It seems inconceivable for this to happen, but it’s true, there was war in heaven (Revelation 12:7). Lucifer and his hosts were involved in a struggle – not to the death or with the shedding of blood, but over sovereignty, and worship. Lucifer began to sow seeds of discord and doubt in heaven and it resulted in him and his followers being expelled. That must have been one almighty struggle because this is the warning that accompanied their expulsion. “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:12
Notice how the inhabitants of the heavens can “rejoice” because their struggle is over, but we are issued with a, “Woe”. We need to watch out for the schemes and plans of the arch-deceiver, counterfeiter, “Father of lies”, originator of sin, because he’s on a mission to take as many as possible with him on his journey to destruction and total annihilation – “For by your sorcery all the nations were deceived”. Revelation 18:23. The call to be watchful and be alert is echoed by the apostle Peter, who wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
You could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘war’, or struggle between Satan and Christ is centred around sin but, it’s bigger, deeper, and wider than that. Yes, sin must be overcome in our lives and Jesus has already made that possible by his selfless sacrifice on Calvary; therefore opening the door to universal salvation for those who choose it, John 3:16. The ‘war’ – also referred to as, The Great Controversy is between Satan and Christ and is centred around worship. It is depicted in the Three Angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-10. The first and third messages (in particular) are very specific: First Angel (encouragement to worship the Creator), “Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation. 14:7). Third Angel (warning against worshipping Satan), “If anyone worships the beast and his image ……he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God” (Revelation 14:9-10).
I’m sure that the irony is not lost on you when you consider that people who make gods, do all they can to protect them. Contrast that with the only true God who is our maker, provider, protector, and Saviour. He’s the only one to be worshipped, not because of what He has done but just because He is. In the coming posts, I will looking more at how we recognise when we’re in His presence and how that inspires worship.