MBS001 THE SIX ABODES OF SATAN
By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.Revelation 21:1
The purpose of this study is to trace the career of Satan. The best way of doing this is by means of the six abodes or six dwelling places where he has lived, is living, or will live in the future. These six abodes are all chronological in sequence. The first two of Satan’s abodes are now history; the third abode is his present abode; and the last three abodes are still future.
Ezekiel 28 contains the first two historical abodes of Satan. In verses 1–10, Ezekiel is told to address a man whom he calls the prince of Tyre (Ezek. 28:2). If one were to go back to Ezekiel’s day and survey the political and economic situation of that day, he would quickly discover that this very individual whom Ezekiel calls a prince is called a “king” by the rest of the world. Yet for some reason, God gives him a lesser title, not that of “king,” but prince.
The person who sat on Tyre’s throne substantially controlled the sea lane traffic of the Mediterranean. If one were a merchant living in Assyria or Babylonia and wished to transport his goods to Greece or Rome, the first thing he would have to do is bring his goods overland by caravan into the port city of Tyre. Upon entering Tyre, there would be certain port taxes to pay. The money for all these taxes would enter into the treasury of the prince of Tyre. Once one’s goods were inside the city, the next thing he would have to do is lease Tyrian ships from the prince of Tyre, and the money for the lease would also enter this man’s treasury. Furthermore, only Tyrian sailors were permitted to sail these ships, and one would have to hire the sailors from the prince of Tyre as well. Therefore, a great amount of wealth entered into this man’s treasury. Even wealthy kings of Israel such as Solomon and Jehoshaphat had to enter into this type of trade agreement with the prince of Tyre. With all this wealth came a lot of power and authority.
There came a day in this man’s life when he began to meditate in a wrong manner upon his wisdom, his authority, his power, and his wealth; these things welled up pride within him. This pride led to a self declaration of deity: I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas (v. 2a). Because of this pride that led to a self declaration of deity, he is condemned in verses 1–10.
As has already been mentioned, the world called this man the “king of Tyre,” but God gave him the lesser title of prince. The reason for this is that the real king of Tyre was not the visible being who sat on that throne, but rather an invisible being who controlled the visible one, Satan, who once fell for the same reason: the problem of pride that led to a self declaration of deity.
I. THE FIRST ABODE: THE THRONE OF GOD
In Ezekiel 28:11–16, God tells Ezekiel to turn his attention away from the visible to the invisible. Ezekiel is dealing with Satan himself in these verses:
Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was in you; in the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub that covers: and I set you, so that you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Notice that there is a change of title in verse 12. No longer is it the prince of Tyre, but from now on it is the king of Tyre. These verses contain the first two of Satan’s six abodes. The first abode is found in verse 14b as being upon the holy mountain of God.
It is quite well known that the Bible uses many symbols. This high usage of symbols, especially in the area of prophetic studies, has led to two basic extremes. The first extreme is to say that because of all these symbols, one must not delve too deeply into the study of the Scriptures because one can never really be sure what all these symbols represent. Thus, prophecy must be seen merely as a general struggle between good and evil, God and Satan; with good or God winning in the end. The second extreme is that which begins to apply guesswork, often based on current events, and results in speculation concerning what these symbols represent. Thus, the symbols are given a meaning that was never intended by the Scriptures.
There is a balance between the two extremes. While on one hand, it is true that the Bible uses many symbols, on the other hand, the Bible is consistent in its usage of symbols. A specific symbol will mean the same thing throughout the Old and New Testaments in about ninety five percent of the cases. For example, whenever the word “stone” is used symbolically, it is always the symbol of the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Whenever the word “mountain” is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of a king, kingdom, or throne. Both of those symbols are found coming together in a very famous prophetic passage found in the Book of Daniel. In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a huge image composed of various metals that Daniel interpreted to represent “the Times of the Gentiles,” when the Gentiles will have domination over the Jewish people. In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw a small stone that “smote the image on its feet and destroyed the image entirely” (v. 34). Daniel interpreted this to represent the Second Coming of the Messiah, when Yeshua will return and smash Gentile domination over the Jewish people. But then, in that dream, the stone began to grow and grow until it became a huge mountain that filled the entire earth (v. 35). Daniel said this represents the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom in which the Messiah will rule over the entire world. The Bible does use many symbols, but it is consistent in its usage of symbols.
