer to fallen angels, fully one third of the heavenly host.

Revelation 12:17 describes how the dragon was enraged and went off to make war against “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Later, Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss for the duration of the millennial reign of Christ on earth. He is then released for a short while to make a final assault on God’s people before being thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, to be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:1-10).

Satan and all who follow him are not ignorant of what the Bible says about their final end. That is why they are enraged and why, even at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, when Satan is released for a short time, they will wage war against God’s people. Their motivation is hatred for God, for Christ Jesus and for all who follow Him. What caused it was that initial rebellion against God, aspiring to overthrow God – see Isaiah 15:12-15 as quoted above.

I found an article from the Jewish Encyclopedia about The Book of Adam (by Louis Ginzberg) which starts out by saying “The Talmud says nothing about the existence of a Book of Adam...” It continues:

After God had created man, He ordered all the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam, but Satan rebelled against God's command, despite the direct bidding of Michael "to worship the image of YHW."

However, that does not answer your question as to what motivates the fallen angels to attack Christians. After all, this apocryphal book does not concern itself with Christianity. It concludes by suggesting the apocryphas of Mosis and the Vita are based on the Hebrew or Aramaic Book of Adam and that the latter belongs to the midrashic literature, as many of its allusions can only be explained by the Midrash. Source: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/759-adam-book-of

I pay no heed to those extra-biblical sources that suggest God told all the angels to bow down and worship Adam. Why would God tell his created angels to worship a created human when the Shema makes it very clear that God alone is to be worshipped? Jesus himself quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4 (in Mark 12:28-30). Hebrews 1:9 commands all God’s angels to worship his Son, not Adam. Hmmm, I can feel a question coming on.....

  • The paper I quoted in fact describes later Rabbinic midrash tempering and inverting the motif of veneration of Adam. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 15:35
  • +1 Great summary from Christian perspective, which I believe more, esp. how Isaiah 14 which has the phrase "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" is certainly centuries before the "Life of Adam and Eve" story, and that the story rehashed Isaiah, which what a lot of apocryphal books do. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 16:44
  • Satan's "modus operandi" is to distort truth which he did with Eve, suggesting she could become like God. After all, it's such a tempting prospect - and it seems to have worked with one third of the angels who sided with Satan. I've got The Screwtape Letters and although Lewis takes some liberties with his portrayal of the demonic characters, he clearly understood the spiritual battle that continues to this day between those who love and obey God and those who have rebelled against God and wage war against Him and His people. But the outcome is not in doubt, praise God.
    – Lesley
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 16:56
  • Completely agree. About apocryphal books, we definitely have to be VERY careful, in a way Screwtape Letters can be a 20th century version of one, which can contribute to more holiness but can also mislead. The Book of Jubilees in my recent answer I think definitely sheds light on the angel in Acts 7:3 and Heb 2:2. Is it true? Certainly most of the legends in the book are not to be trusted. So sometimes I'm conflicted with the use of an apocryphal book. If you have a better source for explaining the angel, please contribute an answer. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 17:28

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