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Michael Defeats the Dragon

7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back,


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7. In Job 1:6-11; 2:1-6, Satan appears among the sons of God, presenting himself before God in heaven, as the accuser of the saints: again in Zec 3:1, 2. But at Christ's coming as our Redeemer, he fell from heaven, especially when Christ suffered, rose again, and ascended to heaven. When Christ appeared before God as our Advocate, Satan, the accusing adversary, could no longer appear before God against us, but was cast out judicially (Ro 8:33, 34). He and his angels henceforth range through the air and the earth, after a time (namely, the interval between the ascension and the second advent) about to be cast hence also, and bound in hell. That "heaven" here does not mean merely the air, but the abode of angels, appears from Re 12:9, 10, 12; 1Ki 22:19-22.

there wasGreek, "there came to pass," or "arose."

war in heaven—What a seeming contradiction in terms, yet true! Contrast the blessed result of Christ's triumph, Lu 19:38, "peace in heaven." Col 1:20, "made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; whether … things in earth, or things in heaven."

Michael and his angels … the dragon … and his angels—It was fittingly ordered that, as the rebellion arose from unfaithful angels and their leader, so they should be encountered and overcome by faithful angels and their archangel, in heaven. On earth they are fittingly encountered, and shall be overcome, as represented by the beast and false prophet, by the Son of man and His armies of human saints (Re 19:14-21). The conflict on earth, as in Da 10:13, has its correspondent conflict of angels in heaven. Michael is peculiarly the prince, or presiding angel, of the Jewish nation. The conflict in heaven, though judicially decided already against Satan from the time of Christ's resurrection and ascension, receives its actual completion in the execution of judgment by the angels who cast out Satan from heaven. From Christ's ascension he has no standing-ground judicially against the believing elect. Lu 10:18, "I beheld (in the earnest of the future full fulfilment given in the subjection of the demons to the disciples) Satan as lightning fall from heaven." As Michael fought before with Satan about the body of the mediator of the old covenant (Jude 9), so now the mediator of the new covenant, by offering His sinless body in sacrifice, arms Michael with power to renew and finish the conflict by a complete victory. That Satan is not yet actually and finally cast out of heaven, though the judicial sentence to that effect received its ratification at Christ's ascension, appears from Eph 6:12, "spiritual wickedness in high (Greek, 'heavenly') places." This is the primary Church-historical sense here. But, through Israel's unbelief, Satan has had ground against that, the elect nation, appearing before God as its accuser. At the eve of its restoration, in the ulterior sense, his standing-ground in heaven against Israel, too, shall be taken from him, "the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem" rebuking him, and casting him out from heaven actually and for ever by Michael, the prince, or presiding angel of the Jews. Thus Zec 3:1-9 is strictly parallel, Joshua, the high priest, being representative of his nation Israel, and Satan standing at God's fight hand as adversary to resist Israel's justification. Then, and not till then, fully (Re 12:10, "NOW," &c.) shall ALL things be reconciled unto Christ IN HEAVEN (Col 1:20), and there shall be peace in heaven (Lu 19:38).

against—A, B, and C read, "with."




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