War in Heaven – Michael the Archangel Fights the Satan Dragon

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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.” ~ Revelation 12:7-9

Michael vs the DragonWe have previously proven by the scriptures that this battle depiction in Revelation the 12th chapter is a spiritual battle fought around the “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (see Ephesians 2:1-6). This heavenly place is where Jesus is on the throne of the hearts of the worshippers for Jesus said:

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” ~ Matthew 18:20

This spiritual battle against Satan never happened in God’s heaven above. But rather it happens around the church, where the battle for the salvation of souls takes place. For a complete scriptural based study on this subject read: “Was the Devil a Fallen Angel Who was Cast Out of Heaven?

So in Revelation 12:7 Michael the archangel is shown to lead the battle against Satan. So what does the scriptures teach us concerning this Michael the archangel? The word “archangel” means: “the chief of the angels.” Therefore Michael the archangel can be no other than Jesus Christ himself, for Jesus is the one and only Chief Prince, and commander of the armies of all godly angel/messengers who war against Satan and his angel/messengers.

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” ~ Jude 1:9-10

When Satan used the Pharisees and Scribes to try to dispute with Jesus about the Law of Moses, Jesus was known to have “authority” in rebuking their disputations. That is why the scripture above states that Michael the archangel said “The Lord rebuke thee” because it was actually the Lord rebuking them!

And the scriptures clearly teach that Jesus himself will return in the last day to judge the earth. Therefore when he returns with the last trump of God, he himself is described as the “voice of the archangel”:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16

In the Old Testament, Daniel clearly shows us that Michael is the “Chief Prince” of God’s people. That only can be Jesus Christ.

“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes (or better interpreted: “the first of the chief princes”), came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia… … But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” ~ Daniel 10:13,21

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” ~ Daniel 12:1-3

Now, it is very important to notice that there are more references about heaven in this 12th chapter of Revelation than all the other chapters of Revelation. Yet this whole chapter is about the church fighting a major battle with Satan. And, as we have already shown clearly (in a previous post, by the scriptures) that the devil was never in God’s heaven.

The battle described in Revelation 12 is the battle for the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The heavenly place in the church exists when Jesus Christ is fully honored as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Then Satan is clearly identified, and can be battled with and cast out. That is what Revelation chapter 12 describes: a battle with clear boundaries between Satan and his angel/messengers, against Jesus Christ and his angel/messengers.

When the battle lines are clear, people can then clearly make their choice concerning what side of the battle they are on.

But later in Revelation chapter 13, new beasts will replace the dragon. These new bests will empower the devil’s angel/messengers with the ability to deceive through fake Christian leadership and organizations. The battle lines will get blurry and confusing during this time. It will be hard to completely discern who is true and who is not. But the Lord still knows those that are his!

Consequently notice: the mention of heavenly places will cease in Revelation chapter 13. Why? Because when you mix hypocrisy and pagan doctrines into the church leadership, Jesus is no longer on the throne where the collective body meets. And the true worshipers of Jesus Christ are now suffering persecution at the hands of those who claim to be “Christian”.

So now, still in Revelation the 12th chapter, let us continue with the narrative about the victory in the true spiritual heavenly places.

This is the victory over Satan and the spiritual destroying message of his pagan angel/ministry:

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” ~ Revelation 12:10

The devil deceives people into sin, and then he accuses them profusely to believe that there is no longer any mercy or hope for them. But through the sacrificial love and mercy shown by Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for us: we can have hope! This is why the previous scripture states: “…the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” ~ Revelation 12:11

Truly in the morning time (beginning) of the church, when pagan Rome came so viciously against the church in persecution, the faithful Christians did “love not their lives unto the death.” They were able to do this because they knew in their hearts that the blood of Christ had completely washed away their sins. They knew the love that transformed their heart so they could live holy and without fault before the Lord. Therefore they were not afraid to die, and they did not withhold their testimony from other lost souls, even if it risked their lives to do so.

“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.” ~ Revelation 12:12

The name Satan means “destroyer”. He does this subtly, until he’s confronted, exposed, and cast out of the lives of people. Then his full nature comes out, and he’s very angry and full of wrathful hatred.

Before the power of salvation came to the then pagan world, Satan was ruling in the hearts of the Romans. When he was cast out of their hearts, he became wrathfully bitter over it. And that wrath was reflected in the Roman government’s persecution reaction.

“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” ~ Revelation 12:13

When the devil comes in like a flood with temptations and persecutions, the Lord always provides a way of escape so that his children can bare it.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13-14

And so God provided a way of escape: amazing grace to bear the accusations and then even die for their faith in their Savior! As they patiently endured, this grace spiritually lifted them above their present pain and fears.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

Bald Eagle Flying into Sun

And so they spiritually rose above the difficulty on spiritual “eagle’s wings”. And then, as a body of believers, they eventually landed in a place where Satan’s open pagan forces could not find them.

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” ~ Revelation 12:14

A wilderness is a place of no spiritual rain from heaven. It is a hiding place for the church. A place where the Lord, through his Word and his Spirit, directly feeds and keeps his children spiritually alive, like God did for Elijah during the days of the great famine (see 1 Kings chapter 17). God can still directly feed his true people if needed. Even when the heavenly places in Christ Jesus have become a desert wilderness because of a fallen ministry that is ruling over them.

