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Casting out of Satan in Rev 12

 

Did you know that Satan has been banished from heaven during this New Testament period?

The Hebrew word 'satan' means accuser. In the book of Job we see Satan standing before the throne of God complaining, accusing and generally griping about God's good servants. I'm sure that this was his favorite pastime.  Again in 1 Kings 22:19-21 we read of a demonic spirit standing before the throne of God in heaven during an angelic assembly. The evil spirit offers to entice Ahab as a deceiving spirit.

Another time in Zech 3, Joshua the high Priest is seen in a vision as standing before the angel of the LORD, the scene appears to be at the throne in heaven. Satan is at the right hand of the angel throwing mud at Joshua.    I think it is significant that Satan is said to be at the 'right hand' in Zech 3:1. He has been displaced from that position. Jesus the Risen Christ is now at the right hand in the heavenly realm.

In days past Satan and evil spirits had direct access to God's throne room in heaven. Satan even held a prominent position within the governmental hierarchy of heaven.

But then in Rev 12, the angels and the demons have a battle. Of course, the angels win. Satan and all demons are cast out of heaven. A place is not available for them any longer (Rev 12:8). They are cast into the earth.   When does this happen?

Some people think  that this was a primordial battle before mankind existed at the dawn of Satan's fall. But since evil spirits make appearances back in heaven in Job 1, 1Kings 22, Zech 3 and possibly in  1 Chron 21 at David's census, the battle in Rev 12 likely occurs after those events.  Unfortunately, the verbs of this chapter are mostly in the aorist tense, which is sort of undefined as to past, present or future. Syntax won't help us much is this study. However, I think it is reasonable that after a crushing battle, Satan is never readmitted to the throne room of heaven.

Other people think that Satan will not be cast out of heaven permanently until the Millennium when he is chained in the abyss, or possibly at the Great White Throne judgment when he is destroyed in the Lake of Fire. They figure that currently, during the NT epoch, Satan still has direct access to God's throne and continues to accuse the saints. However, Rev 12:9 clearly says that the dragon and his angels were thrown down 'to the earth', so it cannot be referencing the Millennium or Last Judgment. 

Still other interpreters believe that this is a yet future event that will occur at the start of the Great Tribulation. They read the Revelation as entire futurist and find chapter 12 immediately after the testimony of the 2 witnesses (chapter 11) and immediately before the advent of the beast (chapter 13), so in straight chronological fashion they deduce that the war in heaven must be still future just before the final climatic events of the eon.

If this is true, then Satan is still in heaven today. But in John 12:31 Jesus said 'Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out' (emphasis mine).  Jesus Christ displaced Satan at the right hand of God. Instead of an accuser at God's throne, we now have an advocate.

What do you supposed changed between the OT, when Satan is standing in front of God and accusing His people and Revelation 12, when Satan is cast down to the earth?  The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything!

Let's read the very next verse: Rev 12:10 (KJV) '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.'

Read this carefully, what happens when Satan is cast down?  The text claims that when Satan is cast down: salvation comes, the strength of the kingdom unfolds, and the power of Christ is manifest. Hallelujah, we are partakers of this promised event. We need not wait till the time of great pressure and distress for the appearance of salvation. We need not wait till the man of perdition makes mischief for a short while before we are endued with the power of Christ. All of this occurred at the resurrection of the Messiah.

At the resurrection Jesus 'Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it' Col 2:15.     This happened nearly 2000yrs ago. Satan is defeated. Christ is triumphant. Satan has been humiliated and banished from heaven.  According to Heb 2:14, Jesus accomplished  'through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.'  Not just defeated and humiliated, the devil's heavenly campaign has been destroyed.

Satan used to relish in calling us bad names day and night. Unfortunately, he had a strong point; humans are surly sinful and before the life of Jesus, we were without complete atonement. Satan was at the right hand of God pressing charges against humanity. But now salvation has come through the ministry of Jesus and Satan is speechless and powerless.  He can't even enter into heaven anymore. They changed the locks on the pearly gate!  The casting down of Satan permanently from heaven happened at the Resurrection of Jesus.

In Rom 8:33 Paul rhetorically asks 'Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?'   He is referring to Satan's past job description, yet the answer is nobody.

In Luke 10:18 Jesus mentions this same event.  He said 'I kept on watching as Satan was falling out of heaven as lightning.' Satan was not defeated back before Eden when he originally sinned. We need not wait for his defeat till the Coming of Christ. Satan is defeated TODAY.  He was defeated, once and for all time, when Jesus powerfully rose from the dead by the Spirit of God.

Instead of an adversary standing at the emerald rainbow by the Throne (Rev 4:3), we now have an advocate. Hallelujah, An advocate is much better than an adversary!

Therefore, fear not for no spiritual power can voice complaints about you. They can't even get into the boss's office.