The Coming Kingdom
5-16-18 Luke 10:17-20 Lesson 46
Let’s take our Bibles and open them to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 17-21. Just a quick reminder that next week I think is our last Wednesday night until summer recess. So when we get together again Wednesday night, I think we’re going to start up again the last Wednesday in August, which I think is the 29th. We’re just going to pick up the study where we left off.
As you all know we’re working through this book that I wrote which organizes biblical data on the subject of the kingdom. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to ask and answer what does the Bible say about the kingdom, which is a long topical study, isn’t it? We’ve learned that the kingdom in the present age, after you look at everything that’s been disclosed about the kingdom, the kingdom is not present but the kingdom is what? Postponed! And yet there are many, many people today that will tell you that you’re in the kingdom now. So we’ve looked at the major problem with that which is basically they’re changing everything the Bible has revealed about the kingdom.
And now we’ve kind of journeyed into the section of our study where we’re trying to ask and answer what are the biblical passages that people use to support the idea that we are in the kingdom now, because the dominant view in the history of the church is what’s called amillennialism, and it’s a dominant view going all the way back to the fourth century A.D., that Jesus in His first coming set up the kingdom in a spiritual form.
So we’re focused on passages that people use to say we’re in the kingdom now and we’re looking at passages from Christ’s ministry. So we looked at Matthew 3:2, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” as basically preached by Jesus, John and the Twelve, and we saw that what that really means is not that the kingdom is here but the kingdom is what? Near! So had Israel enthroned Christ the kingdom would have come in the first century.
Then we have looked at the expression “theirs is the kingdom” in Matthew 5 and we saw that that is what’s called a futuristic present tense, not designed to communicate a present tense reality but a reality that’s certain. In other words, the kingdom’s coming is so certain that Jesus could speak of it in the present tense. So it’s a description of certainty, not a present tense reality.
And then from there we went and looked at the Lord’s Prayer, really better said the disciples prayer, and we saw that that prayer doesn’t teach that we’re in the kingdom now either because what that prayer is are three requests for the kingdom to come and three additional requests for needs to be met while the kingdom is not here. So that prayer in no way, shape or form argues that we are in the kingdom presently.
Then from there we looked at Matthew 6:33 which says, “seek first the kingdom,” and really what that means is we are to… it’s not saying the kingdom is here, it’s saying we’re to align our lives with kingdom values because we are citizens of the coming kingdom, ambassadors if you will. I think we talked about that last week.
And then we also looked at this verse in Matthew 11:12 which says the kingdom “suffers violence” until now. [Matthew 11:12, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”] And we saw that when you look at the cross reference in Luke that’s not saying that the kingdom is here; what it’s saying is not that the kingdom was being resisted but the proclamation of the kingdom was being resisted. Does any of that ring a bell?
What you can see as you can go through each one of these passages that people use and a lot of people won’t give you this detailed look at each passage, they’ll just string them together and throw them at you. But when you go through these passages carefully what you see is none of them really teach that we’re presently in the kingdom. So tonight I want to look at Luke 10:18 and if time permits I want to look at Matthew 12. Luke 10 is the description of Jesus saying…Jesus said “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” Matthew 12 is the famous statement where Jesus says, “the kingdom has come upon you so we’ll look at both of those tonight and I’ll try to show you that neither of those teach kingdom now theology either.
So let’s go ahead and start with Luke 10:17-20. This is Jesus when He sent out the seventy to offer the kingdom to Israel. It says, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’” And then verse 18 is the key verse, it says, “And He said to them,” the seventy, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
So what people will do is they will grab that single verse there in verse 18 that I have underlined, where Jesus says “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” And they’ll develop this idea that Jesus cast Satan out of heaven right then and there, and since Jesus cast Satan out of heaven right then and there and some would say even bound Satan right then and there, then the kingdom started. And as you look at the particulars of this I don’t think that’s what Jesus is saying.
But one of my seminary professors, Darrell Bock, who’s written scholarly commentaries on Luke and Acts makes a big deal about this. Darrell Bock is an individual who believes in already/not yet, the kingdom is already here in spiritual form but the “not yet” portion is still coming. So he’s still a believer in kingdom now theology, not to the same degree as an amillennialist but still to a certain degree.
