WHEN THE DEVIL GETS KICKED OUT OF
HEAVEN FOR GOOD
Up to 1914, the world had never been free from war. A statistician is reported to have fed the history of conflict into his computer and came up with this staggering sum. In the 5,560 years of recorded history, there have been 14,531 wars. That averages more than two and half wars per year since man began to count. In 1914-1918 (WWI) and then in 1939-1945 (WWII) war reached a new level with total war being waged. In the Second World War, only 12 small nations were not actually or technically involved.
The Armed Conflicts Report of 2000 reported that there were 40 armed conflicts being fought on the territories of 36 countries, up from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998. The report’s definition of an armed conflict includes a minimum of cumulative total of 1,000 combat deaths.
The history of the world is a history of war. Our text tells us about one of the most important wars that will ever be fought. It is a war that will be fought in heaven. We normally don’t think of wars being fought in heaven, however there is a spiritual war that has been raging since the beginning of time and during the days of the Tribulation period it will reach its climax.
As we saw in our last study, beginning in chapter 12 we actually go back and cover the same territory we have already covered. But we do so with a different perspective. Chapters 4-11 focus on the chronology of the Tribulation Period and chapters 12-14 on the characters of the Tribulation Period.
In verses 1-6 we saw the woman (Israel), the man-child (Christ) and the great red dragon (Satan). In verses 7-17 we see what was summarized in verses 1-6. Now more details are given. In verses 1-6 we built our thoughts around the woman. In verses 7-12 we will build our thoughts around the great dragon.
Let's begin by first noticing:
As we have already seen, this great dragon is the devil. In our text we are given us one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the devil in all the Bible. In verses 3-4 there are certain features of the devil that are mentioned. He is called a "dragon" which is a picture of his fierceness and brutality. He is called a "red dragon," red being the color of war, bloodshed, death. The devil has always been the instigator or war which always results in bloodshed and death. He is described as having "seven heads" which speaks of his wisdom. The "ten horns" speak of his power, and the "seven crowns" his authority.
In verse 9 we see more detailed features. He is called the "old serpent." He first appears in the Bible as a serpent (cp. Genesis 3). As a serpent he is very subtle.
He is called the "devil." The name means "accuser" or "slanderer." The devil is constantly slandering God's people to God and accusing them.
Thirdly, he is called "Satan." The name means "adversary." He is the adversary of both God and His people.
As we look closer we see the activities of the devil described:
In verse 9 we read that the devil “deceiveth the whole earth.” The word "deceiveth" means "to roam, to go astray, to seduce." From the beginning of time, the devil has been at work to deceive the earth. From Adam and Eve to the present. His great mission of earth is to deceive the whole earth.
Peter spoke of how the devil seeks to deceive and lead people astray. We read in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." The word "walketh" means "to tread all around." He is ever on his mission to deceive. He is constantly at work. The devil never takes a vacation. The word "seeking" means "to plot." He is always plotting how he can lead God's people astray.
The devil is very skillful in his work of deception. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." The devil is so artful and skillful. His deception of Eve is a classic example. He was so clever in how he approached her and seduced her. We read in Genesis 3:1, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” The word "subtil" speaks of how cunning the devil was in his deception of Eve.
We not only see his seductive activities on earth, but also:
We read in verse 10, “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” In eternity past Satan was kicked out of heaven at when he sought to usurp God’s throne, but it appears he still has access to heaven. We read in Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them." In a similar scene we read in Zechariah 3:1, " And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." The Bible describes how the devil in some form and fashion has access to heaven.
In this access there is always the purpose of accusation. In Job chapter 1 he came as the accuser of Job. In Zechariah 3 he came to resist Joshua. The word "accused" in verse 10 speaks of a plaintiff and carries with it the idea of charging one with some offence. He devil, as our accuser, is always bringing up our failures. Like a prosecuting attorney he presents incriminating evidence. It is not that he is lying about us. No, he tells the truth. He points out our every failure and mistake. But thank God we have an advocate – defense attorney – who stands up in our behalf, the Lord Jesus.
Someone has written:
I sinned, and straightway, posthaste, Satan flew
Before the presence of the Most High God,
And made a railing accusation there.
He said, "This soul, this thing of clay and sod,
Has sinned. 'Tis true that he has named thy Name,
But I demand his death, for Thou hast said,
'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' Shall not
Thy sentence be fulfilled? Is Justice dead?
Send now this wretched sinner to his doom.
What other thing can righteous ruler do?'
And thus he did accuse me day and night.
And every word he spoke, O God, was true!
Then quickly One rose up from God's right hand
Before whose glory angels veiled their eyes.
He spoke, 'Each jot and tittle of the Law
Must be fulfilled; the guilty sinner dies!
Suppose his guilt were all transferred To Me,
and that I paid his penalty.
Behold, my hands, my side, my feet! One day
I was made sin for him, and died that he
Might be presented faultless at Thy throne."
And Satan flew away. Full well he knew
That he could not prevail against such love,
For every word my dear Lord spoke was true!"
Secondly, notice not only the description of the great dragon, but also:
In verse 7 we read, “And there was war in heaven” We don't always think of heaven as a place of war, but we see a war being fought in heaven. Actually there are two wars being fought in this scene. In the first we see:
In verse 7 we see a heavenly war being fought between Michael, his holy angels and the devil and his hellish angels (demons). Michael's name means "Who is like God." In this war we see that the one who wanted to be as God fights the one who is like God. In Daniel 10:13, Michael is called "one of the chief princes.” In Daniel 12:1 he is called “the great prince.” In Jude 1:9 he is called an “archangel” which means “chief or head angel.” Of all the angels in heaven, Michael seems to be the leader of them all. As well, he appears in the Bible as a special guardian of the Jews. As we see him in Revelation 12 he is not rowing a boat but giving the boot.
