Based on this other question, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the events depicted in Revelation 12:9, 12 happened in 1914.

The text in these two verses says (from KJV here):

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

My understanding is that other denominations have other beliefs on when these events happened. For example according to the answers to this other question, the Catholic viewpoint is that it happened very early in the creation.

Also, if I look at the book of Job for example, I see that Satan describes himself as roaming on the earth in some sense. For example the book of Job (completed thousands of years ago) says in 1:7 (KJV)

7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

A similar statement by Satan is also found in Job 2:2 (KJV).

Also if Satan was the one who tempted Eve, he should have been able to be on earth long before 1914.

Are these parts not in conflict with the idea that Satan was cast to earth in 1914? How do Jehovah's Witnesses reconcile them with the belief that Satan was cast to earth in 1914?


2 Answers 2


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that from the time of his rebellion until 1914 Satan was able to move about in the spiritual realm where Jehovah,Jesus and the faithful angelic host dwell, and in the realms of the earth. After being cast out of the heavens Satan and his demon hordes can never again come into Jehovah’s presence.

In an article that discusses what the Bible says about Satan in the June 2013 Awake magazine we read:

Satan is a spirit creature, so he lives in an invisible realm. For a time, Satan was allowed to move about at will where God and the faithful angels reside. (Job 1:6) Now, however, he has been evicted from God’s presence and, along with other wicked spirit creatures, is confined to the vicinity of the earth.—Revelation 12:12.

Does this mean that Satan is limited to one specific place on earth? For example, you may have read that the ancient city of Pergamum was said to be “where Satan is dwelling.” (Revelation 2:13) Actually, that expression alluded to the concentration of satanic worship there. Satan does not call any one physical place on earth home. Instead, the Bible says that “all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth” are his.—Luke 4:5, 6.

So it is not that Satan couldn’t come to the earth before 1914. He could come and go as he pleased. But after 1914 Satan was grounded as it were,passport surrendered,only able to influence affairs pertaining to the earth. The deterioration of world conditions that historians agree began around 1914 like world wars, famines and epidemics like the Spanish influenza are thought to be strong evidence of Satan’s being confined to the vicinity of the earth.

  • I feel like this does a pretty good job of answering the question (obviously the OP agrees, hence its acceptance), but why 1914? Perhaps this would be better stated in a question not a comment. Perhaps it already has been. Mar 30, 2020 at 13:35

Satan didn't need to be hurled down to the earth in order to go there. Angels can freely travel between Heaven and Earth, as described in Jacob's dream at Genesis 28:12.

Then he had a dream, and look! there was a stairway set on the earth, and its top reached up to the heavens; and there were God’s angels ascending and descending on it.

The wording of Job 1:6-7 and Job 2:1-2 suggests that the conversation Satan had with God actually happened in heaven, since he came "from ... the earth" to present himself to God. The Bible is clear that heaven is God's dwelling place (1 Kings 8:30, 39, 43, 49; 2 Chronicles 6:33, 39), and Hebrews 9:24 also describes how Christ entered heaven in order to appear personally before God.

Here's an article which explains why Jehovah's Witnesses believe Satan was cast out of Heaven to the earth shortly after Jesus was enthroned in 1914. Also, here's an article which explains how Jesus' statement at Luke 10:18 was also a prophecy about Satan being hurled from heaven in the future.

On a related subject, Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe God is omnipresent. For more information, see Does God Dwell in One Place? or Is God Omnipresent?

  • The article you linked stated that Scripture affirms the 'times of the Gentiles' ended and the Kingdom began in 1914 but it never actually demonstrated that from Scripture or history, it's just a bald assertion. It seems to me that, with a mosque still standing where the temple should be, Jerusalem is still being trodden down by the nations. Mar 30, 2020 at 11:40
  • @MikeBorden there is an asterisk accompanying the statement. That takes you to additional info
    – Kris
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:59
  • @Kris I went where the asterisk took me. Most of what I found there was incorrect. Mar 31, 2020 at 12:04
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    @MikeBorden are you saying that the information does not represent jw beliefs? The question asked for jw beliefs thus answer provides jw beliefs with supporting sources. That would make it a correct answer despite your opinion to the contrary.
    – Kris
    Mar 31, 2020 at 12:09
  • @Kris No, I'm saying that, while the information in the linked material may well represent JW beliefs, it is biblical inaccurate. I just posted a question on this. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/77201/… Mar 31, 2020 at 13:03

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