Thus Satan’s first abode, in verse 14b, is described as being upon the holy mountain of God, meaning that he was a canopy overshadowing the Throne of God.
This passage reveals three things about the nature of Satan during the first abode. First, Ezekiel states in verse 12b: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. The Hebrew expression “to fill up the sum” means “to fill up a pattern” or “to fill up a blueprint.” When God began to do His creative work, He chose to limit Himself to a specific blueprint and not go beyond it. When animals were created, they would fill up only so much of that pattern. When man was created, he filled up a little bit more of the pattern. Angels filled up even more. However, when Satan was created, he filled up the sum or he filled the entire pattern in two areas: wisdom and beauty. Of all created beings, Satan was by far the wisest and the most beautiful. There is a general tendency among authors to portray Satan as ugly and hideous. Many of the pictures and portraits of Satan show him as a somewhat ugly creature. It must be pointed out that nowhere is this the picture of Satan in Scripture. He is not seen with horns, a tail, and dressed in a red suit. In fact, according to Scripture, of all created beings he is by far the most beautiful as well as the wisest of them all.
The second thing about the nature of Satan during this first abode is found in verse 14a: You were the anointed cherub that covers. In the celestial sphere, the Bible speaks of three orders or ranks of beings. The lowest order is that of the angels, with Michael being the chief angel or the Archangel. Above the angels are the seraphim. They are noted as having six wings, and are mentioned in such places as Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4–5. The highest order of created beings is known as cherubim. When Satan was originally created, he was of the highest order, but just one among many equals. However, according to verse 14, at some point in eternity past God took this particular cherub and anointed or “messiahed” him so that he was now over those of his own cherubic order. With this event, there is a being who is the highest of all created beings, not only in wisdom and beauty, but also in power and authority.
The third thing about the nature of Satan is found in verse 15a: You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created. When God created this being, he was created without a single flaw. He was so flawless that he even had a unique ability that man does not have today, an ability that is called the “power of contrary choice.” It is the ability to choose contrary to one’s own nature. He was perfect, and he was holy, yet he had the power of making an imperfect and unholy choice. Man does not have that choice today; every choice he makes is in accordance with his fallen nature. This is something that Satan would do during his second abode, not his first abode.
II. THE SECOND ABODE: THE MINERAL GARDEN OF EDEN
It is known from Job 38:4–7 that all of the angelic beings were already created prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth. Satan was created and dwelling in his first abode at the Throne of God and, chronologically speaking, after an unknown duration of time comes God created the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1. When God created the heavens and the earth, He gave different portions of the universe to the authority of certain angelic beings. When God created this particular planet, He gave authority over this planet to Satan, and it served as his second abode.
This is described in Ezekiel 28:13a: You were in Eden, the garden of God. The Eden of Ezekiel 28 is not the same Eden of Genesis 2–3. The Eden of Genesis 2–3 is a vegetable garden, but the Eden of verse 13a is a mineral garden. Verse 13b describes how this planet looked when it was originally created. There were no oceans or seas. It was a beautiful mineral garden covered by the precious stones listed in verse 13b. Satan walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire according to verse 14. For that reason, Satan’s second abode can be called the “Mineral Garden of Eden” as over against the “Vegetable Garden of Eden” of Genesis.
It was during his second abode that Satan’s fall occurred according to Ezekiel 28:16–17: By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may behold you.
As the prince of Tyre would do centuries later, the king of Tyre did centuries earlier. He began to meditate in a wrong manner upon his beauty, his wisdom, his power, and his authority. Rather than remaining in humble submission to God who gave him all these things by pure grace, pride welled up within him, and this pride led to his fall.
The problem was clearly stated as pride in verse 17a: Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.
