Home » Sunday: War in Heaven    


Sunday: War in Heaven — 19 Comments

  1. Two major conflicts dominate the headlines: the war in Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Billions of dollars are funnelled into these battles, infrastructure crumbles, and hundreds of thousands are killed or wounded. For most of us not directly involved, these wars become news items for geopolitical debate. We lack personal connection; these battles exist far from our daily lives.

    This sense of distance, of conflicts happening "out there," can also colour our perception of the spiritual realm. We might view the conflict between God and Satan as a big fight long ago, in a place far away, fueling debate within our religious circles. Yet, we need to understand that this conflict is not over. Through faith, we know a triumphant outcome is assured, but the battle rages on. We are still under fire, and it affects us.

    • Well said Maurice, I see the evil all over, in business, political situations in so many countries, in the hearts of God's created people, and I can only imagine the grief it causes God, but at the same time; it's comforting to know that Satan loses the war in the end.

  2. Rev.21:27 ESV says, "nothing unclean will ever enter it (heaven), nor anyone who does what is detestable or false". Even the deeply felt suspicions we have about our own selves ...our own hearts and motives...those dis-eases within ourselves will be taken away. One day all the causes of sin will be gone (Matt.13:41-43 ESV). Jesus says that in His made-new kingdom, nothing will tempt us to sin anymore. We will have chosen and allowed Him to be king everywhere...most importantly within us....King over all of our desires and thoughts and actions...and if He is King over us forever, then all temptations are gone. All the remaining sinful thoughts and feelings that still spring up within us (Mark 7:20-23) will be hurled into the fire of His eyes. I read the promise that seeing Jesus will be the final step in our purifying (1 John 3:2). I will see Jesus face-to-face and not burn up, because the Holy Spirit is in me...and because nothing impure in us can survive seeing Him (Heb.12:29). And just contemplating that now works to purify us now (1 John 3:3). Knowing the future changes us now. We fight against sin by looking at Jesus and His character...because His pure character is our own future pure character.

    So for me this all begs the question, if we will be so perfected that sin can no longer spring up within us, what about Lucifer? How did sin spring up in him if he was created without sin? And what assures us that sin will not once again be found within ourselves?

    I read that the already perfect Jesus was "made perfect" through His trials and testings and sufferings (Heb.2:10). Jesus grew, the human part of him went through growth stages (Luke 2:52). So it follows that all created beings (Jesus is divine and also man) are made perfect through stages of trials and growth where they must choose God over self. The created beings that come out of this testing and have been made new through Christ, they/we won't be able to be "not new" anymore. It will be a completion to the spiritual maturing process. Created beings in Eternity will all have grown into a mature faith (even the unfallen angels grew in faith as they have witnessed God's love at Calvary and in our lives). Satan and the disobedient angels that followed him failed this test. They grew fruits of wickedness rather than faith and that's why the purifying fire of God's presence will consume them. The Second Coming is at the time of the harvest - all is full-grown - fruits of righteousness or fruits of disobedience.

    • Thank you Esther for mentioning this "We fight against sin by looking at Jesus and His character...because His pure character is our own future pure character"

      We are all vulnerable, we are no match for the devil, we need some help. Thanks God that help is available. David says: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11)

      Every promise in God's word is ours. "By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word. All its strength is yours.{DA 123}

    • Thank you, Esther, for your thoughtful comment.
      It seems to me that much of our problem of understanding stems from the fact that our concept of "perfect" is different from the biblical concept. If we delve into the biblical meaning (it helps to look up how the original word is translated in various translations), we find that the biblical "perfect" has a sense of being "mature" or "complete." I see that you included this concept in your comment. 😊

      Since Jesus grew mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually as every son of Adam must grow, it makes perfect sense that Jesus became "perfect"(i.e. mature) through suffering. In my own life I have also found that I have grown most during periods of darkness or suffering than periods when everything was bright without a cloud in the sky.

      On another level, Adam and Eve were created to be without a flaw ("perfect" in the modern sense), but they were not mature ("perfect" in the biblical sense). In His goodness, our Creator stepped in the gap to give them (and us) a period of probation during which they could become mature ("perfect" under much more difficult circumstances.

