Satan, Evil Angels, and the Dark Kingdom

God has created different kinds of living things on Earth (Genesis 1:11–12, 21, 24–25, etc.), and He has designed and created varying entities in heaven. The highest of His creatures each have free-will. In other words, humans and heavenly beings (elohim)[1] each have free will. We’re not like animals that live by instinct, without moral reasoning. Every free-will agent is part of two similar but distinctly unique families. Free-will agents in both realms work to fulfill their different roles within the two families of God.

As Michael Heiser states, “The Old Testament describes two household families of God, one human and the other nonhuman.”[2] Although the families were separated because there was a significant rift between them, this does not mean we cannot study them and their inherent traits.

Each of the families act as caretakers over their respective dominion, working toward the destiny God established. As we humans strive to achieve our life’s purpose, some will live with faith in the Lord while others will choose to ignore or rebel against Him. Similarly, some heavenly entities serve God and others rebel against Him.

That’s right; some heavenly hosts and humans cooperate with the Kingdom of God, but some may neglect it. For sure, other free-will agents in heaven purposefully defy God’s kingdom guidlines. Our goal as loyal believers is to assist Yahweh in bringing the two good families together so our lives function as He intended.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

How do we help one another to do God’s will on Earth and heaven?

It’s common knowledge we make more friends by being kind than by being rude. Similarly, by loving people and being concerned for their welfare and best interests, we encourage them to continue with faith in His ways. We must build others up, not tear them down.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing.

By being kind to evil people and those disloyal to Yahweh, we are doing His will. By loving the wicked, we can hopefully influence some into God’s kingdom.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people.

The New Testament reveals that true Christians are Sons of God, waiting to be changed into beings with heavenly bodies. Someday, we will be with our heavenly family, living eternally in God’s presence. This is a truth revealed throughout the Bible but most apparent in the New Testament. We have not taken on our heavenly bodies yet, but those who are loyal to Yahweh have that destiny.

Someday, each person’s ultimate intention, good or evil, will be exposed. Those who are devoted to God’s way and those who rebel against Him will become known. The Sons of God will be revealed, and we’ll be changed in the twinkling of an eye.

Romans 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

1 Corinthians 15:51–52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Yahweh wants His manifold wisdom to be known. This obscure wisdom of God will be brought to light through the church, to authorities in heaven, from a mystery which has been hidden for eons.

Ephesians 3:9–10 And to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Wow! Let me state that one again. The manifold wisdom of God is to be made known through the church. We are to convey God’s wisdom to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Amazing! Don’t think the church is merely an institution in the organizational chart among other human associations. The church is a God-chosen nation made up of people around the world who are loyal to Yahweh, according to the amount of light they’ve been given.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Our Struggle and Our Goal

Our struggle in this world is not against flesh and blood. It’s against the forces of darkness.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The spiritual war between light and dark requires free-will agents to claim a side, to choose good or evil. From what Jesus said, we are either for or against Yahweh.

Matthew 12:30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

God does not decide our future eternal destination; individuals choose for themselves with their own free will. In the struggle with world forces, we either gather with Him or scatter from Him. He allows heavenly hosts and humans to determine their own places in eternity by the choices they make.

On the other hand, there is a much bigger plan of God underway than just the will of each human. Yahweh created the whole scenario of this age of grace. Therefore, we can accurately say that the right to become children of God is according to the will of God, it’s not the will of humans.

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.

This is all in accordance with God’s wisdom. All things visible and invisible have been created through Him and for Yahweh.

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Yahweh’s purpose is for all His creation and separated families to eventually thrive together.

The Free Will of Heavenly Hosts

Why are there two distinct families to begin with? The quick answer is there was a rift in the two families.

Heavenly hosts are created by God and, like humans, have free will to initiate or engage in good or evil actions. The holy hosts live in heaven and are good because they know and choose to do what is right. Those elohim are faithful and have proven their worthiness by continuing to do God’s will.

At a few critical junctures during the ages, however, some of the heavenly hosts chose to rebel against Yahweh rather than to trust His will. Those hosts are obviously no longer holy or good.

Keep in mind that a heavenly being’s decision to follow evil has more profound ramifications than a human’s moral errors. Humans see the spiritual world only partially.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.

However, heavenly hosts entertain a deeper knowledge of moral choice because they see God in heaven and know His ways firsthand. They are not limited by sight; they have seen God. They have also existed for millennia, even before our own creation. I show in my book, Roots of the Kingdom, that the morning stars and the Sons of God were with Yahweh when He created our world.[3]

In spite of the fact that heavenly beings observe God’s goodness in heaven, many scholars believe that at one point in history, a high-level elohim led a rebellion against Yahweh. He was intent on overthrowing the Most-High God. He wanted to claim Yahweh’s place in the order of things. In this scenario, God and His devoted elohim protected heaven against the insurrection.