Paul warned strongly against placing a new believer in a position of authority in a local church in 1 Timothy 3:6. Among the qualifications Paul writes about is the statement: not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil. A novice or new believer must never be placed in the position of authority in the local church, because by virtue of being a new believer, he is automatically in a state of spiritual immaturity. It takes time to mature spiritually just as it takes time to mature physically. If a new believer is placed in a position of authority before he is mature enough, this might well him up with pride, and he will fall into the same sin as Satan. The first sinner ever was Satan, and the first sin ever was the sin of pride.
The content of Satan’s pride was his declaration of five “I wills” found in Isaiah 14:12–14: How are you fallen from heaven, O day star, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, that did lay low the nations! And you said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
When Satan was welled up with pride, this pride led to the declaration of these five “I wills.” Each I will has a specific significance.
First, I will ascend into heaven. He was not satisfied with the very high position that had already been given him as the guardian of God’s Throne and authority over the Mineral Garden of Eden. He desired the higher position, a higher estate than he already had. There was no higher position than God’s own Throne. With the first I will, he declared a desire to usurp God’s own authority. Instead of being the one overshadowing the Throne, he now wished to become the throne sitter.
Secondly, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. Whenever the word stars is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of angels with one possible exception. With the second I will, Satan declared his desire to become the sole authority over all the angels that God had created. By so doing, he intended to depose Michael from his position and become the Archangel all by himself.
Thirdly, I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north. These are expressions used elsewhere by the prophets in describing the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom. Satan knew quite well that God’s program for the Jewish people is for the Messiah to rule over the nation of Israel during the Kingdom. The third I will declared his desire to make himself the Messianic ruler over Israel.
Fourthly, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. Whenever the word “cloud” is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of God’s glory, that unique glory called the Shechinah Glory. It is a glory that belongs to God alone and something that Satan desired all for himself.
And fifth, I will make myself like the Most High. According to Genesis 14:18–20, whenever God is referred to as the Most High, it emphasizes God as the possessor of the heavens and the earth. With this fifth I will, Satan declared his desire to become the sole possessor of all that God created in Genesis 1:1.
These five I wills resulted from Satan’s pride and caused him to lead a revolt against God’s authority in which he was followed by one third of the entire angelic host (Rev. 12:3–4). In this way, the day-star, son of the morning, became Satan, the adversary. At that point, judgment came upon him.
Both the corruption of his person and his deeds are described in Ezekiel 28:16–19. Verse 16 states: By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Verse 16a spells out the content of his wrongdoings: By the abundance of your traffic. For the king of Tyre, Satan, this figure meant going from angel to angel slandering God in order to win their allegiance. The corruption of his being led to his wrong deed, lying about God. In this way, Satan became the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
Verse 16b describes the twofold judgment of Satan. First, therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; he lost the high position as the guardian of God’s Throne. Secondly: I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. The word destroyed does not mean “destroyed in his being,” but “destroyed in his position.
Verse 17 states: Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may behold you.
Verse 17b decrees the punishment of the king of Tyre: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings that they may behold you.
Verse 18 states: By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your traffic, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of you; it has devoured you, and I have turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.
Verse 18a further reveals his sinful deeds. First: By the multitude of your iniquities. The word iniquities refers to his internal corruption. Secondly: in the unrighteousness of your traffic. The corruption of his character led to deeds of corruption, and he, in turn, corrupted other angels by slandering God. Thirdly: you have profaned your sanctuaries. Because Satan sinned while he was still in Heaven, he brought corruption to Heaven. This necessitated cleansing by the blood of the Messiah (Heb. 9:23–26).
Furthermore, three things come by way of punishment in verse 18b. First, therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of you. Secondly, it has devoured you. And thirdly, I have turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.
And verse 19 states: All they that know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you: you are become a terror, and you shall nevermore have any being.
Verse 19 gives three results. First: All they that know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you. The angels and those among humanity that followed him will be astonished at his demise. Secondly: you are become a terror. Thirdly: you shall nevermore have any being. Although Satan is an eternal being, he will no longer exist on this earth and he will no longer be active. In that sense, he will no longer have any being.
