This is my second blog on the mid-tribulation events, from Revelation 12:1-15:4. Please go to my first blog to get critical introductory information. That blog covered verses one through six. We return now to the next set of verse, verse 7-12.
Verses 7-12. And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 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. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
Here we see the setting—what has been going on in heaven for many years: war, war between the dragon and his angels and Michael (the chief angel of heaven) and his angels. And at this particular time in history, at the midpoint of the Tribulation, the good angels win the war and Satan and his evil group are thrown down to earth. And just to make clear, when the dragon and his angels were cast out of heaven originally (Rev. 12:4; Is. 14:12ff), they still had limited access to heaven (see Job 1:6; 2:1). But here, when they are cast out, they will be barred from heaven forever.
Now we don’t know how long this war has been going on, but bible scholars suggest that it has been going on for a good while, and it will culminate here, in the middle of the Tribulation. I think that whenever there is a spiritual conflict on earth, there is also even more of a conflict in heaven. Every time Satan has plotted to kill Christ, for example, there was war in heaven. Tim LaHaye writes,
During the days of Christ…when Satan did his best to slay Christ or temp Him, Christ was “ministered” to by the angels. One cannot help but surmise that the atmosphere around the cross was “charged” with conflicting spiritual forces, the holy angels on behalf of Christ conflicting with the demons who exulted in triumph over Him. The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after His crucifixion was a devastating blow to the plans and aspirations of Satan and his host of demons!1
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I think it is at this point (when Satan is defeated and thrown down) that God will declare His kingdom to begin. In Revelation 11:15 it is written (as it was declared by voices in heaven), “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
Then again here is Revelation 12:10, a loud voice in heaven said, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”
Here we see, in verse 10, a good reason why the kingdom is declared to have come and why heaven will rejoice (v. 12); it is because Satan will no longer be in heaven standing before God accusing the brethren (all believers). We see that he did this with Job (Job 1:11; 2:5), also with Joshua the High Priest (Zech. 3:1), with Peter (Lu. 22:31), and he is constantly doing it with us now, as he is always, like a lion, seeking someone to devour (1Pt. 5:8).
Nonetheless, as was and is now true for every believer, we need not listen to and regard Satan’s accusations—because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the Word of our testimony (revealing that we are saved and He forgives our sins).
Hence, at this point, at Satan is forever cast out of heaven, heaven will rejoice with all that are in heaven. But, as it says in verse twelve, “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
This of course speaks of the coming bowl judgments and all that Satan will try to do, mainly against Israel and against all believers. For he, because of his expulsion from heaven, knows that his time is very short, and so he will want to kill and destroy as many (humans and animals) and as much (of the earth) as he can while he is allowed to live.
1 Tim LaHaye, Revelation: Illustrated and Made Plain, p. 166.