Why Did Christ Say, “I Beheld Satan As Lightning Fall From Heaven”?
Welcome to Bible Question and Answer, our bi-weekly series where we provide Bible verses, answers and advice to the questions and concerns you have. During the course of the last two weeks readers have submitted their questions and today we are going to answer one of them.
Question: Hi – I notice you say that satan is still being held in heaven by angel Michael, how does that compare to Christ’s words when He said He SAW satan fall from heaven like lightning? It must have happened earlier then than the END time? Please, I’d like to hear some on this matter. Thank you
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Great observation Ryno and thank you for the question.
When we study our Father’s Word we need to ensure we carefully follow the time sequence and subject of the Scriptures. We need to understand where we are Biblically and historically speaking.
For example, we know Satan was literally in the Garden of Eden and then in Job 1:7; 2:2 we are told Satan went,
“To and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it“
Simply meaning, Satan had free reign on the earth in those days.
Christ In The Wilderness
If we turn our Bible to Matthew 4:1-11 we can see that Satan is still on earth at the time of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How could we forget the moment in time when Satan “tempted” Christ in the wilderness?
Remember what Christ told Satan?
10 “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Christ told Satan, “get thee hence” (Strong’s: 5217) which means “go away“. Christ gave Satan an order and since the time of Christ, Satan has not walked on the earth.
That may not completely document that Satan is bound in Heaven, but the great book of Revelation certainly does.
Please turn your Bible with me to,
The War In Heaven
7 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,”
The “dragon” is, in fact, Satan as verse 9 will document for us.
Where does the “war” take place?
Where is Satan then?
When does the War in Heaven take place?
The War in Heaven occurs literally moments before the Great Tribulation. This war is the great shaking that we read of in Mark 13:25 and that was promised in Hebrews 12:26-27. Naturally, Satan is the Tribulation and without Satan on earth, there is no Tribulation. This is also the same event described in Daniel 12:1.
8 “And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.”
9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
When Michael and his angels cast Satan and his angels to earth, that completes the War in Heaven. Immediately after that event, Satan will appear on earth marking the beginning of the Tribulation.
So again, while Satan once walked the earth, he was removed from it during the time of Christ. From that time forward Satan has been bound in Heaven and from Scripture is under the authority of Michael who is under God.
“I Beheld Satan As Lightning Fall From Heaven”
So what was Christ telling us then in Luke 10:18?
Go back to what I said in the beginning. When we study the Bible, we need to ensure we keep track of the time sequence and subject, otherwise, we become confused.
In Luke 10, Christ sent out teachers to various cities to spread His Word, providing them with Spiritual Wisdom.
17 “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”
The seventy men Christ had sent out returned with joy as they were able to cast out “devils” (Strong’s: G1140, 1142) which are ‘evil spirits‘ in the name of Jesus Christ. So our mind should be focused on our power over evil spirits in the name of Jesus Christ.
Before we read the next verse, ask yourself…
Who is the most wicked and evil spirit there is?
18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
Naturally, Satan is the most wicked and evil entity. Hold that thought.
Christ is not telling us Satan suddenly fell from Heaven as He was talking to the seventy men.
Christ is explaining to us that He saw, He “beheld” (Strong’s: G2334), meaning He was a “spectator of” the fall of Satan from Heaven.
When did that occur then?
Further, we should understand Luke 10:18 also provides us with another dimension of Satan’s future appearance on earth during the Tribulation. “As lightning,” duplicating the appearance of Jesus Christ, remember, Satan’s job will be to ensure the world believes he is God, (Matthew 24:27).
Power Over The Enemy
Christ is telling us, not only do we have power over evil spirits, but power over the most wicked of all spirits, Satan who had already fallen, who had already lost power.
19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Christ brought Satan into the subject in the prior verse letting us know Satan had already fallen from the Grace of God, fallen from the power and prestige he once had. Christ goes on in this 19th verse to let us know we even have power over Satan who is the serpent, so do not marvel that you cast out a few evil spirits as Christ has given us power over all, including Satan.
What a powerful message!
This verse should bring your mind to Revelation 9 and the 5th and 6th Trumpet. There the Locust Army is referred to as “scorpions” in verses 3, 5 and 10. In verse 19 they are referred to as having the tail of “serpents“. So you have the whole gambit here.
Christ is telling us, we have power over all of our enemies, both flesh and spirit, (Ephesians 6). This includes Satan and his angels who help make up the Locust Army that Satan will lead during the Tribulation, though our Father still commands this army, (Joel 2:25).
20 “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
Christ keeps us leveled headed by saying, do not rejoice over the fact that we have power over wicked spirits, but rejoice knowing we are found written in the Book of Life.
Remember, we cannot cast out any evil by ourselves, it is our faith through the name of Jesus Christ that makes it happen, (John 15:5).
I was going to conclude here, but I just cannot help but read verse 21 and understand how very fitting it is for us.
We are going to read it in a moment.
Before we do it is important that we understand when we study Scripture (in addition to what I mentioned earlier), remember there are many parables and figures of speech in the Bible. The Bible is certainly not written in code, but not everything written is meant to be understood by everyone, (Matthew 13:10-11). That is documented time after time.
Verse 18 causes confusion as we place the timeframe of the event Christ described right when He spoke the words. I believe these type of sayings and phrases are yet another element to keep those from understanding who are not meant to understand. This is why we must take Scripture as a whole and work to possess knowledge of it, so we can be one of the few who understand…
With that thought, let us read verse 21.
21 “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”
Just like the account in the Garden of Eden, the Parable of the Tares and so many more. The message we learned in this Bible Q&A was yet another message that was hidden from the “wise and prudent” of the world. Yet, God has revealed it to “babes” (Strong’s: G3516), simply meaning, “a simple minded person,” ones well founded in the ways of Christ.