Summary: Message 24 in our exposition of Revelation continue discussion of the wars in heaven.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ “Star Wars” 12
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-11
D. Interlude 12-14
Following the seventh trumpet, John received another vision which serves as an interlude.
The interludes go back over the same time period and supply details not seen before.
These are further details of tribulation events. John received further insight on the driving force behind the last days devastation and world conflict. The end times chronology will not resume until the bowl judgments in chapter 15. In this interlude, John introduced several additional central characters to unfolding the drama. Two of the characters are fairly easy to recognize. John specifically identifies the dragon directly later in the chapter as Satan. The Son of the woman who will rule the world is obviously Jesus. The pregnant woman is not specific but pretty straightforward.
1. The Pregnant Woman and the Great Red Dragon
The pregnant Woman
The Great Red Dragon
• Israel is still God’s special people, so continue to bless her.
• The root cause of evil stems from the activity of the evil one, so continue to battle him.
2. Great War In Heaven (Battle royal)
Very often, an earthly conflict will be intricately connected to a heavenly conflict. John provides a glimpse of the behind the scenes activity (or above the scene) as he witnesses a great angelic war waged in the celestial realms; the spirit world. Who will win? Will Satan be able to gain victory over Michael?
We are often ignorant of the battle raging in the spiritual realm that influences the events in the physical realm. John introduces some other players in this drama.
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
This is not the first encounter between Michael and Satan.
Daniel 12 seems to indicate that Michael stands guard over Israel.
"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Daniel 12:1
Earlier in Daniel an angel mentioned how Michael came to his aid against Satan’s army.
Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Daniel 10:12-13
Jude mentions Daniel taking on Satan over the body of Moses.
Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Jude 1:9
The time frame of this particular conflict is not clear. It may refer to the time directly after the ascension of Jesus. It may refer to the time just before the end. Chronology in Scripture is not always that precise. God focuses on the general themes and specific action rather than the timing (since He is outside of time). He actually perceives all these events simultaneously.
What we do learn here, is that the great angel warrior Michael and his army will soundly defeat Satan and his entire army.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
We are not told the weapons used or the details of how this war will be waged. All we know is that the good guys win and the bad guys are “smacked down”. John identifies Satan with the Great dragon meaning evil and destructive.
“Serpent of old” is an obvious reference to Genesis focusing on shrewdness and deception.
He is also called “devil” meaning slanderer or false accuser.
He is called Satan referring to him as our adversary.
John adds a further description concerning his deception of the whole world. This appears to be a second throw down. There is a couple more to go till the final slam into the eternal fryer.