Satan: Part IV(a) of a Series :: By Denis Bowden
The greatest battles ever fought are being fought in the spirit world, wherein God confronts the forces of darkness. However, Satan has retained God’s authority to rule this world with the aid of legions of unclean spirits. And though the war itself was won by God when Jesus defeated death, the battles over individual souls and nations continue. There will be a cessation of hostilities when Satan’s Anti-Christ is defeated as Jesus cuts short the Tribulation with His Second Coming. The predator of souls will then be bound for 1,000 years during the millennium kingdom of Jesus. Then, ultimately, there is to be a final battle fought against Satan, and God will be victorious. Satan will be consigned to the eternal torment that he has long desired for all mankind.
According to the Bible, Satan was cast down from “the third heaven” (the immediate presence of God- 2 Cor.12:2). But we are told in Ephesians 6:12 that Satan and his demons still dwell “in the heavenlies.” The first heaven is the universe that we see with our eyes (Psa.8:3). The “heavenlies” that Satan and his demons dwell in must therefore be the second heaven, which we cannot see. One day, he will be cast down from there to the earth (Rev.12:10). This may perhaps be why the Lord did not say, “It is good” on the second day (of the six days in Genesis 1), when the heavens were separated – because Satan was dwelling in the second heaven.
Another link that serves to go along with this may be found at
Defining The Battlefield & Our Involvement:
Satan is a created being and, therefore, is not the equal of God. His actions reveal that he is the polar opposite of the goodness, love and mercy of God and wants to replace Him. However, as a creation of God, Satan is NOT and will never be the opposite of God Himself. If he were, that would allow that he has the omnipotence of God: that can never be. What he is, what he does, what he omits to do is limited entirely by the will of God. Nevertheless, within those limitations, we should be both aware and alert. Satan has the wit and cunning to apply all the strategies necessary to destroy both the soul and body of man, whom he loathes. And we can only conclude that he continues ‘to be’ and ‘to do’ in total subordination to God’s will.
The battles for our souls are fought in both the spirit world and upon the earth as Satan attempts to confront and contest God through his own will. As a created being, subordinate to God’s will, Satan is doomed to failure (notwithstanding the catastrophic impact he can exert on those who deny God). Satan’s limitations were no more clearly demonstrated than when he tried to tempt the sinlessness of Jesus and failed miserably.
Satan neither possesses the power nor authority to prevail against the triune nature of God. The Christian is protected from Satan through God’s gift of justification, the Word of God, and the power of prayer. This leaves Satan as ‘master of the field of denial.’ He has a world full of spiritually blind souls to capture. And many of them hate even the thought that God ‘might’ exist. Within the limits of his God-granted authority, he mounts a series of tactical assaults upon every aspect of man’s fallen sin nature through seven battle Fronts:
- Media and Communication
- Arts & Entertainment
- Business & Economy
The Limitations imposed upon Satan:
Satan’s power and authority were greatly limited when, as Lucifer, he led one-third of the angelic host in open rebellion against God. In punishment, they were all banished from the holiness of God. However, when God then began and completed Creation, it was the will of God that, as Satan or the Devil, Lucifer would retain limited access to God. Moreover, following the fall of man in the Garden, it was God’s will that, as Satan, he be permitted to rule the world of man’s denial and tempt the great multitudes of unsaved souls through their undefended sin nature.
I reiterate: this is the will of God.
Satan was a non-participant in Creation. He would have had to watch in obvious anger as man was created in the ‘image’ of God. Against this backdrop, Satan seized the opportunity afforded by what we could assume was the relative innocence of his chosen victims. He entered the Garden and, assuming the shape of a serpent, tempted Eve.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Oh, How The ‘Mighty’ Hath Fallen!
Satan has many names, and they all allude to the demonic character that emerged from within his nature. It was not always so. As Lucifer, his former position and status saw him placed by God in a position of both trust and authority over the angelic host. Reputedly, he was very beautiful in appearance until his angelic nature began to change for the worse. In his original state, he was perfect in wisdom, beauty, and in all his ways.
Please take time to read Ezekiel Chapter 28:12-19. This is a metaphorical description of the fall of Satan as he was banished from the Third Heaven that exists in the holy presence of God. Satan presently occupies the spirit-filled world of the Second Heaven, wherein spiritual battles are still being fought. The Host of Heaven eternally confronts and wars against the unclean brood of Satan as they constantly attempt to destroy the nations that God has willed into existence. As an example of these battles, we should focus upon the efforts of the principalities and the ‘great’ of this world as they strive to create a ‘one-world Government’ to be ruled by Anti-Christ. Be in no doubt that those in this world who are presently conspiring to achieve this are nothing less than demon-possessed souls.
Satan presently dwells in a heavenly realm but not in the holy presence of God when, as Lucifer, chief of the angelic host, he stood before God. The Bible teaches that in spite of his banishment from God’s immediate presence, he does have access to the LORD. Whether he has already been thrown out of the Second Heaven or is now on Earth or whether this judgment is still future is an area in which Bible students continue to disagree.
