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The War In Heaven

"War In Heaven" - An Actual War!
            When it was explicatively mentioned by one of my Religion professors at Andrews University, on the day following the NET ’98 presentation mentioned below, that the belief that the “War in Heaven” mentioned in Rev 12:7 was (indeed) not believed by all SDA’s to have been an actual/literal war[1], I thought that this was an exaggeration as, at the very least, the Spirit of Prophecy (SOP) seemed to be quite clear about this being a real, all-out war. However, it does appear that such a belief was, and still is, indeed quite present amongst SDA circles.[2]

Some (extra-potentially influential, based on actual “audiences”) examples include:

-Dwight Nelson - NeXt Millennium Seminar (Net’98) #14. How to Tip the Scales in Your Favor and Beat Your Audit at 16:19ff of sermon (at 29:07ff in full broadcast) [video clip]:

Study Guide: Read Rev. 12:7.  The Greek word for "war" is polemos, from whence comes our English word, polemics/polemical a synoanym for aggressive argument and debate. The critical point Heaven broke out in war not a war of fists but of competing philosophies not a war of missiles but of dueling minds an intergalactic struggle launched by a rebel angel named Lucifer against the throne of God and Christ Himself portrayed in apocalyptic symbols as the dragon vs. Michael.”

-Mark Howard (Director of Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism and “adjunct” instructor at A.R.I.S.E. Institute and Mission College)- Sanctuary Service - 03. Rise of the Little Horn at 13:34ff:

            ‘not a “conventional war” but “an argument/controversy/war of ideology”’

Idem. - mentioned again in Sermon: “Gods Eternal Purposes” [05:50ff] and more deliberately and decidedly in: Mission College Session: Daniel 2 - Part 2 [02:34ff] & [21:09ff].

Idem. - resolutely [really, effectively (exegetically) obstinately/indifferently] maintained/re-claimed in his 01-14-2012 sermon here (mp3) “GC, Part 1:  "The Controversy Begins"” [01:20:46-01:24:28ff] (later summarizingly (similarly fallaciously) restated in 01-28-2012 sermon (mp3) [01:00:11-01:02:03]) -makes “polemics” claim again, -‘bolsteringly’ citing the Spanish word polemica as (supposed) ‘support’. Also posits that this is proper understanding as ‘the war in even did not straightly break out into fighting; but in what Ezek 28:5b reveals was trading/merchandising’ [That latter passage/point itself = ‘marketing’ -i.e., ‘peddling something for a buyer’ = “campaigning”.].[3]

-Ty Gibson and James Rafferty - (Light Bearers Ministry) - Unlocking Revelation #14 - The War Behind All Wars (page 2):

            “It was not a war of violence with swords or guns, but a war of ideas, of words, of accusations             against God on the part of Satan and vindication of God on the part of Michael.”


-Dwight Nelson - (January 10, 2009 Sermon - "The Fork-tongued Beast") [audio] at 17:23ff - using the same polemos conclusion as above:

            ...a war of ideologies, ideas, philosophies, they're not boxing each other!

-David Asscherick - (Sept 28, 1013) Likewise now: ‘it wasn’t a fist fight {depictive visual effects}....’ [4] Again in October 2014 here[08:41-10:58ff] re-using the faulty linguistic basis and Satan campaign distinct-events/developments, & their Scriptures, confusing and conflation.

-Kameron Devasher - (Recently, a main speaker at FYI 2011 & GYC 2011) - December 4, 2010 Sermon - “Casting Out The Devil - Part 1” [audio] at 10:30-12:54ff. And during 3ABN’s 2012 Anchors of Truth series here [33:22-34:03] & recappingly here [07:19-07:34]; and on 02-08-14, in a ‘Revelation highlighting overview’, here [30:21-30:47]. 
            Devasher also, (evangelistically), restates this in October 18&19 2013 series presentations here [23:15-33:21] and here [19:43-24:34] and then, using the same, (as discussed below in Note #4-(in its “10-19-13 Post-Script”)): etymologically-exegetically and theologically debunked spurious: ‘trading/merchandising/trafficking = slandering’ extension claim as then recently advanced by David Asscherick ca. 21 days before in his 3ABN presentation; along with, [here at 32:25-33:04], the SOP-glossing, spuriously-equivocating, really “straw man”, “come on now”-emotionalism, line of argument that: ‘it was not a war of weapons, (with arms, tanks, bombs and fighter jets), but of ideas, -“a political campaign if you will”’.[5]
            ...And yet, most indifferently so, again from Devasher here [26:50-27:23ff] (June 4, 2014). By now he has become quite deviously skillful in erecting straw man arguments (such as here that: (a) ‘Heaven was not strewn with the bodies of dead angels from a physical fight’) and pointing to red herrings (such as: (b) ‘Satan never openly had a conflict with the Jesus in Heaven’) so that people can believe his novice claims. The Bible and SOP Truth is that (a) no death resulted from that physical war and (b) Satan did not have to fight Jesus head on “He [God] would give the rebellious an equal chance to measure strength and might with his own Son and his loyal angels....” (1SP 21.1a). Either Devasher can’t read, or he does not believe, even direct revelations in, the SOP, and/or is too pridefully drunken by his, at best, amateurish/elementary quack-exegesis. (=Hos 4:16-17)

-Hiram Rester - 3ABN’s 2012 Pillars of Prophecy (Dan 8) [video 1 - 23:51-25:05ff]; [video 2 - 33:09-34:23ff]

-Both these latter two claim that polemos means “politics”[???], and that this was being done in ‘Satan peddling/spreading around his countering views/idea about God.’[6]

-Gibson, Asscherick, Rafferty & Jeffery Rosario (Light Bearers’: Table Talk program “Cosmic War” episode (manifestly first broadcast on 11-15-2013) - In here, a “perfect storm” confluence of individuals with, frankly, at least “half-pregnant”: “Emergents approaches” and (so-called) “Character of God” proponents mentality”, those first three individuals here, along with Rosario, -who actually himself did not really present a substantively contributive point to pointedly the “Actual Nature of the War in Heaven” heretical parts of this discussion, (but he is still “guilty” not merely by association, but more by not having objected to it, if he actually does not share that heretical view), present the same arguments and claims which have been disproven and debunked in this present post.[7]

-Dave Fiedler - On 10-04-14 here[00:00-00:44]: ‘The Greek polemos is the root of the English “polemics”, and means “an argument”. So the/that (GC) War in Heaven was (also) a “war of ideas” and did not involve “fisticuffs”’.

