GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
For the week ending 08/10/03
"And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his army
of elect angels fought against the dragon."
In Revelation 12:7-9">REV 12:7-9 we see the reason why Satan promotes the worst Jewish Holocaust in history during the Tribulation period. Satan is expelled from heaven, and he is now extremely frustrated: "And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his army of elect angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him."
This is the last battle to be fought in heaven. Since Michael and his angels are mentioned first in the Greek, we can conclude that they initiated the attack. Until the middle of the Tribulation, Michael will be restrained from both verbal and military attack against Satan, as in JUD 1:9, "But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'"
Michael has been waiting throughout the course of human history for a crack at Satan, and he has never even been allowed to slander Satan. If anyone could be slandered, it certainly is Satan, but the principle here is that even people who deserve slandering are not to be slandered. We are to leave the situation in the Lords hands, and that is how we avoid arrogance. When you slander someone else you are blaspheming God; you are saying that God is not in control, and you have to take over. Michael is a great army commander who controls his tongue, therefore controlling himself.
1. Slander is the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations that defame and damage another's reputation.
2. Gossip is repeating idle talk and rumors about others.
3. Meddling is to concern oneself with, or take part in, other people's affairs without being asked or needed, and therefore becoming a busybody with one's tongue.
4. Vilification means to use abusive or slanderous speech to defame or degrade someone else.
5. Judging is to criticize or censure someone's life without having the authority and the facts to do so.
6. Lying is a false statement intended to willfully deceive the hearers.
7. Verbal deception is using words to purposely mislead others.
8. Hearsay is repeating anything based on what someone else told you, and not on your personal knowledge of the situation.
9. Defamation is the uttering of slanderous or malicious words to try to destroy someone's reputation.
10. Maligning is harboring bitterness, hatred, and spitefulness against someone, and expressing it by speaking evil.
11. Complaining means to utter expressions of annoyance or resentment, or to find fault with something or someone.
12. Fabrication means to invent and form stories and lies.
13. Equivocation is the use of words or expressions that are susceptible to a double signification, with a view to mislead.
14. Whining is complaining in a childish, undignified way.
15. Whimpering is complaining with a low, whining, broken voice.
16. Murmuring is to utter complaints in a low, half-articulate voice.
Mental attitude sins lead to motivational sins, which lead to the sins of the tongue, which can utterly destroy your life,JAM 3:1-10. James writes in JAM 3:2,8-10, "For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect [mature] man, able to bridle the whole body as well&ldots; But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way."
In REV 12:7-8, we see the uniqueness of Michael, the great archangel who controls his tongue, and the privileges he enjoys. Michael is one of the highest-ranking elect angels (DAN 10:13) and is called the prince of Israel, and as such he protects Israel as a future client nation to God, DAN 10:21; DAN 12:1. He is known for his respect for authority, as in JUD 1:9. The battle is joined in Rev 12:7, and the outcome, the victory of the elect angels, is seen in verse 8. Satan and his army are driven out of heaven, and confined to the earth, resulting in the greatest wave of anti-Semitism the world will ever know.
When Michael is finally permitted to launch his attack against Satan and the fallen angels with his angelic order of battle, he succeeds completely because he is prepared for that day. God uses those who are prepared. Preparation comes through the perception of Bible doctrine and its application. You can never be prepared as a believer living in the cosmic system. Preparation can only be attained within the predesigned plan of God for your life. In LUK 14:25-32, our Lord taught the importance of preparation. He says in verses 28-32, "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.'" To secure peace you must prepare for war; this is the principle of freedom through military victory. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
A question many believers ask is this: "What if I am prepared but I haven't been promoted yet?" It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. True love always involves responsibility and sacrifice. We do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His assignment for us and to take up our cross. You can only be prepared by living consistently inside the predesigned plan of God, utilizing every divine provision. Our usefulness to God does not depend upon our zeal; zeal is no substitute for being prepared, Rom 10:2, "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge." The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.
Michael the archangel was successful because he was prepared over a long period of time. He was prepared from the standpoint of doctrine, his thinking, his motivation, and, above all, virtue. No one goes anywhere in the Christian life to serve God without motivational virtue directed toward God, including personal love for God and confidence in God. As a motivational virtue, confidence in God means courage toward man and circumstances.
Michael's finest hour will represent every category necessary for preparation:
· His magnificent self-restraint.
· His total rejection of any form of arrogance.
· His ability to be patient.
· His ability to maintain a high level of motivation, and a high level of performance in his great angelic army.
This is to be a reminder to all of us that there is no substitute for being prepared, and being prepared has nothing to do with zeal. You have to be able to think doctrine if you are going to be prepared.
In REV 12:7-8, all fallen angels are now confined to earth. No longer can they reside in heaven. Their next trip will be to the lake of fire, Hades, or the Abyss. The result of Michael's victory and the beginning of the devil's desperation is recorded in verse 9: "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him."
