A few months back, I read an article written by an aged and well respected member of the community of prophecy writers. I do not know this man personally, but I could tell from his writing that he was a solid, God loving person who had stood on the Word for much of his life.
I spotted something in his essay that I thought was an obvious error with regard to the topic he was writing on. It was no big matter, just one of those small things that one might have pointed out to him by a friend as a possible oversight. Now, I love the truth of God’s Word. I am fully aware that I do not have all the answers and I also know that no other mortal, past or present, has full knowledge in matters spiritual. “Now we see through a glass darkly”, as they say. Only one man has all the answers and he got out of here almost 2,000 years ago and has not returned as of the time of writing.
So if I am in error on God’s Word, and a fellow believer can point out my error, and show me from the Bible, chapter and verse, where I am clearly wrong, I will gladly admit my mistake and embrace the new light of truth which is so evident to behold. That is, I have no problem changing my Theology if I can be convinced to do so from Scripture.
With this in mind, I wrote a note to the elderly gentleman stating where I believed he was wrong and offering what I thought to be the correct interpretation. I did this in the spirit of truth and brotherly love. To my surprise, the scholar wrote back and said that he had been preaching this particular doctrine all his life and he was not going to change now! I was shocked. As I pondered this in bed some nights later, the glaringly obvious answer came to mind: “You cannot put new wine into old bottles.”
Sad but true. Unfortunately, many long-time Christians have allowed their beliefs to become traditions and doctrines which they hold despite being exposed as being opposite to what Scripture plainly teaches. What I am about to write about now may be an example of one such topic.
You see, I was taught over 30 years ago that Satan and one third of the angels that rebelled with him were kicked out of Heaven because of their insurrection. This occurred thousands of years ago and the Devil and his horde of ner-do-wells having been living and wreaking havoc on planet earth ever since. But is this what Scripture teaches?
Revelation 12 tells of a war that, many believe, proves that Satan was ejected from heaven all those years ago. Let us see what it has to say:
“And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels.
And prevailed not. Neither was their place found any more in Heaven.
And the great Dragon was cast out; that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, for he knows that he has but a short time.” Rev. 12:7-9, 12
The difficulty with the Book of Revelation, in my opinion, is that it is not written in chronological order. In this chapter alone we have past, present and future and sometimes all in the same sentence. But I believe this war is still future and Satan and his princes are yet to be deposited on earth in the coming Apocalypse. The clue is given in verse 10:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of our Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night’.
That’s the Authorised KJV. The NIV renders the last phrase thus;
“…For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
The ‘brethren’ or ‘brothers’ here are believers. That is, they are born again Christians of the ecclesia or Church of God and Body of Christ. And Satan, who is the accuser, appears before the Throne of God day and night, rehearsing our sins and throwing them in the face of God. So Satan has access to Heaven and the City of God. In fact, I believe he and his entourage reside in Heaven. How can you believe that, I hear you say? Let us go to the letter which is the pinnacle of the epistles addressed specifically to the Church of God; Ephesians.
“Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Eph. 1:3
The Greek for ‘heavenly’ here is epouranios which is better translated as ‘heavenly spheres’ or ‘the heavenlies’ or ‘heaven’. This word is used five times in Ephesians. To get a clearer understanding of what exactly it means we go to verse 20 of the same chapter.
“Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.
‘Places,’ is in italics in the KJV to tell us that this word was added by the translators and is not in the original text. But we all know that Jesus ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. This tells us exactly what the Greek word epouranios means. It is speaking of Heaven. Now look at Ephesians 3:10 which is speaking of the Devil and his angelic evil mates.
“To the intent that now, to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”
We can drop the italicized ‘places’ here for it was added. So this verse tells us that the ‘principalities and powers’ that is, Satan and his mob, are in Heaven. Not yet convinced? Here is a verse we are all familiar with.
“For, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”( epouranios : heavenly spheres or the heavenlies or heaven).
So just as God raised Jesus from death and set him at His own right hand in Heaven, so too the Devil and the rest of the fallen angels, who are the rulers of the darkness of this world, are also in Heaven.
I know that the Devil is the god of this world and that he goes up and down like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. But he is a spirit being and he, and his princes, can flit between Heaven and earth in a flash. But it is plain and obvious from the above quotes that they reside in Heaven.
Perhaps we need to get a different idea of what Heaven is. When you read the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 20, the various stones it is made up of are known to us. We know what sapphire and emerald and jasper are. An amethyst and chrysolyte are known stones to us. We know what gold is and the streets of this city are made of such. The river of life flows through Mount Zion and the Tree of Life is there and we know what trees and rivers look like. All these are “physical” things (although Heaven is a spiritual place).
Revelation 19 tells us that Jesus will return on a white horse with an army of his saints riding at his shoulder. So if there are horses in Heaven, one would presume there are fields of grass and stables, perhaps. So maybe Heaven is a place somewhat similar to our earth. Perhaps the City of God is in one place and Satan and his angels reside some distance away just as I am writing this in Ireland and many of you reading are in the United States. But the Devil has access to the Throne day and night where he accuses the brethren. But not for long. For, there is soon to be a war in Heaven. Not a battle, a war. And when that happens, the Devil and his angels will be cast down to the earth just as John tells in Revelation 6:13.
“And the stars of Heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
When Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightening fall from Heaven”, this was a prophetic utterance. He was speaking of the future. The Devil and his cohorts will fall to earth just as the fallen angels who manifested before the eyes of mankind back a thousand years before the flood as recorded in Genesis 6. But for now, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this word, against spiritual wickedness in Heaven.
(Patrick Heron’s Return of the Antichrist and the New World Order is published in paperback and is available now on Amazon Kindle and as an Audio Book see; www.neph.ie).
Dr. Patrick Heron is the author of Apocalypse Soon and The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse. You can find more information about Patrick's latest book, The Return of the Antichrist and the New World Order, at his website www.nephilimapocalypse.com.