-Peter Gregory - On April 2015 here[19:08-22:21ff]: ‘...also since no angels died, it was the just “a great argument”’.
            -It was rather than since the Evil angels were outnumbered 2 to 1, they were easily overpowered by the Good Angels (= Rev 12:8a “not strong enough”), and thus easily restrained, and it is out of there greater love and mercy, and even, or actually, a still present uncertainty/doubt, -since this particular issue was only made clearer to them at the Cross (DA 761.2)), they, or rather God, just ordered that this corralled forces of evil angels be cast out of Heaven instead of (=Rev 12:8b), as actually and easily possible, putting them to death (cf. DA 764.2)....
            ...But, as with the others here: don’t let proper Biblical Exegesis nor the Direct Revelations from the SOP you claim to love and trust so much, get in the way of you subjective, “better than God”, =haughty, (humanistic) fantasies, as well as your various vacuous, here clowning-for-shaming, peer-pressuring tactics that you all typically patently employ to try to get people to ascribe to them...Sound exactly like what Satan was, and still is, doing in this GC War...I.e. ‘God is a violent, tyrant who didn’t have, and still doesn’t have, any actual/righteous reason to (ever) employ such (physical/warring) force against us and or alternate view. (cf. Rev 16:9, 11, 21). Indeed every generation of unbelievers/rebels, from the Antediluvians on (PP 95.3), has (futilely) tried to so impeach the (Love but Just/Judging, Merciful but Warring) Character of God.

Jonathan Henderson - On January 30, 2016 here[39:17-40:55ff] claiming the, as also discussed below, mistranslating of polemos in Jam 4:2 as seemingly merely a “quarrel”...(However just earlier in Jam 4:1 it was translated as “fighting”, -a debunking point that Henderson does not mention.).
-Also on June 18, 2016 here[29:44-30:11-30:40ff] falsely claiming:

“There was polemos: ‘a war of words’. That's where we get the words “politics” from. ...polemos....Not swords, not lightsabers, no Jedi fights, nothing like that...nobody had to use "The Force". It was just a war of words.”

            Then LOL, as with all of these other subjective and misguided preachers, dares goes on to quote “what EGW said”.... Clearly, -as with his other wider false, “Progressive [really: Redactive] Light”, teaching here on the Atonement, they only quote her theological points and revelations when she agree with their humanistic and self-idolatrous false theology.

___________________


            The following is a brief refutation of this false belief. (It is based on a part of a sermon that particularly addressed that issue - preached in the Spring of 1999):

            Revelation 12, (as within Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28), give the earliest account of when God first had to deal with the sin problem that was entering His universe through Lucifer's (who actual name then, and at that point, was apparently Rameel (“Morning of God”)) growing rebellion. God patiently waited for Lucifer to repent from the evil he was conjuring up but as Mrs. White says in the opening chapter of  Patriarchs and Prophets: "Lucifer pointed to the long-suffering of God as an evidence of his own superiority, an indication that the King of the universe would accede to his terms." (PP 39.2) But then Satan's rebellion reached a point where God had to intervene and in Revelation Chapter 12, John saw in vision that:

            "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels (in order) to wage war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, (Rev 12:7 cf. NASB)"

            Now was this war that John saw an actual battle? This may seem like a strange question for those of us who have read the entire first chapter of Patriarchs and Prophets and other Spirit of Prophecy passages, but because this has become a point of disagreement amongst commentators, even within our own Adventist circles, it is worth taking a closer look at it. John used to Greek word polemos to describe this celestial conflict. Some say that it is from this Greek word that we get our English word "polemics", so what John was seeing was nothing more than a heated argument, but that is not accurate. Our English word for "polemics" comes from the Greek word polemikos which is a diminutive derivative of polemos. Polemos (Strongs #4171) literally means "war", while polemikos refers to something that is "warlike". Polemos is used throughout the New Testament (NT) to refer to a “war” or a “battle” (Mat 24:6; Mar 13:7; Luk 14:31; 21:9; 1Co 14:8; Heb 11:34; Rev 9:7, 9; 11:7; 12:7, 17; 13:7; 16:14; 19:19; 20:8.) and furthermore it is used throughout the Greek Version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, a.k.a. LXX - 375 times) to refer to physical conflicts, such as the all-out, physical wars and battles the Israelites were involved in. Also, its Liddell-Scott lexicon entry, which includes Classic Greek usage, only cite physical conflicts as defining examples (i.e, wars, battles, fights, riotings). Their only ‘non-physical’ (actually non-literal) examples figuratively refers to ‘personifications of war/battle.’ All of this consistent usages for a physical conflict squarely puts the onus of citing concrete supporting examples, if any, on those who say that polemos also refers to mere “polemics.”
            The only case in the NT where this meaning of a “physical conflict/fight” may not be readily seen is in Jam 4:1 where it is used to seemingly more tamely speak of merely ‘“quarrels” among believers.’ However in that very text, the specific Greek term for a non-physical conflict is seen in the use of the word machai (Strongs #3163/#3164) which is rightly used in both the NT and the LXX to express “disputes.” (See e.g.: John 6:52; 2 Tim 2:23, 24; Tit 3:9). The word “strateuo” [Strongs #4754] is also used in this context, however this is a technical military term used for entrenched, systematized “warfare” and/or its components (e.g., an army, enlisted soldiers, etc), as opposed to an actual outburst of fighting as polemos portrays. Furthermore, the “quarrels/fighting” addressed in James 4:1, 2 may have indeed been quite physical fights. (Today, in our removed context, we cannot say that ‘they surely were not fighting.’ That would actually solely be hopeful thinking.) As proper exegesis is to align seemingly diverging uses with the predominant use, especially in such a 15-1 ratio, then it is therefore more likely the case that these “quarrels/fighting” were indeed physical outbreaks. Therefore there is no precedence in the NT to view polemos as nothing less than a "physical fight."   
            If solely a “dispute” had occurred in Rev 12:7-8, then the more specific term for this, machai (Strongs #3171), would have been used. The two opposing sides in this 'War in Heaven' were not enlisted soldiers here carrying out their “duty” (i.e., soldiering), but were instead two, relatively, suddenly formed factions, trying to (partially) resolve a conflict, which God knew, in His Just and Prescient Wisdom, would require thousands of years of concrete “playing out” to transparently decide, by here, the temporal use of force. So this battle between Christ and Satan was not a heated debated around a ten-foot table but instead it was an all-out war, an active revolt. (Cf. a similarly-based argument by Mark Finley here [05:31-06:26ff] during his GYC Europe 2012 sermon). As Mrs. White states in Patriarch and Prophets: “God permitted Satan to carry forward his work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his plans to be fully developed, that their true nature and tendency might be seen by all.” (PP 41.2; cf. 1SM 222.2-3). She also describes this conflict in the chapter entitled: “The Fall of Satan” in The Spirit of Prophecy vol 1:17-24. There she unequivocally says: 

