“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Rev.12:7-8 This passage is a kind of prophetic flashback providing a prelude to unfolding events. The scene is a place called heaven, the realm of spirits. It deals with a time when Satan’s power came crashing down.
Satan’s power over us began with Adam’s sin. It ended by Jesus’ victory over sin and subsequent triumph over the grave. The world of Michael and his angels corresponded to Jesus’ will on Calvary, Satan and his angels corresponded to the will of men lost in darkness. Because Jesus kept His Father’s will, Satan is no longer able to stand as the accuser. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Rev.12:9-10 Jesus spoke of this victory when He said; “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:31-32
The supreme crisis in all creation was at the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion. The outcome of God’s plan, the outcome of the Savior, the prospect for our souls, everything was determined in that moment. Christ and Him crucified was the focal point for God’s eternal purpose and its capacity to be fulfilled.
The material evidence of the war’s outcome is found in these words; “And they overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev.12:11 This speaks of something unheard of in all the world’s history; souls made free in the innocence of redemption. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.” Rev.12:12
The same victory which portends joy for the believers, also heralds woe for those who refuse God’s goodness. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Rev.12:12 Satan has great wrath. He exercises it to deceive souls. In retrospect we can see what horrible twisting Satan worked upon the sons of Adam. History reveals the church of Christ faced many hardships during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. There were even worse hardships during the subsequent years of ecclesiastical brutality. Yes, the saints suffered, and will suffer. But the woe is upon those who cause the suffering. The lives of the deceived are lives of woe indeed. Thank God there is still time to repent!
The prophecy speaks of those who dwell in the heavens and those who inhabit the earth. The place of our habitation is relative. It depends on where our treasures are. Are they hidden in a vault? Do we envy the prosperity of others? Do we yearn for fame, or some other excesses? Or are our treasures in heaven? Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness? Are we peacemakers? This is what distinguishes those who dwell in heaven from those on the earth. For the faithful this saying is true; “. . .God, who is rich in mercy. . . made us alive together . . . and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. . .” Eph. 2:4-6
Who knows what will happen as we near the end. Yet the assurance is very real. The essential battle has been won. The question remains. On whose side will we be found?
I am an evangelist sent out by the Old Lamine church of Christ, which meets about 3 miles north of Lamine, Missouri.