Revelation Chapter 12, Part 11
Verses 7 and 8 “And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon,
and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them
in heaven any longer.”
“When did this war occur? At first glance, the war would seem to have taken place after the woman
(true Church) fled into the wilderness (Verse 6), but such is not the case. The woman fled into the
wilderness (1) after the man-child was born and (2) after the dragon was cast out of heaven (as
proved by Verses 13 and 14). The interpretation has to be harmonized with the context of the whole
chapter. It was not until after the warfare that the dragon was cast down. Therefore, the warfare, which
required time, occurred somewhere between the beginning of the ascension of the child to heaven (in A.D.
314), who ultimately became as God (Pontifex Maximus in A.D. 539), and the defeat of the dragon in the
religious realm (roughly 225 years).
There is harmony here. The dragon did not fight before the birth of the child because he had already cast
down a third of the stars to earth (Verse 4) and was in posture before the woman, waiting to devour her
child. The child escaped, however, and was caught up to heaven (to ecclesiastical supremacy). The account
tells about a fight between the dragon and his angels or supporters on the one hand, and Michael and his
angels or supporters on the other hand. This fight occurred sometime between the elevation of that child
from before the face of the dragon and the casting out of the dragon. After the warfare, the dragon was
Thus the interpretation is narrowed down to distinct points of time, and the order of events is as
follows: (1) the woman gave birth to the man-child. (2) The child began his ascension to heaven. (3) A
fight occurred in “heaven” between the dragon and his angels, and Michael and his angels. (4) The
dragon was cast down into the earth. (5) The woman fled into the wilderness “from the face of the
serpent” for 1,260 years.
The warfare in heaven was a contest between the nominal Church (Michael) and the political
powers of the Roman Empire (the dragon). This struggle for supremacy did not take place in the
political field but in the ecclesiastical or nominal heavens, prior to the pope’s being recognized as the
highest authority in religious matters. The true Church was not involved in this battle. In A.D. 539
Justinian formally acknowledged that in all matters pertaining to religion, the pope was the supreme head
of the Church.
The statement “the dragon … and his angels … prevailed not; neither was their place found any
more in heaven” indicates that from this point in time Civil Rome (the dragon) never regained its
authority in the spiritual realm. However, not until Charlemagne’s day, A.D. 800, which marked the
beginning of the papal millennium, did Papacy exercise considerable authority even in civil matters;
and thenceforth it was styled the Holy Roman Empire.” (T.K.O.R. Pages 307-309)
“Now it is asks: does it not seem a forced construction to suppose Michael to symbolize the "Man
of Sin?" Is not this the same Michael referred to in Dan 12? If it is a symbol in one case, is it not
in the other?
No the account in Dan 12 is a literal statement. The resurrection and other matters there mentioned
are literal, but not so Rev 12. The woman, dragon, tail, stars, horns, etc., are all symbols (symbolic), and
it would be out of order to have a real Michael fight a symbolic dragon. However, it seemed puzzling at
first to know why this name should be given to Antichrist, but on turning to a dictionary we find that the
meaning of the word Michael is (“One Who as God” or “Who is like God”).
It is quite remarkable that the meaning should be in such close accord with Paul's description-- "He as
God sits in the temple of God," (2 Thess 2:4) When the dragon was cast out of heaven (out of the
ruling position) it left this one ("Who as God,") in control, or in the heavens, and from him issues the
"loud voice" (a great proclamation) of Verses 10 to 12. That is, Papacy claimed that when it assumed
control-- "The kingdom of God and the power of his anointed," had come to the world. They
claimed that they had overcome by the blood of the Lamb, their lives and testimonies. They claim that
their victory was the result of the firm stand of the ("Smyrna") church, which just previously had suffered
so much persecution. "Therefore, rejoice ye heavens." (Let Papacy and all connected therewith rejoice,
but) "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, etc." As the church had once been persecuted when
Paganism reigned, so now when she reigns she makes the Pagans and heretics suffer. This, Papacy claims
as the millennial reign, during which it broke in pieces the kingdoms with the rod of iron.
But it is the dragon that causes the woe, not the church.
Remember that the dragon represents Rome, and that the same dragon has various heads. (See Rev
17) Here it had fully taken on its fifth head--Papacy. It was the same Rome under a new rulership, or
head, and the same power which had previously persecuted the church, -- the Empire and its army--
under the new ruler it persecuted pagans and heretics. Remember, therefore, that hereafter the
dragon represents the empire or military power under the control of its ecclesiastical head. This
military power must be made use of by its new head, and its force was directed against the woman and
against the remnant of her seed, [who joined not in the apostasy], which keep the commandments of
God and have “the testimony of Jesus." ["The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."]
Among those of the church who did not join, were some, whose descendants in after years were known
as Waldenses, Huguenots, etc. These doubtless knew from the prophetic word, not only that the
"same Jesus" would come again "to be glorified in his saints," but also that there should "first come a
great falling away, and That Man of Sin be revealed--the son of perdition,"—before the day of
the Lord. And they probably recognized Papacy in its true light as Antichrist.” (R 306)
It is true that many have erroneously assumed that Jesus is here meant because Jesus also
owns the name of Michael, but it should be remembered that whatever Jesus owns, the man of
sin (Jesus' counterfeit) also owns by usurpation.
This Scripture could never have applied to Jesus because heaven HAS NO WAR nor ever has. If it
did, how terrible would be the prayer, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." “God’s will
has ALWAYS been done in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)
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