SATAN FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH
BY: LLOYD ELLEFSON
The spiritual message contained in Revelation 11 and 12 is very enlightening. Let's begin with 11:15. "Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." (Rev. 11:15) Although this takes place in the heavens, the repercussions of this activity will be felt in the world of the Adamic Christians and natural man. Those who dwell in the earth, only have earthy concepts, so they bring all the spiritual realities into an earthy context. Those who are in the sea of humanity have no understanding of anything spiritual.
The voices in heaven were proclaiming that the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ had come. "His Christ" means His anointed ones. When we are baptized in the Spirit and in fire, we become the Lord's anointed ones. The Greek word CHRISTOS means ANOINTED. The words CHRIST, ANOINTING, and MESSIAH, are all translated from the same Greek root word. Since we are anointed by the Holy Spirit, we are the Lord's anointed. This expression, "the Lord's Christ" is also found in Acts 4:26. The Lord's anointed become one with Him and form His body.
"And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God." (v.16) Elders are mature people. We know that the kingdom of God has always existed; it didn't just begin in the New Testament. In the scriptures, 12 is the number of government, and 24 (2X12) would emphasize government. The fact that they sit on their thrones before God, says that this government comes from God. I think these elders represent the rule that comes from God. The preparation for this rule came in the twelve tribes and it bore fruit in the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The elders are worshiping God!
"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name..." (v.18) The nations became angry because the rule of the Lord and of His Christ was proclaimed in the heavens! The time came for the dead to be judged. Who judges the dead? It says that the Father judges no man; all judgment has been given to the Son because, as the Son of Man, He has experienced the temptations and trials that have assailed humanity. He is the judge of the living and the dead!
However it also says that the saints are to judge the world and angels! (1 Cor. 6:2-3) Angels are messengers - and messengers carry messages. The saints have the discernment to judge the messengers according to the messages they deliver. EVANGELISTS proclaim a message; that is why the words EVANGELISTS and EVANGELISM are derived from the same root word as angels. The evangel is the message. These messages are either natural or spiritual; some are good and some are evil. The ones that come from the Holy Spirit are good!
The dead are not judged according to the standard of good and evil. Judgment is based on whether they are living or dead. Truth judges everything that is not truth.
Jesus was raised by the Spirit of holiness - the Spirit of truth! The Holy Spirit is totally dedicated to bringing us truth!
In order for truth and righteousness to rule, lies and deception have to be destroyed. That means all earthy concepts have to be destroyed, for they are under the rule of the natural mind. The earth is their dwelling place, for the carnal mind dwells in a fleshly body made of dust! The mind of the flesh has to be destroyed. To destroy those who destroy the earth, does not mean that people are put into hell and tortured. When their wrong thinking is destroyed, they are destroyed.
"And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm." (v.19) This does not occur in the physical realm. This temple of God is not a physical edifice. The Greek word for a physical edifice is HIERON. But here the word NAOS is used, and it always refers to the temple of our body. It is the spiritual fulfillment of the tabernacle that was built in the wilderness, and it represented God. The Ark of the Covenant contained the two tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written, and had the mercy seat as its covering. In Christ we have these things spiritually! He has given us the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! Christ is the Spirit of the law, the Spirit of prophecy, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of the Son!
When the temple of God was opened, there were "flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm." In Revelation 4:5 and 8:5 these unusual happenings also take place. In Matt. 24 we read that the appearance of the Son of Man will shake the powers of the sky. When the seventy returned exultantly telling Jesus that even the demons were subject to them in His name, Jesus said, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning." (Luke 10:18) What is the meaning of this?
I believe these phenomena typify the casting down of the imaginations of spiritual things that exalt themselves against God. The earthy thoughts about spiritual things that dwell in our heavens need to be cast down. We will see this more clearly in the next chapter.
We know that the Ark of the Covenant typifies Christ. To be saved from judgment we have to be in Him. In Noah's time, only those who were in the ark passed safely through the judgment by water. A dove brought Noah an olive leaf - an emblem of peace! After Jesus came out of the water of baptism, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, rested on His head. Here the Prince of Peace came into a greater spiritual realization by receiving the Holy Spirit, the anointing of God, and hearing God proclaim, "This is My beloved Son." Just like peace came to the earth in Noah's day, so the great Prince of Peace was revealed in the Father's proclamation.
In Rev. 12:1 we read, "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." The world knows nothing about this because it is a spiritual appearance. Here is a woman clothed with the sun. Since flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, this woman cannot be physical. She is a sign.
