When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?
After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus triumphantly ascended into heaven. It was about this time that a great war took place in heaven. Revelation 12:7-9 says, "Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
As a result of this heavenly war, Satan was permanently cast out of heaven. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night'"
Even after Satan was cursed in the Garden of Eden, he still had access to the courts of heaven (see Job 1:6). But all that changed as a result of Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus foretold to His disciples, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me"
(John 12:31-32). "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me"
(John 14:30; also see 16:11). Jesus was saying that the devil would be cast out of heaven when He (Jesus) ascended to heaven!
Ever since Messiah's victory, the devil and his fallen angels do not have access to the throne room of God. Where are they now? Here, on earth! "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time"
(Revelation 12:12). Peter and the other apostles referred to the time after Christ as the "last days" (see Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2; I John 2:18), because Jesus' second coming could happen at any time. Therefore, Satan wages war with the children of God in great rage, knowing that his time is short.
Why Is the Devil Necessary?
The ways of God are far beyond our finite comprehension. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"
(Isaiah 45:7). God knows what is necessary for His divine plan and purpose to be realized. This is why He allows wickedness to go on for a season. Ultimately, however, God's full glory and power will be made known. What the devil means for evil, God will use for good. Paul said, "What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?"
It is important to understand that the events recorded in Genesis 3 did not take God by surprise. When God created the angelic being who became Satan, God knew that the character He placed within Satan would be prone to pride. God also knew how that pride would ultimately affect mankind. "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil"
(Proverbs 16:4). We do not know or understand all the plans and purposes of God, yet we can rest assured that the adversary of mankind is fulfilling his purpose under the sovereign control of an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator.
One of the main reasons the devil exists is so the children of God can grow up into the full stature of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15). Indeed, there is a purpose in testings and sufferings: they try and purify our heart toward God. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life"
(Revelation 2:10). You see, Satan fights against the children of God, and this struggle purges out the "chaff" in our lives, bringing about maturity and righteousness within us (Isaiah 54:14-17). Jesus told Simon Peter, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren"
Satan will always be subject to his Creator. He had to get God's permission to hurt Job (see Job 1), and he had to leave when Jesus commanded him to do so. "When the devil had ended all the temptation [trials], he departed from Him for a season"
(Luke 4:13; also see Matthew 4:10-11). Why did Jesus not command Satan to leave and never return again? The reason is because the devil was still needed to enter into Judas Iscariot to betray Christ (Luke 22:3; John 19:36), and is still needed to fulfill all Scriptures to the end of this age (Luke 24:44).
Certainly, there is much that goes on behind the scenes of human events. Each of us is a part of an epic story, much more grandiose than we can possibly imagine. We are intrigued to find that one of the purposes of the Body of Christ (the Church) is so that the angels will learn the depths of God's wisdom: "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God"
How is Satan Overcome?
Satan is that great dragon, the crooked serpent, whose characteristics are the epitome of evil and whose dominion is the antithesis of light. Darkness cannot abide with light, for "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all"
(I John 1:5). Those who do evil hate the light, for fear that their deeds will be exposed (John 3:17-21).
The light and life of God are revealed to us through Jesus Christ, the Light of the World (see John 1:3-5, John 8:12). Jesus said, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness"
Just as light always overcomes darkness, Satan is conquered by the Light of the World. Jesus said that Satan cannot cast out Satan. Then He said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you"
(Matthew 12:24-28). You see, a big lie of Satan is that evil can overcome evil, when in reality, both evils build up Satan's kingdom. It is impossible for darkness to overcome darkness; for the Scripture says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good"
(Romans 12:21). Our God-given parents were correct when they said, "Two wrongs do not make a right!"
Revelation 12:11 tells us that the saints overcame Satan the accuser "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
You see, Satan is already a defeated foe. We are called to walk in the victory of the Son of God (Jesus Christ), Who was manifested on the earth for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil"
(I John 3:8). The Greek word for "destroy" here literally means loosing what is bound
. When Jesus' disciples discovered that the devils were subject to them through His name, Jesus replied, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven"
(Luke 10:18). Jesus had seen in the spiritual realm that Satan was undone. Truly, Satan's days are numbered.
What Is Satan's Destiny?
Satan and his cohorts have lied, sinned, murdered, persecuted, and made war against God's creation since the Garden of Eden. However, the Bible tells us that they will soon receive judgment through God's wrath and that their evil works will be destroyed.
Revelation 19 describes the battle between the forces of the Antichrist and Jesus (Yeshua) at the end of this age. After the defeat and destruction of "the beast" and "the false prophet," the Bible reveals that Satan will be captured and imprisoned for a thousand years (see Revelation 20:1-3). "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited"
After the thousand years, Satan will be released for a short time until he is thrown into the lake of fire. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone ... and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever"
(Revelation 20:10). Jesus mentioned Satan's ultimate fate in Matthew 25:41, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.'"
The serpent was cursed in the Garden of Eden after he beguiled Eve. God told him: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman [Eve], and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel"
(Genesis 3:14). The serpent did "bruise the heel" of Christ (Eve's seed) at the cross, but Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua) is the One who will ultimately deliver the ruinous blow to the serpent's head. "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly"
(Romans 16:20). Meanwhile, the devil is roaming the earth as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He is accomplishing the will of God as the ruler of the fallen angels and as the adversary of mankind.
When the children of God walk as children of light, then the devil, sin, and evil are overcome. "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness"
(I Thessalonians 5:5). Another verse says, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light"
(Ephesians 5:8). As children of light, we are to fight the "wiles of the devil" and "all the fiery darts of the wicked" with the Armor of God
(Ephesians 6:10-18). We must diligently guard our hearts, resist the devil (James 4:7), and not give place to the devil
. When God's Word is hidden in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), we are kept from the paths of the destroyer (Psalm 17:3-4).
If you desire to walk in the marvellous light
(I Peter 2:9) of Jesus Christ and be transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, please read our biblical salvation plan
This biblical teaching was written by
David Holt Boshart, Jr.
and his wife Shari.
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