Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, September 29, 2015
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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.” (Revelation 12:7–9).
There was war in heaven! This sentence alone should give us pause because the Bible says that heaven is God’s throne. It further states that heaven is the place wherein dwelleth righteousness. It is the place God’s people will be taken for 1,000 years following the Second Coming of Jesus. There was war there? Yes, there was war in heaven. If there was war in the perfect place of righteousness, it’s no wonder there are wars and rumours of wars in and among the many nations on an imperfect earth. If there was war in the perfect place of righteousness, it’s no wonder there are battles being fought even among congregations of God’s people. If there was war in the perfect place of righteousness, it’s no wonder there is a constant internal struggle in each one of our minds between good and evil. The great news, however, is that the war that broke out in heaven ended in the evil one being summarily defeated. Now we get to watch God do the very same thing on each of the rest of the aforementioned warfronts. The stirring nations will soon stop fighting when Jesus’ kingdom takes over the whole earth following His return (Daniel 2:45; Revelation 16:16-17). There will soon be peace among all (John 10:16; Revelation 22:14-15; Revelation 22:1-4). Soon our God will seal those who love Him, so we can remain holy forever, and sin will be no more (Revelation 22:10-12; Revelation 20).
It turns out that Michael, whose name means, “[the one] who is like God;” who demonstrates authority in Scripture in a way as to indicate that He is Jesus Christ Himself, evicted Satan from heaven. Jesus and His angels prevailed against Satan and his one-third faction of the heavenly angels we mentioned yesterday. Our God of love, who never compels conscience, gave every being He has ever created the privilege to choose love or evil. In this mysterious saga, Lucifer cherished a formerly unknown evil, and refused to repent. Thus it was that God had to remove him forever. He has made his final decision to war against God and His people until he is ultimately extinguished (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14).
There are many casualties of this war. The Bible says that the dragon deceiveth the whole world. This would be a statement that seals the fate of everyone were it not for a clear Bible understanding of the term “world.” Notice how the Bible expresses Jesus’ relation to the “world.” The Bible says: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). What is the “world” that Jesus overcame? The Bible says: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:16–17). Things are getting clearer. As the final words of these verses state, what then, is our privilege toward worldly things? The Bible says: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4). So, if we retain saving faith in God, we are not the “world.” Therefore in victorious faith, we will not be deceived. Why? Because “They are not of the world, even as I [Jesus] am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” (John 17:16–20). All who have saving faith in Jesus Christ and are born of God will be inoculated against the epidemic of being deceived—being the “world.” This, as you can see in Jesus’ prayer, is free and open to all who choose to receive it by faith.
It is an immeasurable blessing to note that Jesus is infinitely more powerful than Satan. It is an immeasurable blessing to note that Jesus has already overcome the world. Yet this immeasurable blessing would be further intensified if you and I would commit today, to live in a faith-filled relationship with God. He has gone to extreme measures to give us His mind through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, so we do not need to lose the war along with the dragon and his angels. Who in their right mind would deliberately choose the losing side? You? I certainly hope not.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us to walk in the simplicity of accepting your righteous covering and obedience to your commands. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.