The "WAR IN HEAVEN" is started by the attempt to expel the DRAGON and his angels From the Heavenlies. That the DRAGON (Satan) and his angels were not cast out of Heaven at the time of his "Rebellion" (which antedates the present earth), and confined in some "prison house," is clear, for he was at liberty to visit the Garden of Eden and tempt Adam and Eve, and he had access to God in Heaven in the days of Job, 2000 years before Christ (Job 1:1; 2:8), and he was free to visit the earth in Christ's day and tempt Him in the Wilderness, and later to sift Peter. His origin is more or less shrouded in mystery, but one thing is certain, he is a "created being," and that of the most exalted type. He was before his rebellion "The Anointed Cherub That Covereth." That is, he was the guardian or protector of the "Throne of God." He was perfect in all his ways from the day that he was created until iniquity was found in him. In him was the "fulness of wisdom," and the "perfection of beauty," but it was his "beauty" that caused the pride (1. Tim. 3:6) that was his downfall. He was clothed in a garment that was covered with the most rare and precious gems, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, all woven in with gold. He dwelt in Eden, the Garden of God. This probably refers not to the earthly Eden, but to the "Paradise of God" on high, for Satan dwelt on the "Holy Mount of God." All this we learn from Ezek. 28:11-19, where the Prophet has a "foreview" of the Antichrist under the title of the "King of Tyrus," and as Antichrist when he becomes the "Beast" is to be an incarnation of Satan, the Prophet here describes Satan's original glory from which he fell, for there has never as yet been such a King of Tyrus as here described. The cause of Satan's rebellion, or fall, is given in Isa. 14:12-20. He is there called "LUCIFER, SON OF THE MORNING." This was his glorious title when he was created, and this world of ours was made, at which time--"The 'Morning Stars' (probably other glorious created ruling beings like himself), sang together, and all the 'Sons of God' (angels) shouted for joy." Job 38:7.
It is well to note that the one here called "LUCIFER," is in verse four (Isa. 14:4), also called the "King of Babylon." As there never has been a King of Babylon like the one here described, the description must be that of a future King of Babylon. And as "Antichrist" is to have for his Capital City Babylon rebuilt, this is probably a "foreview" by the Prophet of Antichrist as indwelt by "LUCIFER" (Satan) in that day when he shall be King of Babylon, and also King of Tyrus.
The common notion is that Satan and his angels are imprisoned in Hell. This is not true. The angels described in 2. Pet. 2:4, and Jude 6, as having left their "first estate," and being "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness," are not Satan's angels. They are a special class of angels, spoken of as "Sons of God," whose sin of marrying the "Daughters of Men" caused the Flood. Gen. 6:1-8. They are the "Spirits in Prison" of whom Peter speaks in 1. Pet. 3:18-20. They are now confined in "Tartarus" awaiting the "Great White Throne" Judgment. Jude 6. As this Book of Revelation that we are now studying is a prophecy of "Things To Come" that were
future in the Apostle John's day, and it declares that Satan was still in the Heavenlies at that time, A. D. 96, as he has not been cast out since he must still be there.
He is a great "Celestial Potentate." He is the "PRINCE OF THE POWERS OF THE AIR" (Eph. 2:2), and the "GOD OF THIS WORLD." 2. Cor. 4:4. He is the "God" not of the earth, for that belongs to its Maker--GOD. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." He is the "God" of the "WORLD SYSTEMS" of the habitable earth. These "World Systems" embrace business, society, politics, and religion. He is the Ruler of the "Powers of Darkness" of the "Spirit World" (Eph. 6:11-12), and his position is so exalted that even Michael the Archangel dare not insult him. Jude 9. So mighty is he that man cannot successfully resist him without Divine help.
