BEN: In regard to the cosmic geography, it seems to me there is plenty of evidence in the NT to associate Satan with the heavens, or at least the ‘air’ above the earth, and really none to associate him with the land of the dead, at least as a dwelling place. Even in Revelation there is a threefold fall of Satan, and only the last two in Rev. 20ff. involves him being thrown into a sealed off pit, and then finally into the lake of fire. I agree with you that Rev. 12 is about ‘Satan falling like lightning from above’ as a result of the Christ event. Are you suggesting that there is not a consistent understanding of the domain of Satan? The NT of course also calls him the ruler of this world, yet another domain.
MICHAEL: I think I’ve hit this earlier in regard to the problem / need for “spatial” language being used for placeless places. I’ll add one item here, though. I think the reason that Satan deserves “god of this world” and “ruler of this world” titling is death. Since everything dies, the original rebel is lord of everything in that sense. To him everything will go—unless it is redeemed from death by God, which strategy requires the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. My view is that the “I saw Satan fall like lightning” comment of Jesus is uttered in tandem with the launch of the kingdom precisely to juxtapose the two. If you are a member of God’s kingdom (and Jesus is the means by which that is possible), then you are by definition no longer destined to be a forever member of the other kingdom whose locus of authority extends from the realm of the dead.