War in the Cosmos
The Power of Love vs. The Love of Power
War in Heaven.
You’d think something like a “war in Heaven” would never be possible. I mean, Heaven is the place of God’s throne; it’s the most beautiful and revered place in the entire Universe. The House of God’s Kingdom – it’s just not realistic that an unkind word would be spoken or an unkind deed could happen there, let alone a war? How is it possible that such an event could occur? And who would be the main participants in this war? What kind of weapons did they have? Did anyone get injured or killed during the fighting? When did this war start? Has the winner been declared, or has the outcome yet to be decided? Finally, how did Michael and the dragon become the leader of their respective angels?
From the three Scripture verses quoted above, it can be determined who the characters are on each side of this conflict. On the one side are Michael and his angels; on the other side are the dragon and his angels. The dragon is also referred to as the great dragon, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.
From the descriptions given, it is obvious who the dragon and the great dragon are: they are one and the same - they are the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, and being called “ancient” depicts the dragon as having been around for quite some time. It should be probable with a certain degree of accuracy to equate this ancient serpent to the serpent in the Garden of Eden shortly after the time of Creation as the serpent or agent that deceived Eve, enticing her to partake of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9; 3:1-7). This serpent is also referred to as Lucifer, the Morning Star (Isaiah 14:12-14), and is also embedded with a likeness of the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:1-19). These descriptions in the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel add vital information to the character of that ancient serpent. His angels follow his leadership and likewise engage in the battle. It’s also obvious the dragon is of male gender.
And then there’s Michael and his angels. Who exactly is this Michael? The Scripture quoted doesn’t say that he too is “ancient.” Are we left to figure it out for ourselves how old he is, and how long he’s been around? Perhaps his age doesn’t even matter. It would be helpful if there were other Biblical references to Michael that could assist us to find more information pertaining to him, and make it possible to connect some dots and arrive at a logical conclusion.
It seems logical to assume that since the serpent and Michael are both ‘leaders of angels,’ the serpent and Michael are likewise angels, but that doesn’t necessarily make it an iron-clad conclusion, but with that possibility in mind then and without stretching the facts, it’s possible to think of Michael as someone or as an angel who resides in Heaven for perhaps an immeasurable length of time when any descriptive verse elsewhere in the Bible mentions him. Also, it appears that Michael is of male gender like the dragon.
Jude, the next to the last book of the Bible, says in verse 9: “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said ‘The Lord rebuke you’!” With this verse, Michael is definitely the archangel, but is it an absolute then that he is in fact an angel? The “arch” in “archangel” leaves no doubt as to his importance as it amplifies that Michael is the “leader” of the angels – he’s definitely the # 1 angel - he’s in charge, he’s the boss!
Daniel, one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, was called Belteshazzar and lived in the time of the Persians, when King Cyrus was on the throne. Daniel, although thrown into the den of lions, was a man of visions and revelations from God, and also was an interpreter of dreams, especially that of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel had a vision of a man during the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, and as Daniel was standing near the Tigris River, the man’s hand touched him and said the following words to him: “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14. It continues: So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him).” Daniel 10:20, 21; 11:1. Concerning the End Times, Michael is also mentioned in Daniel 12:1-4 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” To be a man of Daniel’s caliber would be awesome! He and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego epitomize what trust in God is all about. A fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than normal could do no harm to the three men, nor could hungry lions open their mouths and devour Daniel. Could we do the same? This additional information about Michael found in Daniel is helpful because it leads into the New Testament.
The Apostle Paul writes about the Coming of the Lord in 1 Thess. 4:16 “For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” As Daniel talked about deliverance at the resurrection of multitudes who are asleep in the dust of the earth, so does Paul mention about the dead in Christ who rise from their graves, compliments of the archangel’s voice.
The gospel writer John quotes these words of Jesus in John 5:25-29 “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” At this resurrection found in the gospel of John, the voice of the Son of God is heard, just like the voice at the resurrection found in Daniel. The voice of Michael the archangel heard in Daniel is the same voice heard at the resurrection found in the New Testament. John’s gospel and Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians are added proof that it is Jesus, the Son of God, who is the archangel Michael.
So now that the characters in this war have been identified, it needs to be determined what the fighting is all about, especially since the serpent, who is the devil and Satan himself, has been cast out of Heaven down to the Earth. It appears no one was killed in the battle, so there apparently was no physical abuse or loss of blood on either side. That basically rules out any use of physical weapons such as knives or clubs of some sort, plus any hand-to-hand combat. What’s left to fight with then? What can cause as much or even more damage to a person than weapons that can physically kill someone else? Words – words that cut deep and can wound the other guy; words that accuse someone else; words that can damage a person’s character; words that perpetrate lies about someone else. False words (lies) can hurt, injure, and ruin someone’s reputation. Lies. Rumors. Untruths. These are the tactics that the devil used to accuse God and to enlist other angels in Heaven to join his ranks. The “war in Heaven” was fought over God’s character, and it can be determined that Satan’s lies about God brought about this conflict. It’s the battle of God’s Power of Love vs. Satan’s Love of Power, and that battle continues even today.
It seems the questions now should be: Why did Satan (aka Lucifer, the devil) even think about starting rumors and lies about God? What prompted him to assert falsehoods about his Creator? What is his motive behind it all? It all boils down to jealousy and the lust for power because of Lucifer’s pride and self-centeredness. He wanted to be the Ruler of the Universe, and take away God’s position on the throne; he wanted to have creative powers just like his Creator. And so, the battle began and has yet to be finished because the lies and falsehoods are spread from one generation to next. Satan’s tactics are aimed in one direction – to discredit God any way possible, even by telling half-truths that appear to be something God would say or approve of saying. Satan is a swindler and a deceiver who will go to any length to cast God in a bad light. Satan’s goal is to eliminate God and insert himself as the one to be honored and worshiped. He uses any tactic that will benefit his agenda and any source of power to advance his cause. Satan’s desire is to control his subjects and make them worship him.
On the other hand, God does not use any source of power to convince anyone of his trustworthiness, albeit the power of love and the freedom of choice. God’s love is freely given, and it’s up to us whether we accept it or not. How does God refute Satan’s lies? He does it only by presenting truth and evidence about himself, as it is God’s character that has been damaged and brought into question. This presentation of truth is activated and demonstrated by the following method:
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,”
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah recorded these descriptive words about The Branch from Jesse, meaning Jesus, the Son of God. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him (Jesus):
The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding.
The Spirit of the Lord is trustworthy and true; there is nothing false about him. The power of love and freedom of choice are the primary cornerstones that make up the foundation of God’s government, and the implementation of those cornerstones is never ending and never changing – just like God’s character. God can be trusted. God will do what is right…because it is right.
When will the conflict between good and evil end? It’s already been hundreds and thousands of years since the rebellion in Heaven occurred. Why hasn’t God put an end to all of the suffering and wars? How bad does it have to get before the final blow is struck? Will God’s patience ever wear out? What more needs to be said and demonstrated? Even in Biblical times the disciples thought Jesus would return in their lifetimes, and now it’s been over 2,000 years.
Hardly has there been a time in the history of this world when wars and rumors of wars have not raged on planet Earth. Record books prove that the struggles for domination and the quest for power have existed over a long period of time. History is not kind and loving as far as revealing congenial relationships between nations and countries is concerned, and likewise between individuals within those nations and countries too. The human heart is the controlling factor that determines whether a person shares God’s Power of Love or Satan’s Love of Power. It’s a choice that every individual inevitably makes during his lifetime.
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