When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?

From Linda:
When were Satan and his angels cast out of heaven?

That’s an interesting question, and my most direct answer would be, “not yet.” But I think there is a lot of explanation in order. The most direct reference to Satan being cast out of heaven comes from Revelation 12:7-10:

Revelation 12:7-8

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

[8] Nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer: This shows us that up until this happens, Satan does have access to heaven, where he accuses God’s people before the throne (as seen in the book of Job 1:6-12, and Revelation 12:10:

Revelation 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

It troubles some to think that Satan has access to heaven, because of the mistaken teaching that God can allow nothing unholy in His presence. But the Bible clearly says that while Satan appears on earth (Luke 4:1-13), and describes him as the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), it also says that Satan has access to heaven, where he accuses God’s people before the throne (Job 1:6-12).

So, we can say that in some way, Satan has access to both heaven and earth. The passages such as Job 1 and Revelation 12:10 show that he has access to heaven, and passages like the temptation of Jesus in Luke 4 and 1 Peter 5:8 show us that he has access to earth:

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

One “problem passage” in regard to this is something that Jesus said in Luke 10:18:

Luke 10:18

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven: The success of these commissioned disciples – especially their authority over demonic spirits – caused Jesus to speak of the fall of Satan, when he fell as quick and dramatic as lightning from heaven.

The Bible actually mentions four falls of Satan:

  • From glorified to profane (Ezekiel 28:14-16).
  • From having access to heaven to restriction to the earth (Revelation 12:9).
  • From the earth to bondage in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).
  • From the pit to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

In Luke 10:18 Jesus spoke of Satan’s first fall, from glorified to profane. Fall like lightning from heaven doesn’t mean that Satan fell from heaven, but that his fall was as dramatic and sudden as a bolt of lightning from heaven.

According to several passages, Satan still has access to heaven. Yet the success of the disciples against demonic spirits was confirmation that Satan had fallen from his place of authority and power, and though was still powerful, was in an inferior place.

Satan’s fall was God’s immediate judgment upon that rebellious spirit (though not complete or final judgment, which still awaits). Every time the kingdom of Jesus is presented in truth and power, it is like another judgment upon Satan and all who share his rebellious spirit.

In remembering the fall of Satan, Jesus also warned them against pride. After all, if Satan could fall like lightning from his place of high spiritual status and privilege, so could they.

Why didn’t God say it “was good” the second day of creation?

Why didn’t God say it was good on the second day of creation? It was the only day when He did not say it was good.

I don’t think I have an answer for that. I really don’t know. Maybe if I dug into it deeper, I could give you a substantial answer. But really, I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s possible for us to read too much into something like that. Yet if God through the first six days of creation pronounces it “good” every day, except for the first day, I think there is something there to pay attention to. But as for a specific reason, I don’t believe I could tell you. Maybe I’ll dig more into it and be able to address it as a lead question at a later time.

What does it mean to pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18)?

What does it mean, in Ephesians 6:18, to pray in the Spirit? I was told that this is the speaking in tongues, yet the Spirit is given to His people in various ways, like in 1 Corinthians 12.

Ephesians 6:18- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

This is a famous passage on spiritual warfare. The Apostle Paul is guiding or counseling believers on how to enter the warfare through prayer. I would define it like this. To pray in the Spirit is simply to pray under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and in step with the Holy Spirit. It is to pray, being led by God’s Spirit.

Can prayer in the Spirit include communicating God or praying with the gift of tongues? I believe it certainly can. Now I know this may be controversial for some of our viewers because there is not unanimous agreement among Christians today, or throughout church history, regarding the gift of tongues and its validity for today. For a lot of reasons which I won’t go into right now, I do believe that the gift of tongues is a gift that God makes available and gives to His people today.

So, I certainly believe that praying in the Spirit includes the gift of tongues, but by no means should it be restricted to that. I believe at any time that we pray in sync or in step with the Spirit, as the Holy Spirit would want us to pray, that we are indeed praying in the Holy Spirit.

Can I be made perfect in love (1 John 4:18)?

Please explain being made perfect in love. I sometimes have flare-ups of fear and anxiety, but through prayer and Scripture regain my confidence. This verse convicts me during these moments of weakness. I don’t want to be in this category of not being made perfect in love. How can I resolve this?

