Here is the context:
"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; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." (Rev 12:1-2)
Here are my observations from the Word, and my interpretations, which I have numbered in order to make it easier to comprehend each one:
"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." (Rev 12:3)
"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. 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." (Rev 12:4-5)
4. There was war in heaven. It was not a battle of flesh and blood but a spiritual battle.
"And there was war in heaven..." (Rev 12:7a)
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:12)
5. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
"...Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven." (Rev 12:7b-8)
"...and they lost their place in heaven." (Rev 12:8b, NIV).
7. The dragon was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.
"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." (Rev 12:9)
Note: Before I comment any further about this passage in relation to the ancient fall of Lucifer and his angels, I need to say that I definitely think this verse still has a future fulfillment. Even if this passage is a reference to the past fall of satan, and his being cast out of heaven, it will be also be fulfilled in these last days. In his book, Angels on Assignment, Roland Buck said the angel Michael told him that this event was yet future, when the Lord would send His angels to clear out the heavenly realms of the devil and his angels and cast them down to earth during the Great Tribulation. I believe that revelation to Roland Buck is genuine, that what Michael said to him is true, and that this passage is a prophecy about a future event that has not yet been fulfilled. But perhaps it is a double prophecy, which has a past fulfillment at the time that the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. It is in that historical regard that I now refer to this passage.
"...the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world..."
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"(Gen 3:1)
10. Jesus said that God prepared a place for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). In that place there is eternal fire and punishment (Mt 25:41, 46).
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels...'" (Mat 25:41)
12. The Bible always refers to heaven as up, just as the sky is above, and it refers to hell as below, just as the grave is below. The Bible refers to ascending to heaven (Deu 30:12; Ps 139:8; Prov 30:4; Amos 9:2; John 3:13; 6:62; Ac 1:2; Eph 4:10; Rom 10:6), and Elijah going up to heaven, too (2 King 2:11). It refers to descending from heaven (John 3:13). Jacob saw a stairway erected on the earth with its top reaching up to the heavens, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it (Gen 28:12). The Bible refers to descending down to the pit, down to the grave, down to hell (Is 14:15; Pr 5:5; 15:24; Amos 9:2; Lk 10:15). It speaks of Jesus being in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights after his crucifixion (Matt 12:40 ), while His body lay in the tomb. It speaks of the depths of hell (Ps 86:13; Prov 9:18; Job 11:8), even the lowest hell (Dt 32:22) and the lowest regions of the pit (Ps 88:6). David even said that the enemies who sought to take his life would descend into the depths of the earth (Ps 63:9). This also has a future Messianic fulfillment regarding the enemies of Christ.
At Jesus' ascension, "While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven." (Luk 24:51)
"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'" (Act 1:9-11)
When Jesus returns, He will come down from heaven, the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we are are alive and remain on earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4:16-17). Heaven is the Lord's throne and the earth is His footstool (Is 66:1; Mt 5:35; Ac 7:49), and He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet (1 Cor 15:25; Ps 110:1). We have a clear picture in Scripture of God sitting up in heaven on His throne and placing His feet on the earth below. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that hell would be inside the earth, where all the enemies of the Son of David would go when they are put under His feet.
"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;" (2Pe 2:4)
"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, 'when he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.' (Now this expression, 'He ascended,' what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)" (Eph 4:7-10)
He did not go there to be punished but to preach. He went there by the Spirit to preach to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah. (1 Pe 3:19-20). At one time before the cross, the place known as Sheol, the grave, or hell, was divided in two. One side was for the wicked dead, the devil, and his angels. The other side was for the righteous dead (Lk 16:23). There was a great chasm dividing the two sides (Lk 16:26). Anyone coming back to earth from that place would have to rise, hence the expression rising from the dead (Lk 16:31) Side note: The Bible says that every knee under the earth will bow. This refers to those in hell.
15. The dragon is seen on the shore of the sea in Rev 13:1. The beast comes out of the sea. The dragon gives the beast his power and his throne and great authority (Rev 13:2). Therefore we know the devil has power, authority, and a throne.