The Adversary

Admittedly, it’s challenging to know when the initial rebellion took place and how many heavenly entities participated, but Scripture confirms that some adversarial groups of heavenly hosts opposed God—and still do. The popular belief is that the leader of the rebellion was Satan.

Satan Strong’s # H7854 – an opponent; especially, the arch-enemy of good, an adversary, to withstand.

After many years of studying the Bible, I have gathered many truths. But don’t assume I share this knowledge all from my own storehouses. I also consider what many scholars have to say, and doing my best to distill the truth, I provide big-picture answers to my readers. Therefore, in Roots of the Kingdom I reference other teachers to underscore the truths that can be found in the Scriptures.

Various Bible references point to Satan as an individual. Therefore, let’s proceed as if the “adversary” is a singular heavenly entity. Satan is a very capable creature, who was an extremely powerful heavenly being. Common belief holds that Satan rose in rebellion against Yahweh and waged war against Him. But why?

Rebellion Against the Most High—Isaiah

A passage in the book of Isaiah seems to describe Satan. It begins by characterizing the king of Babylon only to lead to a detailed depiction of Satan and his rebellion. Regarding the language of Isaiah 14, Michael Heiser states, “So great was his [Satan’s] arrogance that he declared himself above the stars of God.”[4]

We know the stars of God existed when God created our world, so it’s entirely possible that among the hosts of seraphim, cherubim, angels, and other heavenly beings, Satan sat at the divine council. (The divine council is also explained in Roots of the Kingdom.) Whatever the case, he sought to raise his throne above the other stars.

Isaiah 14:13 But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.”

Satan fell from his holy position because of unrighteousness—specifically pride and arrogance. He apparently used his trusted position near Yahweh as an opportunity to transcend other heavenly hosts. Indeed, he sought not only to assert himself over the other stars, but to rise above Yahweh, the Most High. He was likely a throne guardian, already in close proximity to Yahweh.

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (God).

According to the verses above, Satan attempted to steal, or usurp, heaven from God by trying to seize and hold God’s position by force. Dominating power is a characteristic of Satan and the dark kingdom. The tyranny and deception he uses has been, and currently is, the spiritual influence behind most of the upheavals, destruction, oppression, and fragmentations among the nations of the world.

Why do the throne guardians have such power? From whom are they protecting God’s throne? The answer is the Lord gave Satan and all the heavenly hosts free will and was intimately aware that some of His creatures could and would rebel. Therefore, God enabled the loyal elohim to fight malcontents who used their free will and power to cause revolts against Him. The free will ability of moral creatures to resist God is why heaven is protected by the guardians He established. It’s why the heavenly hosts are ordered as an army, a mass of entities organized for war.

Yahweh used His unmatched strength and that of His holy hosts to stop Satan’s rebellion.

War in Heaven—Revelation

The Book of Revelation describes a great red dragon bearing seven heads and ten horns. The book seems to reveal that this dragon influenced a rebellion in heaven in the past. Admittedly, scholars discuss whether the cited rebellion occurred in the past or is a foretold event of prophecy. Was Satan cast from heaven during past war, or is Revelation prophesizing his future hostilities and descent?

Revelation 12:3- 4 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. 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.[5]

It seems that the hostilities described are in the past, or history. While the great red dragon is introduced in verse four, it is identified as the devil and Satan in verse nine. This dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so he could devour Jesus (which is a historic event too). We know that it’s Jesus who will eventually rule the nations per Revelation verses 5-6.

Revelation 12:5-6 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.

Past or future, the next verses describe the war of the rebellion in heaven.

Revelation 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they 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; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Regardless of whether the war was a past event or will occur in the future, verse 8 states, “Because there was no longer a place found for them in heaven,” a war began in order to cast out Satan and his followers. Though cast out of heaven, where did Satan and his devotees go?

Revelation 12:9 explains that Satan and his angels were thrown down to the Earth. Keep in mind, they were not thrown down to Sheol, a place of darkness in the underworld where the wicked are eventually sent for punishment. [6]So for now, Satan is the god of this world or this earth (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan and his angels were thrown to earth where they shook kingdoms, overturned empires, and destroyed cities, and continue to do so. Only after being judged will Satan and his followers be thrown into Sheol.

A passage in the Book of Isaiah prophesies about the last days, speaking of Satan’s descent.