And he writes this: ““Though the Acts message has more detail and focuses more clearly on Jesus, the message is essentially the same: the reign of God is inaugurated. In that inauguration the deliverance of God in the future God has been guaranteed…. Luke 10:18” that’s the verse we just read, “confirms the arrival of authority with the announcement of the kingdom. Here the ministry of the messengers is also discussed. Jesus notes that he saw the fall of Satan from heaven, a clear message of defeat for the arch enemy demon in the exorcism ministry of the Seventy-two.” So what he’s saying is when they exorcised this demon (in this context) that Satan fell from heaven right then and there because Jesus brought in the kingdom. “In Judaism, the coming of the Messiah and the demonstration of His authority were seen as marking the end for Satan…. In Luke 10:18, however, the stress is on current events in Jesus’ earthly ministry that spell the defeat for Satan. The image of Satan’s defeat is important for it pictures his fall not just from heaven, but from rule as the next passage shows. The portrait of Luke 10 is of Jesus’ authority as expressed in His followers….”
So he’s saying the kingdom is started, the reign of God has begun as evidenced by what Jesus did to Satan by causing him to fall right then and there.
“Although this is not Satan’s ultimate fall (Rev. 20:7–10), his authority now stands challenged and defeated in a decisive way. The ministry of Jesus and the disciples is a turning point. The exorcisms by Jesus and the disciples are tied to the kingdom’s presence, as the next key text, Luke 11:20, makes clear.” So he’s connecting this with Luke 11:20 which we’re going to deal with tonight if we have time, most likely next week, but if you slip over to Luke 11:20 it’s the parallel passage to Matthew 12:28 where it says, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” So that passage is like the favorite passage of the kingdom now theologians.
And they will tie that one together with Luke 17:20-21 where Jesus says the kingdom is “in your midst.” So you see how they’re connecting all of these passages, Luke 17, the kingdom “is in your midst.” Luke 11:20, “the kingdom of God has come upon you,” and then you put that together with the alleged fall of Satan and in their minds they’ve got this airtight case that Jesus started the kingdom in His first coming. [Luke 17:20-21, “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 11:20, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”]
Darrell Bock says, “Any attempt to limit the meaning of this fall of Satan to just the activity of Jesus or to see it as merely proleptic” now “proleptic” means future, “fails.” So he’s saying Jesus is not talking about something that happened in the distant past and He’s not talking about something that will happen in the distant future; it’s something that happened in the ministry of Christ right then and there. So that becomes evidence in his mind that the kingdom started with Christ in His first coming. “Any appeal to the presence of God’s kingly power in the person and message” and this is the significance of the transfer of power to others, and ignores the kingdom association Jesus makes in explaining these activities of Luke 11:20. [Darrell Bock, “The Reign of the Lord Christ,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, ed. Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 40–41.]
So what he’s saying is Jesus had the power right then and there, He cast Satan out of heaven, he delegated His authority to the disciples as they went out and preached and did exorcisms and that kind of thing. And in his mind what that indicates is the kingdom of God has begun, the reign of God has been inaugurated.
So it’s interesting that these people all have verses that they use to support their view or else it really wouldn’t be much of a view, would it. So anybody that argues anything from the Bible always have some kind of scriptural support. The issue is are they quoting the Bible in context; are they quoting the Bible accurately. And I’m convinced that Satan did not fall right then and there in the ministry of Jesus and I basically have three reasons for this. Number 1… well let me ask you this: has Jesus always been around? Yeah, He’s always been around, there never was a time in which He was not, right! Because He is eternally existent. So it’s a mistake to say, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, that Jesus is a created being. It’s a mistake to say, as Arius did in the early church, there was a time in which He was not, that’s called the Arian heresy and it’s this idea that Jesus was a created being.
So there never was a time in which Jesus didn’t exist, He is the eternally existent second member of the Trinity and as such was He there to see Satan fall originally? Yes He was. In fact, He was the one that caused that fall originally. And there are at least two passages I know of that talk about Satan’s fall in the remote past. Two of the most popular ones are Isaiah 14:12-15 referring to the past fall of Satan and then also Ezekiel 28:12-17.
