When in history was Satan cast out of Heaven?
There are two important passages in the Word of God concerning the origin and fall of Satan. The first passage relating to Satan’s fall is found in Ezekiel 28:12-19 where Ezekiel describes the creation and judgment of a vile and vicious non-human creature whose name we find out later to be Lucifer. The second passage relating to Satan’s fall is found in Isaiah 14:12-14 where the prophet Isaiah presents the origin and fall of Satan. (THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN, by H. L. Willmington, p. 21)
With reference to a “specific” time in history when Satan fell from Heaven, it must be stated that there is no clear revelation as to exactly when Satan fell, but here are limits to the possible time which we may deduce from biblical evidence. “. . . Based upon information gleaned from a comparison of Ezekiel 28:12-19 with Isaiah 14, Jude 6, and II Peter 2:4, and other passages, the following picture of Satan begins to emerge. Satan was created as one of the host of angelic beings . . . an anointed cherub, i.e., the captain of the cherubic hosts. Sometime prior to the creation of the natural order, Satan became vain about his beauty and position, and his heart became rebellious against God. Apparently, he was able to secure a considerable following among the angels, resulting in their expulsion from Heaven (Luke 10:18; II Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:4). Since that day, Satan devotes himself to opposing the work of God in every way possible and to attempting to destroy all of the good that God has created in the natural order. He (Satan) is allowed to continue this way for a period but will ultimately be confined to Hell for eternity” (Revelation 20:10). (THE CRISWELL STUDY BIBLE, p. 948)
If we assume that angels (including Satan) were part of the creation of Genesis 1:1, then their fall (including Satan’s) follows that point. However, it may be that angels were created prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth. In either case, angels (including Satan) were present when God “laid the foundation of the earth” and “set its measurements” (Job 38:4, 5), for it was then that the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). This involved all the angels rejoicing with God. Satan and his angels fell, then, sometime after the original creation of the heavens and the earth.
It is certain that Satan had fallen before Genesis 3 where the temptation of Adam and Eve is recorded. He fell before man fell; but whether he fell before or after man’s creation, we cannot say for certain. (ANGELS ELECT AND EVIL, by C. Fred Dickason, p. 135)
Satan’s fall was a direct result of his self-exaltation that was manifested in his pride, the first sin (I Timothy 3:6). Motivated by pride, Satan set out on an irrational course to seize for himself God’s authority over the universe (Isaiah 14:12-14). Some commentators believe that this revolt of Satan towards God occurred after the creation week, but before the fall of man (Genesis 1:31; 3:1-6). It appears that the Devil became the prince of this world when he led man (Adam and Eve) to sins against God and thus brought the ruler of earth under his domination (Genesis 1:26:3:1-6; John 12:31; Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:18). (PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY, by Floyd H. Barackman, p. 176)
Satan has been judged by God for his sins, and will be further judged for his sins. There are at least six judgments associated with Satan:
1. He was barred from his original privileged position in Heaven (Ezekiel 28:16).
2. Judgment for his temptation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:14-15).
3. At the cross of Calvary (John 12:31).
4. Satan will be barred from Heaven during the tribulation period (Revelation 12:13).
5. Satan will be confined to the abyss during the millennium (Revelation 20:2).
6. At the conclusion of the millennium, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10). (Excerpts from A SURVEY OF BIBLE DOCTRINE, by Charles C. Ryrie, p. 94)
The Bible gives reference that there are two occasions where Satan is cast out of Heaven; once with his angels, and once in the future. . . . Since the ultimate fall of Satan is actually yet in the future (Revelation 9:1) . . . Lucifer, himself, shall one day fall under the judgment of God. He, too, will be brought down to Hell in the final judgment of God [Revelation 20:10].
A study of the passage of Revelation 12:7, 8, reveals the beginning of the ultimate doom of Satan. In pre-time (before creation of time), Satan’s early fall was from the immediate presence of God to the second heaven (cf. Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-15; Ephesians 6:10-12). . . . Neither was there place found anymore in Heaven.
The weaker the foe (Satan) will be permanently dislodged, never to regain access to Heaven.
Doubtless, Christ foresaw this in Luke 10:17-18. Satan’s forceful eviction from Heaven is a chief cause of the Great Tribulation (John 12:31). (LIBERTY BIBLE COMENTARY, Vol. I, p. 1325: Vol. II, pp. 821, 822)
This collection of answers was prepared by Jerry Falwell, Harold Willmington, Elmer Towns, and Larrie Schlapman at Liberty University for the questions most commonly asked. These answers have developed over a number of years in answer to questions that have come from many different sources. We appreciate your interest in learning more about the relevancy of Scriptures in today’s world. May you consult these answers with an open Bible and an open heart thus allowing God’s Holy Spirit help you find the truth (John 14:26).