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Read Introduction to Revelation

 

“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. 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‘”
 
12:7
 
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
 
The fourth personage is “Michael” the archangel (Jude 9). In heaven, Michael and his angels will fight with Satan and his demons toward the end of the Tribulation period.
 
Michael is a principal figure of the book of Daniel (10:12-21; 12:1). He was the guardian angel of Israel. Thus, this continues the theme of Israel during the Tribulation.
12:8
but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
Satan and his demons will not win the war of heaven. They will be cast out of heaven in the middle of the Tribulation period, the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Fallen angels [demons] will never go back to heaven again. Up until this time, they conducted a relay service between earth and heaven. They constantly carried messages to Satan.
12:9
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.
This verse finally identifies who the “dragon” as the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. He deceives the world by the beast (13:11) and the false prophet (20:11).
The term “Devil” is both a title and a descriptive term of his activity. The word “devil” literally means to cast through. Metaphorically, it means to slander. The New Testament uses this word three times for a gossips and slanderers. (1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3). Sins of the tongue are characteristic of the Devil. This is why many local churches have no spiritual punch. The Devil loves to defame Christians.
“Satan” means adversary. He accuses us before God. Satan deceives the whole world. He is a beautiful creature. He is on top of the pile of angels in hierarchy. He does not have red skin or wear a red union suit. That modern portrayal has no basis in the Bible. It is a fairy tale. He deceives the whole world by beauty and a good without God.
12:10
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.
An announcement of the coming of the millennial Kingdom causes people to break out into praise. They sing of salvation, the salvation provided by the coming of Christ. They praise God’s “strength,” His inherent power that will crush the power of Satan.
They affirm that the kingdom of our God has come, and the millennial reign of Christ begun. Jesus defeated the accuser of the brethren.
Accusing the brethren is the Devil’s current job. Just as he brought accusations against Job (chapter one), he brings accusations against us.
12:11
“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.
The two means of victory over Satan are 1) the blood of the Lamb and 2) the word of testimony. The angels used these two means to defeat Satan.
We should translate the word “by” as “because of.” It is because of the blood of the Lamb that victory comes. This is the blood shed on Calvary’s cross. This is Jesus’ sacrificial death for sins.
Once people become Christians, they have a testimony. Their love for Christ will be great, and they will be willing to sacrifice their own lives for Christ. In contrast to the deception of Satan, the testimony of the saints sets forth the truth of the gospel. Our testimony is one of our most valuable possessions.
It made no difference to these people whether they lived or died. Note Paul’s attitude toward death,
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:21, 23, 24).
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Do you have the belief you must live out a seventy year life? That wasn’t Paul’s attitude. He was willing to shorten his life for the cause of Christ. Life will go on without us. We are not as important as we often think we are. There will be a few people who will miss us, this life is just a proving ground for eternity. Death is the beginning of eternity for us.
12:12
‘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”
The Devil’s days are numbered. Because he only has three and a half more years to do what he has to do, he vents his spleen. His program will come to an end and he will wind up in the Lake of Fire.
Principle:
Satan tries to prosecute Christians but Jesus our defense attorney has enough evidence to free us from the charges.
Application:
Jesus defeated Satan. He came to an ignominious defeat. Why should we be deceived by his misrepresentations? Our defense attorney, Jesus Christ, makes appeal for us in the courts of heaven.
As in any kind of war, it is important to know the strategy of the enemy. If we do not know the plan of attack, we will be vulnerable to Satan’s war on our souls. If the Christian does not realize that he is at war with a supernatural being, he will be most vulnerable to his attack.
People who slander other Christians do the work of the Devil (Titus 2:3). Whenever we slander other Christians, we do the work of the Devil.
The Devil today deceives people into thinking that they are going to get to heaven by good works.
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
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