Scripture: “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come—for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony—for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! (Rev 12:10-12)
Observation: Here is one of the more straightforward and puzzling sections of scripture I have (and still) encounter. While Jesus is preeminent in all things, this is a lot about the serpent, the devil.
Analysis: More than occasionally I run into Scripture that doesn’t seem to have direct application to me. I shouldn’t be surprised: to know and learn about my Lord takes study and not be satisfied with bullet point/outline exposure.
Because I am in business, I see a lot of “executive summary” formatted memos. Nobody has time, “Just give the top line stuff.” Essays must be shrunk to a PowerPoint presentation—no matter if the background is pertinent to understanding the meaning of the so-called bullet points.
I think that Chapter 12 gives me insight into the other, heavenly conflict side of the Gospel—especially some insight into the rebel angel Lucifer.
There are several scripture references to employ to begin to put a picture together of this creature. Is it important? Sort of—not something I would have recommended to my younger self so many moons ago. Most of what I have concluded conflicts with the general opinion of the masses, such as: it is serious error assuming that the “eternal conflict” is war between God and the devil or even Jesus and the devil. Not even close. The devil and his permissioned actions are part of the whole Gospel of God.
Here are some references: Gen 3; Job 1-4; Is 14. There are others—but they must be pieced together to perceive the picture.
Here in Chap 12, I see the conflict between fellow angels: Lucifer who became a traitor and Michael who did not. Becoming a traitor (like all of Mankind is now) is being entirely convinced of your own thoughts, options, and conclusions of what is good and bad. That is the basis of the heavenly rebellion: (Is 14) Lucifer thought he could and should aspire to be God, or at least equal with the Most High. He is a fool.
The role the devil played in Gen 3 was the role of a deceiver; enticing Adam through Eve to consider that God may have been mistaken in Adam’s potential. God wasn’t, knew it from before time, knew that Adam was to be a rebel so that His Grace would be shown to redeem traitors and rebels—folks (like us) who do not deserve Redemption—but, because His Grace through the Atonement was provided—freely, by His Own decision and without a need of transaction of any of my works to exchange for that Atonement.
I am still in the process of figuring this out and looking forward to the Holy Spirit to make it straight. After all: The Gospel is so very cool.
Sometimes journaling is writing down what you don’t know as well as what you do know and knowing that the Holy Spirit will fill in the blanks someday down the line.
Prayer: Lord, You know that I have been musing over this subject for some time. I am just remembering that “our fight is not with flesh and blood, but with powers in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12.)” And yet, I cannot get past that the daily struggle isn’t with the influence of a 3rd party like devils and demons, but with our own Sin.
Help me with this, Lord, so that I am thinking right when it concerns the Gospel. AMEN