Mystic Figure, Angel Michael, Revelation Chapter 12 Verse 7-17 (NASB)

    And there was WAR in heaven,
Now this really goes against our preconceived idea of heaven being a peaceful place filled with beautiful music and so on, but there is WAR in heaven. This may well be a different kind of WAR than what we know here on earth. Spiritual warfare is soul and spirit related; two areas we are not but should be very familiar with.

This verse must be tied to the hymn in verse 10 and following. Thus the redemption by the Son's blood was fought over in heaven long before/or even til the earthly conflicts we have. Christ WINS THEM ALL!

    Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.
Michael is found five times in the Bible, and he always is associated with the protection of Israel:
  1. Daniel 10:13
  2. Daniel 10:21
  3. Daniel 12:1
  4. Jude 9
  5. this verse
From the reference to the 1,260 days in the previous verse, we know that this WAR must take place during or at the end of the tribulation period. The earthly saints have been translated into heaven and only the woman/man-child problem for the dragon remains. Recall the 'great sign' of the woman appeared IN HEAVEN.
    And the dragon and his angels waged WAR.
This WAR was an all out conflict between 'stand ins': Michael (for Christ) and his angels vs. the dragon (for devil) and his angels. There was a direct one on one confrontation between Jesus and the devil recorded in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. The quotation of scripture was how these 'temptations' were overcome. This verse doesn't indicate if Michael and his angels use scripture to fight this WAR at this 'opportune time'. Also compare this with 1 Kings 22:13-23 where a spiritual conflict was between ONE prophet, Micaiah verses many 'false prophets'. The conflict in this verse is much larger.
    and they were not STRONG ENOUGH,
There is no doubt that Satan and his army could wage a strong fight. The archangel Michael had to come to fight the 'prince of the kingdom of Persia' (Satan) in Daniel 10:13, after the angelic messenger sent to Daniel had struggled with him 21 days. Now the messenger may have been a 'lower' angel (Daniel 10:21) but that shows, even in the heavenly realm, Satan is very strong and powerful.
    and there was NO LONGER a place found for them in HEAVEN.
Satan, at this time, still has access to heavenly places. He continually is accusing the saints before God (Job 1:9-11, Zechariah 3:1). Even today, every time we make a request of God, Satan stands there to say its a lie, or we won't keep our commitment, and so on. Since we still have the privilege of making choices, Satan is the 'politician' trying to swing our vote his way. BUT, Satan is NOT STRONG ENOUGH when we have made our commitment to Christ!

Four Overthrows of Satan

Luke 10:17,18 Jesus saw Satan falling from heaven like lightning as 70 disciples took authority over Devil.
Revelation 12:8-9 Here Satan is removed from heaven entirely and relegated to earth.
Revelation 20:1-3 Satan is removed from earth and jailed in the abyss.
Revelation 20:7-10 Satan is released from the abyss after the 1000 year reign for a short time and then forever cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

There was a brief moment at the 5th trumpet where Satan (Revelation 9:1, a star) was forced to come down and open the bottomless pit. He was not required to stay in the pit. There is a king over the residents there (Revelation 9:11) who probably is not Satan, but is under Satan's command.

Note the consequence of Satan losing this fight (Revelation 12:12): the tribulation period will be awful!
The GREAT DRAGON is symbolically equal to evil. It is clear that evil was defeated first in heaven and then on earth. Believers can take comfort in this. No matter how bad things get on earth, the GREAT DRAGON is already DEFEATED (Romans 8:31-37-39)!
    the serpent of old who is called the DEVIL and SATAN,
No mistaking this dragon; he is the same as in Genesis 3:1-7. His works are evil and are destroyed by Christ (1 John 3:1-10). He is the same one who is prowling seeking believers to devour (1 Peter 5:1-11).
    who DECEIVES the WHOLE world;
Humanly, it is difficult to believe that one being would try to do this. The deception starts in the minds of the unbelieving (2 Corinthians 4:1-4-6 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

Next, the deception moves into the church as "servants of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:7-15) to try to divert the nominal believer. The parable of the sower explained in Matthew 13:18-23 indicates this takes place where the seed is sown. Today, "seed sowing" is done in or is left up to the church.

