REVELATION 12Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 12:1-1712:1,2 THE WOMAN12:3,4 THE DRAGONORIGIN OF SATAN AND SINWAR IN HEAVENTHE ERADICATION OF SIN12: 4,5 THE MALE CHILD12:7-9 MICHAEL CASTS SATAN OUT12:10 ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN12: 11,12 THEY OVERCAME BY THE BLOODAND BY THEIR TESTIMONY12:12-14 THE WOMAN IN THE WILDERNESSONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY DAYS12:15,16 A FLOOD AFTER THE WOMAN12:17 THE REMNANTCOMMANDMENTS OF GOD, TESTIMONY OF JESUS


12:7-9 MICHAEL CASTS SATAN OUT

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and they did not prevail, neither was their place found in heaven any longer. And the great dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).

Just before He went to the Cross, Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31). The implication of this verse, compared with Revelation 12:7-9, is that after the resurrection and ascension, one of Christ’s first actions was to cast Satan out of heaven.

Michael is the leader of the angelic hosts that cast out “the dragon and his angels. The Hebrew word “Michael” means “who is like God?”, a challenge to Satan’s contention “I will be like the most high” (Isaiah 14: 14). A careful comparison of the other scriptures that mention Michael show that he is Jesus in His role as the One who contends with Satan.[1] Jesus presents Himself in a variety of roles, each with a different name: He is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Revelation 5:5), “a Lamb as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6), the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), Immanuel (God with us), the Son of man (Matthew1:23, 9:6) and many more. When he contends with Satan He is called Michael.

This is an important point. The view that Michael is simply one of the powerful angels would mean that the “war in heaven” is an angelic battle, with God curiously absent, “minding His own business” while angelic factions struggle for supremacy. But a correct view shows that God is intimately and personally involved in the struggles and battles of the great controversy, deeply concerned about everything that affects His creatures. Obviously, God versus Satan is no contest in terms of raw power; God has omnipotence on His side. This shows again that the "war in heaven" is a battle of ideas, loyalties and affections. Satan on the one hand can use what God cannot—lies, sophistry, flattery, accusations, threats, and persecution. God uses love and self-sacrifice to demonstrate His beautiful character.

This controversy is not some heavenly “theological society” arguing about fine points of doctrine. The battles play out in a very real way on earth. For example, in Daniel 10 a mighty angel contended with “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (a strong demonic angel), and called on Michael for assistance as he sought to influence “the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). The result of the invisible but very real spiritual victory was that Cyrus, the king of Persia, allowed God’s people to return from Babylonian captivity. The angel informed Daniel (verse 20) that he had to “return to fight with the prince of Persia” (some of the struggles are recounted in the books of Ezra and Esther), and that waiting in the wings was another powerful demon, “the prince of Greece” (Greece ruled over God’s people after Alexander the Great defeated the Persians). The greatest and most important battle of all is the one described in Revelation 12 when “Michael and His angels fought with…the dragon and his angels” and Satan was cast out of heaven.

Continue to next section: 12:10 ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN



[1] Michael is called “the archangel” in Jude 9, a title which can mean Leader of the angels. This title is never used in the Bible for any other angel; only church tradition has assigned it to Gabriel and other angels. At the Second Coming of Christ “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel... And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Jesus made it clear that it is His voice that will bring the dead out of their graves, thus he is "the Archangel" (John 5:26-29).

In Jude 9 “Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil over the body of Moses…said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.” In Zechariah 3 (the only other place in the Bible where this phrase is used), “The Lord [Yahweh] said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you Satan!” (Zechariah 3:2). This shows that it is the Lord Himself who rebukes the devil, which implies that Michael the archangel is “the Lord”.

Some have thought it strange that Jesus would be called an angel, but a number of Old Testament texts show that one of God’s titles was “the Angel of the Lord.” In Exodus 3 God who spoke from the burning bush is first identified as “the Angel of the Lord” (v.2), then as God (Elohim, vs. 4, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 4:5), and the Lord (Yahweh, vs. 4, 7, 15, 16, 4:2, 4, 6). He also identified Himself as “I AM” (Exodus 3:14), a name Jesus applied to Himself (John 8:58). Compare also Judges 6:11 with vs. 14, 16, 22 and 23, compare Judges 13:3, 9, 15 and 16 with vs. 22 and 23, and compare Acts 7:30-35, 38 with Exodus 19:3,11,19, 20:20-22.

In Daniel 10-12 Michael is called “One of the chief princes” (10:13), “Your Prince” (10:21) and “The Great Prince that stands for the children of your people” (12:1). He is depicted doing battle with the powers of spiritual wickedness and contending with earthly authorities for the benefit of His people (Daniel 10:13, 20,21). In chapter 8 He is called “The Prince (Hebrew sars) of the host”. This exact Hebrew phrase is also found in Joshua 5:14 where a “Man stood opposite him [Joshua]” and said, “as Captain [sars] of the host of the Lord I have come.” He allowed Joshua to fall on his face and worship Him and told him to “take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy” (prerogatives of God only). The passage continues, “And the Lord [Yahweh] said to Joshua” (Joshua 6:2). These verses in Daniel and Joshua show that Michael, “the Prince of the host”, is “the Lord.” And in fact, it is hard to imagine a lesser being contending over the body of Moses or casting Satan out of heaven.