QUESTION: HOW ARE WE DOING WITH OUR STUDY IN REVELATION? DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? ANYTHING FROM LAST WEEK THAT DID NOT SIT WELL WITH YOU?
A. Past Lessons
- The First Four Trumpets (8:6-13)
- The Fifth Trumpet Brings the First Terror (9:1-12)
- The Sixth Trumpet Brings the Second Terror (9:13-21)
- The Mighty Angel and the Small Scroll (Rev 10)
- The Two Witnesses (Rev 11:1-14)
- The Seventh Trumpet Reveals the Third Terror (Rev 11:15-19)
- The Woman, Dragon, and Son (Rev 12:1-6)
B. Text of Rev 12:7-12
7Then there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels waged war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war back. 8But, the dragon was not strong enough to find a place for himself and his angels in heaven. 9Next, the great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one called the Devil and Satan—he is the one who deceives the whole world—was thrown down to earth with his angels. 10Then I heard a loud noise in heaven saying, ‘Just now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God, and authority of his Christ has come. This is because the accuser of our brothers—the one who brings charges before God day and night—has been thrown down to earth. 11But, they overcame [conquered] him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. 12For this reason, o heavens and all who live there rejoice. Woe to the earth and to the sea because the Devil has come down for you with tremendous anger because he knows he has a short time left.’” (Rev 12:7-12)
C. General Remarks
“The basic message of the Apocalypse is that Satan has already been defeated at the cross, and the victory of the saints is assured.” (Osborne, Revelation, 476)
“John sees here the mother of all wars. It is a vision of Satan’s rebellion against God. The vision gives us no idea of how Satan’s rebellion relates chronologically to the creation.” (Mulholland, “Revelation” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol. 18, 514)
II. SATAN LOSES (Rev 12:7-9)
A. Michael and His Army Versus Satan and His Army (v. 7)
Καὶ ἐγένετο πόλεμος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Μιχαὴλ καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ τοῦ πολεμῆσαι μετὰ τοῦ δράκοντος. καὶ ὁ δράκων ἐπολέμησεν καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ,
“Then there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels waged war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war back.” (Rev 12:7)
QUESTION: WHO IS THIS “MICHAEL?” IS HE MENTIONED ELSEWARE IN THE BIBLE? OLD TESTAMENT? NEW TESTAMENT?
1. Michael the Archangel
Michael the archangel held a special role in protecting Israel in the Old Testament. The angel sent to the prophet Daniel was held up by the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, so Michael went and did battle against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia so that the original angel could go to Daniel (Dan 10:13). That same angel later says that the only person who helps him battle the spirit princes is the archangel Michael (Dan 10:20). When describing the end times Daniel says that Michael stands guard over the nation of Israel (Dan 12:1). In the New Testament, the only reference to Michael is when Jude says that Michael argued with the Devil about Moses’s body (Jude 9).
I do not often point to extra biblical writings when studying the Bible, but there are numerous other references to the archangel Michael in extra biblical writings. See 1 Enoch 20:5; 24:6; Testament of Levi 5:6; Testament of Dan 6:2; b. Hagigah 12b; 3 Barauch 11:4; and The Assumption of Moses.