FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 141
THE DRAGON, THE WOMAN, AND THE MANCHILD, (continued)
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
PART ONE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE
Michael and His Angels
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” (Rev. 12:7)
Down through the centuries many books have been written, many songs have been sung, many sermons have been preached, and many things have been said about the devil. Satan has been blamed for everything from ingrown toenails to the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. It pains me to say it, but to most Christians Satan is their God Almighty, for they fear him more than they do the Lord of glory. I do not believe that Satan is worthy of one iota of respect or honor, but none can deny that the vast majority of Christians certainly do, by word and action, ascribe to him the attribute of omnipotence. Most professed believers do not truly believe in one God — they honor at least two, one good God, and one evil God. And to hear them articulating their esteem of these Gods you would be led to believe that the devil is the more accomplished and the most powerful of the two, for they talk far more about the devil, and spend more time lauding his praises, ascribing to this negative realm dread of mammoth proportions. The good God, according to the common testimony of church goers, is ever trying to do this and that, trying to get His people together, trying to get His people to obey Him, trying to make His people holy, trying to find a man who will do His will, trying to save the world, trying to fulfill His purposes in the earth and establish His kingdom, while the devil is continually interfering with His plans, frustrating His purposes, usurping His instruments, and defeating the issue. On some good days the good God wins, on some bad days He loses, but it seems He loses more than He wins for after two thousand years of this struggle the whole world still “lieth in the wicked one.” (I Jn. 5:19)
Some continually worry that Satan is lurking around every corner, and when they least expect it he is going to hit them from behind with everything he has. The average testimony meeting is full of praise for the devil. The devil discouraged them, the devil tempted them, the devil made them afraid, the devil made them sick, the devil tormented them through their ungodly neighbor, the devil tripped them, they were really trying to press on into God and victory, but the devil somehow got the best of them. If a score were kept, the devil would come out the winner by about two to one over the Christ, relative to what has been happening in their lives. I heard the story once of this certain minister who dreamed one night that on his way down the road he met the devil. “Alright, you old devil,” he shouted, “I am going to kill you and put an end to you for all those nasty things you’ve been doing. I am going to let you have it, you old devil!” As he drew near to the devil with fists clenched, ready to smash the devil’s face, the devil said, “Hold it! Don’t do that! Remember — if you kill me, you will have nothing to preach about.” What a word!
Through my lifetime I have heard vast numbers of Christians going about continually talking to the devil, praying to the devil (though they call It commanding and rebuking), and giving place to him over and over again. They “bind” him in this meeting or in that situation, but, like Samson breaking the cords of Delilah, he bounces right back in full regalia at the next meeting or occasion. These “devil worshippers” ever beat the air against him and do occasionally, they claim, win a battle against him, but the war rages on! If they do not get an immediate answer to their prayer, they are sure the devil is hindering. If everything does not go according to plan, the devil is interfering. If obstacles appear along the way, the devil is fighting them. They live out their lives in a constant state of paranoid devil-consciousness. The churches are literally filled with these devil-worshippers! They do not intentionally plan their worship this way, but it develops into that form, nevertheless. These go on and on about the devil, attributing so much power and mischief to his cause, and inadvertently sing his praise, because they truly do believe in the devil! What faith they have in him! What power and wisdom they ascribe to him! With what cunning does he, to hear them tell it, repeatedly “out-fox” the good God! In their minds he is HIS MAJESTY THE DEVIL!
Of one thing we may be very certain — none of these people is of THE MANCHILD COMPANY!
It is significant that this “war in heaven” does not begin until the manchild has been caught up to the throne and begins his rule. This is what the dragon feared, and why it would have liked to devour the child as soon as it was born. Jesus fought this very battle within Himself as soon as the Father announced His sonship and anointed Him with sonship power. While outwardly Jesus was “led of the Spirit into the wilderness of Judea,” inwardly He was caught up into an exalted heavenly place — the realm of sonship. As soon as He was initiated into the glory and power of manifest sonship the dragon, the devil, was standing right there before Him to attack Him! “If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be turned into bread.” And the battle raged! It was an inward battle — the voice of the tempter within the mind, against the voice of God within the spirit. What a tremendous victory was forthcoming!
