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The War in Heaven

The War in Heaven, Rev. 12:7-12

And there was war in Heaven

The Fact of a War in Heaven

A Fantastic Story?

Skeptics ridicule the idea of a literal war, and are astonished that reasonable men should believe in such an event. They believe the idea of a “War in Heaven” belongs only in works of fiction.

A Broad Symbol?

The Moral Conflicts in the Church

Others believe that this “War in Heaven” is a poetical and epic account of certain moral conflicts in the history of the Christian Church on earth.

The Power Struggle in the Roman Empire

Others believe the Dragon to mean the Pagan Roman Empire; Michael, the Christian Roman Empire; Heaven, the throne of the Roman Emperors; and the war in Heaven, the conflicts between the Pagan and Christian Roman Emperors.

The War Between “Good and Evil”

Also, some teach that we are not to believe that this was an actual event, but a sort of a summary of the prolonged battle between good and evil.

A Definitive Strike!

Verse 7 states, "And there was war in Heaven:", clearly communicating that John saw a “war in heaven”. There have been many battles…

  • The last great conflict when the devil was cast out of heaven, there was a battle in Eden. There the devil deceived man and he lost his position with God.
  • There was a battle in hell when Christ fought and won redemption for man. He has, “the keys of hell and of death.”

…, but this is WAR. John is not witnessing a battle, but a war, where (on the Earthly Front) the redeemed of humanity lay claim to the fullness of redemption, and (on the Heavenly Front) Michael and his angels, cast out the devil.

In multiple places the Scripture describes satan's current estate allowing him liberty enough to accuse the righteous (compare Revelation 12:10; Job 1:9; 2:5; Zechariah 3:1-7; Luke 22:31; 2 Corinthians 12:7). John sees here a definite and decisive war that removes the ‘plaintiff’ from Heaven's courtroom!

The Cause of The War in Heaven

If the war John saw is a definitive and specific war (to be contrasted with the ongoing spiritual battles we face), it raises the question: “What causes this war?”

As the struggle between the devil and the people of God on this earth is long and old, something new has to happen to spark the epic conflict in Heaven. Consider the relationship of the two following events:

  • The Man Child is Triumphantly Enthroned
  • Revelation 12:5—And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
  • Lucifer's Place is Permanently Erased
  • Revelation 12:8,9a—And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out…

What caused the War in Heaven? John saw Heaven foreclose on the devil, and the devil placed under the overcomer's feet! God kept His promise and the devil had to see it coming.

Romans 16:20a—And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…

The Forces of The War in Heaven (12:7)

Michael and his Angels

Some believe Michael to be Christ. This theory begs the question, “Why did Micahel say, ‘The Lord rebuke thee’?” (Jude 9).

This is a heavenly host charged to defend and minister to the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14).

The Dragon and his Angels

A great malignant kingdom, and a vast spiritual empire of evil, stands opposed to God's people (Ephesians 6:11,12). His angels are those that kept not their first estate but followed Satan in his fall (Jude 6).

The Man Child (The Overcomer)

Revelation 12:11—And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Revelation 3:21—To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

The War in Heaven is with and on behalf of the "child." The devil will accuse the Believer before God for the LAST time.

The Nature of The War in Heaven

The War is spiritual and not physical in nature.

There are battles going on in the physical world in many different places. This is a spiritual war that will take place in the heavens.

The forces that are engaged are spiritual. The War is waged in the realm of "Heaven." We see no loss of life nor bloodshed in this War. (NOTE: Those that loved not their lives unto the death were martyred BEFORE this war.) Instead, there is loss of "place" or "position".

It is a war of faith and knowledge.

Revelation 12:11—And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

It is a war of believing and overcoming saints, supported by angels, against a malignant and hellish intellect inflamed with desperate hate and anger. In the conflict of Christ with the devil in the wilderness, the devil attacked His faith and His understanding. Like Christ, the overcomer knows, believes and fights for who he is in God. We can compare the dragon's contesting the Man Child's position on the throne with Zechariah 3:1-7.

The Outcome of The War in Heaven

The Dragon is defeated.

With all his wisdom and power, and all the fury of his hosts, the effort is disastrous, "The dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not."

The Dragon loses his "place," vs. 8.

"Neither was their place found any more in heaven."

The Dragon is cast out, vs. 9.

" And the great dragon was cast out," vs. 12.

"Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down."

The man-child is victorious.

Sits on the throne. Reigning and ruling with Christ.