I not sure who initiates this war. I am not sure it is started by Satan in a final attempt to accomplish his dream or Michael to end Satan’s access to heaven. Whatever the case, the winner is without doubt. We read in verse 8 that the dragon and his angels “prevailed not, neither was their place found anymore in heaven.” The words "cast out" in verse 9 mean to "be hurled." Instead of being a victor in this war, the devil is hurled out of heaven. The tense of the words indicate that he is cast out for good. He no longer has access to heaven to accuse the brethren. The doors of heaven are shut to the devil and he is barred from having access to heaven.
We not only see a heavenly war won by Michael, but also:
As you can imagine, when Satan is cast out it sets off a celebration in heaven. We read in verse 10, "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
This casting out of Satan was celebrated as an hour of salvation ("now is come salvation"). Heaven has been completely delivered from the presence of the devil for all of eternity.
It is celebrated as an hour of "strength." The word "strength" speaks of a "miraculous power." It is an hour that demonstrates the power of Christ. The power of Christ of Christ verses the power of Satan has been once again proven and demonstrated.
It is celebrated as an hour of sovereignty. It is all a part of the process of the “the kingdom of our God” is being established throughout the universe.
It is also celebrated as an hour of supremacy for the "power of His Christ" is seen as Christ is exercises His ownership of both the heavens and the earth.
Then in verse 11 we see the martyrs of the tribulation spoken of as overcomers of Satan as well as Michael and his angels. We read, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." These tribulation saints are seen as victorious on earth. Not only had the devil been overcome in heaven by Michael, but also by these saints on earth.
We see three keys to their victory. First, we see their cleansing. They “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” As the song says, "The blood will never loose its power." By the shed blood of the Lord Jesus they were victorious.
Secondly, we see their confession. They over also “by the word of their testimony.” The word "testimony" speaks of a "record or report." Their record was one of dedication and consecration that gave them power to overcome. Instead of yielding to the lies and deception of the devil, they had been faithful to God.
Thirdly, we see their courage. A key to their victory is that “they loved not their own lives unto the death.” They would not deny their faith or fail their Christ even if it meant death.
In the early part of the last century an artist who was also a great chess player, painted a picture of a chess game. The players were a young man and Satan. The young man manipulated the white pieces; Satan the black pieces. The issue of the game was this: should the young man win, he was to be forever free from the power of evil; should the devil win, the young man was to be his slave forever. The artist evidently believed in the supreme power of evil, for his picture presented the devil as victor.
In the conception of the artist, the devil had just moved his queen and had announced a checkmate in four moves. The young man’s hand hovered over his rook; his face paled with amazement—there was no hope. The devil wins! He was to be a slave forever.
For years, this picture hung in a great art gallery. Chess players from all over the world viewed the picture. They acquiesced in the thought of the artist. The devil wins! After several years a chess doubter arose; he studied the picture and became convinced that there was but one chess player upon the earth who could give him assurance that the artist of this picture was right in his conception of the winner. The chess player was the aged Paul Morphy, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Morphy was a supreme master of chess in his day, an undefeated champion. A scheme was arranged through which Morphy was brought to Cincinnati to view the chess picture.
Morphy stood before the picture, five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes. He was all concentration; he lifted and lowered his hands as, in imagination, he made and eliminated moves. Suddenly, his hand paused, his eyes burned with the vision of an unthought-of combination. Suddenly, he shouted, “Young man, make that move. That’s the move!”
To the amazement of all, the old master, the supreme chess personality, has discovered a combination that the creating artist had not considered. The young man defeated the Devil.
John was allowed, as well as us, Satan's defeat both in heaven and on earth.
The devil doesn’t take his whipping easily. Now kicked out of heaven and restricted from ever entering heaven, he turns his attention to the earth on and in which he is confined. Notice:
We read in verse 12, "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." There is the celebration of heaven and the frustration and agitation of the devil. Extremely upset over what has happened, the devil vents his anger upon “the inhabiters of the earth.” His anger is so intense that a “Woe” is announced to all who live on the earth.
One thing that really upsets him is what his casting from heaven indicates. This getting kicked out of heaven is an indication “that he hath but a short time.” From all indications, he has about 3 ½ years left. After hundreds of years deceiving the earth, now only having but a short time left, he becomes likes a raging lion
We read in verse 13, "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child." As we saw in our last study, this woman is the nation of Israel. The Jewish people become a primary target of the devils anger.
In verses 1-6 we saw a glimpse of his attacks upon the Jewish people. We saw the woman fleeing into the wilderness in verse 6. Now we are given some of the details and we see them as persecuted victims. The word "persecuted" in verse 13 means "to pursue, chase," and speaks of a hostile pursuit. The devil now goes after the Jewish people with all he's got.
But we see them also as protected victims. We read in verse 14, "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." Eagles wings are symbolic of God’s protection of Israel. We read in Exodus 19:4, "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. " God brings them into the place He has prepared and they are hidden and helped for 3 ½ years while the devil is on his rampage.
The intensity of the devils rage is described in verse 15, "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried of the flood." Flood is a symbol of judgment. In this case it is Satan’s judgment. Yet, in spite of all his rage, they are divinely protected. We read in verse 16, "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."
There are many dark and distressing scenes during the tribulation, but one that makes the saints of God rejoice is the scene before us. One day Satan will be kicked out of heaven. The old accuser who throughout history has harrassed and persecuted the saints and rushed into the presence of God to point out their sins, will be kicked out of heaven for good. And if you think this is good. Just wait! It will get even better before we finish the book of Revelation.
© 2005 by the Living Word