“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. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:7-12).
Within the twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find war breaking out in heaven as the dragon and his angels sought to engage Michael and his angels in conflict. The more I read this particular passage of Scripture the more I am completely enamored by the thought that the dragon sought wage war in heaven, yet Scripture reveals that he could not and did not prevail. The dragon sought to make war in heaven against Michael and his angels, yet there was no place found for him any longer. As a result, the dragon was cast out of heaven and cast down into the earth—thus marking a series of three times the dragon was cast out and cast down in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Within this chapter we find the first of the three times the adversary, which is the Devil and Satan being cast down. In this chapter we find the great dragon being cast out of heaven and being cast into the earth. We experience seven more chapters in the book of the Revelation before we find the dragon being cast down a second time—the second time being the dragon being bound and cast into the bottomless pit where he would be sealed and imprisoned for one thousand years. The twentieth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ reveals the second and third time the great dragon was cast down as he is first cast down into the bottomless pit, and third and finally cast into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone. What would begin with his being cast forth out of heaven and into the earth would reach its climax and culmination in his being cast into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet had already been cast. The dragon could not prevail in heaven and therefore was cast into the earth, but what I so love about the book of the Revelation is that the time would come when he eventually would no longer be able to prevail even on the earth. It is at that final decisive moment in the final and decisive battle that the dragon’s war upon the face of the earth would come to an end and he would forever be destroyed. The dragon was cast into the lake of fire after his warfare and wrath upon the earth would be no more, and the only thing that remained was for him to be seized and cast into the lake of fire. Oh dear reader, there is coming a day and time when the war of the dragon will reach its end and he will once and for all cast into the like of fire where he will burn for all eternity.
When the dragon waged war in heaven against Michael and his angels in heaven and discovered he could not prevail, he was instantly and immediately cast into the earth. It would be from the earth where he would wage war as within the very same chapter we find him setting out to make war against the offspring of the woman—those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. This war is continued and perpetuated in the very next chapter when we read of the beast which emerged from the sea making war against the saints of God and being permitted to overcome them. Everything we read after the dragon and his angels had been cast down into the earth is both his war and his wrath against the offspring of the woman and the saints of God. It is my belief that when the dragon which is called the Devil and Satan was cast out of heaven and into the earth, he lost his place in the heavenlies whereby he accused the saints of God and the brethren night and day before the throne. When the dragon was cast forth out of heaven and into the earth he was no longer able to use what was perhaps his most sinister and diabolical weapon against the saints of God and the brethren—accusation. I believe with all my heart that what we read in this chapter is a powerful prophetic picture that points to the reality that there is coming a moment in time when the dragon will lose his place in the heavenlies where he has accused the saints of God both day and night, and will no longer be able to stand and accuse them before the throne of God. It is at this point—the point where he is no longer able to accuse the saints of God—that I believe he alters his tactic and strategy and moves to something equally as dangerous. You will notice that when the apostle John writes of the great dragon being cast out—that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan—he was referenced not only as the accuser of the brethren, but as he which deceiveth the whole world. It is absolutely critical and imperative that we pay close attention to this, for the dragon—now being unable to accuse the saints of God before the throne of God any longer—shifts his attention and focus to widespread and rampant deception.
Within this same chapter we read how the serpent spewed out of his mouth a massive flood in an attempt to sweep away the woman. The woman was marvelously and wonderfully helped by the earth when the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed the water—an act which infuriated and enraged the dragon. Consider for a moment the words of the apostle Paul in his second epistle to the Corinthian congregation—“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtitle, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Now turn your attention to the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis—more specifically to the interaction between the serpent and Eve. “Now the serpent was more subtitled than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden…And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1, 4). It is absolutely necessary that we consider both the words of the apostle Paul and the actual interaction between the serpent and Eve in the Garden of Eden, for I am convinced that both reveal what is taking place in the twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When the great dragon was cast out of heaven and into the earth—that ancient serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan—we read of the Devil and Satan being that one which deceiveth the whole world. After the dragon set out to persecute the woman we read how the serpent—which is also the dragon—spewed forth a flood out of his mouth to sweep the woman away. I am convinced this is incredibly significant, for the flood which the serpent spewed forth from his mouth might very well be deception which is unleashed upon the face of the earth.
I have written before how I believe the two greatest weapons and instruments of the dragon in the Last Days upon the face of the earth are persecution and deception. Unable to accuse the saints of God before the throne of God any longer the dragon will seek to unleash upon the face of the earth a powerful flood of deception which will utterly consume it. It was Jesus Himself who made this powerful declaration and warning before His disciples—“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4). In the very same passage we read these words which were spoken by Jesus—“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:11-13). Later on Jesus goes on to speak these words—“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:23-26). It is when the great dragon was cast out that the apostle John reveals the identity of the dragon as being that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, and even goes on to speak of him as being he which deceiveth the whole world. When the dragon was cast out of heaven he lost his place in heaven and was no longer able to accuse the saints of God before the throne, but he would now be upon the earth unleashing a flood and torrent of deception. The apostle Paul was worried that as the serpent beguiled Eve, so too the Corinthians would be persuaded away from and against the simplicity that is found in Christ. It was the serpent who in the garden deceived Eve into believing that eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make her wise, and that she would be like God. When the dragon was cast out of heaven and into the earth he would against set out to deceive mankind by presenting to them the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and would seek to cause men to eat of its fruit once more.
