Was the devil on earth before the birth of Jesus?
ESV - 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!
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References to the devil's activity on earth are found in multiple places in the Old Testament, starting almost immediately after creation with the serpent through whom Satan spoke in Genesis 3. Satan himself mentions specifically in Job 1:7 that he has been "going to and fro on the earth, and...walking up and down on it." He has been performing this activity ever since he and the angels who followed him were initially cast out of heaven by God following their rebellion. They have been trying to deceive humanity, and to lead people away from God and the salvation that He offers in Christ. By the time of the events prophesied in Revelation (which, whenever they may occur, will certainly be imminent signs of Christ's return and His judgment of humanity at the close of the present age), Satan will be aware (as Christians also will, because of the warnings of Jesus -- as in Matthew 24, for example -- and the text of Revelation itself) that his (Satan's) final consignment to eternal punishment (Revelation 20:10) is very near (in comparison to the vast expanse since the beginning of time). He will therefore be all the more desperate in his attempts to thwart or prevent God's final triumph. But, despite these efforts on Satan's part, his ultimate defeat has been assured ever since the victory over him that Jesus gained through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and resurrection.
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