WAR IN HEAVEN
Satan was apparently able “through the abundance of [his] trading” to persuade many of His fellow angels to side with him—“his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” This was the first of two falls.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> After the first fall Satan still had access to heaven,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> where he asserted his accusations against God and against God’s loyal creatures. But with the self-sacrifice of Christ on the cross, Satan was totally banished from heaven: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and they did not prevail, neither was their place found in heaven any longer.” (Revelation 12:7,8). We should not imagine that this was physical warfare; it was a war of words, of arguments, of loyalties,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> and with Satan’s ruthless instigating of the murder of the Son of God, he was fully unmasked and could no longer find a listening ear or a place in the hearts of the inhabitants of heaven—“Nor was their place found in heaven any longer” (Revelation 12:8).
That which Satan was not able to accomplish in heaven, the establishment of his throne, rule and authority, he now tries to accomplish on earth among humans. “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time” (v. 12). In God’s frame of reference in which “One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day,” the 2,000 years that Satan has been exclusively confined to earth is just “a short time.” But for “the inhabitants of the earth,” suffering from the activities of Satan and the effects of sin, this terrible time of “woe” seems interminable and unbearable. This brings up the difficult question that has led millions to reject faith in God: Why does God allow Satan, sin, and suffering to continue?
Continue to next section: THE ERADICATION OF SIN
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> Jesus said in Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”, showing that during His ministry Satan had already fallen. However, as Jesus prepared for His sacrifice on the cross, he said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31). This second casting out is described in Revelation 12:7-9.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> Job 1:6 depicts “a day when the sons of God [from the context it is obvious that these were not human beings—no doubt angels or other created beings] came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came among them.” In this heavenly gathering, Satan claimed territory (he said he had been “walking back and forth” on the earth v.7), disputed God’s wisdom and judgment (“does Job fear God for nothing?” v.9) and accused Job of superficial loyalty to God (“touch all that he has, he will surely curse You to Your face!” v.11). In Zechariah 3:1-5, another scene in heaven, Joshua the high priest is pictured “standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him”. From these two passages we see that before the cross Satan had access to the heavenly courts.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> Paul says that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).