"How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV).
This famous passage is called the 'Five I Wills' of Satan. Most people think the phrase 'you have been cast down to the earth' means satan was cast out of heaven back then and barred from re-entering. But it is not so. He was cast down from his position as guardian cherub (Ezekiel 28:14) but Job 1:6 shows us that satan and his rebelling angels still had access to heaven. They still do today.
Satan's final fall and exile from heaven will occur in Revelation 12, when there is "War in Heaven."
"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev 12:7-12).
Scholars believe that event is what triggers the Great Tribulation, the turning point halfway through the 7-year period of judgment on earth. Satan's fury at his loss of access to heaven will be unleashed against the Jews and then the Christians. (Rev 12:13, 17)
I'd like to tie Rev 12 to two other verses that are prophesied to occur during the Tribulation. Just food for interpretive thought. First, Luke 21:26 KJV- "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." The phrase fainting in the Greek means "to leave off breathing, to die." The "with fear" is Greek for a word that means "panic flight, fear, the causing of fear, terror." The powers of heaven being shaken, the Greek word for shaken means "cast down". (source)
So men will have instant heart attacks and be fleeing in terror when they see something coming down from heaven. What? What is it that they are seeing which causes such panic and hear-attack inducing terror? Meteors? Asteroids? UFOs?
I'd like to think that it is the Revelation verse that they are seeing. It is my belief that when Satan and his angels are cast down, they no longer hide who they are. Satan and the full-on evil angels reveal themselves visibly and no one will be unawares any longer. Imagine seeing multitudes of evil angels and satan himself falling from heaven and appearing on earth- visibly.
We are visited by angels constantly. They are present upon the earth, the good angels and the bad angels. Most of the time, we are not aware of them, though. Hebrews 13:2 says we have entertained them unawares. Abraham entertained angels unaware, didn't he? And Gideon. And Minoah. And the evil angels too, are on the earth, but if they appeared to us as they are, with their evil showing, we would reject them. So satan, despite having a big ego, is perfectly content to allow us to think he is a tiny man with a funny tail and pitchfork and his rebellious, powerful, and highly intelligent minions are cute little cherubs falling asleep after dinner. Satan is content to let you think he is not powerful, while all the while himself thinking he is the most powerful, even more than God.
|Who would be afraid of this guy?|
|Sistine Madonna detail, Raphael. Aw, aren't they cute.|
|Rosso Fiorentino "Two cherubs reading, |
detail from Madonna and Child with Saints". So cuddly.
They don't look like they could do much, do they?
"And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth." (Rev 9:1-3). Illustration is of the trumpets and the locusts from the abyss, Matthias Scheits
The evil is raining down from above and hurtling up from below. I don't know if they both happen at the same time, but either way, it will be a time of shock and death.
Am I exaggerating? Let's see how the shepherds reacted when a holy angel, bringing good news and helps, visited them.
"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified." (Luke 2:9)
How about Zechariah's reaction when an angel visited him?
|Zechariah and the angel.|
Gillem van der Gouwen. 1728
How about Mary?
"Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be." (Luke 1:29)
"He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear..." (Acts10:3-4a)
In all these cases it is AN angel of the Lord, which means a holy angel, not THE angel of the Lord, which means Jesus. And they all were terrified. To calm the person they were about to speak to, they first said, "Fear not."
If people are terrified when seeing a holy angel obedient to God and here to help us, how do we think the people in the Tribulation will react when the evil angels are unleashed? Their hearts will fail them for fear.
Ron Graham explains the Genesis 6 verses about the unholy angels, here. Patrick Heron explains the entrance of the unholy angels upon the earth further, below. He gives the book of Enoch more authority than I give to it, but he does do a good job leading us through the present day common misinterpretations of Genesis 6. So does Mr Graham. Check them out if you'd like to explore this idea further.
We are blessed to know Jesus as Savior, Priest, Advocate and Friend. We know that if we are visited by an unholy angel that we can appeal to Jesus for protection. He is ALL POWER and in Him we have nothing to fear.
"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah." (Psalm 46:7).
"The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9)
But those who refuse Jesus's pardon on this side of the rapture will be faced with seeing these things some upon the earth after the rapture. Please repent now. Repent means to be aware that we are unholy, having sin in us. We can never be with Jesus as long as sin is in us and not addressed. If we repent, He will forgive all that sin and adopt us into His extended family.