The deception goes all the way to humanism which says God is not the ultimate reality, but that the universe, science, and knowledge are the only lasting reality. When the absolutes of God and His Word are denied, only a humanistic process is left. Humanists ought to look closely at the results of the deception. The list is given in Revelation 21:8; if the GREAT DRAGON can deceive you into being one on this list, he has accomplished his plan.

    he was THROWN DOWN to the earth; and his angels were THROWN DOWN with him.
If the devil believes he will become greater than God by mastering the earth, then that is where he should be confined to. Sad to say, the devil believes that destroying the earth has an impact on the spiritual life of the believer. And he does if the believer is laying up treasures HERE ON EARTH (Matthew 6:19-21).

Note: the phrase "THROWN DOWN" is used three times in this verse. There is no doubt this event will take place forceably by Michael and his angels (verse 7).

    And I heard a LOUD VOICE in HEAVEN, saying,
This may be a relative "sound level". If the last part of this verse goes on continually, then heaven must have been/now is a very noisy place. Consider how many people are continually being accused before God (and Jesus). Silence in heaven is a very rare thing (see Revelation 8:1); if the saints aren't praising, the devil and his followers are accusing.

But now that the devil and his cohorts are "THROWN DOWN" to the earth, John hears the LOUD VOICE. This voice stands out above the rest of the loud voices when the seventh trumpet is sounded (Revelation 11:15).

  • the SALVATION, and

  • Once again, time enters the picture. NOW the fullness of salvation is realized. Here salvation is more than the act which gives a person eternal life. It includes the purging of heaven from evil for eternity. This is part of the John 14:1-11 "I go to prepare a place for you" Jesus talked about.

  • the POWER, and

  • This POWER is the gospel (Romans 1:16-17). Note also that as in the Lord's prayer (Matthew 6:5-15), POWER is tied to

  • the KINGDOM of OUR GOD and

  • This is not the first appearing of the KINGDOM of our God. It has been in existence forever. However, it is going through the "redemptive process" even as discussed in Revelation 5:1, point 7.

  • the AUTHORITY of HIS CHRIST have come.

  • This is the AUTHORITY totally in command in heaven. It is on earth, too, as Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20. But on earth while that AUTHORITY is superior, it still is tolerating the presence of the devil (but not for long, verse12)
    for the ACCUSER of OUR BRETHREN has been THROWN DOWN,
In action, Jesus Christ has just had enough. As High Priest (Hebrews 9:11-14), he stands at the right hand of God intercepting the accusations against mankind being hurled toward God. By action, Jesus indicates that because of HIS BLOOD (next verse), God cannot hear the accusations of the devil. The devil and his followers might as well reside on the earth and talk to the residents there, verse 12.

The use of the pronoun, OUR, indicates this is a believer's view. This is confirmed in the next verse.

    who accuses them before OUR GOD day and night.
When a person repents of their sins, the accusations become more intense. While the devil doesn't want anyone to accept Christ as Savior and the one with AUTHORITY, the believers are the ones he really would like to deceive and get back. So at this point, the accusations become more mental than physical. This allows us to understand what Paul meant when he says that Christ "cleanses our conscience" in Hebrews 9:14. Science indicates that the brain is very active even while we are asleep physically. This mental accusation also stops when we receive Christ completely into our lives.

This is the second stanza of the three-stanza (verse) victory song. It explains the cause of Satan's removal from heaven.

    "And they (our brethren) OVERCAME him (the accuser)
OVERCOMERS are a major theme in Revelation. The OVERCOMER's reward is found in Revelation 2:10
  1. because of the BLOOD OF THE LAMB and
    We, believers, have no concept how powerful the BLOOD of Christ is. It is a cleansing agent (1 John 1:7,9) at the same time it is the victorious life (1 John 5:6-12).
  2. because of the WORD of THEIR TESTIMONY,
    It is imperative for a believer to SPEAK of what Christ did for them. Check it out: Romans 10:9; Psalm 19:14; and 1 Peter 3:15. Compare this to John's view of the TESTIMONY in Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 14:12; and Revelation 20:4. That is how important SPEAKING THE WORD of TESTIMONY is.
  3. and they did not love their LIFE even to DEATH.
    Being "sold out" to Christ says my earthly life is not important compared to my eternal life. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 10:34-39 and Mark 13:9-13.
Can you claim and speak these three things today? Why not?
    "For this reason,
    The reason is the devil and his followers are removed FOREVER from heaven.

