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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I saw Satan fall as lightning

One reason we understand scripture so poorly is that we have so many preconceived notions that contradict the text. Instead of reading the text with a blank slate, we filter what we read through what we think we know. So often, learning is as much about letting go of what you think you know as it is about obtaining new information.

This scripture really puzzles people:

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (Job 1:6-7)

Why is it puzzling? Because Christians are taught that Satan was cast out of heaven before this world was peopled. If Lucifer went from an arch-angel who stood in God's presence to his arch-enemy, how is it that long after Adam, Satan could again stand in God's presence and converse with him like this?

The puzzle comes because we make things up instead of sticking to what the book actually says.

For some reason, everyone seems to think that Satan fell from heaven before the creation of Adam. There isn't a single scripture that says that he did, but that's what people think.

There are several scriptures that describe this event as a future event. For example, the Lord's words about the issue. During his mortal ministry, the Lord said he "beheld" this event. "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18) The Greek word translated "I beheld" means to behold in a vision. He was not saying, "I remember seeing this back before I was born." He was saying that this was an event he was shown in a vision.

"But," you say, "visions can be of future or past events." Ok, true enough. What about Revelation 12, which describes the event?

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.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.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.
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.
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.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 12)

This event is yet to occur, for several reasons. First, notice that Michael and his angels overcome Satan. In Jude 1:9, we read that in Moses' day the power balance between Michael and Satan was such that Michael could not yet overcome him:

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 1:9)

We know, therefore, that Satan's Revelation 12/Luke 10:18 fall had not yet occurred as of Moses' day. There are other future-set prophecies:

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:16-17)

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)
12 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 mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:12-18)

Whether this event has occurred yet or not relies on understanding the chronology of Revelation. I don't want to open that can of worms here, but suffice it to say that if you look at Revelation 12, there are co-occurring events: There is a woman who bears a "man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." (Revelation 12:5). The woman flees into the wilderness for three and a half years, then the war in heaven commences and Satan is cast out.

This has not happened yet.

Why does this matter, anyway? Consider this warning from the Lord Jesus:
21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. (Luke 11:21-22)
As part of the ascension of God's people on earth, we must be subjected to increasingly evil beings. As Satan is cast down, heaven becomes more glorified than it can be while he is there. Conversely, earth will become even more wicked than it already is. When Satan comes,

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. (Revelation 12:12)

And he isn't coming alone.

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. (Revelation 12:9)

The time to repent is now.