MAKE WAR AGAINST THE OFFSPRING! MAKE WAR AGAINST THE SAINTS! MAKE WAR AGAINST HIM THAT SAT ON THE HORSE! Beginning with the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation we find warfare dramatically shifting from heaven to the earth. We find within the twelfth chapter, the thirteenth chapter, and the nineteenth chapters three specific references to war which is waged upon the face of the earth. In the twelfth chapter we find the dragon setting out to make war against the offspring of the woman—against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is my belief that this chapter marks a dramatic shift and transition in the war of the dragon, for no longer does the dragon make war in heaven against the angelic host, but on the earth against the offspring of the woman. Unable to make war in heaven, unable to prevail in heaven, and no longer having any place in heaven the dragon is now relegated to make war in the only place that is left—the earth. What does the dragon do when it no longer has authority in heaven, nor is able to wage war in heaven? The dragon turns his fierce wrath and rage toward those who exist upon the earth—namely the woman (Israel) and her offspring (the Church). There exists upon the earth at this point in time two targets of the rage, the wrath and the fury of the dragon—the nation and people of Israel and the Church of Jesus Christ. When you come to the second portion of the twelfth chapter you find war breaking out in heaven, but you find that war being unsuccessful as the dragon could not prevail against Michael or the angelic host. Having been once and for all cast forth out of heaven the dragon now makes war in the only place that is left—the earth. If there is one thing the twelfth, thirteenth, nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the book of Revelation reveal it’s that the dragon has always sought to make war. War and wrath have always characterized the dragon and the legions with him—war and wrath which they continually and persistently seek to execute. The dragon and his legions have always and will always—until they no longer are able—make war. The activity of the dragon and his angels can only be characterized and described as war, and the very heart of that warfare is the wrath that exists within the dragon toward those whom the Lord has chosen.
These four chapters within the book of the Revelation should serve as a powerful picture and declaration that we are indeed and in fact at war. Whether we like or want to accept it or not we are at war with one who seeks to bring about our devastation and destruction. There are many who would choose to live their lives as though they are not the war, however, such a mindset is completely contrary to what is written in Scripture. Whether or not you feel you are at war with the dragon the dragon is most certainly and most definitely at war with and war against you. Perhaps the single greatest reason for the war and wrath of the dragon in the earth is because he is unable to wage war in heaven. The dragon makes war in the earth against the offspring of the woman and against the saints of God because he has lost both place and authority in heaven. The most powerful truth within the twelfth chapter is that the dragon is not only displaced from heaven but also lost authority to wage war against the angelic host. At one point the dragon waged war in heaven in an attempt to exalt his throne above the stars of God, yet was completely and totally unsuccessful. The twelfth chapter describes war breaking out in heaven between the dragon and Michael thus underscoring and highlighting the tremendous conflict that exists in the spiritual realm. This chapter in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ describes a conflict that has existed in the unseen spiritual realm for centuries, yet culminates in this final battle that is fought in heaven between Michael and his angels with the dragon and his angels. What I absolutely love about the dragon being unable to prevail in heaven against the dragon and his angels is that is marks a final showdown in heaven between the dragon and Michael, which is marked by his decisively and definitively being cast forth out of heaven. The twelfth chapter not only marks a turning point and shift in war from heaven to the earth, but also the final defeat of the dragon and his angels. This chapter in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ should provide us with a tremendous amount of hope and encouragement, for although the dragon and his angels were cast forth out of heaven and cast into the earth, their defeat in heaven actually marks their defeat once and for all both in heaven and in the earth.
THE DRAGON’S DEFEAT IN HEAVEN MARKS THE BEGINNING OF HIS DEFEAT IN THE EARTH! Perhaps one of the most powerful truths contained within the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is that the dragon’s ultimate and final defeat doesn’t begin within and upon the earth, but in heaven. The book of the Revelation of Jesus describes the dragon and his forces being defeated when they marched against and surrounded the saints of God in the holy city, which does in fact take place upon the earth. One of the things I absolutely love about the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is that Satan’s defeat as pictured within it begins in heaven and is then transferred to the earth. VICTORY ALWAYS BEGINS IN HEAVEN AND IS THEN TRANSFERRED TO THE EARTH. VICTORY ALWAYS BEGINS IN HEAVEN AND IS THEN MANIFESTED IN THE EARTH. Perhaps the best way to describe and explain this is in the prayer of Jesus when He taught His disciples to pray saying, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” Please pay close attention to Jesus’ words in this passage, for it further confirms the powerful reality that victory in the earth is first secured in heaven and is then manifested within and upon the earth. The dragon and his angels first sought to make war in heaven against Michael and his angels, yet could not prevail against them. Ultimately the dragon and his angels were cast forth out of heaven and cast into the earth because there was no place found for them any longer in the midst of it. Though the dragon and his angels were cast to the earth their casting forth marks the beginning of their ultimate defeat within and upon the earth. As I am sitting here I am finding myself coming to terms with the incredible concept that we as the saints of God need to understand what has taken place in heaven, and what is taking place in heaven in each and every moment throughout the course of every day. It is only when we understand what is taking place in heaven that we can appropriate an manifest that reality in the earth in our midst. It is for this reason when teaching His disciples and followers concerning prayer Jesus referenced the kingdom of God and the will of God being manifested in the earth as it is in heaven. In other words, the reality of heaven should not only be manifested in the earth, but the atmosphere and environment should be controlled by that of heaven.
Tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—are you aware of the activity that is manifested in heaven? Are you aware of the kingdom of God as it is manifested in heaven? Are you aware of the will of God as it is manifested in heaven? I am absolutely and completely amazed at the great and final victory Michael and his angels wrought in heaven, for this particular victory marked the final defeat of the dragon and his angels in heaven itself. This defeat at the hands of Michael and his angels marked the reality that the dragon and his angels were no longer permitted to wage war or unleash their wrath in heaven. Though they were cast to the earth, and though one spoke from heaven with a loud voice and pronounced a great and terrible “woe” upon the earth because the Devil had come down to them having great wrath, the dragon’s defeat in heaven must be secured in order that the dragon’s defeat in the earth might also be secured. The victory which Michael and his angels wrought in the midst of heaven on this great and glorious day marked the beginning of a defeat that was much larger than what was won on that day. The defeat of the dragon on this day marked their final defeat in heaven, but it also set the stage for his ultimate defeat in the earth. It is true the dragon would set out to make war against the offspring of the woman, and it is true the beast which emerged from the sea would make war against the saints and would overcome them [for a season], these two realities are what we would classify as “for a limited time only.” In other words, although the beast would be permitted to overcome and overwhelm the saints of God in the earth, there would come a day when the beast and the false prophet would be captured and cast alive into the lake of fire, and their entire army slain by the sword which proceeded from the mouth of the Rider on the white horse. The beast and the false prophet would wage a full scale war against the saints, and against all those who refused to bow down and worship the image of the beast, and all those who refused to take the mark of the beast, and yet a day would come when both the beast and the false prophet would be seized and cast into the lake of fire and their army utterly and completely defeated and slain. The dragon would go out to the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and would deceive the nations into marching alongside him against the saints of God within the holy city, yet fire would come down from heaven and utterly consume them.
If there is one thing we must understand about any victory we experience in spiritual conflict and warfare it’s that victory never begins, nor does it originate upon the earth. We make the mistake when we consider any victory, any triumph over the adversary originates within and begins upon the earth. The twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation reveals and brings us face to face with the reality that victory has always and will always originate in heaven. VICTORY OVER THE ADVERSARY BEGINS IN HEAVEN AND IS THUS MANIFESTED AND DEMONSTRATED UPON THE EARTH. When Jesus came to the earth He came to demonstrate and manifest the reality of the kingdom of God—the kingdom of heaven—upon the earth. Perhaps one of the single greatest realities surrounding the life and ministry of Jesus is that He never spoke anything, nor did He ever do anything without first hearing the Father speak it, or watch the Father do it. In other words, everything that was experienced upon the earth during the days of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ was a direct manifestation and expression of what had already taken place in heaven. When Jesus came to the earth He was the eternal Word of God which became flesh, thus indicating that the word of God which was spoken in heaven was actually manifested upon the earth. Dear brother, dear sister—are your activities a direct manifestation of that activity that takes place and is manifested in heaven? Is your life a direct expression and manifestation of that which is present within heaven? Everything Jesus the Christ said and did upon the earth was linked to what the Father was doing in heaven, which was manifested in the earth according to the Spirit of Almighty God. Do you truly understand the tremendous weight and significance of Jesus’ words concerning the kingdom of God coming and the will of God being done in the earth as it is in heaven? Do we truly understand the reality of what the words “as it is in heaven” mean within and throughout the course of our lives?
What we find within the twelfth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is absolutely astounding and remarkable, for it reveals the powerful reality that victory over the dragon and his angels would begin in heaven with Michael and the angels with him. Scripture isn’t clear how this victory was won, or how long this battle even lasted; but what we are absolutely sure of is that victory was indeed won. Victory over the dragon in heaven wasn’t officially or completely secured until the dragon along with his angels were cast forth out of heaven and into the earth. I am convinced there is a powerful prophetic truth that is wrapped up and bound within this, for there are times in our lives when we believe that we have overcome the dragon and/or his angels, yet the dragon has not been cast out and cast forth. In essence it might very well be said that true victory over the adversary is marked and characterized by his being cast forth.
There are men and women who right now believe that victory has been won over the dragon and his forces, yet the dragon has not yet been cast forth. The ultimate goal of the spiritual warfare and conflict we engage in throughout the course of our lives is the casting forth and the casting out of the dragon. You will notice within the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ alone the dragon was cast forth and cast down on three different occasions. The dragon was cast out of heaven and cast into the earth which was the ultimate expression and manifestation of his defeat in heaven, and serves as a powerful declaration concerning the defeat of the dragon within our lives. How do you know when the dragon is truly and completely defeated within your life? You can and will know the dragon is and has been completely defeated within your life when he is cast forth no longer being able to prevail. It isn’t enough for the dragon to be unable to prevail within your life, for the dragon must also be cast forth and cast out. The dragon was defeated in heaven—not only because he could not prevail against Michael and his angels, not only because he no longer had a place within heaven, but because he was cast forth. Please pay close attention to this, for it describes true victory in our lives when seeking to engage the dragon in conflict. The dragon is defeated within your life when he is no longer able to prevail, when he no longer has a place, and when as a result of both of these realities being manifested the dragon is cast out and cast forth.
