St Michael and his Angels Fight the Dragon Fight, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) Source: Albrecht Durer the Complete Works
It is an undeniable fact that throughout the New Testament there is a consistent sense of anticipation concerning Christ’s impending return.
There are scholars today who claim Jesus and the Apostles got it wrong. Those who do so undermine the inspiration of the Scriptures.
Equally, the 1st century church eagerly awaited the imminent demise of Satan.
I will attempt to explain how and when Satan met his end, which is an aspect rarely addressed today. I will produce scriptural evidence to prove that not only did Jesus return as promised, He also defeated all His enemies, including Satan!
Reluctance to Proclaim Outright Victory
Other than a fleeting comment that Satan is a defeated foe, many sermons about him quickly revert to how he is causing havoc in the world today. Consequently, a typical theme is the ‘wiles of the devil’; exhorting believers to guard against the pitfalls Satan has set for the unsuspecting believer.
Many scholars are willing to defend the view that Christ defeated Satan, yet reluctant to affirm His outright victory! Why should this be? In my opinion, empirical evidence has replaced the inspired Word of God.
Due to the evil prevalent in the world today, the perception is that Satan is alive, well, and more active than ever. Perhaps if Christians accepted what the Scriptures actually teach regarding the defeat of Satan, their outlook would dramatically change for the better.
If Jesus said it, then I believe it! Regardless of how things may appear, believers must put their trust in the Word of God, and not allow every sensational headline or crisis to strike fear in their hearts.
Infatuation with the Origin and Character of Satan
It is not difficult these days to find highly imaginative scenarios as to the character of Satan. There is a profusion of websites, religious and secular books, and fantastic works of art on the subject. All of which nourish an unhealthy fascination with Satan and the occult. Other dubious sources include extra-biblical writing, mythology, and the vain imagination of ‘man’.
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28
Dramatic sermons often describe the origin and character of Satan, deduced from reading between the lines of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Correct me if I am wrong, but neither the Lord Jesus Christ nor any of the New Testament writers ever quoted from or alluded to these two chapters. Considering the magnitude of this doctrine and its influence on the Church today, surely it is reasonable to expect some references, since these have formed the foundation of the doctrine.
My articles ‘Who Is the Bright and Morning Star? Jesus or Lucifer’ and ‘There Never Was a Pre-Adamic Race?’ may help to explain my viewpoint on this particular aspect of the doctrine of Satan.
The Hebrew word ‘ha-satan’ means ‘the adversary’, ‘the obstacle’, and ‘the accuser’.
It is interesting to note that Robert Young in his highly acclaimed literal translation of the Bible, took the time to translate ‘ha-satan’ as ‘The Adversary’ on every occasion. Many translators retained the Hebrew ‘satan’ and personalised it by adding a capital ‘S’, thereby raising his status.
God is Sovereign
God in His infinite wisdom chose to use ‘The Adversary’ in His great plan of redemption. Satan, irrespective of his origin and character, had exceptional powers, although he was restricted in his opposition. Only God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, Satan was a created being and never possessed any of these divine attributes.
I will leave it to the speculators whether Satan was an angel who had fallen from favour or otherwise. It is of far greater importance that believers are aware of Satan’s end rather than his beginning!
Satan in the Old Testament
Relatively speaking, the references to Satan in the Old Testament are few by comparison to the New Testament.
Satan’s Adversarial Actions
The beguiling of Eve… Genesis 3:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3
The testing of Job… Job 1:12
The provocation of David… 2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Chronicles 21:11
The adversary of Joshua the high priest… Zechariah 3:1
Satan in the New Testament
Satan dramatically exploded onto the scene at the advent of Christ in a vain attempt to thwart every move to establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men.
