The Authority of Jesus
As Jesus said at Matthew 28:18, ‘all authority had been given him in heaven and on earth’ upon his resurrection in 33 C.E. As such, we suspect that the heavens were cleaned out at that time. There would be no adversary of Christ in heaven after he gained full sovereignty over the universe.
However, some point to a prophecy in Revelation that states that ‘the great dragon, the original serpent, the one called Devil, and Satan, and all his angels’ will be ousted from heaven:
“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
– Revelation 12:7-10, 12
Most look at that prophesy as an event that would occur at least some time after the writer John’s death. But John was also told that the things he was to record included things that had already happened, things that were happening then, as well as things that would happen in the future:
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
– Revelation 1:19
This is one reason why we view it as unwise to place our eternal hopes on the book of Revelation. We cannot be sure which things are truly in our future! But our point is that the great dragon may have been ousted from heaven in 33 C.E., which could explain the intense persecution of the first century Christians, “against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17) But, again, this is prophecy and just one way to look at an interpretation.