Do angels have free will?

We ought to remember what angels really are. Angels are persons, though they aren't human. They are bodiless souls in service to God. And one of the most important parts about angels is that they love God.

I think one of the fascinating things about angels is that they do have a will. They can make choices. If they didn't and were strictly limited to doing what God says without any sort of choice (despite the fall of Lucifer of course), then would angels actually love God? Or rather, could they love God? How can love be offered if it isn't voluntary?

If angels love God, that means they have a voluntary nature, and if they have a voluntary nature, that means they have free will.

Can I ask where you get all this information about angels? They have bodies, they eat (and with humans). In fact God said He took angel's food to feed Israel - manna, which in Hebrew literally means "what is this"? Some have entertained unaware they were "angels". They're physical too because they can grab us if need be (Lot) which still able to come and go like the spirit. By definition of "soul" as we understand it (clay, water, breath of God = living soul) but we do not have information on their formation, so it's all speculation except what is written in the word of God about them, which I mentioned above.

Definition time:

- Original: מלאך
- Transliteration: Mal'ak
- Phonetic: mal-awk'
- Definition:
1. messenger, representative
a. messenger
b. angel
c. the theophanic angel

- Original: ἄγγελος
- Transliteration: Aggelos
- Phonetic: ang'-el-os
- Definition:
1. a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

In fact, Revelation shows that the seven "angels" with the seven vials are "fellow servants" by their own words to John, so they could be saints working as messengers, the meaning of "angel", which is what the word in both Hebrew and Greek state. No offense, but don't be fooled by 16th century paintings and hollywood. (y)
 
Can I ask where you get all this information about angels? They have bodies, they eat (and with humans). In fact God said He took angel's food to feed Israel - manna, which in Hebrew literally means "what is this"? Some have entertained unaware they were "angels". They're physical too because they can grab us if need be (Lot) which still able to come and go like the spirit. By definition of "soul" as we understand it (clay, water, breath of God = living soul) but we do not have information on their formation, so it's all speculation except what is written in the word of God about them, which I mentioned above.

Definition time:

- Original: מלאך
- Transliteration: Mal'ak
- Phonetic: mal-awk'
- Definition:
1. messenger, representative
a. messenger
b. angel
c. the theophanic angel

- Original: ἄγγελος
- Transliteration: Aggelos
- Phonetic: ang'-el-os
- Definition:
1. a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

In fact, Revelation shows that the seven "angels" with the seven vials are "fellow servants" by their own words to John, so they could be saints working as messengers, the meaning of "angel", which is what the word in both Hebrew and Greek state. No offense, but don't be fooled by 16th century paintings and hollywood. (y)

What was your question? Where did I get information about angels?

Haha, not Hollywood or 16th century paintings, that for sure. What makes an angel a person is that they do have will, intellect, and reason. But when I say person, I don't mean human. So far, I don't think I disagree with anything you said about angels, though when I say bodiless, I think you used the word differently from me. Angels do have bodies, but not in the sense that I have a body. They do have spirits as all living things have souls, but you defined a soul as being in God's image when he breathed into Adam's nostrils. This is when man's soul came to and man's soul is in God's image, but everything living does have a soul, but only man's is in God's image.

St. Augustine wrote about angels stating it was more of their office than nature. The Scriptures offers encounters and explanations of the angels. The CCC in paragraphs 327 (I think) to 336 goes into depth about angels. One book I thought was interesting was called Angels & Demons by Peter Kreeft (no, not the sequel to DaVinci code).
 
I could be wrong, but I suspect everyone here knows Hollywood couldn't validly illustrate angels.

Highway to Heaven and Touched by an Angel were great shows, but they couldn't do it justice.
 
Very good.. So spiritually speaking and limiting ourselves to Word of God, what would distinguish humans and angels? More from characteristics perspective.

Freewill - Both have
Love God - Both of them love God
Service to God - Yes, both of them are obligated

What are the differences?
Angels are very much of a mystery still even though we know they exist. You said what man and angels have in common, but the big thing that differs us from them is that man was made in God's image. It is our will and intellect, but not just that. We have been given responsibility to rule and care for the earth. God says in Genesis 1:26 that man is to rule over the earth. He repeats this idea in verses 27 and 28 when he said to Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
 
I think you are unnecessarily confusing the issue. It is as simple as not giving an intelligent creation free will = evil. God is not evil.

God is not evil, I agree...but according to Isaiah he did create evil.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
 
God is not evil, I agree...but according to Isaiah he did create evil.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

1. Does ''peace'' go with ''evil''?
2. The KJV is the only one that says evil. All other versions say 'disaster / calamity / woe'. War / calamity is the obvious contrast to peace.
3. The context of the chapter is clear that God is talking about calamity. 'The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)''

Now on calamity we know that God relents from sending it.

Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the LORD, "Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

Gen 15:6 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.

Scripture however is crystal clear on the fact that God can 1. Do anything / is all powerful Rom 9 and 2. what He does in fact decide to do with His power is be loving, good, merciful, longsuffering and impartial to all of us. One of the most important verses for us to memorize is James 1:17 ''....the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change''.


 
1. Does ''peace'' go with ''evil''?
2. The KJV is the only one that says evil. All other versions say 'disaster / calamity / woe'. War / calamity is the obvious contrast to peace.
3. The context of the chapter is clear that God is talking about calamity. 'The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)''

Now on calamity we know that God relents from sending it.

Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the LORD, "Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

Gen 15:6 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.

Scripture however is crystal clear on the fact that God can 1. Do anything / is all powerful Rom 9 and 2. what He does in fact decide to do with His power is be loving, good, merciful, longsuffering and impartial to all of us. One of the most important verses for us to memorize is James 1:17 ''....the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change''.

