The Great War – Part 2: The War in Heaven – Revelation 12:7-12

 

We have seen the players in the Great War. Those players are Israel, Jesus Christ, and Satan. This Great War has been raging for thousands of years; however, it comes to a climax in the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation period. The battle in heaven described in Revelation 12:7-12 is the first phase of Satan’s final attempt to overthrow God.

The Battle in Heaven. A fierce battle is described in verses 7-8. Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.”[1]War in heaven has been taking place since the fall of Satan as recorded in Ezekiel 28:11-18 and Isaiah 14:12-14. There have been many battles between the fallen angels and the holy angels of God and His people. Even today, we find ourselves in the midst of great spiritual battles. As believer’s, we should be constantly aware of our enemy and always be suited for battle, putting on the whole armor of God. The great angel Michael and those angels under his command find themselves in a battle against the dragon and his minions. We are not exactly sure what triggers this particular battle. Some suggest that it is the rapture of the church that triggers the battle. Satan tries to keep the church from entering into heaven and a battle erupts between Satan and Michael. Whether it occurs at the time of the rapture or not, the bottom line is that there is great battle that takes place. Satan and Michael are very familiar foes. They have battled one another on many occasions for thousands of years. We are also not sure just how the angels fight. We can only use our imagination. However, we must be careful to not read into scripture. The Bible simply tells us about this battle. As far as when and how, we really do not know and we should be careful in our speculations.

Satan loses the battle. We see the crushing defeat of Satan at this battle in verse 9. “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”[2] Michael and his followers are victorious in defending heaven. Satan and his demons are thrown down onto the earth. This is Satan’s second expulsion from heaven. He was originally kicked out of heaven at his original rebellion and fall when he took a third of the angels with him. Since then, he has been allowed to enter into heaven as an accuser of the saints of God. At this battle, Satan is cast down from heaven and is permanently expelled. He will never return to heaven again.

Celebration in heaven. At the winning of this great battle, there is a great celebration that breaks out in heaven. This celebration is described to us in verses 10-12. “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 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!” [3]The saints of God are rejoicing because the accuser of the brethren is cast down. No more will he be allowed to come into heaven. He has been conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of the saints.

In light of this great future battle, we too should be aware of the battle that we face today. Satan is doing everything he can to destroy the lives and the testimony of believers in Christ. Satan is a powerful enemy. We must be on guard and we must also go on the offense and attack the forces of evil in this world.

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 12:7–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 12:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 12:10–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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