Throughout all of time God and his angels have been at war with the devil and his forces. The Scriptures indicate that Satan was cast down from heaven a

long time ago, in the beginning. God Himself declares, "You were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God." (Ezek. 28:16) Or again: "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!" (Is.14:12)

Though Satan was cast down to earth, he still had access to the heavenlies. The prophet Zechariah saw a vision in which Satan came before the Lord in order to accuse the people of Israel, represented by their high priest Joshua. (Zech. 3) In this vision, Joshua is clothed in filthy garments. He

represents a people acknowledged to be guilty and unclean. As Isaiah prayed,

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds

are like a filthy garment." (Is. 64:6)

Joshua stands before God to intercede for Jerusalem and her children. We are told that he represents the Messiah of Israel. (Zech. 3:8) He is called by a shortened form of his Hebrew name, "Yeshua" or "Jesus." In this vision, God is clearly indicating that Messiah Jesus, the high priest of Israel, is interceding for the Jewish people. (cf. Heb. 7:24-8:3)

Satan, on the other hand, is seeking to accuse, and thereby destroy, Jerusalem and the Jewish people. They are as a burning brand, about to be consumed. But it is the Lord Himself who says, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!" (Zech. 3:3) The Lord Himself promises to pull the brand out of the fire, and to take away the filthy garments of Israel. (Zech. 3:2, 4)

The Lord told Daniel of a time of tribulation, at the end of this age, worse

than any the Jewish people have yet endured. This is part of the war that the devil and his angels are waging against the kingdom of God. But the Lord promises deliverance: "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. . . And at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued." (Dan. 12:1)

In Revelation, John describes the last war between Satan, the accuser of

Israel, and Michael, her defender: "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

"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 Messiah have come, because the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.’" (Rev.12:7-10)

This is the final battle of a war that has been going on in heaven for a long time. It results in the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom. And after this battle, the Devil will never again have access before God to accuse and seek to destroy Israel.

[Please see Israel’s Sin and God’s Faithfulness.]

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