This describes one of the shortest battles in history, and one of the most effective-Satan never has a chance. The only reason Satan can still flex his muscles today is simply because God permits it as part of the angelic conflict. As a result of the victory of the battle in heaven, Satan and all fallen angels are thrown out, and heaven is cleansed of all fallen angels. This can be classified then as the second fall of Satan.
Satan has three falls. His first fall took place in eternity past, perhaps billions of years before man existed, in EZE 28:15, "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you."
In the middle of the Tribulation, Satan has his second fall, when he is cast out of heaven, REV 12:9; Satan has access to heaven right now; he spends his time between heaven and earth. At the end of the Millennium will come his third fall, REV 20:10, "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
Satan's second fall in REV 12:9 is described prophetically in Isa 14:12, "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!"
In LUK 10:18, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was a Prophet, a Priest, and a King, said as a Prophet, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning."
The name "Lucifer" actually comes from the Latin language, and it means "light bearer." The word "Satan" in the Greek is Satanas, which means to gossip, malign, slander, and accuse. Two creatures are said to radiate light, making them extremely attractive-the Hebrew word used in Isa 14:12 is heylel for Satan, and the other is nachash, the Hebrew word for "serpent" in Gen 3. Satan is a "shining one," the serpent was a "shining one," and both were attractive. Satan was attractive to at least one third of all the angels. The serpent was attractive to one half of the human race at the time-the woman. Satan appears as an angel of light, and he disguises his ministers as angels of light, 2CO 11:14-15, "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness."
Satan has ministers and evangelists among the members of the human race. They teach about Jesus, but it is another Jesus. They teach about the spirit, but not the Holy Spirit from God. They talk about the gospel, but not the Gospel of the Bible. If you study the content of the message, rather than the attractiveness of the speaker, you will not be deceived. If you have criteria and standards in your heart based on the Word of God, you will never be fooled by the sweet personality.
Satan has the greatest mind that any creature has ever had; the only mind more intelligent than his is made available to us, and that is "the mind of Christ," 1CO 2:16, PHI 2:5. God offers us the mind of Christ, which is much greater than the greatest mind of all creatures, Satan's, and the average believer says "No, thank you!" Is it any wonder why REV 12:9 says he deceives the whole world?!
· In REV 13:14, he deceives the world with the signs he performs.
· In REV 18:23, he deceives the world by using a very popular church in Rome.
· In REV 19:20, he deceives those who receive the mark of the beast.
Just before the Millennial reign begins, a seraph angel will throw Satan into the Abyss, REV 20:3, "&ldots;And threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time."
In Isa 14:12, Satan is addressed as, "You who have weakened the nations!" The word "nations" here refers to the divine institution of nationalism. God's order for the preservation of the human race is nationalism, the belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals. The first great attack on nationalism came with the tower of Babel, the first "United Nations" organization, and God Himself destroyed it, dividing the nations three ways, (1) racially, (2) geographically, and (3) linguistically.
Why is a creature like "Heylel" cast out of heaven? Because of his five "I will's," the original sin among creatures, perhaps billions of years before man sinned.
ISA 14:13a "But you said in your heart [Satan thought this in his frontal lobe], 'I will ascend to heaven [the third heaven where God has His abode, 2CO 12:2. Satan wanted the highest heavenly position.];
ISA 14:14a 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds [Clouds are used to represent the divine presence of God and His glory. Jehovah appeared in the cloud in EXO 16:10, and He rides upon a cloud, PSA 104:3. Satan wants the glory that belongs to God alone.];
ISA 14:14b 'I will make myself like the Most High [In spite of the universal impressions that Satan is unlike God, he is much like God outwardly!].'"
Satan still has access into heaven, which is why we read in Job 1:6-7, "Now there was a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.'"
Satan wanted the glory that belonged to God alone. He started a conspiracy against God. He convinced many in God's congregation that God was very unfair and unjust. And he did this for one reason, self-promotion! Satan wants the glory but he does not have the ability, and that same spirit is manifested everywhere in the human race.
Only God has the ability to operate in divine principles. God's principle in dealing with the human race is grace-man can neither earn nor deserve His blessing. Man cannot of his own ability do anything that glorifies God. There will never be any believer who deserves anything from God-it is all grace! This is why Satan promotes legalism and the works program for salvation and spirituality. He establishes principles that promote creatures getting credit. If he can accomplish this, then, as the greatest creature in the universe, he will be able to promote himself. Satan, with his own talent and own ability, all of which was God-given, is trying to supersede God in function and in person.
Satan's ambition is to be like God. He desires to have the attributes and essence of God, but the very nature of his sin frustrated any possibility of him reproducing any part of the character of God. What frustrates Satan terribly is that any believer with a little doctrine can do what Satan always wanted to do and never could-imitate God. The believer who is filled with the Spirit can imitate God, EPH 5:1, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children"; and GAL 4:19, "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you&ldots;" In GAL 5:16, humans can "walk by means of the Holy Spirit"; Satan cannot. In EPH 5:18, humans can "be filled with the Spirit,"but Satan cannot. It is obvious why Satan works so hard to obscure the doctrines of spirituality.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-298 to IA11-300.