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WHERE IS SATAN?
“And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven” Luke 10:18 (Amplified Bible).
It is interesting to note the various positions expressed in commentaries concerning the present location of Satan and restrictions limiting his sphere of activity. Among those expressed is the view that when the devil and his evil angels sinned, God banished them from “the third heaven”—which, according to traditional Jewish belief, is where God and the holy angels reside and where the Apostle Paul believed he had been transported on one occasion (2 Cor.12:2). (Although Paul does not refer to himself personally in that passage, it is clear from the personal pronouns used that he is speaking obliquely of his own experience). And as the theory goes, the immediate presence of God is in the 3rd heaven, the 2nd heaven is “outer space” where the sun, moon and stars are located—while the 1st heaven is the atmosphere above our earth.
So the question is this: was Satan and his angels cast out of the 3rd heaven into the 2nd or do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars and go straight to jail on earth? Let us look at what the Scriptures have to say about the subject and try to see what fits.
Our subtitle is a quote from the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 10:18
concerning Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Cor.4:4), that was given as a
reply to the following remark made by the seventy disciples after He had sent
them out in pairs to witness to
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” Luke 10:17 (Amplified Bible).
Some understand the Lord’s reply as meaning He had seen Satan cast out of heaven to earth at some point in the past and to back up that position they use the following passages:
“How have you fallen from heaven, O
light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut
down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O
blasphemous, satanic king of
”Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. 8 But they were defeated, and there was no room found for them in heaven any longer. 9 And the huge dragon was cast down and out—that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over; he was forced out and down to the earth, and his angels were flung out along with him” Revelation 12:7-9 (Amplified Bible).
But I am convinced Satan was not banished to earth when he rebelled against God because when we turn to the Scriptures and pay attention to the context of statements in the Book of Revelation concerning those events in which Satan will play a part—that particular theory does not appear to be correct.
Since Jesus Christ is God the Son and the greatest Prophet who has ever, or will ever, walk this earth, why can we not interpret both His statement and that of the prophet Isaiah relative to Satan falling from heaven, as being prophetic in nature? Consider these comments on Luke 10:18 taken from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Bible Commentary:
“I beheld—As much of the force of this glorious statement depends on the nice shade of sense indicated by the imperfect tense in the original, it should be brought out in the translation: “I was beholding Satan as lightning falling from heaven”; i.e., “I followed you on your mission, and watched its triumphs; while you were wondering at the subjection to you of devils in My name, a grander spectacle was opening to My view; sudden as the darting of lightning from heaven to earth, lo! Satan was beheld falling from heaven! How remarkable is this, that by the law of association which connects a part with the whole, those feeble triumphs of the Seventy seem to have not only brought vividly before the Redeemer the whole ultimate result of His mission, but compressed it into a moment and quickened it into the rapidity of lightning!” (Emphasis mine).
Another reason I am convinced
the two verses cited above are still unfulfilled is simply because the latter
(Revelation 12:7) says that Satan and his angels were forced “down to the
earth!” The context of the visions seen by the Apostle John and recorded in
that chapter refer not only to events in
In Chapter 12, verses 1 through
5 we find a sequence of events in which the “woman” (
“And a great sign (wonder)—[warning of future events of ominous significance] appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crownlike garland (tiara) of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and she cried out in her birth pangs, in the anguish of her delivery. 3 Then another ominous sign (wonder) was seen in heaven: Behold, a huge, fiery-red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven kingly crowns (diadems) upon his heads. 4 His tail swept [across the sky] and dragged down a third of the stars and flung them to the earth. And the dragon stationed himself in front of the woman who was about to be delivered, so that he might devour her child as soon as she brought it forth. 5 And she brought forth a male Child, One Who is destined to shepherd (rule) all the nations with an iron staff (scepter), and her Child was caught up to God and to His throne” Revelation 12:1-5 (Amplified Bible).
Then keeping in mind that the
context of the entire passage in Chapter 12 pertains to Israel, the next verse
(6) leaps beyond the Church Age to describe how God will provide for the
protection of His elect among the people of Israel during the last half of the
Tribulation period—the “Great Tribulation” of 3 ½ years. And quite a few
prophecy teachers think that place of safety may be the ancient city of
“And the woman [herself] fled into the desert (wilderness), where she has a retreat prepared [for her] by God, in which she is to be fed and kept safe for 1,260 days (42 months; three and one-half years)” Revelation 12:6 (Amplified Bible).
Next in line are verses 7-9, cited earlier:
”Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. 8 But they were defeated, and there was no room found for them in heaven any longer. 9 And the huge dragon was cast down and out—that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over; he was forced out and down to the earth, and his angels were flung out along with him” Revelation 12:7-9 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
First of all we should note that verse 7 in the Amplified version begins with the word “then” (which is a legitimate choice for translating the Greek particle kai) denoting that war breaks out in heaven at a point relative to that which takes place in verse 6. And I believe a close examination of the overall context will show the “fallout” from that war in heaven will be the reason why the “woman” is forced to flee for her life. Also the “abomination that makes desolate” (Daniel 11:31 and 12:11), generally held by conservative Bible teachers to occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period, definitely appears to be Satan’s explosive reaction to something that takes place within that particular time frame. So I am convinced the “war in heaven” resulting in Satan’s expulsion to earth will be the trigger that prompts a demon possessed antichrist to reveal his true identity and unleash the full fury of his hatred against Israel, along with all that is holy upon the earth. And while thinking about this it occurred to me that nothing in Scripture says the antichrist will be possessed by Satan alone. Just like the “Legion” of Mark 5:9 that possessed the maniac of the Gadarenes, I think it entirely possible that a host of the evil angelic demons will possess the antichrist—along with Satan!
