This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at www.dtbm.org
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; [but] the dragon and his angels … did not prevail, … So the great dragon was cast out … to the earth, and his angels … with him,
—Revelation 12:7-9, emphasis added
In Revelation 11:19-12:6, we have seen our victory in Jesus because God is faithful. Next we need to consider our victory in Jesus because Satan is vanquished. It is critical that we understand what is going on in the heavenly places around us.
In the whole universe, there is only God and His Creation. The Bible clearly tells us that the entire universe is involved with what is happening on earth because, after God is finished with the Tribulation and the Millennium, He is going to destroy the whole universe and make it brand new. Everything that is happening is happening right here on earth. There are no civilizations on other planets in need of Jesus as Lord and Savior. There are only the humans on earth and the humans under the earth—in Hades; and there are only the angels sealed by God and the fallen angels who joined Satan’s army.
If that is all there is—God, humans, and angels—what about UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) and science fiction? Why is the world being conditioned for powerful beings that come to earth from somewhere else? The answer is simple: earth dwellers are being prepared for “the beast”—the ultimate extra-terrestrial being who will be released from the pit. It is possible that he could arrive in a space ship, because the world is getting ready for that. But regardless of how he comes, he will do so with great powers to control the minds of men.
Can you imagine the effect he will have on this planet? We have terrorists, rogue nations with ballistic missiles and atomic bombs, and biological agents for use in warfare. The world is highly unstable. With all that is going on, it is easy to imagine that someone transported to earth who can perform miracles and control minds will be able to control the world. This is the Antichrist—the one in the place of Christ. So the earth dwellers will conclude: Who needs Jesus—the lowly One from Bethlehem?
The advent of “the beast” will be an actual historical event, and Revelation shows us the whole panorama in advance. Up until chapter 12 of Revelation, although God had cast Satan out of his place in heaven, He did not restrict his coming into heaven to accuse believers. Presently, when an individual Christian has sinned and Satan becomes aware of it, it is an opportunity to go before God and accuse that person. Always remember that even though we bear God’s image and have His name, we can still “act like the devil” at times. When that happens, Jesus steps forward to remind Satan that He has paid for our sins and we belong to Him now! Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Arise My Soul Arise,” says: Five bleeding wounds He bears, Received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, They strongly plead for me; “Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry, “Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”
Satan is being allowed to interrupt the worship of heaven for a limited time only before God will cast him down forever, bar his access, and restrict him to troubling the earth only.
You might still be wondering: What is this celestial warfare all about? Michael the archangel, a warrior, stands in as commander-in-chief for the King of Kings. He first appeared at the burial of Moses. Because of disobedience (Numbers 20:7-11), Moses forfeited his entrance to the Promised Land, but God let him see it from afar before he died (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). Satan wanted to take Moses’ body to use as a snare for God’s people—like when the brazen serpent used by Moses was transformed into an idol (2 Kings 18:4). The lifeless body of Moses would have been used to start an idolatrous false worship of a messenger in place of the Master. (Miracles associated with dead bones are some of Satan’s biggest lies that enslave and destroy multitudes even today.)
Michael also shows up in Daniel 10 in his work of fighting the principalities (leaders of fallen angels): “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13).
In Ephesians 6:12, Paul warns us: We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, … powers, … rulers of the darkness of this age, … spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Paul uses the Greek word arche, normally translated “principalities,” seven other times (Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21, 3:10; Colossians 1:16, 2:15; Titus 3:1). Each time the context is similar to that of Ephesians 6:12, so we can assume that these listings in verse 12 are classes of fallen angels who oversee the hindering of God’s work in various nations.
Michael will also figure in the final conflict: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, … and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). These words are happening as we open to Revelation 12.
In Revelation 12:7-9, Michael leads God’s angels to victory. This becomes significant when we note that Michael is identified with the nation Israel (Daniel 10:10–21; 12:1; see also Jude 9). Another key is that the name Michael may mean “Who is like God?” This could point to Satan when he rebelled against the Lord and said, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Michael’s very presence fighting Satan is part of the ancient conflict between God and Satan. Satan wanted to be like God, but Michael’s name implies that “no one can be like God”—because there is only one God. This battle may occur because the devil’s unbridled hatred of Israel spurs him to make one final assault against the throne of God. However, as recorded, Michael and the angels of God will defeat him. Amazingly, Revelation 12:9 is the middle verse of the Book of Revelation—and the turning point in eternity!
If you have not yet bowed your knee to Jesus, and embraced Him as your Savior, today can be your “turning point” for eternity. Don’t delay! Time is short!
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.