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Thank you for this question. I would say that “being made perfect in love” is a way of describing our spiritual growth, growth in grace, and our sanctification. We’re growing in love. Since love is so central to the Christian life, one could say that maturing and growing in the Christian life is maturing and growing in love. And when I say love, I mean true love. I don’t mean the falsely sentimental kind of love, or just being nice, or mere kindness. No, real love goes beyond that. To grow in love is to grow in Jesus Christ; to grow in Jesus Christ is to grow in love.

I’ll be very straightforward with you. You will not be completely perfected in love until you are completely sanctified and completely grown up into the image of Jesus Christ. And that’s not going to be until you leave this life for the next. Until then, God wants each of our lives to be growing in grace, growing in the love of God, growing in the likeness and the image of Jesus Christ.

Love is such a central part of the Christian life and experience. It’s the basis of our own relationship with God; not the love we have for Him, but the love that He has for us. It’s the basis of our own relationship with God. And it is a wonderful measure of our Christian growth.

One more thought. I believe the ancient Greek word used in this context, being made “perfect” in love, that word for “perfect” can also be understood as maturity or being fully grown. The idea of absolute perfection can be overemphasized with that term; it really has more to do with maturity and growing up into maturity.

Is it ever good to break a vow made to God or man?

I watched your teaching on breaking promises. You mentioned that it might happen that we need to break a vow to God or man. Can you give an example? Do you mean remarriage because of repentance involves keeping vows?

Some vows that we make are either ungodly or unwise. If we make an ungodly or unwise vow, the key to that vow is not keeping it, it’s repenting of it. I’ll give an example from the book of Acts. In Acts 23, we’re told of a group of 40 assassins who vowed before God that they would not eat or drink until they had murdered the Apostle Paul. These men made a vow. They said, “We’re not going to eat or drink until we’ve murdered the Apostle Paul.”

I’ll just say – that was an ungodly and an unwise vow. Instead of saying, “Well, I made a vow; I have to keep it,” they should have repented of such an ungodly, unwise vow. Now, I know that’s an extreme example. But in a lesser sense, it’s possible for us to do the same thing today.

You asked regarding remarriage, repentance, and keeping vows. Of course, marriage is a vow. It’s a serious promise and a serious vow. But it is not an absolute vow or promise.

If you want more information on this, I recommend that you watch my YouTube video, “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage”. Please listen to that video. I very carefully go through what God’s word says in its entirety about marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

So yes, I believe that the marital vow is a serious, important vow for which God will hold us to account. But it is not absolute, in the sense that it can never be broken. God specifically told us of at least two occasions upon which the marriage vow could be broken. He permits divorce in the case of adultery of a spouse, or the abandonment by a spouse. This is simply in God’s word: God gives permission to break the vow of marriage in those circumstances.

We need to take all of what the Bible says about this – not just a few verses, as though we can erase some other verses from the Scriptures. We need to take the whole counsel of what God’s Word says about these things. But there is such a thing as an unwise or an ungodly vow, and we should not be a part of such a thing.

Are there books of the Bible that we should read more than others?

I want to congratulate you, because I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked that question before. When I think about it, that’s a great question.

My immediate reaction is to say yes, if you’re going to read any books of the Bible more than others, read the Gospels more than others. Now, I do not want to imply that the Gospels are more inspired by God than the other books in the Bible. God forbid. Friends, we believe what the Bible tells us – I believe it, and I hope you believe it – that all Scripture is given by inspiration by God and is profitable for the believer. We believe that. It’s profitable for the unbeliever too; it can lead them to believe. All Scripture is inspired by God. Nothing in the Scriptures indicates that any section of our Bible is more inspired than the other. The Bible is big book, but we don’t go around thinking, “This part is more inspired than the other part.” It doesn’t work that way.

Yet I would say, if you are going to read any part of the Bible more than other parts, there’s just something wonderful about the Gospels. Again, that would be my only suggestion to you. I do think that it’s good for us to read widely in the Scriptures, to read through the Scriptures as we can. But to answer your question directly, I would recommend the Gospels.