            “The loyal angels hasten speedily to the Son of God, and acquaint him with what is taking place among the angels. They find the Father in conference with his beloved Son, to determine the means by which, for the best good of the loyal angels, the assumed authority of Satan could be forever put down. The great God could at once have hurled this arch deceiver from Heaven; but this was not his purpose. He would give the rebellious an equal chance to measure strength and might with his own Son and his loyal angels. In this battle every angel would choose his own side, and be manifested to all. It would not have been safe to suffer any who united with Satan in his rebellion to continue to occupy Heaven. They had learned the lesson of genuine rebellion against the unchangeable law of God; and this is incurable. If God had exercised his power to punish this chief rebel, disaffected angels would not have been manifested; hence God took another course; for he would manifest distinctly to all the heavenly host his justice and his judgment.” (1SP 21.1)

Then it is said:

            “All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case determined. Satan unblushingly made known his dissatisfaction that Christ should be preferred before him. He stood up proudly and urged that he should be equal with God, and should be taken into conference with the Father and understand his purposes. God informed Satan that to his Son alone he would reveal his secret purposes, and he required all the family in Heaven, even Satan, to yield him implicit, unquestioned obedience; but that he (Satan) had proved himself unworthy a place in Heaven. Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, These are with me! Will you expel these also, and make such a void in Heaven? He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ, and to defend his place in Heaven by force of might, strength against strength.  Good angels wept to hear the words of Satan, and his exulting boasts. God declared that the rebellious should remain in Heaven no longer. (1SP 22.3a

            And that is indeed what inevitably happened and with the eternal destiny of the universe on the line you can indeed be sure that no one involved was simply going through the motion.

            “Then there was war in Heaven. The Son of God, the Prince of Heaven, and his loyal angels, engaged in conflict with the arch rebel and those who united with him. The Son of God and true, loyal angels prevailed; and Satan and his sympathizers were expelled from Heaven. All the heavenly host acknowledged and adored the God of justice. Not a taint of rebellion was left in Heaven. All was again peaceful and harmonious as before.” (1SP 23.3b)

            The SOP perfectly harmonizes with the testimony of Scripture in regards to a clear physicality in Rev. 12:7-9 which says:

            “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels (in order) to wage war with the dragon. 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.” (cf. NASB)

            Indeed this war was the only way that God could concretely prove to the universe that the forces of good were superior to the forces of evil, and when one thinks about it, it was the only fair/transparent way in which God could cast the devil and the rebellious angels out of heaven. They strongly felt that they had a right to remain in Heaven and take over God's government, therefore they had no plans of going any where. So God had no other choice but to let Christ marshal His loyal angels, and by physical superiority, decide this conflict, and then forcefully cast them out.

           While it may be argued that this Divinely-devised marshalling for war was merely done by God to “smoke out” rebelling angels, who logically would have preferred to remain anonymous in their opposing stance, it still occurred that a physical fight did follow. God could have easily, and of Himself, hurled the entire opposing group, now standing distinctly to one side, out of Heaven without this conflict.[8] Furthermore, how likely are you to win a clearly, even-matched (individually, strength-wise), fight, when you’re, most readily ascertainable (e.g., by simply by counting the large, pre-battle, army divisions (1SP 22.1)), outnumbered 2 to 1. That all shows that this “permitted fight” was indeed to readily decide who should win this controversy and remain in Heaven, and not actually to merely expel these disloyal angels. As the Bible clearly states in Rev 12:8, ‘after this fighting, when Satan and his angels were not strong enough, then there no longer was found a place for them in Heaven.’[9]

Rev 12:8b: “then there no longer was found a place for them in Heaven.”
            The use of the Greek adverbial expression: eti = ‘still/yet/even’, rendered as “no longer” here suggests that prior to that ‘resolving fighting’ God had been tolerating the presence of these increasingly rebelling angels. But now, they had no ideological nor concrete grounds to continue to claim a right to remain in Heaven. Most likely, the fighting between these angels was deliberately ended when that one-third of rebelling angels had been physically subdued, and thus literally “arrested”, by the faithful two-thirds, and God the Father then decided to merely expel them into ‘outer (space) darkness’. (=2 Pet 2:4/Jude 1:6).
            This expulsion was done rather than allowing the angels (or God Himself) to put these defeated angels to death, or even imprisoning them in Heaven....And their ‘binding/seclusion’ in that empty/dark realm of space was evidently only secured as long as Satan could not stake a claim on any of God’s created and inhabited planets. (cf. Rev 20:1-3, 7-9 discussed in here). But that restriction was broken when this Planet effectively “voted” for Satan’s views and rule in Adam’s initial sinning. (Cf. Job 1:6-7ff)