Satan’s Adversarial Actions
The temptation of Christ… Matthew 4:1
The sifting of Peter… Luke 22:31
The buffeting of Paul… 2 Corinthians 12:7
The prince of this world… John 14:30
The god of this world (age)… 2 Corinthians 4:4
The prince of the power of air… Ephesians 2:2
The power of darkness… Colossians 1:13
The great dragon, the serpent, the devil, Satan… Revelation 12:9
‘Deliverance to the captives’
Luk 4:18-21 KJV The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’
‘deliverance to the captives’ This quote from Isaiah 61 alluded to Satan’s overthrow. Jesus added ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’
The Binding of Satan
Mar 3:27 KJV No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
The miracles that accompanied Jesus’ ministry were evidence of Satan’s binding.
The binding of Satan occurred during the first advent of Christ, and his ‘loosing’ was for a short time prior to Christ’s return on the great and terrible day of the Lord in AD 70.
The Return of the Seventy
Luk 10:17-18 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
‘even the devils are subject unto us through thy name’ It was when the seventy returned with joy, having exercised the power of God in the casting out of devils through His name, Jesus declared ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.’
Luke 10:18 ‘I beheld Satan – That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.’ — John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
The Casting Out of Satan
John 12:31 KJV Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
‘now shall the prince of this world be cast out’ Why do scholars insist Satan is as active as ever? Surely ‘now’ means ‘the present time or moment’, his casting out is history.
A Quote from John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible
John 12:31 ‘Now – This moment. And from this moment Christ thirsted more than ever, till his baptism was accomplished. Is the judgment of this world – That is, now is the judgment given concerning it, whose it shall be. Now shall the prince of this world – Satan, who had gained possession of it by sin and death, be cast out – That is, judged, condemned, cast out of his possession, and out of the bounds of Christ’s kingdom.’
According to Dispensationalism, Satan’s demise is at the end of the 1000 years reign of Christ on earth. However, Paul wrote to the Romans to reassure them the ‘crushing’ of Satan was about to happen within their lifetime. Did he give them false hope? Of course, he didn’t.
The Crushing of Satan under the Feet of the Saints
Rom 16:20 (King James Version) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Rom 16:20 (Young’s Literal Translation) and the God of the peace shall bruise the Adversary under your feet quickly; the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen!
Rom 16:20 (Bible in Basic English) And the God of peace will be crushing Satan under your feet before long. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
‘the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly/quickly/before long’ According to Dispensationalism, the Lake of Fire awaits Satan at the end of the 1000 years reign of Christ on earth, irrespective of Paul’s assurance to the Romans of the impending ‘crushing’ of Satan. This is a typical example of a clear and simple statement of imminence being misconstrued, with its meaning thrust into the far and distant future to support an ill-founded doctrine.
‘Bruise συντρίβω suntribō G4937 soon-tree’-bo From G4862 and the base of G5147; to crush completely, that is, to shatter (literally or figuratively): – break (in pieces), broken to shivers (+ -hearted), bruise’ – Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
According to Strong’s dictionary, this ‘bruise’ was not just a slap on the wrist!
Did Paul get it wrong? Of course he didn’t. Not only would doubt be cast over the Epistles of Paul, the inspiration of the Word of God would be undermined.
The Destruction of Satan
Heb 2:14 KJV Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Hebrews 2:14 ‘He might destroy – That he might “subdue,” or that he might overcome him, and “destroy” his dominion. The word “destroy” here is not used in the sense of “closing life,” or of “killing,” but in the sense of bringing into subjection, or crushing his power. This is the work which the Lord Jesus came to perform – to destroy the kingdom of Satan in the world, and to set up another kingdom in its place. This was understood by Satan to be his object: see the Mat 8:29 note; Mar 1:24 note…’
The Timeline of Satan’s Demise
Jesus Had the Keys
Rev 1:18 ISV the living one. I was dead, but look-I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades.
At the time John received the Revelation, Jesus said ‘I have the keys of death and Hades’. He thereby announced He had complete control over Satan. The Revelation was for the encouragement of believers in John’s day, and unveiled the impending sequence of events leading to the final destruction of all Christ enemies.