When God judged Satan, He also judged everything that was under Satan’s authority, which meant judgment on the original earth. The conditions of Genesis 1:2 came into being as a result of this judgment. Although it was not originally created that way, the earth became waste and void (Is. 45:18). The beautiful mineral garden that the planet once was became totally covered by oceans. Some time after this judgment came the six days of creation recorded in Genesis 1. It is quite clear that Genesis 1:2 describes a state of chaos. The issue comes down to this question: Did God create it in a chaotic state and then bring order to it, or did it become chaotic? It is hard to believe that God created chaos because, when God creates something, He creates it perfect. The author believes it became chaotic because of Satan’s fall. Therefore, he does not believe that Genesis 1:2 describes an original chaotic creation. Furthermore, a certain Hebrew expression, tohu vavohu, is used which, when used elsewhere throughout the Hebrew Old Testament, spells the concept of divine judgment. Even water on a global scale is a picture of a worldwide, divine judgment. Therefore, a gap of time needs to seen between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
It is evident, then, that this author places the fall of Satan between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This position is often referred to as the “gap theory.” But many people who hold to this theory do so merely for “dinosaur space.” They attempt to fit the fossil and geological ages into the gap and are forced to make the gap millions, if not billions, of years long. Many have put a gap there only to adapt their interpretation of Scripture to certain scientific theories, making it a convenient place to put the geological ages and the fossil record. Doing this to accommodate certain scientific theories is totally unnecessary. This is not the position of the author at all since, scripturally, it would be impossible for death to exist before the Fall of man (Rom. 5:12). There is a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 only for the Fall of Satan, and this need not be a very long period of time at all.
On the sixth day of creation, God created man and gave him authority over the planet. But when man fell, Satan usurped authority over the earth, setting the stage for his activities in this third abode.
III. THE THIRD ABODE: THE ATMOSPHERIC HEAVENS
The third and present abode of Satan is mentioned in Ephesians 2:2 and 6:12.
Ephesians 2:2 states: wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience.
Ephesians 6:12 states: For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In Ephesians 2, Satan is the prince of the powers of the air. In Ephesians 6, he is in the heavenly places. Thus, Satan’s third and present abode can be described as the atmospheric heavens. He lives in the air or the atmosphere.
While the atmospheric heavens function as Satan’s third and present abode, he does indeed have permission of access into two other localities. First, he has permission of access into Heaven and often uses it. To this day, whenever he so desires, he can still go into Heaven and stand before the very presence of God (Job 1:6; 2:1). Whenever Satan uses his permission of access to enter into Heaven, he does so for only one reason: to be the accuser of the brethren; not only against Job, but also an accuser against Israel (Zech. 3:1), and against believers today (Rev. 12:10). Whenever a believer falls into a state of unconfessed sin, sooner or later Satan will stand before the Throne of God the Father to accuse that believer. That is why believers still need the ministry of Yeshua as their Advocate. Whenever Satan has any grounds of accusing them, Yeshua can say, “Lay that sin upon My account. I have already paid for that sin when I died for that person on the cross.” In this way, Yeshua is still ministering as our Advocate. On the other hand, believers have a responsibility to be careful not to give grounds for Satan to accuse us before God’s Throne.
Satan’s second place of access is this earth. He is still the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31). He is still the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4) and the prince of the kingdoms of the world and can offer them to whomever he wills (Lk. 4:5–7).
When he uses his permission of access to the earth, he comes down in one of two forms. The first form is that of a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). The purpose of coming as a roaring lion is for destruction. This is the way Satan has often appeared to Jewish people throughout Jewish history. Satan works on the principle that “whomsoever the Lord loves, Satan will hate.” Throughout the Prophets and New Testament, God spelled out His eternal love for the people of Israel; therefore, Satan has had a perpetual war against the Jews, seeking to destroy them at every possible opportunity. Satan has also appeared as a roaring lion to the Church. In the early centuries of Church history, Satan used the Roman government. Thousands of believers were fed to literal lions in the arenas of Rome. As he used the Roman government to try to stamp out the Church of that day, even today in Communist nations and in Moslem countries, he is still using governments to try to stamp out the believing groups that exist in those countries.