If you want to do something serious in your reading and understanding the Bible, try this. Read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I’m not saying do it on a year plan or something like that; you can if you want to. But here’s the essential thing. Get yourself a notebook, or a note-taking app on your phone, and write a one-sentence summary of every chapter of the Bible. Limit it to one sentence, because that will make you think about it and analyze it. Write a one-sentence summary of every chapter of the Bible. Do that through the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It will really deepen your understanding and knowledge of the Bible. I’ve done that at least twice. To be honest, it’s been many years since I have done that. But doing that somewhat early in my Christian life and ministry years was a great benefit to me.

Is speaking with the dead speaking with demons (1 Samuel 28)?

I hear many Christians say that when someone tries to talk with dead people, they’re talking with demons. When I read that Saul talked with Samuel and he was already dead, I get confused. How was it possible that he was already in another place? When people do it, are they really with demons or with spirits just as Saul?

I am so impressed by the caliber of questions that get asked by our viewing audience. That’s a great question.

Let me give you my understanding of the situation described in 1 Samuel 28. King Saul asked the Witch of Endor to conjure up Samuel the prophet. I believe what you see in this story is a rare one-time thing. There are people who would disagree, but I believe that it was truly Samuel who visited Saul in the Witch of Endor on that occasion.

Why do I believe that? First, because in 1 Samuel 28, the Bible text simply calls him Samuel. It doesn’t say a pretend Samuel or fake Samuel, or a spiritual deception. It just says that Samuel appeared. Here’s the second thing. I believe that it was Samuel really appearing because the Witch of Endor was terrified. She was shocked. I would say that this medium or witch normally trafficked in the fake and phony, in deception and in false apparitions – like most psychic things, but not all. There is a real demonic realm, a real psychic metaphysical realm, which sometimes those practitioners are terrified to encounter. The medium was terrified when Samuel appeared.

Here’s another thing. The man or the apparition, the one called Samuel, in this account in 1 Samuel 28, only spoke the truth. He announced that judgment would come upon Saul the next day, and it did, in fact.

Here’s the final reason why I think it was Samuel. Maybe this isn’t so much of reason, but an interesting observation about the situation. It made absolutely no difference. Samuel spoke a true word warning of judgment to Saul. This was an invitation for Saul to repent. And Saul completely ignored it. He went on to his fate, resigned to it.

There’s nothing in the text of the account of 1 Samuel 28 which tells me this was anything other than a real appearance of Samuel. Now, how do I account for this? I don’t account for it. I just say it was a rare, unique one-off. God specifically commissioned Samuel to return from the realm of the dead. I would say at that time he was in Hades, the area of blessing and comfort in Hades. This place is mentioned in Jesus’ parable in Luke 16. He calls it the bosom of Abraham, this place of warm embrace for the people of God. God sent Samuel from that place of blessing and comfort to speak a word of judgment to Saul, and to tell Saul that he was going to be with Him in the realm of the dead the very next day.

We don’t know how this was possible; I just believe it was a one-off miracle. I believe this was something God did in a very unique way. God gave a unique warning to Saul in this way.

If somebody tries to speak with the dead today, I believe they’re going to get one of three responses. Number one, they will get nothing, because the dead can’t speak to them. Number two, they could get something from their own imagination. I believe that’s possible, of course. Or number three, they could get a deceiving message from a demonic spirit. That’s why we shouldn’t seek after communication with the dead – not at all. God does not want us to seek after any kind of informational correspondence with those who have gone to the realm of the dead. What he did with Samuel in 1 Samuel 28 was a unique one-off.

Why did almost all the prophets live at the same time?

Is there any reason why almost all the prophets lived at the same time?

God emphasized the prophetic ministry during the days of the kingdom of Israel, probably because they were so far gone and needed to hear His word so desperately. But the Bible gives us a record of prophets among Old Testament Israel, going back at least to Moses. Moses was a prophet, and he gave an enormous amount of God’s word to the people of Israel.

The prophets that you’re probably speaking of, actually lived over a span of a few hundred years, concentrated at different places. But I think that the writings of the prophets come to us in that period because the people of God needed so much correction and so much instruction.

Another very simple answer is this: the Divine Will. I know it doesn’t answer your question to say, “Well, God wanted it that way.” But in some respect, that really is the answer. We know that there were prophets before the “classic” prophets that we think of, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos Obadiah, and so on. We know there were prophets before that. Moses was a prophet. The books of Joshua and Judges certainly mention prophets. 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings mention prophets, but then again, we’re getting into the time of the prophets.

