Revelation 12:7-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 10, 2001



Big Shot

A newly promoted colonel had moved into a makeshift office during the Gulf War. He was just getting unpacked when out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a private with a toolbox coming his way. Wanting to seem important, he grabbed the phone: “Yes, General Schwarzkopf. Of course, I think that’s an excellent plan.” He continued: “You’ve got my support on it. Thanks for checking with me. Let’s touch base again soon, Norm. Good-bye.” “And what can I do for you?” he asked the private. “Uhhh, I’m just here to hook up your phone.”

By Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg; Becoming a Contagious Christian

We’re in a war too.  But we don’t have the luxury to play games.  If you’re pretending to be something you’re not, you’re in for trouble.

In Revelation 12, John has seen a vision of symbolic things in heaven. In his vision, he sees a panorama of history showing a great battle between Satan and God’s people, the Jews.

:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

warpolemos – a war; a fight, a battle; a dispute, strife, quarrel

MichaelMichael = “who is like God”; the first of the chief princes or archangels (Jude 9), and is apparently the guardian angel of the Jews (Dan. 12:1)

(Dan 12:1 KJV) And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Michael is known as an archangel, or “head” angel. (Jude 9)

We believe that Satan, also known as “Lucifer” was also once an “archangel”. Satan is not the opposite of God, Satan is the opposite of an angel like Michael.

:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

prevailedischuo – to be strong; to have power. Satan was not “strong” enough.

Some time before the Garden of Eden, Satan rebelled against God and took 1/3 of the angels of heaven with him in his rebellion (Rev. 12:3-4)

But even after the fall of Satan and the fall of man, Satan continued to have access to God in heaven. We caught a glimpse of this in the book of Job:

(Job 1:6-7 KJV) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. {7} And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

The “war” we’re reading about here will take place in the middle of the Tribulation. It’s at this point that Satan will be kicked out of heaven for good.

:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

worldoikoumene – the inhabited earth; the universe, the world

Just to be clear, in case you were left guessing who this “dragon” is, it is Satan.

: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:

A victory is declared in heaven, even though there are still events to transpire on earth before Jesus comes back.

:10 for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

the accuserkategoros – an accuser; a name given to the devil by the rabbis

which accusedkategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation; present participle meaning continuous action.

Until the midway point in the Tribulation, the devil has a job in heaven. He still goes to work every day. He is heaven’s chief prosecutor, working to accuse us before God. This District Attorney’s office is opened twenty-four hours a day.


Be careful how you defend yourself.

I think that sometimes we make a mistake of trying to defend ourselves before God and to our own selves.
We tend to make up excuses for what we’ve done. Instead of admitting our faults, we try to shift the blame to others.
(Exo 32:1-6; 15-24 KJV) And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {2} And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. {3} And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. {4} And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {5} And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. {6} And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

It’s at this point that God tells Moses that he needs to get back to the camp because the people have walked away from the Lord.

{15} And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. {16} And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. {17} And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. {18} And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. {19} And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. {20} And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. {21} And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? {22} And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. {23} For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {24} And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

The sin was in making and worshipping this golden calf. The idea to make a calf was the people’s idea, but I don’t read about them putting a knife to Aaron’s throat and forcing him to make a calf. And when Aaron as the leader ought to be taking responsibility, he blames it on the people and comes up with one of the world’s lamest excuses, “I threw the gold in the fire and out jumped this calf”.

Satan is a great “District Attorney”. He is the one who accuses us before God. And even though he may at times come up with some lies to tell God, he really doesn’t have to lie much, he only has to tell God the truth about us.
But if we’re going to ever get to the point where we receive God’s forgiveness, we need to stop hiding behind our excuses and learn to say, “It was my fault”.
The good news is that we don’t have to stand on our own before God while Satan is accusing us. Whereas Satan is a “prosecuting attorney”, Jesus is our “defense attorney”
I John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
The way we deal with our accusations is to confess our sins, admit that we are wrong, and receive God’s forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Once we’ve turned from our sins and confessed them to God, we need to believe what God says about us:
(Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
(Rom 8:33-34 NASB) Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; {34} who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

:11 And they overcame him

overcamenikao – to conquer; to carry off the victory, come off victorious

Who is the “they” that overcome Satan? It would seem in the context that it would be applying to Michael and his angels, but these are human-oriented “weapons”.

The “they” here refers to the “brethren” of verse 10, not to Michael and company.


Earthly warfare is reflected in heaven.

The victory on earth of the tribulation saints was reflected in heaven with Michael's victory.
Jesus said to Peter,
(Mat 16:19 KJV) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

There is somehow a sense in which the things we do on earth affect the things that happen in heaven, in the realm of the spirit.

