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Satan in Heaven

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6)

According to the Bible Job's sufferings began when Satan presented himself before the LORD (Job 1:6-12). When LORD pointed out Job, a righteous man, Satan scoffed and sneered, "He only serves You because You bless him." The LORD then allowed Satan to torment Job to prove Job's righteous devotion.

Does Satan still have direct access to God? Does God still grant permission to  Satan to torment the righteous, as Satan tormented Job?

Some Christians believe that Satan no longer has this privilege. They point out Jesus' words in Luke 10:18, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." They claim that Satan has already lost his place in heaven, and can no longer present himself before the LORD to accuse us. However, time in heaven is a completely different dimension from time in this world. Heavenly events do fit neatly into an earthly time line, any more than latitude measurements can be expressed in longitude. This is why in the book of Revelation John the Apostle was able to see heavenly events associated with earthly events which still lie in the future.

The Book of Revelation tells us how Satan loses his place in heaven. Satan is cast out of heaven because the saints overcome him with the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11). The Devil is overcome by the Blood-sprinkled saints of past, present, and future who bear witness to the righteousness of Christ within them. Hence Satan continues to accuse us before the LORD, and is thwarted whenever the saints persevere in the righteousness of Christ.

Note the similarities between Job and Jesus. Both were called "perfect and upright" by God. Both were delivered into Satan's hands for a short period of painful testing. Both were taunted in the midst of their sufferings, and tempted to deny their righteousness by those who were older and supposedly "wiser". Both gained redemption for others through their ordeal, for Job gained pardon for his friends through his prayer, just as Jesus lives to intercede for us.

James exhorts us to learn from Job's patience:

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  (James 5:11)
Peter also encourages us to follow Jesus' example of sufferering:
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endures grief, suffering wrongfully.   For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also  suffered  for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he  suffered , he threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:19-23)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You for gaining our pardon through Your suffering. When You call us to suffer, teach us to embrace Your calling with joy (Acts 5:40-41), for Your redeeming grace expresses itself through our sufferings, so others may be brought to You.

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Copyright © 2001 CrossPollen
Last Revised: June 3, 2001

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