There are two great and powerful truths that are contained within this passage of Scripture. The first is that the dragon is utterly and completely defeated when he is no longer able to prevail, when he no longer has place, and when he is cast forth and cast out. The second truth is that victory begins in heaven and is then manifested and demonstrated in the earth. If you want to truly understand spiritual conflict and warfare within your life you must engage the adversary and his forces in such a way that he is no longer able to prevail within and prevail against you. We as the saints of God must actively and proactively engage the dragon in order that he no longer has any place within our hearts and lives. Moreover, we as the saints of God must cast Satan forth and cast Satan out in every area of our lives. One of the most powerful demonstrations and manifestations in the life and ministry of Jesus is that this casting out and driving out was demonstrated time and time again. There were multiple times when Jesus would cast out and drive out demonic spirits and evil spirits which had found a place in the hearts, minds and lives of various individuals.
When we read of Jesus’ casting out and driving out of demonic spirits and evil spirits we witness a powerful demonstration and manifestation of an even greater reality. Demonic spirits and evil spirits being cast out by the very finger of God—the Spirit of Almighty God—served as the exercising of dominion and authority in the earth, but also as a demonstration of the ultimate casting forth which would take place in the book of the Revelation. Demonic spirits and evil spirits would be cast out of Jesus, and there was even one occasion when the legion of demons which encountered Jesus begged Him not to cast them into the abyss. This serves as something which warrants our consideration, for even Jesus’ authority over demonic spirits and evil spirits—His casting and driving them out—is a picture of authority that can be demonstrated in earth which points to the ultimate destruction of these foul spirits which were so pervasive in the earth. Jesus’ casting out and driving out of evil spirits and demonic spirits serve as an example that the adversary and his forces must be cast out and driven out from our lives. True victory in our lives is won when the dragon is unable to prevail, no longer has a place and is cast forth. This reality was powerfully demonstrated and manifested in the lives of many men and women, for each time they were cast out was both a reminder of how Lucifer and his angels were cast forth out of heaven, and a declaration that there is coming a day when they will once and for all be cast out and cast into the lake of fire itself.
Even though the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation marks a transition in the war and wrath of the dragon—a transition from heaven to the earth—it also marks a victory that begins and originates in heaven. Any and all victories we experience within our lives begins in and has its origin in heaven and it thus demonstrated and manifested in the earth. The dragon’s defeat in the earth would be set in motion by his defeat in heaven at the hands of Michael and the angels. It’s absolutely and incredibly astounding that in heaven the dragon and his angels were defeated by Michael and his angels, yet in the earth he would be defeated by the saints of God. How absolutely and utterly amazing it is that the Lord would ordain the dragon and his forces to be defeated in heaven by Michael and the angelic host, but the ultimate defeat of the dragon would take place in the earth. The most powerful truth concerning the defeat of the dragon is that his ultimate and final defeat did not come in heaven, but came upon the earth—the very earth he had defiled, corrupted and polluted for so many years. Even when the dragon was bound, cast into the bottomless pit and sealed for one thousand years, that still wasn’t his ultimate and final defeat, for there would come a day when the dragon would both be devoured by fire from heaven and cast into the fire of hell.
The dragon’s final defeat would be two-fold—fire coming down from heaven consuming his forces and his being cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet were. Beloved, do you know that you and I are chosen instruments and vessels to bring about Satan’s defeat within the earth? Do you know that Jesus took upon Himself the likeness of man in order that in the flesh He might destroy him that had the power of death, and to destroy the works of the devil? Jesus took upon Himself the likeness of men and became flesh in order to powerfully demonstrate that men were given dominion and authority upon the earth over the dragon and his forces which have wreaked havoc upon the earth. It would be Michael and his angels which would bring about the ultimate and final defeat of the dragon and his angels in heaven, yet it would be the saints of God with the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS that would experience his final defeat upon the earth. The dragon’s being cast forth out of heaven would be only the first phase of his destruction, for there would come a time when he would be cast down into the bottomless pit. Even the dragon’s being cast forth into the bottomless pit wasn’t his final destruction, but only marked the second phase of that destruction. It wouldn’t be until the dragon was cast into the lake of fire that his defeat would eternally be sealed. Beloved, it’s imperative that we understand the powerful truth that the adversary will stand defeated in heaven—unable to prevail and no longer having any place—and will also stand defeated in the earth. The angelic host would engage the dragon in heaven and would cast him forth into the earth, but it would be the sons and daughters of Adam whom the Lord would choose to engage the dragon in warfare and battle. Oh that we would rise up in the dominion and authority we have been given—authority and dominion which was demonstrated and exercised by Jesus the Christ when He came to the earth having taken on the likeness of men.