I believe this woman is a covenant. We read that the holy city is the bride of Christ. In Gal. 4 we learn that both the natural Jerusalem and the heavenly Jerusalem are covenants. The natural Jerusalem keeps its children in bondage, and the heavenly Jerusalem is the bride of Christ through whom Christ reproduces Himself. It seems strange to think of a city being a covenant. But speaking spiritually, this does not present a problem.
I believe this woman typifies the new covenant of which Jesus Christ is the surety or guarantee. The Word of God is the covenant. Those who are born of the immortal, incorruptible Word of God and anointed by His Spirit, are the Lord's Christ. This covenant is birthing the corporate Son or a manchild - He is the Son of Man who is born of the seed of God.
This woman is in heaven. She is clothed with the sun, and the moon is under her feet. The sun and the moon represent two kinds of light. And on her head is a crown of twelve stars. I believe the twelve stars represent the government which is in the kingdom of God.
"And she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." (v.2) This woman is pregnant, travailing in birth and pain to be delivered - to birth the Son of Man, the corporate manchild.
"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." (v.3) The great red dragon is another sign. To see what it represents let's see where this sign appears again.
In Rev. 17:3 it says, "And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns." Here is a woman, sitting on a beast having seven heads and ten horns. This beast is the dragon; he is full of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. This same beast was waiting to destroy the child in chapter 12.
We notice that this is not a scene on earth - John was carried away in the Spirit. This woman is identified as the great harlot. She is Babylon, meaning great confusion. Since she is the mother of harlots (v.5), she produces harlots. This woman represents the covenant Satan tried to make with Eve when he said, "You surely will not die!...and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
"The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality. And on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, `Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.'" (17:4-5) She is the mystery of Babylon, the mother of harlots. She is the very opposite of the woman in Rev. 12!
"Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction." (v. 9-11) There are various interpretations of this and how it represents Rome. It basically says that the kings will eventually turn against the beast and the woman, and will destroy her. In other words, sin carries its own destruction - it is self-destructing.
Back to Rev. 12:4. "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." After Jesus was born, Satan tried to destroy His life. The wise men drew Herod's attention to the fact that a new ruler had been born. This troubled and upset Herod because he thought this child would challenge his authority. So he made the magi promise that they would report back to him after they found the Child, because, he said, he also wanted to worship Him. His true intent was to kill the Child. When they did not return, he sent soldiers out to kill all the male children who were two and under. He thought Jesus would be included in that massacre. However, God sent Mary and Joseph with Jesus to Egypt. They remained there until after the death of Herod.
"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. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days." (v.5-6) The woman fled into the wilderness because Satan wanted to destroy the one who had given birth to this child. Let's remember that Christ is the new covenant. This covenant is being attacked spiritually. But the woman had a place of safety prepared for her on earth.
"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war." (v.7) Isn't it interesting, that after the Son was caught up to God and His throne, that there was war in heaven?! Against whom was the dragon fighting? Michael, the archangel, is the greatest, highest messenger of God. Christ is also the greatest messenger of God, for in 1 Thess. 4:16 it says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." The Lord Himself is the voice of the archangel - and archangel means the highest messenger.
"...and with the trumpet of God." So we see that Jesus Christ is really the trumpet of God. His voice is not only the seventh trumpet, but also all the other trumpets because He is the sum of all things.
"Then we who are alive and remain..." (v.17) Paul included himself among those who would still be alive and remaining when this was going to happen. We will have to talk about that when we get more revelation. After Jesus was crucified, the veil in the temple was torn and the graves were opened. After Christ's resurrection the saints came out of the graves and showed themselves in the city. Jesus said that in the resurrection people do not marry nor are they given in marriage, but are like angels (messengers). (Matt. 22:30-32) He said that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are in the resurrection. Therefore they are messengers of God. Since Elijah and Moses were with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration, they obviously are alive and in the resurrection. More could be said, but I'll leave that for another time.
Back to Rev. 12:7. The dragon's purpose of this war is to keep us from receiving spiritual realization, thoughts and beliefs. It is fought in heaven between Michael, the highest messenger and his angels, against the dragon and his angels. The dragon wants to keep us in our earthy thoughts, imaginations and realization. It is a war of truth against error.
"And they" (the dragon and his angels) "were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world..." (v. 8-9) They were thrown out of heaven and onto the earth. This is very interesting. This has already taken place - we do not wait for this to happen in the future. Everything in the book of Revelation has been, and is being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Christ does not exist in time - He is timeless. In His representation of God, He is timeless - He always is! In timelessness there is no past nor future. In timelessness He never was, nor is He ever going to be - He always is! But He manifests Himself to us in a time framework.