But here’s what I would say. Let’s take for an example a prophet who existed before the classical writing of the prophets. That’s the prophet Nathan, in the days of David. Why do we not have a book of the prophet Nathan? I can’t give you any fancy answer other than just to say, God didn’t want it that way. I understand that answer isn’t necessarily satisfying, but I think it’s true. God didn’t want there to be a book of the prophet Nathan. Whatever God spoke to and through Nathan the prophet was not for all of God’s people at all times, except for the rare lines that are recorded in 1 & 2 Samuel.

I hope that makes some sense to you. God spoke legitimate words through the prophets, in both the Old and New Testaments, which He did not intend to be for all His people in all times, but the words that are recorded in our Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, those are. In some sense, I could see where it’s not a tremendously satisfying answer to the question, but it’s really the best that we have.

Since the Book of Enoch is quoted in Jude, should that book be in our Bible?

Do you believe that verses in the Book of Enoch which mention Judas to be inspired? If they are inspired, then why don’t we believe that the rest of the book is inspired as well, although it narrates strange things?

The book of Jude, also known as the book of Judas in some other languages, quotes the Book of Enoch. That has led some people to wonder whether that means that the entire Book of Enoch is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and whether it should be included in our collection of the Hebrew Scriptures. I don’t think so, and I’ll explain why. By long canonical tradition, the Book of Enoch was not accepted as Holy Scripture by the Jewish people, or the Hebrew compilers of the Hebrew Scriptures, for centuries before the time of Christ. It was never broadly recognized by our Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures, or our New Testament, the Greek Scriptures. There are always a few outliers, but it was never broadly recognized that the Book of Enoch belongs in the collection of the Hebrew Scriptures.

We regard Jude’s quoting of Enoch, as we would regard Paul quoting the Greek poets or philosophers in the book of Acts. In the book of Acts, we have a record of Paul quoting Greek poets or philosophers. That does not mean for a moment that everything those writers wrote was inspired Scripture, or even the single work which Paul quoted from. But God wanted those lines, those verses, those words which Paul quoted in that context to be regarded as inspired Scripture.

We do rely on the canonical wisdom of God expressed through His people when it comes to the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures. And the Book of Enoch has always lied outside of that, broadly speaking. Again, you can always find some outliers who said it should be included. But that was never the broad opinion of the people of God.

Just because an author is quoted in a particular place, we don’t assume that everything they wrote belongs in the Scriptures. That’s a simple principle which can be applied to many different passages.

If Solomon was the wisest man, why did he end up failing God at the end of his days?

If Solomon was the wisest man on earth at one point, why did he end up failing God at the end of his days? I’m not sure that this is where there’s a distinction with wisdom and discernment.

This is a wise question to ask. Solomon is presented to us in the early chapters of 1 Kings as an unbelievably wise man. He prayed and asked God for a gift of wisdom, and God gave him that gift. He had what we might call supernatural wisdom from God. And that wisdom is displayed in the early chapters of 1 Kings.

But there comes a point when Solomon begins to marry foreign women and enter into political alliances with them. He begins to worship pagan gods because of the influence of these pagan wives that he took. We’re told that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. That’s 1000 bed partners. Now, I think this is what it shows us.

First, it shows us that just because you start out wise, it doesn’t mean you remain that way. We usually think of young men being the ones who fall because of lust and sexual immorality. And certainly, there’s more than enough young men who do. But don’t forget in the Bible, for example, that it was young Joseph who resisted the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. But it was old David who fell into sin with Bathsheba. It was old Solomon who fell into sin with his many pagan wives.

Solomon was a man who, sadly, at least in this regard, became less wise in his old age. It should not be like that, but sometimes it is like that. And the other thing is this. The lusts of the flesh, especially as they might be expressed in sexual immorality, are a lure. Sexual immorality has a way of making smart people stupid, and wise people fools. That’s the story of Solomon. If the wisest man who ever lived, or at least the wisest man on the earth at that time, fell through giving in to the lusts of the flesh, how much more should regular everyday people, like you and myself, be on guard? I think that’s the great lesson to learn. Just because we have wisdom doesn’t mean that we are predestined to apply it or to use it.

