Why Has God allowed Satan to appear before Him in heaven, as mentioned in Revelation 12:10?


The twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation contains some focal points in the vast role Satan has held in God’s government. In particular, verse 4 reveals the first rebellion of Satan and one-third of the angels who followed him (called “ruler of the demons” in Mark 3:22). This verse also clearly establishes the adversarial position of Satan against “the Child”—Jesus Christ—and “the woman.”

We stated the following about the “woman” in our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation,” page 78: 

“The woman is pictured as being clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a garland of 12 stars on her head (Revelation 12:1). In Genesis 37:9–11, Jacob and his wife Rachel, Joseph’s mother, are symbolized as the sun and the moon, and Joseph’s brothers are symbolized as eleven stars, bowing down to Joseph. It appears, therefore, to be very plausible that the TWELVE stars in Revelation 12:1 refer to the TWELVE tribes of Israel (including Joseph).

“Revelation 12:2–5 refers to the fact that Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ and that Satan attempted unsuccessfully to kill Christ through King Herod (Revelation 12:4; Matthew 2:13, 16).

“We understand that the woman is, first of all, symbolic for Eve (Genesis 3:15); then for the Old Testament Church which would evolve from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob’s TWELVE sons, and which would become known as the Church of Israel in the wilderness; then for Mary, the mother of Christ; and—subsequent to Christ’s ascension—for the New Testament Church of God (compare Matthew 25:1; Ephesians 5:22–32; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Galatians 4: 26).”

Now carefully note the reason for Satan’s attempt to destroy the “Child”:

“She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne” (Revelation 12:5).

The rule over all nations has been held by Satan. On page 41 of our booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World” (reprinted version from 2010), we state:

“Satan, the prince of darkness, is still ruling on this earth. Revelation 2:13 tells us expressly that Satan has a ‘throne’ here on earth. He holds the people of this world captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). He has authority over all the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5–7). He is called the ‘ruler of this world’ in John 14:30. He is even called the ‘god of this age’ in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Satan is called ‘the prince of the power of the air’ in Ephesians 2:2.”

Even after the birth of Jesus Christ, Satan sought to cause His murder through influencing Herod the king (compare Matthew 2); he personally confronted Jesus in an attempt to cause Him to sin—thus disqualifying Himself (compare Matthew  4:1-11); and he possessed Judas in order to bring about the death of Jesus (compare Luke 22:1-6; John 13:27).

Before His death, Jesus said, “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out’” (John 12:31); we also have this statement about Jesus: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God” (John 13:3); and, Jesus replied to Pilate’s question, “‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…’” (John 18:37).

Following His resurrection, we find this testimony about Jesus Christ:

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

In the Book of Hebrews, it is shown that ultimate rulership will be given to the Family of God—which is why Satan also sought to destroy the “woman,” who is also representative of those who would receive salvation:

“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:5-9).

In summarizing chapter 11 of Hebrews, it is revealed that throughout the history of man, individuals were and are being prepared for the Kingdom of God:

“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40).

Jesus Christ, in His messages to the Church of God, as found in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, speaks of future rewards—note what is said to the church in Thyatira:

“‘But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—“He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels”– as I also have received from My Father’” (Revelation 2:25-27).

Satan seeks to destroy mankind (compare Job 1 and 2; 1 Peter 5:8), just as he sought to destroy the Son of God. Jesus Christ and those who are the “firstfruits” (compare James 1:18; Revelation 14:1-5) will establish the rule of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and this will mean the end of Satan’s authority, along with that of the demons (compare Revelation 20:1-3; 18:2).

Note that there is coming a very specific time in the future when Jesus Christ will return to this earth to assume the rule for which He has already qualified:

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

In the Book of Daniel, the establishment of God’s everlasting Kingdom under Jesus Christ is foretold:

“‘I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed’” (Daniel 7:13-14; compare Daniel 2:44).

In addition, this timing includes the “saints”—those who will reign and rule with Christ for a thousand years (compare Revelation 20:4):

“‘I was watching; and the same [little] horn [a religious leader and power] was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom…

“‘Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him’” (Daniel 7:21-22, 27).

Right now, Satan is the ruler of this earth; however, he has already been disqualified and Jesus will remove him upon His return. Consider how in elections for President, Prime Minister and other offices, there is a time span between nomination and actual inauguration. A similar example can be found in the anointing of David as king over Israel. It occurred when David was still a child (compare 1 Samuel 16:1-13), but he did not ascend to the throne of Israel until the age of thirty (compare 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:1-5).

Now, with this background, let us examine Revelation 12:10:

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”

From this verse, we understand that Satan has been able—for a long time—to find fault and to bring accusations against the saints of God. Even so, we know that Jesus Christ serves as our High Priest in these circumstances:

“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34; compare Hebrews 7:25).

However, Satan’s access to heaven or his right to appear before God will have ended just before the time of great tribulation. Revelation 12, verses 7-9, describe a final war in heaven in which Satan and “his angels” are defeated and “cast down” to the earth. Satan’s reaction is that of revenge:

“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12).

We do not know the exact timing of the final spiritual war in heaven and Satan’s fall to the earth—whether these events will take place in the not-too-distant future; whether they are taking place right now; or whether they have already taken place. But we know for sure that the beginning of the Great Tribulation cannot be that far off (compare Matthew 24:32-33).

Until Christ’s return, Satan is still the ruler of the earth, but in any event, his time is short (compare Romans 16:20). Let this knowledge inspire us to more fervently pray to God the Father, “Your kingdom come!”

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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