The Sin of the Angels that Sinned

Isaiah 14:12; 2 Peter 2:4

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

A. A. HODGE (1823-1886): What are the Scriptural designations of angels?

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): They are referred to as spirits. But we also find them described in Ephesians 1:21 as principalities, powers, dominions, and mights―those terms, when they are used, are always used of angels, and angelic beings; used of good angels, and bad evil angels. When Paul talks about our “wrestling not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, and against powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world,” he is referring to angelic beings―evil angels, Ephesians 6:12.

A. A. HODGE: Other evil spirits are called διαμονες―demons (translated devils), Mark 5:12; unclean spirits, Mark 5:13; lying spirits, 2 Chronicles 18:22; angels of the devil, Matthew 25:41; “angels that sinned,” 2 Peter 2:4; and “angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation,” Jude 6.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Pride was the sin that changed angels into devils.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): From what they fell, or from what cause or for what crime, we know not. It is generally thought to have been pride; but this is mere conjecture. One thing is certain; the angels who fell must have been in a state of probation, capable of either standing or falling, as Adam was in paradise. They did not continue faithful, though they knew the law on which they stood.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Take away humility from an angel, and he is a devil…As God hath two dwelling-places, heaven and a contrite heart, so hath the devil—hell and a proud heart.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): There were a great number of the angels who “left their own habitation;” that is, who were not pleased with the posts and stations the supreme Monarch of the universe had assigned and allotted to them, but thought, like discontented ministers in our age―I might say in every age―that they deserved better; they would, with the title of ministers, be sovereigns, and in effect that their Sovereign should be their minister―do all, and only, what they would have Him; thus was pride the main and immediate cause or occasion of their fall. Thus they quitted their post, and rebelled against God, their Creator and sovereign Lord.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): A wide difference there is between a good angel and a fallen angel; a good angel will not suffer himself to be worshipped by men, but directs to the worship of God only, Revelation 19:10, but a fallen angel not only seeks to be worshipped by men, but by the Son of God Himself―even by Him whom all the holy angels worship, Hebrews 1:6. This was what Satan at first aspired after, and by which he fell: he affected deity, and sought to have divine worship given him; and in this sin he still persisted, and grew worse and worse, more daring and insolent, desiring worship of Him who is God over all, blessed for ever―the good angels are called morning stars, Job 38:7; and such he and his angels once were.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): When these fallen angels came out of the hands of God, they were holy; else God made that which was evil: and being holy, they were beloved of God; else He hated the image of His own spotless purity. But now He loves them no more; they are doomed to endless destruction.

JOHN GILL: God has showed a regard to fallen men, and not to fallen angels―none of the fallen angels are sought, recovered, and saved.

MATTHEW HENRY: God did not spare them―high and great as they were; He would not truckle to them; He threw them off, as a wise and good prince will a selfish and deceitful minister; and the great, the all-wise God, could not be ignorant, as the wisest and best of earthly princes often are, what designs they were hatching. After all, what became of them? They thought to have dared and outfaced Omnipotence itself; but God was too hard for them, He cast them down to hell. Those who would not be servants to their Maker and His will in their first state were made captives to His justice.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): When they fell from their first estate, God left them forever without hope—and they live in their rebellion against Him, waiting for the awful day when they shall receive the full recompense of their infamous revolt. There is no mercy for fallen spirits! I see how God exercised His Sovereignty, for when men and angels had both sinned, He passed by the greater sinners and took up the lesser ones. The fallen spirits He has “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the Great Day,” Jude 6.

JOHN GILL: Indeed the Lord does no wrong to any, by the distinction which He makes among His creatures: He is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works: He does no injury to the evil angels, by choosing the good angels, and confirming them in the estate in which they were created; when the others are reserved in chains of darkness.

MATTHEW HENRY: They are under darkness, though once angels of light; so horribly in the dark are they that they continue to fight against God, as if there were yet some small hope at least left them of prevailing and overcoming in the conflict. Dire infatuation!

JOHN GILL: They are not their own lords, and cannot do as they would; they are under restraints, and in chains, and not to be feared; which must be a great mortification to their proud and malicious spirits: and since this is the case of fallen angels, what severity may be expected from God against the opposers of the truths of the Gospel?

MATTHEW HENRY: There is―undoubtedly there is―a judgment to come; the fallen angels are reserved to “the judgment of the great day;” and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Let every reader consider this in due time. Their chains are called everlasting, because it is impossible they should ever break loose from them, or make an escape―the decree, the justice, the wrath of God, are the very chains under which fallen angels are held so fast. Hear and fear, O sinful mortals of mankind!


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