DID GOD “KICK” SATAN OUT OF HEAVEN?
A number of people have told me that God does make war against His enemies because He made war against Satan in heaven and kicked him out. They quote Revelation 12:7 to prove their point. I would only say in reply that God did not hurt Satan then anymore than He has since.
God has never used force or coercion and He never will. Jesus cast out demons with His word. “And he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” Matthew 8:16.
In Matthew 12:28 we read that He “cast out devils by the Spirit of God.” And Mark 16:17 tells us Christ promised us, “In my name shall they cast out devils.” Since Christ never changes, we can safely believe that Satan was cast out of heaven in the same way that he was cast out of human beings when Jesus walked the earth in person. Jesus revealed Himself in truth and power and Satan was very glad to get out of His presence.
Jude 6 indicates that Satan and his evil angels left heaven of their own free will. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation….” And Revelation 12:4 tells us that it was the dragon’s “tail,” which drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth. And in Lamentations 2:1 we see God taking the blame for Israel’s fall by Nebuchadnezzar. God claims to have “cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel.” We know Israel destroyed herself by disobedience.
The point in all this is that people are always so eager to blame God for sin. They want to picture the Creator as the one responsible for this whole mess, concluding that because of the sin problem, God has to use carnal methods to deal with a situation which is out of control. Such is the picture most people have of God. Is it any wonder so few people serve God out of a pure motive of love? Hopefully, this study will change that picture in many minds.
As we look at the Bible as a whole, we can see the image of Jesus in every text. He never changes. We can trust Him. Notice how Job resolves this casting down question. “The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.” Job 18:7.8. In these two verses we see the beginning of Satan’s fall and his final destruction by the hand of his followers in the lake of fire. See Ezekiel 28:6-10.
I have maintained from the beginning of my study on the character of God that Satan was not kicked out of heaven as we think of someone being kicked out of an organization here on earth. No, God is not that kind of person. Notice what Jesus said on this very subject when He was here. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31. This was a plea and a warning to Satan.
If you compare this with Revelation 12:10 you can see that Christ was referring to the casting down of Satan in the eyes of the holy angels and the unfallen worlds.
When they saw Satan lead the Jews to crucify their Creator, their eyes were opened and they no longer wanted to listen to the Devil’s lies about God. This is no doubt what Jesus was talking about when He said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. If God forced Satan out of heaven then it was not a “fall.” But the Bible teaches us that Satan “fell.” He was not pushed, shoved or tripped. He “left,” Jude 9 says.
The unfallen worlds made a decision (a judgment) that they would not entertain Satan as a guest ever again. This was what the angels had decided in the precincts of heaven in the beginning of the controversy. The loyal two-thirds of the angels voted him out, and Satan left to go to the remainder of the universe to see if he could gain a following and prove them wrong. This planet is the only one which was deceived by him. The rest have always remained true to God. We are the one lost sheep. Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4.
HOW WILL SATAN DIE?
Many people ask me how Satan will die in the end. Ezekiel 28:16 states, “and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” Please note that the fire which destroys Satan does not come from God, but originates from the midst of Lucifer, Ezekiel 28:18. Lucifer’s own angels and his closest followers will turn upon him and “destroy” him in the end.
Of course, the way God destroys is made plain in Psalms 5:10. “Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels.” In other words, the “death” of the wicked in this age (aion or eon) is something God allows or permits but does not do directly. Yet, in the Scriptures, He makes Himself responsible for it, taking the blame, because He is the Creator. We see this in the death of King Saul who committed suicide. But the Bible claims that God killed him. I Chron 10:4,5, 13, 14. It is also very interesting to note the progression of understanding in the Bible from the Old Testament prophets to the New. For example, the prophet Ezekiel, as noted above, states that God is going to “destroy” Lucifer. The Hebrew word is nethar, Strong’s 5426, meaning “to shake off,” which is from 5425, nathar, which is defined as meaning “to jump, i.e. be violently agitated; causat, to terrify, shake off, untie:…let loose, make, move, undo.” Before I go to Paul’s writings regarding the death of Lucifer (now Satan) please note that the Hebrew word can mean to “untie or let loose,” which means the Creator is going set Lucifer free in the final end and this will effectively stop or cure his rebellion. Now, let us go to Hebrews and I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised how beautifully the brilliant theologian Paul explains the “death” of God’s first created angel. First, let’s read the King James Version. “..He (Jesus) also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14, 15. The Greek word here is kataluo, Strong’s 2673 and is from 2596 and 3089 which includes the basic meaning “to loosen down or dissolve, come to nought, overthrow.” The word “destroy” does not mean to annihilate or put out of existence by fire or any other means. The New American Standard Bible translates this verse thusly: “…that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” In other words, Christ’s death on the cross, unmasked Satan so that the universe and all of us living today know the real truth about Lucifer. This revelation of the Father and Satan has taken away his power. It has unplugged his battery, so to speak, and disabled him. Ezekiel 28:8, 9 indicate that Satan will die the same kind of death as all of the lost outside of the city. And what kind of death will that be? It is the death they never died in this life, the death to self, the death of their pride and ego, their desire to always be right and to have their own way. This is the second death which is explained in Rev 20:14. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” This does not mean that Satan and all of his followers are going to get off easy.