[Isaiah 14:12-15, “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!  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.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.
Ezekiel 28:12-17, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.  By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”]
So since Jesus has always been He was there when Satan fell in the remote past. And in fact, Jesus was the one that caused that fall. So the eternally existing Christ saw Satan fall in the remote past. He caused the fall of Satan in the remote past indicating His power over Satan. And this forms the basis of the exhortation to the disciples. So what is happening with these disciples is they’re being sent out on their first missionary assignment, 70 of them, and they come back just gleeful, as you look at verse 17, they say even the demons are submitting to us. And Jesus sort of gives them an exhortation, He gives them a lesson in humility. He basically gives them a reality check. And basically what He’s saying to them is the only reason you’re able to go out and cast out these demons in Luke 10 is because I have delegated authority to you. In other words, you’re not doing this on your own power; you’re doing this only under My power and I have the power to do this because I was there when Satan originally fell. In fact, I was involved with God the Father, God the Son Myself, and God the Holy Spirit in kicking Satan out of heaven in his original fall.
And therefore you have to understand that when you go out and do things in My name you’re not doing it through your own power, you should rejoice in that, you’re doing it under My delegated authority and I have the power to delegate that authority to you because I was there and actually caused Satan’s original fall. So Jesus is not saying Satan fell right then and there in His ministry; He’s making a reference backwards to the past.
And that’s why He says in verse 20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.’” In other words, if you really want to be happy about something be happy about this, not that you’re exercising authority here on the earth over unclean spirits but be happy in the fact that you’re eternally secure, and I have the power to make you eternally secure. You understand we’re eternally secure, right? John 10 tells us we’re in the double grip of grace, we’re not only in the Son’s hand, we’re in the Father’s hand. You can’t get much more secure than that.
And Jesus has the power to make us secure because He is the one that has power over Satan, because after all, He was there when Satan originally fell. And in fact, Jesus kicked him out of heaven. So Jesus is not at all saying here that Satan fell right then and there. What He’s saying is I have power over Satan, I was there when he originally fell, I caused his original fall and therefore you should understand that any authority that you’re exercising in My name is only there because it’s been delegated to you. And if you really want to behappy about something rejoice in the fact that you’re secure in Me. As long as you’re in Me you’re eternally secure because you’re in the double grip of grace and I have the power to make you secure because I was there to originally kick Satan out of heaven.
So what He’s doing is He’s reaching into the past and He’s using that to form an exhortation to them in the present. Do you see that? And you say well, that’s a strange interpretation. Well, it’s not a strange interpretation; this is the traditional interpretation of Dallas Seminary. When Darrell Bock comes along and says Satan fell right then and there in the first century he’s deviating from what the school has historically taught.
So if you go to the writings of J. Dwight Pentecost and his book, The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, this is what he says about this story, the historical account that we just read about in Luke 10. “After completing the ministry entrusted to them, the seventy-two returned to report to Christ. They seem to have been preoccupied with the miracles they had performed. They made no report on the response of the people to their ministry but reported on the response of the demons to the exercise of the authority that Christ had entrusted to them.” So they’re kind of caught up, not so much in people getting saved, people responding to His message, but look at this neat power that we now have. So you’re dealing with some people that need a lesson in humility. He goes on and he says, “It was necessary for Christ to rebuke the seventy-two. He reminded them that the authority was not theirs. It was His. He had conferred it on them (v. 19).” That’s what he’s saying in verse 19. “This authority belonged to Him because He had expelled Satan from heaven at the time of his original fall (Luke 10:18; cf. Ezek. 28:12–15 to Isa. 14:12–15).” [The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 297–98.]
I mean, this verse is not saying that Satan fell in the first century; it’s Satan fell in the past. Jesus was there to see it as eternally existent; Jesus was there to cause it. And the seventy shouldn’t be too excited about their power, they only have it under His delegated authority. That’s all Jesus is saying here.
