Two strong pieces of information are contained in these two verse. One that could and should strike fear into the hearts of mankind, but only those who are not followers of Jesus. The second is a declaration of the hope of salvation and the promise of the Lord.
There are insights here about the power struggle that is and was going on in heaven. It is a fascinating study in the power of God versus the opposition from Satan. Let’s look at some of the interesting insights we can gain from these two verses and the powers at work on both sides.
Who is the Ruler of this World?
Over the years there have been many men, full of pride and arrogance, who have sought to be rulers of the world. It is the stuff of many a Hollywood film where good versus evil is the theme and the bad guys are out for world domination.
There is a message in these films that actually holds true in this scriptures. It is always the bad dudes who are trying to control the world. The good guys, you know, the ones in the white hats, are trying to prevent them.
Well the true ruler of this world as we know it is the ultimate bad guy. It is the devil himself and he is here on the earth doing his darndest to destroy all of mankind through one means or another. How did he manage to get control? Well we humans…stupidly…gave it to him.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden by taking the fruit they were forbidden to eat, they chose to obey Satan rather than God. That’s when the whole decline started. And before you go blaming Adam and Eve, ever since all of us have chosen at some point to disobey the will and word of God and so we have continued to perpetuate Satan’s rule over mankind.
It is sin that puts you under the power of Satan. Sin is the breaking of God’s law as John showed in 1 John 3:4 saying, “Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” The law is holy, just and good. But it is also what gives sin its power. As Paul wrote, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” (1 Corinthians 15:56)
Where was he cast from and to?
So anyway, Satan has been cast out, but from where and to where? Well we know that he was once in heaven for he was one of the highest angels in heaven. Unlike many drawings and film depictions of Satan, he was not some fiery red devil with horns and a pitchfork.
What the Bible says about Satan is,
“You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:12)
And further on in Ezekiel 28:14-17,
14…you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 You heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour.
Satan was a spiritual being of the highest and greatest beauty, not some ugly, evil looking red devil. But it was his great beauty that filled him with pride and corrupted him so that he sinned before God and he was cast from heaven.
In Luke 10:18 Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Jesus witnessed the fall of Satan from heaven as described in Ezekiel above. And we see also in Revelation 12:4 John speaking prophetically of the fall of Satan and also the fall of the evil angels who are the demons, saying, “His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth.” Revelation 12 continues on to describe the fall of Satan.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8 but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
12 Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child.
Heaven is not the kind of place you would associate with a war, but indeed there was a war and the Devil lost. He was defeated with his demonic angels and they were kicked out of heaven.
But the bad news is he was thrown down to the earth and this is where he still is today. And he is not a happy camper! He came to the earth in great wrath because he had been defeated and so he is making war here on the church and those who follow Jesus Christ. He knows he has not got much time and so he is creating as much chaos, damage and destruction to try and overcome the people of God as he can while the time lasts.
How was he Cast Out?
It is clear from the scriptures above that Satan was cast out because of his pride and sin before God. First he was tossed off God’s holy mountain and then he was cast down to the earth with way to go back to heaven.
What was the victory though that caused him to be cast out? We can see the victory in the scriptures quoted above in Revelation. In verse 10 in the above quote it says,
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”
The victory that cast Satan out of heaven was when the salvation, power, kingdom and authority of Christ came. When did that happen? When Jesus was put to death. It was at the death of Jesus that He paid the price for our sins. It was at His death that the New Covenant commenced and was brought into force for His death was the sacrifice that empowered the New Covenant. It was His death that provided the way of salvation and we see other symbolism showing it was the end of the Old Covenant age in things like the ripping of the temple curtain from top to bottom.
Can we escape him?
It was in the death of Jesus that Satan was finally, once and for all defeated and thrown out because in Jesus alone we have the ability to have our sin set aside and taken away. Satan has power only through his accusations and condemnation of people through sin.
But when you take away sin and when you remove the law which is the power of sin, then Satan has no weapon or accusation to use against the people of the Lord.
In Jesus we have freedom from sin. In Jesus we have the victory over Satan and we are new creations, not born of this world under the power of sin, but born of God under the power of Grace. That is how we receive this victory and stand in the victory of Jesus to defeat Satan.
Will Satan still try to attack us? You better believe it! His weapons though are greatly weakened when sin is taken away and the law that condemns man as a sinner. But his weapons are now more insidious.
Jesus set you and I free from the law, from sin, from condemnation and from death. But if the devil can get you to believe that you are still under the law, still in the power of sin and still condemned, then he has power over you. Why? Because when you call yourself a sinner or believe you are under law you have undone the work of God. You have taken away the victory wrought by Jesus.
Yes, every time you say, “I am a sinner,” you are saying that the sacrifice of Jesus was not good enough. You are saying in effect that Jesus did NOT take away your sins and did NOT release you from law and from condemnation. You are condemning yourself when you say, “I am a sinner.”
Even when you say “I am a sinner saved by Grace,” you are still admitting to being a sinner…now. If you say “I WAS a sinner, saved by Grace,” that is a completely different statement because in that you recognise the power of God and the blood of Jesus to take away your sins and set you free. That is, you are now a freed man or woman because of the sacrifice of Jesus. And you only have this by faith.
When you call yourself a sinner and especially when you put yourself back under the law that Jesus has freed you from, you are putting yourself back under Satans control. You are rejecting your faith and accepting the law. The law is based on works through the “doing” of the law. But freedom and Grace is based on faith through obedience to the word and the Word of God.
We can escape through faith. But there is still a war going on and we need to hold onto our faith. It literally is a matter of life and death.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Cathy Kaplan)