Yesterday we looked at three passages (Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-7 and Revelation 12:3-13) in the Bible that talk about Satan and his “angels”. And today I hope to answer, sufficiently, the question of whether Satan and his “angels” really have to ask for permission for all the demonic activity they do. Let’s dig in.
First off, in Job and Revelation we have a good idea that the Satan and the demons still go back to heaven, or to the presence of God, to do something. Let’s look at it verse by verse.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
The term “sons of God”, has been used before in the Old Testament. A significant time is in one of the most controversial verses of the Old Testament: Genesis 6:2 and 4. However, the word for “sons” can mean many different things and, for the above verse, I believe it means the angels. Whether or not demons, “his [Satan’s] angels” are included . . . I’m not sure.
After seeing the above verse and seeing that the angels present themselves to God and Satan goes with them, we have something else.
This “present themselves before” is very important. The Hebrew words used for it say that it is:
- Done by God (they are placed there)
- The one presenting himself can obey God’s commands
However, when it comes to Satan we have a new set of entrance:
- Comes among them, not with them (Hebrew word suggests he almost forces his way in)
So, for the angels we have them be placed there by God and their ability to accept what He tells them to do and obey while we have Satan “sneaking” his way in.
But, when we come to the verse in Job chapter 2 we see an interesting turn. Satan, in chapter 2, is now being forced to come and he has got to handle whatever God tells him to. Amazing how it switches so quickly.
Also, when God sent Satan out to do the certain things to Job, God sent him out with a command that he would have to obey and could not go beyond the limits God set. We can see, in verse 12 that Satan has been commanded to do something so this is his first glance, of these two visits (Satan always has to go on God’s terms), of having to play by God’s rules.
Anyway, since we have established that Satan can come before the presence of God and ask for permission to do certain things, and God may or may not grant him permission, we can move on to whether or not demons have to do the same.
In Revelation 12, it starts out by giving an image of Israel. Israel is the woman “wonder in heaven”. After Israel is seen, the dragon, Satan, takes a third of the angels in heaven down to Earth (as for timeline, see footnote) to wreak their havoc. Then, Satan makes his job by waiting for Jesus to be born. He tries everything he can to stop Him. He fails, of course.
After Jesus is born, and ascended back to heaven, Israel, during the tribulational period, will flee to the wilderness and God will protect her. After this Satan and Michael fight off and the demons and angels fight until the angels win and the demons are sent to Earth and “nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.”
This is interesting because it says “them”. Obviously, Satan is not a “them”, and since the last verse talked about Satan and his demons, we can say that the demons also had access to the presence of the LORD, just like Satan did. However, since we don’t have the direct conflict with them in the presence of God, we don’t know if they came to ask, or were forced to come and then asked.
But, bottom point, Satan and his demons do have come to God for permission to do things to His creation. This, I believe, covers every human being. As for when the demons and Satan are kicked out of heaven . . . this is the time when the voice in heaven gives a warning to the unsaved, here it is.
“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.”
There is a very good chance that the woman, Israel, is first signified by Adam and Eve. Since we know that Satan did not rebel against God until after Creation, and after God called everything “very good”, we can safely assume that Israel is first represented by Adam and Eve since Satan rebels after the woman is shown.