Question: When Did The Angelic Rebellion Occur?
Answer: The fall of the evil angels occurred sometime in the distant past. Though the Bible does not specifically tell us when this happened, there are a couple of clues. We can list them as follow.

1. Everything Was Perfect In The Beginning

We read the following summation of creation account in the Book of Genesis.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-- the sixth day (Genesis 1:31 NIV).

When God finished creating, “everything” He made was “very good.” If this refers to all of God’s creation, then this would include the angelic world.

If this is the case, then Satan, and the evil angels, did not exist before the seventh day of creation as evil beings. In other words, they were still without sin.

2. Sin Entered By The Time Of Genesis 3

In the third chapter of Genesis, we find Satan, in the form of the serpent, coming to Eve with the temptation. The Bible explains what took place as follows.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?” (Genesis 3:1 NIV).

Because the serpent desired to tempt the woman with sin, we know at this time, sin had already entered into the universe. It seems, therefore, that some time between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 3 this angelic rebellion took place and sin entered into the universe.

3. The Account In Genesis Could Be Restricted To Earth

It could be argued, however, that in Genesis the emphasis on the perfection of creation was limited to the earth. In other words, it did not include the unseen realm of the universe.

The writer, therefore, is only interested in telling his audience about the conditions on the earth, not the entire universe. Consequently, from the perspective of the writer of Genesis, no comment is made about sin being elsewhere in the universe. All the writer is saying is that sin had not reached the earth at this time.

If this is the case, then the angelic sin could have taken place before the earth was created. However, because the account is limited in what it tells us, there is no possibility to be certain either way.

In sum, we are not able to come to any firm conclusion on the matter.

Summary To Question 3 When Did The Angelic Rebellion Occur?

The Bible says that everything was created perfect, there was no sin on the earth until Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

However, this does not necessarily mean there was no sin elsewhere in the universe. If the Genesis creation account is restricted to the earth, then sin could have entered at a previous time at somewhere else in the universe.

If, however, the Bible is saying that everything, everywhere in the universe was perfect, then sin did not occur until after the sixth day of creation.

Because our information is limited, we cannot make any definite conclusion about this question.

This question comes from my book “Evil Angels, Demons And The Occult” See product page for information on how to obtain it


Don Stewart is an internationally recognized Christian apologist and speaker. He graduated cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary and the International Seminar in Theology and Law in Strasbourg, France, as well as from Biola University. Don is also a best-selling and award-winning author/co-author of over seventy books. [ read more ]


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