And to the angel of the church [ekklesia] in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; "I know thy works, and where thou dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells."
• Revelation 2:12–13
After his time in office he returned to his ranch in Texas........ sorry bad joke.
Satan is referred to as being the prince of the power of the air as well. This verse seems to be connected to a word Paul uses in Galatians 4:3 and Colossians 2:8,20. He uses the word Stoicheia; it's usually translated as elements/rudiments but in these contexts angelic powers and their relation to the physical elements is what is meant it seems. He is bound to our physical world and cannot ascend to heaven. In the eschaton he will be removed from creation altogether (Revelation 20:10).
14:12-17 As the taunt song continues, the theme seems to expand from the fall of the king of Babylon to the fall of the one who energized him, Satan (Lucifer) himself. Ryrie writes that this is "evidently a reference to Satan, because of Christ's similar description (Luk_10:18) and because of the inappropriateness of the expressions of Isa_14:13-14 on the lips of any but Satan (cf. 1Ti_3:6)." Because this Day Star, son of the morning, proudly asserted his will above the will of God, he was cast out of heaven. Verses 13, 14 record the notorious "I will's" of Satan in his defiance of God. Eventually he will be consigned to Sheol, an object of astonishment. The denizens of Sheol will marvel that one who exercised such power has been brought so low.
Revelation 12:9-12 seem to indicate that Satan was not cast out of heaven until after Jesus' victory on the cross. If this is the case, Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 as well as Luke 10:18 are prophecies of what was going to occur. This makes Jesus' references to the ruler of this world being condemned and cast out a little more clear (John 12:31; 16:11). This also explains why Satan's work still had not only legal authority in the OT, but also divine sanction (Job 1:6-12).
I have wondered about the Rev Scripture before also. I have heard a lot of different views but I am under the impression that satan had already been cast out of heaven but evidently it was as the angel he was cast out and not as satan. During Job's time he could go before God and accuse the brethren. This was all before the cross. I think that will be a good study to do. As far as I can see, Lucifer fell from his position as the "Anointed Cherub" (Ezekiel 28:14 and Luke 10:18) in heaven prior to the Garden of Eden, but he won't be cast down to the earth until the Tribulation period. Once he is confined to the earth he will indwell the Antichrist. We know from the book of Job that Satan still had access to heaven at that point, even though he was no longer one of God's angels.
I think the problem is believing that the term "satan" denotes a specific personage in the Bible always. In Numbers 22:32, the angel of the Lord tells Balaam literally in Hebrew that he has come to be a "satan" against him; it is usually translated as "adversary" in English and unfortunately the importance of this passage is missed. The term "satan" or "adversary" probably connotates an office of which Lucifer had held even as an angel. The Greek term "katagoros" and "antidikos" is used in the NT to denote an accuser like a prosecuting attorney. The function of the office is probably one of disciplining humanity; at least originally.The passage in Revelation really indicates that Jesus' victory on the cross allowed Michael to gain victory in heaven. There's not a whole lot in the Old Testament that suggests that Lucifer fell a long time ago. I think it comes from taking Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 as past events rather than as prophecy. It says that we were known from the foundation of the world but that is certainly in the context of Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection. I don't think the fall of Lucifer is any different. I think even if he was behaving as an apostate angel his judgement and removal was done on the cross. Once again, John 12:31 and 16:11 indicate this. There's also another passage in John that suggests this and that is John 19:11. Jesus tells Pilate that he would have no power over Jesus if it had not been given to him from above, therefore the one that handed Jesus over to him is guilty of a greater sin. This is usually taken as referring to Judas but this is literally impossible because Judas did not give Pilate his position of power. This could only be a reference to an angel; specifically the one that told Jesus he had the ability to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:6). He obviously was the one who gave Pilate his position and used Judas to hand Jesus over to him. It seems clear to me that Satan or Lucifer was still functioning as an angel up until the crucifixion which was his judgement according to Jesus' own response to Pilate.
PR, by what you wrote it made me wonder if you believe in the angelic conflict?
Sure. It's been going on for along time. The conflict is over the souls of human beings.
I think that our notions of time probably cannot be applied to the heavenly realm. It is a little mysterious how the Bible treats the subject of heaven and time. Take Revelation 13:8 for instance; it says that Christ was slain from the foundation of the world and in another place it says we were chosen before creation (Ephesians 1:1-10). This is obviously from the heavenly stand point because from the earthly, it definitely happened in a particular point in time. Paul also says in the fullness of time Christ came (Gal. 4:4). We are dealing with two perspectives: the heavenly and the earthly; one is in time the other is not.
I don't think the fall of Satan can be put in a primordial past in the earthly sense of time. Michael's battle with Satan was always concurrent with earthly time and events and the cross was the decisive victory. These events that happened in time probably all exist outside of time in the heavenly realm. I don't think we can fully grasp this mystery but I think the Bible indicates it at least.
There's places in the Bible that are really pretty mysterious when it comes to the subject of evil and/or chaos. We have water that doesn't know it's bounds until God puts restrictions on it (Job 9:8, 38:8-11; Prov. 8:29; Psalm 33:6-7; Jer. 5:22). We also have God's battle with Leviathan (Is. 27:1; Job 41). It's difficult to tell if these are references to an archangel or of something else.
I think part of the misinterpretation of Satan's fall comes from the unconscious Christian tendency to read the fall like it follows Milton's Paradise Lost. I think Milton misinterpreted the subject.
PR, do you have any good resources for these thoughts? Did any particular theological papers or other Christian books lead you to these thoughts? I know I'm a little late to the discussion, but I'd be very interested in reading a clear commentary on the nature of satan and the ideas you've presented.
The resources are fairly scattered because I read a lot. Some of it is deduction based on what the Bible and the church fathers have said but I'll give some sources for the main parts of my argument:
As for the idea that Revelation supports the reading that Satan fell concurrently with Jesus' victory on the cross, I was first made aware of this interpretation by reading Beale's commentary on Revelation. Beale's commentary is from an amillennial perspective and I really encourage you to check it out. Most of the other passages I quoted simply buttress this reading.
My statement regarding the ambiguity of what station Satan held in the Old Testament is coming from a simple understanding of the way the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses key terms. In Judaism, the Satan (with the definite article) is not a fallen angel, he is in the service of YHWH. I am not surprised they hold this position because the Old Testament doesn't say anything about his fall except for the Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 passages which can be taken in other ways. Genesis 3:14 could also be a reference but the serpent isn't called an angel. There are some interesting meanings associated with the word "nahash" or "serpent" however, the word is closely related to the Hebrew word "nehushtan" meaning to shine as in brass. Even though I think these are all references to him and his fall, these readings are very symbolic and cannot be used to indicate definite time. There are some good books that deal with the subject of satan, fallen angels and chaos on my shelf. Click on my tags for "combat myth" or "fallen angels." These books are very scholarly but they have great information in them. Both Creation versus Chaos by Bernhard Anderson and Slaying the Dragon by Bernard Frank Batto are good.
Satan is in the pit, until he is released. The shoel is not hell or hades, it is the grave...more like a purgatory in its description. After Satan is released he will be cast into Hell and destroyed with it. He is bound within the pit until 1000 years are over, but I htink those 1000 years are figurative....and I certainly think that Satan can still influence things on earth even if bound.
But that is just a thought regarding revelations.