When does Satan fall?
By Nancy and Craig C. White
Hi, Craig: Every time I read Revelation 12 and 13 I keep feeling that these chapters are indicating that Satan’s fall and empowering of the Antichrist is not a pretribulation event but actually a mid-tribulation occurrence. But if that were so, then the rapture would not occur prior to the 7-year tribulation but more just prior to the 3-1/2 year Great Tribulation time. Tell me if I’m wrong but it says in Rev. 12:6 that the woman (the remnant of Israel) fled into the desert where God was to take care of her for 1,260 days, and then in the very next verse Rev. 12:7, it says there was the war in heaven where Michael and his angels fought the Dragon and his hosts, lost the battle, and was forced from heaven. In verse 12, it says the devil had great anger knowing he has but a little time, and verse 14 again verifies the time God protected Israel in the wilderness is 3-1/2 years immediately after Satan was forced from heaven. Chapter 13 goes on to speak about how the Dragon gives authority and power to the beast to speak blasphemies against the Lord and to control the earth for forty-two months, which seems soon after Satan’s fall from heaven and being able to control the antichrist for just 3-1/2 years (Mid-Tribulation). If the rapture would have occurred back in Rev. 4 when John heard the trumpet blast and a voice inviting him to come up here, wouldn’t the rapture be much prior to the Church knowing who the Antichrist is and much prior to Satan’s fall to earth rather than the revelation of the Antichrist being the sign of the rapture?
High Time to Awake writes:
Hi Nancy: Good point. I don’t know if Satan will influence the Antichrist for only 3 1/2 years or if the Antichrist will have authority over Israel for 3 1/2 years. The timing of the revealing of the Antichrist depends on when the war in heaven takes place. I don’t know if that happens in the middle of the Tribulation or if that happens before the Tribulation. Satan and his angels may have already fallen from heaven. That may be witnessed by the orchestrated effort to take over northern Africa and the Middle East. This is part of the reconstitution of the next world empire. Read my commentary titled “Why do the heathen rage“.
It is possible that the Rapture is mid-Tribulation, but I tend toward a pre-Tribulation Rapture because Paul said that the Church would be saved from the wrath that is to come on the earth.
Rom 5:7-10 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
According to Revelation God’s wrath is dealt out on earth during the entire seven year Tribulation.
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Some folks use Matthew 24 to say that the Church will suffer through the Tribulation but that is a mistake. Matthew 24 is written to Israel. Read my commentary titled “Matthew 24″.
Also, I don’t think that the resurrection of the dead and Rapture of Church age believers happens at the same time as the flight into the wilderness of Jews living around Jerusalem. The people of Judea flee to the Jordanian wilderness in the middle of the Tribulation (Mark 13:14). Read my commentary titled “Psalm 83 war”.
Whenever Satan falls and the Antichrist is revealed; I think that 2Thesalonians 2:1-17 tells us that the Antichrist will be revealed before the Rapture. Read my commentary titled “The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist”.
If the Church will surely be saved from wrath during the entire 7-year tribulation and from what Paul says in 2 Thes. 2:3, then the rapture has to happen pre-tribulation and the revelation of the antichrist happens after Satan falls. It sounds like in Rev. 12:10 that heaven rejoices because the Kingdom of God and the power of his Christ is come along with salvation and strength as His Church may have just arrived in heaven (rapture): “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down.” It’s like Satan and the Church trade places, Rev. 12:9. He falls and the Church goes up.
I think the rest of Rev. 12 and 13 deals with Satan’s intentions to hurt Israel, both the remnant in the Jordanian wilderness and those in Israel whom he causes to worship him for 42 months or be slain and explains the power he gives to the false prophet, as well as the antichrist.
After re-studying Rev. 6, I believe this is an outline or synopsis of the entire tribulation until Christ’s wrathful return. So this chapter just indicates the antichrist makes his appearance at the onset of the tribulation, and as it has no mention of the rapture or the church, then it has happened already.
Thanks for setting up my thoughts on the subsequent commentary. It helps me do further study. I believe Satan has probably not fallen yet but there might be some time in between his falling and the antichrist’s revelation and then hopefully not as much time between the latter and the rapture as he is supposed to the sign of the rapture. I like your last commentary, “Satan Must Fall Before the Rapture of the Church.”
High Time to Awake writes:
Nancy: I think that you are all over this like white on rice. Satan accuses believers in heaven. If he is cast out before the Antichrist is revealed on earth and the revealing of the Antichrist happens before the Church is taken to heaven then the Church will not encounter Satan in heaven.
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
It sounds like the Antichrist publicly speaks against Church age believers already in heaven. That means that the Rapture is widely known on earth!
Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.