It is very easy to distracted. I can not tell you how many times I got distracted by other things just while putting together this study we are doing today. I would sit down, start working on it for a little bit and then I would get a notification on my computer. I would then spend several minutes distracted by it and then remember that I am working on the study. Although it wasn’t good I kept getting distracted it didn’t cause any problems other than it taking a little longer to get this study together. But distractions can cause major problems. In the US the number one cause of traffic accidents is distracted driving. It is reported that about 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured each day in accidents caused by distracted driving. That is a VERY major problem caused by distractions. But there is actually a way bigger problem that we all see the effects of today everywhere around us that was caused by distraction thousands of years ago. Let’s now begin our study.
Revelation 12:7 (KJV)
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
What? A war in Heaven?? What would cause such a horrible thing to happen in heaven? And why would God allow that?
To answer those questions I am sure you have if you are unfamiliar with this story, let’s first look at who Michael and this creature depicted as a dragon is.
Let’s first figure out who Michael is.
The first big hint on who is Michael is the name. The name Michael means, “Who is like God”.
Jude 9 (KJV)
Yet Michael the archangel…
We see here that Michael is also called the archangel.
“Arch” means chief or head. Before we continue on it is very important to know that archangel does not necessarily mean an actual angel. The word that was originally used in the Bible that is translated as angel also can be translated as “messenger”. So, the title Michael is given in this verse basically means, “chief messenger” Now add that with the meaning of His name and you get, “chief messenger who is like God”.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
John 5:27-29 (KJV)
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Notice here how it says that Jesus will come with the voice of the archangel.
From these verses we can see that Jesus is Michael, the same who fought with the dragon.
Now that the identity of Michael is no longer a mystery let’s discover, through the Bible, who the dragon is, in Revelations 12:7. It is a lot easier to find out who he is. We just simply read verse 9 of Revelation 12.
Revelation 12:9 (KJV)
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil…
We can clearly see here that the dragon that fought with Jesus is the Devil.
The Cause of the War in Heaven
But what caused this war? It’s not surprising that Satan and Jesus had a war considering the evilness of Satan. But Satan didn’t always use to be an evil angel. He was created as a perfect being.
Ezekiel 28:14-15 (KJV)
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
The Bible actually describes his appearance and character as “beautiful”.
Ezekiel 28:12-13 (KJV)
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
God created a beautiful and perfect angel. So, what would have caused such a change??
Isaiah 14:12-14 (KJV)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
This is where the distraction happened that I mentioned earlier. Notice how many times Lucifer (Satan) said, “I”. Count how many times that. Do you now see what he got distracted with? He got distracted by himself. Taking his focus off of Jesus which is where it should have been.
The Bible says he already had one of the highest positions in heaven. but he wanted the 1st position. So, Lucifer began to plant seeds of doubt in the other angels’ minds about God. Likely telling them that he would do would do way better in the place of God. He created an army, full of the angels he deceived.
Revelation 12:4 (KJV)
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:
We see here that Satan deceived ⅓ of all the angels of God. He turned their focus from being Jesus to being on him and themselves.
We often focus on other people and their lives, don’t we?
Now, a few questions may be forming at this point. Like, why would God allow him to do this? Why didn’t he destroy him the minute he became prideful and save everyone so much pain, death and suffering?
The first question can be answered in two words, free will. God created the angels with free will like He did with us. God wanted Lucifer to be able to love Him if he wanted to love Him. If God had not created him with a free will, or us for that matter, we would basically be just living robots.There is no love in forced will, only fear. He would HAVE to do whatever God wanted. But God is love (1 John 4:8). He would not create something that had no choice to love too or to disobey. God both wanted to give Lucifer love and receive his love.
The answer to the second question is similar to the first. If God destroyed him when he started becoming prideful and coveting the throne of God then that would hardly be free will. God gave him every opportunity he could to repent of his sin like He does for us. And also if He did destroy Him it would most likely just be the beginning. The angels would have likely believed the lies Satan had spread. And then the angels would have then started serving God out of fear instead of out of love like they always had before.
The Attempt to Overthrow the Throne of God
The Bible doesn’t say how long this lasted in heaven, but once Satan has his army he made war with Him. But, of course, Satan and his army lost and were cast out of heaven.
Revelation 12:8-9 (KJV)
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 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.
Focusing on Jesus
I heard this illustration once.
“It was in the middle of winter and it had snowed the night before. On this day a certain man decided to take a walk. While on his walk the man noticed three boys playing in a small field in the snow. He decided to walk up to the boys and challenge them to something. He came to the three boys and asked them if they were up for a challenge for some reward. And of course, the boys were excited and up for the challenge since it included a reward! So, the man explained the challenge to them. He was going to walk to the other side of the field and once he got there the boys were to run to him in the straightest line possible and the one who had the straightest line would get the reward. Once the man reached the end of the field the three boys took off running. As the first boy ran he kept looking back at his tracts to see if he was staying in a straight line but every time he did that his path swerved. The second boy kept looking over at the other two boys to see how they were doing. But as he did that his path became curvy. But the third boy kept his eyes on the man at the other end of the field so, of course, his path was the only straight one so he got the reward.”
It’s like that in our lives. We try to focus on Jesus but we keep getting distracted by other things. Whether they are our selves, things in our lives or other people. These things take our eyes off of the Saviour. And we begin going off course…
Just by keeping focused on Jesus can change our lives.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord
Will you choose today to focus on Jesus and stop getting distracted by other things from now on?