But you see how Dwight Pentecost is interpreting Luke 10 consistent with a past fall of Satan. In other words, Darrell Bock is reading into the passage way too much, that’s what he’s doing. Why is he doing that? Because he wants a present form of the kingdom now. And when you go to the text wanting something to work you have a tendency to push things beyond what the text says.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary also published by Dallas Seminary, this particular writer, John Martin, did the Luke section and he writes this: ““When the messengers came back, they were excited that even the demons had submitted to them in Jesus’ name. This was true because of the authority Jesus had given them. They had such authority because Satan’s power had been broken by Jesus. He answered them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Now look at this next line, I’ve got it italicized, “Jesus was not speaking of Satan being cast out at that precise moment, but that his power had been broken and that he was subject to Jesus’ authority. However, Jesus said the cause for their joy should not be what they could do in His name but in the fact that their names were written in heaven. The personal relationship of a believer with God should be the cause of his joy. The authority given to these workers and the promise of no harm from snakes and scorpions was given for this particular situation (italics added)” [John Martin, “Luke,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor, 1985), 233]
So this is one time power that Jesus gave them for a particular assignment. And they were enthused with the fact that they had this power and Jesus says well, first of all, you didn’t report to Me on the people out there that needed compassion; all you could talk about is your power. You know, kind of like a lot of churches today, you listen to the leaders talk and they talk about their budget and they talk about their marketing plan and they talk about how many people are coming and they talk about all these externals and you wonder, in this discussion what about all the people that are hurting out there that need to be touched by that particular church.
So one of the greatest pieces of information I’ve ever gotten in ministry was from a seminary professor, he said it’s not about us as leaders, it’s not about us it’s about them. It’s not about our gifting, it’s not about our outreach, it’s not about our this, our that, it’s about touching the people under Christ’s delegated authority that need to be touched because they’re hurting because we live in a sin cursed world. So the seventy really weren’t concerned about the need for compassion on people, what they were all excited about was their power. And so Jesus just makes a simple point that you wouldn’t have this power under this circumstance unless I had delegated it to you. And by the way, I have the power to delegate it to you because I was there when Satan originally fell. In fact, I was involved in evicting Him from heaven when he fell originally and if you want to be excited about something be excited about your own eternal security that I’m accomplishing for you right now, also through the double grip of grace.
We can kind of get like that, can’t we; we can get excited about what God does through us instead of the people that need to be touched by Christ through us. And that’s why these seventy needed some correction. And to make the correction Jesus is not saying Satan fell right then and there; He’s just making a historical point, going back to Satan’s original fall. So to build into this the reign of God has begun and all of these things, such as you see in the writings of Darrell Bock is just unnecessary; he’s pushing things beyond what the text warrants.
Secondly, the second reason why I don’t think Satan fell right then and there is subsequent Scripture never indicates Satan’s weakened power over the earth. I mean, if Satan fell in some sense right then and there, at that precise moment, and the kingdom of God started then why is it that the rest of Luke’s Gospel… and by the way, Luke wrote a sequel called The Book of Acts so you have to consider Luke and Acts together, why does subsequent Scripture after Luke 10 in Luke and Acts never indicate that Satan is bound. So if you hold your place here in Luke 10 and just journey a few chapters to the right, you’ll come to Luke 22:3. Does it look like Satan is bound at all when you go to Luke 22:3, the same book, same author, just a little later. It says, “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.” Does it look like Satan is bound there? No, it he just goes right inside Judas, the only unbeliever in the group (I’m convinced) of the twelve to accomplish the final deed of the trail of Christ. I mean, if Satan is bound in Luke 10 how did he get loose again in Luke 22. See that? That’s the point I’m trying to make.
