When did the Devil fall?




Please comment on the fall of the devil. Was it before the creation of the world (Earth) or after the creation of the world. Where was he thrown?

The Bible contains only a little bit of material concerning the origins of Satan. See the lesson "Satan" in the study on Genesis for details. If by "fall" you are asking when Satan became corrupt, the answer would have to obviously be before the events in Genesis 3. Concerning Satan Jesus said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44). Therefore, Satan's downfall into sin started shortly after the creation.

However, if by "fall" you are referring to Satan's fall from power, this occured at Jesus' first coming. "And He said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'" (Luke 10:18). By this Jesus meant that Satan's grip on the world was slipping rapidly, as fast as a lightning bolt. His primary source of power was destroyed by Jesus' death on the cross. "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).

The book of Revelation also describes the overthrow of Satan's power. "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. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 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 12:7-12). The context of this passage is in a figurative description of the founding of the church. Notice that Christians (brethren) were able to overcome by the blood of the Lamb (the death of Jesus upon the cross). With the overthrow of Satan, the kingdom of God with Christ as its ruler has come. This is similar to what Jesus said concerning his church. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Satan was unable to keep the invading army (Jesus and his followers) out of his kingdom.

Though the end is certain, Satan hasn't given up yet. That is why there is a warning to the earth that Satan is angry and pressed for time. We need to be on our guard even now. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Satan
Questions and Answers regarding the Church