At theology school, I was curious to learn about the various supernatural wars in the scriptures. I was particularly fascinated by the war in Heaven. During this time, I made amazing acquaintances during our Bible study programs and attained a profound understanding of various apocalyptic doctrines. By the end of the programs, I was well-versed with details pertaining to Biblical wars during the Apocalypse and other concepts. This week, one member of my online Christian forum posted an interesting question on the war in Heaven. She wanted to learn more about the duration and timeline of the war and where it is found in the Bible. Despite the topic being shrouded in end-time mysteries, my extensive study made it easy for me to answer comprehensively. So, how long did the war in Heaven last?
The timeframe of the war in Heaven has not been specified in the Bible in Revelation 12 as it is a futuristic event. As the war in Heaven will occur in the apocalyptic era, its duration is not addressed except that it will occur when Archangel Michael and his angels will defeat Satan and his angels, who will then be cast out of Heaven.
In this article, I will address the dynamics of the war in Heaven and so much more. Welcome aboard as we traverse through this intriguing subject matter together.
What is the war in Heaven?
The war in Heaven is a war between Archangel Michael and his angels against Satan and his fallen angels, as portrayed in Revelation 12. This war will take place during the apocalyptic era within the supernatural realm and among the celestial beings in Heaven. Due to Satan’s colossal pride and false impression that he could be like the Most High God, he will provoke the war between the army of God that will be led by Archangel Michael, who is in charge of war against the devil and his demons.
In the battle of good versus evil, the former is depicted as always triumphing and overcoming the latter. Thus, there will be a cosmic mismatch between God’s side which represents good, versus the devil’s side, which represents evil. Thus, Satan and his fallen angels will lose the battle during the war in Heaven and be ousted for all eternity.
Where does the story of the war in Heaven originate?
The story of the war in Heaven originates from the fall of Lucifer, which is illustrated in Isaiah 14:12-17. Before he became the devil, he was called Lucifer, which means the light-bearer, and he was identified as the star of the morning. He was granted a high-ranking status among the angelic host as he was the archangel in charge of music in Heaven, as depicted in Ezekiel 28:13. Additionally, Lucifer had exquisite beauty and abundant wisdom and was deemed the epitome of perfection and thus was granted the prestige of being the guardian cherub.
Nevertheless, due to the immense power and influence that he was given, he developed great hubris and wanted to be worshipped in the place of the Almighty God. Due to this reason, the once alluring and powerful angel was cast down by God and fell to the Earth, thus eternally losing his prior exalted rank in the kingdom of Heaven. This marked the origin of the war in Heaven as Satan has been belligerent against the people of God and accusing them daily, and thus the outcome leads to the final showdown in the battle described in Revelation 12.
When did the war in Heaven happen?
Many scholars believe that the war in Heaven will take place in the future during the Tribulation in the end times. According to Revelation 12:7-17, the war is a futuristic event during which Satan and his followers will be completely expunged from Heaven. According to Revelation 12:6, the war in Heaven alludes to taking place around the center of the seven-year Tribulation.
Is the war in Heaven a prophecy of what is to come?
Many theologians believe the war in Heaven is a prophecy of what will come. According to Revelation 12:7-17, the war in Heaven is an eschatological vision that John the Revelator saw as an end-time occurrence. It is a prophecy of the great angelic warfare that will occur in the spiritual realm with Archangel Michael and his angels versus Satan and his fallen angels or demons.
Why does the war in Heaven happen?
There are various schools of thought about why the war in Heaven occurs. The first one is to ultimately cast Satan out of Heaven as described in Revelation 12:9. This war will create a turning point in the apocalyptic timeline where Satan will be driven out of Heaven for all eternity and thrown to the Earth to rule through the antichrist during the second half of the seven-year Tribulation. The second one is to end the era of Satan’s work of slandering and making accusations against the saints of God, as illustrated in Revelation 12:10. The devil will cease having a platform in Heaven as he always did despite his insurrection against God.
Who are the Dragon, Woman, and Child in Revelation 12?