Michael and his angels overcome Satan in part because of the spiritual warfare conducted by the “brethren” on the earth.

:11 by the blood of the Lamb,

In the context of the passage, we are reminded that one of Satan’s major attacks is that of accusing and condemning us before God.


Victory by the blood of the Lamb

Our answer to Satan’s accusations is simply the blood of Jesus.
Your sins and the condemnation that you deserve are very, very real. To satisfy the justice of the universe, a price has to be paid. And the price that comes attached to sin is “death”.
From the earliest of times, God began to make a way for the price to be paid, through the shedding of blood.
(Lev 17:11 KJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
When an animal is sacrifices and it’s blood is poured out, it’s the life of the animal that is being given to pay for a sin.
The writer of Hebrews wrote,
(Heb 9:13-14 KJV) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: {14} How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
As we are walking close to the Lord and allowing God to shine His light on all of our lives, we become aware of where we have problems and were we need His cleansing.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The practical way this happens is by admitting our sin.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And as we confess, we need to accept God’s forgiveness.

:11 and by the word of their testimony;

wordlogos – a word

testimonymarturia – a testifying; what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

God’s Word is meant here, it is the “word” of our “testimony”.


Victory from the Word

God’s Word is a powerful weapon.
It’s the “Sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17)

(Eph 6:17 KJV) the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

It’s sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12)

(Heb 4:12 NASB) For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Word is what God uses to build our faith, and faith is our shield from Satan’s attacks.

(Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

(Eph 6:16 KJV) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

We see an example of this in action in the life of Jesus.
(Mat 4:1-11 KJV) Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. {2} And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. {3} And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. {4} But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. {5} Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, {6} And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. {7} Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. {8} Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; {9} And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. {10} Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. {11} Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Jesus was able to counter each temptation that Satan threw at Him by quoting Scripture.

I think this starts by having a daily time in God’s Word.
(Psa 1:1-3 KJV) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

How do I do this? Get up a little extra early in the morning. Ask God to speak to you. Open your Bible and read.

But spiritual protection doesn’t come by just holding a book up in front of our face when we’re tempted or sleeping with it under your pillow. It comes by knowing what is IN the book and putting it into practice into your life.
In the Old Testament there was a time when the priests were very wicked people.  The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas lived such wicked lives that people didn’t even like going to the Tabernacle and offering sacrifice to God.
One year (1Sam. 4) the Israelites were in a war with the Philistines and they were loosing badly.  The leaders of Israel hit upon an idea and decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant into their camp, thinking that the Ark would save them.

The Ark was the gold-covered box that Moses had built as a storage container for the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.  It also was a picture of God’s throne in heaven.

God had even promised victory in battle if the people would learn to obey the things that God had told them to do, if they had obeyed God’s Word.

(Lev 26:7-8 KJV)  And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. {8} And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

The people had fallen into a trap of thinking that this was some kind of a “magic box”, when in reality, the real power for them was in the keeping of the Ten Commandments, which their own priests broke regularly.

What happened in the battle that day?  The Israelites suffered a great defeat with 30,000 killed, including the priests, and the Philistines captured the Ark.

Just having a Bible and even reading it doesn’t bring victory.  Victory comes when you LIVE the Bible, when you obey what it says.

:11 and they loved not their lives unto the death.

lovedagapao – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly; to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

livespsuche – breath; life; the soul

untoachri – until, unto, etc.

deaththanatos – the death of the body


Victory from correct priorities (not loving your life)

For the angels in heaven, they will be able to experience victory over Satan because the saints on earth won’t be afraid of giving their lives for Jesus.
Jesus had said,
(Mat 16:24-25 KJV)  …If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. {25} For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
The apostle Paul was one example of this.  On one of his trips back to Jerusalem, he began to receive warnings about the trouble that awaited him there.  Paul said to the elders at Ephesus,
(Acts 20:22-24 KJV) And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: {23} Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. {24} But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

He had been told by the Lord that he was facing some tough times ahead in Jerusalem. But he wouldn’t be stopped by the thought of facing difficulties.

In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego had the right attitude when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace for not bowing to his idol:
(Dan 3:17-27 KJV)  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. {18} But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. {19} Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. {20} And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. {21} Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. {22} Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. {23} And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. {24} Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. {25} He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. {26} Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. {27} And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

What can you do to people who are willing to die for the Lord?

Do you have your spiritual weapons in place?

Have you put your trust in the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from your sins?
Are you living out the things God tells you in His Word?
Is there anything more important to you than following Jesus?