Today, Tuesday May 24
Satan, The Accuser
“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."
This is an amazing passage of scripture! There are so many lessons to learn from it we might have to take a few days to cover it. The fact that “war broke out in heaven” really gets out attention because we never think of war in heaven. For sure war happens on earth but not in heaven. If there is a war it is because there are at least two sides that are in conflict over some issue. This war in heaven is between the dragon and his angels and Michael and his angels.
What has caused this conflict at this time in heaven. We know that Satan was cast out of heaven with a third of the angels sometime before the fall of man in Genesis 3 (Isaiah 14). But it appears he still has access to heaven to “accuse” the saints (Job 1; Zechariah 3:1-2), or the “brethren” (v. 10). Did you notice all the names and descriptions that are given to Satan in this passage? He is called the “dragon, that serpent of old, the Devil and Satan” (v. 9). He is also called the deceiver and the accuser.
The apparent cause of this conflict now in Revelation 12, gives us a hint of maybe when the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place. Remember this is in the middle of the Tribulation because twice we read of the time period after this happens which is “1,260 days” (v. 6), and “a time, and times, and half a time” (v. 14) which is exactly three and a half years. After the church is taken to heaven, believers will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and have their works examined. On the basis of this judgment, rewards will be given (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10-11). It seems likely that Satan will be present at this event and will accuse the saints, pointing out all the "spots and wrinkles" in the church (Eph. 5:24-27).
The name devil means "accuser," and Satan means "adversary." Satan stands at the throne of God and fights the saints by accusing them (remember Job 1-2; Zech. 3). But Jesus Christ, the "heavenly Advocate" (1 John 2:1-2), represents the church before God's holy throne. Because Jesus Christ died for us, we can overcome Satan's accusations "by the blood of the Lamb." Our salvation is secure, not because of our own works, but because of the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
How furious Satan will be when the church comes forth in glory "without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." When the accuser sees that his tactics have failed, he will become angry and threaten the very peace of heaven.
Christ's shed blood gives us our perfect standing before God (1 John 1:5-2:2). But our witness to God's Word and our willingness to lay down our lives for Christ defeats Satan as well. Satan is not equal to God; he is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient His power is limited and his tactics must fail when God's people trust the power of the blood and of the Word. Nothing Satan does can rob us of "salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ" (Rev. 12:10), if we are yielded to Him. God's great purposes will be fulfilled!
Believers in any age or situation can rejoice in this victory, no matter how difficult their experiences may be. Our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of the wicked one; and these have been defeated by our Savior (Eph. 6:10; Eph. 1:15-23).