12:9 cast out. Appropriately, and providentially, this is the central verse in the book of Revelation. The dragon is here identified as the serpent of Eden (Genesis 3:1), as the Satan who tested Job (Job 1:6), and as the Devil who tested Jesus (Matthew 4:1). See also Revelation 20:2.
12:9 deceiveth the whole world. As the great deceiver, Satan has deceived the whole world with the great lie with which he evidently deceived himself in the beginning—namely, that God is not really the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all things, and that, consequently, both men and angels can reject His Word, rebel against His rule and ultimately aspire to be “gods” themselves. This lie finds its only rationale in the false premise of evolution, the idea that the universe always existed or exists independently of a Creator and is able to evolve itself into higher and higher orders of being. This lie may take the form of either atheism or pantheism, but both deny God and His revealed truth of special creation. With it, Satan has deceived the whole world, in every age and culture since the creation. Note I John 5:19; II Corinthians 4:3-4.
12:9 into the earth. Satan had long ago been cast out of his heavenly authority as the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14-17), though he still has access to God as “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Even that access will end when he is defeated by Michael; from then on he and his angels will be limited to the earth alone, where he will still desperately try to overthrow God.