      I suspect that the concept of becoming "perfect" in the modern sense has caused a great deal of discouragement among Christians - or else they ignore the concept altogether. But becoming "mature" in faith and character makes sense: We mature to trust our Savior without reserve in all areas of our life, and He can work out His will in us and through us. We grow into His character, and I believe that this growing process will continue even in the new earth.

    • I am afraid that simply "knowing" is not "believing. Also, simply knowing will not get someone into Heaven, since this will result in sin raising its ugly head all over again in the universe. There is a great difference in the meaning of those two words, which have profound implications for one's eternal outcome specifically, and for the universe in general. "Knowing" is the act of accepting or understanding information based on evidence, facts, and logic. Whereas, "believing" (which must include "trust") is accepting something as true without proof or evidence.

      That being said, God has revealed to His remnant church the formula that will eradicate sin from His universe and perfect His true followers into His sinless divine nature. He has told us plainly: "Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48, CSB). This perfection that Christ expects in His end-time people is to be accomplished by the union of divinity and humanity. In other words, Christ (divinity) must dwell IN man as man (humanity) is already IN Christ through His incarnation. Note Christ's words in His prayer in John 17:23: "...that they may be one, even as we are one: I IN them, and Thou IN Me, that they may be made perfect IN ONE". He is talking here about our sharing a life - we sharing His life, just as how He shared His Father's life in His humanity (and has taken that sinless humanity which He lived on earth into heaven). The apostle Paul called our attention to this formula when he said: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20; 3:27; see also John 14:20; Ephesians 3:16-17, NLT).

      Another name for God's formula to eradicate sin from His universe is "sanctification by the faith of Jesus" - righteousness by faith. His character distinctly recognized in the lives of His true followers. The development of a character that has been made to become like His sinless character and that of His Father. This is the goal of the plan of salvation - the complete restoration of man (this end-time generation), in this earthly life, to the sinless divine image (nature) of God, which he lost when Adam and Eve sinned. Godlikeness is the goal to be reached by the true followers of God. Both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy tell us that we will be made righteous through the cooperation of the divine and the human. This is the mystery of God IN you and I - "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

      This is God's ideal and exalted goal for His true followers - to make sinners into saints now - here on earth, so that His righteousness may become our personal experience before His second coming. Jesus Christ - The Word made flesh, must dwell IN man (us), so that man (we) will reflect His perfect holiness - His perfect righteousness. Ellen White states that: "The Seal of the Living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ" (RH, May 21m 1895).

      So, the formula that God is using now to facilitate the eradication of sin from His universe is: "Not I, but Christ" living in you and I. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through yielding our lives completely to the control and regenerative power of the indwelling Christ (His Holy Spirit), His true followers will be victorious over sin and sinning in this earthly life. This change is in itself a miracle of miracles (see Ellen White, Christ Object Lesson, 312:0). "Christ's perfect humanity is that which all His followers can possess, if they will be in subject to God as He was" (The Desire of Ages, 664). MARANATHA!

    • Perfection is terribly misunderstood, as the connotation is, "without flaw." In Koine Greek it is "teleos," as in tele-graph, tele-phone, tele-port. Note that all of these have one common denominator, connection, reaching a target. In fact, "teleology" is the study of the purpose of things. So, to be perfect is to completely and fully fulfill one's purpose. A wind turbine is perfect when it correctly and completely produces electrical power from wind energy. So, Jesus could be said to be made perfect by the things which he suffered (Hebrews). Before the suffering he was not the perfect substitute. Afterwards, he was. That is not to say he was flawed in some way, but that he became, matured, changed into our sacrificial lamb. He hit the mark. Interesting to note, sin, harmartia, means to miss the mark.

  3. The Scriptures speak about the Lord being made perfect through what He suffered, but we need to remember that He was already perfect.
    He was chosen to come into the World, to go to the Cross, to bear our sins, and without that, He would not have done the Work, which God the Father, sent Him into the World to do.

    That is what the Scriptures speak about, when it speaks about Him being made perfect through what He suffered.
    His Mission for coming into the World was done at the Cross ( perfect, completed )
    Praise the Lord.