And look at Luke 22, look at verse 31, tell me if you think Satan is bound at all in Luke 10? [Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;”] Jesus has a conversation with Peter and He calls him “Simon,” now that’s kind of interesting, why would Jesus… He renamed him Peter, why would He call him Simon? Simon is his Jewish name, Petros is his Greek name, and Cephas is his Aramaic name. And it’s Jesus that gave him the new name, Peter, which means little stone. And when Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build My church” He wasn’t saying I’m going to build the church on Peter, He says you are Petros, little stone, and upon this rock, Petra, which means large stone, I will build My church. So He’s going to build the church on Peter’s confession of Christ, not on Peter, because he switches from Petros to Petra over in Matthew 16:18. [Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”]
But then he starts calling him Simon again, so why would He call him Simon again, His Hebrew name, when Jesus already gave him a new name, Petros, little stone? Well, because Peter is acting like his old self here and because Peter is acting like his old self Jesus calls him by his old name. see that? He’s trying to point out that Peter is acting inconsistent with his new identity. A little stone is someone that’s stable and Jesus named him, not on the basis of what he was but who he would become.
See that? He would become a man of stability. And that surely happened because as you go into the Book of Acts, chapters 1-10, Peter is the main man. It’s Peter that preaches the sermon on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 people get saved, and you go all the way through the Book of Acts, the first ten chapters, and you’ll find Peter became that man of stability. In fact, Peter went to his death, we know from extra biblical writings, crucified upside down to glorify Christ. He didn’t want to be crucified right side up because he didn’t see himself worthy to die the same way Jesus died, He wanted to be crucified upside down. So Jesus gave Peter a name not based on who he was but who he would become. Does that encourage anybody? When the Lord deals with us He looks at us, not as who we are (praise God for that, right!) but who we will ultimately become in God. But here’s a case where Peter is starting to waffle, his knees are getting wobbly, and so Jesus calls him by his old name to communicate that he’s living outside of his identity. Anyway, that’s just a sidebar.
Verse 31 he says, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has” what? “demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” In other words there’s conversations going on right now in heaven Peter, or Simon, that you don’t know anything about. I mean, how would you like the Lord to tell you that sometime? Satan asked a question, permission to sift you like wheat… I think if that kind of conversation was going on about me in heaven I’d rather not know about it, thank you very much.
But the fact that Satan is still in heaven, isn’t he? See, Satan, I’ll show you the chart in just a second, can still go into heaven. He doesn’t go into heaven to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel but he can go into heaven to communicate and to accuse. And that ability is not taken away until Revelation 12, about halfway through the tribulation period. So here is Satan, fully going into heaven, to make a demand to sift Peter (or Simon) like wheat. Now how could Satan do that if he was bound in Luke 10? That doesn’t make any sense, does it? So the interpretation that you’re given in Luke 10 can’t be right when you look at all of the Scripture on this. And this is one of the ways you solve issues in the Bible is you sort of examine what does the rest of the book, the same author and the same book, say on the subject.
And then Luke’s sequel is called the Book of Acts and let’s go to Acts 5:3 and you tell me if Satan is bound in Luke 10. This is in the early church. “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has” who? “Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? “ So this is Ananias and Sapphira in the early church who had taken a piece of property that they owned, remember, they are practicing here communal, sort of communal living where the wealthy in Jerusalem were taking their property and selling it so that the people that came on the day of Pentecost that got saved, from distant lands, could continue to stay in town, in Jerusalem, and learn at the feet of the apostles.
And they had a big economic problem because the folks that came from distant lands only had enough resources to be there briefly, for the Pentecost holiday, and now they got saved and so they wanted to stick around and learn about this new Christian faith that they had believed in. They couldn’t just go home and read the New Testament because they don’t have a New Testament yet. So you’ve got to sit and learn about all of this from the feet of the apostles.
So to prevent this economic problem from getting out of control the saints in Jerusalem sold property that they had so that they could help the out-of-towners financially so they could grow in stability in their new found faith before they went back home. So Ananias and Sapphira had a piece of property and they sold it and they said we’ve given all of the proceeds of the sail to the church. Well, the reality is when you go through Acts 5 they hadn’t done that at all. They sold it and they kept back part of the proceeds for themselves. Now the Bible is very pro private property. The sin of these people, Ananias and Sapphira, was not the fact that they kept back part of the proceeds of the sale for themselves. That’s not the issue. If they wanted to do that they were free to do that because if you look at Acts 5:4 it says, “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
The sin wasn’t that they kept back part of the proceeds of the sale for themselves; they could have done that if they wanted. The sin was they misrepresented their level of generosity. They told everybody we sold it all and gave all the money to the church when in reality they hadn’t. And what you have to understand about the church is it’s an infant at this point and an infant, a newborn, is vulnerable to all kinds of germs and bacteria and things like that.
