As we shall see, there are indeed angels in heaven who have sinned and thus they were capable of sinning. But we will also see that there are “holy and elect angels” in heaven who cannot sin.

1) There are TWO CLASSES of angels that sinned. The FIRST CLASS was Lucifer and the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God. We first read of Lucifer’s fall in Isaiah 14:12-14, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning…For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God….I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (NKJV). Lucifer’s main sin was his desire to “sit on a throne in heaven” and to “be like the Most High”; in other words, he wanted to “dethrone God” and be worshipped as God. We also learn about what caused Lucifer’s fall in Ezekiel chapter 28: “Thus says the Lord God: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty…You were the anointed cherub who covers…You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, TILL INIQUITY WAS FOUND IN YOU…Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty” (verses 12, 14-15, 17). PRIDE was the root of Lucifer’s fall! After Lucifer’s fall he became known in Scripture as “the Devil and Satan” (Revelation 12:9 and 20:2).

We know that other angels followed him in his rebellion. They are “fallen angels” who are often called “demons” in Scripture. Satan is definitely their leader, for in Luke 11:15 he is called “the ruler of demons” and in Matthew 25:41 we read of “the devil and his angels.” It seems obvious that they chose Lucifer over God and thus they too wanted to see Lucifer “enthroned in heaven as God.”

The SECOND CLASS of angels that sinned are mentioned in 2nd Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not THE ANGELS WHO HAD SINNED, but having cast them down to the deepest pit of gloom has delivered them to chains of darkness to be kept for judgment” (DARBY version). These “angels who had sinned” are not free to roam the earth like the Devil and his angels, but have been confined to a “pit of gloom” until the final day of judgment. Their main sin is recorded in Jude 6, “And ANGELS WHO DID NOT KEEP THEIR PROPER DOMAIN, BUT LEFT THEIR OWN ABODE, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” These angels chose to abandon heaven (where God wanted them to live) and I believe they then lived on earth and married women among the human race, as we see in Genesis 6:1-2, “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the SONS OF GOD saw the DAUGHTERS OF MEN, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” This “unnatural act” is compared to the sin of homosexuality that took place in Sodom and Gomorrah in Jude 7, “As Sodom and Gomorrah…having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after STRANGE FLESH.” The sin of these angels was so abhorrent to God that he cast them into the bottomless pit.

BUT there are GOOD ANGELS who can’t sin! In contrast to “the devil and his angels” they are referred to as “God’s angels.” When Christ returns to establish His kingdom on the earth we read that “He will send HIS ANGELS…and they will gather together His elect” (Matthew 24:31). In Mark 8:38 we read, “The Son of Man will not be ashamed of him when He comes…with the HOLY ANGELS.”  They are called “HOLY angels” because THEY CANNOT SIN! In 1st Timothy 5:21 we read, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the ELECT ANGELS that you observe these things…” They are called “ELECT angels” because God has CHOSEN THEM.  In contrast to the fallen angels who are used by Satan to build his kingdom, these holy and “chosen angels” are used by God in the establishment of His kingdom.  (404.5)  (DO)