Chapter 12

The Conflict of the Ages -3

Let’s summarize it.

In an unholy alliance with Antichrist, Israel will sign a seven-year agreement with Antichrist at the beginning of the Tribulation. But after three and a half years he will betray Israel and break the agreement by invading Jerusalem, overthrowing the temple worshipers, and placing an image of himself in the Holy of Holies, thereby desecrating it (Isa.28:18; Dan.9:26-27). As a result, in the event also foretold by Jesus (Matt.24:15-21), one-third of the nation will flee Jerusalem and go into hiding (Zech.13:8).

This remnant of Jews will remain in hiding, miraculously cared for by God for the entire last half of the Tribulation, three and a half years, or one thousand two hundred and sixty days. They will surface, refined as silver is refined, fully acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord (Zech.13:9).

v.7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to earth, and his angels with him.

At the same time Israel flees the Antichrist (during the middle of the Tribulation) a full-scale angelic war erupts in Heaven that enables Michael and his angels to cast Satan and his angels from heaven to earth.

For reasons unknown to us, Satan’s freedom to access heaven and approach God was not revoked after his rebellion. We read that he accused Job before God (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7), stood by to oppose Joshua the high priest before God (Zech.3:1), and accuses us before God (v.10). Moreover, none of his power was taken away; he is able to stand his ground and has power to defend it. Seemingly, he is under no command to relinquish anything, resolved to lose nothing, and all things must be wrestled away from him by the angels of God (check—Eph.6:12).

Let’s take a look his names.

  1. He is called the “dragon” because he is the great dragon in the Revelation shown to be the enemy of God from the beginning
  2. He is called “the old serpent” because he was the serpent in the Garden of Eden who introduced man to sin
  3. He is called “the Devil” (Gr.diabolos, meaning “accuser”) because he accuses man before God, and accuses God before man
  4. He is called “Satan” (which means “adversary”) because he is the enemy of both God and man.

He is said to be the one “who deceives the whole world” because by him, all men have been deceived, and in the days to come, the entire world all at once will reject truth and believe the lie (see—2Thess.2:8-12). “When he speaks a lie,” Jesus said, “he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). There is no truth in Satan.

v.10-12 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Satan’s permanent expulsion from heaven gets a thunderous response from God’s angels. Surely, they must dread his presence in heaven and be anxious for this moment, and relieved when it finally does happen. As another puts it, “You can almost see the angels nudging one another and saying, ‘It’s about time.’ ”

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