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Can you help me please? We have a bible study group and we post e-mail questions to one another. We have a question that seems to be giving us fits. The answer to the question seems obvious to some of us. But the person that submitted the question won't accept our answer. Who cast the devil/Satan out of heaven?
I’m not sure the answer is obvious. The only scripture that applies is Luke 10:18. “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” From that we don’t know who cast Satan out, or even that he was cast out. The passage doesn’t mention anybody casting him out.
Jude 1:6 may (or may not) have some bearing on the question. Certain angels are said to have left their first estate. It may be that Satan was among these. If so, his fall was not a casting out so much as a voluntary leaving.
The story of Satan being cast from heaven was popularized in Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” and may be based on a misreading of Isaiah 14:12—“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” In spite of the clear statement that Isaiah was talking about the king of Babylon, some mistakenly take this as a reference to Satan. Even then, it doesn’t say he was cast out. No scripture says that.
Another reader rightly questioned this answer. That objection and my response follow.
First of all, GOD cast Satan out of heaven. It’s plainly written in the Bible, GOD's holy word. Look in Revelation ch.12 vers.7-12. It points straight out that there was a war in heaven between Michael and his angels vs. Satan and his angels. Michael and his angels defeated Satan and his angels easily. I wonder if you even study the Bible at all seeing you say that there is no scripture saying that Satan was cast out of heaven. And next time you answer someone’s question make sure you really have studied GOD's word before answering. I want you to go back and correct that page you messed up on because it is a sin to lie (exodus 20:16). Thank you for your time.
One other passage may apply here. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9) Again, it does not specify who it was who cast Satan out. This is probably not about the first time Satan left heaven, whenever that was. There are a couple of reasons I say this.
First, the Revelation is written symbolically. This “war in heaven” may merely be symbolic of the ongoing conflict between good and evil. The victory in the war we all fight with Satan came with the crucifixion of Christ.
Second, if it is somewhat literal there is nothing in the passage to directly indicate that Satan had never before left heaven, either of his own choosing or by being banished. This could be a war in which Satan’s forces stormed the gates of heaven from elsewhere, and were then cast out again. If so, then it might add another dimension to the statement of Jesus about the church, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) The gates of hell thought they would prevail, but the church and the forces of heaven were victorious instead.
Third, the timing of the victory and the casting down indicates that it was after Satan had previously left heaven. This casting down, according to Revelation 12:11, was “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Therefore, it was when (or after) Jesus was crucified. Jesus had already said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) Therefore, either Jesus lied and Satan was in heaven until he was crucified, or Jesus told the truth and Satan had fallen from heaven previous to this casting outprobably long before; possibly before or about the time of the creation of the earth.
So Satan was cast out of heaven (literally or, more likely, symbolically) by some unspecified person or force, at the time of the crucifixion. But he had fallen from heaven at least once previously. This may have been before the creation, or after the time described in the first two chapters of Job.