Can an Angel in heaven still fall?


#1

Tradition holds that 1/3 of the Angels fell with Lucifer.

I have heard this is because Angels have a limited free will, that they only have 1 chance to choose, and those 1/3 of all of the Angels choose to leave God.

But what about the other 2/3 of the Angels, did they make their choice then, or could some still be holding out to use their 1 chance of limited free will.

I mean were all of the Angels required to choose right at that very moment in heavenly time (I know that there is no time in heaven, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say), or did only some of them choose to fall, and only some choose God, while yet others made no commitment at all at that time and kept the status quo, waiting to use their limited free will at a later time, let’s say at the final battle.


#2

It is my understanding that angels had free will, like we. What they had in addition, is an intellect with the capacity to fully realize the seriousness and consequences of their use of it. As such, once a choice is made, its consequences were locked in forever.


#3

I would think that all the angels made their choice at the moment of their creation. How could they be admitted into heaven if they had not already chosen for God?

One must also keep in mind that time is different for God and the angels than it is for ourselves. There is no “later time” in our sense of the words. Only the ever-present eternity.


#4

I suspect that the way to properly understand it is that angels had free will and still have free will, but none of those in Heaven will ever choose differently, as the amount of information they had in the past when the decision was being made is the same as the amount of information they have at present. Their intellects in the past could fully comprehend the consequences of their choices, and their intellects in the present can too. No new information could show up that could cause them to reevalute. They knew what they were doing completely and they did it, so it won’t be undone.

Humans are so different . . . we have limited knowledge and churning passions. We might have a bad experience and then get poisoned on something we’ve always accepted. We don’t have that much certain knowledge (outside God’s revelation, the Church, but we don’t know its truth in the same way the angels know it. We know some of it and believe the rest), but a lot of shifting opinion, and new pieces of information can come up and new interpretations that can throw us off course. There won’t be new opinions, new interpretations and new information for the angels, or any “bad experiences” that cause negative reactions to the godly. They know too much to fall prey to these human failings. So once their decision was made, nothing new will come up to cause them to change it. They made their decision eternally when they made it once. They would never want to change it any more now than they did then, because their experience and information don’t change, but rather remain constant.

It’s not really an issue of, “they could if they wanted to.” It’s rather an issue of, “they didn’t, so we know they wouldn’t,” because what they were and knew then is the same as what they are and know now.


#5

Can an Angel in heaven still fall?
No - impossible.
Angles made their decision for or against God at the moment they were created - before they were entered into the beatific vision. Angels are pure intellect and make their decisions instantaneously and can’t change their mind since they had perfect knowledge. There is nothing new for them to act on and reevaluate. Once a being is ratified and God permits them to enter into the beatific vision they are God’s forever and can never do anything that displeases God. They have a free will but of a form so perfected, tested and pure that they share God’s mind to the full capacity of their nature and can not even conceive to do anything outside of God’s will. This does not make all beings a cookie cutter of the other - quite the contrary. The same is true with human souls by the way.

In other words it becomes impossible to sin in heaven.

James


#6

The Angels did not have “limited Free will” They had full free will, and had additional knowledge beyond what we humans have here on earth. The additional knowledge of God is why they had one choice to follow or reject God.


#7

[quote=Revelation 12:7-9]“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
[/quote]

This says they were already in Heaven.


#8

They were created in place in heaven but were not fully incorporated into the beatific vision until after they were tested. In a manner one can think of it as the angles being at Heaven’s fourier or outer courtyard but not formally inside of God’s House.

James


#9

I don’t think Angels have limited free will. They fell and cannot be redeemed because at the time when they said they will not serve they have FULL KNOWLEDGE of the consequence of their actions. They instantaneously knew that their disobedience to God will bring them to hell and they still chose not to serve.

Men can be redeemed and be saved even if they fall because their knowledge is limited.

We must also discuss that Angels are not created beings…Angel is an office. The nature of angels are pure spirits.

Angels in heaven who chose to obey God will not fall because their will is one with God’s. This is not limited free will but rather this is the full expression of FREE will.

True Freedom comes only in following the Truth. The Truth is the second person of the blessed Trinity.

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”

The false concept of freedom is…being able to choose between good and evil. That is not freedom. Freedom is to be free from the grip of sin, bondage and slavery, Freedom is to follow the will of God. True Freedom is to be a slave to God’s will. We must realize that following God’s will truly set us free.

The angels as well as humans were not given free will to disobey God. This is the wrong application of free will.

Everything that God created and gave us is good. What makes it evil is when when we take it and ruin it. Free will when used not in accordance to God’s design is to willfully make it evil.

Angels in heaven can never fall because they have true freedom.


#10

That is not correct. Angels were created by God.

Col 1:16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.


#11

You misunderstood my point. Angels are not created beings…meaning Angels are not classification of created beings. Angel is an office not a nature.

