M3: When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?

When was Satan cast out of heaven?

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Reve 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Reve 12:9 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.

In many interpretations, Satan is cast out from heaven to earth at the cross, or thereabouts. This is based on three assumptions.

First, that the binding of Satan in Revelation 20 corresponds to the same event. In the amillennial and postmillennial schools of interpretation, the binding of Satan occurred at the Cross, therefore Satan was cast out of heaven at this same time.

Second, because Christ’s ascension is mentioned (Rev 12:5) just before the devil is cast out of heaven, it is assumed that this event occurred immediately prior and is a direct result of the other.

Third, the account in Luke seems to record the same event.

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Since this vision occurred immediately after the disciples told Jesus that demons were subject unto them through his name, the fall of Satan their prince must have occurred shortly before and afterwards.

I will contend, though, that the event described in Revelation 12:9, the fall of Satan & his angels, actually occurred at the beginning of the tribulation, as opposed to sometime in Christ’s ministry.

There are two reasons that this rectification is needed.

#1) First, the binding of Satan in Revelation 20 has distinct differences from the event described in Revelation 12. In Revelation 20, Satan is cast into the Abyss for 1000 years and then is released to wreak havoc on the earth. In Revelation 12, Satan is cast down from heaven immediately to earth. If Satan is bound in the abyss at the cross, and 1000 years later released to earth, then how can he be CAST TO EARTH at the cross?

The two passages, though, ARE intimately related

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Reve 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Reve 12:9 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.

Reve 12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Reve 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Reve 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Reve 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Reve 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Reve 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

The two passages contain so many of the same elements that it is hard to deny a relationship between the two. It is the differences in the two passages, though, that help us nail down when “Satan…and his angels were cast out.”

Commonalities:
1) An angel is the adversary of Satan in both accounts
2) Satan is defeated in both accounts
3) After Satan’s defeat he has but a short time / little season
4) After Satan’s defeat he attacks the earth
5) He is called “the dragon, that old serpent, and Satan” in only these and both of these accounts.
6) His purpose is linked to the deception of the nations.

Differences:
1) Satan AND HIS ANGELS are cast out in one, but only SATAN is bound in the other
2) Satan is cast into the EARTH in one, and the ABYSS in the other

The picture that John paints (without committing to when Satan is cast from Heaven) is that Satan is bound at the cross and released at the beginning of the tribulation to deceive the nations on the earth. Technically, though, he could have been cast out at the cross, or the beginning of tribulation.

#2) The second reason for questioning the timing of the event is from Ephesians:


Ephe 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephe 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Ephe 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

If Paul is saying there is “spiritual wickedness in high places” how can it be said that the devil and his angels are cast out of heaven at the cross? Paul obviously wrote this AFTER the cross. Seems inconsistent. Futhermore, Paul says,

Ephe 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

If the devil is the prince and power of the air, and NOW works in the children of disobedience, how could he cast out of heaven, or, for that matter, how could he bound in the abyss?

I believe the solution lies in the parable of the binding of the strong man.

Matt 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
Matt 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Matt 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard [it], they said, This [fellow] doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
Matt 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
Matt 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Matt 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast [them] out? therefore they shall be your judges.
Matt 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Matt 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house

Christ goes on in the same chapter to say:

Matt 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Matt 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished.
Matt 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Remember than in chapter 12 of Revelation, the emphasis is on the devil AND HIS ANGELS.

Reve 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Reve 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Reve 12:9 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.

But in Revelation 20, the emphasis is strictly on the binding of Satan himself.

I posit that just as in Matthew 12, the binding of Satan in the abyss corresponds to the binding of the strong man. “His house” was wherever his minions dwelt, which included this world, the air around it, and apparently a “place” in heaven.

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Ephe 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Ephe 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Reve 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Although Satan was bound, his house (kingdom) still stood. But since Satan was bound, it was the perfect opportunity to “spoil his house.” What Christ was saying was that he, as well as his disciples, had power over demons BECAUSE SATAN WAS BOUND. The act of casting out the demons was the act of SPOILING THE HOUSE.


But how this was done is critical. Notice what Christ says,

Matt 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Christ cast out devils “by the Spirit of God.” Notice also what Paul says

Ephe 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephe 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Ephe 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephe 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Ephe 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Ephe 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Ephe 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Ephe 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The only weapon in their arsenal was…the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. They were protected by faith, and truth, and the gospel, but they attacked, or they SPOILED THE HOUSE, with the Holy Spirit. The key is that they were warring, not necessarily against Satan who was BOUND, but against his kingdom. Through the Holy Spirit they had POWER over his kingdom and could overcome it. Satan himself was bound, and his kingdom still at work…but it was through his binding that his kingdom was being overcome by the saints.

Let’s return to the Luke passage:

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

What empowered the disciples to cast out devils? They were empowered by the same Holy Spirit that Christ was. The binding of Satan was through the work of the Holy Spirit.

I would further argue that the two passages

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Ephe 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

are actually talking about the same events, although one from a heavenly perspective (Michael and his angels) and the other from an earthly one (we wrestle). The spiritual wickedness in heavenly places is the same as the devil’s angels who had “a place” in heaven. So, the “house,” the “kingdom,” the “place,” the “angels” are all tied together. It is talking about the “kingdom of satan” which included his angels, and was located both in heaven and earth.

The war of Revelation 12:7 and the wrestling of Ephesians 6:12 occur during the period from the cross to the beginning of the tribulation, when Satan and his angels are cast down out of heaven. [It is still possible to say that Satan was cast out at the cross, but the key is that his angels and kingdom were being cast out of heaven during the period from the cross to the tribulation, and completely cast out at the beginning of the tribulation].

It is here at the beginning of the great tribulation that Satan is allowed to deceive the nations once more. His angels help in the task

Reve 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Reve 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

Reve 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Reve 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

This is the beginning of the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy regarding the unclean spirits and the “wicked generation.”

Matt 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Matt 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished.
Matt 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.


The unclean spirits were wandering through the dry places of Israel, gathering men to their final destruction in Armageddon. They had lost their place in heaven but now inhabited the great harlot, Babylon (Jerusalem).

Reve 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

So the WAR in Revelation 12:7 is best understood as occurring during the entire period from the cross (or slightly earlier) to the beginning of the tribulation. Satan, the prince of the house, is bound at the cross, but Christians continue to make war (wrestle) with his kingdom. At the beginning of the tribulation, Satan’s kingdom (“Satan and his angels”) are permanently cast out of their place in heaven. Satan then begins his attack upon those on the earth (Israel).

Reve 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
(CROSS – GREAT TRIBULATION)
Reve 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
(BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION)
Reve 12:9 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.
(BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION)
Reve 12:10 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.
(BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION)
Reve 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
(CROSS – GREAT TRIBULATION)
Reve 12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
((BEGINNING TO THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION)


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