    • I believe that we do not have a full grasp of the word “perfect” as mentioned in the Bible. The more I study and pray when I see this word the more I realize that there are stages to perfection. Perfection does not mean there is no room for growth. Hence let’s not short cut the very valuable meaning of the expression that Christ came to this earth and “grew” in knowledge just as his human brothers and sisters. Similarly the verses that say that “He was made perfect by the things which He suffered. We will be blessed immensely if we meditate on these verses and by the power of the Holy Spirit understand the conflict which Christ endured within himself on our behalf. That struggle was not isolated to his experience on the cross or just the time leading up to His crucifixion.

      Perlina - to say that Christ was already perfect sounds like He was more or less living a robot kind of experience. Programmed, not “ made like as his brethren” nor “ touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.
      My hope is that was not your intention.

    • Heb 5:8,9…(v.9) TLV: And once made perfect, He became the eternal source of salvation for all who obey Him,…

      Jesus was born and remained sinless through His life on earth, but became perfect through His sufferings.
      So, does Biblical perfection mean we become sinless, or is Biblical perfection a trusting attitude towards God…(Story of Job)? We remain sin-cursed until our deliverance from this dying planet. (1 Cor 15:50-55).

    • We use words to express things and some things are beyond words. Well, probably everything is beyond words. Words are symbols and partial, whereas the concept words point to is the totality. I think that's what it means in 1 Cor. 13:12, "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

      So, doing my best with words in order to join this conversation, as I understand it, "perfection" has an immediate application, then a gradual application, and finally a long-term, permanent application. "Perfection" has stages or steps, just as God's cleansing us from sin has at least 3 stages or processes. At the Cross, He forgave us all our sins and we were made perfect in His sight, and a new creature, and part of His family and kingdom; stage 1. Now, in our new life with Him, we are in the process of shedding the traces of sin from our life; stage 2. The verse that says this the clearest is probably Hebrews 10:14. These 2 stages are often called justification and sanctification. Or overcoming the penalty of sin and the power of sin. The 3rd stage is in the New Earth when the presence of sin is gone (Rev. 21:27; Matt. 13:41-43).

      So when we look at Jesus, He came from heaven as God's perfect, only begotten Son. He had no moral defect. His standing in the heavenly courts has always been perfection. Jesus was born united with the Holy Spirit as God's child. Then, as the Holy Spirit joined the Son with Mary's egg to become a human baby boy, He took into Himself human DNA with all of the inherited human weaknesses. Satan began tempting Jesus with self-centeredness, just as Satan begins tempting all human children to put self first. Only he surely attacked Jesus much more ferociously. Through the power of the Holy Spirit alive in Him, Jesus had to resist these temptations. God in heaven cannot be tempted (James 1:13). But the God-man was tempted, or tested, to make faith dwelling in human weakness, strong (James 1:2-3,12). Trials are what prove the genuineness of human faith (1 Peter 1:6-7). Jesus overcame the sin nature through repeated tests. At his resurrection, the Holy Spirit declared Jesus "justified" or righteous (Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Tim. 3:16).

      This is a mystery...how in the same body Jesus as God has no sin nature and is immune to temptation...but also Jesus as man is not immune to weakness and had to resist and overcome temptation all the way to death of self. All I do know is how much more difficult each temptation must have been for Jesus than for us, because He had power to do supernatural things to protect Himself. And because He was so much more sensitive to sin than we are. Think of how self-righteous He could have been! And yet He didn't fall to any temptation. He submitted to His Father and His human nature was made perfect.

      And that's why I can trust Jesus to understand my trials and to carry me on this journey. He went from perfection (born of the Holy Spirit) to perfection (free from all temptation) in His body, and He can do it again in mine. Jesus in me is immune to temptation, and as I grow in running to Him every second, through His grace maturing in me, I will experience His victory of overcoming the power of sin in me, too.

  4. It is such a an interesting point Brother Maurice. For many of us conscription into the armed forces ended decades ago, and yet in every generation there are reports of some sort of armed conflict taking place somewhere. We almost take for granted that war is an inevitable way to resolve political impasses. Our immersion of war in either reporting, (as it almost has a video effect on us), or the realistic video games themselves, has largely desensitized us to its horrors.
    What a strange experience then must have been the effect of war in heaven. Was it hand to hand combat? Were there front charges, and flanking maneuvers? Were there injuries and casualties? How I would like to interview an angel to get his perspective of that very first conflict in heaven. What a unique experience is their's to become veterans of the first war in the universe.