The dragon in Revelation 12:9 refers to Satan, also known as the devil or serpent of old. According to Revelation 12:3, it is described as mighty, fierce, and red to illustrate how vicious and malevolent the creature is, synonymous with the diabolical nature of Satan. It is also described as one who deceives the whole world, tantamount to how Satan is identified as the father of all lies according to John 8:44. As Revelation 12:4 states, the dragon drew a third of the stars of Heaven with its tail to characterize how Satan steered a third of the angels who are represented by the stars according to Revelation 1:20 in a rebellion against The Almighty God in Heaven.
Satan wanted to ascend above the echelons of the clouds in Heaven and exalt his throne above the angels of God and the apex of the congregation and make himself like the Most High God, as illustrated in Isaiah 14:13-14. Additionally, Satan commenced his mission as the serpent of old who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, whose consequences culminated to sin being brought to the entire world as described in Genesis 3:1-13. Satan’s endeavors as a dragon are to thwart and derail God’s design of saving souls for them to have eternal life through deceiving and persecuting His people, as demonstrated in Revelation 12:4, where he stood before the woman about to procreate to devour her newborn child.
The woman in Revelation 12:1 refers to the nation of Israel. She is attired with the sun and with the moon beneath her feet to represent God’s chosen people as the sun and moon connotation was utilized to symbolize Israel clothed in honor and grandeur described in Joseph’s dream, which he illustrated to his father and mother, and brothers as illustrated in Genesis 37:9. In addition, the garland or crown of twelve stars on her head signifies the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel.
The woman was in travail because she was having labor pangs and about to give birth to reference Micah 5:3, where Israel corresponds to a pregnant woman who will give forth to the one who will lead them. She is greatly protected by God, as illustrated in Revelation 12:6, where she flees into the wilderness to a place secured by God for 1,260 days. Furthermore, according to Revelation 12:14-16, she is granted the wings of an eagle to fly into the wilderness and be sustained away from the serpent who will try to harm her through a flood but will not prevail against her.
The child in Revelation 12:4-5 refers to Jesus Christ. The nation of Israel gave birth and brought forth a child to signify the coming of the Messiah from the land of God’s chosen people. According to Revelation 12:5, the male child will rule over all the nations in the world with a rod of iron to represent the strong government of Jesus Christ where He will rule with perfect judgment during His 1,000 year Kingdom reign on Earth in the Millenium as described in Revelation 20:4-6. In addition, the child being caught up to God and His throne characterizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ when He was taken up in a cloud and ascended to Heaven, as illustrated in Acts 1:9-11.
How does the war in Heaven end?
According to Revelation 12:7-12, the war in Heaven ends with Satan being conquered and cast out of Heaven for all eternity. When the battle ensues in Heaven, Archangel Michael and the host of angels form a heavenly army and go to war and fight with Satan and his legion of fallen angels. Satan and his fallen angels had initially rebelled against God during Satan’s attempted failed coup to overthrow the Most High God and take over His throne but were thrown to the Earth but still had access to Heaven.
The devil was not permanently barred from Heaven following his initial revolt against God that preceded the creation of the world. According to Isaiah 14:12, Lucifer, who is Satan’s original name, is depicted as having fallen from Heaven to the ground, and in Luke 10:18 where Jesus told His disciples that He witnessed Satan plunged like lightning from Heaven. During this war in Heaven, Satan and his fallen angels will not manage to prevail against Michael and his angels, and thus they will not have a portion of Heaven anymore, and they will be cast down to the Earth.
After the angels of God conquer, and Satan and his fallen angels are vanquished, there will be rejoicing in Heaven because the devil who accused humanity before The Almighty every day and night will be cast down. Nevertheless, there will be major darkness and turmoil in the world because Satan will be in the midst of humanity on Earth. In addition, the devil will have immense wrath against the people of God. This is because Satan will know that he has a short time of three and a half years before being bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and then his ultimate annihilation in hell for all eternity, as illustrated in Revelation 20.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.