May 23 2022
Today, Monday May 23
War In Heaven
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
There appears to be an interlude from Revelation 10 to 14. These chapters divide the first three and half years from the last three and half years of the Tribulation. In these five chapters we are given more detail of what happened in both the first part and also the second part of the Tribulation.
When we think of heaven, we think about a place where God dwells and about a place of paradise. We picture a place of peace and serenity, bliss and happiness! But here we read of a “war in heaven.” Now to be sure, the scripture seems to speak of three different heavens. The first heaven is the atmosphere around the earth in which we live. The second heaven is the where the sun, the planets and the stars and beyond are. During the day we see this space as blue, but at night we get a glimpse of the beautiful moon, planets, stars and the galaxies.
Then there is a place called the third heaven and that is the place where God dwells, which is beyond human description. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-6, the Apostle Paul was caught up to what he called the “third heaven”. He said it was unlawful for him to even try to describe what he saw. When Stephen was about to be stoned to death in Acts 7:54-58, he saw this heaven open and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing next to Him.
There is no doubt that the scripture teaches us that there is a literal place called heaven. But here we read that “war broke out in heaven”. This is hard to imagine! But from these verses we learn several things. Scripture makes it clear that Satan has access to heaven even today (Job 1-2). Once he was the highest of God's angels, but he rebelled against God and was cast down (Isa. 14:12-15). This is also referred to in this chapter, in verse 4, where when he was cast out of heaven, he drew a third of the stars in heaven with him. Of course, the stars here are the angels that chose to follow him and become his evil demons on earth today.
Interestingly, as God's church faithfully serves Christ and wins the lost, Satan is also cast down and defeated (Luke 10:1-2,17-20). This is where the disciples were preaching the message of the kingdom of God and Jesus said He saw Satan fall like lightning. Jesus also assures us that His church has authority, so much so, that the gates of hell cannot stand against our efforts. (Matt. 16:18).
Of course, when Jesus Christ died on the cross, it meant Satan's ultimate defeat (John 12:31-33). Satan will one day ultimately be cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-10), and then finally cast into hell (Rev. 20:10).
What is this celestial conflict all about? The fact that Michael led God's angels to victory is significant, because Michael is identified with the nation Israel (Dan. 10:10-21; 12:1; note also Jude 9). The name Michael means "who is like God?" and this certainly parallels Satan's egocentric attack on Jehovah—"I will be like the Most High" (Isa. 14:14). Apparently, the devil's hatred of Israel will spur him to make one final assault against the throne of God, but he will be defeated by Michael and a heavenly host.
I can assure you that we are always on the winning side with God! Satan might be mighty, but he is not almighty. And today we can trust our almighty God through Jesus Christ to fight our battles for us!