The second form that Satan uses when he comes to this earth is an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). In this form, Satan’s purpose is deception. Satan’s fifth I will was: I will make myself like the Most High. Even Satan knew that he could not be the Most High, so he decided to become just like the Most High. Therefore, Satan has instigated a counterfeit program to implement a work of deception even among true believers, encouraging them to become very experience-oriented and blinding them to their need of a careful study of the Word of God. The program of deception is carried out against both believers (2 Cor. 11:3) and unbelievers (Rev. 20:3).
The nature of a counterfeit is to look like the genuine. Counterfeit money is not obviously phony money because it looks very much like the genuine. Many may have handled counterfeit money and not known it because few are trained to detect the difference between the counterfeit and the real thing. However, counterfeits do tend to have a flaw about them. Perhaps the wrong type of paper was used, the wrong type of ink, or the wrong design in some obscure corner of the bill, but it is never an obvious phony. The flaw can only be detected by someone who has a good knowledge of the genuine.
Some years ago, there was an article about the manner in which FBI personnel are trained to tell the difference between counterfeit and genuine money. The principle they use is not to begin with the counterfeit but to begin with the genuine. They handle, inspect, and study bills in various denominations until they know the genuine very, very well. Then slowly, without being told when, they are slipped counterfeit money. They are able to spot the counterfeit because of their knowledge of the genuine. The same thing holds true for the spiritual realm. The first order of business is to know the genuine, and this is contained in the written Word of God. It is the believer’s obligation to study the Word and to know God’s program and God’s way of doing things today. Then one will be able to recognize the counterfeit because of one’s knowledge of the genuine.
In the same way, Satan’s counterfeit program looks very much like the real program of God contained in the pages of Scripture. Satan’s program will not have obvious flaws in it. Therefore, believers must be trained in the Scriptures to be able to discern the difference between the real and the counterfeit.
The nature of the counterfeit program is found in 2 Corinthians 11:3–4: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.
In verse 4, Paul labeled three things by the word “another”: another Jesus, [another] spirit, [another] gospel. The Greek language has two different words that mean “another,” but they each carry a slightly different meaning. The first term means “another of the same kind.” The second term means “another of a different kind.” With that in mind, a literal rendering of 2 Corinthians 11:4 would read as follows:
For if he that comes preaches another Jesus of the same kind whom we did not preach, or if you receive another spirit of a different kind, which you have not received or another gospel of a different kind, which you did not accept, you do well to avoid him.
The gospel being propagated is declared to be another gospel of a different kind. The source is another spirit of a different kind. The Jesus being presented or propagated is another Jesus of the same kind, one who seems like the Jesus of the New Testament but who is a counterfeit.
Verses 13–14 state: For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for even Satan fashions himself into an angel of light.
Those who are propagating a counterfeit Yeshua are fully declared to be false apostles, but they do not appear as such because they “fashion themselves” to seem like and sound like real ministers of the Messiah. By so doing, they are reflecting their true lord, Satan, the angel of darkness, who fashions himself to appear as an angel of light. The nature of the counterfeit program is to propagate a Yeshua that is very similar to the Yeshua of the New Testament, but who is a counterfeit.
Just how far the counterfeit program can be carried out is given in Matthew 7:22–23: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by your name, and by your name cast out demons, and by your name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
It should be carefully noted what they are able to accomplish in the name of the counterfeit Jesus. They are able to cast out demons; they are able to prophesy events that do come to pass; they are able to perform miracles such as miracles of healings, among others. Yet Yeshua will say to them: I never knew you: The reason why all these outward manifestations in and of themselves prove nothing is because Satan can duplicate all of them. The real test is never the existence of outward manifestations. The real test is always conformity to Scripture. Is that which is being said, being done, and being taught in conformity with the teachings of the written Word of God? We have no other test by which to judge. In our modern day when there is so much emphasis on the sensational, on the experiential, and on feelings, many believers are being caught up into various “super spiritual” movements for no other reason than the existence of outward manifestations. By so doing, they never mature in the faith and produce in themselves the kind of fruit that God intends for believers to produce.