The dragon is identified as the serpent of old, and is also called the devil or Satan. He is anti-Christ in every fiber of his being! Notice that he deceives the whole world, so there is no one who escapes his deception! The world is a system of rule, and everyone who lives under that system is deceived. He was cast onto the earth and the whole world lies in this wicked one. The only way we can escape his deception is to live in the kingdom of God.
Only those who have been raised with Christ and have been made alive spiritually are seated with Him in the heavenlies. This enables us to understand spiritual things! But because we are living in this world, natural ideas keep on presenting themselves to us. When we accept these natural ideas of spiritual realities, they are brought down to the earthy realm. That which belongs to the earthy realm does not have a place in the heavenly realm. When we do not accept earthy thoughts, they are thrown down.
"He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels (messengers) were thrown with him." (v.9b) Satan has been cast out of the heavens. As a result, he cannot operate in our heavens now, for they have been cleansed by Christ! He operates in our earth; he tempts us through our fleshly desires and our carnal mind. This is how he tempted Eve, and how he tempted Jesus. Eve yielded, but Jesus didn't!
After Jesus had received the Holy Spirit and the heavens had been opened to Him, He was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. In these temptations Jesus was tempted to yield to the lusts of the flesh. When Jesus was hungry, the devil tempted Him to make His own bread according to the devil's suggestion instead of waiting for God to supply it. The devil also tempted Jesus to receive the kingdoms of this world the easy way - by worshiping him. "Eliminate the cross! Do something spectacular; jump down from the pinnacle of the temple! God's promise states that He will protect you! Where is Your faith?" Jesus Christ was anchored in the Spirit, so He rejected everything that did not come from God!
Satan was cast out of the heavens. So when we dwell in the heavenlies with Christ, we are in a place where Satan has no authority! Delusions and lies will still come through the flesh. That is why it is important to know where we are living! When we realize that we have been raised with Jesus Christ and are seated with Him in the heavenlies, we will know that Satan's lies cannot deceive us nor bring us down.
"Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, `Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night." (12:10) Today is the day of salvation! Today is for the present time - this salvation is present now! So is the authority of His Christ! His authority can establish obedience to the rule of the kingdom! This authority is ours only in the Spirit. Before we can receive this authority, we have to be made alive spiritually.
The accuser always accuses the flesh - the earthy realm. Not only does he accuse the unbelievers, the sea of humanity, but also the Christians! Those who have earthy concepts of God will accept his accusations, and live in condemnation. In their earthy concepts they see God physically sitting on a white throne with Jesus beside Him. They see heaven as a geographical place and the New Jerusalem as a physical city. They think God dwells in a physical temple, that it will be rebuilt, and that the Jews will be restored to their position of being the favored nation. These ideas are earthy concepts of spiritual realities!
Satan loves to have Christians believe that these earthy concepts are truth! Since he has been cast out of the heavens, his realm of operation is now on the earth. He wants us to believe that everything will be re-established on earth; this keeps us from being spiritually-minded.
Now listen, "And they" (the brethren) "overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (12:11) We need to make a correction in the translation of the Greek word PSUCHE here. The correct translation is SOUL - LIFE is incorrect. It should read, "they did not love their soul." Jesus said, "If you seek to save your soul, you will lose it." Some translations have substituted LIFE for SOUL in this passage as well.
The incorrect rendering of the Hebrew word NEPHESH (soul) and the Greek word PSUCHE (soul) have caused a lot of misunderstanding among Christians. Mistranslations occur in the various versions. In the KJV, the Hebrew word NEPHESH is wrongly translated as LIFE 151 times. It should always be SOUL. Since it doesn't mean life, it gives us a wrong message. We are redeemed by Christ's blood - and the soul is in the blood. I have a teaching on that. It is so important that we receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit, for He teaches us truth! Jesus said, "He who is of the truth hears My voice."
In Rev. 12:11 it speaks about the blood of the Lamb. The Lamb represents the nature of Jesus Christ. He said, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest. I am meek and lowly of heart." He didn't raise His voice in the streets. Jesus Christ was not a yelling, screaming preacher, jumping up and down as He emphasized the things of God. He spoke with the authority of God - an authority that was new to the Jews.
The blood of the Lamb represents His sense of being, for the soul is in the blood. Jesus understood that He had come down from heaven and that His true being was spiritual. That is why He could say, "I live by the Father." He only exercised the authority that He had received from the Father. In John 10:18 He said that He had authority to lay down His life and to take it up again, because He had received this authority from His Father. He only did what the Father showed Him to do!