Satan ‘Is’ Active on The Earth:
Scripture says that Satan is still active on the Earth.
“The LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From going to and from on the earth, and from walking up and down on it'” (Job 1:7).
“Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
From all of the above, we find that Satan is not presently restricted to one place and, thereby, can step upon the earth as he so desires.
So theology is not clear if Satan has yet fallen to Earth, but he certainly can ‘walk upon it’ and manifest himself as he did to tempt Jesus. Some of the fallen angels were sent to Earth. Their spirits became further corrupted as they forsook their spiritual state and the nature of their being to manifest themselves in some form in such a way that they were enabled to engage in sexual concourse with women born into the previous world. They remained at the beck and call of Satan until God confined them beneath the earth. Scripture tells us that they will be released for a short time to scourge man during the Tribulation (2 Peter 2:4 & Revelation 9:14).
(One Answer From ‘Got Questions’)
With both the angels and humanity, God chose to present a choice. While the Bible does not give many details regarding the rebellion of Satan and the fallen angels, it seems that Satan—probably the greatest of all the angels (Ezekiel 28:12-18)—in pride chose to rebel against God in order to seek to become his own god. Satan (Lucifer) did not want to worship or obey God; he wanted to be God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Revelation 12:4 is understood to be a figurative description of one-third of the angels choosing to follow Satan in his rebellion, becoming the fallen angels—demons.
- As Lucifer, Satan previously served God in a premier position before the Host of Heaven, assisting the exercise of God’s holiness.
- Satan tested God by leading a rebellion against His authority.
- Satan was banished from ‘the’ Heaven, wherein is the holiness of God.
- Though banished, Satan still has diminished access to God.
- Satan himself is not confined and can walk the earth as he requires.
- The earth itself will not be Satan’s ‘home’ until he is bound and confined within it for 1,000 years of the rule of Jesus Christ.
- God gave Satan authority over the previous world.
- God has given him authority over this world.
That pretty well sums up my own understanding that Satan, within the constraints of his limited authority, has been tasked by God to identify and test the depths of denial. After all is said and done, there are only two classes of man that stand before God upon resurrection:
- Those saved through the grace of atonement granted by Jesus
- Those who are unsaved and will stand to the judgment of their deeds
Remember that old adage? ‘Give a man enough rope, and he’ll hang himself!’ Are we then living in the time of the greatest test of our loyalty and fidelity? And if so, then surely, God is using Satan to put each of us to the test, well knowing that many will not make the cut (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Jesus acknowledged Satan’s authority when he said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30).
If Satan’s role is to test us, then in order to validate a relationship with God in this age and end the separation that denial has caused, there must be an end to testing. For the individual, our ‘testing’ is ended as we freely seek the end of our denial by asking Jesus to forgive us. As forgiveness is granted, our faith is immediately justified, and we now possess through prayer all the power necessary to resist Satan’s authority until Jesus comes to ‘snatch us away’ before the wrath of Tribulation commences.
For the world at large, Satan’s rule over the earth will end when Jesus Christ replaces him as the ruler of this world, and with his unholy trinity defeated, Satan is bound for 1,000 years.
That is why the devil is only called the god of “this age.”
- God is preparing the establishment of the coming Millennial Kingdom to be ruled by King Jesus from the ‘New’ Jerusalem, but Satan is working overtime to introduce his counterfeit plan.
- Satan’s duplicity will convince the present nations that his Anti-Christ is the Messiah for both the Gentiles and Jews. Consider these similarities:
- Both Jesus Christ and the Antichrist have ‘a coming’ (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:9).
- Both Jesus Christ and the Antichrist ‘are revealed’ (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
- Both Jesus Christ and the Antichrist ‘bring a message which underscores their mission’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
- Jesus Christ was ‘sent by His Father’ (John 6:38). The Antichrist will be ‘sent by his father, the father of lies’ (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Throughout the Tribulation Period (Daniel’s 70th week), Satan will use four terrible strategies as he attempts to establish himself as the permanent ruler of heaven and earth. Each one of them will be more intense than the last.
First and Foremost: The permanent establishment of a visible, political form of his kingdom of darkness by raising up an unholy trinity – Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
Second: Only those who swear allegiance to this kingdom are to be permitted to live within it. Satan will seek the destruction of all testimony which gives glory to God, and he will direct Anti-Christ to kill those who have a personal testimony of God (see Revelation 13:7, 15; 17:6).
Third: During the Tribulation Period, he will make his final attempt to destroy Israel, and Anti-Christ will attack secular Zion with extreme intensity (see Revelation 12).
Fourth & Final: Anti-Christ has gathered all the armies of the world to make war against the Lord with the express goal of stopping Him from returning to institute the Millennial Kingdom.
Revelation 19:19 testifies of this time: “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
All of Satan’s evil plans will fail – that much is certain from Scripture. God reminds him that his efforts are futile by declaring this in Revelation 11:15: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'”
Only one kingdom will be left standing after the Tribulation Period – and it isn’t the one led by Satan!
Praise God: Father of our LORD Jesus Christ.
(The next article will be “Satan: Series IV Part [b).”