Permitted ‘Unfair Fight’ Wisdom
            And in God’s perfect Wisdom, He may have allowed this ‘inherently unfair fight’, knowing full well that the rebelling side had no ‘fighting chance’ to win in order to subliminally provide Satan and his supporting angel an enduring impetus for them to carry out their Great Controversy ideas as fully, as best and as “fairly” as they knew how in order to be able to fully exhaust this Great Controversy issue once and for all here. (ala. for (cf. John 17:12) a second (also persistingly-volunteered) “son of perdition” John 13:26-28ff; cf. DA 717.2ff. [btw, a third+ s.o.p = the Historical (2 Thess 2:3-7 & Rev 13:1-10; 17:8-9) & Eschatological (2 Thess 2:8-12 & Rev 13:11-18; 17:11ff) Papacy)]) Nothing indeed more motivating for a losing side than the thought that they had not been given a fair chance to prove their point and, in fact, Satan would not even be up front to the fallen angels about the true/foundational motivations for his rebellion here (i.e., jealousy and hatred of the position the God the Son/Michael has over him), not risking to lose their support. (=Rev 12:4’s deception, see discussion here). So that “unfair fighting’ initiated by God actually served to force this GC to be fought on fair issues. It can be argued that it is only after the Cross, when Satan and his angels then realized that all was lost, that they began engaging in wanton, utterly lawless and (GC) pointless sabotaging actions. (Rev 12:12-17) Priorly their actions were to try to prove that man would not freely choose to live according to God’s will, but would instead prefer evil, but after the Cross, they, as seen in the persecutions which they (probably more directly) incited against righteous people (Jesus Christ, and then Christians), they were acting to try to force righteous people to turn away from living righteously (Matt 5:10). The Great Controversy unfairness/cheating in these will-coercing actions of Satan is seen in the simple fact that God could actually be conversely doing a similar thing, i.e., showering unrighteous people with blessings and favor in order to effectively force them to believe and accept Him. (Cf. John 6:26). Surely Satan then would have cried that this is unfair. (=Job 1:8-11)

            It is manifest that those who (persistently) subscribe to a false belief here make the common mistake of interpreting the Bible by what one personally wants it to say, and not by what it actually says, (contra 2 Pet 1:20, 21) but, as the SOP points out in this matter, God’s judgement here was perfect and unimpeachable. In the light of the fact that, as alluded to above, these ideas and philosophy of Lucifer, which even the loyal angels were then somewhat intrigued/partial to but chose to keep their faith in God, were going to necessitate thousands of years to be concretely, completely proven to be false (cf. DA 758-764), this “opting” of God here for a physical resolution was evidently the ‘lesser of two great evils’, with the other option being Lucifer’s destructive ideas co-ruling in the heavenly realm, until concretely proven entirely false. God evidently knew that this was a state that was utterly not “accommodable”.


Notes
[1] Which evidently was also approved and/or believed by those involved in the preparation and presentation of this Net ‘98 topic, and thus who were (pre-)aware of it. (It would be interesting to hear how the 40 translators involved in this presentation rendered this view/statement.) 

[2] Evidently this view is borne out, and/or related to, the popular “Character of God” movement in the SDA Church which unbiblically teaches that “God does not Kill/Destroy”. See an indepth discussion on this with other SDA’s in this Forum thread entitled: “Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death?” which calls the holders of this view to incontrovertible exegetical accountability and responsibility (which actually cannot be done in their view) for both the Bible and SOP. I, “NJK Project” joined in on page 14 to the end. (That 105+ page “Character of God” discussion is outlined in this blog post.) Another thread entitled “The Character of God Movement, is it Counterfeit?” is also interesting on this issue. (It is a Private thread so signing up to the forum and receiving access permission will be required. However you can download a PDF printing of that discussion from this link on the WBSC website).

[3] By the fourth sermon [02-04-12] (mp3) in his Great Controversy series, Mark Howard may have realized, or been shown, that his ‘merely non-physical argument/controversy’ view was not at all Biblically tenable, including with it not agreeing with SOP revelations, and so he makes the, albeit partially conceding claim that: ‘things ended up in an “all out, knock down, drag out” affair’ [34:27–34:59ff]. Later he deflectively adds to this specification: “if you will” [37:27-38:14]. That’s a great truthful improvement, but the linguistically accurate fact of the matter actually is that, as later detailed, Rev 12:7-9 is only describing the  physical portion of the Controversy which had priorly begun in heaven.