I have spoken much about this particular time for the church in the wilderness where the Word of God and the Spirit of God would feed God’s true people.

This time period: “where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” – represents a period of time equivalent to 42 months, or 1,260 days; which actually represent 1,260 years:

“…I have appointed thee each day for a year.” ~ Ezekiel 4:6

In the days that Revelation was given and written, this word “time” in the original represented a significant period of time: a season or even a year.

To this point on the meaning of “time, times, and the dividing of time” many commentators agree:

  • “three and a half years or times [literally, seasons, used for years in Hellenistic Greek (Moeris, the Atticist), Greek, “{kairous},” – From: “Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the Whole Bible”
  • “That is, for three and a half years: so the same speech is taken in {See (Daniel 7:25) }.” – From: “The Geneva Study Bible”
  • “for a time, and times, and half a time; that is, all the times of antichrist, the forty two months of his reign; during which time the holy city is trodden under foot, and in a desolate and afflicted condition outwardly, as may be learnt by comparing together Daniel 7:25 Revelation 13:5; and until the end of wonders, or when time shall be no longer or till the seventh angel has sounded his trumpet as appears from Daniel 12:7. This date is the same with 1260 days in Revelation 12:6, for “time” signifies a prophetic year, or 360 years; and “times” two years, or 720 years; and half a time, half a year, or 180 years, in all 1230 years; and which are to be reckoned, not from the beginning of the church’s flight in Constantine’s time, or from the Arian persecution, but from her entering into her wilderness state, or entire disappearance upon the prevalence of the antichristian apostasy; which might be when the bishop of Rome took upon him the title of universal bishop: and here and during this time she is hid from the face of the serpent; that is, from his wrath so as that he cannot utterly destroy her.” – From: “John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible”

So even from a number of commentators that have different opinions, they often agree concerning what the “time, times and half a time” mean. And they often agree that this period of time represents a time that is identified several times in Revelation.

  • “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” ~ Revelation 11:2-3
  • “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” ~ Revelation 12:6
  • “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” ~ Revelation 12:14
  • “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” ~ Revelation 13:4-5

These all represent a time in history where God provided spiritual substinance to his people, because only the Lord sees the heart and knows those that are his!

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:19

And so next we are enlightened as to how the brutal powers of pagan Roman persecution were abated at the beginning of this 1,260 years, causing the Word of God to be preserved along with his people.

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” ~ Revelation 12:15-16

The devil to this day still attempts to overwhelm the servants of God with a flood of temptations and trials. So it should be no surprise that Revelation should use the same language to describe the final struggles of pagan Rome to stamp out Christianity.

But the next verse provides us insight into how the flood was stopped. A leadership that began to become more political, than spiritual, was able to start influencing more and more of the influential classes of people in Rome. Until finally a politically savvy leader, named Constantine, determined it would be more beneficial for his political agenda to declare Rome a Christian kingdom. And worse yet, without showing the fruits of true repentance and deliverance from sin, the now “Christian” leadership would allow for this “partial” change from the Roman Emperor and his people. An incomplete change that now began to make room for hypocrisy, in exchange for political acceptance – and for political influence and power!

“And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” ~ Revelation 12:16

The earth that opened her mouth is the church leadership “selling of herself”, for personal gain, along with the political leadership that was willing to play “Christian”.

  • “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.” ~ Proverbs 22:14
  • “For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.” ~ Proverbs 23:27-28

So this deep pit, earthly condition, swallowed up the flood of persecution. Consequently, the true church has now been transported into a wilderness condition, because the heavenly condition in the church has been compromised.

But in spite of the hypocrisy that a fallen Christian leadership created, God is still sovereign. This “earth swallowing up the flood” was part of God pouring out his wrath in a greater way upon the pagan leadership of Rome. God caused their rebellious ways to be swallowed up into hopeless deception. Because, just like in times past, once you provoke God too much, he will cause you to be swallowed up into a spiritual pit of deception!

“But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.” ~ Numbers 16:30

Yes, once you provoke God too much, he will give you over to believing a lie from the pit!

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Satan could not fully defeat the initial company of believers that had been saved. So now, because he has been defeated in this battle of open faced paganism against the bride of Christ, he regroups his forces for the next battle.

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ~ Revelation 12:17

So the flood having been swallowed up, Satan goes undercover. He puts on new self righteous robes, and starts to manifest himself in the form of the beast of Revelation chapter 13.

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” ~ Revelation 13:4-5

And so in Revelation chapter 13 we get a clearer picture of what this “wilderness” condition that the “woman” (the church) fled into for a 1,260 years. A “Christian” leadership that was fallen, and that would speak “great things and blasphemies”. But the true Christians would be fed and kept alive by the two witnesses: God’s Word and His Holy Spirit during this 42 months representing 1,260 years.

So we today need to ask ourselves: “where spiritually am I?” Am I part of the pagan dragon, living selfishly for myself? Am I a Christian in a desert place, barely staying spiritually alive: depending upon a small portion of the Word and the Spirit? Am I deceived, worshiping one of the religious beast organizations described in Revelation? Or am I part of the true bride of Christ that is separate from all of these, enjoying the heavenly places in Christ Jesus? Where am I today?

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