  • REJOICE, O HEAVENS and you who dwell in them,
    There always is joy in heaven; in the past it was over a repented sinner (Luke 15:8-10). But this is different,. It is over the removal of the devil and his followers from heaven. Angels don't have to do the spiritual warfare in high places anymore. There is a new freedom in heaven which is cause for REJOICING.
  • WOE to the earth and the sea, because the DEVIL has COME DOWN to you, having GREAT WRATH, knowing that he has only a short time.
    What a study in contrasts: WOE versus REJOICING. Any doubt that the devil is mean, terrible, and wicked is removed by the use of the word "WOE". However, he still is a great deceiver and master of disguise (verse 9 and 2 Corinthians 11:7-15).

    The use of the phrase "and sea" is interesting in that it implies that even evil spirits will experience the wrath of Satan. Recall that water or the sea sometimes refers to the "container of spirit beings". See Revelation 9:14 for a discussion.

    The GREAT WRATH is prompted by the short time the devil has. Verses 6 and 14 clearly explain how much time this is. There are three things that are in the devil's future:

    1. In 3 and 1/2 years, he will cease to operate on the earth,
    2. his "jail term" of a 1000 years will begin (Revelation 20:2)
    3. and his ability to deceive ends at the judgment throne (Revelation 20:10).
    And when the DRAGON saw that he was THROWN DOWN to the earth,
Being "THROWN DOWN" (verse 9) must have happened so quickly that the devil couldn't believe his eyes.
    he PERSECUTED the WOMAN who had given birth to the MALE CHILD.
Up to this point, the DRAGON (devil) has other fallen angels doing the "dirty work" on earth. Now he himself realizes he has to take charge and destroy Israel once and for all. He can't touch the MALE CHILD anymore (verse 5) because he has no more access to Him.

On earth, the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3) have been vocal in their testimony. They, the two witnesses are no longer in Israel, but their prophesies will haunt the DRAGON. The two witnesses, too, are out of harms way (Revelation 11:12).

If the devil himself is going to take charge of events especially against Israel, one cannot help but feel for our Jewish brothers. It was prophetic of David to request that we "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6). In this verse in Revelation, that peace will be gone and the WOMAN is forced to flee (next verse).
    And the two wings of the GREAT EAGLE were given to the WOMAN,
In the covenant made with Israel upon leaving Egypt, the "wings of eagles" (Exodus 19:3-6) is the expression used to describe how quickly the exit was made. In this verse, during the tribulation the WOMAN (Israel as a nation) is transported very quickly to the wilderness. Some biblical scholars feel that the United States or other ally of Israel will provide aircraft or helicopters to "fly" the people to the wilderness. However, the use of "GREAT EAGLE" (fourth time in this chapter - see verse 1) would indicate a supernatural departure (like the way through the Red Sea). Jesus talked about how quickly this must happen in Matthew 24:15-28.
    in order that she might FLY into the wilderness to HER PLACE,
The "wilderness" is where God holds court. Ezekiel explains in Ezekiel 20:32-39. And after the judgment, a bonding will take place with His chosen people again (Hosea 2:14-23). The last part of the Hosea prophesy indicates that Gentile believers will be considered part of "My people". Some scholars use this to say that "the WOMAN" here refers not only to Israel as God's chosen people but also to all born-again believers. See also Deuteronomy 32:4-18 and Isaiah 40:27-31.
    where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time,
Even in the harshest of conditions, God still NOURISHES! This is both spiritually and physically.

Note the precision of the time period: time equals a year, times equals two years, and total time is 3 1/2 years or 1260 days (verse 6).

    from the PRESENCE of the SERPENT.
How comforting to know that believers are protected from the devil when they are "feeding on God's Word". We don't have to try to eat and watch over our shoulders for an evil attack. This is a deep spiritual truth that even David recognizes in Psalm 23:5. There is a reference switch here from DRAGON to SERPENT. This shows the equivalence of the two. The switch back to DRAGON is made in verse 16.
    And the serpent poured WATER like a river out of his mouth after the WOMAN,
This could have two meanings. Literally, there would be a river diverted, perhaps the Euphrates where the four ugly angels were chained (Revelation 9:14), to flood Jerusalem. Recall that there has been much geologic activity in the previous chapters of Revelation which could alter the terrain around Israel.

However, the symbolic meaning is the most likely due to the use of 'serpent' for the devil. It shows a great outpouring of demonic activity against Israel. Since demons usually reside in people (~75% water), this would imply that a flood of people will try to "drown"/kill the Jews in Israel.