If some of the apostles were married, how did that work for their family life?

I know at least one of the apostles was married, and they traveled three years with Jesus. Is it because they were close to home a lot of the times? How did that work for their marriages?

I would say yes. Jesus did much of His ministry in the region of Galilee. For the most part, the disciples came from the region of Galilee. They weren’t all that far away from home when they traveled with Jesus. That’s one perspective about it.

But there’s another take on it. It may have just been understood that these were men who were going away for education. What they received from Jesus, by following Him around as His disciples, was something like the way people received a rabbinical education, or a seminary education in today’s context. I think we see many people going away on business trips or for school or something else. No doubt it put a strain or stress on their marriage relationship. I don’t doubt that at all. But they weren’t all that far from home, for most of Jesus’ men, since the majority of Jesus’ ministry was done in the region of Galilee. These were all men from that region. In addition to that, it was understood that this was like going away to get an education. So, I think it was a sacrifice that they as families were willing to make.

What are the seven Spirits of God?

The book of Revelation refers to the seven Spirits of God, but I’ll be very upfront with you: there is no categorical answer to that. There is no specific passage that says, “These are the seven Spirits of God.” But there is a passage that speaks of the seven Spirits of God, or at least seven characteristics of the Spirit of God. I believe the best way to understand this is from Isaiah 11:2. I believe this passage describes seven aspects of the Holy Spirit. I discuss this in my commentary on Revelation 1.

Here we have: 1. The Spirit of the Lord, 2. The Spirit of wisdom, 3. Of understanding, 4. The Spirit of counsel, 5. Of might, 6. The Spirit of knowledge, and 7. Of fear of the Lord.

I don’t think these are seven different Spirits of God, but the Spirit of the Lord has at least these seven characteristics, and He has them in fullness and perfection. I really think that’s the idea behind that phrase, “the seven Spirits of God.”

Did God create Adam in Israel? Did Noah’s ark float adrift and land in what is now called Israel?

Did God create Adam in Israel? Did Noah’s Ark float adrift and land in what is now called Israel?

I’ll answer your question in two ways. No, and no.

First, did God create Adam in Israel? The answer to that question is No. Because if we’re going to take the Bible seriously and literally in its description of historical events, there was a radical difference in the topography and geography of the world before the Flood and after the Flood. So, it doesn’t exactly work to apply national or regional boundaries to things before the Flood and expect them to be the same after the Flood. We’re not told where this is exactly. Take the example of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. I think these rivers existed after the Flood but were named after rivers before the Flood; they were not necessarily exactly the same rivers.  If we were to take the descriptions of the Tigris and Euphrates as they’re described in the book of Genesis, we would say No, the Garden of Eden was not in the land of Israel. The Garden of Eden was not in Israel; it was in the pre-Flood world.

Did Noah’s Ark float adrift and land in what is called Israel? No, the Bible tells us specifically that it landed on Mount Ararat. Mount Ararat is in the area of the world around Armenia and Turkey. By the way, I just want to remind everybody that there is remarkable evidence in the Scriptures, but even more so there is remarkable evidence in history of appearances of the Ark of Noah in the mountains of the world in that area. In my commentary on Genesis 6, 7, and 8, I go through the remarkable sightings throughout history of unusual structures high up on Mount Ararat. But again, that is not in the land of Israel.

Do you think God has a sense of humor?

I would say absolutely. He created us. He bears with me. I think sometimes God could look at some of us and give a little chuckle. Yes, I believe that God has a sense of humor. We are made in the image of God. I think that there is something potentially so pure and good and helpful and right about a sense of humor. And that would be something which we received from God as part of His image.

So, I would say yes, God does have a sense of humor. Aren’t we happy about that? Because it means that He bears with us with great long suffering.

Is the war described in Ezekiel 38-39 different from the Battle of Armageddon?

What is your view on Ezekiel’s war and Armageddon? My understanding is that there are two separate wars, one before the Tribulation and the other after the Millennium.

Yes, I would agree with you that the battle with Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38-39 seems to me quite distinct, and a different thing than the battle of Armageddon. Whether or not it’s the same as the thing mentioned at the end of the Millennium, there’s some discussion on that to be had. But I would say that we are definitely talking about different battles here. There are many ways in the Bible’s description of these events, in which they are different.