Let us continue in our studying of the devil in this week’s bible study. Again, I want to remind you of how I feel it is of the utmost importance for us to know our adversary. I say that because many believers, and even non-believers, are fearful of Satan but a lot of this fear comes from a lack of knowledge about him. Scripture is filled with plenty of information about the devil, but many people live by a narrative of information that has been created about the devil that is outside of scripture.
You and I do not have to be fearful of the devil because he has already been defeated. So far in our recent studies, we have taken a look at Satan’s origin and seen that he is not God’s equal. We have also seen and studied about Satan’s fall from heaven. This week, we are going to dive into the total defeat of Satan. The devil’s defeat has already been sealed and in this conflict that he wages against God, we should understand that he is fighting a losing battle.
Satan’s War Against God
Now, Satan was and is not one to take defeat gracefully. After his fall from heaven, the devil did not scurry away in great embarrassment. From our reading and studying of scripture, the devil became even more bitter and more upset with the Lord. Satan set about waging a war against God which is still going on in this present day.
After his fall from heaven, the first thing we see the devil do in waging his war against God is antagonize God’s special creation – mankind (Gen. 3:1-7). This was an intentional attack by the devil. You see, Satan had caused the fall of several of God’s angels by deceiving them and drawing them into his sinful cause. Now, the devil sought to do the same exact thing with God’s new creation. You might wonder to yourself, why did Satan choose to antagonize mankind in waging his war against the Lord?
The devil desired to turn mankind against God and for man to view God in the same way that he views the Lord. When the morning stars sang and the angels rejoiced at God laying the foundation of man and His physical creation, Satan was stewing. His fall from heaven only motivated the devil to move more against mankind. The Lord wanted to dwell with mankind and Satan sought to prevent such fellowship from happening. He knew that God would not join in fellowship with beings that stood in opposition to Him – sinners.
So, In the garden, Satan sought to get Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and I believe he did this for a couple of reasons. The first reason: I believe that Satan wanted for man to see God as he sees the Lord. This desire is shown to us in the book of Job where Satan waged war against God through Job, a righteous man, with the intent for Job to curse God to His face (Job 1:9-11). The second reason: Satan wanted mankind to become sinners so that there would be no fellowship between God and mankind. God will not entertain being in fellowship with sinners.
By the time we get to the time recorded in the gospels, we will see that the devil was still waging war against the Lord. Let us consider that by this point in time, the children of Israel had been divided into two separate kings in the north and the south. The northern kingdom had completely fallen due to being overcome in its sin of rebelling against the way of God. The southern kingdom had been conquered, exiled from the land of Judah and Jerusalem, and then returned back to Jerusalem all because of its rebelling against God.
God had gone silent for over 400 years during the times in between the testaments and it would seem like Satan had won the war against God and that God had given up. Yet, it was at this point in time that the Lord’s love for mankind was shown when He gave the world His only begotten Son. In the garden, after deceiving Adam and Eve, the Lord promised to Satan that one would come and bruise his head while he would only be able to bruise His heel (Gen. 3:15) – God promised Satan’s defeat. The purpose of Jesus’ manifestation in the world was to undo all that Satan had worked to do and seal Satan’s defeat.
The Defeat of Satan
In scripture, Satan’s sealed defeat is shown to us in three stages that we will now dive into and study. So, let’s take a look at these three stages of the devil’s defeat so that you can understand how certain his defeat is in this war that he’s waging against God.
First stage of the defeat of Satan
The defeat of Satan in this ongoing warfare began when Jesus was born into our world. John wrote in his gospel that in the beginning was the Word, and that Word was with God, and that the Word was God (John 1:1). John then wrote that the Word became flesh and dwelt among His own, especially the disciples. Yet, while the disciples were able to recognize His glory (John 1:14), with John personally seeing the transfiguration of Christ (John 17:1-8), there were several other people that chose not to receive Christ (John 1:10-11).
With that being said, Jesus came to the world and He showed the wonders of God in the form of miracles while also teaching and preaching the good news of salvation. Salvation: meaning deliverance from sin. Where the devil was seeking to turn people against God by turning them into sinners, Jesus came with the purpose of freeing mankind from the bondage of sin.
In scripture, Jesus stated to Nicodemus, when he sought to be saved, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).” Let us also note that Jesus declared to mankind, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples (followers) indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).”
Now, this message of salvation was one that Satan did not want mankind to ever hear. Why? Because Satan believes he can truly defeat God by taking from God that which the Lord loves – mankind. So, what did Satan do to try and defeat this message of salvation? As he did to the prophets, he sought to kill Jesus. The devil worked his way into the heart of one of Jesus’ closest followers – Judas Iscariot – to persuade Judas to betray Christ. Satan then worked his way into the hearts of others who would eventually hang Jesus on the cross.
The death of Jesus on the cross was to be Satan’s crowning achievement; it was to be the death blow to God. The death of Jesus, in Satan’s mind, would have been the death of the message of salvation. This would have also been a direct strike against God’s heart by the killing of His only begotten Son. I honestly believe that Satan figured that God would want nothing more to do with mankind after it killed His only begotten. Yet, I don’t believe that Satan understood that God desired for His Son to be the propitiation of sin.
Yes, Jesus physically died on the cross and was in the grave for three days. However, during that time, Jesus was proclaiming victory in hell (Eph. 4:7-9; 1 Pet. 3:18-19). This was a proclamation of victory over the grave. To further understand this proclamation of victory over the grave, let us take a look at a couple of scriptures.
Paul stated that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). The grave signifies death, physically, in that nobody comes back from the grave. Now the death that Paul is speaking of here, we should understand, is not simply a physical death but it is also a spiritual death.
Now, Paul’s statement was him actually reiterating what Jesus stated when He said, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).”
