Where is the Devil now; is He in Hell and how much control does he have?
We read of the creature that was originally called Daystar (known popularly as Lucifer).
Ezekiel 28:15-16:“You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. "By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God.”
The creature who was an anointed cherub (v. 14) became the Devil, (the Accuser) as he first caused a rebellion in heaven, violence to God’s ways.
After God made man and pronounced everything very good (Ge.1:31), we have this same creature ruin what God had made to the only two humans alive (Gen.3). After the Devil instigated the fall of Adam and Eve, we next see the Devils mission work, beginning in the book of Job, which takes us behind the scenes to a view from God’s perspective.
Job 1:6-12 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
God engages the devil and his followers to report to him what they are doing and asks if he has focused on Job who was doing what is right in the Lords eyes. The Devil complains about the Lord’s protection around him and his family and asks for it to be removed and you will see he will not serve you. The lord accepts the challenge and removes the protection to a certain extent, allowing Satan to have assess to his life. We all know what transpires next as his children are attacked. What we learn from this is that the righteous are protected by God unless he sees fit to test us. The unrighteous the Devil has access to far easier than the righteous.
Time passes and again the Devil with his angel followers came before the Lord to report what they were up to’
Job 2:1-9 “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
The Lord asks of him the same question of his servant Job. The Devil could not move him in the first attack and wants further access. Satan lays down the gauntlet and wants his health. Job becomes the testing ground much like Adam and eve were in the garden. Job’s wife caved first in emotional pleas for his engulfing pain. But Job knows what God is about and has principles, he did not serve the Lord for what he got but for whom the Lord is.
We know how this intricate story pans out and in the end Job is blessed twice more than before. What we learn is how the devil is behind the scene influencing circumstances and attacking the righteous.
The Devil called Satan (the accuser) continually shows up to challenge those in service to God.
Zech. 3:1-2 “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
We can see that the Devil can appear in God’s presence, even at crucial times, it is only the Lord who can rebuke him as God made him the most powerful creature in the universe. Zechariah 3:2 and Jude 9-10 “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, …said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
We find the Devil being active throughout history, 1 Chronicles 21:1 “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.” The Devil influences leaders, both good and bad leaders by having them stand in pride.
When Jesus announced to Israel his Messiahship and was led into the wilderness to be tested in the flesh, He is confronted 3 times by the Devil.
Matthew 4:8-11 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan ! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ “ Then the devil left Him.”
Satan claimed the world was his and he could give it to Jesus in the temptations with Jesus.
It is after this last failed temptation and Jesus’ unwavering commitment that he has no way to tempt his life.
We are told to use the same way Jesus did to have him leave us in temptation. James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Later in Jesus’ training his disciples He explains to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Luke 10:18. This statement has them understand his preexistence as he recalls himself being there where Satan fell
As stated in Isa 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”
The Devil still has access to heaven, as comes before the Lord and accuses the saints, until a certain time he will not be allowed.
Rev 12:7-10 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 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.”
Because of Jesus obedience as man to the Father we read Acts 5:31 “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior.” Satan is also called a prince
“in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph 2:2)
He is now presently the God of the air, of this world (he is not in hell) and his place is not a spiritual dimension but is present invisibly in the atmosphere of the earth with all his activity.
His current activity to those who do not believe and to believers:
To unbelievers: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Only the gospel can free people from the blindness of the devils influences by the system he controls and them personally.
Eph.2:2: “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
The course of this world is sinful and those who love sin (sons of disobedience) he has great influence on.
Jesus describes an age of sowing from both God and the Devil: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. “The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels” (Matt 13:37-39). Every soul on planet earth is in a spiritual battle and will either side with the Devil or with Jesus.
Satan controls the world system, it is fallen and under his jurisdiction as much as God allows. YHWH is called the God of the heavens and the earth, creator of this world and the universe. God did not lose his control of all things to Satan, but allows to a certain extent his control to influence the world.
To the Believer: 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
2 Cor. 11:14-15 “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
Satan uses disguises, deception to further his cause of rebellion and sin.
2 Cor. 12:7 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
This is why we are given armor to withstand, not to be aggressors but let the Lord fight our battles.
Eph. 6:11-13: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
We are warring against their influence on our world, the people but removing them from the truth by deception and schemes (the gospel 2 Cor.4:3-4), we reverse this and set them free by introducing the truth.
There is a certain time (the tribulation) when a war in heaven is fought by the Holy angels against the fallen angels and they are then secluded on earth for a short time.
Rev. 12:7-11“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” 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.”
Certainly this is what is meant by his being the God of this age, and his ruling the nations by his government, counterfeiting what Jesus will do when he is given greater control than he ever had before. Its only at this time he no longer is allowed to have access to God and is confined to the earth. This does not stop him from challenging God and those who live in his abode. “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Rev. 13:6)
The end of his influence
After Jesus returns he removes the instigator of sin from influencing mankind through the Millennium where he will reign with righteousness and justice. II Thess 2:8 we read of the return of Christ, the Lord consumes this impersonator first, with his word and glory.
But man will still be responsible for his sin without the devils influence on the world’s system
Rev 20:1-3 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
The devil is removed for the Millennial period when Christ rules (Isa.9:6-7) from David’s throne over the nations. Yet all those who have lived through the thousand years (Isa.65) will be tested by the Devil being released to do what comes naturally, deceive and cause war.
Rev. 20:7-10 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
The Devil will be put in lowest part of hell for the thousand years Jesus reigns on earth. Then he would appear at the last Judgment where he will be put into the Lake of fire where it says he will be tormented forever. A fitting end to one who has caused both angels and mankind to go off course from what was intended by the Lord.