WAS THERE WAR IN HEAVEN? ARE THERE FALLEN ANGELS?
The Case, Revelation 12:7-10:
One of the miss-understood Doctrines held by well meaning Christians, is the idea that at some time in the past, before the creation of mankind, many messengers (1/3rd of the angels) were cast out of heaven for rebelling against G-d. The ring-leader, or master chief of these rebelling messengers, was the Devil of mythical belief. This radical idea is taken from the words of Rev. 12:7-10, part of which reads as follows:
From the KJV Version:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." KJV
From "The Scriptures" Version:
"And there came to be fighting in the heaven: Michael and his messengers fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his messengers fought, but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them in the heaven any longer. And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him."
A more Literal Translation:
"And there was strife in the heaven (1); [one] who is like El (2) and his messengers (3) fought against the serpent beast (4) and the serpent beast and his messengers fought and were not strong enough, neither was a place found of them any longer in the heaven. And the great serpent beast was cast - the old snake, (5) (the one being called accuser (6) and adversary), (7) the one deceiving the habitable whole, (8) was cast into (9) the earth, (10) and his messengers, were cast with him."WERE MESSENGERS (ANGELS) REALLY CAST OUT OF HEAVEN?
While it sounds simple and easy to understand and may at face value appear to indicate that there is truth behind the theory that "messenger beings were put out of heaven," there are two very basic reasons why such a miss-understood idea is simply not true.
1). The book of Revelation, from which the idea is developed, does not support the theory that any celestial messengers were cast out of heaven, that is, the abode or dwelling place of the Supreme Creator Yahweh. John was told when he was given the Revelation, that all of it was a Revelation of "things which must shortly come to pass," Rev.1: 1; beginning at about AD 67, which is the approximate time the book was written. To use this passage to prove an imaginary event, or a proof for a prophecy of something that was supposed to have happened sometime before creation, cannot be supported, must fail.
The identity of this "dragon" which is reference to a mystical, allegorical, snake like beast, (or a reference to a corrupted religious system that was "looked upon") as is suggested by the etymology of the Greek word "dragon," is revealed in Rev. 12:10. The dragon or "serpent beast" is defined as the "accuser of our Brethren." The "accuser" of "our brethren" during the time which John was writing Revelation, was non other the Edomite Priesthood, together with the Scribes and Pharisees, called snakes by Yahshua, (Matt. 23: 33). This corrupted Religious System, supported by the Roman occupation, had infiltrated, corrupted, and usurped the Lawful Yahudi Religious authority, and was using the pagan Roman occupation of Jerusalem, to condemned thousands of believers in Yahshua Messiah to death. Verses 7-9 simply reveal to us, that the "power" of this evil paganism, using the diabolical ferocity of the Roman system to kill True Believers, was eventually replaced by Religion of Christianity, which took full root after 70 AD, though imperfect as it has become. The terrestrial messengers following the "michael" overcame the "Dragon" not by arrows, bullets, or military might, but "...by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Rev. 12: 11. This struggle was one for power and for control of the Religious authority, the high or upper (heavenly) realm. The old Yahudim sacrificial system was in the process of becoming replaced by the new covenant through Messiah, Heb. 8: 13. The false leaders of the passing system were struggling for their very survival. The ultimate result - TRUTH in Yahshua, will eventually always prevail! The early followers of Messiah, the first fruits, overcame the "Dragon" (the snake beast) which was the corrupted Religious system. This victory came at great personal loss, the lives, of many of the early believers in Yahshua. However, because of their faithfulness, the corrupted "high authority" (heaven), that which was "looked on" came crashing down to earth..."was cast down to earth," (stripped from their high place of authority "...neither was a place found of them any longer in the heaven. " Rev. 12: 8.
2). The second reason why the commonly believed idea of "fallen celestial messengers" cannot be true, is that it is obvious from Psalms 148: 2-5, that celestial messengers were specially created as spiritual entities to serve the Master Creator Yahweh (G-d)...."He commanded and they were created".... messengers...hosts...sun...moon...stars...heavens...and waters....... We are told: "Thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created," Rev. 4:11. The purpose of the special creation of celestial messengers by Yahweh is explained by the Apostle Paul..."Are thy not "all" ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation."
It is not realistic to assume that Yahweh created one bad "celestial messenger" and one good one, and one bad, and so on. NO..... He created perfect, immortal, celestial messenger beings, the like of which we hope to be when Yahshua rewards those who have loved and served Him. If it were possible for "celestial messengers" to sin, then what is the value for us of being made "like unto the messengers"? Why even resist sin at all in this life, supposedly secure in the hope, that we will be made like unto the messengers, (Luke 20:35) if we are simply exchanging one sinful nature for another? This cannot be the case at all, for Yahweh created these pure spiritual celestial beings, (who at times by the way, are given great power to do justice, to kill, and destroy), to be in His presence, and to serve him. Habakkuk says about Yahweh..."Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity." (Hab.1: 13).
It is quite clear that the "celestial messengers" that are in the presence of the Father were AND ARE, pure, sinless, and immortal beings. They are created to do the expressed will of the Father, and do not deviate from it. There could never have been messengers thrown out of heaven for sinning or rebelling against the Father, their Creator and Supreme Authority. It is impossibility.... It did not happen.CHAINS OF DARKNESS = DEATH
The Apostle Peter speaks of the messengers also.".... if G-d spared not the angels (messengers) that sinned but cast them down to hell (11), and delivered them into CHAINS OF DARKNESS, to be reserved unto Judgement,"2 Peter 2:4, and Jude, obviously referring to the same subject matter, writes.....".... the angels (messengers) which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the Judgement of the great day.".... (Jude.v.6). Again, the casual reading of these verses will immediately appear to those looking for "proof" of their idea, that celestial messengers (angels) DID sin and were cast out of heaven, but is this really the correct understanding of the passages?