Ah, yes, there was war in the heavens of Christ’s mind and spirit and the tempter prevailed not, neither was his place found any more in the heavens where the Son dwelt! The great dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent, called the devil, and Satan: he was cast out into the earth for “then the devil leaveth Him.” (Mat. 4:11)
After an illustrious sonship ministry, as Jesus approached the hour of crucifixion, and spoke of it with His disciples, He testified, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (Jn. 14:30) Oh, yes! “The prince of the world is coming. And has no claim on me — he has nothing in common with me, THERE IS NOTHING IN ME THAT BELONGS TO HIM, he has no power over me!” (Amplified) Christ’s sensitive nature perceived the approach of the evil thing, as some old-timers can tell when the thunderstorm is about to burst. His divine nature, working as it did, even within the limits of humanity, knew not only when the storm was about to burst upon Him, but knew who it was that was raising the tempest. And so He said, “The prince of this world cometh...”
But note, yet more important, that tremendous and unique consciousness of absolute invulnerability against the assaults. “He hath nothing in me. He is still the prince of the world, but his dominion stops outside my breast. He has no rule or authority here. His writs do not run, nor is either his presence or his dominion recognized or acknowledged within this sacred realm.” Was there ever a man that could say that? Are there any of us, the purest and most spiritual among us, who, standing single-handed in front of the devil’s raging in the earth-realm, dare to profess that there is not a thing in us on which he can lay his black claw and say, “That is mine.” Ah, this is the glory of sonship — nothing in common with Satan! There was nothing in Jesus that corresponded to, and nothing that responded to, the agenda of the adversary! There was none of the nature of Adam that pertains to Satan. And he had no more place in the heavens of the Son-realm. So mighty was the indwelling life of the Father within that firstborn Son that Satan had no power over Him, no place within Him. And, precious friend of mine, when you have died completely to that old Adamic life, when there is none of the dust of Adam left in your consciousness, and when you have met the devil in the high realms of the spirit and have cast him out from thence, and your heaven s are cleansed, SATAN WILL HAVE NO POWER OVER YOU, NO PLACE IN YOU. Satan’s base of operation will have been destroyed, his sphere of activity removed, and for you THERE WILL BE NO DEVIL ANY MORE! It is clear that there is to be a further “revelation of Jesus Christ,” as He is revealed in the collective triumph of HIS OVERCOMERS. Aren’t you glad!
Again I would quote from a message written by Brother Bob Torango in which he focuses on some very significant points in relation to this “war in heaven” and its personal, individual, and internal applications. He says, “When we read in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation about the two wonders in heaven, the woman and the dragon, and the birth that delivers a manchild unto God, we must understand that all these elemental characters are first and foremost to be recognized as a part of our being. We all have the woman, we all have the dragon, and we all have the manchild contained within our entity and there is being acted out in our lives this great event of birth, war, separation, judgment, dominion, power, and rule. Personally, I see the great red dragon as the seat of power upon which the carnal, religious mind sits and from which it operates. I don’t view it as being a spirit of the air around us or as something that is entirely set apart from the events that are surrounding us in the heavenly places of God’s dealings in our lives — but I do see it as being very much a part of God’s workings in us and in all of mankind.
“We are at war! Make no mistake about it, the time has come for the cleansing of our heavens to begin, and that which God winked at in times past, He is now dealing with in judgment and deliverance. When I put at the first sentence of this paragraph the phrase, “We are at war,‟ I suppose many had a mild knee-jerk reaction at that terminology, considering the past history of the meanings that men have ascribed to that word „war,‟ but just because we have only known the natural order of “war‟ as men wage war, we should neither discount nor negate the fact that God will allow war to break out in heaven at the appointed time and season. The Manchild Order is a warrior-priest order, a king-priest operation that rules with righteous judgment. The dragon of the religious mind in every man must be cast out of our heavens, and that measure of removal and dispossession is going to take the kind of rule and authority that the Manchild Order represents.