Rev 20:2-3 KJV And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
According to Dispensationalism the binding of Satan begins at the future 1000 years reign of Christ, then loosed for a short season at the end. This view contradicts the foregoing Scriptures that clearly describe impending judgement.
The Thousand Years and Chilias or Chilioi
In my opinion, the millennium was not a literal 1000 years. The timeline began with the binding of Satan during Christ’s ministry… Matthew 12:21 and continued until set loose for a short time leading to the Roman/Jewish war, AD 66 to AD 70.
John did not write the Greek numerical ‘thousand’ (chilias) years’, six times he wrote the Greek ‘thousand’ (chilioi) years’. So what is the difference?
A Quote from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary
‘G5505 ÷éëéÜò chilias khil-ee-as’ From G5507; one thousand (“chiliad”): – thousand.’
‘G5507 ÷ßëéïé chilioi khil’-ee-oy Plural of uncertain affinity; a thousand: – thousand.’
In Revelation 20, ‘thousand’ was not ‘chilias’ the numerical 1000, but always ‘chilioi’, it was suitable for figurative speech.
Rev 20:7 KJV And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
With Satan released from the abyss, the end of ‘1000 years period’ drew near. The Dragon enlisted the beast to make war with the saints… Revelation 13:7 Many suffered martyrdom for the testimony of Jesus… Revelation 20:4
At that time the Old Covenant was still in effect but was ready to pass away; it ended with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.
Rev 20:10 KJV And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
God has accomplished His great plan of redemption; therefore, there is no longer satanic deception of the nations.
Why is There Still Evil in the World Today?
Jas 1:14-15 KJV But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
According to the Scriptures, this world’s problem is no longer Satan but mankind’s sinful nature.
Joh 8:44 KJV Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Col 2:18 KJV Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Sin has been the major contributing factor in this grief stricken world.
Jer 17:9 KJV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
1Jn 2:16 KJV For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
‘Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity’
Hos 4:1-2 KJV Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
Hos 8:7 KJV For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
Hosea prophesied God’s judgement upon the Kingdom of Israel because of their idolatry and wickedness. The idols they had created and worshipped would prove incapable of rescuing them.
‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind’ God revealed to Hosea the reason why and its consequences. In other words, it was inevitable their sins would catch up with them.
The Assyrian Empire swept down and laid the Northern Kingdom to waste, enslaving its inhabitants.
Hos 10:13 KJV Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
Personally, I believe this tragedy is a reflection of the sinful condition of mankind. Throughout the annals of history to the present time we constantly read of such events.
Gal 6:7-8 KJV Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
It is impossible to reap anything other than sown. Notwithstanding, ‘man’ never takes the blame or responsibility for his sinful actions, instead he claims ‘the Devil made me do it’.
The modern idiom comes to mind, ‘What goes around comes around’.
I have presented Scriptures that describe Satan’s demise during the lifetime of Christ’s generation. These Scriptures contain words such as bind, fall, cast out, judge, bruise, crush, and destroy. All of which vividly portray the ‘death throes’ of Satan.
At Christ’s parousia, the final blow was struck during the great and terrible day of the Lord in AD 70. God’s great plan of redemption was accomplished, bought and paid for by the blood of the New Covenant.
Unfortunately, many New Covenant believers are encouraged to continue a war that has already been won, instead of rejoicing in Christ’s victory.
Where is Satan today? Satan was completely ‘whipped’ and ‘stripped’ of his kingdom and cast into the Lake of Fire.
1Jn 3:8 KJV He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
A Quote from Vincent’s Word Studies
1 John 3:8 ‘The Devil See on 1Jn 2:13. Compare Joh 8:44. “The devil made no one, he begot no one, he created no one; but whosoever imitates the devil, is, as it were, a child of the devil, through imitating, not through being born of him” (Augustine).’
Satan’s only legacy today is found in his imitators who prefer darkness to the light of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Scriptures proclaimed Jesus would return quickly to complete His victory. I believe He did exactly that.
Was Christ a failure in His mission to defeat the Devil? Of course He wasn’t.
What do you think?