The battle of good versus evil. Whenever any mention of this matchup occurs, people tune in. Even Disney movies create a plot line with this scenario. Things start out well but for some reason the good takes a disastrous step. They find themselves somehow hamstrung in what they can do. Nobody believes in them. Evil rises to the top. In the evil’s power-hungry stupor everything takes a turn for the worst. The audience sits on the edge of their seat just waiting for the good to regain the stronghold. They watch as somehow, they mature into the role of a savior from evil. The ending brings about a happily ever after.
The battle of good and evil plays out in the real world every day. From our view it feels like evil, led by Satan, wins out so many times. The good, with Christ as the leader, seemingly drops back with almost no hope of return. The battle is fierce. However, the outcome has already been decided. In this battle we need to come to a realization.
Our Fight Against the Devil Is Not Ours
- The accuser stands condemned.
- The angels battle against evil.
Revelation 12 starts a new vision in John’s writing. The chapter opens with a pregnant woman about to give birth to a child. A ferocious dragon, whose tail already swept away a third of the stars in the sky, stands in front of the woman intending to devour the child. God intervenes snatching the child away to himself in heaven. God also rescues the woman leading her to safety in the wilderness for 1,260 days.
These verses speak about the church. The woman stands for the church during the New Testament age, from the time Jesus ascended until he returns again on the Last Day. The ancient serpent, the Devil, wants to devour the child. He wants to do away with the Savior. Without Christ and his saving work the Devil would have free reign. God would not allow this to happen. Jesus defeated Satan. God would also protect the church upon the earth.
Since Satan could not devour the Christ child, he turns his attention to the church. The next best thing to destroy is the church that proclaims the gospel of Jesus. Satan’s strategy has not changed over the years. His native language is lies. Satan twisted the truth of God’s Word all the way back in the Garden of Eden to deceive Adam and Eve. Did God really say? You will not die. You will be like God. All lies. Those lies worked. Adam and Eve fell victim to those fabrications of the truth bringing sin into the world.
The lies continue to come against God’s people today. It does not matter what a person believes. God will let all people into heaven. God did not really mean marriage to be one man and one woman for a lifetime. God does not care about honoring and respecting those in authority. Lies! The world thrusts those lies in the face of all deceiving many.
The devil also comes personally to Christians trying to fill their minds with doubt. “If God wants you to be happy, why does your neighbor have a brand-new car and go on nice vacations, while you struggle?” “If God is so powerful, why is your body weakened by cancer?” “Why do you feel so alone and isolated in the world, when God promises to always be with you?” Lies! Satan twists the truths of scripture to fit his own evil narrative. He wants to doubts to arise in our minds. Even though we know better, so often we fall into those temptations in life.
As soon as we trip up, Satan pounces. He takes those accusations in front of God. These people are all sinners! God demands perfection, and no one lives up to that standard. The verdict should be quick, guilty.
Our fight against the Devil is not ours. “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). Satan’s accusations do not hold any water. He has been defeated. The saints won for one simple reason, “They conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
God declares his saints “Not Guilty”. This comes from nothing found within us. The accusations of Satan would be true. We stand with no excuse for our sins. Jesus has done something. His atoning work upon the cross freed us. His blood washes our sins away. When Satan throws his accusations our way, we point to Christ. When Satan brings our sins before us, Christ shows his wounds inflicted upon him from the cross. We are free. The war has already been won. Jesus came out victorious. The accuser has been condemned. We are free because of the blood of the Lamb.
Even though the war has ended, Satan still battles. Our fight continues, but it is not our fight. We also have the angels on our side fighting against the Evil One.
The opening verses of our lesson describe a heavenly war going on.
There was also a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. The dragon fought back along with his angels, but he was not strong enough. There was no longer a place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down-the ancient serpent, the one called the Devil and Satan, the one who leads the whole inhabited earth astray-he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Revelation 12:7-9).
This scene sounds like when Satan first rebelled against God in heaven. Satan grew jealous. He wanted all the honor and glory given to God for himself. He gathered together a group of angels to join him in trying to overthrow God. However, God defeated him. Satan was banished from heaven to the confines of hell.
The context does not fit this understanding of the verses. These verses picture a battle in the spiritual realm. It is not just a little tiff that erupted for a little bit. An all-out war takes place. The good angels battle the Devil and his demons. Michael the archangel leads the charge. At stake are souls.
The good angels do not want to see a single soul lost. They rejoice at a single soul that repents of their sin and turns to God in faith. The good angles win the victory. The Devil loses. He cannot overcome.
We do not often think of angels engaging in warfare. We think of angels singing in heaven. They encircle the throne of God doing his bidding. We speak of angels guarding over us. Angels do all these things. The word angel simply means messenger. They serve God.
Angels also fight on behalf of the believers. They know what is at stake. Michael leads the army from heaven to ward off the devil. Even though he has already been defeated, Satan continues to try and overtake God and his followers. Those attempts are futile. He has already been defeated.
The weapon of angels is the very same weapon we wield, the gospel. That single word makes Satan fall from heaven. The good news of Jesus living a perfect live for the world leaves Satan covering his ears. The death of Jesus upon the cross makes Satan shudder. The spreading of the news of forgiveness of sins causes Satan to run.
Our fight against the Devil is not our fight. The angels battle on our side. They engage against Satan for the battle of souls. They send Satan running because the accuser has been defeated. Good triumphs. Our Savior wins the victory. The Fight Against the Devil Is Not Our Fight. Amen.