Jesus conquered the grave by rising from it. This resurrection was actually a physical resurrection! Let us remember that Jesus proved this resurrection was physical when He allowed Thomas to see where He was pierced when He was on the cross (John 20:24-29). After His resurrection, Jesus remained with the disciples for forty days which further illustrated that His resurrection was true (Acts 1:3). After those forty days, we are then told in scripture that Jesus ascended back to heaven to reign at the right hand of His Father (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 1:9-11; 7:55-56).
Resurrection from the grave is victory over physical death, but at the same time, it is also a victory spiritually. You see, the devil has worked around the clock to get mankind to fall into sin and suffer the wages of sin, yet Jesus offers victory over sin through faith in Him.
When Jesus ascended back to the heavenly kingdom to be with the Father, He did not physically enter into the kingdom. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).” After this, Jesus then told Nicodemus, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).”
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven but a spirit that has been washed by the blood of Jesus and born again, can enter into the kingdom. So, through faith in Christ, we have an eternal home waiting for us in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom which we will one day be able to enter into because our spirit has been washed and made clean through the death of Jesus Christ.
So, where the devil thought that the cross assured him victory over God, we see that the cross actually sealed the devil’s defeat in that he can’t have the victory he desires. In his master plan, the devil failed tremendously and now not only does he know that he failed but the world also knows that he failed. Because of his failure, the world now knows that it can have victory over him through having faith in Christ – he has lost. Jesus’ death and resurrection was the first stage of the defeat of Satan and it actually sealed his defeat as well.
Second stage of the defeat of Satan
The sealed defeat of Satan is further shown to us in scripture in the book of Revelation. In the book of Revelation, John records, “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down (Rev. 12:10).”
Some of you may recognize this verse as it comes after the passage of scripture that I previously reference from Revelation 12:7-9. In the passage of scripture from Revelation 12:7-9, we saw that Satan was cast out of heaven in the distant past.
However, we will notice that in Revelation 12:10, scripture speaks of how salvation, strength, the kingdom of God, and the power of Christ had come. So, this scripture is not speaking of a distant past that was prior to mankind, but a past where Jesus had come to the world and brought salvation to the world. When you think about the book of Revelation, remember that the book of Revelation reveals what will happen in the future.
Therefore, what is shown to us in Revelation 12:10 is that Satan is going to be thrown out of heaven again. Now, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, ‘again?’ To this day, the devil, even though we have seen that he was thrown from heaven and down to the earth, he still has access to heaven. The devil, nor the demons that are with him, are allowed to dwell in heaven, but as shown in the book of Job, the devil still has access to heaven and can stand before the Lord (Job 1:6).
However, what we see here in this scripture from the book of Revelation, is that the day is coming when the devil will be permanently thrown out of heaven; he will not be allowed back in. What is interesting about this verse is that there is going to be great rejoicing in heaven when this day comes and those that are rejoicing are those who will be in heaven at that time.
We are told that those who overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb will be there and they will be the ones rejoicing at the devil being thrown out of heaven (Rev. 12:11-12). Those that will be rejoicing will be all of those that did not “love their lives to the death” but chose to love the Lord – this is the church, those that genuinely believed in Christ. One day, you and I are going to see Satan thrown out of heaven forever, and we will rejoice at this victory!
Again, Satan will not take this defeat gracefully. In fact, scripture shows us that after this happens, Satan will move even more maliciously against the remnant that is still left in the world (Rev. 12:17). Satan will move in this manner because, again, his final defeat is being further sealed. This is the second stage of Satan’s defeat. For those interested about when this will happen, it appears this will occur after the rapture of the church.
Third stage of the defeat of Satan
If Satan’s defeat does not seem final to you yet, there is another stage of Satan’s final defeat that is shown to us in scripture. After being thrown out of heaven and waging war against the remnant during the Great Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom (1,000 year reign of Christ on earth) will come at the second coming of Christ. Prior to the second coming of Christ, we are told in the book of Revelation that Satan will be cast and locked into the bottomless.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (Rev. 20:1-3).”
After the Millennial Kingdom, Satan is going to be released from the pit for a little while. The devil, after sitting and not being able to deceive for 1,000 years, is going to move with all haste against the Lord. He is going to move in a manner to gather all of the wicked ones still remaining in the world after the 1,000 reign of Christ, to his cause to go to war with God (Rev. 20:7-8). Satan will move in this manner because, again, his fate has been sealed for a very long time and he knows that his time is running out – this is his last ditch effort.
Satan and those who will choose to follow him after the 1,000 year reign will surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city. The concept of this battle will be similar to one that is written of in Ezekiel 38-39, though not the same. In Ezekiel, the enemies which were great in number gathered against Israel on all sides and were defeated and then buried in Israel for seven months (Ezek. 39:11-13).
In the book of Revelation, Satan’s final battle is Gog and Magog II. The enemy will surround the camp of the saints, being led by Satan, for one final battle. Like Gog and Magog I, the enemy will not win. Fire will come down from the Lord out of heaven and devour the enemy (Rev. 20:9). The end of this battle will be just like Gog and Magog I. This will be the final rebellion of mankind and the devil and the defeat of this rebellion will be swift.
The final seal of Satan’s defeat will come when he is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). This is the final judgment of Satan, sin, and all of those that followed him and dwelt in sin. Let us note that this judgment is final and will be an eternal punishment. There is no chance of Satan ever defeating the Lord though he will try repeatedly to do so.
Alright, let’s come to a stop right there in this week’s study. We are going to wrap up our studying of the devil in next week’s bible study. Next week, we are going to take a look at how we go about combating Satan. Next week’s study will be the last study for this month as we will take a break on Thanksgiving week. I certainly hope that you enjoyed this week’s study and that you will share this study with others as well. I also hope that you will return for next week’s study as well!