“So it is, that I see a dragon in me, a religious mindset that seeks to corrupt every truth of God that is being revealed to my spirit, and I know that in me there is a war that is beginning to break out, and a casting down of the dragon into my earth is taking place, even as the birth within me of a Manchild Order is being ushered into the Throne Room of God within my temple. As a result of this “casting down‟ of the dragon in my being, my spirit is ascending and taking a seat in the throne of God, which is causing a new rule and dominion in my being which is ushering into my life the endless government of the kingdom of God.
“This is no small thing that I am writing about! I am speaking of nothing less than the overtaking of my vessel by the power of the risen Christ, and the pulling down of all strong holds of ego and self-worship, leaving only one voice and one will in my heart, that being the lordship of my Prince and King Jesus Christ, whom I now serve with all of my heart, soul, and mind. The overthrowing of my kingdom and the reinstatement of God’s kingdom is what the war is all about! My kingdom will not give up its place willingly, because it is governed by the rule of the dragon, which has entrenched itself in my very thinking and keeps me under its enchantment by the power of lust and greed and my inherent god-complex, seated in the realm of my psyche.
“The dragon in me is wroth and is trying to find a foothold in me. I am in disarray, with different parts of me in servitude to God and other parts in me in servitude to the dragon, but this will not remain so, for He that began this work in me will bring it to its finality and He will not rest until every enemy in me is brought under the foot of His rule, including death itself. Because I know that He is after my soul, I have positioned myself in His holy place and will remain there until the desolation is passed over me. I have committed my members to Him and I have taken my hands off of my life, even to the door of death, trusting in His love toward me, surrendering to Him to perform His curious work in my being; I am not in struggle, but some of my parts are in struggle, to continue to live their own life, but I am in Him, and death cannot find me there. Though it may find my earthly body, and though it may sorely grieve my soulish heart, death cannot approach ME, for I am hid in Christ, and the life that I once had is no longer my life, but my life has become intrinsically entwined into His eternal life.
“I thank God for the unrest of my soul, for the unrest signifies change, and change signifies the manifestation of the kingdom of God overtaking my kingdom. Until He has accomplished the necessary overthrowing of my dragon, I will incline my heart to Him, and I will sing of His greatness and the enduring mercies of David. I will have my rest in Him, until the kingdoms of my world become the kingdoms of the Kingly Lord. Let the heathen rage and let the earth reel to and fro like a drunkard, but I will stand still and hold my peace, for the Lord is my deliverer and my reward. Woe to the inhabitants of my earth, for the dragon is cast down into my earthly mind, and there will be great judgments upon that part of my fallen self, but I will stay in the house of the Lord and will open up my doors and my gates to the rising King and He and I will sup together and will drink the new wine of His kingdom and break the bread of His fellowship. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!
“As a result, in my earth, the dragon rules and reigns and is worshipped and adored. But in my spirit, I am living in the heavens and am situated in the mount Zion with the Lamb of God, the captain of my salvation. Hallelujah! In my earth, death reigns and my body and mind are subject to aging and disease, each day bringing new signs of the corruption resident in my earth. But, in my heavens, there is the sound of singing, glad tidings of the Lord mighty and true, and there is a gathering taking place in these heavenly places of the Lamb and the hundred and forty-four thousand, an ingathering of the highest order, and I am at rest in my God and in the wisdom of His plan. For, you see, He has said that He will not leave my soul in hell, neither will He leave me a divided house, but He is coming forth out of His secret place and is making another appearing in His sons, individually first, then in a corporate anointing rising upon His body. There will be a company of sons, each marching in rank and file, under the command of the Supreme Ruler and Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ” — end quote.