Satan is a King, and has a KINGDOM. Of it Christ said--"If Satan cast out Satan he is divided against himself; how then shall his 'KINGDOM' stand"? (Matt. 12:24-30.) Speaking of the "Evil Powers" Paul wrote--"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against 'Principalities,' against 'Powers,' against the 'Rulers of Darkness Of This World' (Age), against 'Spiritual Wickedness' in HIGH PLACES" (the Heavenlies). Eph. 6:12. From this we see that Satan's Kingdom consists of "Principalities," "Powers," "Age Rulers of Darkness," and "Wicked Spirits" in the Heavenlies. These "Principalities" are ruled by "Princes" who control the nations of the earth as in the days of Daniel the Prophet, when a Heavenly Messenger was sent to Daniel, but was hindered "three weeks" from reaching him by the "Prince of the Kingdom of Persia," Satan's ruling "Prince of Persia," until Michael the Archangel came to his rescue. Dan. 10:10-14.
The opposing "Commanders in Chief" of the "War in Heaven" will be MICHAEL and the DRAGON (Satan). We are first introduced to Michael in the Book of Daniel, and his appearance here is a confirmation that this part of the Book of Revelation is Jewish, and a continuation or supplement to the Book of Daniel. Michael is called in the Book of Daniel "one of the CHIEF PRINCES" (Dan. 10:13), "YOUR PRINCE" (Dan. 10:21), and the "GREAT PRINCE WHICH STANDETH FOR THY PEOPLE." Dan. 12:1. That is, Michael has been chosen from among the "Chief Princes" that stand before God, to be the protector of Daniel's People, the Jews. In Jude 9 he is called the "ARCHANGEL," and as there is but one "Archangel" spoken of in the Bible, Michael must be he. He also has something to do with the resurrection of the dead, for he is associated with the "Resurrection" mentioned in Dan. 12:1-2, and he contested with the Devil the resurrection of Moses (Jude 9), and the "Voice" of the Archangel that will be heard when the "Dead in Christ" shall rise (1. Thess. 4:16), will be the "voice" of MICHAEL.
When the "Dragon" is cast out of the "Heavenlies" there will be great rejoicing in Heaven because the "Accuser" of Christ's "Brethren" (the Jews) is cast down, but there will be "woe" for the "inhabitants of the earth," for the "Dragon" will be filled with "great wrath" because he knows that he will have but a "short time" (3½
years) to vent his wrath on the inhabitants of the earth before he is chained and cast into the Bottomless Pit.
While Satan has been the "Accuser of the Brethren" in all Ages, the context shows that reference is here made to the "Jewish Remnant" (the brethren of Christ), who during the first 3½ years of the "Tribulation Period" pass through great persecution, and die as "martyrs." They are referred to in Rev. 6:9-11 as the "souls of them that were slain for the Word of God," and we are here told (Rev. 12:11) that they overcame by the "Blood of the Lamb," and the "Word of their Testimony," and died as "martyrs," for they "loved not their lives unto the death." As they overcame by the "Blood Of The Lamb," then the "TIME" of their overcoming must be subsequent to the shedding of Christ's blood on Calvary, that is, Satan according to this account, could not have been cast out of the "Heavenlies" prior to the Crucifixion of Christ. When Jesus said--"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18), He was not referring to some past fall of Satan, but it was a prophetic utterance, by way of anticipation, of his future fall, when he shall be hurled headfirst out of Heaven by Michael the Archangel. As further evidence as to the time of Satan's casting out, Daniel the Prophet tells us that it will be at the "Time of Trouble" that is to come upon Daniel's People, the Jews, and that "Time of Trouble" is the "GREAT TRIBULATION." At that time Michael shall "stand up" to deliver Daniel's People, and the result will be "WAR IN HEAVEN" and Daniel's People shall be delivered, not from the "Great Tribulation," but out of it.
When the Dragon and all the Principalities and Powers of evil that now occupy the "Middle Heaven" of the Heavenlies, that is, the Heaven between the atmosphere of our earth, and the "Third Heaven" where God dwells, are cast out and down, then the Heavens will be CLEAN, for they are not now clean in God's sight. Job 15:15. And as all these "Evil Powers" will doubtless be imprisoned during the Millennium, with Satan, the Heavens will be CLEAN during that period, and this will account for the universal rule of righteousness and peace of those days.