When you come to the very next chapter you will find a powerful demonstration and manifestation of this deception as being unleashed upon the face of the earth through the false prophet. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exercise the all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell not he earth by the mans of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might but or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:11-18). Please don’t miss the significance and importance of what is written concerning this beast which emerged from the earth for it through this beast we find deception being manifested in the earth in an unprecedented manner. Even the apostle John wrote how this beast would deceive those that dwell on the earth by the mans of the miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. When speaking of the first beast which emerged from the sea we must understand this first beast as being directly connected to the war of the dragon, while the second beast will be directly connected to the worship of the dragon. In the last days—after the dragon has been cast into the earth—he will raise up both the Antichrist and the false prophet to unleash the worship and warfare of the dragon. If the thirteenth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ could be summarized it would be summarized as the unleashing of the worship and warfare of the dragon. Through the Antichrist the dragon would unleash his wrath and warfare upon the earth against the saints, and through the false prophet, the dragon would elevate and exalt his worship upon the inhabitants of the earth.
There is something incredibly peculiar and interesting in the twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and that is that when speaking of the dragon the apostle John writes of him accusing the brethren, and deceiving the world. It is very important that we recognize this for it will help us to understand much of the activity of the adversary in the earth since the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In the twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation we find the dragon as being that one which accused the brethren day and night before the throne of God, and as the one which deceived the whole world. When the dragon was cast out of heaven and into the earth the accuser of the brethren was cast down, which meant that he lost his legal place and position to accuse the saints of God. This one who accused the saints of God day and night was cast down—the same one who deceived the whole world. What I find to be so incredibly amazing about this passage of Scripture is what immediately follows the declaration that the accuser of the brethren which deceived the whole world being cast down. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” What does Jesus say to each of the seven churches which he instructed the apostle John to write letters? “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7—Ephesus). “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:11—Smyrna). “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:17—Pergamum). “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star” (Revelation 2:26-27—Thyatira). “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5—Sardis). “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12—Philadelphia). “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Revelation 3:21—Laodecia).
When writing to each of the seven churches, Jesus who is the Christ called them to overcome, and then gave them each a powerful and wonderful promise for doing so. In the twelfth chapter we find the apostle John writing of the brethren overcoming “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony,” and I would even dare say that loving not their lives unto the death is the third and final instrument in overcoming. I do not believe the words of the apostle John in reference to the saints overcoming was directly limited to accusation, for the accuser of the brethren had already been cast down. The accuser of the brethren had been cast down—that one which had deceived the whole world. If there is one thing I absolutely love about this particular passage in Scripture it’s that the dragon sought to make war in heaven and could not prevail, and when he was cast down to the earth he made war with the offspring of the woman. What is so incredibly powerful is that in heaven the dragon could not prevail against Michael and the angels, and on the earth he could not prevail against the saints of God. In essence, we not only find the dragon defeated in heaven by the angelic host, but we find him overcome in the earth by the saints of God. CAST FORTH OUT OF HEAVEN AND OVERCOME IN THE EARTH. The twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ doesn’t just provide us with a picture of the dragon and his angels being defeated in heaven, but it also provides us with a picture of the dragon being overcome in the earth. The dragon was enraged and filled with great wrath when he was cast down to the earth for he knew that he had but a short time. The question that I can’t help but ask is how many of us want to infuriate and enrage the dragon even more by overcoming him in the earth. It is not enough for the dragon to be unable to prevail in heaven, for the dragon must also be overcome in the earth. Michael and his angels engaged the dragon in conflict and war in heaven and prevailed, but now the conflict and battle has shifted to the earth and it is no longer Michael and the angels who are called to prevail, but the saints of God who are called to overcome. How incredibly powerful it is that the dragon and his angels are not defeated and overcome in the earth by angels in heaven, but by the saints of God. When it comes to the war and wrath of the dragon and his angels upon the earth the Lord has not called on angels and ministering spirits to be those ones who overcome—although the Lord of hosts most certainly does release His ministering spirits to assist us in battle.
I’m reminded of a passage that is found in the Old Testament book of Second Kings concerning the northern kingdom of Israel during the days of Elisha the prophet. “Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of mIsrael, saying, Bewar that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent He thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compasses the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: AND, BEHOLD, THE MOUNTAIN WAS FULL OF HORSES AND CHARIOTS OF FIRE ROUND ABOUT ELISHA” (2 Kings 6:1-17). I am also reminded of the experience Joshua had when the children of Israel were near the city of Jericho in the land of Canaan. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy food; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15).
