2020REV-21 – Q&A-01
Now that the “Exploring Revelation” class is completed, and posted online—the questions are rolling in by the scores, actually by the hundreds. In the next few sessions, we are taking “Live” questions from students to us in our virtual classroom. Each Q&A session features an answer to a question formed from dozens of variations that all refer to a similar topic. Thanks SO much for your thoughtful, insightful questions.
Question from Student:
Now, a question that we talked about briefly earlier. I have a question pertaining to the war between Michael and the angels and the dragon and demons in Revelation 12:7-8. In theology, we were taught that angels do not have physical bodies. So, in what way do you think this battle would be conducted?
Dr. Barnett’s Response:
Oh, wow. That’s a great question. You know what? I just have to do something Daniel, I have to pray because this is the only book in the Bible that there’s a promise blessing if you study it. So, I’m going to ask the Lord to fulfill His word, Revelation 1:3, and give us a blessing. Any of you that are out there, just join me in your hearts. Let’s invite the Lord to bless us through His word.
Father, I thank you for these diligent students. I thank you for this amazing staff and how they are connecting all the student body electronically, as a little picture of how we’re already connected spiritually. We believe your word and your word says that you promise to bless those who read, those who hear, and those who keep the words which you’ve written in this book.
So, we ask for that blessing today, even as we look through these questions. I pray that you would illumine our hearts and that you would be exalted because it’s not knowledge and facts we want, it’s knowing you and experiencing you. So, bless us that way through your word. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.
Okay, Daniel’s question or the first one he gave about the war in Revelation 12. Remember, and I don’t have much room to write here, but in the class that either you’ve already heard or you’re in the midst of hearing or whatever, you know that the book of Revelation is quoted quotes from over 800 other parts of the Bible. 800.
So, when you talk about Revelation 12 and the battle, we already know what goes on in those battles. The book of Jude tells us that there was a little battle between Michael, one of the archangels and the devil. Let me get there. It says n verse 9 of Jude, “Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bringing against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ ”
They were actually having a tug of war over the body of Moses. Though angels don’t have bodies, they’re spirit beings and even though demons, fallen angels are spirit being they do appear bodily in a form. We see them. Satan has an appearance and so they don’t have flesh and blood like we do, but they do have forms. Angels take forms. So, those forms contend with one another. It only appears to be verbal. So, that’s really the answer to it.
They don’t do what Frank Peretti, he’s a Christian author and he talks about the sword fights. He wrote a book Piercing the Darkness, and This Present Darkness and he talks about literal fighting. The Bible doesn’t describe that clearly but what it does say, is that angels face off with demons or angels unfallen with Satan. When they face off, the angels look to the Lord and say, you Lord take care of them. It never says they sword fight.
So, that’s a picture for us because we would feel; Hey, if I don’t have an angel sword, I won’t make it. The Lord said He is the one that defeats the Devil. So, in Revelation 12, what happens is Satan is no longer allowed.
Let me see if I can turn my little thing here, I’ve been drawing, I’ll get over here. I’ve been drawing, Daniel told me this was coming. This is the throne of God in Heaven. This is the earth right here. The cross. The empty tomb. This is Abraham’s bosom, the bottomless pit, Tartarus, the lake of fire. So, these items, this is all on the Earth. This is in Heaven. What we see is, up until Revelation 12 Satan is allowed to come with his fallen angels, right in front of the throne of God. Job, chapter 1 tells us Job actually 1&2 and 1 Kings and other passages say, Satan at this present time is allowed to come up and accuse us and fight against everything we’re doing and point to our sins. In Revelation 12 what happens is, Satan is banned from the throne and cast down to the earth. Do they sword fight or wrestle? The Bible doesn’t say, but it does say, so this is Revelation 12, in Revelation 20 Satan is chained. It says an angel comes with chains.
Now the question is: angels don’t have bodies, how are they doing this? What kind of a chain is that? I don’t know. Is it a spiritual chain? Is it, you know what we see on Star Wars? Those handcuffed things. I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter, but what matters is that in Revelation 12 Satan is banned from Heaven. He can’t accuse believers there anymore. In revelation 20, he’s actually chained and put into this bottomless pit. Which by the way, you can’t read very well, my board, but Tartarus, Peter tells us is the lower part of the bottomless pit and there are angels already chained down there.
So, what a great question whoever asked that, but
- Yes, there are battles in Heaven in Revelation 12.
- No, angels don’t have physical bodies.
- Yes, there is conflict.
- Yes, there is even chaining and imprisonment, like we see in Revelation 20 and in 2 Peter.
What I would say is, that the Bible is emphasizing the fact that God is in control, His sovereignty, and that God is the one who wins the victory. For us as humans, we like the details, like the light saber stuff. God says, no, no. The angels fought. They caused a one-third of Satan’s army to be confined to the Earth. That’s what’s going to make the tribulation so bad. This is in the mid-point, the second half of the tribulation. All the demons and all of Satan’s activities are totally confined to the Earth because of that battle.