What God created is a pure spirit, the task given them is Angel.

Sounds confusing? Let me elaborate…

St. Augustine, and after him St. Gregory, expresses it: angelus est nomen officii (“angel is the name of the office”) and expresses neither their essential nature nor their essential function.

In essence…yes…these spirits are created beings by God (all are)…so in a way, you may say that angels are created beings only if you understand that the nature of these beings are spirit.

Here’s an analogy… George Bush is created with Body and Soul…his nature is Human…but his office is President of the United States.

Clear now…I hope. Peace Bro.


#12

I am confused. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that:

That the angels were created was laid down in the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).

Angels are created beings not just spirits in offices.


#13

All of creation is created by God. Yes…even Angels.

What I was trying to say is… What God created is the spirit…this is their nature…what was given to them to do is Angel.

Sorry…I was just trying to distinguish about their nature vs. their office.

To be more precise…this is the Vatican Document:

I. THE ANGELS

The existence of angels - a truth of faith

328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: "‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, 'angel.’"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”.189

330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190


#14

I disagree. Angels are in fact created beings that have intellect, spirit and even a unique personality. They do have a nature and that nature is materially different from human nature but not completely alien to it. We both have intellect and souls but of different kinds and capacities. For example, Angels do not need to reason and posit to arrive at truth as humans do while we are here on earth (since reasoning has a temporal and sensory sort of nature). Angels as pure spiritual beings are not sensual and have no facilities for reason. They just “know” through pure intellect truth and the perspective of humans. Their souls also have a supernaturally high but finite spiritual capacity that is greater than humans. But humans in the presence of God’s grace can actually grow their souls through cooperation with grace and ascend to an as high or even higher capacity than even the highest of angels; though very few humans do (e.g. Mary, Joseph, and some of our other higher order saints). This is why it is said that the angels are lovingly jealous of our human nature since it is created inferior that their nature but ours has the capacity to actually grow and ascend to somthing greater. Mary is said to be the highest ordered created being in all of heaven (above all other saints and even the most holy Seraphic angels in the 9 choirs of angels).

While I can appreciate your abstraction of angels to an “office” I also think it abstracts them too far away. We humans also have a spiritual nature so the angels are related to us as co-created beings of Creation. We are all part of God’s heavenly family.

James


#15

All creations are created by God. Even spirits tasked with an angelic office. We have no disagreement on that.

But if you disagree that an Angel is an office instead of it being a nature, then you are disagreeing with St. Augustine. And sadly, with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Let quote it again. Vatican Document

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: “**‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.’”**188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”.189

…here’s my take on this…let’s just call on them for help. :slight_smile:


#16

Here’s something to ponder about…

When God calls you be with Him for all eternity, but asks you to gives His message to a group of people…do you become an angel?

I believe so. Since you are now a spirit taking on an angelic office giving the message of God to His people. Any comments or reactions to this? I would like to know your thoughts.


#17

This is probably splitting semantic hairs here and I doubt we are still productively contributing to the OP.

But let me just say that it has been customary in our culture (perhaps due to the laity’s ignorance of the established orthodox semantical taxonomy that theologians have constructed) to generalize all good non-human supernatural beings as “angels” (and conversely evil ones as “demons”) without ever thinking of that term being an office.

So, in this day and age if one of us in the west saw such a being most of us would probably call it “an angel” rather than “a spirit”. Thus in the crude lingua franca of the man on the street the prior term (angel) connotes in one compact verbal expression ‘a perfectly holy and good supernatural being obedient to God’. The latter term (spirit) is ambiguous by at least a factor of 400% since the term being ambiguous could mean: 1) a good human spirit, 2) a good angelic spirit, 3) a bad human spirit or an 4) evil fallen angel (demon). In other words its simpler and more natural for humans to say and think of these entities as Angelic beings - not offices.

Frankly, I don’t thing that there is a person on the planet who is going to get people out of the habit of calling their Guardian Angels just that. I could not imagine somone changing that concept into something like “personal spiritual concierge exclusively assigned from the office of Angels”. :smiley:

Tradition can sometimes come from the bottom up… :wink:

James


#18

Very true.

It’s like saying “I’ll xerox this document” instead of “I’ll photocopy this document.”

But it’s really ok to call our Guardian Angels as such…because that’s what they do…in my analogy about George Bush… I don’t call him Human Being George…I call him Mr. President… out of respect to the office he’s holding.

But my main point is…what God created was spiritual beings and what was tasked to them is Angel.

The confusion arose when it was thought that I was insinuating that angels weren’t created by God…sorry for the confusion. I apologize.


#19

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”.267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275


#20

No, Because we are created as human beings and we will remain so in eternity. The Apostle’s Creed concludes “I believe…in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” So, we do not become angels.


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