When speaking of the Great War and conflict that is present upon the earth we must understand that while the battle belongs to the Lord, the Lord has not called His holy angels to overcome in the earth. If there is one thing this twelfth chapter of Revelation reveals it’s that when it comes to the war of the dragon upon the earth, the Lord has called His saints to overcome. It is for this reason that when writing to the seven churches in Asia the apostle John recorded Jesus as calling them to overcome. How do the seven churches mentioned in the book of the Revelation overcome in the earth? The apostle John reveals how the saints of God overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and loving not their lives unto the death. Jesus overcame all the powers and forces of darkness through His own blood, through the testimony He had before the Father—namely that He pleased Him—and through His loving not His life unto the death and sacrificing and offering it upon the cross. Jesus overcame him who had the power of death through His own death upon the cross atop Calvary outside Jerusalem. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:14-16). Oh beloved, please pay close attention to the phrase “he took not on Him the nature of angels,” along with the phrase “but He took on Him the seed of Abraham,” for both of these phrases confirm the dominion and authority that was to be exercised upon the earth through man. Jesus didn’t take on the nature [form] of angels upon the earth, but rather He took on Himself the seed of Abraham, thus revealing that it would be flesh and blood that would overcome the adversary in the earth.
Jesus “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11). Jesus came taking on the form of human flesh rather than the nature of angels, for through this act He would demonstrate that it would flesh and blood that would exercise dominion and authority upon the earth. When Jesus cast out evil spirits and demons, He did so not in the nature of angels, but having taken on flesh and blood. When Jesus healed the sick, He did so not in the nature of angels, but having taken on the likeness of men. How amazing it is that we were created in the image and likeness of God, yet when Jesus came to the earth He came being made in the likeness of men. Jesus came to the earth being made in the likeness of men for it was men—flesh and blood—that were created to exercise dominion and authority upon the earth. Do you want to know how to overcome in the earth during these Last Days—during these dark and dangerous times? Follow the example of Jesus and go and do likewise. Jesus took on Himself the likeness of men in order that He might demonstrate that men could heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. Jesus took on Himself the likeness of men in order that He might demonstrate that the war and wrath of the dragon upon the earth was to be fought by flesh and blood. It is flesh and blood regenerated and renewed by the Spirit of Almighty God through the work of Jesus Christ that is called to exercise dominion and authority upon the earth. Jesus couldn’t come to the earth having taken on the nature of angels for it wasn’t given to angels to overcome in the earth. It was given unto angels to overcome and prevail in heaven, and it was given to flesh and blood—the saints of God—to overcome in the earth.
MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN! FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN! TOOK ON HIM THE SEED OF ABRAHAM! It is necessary for us to understand how Jesus came to the earth for it reveals a great and powerful truth concerning the conflict and war that exists upon the earth. Consider what the apostle John wrote in the first chapter of his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father)” (John 1:14). Jesus came being found in fashion as a man and was made flesh for while it is true that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, it is true that flesh and blood can overcome and are called to overcome here on the earth. Jesus came being found in fashion as a man, for it was man who was originally given dominion upon the earth to subdue it. Jesus came being found in fashion as a man, for it would be man who would continue to exercise dominion and authority upon the earth. Jesus came being found in fashion as a man, for it is flesh and blood and not angels who would overcome in the earth—overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, having loved not their lives unto death. Again, Jesus overcame by His own blood, overcame by the word of His own testimony, and He loved not His own life unto the death. Do you want to know how to truly overcome the adversary in this generation? You can only overcome the adversary by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of your own testimony, and by loving not your own life—even unto the death. The great dragon and his angels could not prevail in heaven and were cast out into the earth, yet even in the earth their war and wrath is met with the saints of God who have been called to overcome, and who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. The war and wrath of the dragon on the earth is to be directly confronted and combated by flesh and blood—by the saints of God who follow the example Jesus set forth during His life and ministry.
The New Testament authors provide us with a great deal of insight into the conflict and war that is present upon the earth, but it is only by observing the life and ministry of Jesus in the four Gospels that we truly understand how to truly overcome—how to overcome against sickness, how to overcome against death, how to overcome against unlearn and evil spirits, and the like. It has been given unto flesh and blood to tread upon serpents and scorpions—the question is whether or not we are actually doing so. The life and ministry of Jesus is so incredibly vital for He not only overcame in the conflict and war that existed upon the earth, but he also overcame in the conflict and war that existed in the heavenly realm. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross’ AND HAVING SPOILED PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, HE MADE A SHEW OF THEM OPENLY, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM IN IT” (Colossians 2:13-15). “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 214-16). “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus came to the earth in the fashion of man in order that He might reveal unto us how to truly overcome in the war and conflict that is present upon the earth. With that being said, Jesus not only triumphed over demons and unclean spirits, sickness and death upon the earth in the natural realm, but He also would overcome the devil, principalities and powers in the heavenly and spiritual realm. We are created in flesh and blood, yet we are called to be seated together with Christ in heavenly places, for it is in heavenly places where we find the authority and dominion we are to exercise upon the earth. Michael and the angelic host overcame the dragon and his angels in heaven and prevailed against him, thus casting him forth out of heaven and into the earth. What is so ironic about this is that the great dragon was cast and kicked out of heaven into the earth only to encounter a people upon the earth who could overcome him. Let us rise up and both prove and reveal to the dragon that flesh and blood can indeed and in fact prevail against and overcome his schemes and devices—flesh and blood which follow in the example of their Captain.