[4] In a strange ambivalent way, apparently solely to be able to continue to advance his intended point that ‘there was a debate involved in Great Controversy in Heaven,’ and/or in non-reprimanding support of his A.R.I.S.E. colleague Mark Howard and his view on this, David Asscherick, in this Jan 2010 sermon [20:32-21:40], (similarly purported in this later, early-Spring 2011 sermon [23:54-26:32]), on one hand incorrectly correlates/associates the Greek word “polemos” with the English word “polemics” and thus assumes that this passage is speaking of a ‘verbal/intellectual debate’; while, on the other hand, he adds that “there may also have been actual/physical fighting”?!?
            And... in this 04-16-2013 sermon [20:42-25:45], Asscherick, indifferently, undisturbedly/smoothly, conflates the distinct rebellion phases issues here and continues his now exegetically/substantively vacuous claims in regards to the “war” (=polemos) of Rev 12:7-9, citing the above debunked “politics” association, and newly, even the irrelevant English word “pole”, which he then confuses with “poll”, as definingly determinative of that Greek word. In Greek, as in any language, the morphing of a word through compounding, prefixing, suffixing, can and does, as in indeed does here, alter the pointed significance of a word. And so while these words “pole”, polemikos, polemos, are indeed all related, they are distinct in their pointed mean as “polarize”, “polemic”, and “war” are. And contrary to Asscherick’s straw man posit that ‘one needs to picture what that war would look like, we actually have the testimony of Scripture (when exegetically rightly read) and the SOP which reveal that it was a real, physical “fight”. Indeed, Asscherick wants people to (“disabusingly”....really...because taking the Bible and SOP at its explicit word is: “ab-use/abuse”), not think that Rev 12:7-9 was “overly physical, especially since he, misconstruedly, claims that the SOP says that God could have tossed Satan out as a pebble (DA 759.1). Well the fact of the matter probably is that God actually probably did, “easily”, do so... when the time to toss out the losers of that preceding deciding brute force war came, but in that fight/war, God had actually matched ‘Satan and his angels against Michael and His angels’ (Rev 12:7-8a), with Michael/Jesus being in an incarnate Mighty Angel form, with that most likely involving, (as it did when He later subsequently incarnated Himself as man and then depended squarely on “the ministry of angels” to physically do superhuman (e.g., DA 240.1-3; Matt 26:53; DA 694.5-6) and supernatural/miraculous things (e.g., DA 143.1)), Michael no longer have superior (in this case God-equal) powers and strength, -which is why that War in Heaven was indeed going to be a on a fair, strength for strength, (=brute force) battle. (Cf. A similar emphasis by Adrian Webster here [30:40] in a sermon on Rev 12: “the Battle in Heaven was won by might....”; though the Bible and SOP actually, sequentially, point out that it was actually for reasons of more than merely physically kicking Satan and his followers out of Heaven.). As stated next, the Bible and SOP are distinctly clear about all that was distinctly involved in the War in Heaven, and does not ambiguously and/or ambivalently conflate/fog things as Asscherick and other SDA preachers indifferently do with the stark stipulation of Rev 12:7-9. We are dealing with the “War” here people not the preceding “argumentations” so stop confusing the two. There’s no, “vindicating” need to....things became just what God Himself deemed they validatingly should be.
            Indeed, the fact is that Satan was indeed “subtle” first, but then God literally call his inherent bluff and challenged him and his followers to ‘put their welfare, even life (as God may have let them believed), where their mouths/sentiments/convictions were to see if they really wanted to hang on to such beliefs in the face of most likely/evident loss of all that they had enjoyed in Heaven. And their (i.e. the fallen angels, but not Satan’s own as God had long seen that he knew his course was wrong (PP 39.1), =Rev 12:4, discussed later)) genuine/sincere resoluteness in the face of potential inexistence probably indicated/confirmed to God that He must allow them to live for 6000+ years to have this GC demonstrated (cf. PP 42.3), even if it would solely be for the (concrete) benefit/reward of the loyal angels (and subsequently righteous men) particularly as even the loyal angel would not be sure about the issues here even after their (quasi-vexatious) decision at the Cross (DA 761.2-3; 764.4).
            So, rightly understanding this outbreak of passionate, physical (yet actually really tangential to the substance of the GC issues “on the floor” then, -which is probably why many knee-jerkly want to explain theses statements away) fighting, actually awakens one to, as seen in war today, to the infinitely non-clear cut, but rather mere decisional, way in which this GC will be resolved, i.e., by people deeming that the ways of God are most likely better than what Satan was suggesting.
            The Spirit of Prophecy is clearly not so confused and/or ambivalent on this “witnessed” event. As it will be shown further, this passage in Rev 12:7-9 is not at all concerned about speaking of the philosophical aspect in Heaven’s Great Controversy up to then, but is here strictly relating the physical battle that erupted, and concluded, this whole matter. The war spoken of here is the physical fighting which broke out long after the preceding exchanges of variant “polemical” ideas, (as indeed pointedly allegorically related in Isa 14:12-20 & Ezek 28:11-19; -see also my comments here), had begun and had then here reached this ‘physically conflicting impasse’...as later explained: -if anything at all was going to begin to be settled at that time.


Post-Script (10-19-13): FINALLY [and cf. here in regards to Asscherick’s “mens modus” (~‘thinking mode’) in taking sides on such “PR” issues] in this 09-28-13 sermon [full broadcast video (add 36:30 to times cited here)] [at 30:03ff], David Asscherick [at 35:15] still, now clearly, and “air-headedly”, indifferently, using fallacious claims about the Greek word polemos in Rev 12:7, takes a non-ambivalent, (which had actually been more ambiguous), stance on this issue, and forthcomingly, heretically (i.e, contra. both (exegetical) Bible and (directly-inspired) SOP “Revelation”) states that “it was not a fist fight”....The additionally ironic thing here is that, with God probably not having amassed a stockpile of weapons in an armory for His (regular) angels (i.e., it may be only Mighty Angels/Cherubim who have flaming swords (Gen 3:24)), they probably had nothing else to use here but their hands/body/fists in what would then be a hand-to-hand/body-to-body, perhaps wrestlitive (cf. Gen 32:24-25; Hos 12:4) ‘“strength vs. strength” “fighting”’, (-and with none of these psychologically innocent angels having learned individual Martial Arts or MMA-type fighting tactics).                                                                                                       
            While Asscherick’s etymological statement [at 34:01] in regards to the Hebrew word “rekullah” used in Ezek 28:5, 16, 18 (=Strongs #7404 = traffic, merchandising) that it does come from the root “rakal” (#7402 lit. “trader, merchant”) which is also at the root for the Hebrew word for a, actually more forcefully, “slanderer” (“rakil” #7400 [used in: Lev 19:16; Jer 6:28, 9:4; Ezk 22:9; Prov 11:13a; 20:19a] -and not merely a “gossip” or “talebearer”), are indeed etymologically associated, that is still not the intent of its usage in Ezek 28. The intent there is pointedly merchandising for if that was not the case, the specific word for a “slanderer” would have instead been used. So Asscherick is actually engaging in pseudo-exegesis in claiming otherwise.
            And the underlying notion here is ‘going about in/for a self-advantaging way’ and this is indeed seen in ‘competitional campaigning’ which almost inherently comes to involves “slandering” and also in trying to sell something...which manifestly is something that some/many people do not see a need to have. (E.g. there is no need for a door-to-door sales person for most foods, as it is a basic vital necessity for all, but junk food, or some other non-necessary thing such as a (supposedly) ultra-performant vacuum cleaner, do need to be so “peddled”.