Also involved as part of Satan’s third abode is his work of temptation by which he was able to usurp authority over the earth by causing man to fall. To this day, he is still exercising his authority as the prince and god of this world (Jn. 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4). By causing man to fall, Satan has succeeded in keeping man from exercising the authority God had given him over the earth at his creation.
To summarize Satan’s third abode: today he dwells in the atmosphere; he has access to Heaven as the accuser; he has access to the earth, either as a roaring lion for the purpose of destruction, or as an angel of light for the purpose of deception. The counterfeit program is spread by counterfeit ministers of Yeshua (2 Cor. 11:13), preaching a counterfeit Jesus (2 Cor. 11:3), and performing counterfeit signs, miracles, and wonders (Mat. 7:22–23).
The last three of Satan’s abodes are all future and all are found in the Book of Revelation.
IV. THE FOURTH ABODE: THE EARTH
Satan’s fourth abode is found in Revelation 12 and describes events that will occur during the middle of the seven years of the Great Tribulation. Among these events is one particular event recorded in verses 7–12.
Satan is cast out of his third abode in verses 7–9: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.
In the middle of the Tribulation, war will break out in Satan’s third and present abode, the atmospheric heavens. In the course of this war, Satan will be defeated, and Michael will be able to cast him out of his third abode down to his fourth abode. His fourth abode will be confinement to the earth for the second half of the Tribulation, a duration of 3½ years. Satan’s program during the time he spends in this fourth abode will be an attempt to destroy the Jews once and for all (Rev. 12:6, 13–17).
There are two results of this angelic war: one is for Heaven, and one is for the earth. The result for Heaven is found in verses 10–12a: And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them.
The result for Heaven is rejoicing. The reason for all this rejoicing is because Satan’s permission of access into Heaven will now be removed. Never again will Satan be able to stand before the presence of God to accuse the brethren. Never again will the saints already in Heaven have to hear an accusation against a brother for whom Yeshua died.
But the result for the earth is woe, according to verse 12b: Woe for the earth and for the sea: because the devil is gone down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.
As for the earth, it is nothing but woe. The reason for the woe is that Satan now knows his time is short, only 3½ years. And, knowing his time is short, he is very, very angry.
Satan’s activities during his fourth abode are given in verse 13: And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child.
This verse states that, once Satan is cast down to the earth, he persecutes the woman. But who is the woman? According to Revelation 12:1–6, she represents the nation of Israel, for she is arrayed with the sun … moon … and … twelve stars, all common Old Testament figures relating to Israel. The Old Testament background for this sign is Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9–11, where the sun represents Jacob, the moon represents Rachel, who becomes a symbol of Jewish motherhood, and the twelve stars represent the twelve sons of Jacob, who fathered the Twelve Tribes. The woman represents Israel, and Satan will be persecuting the Jews during the second half of the Tribulation.
Revelation 13 describes the two beings Satan will use in his program of Jewish destruction: the Antichrist (vv. 1–10), and the False Prophet (vv. 11–18).
V. THE FIFTH ABODE: THE ABYSS
Satan’s fifth abode is given in Revelation 20:1–3: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time.
After the Messiah’s Second Coming, Satan will be bound and confined to his fifth abode, the abyss. The abyss is that section of Sheol or Hades that is a temporary place of confinement for fallen angels. Some are there now waiting to be released later in the course of the Great Tribulation. Satan will be confined there for a duration of one thousand years, the same one thousand years of the Messianic Kingdom. The purpose of his confinement is so that he would no longer be free to do his work of deception among the nations. But the binding is done with the promise that he will be released for a short while to test mankind at least one more time. Because of Satan’s confinement and through the reign of the God Man, Jesus the Messiah, man will fulfill his calling of exercising authority over the earth, as is made clear by Hebrews 2:5–9.
Two results will come out of Satan’s confinement in the abyss: one concerns sin, the other concerns death. First, concerning sin. Because of Satan’s confinement in his fifth abode, sin in the Kingdom will be greatly reduced, but it will not be eliminated. The reason it will not be eliminated is because people will be born during the Millennial Kingdom with the same sin nature with which all human beings are born, and which is inherited from Adam. The sin nature of man is quite capable of causing him to commit acts of sin. Even if there were no Satan or demons today, human beings would still be committing sin because of their sin nature. Therefore, sin will not be entirely eliminated but will be greatly reduced during the Kingdom because there will be no satanic or demonic temptation.
