The Fall of Devil.
In the Tanakh when we read of the devil we see him only as the tempter, a angel whose job is to test mankind seemingly on the behalf of God. Through the scriptures though we can see that the Heavenly Host , a group of angels who interact with the world , seems to show a disruption happening among them. We see this in more than one way between wars between princes, angels that lust after women, and finally in the New Testament we read of a war and one angel that seemed to have gathered a army that lost and was tossed to earth becoming the enemy of mankind.
Satan seems to mostly come from two words. śā·ṭān / שָׂטָ֖ן (H7854) and haś·śā·ṭān / הַשָּׂטָ֖ן (H7854) also. Let’s first look at Satan through the Hebrew Scriptures to see his role as the tempter.
Job 1:7-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
Job 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Job Loses His Health
2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 3 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.” 4 Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” 6 So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”
7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
- In this story we read that angels were roaming about the earth looking into the lives of mankind. ( Hebrews13:2 and other stories show this). Among the angels was the tempter and God asked him did he consider the righteousness of his servant Job and Satan wagered against God that he believes he would fail if he was not so blessed and so slowly God revokes the goodness in his life and Job pulls through faithful despite having a moment of bitterness.
1 Chronicles 21:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Census Brings Pestilence
21 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.
- Seems that Satan tempted David to number Israel after David was told not to.
Zechariah 3:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Joshua, the High Priest
3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
- Here a story opens up with Joshua standing before the Angel of the Lord and the Satan and the devil is there accusing Joshua until the angel rebukes him.
So on the Old Testament we see Satan as a angel who still walks among the angels and stands before God and his role seems to be to tempt and accuse mankind. His very duty is to find the fault in the hearts of man. But when we get to the gospels and epistles of the apostles we see something very different. John reveals why this is so.
Revelation 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Woman, Israel
12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
The Male Child, Christ
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The Angel, Michael
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
- Here we read several interesting things.
It starts off that Satan is still in heaven among his fellow angels. He lures 1/3rd of them away from God and his goal was to destroy the male son who would rule over all that was being born. That’s Jesus. Satan tried to kill Jesus. I believe by tempting King Herod into the action but failed. (Matthew 2). The woman was led to safety and ministered to by the angels. While that was going on a war broke out in heaven and Michael and his angels fought against and conquered the Devil and his angels and then three them down to earth. It was then that the devil realized his time was short and went to war against the church and all who obeyed God.
There are two more reasons why I believe these events took place around the time a Christ was born.
Luke 10:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
- Jesus said he witnessed Satan fall like lightening. Secondly is from the outbreak of “demonic” activity that we just don’t see in the Old Testament.
In the gospels ( Matthew 4:1-10 and Mark 1:13) we read that the devil tried to tempt Jesus just like he many others only this time it was Satan that failed. Jesus was not seduced by the evil Satan presented.
Satan held a woman in bondage for 18 years. - Luke 13:16
Satan convinced Judas to betray a Jesus. - Luke 22:3
Satan filled Ananias’s heart with evil lie to God - Acts 5:3
Appointed Paul frees gentiles from Satan - Acts 26:18
He hinders apostles from moving - 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Jesus casts out a Legion of demons - Matthew 8:28-34
Sons of Sceva overpowered and beaten - Acts 19:13-17
Unclean Spirits trying to reveal Christ early - Mark 3:11
A man silenced and freed from demons- Luke 4:33-36
A son healed form demons by father’s pleas Mark 9:20-21
- We also see the devil mentioned as a enemy in several passages.
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
2 Corinthians 11:14
14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
1 Peter 5:8
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
A whole list of the way evil is present is listed as the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18
Revelation 12:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
- These verses imply Satan was cast down to earth and those of earth should be weary meaning humans already on earth by the time he fell. Not prior. Not to mention he tried to kill a woman’s son who would rule everything meaning it was not Eve.
But from the OT to the NT the change seems so suddenly. However, the Word of God sheds light that this issue was always in the background. It’s revealed Satan’s first attack was on Eve and that he was the serpent in the garden.
Revelation 20:2 which links to Genesis 3.
2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
- In Daniel 10:10-21 we read of a conflict between a few angels. Presumably the angel Gabriel who is often shown carrying messages from God to humans reveals to Daniel that he had a message for him but was held back by the angels who were the Princes of Persia and Greece. He mentions that the prince of Israel, who is Michael , is the only one whose there helping him. It’s interesting to notice how the other angels were not helping. Perhaps they were debating as the Hosts of Heaven over what to do. We know they debate one another from the story of the angels deciding how to handle Ahab in 1 Kings 22:19-24.
So to me it seems that the scripture teaches that Satan was a angel of God whose job was to tempt and accuse mankind. That prior to the war that begin after he tried to kill a male child Satan was still among the angels and that just like with any war before the main fight finally breaks out there is ripples of a disturbance such as when Michael and angel argued over Moses and when Satan was rebuked by the angel of the Lord and when there was a standoff between the Prince Angels overseeing nations. Then finally Satan stepped to far out of line by trying to kill God in the flesh through King Herod which resulted in the war and Satan and his demons losing and being cast to earth where demonic activity kicked up because they knew their time was short and they were full of wrath. They became the enemy to mankind and was held in check through the power of Jesus Christ being invoked and through the power the apostles were handed as their signs of who they were.
One common argument brought up is centered around the verses about Lucifer. Firstly though is that the word there is not lucifer. That’s a translation started by the KJV for the phrase Morning Star which was venus. That whole chapter is about a man. The story is in Isaiah 14 and despite containing very poetic elements the character it mentions is a man. It mentions how he slain his own people, how he said he would ascend to heaven. Angels were already in heaven. It was men that wanted to reach heaven as shown by Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and by the story of Babel. It mentions how his family would be brought to ruin. It calls him the king of Babylon.
The other argument is very similar. It’s about the King of Tyre in Ezekiel 28. These verses repeatedly say, you are a man not a god. The man desired the same things. He wanted to be like God. The strongest argument comes from the hyperbolic poetry mentioning he was in the garden of Eden and so on. I believe that with the rest of scripture showing why and how and when the fall happened it leaves that these verses were a foreshadowing of prophecy about Satan just like so many prophecies that was directed towards individual men in the Bible was a foreshadowing also for the Messiah.