            What David Asscherick does not Spiritually grasp here, and thus finds it strange, and so sees it as necessary to rewrite the passage here, is that, and in his own interpreting belief that Ezek 28 is actually merely speaking of Satan’s rebellion in Heaven, and not really of the king/kingdom of Tyre, is that, as already, but succinctly stated here, God saw in what Tyre had done, manifestly through the direct inspiration of Satan, is what Satan would also need to have done, and then on a more global scale, through a Socio-Economic effectuation of Babylon. (=Rev 18). And indeed, skipping right to the Biblically fully validated understanding here as explained in that post, in (Protestant) America, Satan has managed to again raised up a world power which can corrupt the world through such commercialism, especially at the point of, as foundational to current Capitalism, making money just for the sake of making money, and also making money, and not actually available resources, the determinative commodity in itself of what can or cannot be done, and what prices should be.
            So either through the pre-Exilic Religious Babylonian opposition object-lessonly effectuated in Isa 14:14-21, or this subsequent, coming, post-Exilic one in Ezek 28, Satan has tipped off his plan to destroy faith in God, particularly towards those who profess to be His (now Spiritual) Israel people, whether it be through, especially humanistic, idolatry (i.e., worship of men and/or self), as since effectuatingly prominently championed by the Roman Catholic Church; or through materialism and commercialism, -snarefully, (especially for God’s professed people EW 266-269), fundamentally and naturally involving (indifferent) selfishness and covetousness and all gradually leading to secularism/worldliness (=RH, December 7, 1886 par. 4-5; cf. CS 231.3-232.1), as achieved by/through the creation and darling of ‘happiness pursuing’ (Protestant) America: Capitalism.
            This sly, covert and indirect corrupting attempt by Satan of God’s Israel through material and wealth pursuits is pointedly seen in how, and indeed like America and Capitalism, the King of Tyre, who moreover, being Ethbaal (a.k.a. Ithobalus) III, (=“companionship/fellowship with Baal”) was culticly most devoted to the worship of the idol Baal, (and this Tyre-Sidonian “Ethbaal” monarchial dynasty had had historical links to Jezebel (1 Kgs 16:31) who of course had led Israel astray through the cult of Baal and her own father’s pagan priesthood of Astarte, and eventually to the utter demise of the 10 Norther tribes), was, as seen in the first part of Ezek 28:1-10 where God had first directly indicted the King of Tyre, trying to make himself a god by the amount of wealth that he was managing, and mainly through widespread sea trading throughout the then known world (Ezek 26:16-18; 27:3-4ff; 33, 12-25), to accumulate (e.g., Ezek 28:4-5; Zech 9:2). In fact the King of Tyre thus thought that he could also secure himself and his kingdom (perhaps even making it, and as possible, even through bribery (Zech 9:3; cf. Isa 13:17b), the next world hegemony then, or at least gain a share in it, which is why Babylon and Nebchadnezzar, through God’s permission, if not leading (=Ezek 26:7-13; 28:7-10; Zech 9:4; cf. Isa 13:17), took special note of the King of Tyre rise and ambition and indeed soon deposed of it.)
            Indeed Tyre and its idolatrous ambitious king had maliciously set its ambition to take advantage of the misfortune and exilic hardships of Judah then, and for that, God took special and adjudging offense. (Ezek 26:1-6ff; =Revelation’s (Eschatological) Socio-Economic Babylon =Rev 18:4-24). And with Tyre having priorly been quite helpful in the upbuilding of Israel’s Temple in the time of Solomon’s work, (but that was all actually/really out of a sort of peace continuing/ensuring offering when this new king, Solomon, upon the heels of King David’s most powerful and conquering reign, was installed in Israel, with Solomon himself actually setting these terms for peace (1 Kgs 5:1-12), -and Tyre probably knew that its kingdom was right within the territory that Israel had a mandate to conquer), the King of Trye thus spiritually knew that in this (opportunistic, pre-emptively defensive) ‘takeover plan’ it was inherently also religiously infringing into Israel, so he certainly was not blameless and innocent before God.
            And all this ‘Tyre religio-economic’ ambition is indeed all exactly like the similar ambitions of Protestant and Capitalist America. Succinctly said, in direct reaction to the long reign of the Roman Catholic Church in Christianity where personal private wealth accumulation was proscribed, Protestant America took a decided turn in the mid to late 1800's and, through Capitalism, began to unfetterly plunge into Capitalism. And this is really where and when the up to then mainly seriously Christian America began a debacle into moral looseness, as now the god which decided what was right or wrong was no longer the God of the Bible, but Mammon (cf. Luke 16:13).... And also like Tyre, the U.S. has been endeavoring to expand its socio-economic empire throughout the world, and veiledly by the force of arms if at all plausible. And so in “necessarily” making, as even much worse today, greed, selfishness, covetousness, avarice, guile, dishonesty, let alone other “taxed vices/sins”, and even intentional or passively permitted violence, killings and death the chief tenets that it would, literally “sell its soul to”, all in order to amass wealth, Satan was thus able to implement that similar Tyre deception, and also right in the midst of professed people of God, including, at the very least tacitly, amongst SDA’s. Just like needy exilic Israel, the SDA Church had tangible needs to institutionally rebuild God’s capital tribe and city Judah and Jerusalem. But, after a Biblical start in doing this,  it quickly, especially after the death of EGW, sought to do this by selling itself to money, Capitalism and the State. Of course the U.S. will ditsily claim that it has done and permitted all of this to allow people to achieve their full potential, but the whole exercise is most easily seen to be Satan’s own GC foundational and God-opposing (cf. DA 20.1-21.3) “survival of the fittest/richest/best” ideology...which indeed had produced the ‘fighting war in heaven’ to, as discussed this post, initially quickly settle it.*

            Specifically used words in an expression have their distinct specific meanings and intents despite their etymology. E.g., If I were to run for a congressional seat, I would not say (using Asscherick misleading examples): “I am going to get into “polls”, or “polling””, (and it should go without saying that there are specific/distinct occupation as “pollsters”); but I would instead specifically say: “I am going to get into politics”. Though they come from the same root, they are derived to have different and specific meanings. So it is the same for “trading, merchandizing” (and not: “slandering”) in Ezek 28, and “war, fighting” (and not: “polemics”) in Rev 12:7.

            So Asscherick here does not, either exegetically, or Biblically/Spiritually, have any valid basis for his claim that the “War in Heaven” in Rev 12:7 was not an actual war, -again, as Rev 12:7 is pointedly/specifically stating (as fully corroborated by EGW’s corresponding direct revelations on that precise event/development.).


