What sin(s) did Satan do in his Fall?

Question
How did Satan fall?
Answer

The Bible does not specifically speak of the fall of Satan. However, the story of Satan's fall "may" be described in two key Old Testament texts; Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. Though these texts describe an actual human king (Ezek. 28:2), numerous theologians believe that they are also illustrative or parallels of how Satan actually fell from Heaven.

For instance, the five "I wills" in Isaiah 14:13-14 may indicate an element of pride in Satan, which is also evidenced in Ezekiel 28:17-18 (cf. Ezek. 27:19; cf. Prov. 6:17-8:13; 16:18). 1 Timothy 3:6 clarifies that this is an attribute of the Devil saying, "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil." Some theologians often use Satan interchangeably with Lucifer / Devil / Serpent.

While we do not know the initial specific sins of Satan, if Isaiah 14 is meant to be symbolic of his fall, then we do know that as a result of it / them he was banished from "living" in Heaven (Isa. 14:12; apparently in some fashion he can still come before God temporarily, Job 1:6; 2:1). So, in the providence of God, he became corrupt (cf. Isa. 14:12, 16-17) and he went from being called the "morning star" (Isa. 14:12) to the "adversary" (1 Pet. 5:8). Note, that after Eve sinned, her name changed from "Women" (Gen. 2:23) to "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20); that is the mother of both of the elect and non-elect (or reprobate).

However, this is far from absolute proof of how Satan fell. Christ himself is also called the "morning star" (Rev. 22:16), and in the Latin Vulgate, 2 Peter 1:19 speaks of "Lucifer" arising in the hearts of believers (et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris).

Ultimately, Satan and all his hosts will be thrown into the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41).

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).