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The Defeat of Satan

07 May
Fall of Satan - 1

from Google Images

It seems that, while the Seventy were on their mission, Jesus was looking for results and saw Satan fall from heaven as quickly and as suddenly as a bolt of lightning (Luke 10:18). Some scholars try to say this points to a fall before the creation of mankind, but they have no Scriptural authority for such an understanding. It appears that Jesus was speaking of the direct result of his own ministry. Jesus had at that time delivered a severe blow to the work and might of Satan. What Jesus saw happen to Satan occurred as a consequence of Jesus sending out the Seventy on their mission as lambs among wolves (cf. Luke 10:3), because he had given them authority to trample all over the works of Satan, treating his ministers and their superstitious methods of healing with utter contempt (Luke 10:19).

The authority of Jesus disciples extended even to destroying the power or the violence in which the enemy held his victims captive (Luke 10:19), such as the power that held captive the young boy born deaf and dumb who was also an epileptic, whom the Apostles were unable to help earlier (cf. Luke 9:38-42). In fact, it was during the mission of the Seventy that Jesus saw Satan fall from heaven. This same scene is also recorded in Revelation 12:7-9, and John seems to place Revelation in the context of Jesus’ public ministry. This being so, Michael, the Archangel, would be symbolic of Jesus. I don’t mean to imply Jesus is not God in the flesh, but I do mean to say Michael, in Revelation, is God.

If Jesus and Michael are the same Person, this would identify Michael’s angels / messengers (so the meaning of the Greek word aggelos – G32) as Jesus’ disciples. They fought Satan’s angels / messengers (G32) who in the context of Jesus’ ministry were the Jewish authorities—the scribes, Pharisees and chief priests, the wolves of Luke 10:3 and the scorpions and serpents of Luke 10:19. Jesus tells us that Satan (i.e. the prince of this world) will be cast out (ekballo[1] – G1544) in John 12:31, but this is in the context of the world being judged. That is, Satan was cast out of heaven (Luke 10:18; cf. Revelation 12:9), but in John 12:31 he is cast out of the world. When he was cast out of heaven to the earth, he was still able to make war with the saints (cf. Revelation 12:12-13), but when he is cast out of the world, he will be powerless to influence mankind in any way whatsoever.

If Satan’s angels / messengers (G32; Revelation 12:7-9) i.e. the scribes, Pharisees and chief priests in the context of Jesus’ ministry, were able to be victorious over Jesus, while he ministered to the people during the first century AD, that would have been a victory over God, in the context of Jesus being God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14), and a victory over God would mean his enemies would be in control of heaven, in the context of Revelation 12:7.

Therefore, what occurred in Luke 10:18 (cf. Revelation 12:7-9) seems to be a decisive battle in an ongoing war. Satan was defeated in the ministry of Jesus, but the war continued, yet not without an end in sight. That is, once Satan saw he was cast out of heaven, he knew he had only a short time left (Revelation 12:12) before he would be cast out of the world, as well, and into the bottomless pit, which shows his death (cf. Revelation 20:1-3). Satan had already been judged in the heavenly court (John 16:11). Paul concluded that Satan would be taken out of the way sometime in the first century AD and would be crushed under the feet of the Church (cf. Romans 16:20), and the book of Revelation agrees with Paul’s conclusion (cf. Revelation 12:12).

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[1] The Greek word ekballo is derived from G1537 ek, meaning out, and G906 ballo, meaning cast. It is related to the word used in Revelation 12:9 – G906, ballo translated there cast out.

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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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