In the last article, we saw that the woman which is the church could also be called the Israel of God. We also know that this woman will be facing a test for 3.5 years. When we proceed in verse 7-12 we can see the angelic war which is the TIPPING POINT leading towards the Anti Christ Reign.
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.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. Rev 12:7-12
The Pre-Trib Background
Today we had one of our TPM Fanatic Reader(Koilmani Stephen Daniel) punching in few verses which if seen out of context would seem to validate their Eunuch Ministry. Click here to check his comment. This same disease is seen with our Pre-Trib Brothers. One of their favourite verse comes from 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7
6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
These Pre-trib brothers(inclusive of TPM white-clads), tells us that this “one which will be taken out of the way is the Holy Spirit and along with the Holy Spirit, the church will also be taken away“, thus proving their Pre-trib Rapture. If these folks would have read the chapter from verse 1 they would not have come to this kind of conclusion. But Alas, this is how the devil works. This kind of interpretation is called “Eisegesis” in which you interpret the text in such a way as to introduce your own presuppositions, agendas or biases.
Check back the same verse and also the context, we do not get any hints which will tell you what is withholding the complete revelation of the Mystery of Iniquity. However, I think the portion in Revelation 12 gives us a peek of the event that will come to be known as the complete unveiling of that event.
The Significance of Michael
The angelic Army of the Lord is in Billions or literally uncountable for us.
The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. Psalm 68:17
“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;” Rev 5:11
These angels are arranged in hierarchical order just like how an organization is structured. In the top echelons of these angelic hosts are the chiefs of these angels. They are called Arch-Angels. The Bible only attributes the rank of the archangel to one angel: Michael. However, it is reasonable to believe that there could be more angels of the same grade. This can be understood by Daniel.
13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Daniel 10:13
Moreover, the Apocryphal texts and Jewish folklores identify few others too.
- Raphael: A passage in Tobit 12:15-22 indicates seven archangels exist, including Raphael, who appears to Tobit and Tobias and encourages them to sing praises to God.
- Gabriel: As mentioned above, Scripture does not give him the label of an archangel, but we can mention he makes an appearance to Daniel and to Mary the Mother of Jesus, each time proclaiming news that will affect the future of Mankind and the Israelite nation.
- Jophiel: From Jewish and Kabalistic lore, she is linked often with beauty and positivity. No Scripture or extracanonical text seems to mention her by name.
- Ariel/Uriel: Although some people have attributed Uriel to several events that happen in the Bible (the angel who guarded the Garden of Eden, the angel who slew the Assyrian army, etc.), an extra-canonical book known as 2 Esdras mentions him (2 Esdras 4:1-8). Uriel presents three impossible riddles to show us how humans cannot fathom the ways of God.
- Azrael: Many have labelled Azrael as the Angel of Death in the tenth plague in Egypt, although Scripture never mentions an explicit name of that angel.
- Chamuel: Again, never mentioned by name in any text, Chamuel is associated with bringing peace.
There are theologians who hold the view that Satan(Lucifer) was also one of the Archangels before he fell.
Now Michael had an additional responsibility too. He is the Angel Responsible to guard the nation of Israel.
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people(Israel), will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Daniel 12:1
The Monkey Trap
There is an old trick which was used in Africa to capture monkeys. Focus on the below image and the cartoon(ignore the expletive). The trap has a hole that will allow the monkey to put his hand IN but would NOT ALLOW his clenched fist to come OUT. The Monkey can escape if it lets go of his hold on the banana. But it is trapped because of its desire to eat the banana. While it keeps holding the banana, it gives the hunters TIME, to come and capture it.
Satan is also in a similar catch 22 situation. He wants to rule over the world but still hold on to his place in heaven. As long as he is in this confusion, he is literally bound by his double-desire. He is not an omnipresent being and that has become his Achilles heel. Therefore, until this event of a heavenly war happens between Michael and Satan, he cannot be fully revealed through the Anti-Christ beast figure. Till the time is ripe, Michael will allow the Dragon to keep holding to his banana (Place in heaven).
After the War in Heaven
This war in heaven liberates the Dragon from his predicament. As he has lost his place in heaven, he has only one place to go and that is this Earth. He is let to land on this earth so that he can unleash his havoc for the last 3.5 years of this age. Jesus prophesied this event when he was on this earth.
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Luke 10:18
When he falls down, he will be persecuting the Woman(The Church) as he is left with a short time for his tenure to end. He will also unleash his wrath on the Nation of Israel because he knows that Michael is the protector of Israel. This period is therefore also called Jacob’s Trouble. Click here to read more about Jacob’s Trouble.
In this concluding section, I would like to tell you why I do not think it is the Holy Spirit that is the one that is blocking the appearance of the Son of Perdition.
6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. 2 Thess 2:6-8
- Holy Spirit is GOD. The construct of the sentence gives the impression that the one taken out of the way is someone less powerful than God. To Characterize the Holy Spirit as a roadblock is quite inappropriate. He is Omni Present God and Cannot be moved around for convenience. He is the One that Moves others around.
- There will be massive work of salvation taking place during the tribulation time. How can that be possible without the presence of the Holy Spirit to convict people?
- If Salvation work is being carried out during the tribulation period, how can the church be missing? The ones that are saved need to become part of the church. They are not inducted into the church as a second-grade group as TPM would teach.
- A direct confrontation between the Holy Spirit and Satan is quite an unequal fight. Satan is an Angel, it makes sense that Michael be the one that confronts and defeats Satan. A similar scene is enacted in Rev 20 when an angel is imprisoning Satan.
Therefore I believe that the Heavenly war(Michael vs Dragon) is the one EVENT that withholdeth the revelation of Satan. The ONE that is biding his time(Holding back) is Michael himself because once he attacks, Satan will be thrown down to earth and the Anti Christ is revealed.