The first thing that meets you in the verses, is, that the "messengers" spoken of, were cast down to hell, not the earth, and they were placed in chains of darkness. In the second quotation, these same "messengers" left "something" and were then placed in chains under darkness. Job, David and Luke all make reference to "darkness," which they associate with death. The language of Peter and Jude in the passages under review, imply that the "messengers" here spoken of were cast down (thrown or cut down), sent to "hell," the Biblical term for the grave. These messengers are bound by the chains of "death" waiting the Judgement day. What then were these two Apostles Peter and Jude talking about?KORAH'S REBELLION
In Jude we find that the devil...or "adversary," disputed about the body of Moses. This however, was not the flesh and blood dead body of Moses, but the "Body" in which dwelt the authority in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. In other words, they were adversaries to the wise rule of Moses "in all things spiritual" within the "allegorical body" of the Children of Israel. That this is the true meaning of this passage is proven in the Jude's 11th verse, where he refers to the "gain-saying of Core" or, "destroying themselves in the rebellion of Korah."
The simplicity of the subject then becomes clear. Both Peter and Jude are referring to those (messengers), the instigators or trouble makers, who sinned in the wilderness, defying the authority of Yahweh, that was given through Moses. The ground opened up for these sinners and enveloped them within the chains and the darkness of death, where they wait for the Judgement day when Yahshua the Anointed will judge the righteous and the unrighteous. Read about the disobedient rebellion, and the result of this momentous occasion, written in Numbers 16:1-3 and 31:35, when the ground swallowed Dathan, Abiram and their families.
John, in Revelation 12, is writing about the "soon" to come 70 AD destruction of the accuser, the Serpent Beast, the metaphorical "dragon," a metaphor used by John to describe the corrupted Edomite Priesthood, the Scribes and Pharisees, (the corrupted Religious authority) and its terrestrial "false" messengers (angels). ".... I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Yahudim, and are not, but an Assembly of the Adversary." (Rev. 2: 9).
The reference to the phrase "the heaven" is not referring to the place, abode, or dwelling place of the Almighty Creator Yahweh, but is a reference to that which is "above," as in the religious authority. Like the unbelievers of Ancient times during Moses, these adversaries, or false "terrestrial messengers," will be cast down into the earth from their "high place of authority" (the heaven) waiting in the earth (the grave), for their ultimate demise of Judgement by Yahshua, for good or, for evil, (2 Cor. 5:10).
(1). Heaven, ouranos oo-ran-os', Greek, perhaps from the same as oros, or'-os, to rise, (through the idea of elevation); the sky;
the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it, the universe, the world, the aerial heavens or sky; the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced; the sidereal or starry heavens; the region above the sidereal heavens; the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect; where God dwells and other heavenly beings.
(2). Michael, mikh-ah-ale' who is like El" of Hebrew origin - as used in Scripture, is a name for several OT characters. It is also a general term, or a phrase, where the meaning rather than the name can be applied to anyone, who for the moment represents a leader for a cause, or at times is a leader for the cause of, or under the direction of Yahweh to correct wickedness. The term as used in this sense, may not belong to any one particular messenger, being celestial or terrestrial, but will then be a kind of "name type" used for a Champion, as a Captain, or a Prince of Yahweh's people. It is so employed in this passage, so as to denote Him who is the "Captain" of our salvation.
(2a). El, ale, short form of elohim, Hebrew, strength, mighty, also the Almighty Yahweh, (but also used for any deity, i.e. "a g-d").
(3). Messenger, angel, angelos ang'-el-os, Greek, messenger, envoy, one who is sent, may be celestial beings sent from Yahweh, or terrestrial beings sent from man.
(4). Dragon, drakon drak'-own, Greek, from an alternate form of derkomai; (to look), metaphorically, a dragon, a great serpent, serpent beast, or a name for an adversary.
(5). Snake, ophis, of'-is, Greek, probably from Strong's 3700 (through the idea of sharpness of vision); a snake, serpent, figuratively (as a type of sly cunning) an artful malicious person; metaphorically with the ancients, the serpent was an emblem of cunning and wisdom in the negative sense.
(6). Accuser, devil, diabolos dee-ab'-ol-os, Greek, false accuser, slanderer, a calumniator (a through caster); metaphorically applied to someone, who, by appearing to oppose the cause of good, may be said to act the part of an accuser,
(7). Adversary, satan, Satanas sat-an-as' of Aramaic origin corresponding to Strong's 4566 (with the definite affix); adversary; one who opposes another in purpose or act.
(8). Habitable whole, accurate translation of the Greek, many times translated as "the whole world." The reference here is to the known populated area of those to whom the message is addressed. To extend this understanding as global influence is conjecture.
(9). Into, eis, eis, Greek, preposition with the accusative, into, to, in, at, on, upon, by near, among, against, concerning, as.
(10). Earth, gen, ges, Greek, the earth, land, country, region, soil, ground, metaphorically man in general.
(11). Hell = the grave, or, to be covered.
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