I call your attention to the great truth that all real battles are not fought with material weapons. It is not necessary to have guns and tanks and airplanes and bombs in order to fight this battle. No, this battle is purely a spiritual battle. Many people on the so-called “religious right” have the idea that when the western nations send armies and overthrow Hitler, the Communists, the Taliban, or Saddam Hussein, that they are fighting God’s war and delivering the world from evil. But the savagery of warfare is itself evil! It has nothing to do with the spirit of the Christ who taught us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us, and persecute us. Carnal warfare is also contrary to the spirit of sonship, for the firstborn Son has given us the blessed revelation that God has not sent either His Son or His sons into the world to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. Therefore carnal warfare is the very antithesis of the gospel! And though you send an army and make captive people free from political tyranny you in no way deliver them from evil! Evil runs deeper far than that, my brother, my sister, for evil lurks in the heart of every man! You can have tyrannized evil people or free evil people — that is all the difference carnal warfare can make. The people of the religious right are for the most part warmongers in their attitudes and that in itself is a great evil! True warfare that defeats evil is fought not with material but spiritual weapons which are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds! Regeneration and spiritual transformation deliver us from evil — not guns and bombs!
Elaine Cook once wrote, “I am laying a foundation for sharing the warfare that is presently upon us. I have tried to show that our warfare is definitely not over, but is changing because of the realm of spirit into which we are entering. This realm is called Paradise. It is the realm where man was first tempted by the serpent. It is the spiritual state in which Jesus walked while on earth and in it He was also tempted by the same serpent.“
Larry Hodges said, “Let us not be under the false presumption that once we come into the Paradisiacal state that we are somehow forever escaped and out of reach of the tempting serpent, for it is here that he must be finally and completely overcome. There is yet war in heaven and it will not be fought with the carnal weapons of men but with spiritual weapons. Paul said that ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.’ (Eph. 6:12) What are these rulers of the darkness of this world? Perhaps not what you may think! “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down IMAGINATIONS, and every high things that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and BRINGING EVERY THOUGHT INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.‟ (II Cor. 10:4-5) The battleground is the heaven of our skull, our Golgothawhere our will is laid down, and the enemy is the reasoning mind and all the vain imaginations brought forth from the reasoning mind. What other ruler of the darkness of this world has so ruled over men and nations through their minds than King Reason?
“The battle here is to be of one mind with our Father! As Adam fell from Paradise in his mind, his fallen imaginations took him away from God. He began to be ruled by a mind other than God’s! He came under the dominion of the starry constellations — the thoughts and imaginations of fallen man. In this day, praise the Lord, we now see, in His firstfruits, the old heavens being rolled up and put away like a scroll and a new heaven being prepared to take their place. While we are going through this transition, there will be war in our heavens. The enemy will rage and accuse and raise doubtful questions in your mind about yielding up your “old heaven‟ to God. This is our personal “Battle of Armageddon.‟ The manchild is being caught up unto God and to His throne and there is war in heaven or Paradise! There is a great renouncing of the beast and his realm. The dragon and his voices are being cast out of our Paradise into our earth so that we may have a new heaven wherein dwells not the dragon and all his accusing voices, but righteousness!
“The whole course of nature is so designed to appeal to the natural, outward man. There is enmity and revolt against man’s realm by those who esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of this present Egypt, for they desire a better country, even a heavenly one. Now, a civil war has begun because these look for that city which hath foundations in another realm, a realm about which Reason knows nothing, and about which he cannot speak at all except to denigrate and slander. These have chosen to walk by faith and Wisdom. The battle shall rage until their new walk is established and they walk according to the laws of Paradise. These laws are contrary to the natural laws by which the rest of mankind must walk for the preservation of its natural life. Press in, dear saints! Be of good courage to go in and possess this new land of the spirit! Wage a good warfare for what was ours from the beginning — even the mind of Christ that is always in union with the heavenly Father. Hear the Spirit say to us as He did to Joshua of old: ‘Be of good courage to go up and possess the land!’” — end quote.