"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority." (Rev 13:1-2)
16. The second beast comes out of the earth in Rev 13:11, which again shows that the origin of these evil spirits are inside the earth. The devil is the god of this world (2 Co 4:4).
"Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon." (Rev 13:11)
17. It would seem that since God prepared hell for the devil and his angels, and since hell is inside the earth, then the devil must have sinned before the earth was made. Once the devil sinned, God made the earth and prepared hell for him. This would explain how the serpent could be already in the garden on earth when man was put here (Gen 3:1). It would also explain the darkness that existed on the earth when God made it.
|Earth submerged under liquid water in darkness (Gen 1:2)|
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." (Gen 1:1-2)
19. Once God created the light, He saw that it was good and He separated it from the darkness (Gen 1:3). God did not call the darkness good. That darkness was present because of evil. Whenever the Scriptures speak of darkness it is almost always a bad connotation. For example, Jesus spoke of the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11-12; 13:41-42; 13:49-50; 22:12-13; 24:50-51; 25:29-30; Luke 13:27-28).
20. Therefore it is my belief that immediately after the devil sinned, God made the earth as a place to which to send him, where he would be punished in hell inside the earth. Not only is it pitch dark there, but based on seismography research, we know that the temperature deep in the center of the earth is very hot. In fact, temperatures inside the Earth actually exceed the temperature on the surface of the Sun! It is dark and hot there, which fits perfectly with the description of hell given in the Bible (Matt 13:42,50; 25:41; Mk 9:43; Jude 1:7)
God could easily make the earth instantaneously on that first day of creation and put the devil there. Then on the sixth day He crowned His work by creating man in His own image to rule over all the fish, birds, livestock, and all the creatures that move along the ground, which include the serpent. (Ge 1:26).
Sin definitely came before the earth was made, but man had not sinned until the serpent deceived the woman and man listened to the woman (Gen 3:1-6, 11-13,17; 1 Tim 2:14).
Putting it All Together
In conclusion, let's concisely sum up everything I have just said. First Lucifer sinned and became a serpent, also known as the devil or satan, the great dragon. Then the earth was made. Then he was put on the earth, since he lost his place in heaven. Once God created man to rule over him, satan tried to prevent that from happening through his deception of man. But afterward God cursed him and said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers;” (Gen 3:15a). This reference to the serpent's offspring (seed) means that the devil has his children on earth, too.
God foretold of the coming salvation of mankind. He said the woman’s offspring would triumph. God said of her offspring, “He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15b). This is an early reference to Christ the Son of Man who would crush the serpent’s head and purchase redemption for fallen man. He is the male child who will rule all nations with a rod of iron. Though the devil tried to devour Him immediately after He was born, he did not succeed in doing so. And though he tried to do away with Him forever, he failed. For after Jesus died on the cross and was buried, He rose from the dead as a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose and ascended to God, where He sat down at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12). As the Scripture says, He was caught up to God and to His throne (Rev 12:5).
Isn't it wonderful that even in the beginning, immediately after man sinned, bringing about death to the human race, God in His great mercy already had a plan in place to save us? And He declared how He was going to do it. He would do so through the seed of the woman. It would be the Son of Adam (Luke 3:38), the Son of Man, whom we know is Jesus Christ the Son of God, who would triumph over the devil. He is the only One who can deliver us from evil. And for the those children of Adam who obediently follow Jesus, who are wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil, the promise still remains that the God of peace will soon crush satan underneath their feet (Rom 16:19-20). The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, except where noted. Image of the Holy Spirit hovering over the surface of the deep courtesy of "I Am the Word the Comforter" website. Image of formless sphere courtesy Creation Evidence Museum of Texas, copyrighted, used for educational purposes according to “fair use” as defined by U.S. copyright laws.
Author's note: I also recommend reading my articles, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music, To Sin or Not to Sin, The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician, The Creation Gap Theory, Jesus Christ Descended into Hell, The Evil Nephilim Giants, Piercing the Darkness, The Son of Man, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Five Divine Revelations, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, For the Glory of God Alone, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven, Ask for the Ancient Paths, Godly Attire & Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, and The Kingdom of Darkness, as well as the articles available through the Home page of this blog. You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org