Summary: This passage deals with the spiritual struggle behind the great tribulation—the dragon’s (Satan’s) attacks against the woman (Israel).
Last time we got a glimpse of the great spiritual conflict that is going on behind all the ungodliness and evil of this world. We have seen how the devil is out to hurt the heart of God. He does that by turning people away from Christ.
Last time in Rev. 12: 1-5 we ended with the woman (Israel) giving birth to a son (Jesus Christ). And the child was snatched up to the throne of God.
Tonight’s passage deals with the spiritual struggle behind the great tribulation—the dragon’s (Satan’s) attacks against the woman (Israel). PRAYER / READ verse 6.
The woman now flees for her life. What we are seeing here is the picture of the terrible holocaust of the end time—the great tribulation.
Israel is going to be severely persecuted by the antichrist in the end time. The Jews are going to have to flee for their lives. They flee to the wilderness of the mountains, hills, and forests—to every hiding place they can find.
But we have to keep in mind that the Jews are not going to be the only ones affected. The holocaust is going to be launched against the Gentile believers of the end time as well. There will literally be millions of Gentile believers slaughtered right along with the Jews. So all of these millions of people will be fleeing, trying to find any place they can to hide. But the beautiful promise that we can claim is that God has a place for His people to hide. He is going to save a remnant of believers. He is going to use this persecution to turn even more Jews to His Son, Jesus Christ. READ verses 7-9.
So now we see a war in heaven. Now don’t get confused here. This great struggle for the believer’s soul occurs in the spiritual realm. This is the picture represented in these three verses. The great struggle for the souls of Israel and the believers in the end time will be occurring in the spiritual world.
So the antichrist has launched this holocaust against Israel and the Gentile believers and these three verses show us what lies behind this holocaust.
1. First, the forces of the spiritual struggle are Michael and his angels, and Satan and his fallen angels. Scripture teaches us that God has assigned angels to look after and to minister to believers. Hebrews 1: 14 says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Scripture also teaches that there are ranks and orders of angels, that there are various levels of authority among angels. They rule as powers over the spiritual world. This is true among both good and evil angels.
(Romans 8:38-39 mentions that there is nothing, including the angels nor demons, not any powers that will be able to separate us from the love of God.
Ephesians 1:21 tells us that Christ is above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given.
Ephesians 3:10 talks about the fact that the manifold wisdom of God will be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.)
Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So we should know without doubt that these angelic beings, both good and bad do exist.
Michael is one of the archangels who serves God. In Scripture he is presented as being above all the other angels. He is pictured as the guardian angel of God’s people. He struggles against the fallen angels who seek control over the nations and people of the earth.
2. Secondly, this spiritual war will be fought in the end time between the spiritual forces of good and evil. Satan and his angels will do what they have always tried to do: stamp out Israel and the followers of Christ. But there will be one difference this time and verse 12 tells us what it is. Satan “knows that his time is short.”
God will be ready to end human history so Satan will attack both Israel and the believers as never before. He will literally try to wipe out every Jew and Gentile believer that he can. He does this because every one he kills will not be able to accept Christ or lead anyone else to Christ. Once again, if that happens, it will hurt God and that is what Satan is out to do.
But the outcome of this battle will be that Satan and his fallen angels will be defeated and cast out of heaven once and for all. When this battle happens, Satan will never again be able to have access into heaven. We have to realize that Scripture tells us that Satan, right now, has access to heavenly places and to God. (Lk. 10:18; Eph. 6:12; Job 1:6f)