MICHAEL AND HIS ANGELS
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” (Rev. 12:7)
We have learned who the dragon and his angels are — the devil and the whole soulish-religious realm of man and the religious spirit that activates and motivates that realm.
Now let us consider who Michael and his angels are. In Old Testament times the Lord often appeared to men through the manifestation of “the angel of the Lord” (Judges 6:20; II Sam. 24:16; I Kings 19:5-7). In chapter five of the book of Joshua, the children of Israel had just crossed over the Jordan and were ready to invade the Promised Land. There in full view of the new camp, stood the strong walls of Jericho. Joshua went out to look at the city; and he saw a man all armed coming toward him. Joshua walked boldly up to the man and said to him, “Are you on our side, or are you on the side of our adversaries?” If an angel were to tell believers today what this man told Joshua, they would probably get depressed, because this messenger said, “Wrong on both counts! I’m not with your enemies, and I’m not part of your army. I’m part of another army, and I have come with orders from God. Standing all around me and behind me in great and mighty columns, are myriads of angels (messengers). You can’t see them, Joshua, but there is a host of them, and I’M THEIR CAPTAIN!”
Then Joshua saw that he was the angel (messenger) of the Lord — the Captain of the Lord’s host; and Joshua, bowing down before him, said, “What word has my Lord unto His servant?” And the Captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Take off your shoes from your feet, for it is holy ground where you are standing.” Joshua did so, and the Lord said to him, “I have given you Jericho and its king and its mighty men of war; and I
will destroy the city of Jericho before you.” Then the angel of the Lord told Joshua the way in which the city should be taken; and Joshua went back to the camp of Gilgal and made ready to march as God commanded. During the next seven days all that was done was according to the word spoken by the angel of the Lord to Joshua. And you, dear reader, know the rest of the story!
Oh, yes! God has an army, a great and strong and fearful army, and His army has a glorious and invincible Captain. In view of the many passages of scripture which speak of the army of the Lord, and their exploits to soon be revealed, this brings new meaning and depth to God’s purposes in His people. “I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones...the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.” (Isa. 13:3-4) “And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:11)
Ah, here is good news for you, my friend: GOD HAS AN ARMY! And God’s great army has a CAPTAIN! The Captain of this army is the One Joshua met outside of Jericho and the One who delivered Jericho into the hands of the children of Israel! Can you imagine who that illustrious One was whom Joshua met? He was the Captain of the Lord’s host (army)! And just who is the Captain of the Lord’s army? John met this same One in his visions on the isle of Patmos and here is his description of Him: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war...and on his head were many crowns...and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron...and he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS!” (Rev. 19:11-16)
Who is this Captain of the Lord’s army? “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” (I Thes. 4:16) That is a WAR CRY, my beloved, made by the Captain of the Lord’s army! The Lord Jesus Himself is the Captain of His army, and it is none other than He who descends from heaven in a war cry, in the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, as Captain of the Lord’s host! This points us to the time of the great battle, the conflict of the ages coming to its final climax, with the CAPTAIN OF THE HOST descending to lead His army of overcomers into battle. The sons of God shall go forth in the glorious age and ages to come as the invincible ARMY OF THE LORD, strong and doing exploits, pressing the battle through the very gates of hell itself, until there be an ending to the reign of sin, sickness, sorrow, limitation, and death everywhere. The battle will rage just as it now rages within our breasts, and the conflict will be tremendous and severe. But the Lord, the mighty Captain, shall descend in the midst of His sons, and will UTTER HIS VOICE BEFORE HIS ARMY, for His army is very great!