And that’s how it works spiritually, because the church was new so God couldn’t let this slide. And so Ananias and Sapphira were killed right there on the spot. It’s what you call a maximum divine discipline and a lot of people will say well, they obviously weren’t Christians, Ananias and Sapphira. But if you look at verse 11 it says, “And great far came over the whole church, and over all who heard these things.” See, if an unbeliever had been struck dead I don’t know if the church would have been afraid, but if one of their own were struck dead and sometimes whom the Lord loves the Lord chastens, and sometimes that chastening can be very severe. Amen! Sometimes it can be to the point of death. And God had to do this to protect this new entity called the church because sin of any level, particularly of this magnitude, could have stopped the early work of God in its embryonic or infancy form.
But again, that’s just a side bar again. If you look at verse 3 you see why Ananias and Sapphira lied. It’s very clear, “Satan filled your hear to lie to the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 5:3, “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?’”] So if Satan was bound in Luke 10 how could he get loose again in Acts 5 to do this, to influence us? And by the way, there’s a good lesson in this for us; Satan, I don’t think can possess the Christian because I don’t think God and Satan can be roommates, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But I’ll tell you this much, Satan can influence us, particularly when we yield to the sin nature. Satan can come into our lives and he can influence us negatively when we give up ground.
That’s why the Book of Ephesians, chapter 4 and verse 30 says “Do not let the sun go down on your anger lest you give the devil a” what…” a foothold.” That’s clearly written to the Christian there in Ephesians 4:30 so when I cater to the sin nature, like for example, unforgiveness, then Satan has a foothold into my life, not to possess me but to influence me and to use my anger or sarcasm or something to injure somebody else. So that’s sort of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.
They misrepresented their level of generosity and Satan influenced them, Satan took whatever ground they were willing to give and consequently they experienced maximum divine discipline. So again my point is if Satan is bound in Luke 10 how did he get loose again in Acts 5? If Satan is bound in Luke 10 how did he get loose again in chapter 22, verse 3; chapter 22, verse 31, or Acts 5:3? So Satan was dealt no decisive blow in Luke 10 at all. Where he was dealt a decisive blow is in John 12:31 which takes place in the Upper Room just prior to Christ’s death. Jesus says this of His impending crucifixion: “Now judgment is upon this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” [John 12:31] The turning point for Satan is not in Luke 10; the turning point for Satan is in John 12:31 where Jesus says concerning His death “Now judgment us upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” By using that language “now” the biblical writers are not drawing our attention to Luke 10, they’re drawing our attention to John 12.
I don’t know if you remember this, I’ve used this a few times in church, I actually preached a whole sermon just on this chart here, but Satan’s defeat has seven parts to it. He initially fell from heaven in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-17. That’s where he lost his position as a high ranking angel who once worshipped and served the Lord in his beauty but because of his pride he was corrupted and so he was removed from heaven, although he can still go back into heaven, not to worship and serve but to communicate and to accuse. And that’s what Jesus is talking about in Luke 10, that first part of Satan’s defeat.
Number two, Satan is defeated in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:15, right after the fall of man where a prophecy is given that there’s coming one from the seed of the woman who’s going to do what to the serpent’s head? Crush it. [Genesis 3:15, “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”] So right then and there he’s put on notice that he’s a defeated foe.
