“The War of the Ages, Pt. 2 – Satan Thrown Down from Heaven” – Revelation 12:7-12
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The great war of the ages, good versus evil, fought in the spiritual realm, affecting the natural realm, continues in this passage.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The war is coming close to its conclusion.
Satan, the adversary, is cast from heaven finally to the earth with his angels (demons). But, as is so often the case, the vanquished enemy still has lots of fight left in him, powered by hate and stubborn determination.
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.... ....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."
(Rev. 12:9, 12)
Thy will be done Lord, on earth as it is 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.
"...war broke out in heaven..."
* This battle is fought in the spiritual realm.
"...Michael and his angels..."
* "Michael" - The archangel, "the Prince of Israel," "the Chief Prince" (Dan. 10:13, Jude 9).
* "His angels" - God's angels, led by Michael.
Daniel 10:8-14, 20-21, 12:1-3
"...the dragon and his angels fought..."
* Satan and his angels, demons. "The Prince of Persia," "the Prince of Greece." (Dan. 10:13, 20)
Keep in mind that this battle is fought by angels, led by angels. This is not a direct confrontation of God vs. Satan.
Satan could not last one second in a battle with God. Satan is a created being, not the equal of the Creator.
Christ, God Himself, describes Satan's initial fall, from before the beginning of time as we know it (Gen. 1:1).
And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."
* "Them" - Translated in earlier, more accurate texts as "him," Satan.
"...in heaven any longer..."
* How can Satan still be in heaven if Christ saw him "fall like lightning from heaven?"
Satan, as a "son of God," angel, has continued to have access heaven when summoned by God (Job 1:6, 2:1). Even after his fall from grace (Eze. 28:15, Isa. 14:12, Lk. 10:18).
The intent of this passage is to encourage those who meet satanic evil on earth, that it is a defeated power (defeated ultimately by Christ on the cross), however powerful it seems in human experience.
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.
"...the great dragon..."
* Satan as pictured in Revelation (Vs. 12:3).
"...that serpent of old..."
* Clearly the "serpent" in the garden, the Great Deceiver.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast....then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die...you will be like God."
(Gen. 3:1, 4-5)
"...called the Devil..."
* Diabolos (Gk.) - Accuser, opponent, slanderer.
* Satan - Hebrew for adversary.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
(1 Pet. 5:8)
"...who deceives the whole world..."
"...he was cast to the earth, and his angels...with him."
* Satan's "realm" is pictured as the atmosphere above the earth.
* He is called "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2).
* His angels are "spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
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."
"...a loud voice saying in heaven..."
* Not specifically identified, but could it be one of the martyrs "under the altar?" (Rev. 6:9-11)
"Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come..."
The voice announces the triumph of God's kingdom over every demonic power.
There is not to be a distinction between God's "kingdom" and "the power of His Christ." The former (God's kingdom) is exercised and established through the latter (Christ).
Never forget Christ has already defeated Satan on the cross (Jn. 19:30).
Satan has been convicted and condemned, but his ultimate punishment has not yet been carried out (Rev. 20:1-5).
"...the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God...has been cast out."
* "Accuser" - Opponent, adversary, slanderer.
Job 1:6-12, 22, 2:1-5
* "Brethren" - Christ's servants, believers.
* "Who accused" - This is Satan's pattern:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
Do we understand that Satan accuses us before God continually?
Unfortunately, we give him plenty of opportunity. He accuses us rightly before God for our sin.
But we have a defender, an Advocate, who is also our "propitiation."
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
(1 Jn. 2:1-2)
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.
"And they overcame him..."
* "They" - The brethren (Vs. 10).
* "Him" – Satan
"...by the blood of the Lamb..."
* "The Lamb":
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
The shed blood of Christ on the cross is the real means of victory over sin and Satan!
"...the word of their testimony..."
* I.e.: Their witness to the saving power of the blood of Christ.
"...they did not love their lives to the death."
* They loved the Lord more than life itself and willingly suffered death rather than deny Christ.
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
They understood Christ's words:
"But he who endures to the end (i.e.: the point of death) will be saved."
Victory over Satan is not victory in the natural realm, saving one's life, or evading persecution for Christ's name while Satan attacks.
These saints, during the tribulation, will not love their lives more than Christ (Lk. 14:26), their martyrdom is their victory over Satan and their "witness."
Will it be ours?
"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."
"Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!"
* All the angelic hosts in heaven will rejoice to finally be rid of Satan and his angels.
"Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and sea!"
* Woe - The third and final "woe" as the angel cries (Rev. 8:13).
"For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
* Satan knows this is the end, but like a wounded, vicious beast, he still has power to destroy, and take as many as he can with him to "the lake of fire."
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
While Satan and his kingdom have been overthrown, he has not yet been destroyed. He still is allowed to exercise his power to destroy, he attacks the Church with "great wrath."
1 Peter 3:17, 4:12-16
But Satan now understands that he is powerless to make the martyrs (Rev. 6:11) deny their faith.
And he can no longer "accuse the brethren," they have defeated him by their witness.
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
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