Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
Click picture to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
[12:7-9. The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan's exclusion from "heaven" and his restriction to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of God's holy angels (cf. Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). Satan is the chief of the fallen angels. At the middle of the Tribulation period, God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven, so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere. He is given four designations: (1) dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God; (2) serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3; (3) Devil means "slanderer" (cf. v. 10); (4) Satan means "adversary" (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8). He also deceiveth the whole world (cf. 20:8).]
10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12: Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
[12:10-12. The words salvation, strength (Gr. dunamis, "power"), kingdom, and power (Gr. exousia, "authority") all refer to the coming of the millenial kingdom of Christ. With reference to believers, Satan is most commonly a tempter and the accuser of the brethren before God (cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-5; Rom. 8:33, 34). Believers can and will overcome him through the blood of Christ and their witness (testimony) about Christ. The last half of the Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (cf. Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt. 24:15-22). It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Therefore he has great wrath and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation (vv. 13-17), while setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah (13:1-17).]