The same thing is true for death; it will be greatly reduced, but it will not be eliminated. According to Isaiah 65:20 along with some New Testament revelation, what is learned about life and death in the Kingdom is basically this: when the Kingdom first begins, every one entering into the Kingdom is a believer. In the course of time, those believers in the Kingdom who still have their natural bodies will give birth to children. These children will be born with the same sin nature with which all human beings are born, and which is inherited from Adam; a sin nature that needs to be regenerated by faith in the death, burial, and Resurrection of the Messiah for their sins. Also according to Isaiah 65:20, those born in the Kingdom will be given until their one hundredth birthday to receive the Lord. If they do accept the Messiah, they will live throughout the Kingdom and never die. This is why the Bible never speaks of a resurrection of millennial saints. Those who are still in unbelief will die at the age of one hundred; no unbeliever will be permitted to live past his one hundredth birthday. Thus, death is greatly reduced but not eliminated; death in the Kingdom will be for unbelievers only.
VI. THE SIXTH ABODE: THE LAKE OF FIRE
Satan’s sixth and final abode is recorded in Revelation 20:7–10: And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
After one thousand years, Satan will be released from his fifth abode, and he will again do the work of deception among all the nations of the Gentiles (v. 8). In the last century of the Millennial Kingdom many are born, many are still under the age of one hundred, and many of these are unbelievers. From these many unbelievers, Satan will gather one last army for one last revolt against God’s authority. However, when these armies enter the Land of Israel, they will be quickly dispensed with by fire out of Heaven (v. 9). At this point, Satan will enter his sixth and final abode: the Lake of Fire, which will be his abode for ever and ever (v. 10).
With this final revolt, the Millennial Kingdom will come to an end, and there will be a transfer of authority as described in 1 Corinthians 15:24–26: Then comes the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.
Ultimately, the power and the authority of the Kingdom must be turned over to God the Father. But this can occur only after every enemy of man is abolished and there is no longer any challenge to God’s rule, authority, and power (v. 24). For this very reason, the Messiah must rule until every single enemy of man has been placed under subjection (v. 25). It is not Satan who is man’s last enemy but that which entered human experience because of the satanic temptation of the first parents (v. 26). As a result of Adam’s fall, death has been part of human experience. It has been cruel and relentless. Every one in history so far has succumbed to the process of death except for two men in the Old Testament: Enoch and Elijah. Every one will undergo the process of death unless the Rapture comes in our lifetime. But once Satan is confined to his sixth and final abode, death will be abolished.
Death will be abolished for all men, believer and unbeliever alike, but there will be two different destinies. It will be abolished for the believer because of the believer’s participation in what the Bible calls the First Resurrection. The First Resurrection is for believers only for the purpose of spending eternity with the whole Triune God in the New Jerusalem, upon the new earth, which God will create according to Revelation 21–22.
Nevertheless, death will also be abolished for all unbelievers because of their participation in what the Bible calls the Second Resurrection. The Second Resurrection is for unbelievers only for the purpose of standing before the Great White Throne Judgment to determine their degree of punishment and then be cast alive into the Lake of Fire for a fate worse than death: to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire with Satan and to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The one thing that determines which way one will go and what his destiny will be when death is abolished for all men is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1–4: Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he has been raised on the third day according to the scriptures
It is the gospel that determines a man’s destiny. The content of this gospel is as simple as it can be, three very simple points: first, Christ died for our sins; secondly, he was buried; and thirdly, he has been raised on the third day, according to the scriptures. If one simply believes and accepts the simple content of the gospel, death will be abolished for him for a beautiful eternity in the New Jerusalem. However, if he rejects the simple content of the gospel, death will also be abolished, allowing for an eternal destiny in the Lake of Fire, which is far worse than death itself.
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BIBLE STUDY, DR. FRUCHTENBAUM RECOMMENDS:
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