* And in fact, when the underlying issues of the “Character=Law of God” are properly understood, it can only be seen that ultimately this Great Controversy can, and will, only be resolved by an act of warring force. (=Rev 20:7-10|GC 662.1-673.1ff). I.e. rebellious sinners would not just drop dead from sinning, especially if they had access to the Tree of Life, (Gen 3:22-24), which is in that New Jerusalem, but will have to be put down by force, with God this time, now that warranting GC evidence is tangibly in, will take it upon Himself to do. Manifestly, in trying to marshal an army to fight the saints in the Holy City, as preposterous as this may sound, and I indeed have always wondered how in the world would Satan convince those resurrected wicked to ever try to do this, and instead of them, as they probably want to do, just bow down in actually genuine contrition before a God that they now see and beg for mercy, Satan is clearly trying to recreate the circumstances in which he and his following angels had had been given a “fighting chance” by God  for the eternal occupancy of Heaven, and that was all because there was no GC evidence to warrant any other justly/executionary forceful action by God, i.e. God Himself. (=DA 759.1; 18MR 361.1). So manifestly Satan will then foundationally have convinced these wicked people that they had no reason at all to ask for forgiveness as the course that they had chosen to live their life was a valid one, and that God had unfairly prevented them to demonstrate this by cutting of the access of sinners to the Tree of Life, who thus would be able to live eternally. (cf. PP 60.1). Satan will surely have had expounded on how ‘being force to live according to God’s arbitrary love, benevolence and sharing principles’, instead of the self-interest “capitalistic” ways that he had presented...and that initially ca. half, then, and merely at a threat of losing to the more powerful side of God, one third of angels had resolutely agreed with.

            So Satan, indeed also “clinchingly” pointing to their greater “sand of sea” numbers (Rev 20:8), would not merely have suggested to these resurrected wicked that they could easily take the city, moreover in a “fair physical fight” where only humans, -and not now angels, nor also God just as for the War in Heaven, was involved, and with the sheer numbers of the wicked being able to overcome the fact that they have not been resurrected to young, healthy and vigorous life as the redeemed, (and this is why Satan must surely love, especially modern, militaries where it is the very young (i.e. 18-30) who strategically are primarily enlisted in fighting forces and thus make up the greatest number of deaths), was a quite feasible/viable confrontation, and, most paramountly, that, and as he has also likewise deceived Christian, SDA and/or Secular Capitalists today (see EW 263-266-269; cf. here), their self-concerned cause is true/just/righteous. But God, with now tangible reasons, will not let this transpire, and will Himself intervene to end that actual possible successful assault, and that will all no doubt contribute to the resolute impenitent psyche of the, albeit “deceived”, wicked which God will also be supernaturally endeavoring to demonstrably prove to be invalid, and thus break (=Matt 10:28), through the permitted “tormenting/torturing” in that Hell Rain-Fire and its created “Lake” (Rev 20:9-10).

[5] Well, again, as Heaven was not into a “Military-Industrial Complex” mentality, i.e., planning and preparing for a outbreak of, moreover civil wars, amongst themselves; they indeed had not been stockpiling such artillery, machinery and ordnance...as if, as discussed with here, 20|35 feet tall angels, moreover, (see in here), with most made of photons vs. “flesh and blood” could be advantaged by such lowly earthly/human type weapons. And even if they were each given “flaming swords” (Gen 3:24)/(~energy band light-sabers) types of weapons, as these ‘fire/light/energy’ weapons would probably at best only be capable of repulsing such “photonic” angelic beings and not actually “physically” kill them, then that fighting war was probably “won” when the 2-1 outnumbered, “not strong enough” (Rev 12:8a) rebelling angels were variously disarmed, and arrestingly neutralized and “cornered”.

[6] As seen here, the Greek word for “politics” is politika and means ‘affairs of state’. (A closely related New Testament word/term to politika is politen [Strongs #4177 which means “citizen” - Luke 15:15; 19:14; Acts 21:39; Heb 8:11]).
            It is incomprehensible how these speakers completely and arbitrarily disregard the SOP’s clear and unequivocal statements on this “war”, manifestly in subjective favor of a more “pacific” view, yet, as Devasher later does a few moments later [14:39ff] do quote the SOP to get ‘inspired corroborating insight’ on this episode?!?

[7] I have characterized such proponents/defenders of this view as akin to “Emergent Church” heretics because they similarly have the same shoddy exegesis approaches as much preferred by these proponents. And that is one which makes whatever actual exegesis may be involved in the proving of their claims, selectively subjective to their personal feelings and psyche. I.e. ‘If they cannot stomach it’ and/or if a Bible teaching will put them in an unfavorable light with non-believers, such as Hell’s torment, [and as discussed in here, at the 09-01-14 Update, where the issue of Women Ordination has effectively been overarchingly, depletingly reduced to an ideologically subjective, humanistic level, -with Light Bearers being prominent supporters of that “Third Option”, of: ‘fairness, justice, equality and really purely cultural’ levels instead of the Recognized Holy Spirit Anointing (=Ordaining) level of matter that is actually is], then they effectively reject it by, at “best”, arbitrarily, selectively, only presenting certain parts of it which harmonize with their personal tenure. And that is seen in all of their supposed “new light/perspective” on Bible doctrines which they claim to believe. And derived from this approach is that underlying heretical “Character of God” agenda which also controls their study of the Bible.
            So in the present issue, as already stated and documented, in whatever they present from the Bible or SOP as proof of their “not at all physical war” claim, they either ignore whatever these authoritative sources fully say on the issue and/or employ indifferently shoddy & novice “exegesis”, which commonly just superficially/shallowly, dependently is “whichever Bible version/translational rendition best agrees with my personal view”, or, at best, really is, as manifested in this episode (about Richard Davidson) [43:21ff], fawningly dependent on the pride-loaded “guru” claims of supposed (Linguistic) “experts”, -who consistently in my Biblical Research experiences, (including (an inceptively early) one which implicated Davidson), are people who think they had come to learn/know more than what the actual pointed/specific and distinguishing facts really state. So, as already disproven, the ‘similar root’ here does not translate in a ‘similar derived expression’ indeed just like “polling” does not mean the same things as “politics” even though they are derived from the same “pole” root word. Also common from these ‘SDA quasi-emergent COG’s’ is that, just as with the Bible, they do indeed smugly just silently ignore even the direct revelations of the SOP which completely, debunkingly contradict their view, but will, most deceptively, harp on various, needfully, contextually and/or thematically isolated expressions of EGW which they thus can manipulate and misconstrue to make it seem to fit their view.
            Ironically, but most fittingly, enough, as exemplified here, these guys themselves, through their shoddily and “halved” claims are, unwittingly, but effectively indifferently, acting as agents in the ‘false light/gospel/righteousness’ deception of Satan which they claim to be fully protectedly aware of [49:58-53:05]!! Either through indifferently outright unrighteousness and/or idolatrously deficient (Theological=Practical) “righteousness” (see also here), all derived and controlled by their cherished innate selfishness, Satan has indeed managed to deservedly fasten the entire “Synagogue of Satan” SDA Church in his “covetously-special” (EW 266-269) “Omega” deception.
            The real “Character of God” is the one which He has sinlessly manifested throughout the Bible. It involves both Justice and Mercy. And as OT times themselves involved an actually much more informed and experienced knowledge of Him, including with many non-Israelites, then it “justly” involved deserved acts of Justice to deal with effectively highhanded sinning.