The suffering in Lucifer’s mind will be terrible as he sees how wrong he has been. Paul tells us that “every knee shall bow,” before Jesus. That includes Satan. Philippians 2:9-11. Isaiah 14:16,17 and Psalms 9:6 prove Satan destroys the earth in these last days.
And Jesus described the death of the wicked in this way. “Then shall he (Christ) say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41.
Christ did not say that He had prepared the fire, but simply stated that it had been prepared. Revelation 11:18 indicates that men will be destroying the earth in the last days when Christ comes to “destroy” them with the glory of His truth, which will cause them to destroy each other as they “consume away” on their feet. Zechariah 14:12. This is at the end of this age. The great “age of the ages” will take place after the 1,000 years or millennium. 2 Peter 3:7 tells us that the “heavens (atmospheric heavens or first heaven) and the earth…are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
At this point, someone might say, “Well, sure God is reserving the earth and heaven so He Himself can destroy it.” But, it doesn’t say that. It simply states that God is reserving it or preventing it from being destroyed right now. Who has the power to destroy the earth right now with his bombs and rockets and germ warfare? Not God, but man.
So, the Lord is allowing man to pollute the air, water and even his own body. Can’t we logically expect an ecological kickback from all of this abuse of our environment and even of our own bodies? God is simply giving man up to himself and his own willful, lustful, carnal and selfish desires…his own counsels (Psalms 5:10) and ways. This is God’s wrath. How could it be any plainer? God has nothing to do with man’s destruction. Man is obviously committing suicide very methodically without God’s help and against His will for the human race. “I am come that they might have life,” the Savior told us. John 10:10. But Satan, the “god of this world,” 2 Corinthians 4:4, is blinding the eyes of men so they cannot see who is really systematically leading the world to self-destruction. All the while Satan puts the blame upon God.
But, let us get back to the final death of Satan. Of all the Scriptures I have ever read in the Bible, I believe Ezekiel 28:6-10 is probably the clearest and easiest to understand. “Behold, therefore I will bring (permit to come) strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit (grave), and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas (people).” Revelation 17:15. Now, I quoted only verses 7 and 8. The Lord didn’t want anyone to misunderstand, so He gave us five verses with 124 words to make sure everyone got the point.
In addition to that He gives several more verses in the same chapter, plus other verses in other chapters and other books. And it is always punctuated with a clear, “thus saith the Lord,” so no one will misunderstand.
Yes, my friend, it is none other than Jesus Christ Himself speaking to us through the prophets of old, telling us how Satan will finally die. What a horrible experience this will be for such a once beautiful angel. The day of judgment will finally come for Lucifer and his suffering will be very great. The Lord has wanted to save him from this but Lucifer refused to listen. Read Isaiah 14:12-17. But let us go into the death of Satan in more depth than we ever have before. In Ezekiel 28:12 the Lord told the prophet, “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus.” Now, is he referring to the literal king of Tyrus here? No, because notice that he says, “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God…” Ezekiel 28:12. We know that the prince or king of Tyrus was not in Eden nor was he “wiser than Daniel.” v. 3. Nor was the king of Tyre “perfect” at any time or covered with “every precious stone.” v. 13. Furthermore, Ezekiel refers to this same being (Lucifer) in Ezekiel 31:2, 3 under the title of Pharaoh king of Egypt and “the Assyrian,” and Eden is once again mentioned, v. 9. The Lord is simply covering up for Lucifer, (Satan), all the while appealing to him to repent. “Thou art the anointed cherub that covers and I have set thee so.” Ezekiel 28:14. The Lord never demoted Lucifer or kicked him out. He is weeping for him. But let’s go down to verses 18 and 19. “Therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee (Satan, the adversary) and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee (as an adversary) among the people shall be astonished at you: You shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.”
Notice, beloved, that the fire is coming forth from Satan, not from the Lord. In the final day of judgment the Lord will bring forth from Satan’s mind all of the memories he had when he was first created. These will include all of the good times he had with his Creator in the beginning before he rebelled. Then it will include all of the memories of God’s long suffering with him in spite of all the evil Satan has done against God, His only Son and His innocent, holy people. This is what will bring Satan to “ashes.” Now, let us define the word ashes.
“Among the ancient Hebrews, to put on sackcloth and ashes, or to lie in them, or to sprinkle ashes on the head was a token of grief and mourning , 2 Sam 13:19; Esther 4:1, 3; Job 2:8; Neh 9:1. To sit in ashes was also a sign of penitence Jonah 3:6; cf. Job 42:6.” Bible Dictionary, page 82. Therefore, when we see the word “ashes” in Ezek. 28:18 we know this is a sign and prediction of a future event when Lucifer will be brought to “grief, mourning and repentance” in the sight of the whole universe. What a most humiliating and humbling experience that is going to be for Satan. So, when Satan truly repents he will never be Satan again but will be reborn, or born again into the kingdom of God, for the place and position which the Lord created him to fill in the first place, his covering cherub, Lucifer. This will be the return of the first prodigal. And he will be fully restored. So, it is true after all, Satan will never enter heaven. But after he truly repents, and is born again, he will have the same right to be in heaven as the thief on the cross for God’s forgiveness has no limits or expiration dates. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but when we repent, like the prodigal son we are welcomed back with open arms. And Lucifer is the first prodigal son and the last to finally come back home.