KingJ~ I'm not sure what you mean in item #1. Of course peace and evil do not go together! But why point that out? I'm missing something here.

As far as the other meanings of the Hebrew word "ra-aw", I think each of them imply evil, hence the English word "evil" is very appropriate here. Either way, God lets us know He created it. NOTHING exists except it was created by Him, through Him, and for Him.

And yes, I agree with you that God relents. He also feels remorse at times for creating us. But I'm not too sure what you are meaning by bringing this point into the conversation. Explain, please. I can be very dense at times...o_O
 

Glomung

Account Closed
God is not evil, I agree...but according to Isaiah he did create evil.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

That's a very poor translation of the original. You should check out a few other translations of that text.
 
KingJ~ I'm not sure what you mean in item #1. Of course peace and evil do not go together! But why point that out? I'm missing something here.

As far as the other meanings of the Hebrew word "ra-aw", I think each of them imply evil, hence the English word "evil" is very appropriate here. Either way, God lets us know He created it. NOTHING exists except it was created by Him, through Him, and for Him.

And yes, I agree with you that God relents. He also feels remorse at times for creating us. But I'm not too sure what you are meaning by bringing this point into the conversation. Explain, please. I can be very dense at times...o_O

Below are some of the translations of ra in the Bible, according to the BDB Biblical Hebrew Dictionary:

- evil (Gn.6.5)
- unpleasant, giving pain, misery (like in Gn.47.9 "days of trial and hardship", or Pr.15.15)
- distess, misery, calamity (Nu.11.1, Ex.5.19, Gn.48,16) - sad, unhappy (Pr.25.20)
- vicious, unkind (Pr.26.23) - wicked (Ec.12.14)

When we look at the context of Isaiah 45 and the contrast to peace in vs 7 we clearly see that evil = calamity.

You also need to apply hermeneutics. The volume of scripture points to God not creating evil. He gave us free will and we choose sin / rebellion / evil.
 
Below are some of the translations of ra in the Bible, according to the BDB Biblical Hebrew Dictionary:

- evil (Gn.6.5)
- unpleasant, giving pain, misery (like in Gn.47.9 "days of trial and hardship", or Pr.15.15)
- distess, misery, calamity (Nu.11.1, Ex.5.19, Gn.48,16) - sad, unhappy (Pr.25.20)
- vicious, unkind (Pr.26.23) - wicked (Ec.12.14)

When we look at the context of Isaiah 45 and the contrast to peace in vs 7 we clearly see that evil = calamity.

You also need to apply hermeneutics. The volume of scripture points to God not creating evil. He gave us free will and we choose sin / rebellion / evil.

I think if something exists, it means it was created. Does sin/rebellion/evil exist?
 
God created man in His own image and hence we ended up with freewill.. Let's leave the question of what is freewill for some other thread!! Did angels have freewill? Because it was angels who decided to act against Lord and we have fallen angels.. Do they have freewill? Is there a possibility of angels falling again?

I would presume that the very fact that they succeeded in acting against God's will and falling in the first place would indicate they do have free will to choose.....

Revelation indicates that the Devil and his angels will war against Michael and his angels - and will be cast out.... this would indicate that there are yet angels that will "Fall" in the future.... which in my opinion indicates that they do have a choice...

As an aside on this... I often think of how Compassionate God must be - to keep "Fallen angels" and the Devil up in heaven with Him - where they have less access to cause trouble with us here.... At least with them "Up There" - they must seek permission from God to persecute us.... Revelation indicates that once they are cast down to earth - they will no longer seek God's approval... I don't think any of us really have any sort of clue how bad that will be....
 

Glomung

Account Closed
Revelation indicates that the Devil and his angels will war against Michael and his angels - and will be cast out.... this would indicate that there are yet angels that will "Fall" in the future.... which in my opinion indicates that they do have a choice...

The war you are referring to happened long ago. Nowhere does it imply that there are angels that will fall in the future.


As an aside on this... I often think of how Compassionate God must be - to keep "Fallen angels" and the Devil up in heaven with Him - where they have less access to cause trouble with us here.... At least with them "Up There" - they must seek permission from God to persecute us.... Revelation indicates that once they are cast down to earth - they will no longer seek God's approval... I don't think any of us really have any sort of clue how bad that will be....

The devil and his angels have their home in Hell, not in Heaven. I have no idea where you get the rest of that. Satan does not "ask permission" for anything. He goes about like a ravening lion seeking who he can devour.
 
The war you are referring to happened long ago. Nowhere does it imply that there are angels that will fall in the future.

Revelation 12

The devil and his angels have their home in Hell, not in Heaven. I have no idea where you get the rest of that. Satan does not "ask permission" for anything. He goes about like a ravening lion seeking who he can devour.

Job chapter 1
Zechariah 3
1st Corinthians 10:13
 
I like to believe they had free will, but have a stronger connection to God that it may not look like they do. If they did not have free how did some angels fall? hmmm, as my book is about angels it did give me something to think about.
 
It seems to me that nearly every single animal on earth has "Free Will".... Even the Amoeba can choose to putter left or putter right.... For example... Dogs and cats clearly can (and do) choose to disobey commands....

The bigger question in my mind is Knowledge of Good and Evil.... Do Angels possess an absolute "Moral compass" (Such as we got when Adam and Eve ate the fruit) that tries to make Black and White lines defining "Good" as "Right" and "Evil" as "Wrong" independent of situation - or do they define "Good" as "With God" and "Evil" as "Against God"...

For example... A trained dog bites on command.... In this case "Good" is the dog following the command.... "Bad" is the dog NOT following the command.... If the dog does not Bite when commanded to Bite - it has "Sinned"....
 
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