Then when we go back to Revelation 12, verse 10 adds this:
“Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come—the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (the sovereignty, the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out!” Revelation 12:10 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Do not the words “Then” and “Now” in the verse above (taken in light of and in conjunction with, the contextual subject matter of Rev. Chapter 12, verses 6 and 14) point to the timing of those events taking place after verse 5 as being at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period? (That is, when we follow the generally accepted position taken by conservative prophecy teachers about a mid-Trib occurrence of “the abomination of desolation”).
Admittedly an accurate chronological sequence of these events is well nigh impossible to determine with absolute certainty, but may I suggest the following “guesstimate”:
And with this being the
case, the accuser of the brethren will be allowed to continue his adversarial
“ministry” against God’s people—while retaining access to heaven—until war
among the angels breaks out and it is subsequently revoked. Only then will access be cut off as a
consequence of being expelled by the archangel Michael and the holy angels. And
when it finally does happen, he will be enraged because the time on his “game
clock” will be running out! In a blind fury because of his hatred for God, he
will utilize his great supernatural power to try to destroy the people of
“And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]. 12 Therefore be glad (exult), O heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger (fury), because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]!13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was supplied with the two wings of a giant eagle, so that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the desert (wilderness), to the retreat where she is to be kept safe and fed for a time, and times, and half a time (three and one-half years, or 1,260 days). 15 Then out of his mouth the serpent spouted forth water like a flood after the woman, that she might be carried off with the torrent. 16 But the earth came to the rescue of the woman, and the ground opened its mouth and swallowed up the stream of water which the dragon had spouted from his mouth. 17 So then the dragon was furious (enraged) at the woman, and he went away to wage war on the remainder of her descendants—[on those] who obey God’s commandments and who have the testimony of Jesus Christ [and adhere to it and bear witness to Him]” Revelation 12:11-17 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
I am especially intrigued by verse 13 because of the odd phrasing, “When
the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth…” To me, it seems to
indicate a realization that in addition to being cast out of heaven, his
supernatural ability to transcend time and space has been withdrawn. In an
instant the god of this world will have his wings clipped, so to speak, with
the sphere of his activity totally limited to earth. Thus his evil power and
fury will be concentrated upon the destructive objectives foreordained by God
as judgment upon an apostate
Then backing up just a bit, we note that verse 4 contains a phrase about the “red dragon” that has traditionally been interpreted as indicating his demons (a third of the angels) followed him in rebellion and were banished from heaven and cast to earth as a result—thereby reinforcing the belief that banishment occurred when they rebelled:
“His tail swept [across the sky] and dragged down a third of the stars and flung them to the earth…”
At first glance the placement of this phrase within the sequence of events may seem to validate the belief concerning them being cast out along with Satan and consigned to earth immediately after they sinned. But while I too believe it refers to the fallen angels, it plainly says the tail of the red dragon “dragged” them down and “flung them to the earth.” So to attribute this action to God and His angels appears to be, as trial lawyers put it, “Assuming facts not in evidence.”
Note too that verse 4 concludes with this statement:
“…And the dragon stationed himself in front of the woman who was about to be delivered, so that he might devour her child as soon as she brought it forth” Revelation 12:4 (Amplified Bible).
In the overall narrative the emphasis is upon Satan’s attempt to kill the baby Jesus. So does it seem unreasonable to conclude that the first part of the verse refers to the devil marshaling all the fallen angels to send them to earth in an effort to help him fight God’s plan for a Savior? After all, contending with extreme demonic activity was one of the hallmarks of the Lord’s earthly ministry! And even after the devil was defeated by Christ’s death on the cross, it seems obvious that to this day he still has access to God because he keeps bringing accusations against the brethren before Him “day and night” (see Rev.12:10, cited earlier). And we know he definitely had access to God in the past because the Book of Job tells us Satan came into His presence during Job’s lifetime—a fact that definitely appears to contradict the theory that he and his angels were cast out of heaven to earth immediately after they rebelled:
“Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to Satan, From where did you come? Then Satan answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it” Job 1:6-7 (Amplified Bible).
However, objections against Satan being able to enter heaven today are understandable because those who hold that position believe the following passage says God cannot tolerate evil in His holy presence:
“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” Habakkuk 1:13 (KJV).
