Revelation 12:7-9 reads, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Many find it strange that: 1) Satan and his angels are living in heaven; and 2) There will be a war in heaven. As to the first, there are several scriptures which teach us that Satan’s dwelling place has always been in heaven and he will continue to abide there until the war described in this passage takes place. In Ephesians 2:2 Satan is called, “the prince of the power of THE AIR.” We learn from this verse that he dwells in the ATMOSPHERIC HEAVEN right above the earth. This is reinforced in Ephesians 6:11-12 where we read, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES.”  Now let’s read Job 1:6-7, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth’.” This passage teaches us that not only does Satan dwell in the atmospheric heaven above the earth, but that he also has access to the very throne of God, which in the THIRD HEAVEN, and to earth. If we were to read Job 1:9-11 we would see that Satan accused Job of being faithful to God because he was blessed, but that if he were to be stripped of these blessings he would curse God. In Revelation 12:10 he is called the “accuser of the brethren” and we believe he has been approaching the very throne of God throughout time accusing the saints.

War in heaven is not new, for in Daniel 10:13 we see a conflict between the angels Gabriel and Michael and fallen angels. Gabriel tells Daniel why he was delayed for three weeks in coming to him with these words, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.” No one questions that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” was no mere man, but one of the “rulers of the darkness of this age” that we saw in Ephesians 6:12. It is impossible for us to envision this conflict between good and evil angels, but it truly happened. We aren’t told exactly where in heaven it occurred, so any attempt to be specific would be mere speculation. The same holds true for the war in heaven mentioned in Revelation 12:7; all we know is it will take place “in heaven.” Will it be in the ATMOSPHERIC HEAVENS, or the STELLAR HEAVENS, or in the THIRD HEAVEN where God dwells, or perhaps a combination of the three heavens? We simply do not know.

What we do know is that Satan will finally be “cast to the earth.” At that time he will no longer live in the atmosphere above earth, nor will he have access to the throne of God to accuse the saints. We also know, from Revelation 12:12, that his time on earth will be short. From several other passages we learn that he will be on earth for 3 ½ years and then, according to Revelation 20:3, he will be cast “into the bottomless pit” for “a thousand years.” And then in Revelation 20:10 we read of his final doom, for after a short release from the bottomless pit he will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  (197.1)  (DO)