He is defeated again in the pre flood world because he was doing something really weird in Genesis 6 with the sons of God and the daughters of men, and I think what he was doing was having some of his demons procreate with human women to create a race of people that aren’t fully human; they’re called the Nephilim, or the fallen ones. He’s trying to lock the human race into a permanent fallen state because he knows from Genesis 3:15 that the Messiah is going to come from the seed of the woman. Who’s the woman? Eve, the Messiah must be fully God and fully what? Man! So what better way to stop that than to create a race of people that aren’t fully human, where their genetics are tampered with, where they’re partly angel and partly human. Those demons involved in that sin were immediately locked up in a place called Tartarus and there’s a reference to that in 1 Peter 3:19-20. [1 Peter 3:19-20, “in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”]
And the fourth area where Satan is dealt a defeat is at the cross, and at the cross he is a convicted criminal. Now in the modern judicial system there’s a difference between being convicted and being sentenced. In a court of law, at least the way it works in California, where I have a license to practice law, many times what would happen is someone would stand trial by a jury of their peers and they were accused of a crime and as they went through the trial process and the jury found them guilty unanimously, beyond a reasonable doubt, at that point they became a convict. And usually there’s a second phase where someone who is not just accused but now is convicted comes before the same judge for sentencing.
So there’s a distinction between conviction and sentencing. See that. And that’s where Satan is right now; he hasn’t been sentenced yet, the sentence hasn’t been imposed yet. That’s why he’s still running the world system. But he is convicted, do you see that? And that’s why John 12:31 is such a big deal. That’s why Jesus says, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” The conviction is not in Luke 10; the conviction is later with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
And then just to kind of complete this chart points 5, 6 and 7 are the sentencing phase. Satan still has the ability to go into heaven, not to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel but to accuse and communicate. That’s what’s going on in early Job as Satan is accusing Job; that’s what was going on in Luke 22:31 where Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has requested” or “demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” And Revelation 12:9 says, “He accuses the brethren” how frequently, “day and night.” So day and night there he is in heaven accusing you all of the time. And aren’t you glad you have a good defense attorney, the transferred righteousness of Christ. We wouldn’t have much of a prayer other than that.
So midway through the tribulation period he loses even that privilege and that’s when he plummets to the earth knowing he has but a short time, three and a half years left and he tries to gobble up Israel and he’s trying to stop the kingdom from coming because the kingdom is going to come through Israel.
Then when the thousand year kingdom comes he’ll be bound at the beginning of that time period for a thousand years and then at the end of the thousand years he’ll be thrown into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10. [Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”]
So this is where Satan is today; he lives between his first three defeats and his final three defeats; he’s a defeated foe, he’s been convicted, it’s just the sentence hasn’t been imposed yet. And the turning point is in John 12:39, that’s where he is convicted. He is still waiting for the sentence to be imposed. [John 12:39, For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,”’]
And see, this helps you understand the hatred of Satan for the Christian, for the human race, for anything that’s good. He knows he’s going down, right! Now what would you do if you were him? You would probably take as many people down as you can, right. That shows you the desperate nature of him.
So the turning point for Satan in number 4 is not Luke 10; Luke 10 is just an allusion back to point 1. The turning point for Satan there is in point 4, John 12:31, that’s where he receives his formal conviction as Jesus is making a short term prophecy there about Christ’s crucifixion on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. The moment that happened is the moment Satan was convicted at that point. That’s the big deal, not Luke 10 and some kind of binding of Satan to start a kingdom. I mean, that’s not the big deal at all, that’s just a reference to the past. The big turning point takes place later.