[8] Quite interesting/indicative enough, and summarily said here, all of these particular notion are found in the exegesis of Rev 12:7-9. For example:

-In verse 7, an infinitive form is used to indicate the ‘intention to wage war’ of Michael and His angels. (See other identical uses/notions in Jdg 1:1; 1:9; 1 Sam 17:9; 29:8; 2 Sam 11:20; 1 Kgs 22:32; 1 Chr 19:7; Isa 7:1; Est 8:13; 2 Chr 32:2; 35:22; cf. Jon Paulien’s translation as: “Michael and his angels gathered to fight against the dragon”). The exegetical point here corroborates the SOP’s revelation that it was God who had forwarded this war resolution.

-The rare, and thus pointed, use of a (genitive-neuter form) article with this infinitive verb to stress this “purpose”, is further indicative of the deliberateness in this ‘“gathering” by Michael and His angels for war’. Indeed with the dragons’s warring action next related using a (conjugated) indicative verb (Rev 12:7b) indicates that his own action was purely responsive to that resolution initiation by Michael.

-The use of the preposition “meta” which has the denotation of ‘close association or attendant circumstances’ (instead of: syn ‘intimate personal union’ or pros ‘in opposition to, against’ (see Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 377-380), indicates that this was indeed a type of “civil war”, where the parties involved had (at least previously) a close association (cf. Jdg 20:14, 18, even Dan 10:20) and thus this war was indeed caused by “attendant circumstances.” It is indeed counterintuitive for a people of the same group to war against each other, as seen in civil war, hence this notion of “association”, with an innate understanding that both sides have deemed this the best/only “worthwhile” outcome. So though war was chosen by God as a resolution, this was done out of just reason.

[9] It is also likely that many of the angels who remained on the loyal side, did so while actually being neutral, but deferring to God’s judgement and wisdom, indeed as revealed by the fact that many of their GC questions were not resolved then and for a long time afterwards, partly at and the beyond the cross. (See e.g., DA 758-764 - See my discussion implicating this GC issue starting in this discussion forum post. (Back track for prior, related, discussions)).

8 comments:

  1. I don't think you prove your case here. Just because "polemos" might mean war in Rev does not mean that the interpretation of Ch. 12 should be limited to militaristic war. WAR is one of the most powerful and pervasive metaphors in religious literature. It may be better to use the more embracing term CONFLICT and let the context decide whether the conflict referred to is rhetorical, spiritual, political, military, interpersonal, etc.

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  2. This section, though contextually made plain in the context of Rev. 12:7-8 of being a conflict involving force, will be further explained in greater detail soon. However, I do think that the plain vision of EGW on this matter, as related above, clearly confirm that it was an actual, physical conflict, i.e., a war.

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  3. It is ludicrous for any commentator to suggest that a difference in "philosophy" was being described in the Scriptural passages noted. If JUST a strident disagreement occurred, then how could Satan and the fallen angels have been thrown down? Are SDA authors actually contending that Satan's insurrection was concluded with a mutual agreement that all the fallen host would voluntarily leave Heaven until Satan could prove he deserved the throne? Is the malignant hatred seen in all human cruelty inspired by heated Satanic debate or by murderous Satanic rage?

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  4. Indeed, as it was stated in the post, the “casting out” result of this conflict defaulty came to involve much more than mere “discussion”. Just for the record, a ‘philosophical dispute only’ view is not the view of most SDA pastors, teachers and authors, however it surprisingly, especially in the light of what the SOP has stated on it, has been the view of some.

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  5. If Jesus is Michael then why does Michael name means who is like God. Jesus is not like God for he is God. Jesus is worship while Michael is not.

    http://www.exadventist.com/Home/Articles/JesusisNotMichael/tabid/482/Default.aspx

    http://crossbearer-brian.tripod.com/id255.htm

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    1. As Paul’s statement in Phil 2:6 also involves with its “form of God” description, saying that Michael is “like God” takes nothing substantively away from the fact that Michael similarly involved God the Son purposefully taking on another form, here as a Mighty Angel, and later, “even lower”, as a Man (purposefully called “Jesus” [Heb. “Joshua”] = “Jehovah saves” (Matt 1:21). And also like the name “Michael” (e.g. Num 13:13; 1 Chr 5:13-14; 2 Chr 21:2; Ezr 8:8), “Joshua”/(Yeshua) was also used by others, who mere men, and yet did not itself make them tangibly (i.e. Divinely) special, or more than simply mortal men.

      The Biblical and Theological reason why the understanding that Michael was actually God the Son merely in a different physical form and all for a necessary Divine Purpose is fully discussed in this dedicated post, -including the several linking to other related posts in this blog, as well as online discussion forums on this topic which I have more detailingly commented in. These postings address the various claims that are brought up in those links you have provided.

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  6. if you actually believe an omnipotent being fights than you surely have no clue who God is.

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    1. Clearly you do not know (a) your Bible, (b) Biblical Exegesis; nor (c) (deeper) Biblical Theology. -Forming your view/ideas about God outside of these: revealed, exact and deeper sources is mere subjective (eisegetical) opining on your part:

      (a) None of the people who the Bible says (Rev 12:7) were actively involved in this war had “omnipotence”....Not the Dragon = Satan, nor his angels, nor the faithful angels or even Michael = Jesus.

      (b) The Greek word for “waging war/fought” in Rev 12:8 only means a physical conflict/fighting.

      (c) God the Son/Jesus had long given over His omnipotence and its power/energy when He accepts to be “begotten” as Michael for the Creation of everything in this Universe (cf. Col 1:17).

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