    • Yes my friend Bro.Steven Reichert I believe there were front charges and flanking maneuvres, meaning differing strategies to counter God's actions. Satan would have opposed God directly in the battle but most times or all times his moves would be by deception as he always does. We see in the gospels direct confrontation against Jesus Christ but often by asking questions which were meant to deceive. That is the only way this subtle foe works.

  5. I must enlist on the side of Christ by using the freedom He has given me (us) to choose Him and exercise faith in God to love and obey Him.
    Lucifer’s rebellion was catalyzed by a strange and mysterious enmity against his Creator- Jesus Christ.
    The remaining two-thirds of the angels who are now in heaven; are there because of their allegiance and love to God and Jesus Christ.
    Those who follow Christ and who are constrained by The Love of Christ; especially after all Jesus has done and is still doing for us; can do no less, by the Grace of God.
    The conflict of the great controversy between Christ and satan is also my battle, yet the battle is the Lord’s; in which I and all followers of Christ; must enlist and yield our allegiance, love, faith
    and loyalty to God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  6. RE: Freedom Existing in Heaven and War in Heaven:

    Freedom is the ability to make decisions for ourselves. We're free to think and speak our minds, to choose our path in life, and to associate with anyone we want. This allows us to be individuals and create our own unique life. That's why freedom is such a basic human right - without it, we couldn't truly be ourselves. Hence, God did not want 'Robots' for His creatures, and He endowed His creation with 'freedom' of will/choice.
    Ellen White states: "God desires from all His creatures the service of Love - homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced allegiance, and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service".--The Great Controversy, 492, 493.
    However, the danger with 'freedom' of choice/will is that although it gives people the opportunity to make mistakes, it can be perverted and damaging to people's well-being and destiny when the wrong choices and decisons are made. It was this perversion of 'freedom' that led the angels that sinned to stop loving God and to place self and its will on God's throne. This removal of God from His throne, led to false interpreations of, and dissatisfaction with God's Laws and government. These once holy angels became so deeply in love with darkness that they could not see nor acccept the Light. Thus, eventually, this led to lives (both angels and human beings) out of harmnony and at war with God.

    A positive example of the exercise of this God given 'freedom' was demonstrated during the Reformation by Martin Luther and the other martyrs. This is the 'freedom' that the apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 6:6, where he says, "We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." He continues in Romans 6:17 by saying: "Thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching". Therefore, Paul describes our 'freedom' as a free, joyful, satisfying obedience to God.

    God did not immediately destroy Satan and his accomplices because He wants His creation (both fallen and unfalllen) to understand the nature and terrible effects of sin when divine authority and laws are not respected and obeyed. This is intended to serve as a perpetual safeguard against the recurrence of sin throughout eternity. Hence, God's forbearance with Satan, sinners,and evil is to ultimately show that the existence of God's government and His holy Law are associated with the well-being of all the creatures that He made. At His appointed time, He will eradicate sin and sinners from His universe. I can't wait for this time to come!

  7. “What lessons can you draw about God’s character in His dealing with evil?”
    I see God’s character to be so perfect that it is able to respond to anything which attempts to separate itself from this perfectly balanced harmony of powers which prevent His creation from descenting into chaos.

    By ‘anything’, I mean all natural and spiritual forces were created to follow His law of perfect symbiosis.
    Considering God’s perfect order of all things, I see this order to be self-regulating, self-healing, self-sustaining. The ‘self’ attempting to operate contrary to the working of God's perfect creation expels itself unless it 'repents', is healed, and so can come back into the unity of the whole of creation.

    I understand Lucifer’s expression of his ‘self’ to be death. The Creator’s expression of His ‘Self’ is and perpetuates life. God established His Creation to unfold itself in perpetuity. Lucifer’s 'iniquity' is contrary to heaven's perfect order of perpetuity. The inevitable outcome of ‘iniquity’ results in self-annihilation - death by its own design – 1 Cor.15:26-28.

  8. Pride and jealousy in the heart: two little words that changed a perfect being into the most perverse force of the Universe.

  9. Revelation 12:7

    “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.”

    This puzzles me. Why would God fight with His creation? Just a word from Him is strong enough to win a war before it starts, right? The term "fighting" sounds like the Devil was throwing punches and Jesus was throwing back. It can't be a physical battle; these words must be symbolic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>