So Satan is convicted but he hasn’t been defeated yet. He’s convicted but the sentence hasn’t been imposed yet. And that’s why today he is still running the world system even though he’s a defeated foe, because the kingdom now people come along and they say well, he’s a defeated foe so the kingdom has started. No, they don’t understand the difference between conviction and sentencing. Conviction has been entered, sentencing hasn’t been imposed yet. So that’s how he can be a defeated foe but still the god of this age. See that? And your New Testament tells you that very, very clearly. I have all the verses there that you can look up on your own, but the New Testament never tells us that he’s bound currently, he’s the Prince of this World, he’s the god of this age, he’s the prince and power of the air, if he wasn’t those things then why would we bother to put on the armor of God. Right. He is a roaring lion seeking whom someone to devour. And 1 John 5:19 tells us that the whole world lies in the lap of the wicked one. [1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”]
And there’s a third reason why I don’t think Satan was bound in Luke 10. Many people in Luke 10:18 where Jesus says, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” My position on it is Jesus is referring to a past tense event. He’s referring to something that already happened. He’s not referring to something that happened in Luke 10 at that precise moment. Now people that oppose that interpretation will come back at me and say well why does Jesus say “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning,” I mean, if Luke 10:18 is referring to a past event why doesn’t it say “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightening”? Why doesn’t instead say “I was watching Satan fall,” watching seems to indicate that it was happening right then and there. And this is what’s called the imperfect tense, this verb “watching,” the imperfect tense is a past yet continuous action. So people say this could not be referring to some event in the past because Jesus doesn’t say I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning, He says “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
So how would I answer that? Well, the verb translated “watching” is theōreo, does anybody know what English word comes out of theōreo, what would do you recognize there? Theory, as in a theory is something you contemplate, right? A theory is something you think about. So when Jesus says “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning” watching may not be the best translation of that verb. What he was saying is I was thinking about it, I was ruminating about it as I was getting ready to rebuke the seventy because I was there when it happened.
So Frederick L. Godet, a great French scholar from a previous era supports this meaning that I just gave. He says: “The word ἐθεώρουν [theorēo], means I was contemplating, it denotes an intuition, not a vision. Jesus does not appear to have had visions after the time of His baptism.” His baptism was the last vision that He had and it says, “The two acts which the imperfect I was contemplating shows to be simultaneous, and are evidently that informal perception.” [Frederick L. Godet, A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, trans. E. W. Shalders & M. D. Cusin, 2 vols., vol. 2 (New York: I. K. Funk and Co., 1881), 2:24]
So when it says “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightening” the better translation, I think, is this: Jesus was saying I was there when Satan originally fell; in fact, I as the eternally existent member of the Godhead caused that original fall, going all the way back to Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 19:12-17. And it just so happens that when the seventy came back sort of arrogant I was thinking about that fall. He’s not saying I was watching it happen right then and there. He said I was thinking about it, I was contemplating about it. And that formed the exhortation for the rebuke to them that they were only able to exorcise evil spirits out of His delegated authority. See that? So it’s really not saying I was watching Satan fall from heaven right then and there the way kingdom now theologians believe it reads. He was saying I was thinking about it and as an eternally existent being I was there to actually see it happen.
So one of the key verses that people use to support kingdom now theology is Luke 10:18, where Jesus, in the middle of his ministry, as He’s sending out the seventy and interacting with them He says “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightening” and kingdom now people, either in the full blown amillennial sense or in the more limited Darrel Bock sense want this to mean that the reign of God started, the kingdom started. And what I’m saying is you don’t have to interpret this verse that way. In fact, to make that verse say that is to coerce it into something that it’s really not saying at all. All Jesus is saying is I, as the eternally existent third member of the Trinity was there when Satan fell. And that forms My exhortation to you, the seventy, not to be arrogant because you only have the power you have under My delegation.
And number two, if Satan fell in Luke 10, that doesn’t make any sense because he sure looks active in Luke 22, verse 3 and verse 31, and Acts 5 verse 3. [Luke 22:3, “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.” Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;” Acts 5:3, “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?”]
And the decisive point for Satan is not Luke 10, it’s John 12:31; that’s where there’s a reference to his conviction. [John 12:31, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”]
Then the argument against my side is well then why does it say “watching” if it’s referring to some kind of past fall of Satan why does say “watching” instead of watched? And I don’t think verb actually says “watching.” I think what it says is I was contemplating it, I was thinking about it, I was thinking about Satan’s fall that I was there to see, and that forms the basis of his rebuke to the seventy.
So all things considered you can’t use Luke 10:18, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning,” you can’t use that to build kingdom now theology. That verse just isn’t saying that.
And the next time we’re together, which will be our last meeting before the summer, and we’re going to look at the Big Kahuna of kingdom now theology, Matthew 12:28 where Jesus says, “the kingdom has come upon you.” [Matthew 12:28, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.] And kingdom now theologians love that verse. And so I’ll teach you how to decipher your way out of that one also next time.
So hopefully some of that was understandable and helped you put the details of the Bible together a little better.