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb." The innocent nature of the Lamb represents Christ's sinless nature. His obedience was not to man, but to God! His nature works in us - and that is how we overcome Satan! Satan tries to fill us with all kinds of evil thoughts, desires and lusts - the kind that come through the flesh. But we are overcoming him by the word of our testimony. We have the faith to declare that we have died with Christ, that we have been buried with Him, that we have been raised together with Him, and that we are appearing together with Him! His appearing is His unveiling. Since our life is hidden with Christ in God, when He appears, He is being unveiled to us, and we will see Him just as He is! At this time an unveiling of who we are in Christ also takes place - for we are appearing together with Him! (1 John 3:2)
Jesus was crucified because He testified that God was His Father. He knew that the Father was the source of His being. In other words, His spiritual sense of being originated in the Father. He knew that He was the exact representation of the invisible God. The Jews considered that blasphemy, so they wanted to kill Him. All His good works could not compensate for the great sin of blaspheming God. By calling God His Father, he was claiming equality with God. Their righteous indignation deemed stoning to be too merciful - only death on the cross could compensate for such a heinous crime! As we identify with Christ, we will also be persecuted. Enduring persecution is our identification with the Christ. The cross does not come at the beginning of our life; it comes when we testify of our knowledge of who we are in Christ.
"They loved not their souls unto death" or "they did not love their soul even when faced with death." Loving our souls means we want to retain our own sense of being, our own realization of life. Not loving our souls means we are willing to give up our old sense of identity. This spells death to the "I" of who we thought we were. By entering into death we can be resurrected into the living Christ! Satan always tries to get us back into the old flesh mode, because that is where he operates. Although he has been cast out of heaven, those who are not living in the heavenlies don't know that. The natural man can't know it because he is living in the natural realm and this activity takes place in the Spirit.
"For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them." (12:12) We have reason to rejoice because this Son has been caught up into God and His throne, and we have been raised together with Christ! We are identified as the Lord's Christ! (11:15) We are the Lord's Christ, the Lord's Anointed, the Lord's Messiah! We can rejoice because our dwelling place is in the heavens! Dwelling there is more than having showers of blessing poured out on us from time to time. It is our residence!
Peter, having received a revelation from the Father, said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16:16) This information did not come from his imagination - it was a revelation! Yet later on Peter denied knowing Jesus. This shows that we must have a new nature before spiritual revelation and realization will become effective in our lives.
"Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." (12:12) The sea typifies the sea of humanity - the humanity that has no knowledge of God, as the humanity living in the days of Noah. This humanity includes the nations. And the nations were angry and they came against the Christ and the Son.
"And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child." (v.13) Being thrown down to the earth means that the dragon is taken to task for bringing a natural and literal interpretation of the promises given in the scriptures and to the messages given by the prophets. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the prophets and all the promises of God! All the promises have their Yes and Amen in Him. He is the One who inherits all the promises of God! Only when we are in Christ do we become joint heirs with Him!
In 1 Cor. 15:48 it says, "As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly." It is hard for us to give up our identification with the earthly soulish or soilish man! But now that we have been born from above, we are heavenly beings. We have been born again out of an incorruptible seed; we have been raised together with Him and are seated in the heavenlies. We are the manchild that was brought forth and caught up into heaven. The dragon uses earthly ideas to get us to be persecuted. The earthy always opposes the heavenly.
If we are not raised out of our natural concepts of the promises contained in the scriptures, we will not develop spiritually. It will keep us from repenting, receiving the Spirit, and understanding who we are in Christ. So the dragon is now working to keep us in the earthy realm.
"But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood." (v.14-15) The water that came out of Satan's mouth is lies.
"But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth." (v.16) Even the earthy realization of God and Jesus and heaven have been a stumbling block to Satan. His work is thwarted because people are hanging on to all these natural things of God and Christ and heaven, etc. It says the earth helped the woman, the covenant. So you see that the dragon's work is being stymied even in the earth.
"So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." (v.17) As long as we are living in this body of flesh, we can be tempted by our fleshly desires. Satan comes to us and tries to take away our testimony in the earth, and tries to do away with our spiritual realization.
In the next chapter we read that a beast with ten horns and seven heads came up out of the sea, and he gave the impression that no one was able to wage war against him and win. This is an ongoing exercise of Satan on the earth. These ideas come out of the sea of humanity.
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven." (13:6) So you see he is now using the earthy people to come against the spiritual realizations. His activity continues. Therefore we need to grow in Christ and into the realization that we have been caught up to the throne of God in the heavens, and that this is now our dwelling place. We are the body of Christ now; we are sons of the Most High!
I trust this will give you some understanding on this matter. In all our concepts of spiritual realities we have to ask the Lord to give us understanding!
May God bless you. Amen.