That water is symbolic of evil spirits is given throughout scripture. Egypt, a type of evil master, pursued Israel to the Red Sea. God parts the WATERS and Israel, God's chosen people, crosses on DRY LAND (Exodus 14:15-20). After the wilderness wanderings when Israel crosses the Jordon River into the Promised Land, Israel crosses on DRY GROUND (Joshua 3:14-17) after the priests holding the Ark of the Covenant step into the river (full and flowing swiftly). Jesus makes a curious observation in Matthew 12:38-43-45 about demons needing WATER to survive.

So most likely, the Israeli nation will be pursued by a great demonic onslaught; the Holocaust will appear minor (birthpang - Mark 13:1-8) compared to this outpouring!

    so that he might cause her to be SWEPT AWAY with the FLOOD.
One must realize that the devil was the reason for the great flood in Noah's day (Genesis 6:11-12). His reasoning must go something like this: if God can destroy all mankind (Nahum 1:8) except Noah and his family (Genesis 7:1-5) using water, I can use the same technique to destroy Israel. The devil, as believers know, is not very "creative", but tends to copy what God does (part of the deception process). The Old Testament uses this expression for destruction by an enemy (Psalm 32:6; Psalm 69:1-2; and Psalm 124:2-5). But God in His supernatural way will not let this evil onslaught approach or even touch His people (next verse).
    And the EARTH helped the WOMAN,
The earth originally was created pure and later became cursed because of the sin (Genesis 3:17-19) of the first man, Adam. Besides end time events, this book of Revelation is about the redemption of the earth from its sin curse. So it is entirely appropriate that the earth should help the WOMAN.

It was clear to Moses that the Lord is Master over the earth (Exodus 9:29). David declares in Psalm 24:1-2 that the earth is "established upon the rivers". David has it correct in that the earth is superior to rivers. The devil, true to his subversive ways, is trying to make the river superior to the earth. The devil can't succeed.

    and the EARTH opened its mouth and drank up the river which the DRAGON poured out of his mouth.
Physically, the African and Indian tectonic plates meet at the Jordan River, Dead Sea, Gulf of Araba, and Red Sea. With all the natural disasters, earthquakes, and stars falling from heaven to earth, it is easy to imagine that the plates shift and "drink up the water" sending it into the Indian Ocean.

Symbollically, the Lord uses the EARTH to keep the WOMAN high and dry. That is, while the DRAGON (devil) tries to destroy God's Chosen people, Israel, through an onslaught of demons (previous verse), the Lord provides a supernatural detour to Sheol (the place of departed spirits). The family of Korah due to exaltation or pride (Numbers 16:1-7) also took that detour (Numbers 16:25-35) straight to Sheol.

Prophetically, Isaiah talks about the protection of Israel (Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 42:15; Isaiah 43:2; and Isaiah 50:2) in terms of earth covering or water being diverted or dried up.

After the tribulation, Israel will not need to be protected anymore. But it will be "healed" along with all the other nations on the NEW EARTH by the leaves of the trees along the river of the water of life (Revelation 22:2). This is a GOOD river straight from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1)!
    And the DRAGON was enraged with the WOMAN,
As much as the DRAGON is enraged with the WOMAN, God still doesn't want to see the devil perish (2 Peter 3:8-13). If only the DRAGON would humble himself and repent. Present day boastings from Arab leaders and terrorists to "get the Jews" are but a precursor to the wrath the DRAGON shows at this mid-tribulation point.
    and went off to MAKE WAR with the REST OF HER OFFSPRING,
Some scholars believe this refers to the final battle of Har-Magedon (Armageddon). If the "river" in verse 15 was against Jerusalem, then the rest of her offspring could have fled elsewhere like the plains of Megiddo (2 Chronicles 35:20-27). Megiddo is somewhere between Egypt and the Euphrates River. Most maps place it west of the Jordan River and north of Jerusalem.

    • keep the COMMANDMENTS OF GOD and
Note the interesting paradox here. The WOMAN (nation of Israel) in the previous verse is protected, while the OFFSPRING (Jews in other countries and/or all other believers) are at WAR with the DRAGON.

Likewise to those who ignore the Old Testament teachings because we are not under LAW but under the New Testament GRACE should understand the conjunction here is "and". The Old Testaments contains ten COMMANDMENTS not SUGGESTIONS. This makes KEEPING the COMMANDMENTS of GOD part of the TESTIMONY of JESUS. This just reinforces the "I AM" foreverness of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Exodus 3:13-14; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; and Revelation 21:6).

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only