Isaiah 14:15-17 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’

In the last days, the serpent will have exhausted his purpose of “assisting” God to separate good from evil. Eventually, we will enter a final millennial period (1,000 years) when Satan and his angels will be bound. That’s when they will be thrust down to Sheol and held in the recesses of the pit.

Ruler of This World

Currently, it seems there is not an all-out war raging in heaven; Yahweh quelled Satan’s initial rebellion, after all. As the Bible states, Satan “was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” The rebellion continues outside of the third heaven where God resides. The battle is in the second heaven that we cannot see, in earth’s atmosphere, and on the earth. (See Roots of the Kingdom.)

No doubt, Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and earth.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

But on the earth, in the sky, and in the unseen spiritual realm around us, Yahweh has given Satan a limited jurisdiction. Billy Graham asserts the following in Angels: God’s Secret Agents “Satan is indeed capable of doing supernatural things—but he acts only by the permissive will of God; he is on a leash. It is God who is all-powerful. It is God who is omnipotent. God has provided Christians with both offensive and defensive weapons.”[7]

As we will see, Satan is temporarily (for this age) the god of this world. He puts a veil over the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (sky) who uses his influence to goad on the disobedient.

Ephesians 2:2 In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Satan has ruled earth since he was cast from heaven. Hal Lindsey says about Satan, “He is constantly at work in human government and its political systems.”[8] Jesus Himself confirms Satan’s prowess but promises that despite Satan’s evils, the Holy Spirit will come to judge the unruly ruler of this world.

John 16:8–11 And He, when He (Holy Spirit) comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Satan has a track record of deceiving humans. Those who turn from him and give their allegiance to Yahweh become Sons of God. But until then, people serve Satan as a god.

Conflict in Heavenly Places

Let’s discover the Scriptural evidence that confirms the enduring existence of the battle between good and evil in the world and in the heavens. First, consider once more Paul’s words from the Book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Of course, Ephesians alone does not describe this elemental war that first began during ancient history. It’s a narrative throughout the Bible, one upon which Roots of the Kingdom elaborates.

The Last Days

Let us turn our attention to the prophet Isaiah. He stated that in the last days, God would punish “the host of heaven in heaven,” and “the kings of the earth on the earth.”

Isaiah 24:21 (LEB) And this shall happen on that day: Yahweh will punish the host of heaven in heaven, and the kings of the earth on the earth.

Also in the last days, God will destroy not only the earth, but the heavens as well.

2 Peter 3:7, 10 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Note what these last two verses above confirm: even though heaven and earth are separated physically, they are connected spiritually. As I explain in Roots of the Kingdom, events that happen in heaven have their parallel connection on earth.

Of course, all of God’s devoted heavenly hosts and humans (though not perfect) will be saved from the destruction. Those loyal to the Lord have no worries. The point is, earth is not the only habitat that needs renewal. The earth and the sky (and maybe parts of heaven) where the fallen angels and Satan reside both need revamping.

Over the course of humankind’s collective existence, as we gain knowledge of the conflict and learn the way that Satan operates his kingdom, we’ll discern that his leadership is not sustainable. He forces his will and asserts his evil agenda upon his subjects to make them his servants. He typically tricks holy people into falling, then enslaves them, shackling them to his ways. This is a recurring description of Satan’s combative style throughout the Bible.

The Constrictor

Satan and his fallen angels initiate and perpetuate the rebellion they made in heaven – in this world. How do they do it? The devil typically operates with lies and deceit, through governments and religious establishments. He uses these organizations, pushing and pulling levers to control humans through war and other catastrophic events, tragic occasions, and disastrous circumstances. Those are the turning points when rules and laws are implemented, and decisions against human liberty are arranged. Like a powerful Boa constrictor, he and his followers catch human prey and reduce our liberty. As a serpent that constricts its prey, his organizations squeeze a bit tighter when we seek a reprieve. (exhale and attempt to take a breath) He wraps his powerful body around his victims to reduce or take the abundant life Jesus desires to give us.

[1] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. Bellingham (Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2015): 31-32.

[2] Heiser, The Unseen Realm, 44.

[3] Job 38:4-7

[4] Heiser, The Unseen Realm, 85.

[5] The verses from Revelation show that the dragon, or Satan, always seeks to destroy the children of women in embryo, right at birth, or soon after. The dragon especially does so when he catches any wind of God’s plan to birth exceptional people, those who may provide hope and guidance to humankind. Two such instances are the king of Egypt’s desire to kill the Hebrew children (Exodus 1:16, 22, 2:10), and Herod’s killing of the male children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13, 16).

[6] Lexicon. Accessed 2020-10-10.

[7] Billy Graham, Angels (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1994): 18.

[8] Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Zondervan, 1970): 63.