Oh, yes, He is coming in truth, in righteousness, in judgment, in mighty spirit power and in great glory, to press the battle to the finish right here on earth, in the hearts of all men great and small, bringing redemption, deliverance, and restoration everywhere to all men, praise His name! What a day! What a day! And the wonder of it all is that this day is even now breaking in the earth. The hour has come for the manchild to be birthed and caught up unto God and to His throne! And already war has broken out in our heavens! The crisis hour in the history of the world is upon us, and God is not silent. Many who read these lines have heard the call to join this army — and have, in fact, been conscripted and made keenly aware that the Lord’s army for this new kingdom day is at this very moment in careful and diligent preparation. Many find themselves even now in their own “boot camp” where they are learning the ways of spiritual warfare and are qualifying for God’s great battlefield by first being successful in casting the dragon out of their heavens. Only then shall the armies which are in heaven descend into the earth-realm, both within and without, to gain the victory there! Thus there are two great battles in the book of Revelation — a battle in heaven in chapter twelve, and a battle in earth in chapter nineteen. Great is the mystery!
The inspired apostle Paul tells us that the Christ comes in the voice of the archangel (I Thes. 4:16). “The voice of the archangel” is another striking symbol of great import and significance. We have at times pointed out that angels are not, as commonly represented, beautiful creatures with wings. The word “angel” is not a translation of the Greek word aggelos at all, but merely an English transliteration of the Greek word, which means nothing to the average person. The doctrines taught concerning these angels are nothing short of popish ignorance, superstition, and deception. Aggelos means merely “a messenger,” one possessing power and authority to speak for God (II Pet. 2:11). Thus, the “archangel” is the CHIEF-MESSENGER, or the PRINCE OF MESSENGERS. And hence the “voice of the archangel” means the voice or the message of one with supreme authority. He comes in his message, in the voice, He comes as the message, His very presence and word bring light and truth, encouragement and power, illuminating the minds of God’s elect, empowering them for the greater ministry which is coming at the manifestation of the sons of God! And who is this Chief-Messenger, this glorious Prince of Messengers, this preeminent message, this message of messages, this revelation of all revelations? With a mouth filled with praise, and a heart of thanksgiving, I answer: IT IS THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST — CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD! “The LORD HIMSELF shall descend from heaven IN the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL.” That is the mystery.
Permit me to follow that question with another. How many “archangels” are there? Nearly all Christians will tell you that originally there were three archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. So-called “orthodoxy” has long taught that Satan was, in the beginning, a high and beautiful archangel in heaven. But where is the scripture for that? It is non-existent! It is nothing short of amazing that such a doctrine could have enjoyed such widespread acceptance in the light of the plain teachings of scripture on this subject.
Man says that long ago, before the first shimmering light dawned in God’s creation, Satan was one of three archangels in heaven. But the Bible nowhere speaks of three archangels! The Bible nowhere calls Lucifer an archangel! Furthermore, there is not one scripture in the entire Bible wherein the mighty angel Gabriel is designated an archangel! In addition to all this, there is absolutely no instance in scripture where the word archangel appears in its plural form — “archangel(s).” There is no plurality of archangels inferred anywhere in God’s blessed Book. Our omniscient God has nowhere told us that there are more than one archangel, or that there ever were two or three archangels. You will have to tear the Bible all to pieces if you teach that! It is an extra-biblical notion! It is now time to awake, time to leave the superstitions of the Dark Ages, and begin to face up to the truth. It is time to open wide our hearts to the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God!
Dear reader, whom do you choose to believe? God or men? Men say there are or were three archangels, but the Holy Spirit declares in the plainest of language that there is only one. Jude, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned these meaningful words, “Yet Michael THE archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 9) Michael is not spoken of very often in the scriptures, but when he is, it is most significant. According to Jude there is only one archangel; he uses the definite article, “the” archangel; and “the” archangel is named MICHAEL. Only one other passage of scripture mentions the archangel, and that is the verse we quoted earlier, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven in a shout, in THE voice of THE archangel...” That, precious friend of mine, is all the Bible has to say about archangels! Only two verses in the
whole Bible! Incredible, isn’t it, after all the fanciful tales and elaborate doctrinal theories we have been given! And they spout all that stuff with a straight face as if a hundred scriptures back up what they are saying! I have very little time, and less patience, for the kind of offensive ignorance which, because men will not hear what is written, misrepresents these and other plain statements of the word of God. How I thank God with joy unspeakable and full of glory for the illumination of this, HIS DAY!