In other words the logic is that since heaven is where a sinless and infinitely holy God resides, how can Satan, the very personification of sin, be allowed to come before His presence? But we need to bear in mind that God is omnipresent, which means there is nowhere Satan can possibly be that is “out of His presence!” And for that reason I am convinced the answer is found in the principles of subordination and accountability. The devil is a “bulldog on a long leash that only comes when he is called.” His almost exclusive location and activity is “…going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it” (Job 1:7b), and accusing the brethren day and night before God (Rev.12:10) does not require his constant presence in heaven. However, access has to be possible for him and his angels because based upon what we find in Job 1:6-7 God can summon them at any time to give an account for their actions. Therefore, it will have to remain open until that point in the future when a despicable act of treason will cause it to be forcibly revoked. Otherwise there could be no “war in heaven” in the context found in Revelation Chapter 12.
Why do you suppose they will be so stupid as to try to overthrow God? I believe it could be due to Satan’s colossal ego being stoked by the seemingly successful regime of his antichrist on earth. Buoyed by such triumphs he may attempt to bring to fruition the “I will’s” of Isaiah 14:13-14 by means of a “back door” assault on the battlements of heaven! Taking advantage of a portal open to him since creation, he enters unbidden and tries to pull off a “palace coup.” More than likely every rotten subterfuge and strategy imaginable will have been tried up to that time and then in a cataclysmic clash of good and evil, God’s omnipotence will finally be tested—unsuccessfully, of course. But never let it be said the devil does not believe in “the power of positive thinking” because at the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ, he will be released from the bottomless pit long enough to succeed in raising a huge army of disgruntled humans (Rev.20:7-10). However, the outcome of that ill-advised adventure will be worse for him than the first time he tried it, because in the latter instance he will be consigned to the lake of fire forever!
Satan definitely fell from grace when iniquity was found in him. But judging from the events recorded in Revelation 12 it does not appear that he or his evil angels have been banished to earth yet, nor will they be, until they are forcibly kicked out and deprived of their former state of spiritual existence. And that drastic action will probably reduce them to a single option—that of possessing humans in what will prove to be the final, futile attempt to spite God by annihilating Israel. That possibility is based upon evidence in the Scriptures that seems to teach the principle that as disembodied spirits demons are driven to possess someone or something—even if it is only a herd of swine (Luke 8:32). And since the human antichrist will be Satan incarnate by virtue of demon possession, I personally believe the following tidbit found in Isaiah’s vision concerning Lucifer gives us some insight into the outcome of that tremendous “demotion”:
“Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?” Isaiah 14:16 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Even though verse 4 of Isaiah 14 begins the passage by referring to “the king of Babylon” (thereby causing some to conclude the balance refers to that same human king), the narrative quickly shifts its focus and from verse 12 through 17 describes a supernatural being that I am convinced is the “anointed cherub” (verse 14) of Ezekiel 28, referred to as “the king of Tyre” in verse 12. And in both instances the nature of the expanded narrative clearly transcends anything that could possibly refer to a mere mortal—apparently indicating that in each case a man is possessed by a supernatural being. Therefore, can we rule out the possibility that both are intended to be prophetic glimpses of the coming antichrist?
In my imagination I can almost see the “man” of Isaiah 14:16 stretched
out on the ground with a foot of the triumphant Jesus Christ upon his neck!
Then after onlookers have gazed upon that awesome scene and pondered its
significance, Satan will be exorcised, bound, and cast into the “bottomless
pit” (Rev.20:2). Subsequently the “kings of
“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the
king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the
sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in
Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the
sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the
sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy
tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I
have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy
man, take up a lamentation over the king of
Of the two translations given I think the KJV is more accurate in this particular case because it renders the verb tenses in verses 16-18 (underlined) as future, rather than past. The point is obviously arguable because scholars differ on how they should be translated, but to my way of thinking a future fulfillment makes more sense.
* NOTE: “Commerce” and “trade” (or “merchandise” and “traffick”) will be instruments of control the antichrist will bring to bear upon the peoples of earth during his reign. Also in some instances the Hebrew word miqdash translated as “sanctuaries” is used to refer to places of false worship. Could its use here refer to humans that have been possessed? After all, are not believers in Jesus Christ sanctuaries of the Holy Spirit?
“How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!] 13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north. 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead). 16 Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?— 17 Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who would not permit his prisoners to return home?” Isaiah 14:12-17 (Amplified Bible).
If we parallel this passage with Ezekiel 28:12-19, Satan falling from heaven and being cut down to the ground will also occur at mid-Trib. Then after the battle of Armageddon the human body of the antichrist will be brought down to Sheol/Hades. There has to be a distinction made between Satan and the human antichrist, because the former will be consigned to the “bottomless pit” for a thousand years, then be released “for a little season” (Rev.20:3). And then after his final attempt at displacing God he will be cast into the “lake of fire” (Rev.20:10)—not Sheol/Hades).
So it definitely appears that the devil’s head is way too big for the tiny hat he is wearing and his motto almost has to be “It aint over ‘til it’s over!” He apparently thinks he is eventually going to win the war and for some reason God keeps on allowing him to give it his best shot. And while I certainly do not pretend to know that reason, it may have something to do with the following verse in Ephesians:
”[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere. Ephesians 3:10 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
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P.O. Box 26
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God bless you.