In this vision an angelic army fights a satanic one, led by Satan, the great dragon. Satan’s defeat explains his fury and confirms God’s power over him.
War breaks out in heaven, and Satan is thrown down by the archangel Michael and his allies. This great conflict occurs after the Messiah is taken up to God’s throne. It was understood that Satan once was able to make accusations against people before God (Job 1:6-12), but after Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, Satan has been barred from the heavenly throne room. Moreover, the vision shows that Satan lashes out on the earth because he is angry at having lost out in heaven. Satan is like a caged animal who tries to do as much damage as possible in the space he has available. Evil is present and active on earth, but it is not all-powerful.According to some Christian traditions, Satan rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven at the beginning of time. This is a way of explaining how evil came into the world that was created to be good. For some, it accounts for the presence of the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. The story of Satan’s fall at the beginning of time is not actually found in the Bible, although it is based in part on Isaiah 14:12-15, which compares an arrogant tyrant to a star falling from heaven.