It should be clear to any thinking mind that by the very nature of the case the existence of more than one archangel would be most improbable, indeed. The Greek word archo (arch) is a political term which means “to be first in political rank or power.” FIRST! Do you hear it? How can three angels be FIRST? It is a contradiction of terms, a linguistic and grammatical absurdity. It is like a nation having three kings, three presidents, or three prime ministers! It is like a woman having three husbands (heads)! It is like saying that so-in-so is the president of the United States of America, and then adding, “...but two other men are also “the” president, you know!” In Daniel 10:13 Michael’s position is said to be “one of the chief princes,” but as Dr. Young has pointed out in his rendering (Young‟s Literal Translation of the Bible), the sentence should read, “FIRST of the chief heads.” And that is precisely what makes him THE ARCHANGEL! There are other principalities and powers, but he is above ALL OF THEM. Of Michael alone it is said, he is “The Angel” and “The Prince” and “The First” of the chief heads! (Dan. 12:1; 10:13).
In the book of Daniel Michael is expressly identified with the Messiah (Dan. 12:1). In Daniel 10:21 he is called, “Michael your prince.” This personal pronoun “your” is of interest. The archangel is definitely a warrior, and his name means “who is like God.” He defend s the celestial realms, exalting the glorious God, yet his ministry is wondrously on behalf of God’s people. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people...” (Dan. 12:1) In I Thessalonians 4:16-17 the “voice of the archangel” is represented as the voice that awakens the dead. “And the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven...in the voice of the archangel...and the dead in Christ shall rise first...” Significantly, Daniel 12:1-2 draws the same connection. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people...and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth SHALL AWAKE...” And whose voice is it that quickens men and raises them out of the death-realm into the life of God? None other than THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD! “Verily, verily I say unto you,” Jesus asserted, “the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, AND THEY THAT HEAR SHALL LIVE.” (Jn. 5:25) The voice of the archangel, therefore, is the voice of the Son of God!
There can be no doubt about it — the title “archangel” signifies CHIEF MESSENGER — and the question follows: WHO IS GOD‟S CHIEF MESSENGER? Who else but our glorious Head — the Lord Jesus Christ! His name is called The Word of God! “And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist — cohere, are held together. He also is the Head of His body, the church; seeing He is the beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that HE ALONE IN EVERYTHING AND IN EVERY RESPECT MIGHT OCCUPY THE CHIEF PLACE — stand FIRST and be PREEMINENT.” (Col. 1:17-18, Amplified) The name “Michael” means WHO IS LIKE GOD — an appropriate title for Him who is “the sole expression of the glory of God — the Light-being, the out-raying of the divine — and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature.” (Heb. 1:3, Amplified) No one who ever lived can be compared to our incomparable Christ, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is alive forevermore, by many infallible proofs. At the sound of His voice all who are in the graves of sin, sorrow, and death will arise to live in His presence. Certainly the whole Christ body, all who are made ONE IN HIM, share this life, victory, glory and image!
In the light of such a profound array of scriptures as those we have just considered, can any doubt that in the Revelation “Michael” is the code-word for our Lord Jesus Christ, the Chief Messenger; and “Michael and His angels” who fight against the dragon, and prevail, and cast the great dragon out of the heavens of the Spirit, are indeed none other than Christ and His many brethren, the manifest sons of God! Ah, yes, the sons of God are the army of God, and Jesus Christ our Lord is the Captain of His army! An army is for war, and there is war in heaven! Our great Captain is He who knows the end from the beginning, and He has already written the advance report on the outcome of this war! That report is recorded in chapter twelve of the book of Revelation. I have read the report, and I have good news for every soldier in the Lord’ army. Fight on, saints of God, THE VICTORY IS ASSURED! It is indeed wonderful!
To be continued...