In Revelation Chapter 12, we read of the War in Heaven when Satan will be hurled to the earth.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Rev. 12:7-9
It is often taught that the War in Heaven is a past event that describes the original Fall of Satan prior to the Fall of Man. However, we know that the War in Heaven is a future event based on how the next verses tell us that the War in Heaven will be followed by the Attack on Jerusalem and the Great Tribulation, which are both future events, which would make the War in Heaven a future event as well.
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman (the Attack on Jerusalem) who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Rev. 12:13-14
The above verses are a description of the Attack on Jerusalem when the Remnant from Israel will escape from the city and will be pursued by the dragon (Satan). The reference to a time, times, and half a time correlates with how the Remnant will be kept safe in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years during the Great Tribulation, when Satan will wage a war against those who hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war (The Great Tribulation) against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. Rev. 12:17
In these verses, we read that when the Remnant from Israel escapes from the armies of the dragon, Satan will become enraged and will wage a war against those who keep God’s commands and hold fast to their testimony of Jesus, which is a description of the Great Tribulation. In addition to the above, we read that when Satan is hurled to the earth, he will know that his time is short, which also places the War in Heaven at the end of the age.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Rev. 12:12
The Original Fall of Satan
The War in Heaven is in contrast to the original Fall of Satan, which is a past event that occurred when Satan was expelled from the mountain of God due to the wickedness that was found in him.
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Ezek. 28:11-16
It is widely accepted that the above passages, which are found within the description of the fall of the King of Tyre, give an account of the original Fall of Satan. This is based on how the King of Tyre is described as a guardian cherub who was in the Garden of Eden and on the holy mountain. Obviously, the actual king of Tyre could never be described this way, which would make the description of the fall of the King of Tyre a type or representation of the original Fall of Satan who was driven from the mount of God.
Despite losing his place at the Throne of God, the Fall of Satan did not result in him being destroyed completely. Instead, we read how he remained as an adversary to God in the heavenly places. This can be seen in later events when the angels presented themselves before the Lord.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the accuser) also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Job 1:6-7
The above events are found in the Book of Job, which takes place after the original Fall of Satan. This tells us that when Satan was expelled from the Throne of God, he was not removed from the heavens entirely, but found a place among the angels. This, in turn, corresponds with how we read of the different hierarchies of heaven, as described by the Apostle Paul, who spoke of being caught up to the third heaven.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 2 Cor. 12:2
In correlation with Paul’s mention of a third heaven, we also read of the angels who fly in midheaven, which is in contrast to the highest heavens of God’s Throne.
And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; Rev. 14:6 NASB
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Lk. 2:14
Based on the above, we can say that when Satan was expelled from God’s Throne, he was caste from the highest heavens of God’s Throne, to the lower heavens over the earth where he resides as the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Eph. 2:1-2
Satan’s position as the ruler of the kingdom of the air is based on his original power and rank as the most exalted cherubim in heaven, which placed him over the angels. From this place of former power, Satan was able to gather a large number of rebellious angels to him who are described in the War in Heaven. Correspondingly, it is through the allegiance of the rebellious angels that he maintains his position as the ruler of the kingdom of the air today.
In addition to being described as the king of the air, Satan is also described as being the ruler of this world and the god of those who are perishing.
Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. Jn. 12:31 NASB
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor. 4:3-4
As in the case of the rebellious angels, Satan’s position as the ruler of this world is based on the disobedience of the man, who broke God’s command in the Garden, and who abdicated his role, as ruler over creation, to the serpent. Accordingly, Satan, continues to oppose God in the heavens and on earth through the rebellious acts of men and angels to this day.
Just as the kingdom of Satan is built upon the rebellious acts of men and angels, his rulership over heaven and earth will be taken from him through the righteous acts of faithful men and angels. A demonstration of this can be seen in the account of the 72 who were sent out by Christ to heal the sick and cast out demons. In the following passages, the actions of the disciples are said to have caused Satan to fall like lightning from heaven.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Lk. 10:17-20
The above passages point out how, just as the disobedient acts of men and angels empowers Satan, the faithful acts of the saints weaken his kingdom, which, in this case, is described as Satan falling from heaven. This brings us back to the future War in Heaven, and the climatic battle that will take place between the angels of Satan, and the angels of Michael the Archangel.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Rev. 12:7-12
Although the above account describes how the War in Heaven will be fought by the angels, it also includes a description of how Satan will be defeated by the brothers and sisters, who will not shrink from death, which is a description of the martyrdom of God’s people that will take place leading up to this war. When the martyrs remain faithful to the point of death, it will have the affect of weakening Satan’s kingdom to the point that he will not be strong enough to win the War in Heaven and, as a result, he will be hurled to the earth. In this way, Satan will lose his place in the heavens and will be filled with furry. As we read earlier, this event will lead to the Attack on Jerusalem and the Great Tribulation when Satan will avenge himself on God’s people by waging a war against those who hold fast their testimony about Jesus. The extent of the Great Tribulation can be seen in the following verses that describe the great multitude, who will be killed during this event.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. …Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Rev. 7:9-14
Following the Great Tribulation, Satan and his armies will make another attempt to destroy the Remnant from Israel, who will have been kept safe during the 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation, and will be defeated in the events of the Battle of Armageddon. Following this war, Satan will be thrown in the Abyss where he will remain imprisoned for a thousand years. During this period, all those who were killed in the Great Tribulation will be resurrected to reign with Christ over the nations.
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev. 20:4
During the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ, the Lord will rule over the nations through His people, and Satan will be kept chained in the Abyss. After the thousand years have ended, Satan will be released from the Abyss to once more deceive the nations who will attempt to throw off the Rule of Christ by attacking God’s people. When the armies of the nations surround God’s people, fire will come down from heaven and destroy the armies of Satan, who are described as Gog and Magog, and Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:7-10
The Lake of Fire is the final destination of Satan where he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
To read more about the events of the Last Days and the order in which they will occur, click here: The Order of Events of the Last Days
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